Monday, October 1, 2007

Of Rain and Rescues

Jet and the sheep dine together.

Rain. More of it. Again.

It's monsoon season...even though I don't know if technically that's what they'd call it here in the northwest. But it's wet and it's windy. And wet. The addition to the barn has flooded and the horses are standing under trees until the neighbor can get down here with his tractor to remedy the situation. He was supposed to be here earlier this month but ran into a few priorities that came first. I've kept the paddock free of horse hooves for the better part of the month, knowing they'd just churn it up to the point I'd not be able to do anything with it. Still, it's churned enough on it's own. The portions that aren't deep in clay and muck are too slick to walk on (hard, wet clay is like ice...)

Thankfully, despite the heavy bouts, it's not been 100% rain 24 hours a day. Jet is in with the sheep while Quiet Storm and Sunny share the other side of the pasture. They're all contentedly munching on their breakfast right now. By Wednesday night (cross your fingers) the neighbor will have come and gone, the paddock stripped down and the gravel added for drainage. Hopefully we won't have horrendous weather between now and then.

The two mustangs have disappeared from the CBER website. I'd called the feed lot to see if they were there last week and he said no, they weren't. I'd asked if they had their titles, and he said that there was no paperwork with them. Hopefully they'll get into good homes. I notified the BLM that they were out there, at least, so if there's any foul play at hand hopefully something can be done.

I've been giving the whole rescue thing a lot of thought. Dealing with Sunny has left me wondering just how many people give up their mustangs, and how many of them end up back at the BLM corrals? I saw a couple of them head back down to Burns in June that'd been previously adopted. It's sad to see horses go back into the system, both because they lose whatever training/socialization they've received and because they become the responsibility of the tax payer once again, not to mention a statistic that reflects negatively on the program and the horses themselves.

So let me ask you a question or two. Do you feel comfortable giving money to rescues? Do you think that a non-profit status is necessary before you'd give? What would it take to create a level of trust between the rescue and the donor?

I'd love to be able to take on one or two mustangs, spend the time getting them started, then place them in new homes. I can't, however, afford to feed that many horses out of my own pocket without some form of support. The best way to approach this is what I'm wondering. Last night I felted up this little version of Sunny (no falling on the floor with laughter, please!) and wondered about selling them with a little hang tag that gave a horse's name and a bit of it's story. Think anyone would buy?

Felted version of Sunny still needs her eyes and nostrils.

Desperate Horsewife
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Kathy C said...

I personally love the felt Sunny. I think it would be a great way to raise money. Not sure I know the answers yet on what would make me part with my money. We give so much locally, not that Mustangs aren't a good cause by any means. It would be something I would need to research further... Just found your sight (thanks for the comment).

Andrea said...

I love the little Sunny! How do felted animals stand up to play? I'd buy them if the price was right. They'd make great Christmas gifts, especially if you made up a card telling about the horse or at least the rescue, so the recipient feels like they've been part of a good deed.

(Could you custom make them to look like other people's horses?)

photogchic said...

I love it. I would buy one. I spend so much on my own horse, I find it hard to donate money. I do want to start volunteering out at a rescue organization called "HyTyme." When I am at Expos, I give a donation or buy raffle tickets, but I don't contribute on a whim. I am curious to read other bloggers thoughts on asked a tough question.

Tracey said...

So glad you guys like the felted Sunny! Maybe I'll do a few of each of the horses. I was thinking $15-20 price that acceptable? Takes me hours to do, so definitely way less than minimum wage would pay me :)

Andrea, yes, I probably could. You'll notice that Sunny's color is a bit more flaming that she would be in reality...but then, that's kind of the fanciful feel I like. Getting colors to match would be difficult, but I sure could do markings.

Rising Rainbow said...

I think the felt Sunny is very cute. I'm not sure how big she is so don't know about price. After having done crafts professionaly for 30 years, I know that your darn lucky if you can make more than peanuts. It doesn't surprise me how much time you have into this little horse.

I think the custom horse idea is a big plus. People are funny that way about wanting it to be like their own! You could go far with that idea marketed in the right place.

As for me and donations, with as many horses as I have and the twins' debt, I'm always scrounging for money. I'm one of those people who give my time because that's what I have to give. Monitary donations are hard for me.

I can tell you from expereince it's really hard to get people to separate themselves from their money. You're more likely to get it with your horse idea and other products than just hoping they'll see how deserving your cause is.

SugarRay'smom said...

I like the felt Sunny, too - too bad it takes so long. I don't know how big it is, but would it be easier to make smaller versions for Christmas or other ornaments?

A friend gave me a little decorated felt horse ornament once that she had bought, it was adorable, had rickrack on it, and didn't look like it would take that long to make.

I think people donate to both private and nonprofit rescues. It just depends what kind of support someone can find and how you get the word out. If you're not at least a state nonprofit, tho (which I believe is quicker than federal and the first step to being a 501(c)(3)), I think you might be subject to paying taxes on donations coming in. Not sure, tho.