It has been two weeks since that profound day when the Fairplay Horses each found themselves on the auction floor. And since that day, Buck has literally been fighting for his life.
His leg injury, incurred while biding his time at the sale barn, has been excruciatingly painful - as many of you saw that day two weeks ago. And a serious infection of the hock set in almost immediately.
Over the last two weeks Buck has received, and continues to receive, the best possible vet care: flushing and cleansing of his wounds, antibiotics, pain meds, sweat wraps, strong herbal mixtures, homeopathic combinations, essential oil treatments, acupuncture and chiropractic care, 3 times-per-day hot soaks, and massage.
His leg drains a steady stream of purulent material...all day long. We gently cleanse the draining sites and the drainage, at least 3 times per day, every day.
But even though he is receiving all of this care, he remains 3-legged. He can barely place any weight at all on his injured leg. And now we are becoming concerned about the weight his other back leg, and his front legs (which are already quite compromised, structurally) are taking on.
Throughout this time, Buck has remained strong as the leader of the herd of 5 here. His spirit never wavers. Ever. And the light in his eye is still strong and bright. Our wonderful vet, who is out every few days now, continues to say it is not time to give in. Not yet.
And so, this morning his wounds were gently washed with potent and lovely essential oils, and hot water packs were held to his swollen, painful hock. His leisurely munching on his herbs and oats, providing us with soothing sounds in the background. As always, he eagerly took his homeopathy. He whinnied for his hay, and he hobbled over for more pets and hugs. Our hearts remain hopeful...yet at the same time, break a little bit more every day that he does not look better.
It is not easy to not know, to bear witness to what is. We want to help ease his pain. We want him to get better. And we are doing everything we can to that end. But this is also where we learn to let go. To understand at a very deep and poignant level, that we are not in control. So much is up to Buck and his own deep wisdom around staying...or going. And we humans now walk the line between offering everything we can, and respecting and honoring his path.
We'll keep you updated as the days go by. Because you are his human village. The village that came together that fateful day and showed him how much he mattered, and how much you cared. The light in his eye tells me that he has been deeply touched by this life experience. It also tell me that today, he is not going anywhere. Not today...
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We imagine you’ve been eagerly waiting to learn what happened at the auction yesterday, as well as how your generous donations are being utilized to help the 29 horses who were in such dire need.
Over the last day and half, we have been making sure that each and every horse went to either a new permanent home, a rehabilitation group (like us!), or a rescue organization. There were some last-minute changes which we navigated to make sure the horses were going to the best situations possible, at the right time, with the right people. The last horse remaining at the sale barn (who is still being fed and cared for by us), will be leaving to join some of his buddies at a rescue, tomorrow morning!
Here is the breakdown of how many went where: Seven of the horses went to Mountain Valley Horse Rescue in Eagle, Colorado. Two went to Triple Acres Horse Rescue in Pueblo, Colorado. Six horses came home with us. And the remaining horses went to private persons. This means your generous contributions are supporting over half of the herd of 29!
Our group consists of 5 women who have a wealth of experience in rehabilitating horses. Between us, we have over 50 years of experience, to be exact! We have each been doing this more-or-less on our own, with each other’s support over many, many years. Now, we’ve come together to offer a more cohesive, complementary, and holistic level of support to the horses who come our way. By combining our gifts and skills, knowledge and understanding, dreams and visions, we have created an incredibly functional, skillful, yet heart-felt experience for the horses in our care, and for ourselves as well.
When a horse comes to us, we treat that precious life with utmost respect, care, consideration, compassion, skill, and wisdom. We offer her (or him): a most beautiful, peaceful, and calm environment; gentle, skillful handling; homeopathy, herbs, flower essences, essential oils, nutritional supplements, supplemental feed, and quality hay and pasture; gentle, precise “training”; excellent vet, hoof, and dental care; and a level of engagement with humans which goes beyond the duality of horse and human, and into the reality of natural, organic connection and communication. In other words, we love horses and we kinda have a way with them!
When we heard about the Fairplay Horses just last Sunday, we knew we could help, but we also knew we could not do it alone. We calculated that we would need roughly $2,000 per horse to rehabilitate most back to health within 4- 6 month’s time. This number includes vetting, hoof care, dental care, worming, hay, supplements, supplemental feed, training, and general day-to-day care.
We then looked at how many we could take and that number was 4. That meant, if we raised $10,000, our four would be covered and we could help any rescues that showed up by donating anything which remained.
And here’s the really amazing part: you just kept giving!! You gave so much that we could take in SIX horses and still donate to the rescues who took horses home yesterday. And that is what is happening.
We are covered for the six horses we took in – 3 of whom need significant vetting (our bill just for last night, for one horse was $566. We budgeted $500 for vetting for 4-6 months. We used that for one horse, in one day. And he still has significant vet care ahead of him. But this will all even out as not everyone will need vet care to this degree, and some will not need anything but a check-up.
With the remaining funds you donated, we are covering ALL of the adoption fees that the rescues paid for each horse they took in! They, needless to say, are VERY grateful!! And very surprised.
You have touched so many lives with your generosity and spirit which kept you giving even after we had reached our initial goal of $10,000. You helped us help more horses than we initially believed we could. And you’ve helped two rescues do what they do best – give horses who find themselves in deep need, a great chance at having a great life.
How do we thank you?
Perhaps by letting you know that we are not done. You have shown us that you care, and that you care enough to share your love, your prayers, your dedication, and your abundance. And with THAT backing us…well…for as long as horses are calling us to them, we will continue to answer them with everything we’ve got. And that’s a promise.
Today the Fairplay Horses will be auctioned off. Thanks to you, as of 7:15am this morning, we’ve raised $10.730!!! Our goal is to see that every single horse leaves the sale barn with a new family or rescue family.
We got this!
Here is a beautiful YouTube video that was made by Judy Haines about the horses...
It is very, very important for each of you to know...WE HAVE REACHED OUR INITIAL GOAL OF $10,000! And we did this, in one day, thanks to this incredible, strong, caring online, local, and national community.
Now we head to auction and the mystery of what tomorrow will bring. But we go there now, with your profound support behind us. Our goal is to see that every single horse leaves the sale barn with a new family or rescue family.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to each and every one of you. You'll be the first to know...when we know...how it all comes out tomorrow! Gratitude. And Goodnight.
Keep your eyes peeled on KKTV Channel 11 news (Colorado Springs) tomorrow evening. Hopefully at 5 or 5:30pm the Fairplay Horses story should be featured! Pictured here is Chief Photographer Mike Petkash getting photographed himself!
29 Colorado horses need your help. They are going to auction on Friday, May 23rd, 1:00pm in Salida.
In Early May of this year, 34 horses in very poor condition were seized by state authorities from a ranch in Fairplay, Colorado. The herd consists of mares with babies of various ages, stud colts, geldings, and numerous yearling colts and fillies. They were brought to the sale barn in Salida, Colorado where the state veterinarian examined them. Two mares and two babies were humanely euthanized due to severe injuries and illness. The rest were deemed saleable through auction. The local Brand Inspector believes each of the remaining horses can overcome their current challenges and be viable riding or companion horses within a few short months.
We are a local group which is seeking funding to help support these wonderful horses. We have been spending time with them morning and night, supplementing their feed, stroking their noses, and generally doing everything we can to help them begin their new lives.
The horses are all in various stages of emaciation and neglect. They will need vetting, hoof care, dental care, quality hay, and some will need supplemental feed for a few months. Some will also require patient and competent socialization.
If you do not have room to take in a horse, but would like to help, please donate here towards the care of one or more of these animals who have gone through so much. No amount is too small! For instance, $20 will buy a bag of supplemental feed which will help nourish one horse for 5 days. $200 will bail out one horse at auction. Or, $2,000 will sponsor one horse and all of its needs for 6 months (including bail-out, hay, supplemental feed, hoof care, dental work, worming and vetting).
YOUR DONATIONS! Your donation will be utilized to care for and rehabilitate the horses we take in from the sale. If there are remaining funds, they will be donated in support of local, non-profit rescues who take some of the horses into their care. We are a small, local group which specializes in holistic equine rehabilitation - from the ground up - which includes physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and energetic healing.
Additionally, while GoFundMe states here that funds will go to "Kristie Nackord", they will actually go directly into an account which is set up to be used only for collecting and dispersing these donations. Precise record-keeping is happening, and all donors will know where and to whom their contribution goes. While we are not yet a non-profit, Mountain Heart Horse Rehabilitation and Refuge is underway! We warmly thank you for your support!
IN-KIND DONATIONS In-Kind Donations are warmly welcomed. Please contact: Stacy Denoyer 719.221.0769 or Kristie Nackord 707.799.2510 for more information. Grain, hay, transport, and other love is welcomed!
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