Monday, June 08, 2015

Angels for Minis - Miniature Horse Rescue

I'm no stranger to non-profit work, I managed one back in the 80's that did relief work in Somali. In 2003 I was a founding director of Chance's Miniature Horse Rescue with Kay Baxter, Nila Young, Virginia St. Pierre and Robin Cole.  

It's hard work, often unbearably hard,that can literally suck every minute out of your day.  It's also highly fulfilling and worthwhile work.  We're very fortunate here in Northern California to have a wonderful resource in Angels for Minis Rescue.

I first met Mary and some of the wonderful helpers of Angels at the unpleasantly-necessary but OMG-yeah-it's-finally-happened seizure and sale of the animals from that infamous piece of work in Southern Oregon in 2012.   Since then I hadn't had much contact with Angels (yes guilty of not helping like I should!), until a couple weeks ago, when a Facebook friend (Chanda Brandt - thank you btw!) posted a recent rescue from Horse Plus Humane Society.

I knew one day it would happen and one (or more) of my horses would end up in a rescue situation - heck I've taken back some really bad cases over the years (see photos below).  But they came back to ME, not a rescue!  I immediately shot off an email to Horse+ with the pertinent info and identification photos of Zorro, a horse I hadn't seen in seven+ years. (FYI - I keep files on every horse I've owned and all that I've bred if you have or get one!)

Horse+ called the next day and I spoke with them briefly as I was heading out of town. They told me Zorro and all the stallions would be gelded and there wouldn't be a problem finding him a new home, but if I wanted him to fill out an application and send a deposit of $50 against his $400 adoption fee.  I was a tad surprised at that, as I know there will be costs involved with gelding and rescues need every penny they can collect, but for a horse they'd had literally a matter of days?

(BTW - Zorro would make a great driving gelding - he's half-brother to Las Doradas Cajun Rhythm and has nice movement - besides being pretty!!!)

Wesco Farms LM Cajuns Masked Man aka Zorro

Anyway, Horse+ gave me Angels telephone number as they were the original contact and collected the horses from the owners.  I immediately called Mary and asked if she had Bonnie.  She confirmed she did and offered her to me for a reduced fee as I was her breeder.  I also provided information from the studbook to verify everything for all the horses that had been surrendered.  Emailed my application to Angels and made arrangements to get Bonnie.

Less than a week later, my good friend Jenn Davis  and I were motoring off to get Bonnie in my recently renovated van (thank you Holly Bradshaw!).  We arrived, saw Bonnie and met a couple other mares in with her, including her four year old daughter that took an immediate shine to Jenn!  So yes, we left with two not one!

Or I should say after a half hour of working, shoving, bribing, pushing, dragging we got Bonnie and her daughter in my van!  Thanks to Mary's helper or we might still be there!

Both of the horses did great on the ride home, well Noname (Jenn hasn't named her yet), did a bit of screaming and pawing, but otherwise it was uneventful.

The two have settled in in their private pen (quarantine and TLC time) next to the house.
Bonnie and Noname from my deck their first night.

Noname is coming around and is such a sweet, friendly mare - she's right there the moment you poke your head out the door and follows you around like a puppy!  Bonnie, is much as I remember her (like her dam) still sketchy about where she is and takes some warming up, but we'll convince her!  She has done some calling, so we're not sure if she's excited by the horses in general or recognizes some of her old buddies and her two half-sisters.

We did move them to a new pen yesterday (Noname is leaving this week), between our TLC group (aka founder or overweight!) with Ringo on the other side - he's thrilled to have mares next to him - and a Ringo proof fence works! He can talk to them, but can't manage a surprise Ringo baby next year!

This story ended well.  Not all do - see pics below.

I do encourage ANYONE that is facing difficulties with keeping their Minis to please contact Angels before your horses are in deplorable condition.  It's a kindness to have them go to a new home, rather than suffer from hunger, or need their hooves done or vet care, etc. like these - I got from someone that didn't think she was a "Bad Mommy"!!!  I mean literally.  She told me that on the phone hours after we'd brought these ones home.
Two Minis from a group I got back from a Hoarder.  Filly on left hadn't ever been trimmed at a year. 
The mare on right normally weighs about 300lbs.  See original article here.

Angels for Minis is there to help without judging and they're a wonderful resource for our community!  We all know - shit really does happen - often we don't have the control of where life goes.  No time or energy or money or health issues to deal with everything and life can easily slip into a permanent state of overwhelmed.  If that happens - give them a call - Angels is there to help before it gets really bad.


If you are looking to adopt a pet Mini or a companion, you may want to contact Angels - I'm perfectly happy selling you a horse btw! - but realize it is a volunteer run organization, so be patient.

Also understand these are rescues - often with health or personality issues, no papers, pedigrees or information, etc. I was lucky that someone spotted Zorro and the owners surrendered them all with their paperwork.  Most do not come with alot of information!  

The Minis may need to some work and are not child-friendly out the door.  They can become pocket-pets, but may need 1v1 TLC!  So if you are not experienced with unruly horses, spend the extra dollars to get a safe horse if you have children from a reputable breeder or find a trainer!

Also, if you do not own a Mini currently and do adopt - consider getting two.  Yes it costs more, but horses are herd animals and do better in a herd situation! I tell people that when they come to buy, but it always sounds like I'm trying to sell them another horse!

If you're unable to help foster, adopt, etc., and could use a tax deductible donation - Angels is a 501-c3 non-profit!  

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