Dear Friends and Patrons:
The good news is that, with a lot of help from our Friends and Patrons, THE GOLDEN CARROT
has been granted tax exempt status, and donations to the GC are now tax deductible, pursuant to the IRS, effective January 15, 1998 - yes, last years generous donations are deductible! WHOOPEE! Please give me a call if you need a copy of the IRS's determination letter. This is a temporary status (through 2003) as they need to see that the public will in fact donate with this added incentive of the tax deductible receipt. So please, send what you can as often as you can, and get your friends and relatives to do the same!
I want to thank everyone who sent a letter to the IRS agent on behalf of the GC, as these were helpful in swaying him to the
belief that the GC does provide a public service. I don't know who all sent letters, but I received copies of letters from the following, and some of these letters had me in tears!
A special thanks to these individuals, for letters that moved me and assured me that you support this venture and feel it IS
I'm sure after my plea in August that no one send me more horses, you didn't expect to see this category. Please note that
although we have two new residents, I've turned down two other horses.
SARA, on January 14, 1999, a Belgian draft horse/thoroughbred cross with
what appears to be a cyst in her hock joint came to TGC. Now, Lisa Vladimiroff promised on several occasions to get the x-ray and other radiographic studies to my vet, and to date, that has not
occurred, so I can't give you the benefit of Dr. Moore's thinking on that. She has adjusted Sara twice and donated a magnetic hock wrap, to help reduce the soft-tissue swelling. As long as I've had
her, Sara hasn't been useful at all. She is a three legged horse, and should probably have been put down long ago as my inquiries have discovered that the vet who did the most work on her suspects
a fracture in that joint which he was never able to visualize on x-ray. She is in pain, and only a lack of finances and her taking ways has kept me from putting her down. She's just a baby and has
been "adopted" by Joey. Lisa donated some tack with Sara.
is an approximately 16 year old Thoroughbred mare, 15.3 hands, who has been donated by Christine Day with a generous dollar contribution and lots of tack. Ladyhawk has a number of physical problems, most of which I think will improve at the Golden Carrot, except a marked reduction of vision in her right eye. She is extremely shy of the other horses, and keeps her right side protected - I'm hoping as time goes by one of the TGC horses will "adopt" her and protect that side so she can move about a little bit. Dr. Moore has adjusted her with noticeable improvement, although she is still on the list for the July visit, and Paul Turner has already reshod her twice, with an eggbar shoe on her left forefoot (badly deformed, and showing evidence of prior abscesses). Lady has obviously got a lot of good training - even with her skittishness caused by blindness, she is very sociable with people and behaves well on lead - she shivered in the cross-ties until she discovered Paul would be kind, and then perceptibly relaxed. She has actually gained weight since she's been here and I think given time, she will be a useful and happy member of TGC.
As you all may remember, this is the year I'm supposed to send some of TGC horses to the Boy Scout's Lost Valley Reservation
for about 3 months this summer. Just thinking about it brought on a painful case of separation anxiety. I never did hear from them, and expect that the HART Rescue people, who have provided horses
to the Boy Scouts in the past, simply filled their needs. The good part of this is that the HART Rescue is an organization which does similar work to mine, on a larger scale, and so probably needs
that 3-4 month home for their horses more.
Jim Stroman, the Ranger in charge at Lost Valley, had told me that his program was running at a loss and the rental of the
HART horses was partly why - I am assuming (as I haven't had a response to my inquiry) that they either reduced their rental fees or he has more funds to work with this year. I advised them that I
and TGC horses are still here, and perhaps this program will move forward next year. In the meantime, I was very fortunate to hook up with Michelle and Michael Hughes, and their three little
daughters (Lauren 7, Rachel 5-1/2 and Anna 4), and Jackie and Bob Lyons and their three kids (Craig, 12, Shannon, 9 and Erin 8) through the referral of Big Horse Feed. These folks, as all who have
multiple rug rats can attest, don't have money to burn and thought they'd only be able to afford lessons for one child. However, in exchange for assistance with chores, I'm letting all the kids
ride. Obviously, the older kids do more chores and are really making progress with their riding, and Shannon may be the definition of a 'horse crazy' kid, but even the littlest girls try to clean
stalls and do some grooming in exchange for the privilege of riding. I can't afford to make copies of the pictures we have of all the kids riding, but hope to be publishing them soon on the
internet (see below).
On the day before Easter, we had an Easter Egg Hunt and weenie roast, and since Katie Davis and her friend David Keliher were
visitors as well, the girls groomed up Zayler and that old man actually carried little Anna around and around the arena - you should have seen Katie's face to see her old friend back on the job -
and it was obvious that he loved it too! Both Mike Hughes and David Keliher took digital photos (video for David and regular pictures for Michael) of the events.
Carol Cooling is designing a web site for the Golden Carrot and I hope to be on the web soon where we can display pictures of
the horses, and events such as our Easter Egg Hunt. This is important for me because no one comes to visit - my suggestion about an open house in the August 1998 newsletter met with a complete lack
of interest - but I want you to know that the horses are well - this may be the way to do it. The web site has encountered delays - the project has been "pending" since March, but I truly
hope to see something on line in the next month. Ms. Cooling is donating her time, and has to squeeze it in between her own job, school, husband and personal life committments.
In addition, I've registered with www.givetocharity.com. If you wish to make a donation via MasterCard or Visa, they accept
credit card donations, and I get them, minus their 15% fee! (So, a $100 donation is $85 in my hands - way better than nothing). Once the web site is up, there will be a link to them, and to
www.amazon.com, where if you buy a book from them, by accessing their web site from mine, they will kickback a 15% commission based on the price of purchases, to me! That may not add up to much,
but I keep telling you - EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS!!
I have joined NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) as an individual member, as well as American
Hippotherapy Association and Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association. I'm not sure what benefit I may derive from association with these organizations, but I'm very interested in the
therapeutic aspects of horseback riding and hope they will help me to find handicapped people, children or otherwise, who want to try riding for either pleasure or therapy. Since this is a very
controlled type of activity, I believe almost all of my horses can do this.
The Fran Joswick Center in San Juan Capistrano is NARHA's closest facility for riding instructor training for
therapeutic riding, and I will be inquiring into their programs in this regard. Obviously, I have only so much time and money I can give to that, but we'll see. Interesting note is that Dr. Moore
works at the Joswick Center, she told them about me, and when she visited on May 27, she brought with her a box of halters from them, as a donation. Pretty nice, huh!
At this point of the year, I have received donations totalling exactly what I received last year, from basically the same
people. Unfortunately, I have 3 more horses than I had at this time last year. I'll admit to some disappointment in this regard - I had thought that the tax deductible status would encourage more
Please take into account that I am supporting 21 horses now - with feed, vet, farrier, and miscellaneous expenses such as fly
spray, lumber for stall and paddock repair and so forth. I'm a lowly word processor and my efforts to find more work are still unsuccessful. Of course, I don't have much help with the daily
cleaning of 21 stalls, and feeding three meals to 21 horses, and couldn't spent much more time than I do working anyway. Mike lets the horses out in the morning and puts them away the two evenings
a week I'm at work in LA, he tops water barrels most evenings and helps me to get hay (a huge help since no one will deliver here without an enormous delivery fee, or markup of the hay and I can't
rent a flatbed to haul it with). Otherwise, the weekly visits of the Lyons family are the only help I get cleaning stalls and Bob Lyons usually makes a repair or two with each visit.
Last year I spent over $15,000 on the horses - and made $25,000 for the year, with $2,000 in donations. Sigh. I would
appreciate your consideration of my situation. If I can expand awareness and obtain donations to help pay for the horses I have, I can expand and save more horses, and educate more children. This
will allow the Golden Carrot to continue in existence and provide this sanctuary for horses in the future, as well as these programs for children for years to come. I am only one - I need your help
A small monthly donation of $10-20 (not much more than you pay for your checking account, right?) - from enough people - can
make all the difference out here. If you're concerned I might go to Bermuda with your money, how about buying a gift certificate for me from Big Horse Feed - 33320 Highway 79 South, Temecula, CA
92592, 909/676-2544, fax 909/695-5202, or 877-BIG HORSE. I spent $600 a month there - any help would be appreciated.
In addition, I'm happy to provide account information if you wish to arrange with your bank to send a monthly donation
to the Golden Carrot account directly - saving you the problem of writing a check, posting it, etc. I'll do anything I can to help make donating easy for you. I will keep you all posted on the
progress of TGC. I thank you all for the donations received this year, including SANTA, who anonymously sent $100 to TGC. Please feel free to call, e-mail or write with any suggestions or comments
you may have.
Casey O'Connor, President The Golden Carrot