Sunday, August 31, 2008


If you have ever found that sweet spot on your horse, that spot that makes their lips quiver. Then you can surely understand the absolute joy I received today just watching Sam get her massage. There were times when she would stand there with her eyes completely closed and her ears laid out like airplane wings. It was fantastic to see her enjoy something so much.

So as promised here are pictures of her completely relaxed and totally enjoying her girl time.

I have watched horses receive massages before but I have never watched one enjoy it as much as Sam seemed to enjoy hers.

It is days like these when I wish could be one of my horses...LOL

Friday, August 29, 2008

She just gets better all the time...

Sam never fails to amaze me. She of course is improving before my eyes, in her calmness, her attention, her ability to cope with new ideas. Yesterday was a big day for her. She had a special visit from a vet who does chiropractic work. Normally this vet has the horses come to him for this because he has an area set up that allows him to be over the horses back. He made a special exception for Sammy. He came to her!. I called and explained Sam's story to Dr. Badger, and he agreed that the stress would be less for him to come to her for the first time, and we could see how it goes from there.

Sammy was a TROOPER! As he started his exam she was curious about him so she sniffed him up and down, then finally decided that he was ok and she would let him continue. He checked her flexibility, watched her movement and when he had all the information he needed, he brought out "the activator". This is where I figured it would all fall apart. Dr. Badger didn't want to sedate her so we tried it without. The activator is like a miniature jackhammer and it pops when it pulsates. He places this against the areas he wants to adjust and when he pulls the trigger it pops. I just knew it would be a rodeo, but boy did I underestimate our little Sam. She was PERFECT! Her only reaction was to hook her nose in the crook of my elbow. she stood square and let Dr. Badger do his work. I was SO PROUD! When he was finished her gave her some attention and a nice horse treat when she normally likes but this was different than what she normally gets (brand wise) and she played with it for a min then spit it out. He got tickled at her and I laughed explained that I have spoiled horses and went for the flax snacks. He looked at the cookie, smelled it and pronounced that is smelled good enough to eat. When he presented it to her she inhaled it. He got the biggest laugh out of her behavior over the cookie.

Sunday Sam will receive yet another treat. An equine massage therapist is coming to see her for a massage. This will help to change the muscle memory and make the adjustments that Dr. Badger makes work better. She will go for another adjustment next week, and then it is on to training from there. I will continue to monitor her body mechanics and have her adjusted as needed. But the time has come for Sam to learn a few skills that will help her on her journey to a complete life.

We will begin with lines, and progress from there. I am sure it will be an adventure. Stay tuned, I will post photos of her massage in a few days.

The Journey...

For those of you who have been following the developments of Sammy's former owner. I thought I would post one link with all of the articles so if anyone wanted to read them you wouldn't have to search though the blog to find them all. There are some that I didn't post links to before due to sheer overload of my mind and acting to aid in the activities.

I will start with the first one and they will be listed by date so you can choose the ones you want to read.

May 27, 2008
May 30, 2008
June 2, 2008
June 3, 2008
June 13, 2008
July 24, 2008
July 25, 2008
July 26, 2008
August 8, 2008
August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

And The Verdict is IN!!

The case of the starved horses has finally come to much awaited end. She plead GUILTY to 6 counts of animal cruelty. She was sentenced to 60 days home incarceration, a $185 fine, and $6,718 in restitution, and agree to never own or care for horses again. Not just in McCracken County, NEVER OWN OR CARE FOR HORSES AGAIN, ANYWHERE.

This is much more than most people get for much worse offenses against animals, but considering that my choice of punishment is against the constitution I guess I have to accept this.
Here is a link to the Article that was in the Paducah Sun for any who would like to read it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Extreme Makeover - The Horse Edition...

We have all watched Extreme Makeover. Well, here is an extreme makeover for you. Sam doesn't even look like the same horse. You never realize how they change until you compare photographs.

So here she is Before for those of you who want to make the comparison.
This was taken the morning after she came home. For those of you who are just joining Sam's story. She weighed 580 lbs.

Now, here she is. This photo was taken this afternoon. August 21, two days short of 3 months after coming home.

I can hardly believe my eyes. She is losing her hard points and rounding up. I remember thinking to myself that it was going to take so long to get her round and healthy, but look at her now in just three months. I am almost speechless.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The SOS Bunch.

I believe we have at last convinced little miss light heels that her feet "shall not be used" to express her opinion to her human mom. She is REALLY starting to come around, she is settling into her routine, coming into the barn, going into the stall. Moon has still not gotten over being upset about changing stalls. As a matter of fact I have some barn remodeling to do today. It seems that Moon decided that the Wall needed more ventilation.

I have had some request for pictures of Sammy's pasture mates. So here we go.
This is Moon, she is 3 and is now in training for dressage.

Rusty you will remember is her pasture buddy. She really wants to share a stall with him, so she took Moon's stall so she could be close to him.

Tanner, is the peace keeper. He keeps everyone where they are supposed to be so there is very little picking in the field. However, because Tanner is always the ref he always has nicks to his beautiful coat.
Bonnie is just a few month younger than Sam, and believe it or not is from the same blood lines. This is the size Sam should have been had she not been starved. To look at them together you would never know Sam is 7 months older.

Then there are Trace and Sam's Dam Misty. These two think they are attached at the hip. 9 times out of 10 when you see one of them you will see the other very close by.
So this is the SOS bunch. Out of the 7 horses here only three have never known abuse or neglect. This farm was established to be a haven for abused horses. They all have a forever home here. They have either paid their dues or earned their keep in one way or another.
It seems this blog has turn into more than just a diary of Sam's recovery. I have felt compelled to be a voice for the souls who's voices most people never hear. If just one person is inspired by my horses and change the life of just one other horse, then we together have made a difference. Tipped the scales toward justice a little more.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where there is light, there must be shadow...

It is with a heavy heart that I write this entry. News came last evening of a horrible accident, something we knew could happen. Without intervention, it was really only just a matter of time. Without a doubt the best laid plans are subject to the waves of the universe, unfortunately we are subject to the rip currents also. The farrier was coming, photos had been made, research done, but time was working, conspiring against us. Yesterday the last sands ran through the glass for the young mare with the club foot.

Tuesday afternoon as normal routine would have it feeding time, barn chores, a glance into the pasture for the head count. Something isn't right. The bob in her head as she moves is different. A second look, she is coming. Then what time has conspired against us happened. The shoulder dropped, a knee hits the ground. There is no denying what her eyes have witnessed as Bird lays on the ground. She runs to her, and drops to her knees beside the still shocked body of Bird, not believing what her eyes find. Calling for help time seems to stop, the old mare too has gone for help. She returns to her down friend with the other herd members to say their good byes.

Bird's pastern has given up the fight for the fragile binds. Shattered, there is no hope for recovery now. Time is such a precious thing, but when wasted it can turn ugly. 9 years she waited for someone who could, who would do something to help her. Just in sight of the finish line and she stumbled.

Years ago the progression of the twist in her foot could have been stopped. If only her former owner had never given up, had taken a chance on a second opinion. Now we will never know what could have been for Bird. All we know now is that her pain is gone, she is free from her broken body. She is running through the never ending pastures, they wind in her mane.

If ever there was an angel among us I believe her name was Bird. Through the years of neglect and pain, she never lost her sweet nature, stubborn determination, and loyalty. Into our lives these wonderful creatures come, they leave hoof prints on our hearts that can not be erased. Some times they stay with us in body and soul and then there are those who are but brief glimpses of strength, and loyalty.

If there is anything we can learn from the pain left behind. Don't waste time, NEVER give up, when the way is not given, FIND IT. If you can't find it MAKE IT. Do something, even if it is wrong, at least you can say that you tried. The only solace I can find in all of this is, Bird had three weeks of no worries, no hunger. Three weeks of love and devotion, of knowing that someone WANTED her, just because.

Go hug your horses, give them an extra treat today. Cherish these wonderful souls TODAY! Tomorrow, may never come...

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Ones Left Behind 3

The storm has been brewing for several weeks now. We all knew something was up, that something was just not right. The nice man local man who wanted to adopt all seven of the horses was a crook. He didn't come to get all seven to keep them together. He was a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Somehow he managed to convince the judge that he was a good person and wanted to rehab the 5 remaining seized horses on his 55 acre farm. The judge and animal control were convinced he had good intentions so the order was signed to move the horses from the people who had devoted 45 days to the care and Restoration of the 5 starving horses. Weeks passed and then one day a man arrived to take the 5 horses to their rolling green pasture, but it wasn't this "nice man" it was a horse trader who had been contracted to pick up the horses and take him to the farm. However, what was supposed to be the plan was only a cover for the true intentions of "the man". He intended all along to sell those poor horses at the auction in Goreville, IL. So that very night those 5 poor horses were marched into the sale ring, their futures unknown, with no one there to protect them from the killers.

Word reached the devoted caregivers and the wheels began to turn. Word spread of the missing horses. Rescue organizations all up the east coast were on the lookout for the lost horses. We were desperate to find where they had gone. Finally it was confirmed they had gone through the auction, the records were searched and after several very tense days of hoping and praying, all five were found save and sound, together. The had been saved by a family in Harrisburg, IL. The family was repaid and the horses were returned to Paducah.

Through all of this the truth came out that the ones left behind were still there. They had never been picked up, so again the calls were made and the travel arrangements settled. Friends came together and homes have been secured for all but one.

I am proud to say that two were delivered into open and loving arms on Thursday night. To see the uncertainty in the eyes of a horse is something I never want to see again; but to see the relief in those same eyes at the soft touch of a hand on their neck. The spark in their eyes at the rattle of a feed bucket, knowing that they will be loved and taken care of. I feel like a weight has been lifted. I know they will never be hungry again. They will live out their lives, in rolling green pastures, with no worries. They have earned the security of those pastures.

I cried when the trailer pulled away. Tears of joy, because I know the old lady will have soft places to lay down, she will get breakfast in bed if that is what it takes. The young one will get her foot cared for and there is a small hope for improvement. She will never be sound to ride but she will be comfortable.

There is only one left. I don't know if she will let him go, but if she can't I know at least she can handle only one. I can't say I don't worry about him. I would love to bring him home with me and keep him forever. I am afraid that will never happen. The lady, she thinks that I was the one. I was not. If she had not been willing to give them to good homes I would have, but she was. It doesn't really matter now, what is done is done. The horses are being taken care of and that is really all that matters.

Sam, may have saved them all. We will never know what started the wheels rolling but they did and it is better for all concerned.