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    Trillium Creek Training Coalition Winter 2018 Newsletter

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    January 06, 2018
     

    Fall at TCTC

     
     
    Annual Cider Party
    TCTC honored all volunteers and their families, donors, sponsors and friends at the Annual Apple Cider Pressing party the first Saturday of November. Over 400 pounds of apples were juiced during this family and friends event which featured hot apple cider and a fabulous potluck; Discovery Hunt and Playground for kids; a TCTC Garden Railroad demonstration; tours of the barns to meet TCTC's horses; strolling Celtic Fiddlers, and a Pianist.
     
     
    FUN  BARN SNAPSHOTS
    TOP: Patricia Sprague grins and wears leggings like the Cheshire cat.
    MIDDLE: Daisy finds a new place to hide to escape work...and makes a new friend!
    BOTTOM LEFT: Lisa Lichte equipped Vinnie with his very first pair of shoes.
    BOTTOM RIGHT: Kaidence offers Georgie, TCTC's feline watchdog, a launching pad!
     
     
    KAIDENCE SAVES BABY HUMMER!
    Kaidence Drake and her two teachers from Wood Middle School found and saved a distressed baby hummingbird this spring and brought it up to the house. Luckily they did not handle the baby. Instead, Kaidence put it in a soft birds nest someone had found and set in the Thoroughbred barn, then put the nest in a plastic container to carry it. As we have had many baby birds learning to fly at TCTC, we knew the best thing would be to feed it, since we didn’t know how long it had been away from its parents, and then return it, watching to make sure Georgie, our barn cat/huntress didn’t find it and/or some other harm come to it before its parents found it. We made up some hummingbird nectar and Kaidence learned how to feed it with a tiny spoon. The little hummer used its tongue to slurp up all the nectar, so it was returned with a full tummy to its original location. Sure enough, there was a happy ending as its parents took over its care and ushered the baby off to safety. Thank you, Kaidence!
     
    NEW SADDLE FOR PONY
    The time has come…Pony’s 20-year-old Wintec saddle is showing some “wear” that our TLC and repairs can’t hold off forever, so to ease its “tear” we’ve found a newer saddle to fit our more experienced volunteers helping condition her. We’ll save the Wintec for new youth riders. As always, it will be important to keep Pony’s custom mohair girths clean and brushed free of hair, to help her cinch galls from returning.
     
     
    ANIMAL RIGHTS vs. WELFARE
    Do you know the difference?
    Rights:
    A concept that all animals are entitled to possession of their own lives. Seeks to end all human “exploitation” of animals including but not limited to: eating meat, hunting, rodeos, horse shows, zoos, using animals for veterinary or medical research, dog shows, circuses, guide dogs for the blind, police or work dogs, rescue dogs, working animals and pet ownership.
    Welfare:
    A concept condoning prevention of suffering and cruelty to animals with humane treatment and handling in all aspects of the animal enterprise. Providing a sanctuary for homeless, abandoned, abused or unwanted pets. Adhering to responsible practices in all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, and when necessary, humane euthanasia.
     
     
    THREE REASONS
    YOUR HORSE DOESN'T LISTEN
    Preventing you from improving…

    1.     You don’t have respect because you are not dedicated to making your horse listen/understand what you want.
    2.     You avoid situations where your horse does something wrong.
    3.     You don’t pay attention as your horse gets better/worse.

    When you are dedicated to making your horse listen and understand what you want, you don’t stop until he does it. Your horse KNOWS when YOU know what you want or not. Shouting, hitting him or using “correct cues” is useless without a clear and exact idea of what you want.

    Being clear helps your horse know when you are asking him to do something, and when he just did it. Consistency is vital. You are either training or untraining. If you are consistent, your horse will understand what you want more quickly.

    When teaching your horse something new, start with a “concept lesson”. Break it into little steps they can learn sequentially. Focus on only one new thing at a time. Once the horse does what you’re asking correctly 3 times in a row, ask for more and/or move on to another exercise.
    Repeat as many times as it takes to get what you want, and always end on a good note. Remember, what you LEAVE is what you GET, and ask as gently as possible, but as firmly as necessary. Then you will progress.
    If you overdo an exercise once they’ve got it, horses get bored and will look for ways to avoid doing it, sometimes even bucking or rearing. It’s best to give them a break for a few days for doing it right. When you start again, pretend you’re teaching it for the first time. Start at the beginning. As soon as the horse has done it right 3 times consecutively, move on…don’t repeat the same exercise too often.
    KNOW” that your horse will do what you ask, even if its not going to be easy, or even if it’s going to take awhile. Be determined and confident and your horse will feel it.
    Taking the EXTRA EFFORT to solve a problem versus avoiding it, ALWAYS PAYS OFF, and your horse won’t get worse! If your horse is not paying attention to you, there’s no point trying to teach anything.

    Horses often get worse because they’re testing your resolve to make them listen/respect you. If they succeed in underperforming, they’ll try again next day.  So once you know your horse is capable of doing what you’re asking, BE CONSISTENT and insure HE DOES IT even if it’s difficult or takes time.

    Horses also get worse when they’re bored doing something repetitive too often. Horses look for the easiest way to avoid pressure. If you make THE RIGHT THING EASY and the WRONG THING HARD and give them a break to realize you release the pressure when they do the RIGHT THING, they realize how to do it more quickly. So when they do it right, RELEASE THE PRESSURE IMMEDIATELY. Don’t ask again for the same thing too quickly, or they might not realize they did it right, or think that even when they did it right the pressure didn’t stop. This encourages them to seek another way to avoid the pressure, often leading them to unintentionally misbehaving. If you miss releasing the pressure a second time, things get worse. Every time a horse does what you want, or even acts like they’re going to do it, RELEASE THE PRESSURE so they know what the answer is. Always reward the TRY.
    If your horse WORSENS over 3 days in a row, re-think things.  No one can avoid making a few mistakes. The first one to tell you about them will be your horse. To change your horse, change your SELF. Perceive what you’d like your attitude to be, and follow through with action to make it happen! When you interact with horses in a way they understand, you’ll get results. If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same result. To progress with your horse and horsemanship, change the way you work around them and see things from their perspective. 
     
     
    HORSES READ HUMAN EMOTIONS
    Horses are highly social species!

    The University of Sussex, UK, has confirmed that horses can read human facial expressions and distinguish between angry and happy!  Their heart rate increases when shown stress-related behaviors and when looking at negative human expressions.  It is thought that horses have adapted an ancestral ability to read emotional cues in other horses to respond appropriately to human facial expressions during their co-evolution. Individual horses have also learned to interpret human expressions. Assessing emotions across the species barrier despite dramatic difference in facial structure between horses and humans is especially fascinating.
     
     
    TCTC’s “WORKAWAY" PROGRAM CONTINUES
    Summer of 2016 TCTC received help with some larger maintenance projects that were not getting done, from people visiting us through the online international “Workaway” program. Daniel Rios from Mexico and Cori Mazer from Alabama, focused on painting fences and the Lambing Barn. Spring of 2017 a retired couple, Bob and Patricia Groom from New Mexico, painted Pony’s barn and washed bins. Gavin White from California helped build a new greenhouse, resurface turnouts, repair fences, cut and clear trees, and move hay, as well as many other projects; Gal Sinuany and her daughter, Ma’yan from Israel worked on fence painting, garden hogs fuel spreading, and regrouting the mosaic floor in the Lambing Barn pottery studio and sealing the pony camp ceramic projects; three more volunteer families: Peter and Yifat Sheen from New York with their three children, CamillaLuca and Leah, mucked, groomed the TCTC trails from winter downfall, painted fencing and fascia boards behind rain gutters, and washed horse bins; David Schwartz from Seattle with his sons Dakota and Logan helped build the TCTC dog play area and install erosion control on the horse/nature trails; and Thais Zoe from Arizona and her son, Chris, from California, helped paint the old greenhouse fixtures, spread hogs fuel, wash containers, muck all the pastures, treat the horses to T-Touch, and helped launch a new E-Update for volunteers. The Workaway program allows security-checked folk from all over the world to volunteer in places they want to explore. Projects, hosts and workers are critiqued and posted online, with detailed profiles, photos, references and results from workers and hosts, so participants have a pretty good idea of who they want to work with/for. So far, we are extremely happy with our selections and welcome our visiting volunteers to TCTC!
     
     
    TCTC’s HORSES GET TO HIT THE TRAILS

    As TCTC has had some very experienced riders conditioning the horses, it’s been possible to get Windy (ridden by Bonnie), Gracie (ridden by Gavin White), Lucky (ridden by Denise Authier), Willow (ridden by Mandy Shafer), and Poniferous (ridden by Patricia Gayle), out to McIver and Mission State Parks horse trails for some extracurricular conditioning.  There is nothing like a beautiful day, a view, hills, bridges and rivers taken at a steady walk, to help recondition them.  One day while Mandy was riding Willow with Bonnie, a large, sturdy coyote emerged from trailside bushes, steered left, and trotted along just 50 ft. in front of them for about a quarter of a mile, completely comfortable because it was not afraid of the horses. It finally veered into the nearby bushes and vanished, but not before Bonnie was able to capture it on her phone camera! 
     
     
     
     
    MEET TCTC’s NEW INTERN
    Keelie Kortness is an experienced horse owner from Oregon City who has recently completed her Masters in Nutrition. She will be volunteering to work with Gracie, under Eva’s and Bonnie’s instruction; helping with Pony Camp and other events, and also launching some fun ideas, recipes and educational materials and programs for TCTC’s Community Gardens and orchards. Keelie will be working with Gracie a lot, learning the natural horsemanship we use here, and is tall, with lots of thick, dark hair, usually piled on top of her head. Please welcome her to our community!
     
     
    IMPROVING TCTC’s NO-SEEUM SALVE
    Soothing the itch…
    Each year as nearly-microscopic-sized midges (gnats) we call “no-seeums” emerge from surrounding forests, we redouble our efforts to relieve discomfort and reactions (often called “Sweet Itch”) to these insects biting our horses’ exposed skin in places like armpits and bellies, from the girth area back to their groin, inside their thighs, and in the exposed skin in the center of their mane and chest hair whorls. We use Vaseline as a physical barrier to their tiny mouths/bites, top-dressed with sprays we now make ourselves using Avon Skin So Soft distributed by volunteer Becca Wicks, mixed with a concentrated active fly repellent (after trying every available commercial product on the market!). Volunteer Denise Authier faithfully makes our spray for twice daily use, and keeps bottles full for each horse on property. Horses with severe allergies to the bites, like Windy and Katie, are treated with a special homeopathic salve volunteer Mary Murphy infuses with essential oils that repel the insects while providing the needed physical protection from bites. All horses are completely sprayed as well, and Windy has a full body mosquito shield sheet on 24/7, for further protection. This year Dr. Melissa Shaver suggested using Shea Butter vs. Vaseline. It should adhere better and protect longer as it doesn’t melt from summer heat and the horse’s body temperature to drip off or down their legs like Vaseline does. We are hoping volunteer Patricia Gayle, who also creates healing homeopathics, will be able to help Mary find bulk Shea butter, and make TCTC’s salve this year, as Kitty, Lucky, Gracie and Teddy have all developed occasional outbreaks of the itchy, crusty, reactive bites. When Windy came to TCTC she was so allergic to no-seeums she blew through the veterinarian-prescribed cortisone for itch control, and lost all the hair on her entire rump from the itching, oozing bumps. She foundered from the stress of the itching, which then required icing all four feet 4 times daily in 100-degree weather for 7 days to stop her coffin bone from rotating. We were successful in saving her feet and gaining control of the bites and reactions using all the above methods, which have now become a standard TCTC protocol for horses with similar problems, though luckily, few are as bad as Windy’s allergy!
     
     
    DIA ANN NELSON MEMORIALIZED AT TCTC

    Dia Nelson departed life Sept. 17 leaving her family and TCTC’s beloved Lucky with a legacy of exemplary volunteerism.  Originally from California, Dia was a teacher in Portland with 40 students in her class. She volunteered or contributed to eight different charities including cancer and animal welfare. Her last request was to visit Lucky and, eventually, have her ashes near her equine friend on TCTC’s trails. As she was not able to come to Lucky, Bonnie brought Lucky to Dia’s house in Aloha where they visited on her front lawn until the sun set. Then Lucky stood saddled and bridled in the tack Dia used to use, like a sentry at Arlington Cemetery, while Dia’s family and friends admired and visited her after Dia’s ashes were spread along the ravine trail. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
     
     
    VOLUNTEERS DECONSTRUCT AND REBUILD
    COMMUNITY GARDEN GREENHOUSE
     
    TCTC’s old, dilapidated greenhouse was finally dismantled and reconstructed by Norm AuthierBear SpragueTom Mueller and Walt, when it was deemed unsafe for volunteers to use. When completed inside, the new greenhouse will feature running water, power, a heater and fan. It has a door on each end for easy access and ventilation. Though this year’s garden suffered from the shift in attention, TCTCers got some home-grown popcorn, lovely kale that will continue producing through winter; raspberries, blueberries, lettuce, zucchini, onions, herbs and lemon cucumbers, but only by purchasing starts. Next year our Community Garden greenhouse will allow us to start all our own plants! Colorful new furniture was also added this year for volunteers to rest during and after gardening. Produce will be shared year-long, with recipes and nutritional information encouraging awareness of how healthy it is to “grow and know your own food!”
     
     
    ONE WORKAWAYER AT TCTC FOR A YEAR…

    Gavin White graduated in Animal Science from University of Davis, CA this year with a goal to establish his Oregon residency and apply to Oregon State University’s Veterinary School of Medicine. While going to UC Davis Gavin worked at the veterinary hospital there. His dad is a horse trainer and Gavin grew up in the business and is familiar with many of TCTC’s natural horsemanship training protocols and dialogues, as well as heavy equipment operation, power tools, etc. Using the Workaway program he fortunately contacted TCTC about working with us for a year. Before coming to TCTC he worked on a forestry project and building a barn in Ukiah, Oregon. Once at TCTC he helped with round-the-clock medical protocols and treatments for Willow and Kitty; fill-in feeding and turnout; restocking TCTC’s high protein and alfalfa hay, building the new TCTC dog area, helping construct the new TCTC Community Garden greenhouse, clearing the TCTC trail system of its dangerous winter fall, resurfacing Kitty’s, Windy’s, Gracie’s and Pony’s turnouts; repairing the roof on the 45th Barn; moving lots of hay, and many other projects. Gavin comes with his loving dog of 12 years, “Cowboy”. We welcome his positive energy and help!
     
     
    ONE-EYED TEDDY TAKES TO DRIVING!
     
    Once TCTC’s one eyed pony, Teddy Roosevelt, was saved by PAWS and moved to TCTC, there was no slowing him down. With the help of TCTC Student Intern Lily Brod and her younger sister, TCTC Jr. Leader Anne, he progressed through bathing, farrier, trailering, groundwork and riding. Bonnie felt he might like driving, so introduced him to ground driving. He took right to that too, so they started work  with driving trainer Krista Tanner, and Teddy Roosevelt is showing, once again, how versatile he is! Thank you, PAWS and NAVS, for giving this little guy a chance to shine in life!
     
     
    MEET PATRICIA GAYLE, TCTC’s TREEMASTER!
    She loves cats, riding  Harley Davidsons, and TREES…

    Patricia Gayle came to TCTC from PAWS with Teddy. She soon discovered the trails designed to help condition TCTC’s horses, and volunteered to plant baby trees to replace our winter blowdown from several years. Carefully she mapped and monitored the trails, documenting areas needing erosion maintenance and bank stabilization.  Then she meticulously helped Walt replanted over 50 trees, and encouraged them to grow. She has also volunteered to recondition Pony for trail riding, and carry on Teddy’s riding conditioning as directed to prepare him for trail riding, his next challenge after driving training is complete. Patricia was a trick rider in her youth, but now rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle and TCTC’s pony, “Poniferous”, so she can get out on the trails.
     
     
    HOW TO TEACH
    YOUR HORSE SOMETHING FAST
    Everyone eventually needs to teach their horse something, or try to get him to unlearn something. Teaching your horse something easy might take just a few minutes, some more complicated exercises might take a few months. Keeping a few simple things in mind can help you make everything a whole lot faster, and even cut learning time in half. 
    The simplest way to get your horse to learn something faster is to correct him the moment he starts doing something wrong. Here is an example:
    You walk with your horse on a lead rope and he starts walking in front of you. Correct him by stopping and asking him to back up within 2 seconds after he gets in front of you, to get your horse to stop trying to walk in front of you. It is important to correct him every time and to correct him within two seconds.
    If your horse takes a long time to react when you ask him for something, like trotting, give him one or two seconds to react after you ask. If he doesn’t react, ask again using considerably more pressure.  If you let your horse ignore you for four seconds, he will feel like he can challenge you and try to ignore you for longer and longer next time you ask for something.  If your horse tries something and you correct him within two seconds, he will quickly stop trying to misbehave. React a bit slower and only correct him after four seconds and he will start feeling like it’s ok to do it. When your horse starts walking in front of you on a lead rope, it doesn’t mean he wants you to lead him. It means that he wants to lead you. The longer you take to correct him, the more often he’ll try to do it.
    If you ignore the early signs the horse’s behavior will escalate into something that is very hard to fix. Maybe you know someone with issues walking horses on a lead rope. One day they are pushed into a bush by a horse. It started with the horse just walking in front of them. Over time the horse started pushing them as well, and then they must wrestle with their horse, jerking the lead rope, but eventually losing anyway and being pushed around. If you are consistent and correct your horse quickly enough every time he does something he shouldn’t, this won’t happen.
    If you ask your horse to turn right around a circle, but he tries to go left correct him as soon as possible. There is no point in waiting three seconds to see if your horse will decide to go the direction you asked him to. Correcting your horse fast enough allows you to use much less pressure. Remember, use as little pressure as possible, but as much as it takes to get the job done. Be quick and you won’t need to be harsh. It’s important to realize your horse can only learn exercises he is currently capable of learning or you’ll be correcting him quickly enough but he will have no idea what you want.
     
     
    MIGHTY MOSQUITOS, FLYING FIENDS!
    Though I hate nothing more than being bitten by mosquitos, it’s important to realize they aren’t deadly. The viruses and microbes they transit are deadly. At TCTC we immunize the horses against mosquito-borne diseases because after taking a blood meal and mating, female mosquitoes lay their eggs on or near water, including our water troughs. The eggs hatch in two to seven days, especially in warm water, and larvae emerge, eat and grow over five to seven days before becoming pupae, which then emerge from water as adult, flying mosquitoes in two to three more days. When we see little wiggly bodies in a water trough it needs to be dumped, scrubbed, and refilled with fresh COLD water.
    If a female mosquito becomes infected with a virus, protozoan parasite, or even a worm after ingesting blood from an infectious animal, the pathogen replicates and begins its next state of development. They pass on to another vertebrate host (ie. a horse), usually through the salivary glands, when the female takes another blood meal.
    There are 2500 to 3000 mosquito species worldwide, and many prey on birds who otherwise appear healthy but then become “hosts” for the virus. Horses and humans can sometimes become infected when an adult female mosquito infected with the right type of virus feeds on them. West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) can each cause inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord. These are the most important diseases spread by mosquitoes to horses in North America, because they cause death and irreparable damage if horses somehow survive.
    SO….help keep TCTC’s water healthy, clean and cool. Check a trough whenever you pass by, or take a little walk out just to help us keep TCTC’S troughs free of mosquito larvae. All immature mosquitoes develop in water so the best mosquito control is to identify and remove areas and structures that accumulate water that becomes stagnant. Change water frequently.
    The insect repellent Denise Authier and Becca Wicks make and keep refilled for us all is another important protection, as well as getting horses in off the pasture before dusk and after dawn. TCTC encourages birds, bats and dragonflies to naturally reduce populations of mosquitoes on our property.
     
     
    PONY CAMP FOR KIDS 7-13 years old

    Sponsored in part by the City of Wilsonville’s Opportunity Grant program, TCTC's pony camp for kids is held in summer. Scholarships are available, and it fills up fast! Activities focus on horsemanship skills, Nature, the TCTC Community Garden, and various Arts, in line with our mission to respect horses, each other and nature with sustainable practices. Pony Camp is the time of year TCTC’s Youth Leadership Program is in full swing, with long-time campers “shadowing” Jr. Leaders, Sr. Leaders, and TCTC Interns. Denise Authier read Bonnie’s grant and created a PowerPoint presentation this year for the City’s Grant Committee meeting, which Bonnie could not attend. The Opportunity Grant is funded by the City’s general fund to assist local organizations to further educational or artistic opportunities; encourage and foster diversity and advances in education, art or community leadership; or involve youth or elderly populations in community activities. TCTC does all these things, and was awarded the 2nd largest grant that very evening!
     
     
    THANK YOU, LISA LICHTE!

    Claps accompanied awe when Lisa Lichte, TCTC’s farrier, demonstrated horsemanship at liberty with her young 5-year-old Quarterhorse mare, Kit Kat, during TCTC’s recent Pony Camp!
    Consistency and LOTS of practice, are what Lisa gives credit to their success together. Lisa gets up at 5 every morning to work with Kit Kat before heading out on her day’s work shoeing horses, come rain or shine, gale or heat wave. It’s what great relationships with horses are made of!
     
     
    MISS KITTY
    By Walt Buhl
     
    It is with a heavy heart that I write to notify you of the passing of my gentle giant Miss Kitty. None of us expected this, and she has left as great a vacancy as was her impact on our lives.
     
    Kitty was a product of the mating of a Belgian and a quarterhorse. I used to jest that the front half was Belgian and the back half was quarterhorse. But I have no scientific evidence for this.
    She was the unwanted byproduct of the Canadian hormone industry, which purifies an estrogen compound for human use from pregnant mare urine. She was rescued through the efforts of a tireless crusader from Spokane, Mary Balsack, who helped arrange the release and transport of a truckload of these unappreciated young foals. As soon as she arrived in the United States, Kitty was noticed as an independent young horse, and loved and well cared for. She learned to pull a vehicle and stood out in her many competitions, winning numerous trophies.
     
    I met her as a real greenhorn rider and novice driver. She taught me a great deal and tried to teach me a lot more. I hopefully have retained some of that. All of us have benefitted from her gentle nature, her generous efforts, her willingness to work hard, and her stoic nature in adversity. Some months before the events leading to her death, I had retired her from competition because I had some concerns about her pushing herself beyond her physical tolerance, as she seemed to set no limits to what she would do for me.
     
    Shortly after she arrived at our barn, she quickly established herself as the alpha mare in our little herd of a dozen or so horses. She took her role and responsibilities seriously. She was always more gentle with our human shortcomings than she was with our other equines. And she loved to play and romp in the pasture, spontaneously taking jumps and thundering the diagonals of our fields in order to enjoy as long a sprint as she possibly could. She loved being out in the elements, even in the snow and she loved the sleigh bell season, especially pulling our sleigh with 3 or 4 people inside.
     
    The final cascade of events started abruptly with the massed attack of biting carpenter ants after Kitty playfully dismantled an old cross country jump in her pasture. A terrible reaction to that, although treated immediately and vigorously, resulted in such tremendous stress to her system from the burning, itching bites, led to an episode of laminitis despite all treatments, injections and medications to relieve her discomfort. She benefitted greatly from the tireless and generous efforts of so many of our Trillium Creek Training and Rehab volunteers every 4 hours once the laminitis presented, and she seemed to respond slowly but progressively to our prolonged subsequent efforts until last week when her condition took a severe turn for the worse and she developed pain in her left forefoot. After radiographs our veterinarian discovered a severe rotation of her coffin bone, collapse of her laminar structures, and resulting fissuring of the sole on one foot and a crack along the top of the hoof just below the coronet band on the other. Due to her size and weight, treatment options were limited and carried no likelihood of success or resolution of the fundamental problem or the rather considerable pain she was experiencing. This led us to the most difficult decision a loving horse owner can face…we were compelled to relieve her suffering. We already miss her terribly. 
     
     “When as many people are affected by the love and companionship of a horse as they have been by knowing, associating and living with Miss Kitty, it has to be some measure of a life well lived. Her capacity to care for and love her people and herd was voluminous and generous at the least; inspiring and life-giving at its best. She will now continue her mission in another place, leaving us behind to carry on her work here. Thank you, Miss Kitty. We love you and will miss your massive presence here. You will be held close and lovingly in all our memories with happiness and appreciation for the time you shared with us. Our love for you is a big as you are, and we send it with you on this new path.” - Bonnie Buhl
     
    If called to support Miss Kitty’s work at TCTC for the sanctuary horses and people she so valiantly served, please visit:  tctchorsecare.org, the Trillium Creek Training & Rehabilitation Coalition Facebook page, or email tctchorsecare@gmail.com
     
     
    THANK YOU, TCTC REGULAR FEEDERS, MUCKERS, HORSE CONDITIONERS & STALL/WATER MASTERS…
    …For your amazing commitment:  Karyn & Katie Kell, Patricia Sprague, Maddie Coleman, Becca Wicks, Kristi Brooks, Clara Harris, Bear Sprague, Camica Cox, Luisa & Grace Guyer, the Brod family, Gary Groomer, Eddie Checkett, Mandy Shafer, Jim Elliott & Lexi Scott, Therese Vogel, Gavin White, Jeannette Schilling, Candy Ulrich, Cindy Mauldin,Tom Mueler, Keelie Kortness, Melinda and Aurora Barkley, Daniela Brandt, Denise Authier & Ray Nobel, and Kaidence Drake & Brighton Ring! Your diligence as reliable volunteers is appreciated by every horse and person at TCTC!
     
     
    TCTC’s Programs and Horses Awarded Financial Support
    Over $34,300 in Charitable Funding and Grants!
    During the latter part of 2016 and 2017, TCTC’s horses and programs have received support from Cestone Foundation; the City of Wilsonville Parks and Recreation Opportunity Grant; NAVS Sanctuary Fund; the Autzen Family Foundation; the Thornton S. Glide Jr. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation; and The Michele and Agnese Cestone Foundation, as efforts to build programs supporting TCTC’s horses, arts, nature and children have born fruit. We want to THANK these funders for their investment and confidence in TCTC, helping make our unique sanctuary and programs and available to the equines and people of our communities.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    To Change Your Life…
    You must first change your ATTITUDE…Perceive your life the way you’d like it to be and FOLLOW THROUGH with the action to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
     
     
     
    UPCOMING at TCTC...
    • TCTC SEASONAL PIE & MOVIE PARTY!
      Every year TCTC recognizes volunteers, sponsors, lesson folk and now Workawayers who help give a facelift to our pastures and grounds, assist in feeding, watering, conditioning, mucking, field mowing/mulching, spreading fly predators, painting and building, to make TCTC such a great place for the horses and people helping them. To honor everyone’s efforts, we celebrate YOU with a horse Movie Night featuring Walt’s home-made pies and ice cream. January date to be announced!  Hope you can join us!
    • ONGOING VOLUNTEER TRAINING in safe, effective horsemanship and equine care.
     
     
     
     
    Copyright © 2017, Trillium Creek Training and Rehabilitation Coalition, All rights reserved.

    Bits 'n Pieces is published by Trillium Creek Training & Rehabilitation Coalition, a 501(c)3 non profit. Our mission is to provide a permanent home and sanctuary to train, educate and build community with mutual acceptance, support, respect, appreciation and healing using horses, gardens, nature, art, and sustaining skills. Special thanks to our thirteen horses and the people who love them.

    Graphic Design & Production by TCTC Student Intern, Lily Brod.
    Writing & Editing By TCTC Executive Director, Bonnie Rhynard-Buhl 
    Photos courtesy of TCTC Founder, Lily Brod, and Volunteers, all rights reserved

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    Fall at TCTC

     
     
    Annual Cider Party
    TCTC honored all volunteers and their families, donors, sponsors and friends at the Annual Apple Cider Pressing party the first Saturday of November. Over 400 pounds of apples were juiced during this family and friends event which featured hot apple cider and a fabulous potluck; Discovery Hunt and Playground for kids; a TCTC Garden Railroad demonstration; tours of the barns to meet TCTC's horses; strolling Celtic Fiddlers, and a Pianist.
     
     
    FUN  BARN SNAPSHOTS
    TOP: Patricia Sprague grins and wears leggings like the Cheshire cat.
    MIDDLE: Daisy finds a new place to hide to escape work...and makes a new friend!
    BOTTOM LEFT: Lisa Lichte equipped Vinnie with his very first pair of shoes.
    BOTTOM RIGHT: Kaidence offers Georgie, TCTC's feline watchdog, a launching pad!
     
     
    KAIDENCE SAVES BABY HUMMER!
    Kaidence Drake and her two teachers from Wood Middle School found and saved a distressed baby hummingbird this spring and brought it up to the house. Luckily they did not handle the baby. Instead, Kaidence put it in a soft birds nest someone had found and set in the Thoroughbred barn, then put the nest in a plastic container to carry it. As we have had many baby birds learning to fly at TCTC, we knew the best thing would be to feed it, since we didn’t know how long it had been away from its parents, and then return it, watching to make sure Georgie, our barn cat/huntress didn’t find it and/or some other harm come to it before its parents found it. We made up some hummingbird nectar and Kaidence learned how to feed it with a tiny spoon. The little hummer used its tongue to slurp up all the nectar, so it was returned with a full tummy to its original location. Sure enough, there was a happy ending as its parents took over its care and ushered the baby off to safety. Thank you, Kaidence!
     
    NEW SADDLE FOR PONY
    The time has come…Pony’s 20-year-old Wintec saddle is showing some “wear” that our TLC and repairs can’t hold off forever, so to ease its “tear” we’ve found a newer saddle to fit our more experienced volunteers helping condition her. We’ll save the Wintec for new youth riders. As always, it will be important to keep Pony’s custom mohair girths clean and brushed free of hair, to help her cinch galls from returning.
     
     
    ANIMAL RIGHTS vs. WELFARE
    Do you know the difference?
    Rights:
    A concept that all animals are entitled to possession of their own lives. Seeks to end all human “exploitation” of animals including but not limited to: eating meat, hunting, rodeos, horse shows, zoos, using animals for veterinary or medical research, dog shows, circuses, guide dogs for the blind, police or work dogs, rescue dogs, working animals and pet ownership.
    Welfare:
    A concept condoning prevention of suffering and cruelty to animals with humane treatment and handling in all aspects of the animal enterprise. Providing a sanctuary for homeless, abandoned, abused or unwanted pets. Adhering to responsible practices in all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, and when necessary, humane euthanasia.
     
     
    THREE REASONS
    YOUR HORSE DOESN'T LISTEN
    Preventing you from improving…

    1.     You don’t have respect because you are not dedicated to making your horse listen/understand what you want.
    2.     You avoid situations where your horse does something wrong.
    3.     You don’t pay attention as your horse gets better/worse.

    When you are dedicated to making your horse listen and understand what you want, you don’t stop until he does it. Your horse KNOWS when YOU know what you want or not. Shouting, hitting him or using “correct cues” is useless without a clear and exact idea of what you want.

    Being clear helps your horse know when you are asking him to do something, and when he just did it. Consistency is vital. You are either training or untraining. If you are consistent, your horse will understand what you want more quickly.

    When teaching your horse something new, start with a “concept lesson”. Break it into little steps they can learn sequentially. Focus on only one new thing at a time. Once the horse does what you’re asking correctly 3 times in a row, ask for more and/or move on to another exercise.
    Repeat as many times as it takes to get what you want, and always end on a good note. Remember, what you LEAVE is what you GET, and ask as gently as possible, but as firmly as necessary. Then you will progress.
    If you overdo an exercise once they’ve got it, horses get bored and will look for ways to avoid doing it, sometimes even bucking or rearing. It’s best to give them a break for a few days for doing it right. When you start again, pretend you’re teaching it for the first time. Start at the beginning. As soon as the horse has done it right 3 times consecutively, move on…don’t repeat the same exercise too often.
    KNOW” that your horse will do what you ask, even if its not going to be easy, or even if it’s going to take awhile. Be determined and confident and your horse will feel it.
    Taking the EXTRA EFFORT to solve a problem versus avoiding it, ALWAYS PAYS OFF, and your horse won’t get worse! If your horse is not paying attention to you, there’s no point trying to teach anything.

    Horses often get worse because they’re testing your resolve to make them listen/respect you. If they succeed in underperforming, they’ll try again next day.  So once you know your horse is capable of doing what you’re asking, BE CONSISTENT and insure HE DOES IT even if it’s difficult or takes time.

    Horses also get worse when they’re bored doing something repetitive too often. Horses look for the easiest way to avoid pressure. If you make THE RIGHT THING EASY and the WRONG THING HARD and give them a break to realize you release the pressure when they do the RIGHT THING, they realize how to do it more quickly. So when they do it right, RELEASE THE PRESSURE IMMEDIATELY. Don’t ask again for the same thing too quickly, or they might not realize they did it right, or think that even when they did it right the pressure didn’t stop. This encourages them to seek another way to avoid the pressure, often leading them to unintentionally misbehaving. If you miss releasing the pressure a second time, things get worse. Every time a horse does what you want, or even acts like they’re going to do it, RELEASE THE PRESSURE so they know what the answer is. Always reward the TRY.
    If your horse WORSENS over 3 days in a row, re-think things.  No one can avoid making a few mistakes. The first one to tell you about them will be your horse. To change your horse, change your SELF. Perceive what you’d like your attitude to be, and follow through with action to make it happen! When you interact with horses in a way they understand, you’ll get results. If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll get the same result. To progress with your horse and horsemanship, change the way you work around them and see things from their perspective. 
     
     
    HORSES READ HUMAN EMOTIONS
    Horses are highly social species!

    The University of Sussex, UK, has confirmed that horses can read human facial expressions and distinguish between angry and happy!  Their heart rate increases when shown stress-related behaviors and when looking at negative human expressions.  It is thought that horses have adapted an ancestral ability to read emotional cues in other horses to respond appropriately to human facial expressions during their co-evolution. Individual horses have also learned to interpret human expressions. Assessing emotions across the species barrier despite dramatic difference in facial structure between horses and humans is especially fascinating.
     
     
    TCTC’s “WORKAWAY" PROGRAM CONTINUES
    Summer of 2016 TCTC received help with some larger maintenance projects that were not getting done, from people visiting us through the online international “Workaway” program. Daniel Rios from Mexico and Cori Mazer from Alabama, focused on painting fences and the Lambing Barn. Spring of 2017 a retired couple, Bob and Patricia Groom from New Mexico, painted Pony’s barn and washed bins. Gavin White from California helped build a new greenhouse, resurface turnouts, repair fences, cut and clear trees, and move hay, as well as many other projects; Gal Sinuany and her daughter, Ma’yan from Israel worked on fence painting, garden hogs fuel spreading, and regrouting the mosaic floor in the Lambing Barn pottery studio and sealing the pony camp ceramic projects; three more volunteer families: Peter and Yifat Sheen from New York with their three children, CamillaLuca and Leah, mucked, groomed the TCTC trails from winter downfall, painted fencing and fascia boards behind rain gutters, and washed horse bins; David Schwartz from Seattle with his sons Dakota and Logan helped build the TCTC dog play area and install erosion control on the horse/nature trails; and Thais Zoe from Arizona and her son, Chris, from California, helped paint the old greenhouse fixtures, spread hogs fuel, wash containers, muck all the pastures, treat the horses to T-Touch, and helped launch a new E-Update for volunteers. The Workaway program allows security-checked folk from all over the world to volunteer in places they want to explore. Projects, hosts and workers are critiqued and posted online, with detailed profiles, photos, references and results from workers and hosts, so participants have a pretty good idea of who they want to work with/for. So far, we are extremely happy with our selections and welcome our visiting volunteers to TCTC!
     
     
    TCTC’s HORSES GET TO HIT THE TRAILS

    As TCTC has had some very experienced riders conditioning the horses, it’s been possible to get Windy (ridden by Bonnie), Gracie (ridden by Gavin White), Lucky (ridden by Denise Authier), Willow (ridden by Mandy Shafer), and Poniferous (ridden by Patricia Gayle), out to McIver and Mission State Parks horse trails for some extracurricular conditioning.  There is nothing like a beautiful day, a view, hills, bridges and rivers taken at a steady walk, to help recondition them.  One day while Mandy was riding Willow with Bonnie, a large, sturdy coyote emerged from trailside bushes, steered left, and trotted along just 50 ft. in front of them for about a quarter of a mile, completely comfortable because it was not afraid of the horses. It finally veered into the nearby bushes and vanished, but not before Bonnie was able to capture it on her phone camera! 
     
     
     
     
    MEET TCTC’s NEW INTERN
    Keelie Kortness is an experienced horse owner from Oregon City who has recently completed her Masters in Nutrition. She will be volunteering to work with Gracie, under Eva’s and Bonnie’s instruction; helping with Pony Camp and other events, and also launching some fun ideas, recipes and educational materials and programs for TCTC’s Community Gardens and orchards. Keelie will be working with Gracie a lot, learning the natural horsemanship we use here, and is tall, with lots of thick, dark hair, usually piled on top of her head. Please welcome her to our community!
     
     
    IMPROVING TCTC’s NO-SEEUM SALVE
    Soothing the itch…
    Each year as nearly-microscopic-sized midges (gnats) we call “no-seeums” emerge from surrounding forests, we redouble our efforts to relieve discomfort and reactions (often called “Sweet Itch”) to these insects biting our horses’ exposed skin in places like armpits and bellies, from the girth area back to their groin, inside their thighs, and in the exposed skin in the center of their mane and chest hair whorls. We use Vaseline as a physical barrier to their tiny mouths/bites, top-dressed with sprays we now make ourselves using Avon Skin So Soft distributed by volunteer Becca Wicks, mixed with a concentrated active fly repellent (after trying every available commercial product on the market!). Volunteer Denise Authier faithfully makes our spray for twice daily use, and keeps bottles full for each horse on property. Horses with severe allergies to the bites, like Windy and Katie, are treated with a special homeopathic salve volunteer Mary Murphy infuses with essential oils that repel the insects while providing the needed physical protection from bites. All horses are completely sprayed as well, and Windy has a full body mosquito shield sheet on 24/7, for further protection. This year Dr. Melissa Shaver suggested using Shea Butter vs. Vaseline. It should adhere better and protect longer as it doesn’t melt from summer heat and the horse’s body temperature to drip off or down their legs like Vaseline does. We are hoping volunteer Patricia Gayle, who also creates healing homeopathics, will be able to help Mary find bulk Shea butter, and make TCTC’s salve this year, as Kitty, Lucky, Gracie and Teddy have all developed occasional outbreaks of the itchy, crusty, reactive bites. When Windy came to TCTC she was so allergic to no-seeums she blew through the veterinarian-prescribed cortisone for itch control, and lost all the hair on her entire rump from the itching, oozing bumps. She foundered from the stress of the itching, which then required icing all four feet 4 times daily in 100-degree weather for 7 days to stop her coffin bone from rotating. We were successful in saving her feet and gaining control of the bites and reactions using all the above methods, which have now become a standard TCTC protocol for horses with similar problems, though luckily, few are as bad as Windy’s allergy!
     
     
    DIA ANN NELSON MEMORIALIZED AT TCTC

    Dia Nelson departed life Sept. 17 leaving her family and TCTC’s beloved Lucky with a legacy of exemplary volunteerism.  Originally from California, Dia was a teacher in Portland with 40 students in her class. She volunteered or contributed to eight different charities including cancer and animal welfare. Her last request was to visit Lucky and, eventually, have her ashes near her equine friend on TCTC’s trails. As she was not able to come to Lucky, Bonnie brought Lucky to Dia’s house in Aloha where they visited on her front lawn until the sun set. Then Lucky stood saddled and bridled in the tack Dia used to use, like a sentry at Arlington Cemetery, while Dia’s family and friends admired and visited her after Dia’s ashes were spread along the ravine trail. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
     
     
    VOLUNTEERS DECONSTRUCT AND REBUILD
    COMMUNITY GARDEN GREENHOUSE
     
    TCTC’s old, dilapidated greenhouse was finally dismantled and reconstructed by Norm AuthierBear SpragueTom Mueller and Walt, when it was deemed unsafe for volunteers to use. When completed inside, the new greenhouse will feature running water, power, a heater and fan. It has a door on each end for easy access and ventilation. Though this year’s garden suffered from the shift in attention, TCTCers got some home-grown popcorn, lovely kale that will continue producing through winter; raspberries, blueberries, lettuce, zucchini, onions, herbs and lemon cucumbers, but only by purchasing starts. Next year our Community Garden greenhouse will allow us to start all our own plants! Colorful new furniture was also added this year for volunteers to rest during and after gardening. Produce will be shared year-long, with recipes and nutritional information encouraging awareness of how healthy it is to “grow and know your own food!”
     
     
    ONE WORKAWAYER AT TCTC FOR A YEAR…

    Gavin White graduated in Animal Science from University of Davis, CA this year with a goal to establish his Oregon residency and apply to Oregon State University’s Veterinary School of Medicine. While going to UC Davis Gavin worked at the veterinary hospital there. His dad is a horse trainer and Gavin grew up in the business and is familiar with many of TCTC’s natural horsemanship training protocols and dialogues, as well as heavy equipment operation, power tools, etc. Using the Workaway program he fortunately contacted TCTC about working with us for a year. Before coming to TCTC he worked on a forestry project and building a barn in Ukiah, Oregon. Once at TCTC he helped with round-the-clock medical protocols and treatments for Willow and Kitty; fill-in feeding and turnout; restocking TCTC’s high protein and alfalfa hay, building the new TCTC dog area, helping construct the new TCTC Community Garden greenhouse, clearing the TCTC trail system of its dangerous winter fall, resurfacing Kitty’s, Windy’s, Gracie’s and Pony’s turnouts; repairing the roof on the 45th Barn; moving lots of hay, and many other projects. Gavin comes with his loving dog of 12 years, “Cowboy”. We welcome his positive energy and help!
     
     
    ONE-EYED TEDDY TAKES TO DRIVING!
     
    Once TCTC’s one eyed pony, Teddy Roosevelt, was saved by PAWS and moved to TCTC, there was no slowing him down. With the help of TCTC Student Intern Lily Brod and her younger sister, TCTC Jr. Leader Anne, he progressed through bathing, farrier, trailering, groundwork and riding. Bonnie felt he might like driving, so introduced him to ground driving. He took right to that too, so they started work  with driving trainer Krista Tanner, and Teddy Roosevelt is showing, once again, how versatile he is! Thank you, PAWS and NAVS, for giving this little guy a chance to shine in life!
     
     
    MEET PATRICIA GAYLE, TCTC’s TREEMASTER!
    She loves cats, riding  Harley Davidsons, and TREES…

    Patricia Gayle came to TCTC from PAWS with Teddy. She soon discovered the trails designed to help condition TCTC’s horses, and volunteered to plant baby trees to replace our winter blowdown from several years. Carefully she mapped and monitored the trails, documenting areas needing erosion maintenance and bank stabilization.  Then she meticulously helped Walt replanted over 50 trees, and encouraged them to grow. She has also volunteered to recondition Pony for trail riding, and carry on Teddy’s riding conditioning as directed to prepare him for trail riding, his next challenge after driving training is complete. Patricia was a trick rider in her youth, but now rides a Harley Davidson motorcycle and TCTC’s pony, “Poniferous”, so she can get out on the trails.
     
     
    HOW TO TEACH
    YOUR HORSE SOMETHING FAST
    Everyone eventually needs to teach their horse something, or try to get him to unlearn something. Teaching your horse something easy might take just a few minutes, some more complicated exercises might take a few months. Keeping a few simple things in mind can help you make everything a whole lot faster, and even cut learning time in half. 
    The simplest way to get your horse to learn something faster is to correct him the moment he starts doing something wrong. Here is an example:
    You walk with your horse on a lead rope and he starts walking in front of you. Correct him by stopping and asking him to back up within 2 seconds after he gets in front of you, to get your horse to stop trying to walk in front of you. It is important to correct him every time and to correct him within two seconds.
    If your horse takes a long time to react when you ask him for something, like trotting, give him one or two seconds to react after you ask. If he doesn’t react, ask again using considerably more pressure.  If you let your horse ignore you for four seconds, he will feel like he can challenge you and try to ignore you for longer and longer next time you ask for something.  If your horse tries something and you correct him within two seconds, he will quickly stop trying to misbehave. React a bit slower and only correct him after four seconds and he will start feeling like it’s ok to do it. When your horse starts walking in front of you on a lead rope, it doesn’t mean he wants you to lead him. It means that he wants to lead you. The longer you take to correct him, the more often he’ll try to do it.
    If you ignore the early signs the horse’s behavior will escalate into something that is very hard to fix. Maybe you know someone with issues walking horses on a lead rope. One day they are pushed into a bush by a horse. It started with the horse just walking in front of them. Over time the horse started pushing them as well, and then they must wrestle with their horse, jerking the lead rope, but eventually losing anyway and being pushed around. If you are consistent and correct your horse quickly enough every time he does something he shouldn’t, this won’t happen.
    If you ask your horse to turn right around a circle, but he tries to go left correct him as soon as possible. There is no point in waiting three seconds to see if your horse will decide to go the direction you asked him to. Correcting your horse fast enough allows you to use much less pressure. Remember, use as little pressure as possible, but as much as it takes to get the job done. Be quick and you won’t need to be harsh. It’s important to realize your horse can only learn exercises he is currently capable of learning or you’ll be correcting him quickly enough but he will have no idea what you want.
     
     
    MIGHTY MOSQUITOS, FLYING FIENDS!
    Though I hate nothing more than being bitten by mosquitos, it’s important to realize they aren’t deadly. The viruses and microbes they transit are deadly. At TCTC we immunize the horses against mosquito-borne diseases because after taking a blood meal and mating, female mosquitoes lay their eggs on or near water, including our water troughs. The eggs hatch in two to seven days, especially in warm water, and larvae emerge, eat and grow over five to seven days before becoming pupae, which then emerge from water as adult, flying mosquitoes in two to three more days. When we see little wiggly bodies in a water trough it needs to be dumped, scrubbed, and refilled with fresh COLD water.
    If a female mosquito becomes infected with a virus, protozoan parasite, or even a worm after ingesting blood from an infectious animal, the pathogen replicates and begins its next state of development. They pass on to another vertebrate host (ie. a horse), usually through the salivary glands, when the female takes another blood meal.
    There are 2500 to 3000 mosquito species worldwide, and many prey on birds who otherwise appear healthy but then become “hosts” for the virus. Horses and humans can sometimes become infected when an adult female mosquito infected with the right type of virus feeds on them. West Nile virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus and Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) can each cause inflammation of the brain and/or spinal cord. These are the most important diseases spread by mosquitoes to horses in North America, because they cause death and irreparable damage if horses somehow survive.
    SO….help keep TCTC’s water healthy, clean and cool. Check a trough whenever you pass by, or take a little walk out just to help us keep TCTC’S troughs free of mosquito larvae. All immature mosquitoes develop in water so the best mosquito control is to identify and remove areas and structures that accumulate water that becomes stagnant. Change water frequently.
    The insect repellent Denise Authier and Becca Wicks make and keep refilled for us all is another important protection, as well as getting horses in off the pasture before dusk and after dawn. TCTC encourages birds, bats and dragonflies to naturally reduce populations of mosquitoes on our property.
     
     
    PONY CAMP FOR KIDS 7-13 years old

    Sponsored in part by the City of Wilsonville’s Opportunity Grant program, TCTC's pony camp for kids is held in summer. Scholarships are available, and it fills up fast! Activities focus on horsemanship skills, Nature, the TCTC Community Garden, and various Arts, in line with our mission to respect horses, each other and nature with sustainable practices. Pony Camp is the time of year TCTC’s Youth Leadership Program is in full swing, with long-time campers “shadowing” Jr. Leaders, Sr. Leaders, and TCTC Interns. Denise Authier read Bonnie’s grant and created a PowerPoint presentation this year for the City’s Grant Committee meeting, which Bonnie could not attend. The Opportunity Grant is funded by the City’s general fund to assist local organizations to further educational or artistic opportunities; encourage and foster diversity and advances in education, art or community leadership; or involve youth or elderly populations in community activities. TCTC does all these things, and was awarded the 2nd largest grant that very evening!
     
     
    THANK YOU, LISA LICHTE!

    Claps accompanied awe when Lisa Lichte, TCTC’s farrier, demonstrated horsemanship at liberty with her young 5-year-old Quarterhorse mare, Kit Kat, during TCTC’s recent Pony Camp!
    Consistency and LOTS of practice, are what Lisa gives credit to their success together. Lisa gets up at 5 every morning to work with Kit Kat before heading out on her day’s work shoeing horses, come rain or shine, gale or heat wave. It’s what great relationships with horses are made of!
     
     
    MISS KITTY
    By Walt Buhl
     
    It is with a heavy heart that I write to notify you of the passing of my gentle giant Miss Kitty. None of us expected this, and she has left as great a vacancy as was her impact on our lives.
     
    Kitty was a product of the mating of a Belgian and a quarterhorse. I used to jest that the front half was Belgian and the back half was quarterhorse. But I have no scientific evidence for this.
    She was the unwanted byproduct of the Canadian hormone industry, which purifies an estrogen compound for human use from pregnant mare urine. She was rescued through the efforts of a tireless crusader from Spokane, Mary Balsack, who helped arrange the release and transport of a truckload of these unappreciated young foals. As soon as she arrived in the United States, Kitty was noticed as an independent young horse, and loved and well cared for. She learned to pull a vehicle and stood out in her many competitions, winning numerous trophies.
     
    I met her as a real greenhorn rider and novice driver. She taught me a great deal and tried to teach me a lot more. I hopefully have retained some of that. All of us have benefitted from her gentle nature, her generous efforts, her willingness to work hard, and her stoic nature in adversity. Some months before the events leading to her death, I had retired her from competition because I had some concerns about her pushing herself beyond her physical tolerance, as she seemed to set no limits to what she would do for me.
     
    Shortly after she arrived at our barn, she quickly established herself as the alpha mare in our little herd of a dozen or so horses. She took her role and responsibilities seriously. She was always more gentle with our human shortcomings than she was with our other equines. And she loved to play and romp in the pasture, spontaneously taking jumps and thundering the diagonals of our fields in order to enjoy as long a sprint as she possibly could. She loved being out in the elements, even in the snow and she loved the sleigh bell season, especially pulling our sleigh with 3 or 4 people inside.
     
    The final cascade of events started abruptly with the massed attack of biting carpenter ants after Kitty playfully dismantled an old cross country jump in her pasture. A terrible reaction to that, although treated immediately and vigorously, resulted in such tremendous stress to her system from the burning, itching bites, led to an episode of laminitis despite all treatments, injections and medications to relieve her discomfort. She benefitted greatly from the tireless and generous efforts of so many of our Trillium Creek Training and Rehab volunteers every 4 hours once the laminitis presented, and she seemed to respond slowly but progressively to our prolonged subsequent efforts until last week when her condition took a severe turn for the worse and she developed pain in her left forefoot. After radiographs our veterinarian discovered a severe rotation of her coffin bone, collapse of her laminar structures, and resulting fissuring of the sole on one foot and a crack along the top of the hoof just below the coronet band on the other. Due to her size and weight, treatment options were limited and carried no likelihood of success or resolution of the fundamental problem or the rather considerable pain she was experiencing. This led us to the most difficult decision a loving horse owner can face…we were compelled to relieve her suffering. We already miss her terribly. 
     
     “When as many people are affected by the love and companionship of a horse as they have been by knowing, associating and living with Miss Kitty, it has to be some measure of a life well lived. Her capacity to care for and love her people and herd was voluminous and generous at the least; inspiring and life-giving at its best. She will now continue her mission in another place, leaving us behind to carry on her work here. Thank you, Miss Kitty. We love you and will miss your massive presence here. You will be held close and lovingly in all our memories with happiness and appreciation for the time you shared with us. Our love for you is a big as you are, and we send it with you on this new path.” - Bonnie Buhl
     
    If called to support Miss Kitty’s work at TCTC for the sanctuary horses and people she so valiantly served, please visit:  tctchorsecare.org, the Trillium Creek Training & Rehabilitation Coalition Facebook page, or email tctchorsecare@gmail.com
     
     
    THANK YOU, TCTC REGULAR FEEDERS, MUCKERS, HORSE CONDITIONERS & STALL/WATER MASTERS…
    …For your amazing commitment:  Karyn & Katie Kell, Patricia Sprague, Maddie Coleman, Becca Wicks, Kristi Brooks, Clara Harris, Bear Sprague, Camica Cox, Luisa & Grace Guyer, the Brod family, Gary Groomer, Eddie Checkett, Mandy Shafer, Jim Elliott & Lexi Scott, Therese Vogel, Gavin White, Jeannette Schilling, Candy Ulrich, Cindy Mauldin,Tom Mueler, Keelie Kortness, Melinda and Aurora Barkley, Daniela Brandt, Denise Authier & Ray Nobel, and Kaidence Drake & Brighton Ring! Your diligence as reliable volunteers is appreciated by every horse and person at TCTC!
     
     
    TCTC’s Programs and Horses Awarded Financial Support
    Over $34,300 in Charitable Funding and Grants!
    During the latter part of 2016 and 2017, TCTC’s horses and programs have received support from Cestone Foundation; the City of Wilsonville Parks and Recreation Opportunity Grant; NAVS Sanctuary Fund; the Autzen Family Foundation; the Thornton S. Glide Jr. and Katrina D. Glide Foundation; and The Michele and Agnese Cestone Foundation, as efforts to build programs supporting TCTC’s horses, arts, nature and children have born fruit. We want to THANK these funders for their investment and confidence in TCTC, helping make our unique sanctuary and programs and available to the equines and people of our communities.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    To Change Your Life…
    You must first change your ATTITUDE…Perceive your life the way you’d like it to be and FOLLOW THROUGH with the action to MAKE IT HAPPEN!
     
     
     
    UPCOMING at TCTC...
    • TCTC SEASONAL PIE & MOVIE PARTY!
      Every year TCTC recognizes volunteers, sponsors, lesson folk and now Workawayers who help give a facelift to our pastures and grounds, assist in feeding, watering, conditioning, mucking, field mowing/mulching, spreading fly predators, painting and building, to make TCTC such a great place for the horses and people helping them. To honor everyone’s efforts, we celebrate YOU with a horse Movie Night featuring Walt’s home-made pies and ice cream. January date to be announced!  Hope you can join us!
    • ONGOING VOLUNTEER TRAINING in safe, effective horsemanship and equine care.
     
     
    Copyright © 2017, Trillium Creek Training and Rehabilitation Coalition, All rights reserved.

    Bits 'n Pieces is published by Trillium Creek Training & Rehabilitation Coalition, a 501(c)3 non profit. Our mission is to provide a permanent home and sanctuary to train, educate and build community with mutual acceptance, support, respect, appreciation and healing using horses, gardens, nature, art, and sustaining skills. Special thanks to our thirteen horses and the people who love them.

    Graphic Design & Production by TCTC Student Intern, Lily Brod.
    Writing & Editing By TCTC Executive Director, Bonnie Rhynard-Buhl 
    Photos courtesy of TCTC Founder, Lily Brod, and Volunteers, all rights reserved

     
     
     
     


     
     
     
     

     
    Contact:
    Bonnie Rhynard-Buhl
    (503) 570-8538