Yes it's been too long between updates...sorry! I've been dealing with some major medical issues but that's no excuse.
Takoda is at his new home and is learning the new routine and meeting his fellow residents. I, on the other hand, am facing a mound of medical co-pays that are stretching the budget beyond belief.
Since the last update a couple of trailers have popped up in our price range but were gone before I could even get a phone call through. It's been a really tough search but today a ray of sunshine has appeared. What appears to be a very nice 2 horse trailer, with bumper pull, has popped up on the horizon. I still have to go see it in person to be sure of it's value and what work may need to be done for Takoda's safety and comfort. If it works out we are just $500.00 away from ownership and getting our show on the road. There may be a delay as the current owner can't lay her hands on the title but she's assured me she has one and could get a copy from the state. Folks, I know many of you have already helped us a great deal to get to the point we are now...I would really hate to see another opportunity pass us by. If you can find it in your heart (and pocketbook) to help us it would be so greatly appreciated. This has been an exhaustive search and I hope it lives up to the owner's description of past care and current condition. Thanks to all of you. With your support hopefully we'll be on the road soon to help raise funding for the rescue's here in Southwest Florida.
It's been some time since my last update and for that I apologize. We got no help in relocating Takoda to another pasture and for the past few weeks have been working to detox a very sick horse. You see the pasture where he is currently located has two problems...Brazilian Pepper plants and Johnson grass both of which are toxic to horses the worst being the peppers. Apparently these plants were imported a hundred or so years ago because of their bright red berries as competition to holly for Christmas decoration. They are quite prolific and very hard to kill. The leaves and the fruit are both toxic to horses and apparently Takoda consumed enough to make him very very sick. It seems that congesting them, even a little, over a period of time allows the toxins to build up to the point it could be deadly! Johnson grass is not so toxic to horses as it is to cows but it still contains cyanide which makes the toxicity levels even worse. I have talked with the land owner who is aware but has yet to do anything about the problems. The Brazilian Pepper plants, for the most part, are rooted on the neighbors side of the fence and hang over into Takoda's pasture. The root system is quite large and plants have started coming up in the pasture to boot and are spreading rapidly. Poisons to kill them are expensive and even those used by licensed landscapers take nearly 2 months to kill the plant and it's entire root system. With that said I've had to invest heavily in making sure there is fresh hay available at all times as an alternative forage source. As for the funding I've watched trailers in the $2500 to $4000 range go by unable to even make a bid. I hope you will help us as we still have a goal in mind to help equine rescues continue their important work. Just a couple of weeks ago 9 horses were picked up by the Sheriff due to malnutrition and neglect by their owner. Abuses are mentioned on the news almost daily. Rescues need our help...can you spare a few dollars for the cause?
Although I'm having to move Takoda back to the rescue until other arrangements can be made we still are looking to purchase a trailer. The current landlord has denied us credit for half a months rent we did not utilize. It also appears, although he has been paid for this month in full, he will not want to refund the unused days in the pasture. Although he promised to build Takoda a barn if I supplied the power poles for the frame (which I did via a kind donation) it has been nearly 3 months and the poles are still on the trailer. We are coming to the rainy season and Takoda is currently alone in the pasture as the owner sold his cows to market. Therefore the move back to the rescue where Takoda will have pasture mates and a big enough stall for feeding and weathering. We have missed multiple opportunities by not having a trailer at our disposal and many more are coming up this year. We also would like to be able to help transport other horses in need of rescue or rehoming in the SW Florida area. Please share what you can. Many horse rescues are on the verge of bankruptcy. Every one that goes under means more horses have to be absorbed by the remaining rescues meaning more feed, hay, farrier and vet bills etc. No amount is too small. Every little bit helps us to move forward with our mission. Won't you help? You are all advocates and animal lovers so don't just click the 'LIKE' button...click the "DONATE" button and do some good for our equines in need. Thanks so much to those who have been so generous. Your names will adorn the trailer once we find one. If you'd like to have your name showing your support on the trailer then here's your chance...Love to All! Steve and Takoda
It has been some time since our last update. Takoda still needs a trailer so we can hit the road and help raise funding for equine rescues. Animal abuses seem to be on the rise but the good news is more and more states are increasing penalties to felony status and putting people in jail!
BUT...that doesn't pay the feed, vet, or farrier bills! Rescues are in need of donations to exist and for whatever reason people seem to have closed their wallets. Yes they click the 'like' button on Facebook a lot and forward messages with words of encouragement for others to help financially but they themselves don't seem to be willing to follow their own advice.
Over the past couple of public appearances I've found that people hearing the horror story of Takoda and looking at him now with an understanding of the work and effort his recovery has entailed are more likely to reach into their pockets to help.
We need your help with funding...not with just good thoughts and well wishes. We asked artist Angela Lloyd-Briggs if she would offer one of her classic works to help us and she graciously agreed.
Her original pastel, "Down By The Pond" is up for auction. Take a look at this beautiful 16x20 and bid for your chance to own it.
Due to some very nice local gifts we may in fact get a trailer this week. We've been invited to attend a local church picnic to help raise the remaining dollars needed. The seller has given us a great discount and is willing to let us use the trailer to attend the picnic this weekend. Another donation is pending which may in fact seal the deal...please say a prayer! Steve and Takoda
Update...should we be able to secure this trailer I've spotted I will have vinyl decals made with everyone's name (first name and last initial) who donated to make this happen. (If you don't want your name published just let me know.) It will be a tribute to those who support our mission against animal abuse and raising funds and awareness for equine rescues. I would also like to update the website with a complete list of rescue's and their contact information so it will be easy to reference. Obviously these rescues will need to be vetted before being added to our list. Your help in this matter will be of utmost importance. Thanks again! Steve and Takoda
Good News! I've spied a trailer, in good condition, at a good price. It's a light weight 2 horse trailer my old Explorer won't have trouble pulling. We are close to having enough money to purchase and register. $750.00 (remembering this site keeps 10%) will get us there. Please Please help us reach this goal. With a little cosmetic love we can start making plans and setting dates. PayPal is another way with a smaller fee (.04%) There is a yellow "donate" button on the website that leads you there. www.TakodasVision.com
Any amount big or small will be a blessing! Thanks!
Takoda's first parade was a success! He was a bit skittish at first with all the other horses around but he settled in nicely once he made a couple of new friends. Remember he's been alone since he left the rescue where he was one of 13 horses. His pasture now is shared with 2 heifers. The two horses that were pastured across the back fence are gone now the property has changed hands. After the parade was over we started back to the staging area along some back streets. I learned quickly that he was completely comfortable just being with me. He relaxed and we just walked and talked. A friend provided the trailer transportation with a huge 30' four stall trailer which can be loaded from the back or the sides with drop ramps. (a picture of a similar trailer is below) Takoda rode in luxury! The parade banner I had ordered over a month ago was delayed until the night before the early morning parade so there was no time for Takoda to get used to it. When I tried it out before the parade he was not a happy camper and was dancing a jig not knowing what was touching his hind legs so we ditched the $80.00 banner. I'm really upset about the procrastination of the lady who made it. I had told her I needed time for Takoda to adjust before parade day but still she let me down. Twice I had to correct her...the first time she misspelled his name (Takota) and the second time she had forgotten to add "Ambassador Against Animal Abuse". Once it was done it looked really nice and would have let the crowd know that this was the horse they had seen in the newspaper and on the TV news. Oh well...I have time now to work with him for the next time. Speaking of next time my friend with the trailer is leaving in April to go back home to New York (where he was a mounted police officer) so I don't have him to help me after this month. I've decided to skip 'Pioneer Days' as I don't have the corral panels or a trailer to carry them if I borrowed them from the rodeo again. It's very hard doing this alone. I can't do more promotions or schedule any appearances without your support. This week I have to coordinate the transport of the power poles needed for Takoda's pole barn. Six have been donated but 10 are required so I have to buy 4 more or find someone else to donate. Used power poles are bringing $2.00 a foot and I need 14 footers. As I write this I'm getting very depressed and feeling like the hill may be just too high. Until next time...Steve and Takoda
Howdy all! We're preparing for Takoda's first parade appearance this saturday. His parade banner is supposed to be ready today so I will have just a short time to get him used to having a foreign object hitting his back legs while walking. Remember he can't see it. We are having a rash of arrests here in SW Florida for animal neglect and hoarding. 3 just this week. All kinds of animals are affected...dogs, cats, horses, goats, cows...even a snake! I estimate just about 100 animals have now been removed from neglectful homes and are now in governmental care and will eventually be handed over to shelters in hopes they can find them homes. The equine shelters are all strapped for cash. Donations are slim to none and many are operated out of household budgets putting a real strain on the owner's and their families. There are quite a number of events over the next few months that we could attend to help promote funding and stricter laws but without a trailer we can call our own...well you get the picture. Won't you please help? I'm in contact with an animal law attorney who used to work for the state. I'm hopeful she will help us rewrite the laws and get them presented to the State for approval. Right now her case load is such she hasn't the time to give it proper attention. Until then we are on our own and our only hope is your support and financial help so we can carry our message to more and more people. It amazes me the number of folks that have no clue as to the amount of abuse and neglect animals endure. It also amazes me how generous they can be once they know the truth. We want to help spread the news and the presence of a horse at local events, no matter the cause, attracts so many people who can then be educated as to the seriousness of the situation. Takoda attracts attention wherever he goes. He's the perfect 'poster child' for animal abuse and neglect. If we are successful in Florida then it sets an example for other states to follow. To everyone who has donated so far a great big Thank You! To everyone else we're asking for your support as well. You can donate here or if you prefer PayPal visit our website www.takodasvision.com and look for the donate button. Thanks so much in advance...
Steve and Takoda
We were scheduled to be at 1st Saturday which is our traditional Farmer's Market but alas...our transportation wasn't available. It had been advertised on the radio that we would be there and people were asking "Where's Takoda?" I had to explain we didn't have our own trailer but were trying to raise money for one. I was somewhat embarrassed about the whole situation. Please help us...
Now known as 'Takoda' this beautiful paint gelding you see today was the victim of a brutal beating by his previous owner that left him blind. He had been neglected and starved and appeared nothing more than a bag of bones.
Today, Steve and Takoda are on a mission that includes strengthening animal abuse laws with stiffer penalties and to help raise funding for rescues...
"Our mission is to raise the awareness of the general public that there is never a reason for animal neglect or abuse. Help is often just a phone call away and those that provide that help need contributions to survive.
You can help their cause by helping them raise money for a trailer to attend parades and other events in an effort to promote their mission. Rescues receive absolutely NO government funding. It is up to us to help them continue their efforts, saving lives, and finding forever homes for abused and neglected equines.