Moki’s Story

December 2009

Dear friends and family; Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary seriously needs your help! A.G.E.S. is now a year old – and donations have been few and very far between. John and I have invested all we have – in money, sweat, time and devotion into getting our “little engine that could” rescue on it’s feet and in a position to finally help some horses in real need.

These past months we have seen literally dozens of horses…all over Craig’s list and the internet, in need of homes…being given away in any way possible – to just about anyone who comes forth to pick them up…that is how great the need has been this year.

We all know where a large number of these homeless end up – unfortunately, they end up across the border to Mexico or Canada for slaughter. AGES is part of a statewide network of rescues in constant search of homes for these animals.

We have tried feverishly this year, to get my small ranch sold so we could purchase a bigger farm and be in a position to help more horses in need. It has proved to be a major daunting task to do so. We are extremely close to moving, but challenges continue to be thrown our way at every turn! We continue to work towards this goal, no matter what.

In addition to our first surrender last year – Miss U – we have added Trigger – a palomino Shetland whose owners could no longer afford to take care of their herd due to divorce. This week we have added Moki.

He has been kept in a small enclosure about 1000 square feet, all his 7 years, and when he arrived here at AGES, we watched as he tried to comprehend – what the other horses were!! He hadn’t been around another since his birth. If seeing him doesn’t open your heart to help us – then nothing can. Moki is a dark chestnut grade Appaloosa gelding. He had not seen a farrier nor vet in at least 5 years. You can see the damage that has caused him.

Moki had been refused to be taken by the county Humane Society and another rescue that was called – as he was deemed “hopeless” and advised by them that he be put down. We cannot know the minds of some of these people who decide they’d like to raise a foal and then for 7 years throw feed their way and don’t do anything else with them.

Moki tried biting me several times and did so to his owner, who did nothing in response! It was more than clear he probably never had more than a day or 2 of training in his life. It is my goal now – and I hope yours too – to try to help this young horse in desperate need! He will be having his first farrier trim and then surgery next week. It will be a long process and we are not even sure it will be successful.

He will need his tendons severed – in an effort to try to bring down his extreme upright pasterns and hopefully begin to get him some relief from pain. John and I cannot do this alone. We cannot financially continue to help Moki and others out there….without support from you.

I am asking for help today…from all of you. We realize there are many wonderful charities that are in great need – and you may already support some of them. We are asking for any small donation you can make – to help alleviate some of our expenses…current and future. Besides Moki’s climbing bills, we have feed, hay and bedding needs for the winter. Our need is great – it will become even more so, as our service to horses in need grows.

We need your help to support our growth. Help is as easy as making GoodSearch your homepage. By doing so, and listing Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary as your charity of choice – every search you do from that homepage generates 2 cents for A.G.E.S. You may not think 2 cents is worthwhile – but we do! If 50 of you receiving this email make GoodSearch your homepage, and simply search 5 times a day – that’s $5.00 a day. Guess what folks – that’s 2 bales of hay! Two bales of hay feeds 1 horse for 4 days!

If all of you forward this email to all your contacts…and they all add GoodSearch…those dollars will certainly start adding up!! It is painless and it is free – and it takes literally 2 minutes to set it up as your homepage. Along with GoodSearch, if you shop online through one of the “GoodShop” merchants – another % of your purchase goes directly to Amazing Grace automatically! The stores and prices online through GoodShop are exactly the same you would find anywhere else, with the same sales and bargains, some even offer additional coupons. PLEASE try doing your holiday shopping through GoodShop, you would be helping us big time if you can!

If you can find it in your heart and in your pocketbook to make a donation to us on a monthly basis of $5, $10, $15 or more, it can be deducted very easily through your checking account through Paypal on my website.

It’s an easy way of helping sustain us without having to write a check every month. Of course we have our address listed too where you can always mail in a check. 100% of your donations are tax deductible and these funds are solely used in the support of our rescued and surrendered horses, nowhere else. We are asking for all the Moki’s out there who cannot speak for themselves – “please help us – so we can help them”!

Most of you are a aware I am also an insurance agent, now for 30 years!! Those of you who have allowed me to service your insurance over these years – I thank you as those commissions keep us alive literally! Those of you who still have not allowed me to service your insurance needs….please consider this as another huge way you can help!! I write all lines of insurance…whatever you need! You can also find a wish list on my website – which will also give you another opportunity to help our cause. We at A.G.E.S. do not know what Moki’s outcome will be – but we are determined to do all we can for him, and we will keep his progress posted on our website. We extend a grateful thank you – in advance – for your help, whatever form it takes. We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season!

Erin Kelley, Founder

January 29th, 2010 – An Update on Moki

As the morning sun rises I write this long in coming update of our beloved Moki. You met Moki in early December when A.G.E.S. picked him up from his previous owner, who like so many ill-advised and naive horse owners, did everything wrong and nothing right in horse ownership for all seven years of his life. His neglect of proper nutrition and omission of vet and farrier care not only sentenced Moki to a life of total pain and agony…but on this day I share with an extremely heavy heart that he will have to be euthanized.

Early in December we thought our vet could do a procedure involving severing Moki’s tendons in an attempt to begin correcting his deformities. The day before the vet was to come out though – we had our first in several large snow storms followed by sub-zero temperatures. Without an indoor arena for aftercare and over a foot of snow outside the barn – we had no choice but to put it off as we would be moving in several weeks and the decision was made to wait until we were all settled in our new but temporary place, in Elkhart Lake.

Throughout this time Moki got around his separate small pasture and walk in freestall pretty well. He had some rough days where you could tell every step was excruciating, and one day when he broke through his electric fence and was running around the adjoining pasture with his buddies! It was wonderful to see him galloping…but I knew he would pay for it a day or two later with severe pain, and he did.

He wears a brave sweet face and allows me to pet and brush and halter him, but as soon as you try leading him or any kind of minor training…he would always get angry and mean and it frustrated me to no end….that I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with this guy.

I’d never had a horse quite like this – personality wise…behind those beautiful eyes there was this kind, gentle and loving spirit that wanted to spend time with you and wanted to please you – but he would always soon turn on me with ears pinned and neck beginning to arch towards me. I’ve had experience in my 38 years around horses – with some abused animals and understand the need for time and trust…my only goal with Moki was to love and care for him and hopefully alleviate some of his daily pain, I was beginning to feel very inadequate with him.

We were finally able to have a new vet do xrays on his legs and feet. Two hours and two tranquilizers later….he finally began to stop fighting us and allowed us to get those pictures! My new vet had advised that she was not real hopeful about the outcome of those xrays – if his arthritis was as extensive as she feared – it would be too late for Moki.

We met a few days later and she showed me his arthritis was so severe and extensive – into and involving his coffin bones and below the hoof capsule, and that some of his bones were in the process of fusing together – there was absolutely no surgical way of helping him. Short of daily high doses of pain killers…his condition would continue to deteriorate and his pain increase.

She fervently implored me to do the right thing and release him from his tortured body. I’ve never been in this position in all my years of horse ownership. I’ve never “lost” or had to put down, a horse. It’s taken a few days of shock for me to completely grasp this reality.

I so badly – wanted to “save” Moki.

If you’re a parent – you know when your child is sick or hurt – you want to take away their pain – it is innate in every mom, this I know to be true. Since this was the second vet to give me this answer, (although somewhere deep inside me I already knew)…it is my time to learn and experience – the ugly side of horse ownership. The heart wrenching side – of horse rescue.

Moki is and has been, my “baptism by fire” into this line of work. I now have to do – what I preached to other horseowners out there, to make that hard decision, do the only right thing possible for the horse and turn them over to the care of God. In these coming days as I attempt to center and steel myself in preparation – I ask you all for prayers for Moki. Prayers for peacefilled hearts – his and mine….prayers to Godspeed him on his journey….prayers that other new horseowners out there – see his story and LEARN from Moki’s life of pain – that it wasn’t a life wasted in vain – that Moki be a symbol, and example of extreme neglect and in my eyes – yes abuse.

People when/if you see a horse that doesn’t “seem” right – to tell someone, call someone, email someone so it can be checked out for the possibility of neglect or abuse and maybe be spared a painful future like Moki’s. Moki will always be for me, the reason I do what I do….and will always do – with the continued support from God, my family, and public contributions…. attempt to help horses – in any way I am able – to live lives of health and dignity. Thank you for caring and for supporting me in all the ways you do.

October 1, 2010

Moki was humanely euthanized on March 26th, 2010. He rests peacefully and finally painlessly for eternity. Visitors and family can spend quiet moments of reflection at his memorial space – “Resthaven”. His imprint on our hearts will forever be our steadfast inspiration here at AGES.