Throwback Thursday

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Now, I realize that this wasn’t that long ago, but it’s a day I love to recall.  Friends+horses=happiness.  It’s a simple equation.

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No Wordless Wednesday!

Yesterday was perfect for Wordless Wednesday, but I didn’t post because I have a lot to say!

My new filly, Cherokee Lady, usually plays in the corral during the day.  With the gate to the big pasture closed.  My friend, Charlotte, lives right there and is kind enough to let me board two horses with her.  She generally keeps an eye on everything.  I arrived yesterday to find that Cherokee’s stall was empty…and the gate to the big pasture was open.  We are still not completely sure how that happened.  Charlotte and I were also unsure of how to get Cherokee back where she belongs.  I was relying on Oreo, my daughter’s horse, and oats to get the baby to come visit with us.

Oreo did not let me down!  I yelled for her, she stopped eating hay and starting sashaying in my direction.  We looked closer, and Cherokee was in Oreo’s pocket!  They both got oats, Charlotte and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and the world was right again.

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New Baby!

I have a super big announcement to make!  Yes, there’s a new baby in the family!  She’s a darling who never cries; she does, however, whinny.

I saw a post on Facebook about a filly, Abby, who needed a home.  Abby and her mother were rescued from a kill pen in Oklahoma, and her picture caught my eye.  I took a closer look.  And then another look.  I was very interested, but I wasn’t sure how to make things happen. Horses can be quite expensive, so I hesitated, but I kept going back to Abby.

I already own one horse, Oreo, who lives across town.  After chatting with the property owner, it turns out that there was room for one more with Oreo.  That’s when I made a decision to go ahead and buy that filly.  Then things miraculously started falling into place.  The first step was to contact the people at the hub and make arrangements to pay her adoption fee.  That was accomplished fairly quickly.  Other details had to be arranged like a vet certificate, board until I could get her off the lot and hauling.  That’s when things got really interesting.

The vet check was handled easily, but I got a bad case of sticker shock when I called horse haulers!  The range was between $500 and $850!  Abby was paid for, my mind was made up, so it was crunch time.  I was already in love with Abby, and she was coming home.

I messaged friends in my area who have horses and “know people.”  It didn’t take long for a friend to message back.  Jeannette was a true hero!  She offered to make the nine-hour trip (for gas expenses) on her days off from work.  I was gobsmacked at this point.  Her days off exactly coincided with when Abby needed to be off the lot—-one week’s board was free, and Tuesday was the deadline.  Abby was about to take her freedom ride!

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Jeannette set off early Monday morning, but the weather was threatening to slow things down.  I worried (as usual), but I knew my friend (and hero) would get Abby home safely.  The original plan was to spend the night before coming home, but snowy conditions changed the plan.  Jeannette got Abby to her place in the wee hours of the morning, unloaded, fed and watered.  I’m sure Jeannette crashed hard after that!

I took a personal day off from work (Tuesday) to welcome my horse home.  I was so glad to meet her.  I was sad for her because she came on one of the coldest days of the year!  We are still getting snow with super cold temperatures.

Abby is safe and out of the elements.  She also has a new name—Cherokee Lady.

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Rodeo Saturday

Saturday rodeo and my day off…..it was a miraculous sort of day! I got up a bit earlier than my body wanted, but after a pep talk and a cup of coffee (not in that order), I managed to shower and get out the door by 7:40. Hyannis is about 45 minutes from home, and I wanted to be there early enough to get a good parking space. I also knew that Deb and Scout had to be ready by 9. It was a bonus seeing other people from my (adopted) town once I got there.

I love taking pictures, and horses are always fun to photograph. I figured out how to take video with Bela’s camera, so it was a fun day.

Crow's nest

Crow’s nest


Bernice is ready to roll.

Bernice is ready to roll.


I've never seen an ugly horse.  :)

I’ve never seen an ugly horse. 🙂


Another beautiful equine specimen

Another beautiful equine specimen


Warm up time in the ring

Warm up time in the ring

Rodeo Day!

For some reason, I woke up before the 6:30 alarm went off. I spent a few minutes taking dogs out, feeding cats and reading a chapter over a cup of coffee. I had been anticipating rodeo day, so maybe that’s why I was earlier than the clock.

Since I was at the fair grounds by 7:40, I had time to observe some of the preparations. There were a lot of riders in the arenas warming up. One big space had been divided in half to be able to have two events going on at once. Goats, horses and steers were unloaded and penned for the events. I had time to roam around and snap some pictures. There were plenty of beautiful horses on the premises, that’s for sure.

Sometime after 8, someone in the crow’s nest started the country music blaring. I could almost feel a subtle change in the atmosphere as the riders (and horses) made the mental shift from warming up to competing. The power of music is amazing.

Crow's nest

Crow’s nest

I was all set to work one of the gates for goat tying. Things started close to on time at 8:30. Girls were making good time on their runs—some of them at least. If I tried to dismount while the horse was still running, I’d end up flat on my face. Kudos to these talented, determined kids!

Storm brewing!

Storm brewing!

Rain was starting to fall, but the show went on for a bit. As soon as the lightning started getting serious, the announcer told us all to take cover. I didn’t need to hear it twice; people scattered and put their horses in the trailers to wait out the storm. Many were ready for rain—yellow-clad people were all over the place! Even saddled horses had rain slickers on because, as my friend Laura said, “Nobody wants a wet bum!” After about an hour, the rodeo events started again. The goat tying event had 37 girls lined up to compete, but it went by quickly. My gate time was up before I knew it.

Rain slickers were everywhere!

Rain slickers were everywhere!

The Chicken Chick

That Doggie in the Window

How could I resist that face?

How could I resist that face?

Remember that old song that asked, “How much is that doggie in the window?” It’s a question asked in pet stores every day. The true cost of that cute puppy isn’t the tag at the pet store register. The mother dog is the one paying the price. Most puppies in pet stores come from puppy mills. When you buy that cute little pup, your money is actually condemning that momma dog to a life in a cage having litter after litter to supply cute pups for you, the consumer, to buy. If that doesn’t touch your heart, do your own research about puppy mills. What you discover may shock you.

I’m writing this post to (hopefully) educate you about the realities of unwanted pets. There are millions of unwanted animals—dogs, cats and even horses. Many of them die because a good home is not found in time. Most county shelters can only house a certain number of pets before shelter workers have to decide who to kill to make room for the next animals who are picked up off the streets or turned in by unthinking owners.

When I lived in Charlotte, North Carolina, I was told by a worker that owner-surrendered animals were put to sleep before the owners had left the premises. I nearly cried. Even the no-kill shelters and rescue groups need help and connections to place animals in good homes.

Did you know that certain kinds of dogs are considered nearly unadoptable? Everyone wants that adorable pup, right? If dogs are large, black or senior, they are hard to place. Pitbulls are the hardest breed to place. According to Julia Musser of Animal Rescue of Kindness (A.R.K.), Pits face problems due to breed-specific legislation restricting Pitbull ownership. It’s basically breed profiling (akin to racial profiling). If you are an older, large-bodied, black Pit, your chances of surviving a shelter are slim to none. Heartbreaking and unfair.

I have adopted nearly all my pets from a shelter or rescue. Others were given to me. I look for the animal that connects with me. In each case, I have gone in with an open mind and heart and “my” pet has found me.

I will not pay hundreds of dollars for a pet when shelter pets are being murdered every day in countries around the world. This is a world-wide issue, not just a national one. Hopefully, you will adopt your next pet from a shelter or rescue. Some rescues ask for an adoption to help cover vet expenses. It’s a fair thing to ask. How else can they help the next hurt, unwanted animal if there’s no money to take it to a vet? Most rescues will ask for references from people who know you. They might even ask to speak with your vet if you have had pets in the past. It’s normal, so don’t get mad about it! A home visit may even be required to seal the deal! The rescue groups want to be sure you can provide the love and care the animal deserves. If the rescue or shelter doesn’t have your dream pet, ask if they can contact you when that special animal (for you) arrives. Rescues network and always want an animal to find a “furever” home. Keep in mind if you check out the dogs or cats at the local animal shelter, you might not see the animal’s true personality until later. The animals are frightened and confused, so be patient and loving. It will pay off! Go in with an open mind and consider adopting one that may be overlooked by the majority of people. I can guarantee that pet will repay your kindness with unconditional love.

If you must find a new home for your pet, PLEASE don’t advertise it on places like Craigslist. The wrong people might come get that animal to use as a bait dog for training aggressive dogs. It’s a death sentence in many cases. I have even read about wives dressing nicely to pick up an animal destined to be killed by her husband’s fighting dog. You think it doesn’t happen? You are wrong. It saddens me to say that.

As many of my friends comment, “There are no problem dogs, just problem owners.” If you need to rehome your pet, contact a rescue group for leads. Nothing makes me madder, however, than hearing someone say, “I have to GET RID OF my dog (cat, horse).” “Getting rid of” implies all kinds of things to me. None of them make me think favorably of you.

If you are ready to adopt, keep reading. Below are some links (from my area) to get you started if you feel ready to make a life-long commitment to a pet.
https://www.facebook.com/juliamariemusser?ref=ts&fref=ts
https://www.facebook.com/NorthPlatteAnimalShelter?fref=ts
https://www.facebook.com/FurtheLoveofPAWSRescue?fref=ts

One of my rescue babies

One of my rescue babies


Chance was adopted through A.R.K.  Thank you, Julia Musser!

Chance was adopted through A.R.K. Thank you, Julia Musser!


Poppy came from the North Platte Animal Shelter.  Thank you!

Poppy came from the North Platte Animal Shelter. Thank you!