Saturday, October 31, 2009

Annual Torture the Big Dun Mare Day

In honor of setting our clocks back tonight, we'd like to rerun Delphi's post from last October:

Today's post is courtesy of Delphi, one of TREES alpha horses.

"What gives? For 28 years now, I have been wondering what's up with Annual Torture Your Horse At Mealtimes Day. What? You suddenly forgot when the sun comes up in the morning? You are surprised when it sets in the evening?

OK. Yesterday, the chow wagon started its rounds before the sun was above the eastern tree line. Today, no chow wagon until well after the sun was totally visible to all. Helloooo? Did you not notice us lined up along the fence staring at the house an hour ago?

We knew this would happen. You just forgot, didn't you? Once a year, every year, like clockwork, you forget the schedule. Of course by this time we should know to expect it, but when it didn't happen in October as usual, we thought the you were finally out of that annoying rut.

I suppose one good thing is that now supper comes half an hour "earlier" (By the human clock.... by the horse clock, its still half an hour late) because you have "less time" to finish the outdoor chores before it gets dark.

Which brings us to another issue..........dark, schmark! If you grew some decent whiskers, you wouldn't have to depend so heavily on daylight.

Sometimes I think the wrong species became the care givers!"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Riddle of the Water Worms

Most everyone not entirely enclosed by asphalt and concrete knows that after a good, soaking rain, earthworms appear like magic, covering every surface you might try to walk across.

This morning we had a new wiggle on the post rain shower worm swarm.

Every water bucket that was sitting on the ground overnight had 10-15 small earthworms wiggling around at the bottom. Now, these buckets are very smooth, are wider at the top than at the bottom, and have turned "lips" around the rims. Its highly unlikely worms would be able to crawl up and into the buckets, even if they suddenly decided to attempt bucket diving, something they've never done before.

So, what pre-Halloween tricksters spent the night offering these "treats" to our horses?

Any ideas?

Equine Elder Missing in MD

"His owner said the horse does keep getting out, but that he's never been gone this long."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Christmas, Birthday and the Fourth of July!

Yesterday felt like all three rolled into one.

This area is absolutely crammed full of wonderful people who really love horses. Foals, show horses, race horses, trail horses, polo ponies and yes, retired "pasture puffs." Virginia's horse lovers want to see them all well cared for.

Yesterday we saw that love of horses represented, again, by the staff and customers of the Charlottesville branch of Dover Saddlery. Thank you Heather, Amanda, Wendy, Michelle, Beth, Jules, Lisa and everyone else who donated anonymously.

The bed of a large pickup was fairly well filled with goodies for the geezers. Rambo blankets, fly masks, wound ointments, bandaging, leg wraps, hoof picks, snaps, manure buckets, sponges, ivermectin, grooming and first aid supplies of every imaginable sort, mineral bricks, and more. It truly felt like Christmas at TREES!

Every now and again, when we run into a horse like Mona, we wonder what goes through someone's head that allows him to let a horse fall into that condition. The good news, however, is that people like our visitors from Dover far, far, outnumber those that don't appear to care. We know that because we meet more of them every week.

Thank you, all. We couldn't do this without you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Any Trailer Rehabbers/Customizers out there?

Would you be willing to consider, or know of someone willing to consider, a "project" to help the Elders of Traveller's Rest (or future residents of Traveller's Rest?)

Christmas came again and TREES was given a pre-owned stock-type trailer! This type of trailer is exactly what we would like for TREES' purposes, but this one needs a little TLC (much like most of the horses that come here) and a little customizing, if possible.

We'd like to find someone who can look at "The Sergeant Kirkland" (See here for the relevance of the name) to see just how much work we are talking about and give us an estimate of costs. There are a few areas of rust damage that are of concern, along with some more minor but necessary "fixes," such as missing safety chains, damaged exterior lights, etc.

We'd also like to have a little customizing done to make the Kirkland a more suitable "ambulance" when needed. This would involve things like padding on the walls and a more substantial divider in the front compartment that a debilitated horse could lean on when necessary. Then there is the issue of a new paint job, of course, and some new tires.

Anyone out there willing to tackle a project like this for a good cause? Please give us a holler at 540-972-0936 or email

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Our day at Tractor Supply

Thank you, again, Fredericksburg Tractor Supply Company for hosting several local animal welfare groups for the day. We always enjoy talking to your staff and customers. "Everyone has a story." We were especially thrilled to meet so many people describing keeping elder horses at home as part of their families.

Thank you, too, TREES volunteers. The items you made to help raise funds were just beautiful. Your creativity grabbed the attention of store customers, though we did not sell as many goodies as we hoped we would. No worries, though. TSC plans another event in December. Think " 'Tis the Season." We're open to any and all new ideas.

We did distribute a good number of brochures and other literature and, since education is part of TREES' mission statement, we can consider the day a big success on that front alone.

We actually had more people stopping to read about the sanctuary (table facing left in the background) than to sample goodies. That's a good thing!

The end to the day. Thank goodness we were inside!


"Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them to keep them in good working order"
-- John Quincy Adams

"Old age is not a disease - it is strength and survivorship, triumph over all kinds of vicissitudes and disappointments, trials and illnesses."
-- Maggie Kuhn (1905 - 1995)

Read the UCDavis newsletter (focused on elder horses) in which we found these quotes.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Remember Seasonal Variation in Cushing's Testing

Remember Seasonal Variation in Cushing's Testing

"Key findings in this study were:
-- There is a seasonal variation in both ACTH and alpha-MSH blood levels that is more evident in ponies than horses.
-- These variations should be taken into account when testing or monitoring horses or ponies for PPID;
-- Reference ranges for ACTH and alpha-MSH probably should be adjusted for season;
-- Normal ranges of ACTH, alpha-MSH, and insulin appear slightly different for horses and ponies and these differences should be considered when interpreting laboratory test results."
Read entire article

What's Wrong with this Picture?

"OK, this is just wrong.
Where are the feed buckets that are usually in this thing?"
(Mona, 30-ish and Fitz, 26)

"Do you know how to drive this thing back to the
feedroom and reload it in the correct manner?"
(Fitz, 26 and Jubal, 30)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Come See Us at Tractor Supply Oct 24!!

Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary will once again participate in the Fredericksburg Tractor Supply Company's "Adoption Day," this one held Saturday, October 24. TREES will not have horses at the store (shopping center parking lot not the most stress free envions for our elders) but we'd love to meet you. Please stop by our booth to chat about your elder horses, pick up educational brochures or just say "Hi!"

Thank you, Tractor Supply Company, for supporting local animal welfare organizations!

Visitors can further support both TSC and animal welfare by donating items purchased at this store to the participating organization of your choice.

Here are some things that Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary can put to good use:

Alfalfa cubes
Pine shavings
Pelleted bedding
Garden hoses 50 -150 ft
Garden hose repair parts – all types
Stock Tanks – 50 or 100 gallon
Scrub brushes
Tank De-icers – universal drain plug type
Fly masks – all sizes
Fly sprays
Swat ointment
Standing wraps
Vetrap bandaging tape
Betadine/povidone-iodine surgical scrub
Betadine/povidone-iodine solution
Weight tapes
Wound ointments
Ivermectin paste
Grooming brushes
Rubber curries
Bot Egg knives
Clipper oil
Kool Lube clipper blade lubricant
Shedding blades
Cowboy Magic detangler
Body sponges
Spray bottles
Hoof picks
Thrush X
Salt blocks
Trace mineral blocks
Manure forks
Muck buckets (or 70 quart “multi-purpose” buckets)
Double ended snaps
Whisk brooms
Dust pans
Screw eyes – large – 2-7/8 – 3-7/8
TSC gift cards

The Golden Geezers of TREES thank you!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh Boy, Oh Boy!

Merry Christmas to TREES,
Merry Christmas to TREES,
Merry Christmas, in October...
Merry Christmas to TREES!

Two more whisk brooms and dust pans, (remember an earlier post about how excited we get about "small" things?) two water hoses and news that a whole stack of new muck skips is on the way. What that means to TREES' Mad Muckers is that you won't have to stand around waiting for someone to gather up the full skips and tote them back to the manure spreader to empty them. (wink, wink)

Thank you Gene and Carol.

Now the bad news....just ordered new chains and bars for Big Sam, the 1947 JD spreader. The current set broke twice today under fairly light loads. Ah, the ups and down, yin and yang of farm life!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Horses are only as dirty as you make them

Today, TREES was blessed to have a group of Shelter Animal Reiki Association volunteers working with several of the horses. We love having SARA volunteers here and can see changes in several of the residents as a result of the SARA program.

This morning, though, one volunteer asked a question that I responded to with a very clear “non-answer,” and for that, I would like to apologize. As we stood in Nathan’s shed talking, I scooted a manure pile against a nearby wall and threw on some uneaten hay that had been tromped into the mud. One volunteer asked why I did that, and I began to explain about Nate’s battle with foot infections and our efforts to keep his foot as clean as possible. Yes, the volunteer nodded, but how did I know he wouldn’t eat that hay? I replied “Oh, he won’t eat it.” That was not an answer and I apologize for so glibly glossing over a valid question.

Before I tackle an explanation, I must admit that I don’t “know” what any given horse may or may not do under any given circumstances. I can make some educated predictions, based on what I know about that horse and its past actions, but that doesn’t mean those predictions will pan out.

Hence I will try to explain why I assumed Nate would not eat the soiled hay.

I assumed Nate would leave the dirty hay right where it was because horses are, by nature, very clean animals if given a choice.

Will horses stand in a shed with a floor layer of solid manure? Yes they will, if that is the only shelter they have.

Do horses spend time loafing where they urinate? Not often unless they are confined to stalls with urine-soaked bedding.

Will a horse drink water so murky that the bottom of the tank cannot be seen? Yes they will, if that’s the only available water source.

Will a horse eat moldy or dirty hay? You bet, if that’s the only thing they are offered.

However….most horses, if given a choice, choose to be clean. Our residents, for the most part, choose certain areas of their fields, paddocks and shed in which they deposit the majority of their manure. They also select specific area for urination. Interestingly, manure areas are always farther from eating areas than are urination areas. Natural means of parasite control, perhaps? On the other hand, if the manure areas are not cleaned on a frequent basis, the horses begin to avoid those areas and drop manure over other sections of the field until few clean areas remain. A good number of our residents even go outside their loafing sheds to answer Nature’s call, and then go back in the shed to resume napping.

Horses will also, obviously, choose clean water over filthy water. Who wouldn’t? Have you ever smelled a stagnant hundred-gallon water tank that hasn’t been scrubbed for a week in the summer? It’s nauseating to many humans. Imagine what it smells like to a horse! We dump and clean our tanks every 2-3 days and, even under those circumstances, have some horses come running to get that first drink of clean water as it flows into the tank. So, are horses forced to drink dirty water really consuming the amounts they need? Maybe not.

The same principles seem to apply to hay and pasture. Horses will not normally graze where there is manure. They will graze those areas if they have no alternative, but given a choice will search out clean grass to eat. Nor will they eat dirty hay if clean hay is available. Do horses with only dirty hay available consume adequate amounts of roughage? Maybe not.

It goes against a horse’s nature to eat, drink, or live in filth if they have other choices. It is my personal theory that people who believe horses are dirty animals feel that way only because they have never observed horses living with the choice to be clean.

And so…..again with apologies for my non-answer of this morning….. having a choice is why I assumed Nate would not eat the soiled hay over the pile of manure before we could pick everything up. He, like the other horses here, has learned that there are always several piles of hay available at all times. He simply sought another, cleaner, area in which to eat.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Universe must love old horses.

In the very early days of Traveller’s Rest, we asked our vet how people would know we were here. How should we go about letting people know we were here to help with elder care issues?

Doc laughed. “If you build it,” she said,” they will come.”

Very funny.

But she was right.

At first those who came were almost entirely people wanting to “donate” their older horses to TREES. (At some later date, we may post about why we don’t consider our residents “donations.”)

Gradually, as the community became aware of “the place that takes old horses,” other people began to visit. One here, one there. Then, a few years ago, a visitor got out of her car and commented “Oh! I’m so glad to see a horse rescue that’s not completely depressing.”

That took us by surprise. We’ve never thought of horse rescue in general as “depressing,” and we certainly don’t see TREES as depressing. We started asking all new visitors what they expected to see when they got here. About half answered that they expected to see a bunch of old horses, basically standing around waiting to die.

Whoa! First of all, why would anyone even consider visiting a place he or she expected to be that sad? But more than that, how could we begin to break down that misconception of an Elders Sanctuary?

Simple. Tell the Elders’ stories. These horses are spirited and vivacious. Dynamic, interesting and gregarious. They form friendships and other herd relationships just as younger horses do. They roll in the mud, play in the water, rear, crowhop, prance and scamper. They cuddle, present themselves for scratching, and demand attention on their own schedules. Not at all models of “waiting to die.”

In other words, the Elders speak for themselves. And as they speak, they draw more people to them. When Doc first said “If you build it, they will come,” we assumed she meant that horses would come. Horses have come, obviously, with more always waiting in the wings, but more than that, people are coming. People who are interested in giving elder horses better lives, both in sanctuaries and at their own farms.

Is it just because we tell their stories? Or is something bigger at work? Sometimes it feels as if we – the humans managing the sanctuary – are only here to keep a foot on the gas pedal, but something larger is doing the steering. There seems to be no other explanation for some of the things that happen.

The Universe just seems to love these old horses. And who are we to argue with the Universe?
Fitz, 26, and Josh, 38-ish
Freddy, 26
Lucy, 30-ish, and Delphi, 29
Fitz, 26
If you would like to meet TREES' exceptional elders, please shoot us an email at !

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Going on

As many of our regular visitors and volunteers know, September was a hard month around here.

Mike & I lost our own very old mule Churchill. It was not entirely unexpected, Church has a very difficult time last winter and was on a slow steady decline. We envisioned a departure before temperatures dropped for the coming winter, but Church set his own timetable. Even though we thought we were prepared, it was a difficult "good-bye."

Three weeks later, Oracle set her own timetable.

In another week + 1 day, Emma let us know it was time to move on. Emma's departure, like Churchill's, was not a total surprise. We had been working to identify and treat the cause of some sudden neurological impairment, were making tremendous progress, when Wham! One night our elegant belle could hardly stay on her feet. Final necropsy results are still pending, but it looks like arthritic changes in several vertebrae put pressure on her spine. There was nothing we could have done to "make her better."

Knowing we made the right decision before Emma went down for good helps ease the sorrow, but also causes frustration that something as "mundane" as arthritis is the ultimate reason for many equine euthanasias. This is the second confirmed case of vertebral arthritis causing irreparable spine damage at TREES. Our one comfort is that neither horse seemed to be in pain, something that puzzles us and our veterinarian.

At any rate, now that a couple of weeks have passed, its time to move on. Time to look to the future and make plans that will honor those who have passed through our gates. More educational programs. More community outreach.

More spiritual growth. Yes, we must learn from the past, but we must also focus on the future. Aim high to honor the past.

Honor the Wisdom.

*****Please See Below

Church (our favorite photo)



*****These three losses do not indicate that TREES has space to take in three more horses! It does mean that we had room to move those in rehab paddocks into proper turnout.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Research into Muscle Loss

This is so exciting! The University of Kentucky has been granted funding to research equine geriatrics. At TREES, one very frustrating aspect of elder care is trying to deal with loss of muscle mass, even though the horse seems extremely healthy in every other way.

Kristine Urschel, PhD, assistant professor in Animal and Food Sciences,
"anticipates this will be the first in a series of studies during the next several years about protein synthesis in geriatric horses. The end goal of the research will be to "develop dietary or management strategies to maintain muscle and quality of life (in aging horses), be that through changes in diet, or the development of a low-impact exercise program, or some other management strategy," she explained. "
We're elated to see the recent increase in research pertaining to equine geriatrics. These studies can't come quickly enough to suit us!

"This research could impact many horse owners, from those with large competition barns to those with a few horses in the backyard."

For more, see Older Horses: Researcher Awarded Grant for Aging Study

Spicy Arthritis Treatment?

Here's one we haven't heard of before:

Osteoarthritis: Turmeric Spice Might Provide Natural Remedy

Now before you start pouring tumeric on your horses meals, please note this statement:
"Investigators indicated the need for more research to determine the 'true efficacy and potential safety' of curcumin."

Remember "natural" does not necessarily mean "safe," (Cyanide is a naturally occurring substance, after all!) so we'll wait for additional guidance on this. Its nice to think there may be something besides NSAID's and joint supplements out there for treating arthritis, though.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Calendar of Events

Short post today, just to let everyone know we've added a "Calendar of Events" to the web site, so you can see what we're up to!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Farm Rules Revised

Periodically, we will post TREES' Basic Farm Rules, particularly when those rules have been revised, as is the case today. Changes or additions are marked with *** Please also review the "old" rules.



The Farm Rules are intended to make your time at Traveller’s Rest both safe and pleasant and to keep the equine residents happy and healthy. Please respect them.

Previous “horse experience” is not required.

All volunteers must sign a Waiver of Liability before volunteering for Traveller’s Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary in any capacity at any location. A parent or legal guardian must sign a Waiver of Liability for each minor volunteer between the ages of 12 and 17 years.

Volunteers must be at least 12 years of age. All volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when volunteering for TREES, whether at the farm sanctuary or at off-site events.

Wear appropriate clothing during every visit. This includes safe footwear. No sandals or other open-toed shoes will be allowed. Most of the work at TREES takes place out of doors. Dress for the weather.

No Smoking! If you are on the farm, you are likely standing very near a horse, a pile of hay, a shed full of sawdust, or other fire fodder.

Anyone arriving at the farm “under the influence” will be asked to leave.

Be aware of weather conditions. Take frequent breaks and stay hydrated during the summer. Take breaks to warm up in the winter.

If you are unsure of anything at any time, please ask what is appropriate. No question is “dumb.” We would rather you ask the same questions a dozen times than do anything to put yourself or one of the horses at risk.

Please call or email before coming to the farm unless you have a previously scheduled visit. On occasion, there will be no one at the farm. Letting us know before you come also allows us to organize a work schedule for the day based on the number of available volunteers.

Do not bring dogs or other pets to the farm. They will not be allowed on the premises for the safety of the horses and other volunteers. Please leave them at home. It is not fair to ask them to sit in the car while you are here.

Do not climb on, or allow children to climb on, fences or gates, farm machinery, vehicles or trailers. Climbing on fences, then leaning over to pet horses is particularly dangerous.

Please do not sit or kneel on the ground when in any area containing one or more horses. This includes, but is not limited to, fields, stalls, paddocks and sheds.

When grooming, take the horse with which you are working into a stall or private paddock. Never stand among a group of horses at liberty to work. If herd dynamics come into play, remember you are the smallest animal out there.

Do not take food of any kind into the fields where horses are at liberty.

When feeding the horses, do not take a feed bucket or pan into an area where more than one horse is loose. Make sure the horse for which the feed is intended is secured in its stall or paddock before serving a meal.

***After a meal, do not allow the horses to eat any other horses’ leftovers. Remove the dishes from the stalls or sheds as the horses are turned out. It is very important that we know who did or did not finish their meals. Additionally, there may be medications in one dish that we don’t want other horses to ingest.

Do not offer the horses treats of any kind without specific permission. Some have very few teeth left and cannot chew well. Others are on special diets for health reasons. In other cases, “hand treats” may not be permitted due to behavior issues.

When approaching any of the horses, make sure they are aware of your presence before making any physical contact. Some have impaired vision, some doze more soundly than others. Talk to them, sing if you like, and watch for them to look at you or otherwise acknowledge your presence. Never approach a horse from the rear.

When you go through a closed gate, close and latch it behind you. Even if you will “only be a minute.” Some horses watch very closely for the opportunity to go exploring. If a horse does get loose, notify farm management immediately. Do not try to catch the horse yourself.

***Since all of our barns and sheds open to fields and paddocks from at least two sides, please pay careful attention to which gates are closed and which gates are open when you enter those structures and leave them in that configuration. The horses are grouped or separated as they are for specific reasons, primarily for their safety and for yours. If you don’t remember which should be closed, leave everything closed and ask what is appropriate for that barn or shed.

The farm house is a private residence, not a part of the Sanctuary. You are welcome to use the powder room, accessible through the door on the right at the end of the house near the parking area, at any time. There is also a refrigerator available to store drinks and snacks, accessible through the left hand door on the same end of the house. The remainder of the house is private. Please do not enter. In addition, please do not enter the chain-link fenced-area in back of the house. The dogs that may be in there are privately owned and not a part of the sanctuary.

TREES reserves the right to amend the Basic Farm Rules at any time. Updated copies will be provided to all volunteers as necessary.

*** (Rev. – 10/10/2009)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Zazzle goodies - SALE!

If you haven't visited TREES Zazzle store yet, please do at

SALE! Get your Traveller's Rest merchandise at 14.92% off this weekend. Use coupon code 1492COLUMBUS this weekend only.

We've recently added a few new items - postage stamps and two more mugs, including:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More unexpected gifts!

Traveller's Rest is overwhelmed at the support this community gives our geezers. When we first opened a sanctuary for elder horses, we truly didn't know if this was something people would get behind. Because there are so many types of horse welfare facilities in Virginia, we had to ask ourselves "Will people see the need for an Elders sanctuary when there are many other equine "causes" to support?"

The apparent answer is Yes! Today we were thrilled to receive visitors here to deliver a donation of funds collected at the Belmont Horse Show, held August 15. Sponsored by the Belmont Club of Women and the Belmont Ruritan Club, this looks like a really fun show. In addition to traditional classes like halter, Leadline and hunters, they also hosted classes like the Old Timers class, egg & spoon race and "Ladies and Gentlemen Riding Horses Together in Couples."

Thank you, Peg & Jay, for the personal, hand-delivery. Hope to see you at next year's (70th anniversary) show!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Guardian

Nate and Butternut. Its not a pair I could have foreseen, but its working. At first Nate, like most other sighted horses, was a little discombobulated by Butternut's behavior. She doesn't seem to read body language very well! He's getting used to her, but they still have a few things to work out.
For now, Nate watches over Butternut from a little distance, but rarely lets her out of his sight for longer than the time it takes to get a drink of water or munch on a senior meal. At night, when Butternut is stalled for some muzzle-free time, Nate hangs his head over the stall door, unless he is getting some sleep himself. He sleeps outside in the open, but resumes his post as Butternut's doorman as soon as he's rested. From Butternut's perspective, having a buddy tall enough to touch her over the stall door is taking some getting use to, but she seems to like knowing he's there. She's stopped pacing and calling and once again seems to feel secure in her surroundings.

Nate is scheduled for another combined vet/farrier visit this week. Its easy to forget, considering how well the rest of his rehab is going, that the big white horse is not entirely out of the woods, yet, as far as that right front foot is concerned. We're hoping for some good news this week but, at the same time, a little on edge.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Feast of Saint Francis

In Catholic tradition, the celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis falls on October 4. Today!

Almost everyone, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, knows that Saint Francis is often referred to as the Patron Saint of Animals. Francis, in fact, was a much more complicated figure, but one of his most noted attributes was his divine respect for all of creation.

The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi, on its web site, says this of St Francis:
"He wasn’t a mere sentimentalist about bunnies and birds and pets—he simply lived from his heart the respect for all creatures—animal and human......"

Brother Wayne Teasdale, in The Mystic Heart, (very interesting book, BTW!) describes Francis as a Nature Mystic.
"He exhibited total openness to and solidarity with the natural world and all the creatures who inhabit it. In this, his spirituality was similar to that of the Native Americans. he accepted all things as brothers and sisters, and treated them with love and respect."
St Francis' Canticle of the Sun

Most High, all-powerful, all-good Lord,
All praise is Yours, all glory, all honour and all blessings.
To you alone, Most High, do they belong,
and no mortal lips are worthy to pronounce Your Name.

Praised be You my Lord with all Your creatures,
especially Sir Brother Sun,
Who is the day through whom You give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour,
Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Brothers Wind and Air,
And fair and stormy, all weather’s moods,
by which You cherish all that You have made.

Praised be You my Lord through Sister Water,
So useful, humble, precious and pure.

Praised be You my Lord through Brother Fire,
through whom You light the night
and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Praised be You my Lord through our Sister,
Mother Earth who sustains and governs us,
producing varied fruits with coloured flowers and herbs.
Praise be You my Lord through those who grant pardon
for love of You and bear sickness and trial.
Blessed are those who endure in peace,
By You Most High, they will be crowned.

Praised be You, my Lord through Sister Death,
from whom no-one living can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Blessed are they She finds doing Your Will.
No second death can do them harm.

Praise and bless my Lord and give Him thanks,
And serve Him with great humility

Saturday, October 3, 2009

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

No commentary needed.

Lizzie, May 7, 2009 - Age 24

Lizzie, October 3, 2009

Traveller's Rest's Elder Statesman

When Sonny arrived at TREES at age 35, we were a little hesitant to introduce him to the "front field," thinking he might be too frail for the wild bunch.

Under close supervision, we gave it a try and Voila; the waters parted, the other horses bowed in awe and Sonny, with no initiation ceremony whatsoever, became Head King Alpha Dude of the herd. He remains in that position even now.

Sonny, October 3, 2009, Age 38.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Unexpected gifts!

Yesterday, our vet clinic called and said there were two boxes of rabies vaccine there with our name on it. We didn't order any rabies vaccine.

As it turns out, the vaccine was shipped directly from Intervet/Schering-Plough, one of the sponsors of the Unwanted Horse Veterinary Relief Campaign. TREES applied for free vaccine last spring and was granted doses sufficient to vaccinate the whole herd, but did not apply for anything for this fall. We're assuming this gift is something I/S-P is doing in observation of World Rabies Day, which was September 28.

At any rate..we never look gift horses in the mouth here. So, whatever the reason, thank you Intervet/Schering-Plough!

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Odd Couple

Ori's departure over the weekend left Butternut, a small blind Shetland cross pony alone in her dry lot paddock. Who could we move in with her that would do well on a dry lot and be kind to a small blind pony?

Rienzi! Perfect. Except Rienzi didn't think so. He paced the fence, wanting more than anything to go back "home." Normally we would give a horse a little more time to adjust to new surroundings, but after only three days, Rienzi had visibly dropped weight. With winter fast approaching, we couldn't allow a hard keeper to remain in a situation that was causing him this much stress.

How would Butternut do alone for a day or two while we decided on a solution? Terribly! She panicked. A panicked blind pony is a pony at risk of injuring herself.

Think, think, think.


This may be it. Nate needs more room to get a little more exercise, he can't be turned out on a lot of grass, he needs a buddy, he's a very kind gentleman..........

As of this morning, the two are studiously ignoring each other, but at least all is quiet. Its not the love at first sight we've seen following some other introductions, but it looks like it will work.

Stay tuned.