Horses Forever and the American Saddlebred attended the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo
March 2015, saw us at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo, produced by the Colorado Horse Council at the National Western Complex in Denver. This year participants in the booth included Colorado American Saddlebred Horse Association (CASHA) , Longhopes Donkey Shelter, Rocky Mountain Carriage and Harness Sales, Rocky Mountain Carriage Club, Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue, “The Horse with a Fly on her Nose” and, last but not least, Horses Forever promoting their available horses and their large animal rescue program.
Volunteers from CASHA, Longhopes, helped support our effort this year. Jack Bloss of Rocky Mountain Carriage and Harness Sales, Pam Bond-Simmons with her amazing “one-of-a-kind hats”, Daniel Mendoza with his unending caricature talent and volunteers from Horses Forever, kept the booth very busy throughout the entire weekend.
Our Large Animal Rescue effort was handled by “Lucky”, the life-size articulated horse manikin displaying a Large Animal Lift (LAL) developed out of decommissioned fire hose from Lyons Fire Protection District. This is the introduction of a program developed through a partnership with Lyons FPD and Horses Forever. We are attempting to train First Responders in large animal rescue by traveling throughout the State of Colorado to give a one-day training seminar to local fire departments, free of charge. Most fire departments are volunteer departments, as is Lyons, and so training and equipment is vital but expensive. Lyons suffered great losses in the flood of September, 2013, so this is a joint effort to help their department, as well, in their extensive flood recovery program.
"When you're in a pickle, you need a friend.."
The Anderson sling was christened just after its arrival in Colorado when an 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding fell into a swimming pool. The horse was rescued by the West Metro Fire District, a local fire department. Many wonderful photographs were taken by the Fire District. We are indebted to the firefighters for their dedication in aiding this horse and to the Fire District for allowing us to reproduce some of the more than 100 photos that were taken during the rescue.
"...and a lift. Just hang in there!"
Yes, the pool was half filled with water and the entire rescue from beginning to end took more than 3 hours of dedicated work by firefighters, volunteer and paid, as well as neighbors (a crane was provided by a neighbor) and Dr. David Sievers, the local veterinarian that took care of the horse through its ordeal.
"You'll land on solid ground!"
During the Expo we displayed several of the photos of the actual rescue and it instantly became a wonderful training tool - lots of Expo visitors learned about large animal rescue that weekend. Many local firefighters, who were attending the Horse Expo, became very interested in the manikin, the sling and the prospect of future training sessions for large animal rescues.
The two rescues, Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue and Horses Forever, have decided that Lucky and the Anderson sling are to be made available, FREE of charge, to all large animal horse rescues and training sessions.
This year, as in previous years, Lucky, and the Large Animal Lift (LAL) were a popular attraction. Many people stopped to look at the rescue photos and talk with us about large animal rescue. We have accepted several invitations to take Lucky, the LAL and Horses Forever to several meetings of local fire departments and/or horse rescues to show folks Lucky with the newest sling and to help in fundraising efforts for local groups to purchase their own LAL for their locale.
The Women of the Colorado Trail
We were very proud to have been able to host the lectures of a group of women who have successfully traveled the entire length of the COLORADO TRAIL (www.coloradotrail.org). Three mother-daughter duos, several other women, a dog, a gun, a pack animal and even some Saddlebreds and Half-Saddlebreds. There was lots of discussion of do's and don'ts of high country, high profile trail riding and tales of others' experiences, as well.
Our booth was busy with lots of discussions, simultaneously - carriage driving, Saddlebreds, rescue horses, rescuing horses, trail riding and all that involves HORSES!
Horses Forever had several "Special Needs" horses' information on display. We offered that to folks who needed to find homes for their Saddlebreds. It was very successful as two of the Saddlebreds found new homes that weekend.
The Miracle Horses of Cavel
Several years ago, in March, HORSES FOREVER was contacted by Keith Dane, Director of Equine Protection of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). We were told that there was a trailer load of horses (approximately 30, in number) that had been sent to slaughter at the Cavel plant in DeKalb, IL. and were currently in a yard in Cheyenne, WY. The Illinois slaughterhouse was closed on March 29th and all the trailers loaded with horses were turned away. One trailer load of horses were actually in the plant and were then reloaded onto the trailer for a return trip to Wyoming. HSUS was attempting to get ownership of that group of horses and asked if we could help with placement and volunteers in this emergency.
We contacted Floss Blackburn, Director, Denkai Animal Sanctuary, Carr, CO, for assistance and the next day we met Keith Dane as he arrived from the East, at the Stockyards in Cheyenne, WY. The horses were separated into two pens - some were severely injured, thin and confused, others appeared to be in fairly good shape. http://multimedia.hsus.org/slideshow-horses-wyoming/
The Work Began
By evening of the day of our arrival all the horses had been haltered, identified, been through triage and evaluated, treated, had coggins tests taken, been given initial vaccinations and had their first worming, thanks to the help of Darren, Steph, Stacy and more Denkai volunteers, Dr. J D Fox, DVM, and his brother, Owen Fox, vet tech, of Cheyenne, WY and several HSUS folks on hand. Some of the horses that were in more severe condition were placed in inside stalls and one stallion was separated from the group, to a stall of his own. The injuries, in most cases, will heal and the horses, many of them very young and otherwise healthy, will go on to much greener pastures.
From that day forward work was continuous with more HSUS personnel arriving to assist. The work of finding appropriate places for all the horses began right away. Local and distant rescues were contacted to see if they could help. I am proud to say that our Rocky Mountain Equine Rescue Coalition rose to the occasion. Ultimately, Denkai Animal Sanctuary (www.denkaisanctuary.org and http://denkaisanctuary.blogspot.com:80/) took seven horses - they were close to Cheyenne and the most logical to take a larger number. Horse Protection League (www.cohpl.org) went to WY and took three of the horses and Front Range Equine Rescue (www.frontrangeequinerescue.org) took two. HORSES FOREVER was able to assist by providing new halters, lead ropes, marking tags, cameras, etc. for the initial triage work and helped find places for the horses to reside. Horses Forever wants to thank MURDOCHS of Longmont (www.murdochs.com/longmont) for their assistance and donations in this emergency. They continually help us with our many projects.
All the horses will be placed in rescues around the US, from CA to TX - CO and WY. From those rescues some may find "forever" adopted homes, some are now in sanctuaries and that will be their "forever" home. If you wish to help any of the above organizations please feel free to do so.
"These are the only horses on earth who have seen the inside of a horse slaughter plant and lived so that their story could be told," said Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO. "They have been through hell and back, stuffed into trailers, trucked for days, and led to the very brink of slaughter, only to be rescued at the last possible moment." http://hsus.org