As you know, not long after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Hurricane Irma decided to make her presence known here in Florida. We promised to donate our September proceeds to a rescue directly affected by Irma. Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue inc. is located in South Florida and I have been following their social media account @PureThoughtsHorseRescue for quite some time. They are passionate about saving our equine friends bound for slaughter and we share the same philosophy that we are responsible for them throughout their lifetimes and not just for our immediate needs. Right before Irma decided to show up to the party, Pure Thoughts was able to take in 8 Donkey's bound for slaughter. So, it was a no brainer that they would be the recipient of our proceeds, as they received quite a bit of farm damage on top of all of their rescue operations. I could bore you with writing about their work but it would be best to see for yourself (see below). The Donkey's are nothing short of ADORABLE.
What a whirlwind of a past month... You may not follow things like Mercury Retrograde schedules or Full Moon cycles but if you do, you know that Mercury had been in retrograde for quite some time in August and into early September. I felt it, everything was out of whack, time was not on my side, and it seems every piece of technology I owned had some sort of problem. What in the world does this have to do with anything you ask? Well, Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston, TX at the end of its retrograde. Of course, being no stranger to Hurricanes here in Florida, I understood sort of what they were going through but not on a scale that destructive.
I was a kid when Hurricane Charlie hit and it was intense! I missed school for weeks, no power, living off canned goods, flooding so bad you could kayak your neighborhood etc. However, I had just started taking riding lessons, so I hadn't owned horses yet or understood the enormous task of caring for them through a major storm. I didn't have animals to worry about other than my dogs and cat. Now, well over 13 years into my riding career, I worry about the wellbeing of horses and understand just how enormous of a task it is to get a barn full of horses prepped for a Hurricane.
Once I heard about Harvey heading straight to Texas, I thought oh my, what are they going to do with all the horses!? I am sure you saw exactly what I saw, horses swimming and getting rescued by cowboys with ropes etc. I grabbed my phone immediately and made a couple of phone calls, I knew I had to help in some way. So, with the help of @theecequestrian, @huntseatpaperco, and @citygirlequestrian, we started #HelpHarveysHorses wristband presales. We sold out in a little over 48 hrs... $2 of each band sold is going straight to the USEF Equine Disaster Relief Fund to help the USEF's assistance efforts in the rescue/recovery/rebuilding of barns in Houston.
Unfortunately, a few days later, we heard about a little Hurricane that may impact us here in Florida. Hurricane Irma was coming straight for us... For the last week, we have been preparing for this storm and had to put life on hold. The storms impacts weren't readily known because of its wobbling around the Caribbean but being true Floridians, we prepared for the worst and hoped for the best. Needless to say, our PND proceeds for August have gone directly to our wristband drive for Houston and now we will dedicate September's to Hurricane Irma relief efforts. The response from our Equestrian community has been incredibly heart warming to see and gives me hope that we can continue to help each other during times of need. To everyone who purchased a wristband, thank you thank you thank you! You are incredible. As soon as shipping is back up and running, we will be sending them out and we appreciate your patience and cannot wait to see them all over social media. Let's wear them with pride and stick together as one community helping horses in need!
Positive vibes to all,
Our donation post is a bit late this month but nevertheless, our June proceeds go to a very special rescue that I found while watching the local news. Howey Horse Haven is a local equine rescue in Lake County, Florida. They were featured on the local news because of two babies that came in basically knocking on deaths door. Captain and Loki were severely emaciated and covered in skin issues (lice to be exact) when they arrived at the rescue. As we know, these cases are tricky because you cannot do what we all want to do, and that is give them as much food as we can all at once to help them. That can actually be extremely dangerous due to their body being in what is just pure survival mode. Slowly but surly, their conditions progressed over the course of their first 10 days under constant supervision but sadly Loki did not make it.
Captain is still on his journey to recovery and doing better each day according to their social media updates. Captain and Loki's case bring up a very important issue, SPEAKING UP. If you are driving by and see something that just doesn't seem right or an animal who is in extremely poor condition, report it to local authorities ASAP. That phone call could mean life or death for the animal. Luckily, these guys made it to HHH just in time for a second chance. I say this all the time but it really and truly is amazing to find these local rescues that are devoting every ounce of their time, energy, and money to saving these creatures we love so much. It keeps the PND dream alive, while our donations are not substantial at the moment, we can at least spread the word about what these rescue facilities are doing. Check out Howey Horse Haven on Facebook & Instagram @howeyhorsehavenrescue!
Hello to all!
You may have noticed that we haven't been very active recently on Social Media. It all started with a quick trip to Saratoga to see Dead & Company (yes, I am a total deadhead and wouldn't miss seeing John Mayer and Bob Weir at SPAC), a week at NCHJA in Raleigh with Lloyd, and then an 8 day trip of a lifetime to California. Now, Chase and I are in the midst of flipping our new house! Taking a break from social media was honestly exactly what the doctor ordered. We get so caught up in trying to portray the perfect lifestyle/business/you name it and we forget to stop and enjoy what is going on around us.
I have to say, California was incredible... Wine Country aka Napa & Sonoma are truly breathtaking and the scenery is inspiring. Speaking of California, I got to visit and photograph the fabulous @ciaratoga while I was visiting Saratoga and she just landed the most kick ass position in California. Ciara is an expert when it comes to Horse Racing! You can find her at the rail studying the horses and seeking out the next winner all while looking fabulous. Below are a couple of shots from our shoot at the track and the famous Fasig-Tipton stabling right across the street. Be sure to check her out for all things horses & style!
WOW! May was another super happening month for PND! We launched the PND logo pads, got some incredibly awesome and talented PND brand ambassadors, and are looking ahead to introducing apparel to the mix! More importantly, this months charity donation is really awesome and inspired by a great friend of mine. This months proceeds have been donated to Wild Horse Rescue Center located locally in Mims, Florida.
Emily, my friend with the greatest southern accent you'll ever hear, did what most of us riders wouldn't even think to do... She loaded up her trailer in 2016 and got herself a WILD Mustang that she would compete in the 2016 Extreme Mustang Makeover just 90 days later. Let me repeat, a WILD Mustang that had been sitting in a holding pen since 2012. Kadema (hebrew for "moving forward"), a 5 year old Mustang captured in New Mexico, sat for years until Emily's arrival with no human interaction other than watching her daily hay feeding get thrown over the pen. Yes, when you commit to the Extreme Mustang Makeover, you only have 90 days to make this horse show ready... If anyone can make that deadline its Emily.
With some good 'ole TLC and a load of patience, Kadema was swift on her way to having a saddle on her back just days after she got to her new digs. I remember meeting Kadema shortly after Em started riding her and I was surprised at how calm and willing she was under saddle. Anyway, fast forward to 90 days into her training where she was ready and on her way to the 2016 Extreme Mustang Makeover competition! Emily and this little mare placed 7th in the Mustang Maneuver Class and 11th overall out of 31 trainers/competitors. Pretty incredible if you ask me... (see pics below)
So, what does this have to do with Wild Horse Rescue Center? Wild Horse Rescue Center located in Mims, FL and founded in 2000 by Diane Delano, is a local organization that deals specifically with the rescue and welfare of America's wild Mustangs. Their facility on 40 acres, is dedicated to rehabilitating and training abused and neglected Mustangs whom upon successful retraining can be adopted to their forever homes. WHRC relies on volunteers to keep their operation moving forward and even have a facility where they welcome international volunteers to stay. America's wild Mustang population is dwindling down to almost nothing, with things like the Extreme Mustang Makeover and organizations like WHRC, it goes to show you that these horses are tamable and can lead productive lives in the hands of loving equestrians. If you should have the time, drive, and patience check out www.extrememustangmakeover.com and to www.wildhorserescuecenter.org to learn more about the fabulous work they are doing to rescue and rehabilitate America's Mustangs.
All the best,
I am so excited to announce that we have started our PND Ambassador Program. Unlike your typical ambassador program, our ambassador's are passionate and proactive about spreading the word about Equine Rescue Organizations and the ethical treatment of horses. PND is welcoming riders of all levels (or anyone interested) who share that passion and are willing to start the conversation via social media. All of our ambassador's will receive an exclusive coupon code for all of their personal purchases, social media spotlights, and a complimentary PND Saddle Pad. To apply, please visit our Ambassador Application Form!
April was another exciting month for PND! Park North sponsored a division at the local GOHJA show and we were able to make progress with the development of some other exciting pieces for the brand. PND was also featured in The Small Town Equestrian Blog (I will post the link in a separate post)! However, most importantly we were able to make a feed donation to Faith Equine Rescue that is based in Lakeland, Florida.
Faith Equine Rescue is operated by a family passionate about the rehabilitation of neglected horses. When you visit their website and click on the donate tab, you'll notice that they have a "Worst Cases" link that has a warning outlining that the images displayed may be distressing to some. Of course, I had to click on it because this is not only the most heart breaking part of what these great operations do but they also (usually) have very happy endings with amazing transformations. The pictures are quite disturbing, horses of skin and bones are displayed. Literally, nothing but skin and bones!
As they mention, it is not easy bringing a horse back and re-introducing them to quality feed. As any horse person knows, their stomach's are already finicky enough! It takes constant monitoring and meticulous care to ensure the horses make a smooth transition back to health. While the "before" images are heartbreaking, Faith's also displays their "after" images as shiny, plump, healthy horses. Even some that have been adopted to their forever homes! This is what drives the PND movement, just seeing the time, effort, love, and of course money that people put into saving the animals that we love so much. Be sure to check out Faith's for more information about the work they do!
March was an awesome month for PND! I was able to make it up to Saratoga Springs, NY to visit family and to also learn a little more about the charities and rescue organizations that are helping retired race horses in the area. As some may know, Saratoga Springs is home to the oldest track in America and the town itself is OBSESSED with horses. Not far from the center of town or "the center of the universe" according to my Uncle, is a rescue organization called Old Friends at Cabin Creek located in Greenfield Center, NY.
I decided that this was the perfect organization to donate our March proceeds to as they are one of few farms that will take in retired Thoroughbred Stallions. Founder, Michael Blowen opened the Greenfield Center, NY location in 2009 and has since had the pleasure of providing longterm retirement to many known and unknown ex-race horses. Old Friends at Cabin Creek is open for tours and often posts events that are happening during Saratoga's popular summer track season. Visit their website at oldfriendsatcabincreek.com/ for more in depth information.
As someone who has grown up watching the races from the backstretch, I have great respect for the ethical owners and trainers of racehorses and the time & care it takes to keep these athletes sound and properly cared for. If you plan on attending the races, do your homework and consider donating some of your winnings to charities that help keep these athletes out of the wrong hands once their track careers come to an end. If you may be shopping for a project horse, consider adopting an OTTB (off-the-track-thoroughbred), they make wonderful Event and Jumper competitors! I rode an ex-race horse for many years who still holds a special place in my heart.
It is that time again, to find another charity for our proceed donation! For the month of February, we have decided to donate to Beauty's Haven Farm & Equine Rescue located in Morriston, Florida. I found this rescue by scrolling through my personal Facebook feed and stumbling upon an article about a horse that had multiple gunshot wounds in the Ocala area. "Emma," the 3 year old Quarter Horse filly, was taken in by Beauty's Haven Farm for rehabilitation and care after her multiple surgeries to remove the bullets.
It has been a few weeks since the incident and I have been checking Beauty's (for short) blog to get updates on Emma's condition, which seems to be improving besides the extensive nerve damage she sustained from the bullets. Emma even has her own Facebook page that gives updates on her recovery process (link below). The person that committed the crime has not been found after researching further but a reward is still posted for any information that someone can give as to the whereabout's of the criminal. For more information about the incident, I invite you to check out their website http://bhfer.org/hsus-adds-5k-to-emmas-reward-who-shot-emma/ to learn more and to learn more about the rescue itself.
Charities such as Beauty's Haven are what drive me to continue this journey. There are so many grass roots rescues that are doing everything they can for Horses that have been neglected or abused and they need our help to keep operating. I think we can get caught up in our bubbles and forget that there are so many Horses out there that are in need and we just don't know how to start helping. Any donation whether it is big or small helps! As always, thank you to our customers for your continued support on our quest to expose and benefit charities such as Beauty's Haven Farm & Equine Rescue!
See links below!