12-8-09

As promised, here are the pictures of the horses that were rescued yesterday at the Petaluma auction. This is the Paint gelding, his name is Blue Eyed Jimmy. He hasn’t been here long and needs time to settle in. It appears that he has been mistreated at some point in his life and is fearful of people.

This is Suzy, an Arabian mare who is also shy of people. We are wanting to give her time to settle in before her evaluation, but from what we can initially see, she hasn’t had much work done with her.

This is Kristy, she is a Saddlebred mare who is still settling in, but seems easy to work with and gentle natured. She leads, is fine in a stall and is just gentle with people. She needs some time to settle in and realize that everything is ok.

After the morning chores were done, both the rigs were hooked up and ready to go. It was scheduled for the Clint Ritchie horses to come to the rescue today. With all the snow storms we thought it would be called off. We got the phone call that the roads were great, there was only a skiff of snow. We didn’t realize we were talking to an Alaskan…

The drive up the mountain was pleasant and care free. There was no snow in sight, but the temperature was hovering in the high 20’s.

Soon, there was snow starting to show up alongside the road, but the blacktop was still clear.

But, the farther they went along, the more snow there was. Then the roads became icy. Tawnee was having a terrible time keeping the van and trailer from sliding around on the road.

Jason and Tawnee finally arrived at the Clint Ritchie ranch. The beginning of the gravel driveway looked clear of snow. As they went on, the snow got deeper and the road got icy.

Soon the van was stuck in the middle of the road blocking traffic. Tawnee couldn’t put the van in park as the hill was too slick and it would just slide backwards, even with the emergency brake on. She had to keep her foot on the brake so all 4 tires were locked. A tractor came along and tried to pull the van up the hill, but it didn’t have any traction either. Jason had to back the van down the hill, keeping it from sliding into the paneled fencing or the ditch. The van was parked where it remained until evening.

After slowly maneuvering the big truck and trailer through trees, around barns, and backing up a tight little alley through the snow, the trailer was ready for the horses to load.

The loading process began. Some of these horses have never been in a trailer before in their lives, so it was a little tricky. It reminded Jason and Tawnee of the Nebraska trip.

Finally 9 of the 12 horses we were scheduled to pick up today were in the big trailer. Then it was back up the alley, around the barns and through the trees.

There are still 3 horses at the estate, one of them is tame but these two mustang rascals were uninterested in being caught and will have to be transported at a later date: a date that has no snow on the ground hopefully.

The trailer had to be unhooked from the van and be towed out to the paved road with another 4wd pickup, where the van was able to be hooked back up. To say the least, Tawnee was quite happy she was not hauling horses in it. When it started slipping on the road the first time, she said “I’m not comfortable hauling horses with this rig in the snow.”

Jason and Tawnee thought for sure the paved road would be cleared by evening time, but unfortunately, that was not to be. It was a long, slow drive through the snowy roads.

Finally they reached lower elevations where the snow was alongside the road instead of on the road. The sun was setting by then, and it was really nice to be out of the winter wonderland before night fell.

It was a relief to be back in the valley were there is no snow at all. When we first found out about the Clint Ritchie estate, some folks asked if we would consider moving the rescue to the estate. Today is exactly why we were not interested in pursuing that option.

It was long after dark by the time everyone made it back to the rescue.
The horses were all safely unloaded and settled into their waiting pens.

We’ve had some folks post items on Ebay using the Giving Works, and the items not show up on our page. It seems to take a little while sometimes for the system to update. If you have listed, and do not see them on our page, you can email us the listing so we can hopefully feature it on the blog.
Many thanks to Gail G. for her generous donation today!

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