Need help rehoming my special-needs mini in SoCal--UPDATE! *AWESOME* HOME FOUND! :D

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Ferrana

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Hello all. It's been ages since I've posted around here...and what brings me back is sad news. I emailed the SoCal CMHR contact person, but haven't heard back from her. FTR--in case it isn't obvious, I don't want money for Firefly; I just want a good home. Here is what I emailed her:

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My name is Laura, and I own a 9yro sorrel 36" mare named Gilliams Firefly. She came to me as a rescue of sorts; she has a thyroid imbalance and severely foundered (while pregnant; she lost the foal) about 6 months before I got her. Her previous owner lived on acres of lush green pasture, but poor Firefly couldn't graze on it with her buddies because of her laminitis (something like 14-15 degree rotation of the coffin bone). I took her in, and she became a companion to my older Arabian mare and an ambassador to an after-school horse club I run. I have owned her for 4 1/2 years.

Unfortunately, time has created complications in my life. Some have been unhappy, like my two back surgeries
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, but some have been wonderful, like my 2 1/2yro son :D ...and I just cannot keep my horses in the 100% self care facility I have them at now. Full time job, full time toddler, a sore back aging faster than my 35 years, and 100% self care are brutal. I want to put the Arab in full care board somewhere, and sadly find Firefly a new home. Her previous owner has right of first refusal, but she told me she no longer lives on land and cannot take her back...so she directed me to CMHR.

Firefly would NOT do well in public boarding around her. The "cute" factor means everyone wants to pet and indulge her, and I've seen minis at other stables become victims of frequent colic. A lot of facilities around here simply aren't equipped for a 36" tall horse (she can crawl under the fences at some places--and will, to get to something green), and they don't have the feed on hand suitable for her. Due to her medical history, Firely has a very specific diet: 2 1/2lbs timothy hay 2x/day, some soaked timothy pellets with her thyroid medication, and the occasional carrots or treats. Every boarding facility around her feeds alfalfa, which would be disastrous with her. She colicked once, in July 2007, on an unusually hot day. Per my vet's recommendation, she gets a daily supplement of ReStore with her soaked pellets, and she hasn't colicked since. She is up to date on her shots, has her feet done every 6 weeks by a highly respected area farrier, and has her teeth done by an equine dentist every year (she'll be due in December).

Firefly is quite dominant--not mean or nasty (she doesn't bite or kick), just pushy and disrespectful of space. A once a week lunging/reteaching lesson reminds her who is lead mare. ;) She can be aggressive toward horses (squealing, pinning ears, kicking out at the biggie horses that just HAVE to sniff her butt, chasing with teeth bared in turnout) as she asserts her dominance. With other minis/ponies, they can handle her and she'll find her place--but I fear someone with "biggies" taking her and turning her out with them and she'll wind up getting herself killed. I have turned her out with my Arab, but only because the Arab is a complete wuss and submits to her. Some of the kids that know Firefly and might want her have "biggie" horses that might not tolerate the red headed queen bee bossing them around.

She is not trained to drive. She lunges (both directions, and will change directions when cued), leads, loads, ties, has excellent ground manners, and will yield her hindquarters to you on the ground.

I am not looking for money for Firefly--I'm looking for a good home, where her medical needs will be addressed (so simple!) and her personality understood. I will send her with any of the nearly ful tub of ReStore, the thyroid medication, some loose timothy hay, and whatever timothy pellets I have. All my mini-sized stuff--her halter, lead, fly masks, fly boots, grazing muzzle, etc. will go with her. I wish I could keep her, but she needs a better home than I can give her.

I have SCORES of pictures of Firefly online--you can see her at my online photo album at www.picturetrail.com/LauraRae.

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I'm keeping this fairly quiet in the local community as I know several people who would be eager to have her who I don't WANT to have her. The "cute" factor interests a lot of the wrong type, knowwhutimean?

Anyone know of anyone, or anywhere, for her? Thanks so much, ahead of time...

(I'll be back to try and post pics)
 
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Ferrana

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Photos:

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Now, how can *you* resist this face?

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She gets a coat like a woolly mammoth in winter--we usually do this blanket clip.

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Naptime!

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Body condition shot

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Enjoying a runaround...

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in one of the arenas.
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Brandi*

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She sure is a cutie pie
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I'm sure someone will step up and offer her the perfect loving home
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Ferrana

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She sure is a cutie pie
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I'm sure someone will step up and offer her the perfect loving home
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I hope so. I'm nervous because I move my Arab out this weekend, so poor Firefly is going to be alone on her end of the property. One of the fellow boarders is going to take care of her (in exchange for my leftover hay, heh) until she's rehomed...I just hope it's soon because I hate her being alone. That, and my absence and Firefly's remaining presence is going to attract the attention of all the lesson girls who come to the nearby facility. Maybe I'm being cynical, but like I said...I fear her cuteness may attract the wrong owner.
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I sent an email to all the addys in the above posted FAQ stickie...maybe they can help with direction.
 

Marty

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You have a pm
 
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MeadowRidge Farm

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She is adorable, and I know what you mean by the "wrong type of people wanting her", it is so nice to hear your thinking of her welfare as much as you are. I hope you find the perfect home for her where she will be loved and cared for properly. Corinne
 

Ferrana

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Awesome news! Firefly moves this Sunday to an absolutely fantastic home that I couldn't have dreamed up before. I'm ecstatic for her--and for them!

I didn't want to say anything until it was official--but Firefly is being moved to an absolutely fantastic home in Anaheim Hills, where she will be part of a psychotherapy program. It is formerly a live-in group home, now a service care center, for the neediest and most troubled of the children in the foster care system. These kids have serious issues with trust (being shuffled from foster home to group home, changing schools, etc), and the equine program is a way to improve confidence and emotional coping skills. They had a mini, a rescue who had been starving and never had her feet done (they were totally slippered), for two years...and she died suddenly a few months ago. They've been on the look out for a replacement, and Firefly with her experience working with kids is perfect.
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The kids are often frightened by their 4 larger horses, so the mini is a perfect introduction and transition.

Firefly will be worked (meaning, handled, groomed, led, etc) for about 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. We move her Sunday, a day when there aren't any kids on the site so that will make things less chaotic. Plus, there won't be any kids Monday, so she'll have another day to adjust in a quiet setting. She won't start actually interacting with the kids for about a week or two as the adults work with her and get a bead on how she works.

I've exchanged several lengthy emails and phone calls with the program director--everything has really checked out beautifully. Her medical concerns will be addressed and attended to, and I linked them some places that sell the supplements. I sent them tons of photos and even a few video clips, showing her lunging and in turn out.

It's funny--I have a degree in Social Work and interned in a group home, so I was familiar with a lot of what she was talking about.

I'm thrilled--this is absolutely the kind of program I would be running if it weren't for my day job. And Firefly I think is going to an even better home than she has now...she'll get the same amount of care as she's getting now, but with LOTS more of the attention she deserves. And the place is beautiful!

I'll post pictures and the name of the program Sunday, after she's moved...but I had to share now that it's official.
 
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Marty

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Thank goodness this is wonderful news! What a perfect happy ending and a new beginning for little Firefly.
 

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