Thursday, April 21, 2011

Alder Hill Farm’s Branson Rescue: Part 3 “The Redemption”: Painting #94

So far the two trips to remove the three horses near Branson, Missouri had been filled with twists and turns and a great amount of frustration. Three wily horses, tame enough to receive affection and food, but smart enough to evade the best professional attempts at capture them, were beginning to tax the resources of The Alder Hill Farm Team. 
9 by6 Watercolor
By LindaLMartinArtist

The Alder Hill Team had followed the three horses to a property  in various stages of neglect but in which the owners of the three horses were discovered. They lived in the house trailer on the property.

The revelation that the owners were still active in the lives of the horses put everything into a different perspective. Upon meeting the owners and surveying the situation it was decided that instead of a long drawn out court battle to seize the animals; it would be better for Alder Hill Farm to simply purchase the Animals. This would take the horses out of their immediate situation and prevent a lengthy and expensive legal battle. The owner was agreeable and said she would take $100 a piece for the three of them.
It is not the policy of Alder Hill Rescue to purchase horses. However,  in this case the condition and safety of the horses made it imperative that the animals be removed quickly and with as less additional financial impact as possible before the horses or a person was injured.
During the course of the visit Scott’s suspicion that the horses were mustangs was confirmed. The owner’s had adopted a mare and stallion from the BLM many years ago. The two original mustangs had passed away but these three were full brothers and sister from those two adopted Mustangs.  The oldest  stallion was 10 years old and named Prancer. The most dominant stallion was 8 years old, named Spirit. The filly was a 3 year old and named Honey.

Now the race was on, not only to raise the funds to remove the horses from their dangerous situation but also to prevent the filly from being bred by one of her brothers.
Alder Hill Farm Rescue with its policy of transparency kept a running documentation going on their Facebook page and on the pages of the Rescue team members. Nearly the total amount of money to purchase the mustangs and make additional return trips to capture them was raised by the time the team when back to capture the first two.
Keep in mind that the three had never been handled. They didn’t have even the most basic of training. In fact they had been treated as pet dogs not as horses from the time they were born. There was no documentation of vet care and their pasture with its long neglected fences was filled with old appliances, farm equipment and what the Alder Hill team described as simply trash.
The impression is, that the dominant stallion, left to his own devices and filled with generations of intelligent independent mustangs in his heritage, pretty much took things into his own charge and took care of his family in the best horse fashion he could.
On appointed day the Alder Hill Farm Rescue Crew brought their capture set up to capture and remove the first two horses.Once Alder Hill paid them $300.00 for the horses the owners waved all rights of ownership.   and very shortly had the two submissive horses haltered and an hour later loaded the first into the horse trailer. This being their first horse trailer ride, it was amazingly uneventful and the two horses did very well. Plus Alder Hill already had a request for adoption for the submissive stallion, Prancer.
Tonight's painting is of "Spirit" the Dominant Stallion.
The removal of the two submissive horses left the dominant stallion, Spirit, alone on the farm.  Without his herd, he was considerably less excitable than on the previous trips. On the day the Alder Hill team went back to get Spirit, the owner put horse treats on the top step of the house trailer and he stood there calmly munching on them ,while one of the volunteers slipped the halter on Spirit. With the help of the owner Spirit was caught in good order, loaded into the trailer and transferred to Alder Hill Farm. Over all the Alder Hill Rescue team made 4 trips to the Branson Location.
Update. Both Spirit and Prancer have now been gelded. Applications are being accepted now for Spirit’s adoption. Potential owners will be carefully screened.  Prancer’s adoption is in the process. Honey will spend another year at the farm growing up and being a horse, then after training she will be offered for adoption as well.
Alder Hill Farm Rescue is a 501c3 Non Profit in the state of Missouri that rescues horses of every breed and every color. To see how you can adopt an Alder Hill horse or donate to the ongoing work or sanctuary of the Alder Hill Mustangs please go to

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