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MULE CROSSING: Equine Behavior: Look Who’s Talking! Part 1

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By Meredith Hodges

What kind of equine handler are you? When interacting with your Longears or any equine, are you an observer or a participant? Are you fully aware of the reasons for your equine’s behaviors? Behavior in general is most often motivated by a stimulus that elicits a response, yet the early years of physiological development are most dependent on heredity. Heredity includes not only physical characteristics, but mental, emotional and instinctual behaviors as well. We are taught that if an equine’s knees are beginning to fuse, he is ready for training. Is the animal really ready for training just because his knees are beginning to fuse? Physical development is called maturation, and we often determine the equine’s capabilities by maturation alone, with no consideration for the whole animal.

The mule inherits its incredible strength, intelligence and freeze reflex from the jack, and its athletic ability, beauty and the flight reflex from the horse. Some of these characteristics are physical, while others are instinctual, but each contributes to the animal as a whole being. Mental and emotional personality traits are not as easily defined in animals, since they do not speak the same language that humans do. So it makes sense that the equine is often first regarded as a large and potentially dangerous “beast.” In the past, those men who overpowered the “beast” and gained control were revered by others for their ability, no matter how cruel the approach. Because of the vast difference in size, man was viewed as the underdog and his conquests were celebrated.

Characterology, man’s first exercise in psychology, is based solely on casual observations of the personality and individuality of a human being. This is how man initially perceived equines as well as himself in the early days of psychology. The evolution of man’s understanding of himself is not that different from his understanding of equines. It began with casual observations. The equine was first regarded as an animal to be feared because of its potential to do great damage to a person’s physical being. However, no regard was given to the horse’s propensity toward timidity and vulnerability as a prey animal. Man eventually got close enough to the equine to realize there was far more to learn than what he could simply observe. Characterology has been found to be as unsatisfactory when describing the whole human as it has turned out to be with equines.

We’ve learned, through observation, the behaviors the equine will exhibit when left to its own devices in its own environment. In a herd of wild horses, the stallion is king and there is only one mature stallion per herd. He may allow other young stallions to stay to the outside of the herd, provided they show no aggression. But if they do show aggression, the two will battle it out until the weaker one is either run off or killed.

The actual leader of the herd is the most dominant mare in the herd, called the “boss mare.” When the stallion signals danger, it is this mare that will lead the herd, while the stallion generally brings up the rear. During estrus, the mare cycles every 21 days during the warmer months of the year. The mare accepts the stallion for only seven days out of the 21-day cycle. The stallion may cover her several times during that period and will do the same with the other mares in the herd. Not all mares will accept the advances of the stallion at certain times and, because they are as different as people are in their genetic makeup, not all of them will become pregnant every time.

When it is time for the foal to be born, the mare will go off by herself to birth the foal and then return when the foal has gained enough strength to run with the herd. Equines will always show aggressive behaviors in a herd. It is their nature and they learn their place (“pecking order”) within the herd through this process.

Donkeys are a little different in their herd behaviors and, although they do have a “pecking order,” they operate more like a family and it is not unusual to see multiple males in the family herd. Donkeys have a freeze reflex instead of a flight reflex and will stand their ground before wasting energy in flight. Donkeys seem to be loving and affectionate creatures at first glance, but they can be a formidable rival to most any other animal. In certain situations with a well-planned psychological approach, donkeys can make good guard animals for the very same smaller animals that they might otherwise chase.

Being a hybrid, the mule possesses behaviors from both the horse and donkey. It is in the mule and donkey’s nature to chase smaller animals such as dogs, cats, goats, etc. When supervised, they can be taught not to attack smaller animals, but if left alone, it IS in their nature to run these animals down and they will often kill them for sport. This is not seen as often in the females (it depends on personality as well), but it is still present and should be heeded.

A mule will pin its ears when it is concentrating very hard and when it is following you and wants attention. Mules and donkeys are basically very friendly and rarely lay their ears flat back in pure anger like a horse will. When they are angry, you will know it. Scratching in different areas will produce different results. If you scratch their jowls, for instance, they may perk their ears forward, but when you rub their forehead, they will lay their ears back. If you scratch the insides of the ears, some will like it and tilt the head sideways with quivering eyebrows while others will jerk away at your impolite intrusion.

Donkey jacks really should not be allowed to roam with the jennets and/or mares and pasture breed since they can get angry at the drop of a hat and kill a weaker animal in an instant. It is even more dangerous to leave jacks with foals and horses (they will go after adult horses as well!). Mules, being half horse, will usually only chase other horses if they are smaller or if they are males. Since their dam was a female horse, they will often unintentionally harass female horses, but unless the mares are smaller or weak, the mules will do little damage and are more likely to receive a smart kick to the chest for their insolent behavior. Horses have a flight reflex when they feel threatened…the donkey has a freeze and prepare-to-fight reflex…and mules can go either way depending on the situation.

All of these characteristics are part of the equine whole, but they do not explain who the horse, donkey or mule is as a personality. Most characteristics are a means by which we can judge predictable behaviors that would be considered normal. People possess predictable behaviors that do not change and are valuable in profiling. Profiling enables one to establish a base from which to begin to determine a positive plan of approach that will elicit a positive reaction with any given person. The same is true in the development of the human/equine relationship. But Characterology was not a scientific approach, so man continued to find other ways to investigate and challenge his knowledge of himself and the equine.

Phrenology followed and was regarded as a true science, putting forth the idea that personality was comprised of “faculties” that were housed compartmentally in the brain. Therefore, an individual’s personality could be identified by the shape of his or her head. These same scientific observations were also made in reference to the equine.

At first, Arabian horses were thought to be silly and difficult—not the ideal mount for the common man. Later, the intelligence of the Arabian was discovered and explained by saying that, because the Arabian’s eyes are set lower in the head and the forehead is broader than most other equines, there is more brain space in the skull. This is also true of most mules and, particularly, Arabian mules. Once man believed in the equine’s intelligence and had a scientific reason for it, training was modified and approached a little differently. Man was then able to learn even more about the horses he was training. It wasn’t long before man discovered that this didn’t always hold true and there had to be more to consider when assessing the whole human being and, consequently, the whole horse.

The idea that body type could reveal personality type evolved from man’s belief that certain personalities were characterized by certain body types. Man applied this knowledge of psychology and behavior to equines, and then made generalizations about certain breeds of equines according to their body type and temperament. For instance, the solid body type and quiet temperament of the Quarter Horse denoted a capable, willing and even-tempered personality, while the more lithe body, tall stature and flightiness of the Thoroughbred yielded a personality that was more suspicious, aloof and, sometimes, difficult to train.

Much time has passed and man has learned that there is a lot to consider if we want to manage our equines in a healthy way and accomplish even the most basic performance with them. In the past, the prevalent belief was that, if you had a reasonably large patch of grass with a fence around it, you could have a horse. We now know it takes a lot more than this! Stay tuned for Part 2 of Look Who’s Talking, when we further explore the equine personality and how to develop the best relationship you can have with them.

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2011, 2016, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

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MULE CROSSING: On the Trail with Mules

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By Meredith Hodges

With the hectic schedule of spring and summer slowly tapering into fall, thoughts of cool, refreshing mountain streams, the sight of a massive bull elk, or the quiet majesty of the rugged mountain peaks on a relaxing trail ride, mountain hunt or pack trip begin to ease their way into our minds. What better time to share with your mule or donkey? What better place for him to show you what he was born to do? A mountain trail ride or pack trip are both perfect ways for you to get to really know your Longears and strengthen the bond between you.

Mules are remarkably strong and durable animals, making them excellent mountain partners. The cupped shape of their hooves allows them to track the rough mountain terrain with much more surefootedness than their counterpart, the horse. A mule’s superior intelligence and strong sense of survival help him to carefully negotiate the placement of his feet, insuring the safest ride possible. This is both important and comforting to know when heading for the mountains. The mule’s strength and endurance are sometimes unbelievable, but always dependable. On a hunting trip, he will take you through rough mountain terrain for days then pack out the “elk of your dreams” with the greatest of ease.

Around the campfire, he is wonderful company on those lonesome mountain nights. His blatant curiosity can make for some fun—and funny— situations, and his loving ways will win your heart. But first and foremost, he is a reliable companion when the going gets tough.

A few years ago, some close muleskinner friends of mine decided to take a hunting trip into the Rocky Mountains. Packing in, the weather was beautiful with warm temperatures, calm breezes, and not a cloud in the sky. After setting up camp and tending to their horses and mules, the hunters set off tracking elk. Hunting was good, but after a few days, the evening brought with it an unpredictable snowstorm of incredible intensity. The hunters crawled from their tents the next morning to discover their camp buried in more than four feet of   snow!

With no chance of the storm lifting, the hunters packed up what they could on their horses and mules and quickly got under way. Since time was of the essence, tents and much of their gear had to be left behind. As they left the campsite, the snow deepened and the terrain underneath was steep, rocky and treacherous. They had gone only a short distance when the snow became so deep and the terrain so hazardous that the horses refused to go one step farther. Anxiety was high when the horses could not blaze a trail out. The hunters were worried they wouldn’t make it off the mountain alive.

In the face of this great danger, my friend asked his trusted mule, Goliath, to break trail for the others. With slow, careful, deliberate steps, this well-trained, loyal mule led them all down the mountain to safety. Once there, they freed their trucks and trailers, which were buried in snow, loaded them up, and made their way back to the lowlands to safety. The storms on the mountain worsened and it was spring before the hunters could return for the rest of their gear, but they were eternally grateful to Goliath the mule for leading them safely down the mountain!

There are many stories like this one, where mules and donkeys have emerged as heroes in precarious situations. However, if you prefer not to take risks like my hunter friends, there are other less daunting activities you can enjoy with your donkey or mule.

Why not take your longeared companion along to the mountains for a hike or a picnic? He would thoroughly love just being with you in those beautiful surroundings. While you walk the trails, enjoying the marvels of nature, your donkey or mule can carry the lunch essentials. While you enjoy the wildflowers or try your hand at fishing a mountain stream, you can be confident that your Longears will enjoy the peaceful solitude and be able to stay out of serious trouble at the same time.

If you question taking excursions such as these with your longears because of a lack of training, there are fellow Longears lovers who can help you. All over the United States, excellent mule trainers are available to help beginners. A Longears lover once told me that his love for burros and mules began years ago when he found Dusty, a three-month-old wild burro caught in a blizzard. He took her home and cared for her, and, a year later, he entered her in the National Western Fall Classic Donkey and Mule Show. He and Dusty were awarded the title of Reserve Champion Donkey of the Show! Ever since, he has sought to help others enjoy Longears and horses in any way he can. In addition to breaking and training wild mustangs at his Medicine Bow Stables, he has included free clinics for burro owners to teach them how to handle and care for their animals.

Getting proper training for your donkey or mule can only enhance your relationship with them and in turn, they will enrich your life. This fall, why not take the time to really get to know these remarkable animals by letting them share in the fun, be it hiking, hunting, packing, or picnicking. The life you enhance may be your own!

To learn more about Meredith Hodges and her comprehensive all-breed equine training program, visit LuckyThreeRanch.com or call 1-800-816-7566. Check out her children’s website at JasperTheMule.com. Also, find Meredith on FacebookYouTube and Twitter.

© 2010, 2016, 2021 Lucky Three Ranch, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.

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Chasity’s Challenges: Chasity’s Arrival at LTR

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3-30-20

With the empty stall and run next to Wrangler, we now had space to consider getting him a new companion. I checked with a friend in Oklahoma and we found Chasity! What a lovely “Lady!” My friend said she was a really FORWARD moving jennet with a lot of independence and enthusiasm. We thought she would be the perfect companion for Wrangler!

Chasity was delivered on 3-30-20 and the introductions began while she was in quarantine in a space where she could see Wrangler, but they could not reach each other.

They played with excitement back and forth along the fence line for a bit!

Then Wrangler had to come to me and tell me and Chad all about what a beautiful girl he had found! He was SO EXCITED!!!

Then Wrangler returned to the fence where they ran back and forth together for quite some time!

They were clearly VERY interested in each other! Love was in bloom!

Chasity does have issues, but will be fed and maintained the same way we do with all of our equines. Many feeds can cause hypertension in Longears (and horses, too!) and an inability to focus for any length of time.  Mules and donkeys require a lot less feed than horses because they are half donkey and donkeys are desert animals. Too much feed or the wrong kind of feed and you run the risk of skin irritations, abscesses, colic, or founder. The formula for our oats mix  fed once a day with grass hay morning and evening is very simple and produces amazing results.

Depending on the individual, we feed the average sized equines (13 hands to 17 hands) 1-1/2 to 2 cups of oats mixed with 1 oz. of Sho Glo by Manna Pro and 1 oz. of Mazola corn oil. Draft animals (over 17 hands) get twice as much and the minis get 1/4 (small minis under 36 inches) to 1/2 (36 to 48 inches) cup. We monitor weight gain and loss by decreasing and increasing the their hay intake and turnout time. A maximum of 2 cups of oats for an average sized animal (usually during the winter) is all they need. We give them oats as rewards from a fanny pack around our waist during their lessons when they actually need the added energy. The oats must be broken open in some way (crimped, steamed, rolled, etc.) as equines cannot digest whole oats. A neglected animal with coarse hair will show a drastic difference in the hair coat within four days. This feed and exercise program together will make a dramatic change in the overall body shape within six months!

If you alter or modify this regimen with other products, you will not get the same results. I make sure the equines have free access to a trace mineral salt blocks (red block) for their mineral needs. We worm with Ivermectin paste wormer in January, March, May, July and September and break the cycle with Strongid in November. When regular worming is done, the Ivermectin will kill tape worm larva, so they cease to be a problem. We vaccinate in the spring and give boosters in the fall. Consult your veterinarian to know the types of vaccines you will need for your specific area. I never feed Longears (donkeys, or mules, or even my horses) any pre-mixed sweet feeds, or excessive alfalfa products. I feed pelleted Sho Glo because it is such a small amount and provides adequate daily nutrition. Feeding larger amounts of dehydrated feeds and supplements can increase the risk of choking. You cannot add enough water to prevent them from sucking fluid from the digestive tract. Equines, and particularly pregnant equines, should not be turned out on Fescue grass. Our pastures are brome and orchard grass which seems best, although Timothy and Coastal hay are okay for Longears if this grass mix is no available. Pregnant equines we feed grass hay only from six weeks before foaling to six weeks after foaling after which their oats mix can be resumed. 

Chasity will be kept in quarantine with no direct interaction with the other equines for 30 days.

Then, she will be kept in a stall and run right next to Wrangler for evening feedings, overnight and for morning feedings for one week before they can go to turnout together in the same area. Feeding in a smaller, dry lot, or stall and run, and monitoring turnout has several benefits:

  1. Each animal can easily be checked daily for any injuries or anomalies. It promotes bonding.
  2. Each animal will not have to fight for his food, can sleep uninterrupted and be more calm and refreshed each day.
  3. You can do turnout at specific times for grazing during the day, and bring them back easily each night because they will know their oats are waiting for them. When you feed the oats mix in the evenings, it makes it easier to call them back from shortened pasture time in the spring (they have to work into extended pasture time slowly and over several weeks).
  4. You can monitor grazing intake so there will not be over-grazing. This minimizes the risk of colic, or founder (Longears should not be on pasture more than five hours a day, and only one hour a day for minis, starting with shorter periods of time in the spring).
  5. The smaller area affords you a confined space for beginning training, so there is no need to chase or be interrupted by other animals.
  6. Your animal will be more apt to come to you easily to be haltered after their morning feeding of grass hay for their lessons only when they know you have fanny pack full of oats for them. You should only need to call them from the gate and never play chase!
  7. ) Having this definite routine lets your animal know what to expect and discourages adverse behaviors.  If you are inconsistent and break the routine, the results will not be the same.

Chasity is a bit suspicious, awkward and unsure of things now, but we have no doubt about her easy adaptation to our program that will increase her confidence, promote good health as her postural core strength evolves and solidify her new habitual way of moving and resting.

Two more ANGELS among us!

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

 

  
 
It’s been a long, hard few weeks, and we are so grateful your support allowed us to help with some very challenging situations.  Thank you are two very small words that mean so very much.

KATIE and HEIDI’S Story

We wanted to share Katie and Heidi’s story sooner, but due to their condition, it felt like we needed to wait until we knew more.  It’s only been a week, but it’s a hard story to tell.
AAE was contacted in early January 2020 by an older woman asking if we could take their mini donkey and two goats because she and husband were getting older and “selling the farm”.  She said the donkey, Katie, was older and tiny (28-30″) w/a lil arthritis….and the goats were mid-teens, older and a lil arthritis, but they all got around fine.  Sadly, there was no urgency communicated.  It seems AAE always has a full house, so we couldn’t help in that moment.  When it finally seemed like the load was lightening in early March, we coordinated a pick-up.  We learned one of the goats passed the week before, apparently victim of a predator.  What should have been a routine intake turned out to be a very heart-wrenching surrender.

When we arrived, we found poor Katie emaciated beyond imagine; she was down and lethargic and looked as if she was dying at that moment.  She was a bag of bones and couldn’t get up.  Her head hung low, her ears were flat, and her tongue hung from her mouth.  Her coat was so long and thick, it masked her bony frame.  There was literally, hardly any muscle anywhere on her body (e.g. hips, neck, cheeks, etc.).  Heidi, her lil goat friend, must have been eating all of Katie’s food.  She was beyond plump, but extremely arthritic.  Through some gentle urging and support, Katie got up.  Heidi, too.  We had to usher each of them to the transport van, then lift each of them in.  Thankfully, we were not far from home, but it seemed like the longest seven mile drive.  Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center was called as soon as we got on the road, and they arrived about 10 mins after we got the girls unloaded and in a stall.

It was a sad scene as we watched; the vets were very concerned about Katie’s condition, and Heidi, too.  After initial evaluation, Katie got fluids, a small dose of pain meds, and blood was drawn.  Heidi got some pain meds for her arthritis and other meds to help her, too.  We needed blood results before we could really evaluate Katie’s chance for recovery.  While waiting for blood results, we started Katie on a very slow refeeding program giving her very small amounts of an alfalfa pellet mash every four to six hours.  She was interested, but it didn’t seem easy to eat/swallow, though she tried.  It was hard to know if she was simply weak from starving, whether there was an underlying cause, or both.  Quite the opposite for Heidi, she was on a similar diet, but for opposite reasons.  Eating came quite easy for her.
Katie’s blood results were poor, indicating refeeding syndrome.  Considering her geriatric condition, emaciated, arthritis, blind, neuro issues (droopy tongue), diarrhea with crusty poop smothering her hind end, mats, lice, pressure sores, few very sharp teeth, and an apparent history of foundering, it was amazing she was alive.  She should have been done long ago, but somehow, she had brief moments of “I want to live”.  She smiled with her perky ears.  She played with her food bowl and water bucket a couple times.  She’d try to follow you out the stall door.  She’d nudge up against your knee.  But most of the time between those moments, her head continued to hang low, her ears flat, and her tongue hanging lifeless from her mouth.

Though it seemed grim, she deserved a chance.  She had been fed hay and cob, but due to the condition of her mouth with only a few remaining teeth, and sharp at that, she was unable to process that feed.  Katie had moments of wanting to eat, wanting to drink, and she was able to get up on her own, though not easy.  She tried, and we held onto hope.  We tried to make her as comfortable as possible, clipping her crusty hair (which she actually enjoyed), and she loved the brush.  Removing the old, dead hair only revealed more of her bony frame.

After 36 hours, another blood sample was drawn.  Some values improved, but some got worse.  Sadly, over the hours, her spirits were up and down.  After 72 hours, the down was outweighing the up.  She was losing her interest in food and water, and as much as we wanted her to fight, it hurt too much to ask her to keep going.  Without a doubt, it would be a long road ahead, and with all her body had been through, it didn’t seem her lil’ body could hang on so long.  After another 12 long hours with no interest in eating, and it seemed she was tiring of the fight, we helped Katie across the Rainbow Bridge.  Heidi, the brave and stoic friend, was in a very painful condition, too.
The two girls arrived together, and they crossed together…together forever, pain free.
Katie was a remarkable example of incredible resilience, and absolute forgiveness.  She should have hated humans, yet Katie was the kindest, sweetest, most gentle soul I have ever known.
RIP sweet girls. We miss you and wish we could have known you much, much longer!
Two more recent stories…

HOPE

February started relatively quietly until mid-month.  We took in four minis from an elderly owner that was struggling with chronic health issues and he was no longer physically able to care for them.  Their story is still unfolding.  A little over a week later, AAE got a call about another horse in dire need of help.  All other avenues had failed this poor girl.  Sadly, she had an eye issue she’d been dealing with for at least a year and a half, and she was not thriving.  After some urging, the owner surrendered the sweet mare.
We call her Hope because we have so much hope for her.
Hope is another incredibly kind soul.  We picked her up (she loaded without hesitation) and transported her directly to Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center, even though it was Sunday.  Rightfully so, she was hesitant to have anyone on or near her left side, though by the time she settled in the clinic, she must have known help had arrived.  Hope weighed in at 750 pounds.  Not a lot for a horse her size (~15.0 hh). She also has an abundance of melanomas around her rectal area, on tail, and the corners of her lips; however, none were open, draining, or otherwise appearing to be an immediate issue.
After initial evaluation, Hope was scheduled for eye removal surgery the next day. More graphic photos.  Surgery revealed a melanoma behind her eye.  It was partially removed; however, some of the tumor had infiltrated muscles and nerves.  Dr. Errico removed what he could without causing further damage.  Hope was slow recovering, but after her second night in the clinic, she was ready to transfer to AAE.
Hope loaded into the trailer at night and hauled like a champ. Once back at the barn, she looked forward to a yummy mash for dinner.  By morning, relief and relaxation were setting in.
Within a couple days, there was light in Hope’s eye, and she was very much enjoying the attention. Her bandage came off, and the relief was obvious.  Hope continues to heal, swelling is reducing, and she’s enjoying plentiful food.  This gal is obviously so very grateful for the help.

MABEL and MADDOX

A few days of relative quiet (how quiet can it be with 50-ish horses onsite?), Saturday morning came in with a bang.  Our Shift Leader arrived to find our dearest donk, Mabel, trying to deliver a foal.  Sadly, she stood there with the amniotic sac hanging from her vulva and a partial placenta on the ground.  Not good.  Loomis Basin Equine Medical Center was on the way.
Mabel came to AAE in August needing help w/severe fly allergies causing enormous open lesions on hind her legs. She was afflicted with the same issue the prior year and thanks to tremendous care by Dr. Stolba, she recovered then, and she was on her way to recovery now.
Mabel was accompanied to AAE by her two-year-old (intact) Jack, Max.  We were told that they had been separated for quite some time, and there was no chance she was pregnant. Well, guess what? Wrong. The extra weight she was carrying recently was not from the plentiful food she was been given at AAE.  It looks like Mabel came in 6 months in foal.
After initial exam, sadly, baby was lifeless and not where it should be.  Extensive efforts were made at AAE to remove the baby; however, no luck.  Mabel was prepped for transport to LBEMC for further treatment, and hopefully not needing a c-section to remove foal. Mabel’s good pal, Hardy, watched with obvious concern for his gal pal.  He would have ridden with her if you could.
After further unsuccessful efforts to remove the foal, Mabel was anesthetized.  Her hind end was hoisted in a last attempt to remove the foal.  If the docs did not succeed, she would need a C-section.  The sedation and re-positioning worked.  Baby was successfully removed. It was a little guy, preterm at about 280 to 290 days.  We named him Maddox.  Actually, for his “age”, he was quite large, and as sad as it is, it seems this might have been a blessing in disguise.  Can’t imagine Mabel trying to deliver him with another 45-60 days of growth.  Mabel took a while to awake from sedation, but when she stabilized, she was escorted to the clinic “suite” for a day or two of pampering.
After two nights of observation and monitoring with some pain management, as well, Mabel was ready to come home.  Everyone was beyond thrilled and relieved to have her back.
Though Hardy was elated to see his gal, she was not so enthusiastic, understandably so.  It’s been about 10 days and thankfully Mabel is recovering well.
We’re terribly sad Maddox didn’t survive, but so grateful Mabel survived this ordeal.
Early Bird Pricing $40
(ticket prices go up April 1st)!

This is a super fun event that includes
a BBQ dinner, Live and Silent Auctions, Music and Dancing!
Funds raised at Boots & Bling supports a large portion of AAE’s annual budget ensuring we continue saving and serving horses and humans throughout the year.
Boots & Bling and AAE need YOU!
There are other ways to help and support AAE!
Sponsor our BIG event!
Event SPONSORSHIP  and TABLE  SPONSORSHIP options are available!
If you would like to sponsor this event or want more information on sponsoring, please contact BandB@allaboutequine.org
We also need LIVE, DESSERT and SILENT AUCTION DONATIONS!
If you would like to donate to our live and silent auctions or want more information on donating, please contact Dani@allaboutequine.org All donation are needed by 4/10/20
 

We’ve Extended Our Hours!

Check out our facebook page for pop-up hours and specials!

Friday thru Monday 12p to 4p

Tuesday & Thursday 2p to 6p

AAE Used Tack Store is at
4261 Sunset Lane
Shingle Springs, CA  957362

530-363-6096

If you’d like to donate tack or join the volunteer team at the store, please send us an email.
Remember to select All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. as your charity of choice,
AmazonSmile donates to AAE with every purchase, at no cost to you!
This is a FREE and EASY way YOU can help raise funds for AAE.

VOLUNTEER NEEDS

As many of you know, we have a continuing need to expand store hours.
PILOT HILL – OLD FENCE CLEANUP
Fence cleanup day.  Help us remove old fencing and get us closer to moving some horses!
Perimeter fencing should be done in a couple days, with only tying up the loose ends.
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Work 9a to 1p
We will be pulling out old t-post fencing with a t-post puller tools (we have four), wood posts with the help of a tractor, and winding up all the old wire and stacking it where others can get to it later. The material will either go to recycle or may even be re-sold for crafting/rustic art.

Please bring: Heavy work gloves (leather), Water/Drink for yourself, Hat, Boots and long pants

We will provide: T-Post pullers, wire cutters, hammers, screw drivers, and extra gloves.

Please RSVP via email to Jean if you can help.

You are welcome to bring a family member or friend to help as long as they are over 16 yrs of age. Please let Jean know so we can be sure we have enough tools.

Any questions, please ask Jean.

TACK STORE SUPPORT
We need more help staff the store on Wednesday afternoons, 2p-6p, can you help?
We would also like to expand our daily hours.
Fri to Mon 10-12 and 2-6.  With enough help, we can split the shifts, 10a to 2p and 2p to 6p.
Likewise, Tues-Thurs, we’d like to add 10a to 2p.
If you’re interested in helping with tack store activities (e.g. cleaning donated tack, researching/pricing, organizing/merchandising, blanket/tack repairs, picking up tack donations, helping customers, sharing AAE info, admin support, and more), we need you.
Current store hours are Fri-Mon 12-4p, and recently added Tues/Thurs hours 2-6p.
We can always use help during any of the current hours, too.
Please email us if you are interested/available Tues, Wed, or Thurs afternoons, 2-6p.
  
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT:
If you are available to help with administrative activities, we are creating admin hours in the office at the store.  We have a variety of administrative tasks we need help getting done.
Please email us if you are interested/available Tues, Wed, or Thurs afternoons, 2p-6p.
BOOTS & BLING 2020
 
We have kicked off our Boots & Bling planning for 2020.  The event has included a catered BBQ Dinner, DJ Music and Dancing, Live/Silent/Dessert auctions, a special fundraiser, and line dancing with instruction.  We need help in most areas for planning for this event to make sure its a huge success for AAE and our horses.
Please email us if you are interested in helping with Boots & Bling.
We meet once a month until the event.
    
SPECIAL PROJECTS AROUND THE BARN
Maybe you’d like to help around the barn, but don’t want to work directly with the horses,
or you don’t like to muck?
We could use some daily to weekly to monthly help cleaning and organizing, whether it’s the feed room, the meds room, the office, the tools, groundskeeping, painting shelters, monitoring the fencelines, dump runs, tree trimming, coordinating vehicle maintenance, or a zillion other things.
There’s so much that needs to be done, and we can use extra hands to help keep things looking nice and clean.
Please email us if you are interested/available during regular barn shifts,
Mon-Sat 8a-noon, Sun 9a-1p or afternoons 3p-6p.
  
Daily Horse Care, especially pm shifts (Daily 8a-12p or 3p-6p)
Used Tack Store Support, all areas (Fri – Mon, 12-4p, possibly T, W, Th 2-6p)
Barn/Facility Maintenance
Foster Homes, Long-Term Foster/Sanctuary Homes
Capital Campaign Support
Board Members
Fundraising/Events
Grants – Writing and Research
Volunteer, Project, and Activity Coordinators
Outreach Activities
Youth Programs
Therapy Programs
Veteran Programs
Special Projects
Admin Support
Marketing
Graphics
Social Media
Bloggers
Photographers
Media and/or Photo Librarian
More, more, more
Interested in volunteering or volunteering in other areas?

Employers Match Donations, Does Yours?

Hey volunteers!
Did you know YOU could earn grant money for AAE from your employer just by volunteering?
Many Employers offer money when their employees volunteer.  Here are a few examples:
  • Intel

    provides a $10 grant to a nonprofit per every volunteer hour by an employee, and matches funds dollar for dollar up to $5,000 per employee or retiree.

  • Microsoft provides a $17 grant to a nonprofit per every hour volunteered by an employee.
  • Apple provides a $25 grant to a nonprofit per every volunteer hour by an employee, and matches funds dollar for dollar up to $10,000 per employee.
  • Verizon provides a $750 grant to a nonprofit when an employee volunteers for 50+ hours.
  • State Farm provides a $500 grant nonprofit when an employee volunteers for+ 40 hours.
  • Others top 20 matching gift and/or volunteer grant companies include
    • Starbucks 
    • CarMax
    • Home Depot 
    • JP Morgan
    • Chevron
    • Soros Fund Management 
    • BP (British Petroleum)
    • Gap Corporation
    • State Street Corporation 
    • ExxonMobil
    • Johnson & Johnson
    • Boeing
    • Disney
    • Google
    • Merck
    • Aetna
    • Dell
    • Outerwall (CoinStar and RedBox) 
    • ConocoPhillips
    • RealNetworks
    • Time Warner and subsidiaries
    • AllState
    • and more
Check with your employer.  You could help purchase our next load of hay!

Save Your Ass Rescue Newletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

 

What Does It Take to Save Your Ass?

It seems as though the hot topic on donkey groups in social media is: “What do I feed my donkey?” We get asked about donkey nutrition a lot so we would like to share a little bit about what it takes to rehab donkeys and mules in need from a rescue’s perspective.

As a rule donkeys are very easy keepers because they are browsers, which means they require walking long distances for very little food. A lot of donkeys in the US are overfed, which is just as negligent if not more so than a donkey coming to us underweight. There are a large number of risks when a donkey is overweight; their liver or kidneys could fail, they could become hyperlipemic, they could founder, and/or get laminitis. It is more natural for a donkey to be thin than it is for a donkey, who is desert species, to be fat. Over the years we have had to euthanize animals due to complications from obesity. If you are reading this and thinking “oh my gosh my donkey is a chunky monkey!” don’t panic, you’re not a terrible donkey owner! We are strong believers in meeting people where they are. We can’t be upset with people who simply do not know. That’s why we are writing this and constantly trying to educate people on proper donkey welfare.

If you would like more info on getting your donkey to a healthy weight, visit https://www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/what-we-do/knowledge-and-advice/for-owners/feeding-your-donkeys The Donkey Sanctuary is great resource for donkey care!

We do all the major medical and behavioral procedures for the donkeys and mules that come in so when they get adopted they have the best possible start in their new life. When you adopt a donkey or mule from us, all the routine care has been done so the new owner doesn’t have to worry about anything besides bonding with and enjoying their new long eared friend/ friends. Secondly we do this so the new owners are aware of what they are getting into ahead of time. This is very important to us as Ann and I are animal owners ourselves, and we understand that one has to be practical when it comes to adopting a large animal into your care! It can be overwhelming for first time owners so we do our best to give them and the adoptee guidance in the right direction.

We have talked a lot about our process of taking in animals so I’ll keep it short and sweet. When we take in a new donkey or mule we let them settle in first and foremost. When we feel they are stable enough and not stressed or anxious we have our veterinarian out to give them a health check up. This includes getting their routine vaccinations, dental exam/ dental work, and if any abnormalities are found we have blood work and/or tests done.

Then we call the farrier to have their hooves trimmed and get them on a schedule for every six to eight weeks.

Since a lot of animals come to us in varying conditions, we mimic the environment, and feeding care they have been getting in their previous home, to reduce stress related issues such as colic. Once they are settled in we make a feeding plan for them depending on their condition. Typically this consists of switching them over to a mineral supplement. We use California Trace mineral Supplement, and first cut hay in slow feeder hay nets. Donkeys need to be fed small amounts, frequently.

Since we are a non-profit and are always in need of donations we believe it is important to share with our amazing supporters where your donations are going, transparency is very important to us.

This is what it costs us to take in a pair of standard donkeys from the time they arrive at the rescue until the day they are adopted. This is a generalized tally as it would be totally different for a 1200 lb. 30 year old mostly toothless draft mule! We had quite a few of those those in 2019. A pair of standard donkeys if healthy and trained, stay at the rescue an average of 3-4 months before being adopted. What do you think the total cost of their stay which includes all their routine vet work, vaccinations, dentals, health check ups, health certificates, having their blood sent out for a coggins test, worming, hay, supplements, a salt block, shavings and farrier trims, would be? This does not include emergency vet calls or medications that they may be on. For two standard size donkeys who are here for four months, the cost for us to get all of their routine care done is $1,158.08! If you’ve seen our adoption fees, you know that we do not make money from adoptions. The adoption fee helps us, yes. Our primary goal is to get the donkeys and mules healthy and happy, and making love matches between long ears and humans; which makes it all worth it.

Raise a glass and toast yourselves, you amazing ass saving supporter!

We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts, and we wish you all a wonderful new year full good health and happy brays.

Sincerely,

Hannah, Ann and the SYA Team

 

Click here to see our animals for adoption!

Hobie and Walton Update

Hobie, the once wobbly little donkey is feeling fierce and full of life as of late. If you are in the pen with him, he is sure to follow you around, right at your heels. His favorite thing to do is to is sun bathe when the sun is just right in his stall overhang, and of course, breakfast.

Walton has also been full of life lately and was allowed access to the big field to play with his next door pasture mate, Vinny. Walton took advantage of all the space and trotted the entire perimeter, and then cantered back to all of his friends. He had a blast! Where Walton once had cuts, and open festering wounds, he now has new healthy skin with little baby hairs growing in. <3

Some of things we are in always in need of to continue their healing process can be found below.

-Chopped Alfalfa
-Vitamin E (Elevate)
-Purina Senior
-Hay nets with 1&1/2 inch holes
-Shavings
-Glucosamine

Thank you all for your kind thoughts for these two amazing equines!

“We should never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world.”

-Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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Save Your Ass Rescue Newletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

A little bit about us..

I have never been happier to see a year come to an end. 2019 has been the most difficult year for Save Your Ass Long Ear rescue since our inception as a non-profit in 2007. At this time last year, I was recovering from a broken leg and messed up ankle.
This is when my friend, and most amazing employee Hannah Exel, stepped up to the plate. She has not backed down since. Hannah has been an animal lover since her childhood; nurtured at the knee of her grandfather Elbridge Bellows. His love of his draft horses got and kept Hannah especially interested in equines.

The “manure hit the fan” in April when we took in six sick donkeys which changed our workload dramatically. Hannah went into overdrive. She worked, and continues to work closely with our wonderful veterinarian, Dr. Kristen Clapp and super tech Remington Morancy, in keeping on top of what animals need and setting up appointments to make sure those needs are taken care of. Hannah is no stranger to hard work and totes hay bales and snow plows driveways and paddocks, and feeds the rescues and cares for them 5 days out of the week. She has become a fencing wizard, ensuring all animals are safely confined within beautiful, straight fence lines. It has been an amazing experience for me to see this young woman who came to work at SYA in 2015 blossom and become a real force to be reckoned with. I am proud that Hannah is not only a valued board member, but Shelter Manager, and has gotten the positive reinforcement bug big time and has become a phenomenal trainer. She is taking Ben Hart’s training course and will be starting Dr. Susan Friedman’s LLA class this month. I would not have made it through this last year without the knowledge that she had my back. The trust and friendship that has developed between us really came into the forefront in 2019. We are in this together.

I also want to thank the wonderful volunteers who help us out in so many ways. We would not be where we are today without the help of Joan Gemme, Andria Elliot, Pamela Kissell, Mike Dunham, Pamela Simmons, Logan, Jennifer Molnar, Regina Molnar, Johnny Carroll, and my amazingly supportive, fun loving B.O.D.; Hannah, Elise Paffrath, JoEllen Barton, and Jean Cross. Hannah’s fiance’ Trevor Allen, and my most amazingly supportive husband Jeff who had no idea what he started when he got me a donkey for my birthday close to thirty years ago. Lastly, but certainly in no way least; YOU!! Our SYA “family” who have been over the top with your support; both emotional and financial this year. Asking for help is very hard for me and I have hated to have had to have done it so often. You folks stepped up big time!!

Hannah and I are very grateful to you all. Best wishes to you all for a healthy, happy, peace and loved filled 2020.

Ann

Hi everyone this is Hannah chiming in as a PS!
I am going to share a little bit about Ann now..

Heres a little info on the Founder of Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue; Ann Firestone. Ann has always loved animals ever since she was a very young age, she used to rescue squirrels, chipmunks, and other small injured animals that crossed her path. Being an animal lover one of her favorite books was Brighty of the Grand Canyon. Since that book, she always wanted a donkey of her own. Ann got her first donkey in 1990. Be Bop a Lula was her name. A small brown miniature donkey with tiny little legs and sweet soft eyes. Ann and Jeff, her husband brought her to their home in South Acworth and their long journey of donkey rescue began!

She took in many other animals people couldn’t take care of anymore, mostly donkeys as you could probably guess. Being a Vet tech for many years she knew how to nurture them to health and either re-home them or keep them as part of her family.

The Rescue has been ongoing since 2006 but officially got the 501c3 status in 2007! Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue was born! Ann and the rescue have adopted out on average 30-40 animals per year, that means SYA has adopted out roughly 400 donkeys and mules, (and one miniature horse) in 13 years! She has been many things over the years, a certified dog trainer who is dedicated to positive reinforcement training, a Vet Tech, a licensed wildlife rehabber, and currently the Co-Founder and President of SYALER. This year has honestly has been a crapshoot. If not for our supporters being so generous the rescue would not still be here.

We have been working double time this whole year just to catch up and to keep the rescue going. I am fortunate to be able to go home from all the chaos at the end of the day and on weekends, but Ann is in it 24/7. I have never met some on who gave so much of themselves and their life to saving animals.  Often times Ann is up late replying to emails, sending thank you notes, and filling orders, she works very hard to keep this whole thing going! She is an amazing person who deserves to be recognized but would never mention any of this herself, so here I am!

Happy New Year to all,

Hannah Exel

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

July, 2019

Ears the news…

 

I apologize for the lapse in newsletters. For those of you who do not visit us via FaceBook, you don’t know what has been going on here so I will begin with an update.

In April we took in six donkeys from a sale barn who came to us very, very ill. Our vet prepared us for the fact that they might not all make it. The donkeys  were diagnosed with  influenza and another virus. One of them, only a baby herself, aborted her foal. Two weeks after that the mules who were not even near the donkeys, came down with strangles. (The donkeys did NOT have strangles) The whole farm was put in quarantine. We beefed up our bio security big time; hazmat suits for all, foot covers, gloves, bleach to clean EVERYTHING anyone touched. Foot baths outside every entrance to every barn, and a change of suits; clothing EVERY time we changed locations.

I am happy to report that the donkeys have all recovered. After being brought up to date with vaccinations and having their hooves, which were in horrid condition trimmed they will soon be ready to be adopted.  We have negative test results on three of the mules, and two more will be tested next week. Hopefully they too will have negative results and be ready to go to new homes.

This ordeal has been incredibly stressful emotionally. It has seriously impacted our financial footing as well and it’s not over yet. We have incurred close to 9,000 in vet bills. We have been blown away by the amazing generosity of our loyal supporters.  If not for this wonderful group of people I don’t know how we would have made it through this. I don’t have the words to adequately express our gratitude.

I would be remiss if I did not thank our amazing vet Kristen Clapp and uber technician Remington Morancy; they have been phenomenal. Thanks to State Veterinarian Steve Crawford for working with us as well.  Of course super star Hannah Exel stepped right up to the plate and did whatever needed to be done. The help of our part time worker Kim Nelson and our Farm Fam pal Pomme took a bit of the load off as well. Wonderful SYA  volunteer Pam Kissel willingly dressed in hazmat gear to make sure all the animals got groomed and some cuddle time.  Those suits are like a wearable sauna. NOT FUN.  In the thirteen years of running the rescue I have never had to deal with anything like this and hope to never have to again!

I hope to get back on track with regular newsletters.

 

ChEARS,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

April 19, 2019

 

Ears the news…

I apologize for the lapse between newsletters. It’s been a rough winter. I recently lost my first donkey Lula at age 28 . That was a tough one for me. Jeff got her for me as a gift and we brought her home in the back of a van when she was 16 weeks old.  It is because of Lula that I began to reach out to other donkey owners, read everything I could get my hands on about donkeys and their care, their nutritional needs, behavioral needs, and what it takes to start a rescue. The rest is history.

We have taken in a lot of animals with medical issues, those needing a lot of “fattening up”, and those with severe hoof issues.  The weather has been challenging as well. Thankfully we are finally getting some warmer, sunny days and  life is looking a bit more optimistic.

We have recently said farewell to two of our devoted board members, Joan Gemme, and Jean Cornish. They will be missed. We wish them well in their new endeavors. Thankfully Joan will still be volunteering to help with the auction and side projects for which we are very grateful!

We are in the process of looking for a new treasurer for the BOD as well as someone gifted in the art of fund raising. If you or anyone you know might be interested please let me know.

We currently have several adoptions pending and several in the works, just waiting for i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed. Shadow will be going to a wonderful home where she will have the company of many other donkeys of varying sizes. Sol and Luna will be going to their new home next month, as hopefully will be Ruth and Ezra.  We have people interested in Molly and Shadow, so hopefully all will be in new, loving homes before long. We love having them here but it is no substitute for being doted on by forever owners.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for the adoption of Manny and Sibley as well.

We are having our annual Open House on May 18th this year and hope to see you there! It’s a fun day to hang with the animals, other like minded folks, share food and a good time.  It will be held from 11:00 to 4:00. Please join us and bring your friends!

I would also like to publicly welcome’s our newest employee, Kim Wilson who now works weekends. I get a day off!!  Kim is a hard worker with a wonderful sense of humor; paramount for this job, and a great love for the animals.  We are happy to have her on board!

I will do my best to get back on track with the timely writing of this newsletter.

ChEARS,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

October 26, 2018

Ears the news…

What a difference a day makes….waking up to snow on the ground was a surprise. The donkeys and mules were lined up so their bodies were like solar panels; all soaking in the warmth as the sun rose in the sky.

I am happy to say that in the twelve years I’ve been placing animals through the rescue, only twice have I had to reclaim animals from the home in which I had placed them. Since close to 400 animals have been placed in homes in that time frame I am able to take it in stride, though I cannot say it does not bother me greatly. Upon doing a site visit to a home which agreed to make changes necessary to provide what two draft mules would need recently, we sadly found that not only had the changes not been made, but the animals condition was not acceptable, so the decision was made to take them back. This is not a pleasant experience for either side. Although unpleasant I will do what needs to be done as I am first and foremost an advocate for the animals in my care. I will work with potential adopters by offering advice, suggestions, and even hands on help if needed, but if adopters are not going to abide by the rules and regulations stipulated in the adoption contract they sign, I will do whatever is necessary for the wellbeing of the animals. Thankfully this does not happen often as it very stressful for all involved. I am happy to say the two we brought back are doing well and are ready to be adopted.

We have quite a few animals available for adoption right now. The two draft mules who came back are a sweet bonded pair. We have several donkey pairs as well as two single mules. All of them would be very happy with a family to dote on them. I love having them here but know they will be so much happier with their own people.

I am looking forward to attending my sixth annual Donkey Welfare Symposium at UC Davis Vet School next weekend. I love the opportunity to be around like minded people who want to learn how to best care for their animals. The chance to learn from veterinarians, equine dentists, farriers, behaviorists many of whom work in third world countries on the donkeys there is an amazing experience. It’s a blast to hook up with friends whom I see only at this venue, once a year.   I will get home and have a couple of weeks to prepare for Equine Affaire which is another fun gig to look forward to and at which I hope to see a lot of you.

The water heaters have been pulled out of storage and electric tea pots at the ready for preparing hot mashes as the weather changes. I hope all of you and your long eared buddies are having a wonderful fall and that the winter will be kind to us all.

ChEARS,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Breaking News!!

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

 

 

NEWS FLASH !!

We are very happy and grateful to once again be the recipients of a matching donation challenge. This could not have come at a better time for us. I think due to the fact that winter will not be far away, we have started to get a lot of calls about animals needing to be surrendered. This means we will need more resources to ensure having enough hay on hand. We have every animal that comes in seen by a veterinarian which can and does quickly turn in to a large bill. We will need all the help we can get!

Every donation made between now and November 1, 2018 will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000.00!

By taking advantage of this incredibly generous offer you can double the impact of your donation. Doing so will help every donkey, mule, and hinny we care for.

We are so blown away by this act of incredible generosity by donors who wish to remain anonymous.

Please do what you can!

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GO TIME AGAIN – CAN WE SAVE THESE BEAUTIFUL SOULS? AS ALWAYS, CLOCK IS TICKING – DEADLINES VARY 24 HRS – 5 DAYS!

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The following is from Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang:

Hi y’all,

Thank you for saving the last group of Texas kids. At the bottom of the page you will see a bit of what we are facing with their rehab.

HOWEVER, once again we received a call asking for help. The above kids are some of the ones we were asked to save. (We won’t know for sure which ones we will be able to save until we have the funds to secure them. But if one is already safe, we will save another one)

As Matt is going to be a third of the way there when he delivers the next group of horses to their new homes, this would be the time to save some more lives.

We wanted to give everyone a chance to save these beautiful souls from the slaughterhouse floor and to help save more lives. We are more than willing to “git ‘er done” as long as we can raise enough funds to make it happen.

There is a heavily bred mare, a beautiful branded mustang mare, donkeys, injured kids etc. They all need our help and as always, time is of the essence.

I am heading for surgery on Monday, but it should be an outpatient type of thing, (just replacing my generator), and Matt is ready and willing to go get these kids when he delivers the other 6 to their new homes.

As always, it all depends on you. We will keep doing the work if we have the funds to do so. Out of the last 9, 6 are heading to their forever homes. As you can see by the pictures below, there are 3 who need intensive care and they will remain at Chilly Pepper for the time being. BOTH of the mare’s front hooves are in horrific shape, and she will need major care. Our beautiful Princess Sahreena was emaciated and she will need lots of love and care. She also came in with some pretty gnarly injuries, but they are healing well.

Please help us save the “new kids”. We are looking at about $6000 plus to hopefully save 9? more lives, including transportation, rescue and vetting to get them home.

Again, this is not our “normal rescue”, but since Matt is already headed that way, we got the call, and the timing is perfect to combine the two, we are definitely willing to go the extra mile if you want to save these kids and keep them off the slaughter truck.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO KEEP HELPING US SAVE MORE LIVES, YOU CAN GO TO:

You can go to gofundmel

You can go to Paypal

if you would like to help these horses.

                                                                           ->You can donate via check at:

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang,

295 Old Hwy 40 East, # 190

Golconda, NV 89414

You can also donate via credit card by calling Palomino at 530-339-1458.

NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL – WE SAVE THEM ALL!

SAVING GOD’S CRITTERS – FOUR FEET AT A TIME

Chilly Pepper – Miracle Mustang, WIN Project – Rescue & Rehab

We are now part of the WIN Organization

WIN (WILD HORSES IN NEED) is a 501c3 IRS EIN 55-0882407_

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

August 14, 2018

Ears the news…

These two donkeys are simply adorable and at first glance they look very happy and well cared for. They came from a hoarding situation. SYA has been able to help their owner by taking in donkeys from her as she was emotionally able to part with them over the last five years or so. There is no doubt that she loved them all dearly. The woman is in her eighties and in poor health. I am not sure of how long it’s been since she has been able to go outside as she is wheelchair bound, let alone to do anything with or for the donkeys. These two beautiful cousins had been living in a filthy barn/stall/paddock area. Their manure had not been cleaned in years. The only water they had available to them was about six inches of green, thick scummy soup, and full of rotting leaves. Their hooves look ok in this picture, but several have major flares, and one has part of a hoof wall missing. In fairness to their owner, she did have someone in to “care” for the donkeys but was obviously unable to check and see how the donkeys were faring.

As is often the case with donkeys it seems, rather than being too thin, they are very overweight. They both have fat pones on their necks and flanks. Obesity in donkeys is something we see more often than underweight animals, and is in my opinion, a form of neglect. Donkeys are NOT little horses with big ears. They are a species that has evolved very successfully over a very long period of history getting by on very little forage, of often fairly poor nutritional value, that they had to walk over miles of stony, rocky, hard ground to reach. We plop them down in rich, grassy pastures and are then surprised when they develop hoof and other health issues.

I would rather take in animals that are too thin as it is so much easier to put fat on to a donkey than to take it off. A fat donkey is not a healthy donkey. I recommend a dry lot for all donkeys for at least part of a 24 hour period. They do need to graze for their behavioral needs to be properly met, but their grazing time needs to be supervised. Please be aware that allowing a donkey to become obese is shortening their overall life span and can, and often does lead to a myriad of other health related issues.

I am very happy that we are able to take in animals like these and get them on a regulated feeding program and an exercise plan that will help them slowly lose some excess pounds. A great way to help us do this is to join our Take a Long Ear to Lunch program. This enables you to make an on-going monthly donation to SYALER. All of our money to run the rescue comes via adoption fees, merchandise sales, and donations. The grants available for donkey rescue are very specific and we do not qualify for many. Any grant writers out there who want to donate their time and expertise would be more than welcome! Your monthly gift of any amount goes right into our operating cost fund and helps with everything from buying hay, supplements, equipment, to veterinary and farrier costs. Knowing we can count on a certain amount each month is a very comforting.  To become a member of the program use the following link for complete details. Take a Long Ear to Lunch!

Summer will be winding down soon and I am looking forward to crisp, fall days already. We have a lot of fun things coming up. Our annual Benefit show will be held at Millot Green, Alstead, NH on Saturday, October 13th. A week after that I will be heading out to U.C. Davis Vet School for yet another Donkey Welfare Symposium. I am looking forward to that as it is always a wonderful chance to meet up with donkey friends I only see once a year at this event, and to learn more about how to give the best care possible to the animals we take in to the rescue. November brings Equine Affaire which is always a fun, if not exhausting gig. We are working on a couple of ideas for seminars/workshops at the rescue. We’ll keep you posted on those.

I hope to see you out and about at our upcoming events.

ChEARS,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

June 23, 2018

Ears the news…

Well, May certainly flew right by! Thank you to all who attended our Open House. We had a great day weather wise and had a great turn out. It was wonderful to see old friends and to make new ones. The adoption of two donkeys resulted from the day! Our friends Jessica, Larkin, Emerson, and Nicole from Empowered Equestrians did their usual FABULOUS job of introducing people to the joys and power of training using positive reinforcement.

It’s hard to believe that we are more than half way through June already. It seems like little Sassy was just born but she is on her way to her three month birthday. She gets cuter and sassier by the day. I am surprised that she and her mom have not yet been adopted. They will make a great addition to someone’s barn yard.

Sassy

We have a lot of animals available for adoption right now. Having bonded pairs makes it more difficult to place animals but we do what is best for the animals and a singleton donkey is not a happy camper. Donkeys need another donkey as a buddy for their behavioral and social needs to be properly met. For that reason we only adopt out donkeys in pairs unless it is to a home that already has a donkey. Yes, many donkeys live with goats or horses as companions, but there are published studies validating the fact that when given the choice donkeys will choose another donkey as their companion.

We also do not adopt out donkeys to be used as guardians. I get a lot of “yeah buts” on this one. Yes, sometimes it can work with the larger donkeys. Most often it does not. I once took in a donkey jennet that had been a guardian to a herd of goats for 17 years. She was with the kids when they were born every year. The year I took her in she had killed all the kids that were born that season. Why? Who knows? I have heard stories like this repeatedly and have taken in other donkeys due to similar, though not on such a large scale, situations. Thinking of using a mini donkey as a protector is just silly. I have seen donkeys horribly wounded by a single dog.   Those of you who know me, know that I will always do what is best for the animals in my care. If some folks don’t like my rules, or me for enforcing them, I’m ok with that.

I would like to officially welcome Meg Dionne to “Team SYA”. Meg does an unbelievable job of cleaning up after these manure making animals. When she is done cleaning a paddock it looks as if it has been vacuumed!!! She is awesome, has a wonderful sense of humor and if I dare say, is just a bubble off plumb, so she fits in perfectly! We love her!

I would be remiss if I did not mention how thankful I am to Mike Dunham, Annie Kellam, Andria Elliot, and of course my right hand gal Hannah. I could not do this without them. I am also, as always, deeply grateful to those who donate so generously to make sure we are able to give the best possible care to the donkeys and mules we take in to the rescue.

Get outside. Hug your long ears, and enjoy these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer!

ChEARS,

Ann

President & Shelter Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SYALER eNewsletter

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

Ears the news…

It seems as though summer is in a hurry to leave. This morning was downright chilly. Fall is definitely in the air. The donkeys and mules feel it too. There has been a lot of running and bucking and farting happening in the pasture today. I have been getting calls from folks who are going to be needing to surrender their animals before winter comes. We have had a good summer for adopting out animals, with three donkeys and the adorable mini horse we have going to their new home shortly.

We have five animals in the rescue currently, four standard donkeys and a hinny, who all need a lot more training/handling/behavioral work done with them before they will be ready to be put up for adoption. We work with them almost daily, but it’s been slow going with this group. I am confident that they will come around in time, but in the mean time they need to eat and have their feet trimmed and receive veterinary care and it’s putting a strain on our bank account.

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BIG Day of Giving: What Can Your Donation Do?

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The following is from All About Equine Animal Rescue:

It’s Finally Here!!  The BIG Day of Giving!!

This event started at midnight and goes for 24 hours. This is a great opportunity to give local now and show the country that our region is #1 as the most generous community on this national day of giving!

This year, our goal is to engage at least 200 donors and raise $10,000 to help us FILL THE BARN to help support our feed and care costs! 

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EMERGENCY ALERT: Danger on Capitol Hill

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The following is from the American Wild Horse Campaign:

I’m sorry to have to give you some devastating news. In the wee hours of Monday morning, Congress released a 1,600+ page spending bill for 2017. Buried on page 804 is Section 116, which allows the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to strip wild horses and burros of federal protection and “immediately” transfer them to state and local governments for use as “work animals.”

But with no definition of work animal, and no limit to the number of horses and burros that can be transferred, this language could provide a back door route to killing thousands of these national legacy animals. Although Congress added language prohibiting commercial slaughter and putting some restrictions on “euthanasia,” signalling its intent to prevent the killing of healthy horses. However, ambiguities and loopholes in the language leave it open to abuse. Especially at risk are the older mustangs and burros, now protected under federal law. Under the language these majestic, elder animals could be killed simply due to “advanced age,” a term that is undefined.

We can’t let this stand…Congress should not be allowed to undermine the will of the American people and a unanimously-passed Act of Congress – the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act – through a last-minute spending bill. 

We have just hours to make our voices heard… Please click below NOW to call and send a message to key appropriators asking them to strip this devastating provision that could result in the killing of thousands – and potentially tens of thousands — of America’s cherished wild horses and burros.

If you do one thing for wild horses and burros, please do this now!

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Ears in the News

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The following is from Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue:

I think spring is finally here! The mules are shedding like crazy and I saw a little sparrow with a long piece of mule tail hair in its beak heading into the willow tree. The mud has dried up for the most part and we are in full swing getting things spruced up for our upcoming TENTH! Anniversary Open House on May 13th . I hope you can make it! Details are on the website and SYA’s Face Book page.

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SYALER Cabin Fever Auction

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The following is from the Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue.

The February doldrums are upon us, and at Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue, we have a full house of donkeys and mules snuggled down in beds of fluffy shavings with piles of hay keeping them warm and cozy as they wait for new homes. In the meantime, the humans of Save Your Ass are keeping busy with their care, as well as planning our 2017 fundraisers to support the rescue in the upcoming year.

Our next event, which is guaranteed to bring some fun into the dark days of winter, is the annual Cabin Fever Online Auction which will be held from March 5th to March 12th on our special Facebook Auction page. We are reaching out to you to ask if you would consider donating an item to this 2017 event. Over the years we’ve auctioned off a little bit of everything – travel, art, handcrafted items, services, gift certificates, produce, baked goods, clothing, equine items, animal training, collectibles, household items – you name it! We welcome and appreciate all donations, large, medium or small.

The auction generates a lot of interest (and competitive bidding!), and the proceeds allow us to carry out our mission of helping donkey and mules in need. In 2016 we placed 40 long ears – a new record!

If you are interested in making a donation of any kind, please email Joan Gemme with the following information.

Deadline for donation submission is February 28.

  1. Item Name
  2. Short description
  3. Donor Name
  4. Website (if applicable)
  5. Donor email
  6. Item Value (including a rough shipping cost)
  7. Opening Bid

Please attach a photo, logo, or any other image that will appear with your item. As in the past, we request that the donors be willing to arrange shipping, delivery or pickup of their item to the winning bidder.

Please email Joan Gemme with any questions, or phone at 413-559-8414 evenings.

Thank you for your support!

Click Here To Visit SYALER

Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue Update: Slick, etc.

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The following is from the Save Your Ass Long Ear Rescue.

We have had a busy start to the new year here at the rescue. Lots of new animals have joined the herd. They will all be brought up to date on their vaccinations, get a clean bill of health from our veterinarian, then you will see them available for adoption on our website.

All of the animals have been wonderfully healthy and have been getting through the winter just fine… until last Sunday morning. When I looked out the window, cup of coffee in hand, just observing the mules hanging out across the driveway in the paddock closest to the house I noticed that my favorite rescue mule Slick was holding a hind leg up. He put it down and lifted his other hind leg, put that down and did the same with both front legs, then back to lifting the hind legs again. This was not normal. I bundled up and went out to check on him to find him shaking and unwilling to move.

It took me quite a while to get him into a stall where I was able to check his vitals. Other than a slightly elevated temperature, all vitals were fine, no digital pulses, but something was very wrong.

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The Veterinarian’s Role in Equine Abuse Investigations

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The following is an article from The Horse.

The Veterinarian's Role in Equine Abuse Investigations

Photo: Courtesy of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Veterinarians must know how to properly document findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.

How a veterinarian goes about examining and treating allegedly abused horses can mean the difference between a successful or unsuccessful case against the owner. He or she must know how to properly document all findings and avoid destroying evidence while still putting the horse’s welfare first.

Nicole Eller, DVM, a Minnesota-based field shelter veterinarian with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Field Investigations and Response team, described the veterinarian’s unique role in animal crime scene investigations during her presentation at the 2016 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 3-7 in Orlando, Florida.

First, she reviewed the basics of evidence identification, collection, and preservation. “Evidence is generally defined as anything that can demonstrate or disprove a fact in contention,” said Eller. In equine abuse investigations, this can include anything from photos of a horse’s injuries or body condition to the moldy hay in his feeder.

Veterinarians must view these cases through the lens of someone looking for and collecting evidence. As the equine expert, the veterinarian will recognize key pieces of evidence that other investigators might overlook.

Eller then described the four phases of processing an animal crime scene.

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