Blog Archives

Retired Racehorse Metro Meteor Paints for Charity

A combination of two of my favorite things: horses and art! It doesn’t get any better than this, does it?

Check out the original article here:

Racehorses Paintings Compared to Jackson Pollock : Discovery News.

The famous racehorse art is being compared to famous abstract impressionist paintings. Racehorse Metro Meteor is now retired and painting after bad knees ended his racing career.

retired racehorse paints for charity

Metro Meteor painting for charity!

His owners taught him to paint with treat training techniques. After Metro’s success in painting, his owners realized that this could help all racehorses. Money earned from Metro’s paintings goes to a racehorse adoption program to help retired horses find a safe haven. Horses are rehabilitated and placed into adoptive homes.

I wonder if I can teach any of my horses to paint? This horse is amazing! Not only is he getting crafty, but his art is helping fellow retired racehorses stay out of slaughterhouses and auction. Kudos to Metro and his wonderful owners!

Advertisements

Doug’s Transition Back to Health with CVHR

Can I get a round of applause for the hard work and dedication of CVHR’s founders, volunteers, and supporters? Check out Doug now! Here he is the image of a happy, healthy horse ready to learn his job in the world. Doug has been evaluated under saddle now and he was an absolute gentleman!

Doug CVHR rescue horse

Doug April 2013

Doug has come a LONG way since his arrival to Central Virginia Horse Rescue. Doug is not the first horse to come to the rescue in such poor condition, and he won’t be the last. Thankfully, the good people at CVHR know how to rehabilitate horses incredibly well. This rescue truly gives every horse taken in another lease on life. Check out Doug’s transition over the past several months below:

Doug CVHR rescue horse

Doug’s transition back to health

I support CVHR because I can see the difference this organization makes every day. You can literally see your donations at work as horses are rehabbed, trained, and eventually adopted out into loving forever homes. Thanks for all that you do, CVHR!

Want to help the horses at CVHR? Donations are very much appreciated! Donate to CVHR via PayPal at donations@centralvahorserescue.com or via snail mail to 389 Boydton Plank Road, Brodnax, VA 23920.

CVHR Spring Hay Fundraiser

central virginia horse rescue dollar hay fundraiser

 

Don’t you wish they did? LOL Sometimes I do! Horses are expensive to feed and maintain. Central Virginia Horse Rescue has kicked off their Spring Hay Fundraiser with this funny picture! Donations can be sent via snail mail to CVHR at 389 Boydton Plank Road, Brodnax, VA 23920 or via PayPal to donations@centralvahorserescue.com .

If everyone who sees this sent $1 to CVHR, they would have enough hay to feed the rescue horses for a year! A dollar isn’t much and every little bit will help feed the horses. Now, off to find a stamp… 🙂

Derecho Learning to Lead

As you may recall, last summer a loose stallion turned up at my farm. He was surrendered to CVHR and is being fostered here indefinitely. Derecho has settled in nicely and is learning how to be a polite horse.

stray stallion cvhr owner surrender

Derecho July 2012

He came with very little, if any, training. Derecho was pushy and did not understand how to give to pressure. After just one short week, he is now respecting my “space bubble” much better and very sensitive to the slightest pressure. He isn’t scared of anything and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body. Derecho is one of the sweetest horses I have ever encountered.

Teaching an 1,150 pound 3 year old stallion to lead is NOT easy. We had foals when I was a kid and I helped teach them to lead…but this was a completely different task. Derecho knows he is bigger than me and did not like the idea of being led around. Although he wanted to follow me around like a puppy dog, he didn’t like being tugged on with a lead rope.

Since he resented being pulled forward so much, I decided to work on other directions first. We have nearly perfected backing already! He willingly moves back a step at a time with the slightest touch now. I can get him move away from me to the left and right, although he is much more supple to the right than the left. Derecho also lowers and raises his head easily for me with gentle pressure either on his poll or under his jaw.

When I want him to move forward, I began by simply encouraging him to follow me with the lead rope long and loopy. He does well following at a respectful distance most of the time, but occasionally he still gets too close and I have to stop and send him back a few steps. After a week of practicing multiple times a day, he took his first willing steps beside me moving forward. I was thrilled!

We made 3-4 large circles in each direction in his paddock. I began by walking beside him and apply the slightest forward pressure to the lead. Derecho followed the pressure willingly and lead beside me like a champ by the end.

Check out the rest of his year in pictures below! He’s adjusted really well and is a super nice boy.

Derecho makes a great gelding

Derecho in his recovery stall after being gelded.

Derecho with other horses at feeding time

Derecho finding his place in the herd in the lower field–after he became a great gelding, of course!

Derecho giving me a cuddle

He is such a sweetheart! ❤

Derecho the stray stud is a great gelding

Derecho saying hi to Annabelle.

Derecho loves Coda

Derecho and Coda having a drink in January 2012.

Derecho in the snow

Derecho and his best girlfriend saying hello during our March 2013 snow storm.

We’ve been letting him take some time to be a part of the herd since he learned how to lead. He has also learned how to pick up all 4 feet, behaves politely for the farrier, and stands nicely to be groomed. This spring we are planning on starting him under saddle. Stay tuned for more Derecho updates!

Blog Inspiration: 11th Picture in a Google Image Search for the Term “Derecho”

This activity was fun and inspirational! I enjoyed seeing the different photos of the Derecho and writing about the 11th one for this prompt.

Derecho storm over Kansas

Amazing clouds from the Derecho over the summer!                                                                                         (Image Credit: http://www.sott.net/article/247451-DC-Derecho-Disaster-Explained)

Today I did a Google Image search on the word “Derecho.” I chose this word because we were affected by this type of windy thunderstorm back in June. That storm inspired me to name our “stray” stallion Derecho.

The 11th picture on the image search is an amazing photograph of a Derecho sweeping across the plains of Kansas (above). These storms are absolutely incredible to look at because they are an eerily beautiful phenomenon. A Derecho is basically a huge storm system that moves rapidly across land in a straight line. The after effects of a Derecho are often catastrophic, leaving trees uprooted, debris everywhere, and many people without power.

Power lines down in Crozet, VA after the Derecho!                                                                                              (Image Credit: http://www.sott.net/article/247451-DC-Derecho-Disaster-Explained)

We decided to name the stallion (now a Great Gelding, thanks to CVHR!) Derecho because he showed up a few days after the storm. Fortunately, he is not wild and crazy like the storm was! He is just a beautiful creature that happened upon us one summer morning.

Our Derecho!

Do you remember the Derecho from earlier this year? Were you affected by it? It certainly was scary for us here in Virginia!

Powered by Plinky

Have You Ever Found a Stray Horse?

Stretching awake in the early morning hours a few days ago, my husband noticed that the horses were calling out more than usual. Money was squealing and carrying on, so he went to investigate. That’s when Eddie noticed the strange horse loose in the yard.

A big bay beauty was prancing back and forth, touching noses with Money and pawing at the fence. We rushed outside to try to catch this mysterious horse. With cookies in hand and a halter and leadrope over my shoulder, I set out towards the field after Eddie.

Derecho

The horse was very frightened when we approached him. After closer inspection of the horse, we realized he was a stallion. He did not let us get close enough to touch him, only close enough to eat a treat before running off in the other direction. After several unsuccessful attempts at catching the horse, we decided to call some backup. Eddie went to call the neighbors and Animal Control while I went and awakened our closest neighbor to ask him to help out.

After an hour of chasing the “wild” stallion around our yard, Animal Control finally came. I was relieved because I thought they officer was going to help us catch this frightened horse. The stallion was frantically running up and down the fence line, occasionally trying to jump into the field with our mares. The officer walked towards us, snapped a photo of the stallion with his phone, and left us with the animal to go and try to find the owner.

Derecho

Although I was shocked that he did nothing to help us catch the horse, I didn’t have time to worry about that. It was up to me. We had tried herding him, tempting him with grain, feeding him treats, and even just chasing him to wear him out. None of it was working. I decided to try something different.

With just a rope and a treat, I practiced a give-and-take approach. I would walk towards his shoulder and based on his reaction either continue forward, stop, or turn and walk away. Soon I was able to get close enough to let him sniff my hand. After he sniffed me, it was only about five minutes before I was able to fasten a rope around his neck.

I tried to put a halter on him next, but he shied away from me and cantered off. After he calmed down again, I was able to approach him. I chanted, “Shh, shh, shh, easy boy,” in a low tone as I stroked his cresty neck. I tried to halter him again, but he ran. Finally, I was able to slip the halter on and he was caught!

Derecho

It was immediately apparent that the stallion did not know how to be led. After some circling and coaxing, we managed to lead him from the yard to the quarantine paddock on the other side of the house. We gave him some hay and water and he settled right down. I was able to do a brief evaluation on him once he was contained. The stallion appeared to be a 2-3 year old Quarter Horse. He did not seem to be halter broke at all, but he was very friendly and curious.

The rest of the day was spent trying to locate the owner of the stray stallion to no avail. I spoke to Animal Control, my vet, and others throughout the day. By the next morning, the owner found us!

The owner gladly surrendered the stallion to CVHR because she didn’t want him anymore. He had been loose several times and was becoming too much for her to handle. Now, the stallion is being fostered with us while we get him cared for and trained.

Derecho

We have been trying for a couple of days to name the stallion. I think we’ve decided on the name Derecho, after the unusual storm we had in our area just a few days before he appeared on our farm.

In the meantime, we are trying to raise funds for the stray stallion’s vetting and care. He has never been vetted or had a farrier work on his feet. His shots, coggins, gelding surgery, and hoof trimming is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $500.

CVHR is trying to raise funds for the gelding surgery and is working towards starting a Great Geldings program. If you would like to help CVHR, donations are greatly appreciated via PayPal at donations@centralvahorserescue.com. Volunteers are also needed to get the gelding program underway!

Stay tuned for more updates on Derecho!

Rescued!

Today I wanted to share a couple of pictures of the two horses my good friend rescued from Camelot yesterday. I am happy to say that these two lovely horses are now safe! Thank you to my friends at Equus Springs Farm for giving these two beauties a second chance. ❤

2 horses rescued from Camelot

Pretty girls, aren't they?

These two mares will be quarantined here on my farm for a few weeks before they go home to ESF. It’s going to be a fun few weeks taking care of these two! I am very impressed with how calm and sweet these two are. They have been through so much! Despite the stress they’ve been through, they act very calm and inquisitive about all the new sights, sounds, smells, and things here.

ESF rescues

Tinker finishing up breakfast

ESF's 2 recent rescues

Bay mare eating breakfast

Taking care of horses is part of my dream life. I am so happy to help these mares by caring for them for a few short weeks. Our little farm is so blessed! Here are some pictures of the rest of our horses (and maybe some of the other critters) that we are so thankful to love and care for. 😀

ESF Twist of Tyme

Princess being hand grazed on a sunny day

Our dogs

Sage and Malachite ❤

Cody's Bright Bar

Coda grazing out in the field

Malachite Jr

MJ looks so much like a little bear cub!

AKA A Perfect Storm

Mom's new (dirty!) horse Cowboy

Big puppy!

Butters burrowing in some old hay

Our rescue

Our rescue pony Gamble

Marley

Little Marley puppy posing for a picture

Sparklin' Money Bars

Our senior resident Money

ESF rescue

That's all, folks!

I hope you enjoyed looking through all of these photos of our horses and dogs! This is just a glimpse into daily life on our farm. 🙂 It sure is a zoo out here, hahah!

Have you ever rescued an animal? Please share your story in the comment field below! 🙂

It Ain’t Easy Savin’ Horses

Each week a new group of horses runs through the auction circuit. Some of the horses have been there before, some haven’t, and others will never see it again. Many horses ship to slaughter each week, slipping through the cracks to their doom. Horse lovers from coast to coast do what they can to rescue these animals.

White horse in field

White horse in field (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here on the East coast there is a big auction every week in New Holland. Lots of horses of all kinds end up there. Old horses, cart horses, gaited horses, young studs, yearlings, registered horses, successful race horses, polo horses, and show or event horses can (and have) ended up on the slaughter circuit. We try to save these horses by supporting groups who are able to work with the auction circuit every week. They share pictures, information, and stories about the horses. Some of the registered horses can have extensive documented history of winnings, lineage, points, et cetera.We do our best to save as many as we can by working together.

Thoroughbred racing at Churchill Downs. França...

Thoroughbred racing at Churchill Downs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wish I could save them all! Every week I watch the horses that go through…the ones I know about. For the dozens that I see each week, I know there are thousands more across the country that I’m not seeing. I’m actually glad for that…it would probably kill me to really know how many horses really are going to slaughter each week.

Herds

Herds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The only way we can keep more horses (many of them are perfectly fine, sound, and trainable!) safe is to work together. We must share their stories and spread knowledge about the industry. Learn what’s going on around you and tell that story! It may be awful to discover some news, such as finding that a slaughter plant in the US wants to process horses for human consumption…for now these horses are shipped to either Canada or Mexico.

The best news is always good news, right? Well share that, too!

Speaking of good news, I would like to share Tinker’s story with you for a moment. She is a registered 12 year old Quarter Horse mare. Tinker was hip #549, a slaughter-bound horse in New Jersey. She was one of the last horses standing on the lot!

Hip #549

Saved! (Photo Credit: Sarah Andrew)

Now, Tinker has been rescued! We all worked together by networking, sharing, and donating within our social network to find a home and funds for her…and saved her! Tinker will be going to live on Equus Springs Farm in Scottsville, Virginia.

If we can do it, you can too! Every little bit helps save a horse, even word of mouth!

Building a Round Pen

It’s raining today. So, I’m inside spending some time catching up on some writing. It has been so beautiful lately that I could not justify spending very much time on the computer! I’ve been itching to start some serious training with my mares, but I really need an enclosed training area for the most effective training. The need for a training area forced me to start planning something big.

Horse Training Wattie Adams, exercising one of...

Horse Training Wattie Adams, exercising one of his horses in readiness for the racing season. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the last few weeks I have been planning my next big project. We are going to be building a round pen for training the horses (and the kids…). I’ve surveyed the area for the pen, measured it, removed a portion of existing fence, and calculated the cost of materials for building the pen.

Closeup detail of a safe woven wire fence, sui...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since I plan on using the round pen for both free lunging and riding, it needs to be bigger than a typical 60 foot round pen. We decided that an 80 foot pen would be big enough for riding comfortably but small enough for effective free lunging. To measure the area I needed, I found a good center point for the pen. Then we placed a stake in the center and measured 40 feet straight out from the center with a long tape measure. As I walked around the circumference of the pen, I used some spray paint to mark the area.

Tape measure

Tape measure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Once the area was marked I was able to clear the existing fence within an hour or so. Next I measured around the circumference in 10 foot increments. I knew that I would need to find 25 points around the pen because the circumference of an 80 foot circle is 250 feet. Once the area was all measured I could really imagine how the round pen would look. It is the perfect size for what we need here!

Newton Mill A horse training area

Newton Mill A horse training area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hardest part for me is calculating the cost of materials…not because I can’t do math, but because I dread learning how much this whole thing is really going to cost. I decided to compare the costs of post and board fencing, woven wire, and vinyl coated wire.

Budget and Spending

Photo credit: Wikipedia

The pricing of each type of fence includes 25 6 foot posts, which will cost $125.

  • Woven wire fencing: $275
  • 5 rails of vinyl coated wire: $299
  • 2 rails of 2″x4″x10′ boards: $315
  • Woven wire with 1 rail of  boards on top: $370
  • 3 rails of 2″x4″x10′ boards: $410
Knighton, horse training ground At Knighton Fa...

Knighton, horse training ground At Knighton Farm, with outbuildings to the right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I still can’t decide what we should go with. In light of the economy, I’m tempted to go with the cheapest option available…but I need to consider maintenance, additional hardware needed, and repair costs as well. The cheapest now is not necessarily the easiest to maintain or repair.

Wire fence,(broken) and stile On a path coming...

Wire fence broken (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At this point I’m considering paying a little more up front for the vinyl coated wire. It is highly visible, has little to no maintenance once installed, and it flexes. Including additional special hardware necessary for this type of fence, it will probably end up costing $350 or so. That’s not too shabby!

Now all I have to do is make an extra $350 so I can afford to buy the materials! Any ideas on making some extra money? Seriously…I need help, haha!

Arabian horses up for adoption

Hello all! This morning I read this blog post by a friend and fellow blogger, Cowboy over at One Cowboy’s Way. Since horses are my passion (especially Arabians!), I felt compelled to reblog this story in order to share it with as many people as possible. We need to find homes for these wonderful horses because they need our help something terrible!

I read the original postings on Arabian Rescue Mission’s website and a news article Cowboy posted. The condition of these Arabs is shocking, but they will come around with some TLC! Let’s share this story and try to save some more horses! Remember, every little bit helps. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: