CONGRATULATIONS SWEETIE....on finding a great new home Sweetie has officially been adopted.
CONGRATULATIONS UNA on finding your very own little girl. We are pleased to announce that Una was adopted this week. Una was rescued in October 2015 as part of a cruelty case in southern West Virginia. Happy Trails ladies.
MERCEDES: December 4, 2014 our group went to an auction in Jackson County. We'd been to that auction and much worse ones before. We knew what to expect. We were a brand new group at the time still doing most of our work out of pocket. So we knew...despite what our hearts might say, we could only save one.
There were many who needed us. There was an entire herd of completely unhandled yearlings. Some were injured. Some just had horrible deformities. There were old ones. There were lame ones. We had to think about which ones needed us most and which would be the most likely to be adopted after being rehabbed.
We narrowed our choices down to a thin gaited mare and a senior horse in the same corral as her. We chose the thin gaited mare. I can't tell you why. I don't know what happened to the senior horse. It makes me sick to imagine it.
We bid on the thin mare as she went through. We had the top bid....a mere $50.
Board member Victoria named her Mercedes...."Mercy" for short. Of all the deserving horses that day she had been the one shown the mercy of a loving group of rescuers.
As we walked her away from the auction house that day she tried to jump in every trailer on the way to ours. She was ready to go.
Mercy had dental problem that made it painful for her to eat. She was so emaciated it caused her to get fecal matter in places that resulted in a horrible urinary infection. She struggled to gain weight for months even though we did all the right things and followed the vets advice. She fostered with three different board members but didn't truly thrive in any of them.
Then one day we were facing the possibility of some new intakes and were trying to make room. That is when the Reed family stepped up and volunteered to foster. There was snow on the ground that day when we delivered Mercy. There was a brightness and a joy in her eyes from the moment she arrived. It was a look and a spirit we hadn't seen before. Since Mercy arrived with the Reed family she has thrived. She's a great healthy weight. She is happy and healthy and loved.
Months have passed. We've made video upon video of Mercy being awesome, riding her through a variety of situations. We've taken her to trail rides. We've taken her to horses shows. There's been interest but never one single application. We've always wondered why? How could no one want this mare.
Mercy grew especially fond of the mother of the mother/daughter Reed foster duo. Mercy loves this woman so much. When Mercy looks up and sees someone other than her -- you can see the disappointment on Mercy's face.
So now, the beautiful crescendo of this tale. It turns out, as our board suspected, the reason we had no applicants for Mercy was because she was already where she belonged. She was already home.
Her foster family has decided to make it official and adopt Mercy.
We are so happy for all involved heart emoticon Congrats Mercy and the Reed Family. It was always meant to be.
The first two shots are of Mercy recently the others are of her the day that she started her journey to a better life.
CLAY PONY went to his new home. His lovely adopters traveled all the way from South Carolina to spend the weekend with him before traveling home. He showed them all the skills he's learned during his year (and a few months) with West Virginia Horse Network. He showed off his groundwork skills and even pulled our pony cart like a pro.
Clay was rescued during the massive landslide on Keystone Drive in Charleston, WV. His future would not have been nearly as bright had we not found him that day. He was very young, barely broke to lead, still a stallion, had absolutely no training and had been living tied to a tree.
WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR AMAZING ADOPTERS
Thanks to the Barn Buddies for all of the work they put in to training this pony.
Also thank you to the Reed Family who fostered Clay and loved him as their own.
HOPE: We are thrilled to report that Hope's long time foster has decided to make it official. Hope has really thrived since she went to stay with her foster family. Some things are just meant to be.
PAISLEY: came to West Virginia Horse Network as an owner surrender when her family was no longer able to care for her. She was under a year old at the time. Her foster dad ended up falling in love with her and decided to adopt her. Paisley is a pretty girl and has a great future ahead of her.
AUTUMN found a beautiful new home in Roane County with a family excited to share their life with her.
AMARA went to her new home. She was excited to meet her new friend Shrek.
TREVOR found his new home. We can't wait to hear about all of the awesome adventures he has with his adopter.
CAPTAIN left for his new home in Virginia. His foster family was there to see him off.
Adopters - Fosters - Donors - Volunteers - All are so crucial to what we do here at West Virginia Horse Network, Inc.
PERCY JACKSON left for his new home. His new family is amazing. We are so thankful for great adopters like these folks.
Megan finally got her man. We know Major and Megan will live happily ever after.
STORMY: is well loved in his adoptive home with Sharon H.
Several people applied for Arizona. Several were approved. Several went to meet her and loved her. But for some reason it seemed something always came up at the last minute to keep this little mare from finding a new family. But now we know why. She was waiting for her perfect kid to come along smile emoticon Barn Buddy Layla and her family went to meet her and fell in love.
LILY arrived at West Virginia Horse Network, INC. in February 2015. Lily was surrendered by her owner. Lily went blind in 2012 from a condition known as Moon Blindness. By the time she was surrendered to us her condition was so advanced "treatment" to reverse the condition was no longer an option. Based on the advice of our veterinarian we opted to have her eyes removed. The surgery was in March 2015. The surgery relieved Lily chronic pain and discharge from the diseased eyes. This mare lives to graze and enjoys time spent in a pasture.
REMINGTON: A precious love that you have watched develop over the past few month...became "official". A kind friend of our organization reached out to us...moved by Kadence's love for Remy. She offered to cover his fee. We let Kadence's mom know about the offer...and well....
Mom signed the contract - obviously - but so did Kadence and her brother Jakob. Remy really will be a family commitment. I do want to point out the joy that it gave these kids to sign the contract -- committing to care for Remington for the rest of his life and return him to WVHN if for some reason they can no longer keep that promise. So many adults are unfortunately offended and put off by the requirement. This...is an example of what every rescue horse deserves.
SUMMER has officially been adopted by her long time foster, trainer and friend Abigail.
Abigail her been there since day one of Summer's journey with West Virginia Horse Network, Inc. We are so thrilled these two were able to find each other.
VADER has found a new home with a great family!
OREO left for his new home today. It is a lovely home and we are so excited for him and the great opportunities in his future.
He has been a staple in our barn for a few years now and earned the love of our Barn Buddies. While there were tears...they know that this is ultimately what we work for...every single day.
Congratulations to Oreo and his new family
CHASE: left for his forever home. We will miss him dearly but his adopters love him already and promise to let us visit any time we want
Good luck little one.
Here is a story about Chase in the words of board member Victoria....
"Not too long after West Virginia Horse Network Inc. had been publicly launched, we were contacted by a humane officer about a man who wanted help with his pony. He was no longer able to keep the pony and wanted to make sure the pony went to a good home. It was a cold and dreary winter day that our group went out to pick the pony up. The pony had been living on a hill that was very slick and muddy from the winter weather. His hooves had overgrown from the lack of farrier care as the man said he could not find a farrier in his rural area. The man told us Chase had also "foundered". This also caused a change in Chase's hooves.
The chase began. We had to corral the pony who did not want to be caught. We were all slipping and sliding along with him until we were able to safely halter and lead him off the hill into a trailer. It was only them that we were able to pull back his fluffy forelock and get a glimpse at this fella's gorgeous deep brown eyes. We were able to get his feet trimmed shortly after getting him and that moment was a special one for our group as we watched the pony who could barely get around on his overgrown hooves realize that he was free to run. He immediately began running and jumping like he hadn't been able to for a long time. We got him gelded, teeth floated, and basic veterinary care with shots and bloodwork. He was put on a special diet that would help prevent him from having problems with his hooves in the future. While he was never really "wild", he soon settled in to life with his rescue family.
Everyone that has ever met him and spent time with him has fallen in love with him. He is like a little ray of sunshine that when you are with him you cannot help but smile. A pocket full of happiness. He is a joy to be around! He absolutely loves children and their laughter. When he hears them playing he will run circles in his stall wanting to be with them. He has a very special relationship with junior networker, Haylie. She has taken him on as her project and was the first one to ride him -
He really is such a happy guy and he spreads that happiness to all those around him.
Click the Picture to see her get the news!
All is well and good. Stormy is in good shape for winter. He and Raja are still great friends. He is still running with the cattle and followed them into the hill meadow. He has a new buddy, too. The border collie and Stormy play and frolic. It is pretty funny. Stormy is so laid back and as Butch says - he is so easy and no trouble. We are very happy with him and think he is a pretty happy boy. I really think he is the perfect horse for us.
REBEL: Found a new home!
THOR was adopted today! He went to a lovely new home in Virginia.
Thor came to us in October 2016...when he got off the trailer he didn't even know how to lead. When the vet first saw him while he was still with Roane County shelter he was too skittish to handle.
In the months since his rescue our Barn Buddies have worked to build him into a smart and confident pony. He is well adjusted, talented and has a very sturdy foundation in place that his adopters can build upon. The kids did most of the work on their own...with guidance from us. We are in awe of their talent and dedication.
They built him literally from the ground up.
There were tears today...tears of pride...tears of happiness...that Thor's life has turned around for the better.
PILGRIM has stolen the hearts of everyone at the barn in his short time here. We are all so happy for him and his new family.
SCOUT found his new home in Virginia. He was a prayer answered for his adopter and her family. Happy Trails sweet boy. Congratulations on your wonderful future.
ICE was adopted in April 2016 by Paige. Paige is one of our Barn Buddies. Paige and Ice shared a special connection from the moment he came to WVHN. A little girl found her perfect horse and a horse found his perfect little girl. We couldn't be happier for these two.
PEANUT Congrats to Peanut and Miriam I hope you enjoy your new home in Florida.
DOLLY: Congratulations to her new family. She will be boarded at the facility that is the hub for our Barn Buddies activities for a month or two. Dolly will get a little more training and work with her adopters at an indoor facility through the winter months. Congratulations to her new family. We are sure this is a perfect fit
DUKE and RORY were adopted in October 2016 to a lovely family in Pennsylvania. They will be working with a trainer to help keep up with Duke and Rory's progress. Duke was rescued toward the end of winter in 2016 after his previous owner fell on hard times and could no longer care for him. Aurora was rescued on July 4th after she got out of her owner's fence and went wandering. The owner told the people who found her to "keep her or shoot her". Thankfully they called us to come and get her instead. We are so happy to see both of these horses get their second chance at the life they deserve.
Thank you Rainhill Equine Facility for welcoming our Lily Bug with open arms today. Lily will spend the rest of her years at this beautiful farm that specializes in blind horses. We are so thankful. They even sent our team home with goodies for WVHN horses.
Thanks also to Deb and Tristan P. for making the trip. This was an emotional trip for Deb...Lily's long time foster and friend.
A LUCKY HORSE: I remembered back to the day that me (Nicky) and board member Deb went to meet Daisy for the first time. A couple, who were not her owner but were helping her owner, are the ones who reached out to us initially. Daisy had been injured twice in her owner's pasture. She had been moved to a boarding facility to be on stall rest...for the second time in a year. The owner was no longer able to provide her a place to be that was not in his pasture.
So we talked to the couple that day. They told us Daisy had three options...1) Go to a riding therapy program 2) Go to a rescue 3) Go to auction.
Riding therapy programs typically need sound horses for the activities they offer the community so they cannot be expected to accept horses that are healing from an injury. They also typically do not have funding available for extensive vetting and diagnostics. So that wasn't an option for Daisy.
So the conversation really came down to rescue or auction. Many times owners will throw the "auction" threat around without a plan to back it up...but in this case Daisy had a plan to get to the sale. It was going to happen.
Deb and I couldn't make any decisions without talking to our board of directors. But I spoke frankly to the couple that had contacted us on Daisy's behalf. I said "IF we cannot take her into rescue and you cannot find another rescue to take her in a timely manner I would like to offer you financial assistance to have her euthanized." From me of all people this is not something you'd typically hear. But the words came out of my mouth with confidence and certainty that they were the correct advice. NOT because Daisy would be unable to heal or because she was in horrific pain...because honestly neither of those seemed to be true.
I have observed first hand many of these auctions, not just in West Virginia but also in Kentucky and Ohio. (Daisy was headed to an out of state auction). While it might not be something we like to think about -- horse slaughter is a real thing. I'm sure many presume it is an internet myth or animal welfare propaganda. But I have watched "the meat man" in action buying horse after horse to be hauled out of the country for slaughter. Sound, healthy, trained horses DO go to the "meat man" who can easily outbid the private person. So can you imagine the fate sweet Daisy would have met at auction? Visibly lame. Nameless. Unable to be "ridden through" the sale. Even after only meeting her a few minutes I knew enough and loved her enough to make sure - no matter what - she did NOT get on a trailer to be shipped to auction. A humane death surrounded by people who loved her would be far more just.
We never made a big deal of it because we didn't want anyone to adopt Daisy for the wrong reasons. But now that she is adopted I feel ok to say...her AQHA registered name is Big Steppin Cow. She has a pretty impressive bloodline. But at an auction I am certain she would have ended up on an over crowded stock trailer with all of the other nameless discarded horses.
Thankfully our board agreed to work Daisy into our network. It was a gamble on our part. Would the injury ever heal? Would she ever be adoptable as a riding partner? Or would we be trying to place her as a pasture mate, a job title that people typically aren't looking for in a horse. Thankfully....after months with us Daisy is on the road to recovery and has found someone who is thrilled to have her.
It could have ended so differently. Instead of getting on the trailer headed to a horrific and fearful end...she is getting on a lovely trailer to spend her life with a family that was absolutely giddy and honored to give her a beautiful home -- before they even knew her bloodline.