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A piece of my heart left me today

Mar. 27th, 2012 | 12:28 pm
location: Home

Mista crossed The Bridge today, and I have no words right now. Mista enriched our lives more than I can express and his pasture will never be the same without him.
Meet you at the Bridge buddy.

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Happy Birthday Mista Man!

Jun. 29th, 2011 | 10:42 am
mood: gratefulgrateful

Another year has gone by, and Mista just turned 28 on June 26, 2011. I have not been able to keep up with the journal here as I have been so busy with other things. I will make it a point to post photos of Mista and other things from time to time here in the rest of 2011. Mista continues to do great and has actually greatly helped with another horse who was having a horrible time adjusting. Shea, a 22-year-old Arabian mare came to us after her mother died. Shea lived with her mother her whole life and never left the farm she was at. Shea went through a horrible depression, the worst we've ever seen; refusing to eat and drink and just continually laying down to die. She had given up on life. We tried everything with Shea, different pastures, with different horses, and she finally buddied up to the old guy, DJ, in a paddock situation. DJ was well in his 30s and he took Shea in under his wing. Shea treated him like he was her mother, even trying to nurse from him from time to time. Good ole DJ just took everything in stride. Our plan was to eventually turn them out together (which we tried a few times, but Shea would keep DJ up and just want to get back into the paddock all day long). DJ's health problems, including COPD and arthritis, really caught up with him and it was time for our final act of kindness, and DJ crossed the Bridge on June 21, 2011. We thought of Mista...we brought Mista into the paddock with Shea and the plan was to have them stay together and form a bond for about a week or so before turning them out together in Mista's pasture. The rains would not stop and the paddock became a muddy mess, so they only had about 24 hours together before needing to turn them out. Well, it worked!!!! Mista must have had some sort of conversation with Shea, because she came around finally (after a couple of months) and she is now eating and drinking and acting like a normal horse! Mista has helped with countless horses who have had a hard time adjusting to a new life over the years he has been with us at MHWF. Mista Man, we love you!

Here is a photo of Mista from last evening, peeking through the fence at me waiting for a treat. :) Thank you buddy.

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Time to Name Some Names!

Jun. 9th, 2010 | 08:54 am
mood: energeticenergetic

I cannot believe it has been so long since I have posted to Mista's journal. He does have a birthday coming up on the 26th of June, and will turn 27 this year! I do have a lot to catch up on and will share a quick photo of Mista here from just a few days ago.

Unfortunately, work calls unexpectedly here when I thought I had a break. I will be back very soon!

Thank you all for loving the Mista Man. :)

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Mista's Photo Shoot! Sort of...

Nov. 6th, 2009 | 09:27 am
mood: happyhappy
music: Tom Petty for the moment

Life seems to really get in the way of me posting to Mista's journal on a regular basis. I do want to report that Cocoa and Timely have rehabbed beautifully and Cocoa has already moved on to her new adoptive home. Timely Gal is still with us, waiting patiently for the right person to come along for her.

Mista did celebrate his 26th birthday with some extra treats back in June. He still does not like carrots. I have tried shredding them and putting them in his food even and he just does not take to them. He does like just about any kind of horse treat now finally though. I still find it so funny that a horse who was only used to getting fed when someone could sneak in and get some food to him would turn into such a fussy eater once he knew he was always going to be fed. :)

Back in August I was in a photography class to hone some portrait skills (people and horses). You can just never learn enough or have enough experience. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a class with Shelley Paulson ( http://www.shelleypaulson.com/ ) via the Professional Equine Photographer's Network. Shelley is such a talented artist and she was a magnificent teacher. Wow, what a wonderful class and opportunity that was, I learned so much! We had various assignments throughout the course and I needed models. I was fortunate enough to be able to do a nice shoot with Holly T. and her horse Tanner and we had a blast and got some great shots. Thank you Holly, Feleicia and Ralphie (and Jacob too)!

I needed more than just one shoot and one model and horse. What came to my mind was my friend Lori who is gorgeous and she loves Mista. Mista is one of the most laid-back horses you could ever meet and loves modeling and having his picture taken. What a perfect match this would be, and I would be able to give Lori a nice portrait of her and Mista in return for her favor in coming over and posing for the shoot. Mista just loves company, loves attention and coming out of the pasture and being doted on. He is the one horses that I would say I could hand off to a 2-year-old child and feel safe in doing that (even though I would never do that with a horse and that young of a child).

I got in touch with Lori and she agreed to help me out with the shoot. We scheduled the shoot for a Saturday morning, in the nice early morning light. Lori and friend Lisa B. showed up on Saturday morning bright and early and all ready to go. Lori had a gorgeous Stevie Nicks type of shirt that I just loved too! We went and got Mista and groomed him up a bit and put on a nice show halter.

What I have failed to mention here yet, and that I never dreamed would be a factor, was that we had just introduced a new horse into the herd the day before. This horse was a gelding, but he acted rather studdy and quite full of himself. His name is Sunny and he pranced around out in that pasture like he owned the joint, making his presence known to everyone in the herd. He was not in Mista's pasture, but in the adjacent larger pasture with the bigger herd. Sunny surely did not go unnoticed by Mista Man though. We had noticed that Mista was keeping an eye on Sunny over the fenceline before we brought him out, but I sure did not think much of it.

Well, the normal calm and cool Mista had nothing else on his mind but protecting his little herd from this new big yellow horse. He pranced and danced and wouldn't even look at us, his eyes glued to the pasture, obviously worrying that Sunny was going to get into his pasture and take over his herd or something along those lines.

I was metering my camera for the light and got one picture snapped before we had to put the Mista Man back into the pasture. Unfortunately I had guessed a bit off on the settings, but it is a good remembrance of the day.

We thought that if we put Mista back for a bit he would see that Sunny had no way of invading Mista's herd. Well, we thought wrong...Mista was going to have no part of being anywhere but in the doorway to his pasture, keeping his little herd up in the paddock area and keeping an eye on them. He was going to make sure Sunny could not get in there by his herd! We realized that Mista was just not going to cooperate for the photo shoot, so we decided to pull out Wiejka (Weeka), my baby girl, for the photo shoot. Ironically, Wiekja is only 2 years old and behaved better than the 26 year old!

Wiejka was a perfect angel and absolutely loved all of the attention she got from Lori and Lisa. Lisa was an amazing assistant too and her timing was perfect with the props! I think Wiejka really won the hearts of both Lori and Lisa and we even snapped a picture of the three of them together. Here is one of those pictures.

Since Mista ate up so much of our time we then got into the harsh lighting of getting close to midday, but we shot anyway and got some nice photos. All without Mista. Here are a couple shots of Lori and Wiejka.

As we finished up our photo shoot, all three of us noticed that Mista had not moved a muscle the whole time and was still in the same spot. He stood in the doorway of the pasture, facing towards the paddock area, blocking the doorway and just relaxing and making sure Sunny did not disturb his little herd.

Even though for a short while it was quite disappointing that Mista didn't cooperate for the shoot, we all got a really good laugh out of his out-of-character antics that day, and the great memories of that day will last a lifetime. I cannot thank Lori and Lisa enough for the great time and fun memories!

Karen and Mista

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Summer Solstice and a Birthday Coming Up!

Jun. 22nd, 2009 | 01:09 pm
location: Home sweet home
mood: happyhappy

I've learned that I need to grab a moment to post here when I can or the time gets away on me. Mista's birthday is coming up, and it will be his golden birthday! Mista will turn 26 on June 26th. I cannot believe he is 26 years old. We will surely celebrate his birthday and give him some extra goodies on his special day. It is not only his birthday, but it is also the anniversary of the day that he arrived here to us at MHWF. Mista arrived to us on June 26, 2006, so it's his 3-year anniversary too! In celebration of Summer Solstice, I went out into the pasture at about 6:00 a.m. on the 21st. I got a shot of Mista that says, "it's summer and I'm living the good life out here".

I am sure I will get some shots of Mista on his birthday too, but I will leave this as it is today with Mista's Summer Solstice photo.

Just a note that Timely Gal and Cocoa are already gaining weight very nicely! Very happy to see that. I will post new pics of the girls soon as well.

Happy Summer!!! (it's going to be a hot and humid one today)


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The Girls are Back!

Jun. 15th, 2009 | 07:04 am
location: Home sweet home
mood: happyhappy

Five days since my last post and the girls are finally back. Please take a scroll down and look at my last entry and the pictures that are posted of the girls on adoption day. It has been a month now since we first got word about Timely Gal and Cocoa not being properly cared for in their adoptive home. The adopter ignored our attempts to contact her and when we finally had no choice but to take the matter to our discussion forum to get her attention, she kept telling us that the horses were properly cared for, that there were no issues, etc. We knew better because we had seen the horse's condition and we knew she did not even have a farrier, from the word of the county officials. They had said their feet were in terrible shape and strongly urged the adopter to get a farrier out. One of the kind souls that supports the program and follows the message board gave the adopter a call and set up her own farrier to head out there and get their feet trimmed. They had gone untrimmed for a very long time, to the best of our knowledge at least 8-9 months if not longer. They need a little work on her feet to get them back to what they were, but at least this first trim is done already prior to their arrival back. We need to vaccinate, deworm and pull Coggins on them now as well.

So, it took 3 full weeks to get them back here from the time the adopter first responded to our pleas. We knew the horses were not being properly cared for and this is a breech of contract and even if we had to take it to court, we would get the horses back. I've been told by other organizations who have been around for years that once in a while you will get these crazy situations and very oddly uncooperative people who just don't see things clearly for what they are, an unfortunate thing that goes with the territory. Our consultation with the attorney was over 2 hours, and thankfully he donated all of his time, including the letter that he sent to this adopter telling her that we would have to take it to court if she did not cooperate on their return. He was even kind enough to offer to call this "adopter" and set up the pick up time, so there would be no more lies and this would be documented. We surely didn't trust her after she burned us on the last pick up time and our hired hauler had to leave without the horses.

Geez luiz, here is an email Scott gets this morning. Here it is:

"she's going to try to fight you........not sure for what?????? the return of the horses? to not have to pay attorney fees????? she sent me this on facebook, as i was keeping tabs on it all"
forwarded email from the adopter:

"Ok I had to give them back they showed up today with a court order. There was no phone call or nothing. Anyway they have posted pictures of the horses and I have on question for you! The first horses does look like that, she is the one I tild you about who had lost weight and was working on! Any way the second horse the body on the horse is way to thin! That is not her body she has a big old pot belly! Any way I know that you take pictures and was just wondering! This is going to court now because I am fighting it! I have vet notes and everything else! They also had to have all there records before they loaded the horses of their coggins."

Gee, I wish they came with vet records and Coggins, as we wouldn't have to spend that money now. And we have posted the letter from our attorney on the discussion forum. He set the appointment up with her, as she said she would give them up willingly, but we did not trust her to make the appointment ourselves and have her lie again. Not that many people would believe this adopter through this situation and her lies, but thank goodness the humane officer from our county will be here today to verify the horse's conditions, etc. Delusional people thinking there is some big conspiracy here or something?! Absolutely crazy!!!!!!

Enough of that, the horses are back and while they've had a good 3 weeks of weight gain on them from the time the adopter was first notified, they still look horrible. I didn't even recognize Cocoa, as she was a bulky quarter horse when she left. She looks as if someone stuck a vacuum hose in her and sucked everything out of her. Her neck is so skinny and u-necked, so unlike what she normally looks like. And poor Timely...you can see her rib cage and every single rib is so concave and those hip bones!
It will surely take some time to get all of this weight back on them, but we are so relieved that this is finally over and the girls are back. They settled in so quickly and are doing well so far.

Here are some pics of the girls upon their arrival yesterday, Sunday, June 14, 2009.







I will certainly post updated pictures as the girls progress and we get them back to the condition they were in when they were adopted out.

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Whoa, It's Been Too Long, Picture Time!

Jun. 10th, 2009 | 09:37 pm
location: Home sweet home
mood: contemplativecontemplative

I have been so busy with so many irons in the fire that I have found it close to impossible to keep Mista's Journal updated here. Since I've last posted we took 2nd place in the Care2 Shelter Contest and won $2000.00! We have since entered a new on-line voting contest with PetFinder and Animal Rescue Site Shelter Challenge! We have been holding 8th place in the Nation and 1st place in Wisconsin. We just won the weekly prize for having the most votes in the nation for the week last week! That is $1000.00!!! The mare named Chocolata that you've seen me write about here in the journal needs surgery to have her ovaries removed because she has a tumor on an ovary that is causing major complications. She can now get that surgery!!! We are so excited about this, and we can't thank everyone enough for their support and voting every day in the contest. If you would like to join in and vote every day for Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation in WI please follow this link:

Mista has been doing fantastic and is surely the horsie love of my life. He keeps his pasture very peaceful and he still feels he runs the herd in there (the couple of mares in there don't think so, but he does and we'll let him think that). Mista has had no health issues at all and looks fabulous, although a bit chubby after the long winter here in Wisconsin and all that extra hay he was putting down. :)

Well, the one thing I always have plenty of is pictures. I take pictures out here of the horses at least two to three times per week. I know, that sounds crazy, but I am a bit photo obsessed. The one thing that I always take pictures of are the adoption horses on the day of their adoption. Many times these pictures are with their proud and happy adopters, but sometimes we don't wind up having time to do a little photo shoot with the adopter, but I always take pictures of them before the adopter arrives or while they are here. I am a bit short on time here tonight, but I just want to share a few pictures of two horses who were adopted on April 27, 2008, one year and a couple of months ago. I will be updating later on as to why I am sharing these photos now, and for now I will have to sign off with just a few pictures of Cocoa and Timely Gal taken in April of 2008. Today is June 10, 2009.

Here is Timely Gal on the day of her adoption, April 27, 2008:

She still had a bit of winter hair, being April, and she was not squared up for a photo, but you can see she is in very good weight and condition (a bit chubby, but in good shape). She was a bit dusty and dirty, as Kathy and I wanted to quickly get the shots since we had so much to do and did not groom her up first.

Timely Gal and Cocoa pictured in the background.

Timely in the trailer with her adopters right before leaving, the same day, April 27, 2008

Cocoa on day of adoption, April 27, 2008. A bit muddy and dirty from having rolled in the mud in the pasture, but obviously in good weight and condition.

Cocoa in the pasture on April 23, 2008, just 4 days before her adoption on April 27, 2008. Beautiful shiny girl in great weight and condition.

Another of Cocoa in the pasture on April 23, 2008, just 4 days before her adoption on April 27, 2008, the shiny beautiful girl she is.

We had numerous reports that these two horses were not being cared for properly in their adoptive home. Upon investigation by a representative of our organization, it was deemed necessary to get in touch and find out why these two horses were not being cared for. Their feet had not been trimmed since the fall of 2008 and it is now June. A representative from the sheriff's department and from the health department have inspected the horses and confirmed that they are skinny, ribby, poor coat, lots of winter hair clumpy on them, looking worm infested and generally unhealthy and have not had their feet trimmed. We did have a supporter get a farrier over there and the farrier confirmed the same. Fortunately, the farrier did trim their feet just a couple of days ago. We have tried going the easy route with this adopter for her to return the horses, but she has been fighting it, apparently not seeing their poor condition. I will never understand if a person has a problem why on earth they would not ask for help, and I will never understand people who cannot see when a horse is not healthy and that their feet are untrimmed and why they do not care about that. I had concerns about this particular adoption when it took place, but there was no concrete evidence that anything would be bad, but I made sure to take plenty of photos of these horses the day they left. We had not realized that there is a free website where you can look up people's court records and had we done that it would have given us a lot more insight. Live and learn, and hopefully this type of mistake in a placement doesn't happen again. We are human and we have no crystal ball to help us out, and there are times when one gives a person the benefit of the doubt even when the gut feeling is saying "no". I will forever listen to that gut feeling. I cannot wait to get these horses back here, apologize to them and get them on the road to being the healthy and well-taken care of horses that they have been their whole lives. I will share pictures of them upon their arrival back to us, which is supposedly supposed to take place this coming Sunday. The adopter had told us last week that we could come and get them, we sent a hauler and then she managed to not be there, so we could not pick them up. This time our lawyer set up the appointment and explained to her that the contract we have will definitely stand up in court and if she pulls something like that again, we will just file this case and then all of the costs involved will be her responsibility. I wouldn't think anyone would be so stupid as to take that on, when the easy and cheapest thing to do would be to just cooperate. I look very forward to seeing them both back on Sunday.

Have to run, will update again soon.

See you soon sweethearts.

Here is a pic of Timely Gal that this person shared on a public website, just nonchalantly showing pics of her horses to the public, like there is nothing at all wrong with this horse. Note the halter digging into her face in the front and sides, the runny snotty eye, the super-skinny neck and look down the back at the backbone protruding through all of that thick hair. It makes me so sad and infuriated at the same time.

See you soon.

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What Does 40 Below Zero Look Like?

Jan. 20th, 2009 | 01:39 pm
location: Home sweet home
mood: happyhappy

Well, I did take my camera out one morning during the cold snap to get a few pictures of some of the "frosted" horses. We had temps dipping to 40 below zero (Fahrenheit), but all of the horses handled this very well. This particular morning though there were a few frosted muzzles and eyelashes out there.

Here is Limmy (Limerick). The black horses looked just as if someone had a spray gun outside and they got oversprayed with white paint all over their bodies, a light frosted tip to their hairs. This all disappeared within about an hour, but I did get a few pictures to share here.

Here is Volare.

And last but certainly not least, little Wiejka (Mista's baby-baby...he just loves her and vice versa).

Mista and the whole crew thank you all for remembering to vote in the Care2 America's Favorite Shelter Contest, and for passing the link on to all of your friends.


Thank you!!!

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Mista Thanks You For Your Vote!

Jan. 14th, 2009 | 11:02 am
location: Home sweet home
mood: hopefulhopeful

Mista just wanted to say hello and thank you all for your votes in the Care2 Contest! Only a couple of weeks left! We can do this!


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Mista Wants Your Vote!

Jan. 13th, 2009 | 09:45 am
location: Home sweet home
mood: hopefulhopeful

It has been too long since I've posted here and I do have a lot of updating to do, but first things first. We need to spread the word about the Care2 America's Favorite Shelter Contest that Midwest Horse is competing in. We are currently in 3rd place in the nation! We are up against some very stiff competition, but we have held a spot in the top 3 for weeks now. This is all up to the people out here who support horse rescue to vote. It is only one vote per email address, and every single vote counts so much. Passing this on to all of your friends and family is how this grows and grows and helps Midwest Horse and all of Mista's crew win the $10,000 grand prize! In these tough economic times the horses and people who own them and care for them have been hit very hard. This prize would go so far to help all of the horses of MHWF, present and future.

Do you remember the rescues from Trempealeau?
Here are a few pictures of Baby Cakes and Gracie shortly after their arrival to Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation.

Here are a couple of picture of Baby Cakes and Gracie after some much needed rehabilitation at Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation.

What a magnificent transformation these girls have made! MHWF helps horses like Gracie and Cakes, as well as helps horses and their people who just have nowhere else to go with their horses. People find themselves with a job loss or drastic change in their life with no one to turn to, and MHWF is there to help them. Please visit the MHWF website to see other stories and photos. http://www.equineadoption.com

Please consider casting your vote for Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation to help them win the grand prize in the Care2 Contest, and please pass it on to everyone you know.


I also posted about a rescue that MHWF took in a couple of months ago, and I want to share her wonderful progress though these photos here as well. This is Limerick, lovingly known as Limmy. She was severely neglected and has COPD as well, but with the proper care she has really come around and is very happy and healthy now (waiting for an adoptive home).
Here is Limmy upon arrival in mid September:

Here is Limmy on Christmas Day:

In these tough economic times when we cannot always afford to give what we would like to organizations like this, casting a vote and passing this on helps more than you can imagine. All of the horses thank you from the bottom of their huge hearts!!!!

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