Horse Rescues: For The Love Of Horses
Greetings fellow horses and horse lovers. My name is Chicory I'm a middle aged Quarter Horse living the the Midwest. My human, Mona Majorowicz is primarily an artist but she also does plenty of writing. She has been typing up articles for the gallery cat Budda for many years now and I thought it was high time for me to speak a little. After all I certainly can't be outdone but such a lesser species as a cat.
So here's a few thoughts straight from the horses mouth ... ahem ... so to speak.
The most important blessing in my life which makes it complete ...
is that I am lovedI am a fortunate horse in that I live a life of leisure. Though it's not perfect, I would really love to spend more time with my human, it's still a really good life. My belly is always full, I get a spacious pasture to run and play in with a variety of green goodness to munch on.
The most important blessing in my life which makes it complete is that I am loved. Not all horses are so lucky. This I know. Circumstances in the horse industry have increased this problem with more and more horses abandoned or abused. Fortunately there are places who take in these lost souls and find them new humans so they can once again feel loved and special. Because all horses are special even when we can no longer fulfill a humans need.
So read on and I will tell you of me and my life as well as a couple of equine rescue organization who are doing this very important work.
About My Human
Mona Majorowicz of Wild Faces Gallery
My name is Mona Majorowicz I am a professional artist who has been making my living selling my work for some time now. I am an animal artist, (meaning I paint critters) who works primarily in Oil Pastel or Water Soluble Pencil.
I own and operate Wild Faces Gallery with my husband Mike in a small rural town in Iowa. There we sell my original artwork and prints, as well as do quality custom framing and offer Giclee printing for other artists as well as for ourselves. I have over 20 years experience in the art and framing industry, both as a business owner and as a working artist.
Animals are my passion and art is how I chose to express it.
Have You Adopted An Animal - Horse Or Otherwise?
Have You Adopted An Animal - Horse Or Otherwise?
Come here and give to me ... a little kissy!
The Best Horse Toy EVER
Chicory's Bale Buddy
There are many things I like about winter. No bugs is at the top of the list. I also enjoy dashing about at full tilt and then putting the brakes on as I'm careening at a fence. I do a rolling stop that any reining champion would be proud of. The first time my human seen this she kinda "lost it" a little. I'm pretty sure that she thought I was planning on plowing through the fence. But no. I'm skilled enough to know how to come within inches of it but not quite touch it with anything more than my steamy breath. Then I repeat. Her freaking a little at my antics is just a bonus. Beside it's not like they makes tobaggons or sleds big enough for horses, what's a middle aged equine supposed to do?
"Beside it's not like they makes tobaggons or sleds big enough for horses, what's a middle aged equine supposed to do?"My favorite winter game is when they put a new round bale of hay in my pen.
I think I'll call the hay bale ... Buddy.
Actually I call them all Buddy.
I am always courteous around my human as she seems kinda breakable. But when this giant round block of yummy hay goodness gets plopped in my pen I finally have something to really wrestle with.
Buddy ... I will destroy you!
Firstly I rush up and take a few massive energetic bites out of it just to show it who's boss. I glare at Buddy giving him a final few vicious bites and then I trot around Buddy several times circling like a shark, giving him ominous looks and squealing. This is followed by a couple of small bucks and a few kicks towards him, which are thrown in for good measure.
Perhaps, at this point I will take a break to munch a mouthful or two of hay and ruminate. After the quick snack I begin to really show Buddy who's boss by snorting and groaning and pushing him all over my pen. I rub my body along it like it's a giant curry comb. This by the way is a glorious sensation. It's ten thousand million zillion times better than being groomed because one whole side of my body is getting scratched all at once!
"I flop down in total abandon and roll and snort and fart.
Ah, life's simple pleasures."I push it around the pen, breaking it up and then when the ecstasy of sensation becomes too much , I flop down in total abandon and roll and snort and fart. Ah, life's simple pleasures. I just want to cover myself entirely in all this sweet, sweet hay. You know, when I breath deeply I think I can still smell Spring.
And that's why my bale Buddy is the best horse toy ever!
I Have A Very Important Job, I Am My Human's Muse - Also I'm Her Zen Master and Relaxation Specialist.
As I've said my human is a painter of horses. One of my jobs as her horse is to provide her with the emotional support she needs to create her images. Often this means pulling her out of her head and into the moment. We horses are really great at doing this sort of work. It's was makes us so good as therapy animals. A person can't help but get pulled into the moment when they spend any time at all around us equines.
Sometimes this is easy and sometimes it takes real patience of my part. Often I have to follow her around a bit offering gentle nudges and nuzzles. Often times when she's too busy mucking the barn or picking up downed branches to take a moment I still must persist and sooner or later she stops whatever she's doing and just comes and stands next to.
I like to think that part of every horse painting she does has a little bit of me in it.She rubs her fingers deep into my coat and murmurs soft words. I can feel the tension leave her and on more than one occasion she leans into me feeling my breath and heartbeat. Within a short time her breathing has matched mine and she is relaxed. I nuzzle her gentle as she strokes my face and body and we are quiet both verbally and mentally.
My human draws spiritually from moments like this when creating her equine art. Her love of critters is strong but it's the bond between her and I that adds that little extra something to her art. It has been said about her that she paints the emotional side of animals. I like to think that part of every horse painting she does has a little bit of me in it.
My Favorite Free Range Delicacy
Chicory talks about the sweet life.
As much as I love my bale Buddy I also really love Spring grass. All that tasty green grassyness bursting through the earth. It's enough to make a grown horse drool.
I am blessed that I have many acres all to myself to graze. My pasture is usually split into a couple of sections so it's later in Spring that I get moved to a new section of ungrazed pasture that I get to enjoy a particularly tasty treat.
When I first enter into the new pasture I race around getting a feel for it's size and declaring this land as mine. Before long though I notice the tall grasses swaying gently in the breeze. Their seed heads plump and at just the right height.
The right height for what you say?
For nibbling off. Yes sir, I don't even need to lower my head. I can just amble around at my leisure nipping off the tops filling my mouth full. It's almost like oats (yummy, sweet, crunchy, scrumptious oats) but not quite. Admittedly it takes awhile to eat this little delicacy. but it's true enjoyment comes with the slow savoring of it.
Waiting For Spring "Grow grass, grow!"
How Can There Be Such A Thing As An Unwanted Horse?
Every Living Things Deserves To Be Loved And Has Something To Offer
The first time I became aware that there existed such a thing as an unwanted horse I was taken aback. My entire life I have been loved. The farm where I was born and raised I was cherished and adored and when they finally had to sell me my first human wept openly for the loss.
My new human though also loved and adored me. I am well fed, groomed, touched, talked to and occasionally ridden. I had no idea that this was not the way it was for all horses, indeed all animals. It certainly should be.
My human being an equine artist decided to help in this cause by creating a painting specifically geared to raise money for IERAL an equine rescue in the state of Iowa. The painting was auctioned and prints were created which donate 50% back to the charity. The painting was of an actual horse currently kept at the rescue. To read more about this please visit the following lens.
The term "Unwanted Horse" was first coined by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) at a horse industry meeting in Washington D.C. in 2005. Unwanted horses are defined as "those no longer wanted by their current owner because they are old; injured; sick; unmanageable; fail to meet their owner's expectations; or the owner can no longer afford to keep them".
Just How Many Unwanted Horses Are There In The United States?
AVMA - Unwanted Horse Coalition
There is no accurate count as to exactly how many unwanted horses there are in the US at the moment. Before the closing of equine slaughter in the US over 100,000 horse a year were eliminated in this way. So it is safe to assume the total number of unwanted horses at this point is substantially more than this at this time.
I have no intention of debating equine slaughter on this page but this has certainly added to the number of unwanted horses that need to be taken care of and why so many rescues are over-full and turning away some horses.
According to a recent release by the AVMA
* More than 90% of respondents said the number of unwanted horses, as well as those neglected and abused, is increasing.
* 87% of respondents indicated that the issue of unwanted horses had become "a big problem" in the past year, compared with only 22% who said the problem was important three years ago.
* In light of one of the worst economic downturns in U.S. history, the economy was considered to be a significant contributor to the unwanted horse problem.
* Other major contributors cited by the respondents included: the closing of the nation's processing facilities, changes in breed demand/indiscriminate breeding, and the high costs of euthanasia and carcass disposal.
* 63% of equine rescue/retirement facilities polled reported that they were at near or full capacity and, on average, turn away 38% of the horses brought to them.
For More Information please visit the Unwanted Horse Coalition
Enjoying a little green grassyness.
Borrowed Time Equine Rescue
Helping Horses So Horse Can Help Veterans
What I really love about this organization is they take the "leftover" horses. The ones that other rescues have passed over because they thought them too difficult to place. Many of the horses Borrowed Time takes in are lame or too old and they have nowhere to go. We all need a place where we can know love and be cherished for who we are, no matter our flaws.
Thank you Borrowed Time Equine Rescue for doing this important work.
Excerpt from the Borrowed Time Equine Rescue Page
"Most of our animals have some form of disability, but we believe these perceived flaws only enhance their beauty and show true strength of spirit. The horse and human bond has been around for a long time and is known for its healing qualities. A horse does not judge, he accepts and is tolerant. Every horse has worth and deserves a second chance to spend their borrowed time enjoying the sun on their back, kind hands on their body, a soft word in their ear, and enough hay in their belly.
We believe similarly in regard to Disabled Veterans. Every person has value and something to give, or something to learn. The word "disability" may be applicable, but can never define who we are, the quality of the relationships we make, or what kind of a life we can create.
We feel that these horses came to us for a reason. Horses need a job and Veterans need a horse. We are helping horses so that the horses can help our Veterans. Our goal is to provide equine assisted therapy to Disabled Veterans and their families."
NOTE: Business Card Image Used With Permission.
Would You Consider Adopting A Horse?
To be clear I think adopting a horse is an excellent way to go when your looking for a wonderful addition to your family. And even those in a professional equine field can sometimes find the perfect horse for their needs with some searching.
But I also understand that those in the professional field may need to select a horse based on breeding to be successful at a specific task. And that the breeding for specific qualities in horses in important.
Next time you're thinking of adding a horse to your life would you be willing to adopt one?
A Book About Adopting Horses And Caring For Them - Give a Horse a Second Chance: Adopting and Caring for Rescue Horses
Where the Blind Horse Sings: Love and Healing at an Animal Sanctuary - A Book Which May Change The Way You Think Of Livestock Animals.
Kathy Stevens was a teacher for 11 years when she decided to buy a junky rundown farm which she turned into the Catskills Animal Sanctuary and loving place which has saved over a thousand abused livestock animals. The author states. "our job was to love and nurture them without expectation," This is a wonderful book which explores the emotional and intellectual side of not only horses but other farm animals in a way which which will make you rethink about how you perceive most livestock.
Personally I think it's easier for most of us to not think about the animals which sustain us. Thinking cattle and pigs have the same complex emotions as out cherished house pets tends to complicate my view of the world. And yet having raised many kinds of farm animals I know this to be true.