I was going to do a NaNoWriMo blog post, but something more pressing than writing has come up, so I’m going to talk about that instead.
I’ve volunteered at Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue for well over 2 years now, and I’ve seen some heartbreaking cases come in. But today’s new arrivals are some of the worst I’ve seen (and it’s not just the poor condition of these quarter horses, it’s the number. Five came today, from a herd of 50.) Today’s five are reportedly some of the worst off—they’re little more than skin stretched over bone. Fat reserves are long gone and the poor dears have been metabolizing muscle mass to live.
WARNING some may find the pictures disturbing.
There are four stallions and one mare (the mare is likely in foal. The vet was looking at them when I left.) Yes, I said stallions, not geldings, stallions. They are so underweight and have so little energy, they are coexisting peacefully.
Now for a bit of history. As everyone in the horse industry is probably aware, the price of hay is astronomical this year due to a crop failure throughout Ontario. Because last winter (the winter that wasn’t) was warmer than normal and didn’t kill out as many pests as usual, army worms destroyed many farmers’ hay fields. What the army worms didn’t kill, the rainless summer burned to a crisp. What hay there is (if you’re lucky enough to find good quality hay or any hay at all) is going for between $70-90 a round bail. As you can imagine, many people in the horse industry can’t afford hay with that price tag. And it’s the horses who suffer….
Horse rescues like Whispering Hearts help as many horse as they can, but are limited by space issues and finances. And this year, with the hay problem, the limiting factor is financial. With the price of hay, there is only so much they can do. (so far they’ve rescued and adopted out something like 150 horses since they first opened their doors.) Please make it so they can help more.
I thought about trying something like the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter (where entrepreneurs can get funding to help them develop a product), but somehow I don’t think it caters to farming, agriculture or horse rescues. So I’m using the great power of social media for good….
In other words, I’m BEGGING. Please help out in whatever way you can. Donations of feed, hay, medicine, or money. Whispering Hearts has a website if you want to learn more. And if you’re willing to help out with a monetary donation, look under the left hand side of the WHHR website under Main Menu you’ll see a paypal Donate button second from the bottom of the list.
Even if you can’t afford much in these tough times, helping to spread the word would be a great aid to Brenda and Dave at Whispering Hearts. The horses can’t Twitter, Pin, or Facebook, but you can. Please help out in whatever way you can.
For myself, I’m going to be giving the rescue my percent of the proceeds from my fantasy romance novel Betrayal’s Price. If other authors would like to help out in some way…guest blogs, interviews, giveaways, ideas for online fundraising events, I’d love to have you.
If you live around or near Hagersville Ontario, come for a visit. Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue is having its Christmas Open House Event again this year. It will be open to the public the last two Sundays in November and the first Sunday in December. Come meet some of the wonderful horses.