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January 23rd, 2009

So, 2008 was another fail, after the victories of 2007 in closing down the last equine slaughter houses in our country Congress did not get bills to keep our horses from being sent to Mexico and Canada for slaughter.

So, let 2009 be the year!

Representatives John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), House Judiciary Committee Chairman, and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN) have reintroduced H.R. 503 The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act.

Please urge your Representatives to sponsor this bill and to fight for it against those who still stand in opposition. If your Representative is one of those pro-slaughter types, please politely ask them to reconsider their position. If they have supported this bill in the past, thank them and ask them to continue to fight for these animals we owe so very much to.

An easy way to do this is to go to The Compassion Index where you can also check on your Reps' voting record.

Please, remember by next fall more of Saorsa's siblings, some literally her siblings, will be facing the feedlots and slaughter houses. Just as she could have. We have to stop this!

December 2nd, 2008

So, the day....

The storm didn't really live up to the warnings, neither the vet nor the backhoe were hampered and by the time daylight came the day was calm, sunny and warm. The only issue was that there had been enough to have the plows out all night and, of course, the company we hired for the backhoe is the company that is contracted for that and they were all out. So the one glitch was the backhoe showing up a bit earlier than I'd have liked because the guy wanted to get it done and get to bed. While I appreciate that there was no way to rush anything so....he had to wait. We might pay extra for that (time), but that's okay.

So, I went out as I have been, gave the boys their little bit of food with an adaptogen mixture in it as I have been since getting it. It helps them deal with stress, both the whole thing of losing Dad and now a herdmate but also the physical stress from their health problem. It is supposed to help process any sugar, too. And, well, the stress of a vet visit.

I then hayed the other three outside, gave Topper some of his beet pulp and cleaned the stalls with Topper keeping me company. I then brushed Topper and Willow, letting both eat while I did. I let Topper sniff on Dad's hat, which got him quite worked up. I also cut a bit of his mane and tail, when we get the old cobwebs (waiting for the spiders to finally die..so far the big girls have survived the cold spells) I'm going to tack the hair to the support on his stall. Willow is still tender in the feet, but over all seemed to be doing quite well. I was pretty sure we'd keep him at that point, pending the vet's advice.

I fed them and went out and fed Saorsa her grain and had breakfast myself. I went out and gave Topper the rest of his breakfast and put the others back out with hay. Lots and lots of patting and fussing on Topper and Willow.

I then haltered Saorsa and worked with her a bit for the first time, really, since Dad died. My one attempt shortly after was a disaster...while a good, solid adult horse can ground out bad emotions, a young filly who is bound she should be boss mare is just going to take advantage. I had hired a trainer to help us through this time, but she only lasted two blustery sessions before letting me know she'd be happy to resume in March. *sigh* But this morning Saorsa, despite being rather hyper at that point, was quite responsive. The only problem we had was right at the damn end...I started unhaltering her as soon as the halter was untied she just blasted away. Not good. We need to go back and work on that with neck rope again. She then spent the next hour or so running from one end of her pasture to the other, getting well sweaty. I'm amazed how well she was behaving if she was that hyper.

I discussed the grave location with Aaron. I patted the boys some more and took some photos. Then as it was past time for the vet (but, you know, it's always approximate, how long each farm visit will take is always a guess even when he's been there many times...people do have a habit of "since you're here, doc, could you look at ___ too?), I went an caught Saorsa again and brushed her for the first time since Dad died. Picked out her feet so they'd be ready for inspection. hahaha The vet showed up just as I finished.

She suddenly was not as well behaved, she remembered him well apparently. But he got up to her for the first shot, but she was having none of it for the second. I asked him to go into the barn and I worked her a bit and she calmed right down and was totally responsive. But his approach switched the nasty right back. So...I walked her in and out of the barn until he got a chance to poke her from behind the door. Yeah, that means we have some trust work to do. I may see if I can give the shots under his supervision next year, because I think she'll forgive me doing them easier than she can forgive me letting the Bee Man near. Besides, the quick jab that he uses, because he's not as horse savvy as our last vet and therefore figures it's better to surprise them quick and act quickly, is obviously a lot more painful. Our last vet, a real horseman, would calmly walk up and just do it...even Saoradh who was highly sensitive to any sort of pain barely flinched when he did it.Gods, I miss him (he's still one of our dog vets, but he has retired from farm visits).

He never did look at her feet.

The boys...well, Iceman didn't flinch. "I can bite harder than that!" I'm sure he thinks. Cimmeron was shaking from the moment I took him over and bolted at each one, but being smaller it wasn't as effective.

Willow. The vet feels that Willow can recover fine...although, of course, without an x-ray knowing exactly how much coffin bone rotation there is is impossible. X-rays mean a trip, probably to Rochester to the clinic there, which is not something I'd put Willow through right now even if I was secure in having the resources...so the only way to know is to get him through this crisis and see how he is. And hope he's not stoic. I'd be more worried about that latter if I were Iceman, I have to say. I think Willow will be demonstrative if he's still sore.

He does believe in Pergolide, but not in the feasibility for most people for the cost. I hate that it comes to that, but it simply does at this point. I need to feed all these guys and keep their home. If it were a cure, if it could turn things back, I might be more inclined. But...instead we'll try supplements to slow the progress. Try vitex again, which didn't work for Topper but others swear by....one thing that seems true about Cushings is that it varies. Also I'm going to check out a chromium/magnesium supplement that the vet suggested...he's on a supplement with both, but this balance might be more dead on. And be more careful about the diet. Um, also reinforce the fence, they discovered that they could get some grass under the snow on the other side of the fence...unfortunately snow seems to be a bit of an insulator making the fencer not really do much. Or anything. Oh, the immense amount of hair probably helps too.

Willow DOESN'T hate beet pulp as I had thought...as when he was finishing the bit I gave him, quite enthusiastically and I had turned my back to get something for grooming, he grabbed a container with one of the others' in it. So, likely it's one of the things I'd been mixing in, as I didn't mix it in with what I gave him at that time. So when I fed everyone I gave him his low-carb pellets and supplements separately before giving the rest of the beet pulp. He didn't finish that. He did eventually, which he will if you leave it long enough. And as he's on ordered stall rest that might not be a problem (as the bute might make him exercise more than he should while on bute...as it loosens things up a bit TOO much), except that as he's shown no real sign of self-exercising (even healthy 20something horses seldom do, really) and they all need each other, I'm going to take the chance to let him out the next few days as I just think it will be too hard on him to be in the barn alone, with no Topper (who frequently returned to his stall when let loose...and whose diet meant he was locked in a lot so the others wouldn't steal it). But, I will try feeding different things separately until I pin point what he's not wanting to eat...then see if he either can be off it or substitute something else or find another way to convince him to eat it (obviously, the usual "put it in something sweet" isn't an option).

So, yeah, Willow stays with us. For awhile, at least. So he got his shots, which resulted in a rodeo. Probably was the most exercise he's had in years. No forward or backward bolting, he went up, either both feet or the front. Again, it's a good thing he's little.

The vet certainly did not debate the decision on Topper, he felt Topper was ready to go too. So, I fed Topper a bunch of grain and molasses and had him sniff Daddy's hat some more. Then we took him down, with the backhoe guy now waiting in the driveway, and did it. I will spare how it goes, just note that no matter how humane a large standing animal means it can be really hard to watch.

I was split, dealing with how hard it looked, even if it wasn't really, and then Seeing his spirit get up and go over to where I could See Daddy waiting and head into the West together. Topper morphed for a moment. All this time, as many of you know, that I have believed that our animals often return time and time again, it never occurred to me that that might explain the connection they had. But I now realize he was 'Rocco, the Morgan/TW that Dad nursed back from a broken leg in the early 1960s when that was virtually unheard of. That he came back and needed Daddy to take care of his health problems, while, of course, he was taking care of Daddy, certainly wasn't surprising. They are together again. We brought the three boys down together to say good-bye. Then he was buried with the hat Daddy was wearing the night he died (actually, I put this to his nose as the vet did his thing) and one of the shirts he wore in the barn, with a roll of Neccos which Dad liked so much and might share with Topper, in the pocket. And food, all sorts of food, heavily sweetened because that's okay now.

I did my best to comfort the other boys. They're pretty hurting, it will take awhile. I'm going to spend time with all of them in the morning, fairly soon now, actually. Brush them, maybe exercise Cimmeron and Iceman.

I then slept an actual 8 hours for the first time, well, I think since Dad died...at least at once, I slept during the night and day that first week, but I don't think ever got 8 straight through. I'm strung out, distraught but also relieved. I know he's with Daddy, I know it was right. I still will miss him terribly when he's not keeping me company when I clean stalls this morning. If he had gone when Dad was still alive, I'd have felt bad for him but would have been focused on Daddy's grief, as well as the rest of the herd, but in this past month+ I got very attached to him. They all have/had their unique personalities, his will be missed greatly in the herd.

November 28th, 2008


Gleann, Grainne
Willow foundered. Again.

But this time his diet is as low carb as I can possibly get it. He's on beet pulp, alfalfa and, yes, still hay but it shouldn't be really rich hay, because, honestly, while he is getting that round Cushings belly, he's certainly not overweight and as he won't eat all that much of the beet pulp I fear starving him if I don't give him hay too. And a low-carb "grain" ...and supplements which should help his metabolism so it should help prevent it.

If he foundered now, how am I going to stop this?

I just told someone last night that if the vet felt his condition was such that he'd not thrive I might consider going through it all again in two weeks. But if his condition is THIS bad, if the vet can't help me prevent this...then we may be losing two on Monday. I had really hoped that he'd make it...he's only 21, his Cushings symptoms have not been that severe until the laminitis issue was fairly bad this summer. But Dad, who never believed he had Cushings (the vets, 3 of them, never suggested tests to him and none of them thought he had it, apparently because his symptoms were pretty invisible next to Topper's if you didn't know them and weren't around him all the time...*I* was the only one who ever thought he had it...but now, yup, he's got the body shape and his winter coat did finally shed but it was well into summer while Topper never shed at all and needed clipping....I bet the vet believes me now) so he kept letting have grass.

Can grief cause founder?

That's pretty rhetorical, before people start trying to find the answer.

I don't know...Dad was always a bit annoyed that he never got the teams matched the way he wanted either due to personality conflicts, training issues or health problems. It was supposed to be Willow and Cimmeron together and Topper and Iceman. I fear he might be getting a whole team back already and it won't be his optimum. Although I am left with the worse match up....Iceman is far larger and slower than Cimmeron and is a wicked bully to him.

But I really hope that Willow can come around and we can stop this from happening for awhile yet. I just fear that if I'm not succeeding with this plan, then....what can I do?

Mostly I'm just asking if anyone wants to send some prayers or good thoughts to him. I really don't see how much more I can change his diet at this point....so, really, I guess for any possible answers (unless someone gets some sort of Hit from whatever Sources any of you might have) I have to see what the vet suggests.

November 23rd, 2008

I'm cross-posting this to this group, because some of you might want to offer energy to these boys. Just some background...my father died one month ago today and left me his Miniature Horse Geldings. They're all elderly and not very healthy and one is very sick. And was his favorite. Please focus on the horses in this, here,

Someone requested I post some photos of the Minis, especially as one of them is going to be leaving to be with Dad soon. This isn't exactly a choice, although I suppose we could try to drag the poor guy through the winter. But, because he's not down and an emergency right at this moment it FEELS like a choice. And I think this might be confusing to people. It is for me. This has been hard. I want to try to save him. And, yet, I know I can't. And that it would be terribly cruel. And Dad would be pissed.

And waiting for it to be an emergency would end up being putting him through what Saoradh went through. The difference being that Saoradh went downhill fast and Topper has been slowly deteriorating and is now clearly not interested in thriving. There are no options to get a vet here to do an emergency euthanasia. In fact, less than before. We'd have to drag him 4 hours from here after we find a trailer to try to get him into or we just wait while he finally dies...which, you know, for a suffering horse can take days. Or we use a shotgun. I seriously do not want to blow the brains of my father's horse out. Okay. So PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME ....oh, don't give up on him. I'm living with him. I know he's suffering. Yet for VERY SELFISH REASONS, I don't want to do this. So this is hard enough already.

But anyone who wants to give good thoughts for his upcoming journey to my father and to send healing thoughts for the already traumatized herdmates here are the photos Read more...Collapse )

October 18th, 2008

The following is a repost from Jo at tapestryinst:

As you may know, my nonprofit, Tapestry Institute, has been doing groundbreaking research into the different ways we know, learn about, and respond to the horse-human relationship. You can learn about some of the exciting issues we have been exploring by reading “Ancient Roots of Relationship,” a free, online article written by Dawn Adams, Ph.D. and myself that has just been posted at the new website Equesse.net. Equesse is a new website and magazine devoted to the special relationship between women and horses. To read the article, simply go to http://www.equesse.net and register (registration is free). Log in to the site and go to the “Life” section, where you will find the article.

Please feel free to repost this entry or send it as an email to people who you think may be interested in the article. To learn more about the work that we do, please visit our website at http://www.tapestryinstitute.org .

September 26th, 2008

I'm delayed in getting this stuff out as this week kicked my butt, so I'm doing one post. Sorry I'm not citing where these first came from, because most are from multiple sources and I've not been able to keep track. One I actually found on the site when I was checking it out:

Good news: The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act HR 6598 passed the House Committee. Please contact your Reps! If you don't know where your Representatives stand, and therefore whether this is a plea or a "thank you, btw can you do anything to get this moving?" then please check out The Compassion Index LET'S GET THIS DONE!

Bad news: National Thoroughbred Racing Association withdraws support of Anti-Slaughter bill.

Good News: Suffolk Downs took action on their policy to not allow owners who use horse slaughter to run horses there! No, this was NOT just lip service. And this answers one key question many of us had "did this only mean those who directly sold to slaughter or include those who just clearly put their horses on the path to slaughter by selling at auction." They ousted an unnamed owner whose horses were found in the New Holland, PA auction pens.

Sad news: Strong anti-slaughter voice is silenced: John Hettinge died on Sept. 6 at age 74. A Jockey Club member he was one of the key voices in the racing world to stop slaughter and to improve the conditions for horses.

A new study: A Study of Equine Slaughter/ Abuse Patterns Following Closure of Horse Slaughter Plants in US Good evidence to dispute the "we need horse slaughter to get rid of the unwanted horses or more horses will be abused." Like previous studies, this shows quite the opposite..that it's the demand for horse meat from Europe that is the reason for slaughter and that abuse and neglect are primarily determined by economic factors. Unfortunately, it also clearly demonstrates that, thanks to transportation to Canada and Mexico, horse slaughter has NOT decreased.

Cross-posted in all the usual places, please feel free to pass this on

September 8th, 2008

This is an announcement made through http://www.awionline.org/legislation/eAlerts/2008/090708.htm


September 7, 2008

Dear Humanitarian:

AWI has learned that the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) will be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, September 10th. The bill, which was introduced in July by Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and Representative Dan Burton (R-IN), will criminalize the slaughter of American horses. While the vast majority of Americans, the United States Congress and members of the House Judiciary Committee support an end to horse slaughter there are some members on the committee who are staunch supporters of horse slaughter and will attempt to kill the bill through subterfuge.

What You Can Do:

Call and/or email members of the House Judiciary Committee (see full list at this link) TODAY and ask them “to support passage of the Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) out of committee as introduced, with NO amendments”. Please also ask them “to cosponsor H.R. 6598 if they haven’t done so already.” Let them know that:

* Every 5 Minutes an American horse is slaughtered for human consumption abroad. Visit http://www.every5minutes.org for the current number and to learn more about this industry.

* Despite the closure of the country’s three remaining horse slaughter plants in 2007, tens of thousands of American horses continue to be slaughtered in Canada and Mexico in the absence of a strong US law banning prohibiting the trade.

* The photo above is of a horse in Texarkana, Arkansas, found beaten and crammed onto a horse trailer being transported to slaughter with 18 other horses.

* Horse slaughter is not humane euthanasia; it is a brutal process during which horses suffer terribly from start to finish. Their trip to Mexico is often on double deck trailers where they are crammed with dozens of other horses for up to 30 hours without food, water or rest. Once in Mexico some slaughterhouses use a “puntilla” or knife to stab the horse to death. The entire process is extremely inhumane.

* Despite claims to the contrary, horse slaughter is not a necessary evil through which sick, old and unwanted horses are humanely disposed of. The industry is a predatory one that actively seeks out marketable and healthy horses to be slaughtered at great profit.

* According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 92% of horses going to slaughter are in good condition and could be placed in a new home. Those horses who are truly sick or old should be humanely euthanized on the spot by a licensed veterinarian.

* Horsemeat is considered a delicacy in many European and Asian countries where it is consumed by high-end diners.

* The Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 6598) will end this cruel trade for good. Ending horse slaughter is a positive step in improving horse welfare in the US, which is why so many horse industry groups and leaders, veterinarians, humane organizations and equine rescues strongly support an end to horse slaughter.

Whether you contact your legislator by phone or email, please be sure to provide him or her with your name and mailing address, and if you are a constituent, request a response on this specific issue. Please also share our “Dear Humanitarian” eAlert with family, friends and co-workers, and encourage them to contact their legislators, too. As always, thank you very much for your help.

Cathy Liss

For over 57 years, AWI has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill. Please join us in our ongoing campaigns to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. Sign up for AWI eAlerts to receive the latest news on what you can do to help us protect all animals: http://www.awionline.org/joinus.

NOTE: Because of the urgency and limited time we encourage you to call each office and ask for their support. There is no need to contact Chairman Conyers or Representative Scott given their lead on the bill itself. * denotes that the member has a history of supporting measures to end horse slaughter. Bolded name denotes they are a current cosponsor of H.R. 6598.

House Judiciary Committee

August 24th, 2008

Hi, I don't have a horse or much opportunity to be around them. But I have a great affinity for them, and was a horse-crazy girl growing up. I was happy to find this community. Currently horses figure strongly in my personal spiritual development.

Recently I came across this. I was just curious if anyone here has this set and if so, how they like it? What sort of info is in it?

Way of the Horse

ETA- thanks for the responses, I suspected as much yet prefer not pass judgement until I get more info. Too bad it's not some hidden treasure. Good to know.

August 11th, 2008

I ask all concerned to please contact their Representatives about H.R.6598. This would amend Title 18, United States Code, to prohibit certain conduct relating to the use of horses for human consumption.

What does that mean? It means another strike against the transporting of US horses to Canada and Mexico for slaughter!

You can go to The Compassion Index and type in your zip code to get find out if your Representative is a co-sponsor and if they're record shows they might support this bill. If s/he is not, no matter what his/her record says, please let her/him know you want them to support it. And, please, if s/he IS a sponsor, send her/him a note and/or give a call thanking her/him.

Yes, right now they are on break. Wouldn't it be great if their aides presented them with a pile of notes and phone messages regarding this when the return to session? We need to get this stuff through this year!

BTW, for those of you who do own horses, I have taken to including the fact that as a horse owner I currently live in fear that my filly could be stolen and sent to slaughter. Because, honestly, I DO! We do need to get rid of the fiction that it is "unwanted" horses that go to slaughter, that this is somehow a substitute for taking care of our animals and humane euthanasia. It is NOT. Every horse in America is in danger as long as this exists, horse theft is too prevalent and most horses stolen go to slaughter as it's the quickest way to get rid of the evidence...and the reason most horse thieves steal. Let's make it clear, ALL our horses are in danger!

Cross-posted broadly, please repost or otherwise pass on the message!

August 1st, 2008

Things have been quiet and it is a holiday that many Gaelic Pagans associate with horses in one way or another, so I thought I'd post and ask if anyone does anything with their horses or horse related in general for Lùnasda?

I'll answer in comments later.

Cross posted in the Sacred Horse Mailing List http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/sacredhorse/
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