Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Calling All Animal Lovers

My daughter, who lives in Los Angeles, rides at a horse ranch in the area. She has sent the following letter to everyone she knows, which I am posting in the hope that someone can help her save a horse who is being sorely neglected by his owner.

I have met Shane, and he is a lovely animal.

He needs a new home. He will die if that doesn't happen soon. Please take a few minutes to read Catie's letter, and if you know of anyone who can help, let me know. Thank you all.


It sucks to depend on humans for your care.

Hi, all-
Apologies for the spam, but I need to get the word out to as many people as possible, quickly. The last time I sent out an email to my whole address book was after 9/11, so please believe this is serious, and cut me a little slack since i've put up with years of chain letters, personality tests, stupid animal tricks, find-your-porn-star-name, and god knows what kind of emails in an effort to communicate with you people. (I'm saying that in jest, if tone doesn't come through. Point is, we all have things we care about enough to get others involved with, and if you've ever sent me a "hey, lipstick is cancerous! pass it on!!" email-o-gram, this one's for you. :) Seriously.

So, basically-- my barn has a wonderful horse named "Shane" who colicked (basically a stomach upset that's very serious for horses and can twist the intestines so badly everything vital is cut off). Because he has a bit of a quirky personality and is getting on in years, the owners don't want to try to save him-- they're leaving him to rot in a dirty stall and ignoring him until he dies. They are neither feeding nor walking him-- and movement is crucial in this situation. There are animal cruelty issues here that must be dealt with, but the more pressing need right now is to save him, and time is truly of the essence. He is not suffering right at this moment-- I've been giving him Banamine for days and walking him as much as possible, but there isn't a lot of time he can exist like this.

My request is that you please help me save this beautiful horse if you can. It doesn't cost you anything.

Why? Because he hasn't yet given up on himSELF, he still has a lot of life in him, and sick as he is, he still pricks up his ears and looks right at you, as if he is trusting that someone cares. He is not a mean horse, but he is high spirited and mischievous, and people don't like him because there are easier horses to ride. That's why he's been left to die. They said it isn't "business-minded" of them to save him. This is not some communist missive that will end with "down with the rich people!"-- we all of us make sound business decisions every day. But someone else's life shouldn't fall under that same rubric. And saying it costs more than a being is "worth" to treat him just deep-down fundamentally bothers me.

Without being overly anthropomorphic, please consider for a moment how easy it is to be misunderstood, and just think if your life depended on that misunderstanding. He's a good horse. He just needs a chance, and someone with a little patience. Imagine if you needed urgent medical care, and no one wanted to help you because sometimes you're a little crabby. Shane has taught a lot of people a lot of things, but at the end of the day, just wasn't bred to be a lesson horse. Someone abandoned him many years ago after spending a ton of money to buy him-- his original owner saw a pretty horse and had to have him, but had no real idea what to do with him, and wasn't experienced enough to deal with his spiritedness. The barn management made him a lesson horse so he'd earn his keep, and for many years now he's been doing a job decently well that he shouldn't do at all-- but it isn't his nature to be ridden by amateurs all day, and every so often he sort of acts out. He is NOT dangerous-- he just has some tricks to riding him that a confident rider can quickly sort out. But rather than just accept they made a mistake trying to make money on this one, they've decided to let him die so they can get more docile animals any junior can ride. Most of us have at one time or another found ourselves in a situation at which we arrived purely by circumstance. But because we are beings with free will in a free world, we're able to generally wiggle ourselves out. Animals aren't so lucky. This is a trapped spirit reliant on humans to fight for him, and I hope you will help get him on the better path he deserves.

2 ways you can help. Neither involve money.
I have struck a deal with the barn owners not to put him down while i try to do what i can to help him-- I've got vet care under control, but if he makes it, I will want him rehomed.


- 1. If you know any horse lovers in SoCal who could give an excellent home to a nearly 20 year old Arabian gelding who is otherwise sound... please let me know immediately. He very much wants a person of his own with whom to bond. Arabians are not bred to be ridden into the ground by many people- they are loyal and loving and trusting when it's earned, and this particular horse needs someone kind who will shower him with personal attention, and not push him to heal too fast so they can keep making money. He will need a good 3 months solid time off from work, but I am betting he will again be sound and a great riding companion for many more years. He just needs an honest chance, and someone to watch over him and not throw him back into work with idiots as soon as he clears medical. I have ridden him extensively myself, and am more than happy to give a thoroughly candid assessment of his abilities, personality, etc. if you know anyone interested.

-2. That said, IF he pulls through is still up for debate. This is somewhat more personal than asking for a new home rec.... but please. If you can find a quiet moment, or better yet: several-- please just send your best and most healing thoughts, however you conceive of that. I do believe that helps tremendously. He has a heart and soul. I know it's probably corny, but if you saw him, you would know that. This horse has really no one on his side, and every bit of attention he gets seems to be helping right now. Like people, they get sad when they're sick and no one cares.

So that's really it. Long explanation, but it boils down to helping find him a new owner, and please just adding him to your prayers, good thoughts, and positive energy. Everyone at the barn expects him to die, and I want to counteract that somehow. This horse has really touched something in me.
Cynics among you, what can i say.
Philosophy friends: just think of this as a combination of a prayer wheel and pascal's wager.
Psych friends: am i over-personalizing this? have I over-identified with this animal? -No.
Old friends: have i gone and completely lost my mind? Maybe. I just don't think that putting forth good energy to this can hurt. I hope you'll help.

Thank you..


Liz said...

I wish I could be that person to take Shane. Or that I knew someone with riding/horse experience that could be the person to take care of Shane. I'll keep my eyes and ears open in case something happens to serendipitously come my way.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Sending best thoughts and hopes.

Have friends in that area, will ask around.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

PS - Please keep us posted as to how this evolves.

Anonymous said...

Since I have no home to offer the sweet horse. I will offer up positive thought. Your daughter has a good heart. I hope she wins out on this!

WNG said...

I don't know anyone in SoCal who isn't completely broke, but I am sending all of my best thoughts and prayers to Shane.

furiousBall said...

If Shane was in South Jersey I have a few friends that would probably help. Good luck, I hope Shane finds a caring owner soon.

Ian Lidster said...

I could send the URL to our local therapeutic riding people, since I know a number of them. Problem is, he's a sick horsey, so they'd never let the poor creature into the country. I hope your daughter finds somebody to house him.

The CEO said...

Dear Catie,

You got #2 as I was reading. You cannot be wrong here, drawing your philosophical attention to Emmaual Kant who said something about "~society being judged by the way it takes care of its animals"

I'm outside of Washington, DC and i can't promise you and Shane anything, but I can try to shake up one or two folks in California today. Worse things is they can do nothing. In which case you'll have my #2.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I wish I could take him, too. I love horses, and he is a beautiful, intelligent and delightful animal.

Thank you for keeping your eyes and ears open.


Your thoughts are appreciated, and I will keep you posted.


She is determined to save Shane, and I believe she'll succeed.

I agree with her that positive thought helps.


Your best thoughts and prayers will help so much.




I believe he'll recover with proper care, which Catie is doing her best to provide. Long-distance travel would probably be contraindicated anyway.


I will take the liberty of responding as my daughter is either at the barn or at work.

I have always believed that. If we are inhumane to helpless animals in our care, there is no hope for us.

seventh sister said...

Can she post a pic of Shane? I will of course keep him in my thoughts.

The Minstrel Boy said...

horse rescue organizations and also check with the local arabian society. we loves our arabs and i'm certain that there's somebody local who would want to help shane out.

Bob said...

damn. people can be so damned cruel.

I'm sending a link to this post to a horsey person I know to see if they might have any connections there.

Open Grove Claudia said...

I'll send this on to a friend of mine who has a daughter that might be able to help. Nice of you!

Anonymous said...

I don't have any friends at all (and none surely in the southern CA area) but I am sending my very best thoughts and prayers.

And goodness me, that Catie takes after her mother doesn't she? The same wit, charm, intelligence, passion and amazingly good heart.

urban-urchin said...

i hope Shane finds a new owner soon. If anyone comes to mind, I'll pass on the info.

Molly said...

I know my daughter, who lives in CA would be tempted, so i'm not even going to tell her about this. She already is in over herhead with more horses than she can afford. but i'm certainly sending positive energy to shane. i hope he makes it and that Catie can help pair him up with some loving new owners. Any chance there's an animal rescue organisation nearby? That's where one of my daughter's horses came from....

thethinker said...

I don't know anybody in the area with the space for a horse, but I will keep Shane in my thoughts.

Rebecca said...

how sad.

I shall certainly send my best healing thoughts for that courageous, spirited horse.

(your daughter writes almost as beautifully as you do - clearly a telented family!)

BottleBlonde said...

This breaks my heart. Shane is certainly in my prayers.

I have a few friends who live in CA. Although they themselves may not have a place for Shane to live, they may know someone who does. I will pass this message along to them.

And your daughter is an amazing woman for taking the time to try and find Shane a loving home.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


He's very beautiful, but it would probably be better if someone didn't decide to take him for that reason.

There are a lot of vanity riders for whom that is the only concern.

Minstrel Boy,

I checked out that site, and the wonderful woman who operated the Arabian Horse Rescue is no longer doing it, but she may know of others who are.

Thank you so much for that info, and for your visit here.

Bob, thanks. I cannot abide cruelty to animals, or those who attach value to them based on how much they're producing. It's just terribly wrong.


That's great. The more people who know about Shane, the better his chances to find the great home he deserves.


No friends at all? Oh, my, I would never have guessed.

Thank you for paying such a nice compliment to ME. I'm very, very proud of Catie in every way.


Many thanks. I know you'll help if you can.


Your daughter sounds a lot like my family. We all love animals so much.

We had three rescued ponies when Catie was growing up who were a great joy to us both.


I'm sure that will help, too. Thank you.


Thank you for your good thoughts and kind words.

In truth, my daughter far excels me in many ways, and I look up to her.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I appreciate any inquiries you make. This is a great horse who should not be in this dreadful situation.

Thank you for your efforts and your prayers, and also for your first visit here.

WanderingGirl said...

I got here via The CEO. While I don't have a place I can keep a horse, I do have something to add to your regime... Living in the south, we give our horses "warrior gruel" to help keep their gut clean of the build up that being a grazing animal gives them. Mix a scoop of bran in with his grain, and mix it with water until it's a goopy not-quite-soupy mix. The fiber will push any sand/dirt/clay mix out of his gut and will give him some extra help on the way to healing. Good luck with it!

MsLittlePea said...

Poor Shane. I wish I knew someone...

I hope things work out for him. How wonderful of your daughter. I'll be thinking about them.

seventh sister said...

I have posted a link on Shimoda's Dream to this post. I encourage everyone else who has a blog to dothe same. It will help get the word out and increase the chances that someone willl know what to do.

Jocelyn said...

I'm terrible at technological stuff, so I won't even try some html cutting/pasting dealie, but:

if you go to my post from last Saturday (the long meme where I referenced the Louis Jenkins poem about brown pills...and you asked about my attempt to reference--too cryptically--Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" comment), and look at the comments, one was left by a blogger named Tracey, who is a horsewoman in the Pacific Northwest. She might have ideas. Horses are her life.

Sienna said...

I have the good healing thoughts and vibes up and running for Shane...I'm not sure what SolCal is? must be a town I guess. The power of positive thought and feelings going out in the universe is fantastic action..(even from downunder..)

He sounds an amazing spirit...(and so does Catie, Hearts!)

Count me in for anything toward finding Shane a new home, someone to love and cherish and appreciate the individual he is.


heartinsanfrancisco said...

Wandering Girl,

Thank you for your suggestion. I have passed it on.

Thank you, also, for your interest, and your visit.

Sweet Pea,

I hope so, too.


Thank you so much, Jackie. I'm sure that will help.


I'll check out Tracy.

(Nothing cryptic about Bill Clinton.)


Socal is short for Southern California.

I know that your good thoughts are surrounding Shane as horses are one of your big loves,too. And I'm sure they will help.

Melanie said...

I wish I did. I sure would help out if I could.

I have forwarded this letter to some horse loving friends though. Good vibes.

Angela said...

Hi Heart,

I have family down there somewhere who have kept horses for years. I've e-mailed and will hopefully hear from them. Sending good thoughts for a really great home for Shane. Bless your daughter for having such a big heart.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Melanie, thanks. I feel that this will work out well for Shane because so many people care.


I appreciate your efforts so much.

Also, thank you for your visit here. I hope you'll come back soon.

Nosjunkie said...

while I have the space and would love to take the horse I am in another country.
I have bought a brand new white candle and my household and I will spare a thought for him tonight

Echomouse said...

I'm in Canada but will keep Shane in my thoughts.

Also, I'm going to forward this to a couple people I know in California.

You're a great soul to be doing this. I hope Shane finds a wonderful new home.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


The white candle is a lovely idea. Thank you so much. And thank you, too, for your visit to these shores.


I think he will. So many people, like you, are trying to help. Thank you so much, and welcome to my blog world.

Molly said...

I contacted a horsey friend in the LA area. Her response was, "There is an animal rescue group in LA called the Gentle Barn, phone 661 252
This is exactly what they do and it's run by Ellie and Jay."
I hope this helps, or that he has already found the perfect home.

meno said...

Shit, you made me cry. I can not stand to see animals in distress.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I passed the info to my daughter. It sounds like a great fit. Thank you!!


I can't either. I simply cannot.

Anonymous said...

if you have not found a solution by the time you read this, please contact your local news station or national station and anonymously, or not, ask them to do a story on this horse...

...the animal planet channel "people" should have contacts and may be interested if you contact them...or the aspca should be interested..I believe the animal planet channel has a segment dedicated to the aspca.

...publicity is key.

Anonymous said...


Please contact me. I live in LA and would like to help. Here is my e-mail address -


Hope to hear from you soon.

Susan b.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


The first order of business was making the horse healthy without stressing him more than he already was. Horses are very sensitive.

All the right media people will be contacted at the right time.

Meanwhile, Shane is doing well. I'll pass on your message to my daughter. Thank you for your interest.

am ready to help said...

Dear heartsinsanfrancisco,

I left a message before, here I am again as I have not heard back. I WOULD LIKE TO HELP. Please e-mail me at love2laugh2@ca.rr.com

Oncle I get your e-mail I'll respond with my phone number so that we can talk live.

Susan b.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you for your interest in helping Shane. I understand that he is doing very well, and will be moving to a loving home soon.

I was waiting for more information before contacting you, but we very much appreciate your kindness.

As soon as I know all the details from my daughter, I will let everyone know as it turns out that many people care about Shane.

Angela said...

I am SO glad to hear that something may have worked out. I wasn't able to reach family, but do have one more option if it turns out he's still available.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


It's looking good right now, but I do thank you for your interest in helping Shane.