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It's been busy busy out here at the farm and we thought it was time for a little update! So here's what's going on in a nutshell:


July Yard Sale

We have been busy busy collecting donations for our annual yard sale! We are still in need of donations and if you would like to drop off; 10-2 on Wednesdays and Saturdays are ideal but if that doesn't work out just get in touch with us and set up a time to pop by! If you are local (Kingston, Poulsbo, Hansville) and need us to pick up please let us know!


If you aren't familiar with our yard sale, this is how it works... All of our items are donated then a group of AMAZING volunteers spend a week getting everything organized and set up for a MASSIVE four day yard sale (July 11-14.) Because we receive these items as donations it seems only fitting that we ask for donations in return rather than pricing! There's a little bit of everything - a treasure for everyone! All the proceeds from this fundraiser go toward providing feed and vetting for our equines! This is probably our largest fundraiser of the year. It's a lot of work but it is so so so worth it! So come on out and visit the farm in July! This year we will also have a lot of horse tack as well!


Nova gelded

This last week our not so little Super Nova got gelded! The surgery went perfectly and he is healing nicely. He's got another month before we can put him in with anyone ( gotta let that testosterone run it's course) but after that we hope that he can share a space with the lovely Stazi who is similar in age. They've been besties over the fence and we can't wait to see them run and play together!



teeth floating for our minis

This is a HUGE week at the rescue. We have farrier day on Wednesday where all of our horses get their feet done. and on Friday all of our minis are getting their teeth floated. It's an estimated cost of $2500. This may not seem like a huge expense in the world of vet care but it all adds up. We've had a pretty vet intensive year at Toni's Ponies. We have put the all call out to ask for a bit of help raising funds for these guys. ANY amount helps us tremendously! If you feel so inclined to donate for these guys specifically you can click the link here! This is for Joker, Princess, Gin, Tonic, Missy, Carl Wayne, Le' Roy, Bobaloui, Daisy, and Remington.



next on the schedule

We will not be having our scheduled Community Farm Day this Saturday. We hope to be able to reschedule later this summer but you can catch Toni's Ponies at the Kingston 4th of July parade! We are also still plugging away at getting the Thrift Store up and running! We had a great workday in late May and hope to plan one again soon when we get some word from our roofing guys! Stay tuned!


Newest additions

In April we welcomed our three newest residents. Remington the mini horse as well as Daisy and Bobalouie who are miniature donks. They have settled in just beautifully!


pirate festival

It was awesome to partner with Hood Canal Brewery for the Kingston Pirate Festival this year. We are so grateful for the opportunity to run the beer garden as a fundraiser!



zebra

Also.... in case you missed it... we were visited by a local celebrity. The PNW lost zebra! That little one sure got around! Can't believe it hopped on a ferry and got all the way to Kingston.




looking forward to summer!

We are so excited for summer! While we love the rain - because it makes the grass grow... We are absolutely just done with the mud. We can't wait to take the horses out and give them baths and love on them and spend days in the sun! As always, if you are interested in volunteering, our volunteer days are Wednesday and Saturday from 9am-2pm. Wear appropriate footwear, pack a lunch and come on down to the farm! See you around!


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Wow, it’s been a long time since we’re been here on the blog and there’s a good reason for it… we are exhausted from shlepping through this MUD! We don’t like to talk about it because it makes us feel like we’re doing something wrong but it’s really just math… Washington rain + 25+ horses is going to equal mud. We are reassured by our farrier and our vets and everyone else that has horses and rain that it’s everywhere but still what a pain. But let’s hope that’s mostly in the past and we are moving towards the best time of the year for Toni’s Ponies and Washington State in general! Bring on the sunshine!


So what’s been going on the since last we updated? A ton! Our last blog post update was about loosing our sweet boy, Gary. We are happy to report that we haven’t had any losses since then, though it has been a near thing. Again, the reality of rescuing horses is that many times we get them when they are advanced in age and we rarely know trauma their bodies have encountered already. Needless to say we are a frequent for our vet. In the last couple of months we have had to move three of our horses to soaked food permanently and cut out some of their snacks due to choke. We’ve had to post signs on their pens so our walkers don’t accidently give them something that’s going to cause them issues. We love our walkers and all the love they give to our little guys but it just isn’t safe anymore for them.


Many of you know that we welcomed a new non-equine member to the farm! Toni was contacted about a week old lamb that lost it’s mama and was probably not going to make it without intervention… and so we welcomed a beautiful little girl lamb and named her Poppy! Then we found out she had a penis and renamed him Peppy. He’s mostly just called Lamba Lamba and he follows Toni EVERYWHERE! We are pretty sure he thinks he’s a dog and you have to see our video of him and Princess hopping and bopping in the front yard. He’s really brought us so much joy! Our other sheep that live part time with our next-door neighbors are home for awhile and we hope that the new little guy will be able to hang with them!



We also welcomed a new horse to the herd! This is Lovely Rita. She is such a friendly girl – if you are a human. She’s holding her own in the herd and has even got the hang of getting in her stall for feeding. She came to us very loved in in excellent health. We are excited to get to know her more! This picture was taken early on - she's now running with the herd!



Somewhere in there NOFB Andy brought home a hurt pigeon. That was a surprise! Wendy and Sheila took him over to West Sound and they got him all patched up and released him which is awesome!



As the weather has started to get better we’ve had a lot of new visitors to the farm! We love seeing the littles come out and spend time here with their folks! And while the mud has been the bane of our existence they seem to LOVE it!



We were the very grateful recipients of a generous donation from The Power of 100 Kitsap County. This amazing group of women philanthropists are committed to taking care of their community and we are so incredibly grateful that they chose us! The funds that they donated will go to making our rescue safer for both our horses and our volunteers. We are looking into ways to mitigate the damage the water causes for next year as well as gravel areas that need it! Of course our vet care comes first… which brings me to our next close call.



Saturday afternoon on our volunteer day our spunky little Arabian, Phara was acting out of sorts. We saw some strange stretching and then she laid down in the barn (not normal for our guys) and when prompted to get up she just didn’t seem to be feeling it. We walked her down to the yard and checked her for gut sounds – none – and her breathing was labored. Needless to say, she was in a lot of discomfort. We called the vet and kept her up and walking. We offered her water that she didn’t drink and we were all very worried. The vet came and things were not looking good. Phara definitely was blocked up and part of what was causing it was likely a colon stone the size of a cantaloupe. She was tubed and a mineral oil was run through her and then the waiting came. As usual we were waiting for poop and trying to get our girl to drink. She was moved to a stall and her bestie Barbie was brought to keep her company. Things did not look promising.



We have volunteers here at the farm that fall hard for certain horses. And horses that fall for them too. One of the hardest things to see is a horse whose future is so up in the air and the person that loves them. I have to hand it to Toni and her volunteers. They are so incredibly strong. I watched two of our youngest volunteers step up and do all the things that had to be done with such strength of character. They were worried and sad but that didn’t stop them from hauling water, walking Phara, thinking about ways to ease her discomfort. All the while they knew it was possible she was not going to make it through the night.


Miraculously Phara did make it through the night and the next day and now we are on day 4 since her impaction. She’s back in the herd and we’ve seen bowel movements. She’s drinking and eating and chasing Barbie off her hay. We don’t know how long this will last. She’s still got that colon stone in there but we are so excited to be able to spend more time with her. If you are wondering what a vet bill for this sort of thing looks like – it’s hefty. This visit alone was $1018.


That brings me to our next topic! I know it seems like we are always fundraising – and we are – because that’s the life of a nonprofit rescue. We’ve just come out with a new T-shirt design for the spring and we are excited to share it with you. All profits from our merch go directly to taking care of the horses here – paying vet bills like Phara’s. We are currently taking preorders for our shirts. It helps us out so much if you preorder – this way we know we have you covered with size and color. These shirts are soft style shirts. If you ordered the shirts last year for the 4th of July  - these ones are a very different cut – not as boxy. We can’t wait to see everyone wearing them! We plan to put in an order next week so that they will be here mid April! Click on the link below to order!



Wrapping it up here, thanks for sticking with us this far! I want to leave you with some exciting news. One of our favorite horses is leaving Toni’s Ponies. We’re of course a little sad to see her go but also our hearts are full because this is the culmination of what we do. This is the goal and part of the journey. In 2020 Ruth (now called Rosie) came to Toni’s Ponies emaciated, wild, and pregnant. She was untouchable. Over the last 4 years people have put time and energy and love into building relationships with her. Shelby, Toni, and Andy spent countless hours early on with her getting her to trust humans. In 2022 She was adopted by Andi Kosalko, one of our amazing volunteers. Andi boarded her here at TP and continued to work with her. She was able to get her comfortable getting her feet done and being under saddle. They’ve built quite the bond! And now Rosie will be moving to a barn just down the street from Toni’s Ponies where Andi will continue her training and bonding! This will be so good for both of them and we can’t wait to see how their journey progresses! Because of that this past weekend Andi spent a lot of time getting Rosie comfortable for her trailer ride to her new home! They both did great!



 

We look forward to spending more sunny days on the farm loving on the horses and getting things done! Our volunteer days are Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9am-2pm. If you have been wanting to come out and volunteer come on out! We are excited to meet you and we always have tons of poop to scoop and horses to love!

 



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That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet – Emily Dickenson

 

If you’ve been following Toni’s Ponies this year, you will notice that we’ve lost quite a few of our equine friends in 2022 and 2023. These are always very sad days at the farm. We’ve been astounded at the loss we’ve had this last year but when we take a step back a little it makes so much sense.

 

We rescue horses. Sometimes that horse is in their prime and we are able to find it a forever home but more often than not we step in towards the end of life. Horses that come from feed lots, or their owners can’t care for them anymore, or ones that have been abandoned. When a horse gets older and outlives their usefulness, as awful as it sounds, that’s when others step away and we step in. The end of life is an incredibly important part of life itself.

Anyone who has been a caregiver to an elderly family member can tell you how important that last chapter in a person’s life is. There’s a balance between providing care – which is often time arduous – and love. There’s giving them dignity even though so many of the things they used to be able to do for themselves are no longer possible. Just because someone is older, does not mean you stop treating them like a person. Same with our horses.

Yesterday we lost our sweet boy Gary. Gary was in his 30’s. He came to us with very little meat on his bones. He would stand in the yard with his head down and not move very much. Within a couple weeks though he was breaking into the grain room at every turn and his ears and head would perk up when you called his name. He had near constant diareah or loose stool that we tried endlessly to alleviate. That meant he got a lot of butt baths. He was the perfect little ambassador. He loved to be loved on and we fell hard for him. At his first vet appointment our vet said that we had Gary on borrowed time. We don’t know much about his life before he came to us but in the time we had him he was cared for, loved on, and appreciated. He crossed the rainbow bridge with a group of people around him who absolutely adored him. We told him it was ok to go. We pet him and held his hooves. We loved him until the very end and will continue to love him.

 

Every one of the horses that comes here changes our hearts a little. It’s not just we do for them. They make us better people. They teach us how to love and let go. They teach us how to care for one another. They bring us together in joy and in mourning. They show us that what we do is important and that it matters weather we get to spend years, months, or weeks with them.

 

So here’s to all the horses that have crossed the rainbow bridge but forever live in our heart. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to love you and to know you. You have changed us.

 

2022-2023

Scooter

Hellno

Buddy

Wendy

Gigi

Gary

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