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Used to run a stable and live on a farm, now I am back into banking for awhile. Still have horses and love animals.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Triumphs and Trials

I've known about some good news for a couple of weeks now but prolonged writing about it because I wanted to think about it for awhile and wrap my mind around it. Since June of last year I have been dealing with issues through the court on the farm we lost.

I put a lot of money and sweat into that place, the owner's took me to court for an additional $15,000 which I ended up filing a counter claim for some of the down payment I gave them. Two weeks ago they agreed to drop their claim in agreement that I would drop mine.

We have been restored and blessed overwhelming since leaving that place but it still felt like a great weight around my neck until now. I should have recovered some of my lost but the legal fees just pursuing it in court would have eaten up any of the funds I'd hope to get back.

I can justify most of the money I spent as a break even situation on a financial analysis easily, I can't justify the mental anguish though and the events that took place from February to June of last year because of how it all came down from dealing with some of my boarders and even some of my friends.

Looking at what is a life worth monetarily deserves mention here, how much value in terms of money can you put on the life of a horse, a dog, or a person. If I hadn't taken a huge risk by trying to buy that farm my life would not be as rich a it was for 2 years in learning and helping out the animals that came to us. Here is a list of those animals and how my 2 year folly impacted them.

Rauls - a horse who was nearing the end of his life at 34 who couldn't see or hear very well and was depressed when he came to us.

The minute he stepped off the trailer and smelled the fresh air and saw the grass he started to change. The light coming in through the clear panel in his stall and throughout the barn aided him in seeing better. The freedom to run with the other horses and stand out in a natural, large, pasture with plenty of trees for shade invigorated him.

When Rauls had an accident with the stall door, he bled really bad, he had started having nose bleeds daily, after that it was a challenge to get him to eat.

Rauls was given around the clock care, walked to the other horses because he was getting feebler, brushed and hand fed by us. He was put down in the big pasture and the last thing he saw was the ancient oak tree. Most of all Rauls knew he was loved, I spent the last days with him almost exclusively, talking to him and cuddling him.

The cost was time and he took some of my heart with him, I can't put a monetary value on it though.

Satire - Another senior horse, he had very little teeth left and it wasn't long after he came that he looked so bad an seemed so depressed that something had to be done. By the time I could talk the owner's into giving him something he could eat it completely overwhelmed him and he coliced and I mean he really coliced. I will never forget how he would bolt his food, I learned one thing about horses and that's how to recognize a starving horse.

The colic was so bad that Satire had to have surgery after finding him 3 times very sick late at night. Major emergency and finally the big one. He pulled through but that meant special food and monitoring and a great deal of our time just focused on him. He was old and went through a serious of health issues before he passed.

The farm as it was set up provided a safe place for Satire without fear of him being hurt by other horses, especially when larger barns let horses out without thinking in large herds, we tried to give him special places and we allowed him to do things we wouldn't have for other horses. His stall was large and he had natural light. We fed him 4 times a day and took great care to make sure the feeding was right.

The cost was huge on time and the frustration with the owner's over every little thing. We loved him and we spoiled him in our own way regardless. He had a very good year for his last year for the most part. He was spirited till the end because he at least didn't die starving to death. No monetary value can be estimated here either.

Preacher- He came angry with lots of anxiety issues. I loved Preacher, he was allowed to be boss of the herd and lead them back and forth from the pasture, he learned he could be a boss without being a bully and he lost a lot of his food aggression.

It wasn't a big save but it made me happy to see him happy.

Mare Girl - People thought I was crazy for taking her, she was 25 and a standerbred who had not been with other horses in 10 years. A retired racehorse who's owner was elderly and she was being kicked out of her farm by her step children. Everyone thought it would turnout to be an abandoned horse and I'd be stuck (I thought it might happen too).

Mare's teeth were terrible, they got fixed, she almost went over the handicap ramp and gait at the barn when she saw other horses at a distance. She got a blockage with her colic once and that was a 3 day ordeal.

The owner always paid on time, she sent more when I had to buy the more expensive senior feed. She provided a years worth of hay for mare too.

The best thing though was Mare trotting at full speed to the big pasture ahead of all the other horses. Her tail would be up and she was ready to go, everyone brushed her, gave her treats, and made her feel special.

Her horse boyfriends started with Echo then Preacher, Will and then Cody at the end. She was part of a herd, she was a horse, she was just the best.


Moving her, although I took her with me and was there for her was hard on her. I know internally something was there that gave way but deep down I wondered if we had been able to stay if she would been alive a little longer, at least she would have had more peace because she loved our old farm.

William - A very angry horse that cribbed and coliced easy. Will was hard to understand, it took awhile to become his friend. We saved him once from bad colic and we tried to make sure he couldn't crib in different ways and I had to have words with his owner more than once about putting a collar on him.

He and Mare had a wonderful bond before we left the farm, he protected her and was gentle to her. Will was a good horse, I regret not being about to spend more time with him trying to solve the anger issue but we got some improvement.

Will went to another farm close by that didn't buy hay out of state and supplemented with other things until the owner moved him again. Will died of colic. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he'd still be alive if we had been able to keep the farm.

This was a loss, from an emotional standpoint and I'd gladly have given my last dollar if that horse were still alive today.

Buddy - When I met him at another barn he was about starved to death, it was that simple. He wasn't with us long but I helped the owner before he came to our farm get the vet care and tests he needed and completely revamp his feed and feeding.

Happy that he got back on his feet and the owner was able to fully enjoy him and riding.

Again, wouldn't trade money for this happy ending.

Polo - One of those horses that I had a special bond with. Turns out he was slowly foundering, he was depressed, wouldn't always eat and was terribly lonely.

Bringing Polo into a barn with other horses was a big solution. The founder became a very big issue, tests were run and food was changed, his feet trimming changed to some degree which was part of the initial problem.

One of the greatest memories I have of Polo is him running out to the big pasture to join my personal horses, they loved him from day one. They never treated him like an outsider, they would check him out and they would all drop their heads in peaceful grazing.

Polo never liked to roll on the ground much till he came to our barn. My horses will drop and roll several times a day, the day I looked through the big barn door and saw four black legs in the air with hooves waving around was a wonderful day. Polo liked to roll almost every time he went out.

Polo eventually passed with founder after he left our farm. I miss him to this day, I just loved him so much.

Till I die, I'll never forget the picture of Polo out in the big pasture with other horses. I'd pay to see it again!

Gee, a quick rundown of dogs

Will - was going to be destroyed, we helped him till he got a home

Ben - a dying st. bernard - rescued just in time, I went and coaxed him to come with his he was aggressive, if we hadn't taken him them and let him stay over night at our place so the rescue could come get him he might not have survived.

Cruiser - in a situation where he without a doubt would have been killed either by a german sheppard in the house or a car since the husband didn't want him and sort of set it up that way. He was with us for awhile but he got the best family ever.

Chewy - found on the streets by a friend who just left him at the farm, he was with us for awhile till the rescue found him a great home.

Sheba- A great dog who had lost her home, she stayed with us for so long till the rescue found her a family, I might say a wonderful family. Sheba didn't do well with the first family that showed interest so I interview the second one, and I took her to their house. It was a meant to be home as if she had always been there.

Monk - I just happened to be involved with a rescue with Will and Monk came up in an email which I forwarded to someone that I thought might take interest. Monk hit the jackpot, he got the home and medical attention he so desperately needed.

2 dogs we took care of for months for a homeless couple - we got financially burned on this one but I didn't turn them away.

Okay, there are more but these are the ones I think stand out in my mind.

One dogs life alone is priceless to me so enough said.

Of course as soon as the issue with the old property is finally put to rest another issue must raise it's ugly head.

My ex I think lost a really good paying job, he disappeared out of my daughter's life in August again. So, she looses her home/farm, mare girl dies, and her father deserts her again. Perfect cocktail for depression which has been battling and is just now getting over it.

We have had to pay board for Aubrey which is a horse her father just left at our farm without helping with any cost. He stopped paying child support until a month ago and now that he has started again the phone calls start that are angry and that he demands to pick up Kylie after 9 months of ignoring her text and calls.

And so it goes... except all these years I've tried to keep peace and never tried for more money because again, Kylie's happiness is worth more than money.

I think it's best to resolve all the trials of the past few years and start with a clean slate. This is an old battle that needs to be resolved for good. More attorney fees to be sure but what that will buy is maybe, finally, security and peace of mind instead of fear.

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