Our Laddie Boy….

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We have had Laddie at our farm for over three years. He is not very adoptable due to arthritis in his front fetlocks.
So why do we keep him?
because rescue is a long term commitment for us.
When a horse comes to us that isn’t very adoptable, we don’t trade him/her in for another that is.
This isn’t used cars.
These are lives.
Laddie is happy, spunky and delightful.

and to us… Laddie’s story is everything we wish and want owners to be about.

Laddie was born in Australia and shipped to Hong Kong as a long yearling. He had a very LONG and successful track career and then, because his owner loved him… he was gifted and sent to a riding school but due to arthritis he was not a suitable riding school horse….so the owner was called to make a decision for him. When you are not able to perform a job in Hong Kong… you face dire consequences. Hong Kong does not have the land for pasture retirements.

So what did his owner do?
Kill him?
Abandon him?
He looked around for a place the horse could go that would be safe.
He found us…he got references… he made a plan.
and then…….
He spent 20 grand to get the horse to us….by transcontinental air flight, and then across the United States by horse van.
20 grand to get his friend safe…. a friend who did everything he was asked… a friend who meant a lot to him.

Laddie was a handful when he got here…..he was used to being a prima donna…..used to stall attendants….used to tropical weather………used to living in a stall 24/7. He was afraid to go into the pasture by himself and begged to get back in his stall. He would sometimes act out and we would call him a princess.

Then one day, his old friend came to visit……he stepped out of his car and Laddie was on the hillside in a pasture……his friend called to him in Chinese and Laddie jerked his head upright and looked……..could it be his old friend? His friend called again in Chinese…….and Laddie came running…..whinnying……to the fence line where friend met friend……Laddie nuzzled him and ate the offering of carrots……a grand and happy reunion…. his friend wept openly as he spoke to him in Chinese.

That day we realized that Laddie had only heard Chinese spoken to him for almost all of his life…. we had not even thought about it……but now we knew….words of comfort and praise were Chinese… not English.

Anyway, Laddie is here for life unless something better comes along. He has learned to tolerate us, our English and our bad Chinese. He has learned to love the pasture, he has friends and he “lets” us groom him.

Rescue is forever…not a fleeting thought or convenience.There is a Chinese proverb, “If you save a life, you are responsible for that life.”

We are.
我的梦想之马, 我生命中的爱 永远的安全, 永远的爱
roughly…..(the horse of my dreams, the love of my life.. forever safe, forever loved)

Our Seven is Adopted

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It’s good to go home, ……..where people know you, you fit in, you can be yourself and you know you can feel safe.

We send horses from our home to their new home and it feels a little heartachey for us…for a short while, because you ask yourself a million questions…..
will they remember he doesn’t like his grain cold?
He has to have his grain soaked.
He is bothered by gnats unless you cover him in Avon Skin So Soft…
He doesn’t like to eat next to another gelding.
He LOVES mares.
He is afraid of gun fire.
What if?
How about?
Who will?
Last year a rabbit scared him and now he always is afraid at that corner of the shed…

You load them up in the trailer and you see/feel/touch a large animal that trusts you and willingly loads up because he knows you won’t hurt him, even though many people have……and you want that to continue and to never see him afraid or hurt again.
But you have to give him a push and a chance to be “someone’s” horse..
you have to let go.
let go of something you saved and brought back to life.

It is hard.
You take a deep breath and ask him to step up onto the trailer, and you pat him…speak to him softly….then close the trailer and wipe a tear from your eye……put your hand on the door and tell him to be good ..while he is whinnying.

They drive away and you sit down, put your head in your hands and cry a little.
A little joy…….a little sadness.

Seven came to us about two years ago. He had been running a neighborhood for months with a pony mare. They grazed on lawns and drank out of mud puddles. Seven was very emaciated…..while the pony mare was faring okay on the local forage. The pony mare was in charge and Seven followed her as she directed. Some kind local folks called us and asked if we could take them … we agreed and they came home to the farm.
The pony mare was a hot little number with a bit of an attitude..but totally sound and able to be adopted quickly….oh..and did we mention she could jump?! She got rehomed quickly and that left us with Seven.
You may ask, why the name Seven?
He was the seventh horse of the year taken into our facility and sometimes we just have to get creative when we don’t know their name.
Anyway, Seven was very underweight, had a lot of rain rot, really bad teeth……and was in love with that pony mare.
The separation of the two provided us with his complete and total attention.
First we bathed him.
Then we fed him for several weeks to get him stable and feeling better.
Then we addressed his teeth……his mouth was full of ulcers from bad hooks on his teeth.
Then we de-wormed him.
and then Seven began to shine.
He interacted with us and became a little show off.
He was sound and he became handsome.
Seven was tattooed.
He had been a race horse, not a very successful one…but we found his birthdate and his bloodlines…nothing very surprising, but good information to have.
He has been to training twice… easy keeper and a barn favorite. The farm will be different without him…but we are glad he gets a home of his own!
Go Seven GO!
Below are pictures of Seven when he arrived and then later as he rehabbed.