Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (Baby belgian still needs a name!)

Today was rather ordinary. Chores as usual, etc. Our barn manager spent last night and this morning conversing with vets and other very experienced horse people about baby belgian’s legs and arrived bright and early with a list of things needed to begin treating her wounds/sores in the best way possible at this point. The two of us went our separate ways to gather up the supplies/medications and met back here to get to work.

And let me tell you something…her situation is dicey. There is no “clear” answer as to what caused this. There are potentially so many underlying or caused issues. Either way…it all goes back to the neglect that this poor baby has suffered through. There may be no quick fix, in fact…there may be no fix at all at this point…but we will do our best and only time will tell. But…at one time…there was a fix…that was ignored….

This baby stood like a pro while we cleaned and medicated and wrapped her sores. Clearly it bothered her at least a little, be it stinging, or burning, or just having them messed with. But, she ever so gently let us know that she felt it and we reassured her that we are trying to help. When it came time to dust her to treat the extreme rain rot she has, she was apprehensive at first, but once we hit “the spots”, she just melted. Her lips quivered and she nuzzled my arm and you could see her almost melt under our touch. We are guardedly hopeful for this young, sweet, baby-faced gentle giant. But, we are certainly not ready to give up on her. She deserves…so much time and effort and care…that she clearly has never had.

In honor of Justice, the little mare that didn’t make it out of the auction…we will do everything possible to help this baby. She is still waiting for a name as we had a tie. Be sure to vote (see previous post) so this sweet girl has a name tomorrow. And if you feel inclined to help with her care…no amount is ever too small….

You are all so amazing for following us, encouraging us, supporting us, even during the worst times that we go through. This baby would not be here without you. She would already be at the border awaiting the most awful fate. But, because of all of you, she is here and she is happy, and we can only hope and pray at this point that we can help her more than we were able to help Justice.

I will bid you all a goodnight now. Tomorrow is going to be a very busy day, so stay tuned. And in the meantime, please vote for a name for baby belgian and keep her in your thoughts.

Posted on

A series of unfortunate events…ends in tragedy.

Friday (auction day) started off fairly monotonous. I did not sleep well the night before as is usual for me before the auction, so as tired as I was, it was time to get up and get moving. There were horses to save and thanks to all of you, we were on our way there knowing that we could for sure save 4 in need. As we started the truck though, things immediately began to take a turn for the worse. There were lights lit up all over the dashboard and a warning beeper thingy started going off non-stop as soon as we started to move. I noticed the emergency brake light was lit up and tried to release the pedal. It wouldn’t release so I tried pushing the pedal down a little more thinking maybe it was just kinda stuck. When I did that though, the pedal went all the way to the floor and stuck there. It would not come back up. I talked to Nate and he said not to worry about it as it is not hooked up anyway. Ok. So, off we went. Listening to that annoying beeper the entire drive.

When we came to an intersection a few miles from the auction house, I noticed that the brake pedal felt rather soft. I thought about it as we continued on and thought maybe it was just because of the trailer and I just needed to adjust the trailer brakes. But, when we hit the next intersection we had to stop at, the brake pedal wasn’t just soft, but it went almost all the way to the floor. Ok, this isn’t right. I was quite sure at that point that we were losing our brakes. Thankfully, we were just a couple miles from the auction house and we kinda just coasted into town going as slow as we could. When we reached the auction house, there was little left to the brakes at all and we swung in and with me literally standing on the pedal, finally came to a stop. I called Nate and he confirmed that we likely blew a brake line. So, we had no choice other than to find a shop that could fix them while we were at the auction so we could get home. We limped the truck to an out of the way spot and by that time, there were no brakes at all. I had to slam the truck into park to stop.

We went into the auction house and asked if there was anyone near town that could help. They gave us a phone number and we went back out to make some calls. We tried the number they gave us, but he simply did not have time that day. He gave us a number to another place, who never answered their phone. We then googled places there and eventually we lucked out and found a place just a couple miles away that not only could work on it right away, but could also come and get it since it could not be driven anywhere anymore. So, we gathered up what we needed from the truck, unhooked the trailer, and went about our day at the auction feeling good that though we would likely be heading home much later than planned, at least we would be heading home. As we watched the truck get loaded onto the tow truck and drive away, it was only then that I realized I had left the cash in our truck.

There were 52 horses, mules, and minis at the auction. By this time, we had raised enough funds to save 5. There were some amazing horses that sold for way above slaughter price, but there were so many others that did not get much for bids at all. We reached our 5 and sat helplessly as the fate of the rest were sealed. ๐Ÿ™ But, we felt good being able to save the ones we did. When it ended, while we waited for the line at the counter to clear and the others to load up into the large trailers, we went to a restaurant for some lunch. While we were in there, we called to check on the status of our truck. They had only just pulled it into the shop to take a look at it. Disappointing, but being married to a mechanic, I know how it goes. A few minutes later, the auction owner came in and asked if we could pay for those we purchased so they could close down the office. I explained that I had left the cash in our truck and he laughed and assured me that it was no problem. The guy who had it could be trusted and that the office could wait.

When we finished eating, we walked back over to the auction to check on the 5 we had saved. We were shocked to find that one of them had suffered severe injuries since the auction ended. There was a deep puncture wound to her left front shoulder and her left hind leg appeared to be broken. We asked if anyone there knew what happened, but no one did. We then called the vet and asked them to come take a look at her. Putting her on a trailer looked very iffy at this point. While we waited for the vet to arrive, the shop called and gave us the verdict on our truck. Rear brake lines blew. He talked about replacing front and rear lines as the fronts were still ok, but would need replacing soon. He recommended some lines made of some super durable material that would last forever. I explained that the truck has over $300k miles on it and we just want it to get us home. Plus, the time to do all of them was 8+ hours. It was already 2:30. We opted for just replacing the rear. He felt he could have that done by 5pm. Good enough.

The vet arrived and could not confirm a broken leg without doing x-rays. We could not load her as we did not have a vehicle. He felt that with some pain meds, she could probably handle the ride home. He doped her up and sprayed antiseptic on her puncture wound and we thanked him. The auction house, knowing our vehicle troubles, assured us that they could stay as long as needed. We gave him the rough estimate of being out of there around 5pm and he thought he’d still be around to help load. So, we went to a couple shops and looked around just killing time. My mom then wanted some coffee, so we went to a small diner and waited there. The time kept passing and by 5:30, with no word from the shop, we called to check on the status. It was not going well. Every time he tried to bleed the brakes, a leak would spring up somewhere else. His shop closed at 5pm, but he said he would keep working on it.

A little after six, tired, and noting that the diner was closing soon, we decided to start walking the direction of the shop. As we walked, a Super 8 motel sign lit up in front of us. Both of us having the same thought, we walked towards it. We had literally just arrived at the motel when the phone rang. It was Ryan from the shop. He had to throw in the towel for the night. He was out of supplies and he was tired and frustrated. I totally understood as we both were as well. We asked if we could somehow get to the shop to get our things out of the truck for the night. He offered to come pick us up and take us to it to do so. We grabbed out things (including the cash!) and were ready for a ride back to the motel when he told us we could just take the van. He promised to work on the truck again first thing in the morning and felt that if all went well and people left him alone, he could have it done by noon. Perfect!ย We drove back to the motel, ordered some dinner, and hunkered down for the night.

We woke up bright and early the next day and called the auction house to make sure the horses got some food and water. We offered to come help, but with another sale happening that day, he said he would take care of it. We sat in the motel feeling helpless and wishing the phone would ring and tell us the truck was done. As check-out time approached, we decided to go to the auction house anyway and check on everyone. This sale was a fancy, driving horse sale and the place was packed! We worried our trailer would be blocked by all the other vehicles and trailers there, but as we drove up, we saw the they had turned the trailer and pointed it in a direction so that no one would park in front of it. Whew! We wandered through the barns trying to locate where our horses were moved to and eventually we located them…except one. Just as we were about to go looking for the injured mare, the owner walked up and said she was back by the water and took us to her. He explained that she walked (though not well) over to where she now was and he seemed hopeful that she had a chance. He had already had the vet give her more banamine and we were so relieved to hear this. But, as we came around the corner and saw her, our hearts sank….

The shoulder wound had blood coming out in spurts and she could not put any weight on her left front. The left hind looked even more broken. And as her head hung down in drug-induced relaxation, while we still hoped, we already knew…. We discussed this with the owner and he told us that he could arrange for that if needed. We all decided that we would give it a shot once our truck was done and revisit the situation then. No sooner did he walk off than the phone rang and our truck was done! We hopped in the van and went to the shop, giddy with happiness that we were finally going to be on our way home! We took care of the bill, leaving a tip of course, hopped in our truck, raced back to the auction, hooked up and the owner had us back into the barn near where the mare stood. He had a couple helpers there to help move her, but when she tried to take a step, she slipped and I said no. Stop. With tears in my eyes, I walked over to her and hugged her and stroked her face and tried to explain how sorry I was. There was just no way we could make her get on that trailer. The pain she would be in. We just couldn’t….

The auction owner understood and agreed that it was the right call. He felt terrible about the entire situation. He had no idea how it happened and worried we would make a big fuss about what an awful place it is. I assured him we would not. He even…paid for her to be laid to rest. While our hearts were broken, we had 4 others that were counting on us to get them out of there. We got them loaded up and were on our way after what seemed like days and days. We talked about the mare we had to leave behind, and we cried, and we tried to assure ourselves that we made the right call. Shortly after we got on the highway, we pulled off to get something to drink. And only then did I realize…I didn’t have my purse….

In a stress-induced frenzy by this point, I retraced the morning in my head and determined it was either at the repair shop or in the van. We called Ryan who then called his brother at the shop who then confirmed that it was in fact in the van. There was no way I was turning around. We were finally on our way home and, as luck would have it, since I had put the cash in my mom’s purse, we had funds to get home. Ryan said they would mail my purse to me first thing Monday morning. Calming down and just trying to let everything roll off my shoulders, there was just one nagging thought in my mind…that still won’t go away…if our brakes had not failed, if we had been able to load right after the auction…that poor mare may have been riding in the trailer behind us with the rest of them on their way to safety. This is my fault, I feel. The delay…due to my vehicle breaking down…caused her to lose her life…and for that…I will never forgive myself.

Four others are here and resting comfortably now and I will hang on to that and take what comfort it brings me, but the memory of that little mare…and the pain she was in…because of me…will haunt me forever….

Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (We are stranded…)

I had hoped this 3-6-5 would be full of good news about the horses that we were able to save today at the auction thanks to all of you. And while the lives saved today is the most wonderful news out there, the day itself, has been far from wonderful.

The day began with an issue with the parking brake lever in my car and we were forced to listen to the alarm dinging at us constantly for what seemed like hours on end. The parking brake is not connected in my vehicle, so we did not expect any further issues other than the annoying sound. However, as we got within a few miles of the auction, the brake pedal started to feel a bit spongy. And by the time we rolled into the parking lot at the auction, it was all I could do to push the pedal hard enough to stop the vehicle. A quick phone call to Nate confirmed what I suspected, we blew a brake line. We limped the vehicle to an out of the way spot and by that point, the brakes were completely gone and I had to slam it into park to get it to fully stop.

We spent the next close to an hour locating a shop in the area that could work on them and get them fixed today before we were ready to head back home. We found a shop able to work on it today and even come and pick it up, but the earliest he thought he could get it done was 5pm. That’s ok. We’ll wait. The horses were given the ok to stay as long as they needed and we went to get something to eat.

When we returned, we went to see how the horses were doing. We were horrified to find that one of them had suffered severe injuries and was bleeding out of a puncture wound on her left front shoulder and her left hind leg looked broken. We asked others in the area if they knew what happened, but no one did. We called the area vet to come out and take a look at her as she still has the journey home to make. He could not say for sure that her leg was broken and felt that some pain killers would help her on the trip until she could be further evaluated. While her prognosis does not look good, we are hopeful and in the end, we with to offer her at least a peaceful end surrounded by love. Please keep her in your prayers.

So, we continued to wait and wait and wait to hear that our vehicle was ready to get back on the road, hook the trailer back up, load up the horses and head on home. But, as 5pm came and went with no word, our already weary minds were beginning to think about other options. Is there even anywhere to stay around here? Can the horses stay overnight? It is raining. It is dark. And our already weary eyes were not sure they could handle a drive in the dark now…

At just about 6pm, the phone finally rang and we suddenly felt a burst of energy to get heading home, but…it was not to be. The mechanic had worked and worked and worked, well past quitting time trying to get us back on the road today, but every time he tried to bleed the brakes, another line would blow. He was tired. He was frustrated. And while he had really hoped to be our hero today, he had to throw in the towel. We understood and he arranged to get us our things out of the car and get us to a hotel and he promises to get working on it first thing in the morning and is hoping that, with any luck, he will be able to get us on our way by lunchtime. We are hopeful as well, but honestly, this may be the best way this should have played out anyway today as I can barely keep my eyes open already.

So, as soon as able tomorrow, we will be on our way home with the 5 beautiful souls that you all helped us save today. We will give you all updates as soon as possible, but just a fair warning, the injured mare is not the only one in need of tlc. It was a pretty rough crowd there today and we will do what we can to help them all, but thanks to all of you, we have already been able to help them avoid slaughter. And that is the thought that I will take to sleep with me tonight as everything else swirls around in my exhausted brain.

In closing, thank you all so much for your support today. We could not do this without you and these 5 amazing creatures would currently be on their way to the border. I will hope to see you all again tomorrow with much better news to share, but until then, please keep the fabulous 5 in your thoughts and please also hope that our vehicle will pull through. Right now…I just want to go home…

Posted on

The Slaughter Auction is tomorrow…

In less than 24 hours, the auction will be over. The horses there will either find a good home (very rare), be bought by the killbuyers to be slaughtered, or on our trailer to the safety of our shelter. We have raised enough to save 3. Though we are close to being able to save 4. But, our goal is to guarantee safety to at least 6. We are over halfway to our goal, but with little time left, we fear we will not reach it.

We will have to sit there quietly as silent tears run down our faces as we watch one after another get bought by the killbuyers. They will then be shoved onto the slaughter trucks for the long, torturous journey to the border. If they are lucky, they will be dumped at another auction along the way as the killbuyers hope to make a quick flip. Especially the smaller, thinner ones, as they won’t bring much at slaughter. And with any luck, they can find a home at the next auction. The rest though, should they even survive the trip, will meet the most horrible fate of an inhumane death to be slaughtered for their meat.

These horses who trusted humans. Face the ultimate betrayal. They have no voice, but the sadness and despair in their eyes haunts us even during our waking hours. So many lost. So many who just needed someone who could save them and give them that second chance. But, in less than 24 hours, they will either have a second chance or they may be lost forever….

Please help us help them. We will save as many as we can, but we can only save as many as we can afford. We need your help. THEY need your help. Please. Their time is running out. Some are already sitting at the auction house waiting to be saved. Please Give Now. They need you….

๐Ÿ”น PayPal:ย https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=LP67KNHKAWYDS&source=url

๐Ÿ”นย Credit Card:ย https://ponytalesrefuge.org/donate/

๐Ÿ”นBy phone: 877-766-9857

๐Ÿ”นย By USPS
Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab
4398 130th Avenue
Colfax, WI 54730

๐Ÿ’–Thank You For Your Support!๐Ÿ’–

Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab is a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization, tax ID #47-1658095.

www.ponytalesrefuge.org

Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (We need your help…)

Today has been a very busy day. Vet work to be done. More snow and freezing rain to deal with. Numerous inquiries. Making sure the truck is ready. Making sure the trailer is ready. But, what is weighing most on our minds right now is the upcoming auction. By this time on Friday, countless horses will be loaded onto the slaughter trucks and heading for the borders. We will be at the auction. The weather will not be an issue this week. And we will save as many as we can from that awful fate, but we can only save how many we can afford to. If we don’t have the funds…we can’t save them…. ๐Ÿ™

Donations have been very slow to come in the last couple of days and we are still not quite able to save 4. Our original goal was 5, but with another week due to the storm, we raised our goal to 6. We can only save 3 at this time and we are running out of time. When the slaughter auction time is bearing down on us, this has to be my primary focus. If I cannot raise the funds, we cannot save the horses. The complete helplessness I feel as I watch horse after horse be bought by the killbuyers because we have run out of funds is a feeling a would not wish on my worst enemy. It is crushing, defeating, and physically painful. But, it is nothing compared to what those horses will endure if we can’t help them.

There is still time to donate and save a life. Even $5…heck just $1…from everyone adds up so fast. This is not a goal that we hope to reach with help from just one of you. But, if everyone gives a little, we could help so many. Please help us help them. While there is still time…time is running out for them. Once the auction is over, it’s…over for most of them. Please. Give Now.

Thank you all. We cannot do this without you.

๐Ÿ”นย PayPal:ย https://www.paypal.com/donate/โ€ฆ

๐Ÿ”นย Credit Card:ย https://ponytalesrefuge.org/donate/

๐Ÿ”นBy phone: 877-766-9857

๐Ÿ”นย By USPS
Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab
4398 130th Avenue
Colfax, WI 54730

๐Ÿ’–Thank You For Your Support!๐Ÿ’–

Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab is a 501(c)(3) non-profit animal welfare organization, tax ID #47-1658095.

www.ponytalesrefuge.org

Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (When rescues work together…)

Today, started off with a bit of a bang. We received a call for some assistance if possible from another organization. This is a long-standing, well-respected, highly reputable organization that we have worked with in the past. Without digging into the nitty-gritty, to sum up, there was an owner surrender that they did not have room for currently as a potential humane case is pending and they were asking if we could help with the surrender. Well…of course we can. They will continue to work with the owner to hammer out the details and we will see what happens. But, our assistance may be needed in the humane case as well. IF everything comes together as it should (for the sake of all of the horses involved) upwards of 13 horses will find safety and refuge in the next few days. We will keep you all posted as much as we can in that regard. But…

One of the most amazing things for us was that, as we talked to this incredible organization, we truly talked…threw around ideas…ways to further help the welfare of horses…ways to help ensure their long-term safety…ways to find them the best homes. And the end result was that this organization, that has been in operation far longer than we have, asked for more details on how we do things here. We have often referred to ourself as the underdog, the fledgling organization, the “newbies” if you will…and really, in the grand scheme of things…we are. But…to be “mentoring” (for lack of a better word) a large, amazing organization, that has been around way longer than us, just…made us feel so proud, yet humbled…and it was just so reassuring.

We often receive inquiries from smaller organizations than us, even those just trying to start up, and while we are always happy to help them in whatever way we can, offer them advice, etc, to have a larger, long-standing organization be able to take something away from a conversation with us, felt…truly amazing. And the best part? Two organizations, big and “small”, working together to do whatever they have in their power, to ensure the safety and well-being of more than a dozen horses. THAT…is how it should be.

Beyond that, the day was relatively quiet. No shenanigans from any of the horses. Everyone just kinda enjoyed their food and their playtime (especially as the snowmobiles wizzed by…Lol) and it gave me time to get more done that needed to get done without interruption. Our secretary got Petfinder worked out (a thorn in our side since implementing the new email addresses) and moved all of our data to our new accounts, along with getting hay of her own and everything else she needs to do on a daily basis. Oh! One very exciting thing happened! We finally got our 4-wheeler back!! It has been “at the shop” for what seems like forever! But, it is finally back and ready to get to work around here. You just don’t realize how bad you need one, until you don’t have one! Lol!

Nate was on the road towing and pulling people out of the ditches the better part of the day, so it really was a good time for me to sit down and focus. What I primarily focused on…was the upcoming auction. Do I dare ask people to donate again? What kind of weather will we have this week? Well, I am happy to announce, that the weather looks fine for travel and barring another stupid snow storm (that is not predicted at this time), we will be on our way to save as many as we can from slaughter this coming Friday. We have raised enough to save 3 and are closing in on 4. But, with the delay from this past Friday’s storm, we have upped our goal to saving 6. We will, however, save as many as we have funds for. If we raise enough to save 10…I guarantee you that we will do just that! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, any amount you can spare, big or small, will go towards saving horses from slaughter on Friday.

I will bid you all a goodnight at this point. Tomorrow is already proving to be a busy day. Much to get done. Auction to prepare for, etc, etc. But, at least the weather looks way better than last week!! Goodnight everyone, and I hope to see you all on the flipside! ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (When life gives you lemons…)

COLD start to the day today (Jan.17, 2020)! Though relatively warmer (as in slightly above zero) than yesterday, there was no sun today and it was windy. When I came down to the shop office, though the heat was cranked to 80 degrees all night, the temperature in the office was 50. ๐Ÿ™ I discovered later that I could actually crank it up to 90 (which I did), but in all that time and as of now, it only made it up to 58. It’s…just…stupid…cold….

On top of that, our trainers were scheduled to come out and work with horses, but at some point…it is too cold to do that. Today was that point. Instead, the entire team still came out, but made it their goal to start moving the mountains of donated tack we have scattered everywhere around here into the new barn for sorting. There is SO much that has been donated, and we just haven’t had the space to go through it all yet. It was stored in trailer tack rooms, up on top of the old chicken coop in the old barn, in the house garage, in the shop, in our house, in the shop office. It was literally everywhere! Huge undertaking for them to dive into. Especially on such a cold day considering the majority of it was in unheated areas.

But, while myself and our secretary spent hours on the phone today getting our new emails functioning properly, this awesome team got so much done! In addition to rounding up and getting tack into the new barn for sorting, they got stalls cleaned, horses moved and blanketed, and everyone hunkered down and ready for the winter storm that was bearing down on us all day. The winds began to pick up and by 3pm, the snow began. Here comes snowmageddon and it was time for everyone to scatter and get home and safe before the roads became a nightmare. My amazing mom came out this morning to top off water tanks so everyone would be sure to have plenty of water while enduring the storm and as the snow began to fall, I finally had a chance to get to town myself and stock up on necessities through the storm.

And man oh man was that little grocery store in Bloomer busy!! While I had planned some delicious, creative comfort, snow storm meals this morning, by the time I was able to get to the store, I no longer cared. So, I grabbed this and that and the other and made sure we had at least enough food and what-not to prevent us from having to brave the roads later tonight or tomorrow as the winds reach 40+ miles per hour with 6-10 inches of newly fallen snow. I’m not even entirely sure what I bought as I think about it, but I know there was gravy and bread involved, so…comfort food enough!! Lol.

In the end, we got the new email addresses up and functioning properly, the horses are tucked in as needed and prepared for the storm, and while no one really got worked with today, it warmed my heart, even in this stupid cold, stormy winter storm warning, to see these wonderful three ladies outside in this grossness, smiling, laughing, having fun, and getting things done. When life gives you lemons…

We are really thankful that we delayed our auction rescue today as much as it hurt to do so. One auction scheduled for this weekend was actually cancelled, so we hope that perhaps the one we were going to attend was cancelled as well. The snow began right about the time we would have been loading and heading home. The wind and snowfall is increasing by the hour and it simply was a wise decision. We are planning to attend the auction next Friday though and we are over half-way to our new goal of saving 6 horses from slaughter. Please pray for good travel weather and if you can spare even the smallest amount to help us reach our goal, we would be so thankful. Thank you all!

Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (It’s flippin’ cold!!!)

Hey, Everyone! So, last we spoke, we had big plans of a relatively quiet day today. And well….that kinda sorta happened…. Lol. To start though, it is COLD outside!!! Like not just a little cold, but like super cold! It’s been worse here in the winter in WI and it will likely get worse (sadly), but brrrrr!!!! That doesn’t put a stop to the work that needs to be done around here though. Members of our team were out there moving the horses that needed to be moved, working with them beforehand as needed, etc. to get the job done. I won’t lie…I had to escape back into the office a couple times to take my boots off and place my feet directly on the heater to thaw them out. Getting just the right boots in this weather is still the holy grail that I have not been yet able to find.

And while my feet did thaw, what made me super (physically) sad, was that the heater in the office is cranked up to 80. This morning when I came down, it was 58 in the office. It went up to a staggering 64 in here during the peak part of the day when the sun was shining directly into the window, but as I type right now, while still cranked to 80, it is 57 degrees. And after doing evening chores…my feet are frozen and very unhappy with me….

As I did chores, just me and the horses walking around out there almost sounded like everyone was walking on glass. The snow is so frozen and crunchy and hard and just blah!! My fingers from the first knuckle up were freezing. Like unbearable pain, freezing. As I went about taking out hay and filling water buckets with half-hands, it reminded me of my days as a mail lady. And because of that, I knew that if I just tough out this excruciating pain part, that my body will take over and my fingers will adjust and warm up and everything will be fine. The worst thing to do in that first few minutes is to go into a heated area to thaw out. If you do that, when you go back out, you start the whole process all over again. So, I plodded away and prayed that my fingers weren’t going to break off….

And of course, they did not, but the pain was becoming awful and I just wanted to run back into the shop…even for just a minute. I was literally about to do that, when…as I headed back towards the barn…Kristoff approached me….

He had his food. I was taking hay out to the neighboring paddock and was just walking back towards the barn, but…he stopped and stood directly in my path as if to say, you shall not pass until you touch me…. It was very surreal. And of course I stopped. And I extended my hand to him. And he sniffed it. And he lowered his head. And I ever so briefly was able to scratch his forehead. And just like that, he walked away. I stood there and watched him and just thought about what an amazing thing just happened. This unhandled, no-time-for-people, young man, sought out my attention…even if ever so briefly. And as this was happening, I didn’t even notice the cold….

These…are the moments that we live for. This is what helps drive us on our mission of helping as many as we can, no matter their breeding, their history, their training, anything. To experience something like this…and know that all the time and hard work is giving this horse that second chance that they deserve…is all the payback that we could ask for.

The temperature in here has now dropped to 56, so I am going to head up to the house for the night. But, in closing, I hope you all got to see the premier of the auction episode of Horse Rescue Heroes. If not, see the YouTube link here, until Amazon gets straightened out. I have only been able to watch it myself all the way though one time. I was crying by the end as is what everyone has been doing, I am told. This is the reality. We brave the cold, we brave the auctions, we brave everything out there…so these horses get what they need.

The auction rescue planned for tomorrow has been delayed due to the winter storm that is set to hit us in just a few hours, but we are now planning to attend the auction next week (weather provided of course, so please hope for good weather!). We have raised enough to save 3 from slaughter and with the delay now, we are upping our goal from 5 to 6. We are half-way there. Please help us help those so in need. Help us help the “Kristoffs” of the world learn that people are good. Thank you all. I am going up to the house now to thaw my feet.

Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (Belated)

Good morning. I apologize for not getting this up yesterday. Such a crazy day beginning with technical difficulties first thing in the morning as our old website was officially dismantled. Which was great news! But, this also disabled our email. Not great news. So, the entire morning was eaten up with getting everything fixed, assigning new emails, and getting everything updated everywhere. While we were working feverishly on this, the trainers began to arrive for the day. There was discussion about the weather bearing down on us this weekend and a decision needed to be made about whether or not we go to the auction as planned. 6-10 inches of snow and a tenth of an inch of ice is predicted on our path of travel home from the auction beginning right about the time we would be heading home. Along with gusty winds and blowing snow. So, it was decided that we will have to postpone until next week. We can only hope that this storm will help keep down the number of horses that will be at the auction. :-/

The trainers got to work and before too long, it started to snow. We all thought what?? They didn’t say anything about snow today! It’s not supposed to start until Friday!! But, hey. It’s January. In Wisconsin. When the snow finally ended, the temps started to drop as we went from well into the 20s to well below zero overnight. We were sure everyone had plenty to eat and threw extra out just in case. The water tanks were all topped off and we began to hunker down prepared for the impending cold. We were just about to go up to the house and make dinner when the phone rang. And then it rang again. And then the messages and texts starting pouring in about when Horse Rescue Heroes was going to be airing on Amazon Prime as it was scheduled to premier yesterday. Everyone would check the site frequently, but by later in the evening, with Amazon still “pending” the release, Horse Plus loaded the episode to YouTube for everyone to watch. Click here to watch for yourself! The episode brought back a rush of emotions and memories from that day back in August. And of course by the end of it, I was crying.

We hope this episode will help lay to rest the myth that auctions are a good place to send your horses. We hear it every time we are planning an auction rescue. Those who are convinced that taking your horse to auction, especially if it’s well broke, ensures that it will find a good home. If only that was the case. Obviously there are good auctions out there. Auctions with only the high-dollar, well-broke, well-bred horses that sell for way over slaughter price, but those are not the auctions we attend. This episode shows that and while the auction house in TN is much larger than the auction houses around here, it is indicative of what we see at the auctions we do attend. Horses who’s eyes have lost all hope who are desperate for a gentle hand to touch them. Horses who are terrified and don’t know what to do with themselves. And those are the ones we want to help.

Way too late in the evening to make the dinner we had planned by this point, so we went to the local bar and grill for a quick bite. Got home. Double-checked food and water and finally poured ourselves into bed. Today we have a couple of horses to move and a snow storm to prepare for, but we are hoping for a much quieter day. With any luck, I will be able to update you all on how those best laid plans go. So for now, I will sign off and get to work.

Posted on

Pony Tales 3-6-5 (The days rarely end how they start)

Such a rare occurrence here. The day starts off quiet. Plans are made, time to get to work. And most of the day, all is quiet. But, you start the day expecting the norm and then something unexpected happens…and right away, the mind starts going… But, you push those thoughts aside and get down to the tasks for the day. Everything is going well, you receive some pictures and such with positive, happy things going on and things are cruising along and the future is looking bright. Then, everything changes….

The trolls awaken and the hate for what we are doing here (helping horses…ummm….bad thing to do, I guess) begins. But, on the bright side, the news story about us and the upcoming reality TV show Horse Rescue Heroes comes out! And low and behold, this reporter actually got the facts right!! Not to bash reporters, but at one point I was described as “sowing my wild oats in California” before starting Pony Tales. Ummmm…..no…… Lol. But, the press. It is what it is. In the end, we were very happy to see that this reporter did his research and checked his facts and did a good (albeit a few typos) story. See the story here.

Throughout the day though, of course I was battling social media as is almost a daily thing, and was ready to throw in the towel, when our barn manager showed up. Much to be discussed. Many plans to be made. One, in particular, was the horse who had a very hard time with the farrier the other day. This horse, for the first time ever since arriving, showed me a much different side this morning. Without prompting. So now, I need more time. This horse just may have a chance and we will give this horse that chance until it is proved that further chances will not help. I have to. For my own peace of mind.

We were finally able to dismantle the old website and domain name, but sadly, it dismantled our email as well. ๐Ÿ™ Technology. It’ll be the death of me yet. After many phone calls and texts and stuff I don’t even really understand, we are pretty sure that everything will be up and running in short order. I now need to go get chores done and check on this horse and maybe make dinner and possibly get to bed at a reasonable hour (btw: totally didn’t make it to be by 9pm the other night…. ๐Ÿ™ )

Anyway, gearing up for the upcoming auction is ramping up and we are super happy to say that we have already raised enough to save two! We are hoping to save 5 though! So, if you have even $1 to spare, trust me, it adds up fast! If anyone questions what we are using the donated funds for, please feel free to contact us, or just follow our page for the updates that include the horses saved thanks to all of you. We are as transparent as they come, but we will not divulge information that will put the horses in jeopardy.

Thank you all for understanding and please stay tuned! Until tomorrow, peace out!