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The Lucky 7 1/2 are here!

It was a long weekend beginning Friday evening with losing power (which continued for close to 24 hours), the auction on Saturday, transporting the ones we could save to their temporary quarantine facility, then vetting and transport to Pony Tales on Monday. We are tired, both physically and emotionally. There were so many others we wanted to help. So many more that deserved a second chance at life. The ones brought to the auction matted with burrs whose owner then tried to clean them up and led them through the auction ring and ultimately out the door to the slaughter trucks waiting for them. It takes a “special” kind of person to be able to do that. It was saddening and infuriating at the same time as the owner can “no sale” their horse for any reason. This owner did not though and they knew exactly who had bought their horses. If only we had more funds…. 🙁

But, I digress. Thankfully, because of all of you, the Lucky 7 1/2 escaped that fate even though their owners were not even there to find out who bought them. Most of them were quite nervous and unsure of what was happening yesterday as one by one, they were evaluated by the vet and once again loaded onto a trailer. The big guy, who readily loaded from the auction, was hesitant about getting back on when it was time to leave. He kept looking back at his new found friends and where he had spent the last 36 hours and you could tell he was very worried about what was going to happen if he got on. I had to wonder, did he have this same hesitation and longing backward glances when he was loaded up at his home originally to then be dropped off at the auction? Or did he readily load that time having no idea what fate awaited him? This gentle giant is so forgiving and so loving. How he ended up at the auction, we will never know, but he didn’t deserve to be there. None of them do.

He and the others are now safe here at Pony Tales and he seems pleased with his decision to get on the trailer that one last time. He has settled in nicely and is always ready for some hugs, kisses, and loving on. He has a chance now that he wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for all of you. For those who wonder where your donations go, now you know. They go to save these beautiful souls from the brink of the slaughter to giving them a chance that no one else wanted to give them. Thank you all of you and please don’t ever feel that your “small” donation is in vain. It only takes a little from a lot of you to do what we were able to do this weekend. We thank you and the Lucky 7 1/2 thank you. Remember: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. Thank you all!

PayPal: https://www.paypal.com/donate/

Credit Card: https://ponytalesrefuge.org/donate/

By phone: 715-568-4174

By USPS
Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab
4398 130th Avenue
Colfax, WI 54730

💖Thank You For Your Support!💖

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

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The last 36 hours have been a real struggle…

The last 36 hours here have been a real struggle. Everything was fine, things were rolling along great. The donations to help save the horses from the auction yesterday were adding up by the minute, we had big plans to keep you all in the loop as things progressed and then BOOM! We got hit by a nasty storm Friday evening and lost power. When you live out in the country like we do, without power, you have no internet, no cell service, no nothing. The hours ticked by, the auction was looming closer and closer, and we had no way to connect with you all to try to save as many as possible. When we lost power, we had enough to save 5 horses from slaughter, but our goal was 7. It felt as though something was doing it’s level best to keep us from our goal. By morning, when we still had no power, I was sure of it. I was starting to panic. We were so close. So close. Then someone said to me, “Don’t panic. It’ll be ok. The devil is trying to stop you. Don’t let him”.

The funny thing about that is I had a motto during treatment and since the beginning of Pony Tales. I actually have it tattooed on my shoulders. It says “The devil whispers, you can’t handle the storm. The warrior replies, I AM the storm”. And just like that, my determination was back. You can slow me down, but you will not stop me. There are too many lives depending on us and we will scramble, we will stress, we will bust our butts, but make no mistake, it will get done. And did it ever!!

By the time the auction kicked into high gear, we had reached our goal! There were so many horses there. Over 50 when it was all said and done. Thankfully, a lot of them found good homes or were taken in by trainers who just wanted to outbid the killbuyers and save a horse from slaughter themselves. Sadly though, as it is at these auctions, the slaughter trucks left quite full. We tried and we wished that we could save more, but we were outnumbered, out financed, and out of time. At the end, realizing we were close to being able to get one more, we asked one of the killbuyers if we could buy a young filly from him that he got for dirt cheap. They agreed, at triple the price they had paid just minutes earlier. With tears welling up, we had to let her go. We just didn’t have enough funds.

BUT! Thanks to all of you, all of your donations, you shares, your words of encouragement, your caring souls, we saved 7 1/2 from slaughter! The big boy that I mentioned in my posts at the auction is now safe and relaxing at our temporary quarantine location. His head came up, his eyes lit up, his look of utter despair at the auction turned to hope and joy upon looking at his new surroundings. He needs a lot of groceries and will need his jaw looked at and his lip, while not cosmetically appealing, shows his character, his strength, and his ability to overcome. He grabbed my heart as soon as I saw him and I knew I had to get him safe. I cannot wait to introduce you all to him tomorrow. You will love him as much as we do, I am sure. Until then, these 7 1/2 beautiful souls still need your support. They all have vetting and evaluations and transitioning to go through and are depending on you to make sure that we can provide that all to them. Please donate what you can and until tomorrow, thank you all and have a wonderful day!!

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URGENT!! WE ARE AT THE AUCTION NOW!!

We are at the auction now! There are more than 30 horses here already and more on their way. Possibly a herd dispersal of 50 is coming in we are told. I cannot take pictures, but many of the horses are in the condition as these pictured or worse. There is a foal with his momma who is in dire need of TLC. There is a big black horse here in similar condition to the big boy pictured below. His jaw is injured, his lip is split, his head hangs so low, he is giving up. Please help us get him out of here!

We only have enough to save 6 so far. Please help us reach our goal of at least 7. We are SO close. 90% of the horses here will sell in the killbuyers’ price range. Help us get as many away from them as possible! Bidding starts soon. We are running out of time!

Please Give Now!

 

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One auction horse changed many lives.

In 2013, a little, scared Arabian was dumped at a slaughter auction. He was not even 2 years old yet. He was alone. He was frightened. And he was headed out the door for slaughter. You see, back then, these “killpen rescues” did not exist. Back then, once purchased for slaughter, that was where they were going. No ifs, ands, or buts. Of course, he may have found himself going through another auction and another and another, until the killbuyers felt they could make some money off him at the slaughter plant. But, regardless, his fate was sealed. Until…

A rescue organization pulled him off the slaughter truck. They saw something in him that no one else at the auction did. And they saved him. During his time with the organization, he suffered a trailer accident in which the cornea of his left eye was punctured. It was deemed best to have the eye removed. It didn’t bother him having only one eye. In fact, he didn’t even seem to notice. He had a fun, playful, zest for life that brightened the spirits of everyone who met him. But then, winter was approaching, and the rescue was closing down. He needed a home and he needed one soon. Who was going to take in a 2yo one-eyed Arabian with winter approaching? Well, the answer was…me.

Little did I know when we drove to pick up this sweet boy how much my life was about to change. He brought something out in me that had laid dormant for years. Always nagging at the back of my mind, but always in the back. Rescuing horses, while a wonderful dream, seemed a foolish one at that. I thought that saving this one would be enough. And had it been any other horse but this one, it may have been enough. But, this boy taught me, in his goofy, quirky, playful, lovable, Kirby way, that rescue was where I needed to be. His zest for life, his happiness, his joy in seeing me when he could, got me through the worst time of my life.

He was saved from a slaughter auction…and he then saved me.

Sadly, we lost Kirby 2 years ago to unknown causes. But, his goofy, fun-loving spirit is imprinted in the walls and the pastures here forever. I swear you can see him walking beside every horse that we take in. He then leads them around and teaches them the ropes. They all seem to settle in so quickly. Even those terrified of people. As if there is someone out there with them telling them it’ll be ok. They are safe now. This one auction horse is now responsible for more than 200 horses being saved and one very lucky lady who misses her Kirby boy so much. 🙁

There will be many horses who need to be saved just like Kirby at the auction on Saturday. It’s the same auction that he came from. He will be there and he will show me which ones need us the most. But, we can only save as many as we have the funds for. We can currently save three, but we are hoping for 7. Kirby would be 7 years old this year. Can you help us reach that lucky number in his honor? For them? For us? For Kirby? Please. Give now. They are running out of time.

 

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Can you see the difference?

We had a great time at Breyerfest this past weekend as we journeyed down to the Kentucky Horse Park to watch the trailer for the reality TV series Horse Rescue Heroes as it was played by the Equus Film Festival. We met some great people and saw some amazing horses, trainers, and riders. But, it was business as usual back home. Three horses were surrendered by their owner who was failing in health and could no longer care for them. Thankfully, others from the Pony Tales Crew were able to be here and help this owner and her horses. This owner truly cared about the well-being of her horses. She could have easily sent them to an auction and made a few bucks off of them. Instead, she chose, with little to no hesitation, to pay a surrender fee and send them here. Yes. That is what I said. She PAID to have them come here. Why? Because she cared about them.

People don’t seem to realize the high UNlikelihood that the horse they take to an auction is going to find a good home. Sure, they drop them off and walk away happily thinking about what a wonderful home they will find and dream about what they’ll spend the money they get from them on (maybe even another horse!), but the truth is, they have likely just sent their horse across the border to be slaughtered. But, they don’t want to think about that. Not my horse. That won’t happen. Or so they tell themselves. Plus, they very rarely stick around to watch the results. They don’t even want to be there when the horse goes through the auction ring. Why? Because deep down they know….

It is tantamount to people dropping their old dog off at the vet and running for the hills knowing the dog is going to be put down. You see report after report from veterinarians talking about what an awful last few moments on earth the dog has as they are left alone in a strange room, with a strange person, and their human is no where to be found. My eyes fill up with tears every time I think about that poor animal so scared and lost and lonely at the end of his life with no one there he knows to comfort him as he passes over.

It’s hard to be there. I know it is. Believe me. Less than one month ago we had to let our old man Ozzie go. He had been with me for every bit of his 17 years. But, one night, he appeared to have a stroke and we knew it was time. He couldn’t hardly walk that morning, but he tried. I carried him down to the shop so he could “make his daily rounds” one last time as we waited for the clinic to open. He did his best, but I carried him for the most part. We sat in a chair and I kissed him and pet him and told him it was going to be ok. Barely able to control his body, he managed to lift his head up and lick my chin one last time as if to say “I know. It’s ok. I’m ready.” We took him in and we stayed with him the whole time. He let out a couple small whimpers as he knew he was not at home, but we hugged him and kissed him and pet him and he then relaxed and drifted off to sleep.

He had battled congestive heart failure for three years, was mostly deaf, and could no longer see well. But, every evening, he ate his dinner and readily and happily strode along on our 1 1/2 mile walk around the property. He was incontinent at times and he had his accidents. We always had to be on the look out for him because he would run up to cars as they pulled in and for some reason, just had to stop right in front of them where the driver couldn’t see. We had our hands full with that old boy, but I could not, for even one second, imagine sending him away because he was too much work. Or because I knew his time was coming. Only those that don’t care could do such a thing.

It is no different with horses. Just looking at the horses at the auctions, you can see the sadness, the loneliness, the helplessness. They don’t know why they are where they are. They don’t know what’s going to happen. They just know that they are not at home and their people are not there with them. Even just the auction environment itself is scary as they almost sense what possibly lies ahead of them. They didn’t ask to be there and most of them are there due to no fault of their own. They are there because they have been failed by humans, just like the dogs who get dumped at the shelters. Their owners could not or would not do the right thing by them, no matter what that may have been. They selfishly put them in harms way in hopes of making a quick buck with zero thought to the welfare of that animal.

So…it lands on the shoulders of the animal welfare organizations to step in and do the right thing by the animal. Whether that be simply getting the animal out of harm’s way or giving them that last act of kindness. It is a heavy burden that we carry, but the best interest of the animals out there is what keeps us going. Sometimes, we run across the caring owners like the one I mentioned above, that understand the burden that they are placing on us, and readily agree to help with at least funding. But, then there are those who just don’t wanna know. Who just don’t get it. Who just don’t care….

Take a look at these pictures below. Can you see the difference? The one on the left is the look of complete sadness and defeat as the horse stands among others at an auction. The one on the right is one of the horses that was just surrendered to us. They look similar in appearance even, but look at the difference in their faces, their eyes. Instead of sadness, the one on the right is curious of this new human (me. Lol). Instead of defeat, he expresses hope. Yes, he is in a new place, with horses he doesn’t know and people he doesn’t know, but he got on the trailer and left his home and rather than having to go through a dreary, dark, scary auction house where his life was literally on the line, he got to unload at another farm with other horses he may not know, but who are happy. He can listen to the birds chirp and feel the wind blow through his hair as he looks around at his new surroundings. He can move around. He can lay down. He can eat. He can drink. No hours on end standing on concrete in a tiny pen either tied up or too cramped to be able to move only to be run through the auction ring surrounded by strangers and loud speakers and facing two doors: one leading to the slaughter trailer and one leading to safety, and having no idea which door he will be able to go through. Instead, he is safe and he is happy. Because his owner cared.

We are going to another auction this Saturday, July 20. We are going with the hope of getting 7 beautiful souls out of harms way. We are going with the hope of giving 7 horses new hope. We are going with the hope of turning perhaps the lowest point of their lives, into the best. We are going with the hope of restoring their faith in humans after being dumped and failed by their owners. But, we need your help. Can you help us wipe the sad, lonely looks off their faces? Can you help us bring them here where they can hold their heads up high and the light will return to their eyes? They need you. Please give now…before it’s too late for them. Thank you.

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In just the first 2 months…

It was just over 2 months ago that we learned that Pony Tales had been selected to receive the $10k Full Circle of Life grant from Horse Plus Humane Society.  The funds are earmarked to build a larger barn here to allow for a more user-friendly facility for volunteers and adopters, increase our ability to bring in, vet, evaluate, and care for more horses at a time, and allow us to have space of our own (away from Nate’s shop) for our feed, our supplies, the horses, and our helpers.  Over the last two months, the $10k account is slowly, but surely getting larger and we are so thankful to all who have donated so far and plan to do so in the future.  Be sure to check out Nate’s GoFundMe here.  Stay tuned for another awesome way that you can help raise the roof here at Pony Tales.  Details coming soon!But, beyond the grant, we were selected to receive mentoring from the largest equine welfare organization in the United States based on numbers helped each year.  In just the first 2 months, we have a new fabulous, easy to navigate website designed by Horse Plus.  In just the first 2 months, our social media following has increased by nearly 1,000 followers.  In just the first 2 months, 51 horses have found their new homes.  In just the first 2 months, we have been able to help 16 more horses at risk and over half of them have already found homes.  In just the first 2 months, we kept 10 horses out of the greedy hands of the killbuyers as we outbid them over and over again at the May auction thanks to all of you and your generous donations.  But, we’re not done yet.  Not even close! And you’ll need to hold onto your hats for the next 2 months!!Next weekend we head down to Breyerfest where the Equus Film Festival will be airing the trailer for the upcoming reality TV series “Horse Rescue Heroes” featuring your’s truly.  The following weekend is auction time and we are hoping to get as many as last time, if not more, safe and out of the slaughter pipeline.  Then, by this time next month, part of the Pony Tales Crew will be in Tennessee going through “boot camp” with Horse Plus as we learn, hands-on, from the best of the best.  We will be bringing 2 of our most trusted volunteers along to learn right beside us.  More filming for Horse Rescue Heroes will also take place at that time.  Shortly after we return from Tennessee, it will be auction time again.The sky is the limit on what we can accomplish over the next 2 months with your help.  We will be working hard the entire time to ensure that we can help as many as absolutely possible.  Please consider a small donation to help us help them. And don’t forget my personal goal of helping 200 horses by May 2020.  We still have 184 to go and we cannot do it without you. Thank you all!

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I am humbled by you…

Yesterday, unexpectedly, we began baling the first crop of hay that we secured for the rescue when we leased 20+ plus acres from a local landowner.  It was unexpected because we had planned to wait until today.  Mother Nature, unfortunately, had other plans.  So Doug, Wade, Lenny, and Nate dropped everything to get out there and bale what had dried enough and the rest, well, it will have to sit and dry longer, especially after the storms today.  Nate and Wade got busy raking while Doug began small squares and Lenny began round bales.  Soon enough, it was time for me to get over there and start stacking the small squares in the barn (that the landowner is letting us use for storage…at no charge…).  The temperature was in the mid-80s.  The sun was beating down on everyone.  It was late afternoon/early evening.  Everyone had already had a long day.  The squares kept getting stuck on the hay elevator.  Nate was up and down that thing at least 10 times in the first half hour.  We were hot, sweaty, tired, and running out of options on how to get this hay in before the rain today.

All of a sudden a truck pulled in the driveway.  It was the landowner’s son.  He had just completed a long day at his job and he came by to see how things were going.  Seeing right away that we were having issues, he stepped right in, still wearing his work uniform, and began to help.  The bales were a bit too loose for the hay elevator that we were using (again, at no charge).  If we continued to try to put them in the barn with it, we would end up wrecking the elevator and/or losing more bales than we could even count as the twine got stuck and broke and the loose hay fell to the floor.  Without saying much (that I heard), he walked into another shed and emerged with a tractor.  He drove it up around the steep, narrow, rain-rutted drive that led to the back of the barn.  A couple of minutes later, he came around the corner with another hay elevator.  This one, he explained, could go into a different window and since it didn’t have a corner on it, the bales would not get hung up.  He put it in place, you could already see the sweat building up on him, then walked away again, only to return with the motor for the new elevator.  Then I heard him say “What the?” and I turned and looked.  The power cord had been chewed off and there was no longer a plug on the motor.  Expecting him to throw his hands in the air and walk away, as this was a whole lot of not his problem, instead he calmly called to his dad and asked if he had a plug somewhere as he busily began working with the wires in the cord.

I then watched as his dad walked down to the shed where the tractor had emerged from.  Every step he took, he limped.  His one leg and his back showing the obvious signs of a lifetime of hard labor as a farmer.  But, when he returned, he had a smile on his face and readily helped his son get the new elevator running.  His son then went back into the barn and I followed as he told me to stack the hay closer to the new elevator than I had been rather than walk clear across the barn where the other elevator had been dumping it.  Upon seeing that new elevator was working perfectly, again I expected him to be on his way home.  He doesn’t even live there after all.  Instead, he began stacking the hay right alongside me.  Once that first wagon was emptied and stacked, Nate and I took it back out to Doug and Wade, having completed the raking, went up to the far field to get the third full wagon and Nate and I unhooked the empty one and grabbed the second wagon.  Fully expecting father and son to have retired for the day, I was once again surprised to find them still there and continuing to help unload and stack the hay.

During the time that the motor for the new elevator was being repaired, I had the time to look around at where I was.  It was a place I have driven past many times, but you can’t see much of it from the road as it sits up and almost over a hill.  I looked around and the view from up there is stunning.  I looked at the old farmhouse that most likely has not been occupied for many years.  I looked at the old barn, the shed, the old pastures, the silos, all sitting for the most part…empty…  As the son stacked hay alongside me, I looked up and saw the remnants of an old basketball backboard hanging in the barn.  Almost reading my thoughts, he quietly said “it’s been a long time since there’s been hay stacked in this barn.”  And with that, the floodgates of my mind opened up.  I asked if they had been dairy farmers.  Yes.  How many cows did you have?  Around 60.  How long ago did you stop?  February.  But, there hasn’t been hay up here for a long time? No, it just hasn’t been stacked.  We just let it lay where it landed off the elevator, he laughed.  Had your dad been a farmer his whole life?  Yes.  Were his parents farmers?  Yes.  Is this where he grew up?  No, this is actually where my uncle lived.  It’s been in the family since 1892, at least that’s as far back as we can trace it.  Is your dad retired now?  No.  He’s working at Menards.  How old is he?  63.  Does he still have any cows?  4, but 3 of them are mine.  They’re beef cows.  Does he want to keep the farm?  I do.

And just like that, it really sunk in where I was.  What we were doing.  What was happening.  What is happening all around the heartland of America.  And we had found ourselves right in the middle of it.  The joy in “securing” our hay supply for the year was quickly tempered by the reality of how we were able to do so.  This once flourishing dairy farm with the incredible views was almost haunted by the memories of happier times.  The silos that stand so proud and tall on top of the hill, once filled with feed for the cows, now sit empty.  The stanchions below my feet no longer hold a single cow.  The pastures that once held 60 cattle, now house just 4.  The fields that we are cutting and baling are “ours” because this family farm, that had been operating for more than a century, has been forced to close its doors.  A 63 year old man who had been farming his entire life, is now just another number at a large corporation.  And his son, who so desperately wants to keep the farm, is still there.  Right by his dad’s side, helping people he doesn’t even really know, stack the hay that just one year ago, was for their cattle.  Their farm.  Their livelihood.

I am humbled by you.  Your help, your generosity, your courage and strength during such a tough time in your lives.  To step in and help the way you did yesterday when there was no reason you had to, other than the good, honest, hard-working upbringing you had.  We can only hope that one day you will be able to keep the farm and restore it to its former glory.  But, in the meantime, please know that your sacrifices are recognized here.  That your sadness will be met with happy nickers as we bring the beautiful souls here the hay that you are allowing us to crop.  That we will think of you and your family as the starved, neglected, abandoned, and thrown away horses are brought back to life with every bale we feed.  And we will pray that your dad will be able retire from farming when his body says so, rather than retire from a corporation when they say so.

I am humbled by you…

We have been able to make two payments towards the land that this family is so generously letting us crop.  Please consider a donation to help us pay them in full as soon as possible.  They deserve it.  They’ve earned it.  Thank you all so much and please support our dairy farmers.  They need you as much as the horses do.

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2019 Trainer’s Challenge results are in!!

When we began planning the fifth annual Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab Trainer’s Challenge, we decided to make it a big 5-year celebration.  Not just a celebration of the event itself, but of Pony Tales’ fifth year of saving as many equines that we could and finding them new, loving homes.  Originally planning on 20-25 teams to be competing this year, a record in itself, that number bumped up to 30 in the blink of an eye with the number of amazing people out there who wanted to take in one of the beautiful souls here and help them find that perfect home.  While ecstatic with the turnout of talented trainers, organizing and managing an event of this magnitude was no small task for our small organization.  As happens every year, there are mishaps, trainers who go MIA, horses who get injured, etc.  Just getting from that starting point of the horse going to its trainer to the final competition at the end is perhaps the most trying part.  We went from 30, down to 29, then back up to 30, then down to 28, then back up to 30.  Each time things started to fall apart for a horse, someone stepped up and offered to take them on.  In the end though, only 27 of the original 30 made it all the way through, and only 23 of those 27 were able to compete yesterday.  However, I use the term “only” very loosely.  23 is an incredible number of trainers, all coming together on one day, in one place, for one reason, with one goal: Help these horses find a home. And boy did they ever!!

Of the 23 teams competing yesterday, 14 of the horses were adopted, 3 others have adoptions pending, and 2 of them were placed or stayed with our STAR team.  Additionally, 3 of the horses that could not attend were adopted.  What does all this mean?  Well, it means that out of 27 horses that were once just one of many here at Pony Tales, only 5 of them came back to Pony Tales yesterday!  That is an amazing feat that took everyone involved to accomplish.  I do not even know where to begin to thank everyone who made it possible for 22 horses in one day to either have found their home or be well on their way to finding that home.  You all know who you are and if you were involved at all, even in the smallest way, we cannot even begin to express our gratitude and appreciation for everything you have done.  So many amazing people selflessly giving their time, their energy, their resources, and their hearts to help so many amazing horses.  AND. In addition to those adopted from the Trainer’s Challenge, 4 other horses were adopted this weekend, which makes it 18 horses adopted in just one weekend!!

While this 5 year celebration was the most successful Trainer’s Challenge to date, we are looking to the future and the new path that we are on, and we are happy (yet a bit sad) to announce that this was our final trainer’s challenge.  This new path has opened so many doors for not just us, but the horses we take in as well.  For those who have expressed that they would like to compete next year, don’t fret.  Just because there won’t be another trainer’s challenge does not mean that there will be no opportunity for you to work with and help the incredible number of horses that we will now be able to save.  For more details, please contact our STAR Team leader Bryanna Larson at bryanna@ponytaleswi.org.  And for those of you who were hoping to be able to compete in a show, don’t you fret either.  You can bet there will be fabulous shows highlighting our amazing team of STARs and the horses they are helping find homes!

We are gearing up for our free adoption event coming up this Sunday, June 30, 2019 and are preparing to get out to the auction once again to outbid those killbuyers and save some horses! Your continued support is necessary for us to be able to save as many as possible.  Don’t forget my personal goal of helping 200 horses by next May! Since I made the goal, we have helped 13 horses steer clear of the slaughter pipeline, so we have a long ways to go! Help us reach that goal by donating anything you can.  We cannot do it without you. Thank you all!

And now, the overall results of the 2019 Trainer’s Challenge 5-year Celebration!

Riding Division:

Grand Champion: Emma Jackson with Clifford (Adopted)

Reserve Champion: Jenna Wildner with Lacey (Adopted)

Third Place: Lilly Wisnefske with Kalaiya (Adopted)

Fourth Place: Lindsey Keil with Valentino (Adoption pending)

Fifth Place: Kenzi Brost with Elliott (Adopted)

In-Hand Division:

Grand Champion: Amanda and Liz Schultz with Lucky (Adoption pending)

Reserve Champion: Morgin Lawrence with Ginger (Adopted)

Third Place: Tess Johnson with Anya (Adopted)

Fourth Place: Lea Anne Diesberg with Rusty (Adopted)

Fifth Place: Kinzi Bale with Duke (STAR)

Adoption Results overall:

Adopted:

Nugget

Clifford

Aurora

Gidget

Lacey

Chey

Elliott

Slide

Rusty

Kalaiya

Shanti

Ginger

Anya

Boogie

Kat

Katherine

Hershey

Adoption pending:

BeeGee

Lucky

Valentino

STAR Team:

Joker

Duke

Available for Adoption or STARs:

Greta

Satin

Delaney

Wild Child

Tawny

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This boy just can’t catch a break! 

Raffles came to us in 2015. Unhandled, terrified, and scarred. Not just physically, but emotionally as well. It literally took months for us to gain his trust and make him understand that he had nothing to fear. Even once the trust was established, we had to be able to handle him. He had spent his young life running “wild” and knew nothing of halters, lead ropes, grooming, etc. The first few tries at leading, he bolted so quickly that no one could hold on to him. Once again though, over time, he learned that everything was going to be ok.

Raffles on arrival.

Never one to be the “boss”, but if no other horses wanted to be the leader, Raffles would take responsibility of the job. But, when challenged, he would back down quickly. The scars all over his body are a good indication of the past trials and stressful situations that he has been in. During his time here, we were careful not to put him in with very dominant horses as he would often cower, be kept away from the food, and just be stressed and chased around. As his confidence in himself and his herd mates grew, he blossomed into a breathtakingly beautiful flea-bitten grey with moves that would knock your socks off!

Raffles prior to leaving.

Raffles was competing in last year’s Trainer’s Challenge when he choked during feeding time: running while trying to eat. The trauma from that caused him to lose quite a bit of weight and it was determined best for him to come back here and rest while he gained his weight back. Sadly, he was doing really, really well in training and would have had a home easy!

In no time, Raffles had his weight and his zest for life back and was entered into the Trainer’s Challenge again this year. I will spare you all the gory details, though I am sure that some of you already know, but Raffles is once again, just 2 weeks from the completion of the Challenge, back with us. Only this time, I am so sad, angry, and completely disgusted with his condition. Only recently being told how wonderful he was doing and how so many people are interested in him, he came back to us yesterday looking almost exactly like he did the day he arrived back in 2015.

All his previous wounds had healed, though the scars remained, but he came back yesterday covered in new ones. Bite after bite mark that broke the skin. Dried up scabs from bleeding. Mane a snarly mess again. And his weight. Ugh! We vet our trainers and this one came with amazing references. We did not see this coming and I am beyond sickened that someone would allow him to be in a situation like that again. When we learned of what was going on there, we were able to contact a trusted person in that area to go get him out of there right away as we are so far away. And by the next day he was out of there. But, his wounds remain. His scars are now multiplied. And at this point, we can only hope that they are only skin deep this time.

  Raffles today.

Raffles is now comfortably relaxing and unwinding in a stall while we evaluate him further. His rehab has began, again, and we are confident he will get through it with flying colors. Further evaluation will tell us if he was even being worked with as we were told and if so, we are hopeful that he will be ready for that home that he has spent years trying to find. Raffles’ beauty, charisma, and movement is wasted on the trails. He belongs in the arena for all the world to see. He will be a wonderful, trusted partner for one lucky person, but in the meantime, he needs your help. Please consider a donation towards his rehab after being failed by humans….again…. And help us ensure that he will never be failed again. Thank you.

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Welcome to the new Pony Tales!

I am beyond excited to welcome you all to the new Pony Tales website! This beautiful website, designed by Tawnee as part of the Full Circle of Life grant, is just the beginning of the new and improved Pony Tales! It has been a whirlwind around here with all of the changes and preparing for what now appears to be a very bright future, not just for Pony Tales, but for all of the beautiful souls out there that this transformation will now allow us to help.

When we first started, we had just a couple of rescues. But, within the next few months, our pastures were over-flowing and the requests to take in more were constant. As happens with most every rescue out there, we have been “full” ever since. Only able to help one or two at a time every once in a while. It was heartbreaking saying no to so many, but we had no choice. Not knowing the fate of those we turned away would keep us up at night or cause restless sleep with dreams turning into nightmares. Now though, we will no longer have to say no. As a full circle of life shelter, we can, and will, take in any horse their owner wishes to surrender. Period. Age, condition, health, etc., doesn’t matter. They are all welcome here. Any time.

While we still will not be able to help them all, this new path will allow us to help so many more than ever before. Over the last 5 years, we have averaged 30-40 horses per year that we could help. I now have a personal goal of helping 200 by this time next year. It may sound like a lofty goal to many of you, but with your help, it will not be hard to achieve. Since the awarding of the $10k Full Circle of Life grant from Horse Plus Humane Society on May 1, 2019 and with the continued mentoring, we have already taken in 12 horses in need. This happened in just the first couple of weeks! Just imagine what we can do over the next year!

But, we didn’t do it alone. Your support and your donations made it happen. Because of all of you, we were able to save 12 horses from, at best – an uncertain future. So, we hope that you will all continue to support and encourage us on this new journey and stay tuned for the upcoming reality TV show “Horse Rescue Heroes” that will document this transformation. You will literally be able to see exactly where your donations went and how many lives you helped save.

In closing, we hope you all love the new website as much as we do and we hope you will all be by our side going forward. The horses need you. We need you. To help us achieve our goal of 200 horses by this time next year, please consider donating anything you can. It doesn’t have to be a lot. But, a little from all of you, will go a long way! Thank you all and stay tuned for so much more to come!!