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Fw: [AHRN] Letter from the Arabian Horse Rescue Network
ok so this might not be endurance related But how many Arabs are in
So for those of you who are interested....
From: Holdemhigh@aol.com <Holdemhigh@aol.com>
To: AHRN@onelist.com <AHRN@onelist.com>
Date: Sunday, January 23, 2000 9:38 AM
Subject: [AHRN] Letter from the Arabian Horse Rescue Network
>January 23, 2000
>In 1996 when I first came online it was on the AOL Pet Care Forum Arabian
horse boards. I had been working with Equus Sanctuary for about 2.5 years
at that time, and so jumped on those boards with both barrels loaded and
pointed about the number and quality of Arabian horses going to
slaughter---it got me nowhere. But I continued to post and started to make
friends and enjoy the people there. In May 1997 we posted about the small
herd of pathetic Arabians at the feedlot-those AOLers jumped in and that was
the beginning of the AHRN.
>For those of you not on AOL the AHRN/Arabian horse rescue warranted its own
folder on that board soon after we started to pull Arabian after Arabian and
find them homes. Our website went up in October 199__, and through that we
established our supporter list which is now over 1200. In February 99 the
Arabian Horse World article appeared and the hits to our site skyrocketed,
and the interest in our work did too. The single most common comment from
those folks was, "I had no idea this was happening…"
>That was a major educational tool for us, and as we have said before, took
guts on the part of Denise Hearst.
>We have placed well over 100 horses. There are probably 40 or so that were
placed so quickly that we never even got them on our website. There were
weeks at a time when I had 8-10 horses to care for when I got home from
work. In the summer of 1998 we started to acquire a few foster homes
willing to take horses with possible strangles. Our first foster family was
the Segovias…who took two pathetic youngsters-and then dealt with all of
their own horses getting sick as well.
>Our (meaning you folks as well as us at the frontline) ability to work
miracles together was amazing. In January 1999 the funds for those old
Draper girls came in so fast---one lady paid for one of them in full to save
her life-and we were not without what we needed to trailer them, care for
them and feed them the special feed they needed. But more important the
outcry to the school, and the continued efforts of one of the women who
initially contacted us about them-resulted in changes in policy for taking
donated horses at the school.
>99% of the horses we placed are still where we sent them. The 3-4 that did
not work out came back to us-in that, we are very fortunate. But the
matchmaking has been pretty fun really---I must have been a town matchmaker
in another life! I found that when someone contacted me with an
unquestionable, "That one is MINE~!" They were right---something about a
specific horse spoke to them, and since that is what happened with me and
Merlin-I understood that, and learned to trust it.
>People have said quite often, "I don't know how you do that-go down to the
feedlot." Most of the time it didn't bother me---I knew that we were doing
the most we could do, and I guess I was able to go there, look at the ones
we were pulling and go home. It wasn't difficult for me (with a couple of
exceptions) to have a horse here for a month or so and then let them go
because I knew there were going somewhere where they would get more
attention. Usually I had so many here that to create a real one-to-one bond
wasn't possible---my free time was spent with Arthur and Merlin. The ones
that I had to work especially hard with---if they were really sick or really
frightened-were the ones that I found difficult to let go.
>The little filly Libby that came with Calricia will always be one girl I
feel especially proud of. I had to learn a whole new method of working with
horses because of her. Terrified when she arrived…couldn't get near her.
Five months later she walked down the driveway and on to the trailer like a
pro. It was one of my best moments ever.
>But I do not aspire to martyrdom---doesn't suit me. I have just always had
a knack for getting things done and organized. However, since last summer I
have found myself fatigued physically and emotionally from this---and have
thought of discontinuing this work. I look at Merlin who is out of shape
and overweight from lack of work, and spend so much time after my full-time
job doing AHRN stuff that my own horses stand and stare at me---as if to
say, "Excuse me…we're here ya know!" I feel like the pediatrician who is
wonderful to his patients but his own kids are not well and in trouble!
>The thing I don't like at all is that I seem to have come full circle and
arrived back in a place I don't want to be. The anger at the continued
disregard for the lives of these animals, the numbers bred, the former
owners and breeders contacted who don't care that this youngster has ended
up where they are, but they are expecting 4 or 6 more new foals this year.
The justification of continuing to breed as if an Arabian horse has never
gone to slaughter. It seems that someone else breeds all the horses that
come to our attention. Well, SOMEONE is breeding them…and SOMEONE is
dumping them!!! Most breeders will just say they do the best they can in
selling their horses, and I am certain they do-but cannot be responsible
after that. I have found that those who breed as a business refuse to
accept that the numbers bred is an issue.
>I spend time reading the various Arabian horse forums on the net, and see
the situation within that 'industry' - I hate that word, but that is what it
is. I find myself thinking, "Are we talking about the same thing here? As I
stop, aghast at the realization that under the pages and pages and words and
words and more words these posts are about Arabian horses. Well, ya coulda
>As a result of the AHRN I have been pulled into that industry and I don't
want to be there. It's not for me…never has been. A 'war' of the same
verbiage erupted on the AOL boards recently, and it was the same thing, and
I saw my posts and I saw my anger return and it's not how I want to live.
It's a fight that has no end, and if one of our supporters won the lottery
and told me to quit my job and do this full time---we still would not end
it. The Arabian industry is a mess and so far removed from that which is
the whole purpose of it---the Arabian horse-that it has become necessary for
me to give myself permission to say "ENOUGH". This just isn't for me…if I
can't change things then I need to go back to what is important in my simple
little life. I admit I have never been a gracious loser.
>When I started out in1997 I had Arthur and Merlin---still do of course. I
think I did pretty good…three years later I have Arthur, Merlin, Phoenix and
Neero. I know some people (CyndiB, Daniella, Angela, Cindy H…shall I go
on?) who'd still have about 90 out of 100 of the horses that passed through
my life had they been in my muck boots.
>I want to go out to the tack room (ok ok it's a garage that hasn't seen a
car in years) dust off my old Keiffer dressage saddle and break it to Merlin
that his retirement is over, and go for quiet rides where for a time life is
perfect. Phoenix, if he is ever going to be a normal horse, needs to be
worked and reminded every day that there is nothing to be afraid of. Neero
Monty, is the 50% Raseyn stallion, that was sold by CalPoly for $1.00---I
think of him as my gift from Edna Draper for helping her old girls. He was
placed in a home for a while, but when we found out he was not properly
cared for we went and got him, and here he will stay. Arthur is pretty
self-contained other than he likes to hang out with his mom, and there are
moments recently where I stand still long enough for him to nibble at my
clothing again, and I am reminded that he is the love of my life, and at 30
something, won't be around forever.
>At this time we have nine horses to place (I think it's nine)---when they
are in new homes---that is it for the AHRN. I can't do this any more…I
don't want to do this any more. I want to crawl back into my little life
with my beloved animals. There are a few other things I wish to
pursue---including some research into the whereabouts of Arabian horses
advertised in the World/Times say 10 years ago. And the same for the
remaining Draper herd---ok, ok, so my penchant for trouble is just a natural
part of my personality.
>There is the issue of the Draper mares---we will have four to support. I
hope that as the need arises you will help me keep them safe and cared
for---it really is a personal favor to me. But if you met them you would
know why I have become so committed to them…they are treasures, and friends
of Mrs. Draper have called me and told me how they believe she would have
reacted to how her beloved old girls ended up.
>For any of the AHRN horses that may end up needing us again---we WILL BE
THERE. A 501c3 doesn't have to be active to maintain its status. So any of
the owners of our horses---should anything happen in your life and your AHRN
alumni need help---we will be there for them and for you. You have my word.
> While this is not the last email you will receive---will let you know who
still needs a home when Tink and Eli feel better, and the few others that
are in our care. We recently pulled a mare from a killerbuyer up
north---she has a huge growth on her neck and may be pregnant---having the
biopsy done this Monday, and if she IS pregnant she's going to Texas to have
her baby at Cindy Henry's place. I don't know nothin' 'bout birthin'
>I have some photos of our alumni that need to go up for you to see, and our
pal Angela is doing a website for me of the Draper horses with photos taken
last week. I also want this letter to be on our website for a while, and a
few words from the others who have been with me since day one deserve a say
>I guess I just finally needed to say it out loud-to make it real. Easily
done? No…I will definitely have some tears to shed, and a hard time saying
'no'---there are several Arabians at the killer's right now, and I have to
say no. It is a sad sad bottomless pit, and I want to ride my horses again.
>The barn door with the AHRN logo on it is closed.
>>From the bottom of my heart---I thank you all for making the AHRN what it
>Arabian Horse Rescue Network
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