The Golden Carrot - News - June 1999

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!

Patricia  Keliher
Donna Finley
Susan Squires
Michele Hughes
Leslie Tripp

A special thanks  to these individuals, for letters that moved me and assured me that  you support this venture and feel it IS important.

NEW  RESIDENTS

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.

LADYHAWK 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.

CHILDREN  PROJECTS

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.

NEW  BUSINESS

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!

DONATIONS

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 giving.

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 to continue.

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

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