I received a phone call a few days ago regarding a starving horse in the Oliver, British Columbia area. I found him on the roadway, basically just a walking skeleton. I approached him calmly and he just let me walk right up to him and slip a halter on. The lady who reported him to me was with me, as well as another friend. We had to walk him a 1/4-mile to where it would be safe to load him in a trailer.
At first he was walking very well and we all commented that he had a nice gait. Very soon, however, he started to drag the tips of his back feet. We stopped to let him rest and fed him a small bit of grass hay that we had brought with us. When we continued he was soon dragging his back feet. We stopped again for a rest. On the final short portion of the walk, his back end was swaying and I thought, "Oh no, please do not fall down."
He made it. While we waited for the trailer to arrive, it started to rain. I had some clothes to take for donation and I dug through the bag and came up with two coats and a house coat, which we draped over him to keep him a little warm. He seemed to appreciate it. When the trailer came he just hopped right in.
I was going to take him to the Critteraid farm but since he was so weak I was afraid that he would not endure the hour-and-a-half ride. Ken McRae from Oliver was the person who had agreed to pick him up so he said we could take him to his place and put him in his box stall, which is what we did. The vet came to check him and by that time we had him in his stall with a nice warm blanket on. When Ken removed the blanket, the vet swore in surprise.
However, after an examination, the vet said for his condition he had good lungs, good gut sounds and he does have a heart murmer, but felt that was not too big of a concern. We have to feed him frequent small meals, so if anyone if from the Oliver area could help us out with him while he stays at Ken's, please contact me.
We have named him Briarwood.
I went to check on him yesterday, and he is alert and talking! He is hanging his head over the stall door now to watch what is going on out in the yard. I took him for a short walk to let him get some fresh air and sunshine but he stumbled as he is still weak. I let him have just a nibble of grass.
Also Dawn and company checked him over carefully for ticks and found quite a few, so they have all been pulled off now. The vet does not want us to treat him for ticks as his system is too weak.
I will check on him again tomorrow, but he seems to be improving already. Keep him in your prayers as he has a long way to go yet.
October 9, 2011 Happy Birthday Applejack!
Applejack was born approximately 6:30 am on Sunday, October 9th, 2012 at Critteraid Farm.
His mom is Avalon, one of the wild mares from the Deadman Valley near Kamloops.
This is the third foal from the group of rescued horses.
Please contact us if you are interested in adopting this handsome boy. Avalon is also in need of a forever home.
Aug 23, 2011 Waiting for Another Birth
Avalon, the small paint mare, was moved to the Critteraid farm this week. She will be able to have her foal in a safe environment. She is getting very large and her bag is getting a lot of veins so I think we will have a new arrival quite soon! Don't forget, both she and her foal will be available for adoption as well as our other rescue horses:
Abercrombie, the paint gelding (Avalon is also his Mom)
Anastasia and her foal, Aurora,
and the gelding Aragorn!
Aug 4, 2011 Denmark Tourists Make A Wonderful Donation
Late last week (July 29,2011) Critteraid’s Project Equus received an unexpected gift when a family from Denmark, that was visiting the Okanagan, stopped into Jardin Estate Jewelry and Antiques in Okanagan Falls to ask if Project Equus would be able to use three almost brand new bicycles!
Yun Mi Antorini was in the Okanagan with her two girls for approximately two weeks, and they had purchased the bikes to get around and enjoy our beautiful area. Since they could not take the bikes back with them, and had learned about Project Equus and the work we are doing to protect the wild horses of British Columbia, the family wanted to see if we could make use of their bicycles.
Of course we gratefully accepted the Antorini’s offer. We plan to hold a raffle later this fall, putting all proceeds towards the care and training of the wild horses in our possession.
Project Equus currently has five horses in our care looking for forever homes, including a baby who was born on May 5th and another foal expected in mid-August. Project Equus is also looking for foster homes and volunteers. If you would like to learn more about Project Equus and how you could help the horses please call Theresa Nolet at 250-497-6733 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 15, 2011 Another Baby for Project Equus
Arundel, the oldest mare (estimated to be 22 years old), gave birth to a beautiful baby boy/colt. He is very lucky as both he and his mom are being adopted by a wonderful couple. The vet came out and declared both Mom and son to be healthy and in good condition despite the poor condition that Arundel was in when she first arrived.
Contact Theresa for more information on Project Equus and the wild horses of British Columbia.
Photos were taken when the colt was about 8 hours old. More photos and information available on our Facebook page, Project Equus of Critteraid.
Happy news today. Anastasia has finally had her foal, and both mother and daughter are doing fine. When we picked Anastasia and Arundel up from Kamloops stockyards on March 8th, it was obvious that Anastasia was heavy with foal. We were concerned that she was very close to her due date and are so grateful to her foster mom, Carmen, who took her in. However she had a mind of her own as to when she was going to have that baby and kept us waiting for almost TWO months!
Anastasia is going to be a great mom. When I was there to see the new baby, approximately 4 hours after her birth, Anastasia would not let her out of her sight. It is so touching to watch this new life try out her new found freedom and experience stretching out those LONG legs of hers! She was still a bit wobbly. When the baby was practicing running in circles, Anastasia never took her eyes off her, backing up to keep her in sight.
She is a beautiful bay with white markings on her face and is a big girl. She is going to be a heart stealer for sure! I know she has already stolen mine!
If you would like to contribute to supporting Anastasia and her new baby, donations are gratefully accepted, and tax receipts will be issued. Just imagine, if it had not been for Minister Steve Thomson’s decision, these beautiful animals would have ended up on a plate beside the mashed potatoes overseas. Thank goodness for Mr. Thomson’s moral strength in making the right decision and turning these horses over to Critteraid. Please help ensure that Critteraid is able to continue their work to rescue British Columbia’s wild horses and give generously.
UPDATE APRIL 25,2011
This has been a crazy two weeks for Project Equus. We scrambled to get Anastasia moved because we were so sure she was going to have her foal any day. And, as of April 25, she is still pregnant! She has a wonderful foster home and we will let everyone know as soon as she has that baby!
Atticus is also in a foster home, with people who want to adopt him, so if everything works out he will have a loving family to call his own very soon!
Abercrombie and his Mom, Avalon, along with Aragorn, all went together to be fostered by a very generous Jackie Shay, who runs Shay Acres in Kelowna. Thank you Jackie and staff!
Abercrombie has moved into the "big boys" room now and shares accommodation with Aragorn. His mom is just across the lane in her own paddock, which I think she is enjoying as it was time for her boy to be weaned. Abercrombie is very friendly now, almost too friendly, as he wants to investigate everything you are doing! This is great to see that he is being the curious youngster that he should be, with no fear of people. He really needs someone to help to advance his training, so if anyone lives in Kelowna and would be interested in helping with him, or any of the others, please let us know. Volunteers working with the horses must be a member of BC Horse Council for insurance purposes.
So, presently, everyone is in foster homes but we are still looking for those “forever” homes for these wonderful horses. If you think you have room in your heart and pasture, please call or email today for more information!
PROGRESS REPORT MARCH 22, 2011
Arundel was trailered to her new foster home in Kaleden on Sunday. Dolly and Theresa did the honours and Arundel behaved as though she was just waiting to go "home". What a beautiful girl she is! Here's hoping somebody will come forward soon and decide to make her a part of their family. She is such a kind, gentle horse and looks small compared to Aimee's big boys she has on her property.
Atticus is still in training with Darryl before he moves along to his foster home in Naramata. He and Aragorn were gelded on Wednesday so there hasn't been a lot of work going on to give them a chance to settle. Everyone was microchipped this week. Theresa and Deb finally got the brochure published so if anybody needs any to pass out, please let us know by emailing email@example.com.
And, for those of you living in Vancouver, we are pleased to announce a special fundraiser for Project Equus on Sunday, April 10th at the J Club. Our friend, Thesa, is hosting and performing at a monthly variety show in Vancouver with a girlfriend, and each month they are selling 50/50 tickets with a charity who'll benefit. Project Equus is the first charity to benefit! Dress up like cowboys and Annie Oakley and head over to the TnT Rodeo! Show is from 7-9 and 50/50 draw takes place around 10pm. We do need some volunteers - email Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abercrombie - one blue eye and one brown eye
THOSE GRAY MARES AIN'T WHAT THEY USED TO BE
Update March 18, 2011
The ladies arrived last week and were trailered directly to our trainer in Cawston, Darryl Gibb. Our retrieval team consisted of Theresa, Sue and Lorraine and they were pleased with how well the mares handled the journey to their temporary "home". The older mare, Arundel, is halter trained and it was astonishing to see her poor body was covered in ticks. Upon arrival at Darryl's, they got to work removing the blood sucking parasites and Arundel actually dozed off during the process. She is comfortable with people and it must have felt pretty good getting those blighters off of her flesh. Veterinarian, Dr. Henry Kleinhofmeyer, estimates Arundel at around 22 years. She is gentle and soft and it is our wish for her that somebody comes forward to want to give her a fine, easy life, full of love and attention and comforts that she has obviously not known.
Anastasia is an absolute vision, stunningly beautiful like a Kindrie Grove painting. She will likely foal within the month. This latest part of her life must be such a dream for her, not having to forage for food and travel to and from different water sources. She is spirited and totally aware of everything around her. Getting her trust will have to be earned and Darryl is the perfect man for that job.
Two days later, Theresa headed back up to Kamloops with her team and came home with Avalon the mare, Aragorn the stallion and Abercrombie the colt. Avalon and Abergrombie are paints and Aragorn is a bay. What a fine group of horses they are.
Vet exams were completed this week on everyone and all were vaccinated with the exception of Anastasia because she is so close to foaling. They've all been dewormed. Dr. Kleinhofmeyer gelded Atticus and Aragorn, but little Abercrombie is cryptorchid which means that one of his testicles has not yet dropped. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that the testicle will descend on it's own over the next four months and that he won't require an expensive surgery. Sadly, with many of the wild horses in British Columbia, that gene is out there and it is not uncommon to have to deal with that problem.
Arundel and Atticus will be going to foster homes this weekend and we will have updates of that for you next week.
We want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have sent in donations. They are being processed and your tax receipts will be sent real soon. Please post our updates wherever you can as the more people who are aware of Project Equus, the more people who will come forward and help. That means more lives being saved.
We continue to progress with our Birth Control portion of Project Equus and at the very least will have the first four mares in the program darted in April. Cataloguing started today with Dolly Kruger, the gal we sent to Montana for training under Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick. Exciting times.
It is our hope that the next generation of horse lovers will be able to visit the wild horses of British Columbia and that the herds will be able to be managed and maintained. Heaven knows, we need more volunteers, more good people wanting horses permanently and more good people wanting to foster horses for us. And lots more money, too. What the heck, we're going for it!
Arundel and Anastasia
Update March 9, 2011
Just met with Theresa to download film and photos of bringing Arundel and Anastasia down from Kamloops. Anastasia is definitely pregnant, too early to tell about Arundel. Arundel is tame and a wonderful horse. Theresa, Sue and Lorraine took over 40 ticks off of her and she was so relaxed she actually slept as they pulled those blood suckers off.
Anastasia seems spirited and both mares are incredibly beautiful. Darryl already started working with them as soon as they were unloaded. I think they know that they are safe. But for Anastasia, she is still a wild horse and her mistrust will linger longer than Arundel's will. For those of you who know Kindrie Grove's work, Anastasia is like a Kindrie Grove painting. It's hard not to cry when you see such beautiful beings.
Atticus is in amongst other horses now and will soon be placed in foster care after he is gelded next week. What a fantastic horse he is. All the qualities that you seek rolled into one.
On Friday February 18,2011 the Honourable Steve Thomson Minister of Natural Resource Operations announced that a mare and a stallion seized from rangeland near Deadman Lake will be turned over to the Summerland-based rescue organization Critteraid under the umbrella of Project Equus.
The two horses had been scheduled to go on the auction block at the Kamloops stockyard on Tuesday February 22, where their fate was likely to end up at slaughter. Minister Thomson has directed that the two horses be handed over to Critteraid without any costs attached. Thomson has also directed Ministry staff to review current legislation to help find a long term solution to save any future feral horses from going to slaughter when rounded up.
Critteraid is happy to be involved in working with the Ministry to explore potential solutions that will result in a humane outcome for the feral horses of B.C.
Although there are no costs attached to receiving the two horses, Critteraid will experience considerable costs associated with their transportation, medical care, sheltering care and training. Anyone wishing to support this project can make a tax deductible donation online at www.critteraid.org for Project Equus/feral horses.
For further information please contact Theresa Nolet, Spokesperson for Project Equus at 250-497-6733 or 250-492-4921. Email email@example.com.
Critteraid is assisting one of our members, Theresa Nolet, in a project regarding the Native horses. A very courageous and organized woman, Theresa Nolet has been feeding a herd of 17 horses at her property on the West Bench. She has been in touch with the Band, her MLA and the Regional District on the management and care of the horses. She has a few in her herd that are in foal and a few that are on the thin side but for the most part they are in fairly good shape. She only feeds them a bale or two a day as she wants them to keep foraging and she does have a large trough now for them for water. Her goal is to work with the owners of these horses (Native or non native) and start using a contraceptive vaccine to control the ever growing population of them. Then she wants to see if the young ones can be captured and trained using non violent methods (parelli type) and adopted out to good homes or donated to therapy riding centres.
Donations for this project are appreciated. Hay is the most important item to start distributing throughout the herds. Grass hay would be the best as these horses are not used to a high end feed that may cause intestinal upset to them. We will be distributing the hay to the horses that are in the poorest condition and of course, we will be contacting the Penticton Indian Band in advance of distributing the hay as the majority of the horses are residing on Reserve Lands.
Those wishing to make financial donations can be assured that their contribution will stay within the Project Equis and be used to make the difference that everyone is looking for. Tax receipts will be issued from Critteraid.
All those involved want to do what is best for the horses now and in the long term. The Penticton Indian Band wants to take the steps to resolve this public safety issue and to help alleviate the suffering of these horses and give them a secure future and we want to help in any way we can to make it a reality. There are many options in resolving this problem and we want to work together to explore them all and find the one or ones that work for the horses here. Critteraid is great at fundraising and we have some promising information on a contraceptive vaccine that is safe and effective at keeping horse populations in check. Perhaps this is an option. Time will tell and our group is committed to keep working on this until a practical and effective solution can be found.