Feel Good Sunday: Pink Pinto Horse is the Result of an Honest Miscommunication

Source: The HorseChannel.com – story by By Leslie Potter

“There’s a lot of negative news and activity swirling around the world of equines so a brief second of giggles is welcomed by all.  Enjoy your human and critter family, today, as tomorrow we get back after it, my friends.  Be safe.” ~ R.T.

The story of Rosy the pink horse has provided a bit of levity as British Columbia residents deal with wildfire threat.

Out of a serious situation comes an amusing anecdote, and one very bright pink horse.

First, the serious situation. More than 200 wildfires are currently burning in vast sections of inland British Columbia, Canada. Some areas have been placed under evacuation orders as crews struggle to contain the most destructive fires.

Evacuating horses and large livestock is always a challenge in cases of natural disasters as owners may not have sufficient trailer capacity readily available, and it’s not always easy to find a safe location to take horses to. Horse owners will sometimes let their animals loose if disaster is imminent and evacuation isn’t possible. Because horses may lose halters or collars, owners will sometimes spray paint their phone number on their horses’ bodies or write it in permanent marker on a hoof so that if the horses run off, there’s a better chance they can be returned later on.

And that’s where the story of Rosy begins.

Rosy’s owner, Cindy Roddick, asked her 15-year-old son, Jacob Sharkey, to use a non-toxic spray paint to write their phone number on Rosy and the family’s other horse. But he missed an important part of the request. He didn’t get the “phone number” part, and instead covered the white parts of the pinto’s coat with bright pink paint.

It made sense to him at the time.

“I thought she told me to just spray paint the entire horse to make it visible,” Sharkey told The Canadian Press. “That way, if we had to let them go, people could find them.”

According to Global News, the paint is a non-toxic variety made specifically for marking livestock, and Sharkey is now tasked with washing it off.

In the meantime, Roddick had her daughter post a photo of rose-colored Rosy to Facebook so that others could share a laugh that came out of an otherwise stressful situation.

Tap here for more information and resources from horse-canada.com for horse owners affected by the British Columbia Wildfires.


4th of July: A Time to Look Inward

OpEd by R.T. Fitch ~ President/Co-Founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Patriotic Ginerous Legacy (Harley) rescued from slaughter by Terry and R.T. Fitch, may he now rest in peace.

It’s a dangerous time for not only our wild horses and burros but also for our country in general.  Although there is renewed hope that we will no longer “lead from behind” in a world that is full of terrorists and rouge nations there is also a deep feeling of uncertainty as our new leadership attempts to be allowed to get it’s footing and move forward with an agenda that the American public hopes will improve the lives of families and friends.  And here at SFTHH and WHFF we consider our native wild horses and burros to be that family and to be those friends.

We, as an advocacy, are going to be calling upon each and everyone of you to become yet even more involved over the next several days.  We currently are asking you to pick up the phone, to make the calls and to write the emails and within the next few days we will be giving you some additional information and ammunition that will further empower and embolden you to help save our wild equines from slaughter and total ruination.

But on this day we need to recharge our souls and look deep within ourselves to reassess just WHY we do what we do and what makes it important to keep the movement rolling forward with gusto and dedication.  It’s a pretty easy glance; we quickly look beyond the common sense and moral compass that tells us it’s the right thing to do, that is a no-brainer.  But like the wild horses and burros who are all about family and freedom we do it for the exact same reasons; the future of our children and the freedom that they should experiance, to be able to live the lives they deserve to live and to relish in the natural world that so many have forgotten.

Old time Rocker, Neil Young recently made a  Facebook post that caught our eye.

“We made a record we wanted to share with you,” Canadian rocker Neil Young said. “We played with a bunch of people … total strangers in the same room on a full moon, 65 of us. It was very great. We had a great time. Enjoy.”

Neil was referring to a new song that has been titled “The Children of Destiny” and although I usually concentrate more on the musical content versus the lyrics the words of this song, coupled with the images, sincerely resonate within my soul upon this day:

Stand up for what you believe,

resist the powers that be

Preserve the land and save the seas for the children of destiny

The children of you and me.

Isn’t that exactly why we are doing what we are doing, preserving the future of our wildlife for the enjoyment of future generations?  Does that not fully shine the light on our motives and direction?

The song goes further to say:

Should goodness ever lose

And evil steal the day

Should happy sing the blues

And peaceful fade away

What would you do?

What would you say?

How would you act on that new day?

My answer is to ensure that such a day never comes to fruition, that it never happens, that such sadness does not occur and that is why we fight and that is the reason we will be calling upon you to help make a difference in what can and will be enjoyed for generations to come, together we can make this happen and on this day we all to need to look inward for the strength, purpose and guidance to move forward with what is right, just and pure red, white and blue American.

Today we gather our forces, tomorrow we fight on with renewed strength.

Together we can make this happen.

Former SFTHH posts that you might find of interest: https://rtfitchauthor.com/?s=4th+of+july&submit=Search

Feel Good Sunday: Hospice Patient Gets One Last Day at the Barn

By Leslie Potter as published on The Horse Channel

“Tissue Alert!” ~ R.T.

An 87-year-old lifelong horse lover has her wish to spend time with horses granted.

Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

If you knew your time on earth was nearing its end, where would you want to spend your days? For most horse lovers, the answer is clear: at the barn. Phyllis Ryerson is no exception.

Ryerson, now 87, lived on a farm with her husband earlier in her life. She’s loved horses ever since she was young. Fox 17 in West Michigan reports that she has been diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer, and she’s making the most of her days with help from Emmanuel Hospice.

When Ryerson told hospice workers that she wanted to pet a horse, they brought her to Equine Assisted Development of the Great Lakes where she had the chance to pet and groom the horses in the barn and feed them treats.

A true horsewoman, Ryerson rubbed a horse named George with her coat so that she could bring home the smell of horses with her, according to a Facebook post from EADGL. In another post, Emmanuel Hospice says she joked that she’d be bringing the barn smell home, and that her husband wouldn’t like it. For horse lovers, some things never change.

Ryerson reportedly smiled throughout her afternoon with the horses and kept a positive mindset, telling Fox 17, “It’s a very comforting thing to know that I’m at the end of a long and wonderful life.”


The ISPMB Wild Horse Adoption Campaign Rubix Cube

Source:  Elaine Nash from Fleet of Angels



In case you haven’t heard from anyone lately- or maybe not even since submitting your application, we want you to know why. We got a lot of applications, and we simply have not had an opportunity to respond to them all yet. Barb is reviewing them in the order in which they were submitted, to determine who has suitable facilities for caring for the ISPMB horses. As she reviews and processes them, she contacts applicants to let them know if they’re approved.
Our process has been to try to match up available (gathered) horses with the approved adopters who have requested horses that generally fit the genders and ages of those particular available horses. Over the weeks, as more horses have been gathered and sorted by Palomino and her gang, we have been contacting more of the adopters to start coordinating the picking up of their horses or arranging for transportation through Fleet of Angels or whomever they want. It’s been a bit like solving a huge Rubix Cube.
The weather, roads, season, location, and various restrictive limitations set by ISPMB prevented our being able to more quickly reach the maximum number of 270 horses allowed by the State to be adopted. We are actually nearing that number now, we think- although it’s difficult for us to get a total count due to numerous factors over which we have no control.
If we are given access to more horses by ISPMB after the holidays, and if the State arranges to let us adopt out more horses, we will be in touch with more applicants as we get to them on the list.
Some of you have been contacted, but are still hoping for transport assistance from a Fleet of Angels transporters. Due to all the same reasons, it’s been difficult or impossible for many of them to get to ISPMB to pick up your horses. We, like you, are hoping for a break in the weather after the holidays.
The adoption campaign will take a holiday break as of Monday Dec 19, and will resume after the first of the year unless something in the current arrangement changes and we are prevented from saving more of the horses.

Thank you ALL for your desire to help save ISPMB horses, for your donations, for your support and encouragement, and for helping get these horses to new homes!

If you want to help subsidize costs of transportation, panels, motels for helpers, food, travel, and other costs of doing this huge job, you can send tax-deductible donations to: www.ispmbhorserescuemission.org.

Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary Devastated by Fire

Source: Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary Facebook Page

“Everyone had responded so fast, all of us (total of 4 actually) coming together to try and do something, but all we could do was watch it burn.”

Eye Witness Account by Rick – Sanctuary Ranch Staff

15578110_10154876352124602_7696584974998346903_o“Early this AM, about 3:45am Ellie and Beans started barking, howling, and racing about the bedroom. I thought they had spied a mouse so I told them to shut up and go back to sleep. 2 minutes later. I see the Aspen racing across the school house pasture with horn blowing. I leaped up and Susan (Watt) was at the door – FIRE! I couldn’t get my jeans and boots on fast enough – it was 3 degrees outside and from the window I could see flames. I leaped into the Aspen with Susan and we raced to the barns/alley way – the windshield was crusted with ice so we had our windows down trying to make our way in the dark without running into a horse/cow/bull – fire dept had been called.

We quickly turned off the outside electrical breakers on the poles in the corrals, made sure no horses were in danger (God bless the wind for blowing in the right direction just this one time). Dave and I carried buckets of water to the big corner posts that hold up the corrals fencing, trying to keep them from burning.

15591514_10154876351884602_1081903305603251022_oOne must realize we live 30 minutes from town, and the first responders showed up – We had just unloaded a huge truck of hay and it was ablaze – let it burn said the fire officials, the horses won’t eat it after it’s been smoked out and water logged.

Everyone had responded so fast, all of us (total of 4 actually) coming together to try and do something, but all we could do was watch it burn. We also lost the medicine shed – this is HUGE – all the meds we need to treat the horses, cows, bulls – GONE!

As the flames turned to red embers, we looked at one another and took relief in the fact we’d not lost one four legged critter, so all was good…”

TO DONATE – http://www.wildmustangs.com/donate


Photos Melin Kersten
December 15 2016

SD Sheriff Updates Impending Wild Horse Auction Details

From Dewey County Sheriff Office Facebook Page

dewey-county-sheriffs-officeThe Faith Livestock Commission Co. has sale broadcast set up along with on line bidding. There is a delay over the internet, but they indicate they can make it work. Also they will have their vet doing Coggins testing on all the horses before the sale so that will be done prior to the sale.

Please contact Faith Livestock at 605-967-2200 to register and get approved to bid prior to the sale. Scott stated he could do the approval at anytime. AS there may be a lot of people wanting to register, please call early and do not wait until the 19th to register. There are only 5 weekdays left to the sale day.

If you are not bidding do not get on line and slow the system.

SD Sheriff Moves Wild Horse Auction to Undisclosed Location Amid Threats of Violence

Forward by R.T. Fitch
Statement from Dewey County Sheriff’s Office
Reaction from Restore the Legacy of ISPMB – Demand the President and BOD Step Down

“Just when you thought it could not get any worse…”

bangheadondesk“It is often times disheartening to realize that people (humans) are probably the most pathetic and at the same time dangerous life-form that walks (or slithers) on the face of this planet.

We have been involved and engaged with equine advocacy for well into two decades (one day we would like to retire) and witnessed that history continues to repeat itself over and over again with no lessons being learn.  The formula for disaster (which always leads to horses and donkeys paying the price) is this:

People create a serious problem for the horses; then people attempt to correct the problem that other people created who are then blocked or further impeded by people who think that they are correcting a wrong only to whip up a bigger problem for the horses and donkeys that people had created in the first place ultimately resulting in the equines paying the price for the stupidity of…(drum-roll)…PEOPLE!  I HATE IT!

I have further opinions on this topic but I do not want to overshadow the disgusting course of events, detailed below, that were caused by PEOPLE!

Below is an official statement of the Dewey County Sheriff’s office as published on their Facebook page; directly following that statement is a comment made on Facebook regarding this course of events, it pretty much sums up what I was alluding to above.

PEOPLE if you want to make a difference you can do a variety of things other than put the horses at risk and showing your asses, recommendations would be as follows:  (contact numbers are listed in previous posts)

  • Donate to the county for hay for the horses
  • Support Elaine Nash and Fleet of Angels to help transport the horses
  • Get up off your dead ass and volunteer for on the ground work
  • Call up the ASPCA, HSUS and with respect and controlled passion seek their assistance in this case
  • But above all, don’t threaten, harass, demean or insult those who are in control of the horses.  Even the twerpyest, little sniveling geek can sit behind a computer screen in the wee hours of the morning and act like some big bad ass, twisted gangster but it takes a real, self-actualized individual to bite their lip, raise their hand and selflessly offer to assist in a situation where confrontation would be an easy out.

Get after it, do the right thing, grow some kahunas and most importantly…do it with dignity and grace.  The horses and donkeys need us.” ~ R.T.






 Restore the Legacy of ISPMB – Demand the President and BOD Step Down

This deserves it’s own post. The main reason the Auction has been moved is because there were people who took it apon themselves to call and threaten the stock yard in Phillip. While I don’t think this was done by any of our active members, I have no doubt that the Special Snowflakes reads our page religiously. I am sure that you feel like you scored a huge victory…..Here’s the reality by acting like an idiot you just gaurenteed a longer haul for sick injured and pregnant horses, not to mention young foals. You also destroyed the groundwork of alot of people who were working with Phillip Stock yard in order to be ready to purchase as many horses for as low of a price possible. Know what you didn’t destroy? The reality that unless a miracle happens these horses are going to be Auctioned. Continue to bully and intimidate the smaller yards they will simply go to a major one. That’s a longer trip, to a place that eats the threats of Activists for breakfast and use their tears to sweeten their coffee. They won’t work with anyone and will simply run the horses through and go about their day. So if you really want to see these horses shipped to Mexico by all means keep up your stupidity.”

Facebook post saves a horse from slaughter — and perhaps many more in the future

as published on Lexington Herald Leader

She was a 10-year-old Belgian in Pennsylvania, a former work horse, rescued from a slaughter pen with hooves so damaged she could barely walk.

Jamie Puckett, center, and other teachers at Julius Marks Elementary School went to Walnut Hall Stock Farm on Aug. 8 to meet Mercy, a rescue Belgian draft horse that will be the ambassador for Take the Reins, a new service learning program at their school to teach children about the equine industry and benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. Tom Eblen teblen@herald-leader.com

Jamie Puckett, center, and other teachers at Julius Marks Elementary School went to Walnut Hall Stock Farm on Aug. 8 to meet Mercy, a rescue Belgian draft horse that will be the ambassador for Take the Reins, a new service learning program at their school to teach children about the equine industry and benefit the Kentucky Equine Humane Center. Tom Eblen teblen@herald-leader.com

It was a slow Saturday afternoon in January at the L.V. Harkness & Co. store on Short Street. Owner Meg Jewett was surfing Facebook when a picture on one of the horse rescue pages she follows leapt off the screen and touched her heart.

It was of a 10-year-old Belgian in Pennsylvania, a former work horse, rescued from a slaughter pen with hooves so damaged she could barely walk. Within minutes, Jewett had bought the mare she would name Mercy.

Then Jewett, who also owns Walnut Hall Stock Farm, started thinking through the challenges: How would she get this horse to Kentucky? If she could save her, what would she do with her? And how would she explain all this to her husband?

As it turns out, husband Alan Leavitt, a fellow horse lover, had bought a 29-year-old rescue Standardbred he had not told her about. So that part was easy. The rest, not so much. Jewett and her farm staff went to Pennsylvania with a trailer, carefully brought Mercy back to Walnut Hall and spent months nursing her back to health.

What is Mercy’s future? The gentle giant who loves nothing more than having people pet her and feed her horse cookies is beginning a second career as the “spokes-model” for a new service-learning program for Fayette County Public Schools.

The program, called Take the Reins, has two goals: to teach children about horse care, the industry and compassionate service; and to raise money and awareness for the Kentucky Equine Humane Center.

Mercy will be taken by horse trailer Aug. 29 from her forever home at Walnut Hall to Julius Marks Elementary School, where 750 students will get a chance to pet her. That will launch a Take the Reins pilot program, which organizers hope to expand to other Lexington schools next year.

“I feel very honored that this has fallen into my lap,” said Julius Marks Principal Lynn Poe. “It’s bringing the real world into our classrooms and teaching children that it’s not just about receiving but about giving back.”

Jewett is a founder and board member of the 11-year-old Kentucky Equine Humane Center, located on a 72-acre farm in Jessamine County. The center cares for about 50 horses at a time. Some are brought there by authorities after they have been found abandoned. Others are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them because of health or financial problems.

With a lot of help from the industry, including Alltech and the major equine veterinary practices at Rood & Riddle and Hagyard, the center’s small staff heals and retrains horses and finds them new owners.

The center takes horses of all ages and breeds from Kentucky and has sent them to new homes all over the country.

“The eventual goal is for every horse here to be adopted,” said Karen Gustin, the executive director. “A lot of our placements are a perfect match: the right people, the right horse at the right time.”

More than 1,000 horses have passed through the center, spending anywhere from weeks to years there in rehabilitation.

“You really do see magical things happen with our horses,” Gustin said. “Some of them don’t make it, but a large majority do.”

The idea for Take the Reins developed quickly this year as Mercy healed.

Gustin and Jewett had always wanted a fundraising, education and community outreach program for the center. Laura Schnettler, a center volunteer, works for L.V. Harkness, as does Mindy Mobley, the PTA president at Julius Marks.

They found eager partners in Poe, an award-winning principal with a background in both the horse industry and service learning curricula, and Alltech co-founder Deirdre Lyons, whose company is the presenting sponsor of Take the Reins.

While Mercy is the face of the program because she is gentle with children, Julius Marks students will actually “foster” a 5-month-old black and white grade colt that was brought to the center from Eastern Kentucky after his abandoned mother died. The center staff has named him Patrick’s Bullseye.

Julius Marks students will write letters to the colt, draw pictures of him and write stories about him, Poe said. In math lessons, they will calculate how much hay and straw he needs and what that costs.

Young students will grow carrots for Patrick’s Bullseye in the school garden, and fourth- and fifth-graders will take field trips to the humane center and see him. The school will have guest speakers from the equine industry, and the curriculum will incorporate elements of the state’s guidelines for college and career readiness.

“I can see some of them becoming veterinarians, veterinary assistants, farriers, farmers, running non-profits,” Poe said. “Our kids are so creative, and they are ready to make a difference in this world.”

Poe said she has talked with the principal of Locust Trace AgriScience Center about how its high school students could collaborate with her children on the project. Julius Marks students and their parents will raise money for the colt’s care, which costs about $500 a month. Fundraising ideas will come from the students.

“There are all sorts of ways that they will create, they will lead and we will support,” she said. “You know, the best initiatives come from young minds.”

Feel Good Sunday: Frederik the Great ~ the ‘handsome’ horse that’s going viral

by as published on The Guardian

“With a flowing black mane, strong torso and noble bearing, his supporters have described him as ‘magnificent’ and ‘sexy’ – and he’s even been offered film roles…”

Frederik the Great is ‘absolutely’ aware of his good looks. Photograph: Facebook

Frederik the Great is ‘absolutely’ aware of his good looks. Photograph: Facebook

The owner of Frederik the Great, hailed as “the most handsome horse in the world”, has praised the stallion as a “showman” who will not let fame change him.

Frederik, a 15-year-old Friesian stallion based in Arkansas, entered the public consciousness this week after people began sharing pictures of him online.

Blessed with a flowing black mane, strong torso and noble bearing, the horse was an instant hit. His supporters have described him as “handsome”, “magnificent” and “sexy”, and he has been offered film roles.

“The first time I laid eyes on him,” said Stacy Nazario, owner of Pinnacle Friesians, the farm Frederik calls home, “I knew he was an exceptional stallion.”

Nazario acquired Frederik when he was six years old. She imported him from the Netherlands, where he had been co-habitating with his mother, and brought him to live with her on her farm in the Ozark mountains.

“His personality went right along with his looks. He’s just phenomenal. His temperament is sweet. I could put a baby right next to him and he would just be gentle with it. He’s a gentle giant.”

While Frederik only rose to widespread fame this week, Nazario said he has had a cult following for some time.

“He’s always been popular with his fanbase,” she said. “Before this his videos and his photographs have been all over. He’s got fans from all over the world.”

Images from Frederik’s Facebook page have been shared thousands of times, in which he demonstrates a wide range of poses. He is shown galloping through a field with his head up and chest out, proud and true, but is also seen in more reflective repose, gazing out over a wooden fence.

This combination of power and sensitivity goes someway toward explaining his appeal.

“There will NEVER be a more majestic, handsome, sexy horse on the face of the earth. Never, ever. I wish I could just touch and “smell” him just once,” wrote Facebook user Sharon Younts under a picture of Frederik running wild and free.

“He is so stately & proud!! Magnificent!!!” commented Donald Ledford, responding to a photo of Frederik rearing up on his hind legs.

Nazario said Frederik, who enjoys taking part in dressage competitions, is “absolutely” aware of his good looks.

“He lights up when he’s in the arena or when there’s photography going on. It’s almost like watching a celebrity, you know, the difference between when they’re at home and under the lights,” Nazario said. But, she said, Frederik would not be seduced by the fickle mistress of fame.

“He’s that gentle and sweet of a horse, which is ingrained in his personality, that will not change.”

One of Frederik’s most distinctive features is his long mane, which flows down almost to his fetlocks. The striking body of hair has attracted admiration from expert horse fanciers as well as casual enthusiasts.

“He’s very noble to look at, he has a lot of presence,” said Melody Hames, a horse hairdresser who runs JMC Equestrian Custom Clippings in Lancashire, UK. “You see power but at the same time elegance.”

Hames praised Frederik’s smooth, shiny coat, and sleek mane, a look she said could be achieved by using special horse hair conditioner, which she recommended leaving in the hair until dry.

Elizabeth Moyer, editor of Horse Illustrated magazine, said Frederik the Great had all the characteristics of a handsome horse.

“From the standpoint of beauty, what makes an attractive horse: a shiny coat and a fabulous mane and hale definitely contribute to a handsome horse.

“Athletic talent and beautiful movement also add to a horse’s appeal. But clearly I can see a great presence and attitude [in Frederik] that has captured the attention of the general public as well as horse lovers everywhere.”

A busy few months lie in wait for Frederik. He has media commitments, including photo and video shoots, and Nazario is considering a couple of movie offers. The horse is also standing at stud – “Frederik ships only fresh cooled semen,” according to his website – and has dressage competitions coming up.

On Friday afternoon, though, Frederik was content to be away from the spotlight, just a horse being a horse.

“He’s just eating grass, walking around, he’ll look out at the deer,” Nazario said. “He loves to just relax.”


Feel Good Sunday: Donkey And Goose Become Best Friends After Losing Their Partners

By Stephen Messenger as published on The Dodo

“His sad solitude was soon ended, however, and by a surprising source…”

The last year has been a rough one for Bub the donkey and his bird friend, named Goose — but the pair has learned that life’s still worth living as long as they have one another.

partnersAt age 43, Bub is one of the oldest residents at Rikki’s Refuge, a sprawling sanctuary for farm animals in Virginia. He arrived there four years ago with another donkey, his mate Beebee, with whom he’d lived on another farm before their owner became too old to care for them.

The two never left each other’s side — but then that sadly changed.

“Beebee passed away last year,” a sanctuary staffer told The Dodo. “Bub was devastated.”

With his lifelong partner gone, it might have seemed that the aging Bub would be soon to follow her in death. His sad solitude was soon ended, however, and by a surprising source.

Around that same time, a wild goose who’d visited the farm with his mate suddenly found himself alone, too.

Rather than fly away in search of greener pastures or perhaps a new female goose to partner with, Goose evidently took solace with Bub as his preferred companion — and the donkey did as well.

Since then, the two widowers have been inseparable, spending their days roaming side by side, facing the future together.

“An unlikely friendship was born and now they are literally never more than a heartbeat away from each other,” the sanctuary wrote online, adding this sweet detail:

“Goose even preens Bub.”

We’re so glad that they found each other.