Archive for September, 2008

The Lunch Box

Cassidy’s favorite thing these days is the lunch box that sits next to her pasture. She knows that is where all the food and hay come from now. Space was getting limited with all the extra hay she needs so her wonderful daddy, Scottie, bought her her own lunch box. We got to take the Haymaker Express to pick it up from Home Depot! It holds 3 bales of hay and her ant-proof storage container that houses the individual bags of food. I hung a Damp Rid thingy to keep any moisture from building up that could intice mold. Cass makes a beeline for the lunchbox when she sees me pull up. 🙂

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Giving You The Finger

When you watched this week’s CassidyCam, you probably saw the bandage on Scottie’s left index finger. Here’s a look underneath:

He even managed to cut into the nail! This was the result of opening a cardboard box with a knife aimed the wrong direction (remember, always cut while moving away from your fingers!). It’s going to heal up, but playing guitar will be almost impossible for a while. Good thing he doesn’t have any gigs coming up soon.

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The September 23rd edition of the CassidyCam Weekly Webcast is available for viewing. Our regular Monday show was called off due to rain, so we make up for it by taking everyone on a Tuesday evening ride in the pickup to grab a load of hay for the girls. And our best friend Eva the Cattledog tags along!

Don’t forget, you can watch the Weekly Webcast live every Monday night at 7pm Eastern (Florida) time. All previous shows are just a click away, directly below the main viewer window.

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TB Savannah Saddles Up

This past weekend Benito took to the saddle for a ride on Ms. Savannah. She has gained almost all the weight she needs and she is looking and feeling like a new horse. She remembered she was a Thoroughbred once the saddle and bridle were being put on and she started dancing around and even nipping a few times. She settled down and she and Benito had a nice jaunt. She looks a bit different from the emaciated old lady we all met a few months ago. She is being weaned from her baby, too. Delilah has not been allowed to nurse now for 2 weeks. Both are doing great! Good job Trish & Benito! 🙂

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When you think of Orlando, FL most people bring to mind images of the Magic Kingdom and Mickey Mouse. But I want to tell you about a different magical land. This land may be small in size but it is ruled by the most sacred of oaths. It’s loyal followers are true to one thing, their pure love for horses and the belief they are all to be cherished.

Longwood Hills Ranch sits amongst suburban neighborhoods and busy streets on the outskirts of Orlando. In the past six months a diverse group of horse owners have all made their way there for a place to board their own horses. The ranch owner has taken chances on some newbie owners and horses from rescue situations where it was unknown how the horses were going to behave. It didn’t matter. Horses needed a place to go. She’s relied on a few experienced boarders to school those not so saavy in the ways of the equine. Everyone is always ready to help the others when it comes to the needs of the horses. No need is  ignored, whether it is walking a horse who is in colic or standing watch over the mare getting ready to give birth. Everyone works together.

The recent rescue of Lady Brown is just one example of how a small group of dedicated horse people can make a difference. Lady Brown’s owner had heard about this boarding barn and how it seemed to be different. She called and begged for help. More than one thing had been happening in her life to make it difficult to continue caring for her horse and the flooding from Tropical Storm Fay had been the last straw. Lady Brown had been living in chest high waters for weeks. She had not been fed in a long time. It took no time at all before the barn owner rallied a few boarders and got the trailer headed out to find Lady Brown. It didn’t matter how old she was, how mean she was, how sick she was, the horse needed help.

While the actual rescuing of Lady Brown was being accomplished, complete with kicks to her saviors, phone calls were being made to find a foster barn for her. A place was secured as she was loaded into the trailer and she began her journey toward a new life. The boarders took turns going out to care for Lady Brown. Not only was she emaciated but her skin was literally falling off from rain rot. It was quickly apparent this was not just some horse. She had a light in her eyes, though dim, it could be seen.

About a week after Lady Brown came to be the new project, a family happened upon the magical place known as Longwood Hills Ranch. They were interested in helping and it so happened they had ten lovely acres in need of some beautiful horses. The father of the family began going and helping tend to Lady Brown. He spent hours picking off her rain rot and quickly became a follower of the sacred oath to love horses. He was falling for Lady Brown. He spent the next week readying his place to bring her home. He built a temporary barn, put up a huge round pen and went shopping at the feed store. Before meeting Lady Brown he had been toying with the idea of buying an expensive show-type horse. Lady Brown made those thoughts leave his mind for good. It didn’t matter to him how old she was, or how skinny she was or the terrible way her skin looked, he saw in her eyes what horse people see. They all should be cherished.

It’s amazing to think what this one small barn was able to accomplish in two weeks time. If every barn in America took on one project horse, these so-called unwanted horses that end up at auctions would have a much better option. Lady Brown went to her new home a few days ago. It was apparent she is as much in love with her new owner as he is in love with her. We know the future for Lady Brown is now secure and she will never want for food or care again. We found out who she is. She’s another tossed away ex-racehorse. She’s a Thoroughbred who’s grandfather is the famous Northern Dancer. She is twenty-one years old and was called Lady Supremo. Since her rescue from the floodwaters, she has been a will always remain a Lady. Her heart is now healing.

Lady Brown checks out her new surroundings.

That is Richard, her new owner.

The half hour I was there she didn’t take her eyes off him. She moved with him every time he moved.

This is disturbing, she is so skinny.

This is the view of her backbone.

Her first meal at home and at peace.

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4 Months Old

Ms. Rebecca Maye turned 4 months old yesterday. Hard to believe. She is certainly growing, not so much in height but in stockiness. She weighed in at 400 pounds and about 13 hands. The height is harder for me to measure, especially on a baby that is moving around. We sang her Happy Birthday and she just wondered where her dinner was!

Now we can see her Fjordhorse lineage in that neck..

Happy Birthday to Becca, Happy Birthday to Becca, Happy Birthday tooooooooooooo Becca! Happy Birthday to you!

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My First Shoulder Hug

I’ve heard about shoulder hugs but haven’t experienced one. I’m pretty sure Cass gave me one yesterday. It was late afternoon and I was spending time with my big girls and my one little girl, Eva the cattledog. As usual, I was cleaning up the pasture after not being able to do so for a couple days. It was hot so Becca and Cassidy weren’t following me much. They were opting to stand by the fence next to Eva. They all seem to feel comfortable together which is very cool. We all long for the day we have our own farm and Eva can be loose to run around instead of tied to the back of my car.

The three of them were all down by the gate and I was up near the road picking up poo. Some neighborhood girls had come by the fence to see the horses and Becca went right over to say hi. Instead of going to visit, Cassidy made her way over to me. She actually made a beeline for me in her methodical, slow pace. She stopped right in front of me and gave me a “look”. I began talking to her and started scratching the side of her glorious neck. She then laid her big head on my right shoulder – and kept it there. I put both hands up to her neck and was petting and speaking softly to her. I think I even quit breathing for a moment. I know she was trying to tell me something. The weight of her head started buckling my knees a bit but I stayed standing with her until she pulled her head away. The moment seemed to have lasted at least five minutes. She looked at me again with those immense chocolate eyes, slowly turned and walked back to her tent. I felt completely honored and thrilled that she chose to hug me. Wow! There could be many things she was trying to tell me; it’s hot, where’s my dinner, who are those girls, or simply you make me feel safe. I hope she feels the love I have for her and my promise to always keep her safe.

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The September 15th edition of the CassidyCam Weekly Webcast is available for viewing. We deal with uninvited insect guests in the girls’ food, plus a recap of the fundraiser from over the weekend. And we prepare for Becca’s four-month birthday milestone later in the week!

Don’t forget, you can watch the Weekly Webcast live every Monday night at 7pm Eastern (Florida) time. All previous shows are just a click away, directly below the main viewer window.

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B’s First Fundraiser

We had a good day on Saturday with the barn’s 1st Horse Fun Day. Teddy & Prince gave rides, the other horses took treats and pets, while our girls sweated a lot! It was extremely hot but everyone hung in there. Cass & Becca hung out in the round pen so people would pass them when they first came into the yard. We had their poster hanging so people would see where they came from. We didn’t have time to update it so a few folks were confused because Cass didn’t look pregnant! Nearly $1,000 was raised and one family is interested in adopting a few horses to round out their 10 acres. Yippee! Looks like this may become a regular event and us barn ladies may have become a rescue of sorts.

Little girls and horses…

The girls wait to start the rides.

Future horsewoman, for sure!

She didn’t want Prince to feel left out.

We had a few cowboys show up…

Cass was not going to let the opportunity to graze go by.

Baby B says she needs A/C next time!

Becca was sweating 10x more than everyone else. I don’t want to shave her again. We’ve got to cool down soon.

She’s a natural!

Delilah & Savannah, the ladies of the day.

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This Saturday, Sept. 13th, from 11 – 3pm, we are having a “Horse Fun Day” at the barn. The barn doors will be opened for families to come and interact with the horses and learn a thing or two while they are at it. We will offer horse rides (on Teddy Bear), photos with the horses, bags of carrots and apples to feed the horses, ice pops for everyone and horsey souvenirs. All will be available for a small donation toward the care of Savannah and Delilah.

Savannah and Delilah are the rescued Thoroughbreds who came from a neglect situation. They have gained much needed weight and feel better everyday. Savannah is beginning to bond with us and get out of her “fog”. Delilah is being weaned from her mother and is taking it in stride. She is being babysat by Teddy Bear. Scottie and I put together an information poster for the two of them. Tracing her lineage and seeing the photos of her famous racing family was both awe inspiring and depressing. Several of her relatives are Hall of Fame horses with all the major race wins in their resumes. I’ll do some name dropping for those of you who are familiar with the race world: Bold Forbes, Bold Ruler, Nashua, Secretariat & Ruffian. Savannah was known in the race world as Just Aired. She had a decent showing as a racehorse before going on to be a broodmare. I tracked six of her foals and one (Northern Air) was a BIG money winner for someone. What a sad testament to the fact she was used for profit and then discarded at auction. Unfortunately, the family that bought her didn’t care too much about her either, as they were allowing her and her baby to starve. That’s when Trish from Longwood Hills Ranch stepped in. Now Savannah will get her deserved retirement, finally at age 21, and her last baby will have a loving future.

We won’t just be educating about the goods and bads of Thoroughbred Racing. I will be there with Cassidy and Rebecca to teach people about the secretive world of the Premarin mares. Folks won’t be able to resist the two of them. Cass will make them feel wanted when she realizes people have goodies! Gayle will be there with Sam to tell people how it’s not all old, sick and used up horses at the auctions. Sam has been working hard to overcome his reputation as a butthead. He owes thanks to his young trainer, Caitlin.

We hope to show people how magnificent these animals are and how they need respect and care. We hope people will have fun but leave thinking about our responsibilities as caregivers to all creatures, especially those we use for our own gains. Here’s to Racing Royalty, liberated Pee Machines and unpolished Treasures!

Horse above is Nashua, Savannah’s Great-Great Grandsire on her mother’s side. Won most major races in 1955, earned $1,288,565 in 30 races. 1st racehorse to sell for over $1 million dollars.

Horse above is Bold Ruler, Savannah’s Great-Great Grandsire on her father’s side. Won most major races in 1957. Earned $764,204 in 33 races. Was the #1 sire in North America between 1963 – 1969. Fathered Secretariat and 10 other champions. Grandsire to Bold Forbes, Foolish Pleasure, Spectacular Bid and Ruffian.

Horse above is Secretariat. Won the Triple Crown in 19733 and set still standing track records in 2 of the 3 races. Won the Belmont Stakes by 31 lengths. Considered by most to be the greatest racehorse of all time.

Horse above is Ruffian, the greatest female racehorse of all time. She was undefeated in her 1st 10 races. Her 11th and final race ended tragically when she broke her leg and was euthanized after a failed surgery. Some considered her even greater than Secretariat.

Horse above is Bold Forbes, Savannah’s Grandsire. Racehorse Hall of Fame, won the 1976 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. Earned $546,536 in 18 races.

Horse above is Air Forbes Won, Savannah’s father. Had a short racing career in the 80’s but earned $237,700 in only 7 runs.

Horse above is Poco Sam. Not interested in racing but is interested in butterflies, his mom’s every move and will stand on his head for peppermints.

Cassidy and Rebecca enjoying life away from the Pee Barns in Canada.

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