Friday, November 29, 2013


See the horse in the back in the red blanket?
That's Charlie, my neighbor's horse.
I didn't even see him until I went back there to feed Friday.
(Yes, I'm THAT observant!)

Believe it or not, this fence is actually green!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Donating and Reputable Charities

Do you donate to charities?  Mike and I do.  We have a list that we donate to.  So I wanted to talk to you from the OTHER side, not as someone who actually HAS a charity, but as someone sitting here having random thoughts.

I'm only going to address horse charities, because as you know, I'm a Horse Keeper.  I used to ride and barrel race on occasion, but lately, I just feed and pick up after horses. 

Did you know that charities are THRILLED to have ANY donations?  Seriously! I'm talking about picking your 5 favorite charities and donate $10 per month to each one.  That's $50 a month.  Don't have that much free cash?  OK, how about $5 to each charity?  That's $25 per month.  I KNOW you have THAT much! NO? You don't?  How about skip one trip to Starbucks each week?  I don't know what YOUR favorite coffee drink costs, but mine cost $6.25.  What do you know... there's $25 every four weeks!!!

Now, you might say "How much of a difference with $5 dollars make?"  Well, as an example, I have 180 friends on Facebook.  If every one of my friends gave $5.00 to one charity every month, that is $900 per month!  It adds up FAST!

I've heard people say more than once "They don't need my donation.  They're getting enough."  Really?  Most friends that I know that operate rescues make up for lack of donations out of their own paycheck!  They go without extras so the horses that they are responsible for can eat and get their feet trimmed or see the vet.  One friend I know slept over an old milking parlor (yeah, the cow kind) in a room without a window or heat, and ate ramen noodles, or some days nothing at all, so that she could pay board for horses she had personally rescued.  And she didn't do this for a month, she did it for several YEARS!!!

Many of the rescuers that I know don't only rescue horses, they rescue many different types of animals... llamas, dogs, cats, goats, pigs and on and on.

So now I'll get off my soap box and give you a list of some rescues that I know do good work.  They step in, step up, retrain, rehome, and adopt out horses with a contract, and follow up.  I do hope that you will consider "adopting" one or more of these rescues or becoming a monthly sponsor. They are ALL excellent, have a great reputation, and do great things for horses in need!

Save A Forgotten Equine (S.A.F.E.) - Mission:  To make a difference in the lives of forgotten and at-risk equines through direct intervention, education, and community outreach; to stress the importance of owner responsibility; and to operate at the highest level of integrity, honesty, professionalism, and compassion.

The Exceller Fund - Dedicated to the dignified retirement of Thoroughbred race horses.

Polo Pony Rescue - Mission:  Polo Pony Rescue, Inc. rescues slaughter-bound and otherwise at risk equines including, but not exclusively limited to, former polo ponies, and provides rehabilitation, retraining, and placement, where indicated, or retirement. Polo Pony Rescue, Inc. also seeks to educate others on proper care, humane treatment and training of horses and responsible breeding practices in order to decrease the number of at-risk horses.

The Golden Carrot - Mission: The Golden Carrot is a 'last stop' sanctuary for older and managably disabled horses. The horses are not available for adoption, due to their age and infirmities. But they still enjoy visitors, and many are suitable for light riding here at the property. Since TGC doesn't adopt horses out, we don't get adoption fees - we depend on the public to support our effort to reward these deserving equines for a lifetime of service, with a few golden years of retirement before the natural end of their lives arrives. Visitors are welcome!

Strawberry Mountain Mustangs - About:  Throughout the last several years, SMM has been instrumental in developing owner assistance programs, founding the Oregon Hay Bank, sponsoring equine health fairs, educational opportunities for law enforcement, and we were active in the successful passage of a law that made equine abandonment a crime in our state. We continue to work with wonderful organizations such as the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and the Oregon Animal Control Council (OACC) to pass the first Aggravated Neglect statute, making repeat offenders and crimes of neglect in the presence of a child a felony offense.
Our successful rehabilitation program is unsurpassed and we are supported by our local veterinarians, law enforcement and district attorney's office. Together, we are working to end equine abuse and neglect within our community.

Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue - Mission: Dedicated to saving horses bound for slaughter for human consumption. We also assist in cases of equine neglect, abuse and abandonment.

Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue   - Mission:  All of our horses are rescued from auctions where we are their last chance before being sold to slaughter. Our horses are chosen for their temperament, soundness, and usability. Once safely home, all horses are quarantined for a minimum of 21 days, during which we ride them extensively. All of our horses are thoroughly evaluated to aid in the best possible match for horse and rider. A successful partnership creates a bond of trust and friendship for both horse and rider, and it is our goal to find that match for every horse we save.

Below are pictures of rescue owned horses here at Vermillion Acres.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The New Girl - Zippin Friday

 Right hind
 Back feet
 Back feet
 Front feet
 Blown knee
 Close up of blown knee

 Gratuitous Butt Shot

 Front feet
 The knee - white blurry stuff on far right is her lip...


Wednesday, October 16, 2013


These dang horses!  I have no idea how Sweetie did it, but she took the hide off the inside of her back leg.

Mike fed for me this morning (because I'm still recovering from shoulder surgery and a hysterectomy) but I went out to check the horses, like I do every morning and evening.  I check to make sure nothing happened during the day.

Well, I found this:

At some point in the night, Sweetie had rubbed her leg bloody, then laid down, getting sand and dirt in the wounds.

I cold-hosed for 15 minutes, then scrubbed with betadine before rising.  You know those soft brushes that they give you in the hospital when you have a baby?  They have super soft bristles on one side and a sponge on the other side.  I have one from when my 2nd grand-daughter was born last spring.

After rinsing, I patted dry with paper towels, then applied T-Zone Wound Cream, and let her graze on the lawn for 20 minutes so the cream could dry. 

It looks worse than it is but at least she is clean and doctored and will be feeling better soon.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Letting go...Godspeed Biff

One of the hardest things that I do is euthanizing horses.  They aren't always mine.  Sometimes they belong to my boarders.  These horses are retired, old, have chronic pain, or other issues and when their owner says "it's time", I have to abide by their wishes.  I take comfort in knowing that the horses were loved and well cared for in their final months.

Today, I said Goodbye to Biff. 

I'm not sure what his registered name is or what his whole story is, I only know him as Biff.  He was a racing Standardbred and bears the scars of repeated attempts to keep him running.  When he couldn't race anymore, he was dumped at a low end auction.  He was rescued by Cathy and one other, then rehomed to Chelsea.  When he retired from riding, he came here to live his last year.  He is a character, very vocal at feeding time and has always been a really good boy.  I will miss him!

From Biff's mom, Chelsea: "Godspeed Biff. You were a saint with your 4 club feet, your pin fired scarred legs and 75 races to your name. People let you down your whole life until you ended up in a hellhole of an auction in Oregon tied to a fence waiting for the next round of suffering headed your way. When 2 crazy women showed up and were actually happy to see your scarred legs(they knew you were broke) and wanted you to turn around to see your face- you refused, too used to humans letting you down to believe your luck had changed. Well it did and for the last 6 years you have had everything you could wish for and then some. Warm blankets, full belly, custom shoes to help your tired broke down legs, vets to keep you healthy and people who loved you. I am not sure you ever loved any of us back, maybe you were too far down the road of crappy owners to really ever commit your heart to a human, but you were funny, and you were a trail eating machine and you even tolerated my attempt to get a broken down old Pacing Standardbred to chase cows. You gave me "the look" and were an ass when I wanted you to stand still so other people could take a turn, but you did it. You always reminded me to have a sense of humor, and I am happy your last year was spent with Karen Vermillion, away from Monkey, and with geldings you loved. I am sorry your legs and neurologic system were not as strong as your big brain and sense of humor. Godspeed."

Run the green pastures Biff, with the sun on your back and the wind in your mane.  Know that you were loved enough to be set free.


By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush green meadow where time stands still,
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.
For here between this world and the next,
Is a place where beloved creatures find rest.
On this golden land they wait and they play
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.
No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.  
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.
They trot through the grass without even a care
Til one day they whinny and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes sharp and alert
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the herd.
For just at that instant, there's no room for remorse
As they see each other, one person, one horse.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,   
The time of their parting is over at last.
The sadness they felt while they were apart
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They nuzzle with a love that will last forever,
And then, side by side, they cross over...together.
Author Unknown
Rest in Peace Biff