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Hello Sunshine - Goodbye mud!

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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