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Archive for December, 2008

12-30-08

Bright and early this morning we had a tractor contractor out to give us a quote on fixing the hill so that trailers will no longer slide down and knock over the little shed. He had some good ideas and so next Tuesday, weather permitting, he will be doing some work to make it so that trucks and trailers can get up and down the hill safely. We’ve been having various contractors come out and gives us quotes, and so far this guy is the most workable, sees our goal and focus for rescuing horses, and in addition to giving us a good price he has offered to foster a couple horses in the spring time as he owns land close to the rescue.

Once the tractor contractor had left Jason got right on unloading the fencing material that was purchased yesterday. Soon the posts will be vertical in the ground and new permanent fences will be keeping the horses safe.

Some lovely people came out today, they have been out to the resuce a few days ago, and they fell in love with Buck at that time. They came out again today to spend more time with him and put an adoption hold on Buck. As soon as their adoption application is finished Buck will be going to his forever home. The little girl and Buck are so incredibly cute together!

Freckles’s new family came to pick her up today. Freckles is going to be living with Hugs, the dog that was adopted some time ago from us, and will be spoiled and love on daily. Thank you so much for giving Hugs and Freckle’s such a great home!

Today we needed to get some more hay, so Ron hooked up the flatbed and headed out to get some while the weather is still sunny and the ground is solid. Here it is being loaded onto the trailer. After it was loaded Ron handed over the check for over $1,000 and headed back to the rescue.

He arrived safely with no trouble at all. We are diligently working on getting another load of round bales on the way from back east, they certainly greatly reduced the cost of hay to feed the rescued horses. But, the horses in smaller pens are fed small square bales, while the horses in the large pastures are fed the big round bales. And, we are almost out of the round bales from last load, hopefully the next load shows up soon… Yes, we are dreading the unloading process, but it sure does save the rescue a lot of money in feed costs.

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12-29-08

Many of you watched the channel 2 news report about our last euthanasia clinic, in particular Diane and her two horses. You can watch the video by clicking here. Diane loved her horses dearly but was unable to financially care for them any longer due to the bad economy. The horses were brought to the euthanasia clinic. One of them did not have a good quality of life, and was humanely euthanized, but Quevuo, seen below, was brought into the rescue in an attempt to find him a loving forever home.

After the report was aired, we received an amazing anonymous call from an individual offering to sponsor Quevuo so he could go home to Diane to live his life out with his mommy. This is such an amazing gesture of kindness from a complete stranger! To give a horse you have never met a life with a person you will never meet, just to give that horse life. What love and compassion.

Today was Quevuo’s lucky today! He was loaded up into Ron’s trailer first thing this morning.

Along with paying for Quevuo’s feed and care, the sponsor is also paying medical and farrier related expenses. The first stop for Quevuo today before he went home was at the vet for shots and wormings.

And finally, Quevuo was reunited with his ecstatic mommy, who was just tickled pink and overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved horse. On Dec 17th she said “Goodbye, I love you!” to Quevuo, thinking she would never see him again, but today they were reunited.

Quevuo was happy to be back home, although no doubt missing his friend, but we don’t think you could have found a happier couple than Diane and Quevuo this evening. What an amazing holiday season gift for Diane and Quevuo! Thank you anonymous person!

As Ron tenderly drove away, he had to take one last picture of them playing happily as the mid afternoon sun filtered through the green trees and reflected off the beautiful grass. This story just makes all the hard parts of rescue seem to fade away. This was a horse that could have been slaughtered if the euthanasia clinic was not an option. And so he came to the clinic. Upon evaluation it was determined he had a good opportunity to find a forever home. But then, he was reunited with his mommy. Wow!

We got an update on Shya today. She is doing great and is looking so beautiful. She was seized by Animal Control as her owner was no longer caring for her properly. Animal Control was unable to place her, so we brought her into our organization, placed her into a very loving home, and now she is doing great!

We needed some more fencing material, and we would like to thank Oroville Tractor Supply for giving us a 10% discount on the fencing material. We really appreciate it!

Today Tawnee stumbled across the slew of comments that are on the Care2 contest for animal shelters. Many thanks to all of the wonderful people that left such touching messages. Emotional support is almost as important as financial support. If you would like to leave the comments or vote for us, click here.

A note from Jason – The photo’s of Quevuo taken today are the, without a doubt, luckiest photo’s around. Some days it is just harder to get the pictures on the blog than other days. Today was that day. Any harder, and it probably wouldn’t have been done. Ron used his personal camera, that has served him faithfully for years, to take the pictures. When he got home, he went to email them to us, but his computer would not accept the fact there were pictures on the card. So he called me, and I suggested that he try his laptop. Still no luck. So I had to interrupt my evening to drive an hour to get the camera to see what I could do. Sure enough, the pictures were not wanting to load onto a computer, and then horror of horrors the pictures just disappeared entirely. They simply vanished. Thankfully there is software made that will retrieve pictures and other data off of computers, although it is a very slow and time consuming process, as it scans each sector and kilobyte of the drive to see if it can find useful data. In the end the 6 photo’s of Quevuo took about 3 hours and $30 in software (but now we own the software for the next time it happens) to put in today’s blog. I hope you enjoy them!

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12-28-08

As some of you may have suspected the reason Ron and Claire were so active over the last week was because, unbelievably enough, Jason and Tawnee were out of town visiting relatives over the Christmas season. This is the first time Jason and Tawnee have taken a vacation, or even a break, from the 24/7 care of rescued horses ever since they started rescuing horses almost 6 years ago. The closest thing they ever got to a vacation was the Animal Planet filming, but even that was work. There is one thing Tawnee and Jason didn’t teach Ron and Claire how to do was how to update the website, so all the donations towards the various programs were not updated until this evening. The website is current now.

On Christmas day, we received an extremely generous $1,000 donation for the auction fund from Scott in honor of his wife’s, Tanya, birthday. What a wonderful gift of life to give his wife on Christmas day! Thank you so much for your generosity, and we would like to send a huge “Happy Birthday!” to Tanya!

This has been a record breaker for the auction fund, thanks to the generosity of so many people we are well over half way to our goal of $5,000 for the rescue and care of horses. These funds will be used for the rescue and care for horses at livestock auctions throughout the month of January.

Here is a great update we got from Sweetness’ adopter: “He is very spoiled and has custom hot shoes made (to help his cracked hooves heal), bi monthly massages and treats by the bucket load. Because of his high narrow withers, I had to have a western arab saddle custom made to fit him. His english saddle was a stock saddle, but ended up costing more than the custom (it’s a Courbette Felsbach close contact) I just started his work out program (to get him back in condition) this week because of the saddle problems we had. His true personality is starting to shine through (sweet but very stubborn) and he fits right in with our family. Even my husband adores him (but frequently remarks that he has to be the most expensive rescue horse around – This comment usually comes after my husband balances the checkbook). LOL I hope your holidays have been filled with joy – because of you mine were. Thanks for continuing to do what you do.”
You sure have a wonderful family Sweetness! We are so glad we were a part of helping you find your forever home.

This morning bright and early Teresa came out to help with the feeding and then it was time to tackle the tack room. She made it look absolutely great inside. Tack rooms just automatically seem to fall apart on the inside. Thank you so much Teresa, we appreciate your help so much!

Jason and Ron got right to work fixing fences. The horses all had a revolt while Jason and Tawnee were gone, and did everything they could to sneak out from every place they could. Ron’s life basically consisted of chasing horses around and putting them away. As they were fencing they would glance up at the high speed internet shed laying on its side, and wonder how they were going to get it back up. It wasn’t long, however, and a pickup drove down the hill. To our greatest surprise it was the tractor guy, coming to see if he could get some of his firewood.

He was bringing his tractor to load the firewood, and what a gift to be able to use the tractor to put the shed back into the proper position. First it was slid into the right spot.

Then it was lifted.

And soon it was up, no worse for wear. The high speed internet is back up and working!

We had some visitors and potential adopters come out today. These two girl made some amazing scrap book pages for us. If you look closely, you can see that they printed off pictures of horses from our website, and made adorable pages for a scrapbook. Thank you so much! The girls also had a blast grooming horses, and the oldest one fell in love with Sugar.

They stayed for awhile and did a lot of mucking stalls, exercising the mini’s, and general cleanup. Thank you so much for coming out and helping to clean up after the week long rain storm.

After everything was neat, tidy and clean, we decided to move a bunch of the panels that were generously donated by All Roads Communications during the summer fire evacuations, to a mud free area. We thankfully have had a lot of rain recently, but it’s always nice to have a neat, clean mud free pen. So onto Deb’s truck the panels were loaded.

Amber made sure the panels stayed in the truck. It takes a lot of muscles to hold the panels in the truck! Great job Amber.

Soon a nice pen was built and some of the horses were turned out into it. We all enjoyed watching them enjoy their new pen. After a long day, night was falling and it was time to say goodnight to all the horses at the rescue, the volunteers all left, and Jason and Tawnee headed in to keep working late into the night on all the office work that hasn’t gotten done lately and get the blog up.

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12-25-08

Tawnee was going through some of her Grandmother’s old magazine clippings, and found this sweet story she thought you would like very much on this wonderful Christmas day. The magazine is “Country” and the article was written by Lory DeBeir from Illinois, the title of the article is:

Heaven Sent

Even as a very young girl in Chicago, I lived for the sound of the milk wagon horse clip-clopping down our street.

Whenever I managed to squirm out of my mother’s arms, I’d dash out the door and lock his shaggy foreleg in an affectionate hug. Luckily, the huge horse always stood still as a statute until mom could pry me away from him.

I’ve loved horses as long as I can remember, and in return, they’ve given me a lifetime of wonderful adventures. But none will ever be quite as special to me as “Nicki”, the horse Heaven sent.

We moved to the country when I was 5, and my parents gave me a mischievous Shetland pony that tossed me to the ground every chance he got, I didn’t mind too much, though, and was totally inconsolable the day they told me he’d gone to “horse Heaven.”

Father promised to buy me a horse in the spring. But when springs arrived, he was too busy or preoccupied with his work to remember his promise. I did my part by continually reminding him.

And just to be sure, I concluded my prayers each night with, “Please, God, send me a horse.” I imagine thousands of little children have voiced that same request, but in my case, it really worked.

One bright spring morning, I was helping my parents clear up some of the winter’s debris near our big red barn. I glanced up and noticed the figure of a thin old dark bay horse wandering along the the narrow gravel road in front of our farm.

He slowly made his way into our yard, where he stopped and allowed me to walk up to him. I was ecstatic and promptly led him to a stall in the barn.

My father was sure, though, that the horse had escaped from a neighbour’s pasture. So late that day, he made inquires all up and down the road. A few farmers recalled seeing the scrawny old horse ambling along, but no one in the neighbourhood claimed him.

Later in the week, Father placed an ad in the local paper asking if anyone had lost a horse. Nobody ever answered the ad. The old gelding was mine, and I named him Nicki.

The only plausible explanation we could come up with was that Nicki had been destined for a local mink farm that bought decrepit old horses to slaughter.

Truck drivers often pulled off the highway onto our gravel road to sleep. Perhaps the driver that morning has arrived too early for his delivery and decided to take a nap. Nicki must have escaped somehow and set off down the road into the darkness.

He turned out to be the perfect mount for a small but determined child. The old fellow gently carried me many, many miles along the country roads and farm fields around our home.

Nicki only lived a little more than a year after wandering up our lane. But he got to spend it with a little girl who loved him more than anything. He was the answer to my prayers. And if horses could pray, I’d like to think I was the answer to his.

This is a photo of Lory with Nicki so many years ago.
Just remember, next blog update and emails being replied to on Sunday!

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12-24-08

The start to today was very wet. The horses seemed to not mind the rain. They enjoyed their bath. After a long summer of sweltering heat we assume it is a nice change for them.

It was truly a miserable day for outdoor chores. But when your interests include horses there is no way to get around the rain, mud, snow, ice and heat. In short, as the mailman has always said, “Nor wind nor rain, nor snow nor ice can keep us from delivering the mail!” Or something like that. In our case “nor wind nor rain nor snow nor ice can keep us from rescuing and caring for the horses!” Ron was happy to come into the office and soak up some heat off and on throughout the cold day.

Claire worked here feeding the horses, answering emails, as well as doing some fence fixing. Tawnee and Jason relaxed some and were able to get caught up with other things. We have gotten comments on our recent blogs. It appears that people have noticed that the blogs have gotten shorter with less information. This week, Christmas week, most of our staff are having a family week and are inside spending time with their families. Also due to the bad weather there are not many visitors willing to brave the wind and rain to visit the horses.

Caring for so many horses in the bad weather is never fun. The Gridley foster home needed some hay so Ron loaded up the trailer with some hay to head out. His face was a bit cheerier, thinking about being able to sit in the warm truck…

Unfortunately he didn’t even make it off the property before tragedy struck. As you can tell from the photo below, it wasn’t good…

As many of you know, especially those that have been to the rescue, there is a very steep hill coming down to the rescue. Tawnee had a load of horses in the trailer and slid down the hill the other day, and thankfully she managed to get it under control and no problems that time. Today Ron was heading up the hill with the hay in the trailer and the whole vehicle started sliding backwards out of control, through the fence, and whacked into the shed, knocking it down and killing our high speed Internet. So, there is some repairs to be done, and the Internet face of Norcal is on standby until Sunday, when we hope to have everything up (literally) and operating once again. If you want more information about the little computer shed’s origin, click here.

But all is not gloom at the rescue, it is Christmass eve and we are so thankful that each and every day we are given many hundreds of reasons to be thankful, and every time we look into a rescued horses eyes, and see them saying “Thank you!” in each ones unique way, it makes the cold, wet days worth every second of it.

Here is a Christmas photo of Goliath sent to us by his adopters with his Christmas stocking already filled for Christmas!

There will be a special story for our Christmas readers, posted on Christmas sometime, and the next regular blog post will be on Sunday.
Thank you so much, and please be patient as we get the internet back to Norcal Equine Rescue! This blog was written at a volunteers home over the phone.
Merry Christmas!

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12-23-08

The day started out slow, but then 2 visitor arrived and gave attention to some horses. Ron was here today spending time with the horses and with Fire. Fire loves his visits.


Ron continued working around the ranch getting things hung and making the new office ready for more visitors. Ron hung our new gift so all can see it as they arrive in our office.

Our “Office” sign is hung now so visitors can see where the office is if they didn’t know before.

Jack, the ranch dog, was festive as he hung out with Claire in the office and said hello to the visitors who arrived. The doggie decorations came from the gift Bandit Blue sent us. Thank you again Bandit Blue! Click here to visit their website.

The holidays are just a few days away now and we will be celebrating soon with the horses!

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12-22-08

A muddy day is what we saw this morning. At least the sun was out and the horses enjoyed the rays of sun on their muddy bodies. They loved rolling in mud.

Other residents relaxed in the safety and warmth of the sheltered area. The camera caught them lounging in a nice pile of hay. Dottie and Macho Man kept the goats company. It is certainly funny to see that some goats are even bigger than some horses!

On the way out from NorCal a few days ago some of the staff happened to come across a stray horse. Ron and Claire are very use to picking up stray cats and dogs and birds and horses. Tawnee and Jason came to the rescue and loaded the horse up then drove him back to the rescue. This horse was loose earlier in the day and Tawnee and Jason put the horse back in and made sure the gate was closed securely and left a note. But he made his way out again.

A call came in today asking about the horse we had found and while talking to the man we determined that the horse was his. They came and loaded him up and were on their way home back to his pasture. They found that not only had he escaped from the pasture but his pasture pals had as well. Upon further investigation horsehair was found on a gate that had appeared to be pushed open by the horses. They will return to look for the others who appear to be missing.

The staff here at NER had a slow day that allowed for a few extras to be attended to. Continued “thank yous” for your patience with the “newbies in training.”

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