This quarterly newsletter is designed to keep you up to date on the events and activities of the Tamaya Horse Rehabilitation Program. Our goal is to let you know how the horses you love are doing and to inform you of ways you can help.
We hope you enjoy this news and share with friends.
Connie Collis – Stable Director
In preparing our first newsletter of 2015, I look back at what we have accomplished since the Tamaya Horse Rehab Program began just a little over two years ago. We have helped over 50 horses, including Tumbleweed and Fortuna, our first rehab babies who inspired us and kept us going during, what was also, our infancy. Today they are thriving, because of committed volunteers and donors, whom I thank with all of my heart.
As our program expands, so does our need for support. We need to raise a minimum of $75,000 in 2015 just to cover feed, shoeing and basic veterinary care. Additional funds are needed to expand our facility with more individual pens and a shade structure.
As a friend of our program, I thank you for your support. I am also asking for your continued support during a critical point in our growth as an organization. Together, we can save these beautiful creatures and bring them to their full potential.
Tumbleweed: An Orphaned Foal Finds Hope
by Mary Wood
In many parts of New Mexico, horses run wild. Placitas, a small community less that 12 miles east of The Stables at Tamaya, is one of those places. In May 2013 we received a call asking us to take an orphaned newborn foal. Her mother was found dead on a Placitas roadside and she lay just a few feet away, next to a tumbleweed. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we were able to say “yes” and named the little filly Tumbleweed.
Taking care of an orphaned foal requires around the clock care and money. In its first week of life, a normal foal bottle feeds every one to two hours. Only with the devotion of volunteers Carolyn and Aida, were we able to commit to Tumbleweed. They stayed at The Stables day and night, even sleeping there, to care for this precious baby.
We also needed mare’s milk, which is expensive. In Tumbleweed’s first six months of life, it cost $1,400 to keep her supplied with mare’s milk until she could be weaned, more than double what it costs to feed an adult horse.
Tumbleweed grew, cavorted around the stables and won the hearts of everyone. “Horse Rehab was just getting started and she helped keep all of us going,” Connie said. “Tumbleweed was a great source of optimism and encouragement.”
Today, Tumbleweed is at the pasture where she can run, play and grow with Fortuna, another rehab baby. Connie says Tumbleweed is “like a spunky teenager – all leg and wild hair. She is absolutely thriving.”
Fortuna: Here thanks to mother’s health and love
by Mary Wood
One of our first horse rescues was a malnourished bay whom we named Epona. She was one of six starving horses who came to us two years ago and, unfortunately, not all of those horses survived. She was small, thin and we had no idea that she was pregnant.
The Tamaya Horse Rehab Program worked to nourish and strengthen Epona, and she gave birth to a healthy filly, whom we named Fortuna. Epona doted on Fortuna and both mother and baby did well. Today, little Fortuna is two years old. She is a beautiful dainty mare who is thriving at the pasture where she can eat, grow and play with horses like Tumbleweed, another horse rehab baby. After regaining her health, giving birth and caring for Fortuna, mother Epona was adopted and has gone to a home where she will never be hungry again. For Fortuna, she is still a growing horse, who is happy and doing well at Tamaya Horse Rehab.
Volunteer Profile: Jim & Jan Satterwhite
by Mary Wood
Most animal rescue organizations could not exist without reliable volunteers; this is especially true with horse rescue. Taking care of horses requires a lot of manual labor, patience and grit. In this space, meet the volunteers who work diligently to help ensure that the horses get what they need—everyday—no matter what.
Volunteers Jim and Jan Satterwhite love horses. It shows in how they care for our Tamaya Rehab horses, and how those horses respond to them. But their kindness and dedication, extends beyond the horses.
“What I find most interesting is dealing with clients,” says Jim, referring to hotel guests who visit the Stables. “It is a joy to interact with clients and teach people about horses. People can come to The Stables and learn that our horses are friendly and lovable.”
“Jim is a real ambassador for the Stables and the Horse Rehab Program,” says Connie. “Both Jim and Jan are invaluable volunteers. I know that I can count on them.”
The couple, both retired from the federal government, began volunteering two and a half years ago. Jan volunteers three days a week and Jim volunteers six.
“We muck, brush, wash buckets, and touch and feel the horses,” says Jan, who grew up on a ranch in Colorado. “It’s very fulfilling and we always have room for more volunteers.”
In addition to caring for the horses, both Jim and Jan have taken a special interest in our rehab chickens. Jim, an award-winning woodworker who created the donation boxes located in The Stables and the hotel concierge, also built our chicken coop and enclosure. They both take care of the chickens and, Jim says laughingly that, when Jan comes to the Stables she bakes cornbread for the chickens – not for him!
The Satterwhites each have their own horse. Jim has Brie, a bay who had been abandoned in the desert. Through patience, talking and coaxing, Brie is now an affectionate, friendly rideable horse. Jan has Camo, who was a gift from Jim last October in celebration of their 21st wedding anniversary. Camo has bad ankles, so he can’t run barrels and was going to be sent to auction. Today Camo does tricks for horse cookies. He raises one foot to say “please,” and then raises the opposite foot to say “thank you.”
As Jim and Jan do their work around the Stables, the horses follow them, brush up next to them and even kiss them. They love and appreciate these two caring volunteers, and so do we.
A Personal Perspective
by P. Elizabeth Anderson
Not all of our volunteers live near The Stables at Tamaya. We get visitors from all over who see the work that is being done and feel passionate about our program and our horses. Author and journalist P. Elizabeth Anderson is a strong supporter of the Tamaya Horse Rehab Program and she has spent many hours volunteering her time from across the country to help us with our efforts. We asked her to share her story.
A middle-aged, city-dwelling woman recovering from hip surgery, with no respectable history of horse interactions does not a cowgirl make. Sure, I am a card carrying animal lover with a published book on animals, and I had “National Velvet” dreams as a child, but no one could have predicted the love I’d feel.
I happened upon Tamaya during a conference, arriving grumpy because I don’t like flying, especially cross-country. Then, I spotted Bob, a gorgeous Belgian draft horse and his burro companion, Eyore. Approaching them became a defining moment.
I soon learned that nearby Connie Collis rescued horses that no one wanted and taught tenderfoot hotel guests like me to ride. Profound fear did not permit a trail ride, but I was led around the corral on Corey.
Returning to the hotel, I struggled to hide tears of pure joy from being around the horses. Connie promised me that if I returned she would teach me to ride and help me overcome my fear. I made four cross-country trips in a year.
I never feel more alive or fulfilled than when I am at the Stables, and I feel strong connections to the horses, other volunteers, and Connie’s crew.
I have had more magical and profound experiences with the horses than I can tell here. For instance, I fell unconditionally in love with Dude, who let me hug him. I proved my mettle cleaning Frankie’s tail after he’d had diarrhea. The business end of a sick horse is a perfect place to release fear. One glorious morning I was one of two humans feeding the horses beneath a New Mexico sunrise. The day I learned of Frank’s death was the most difficult. Frank was an outstanding Percheron, who photo bombed my favorite Tamaya photo.
What an honor to interact closely with these majestic, intuitive, gentle giants. I now know that the softest place on earth is between a horse’s nostrils – and that to stare into a horse’s eyes, and have it accept your presence, is what it must be like to sit with God.
Horses – and people – get second chances at Tamaya Horse Rehab, and I am proud to be one of Connie’s rescues. Connie’s volunteers know we get so much more from the horses than we give. I may never ride off into the sunset, but I know where to find a stall to muck.
Eagle Scouts To the Rescue
Thank you to Troop 17 from Rio Rancho, NM, who came out to the Stables at Tamaya and cleaned the goat corral and hen house, cleaned and oiled saddles, painted rodeo bleachers and more.
We had 17 scouts and leaders attend as part of their Wood Badge Service Project. We had a great time with this amazing group and look forward to working with them again!