Friday, January 28, 2011

Mustang A Day Challenge #35"Carmel" January Special to Benifit Alder Hill Farm Mustangs

Carmel: The Rest of the Story.

"Carmel Remembering"
Sanctuary Mustang Alder HIll Farm
8 by 10 oil painting on Canvas board
by Linda L Martin
Often times in owning horses we never get to know their entire story and how they came to be as they are because often horses are traded like cars sometimes having up to 10 owners in their lifetime if they reach old age. After I posted the story of Carmel yesterday I heard from one of Alder Hill Farm Rescue's Founders, Leslie Maxwell.

Leslie actually started in equine rescue in 2005 when she and her husband Craig rescued 60 purebred appaloosa foals from certain death. Although both Leslie and Craig are full time professionals with careers, their passion and lifestyle revolve around horses.Taking on these 60 babies, having them trained and then adopted to forever homes opened up a way of life that not only has been a vast learning experience but it has made Leslie uniquely qualified in the care of throw-away horses. Specifically horses who are the bi product of  the estrogen replacement therapy called Premarin also known as PMU.

This is in Leslie's own words regarding how Carmel came to be at Alder Hill:
Thank you Linda for the lovely write up about this extra special boy!

Carmel was rescued from an auction in ND where he was being sold for drug testing along with 9 other mustang pinto foals. The foals were from a PMU ranch where the babies are often jerked away from their mothers at very young ages as the foals are concerned a 'waste by-product" of the industry. This would also fit in with the orphan foal syndrome symptoms that Carmel exhibits.
The foals that survive were often sold for slaughter, most commonly they were flown live from Canada to Japan where the young horse meat is a delicacy and is served thin-sliced, sushi style. We were able to take 5 of the foals, while Serenity Acres was able to save the remaining 5 foals. I am thankful there are not any PMU ranches left in the US and less than 20 in Canada at this time."

For those who don't understand the intricacies of Premarin or PMU manufacturing, basically what is done is to keep a mare pregnant and standing in a stall where she has very little exercise and a special bag is attached to her so that the estrogen laden urine can be collected for synthesizing into hormone replacement for menopausal women. These horses are kept in narrow stalls and  not even aloud to lay down. Today there is very little need for PMU ranches as Premarin is pretty much outdated therapy and much better medicines are used with out the side effects and the risk of certain cancers that come from using Premarin.

Courtesy of Alder Hill Farm Rescue
Photo used by permission
Reference photography for the Challenge painting
used by permission of Scott Litherland via
Alder Hill Farm
 If the conditions of the Premarin mares, as well as, the total lack of need for the medicine, and the throw away foals, don't make you outraged by this whole process then think of this: Some of the mares in these facilities are mares that were taken off the range in the USA and purchased for this purpose then shipped to Canada. The question is how did this happen? Why is an animal deemed by law a National Treasure to be protected and preserved in the United States of America being sold to  the highest bidder to live an unnatural life of confinement, to have one foal after the other and never be able to nurture those foals and to have those babies ripped from them right after birth never to see them again. There is no knowledge of Carmel's Sire. But his mom and the mother's of all the PMU mustangs rescued by Alder Hill Farm  were mustangs.

It is no wonder that Carmel had lasting side effects from the treatment he received from birth until he reached Alder Hill Farm. There of course is  no way of knowing exactly how he was treated during the time before Alder Hill received him and his 4 companions. But for him to show the symptoms he does, with the inability to socialize, his treatment was most probably extreme.

The Oil painting I have done of Carmel tonight will be offered for sale in three weeks as it must have time to dry. A part of  the proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to fund the sanctuary mustangs at Alder Hill Farm.

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