Sharing Our Hearts
by Barbara Gordon, March 2022
This is a Friends of HOME story. Although these horses are not officially part of HOME, we have come together to open our hearts and care for them.
Yesterday I got to participate in making magic. A few months ago, we were contacted about two old mares who had not been touched in decades going to be shipped to auction. Well, our best efforts to find them sanctuary were unsuccessful so when one of our volunteers kindly offered to allow them access to their field for a bit—and we jumped.
Yesterday, it was time to bring them to their forever home at Alpine Ridge. The preparation required ridiculous hard work to move 50 tons of rock and gravel spread in their paddock and a donated Nobel shelter to be put up. And then it was time to pick them up. Forty-five minutes of treat feeding didn’t allow Lori McMahon-McMaster to put a halter on either of them, so three acres of pasture became smaller as six women and I walked ropes that we held between us and gently, slowly moved them towards the temporary small paddock we put up. It took a few attempts for us to figure out the right way to work together and eventually we got them into the panel area. We gave them loads of time to explore the trailer and figure out whether they could walk in. We began removing panels slowly and calmly until eventually one horse walked in. And stayed! Lola just couldn’t manage it by herself and eventually walked over to Lori and asked for her help. Lori gently put a halter on her and led her up the ramp and we closed the trailer doors. Off we went to Alpine Ridge!
The horses on both sides (big Clydesdale Mon as well as little Reny and Sampson) ran in greeting and excitement. The ladies walked into their new paddock safe and sound. Start to finish it took six hours and seven women. Sure, we could have gotten them in the trailer in an hour by whipping and scaring them. But that’s not who we are. We are people committed to making our little part of the world kind and respectful.
Nothing can tell a story quicker than a few ‘then and now’ photos. Although we don’t like to dwell on their past, we will periodically share some to emphasize the importance of what we do when we rescue these at-risk and neglected animals. What pictures can’t tell you is the miserable health issues that they can arrive with. You can spot the transformations though, when you look into their eyes.
Little Dolly is proud to show off her lovely cremello coloring.
He was so covered in burrs when he arrived you had to be careful when you touched him.
Our newest residents
In the first week of April 2021, HOME brought in their second group of kill pen rescues. There were originally thirteen, coming from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Since this would have been too many for us to take in at the same time, Barb Gordon worked quickly to find another rescue willing to take a few.
On the morning of April 9th, we received five mini horses, two mini donkeys, and a standard-size mule and donkey. We agreed to take the standards as we were told they had been together with the mini donkeys and it’s important to us not to break bonded pairs. So every once in a while we’ll be having a full size animal joining us.
Currently they are all in our quarantine lots and being assessed and treated as needed. A few are still very hard to get near and there will be geldings needed for all of the donkeys, so it will still be some time before they’ll be available for adoption.
Off-loading of the new HOME arrivals
The ladies stretching out after their long trip
around the farm
Just a few photos of daily activities, things we see, and things we do.
outside the fence
Sometimes adventures can divert us away from our daily routines.