Giving to horses in need is a very noble thing… I honor anyone who helps the horses.
For me, I tend to dump my Piggy Bank when I hear of horses in desperate situations. You know the type… THIS HORSE IS GOING TO SLAUGHTER IN AN HOUR or, THIS MARE IS GOING TO FOAL ON THE WAY TO MEXICO or, THIS HORSE WHO WAS A KIDS’ PONY IS GOING TO THE KILL BUYERS TONIGHT!… You know the drill. The ones in immediate peril usually pull on my purse strings.
But, what about all the other horses who need ongoing help? Who helps them? Who are the tortoises in the human group, eh? Who are the people who drop a coin in their horsey bank account day in and day out? The Sponsors. Those who sponsor a horse have decided to put their pennies together for the slow and steady long haul. God bless ’em!
It is the sponsors who guarantee the rescues. It is the sponsors who pledge to keep the sanctuaries running.
So, today, I’m going to tip my hat towards a couple of wonderful sponsors of THE GOLDEN CARROT, our Bucket Fund Equine Charity for this month. (If you’d like to learn more about THE GOLDEN CARROT, a sanctuary for the old, sick and abandoned horses, please click here.)
Now, onward to these very moving stories of why these women help…
First up, in her own words Shela tells us why she sponsors both Cha Cha and Duke. Cha Cha is a 34 year old Appy mare whose previous owners called her anorexic because she was losing weight in a paddock with three other, younger horses who were stealing her food. Luckily, with the great care at TGC, Cha Cha recovered from her “anorexia” as soon as she was fed alone.
Duke is a 22 year old QH who is very crippled but is thriving at TGC.
“I came to TGC about 6 months ago…only at the request of a disabled friend who had heard about it and wanted to see the horses. The person who left the ranch that day was a different person than the one who entered it a couple of hours before. I had no previous experience with horses…I’m a dog person…and a little intimidated by the bigger guys.
But, there I was, in the middle of a herd…having a tour…seeing horses that had been worked to the point of injury, used-up and discarded…some would see them as broken-down old nags…I saw beauty, grace, dignity, spirit, love, gratitude, trust. Their stable area, which is more about function than form and Casey jokes about its less than pristine appearance…well, I saw a clean, safe place to have dinner and spend the night out of the weather.
And the woman with the long strawberry braid down her back…she had so much to teach, I could tell…the way the horses responded to her…her skill with them…the mutual trust. I didn’t want to leave this place. What happens there is something quite extraordinary.
I first thought of sponsoring a TGC horse as a Christmas gift for my grandniece, so it didn’t start out as being about a particular horse. I went to Casey’s website to read about each of the horses…which one needed us the most? I chose ChaCha Native Dancer because she was very old, a little scraggly looking and somewhat aloof…I guess no one else had thought her particularly appealing.
She is beautiful to me…and I don’t mind that she doesn’t want to nuzzle…it’s not about me, after all. This old gal has enough spirit and leadership qualities to compensate for her disabilities and oversees the other mares with confidence. I respect and honor her.
Later, as I got to know more of the horses as individuals, I chose Duke because I didn’t want him to leave us without a sponsor. He’s so old and disabled, yet you can see his desire to keep on moving through each day, one at a time. He’s kind and sweet and patient…I’ve spent hours grooming him…and he allows me to hug him. I adore this horse and feel so privileged to know him. I’m very grateful to Casey for watching over him and allowing him to spend whatever time he has left with dignity and knowing he’s loved. When it’s Duke’s time, he will let me know which of his friends he’d like me to sponsor in his place, and I will do it in his memory.”