“There is no use trying, ” said Alice; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice, ” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” –Lewis Carroll
I think the job of horse rescue is sometimes thankless and certainly relentless. I know that many rescuers become sad and despondent because the job seems never ending. Sometimes, it seems impossible.
But, not today. Today, I want to write about a great success!
Now, there are great successes daily in the horse rescue world so please don’t think I’m playing favorites. I’m just writing about this because I have a big grin after reading all about it. I wanted to spread the wealth.
Last PhoBlog Saturday, I interrupted our normal fun fare in order to tell you that the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in Oregon was having their annual wild horse sale at high noon that very day.
Actually, wild horses off of an Indian reservation sounded a bit romantic. But, it wasn’t romantic at all. The story was that these horses faced absolute peril. The Reservation has vast land and the stock runs wild. To cull their herd, the Tribe rounds up what they can for the sale, but doesn’t consider who might be purchasing…
It was reported that in previous years, the horses of all ages and genders went to meat buyers or rodeo tripping stock and those left over were shot. Hmmmmmm. Going on this information and with little time to prepare, EOI (Equine Outreach) circled the wagons. FaceBook pages were created, the media was alerted (read article here), money was gathered, volunteers got on the tomtoms and a fire was burning in the hearts and souls of rescuers everywhere. This is what I wrote on Saturday. I wrote that EOI needed any help that any of you could provide for this epic day.
THIS IS WHERE WE PICK UP AGAIN
EOI had no idea how many horses would be there, how many they could rescue or what it would be like to negotiate any of this. But, donations were in hand, trailers were readied and volunteers massed. The organizers and nurturers prepared the pens and necessities at home and waited. The warriors of the group jumped into their trucks and made their way to the unknown battleground.
There were approximately 60 horses for sale. With hawk-like attention to detail, reps from EOI took note of every buyer. If a bid was from the meat buyer or stock buyer, up went their paddle. They were determined that no horse would fall into the wrong hands.
Alas, hidden in a pen there were 6 stallions who were pre-sold for meat costs (7 cents a pound…). Luckily, a few angels noticed and had the fortitude to negotiate beautifully and secure these stallions. One went to EOI. Another lovely soul stepped forward to house the other 5 stallions – no easy feat. And yet another benevolent benefactor offered to pay their bail, ongoing care and any other costs needed including their castration until they are all adopted. Sweet.
Even a poor, skinny puppy who hung around the rescuers all day went home with a volunteer. Another life saved on this fateful day.
In the end, EOI bought 32 horses of all shapes, sizes and genders. Another local rescue was also standing at the ready and bid on another 5. Every horse sold went to a private party. In fact, the rodeo stock buyer and meat buyer left empty trailered. Nice.
What I didn’t realize is that many of the mares had been separated from their babies in order to go through the sale. Joan from EOI said that seeing those Mamas and babies reunite was the very best of all. Not a dry eye in the house. Oh, and another endearing part of the story… the volunteers back at the ranch had hot pizza ready for all the weary rescuers when they arrived back home. They also created this lovely video of all the horses arriving in their new home. It is a tear-jerker. Here is the link.
Fortunately, all the horses are in good weight and most are healthy except for some round-up wounds. There is one filly who lost her mother in an accident (she was hit by a car). The filly needs attention and that is forthcoming. You can follow her welfare on the EOI Facebook page or on the EOI website. You can read the Examiner follow up article here.
It takes a village to rescue so many horses and it went off without a hitch. After the horses are allowed to settle, there will be the evaluation and adoption processes. As Joan sat overlooking the new horses she said,
“Today all but about 4 were stretched out in the sun and rolling
and recuperating! They feel safe and secure in order to lay down in new
surroundings and many are already approaching us to be petted! Whew!”
and the last but not least incredible feat… it is believed that a relationship was started with the Reservation leaders in charge of this annual sale. Well done. Bravo. Hope for next year!
For me, I’m smiling not only because this was a very successful day but because it happened so quickly and it was orchestrated so beautifully. No one had time to in-fight and if they did, I think it was overruled. The goodness in people came forward. Phase One is done and the rest will come. Ahhhhh, Faith. A lovely concept.
“sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
THIS JUST IN THIS MORNING ON THE EQUINE OUTREACH FACEBOOK PAGE:
Friends of Warm Springs Horses Happy News!We have a gorgeous new black and white paint colt from one of the Warm Springs mares. The mare even came over to Anjulie in the field and allowed her to assist! We will get pictures posted as soon as we can….Anjulie’s camera got covered in fluid but approximately 5 of us were able to watch at a short distance and of rejoice. He is up and nursing, moving around in our grassy field with his Mother
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
If you want an update on the Iron Man Rescued Foal Bucket Fund or to donate, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)