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Archive for February, 2018

I have to admit I was reluctant to make another post so soon for more than one reason.  I’m worried that it may become habit-forming and also, the amount of stupid I see going on over on Facebook is, quite frankly, irritating me.  I don’t really engage over there, but since there are a few people operating under the assumption that I write this blog so that they can fuel some Facebook drama it kinda drags me through it and I don’t like it.  I especially don’t like it when they misconstrue everything and rather than just ask the people who can answer, they go off on some tangent to crazy town making everybody look nuts. This isn’t a game.  Having said that, the people who comment on this blog and email me regularly have been awesome, so for them I have a special treat today.  Let’s hope it doesn’t result in any additional crazy in other places.  It’s a lot to take in so I’m going to ease everybody into things and start with some current events and news before we get into the `meat’ of things.  This might require more than one drink because it’s a big read depending on how ambitious you are.

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This was taken in the`nursery’ within the past week.  I don’t even know what to say.  This isn’t the result of one wreck or bad event, this is the result of not keeping on top of things and not giving a shit.  It’s also a recipe for a catastrophic injury.

 

 

Cozzy was bought by HiCaliber about two weeks ago at auction.  They described her as `terrified’ and said she was a 12 year old Standardbred.  This was at the same time they acquired poor Waco and a major shell game with the responsible rescue fees ensued.  Cozzy was brought back to the ranch, but then in the intake video (above) they said she was  immediately adopted out to a `previous adopter’.  Robyn describes it as an amazing place that can do quarantine.  The only problem with all that is this person admits he has zero horse experience.  What he adopted from HiCaliber in the past was a calf and two pot bellied pigs.  Also, this mare is said to be quite flighty.  As shown in the pics she is still dragging a rope halter around two weeks later and appears to have lost some weight.  They basically dumped this mare with a green owner with no support.  How’s that for vetting a home?  I don’t blame this person at all.  At least he’s reaching out beyond HiCaliber for some help and I truly hope he gets some good help.  His intentions seem good, but again, this is not rescue.  They flipped a horse.

 

 

Then this happened on Sunday.  I think most people have seen it by now but we’ll throw it up here for documentation anyhow.  The horses in question are Courney, who was purchased by HiCaliber back in October, and Promise, who was the costar of the infamous Manson running at auction video back in early December that reminded many of us of The Blair Witch Project.  Both horses have been with HiCaliber more than long enough to have gained weight and look better.  They are both messes. Manson went on a live feed rant on Monday about how it wasn’t an abscess on Promise’s shoulder but was a wound that had been sutured that had come open during the trailer ride.  Umm, no shaving signs or anything else and it’s not they type of wound that you would suture, but as usual nothing is EVER Manson’s fault.  I doubt either horse have ever seen a brush or even much handling in the entire time they were at HiCaliber.  I don’t really have that much else to say other than we’re going to see a whole bunch more of crap like this in the coming weeks as Manson scrambles to get her numbers down as she continues to buy even more.  I’m not exactly sure how any of this is rescue when both horses look worse than when she bought them.  Horses aren’t supposed to fail to thrive at rescue or get beat up and left with festering wounds.  That’s supposed to be the situation you rescue them FROM.

 

 

This brings us to Coyotegate.  I know most people have heard about Barrett getting `attacked’ by coyotes and various and increasingly dramatic versions of that story over the past few days.  It wasn’t that long ago that Manson had wrinkles popping off rounds to `scare’ them away while Engineer was in the arena.  As you can see in the screenshots above,  Manson and Wrinkles aren’t the only ones that get off on shooting things and it would appear a hunting party is being organized including somebody that wants to bow hunt.  Why kill with a clean shot when you can mortally wound an animal and have it suffer for a bit and crawl off to die?  This brings us to the blood pic on the last post.  I guess we need to clarify things.blood1

 

 

I have heard all kinds of stupid about this picture and speculation.  Naturally the village idiots are in denial, but as you can see, Manson confirms it is exactly what I said it was.  This is a blown up version of the one I had posted before with labels so we can be clear that no, there were no bodies under the tarps. They had been removed already.  However, what is extremely disturbing about this picture for me is the manure pile on top of the blood. We know that Jackson Max and Beatrice were the horses killed that day but not the order of the kills.  Obviously the second horse to be killed stood beside the body of the first and in a pool of blood while waiting to die.  One of the things that makes slaughter inhumane is that horses smell blood and feel fear.  Now, consider that there is usually far less blood on a kill floor than is shown in this pic and that a horse about to die stood in it.  The only thing different about going to slaughter for these poor souls is their bodies usually go to landfill rather than a dinner table or render.  Jackson Max was sick when he died and Beatrice had only just arrived. The were hardly surrounded and comforted by familiar people.  They were straight up executed and then, at least one of them was cut open for `science’ and harvesting by the looks of things.  This is NOT rescue

 

 

This brings us to the special treat part of this post.  I think most of us are all too familiar with Manson coming on live feed after one of her multiple visits from various agencies saying that they found nothing and she’s made `friends’ with them all.  It’s no secret that the LA SPCA was brought in due to a conflict of interest with their local agency.  They had a site visit on January 3, 2018 and, as luck would have it, Dr. Talbot was there that day as well as Manson and Wrinkles.  Because officers carry recording devices, we have a transcript of the entire visit in glorious detail, including one of Manson’s classic rants.  So, I’m going to highlight some of the more fun parts for you here and leave you with a link if you feel like reading all 80 pages later.  Just for reference, Dr. T is Dr. Talbot and Dr. S is one of the investigators along with Cpt. Cesar Perea.  Later in the transcripts `female’ is Wrinkles.

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The visit starts with Dr. Talbot.  I’m truly not impressed.  He seems to believe Manson’s story that these horses are all slaughter bound and not aware that shipping horses for the purpose of slaughter is illegal in the state of California.  Also, the kinds of horses Manson is picking up from her flipper buddies aren’t the kinds of horses anybody makes money on shipping to slaughter anyhow.  He does offer up xrays and claims that he sees every horse, but there also seemed to be a lot of stammering and stuttering going on.

 

 

There you have it, folks.  Manson overrules the vet straight from his own mouth.  He goes on to talk about the local `culture’ and how there isn’t a home for a 25 year old lame horse etc.  He’s basically repeating Manson’s spiel.

 

 

Now we know what their vet feels about the deaths and gunshot euths.  We also know where the bodies go after Manson chops them up.  Talbot then goes onto say he wouldn’t `try’ with some of the horses they do and talks about gelding three a week or something.  He’s all over the map.  He reads nervous from this transcript.

 

 

More talk about euthanasia and then he starts to talk about Moss `engaging’ in the internet antics of HiCaliber.   He goes onto say he doesn’t know what Facebook is and doesn’t bother with things like that.

 

 

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Manson’s vet is pro slaughter considering the other guys she does business with.  Again, I find it frustrating that none of these people seem to realize that it is illegal to ship horses to slaughter and, if they do know that, never mention it as maybe an issue that HiCaliber is covering for people that they know do this type of thing.

 

 

It kinda sounds like Dr. T isn’t having as much fun there as Manson would have us believe.  I sincerely hope nobody is making threats.  I know there is a shitload of crazy festering over on Facebook in one of the gazillion anti-HiCal groups but do NOT threaten people.  Not cool.  Not ever. If anybody threatens HiCaliber’s vet they are not putting horses first.  Asking polite questions is one thing, but threatening people and acting like an asshole is never ok.  You can’t bitch about Manson performing her own vet procedures and then run off the only vet that will even work with her.

 

 

Now we get to the fun part.  Manson’s interview.  I’m really not going to post every little thing since she basically just repeats a lot of what she always says, but I’ll try to dig a few nuggets out for everybody that’s too lazy to read the whole thing.

 

 

Manson talks about harvesting organs and one of the things I notice is this investigator isn’t buying what she’s selling.  She kinda skirts around the issue of who she is donating these organs to and also the relinquishment issue.  The two horses she killed that day were Bellona and Barbara and  she was obviously planning on chopping up their bodies.

 

 

The `Nina’ she is referring to was Ninna.  We all know that Ninna actually was losing weight and was shot in the face not long after this site visit.  As you can see Manson also bald-faced lied about where Ninna came from.  She was actually bought off Misner and she was not an evidence case nor were there two more headed her way.

 

 

This is some seriously fucked up logic on display here.  Manson is all concerned about having horses see other horses be shot in the face, but she’s perfectly fine standing one next to a dead body and in a river of blood?  Really??

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The inaudibles are starting to piss me off!

 

 

I’m wondering if Dumbass Darrel counts as a celebrity because other than that Lena Dunham was out there some years ago and she’s kind of an asshole too. I doubt either of them are buying the ranch for Manson.  A girl can dream though!

 

 

So, there’s a lot being said here, but a major problem here is that Manson thinks she owns the horses.  I can assure you that they are not `hers’.  The horses bought with donor dollars are considered charitable assets.  They are not her personal property.

 

 

It always comes back to killing shit with Manson.  No, she was not an AC officer at 19 yrs old.  Maybe she was pretending to be one and torturing small animals or something.  Who knows?  They say every killer gets their start that way so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

coal road

Ummm No.  Just, no.  No, they did not recently have a `satellite site’ up on Cole Grade.  Maybe, just maybe, she’s referring to a place they shuffled some horses for a day when they knew the county was coming to inspect last year like they did, but there was not a satellite operation and the extra horses there are not `just temporary’ like she says.

 

 

I’m not sure who the guy she had that is doing full-time tractoring is, but he needs a new job.  We know it’s not JonASSthan because he’s jumped ship recently and Jesus is long gone.  The `chick’ from San Diego Humane is the officer that pays her regular visits at auction but what I find funny about Manson’s comments is her own qualifications or lack thereof for everything she does.  You know somebody is doing their job when Manson has something negative to say about it.  However, she catches herself in a lie.  She says she was an AC officer for 13 years, but earlier had said she done it since she was 19 years old. She’s older than that and, just to be clear, most of her AC officer years were not active.

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If she has 300 volunteers a month, why are the waters always empty and why is that place so filthy?  What are they doing?  Also yes, yes she does euthanize healthy horses.

 

 

The horse she is referring to was Barbara.  If you need to refresh your memory about Barbara you can read about her here. Barbara was a turning point for many people and given the condition she was in, I’m not sure how she was so dangerous.  The poor horse could barely stand up. However, given the abuse she must have suffered at the hands of Fice to get in that condition, I wouldn’t blame her if she was violent.  Does anybody believe she was loved on and shown kindness in her last moments?

 

 

I don’t really get Manson’s obsession with FHR and its founder, but she’s likely lying.  As far as how she treats every single person that donates to HiC, well, I’m sure you’ve all seen the `choke on a dick’ screenshot that has been making the rounds lately.  Moving on…

 

 

I’m even less of an MD than I am a DVM and I’m a 0% DVM, so can anybody tell me if they know of any doctor that would prescribe somebody injectable migraine meds?  I’m serious, I’ve never heard of such a thing and I know people who take Imitrex and they don’t `pop’ themselves with it.  They take a pill.  However it is a half assed acknowledgement from Manson that yes, people have seen her injecting herself.  I doubt that the parade incident involved Imitrex just because she had just fallen on her ass off a horse.

 

 

This is where Wrinkles shows up (female) and things get weird.  Manson tries to make like the mountains of manure is just because people were away over Christmas.  We all know different but even if that was the case, that’s crap.  I’ve worked with horses most of my life and they still get fed and looked after on Christmas day, including clean stalls.

 

 

I swear she has these rants memorized but what I find intriguing is she’s talking to investigators here.  It’s like she has zero social filters.  I have a foul mouth and I could probably swear Manson under the table without even trying, but time and a place.  I’m just going to go ahead and assume that Manson did not write How To Win Friends and Influence People.

 

 

I wonder if Dr. Grove realizes how often Manson throws him under the bus and name checks him lately?  I find this rant disturbing.  All this talk of chopping horses up and dead being dead, but then what about Johnny Cade?  Remember she needed $1600 to cremate him because she couldn’t send him to the landfill even though his ashes have yet to make an appearance. Maybe only some horses are science.  I have no idea what `cowlick’ is.

 

 

This is just more of an FYI.  Not sure I believe everything she is saying here given the amount of lies in the rest of this document.

 

 

This part of the conversation is important.  Manson often likes to tell us that these visits are no big deal and they were `cleared’.  Cpt. Perea clearly states that is not the case and this particular visit wasn’t for a specific incident. However, he does go on to basically say how they need things reported which I have highlighted.  Moving forward, if people see something that needs to be reported, that’s how you’re going to get it taken seriously.

 

 

These are excerpts from a classic Manson rant.  Truly classic.  Who talks like this to investigators that is in their right mind?  Rhetorical question btw…

 

 

This part is my absolute favorite part of the entire 80 pages.  It might be my most favorite thing EVER to do with this whole sorry mess.  I snarfed coffee out my nose the first time I read it.  Obviously this was from after they got in their vehicle but before they turned the recording off.

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So, that’s the highlights of the transcript.  If you care to read it, the entire thing is at this link , if that doesn’t work try this one. It’s a lot of the same thing, but probably still worth the read.  I know this is going to get taken over to Facebook and the usual suspects are going to go nuts.  I’m not above calling out crazy on either side of the fence and my patience is extremely thin the more this escalates.  If there weren’t actual lives at stake here, it’s a rather fascinating study in human nature.  Manson is dug in saying she thrives on this drama.  That’s all well and good.  I see things like her kill spot and the condition of horses leaving that rescue and I’m dug in too.  Those animals are about as innocent and vulnerable as it gets and somebody has to advocate for them.  When I started this back in May, I thought a couple of posts, HiC might knock their shit off or at least I got things off my chest and we’d all go our own ways.  I never in a million years knew the depths of the corruption and evil that was going on or about to.  Each week I’m actually surprised in a not so good way.  I think every single person that is involved in this on whichever side needs to have a good think about what their motive is.  Are you in it for drama?  Because your feelings got hurt?  Is it about winning?  Need to be a hero?  If it’s any of those things, anything other than for those horses, then you need to find a new hobby.  This is NOT a game and the only ones that are going to win here are those horses, so all the wannabe heroes and turd flingers can take several seats because there is work to do and ain’t nobody backing down at this point.  Have a great week!
Edited to add: I am going to put this out here right now. I’m starting to feel with all of the crazy out there that we are sort of adrift alone on our little island trying to get things done properly. Everyone is going crazy trying to one up each other, while over here we stay sort of rational and focused. Y’all are a wonderful group and we are both proud you are with us–but the rest of this BS has got to stop.
To that end, Shed and I are in agreement that no mention of any of the FB drama is going to be brought here and although sharing the blog is fine, and actually encouraged–we respectfully ask that people stop taking pictures from the blog and posting them everywhere. A lot of misinformation occurred with at least one of the photos last week, and it really upset the people who provided the pictures and we would prefer that they not stop sharing it with us so that we can get the information out to you.

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So, is everybody ready to get back to business?  I’m not sure I am, but things are piling up again which means yet another heavy post.  I’d like to say I had a nice break but that really wasn’t the case either.  The fuckery continues and escalates no matter what, leaving me with more than usual to wrestle with.  As usual there is a so much deceit and grifting going on it’s kinda difficult to follow, but I’m going to do my best to lay it all out.  I’m not sure if the Manson Family are upping the ante or we’re just getting better at catching the grift.  I gotta say that even I was surprised at how low they sank these past few weeks.  I don’t think I can even get it all covered in one post so I’m going to do deal with general and run of the mill fuckery today and we’ll get to the bulk of the auction fuckery in the next one or so.  I hope that works for everybody because it’s time to settle in.  I have some tea to spill!

 

Even though I was only really away for a couple of days, the theories of where I was and why I was away were somewhat amusing.  None of them were based in fact or even all that exciting.  Seriously, I am the world’s worst sick person and there is nothing more to it than that. Man flu has nothing on me!  It doesn’t even really matter other than when you are wrong about something and don’t acknowledge that, then it’s kinda hurts whatever other facts you may have. In the interest of that, it seems the intel on the inaugural Manson Does Texas trip was slightly off.  Originally, it was said she went to some Mean Girls Conference and, I gotta admit, that never did feel 100% right unless she went as a specimen or a bad example.  It turns out that isn’t what she was doing when she went on that trip.  She was actually at the Lady Boss Weight Loss dealio as pictured above, and yes, that is Manson right there smiling for the group photo-op.  The other screenshots are from previous weight loss attempts that the donors all got to pay for as well.  Don’t get me wrong, I applaud anybody’s efforts to improve their health and fitness.  I do have a problem with grifting for it though.  I especially have an issue when you have to fly half way across the country to do some aerobics with the latest social media sensation when you could probably just get off your ass and do chores right where you live and have a total win/win situation that doesn’t break any laws and consist of lying to people on the internet.  Also, if people recall, Manson went on and on about that being her first trip to Texas and how much she loved it there.  That was then…

Flash forward to a few weeks ago and a few trips to the Lonestar state under her belt and, all of a sudden, we’re having `family emergencies’ there.  I’m not quite sure how that works, but I’ve been trying to manifest a family emergency somewhere tropical for myself but so far no luck.  Why is any of this relevant?  Normally it really wouldn’t be.  I don’t really care about how far she has to search for some peen and I also don’t really care when she lies to her team. They should be used to that by now.  What I do care about is the pattern of lying and that old six degrees of separation thing just kicking her square in the ass.  Manson just so happened to end up sitting next to some nice people who,  while originally unaware of her and who she was, were subjected to a flight full of lies and boasts.  To make matters even better, they happen to know more than a few people on the `hater’ side of things.  So yeah, Manson opened by introducing herself and who she is and proceeded to tell them how important she was and that there was even a blog about her. That’s when she showed them this blog.  (Welcome new haters, enjoy your stay.)  Manson also told them that she had booked the trip on a whim to `get away from it all’ after the haters had the FBI raid the ranch, which was also not true.  The FBI were not part of the little party at the ranch the other week.  As is often the case with people that love to hear themselves speak, Manson forgot what she had told them in the first part of the flight and later said she had booked her Texas trip a `long time ago’ when there was a $29 seat sale.  What are the odds she would know so far in advance that she would have a family emergency on that day?  Anyhow, y’all were curious about the airplane incident so that’s what I know other than that she was discussing vaginas in under 10 mins.   Moving right along…

I think I’m just going to drop these pictures of the general conditions at HiCaliber before we get into more specific updates.  These are all very recent pics and as you can see, it’s pretty crowded and dangerous there despite what Manson claims.   This is what happens when you have more horses you can properly care for.  Fences don’t get repaired, things don’t get noticed.  Call me a snob or whatever, but this kinda looks like a bad backyard that horses should be rescued from.

Umbra appears to be holding her own which is good to see.  There is some controversy over the whole lactating mare thing.  It happens, but I’m not sure whatever it is that Eclipse is producing is enough to sustain a growing and healing baby, so hopefully milk replacer is involved as well.  Regardless of what is being fed, Umbra seems to have replaced Magnum as far as who the majority of the village idiots ask after or seem concerned with.  I guess he outgrew his cute factor and isn’t sad enough to hold their attention right now.  Perhaps a crisis situation could be created to bump his algorithms or something.  I did notice he has some old wound or scar on his nose on the latest live feed so perhaps that could be blown well out of proportion for some sympathy dollars or something.

Since we’ve discussed Umbra, we should probably look right across the alleyway to Legacy.  In a recent live feed, we could see all the red tape in the stall across from Eclipse and Umbra.  No explanation was given but apparently that means `hard quarantine’ or something.  What hard quarantine is vs regular quarantine is anybody’s guess, but it doesn’t seem to be working.  Legacy is currently very sick and has burst out some abscesses under his jaw.  I’m pretty sure we’re still not allowed to call it what it is *cough*strangles*cough*, and I’m also not entirely sure wtf bandaging it is supposed to accomplish unless they are trying to drive that abscess internal and really mess him up.  This has been going on for well over a week and he was on IV support last I heard. I’m sure now that this is out in the open Manson will refuse to do any updates on him because she’s not your bitch and all. No word on whether or not he’s seen a real vet, but if he has, I want to know who would suggest bandaging a throat like that and make sure that vet never sets foot near one of my animals.

Remember Gigi?  She is the cute little black mare with the busted up knee and droopy eye they bought from one of their regular flippers back around mid January.  We haven’t really heard too much about Gigi since then other than she is relatively sound and `cute’.  The pictures are above are from the day they bought her in the parking lot at auction.  Wanna see how she’s doing barely a month later?  Of course you do!

These pics were taken of Gigi within the last week.  As you can see her filthy bandage is like a tourniquet on her leg now that it has slipped and her droopy eye goes unprotected or cleaned up.  I don’t really see where `rescue’ has happened for this horse.  She is not in as good of condition as she was when they purchased her a month ago and it’s not like she is living in paradise either.  I’m concerned for her, but I’m concerned for a lot of HiCaliber horses right now.

This brings us to Trish.  I’ve been back and forth about whether I should write about her or not.  I realize doing so is maybe going to hurt her chances at getting out of HiCaliber alive, but her chances of that have always been bad since being an adoption return.  Having said that, I think there is some information that is almost criminal to withhold and also to not reveal what is going on with this particular horse is setting her up for failure as well.  My only hope is that she can get out and land softly with somebody that has all the information.  That being said….

Trish is the little bay mare pictured above being used in Amanduh’s lesson program.  I’m not going to get into the WTFedness of the entire scenario  as far as lessons go, or that the children appear to be strapped to the tack, but just that Trish is being used and has been used for a while since being an adoption return last fall.  She did not last long at adoption, but the people who had her, took the time to get her properly vetted and made that report available to HiCaliber.  Please note the dates on the letter below.

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Trish was returned as being neurological and deemed unsafe for use as a lesson horse. Since that time she has been used regularly for lessons and is now advertised as a light rider and previously a kid’s horse even though they were well aware of her issues.  She’s already a one time adoption return so I think it’s safe to say if she went out and came back again she’d be as good as dead as Manson will call her a hay burner.  I sincerely hope that posting this doesn’t place her at greater risk either.  We don’t know why she’s neurological but I can bet that no further diagnostics were done to find out they whys and hows of it either.  I guess I couldn’t live with myself if somebody got seriously hurt by adopting her and thinking everything was fine and I had information that proved otherwise.  I also would hate to think of kids learning to ride on an unsafe horse.  I really don’t know what the right thing to do with this is other than pray this little mare doesn’t pay for somebody else’s greed and ignorance.

diane

diane

If you recall, we put Diane on a milk carton back in December as she had dropped off the radar.  Part of the problem at HiCaliber lately is that horses just kinda disappear off the radar and the village idiots have been conditioned not to ask too may questions.  That’s why the milk carton horses when we can’t find out answers any other way.  Sadly, we got our answer for Diane and she was found dead in her pen sometime in December.  No cause of death has been made official and I haven’t seen anybody asking after her either.  This mare was a parking lot purchase from Salvador back in November. Emaciated at the time, I’m not sure if she ever did gain any weight or have a few good days.  Hopefully, she is at peace now.  RIP Diane.  #sayhername

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Waco was a parking lot purchase a few weeks back.  I believe he came from Nacho but will have to update that in a bit.  He was clearly in a lot of pain but because Manson’s x ray eyes did not diagnose the severe rotation in his coffin bones, he was kept alive for some additional fundraising and parading around for the camera. There were all sorts of contradictions with him.  He was `thought’ to be a compassion pull, then he was one for sure and then Manson’s FUPA got involved and told her he didn’t want to die yet so they needed more money to actually do the xrays.  However, another horse had been immediately adopted so her responsible rescue fees were supposed to slide over to Waco, but they didn’t and then Manson had to go to Texas for her `family emergency’ that didn’t actually involve family or any other sort of emergency other than being horny.  All that added up to Amanduh getting the news that this horse was in all kinds of pain and not fixable on a Friday.  Sadly for Waco, this meant he got to linger in pain for an extra few days until Manson came home and shot him in the face.  RIP Waco.  #sayhisname

Clancy also experienced death by Manson in recent weeks.  He was another Salvador special back in early January and never seemed to resonate with the village.  He was also said to be older so that, along with showing `significant’ lameness likely sealed his fate.  Seriously though, who gets on a horse to find out if it’s lame?  Wouldn’t most sane people figure that out first?  Wouldn’t an intake by a real vet include a cursory soundness exam?  Again, how was this horse rescued and what was his quality of life like since landing at HiCaliber?  RIP Clancy.  #sayhisname

Poor Mas. She almost made it out alive.  Her place was all secured at Prancing Pony Sanctuary and HiCaliber even had a post up begging for the hauling money.  What they didn’t tell people was that she was dead the same day by Manson’s hand. I wish I knew the reason why or what sense there is to make of any of this.  I know it wasn’t announced and kept very quiet for a few days.  It was only when somebody actually asked Prancing Pony that they admitted that Mas was dead and they were getting a replacement grey mare or something like that.  It’s hard to follow and especially so when Prancing Pony doesn’t seem to ever update HiCaliber horses they absorb into their program.  What we do know is that Mas came from Nacho and that Romney Faye had known about her for several months.  For whatever reason, she was not deemed worthy of `saving’ until it was too late for her.  RIP Mas.  #sayhername

Crackers has also recently been sent to the land of the blue tarps.  Again, I have no idea why.  She came with the usual convoluted back story about a poor old rancher that was about to get foreclosed on so he had nowhere to turn.  I forget whether the part of the rancher was played by Salvador or Nacho that week, but it was one of those guys and she came with a buddy they named `Salami’. For some reason the old rancher didn’t know the name of his own `beloved horses’ so it was up to Manson’s children to do the honors.  Crackers was cute and was seen on video following people around without a halter a few times.  Only a few weeks ago, they were bandaging some mysterious wound on her, but she was otherwise doing `great’ and people were even making adoption inquiries.  Now she’s dead.  RIP Crackers #sayhername

Probably not a huge surprise that Clarence was shot in the head recently.  He was in pretty bad shape and came through the regular flipper channels.  Once again the very people who mangled him were rewarded for his suffering with $200.  The difference is Clarence’s brand is really easily traceable with a direct connection to Salvador.

Clarence’s brand came from Rancho Caballero.  They are big into horse tripping and think bucking out weanlings is great sport.  The above pics are just a smattering of their social media activities.  They don’t try to hide what they do, they’re proud of it.  Do I think Clarence was a tripping horse?  No, they don’t brand those usually.  I think Clarence was sat on to trip quite a few and when they were done with him, they tossed him aside to suffer before HiCaliber created a market for their abuse.  These guys are friends of Salvador’s and participate in the same rodeos.  These people are the ones hurting these animals and HiCaliber and its village reward them for it.  Paying them finder’s fees is not helping the problem, it’s escalating it.  What true rescue or animal lover would ever protect people like this?  RIP Clarence.  #sayhisname

blake

Blake is also another blue tarp victim in recent weeks.  As mentioned before, the other livestock being drug back to HiCaliber have a worse fatality rate than the equines and take up even less of the village idiots’ attention. Blake was brought in around the first of the month and said to have pneumonia.  We aren’t entirely sure if that was his deal as he was also leaking urine and we know that Dr. Talbot does not generally treat animals.  There has been a disturbing pattern of the 30% vet diagnosing these animals and giving them inappropriate treatments.  Mostly they do not survive.  They suffer too and as often as we can find out their fates, we’ll say their names too.  RIP Blake #sayhisname

Her name was Beatrice.  At least that’s what I’m told.  There was never a big announcement about it and her sad little life didn’t last long once she got into Manson’s clutches.  Such is the trend lately that horses are being brought in and euthanized before they barely get a name.  She was another flipper special and it is doubtful there was ever much intention of rehabbing her.  She obviously served somebody or many people well over the years and I find it sad her ending was staring at Manson in the face as she got blown away.  RIP Beatrice.  #sayhername

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I have to admit this one disturbs me a bit more than usual.  Jackson Max was bought at auction back in July.  He was very thin and agitated in the intake video and Manson aged him somewhere around 10 years old if memory serves.  We didn’t hear a bunch about him before he popped up on their Greens and Ghouls event for $200 and sometime after that he either went to foster or training.  Again, I’m not entirely sure although he was brought back to the ranch recently and took up residence behind the `hard qt’ red tape in the barn.  As of this past weekend Jackson Max is dead.  The details on that are where it gets disturbing…

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Tarp with a trail of congealed blood and manure after Jackson Max’s death

Jackson Max’s death upset quite a few people apparently.  Honesty, we don’t know which horse was the one that bled out by the tarps, but at least two died that day and he was one of them.  They usually go in twos so it could have been whoever else had to join him that weekend.  The amount of blood doesn’t exactly paint a picture of a `nearly no blood’ or peaceful death for me.  It certainly didn’t for the person that took the picture who was even more upset knowing who that blood probably belonged to.  Then we have the mention of deconning his stall and the picture of it (beside Legacy’s stall) with the red QT tape all over it.  Draw your own conclusions on that and remember the two foals are living in the same barn.  To make matters worse you have a volunteer that almost apologizes for being upset at the loss of this young horse.  I probably shouldn’t even feel sorry for this particular volunteer since she has been somewhat of a nuisance to this blog, but I get it.  She wants to believe in what she’s doing and now maybe, just maybe, this will be enough to wake her the fuck up or at least stop normalizing this type of behavior.  At the end of the day I just care about a young horse that by many accounts didn’t really need to die.  RIP Jackson Max #sayhisname

HC Death Clock countdown

Countdown clocks rather than names make more sense at HiCal these days…

I think that’s probably enough for one day.  We’re certainly not all caught up, not even on our deaths, but we’ve made a dent.  I actually thought taking a break, even if it was longer than planned, might calm the crazy down a bit.  If anything it’s escalated.  Manson seems to be completely losing her shit all over social media.  Some people on this side of the fence are joining her.  Auction is such a complete joke I’m still trying to figure out where to start with that post, but it’s coming very soon.  I also have a special treat post coming up soon too.  I was only gone a few days and there is a definite shift in the feel of things.  Of course, along with that comes the people wanting to force hands and play out their own agenda.  Human nature and all, and also not my problem.  I also know there are a lot of various threats getting thrown about in attempts to silence people.  I find that telling.  If all this is so wrong, if everything posted is just some personal agenda, then wouldn’t it be more productive and effective to bat it aside and dispute it with truth rather than attempt to threaten people into silence? Makes me wonder what exactly is being protected that we haven’t uncovered yet.  It certainly doesn’t motivate me to stop shining a light.  Thanks to everybody, especially our `moles’ ,  that continue to hang in there with us and fight the good fight.  There is light at the end of the tunnel and this time, it is not an oncoming train.  It’s not our job to defend the truth but only to set it free.  For that reason,  we stay the course.

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roses

So, my little break turned into a longer one because I was under the weather.  I’m sorry it’s nothing more titillating or dramatic than that.  Rest assured that the moles did not take a break nor did anybody else working behind the scenes.  I’ve just had word that he number of comments under the last post are bogging down some of your phones, so I’m going to drop this with you while I finish up one of a few posts I’m working on.  My apologies for the lag in between.  Stay tuned….things are just getting good!

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Wow, that last post is a tough one to follow as far as impact.  It kinda felt like a mic drop and that perhaps a ride off into the sunset would be appropriate.  Really, what more is there to say or prove after that?  Well, it turns out quite a bit.  Our moles have been extremely diligent and have really outdone themselves this past week.  In order to make sure that there won’t be more accounts like we just read, there is still work to do for all of us, so we soldier on.  I’m not here to change anybody’s mind, I’m here to pass along information and perhaps paint a clearer picture than HiCaliber shows its village.  I’ve got a lot of `painting’ to do today so probably best to get right to it.  Settle in folks, it’s another long one!  I don’t even know why I bother to say that any more….

Remember that Paint horse Manson dug up last week?  The one that was at Misner’s lot but Manson pretended was from some family who purchased as a kid’s horse but was way more crippled than they imagined?  The one that once he turned up at HiCaliber wasn’t so crippled at all?  Manson screwed up by showing him on Misner’s lot and even though she drove him to a different location for new pics, people had already seen him there in person.  At the time, I remember mentioning to some other advocates that there was pretty much zero chance that Manson drove all that way to just pick up one horse and that more would show up soon.  Turns out I was right​.  The other two she brought home the very same day magically showed up this week.  The first was the older bay that was `going to auction tomorrow’.  What the village idiots did not realize is he was already standing at HiCaliber along with the red dun stallion who was promptly marked for death.

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The bay and the red dun stallion were on the trailer with the Paint.  If you recall, there was a skinny mare from up north that was supposed to be rescued with Wilkins but the village idiots weren’t motivated enough and that’s likely why the above two horses got to hang out at HiCaliber for a few days until their stories were told.  To recap, we first heard of Wilkins the Paint on January 24th.  The skinny mare from `up north’ never materialized but we’ll get to her later.  Manson and Wrinkles pick up Wilson on January 25th and introduce him after dark.  At this time, both the skinny bay and red dun stallion are also at HiCaliber.  On January 29th, we were introduced to this skinny bay gelding that belonged to somebody who didn’t speak English but miraculously managed to communicate over the phone that he was having financial problems and that the horse was thin with all his bones showing but was still very rideable.  He also, despite this huge language barrier, said he was afraid to show up at auction because of all the `slacktivists’. Slacktivist is Manson’s new favorite word even if she doesn’t use it in proper context.  That’s a lot of information from somebody that doesn’t speak English.  Manson did say that the picture of the horse (above) was over a month old, so we know the person that had him was responsible for his present lack of condition.  He only wanted $150.

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Yup!  You guessed it!  The role of the poor guy with a language barrier who was so afraid to go to auction was being played by none other than Bubba Misner.  He’s not afraid to go to auction.  He’s just too lazy and probably has a pie hangover.  The skinny bay, now called Poseidon, showed up with a red dun stallion who still had sweat marks from a saddle on his back.  Manson just had to `save’ him too and said he was a relinquishment but they paid $150 for each as part of their `Find Us A Horse To Shoot’ incentive program.  The fact that she claimed these horses were relinquished is where things get shady even for Manson.

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You know that things aren’t going to go well for a horse when Manson doesn’t bother to raise funds and this was the case with the red dun. Manson claimed he had `advanced Wobblers’ and had to be euthanized.  The problem is you can’t diagnose something like that in the field and Wobblers isn’t really an automatic death sentence without finding out what is causing it.  In the video Manson took, the horse does have some gait irregularities, but he certainly doesn’t appear to be `advanced wobblers’.  Near the end where he catches a sniff of a mare he’s stepping fairly lively and wringing his tail.  A neuro horse wouldn’t be able to do those things nor would he be able to short turn like they are making him do.  Maybe he has had some trauma to his back or neck recently and maybe he could be nursed through it.  We’ll never know because Manson won’t take the time.  She couldn’t even be bothered to get his papers and find out who he really was, saying it didn’t matter.  I’m told they eventually named him `Teddy Graham’ before shooting him in the face.  Manson said we shouldn’t feel bad because he’d be chopped up and donated to `science’.  RIP Teddy Graham. #sayhisname

Before we move on to some auction things, I want people to take a look at these pictures.  All of them were taken of Misner’s’ place from various angles.  Recognize the background and the shitty fencing because they feature heavily in many of the pictures used for mid-week cons.  These pics were from awhile ago and one of the things that several different people have let me know recently is that right Misner’s lot is currently overflowing with horses.  I know the saddle horse industry hasn’t experienced a boom, so perhaps he’s on his way to New Mexico or Texas with some loads soon.  Looking at the conditions on his lot it’s kinda easy to imagine why that bay horse lost weight in the time Misner had him and maybe even why Johnny Cade was in such rough shape.

auction

Let’s talk about auction.  It was interesting to say the least.  Manson started out her day by lying her ass off and people were escorted off the property by police.  Didn’t happen.  Yes, the police were there and I’m sure they spoke to a few people for whatever reason but who they did not speak to was our stealth mole.  I’m not sure how `human safety’ plays into any of this.  It’s not like Manson has a soul to steal by taking her picture or anything and besides, our interest, as always is in the horses and the real stories behind them.

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skinny mares

Let’s take a brief jump back to January 24th when Manson was begging for money to save this one skinny mare with a sad story.  Strangely, in the very poor photos she showed us, there appears to have been three different horses.  The lone horse in the first pic has one right hind white and appears to be emaciated.  Manson claimed that the horse on the left of the other pic already had a home and the other, the headless one, was the one that needed to be rescued.  Again, we were asked to suspend belief as she claimed that the two skinny horses were the same horse.  They clearly are not. We were also asked to believe that even though this person couldn’t afford to buy feed for his horses, he drove all the way down to Ontario from `up north’ only be turned around and then come back a week later to auction to meet with them again.   Also according to Manson, all these down on their luck people reach out to other rescues and nobody will help them but HiCaliber, yet no other rescues have ever heard about these horses until they show up on the HiCaliber Facebook page.  At any rate, Manson didn’t raise the cash she required to help this `one’ horse she claimed needed `urgent intervention’ so she said they’d deal with it later because there was also two other mares needing help.  Clear as mud?  Let’s go back to auction last week, a full six days later.

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Manson starts things off with this post that had a video attached of a skinny red mare.  The mare wasn’t moving all that badly though.  It turns out that video was the wrong one so they did a fast edit and added a different red mare’s video. This mare really was fairly sore and just to drive her point home, Manson made her hobble around for the camera and so she could text a clip to a `vet’ to diagnose and to inspire her village idiots to dig deep.  The village idiots dutifully ignored the fact that there was another red mare waiting in the wings and set about raising money for the eyelash fund responsible rescue and purchase price.

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Finally, the original skinny shows up.  The down on his luck guy from `up north’ found the funds to come to the parking lot to relinquish his mare that we were supposed to forget we saw a video of a few hours later.  Sadly, without the thrill of the chutes and all the drama that entails it was a hard sell to the village idiots and right about this time there was some paranoia flaring up because these horses came straight out of Salvador’s trailer.  Shocking, I know.  I still have no idea what the strategy was behind the order of posting these mares when they all came from the same person.  Pulling her video down and replacing it with another threw up far more red flags than had they just left it.  Even if she wasn’t that sore, we’re quite used to the 30% vet misdiagnosing things and not being able to pick out lameness to save her miserable life.  By quickly yanking down her video it was clear there was more to the story.

That’s right, just as we suspected over a week ago, that skinny mare and two others were standing at Salvador’s place the whole time. What I find disturbing is the truly emaciated one never did show up to auction that we know of so that doesn’t bode well for her.  We know at least two of the sorrel mares came from his trailer on Tuesday, Pyper and Char. We also know that Salvador got pissed at the clusterfuck going on in the parking lot and was cursing `This is bullshit’ before hopping in his truck and driving off which is when stealth mole #2 picked him up heading back towards Perris presumably to mangle some more horses for the HiCaliber grifting pipeline.  The second video was taken a few months ago when Romney Faye named Salvador (in the same trailer) right on camera as they unload some tripping horses. Most of them didn’t even make it back to HiCaliber before being shot in the head.

This is an older clip of Manson describing Salvador.  I just wanted to post it up to remind people of what she used to say about him before they become partners in grifting.

In between the sorrel mares, the village idiots were presented with this gray mare.  As usual, she had a sad story and was facing a terrible fate.  To top it all off, she was `cancer infested’.  Nothing creates exigency like some harmless melanomas.  I’m sure the rest of you are yawning and wondering `so what?’ by now.  This is where having experienced moles comes in.  This mare does have quite a history but it’s not exactly what Manson was telling people.  As is usually the case with Manson, there is often a very slight shred of truth to her lies and she builds from there.  So, let’s take another trip back in time. Thankfully, this mare not only has the Rancho Bonilla brand on her, but a broodmare number which makes her easier than most to track.

Three weeks ago, this mare was advertised on Craigslist along with two others and it was stated they `might’ be pregnant.  Her `83′ and Bonilla brand clearly visible in some of the pictures along with the melanomas on her head.  They said they wanted $2000 each which is kinda funny considering he only wanted $500 for her in September and lowered that to $300 last week.  She may have been with somebody else between September and last week because it’s not really like Nacho to take the time to roach a mane and he’s not known to have a stallion at all let alone one like was in the craigslist ad.  How do I know what he wanted back in September?  Read on!

rfbnacho

Romney Faye and Nacho dealing horses at Ontario Auction, September 12,2017

This is Romney Faye and Nacho back on September 12th.  He is showing her the pictures of the grey mare then and, at the time, he wanted $500 for her.  He wasn’t willing to come down on the price because he said he would keep and breed her if he didn’t get what he was asking.  I’m not really up to speed on all things Andalusian, but apparently the Bonilla brand is a good thing.  I don’t think it’s a great thing for horses since these old grey mares with that brand seem to turn up at low-end auctions with some regularity.  Anyhow, obviously HiCaliber declined back in September.  If you recall, Manson hates Nacho and refers to him as `Nacho Motherf@#ker’ because he stands firm on his prices. I’m pretty sure she’ll dispute all this so I’ll throw another layer on things.  It turns out Nacho was offering this mare to more than just HiCaliber.  Despite what Manson and Romney Faye say, these flippers, Misner and Salvador included, will sell to whoever hands them the cash.

Unlike Romney Faye and Manson,  a mole did got to Nacho’s back in September to check things out.  As you can see, it is the same mare (check brands) and she was in much better condition back then.  The video (click on it to play)shows Nacho right there with the mare and our mole describing what she sees/  This was taken on the same day he was talking to Romney Faye above.  You can see same shirt, hat etc on Nacho.  I can already hear the bitching about why `we’ didn’t purchase this horse back then.  There’s a couple of reasons.  She wasn’t in bad shape at the time, but also the sad part of `investigating’ things is you sometimes have to hold out for the greater good as hard as that may be.  We can’t point fingers at HiCaliber for lining the pockets of these flippers and kill buyers and then do the same thing too.  There was nothing reportable with this mare in September and the mole has kept an eye out for her ever since.

Which brings us right back to last week and the same mare arrives at auction in Nacho’s trailer where she is promptly offloaded to HiCaliber.  Nacho vacates the scene before the Facebook post about her even goes up and gets rolling for fundraising.  I cannot say for sure this mare was in his possession the entire time between September and last week.  My instinct says probably not as the property in the Craigslist ad doesn’t appear to be Nacho’s place.  It appears she was sold or leased out to be a broodmare and likely didn’t catch.  This also makes Manson’s threat of her being bought up to dance or be a broodmare kinda ridiculous. Is there anybody out there that still thinks these deals aren’t made well before auction?

Because Manson will protect her revenue stream at all costs, she decided to load all the horses up, including yet another sorrel mare she claims they bought in the ring, and drive them to a local back road to unload yet again and beg for more money.  She blamed the haters for this and pleaded with the village idiots not to comment how much they are donating.  Manson also warned them to lock down their Facebook page because people are having their work called etc.  I think she was projecting because everything she described were things she has actually done to others including phoning people’s employers.  The only difference is that when she does it she says it’s just a joking around and friendly rivalry.  I’m not sure the people who have been targeted by Manson and her village idiots feel the same, but I’ll say right here and now, that if ANYBODY is doing shit like that, knock it off and grow up.

fundingcycle

The cretins in the above video are also people who deal horses to HiCaliber and are seen off and on at Ontario Auction. While they aren’t as regular as Misners, Salvador and Nacho, we know from past events that they all start out sporadic and get bolder and bolder as time goes on.  We have an idea on who these guys are but need a few more things to fall into place.  There seems to be a trend of compassion pulls lately and if HiCaliber won’t step up and report the people who are hurting these animals, then the rest of us will, so we start with identifying them or confirming the known identities.

bullets

With the execution of Teddy Graham this week, it became clear that at least one other horse would join him under the blue tarp.  I can’t remember the last time Manson only shot one.  It seems like she likes to get the most bang for her buck with the body removal service as well. The reason Madge was killed was chronic laminitis as diagnosed by the 30% vet.  No memorial posts or good byes for Madge.  Just a walk to the killing field.  If she was lucky, she was the first to go and didn’t have to stand beside the chopped up body of Teddy Graham.  Although, she was probably hacked to pieces too since Manson seems to be really into that lately.  RIP Madge.  #sayhername

If you have any doubt about how Manson feels about shooting all these animals each week, please watch the above video. It begins with Robyn shooting a gun off camera and Engineer spooking.  Likely the same gun they use to execute all the other animals, but this day they were merely shooting it off to scare coyotes.  Still, I wonder if that’s the reaction the horses have when Manson is doing her weekly executions.  Then, we have Manson thinking it’s hilarious and, once again, making fun of how we like to remember their names and killing horses in general.  You know what they say about many a truth being spoken in jest…

Horses aren’t the only ones that are ending up under the blue tarp lately.  The mortality rate for the other livestock Manson has taken to dragging home is even worse.  Just in the last week Milkdud the calf, Grandma Goat and Kevin the cow have all died.  Kevin was killed by Manson from what I understand and while she blew Madge away without so much as a sniffle, Kevin was memorialized, complete with faux tears, on live feed.  Manson mentioned that Grandma Goat had died on her own, which is disturbing considering Manson practiced her 30% vet skills on her infected udder and diagnosed her with pneumonia.  I can only imagine how sick the poor animal was for her to just lay down and die.  I’m told Milkdud died essentially the same way.  RIP Milkdud, Kevin and Grandma.  We’ll say their names too.

Speaking of other livestock, this steer, Kipper, might be the next to find himself under the blue tarp.  Even though it was not that long ago that Manson was afraid of cows and admitted to knowing nothing about them, she is now subjecting them to her 30% veterinary procedures and diagnostics as well.  I find this extremely disturbing on several levels.  These animals suffer just as much as any other animal.  They hurt, they feel fear and discomfort too.  The very fact she is able to acquire them for pennies on the pound or free, kinda says to me that these animals are already very sick.  If there was any value in them whatsoever as meat or whatever else, she wouldn’t be getting them. So, she’s taking an already dying animal and torturing it basically and nobody cares because it’s just a cow or just a goat.

I found these quotes from Manson and Romney Faye to be quite interesting.  Just going to leave them here along with the video of Satan.  You know you’re a POS when even Satan thinks you’re shady…

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I found this post from one of their private groups somewhat interesting.  We’re used to hearing about empty and filthy water tubs, so that part isn’t remarkable.  What I did kinda wonder about is the `hard QT’.  What is hard QT vs regular QT?  Does hard QT mean they take of their filthy Uggs?  Why do they have to put stakes and tape up to remind people when Manson has always claimed there is a quarantine area of the ranch?  Then, we have the pictures of Manson’s kiddo riding around on the recently arrived Wilkins.  He’s in the arena she turns out anything and everything lately and in the barn as well as in the grooming area.  We know this horse came off Misner’s lot less than two weeks ago and they have said themselves that he has Strangles on his lot.  Does quarantine only apply to horses she or her spawn don’t take an interest in? So many questions!

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interiordecorating

Lately Manson has been trying to sell us the `free euthanasia’ thing and claims that they pay an incentive to people to relinquish the horses.  That’s a creative way to say they are buying horses to kill, but even more disturbing, she continues to raise money for `diagnostics’.  In other words, these free horses are still costing the village idiots the same amount of money, but Manson has just reframed where the money is going.  The last three screen shots may be a more accurate depiction where a large part of the responsible rescue fee is going with the `compassion pulls’ . Ok, music lessons for the kid isn’t so far-fetched, but hiring an interior decorator to do your other kid’s room?  Manson doesn’t even own the house or all the furniture in it and she’s hiring interior designers?  We know this is true because the kid actually spilled it on a live feed not all that long ago.  This isn’t even mentioning the new tack that Santa brought them this year.  I think that’s fairly impressive considering Manson told us she only had $400 to spend on Christmas.  Way to stretch those dollars, Manson!  Clearly, being an unemployed single mother is far more lucrative than working a full time professional job.

tackfitting

I really don’t have much to say about this screen shot other than how funny I think it is.  Every single video or picture I see of Amanduh or Manson they are in ill-fitting tack with their stupid rope halters done up wrong.  Now they want to teach other people how to make sure their horses are as uncomfortable as possible and learn to hate being ridden?  Sign me up!

Perhaps Manson needs to sign up for some of those tack fitting classes for herself.  In return she can teach her patented `Starfish’ method of riding and, if you are truly advanced, she will teach you the Extreme Starfish/Chair Seat Combo.  That’s not something you see every day.  I’m in awe, but not in a good way.

After over 3 weeks of watching the poor little filly, Umbra, walking around with her crooked legs, Manson finally decided to look into doing something about her and took her into the clinic to be assessed. I don’t know why she waited so long as the chances of any surgery working are greatly reduced the older she gets, but better late than never maybe.  What was weird is the filly was checked into the clinic under Wrinkles’ name rather than HiCaliber. I’m not surprised they are trying to hide who is doing the diagnostics and surgery because that’s just what they do.  It appears to be SLREH though for anybody that wants to contribute directly to her care rather than put more money in Manson’s pocket.  It shouldn’t matter who has possession of this filly, if you feel motivated to help, then do so, just be smart about it.  She is no less worthy just because of who has possession of her. I wouldn’t hold my breath for updates on her though because Manson is not your bitch.

quote

I stumbled across this quote the other day.  I wonder if this was ever true and if it was, if the old Manson would recognize the current version.  I think my favorite part is when she says `I am still a simpleton’.  I’m guessing just like her 30% veterinary terminology, she wasn’t quite clear what that word actually means and how to use it.  Just further proof that there is always the tiniest shred of truth in most of the lies she tells.

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I think that’s probably enough information to digest for today.  I notice as things heat up that everybody is eager to `help’ bring this to an end.  Obviously, we are all free to do as we choose and there is more than one way to approach things.  I would just suggest that before people act, that they ask themselves what they are trying to accomplish.  As you can tell from what was provided today, some of the moles that contribute to this blog have been at this for a very long time.  It takes remarkable self-control and dedication to collect information and sit on it until it paints a larger picture and has a real impact.  We’re busy behind the scenes and only getting busier.  I will continue to share what I can and hope that everybody manages to keep their crazy tucked in for just a little bit longer.  It will be worth it, trust me!

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As promised, I have another guest post to share today.  I’m always so grateful to the people who step up to tell their personal experiences with HiCaliber.  By now most of you are aware of the bullying and intimidation tactics that are employed by the village idiots and Manson family in order to silence people.  Work places are called, business pages bombarded and, if you’re super lucky and live close enough, you might get something nasty left in your mailbox.  None of this changes the truth and with more and more people stepping forward, there is strength in numbers.  Still, each and every person that does decide to stand up and speak out does so knowing that retaliation is possible and their bravery is appreciated.  I hope that the readers will also be supportive of them.  In this post, you will hear the stories behind several horses that we have talked about on this blog before, not the least of which is the recently deceased Nala.  It is a detailed account of one foster/trainer’s experiences with HiCaliber fully backed up with extensive documentation and proof.  I can’t thank this foster enough for this accounting of her experience and her thoroughness in putting it all together for everybody.  If there are any questions about this post, she asks that they are put in the comments here rather than bombarding her social media.  This took a lot of her time and effort to pull this together for everybody and I can’t thank her enough.  I’ll be back with the auction breakdown on Friday so, for now, I’m going to turn things over to our guest poster…This one will break your hearts.

confessions

This is my experience with HiCaliber. Truthfully, for the majority of the time we spent working with them, the relationship was, if not perfect, at least respectful and functional – and I don’t want to take away from that. It was only during our last few months that things really started to turn sour and fall apart. I don’t want to hurt any of the good people doing good things, and I don’t want to demonize any of the good people doing questionable things, but I believe this story needs to be told.

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In early April 2016, I sent HiCaliber an email, asking about fostering Joplin (purchased January 26, 2016). I was told that she had some unresolved hind end issues. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), every horse I’ve owned came to me needing rehab of one kind or another, so this did not deter me. We offered to cover her board and farrier bills, contribute to her treatments and diagnostics, and foster her throughout her recovery and rehabilitation. We were told no.

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Umpteen emails and a ranch visit later, we decided to foster Eyeball instead. When we met him at HiCaliber, his feet were very long and in dire need of attention (“shredded” is the only way I can describe them), but fortunately that had been rectified by the time he arrived at our barn (May 1, 2016). He was, however, a little underweight, a little banged up – he’s on the bottom of every totem pole – and in serious need of dental work, which came as a surprise. He also had some gait irregularities we were not permitted to have looked at by a vet, but: no massive red flags. We agreed to cover all his expenses other than farrier care (although we ended up paying for that as well as he needed some extra attention).

 

We knew pretty quickly that we were not going to be able to give him up, and decided to adopt him shortly after he arrived. The volunteer, who took us through the process, seemed genuinely happy for us and went above and beyond to get things squared away quickly. Eyeball is now Baloo and is a chubby, sassy little beefcake. This part of the story has a happy ending!

In June 2016, my barn got in touch with HiCaliber and agreed to take on a couple more foster horses for training. HiCaliber would pay board (discounted, $300 a month); training plus daily pasture turnout would be donated. On a visit to the ranch, three horses were presented as hunter/jumper prospects: two smallish stock-type mares (Jojo and Nala, both purchased February 9, 2016) and a very lame gelding with a bowed tendon (Quartz, purchased May 9, 2016).  For obvious reasons, we ruled out Quartz (and to be honest I find it a bit alarming that he was even suggested as an immediate jumping prospect). Jojo was a lovely mover and a great choice. There was some doubt as to whether they would be able to catch Nala, but managed it in the end. Other than her fearfulness, Nala seemed like a good choice as well.

 

I also remembered Nala from my previous ranch visit, as she had been living with Eyeball at the time. She was apparently the only horse who hadn’t picked on him – and she had already earned a spot in my heart for that.

 

On July 10,  2016, Jojo and Nala arrived at our barn.

When the mares were dropped off, it was mentioned that there had been some difficulty catching and loading Nala, which did not come as a surprise given her shyness back at the ranch. I would like to point out that this was over five months after she had been purchased by HiCaliber, and they were still having trouble catching her. (I know that time span may seem small compared to some of HiCaliber’s unluckier “behavioral” or “feral” horses, but at the time we found it very surprising.)

 

Jojo settled in quickly, but it quickly became apparent that loading issues were just the tip of the iceberg with Nala. She was nervous about being approached or handled from her right side, a bit head-shy, resistant to having her feet handled, and – as we found out the first day – her default reaction to any confusing or stressful situation was to rear.

Side note: Shortly before the girls arrived, we were informed that they had been living together since our ranch visit so that they could “bond.” I’m not sure I understand the thinking behind that but as a result, Nala was initially very herd bound as well.

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JoJo

One of my worst rides on Nala… so naturally there was someone there from HiCaliber to film it (above)! She was sweet and willing but clearly still very tense – although the backhoe laying and compacting asphalt around the arena probably didn’t help. (For those interested: search #hicalibernala on Instagram to see other early videos of her)”

 

It seemed likely that Nala’s fearful behavior was the product of past trauma or abuse, as she showed no signs of distress when not being handled, and was generally not a spooky horse. However, we did suspect that the issue might have been exacerbated by ulcers. We asked HiCaliber for medication, and they obliged, sending us a month’s worth of Wedgewood compounded omeprazole powder. This did not seem to fully resolve the problem, so I followed it up with a course of the Abler omeprazole granules. That did seem to improve her behavior somewhat.

Though she remained a little tense while working, Nala tried hard and made progress very quickly, especially once her ulcers were addressed. After rearing a handful of times on the ground and one time under saddle, the behavior disappeared, and never resurfaced again while she was with us – not once.

 

 She lost her head-shy-ness, and became very relaxed and polite in the crossties. She quickly became tolerant of us working her from the right side and handling her feet – though she was slightly less trusting of strangers. (Luis, HiCaliber’s trimmer, gave her a very small dose of sedation for her first trim with us, and none at all from then onward.)

 

She was sweet, affectionate, and friendly, with a silly little nicker (it sounded like a moped starting up). She got along with everyone.

 

Nala was green, and sensitive under saddle, but never offered to buck or bolt. She was always willing and always eager to please. She was soft – though sometimes a bit unsteady – in the bridle, and light off the leg: a forward but essentially simple ride. From her first crossrail she was honest and brave over fences, and took to jumping with a happy enthusiasm – perhaps because it was new to her, with no unpleasant associated memories.

 

I loved all our foster horses, but Nala was my special girl. I adored her, and considered adopting her myself, many times. However, aside from financial constraints, I felt that she deserved to be someone’s only horse, with the entirety of their attention focused on her… I already had three project horses, and I believed that someone else could provide her a better opportunity to really grow and shine.

After a couple of months, we started advertising the mares. I posted ads for both in multiple Facebook groups, as well as EquineNow, HorseClicks, DreamHorse, and Craigslist.

 

Jojo, who was a pretty mover, a pretty jumper, and a sensitive but safe ride, was snatched up quickly. Nala, despite her progress, was a much tougher sell. Her history of rearing, though short, was something we felt obliged to disclose to potential adopters before having them out to see her – and it was a dealbreaker for many of them. Last winter’s incessant rain, which limited her training rides as well as her adoption showings, did not help the situation. She had a few showings that went well enough, but nothing that stuck.

By mid-November 2016, Jojo was adopted. Michelle called me to discuss Nala – the first and last phone conversation I ever had with her. She understood exactly what I meant when I explained why Nala was a bit of a tough sell. She offered to write an adoption ad for the mare for the main HiCaliber Facebook page, and even suggested waiving her adoption fee, which I thought was a great idea. However, Nala’s fee remained at $1500, and her adoption ad was not posted on the main HiCaliber page until late July 2017.

In January 2017, we asked HiCaliber if we could have Nala’s teeth floated, and they agreed. We were surprised to be told by our vet that Nala’s tongue was swollen, likely the result of a food allergy. It certainly explained some of her head tossing under saddle and we were eager to make her more comfortable. Given the cost of an allergy panel, our vet suggested we try just taking her off of grass hay, which is apparently a fairly common allergy. She was eating a combination of alfalfa and Bermuda grass at that time, so we switched her to a diet of straight alfalfa to see if she would improve (which she did, somewhat). For those wondering, yes, we did try her for a period of time in a bitless bridle. It did not make much difference and the pressure on her face actually seemed to annoy her a little (though she was still a good girl and very rideable in it).

 

Shortly thereafter (March 2017), we received another, happier surprise: Nala was adopted. It seemed like a match made in heaven, and by all accounts, it was. We were all thrilled for her. Nala’s adopter was explicitly informed of her training history as well as possible and probable physical issues.

 

Also around this time, we started discussing options for our next foster horse(s) with HiCaliber. I made several suggestions, including #fuckheadfriday horses as well as the ever-controversial Saban. However, Michelle was interested in having Juliette, a young, semi-broke warmblood mare, transferred from her current foster to us. I also took the opportunity to ask again about Joplin. Michelle’s response was very encouraging.

However, communication on the subject of Joplin died down after these messages. A couple of weeks later we asked about Joplin again and were told something vague about her having deteriorated. I thought it was a little strange (and a lot sad) that a horse’s condition could remain static for over a year, and then in a matter of weeks go from a mild, presumably mechanical lameness (described as being so subtle “most people wouldn’t even notice it”) – to crippling pain. I was disappointed but didn’t question it any further.

 

We were sent Juliette instead. Aside from the minor surprise of her arriving with an enlarged, clouded eye – due to what we presumed to be glaucoma – things with her were mostly easy and uneventful. I attribute Juliette’s laid-back attitude to the work done by her previous foster, since we were informed by both the trimmer and a boarder who had known her back at the ranch about how aggressive and fearful she had been before. (You can read more of Juliette’s story at http://chardonneigh.wordpress.com)

A month later, we were also sent Bruzer, a young appendix gelding (we were evidently their second choice, I’m not sure why their first fell through). He ran through the pasture fence to get to a group of mares – twice – before we discovered he had only recently been gelded. Funnily enough, after that initial hiccup, Bruzer was our easiest horse yet. Despite being described as “nervous and spooky” and “on edge all of the time,” Bruzer turned out to be very laid-back, with a truly wonderful mind.  In fact, after his first few rides, he was brought along primarily by a 15 year old girl, and was marketed as a junior/amateur prospect. I believe he is now a school horse.

Side note: Bruzer also arrived with his teeth in horrible shape and we did have some difficulty keeping weight on him.

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At some point, out of curiosity, I went to look at Joplin’s profile on the HiCaliber website, wondering whether they had updated it to reflect the change in her condition. However, Joplin’s profile was gone… and it dawned on me what had happened. Perhaps naively, I was shocked that they could euthanize a horse, especially a long-term resident who had been offered a home, without saying a word about it. I’m still not sure what happened. (HiCaliber had an outbreak of strangles around this time, and there were rumors of Joplin showing symptoms, but I have no hard evidence that it had anything to do with her death.)

A month after Nala was adopted, an unfortunate change in the adopter’s training situation – coupled with two rearing “relapse” moments – necessitated Nala’s return. Although we still had Juliette and Bruzer, HiCaliber allowed Nala to be returned straight to us rather than go back to the ranch, which we appreciated. (Luckily, Juliette was adopted shortly thereafter.)

meredith email

Knowing Nala would be an even tougher sell now that she had the additional black mark of being an adoption return, we redoubled our efforts to address any physical causes for her tension under saddle. We asked for another course of ulcer medication and HiCaliber obliged, though this time with just a two week supply. The omeprazole powder was expired by the time we received it (April 28, 2017), which I doubt is dangerous but I would imagine could certainly compromise its efficacy.

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Unfortunately I could not afford to treat her again myself as one of my own horses had just had a health crisis, which had included a weeklong stay at San Luis Rey. I also asked for something to treat the symptoms of her food allergy. I figured if we could reduce the swelling, even just temporarily, it would allow us to ascertain how much of an effect the allergy was having on her (and consequently how hard we should push for further investigation).

HiCaliber sent us a tub of cyproheptadine (also possibly expired, though most of the original information on the labels had been scribbled out). I was not familiar with the medication but was happy to give it a shot.

On the evening of May 5, 2017, I gave Nala her first dose of cyproheptadine. By the next morning she was colicking.Though she remained hungry and in good spirits, the impaction had not passed by the next day. Dr. Chandler advised a hospital stay, but we were told by HiCaliber that Nala was “not a candidate for hospitalization.” Instead, they came to pick Nala up – along with the IV fluids the vet left with me – and took her back to the ranch. Luckily, she started pooping on the trailer and seemed to be over the worst of the impaction by the time she reached the ranch. After receiving the remainder of her fluids (as well as rectal exams by Michelle, apparently), she was returned to us a couple of days later (May 9, 2017).

michellerecatal

Our initial thought was that someone had accidentally given her a flake of Bermuda and she had a severe reaction to it, but it was a weak hypothesis given that she had been eating Bermuda from July to February with no ill effects whatsoever, other than a swollen tongue.

 

The day after she was brought back from HiCaliber (May 10, 2017), we were sent an adoption application for her and asked to schedule a showing for that weekend. Reluctantly, we agreed. Hoping we could at least get her tongue swelling down a little before the showing, I gave her cyproheptadine again that evening. The next morning, she was found colicking again – and I kicked myself for not making the connection the first time. We requested that the vet come out to see her again, but HiCaliber declined and opted to come pick her up again instead.

It turns out that colic is a possible side effect of cyproheptadine. For me, that is enough reason to never go near it again.

Once she recovered, we started advertising Nala for adoption again, as well as Bruzer. Bruzer’s fee was not disclosed to us, and, frustratingly, Nala’s fee remained at $1500. Around this time, they also stopped sending us complete adoption applications. Instead, we just got the first page, containing contact information. This meant that we could schedule adoption showings, but would not have any information on the potential adopter ahead of time, or how suitable a given horse would be for them. In Bruzer’s case, we had no input on his adoption decision, and were not notified when he was adopted. We continued marketing Nala and furthering her training as best we could.

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In early July 2017, I made the mistake of speaking up about Saban, the young gelding with infectious arthritis in his TMJ.  I had begun to lose faith in HiCaliber when Joplin was (presumably) euthanized, and I asked relentlessly about Saban once I knew he had been returned by Andrew Fice. I did not want him to be forgotten about, too. I offered to foster him through his recovery if he received his surgery. I also publicly questioned HiCaliber for the first time, not understanding their reluctance (as I perceived it) to work things out with the woman offering to contribute to Saban’s treatment. Though polite, I do wonder if the exchanges I had with Michelle (and other team members) hastened the deterioration of our relationship with HiCaliber – a decline that I believe began with Nala’s colic episodes.

It seems dissent is not well-tolerated within the HiCaliber ranks.

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In late July 2017, an ad for Nala was finally posted on the main HiCaliber page – not phrased exactly as we had suggested, but a positive thing nonetheless – and her adoption fee was finally reduced, to $750. Bruzer’s ad was also posted. Around this time, HiCaliber started making noises about bringing the horses back to the ranch. This was not hugely concerning for saintly, simple, highly adoptable Bruzer, but a little worrying for Nala, given the things we had learned – and the things we had guessed at – in recent months.

Luckily, Bruzer was adopted almost immediately after his ad was posted. Once again, Nala proved to be a tougher sell. Our farrier, who knew and liked the mare, was willing to take her, but unwilling to pay an adoption fee. Nala did have several other showings, one in particular that seemed very promising.

However, the potential adopter was turned off by Nala’s uninvestigated food allergy, and, on a related note, the fact that she was still a little unsteady in the bridle. Not wanting Nala to miss out on what seemed like a perfect home, we needed a Hail Mary. Though I really could not afford it, I started treating her with ranitidine twice a day, and omeprazole granules once a day. We kept her in from pasture (I hand-walked her in the evenings instead), in case maybe she was eating something out there that was making her tongue swell. We free-fed her alfalfa, and I bought her a pricey Myler bit (forward tilted port, tongue and palate relief) that I planned to pass on to whoever ended up adopting her.

After about 3 weeks of this, we got word that the horses were going to be picked up. At this point, we were in contact with several potential adopters, all of whom we begged to come see her before she left, or to ask HiCaliber that she stayed with us a little longer. We took new video of her – she was going FANTASTICALLY – so both HiCaliber and potential adopters could see that she had improved.

 

It didn’t help – in mid-August, the horses left. I tried frantically to get in touch with someone about continuing Nala’s ranitidine treatment…. It was not well-received. (Pro tip: if you really want to give someone a sucker punch to the gut, tell them a horse they trained and loved and worried about for over a year is no longer their concern. I still feel sick just looking at these.)

One of the potential adopters interested in Nala offered to cover hauling costs and board if she was returned to us (so that she could meet and try the horse in a familiar environment, with people who knew her). HiCaliber refused, and also revealed the reason they were giving people as to why the mare was pulled from foster. Potential adopters were apparently being told that we had not been marketing her to the public – which was just breathtakingly unfair and untrue. I tried to get in touch with HiCaliber about this lie, via multiple emails as well as Facebook messages, but got no response.

 

Side note: the Eyeball emails referenced above. I tried and failed to get information on him for the better part of a year.

Heartbroken but powerless, we hoped against hope that she would be adopted during the “Show & Go” event, to someone who would understand what she was, and give her a chance.

I tried to check in with HiCaliber from time to time but didn’t get much information, although I did learn that she was adopted at the end of September. A couple of weeks later, I posted in the fosters/adoptions Facebook group, asking if the adopter had been added. My question was deleted. When I messaged the main page about it, I was told the adopter had declined to be added to the adopters’ group.

Less than a month after she was adopted, I received word that Nala had been returned. I was devastated for her sake, and more worried about her than ever. Then, when I learned what the adopter had been told about Nala – i.e. nothing – and what she and the mare had been through, I went from worried to absolutely fucking livid.

This is where I abandon any effort to write without emotion, because ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Aside from the other massive misrepresentations, note the nonsensical diet specifications indicating Nala had an intolerance to alfalfa, not grass hay. Clearly, they knew there was *something* notable about her diet – they just couldn’t be bothered to take 30 seconds and look up what it was (or, God forbid, ask us), and make sure she was well taken care of.

 

If you take only one thing from my story, let it be this: “no known training issues.” I’m sure there will be an elaborate selection of reasons and justifications for this omission, even though a cursory search of emails, Facebook messages, or, you know, HER PREVIOUS ADOPTION CONTRACT, would have yielded some pretty important information. (Perhaps there was some kind of massive server failure, or she was re-evaluated at the ranch and found to be totally beginner safe and issue-free! Maybe all the HiCaliber team members we ever talked to about Nala developed simultaneous cases of retrograde amnesia!) Whatever excuse is concocted, I find it hard to believe that any reasonable person could find this acceptable.

 

Because this is NOT acceptable. Though we never considered Nala dangerous, nor did any of us ever feel unsafe around her, she clearly had some ugly things in her past. It was always a possibility that those old fearful behaviors could resurface – particularly if she was treated as if she were a “made” horse, with zero baggage. She was never a difficult ride, but she did have a history… and a sensitive, intelligent horse like Nala tends to carry that with them a bit longer than a year.

 

By not disclosing Nala’s history, HiCaliber set Nala up to fail. They put the safety of the adopter – a FIRST TIME HORSE OWNER – as well as the safety of the horse at risk. This poor mare was bounced to another home and back again, and added a second adoption return to her record (although I suppose if they aren’t disclosing returns to potential adopters then that’s a moot point).

We were never contacted for advice or help, and in fact, it seems like HiCaliber made a conscious effort to keep us from communicating with the adopter.

On top of all of this, when they were questioned on this failed adoption, they attempted to shift the blame by saying that we (her fosters) never reported any rearing or other training issues. I have a million and one examples to prove that this is complete and utter bullshit, but really all you need to do is simply refer back to her previous adoption contract – the “Adoption Agreement Amendment,” in particular.

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Now even more afraid for Nala (and with even less faith in HiCaliber), I frantically tried to find a home for her. I also started asking around to see if anyone (besides me) would contribute towards her fee. Our barn farrier, who knew and liked Nala, was interested in taking her, but not interested in paying much in the way of an adoption fee. We also knew he wouldn’t be thrilled about jumping through very many of HiCaliber’s hoops. They would not disclose Nala’s adoption fee to me, although I was eventually able to find out what her second adopter had paid.

I also asked about adopting Nala myself. I figured even if our farrier fell through (which, turns out, he did), I could get Nala back to where she had been when she left us, and find a forever home for her, on *her* time. However, without any further inquiry or exchange of information, I was denied – and told, mind-bogglingly, that I was “not a good match” for her.

You know what? I agree with parts of this. Two returns IS too much for one horse. So perhaps they could have made a better effort – or any effort at all, really – to set her second adopter up for success. Perhaps they could have been honest with her, if not from the get-go, then at least when confronted. Or maybe they could have offered the guidance of people who knew the horse.

 

And “she’s a special mare”? Really? As if that would be news to me after training her for over a year, or as if anyone there knew the first thing about her?! I want to believe this wasn’t meant to come off as petty and patronizing as it did, but I’m not really in the mood to give anyone the benefit of the doubt these days.

 

Privately, I continued fundraising for Nala’s adoption fee, and brainstorming for possible homes. During that time, there were several euthanasias that threw me for a loop. The most notable of these was Aviana: a healthy horse (other than her compromised vision), euthanized for behavior, while still listed on the website as adopted. When the decision to put her down was questioned, I saw several challenges for people to “step up to help.” So I did. I knew they would probably never let me near Nala, I was still furious about how they had handled her adoption, and did not agree with many of their recent decisions. However, if I could help even one difficult, misunderstood or sensitive horse – like Aviana, like Nala – get out of HiCaliber and into the right forever home, then I would certainly put aside my own experiences and emotions to do so.

 

I sent an email to several HiCaliber addresses, offering assistance. I offered myself up as crash test dummy, willing to test ride and school horses, and maybe evaluate them for hunter/jumper potential. I offered to come take conformation photos and videos, check saddle fit (to the extent that I know how), and generally help put together adoption ads. I could come out on a regular basis, perhaps once a week for a few horses, or once a month for many. I was ignored by the powers that be, despite many, many follow-up emails and Facebook messages – and despite the fact that multiple posts requesting help went up during that silence.

At the end of November, I was notified that Nala had started showing strangles symptoms, and rumors of another outbreak at HiCaliber began to circulate. I became even more scared for Nala – and even more desperate to get her out. Once I had all $750 pulled together for her adoption fee, I started approaching various trainers who I knew had worked with HiCaliber in the past, trainers who I thought were well-suited to working with a horse like Nala. I offered to cover her adoption fee for them if they were interested in taking her, working with her, and/or eventually rehoming her.

 

 

Turns out HiCaliber had decided to hold onto Nala, and had apparently started telling prospective adopters that we (her fosters) had “blown out her mouth.” I’m sorry, but what. The actual. Fuck?! There was NOTHING wrong with that mare other than the shitty things that were done to her by asshole abusers before she got to HiCaliber, and the shitty decisions that were made for her by asshole rescuers after she left us and went back there. I have NO idea what happened to her at HiCaliber or where that particular nugget of bullshit came from, but Nala was nothing but soft, with fantastic brakes. Anyone who ever sat on the mare (well, anyone with two functional brain cells to rub together) can attest to that.

ashley

showing

Let’s evaluate this timeline, shall we?

Nala was pulled from foster in mid-August, whereupon she very definitely WAS advertised for adoption as she was part of the “Show & Go” event. She was then adopted out at the end of September – over a month after arriving back at the ranch. And, because this bears repeating: adopted out to a FIRST TIME HORSE OWNER, and described as having NO TRAINING ISSUES. A reasonable person might deduce that HiCaliber considered the mare safe for an amateur, given that she was shown and adopted to an amateur. Either that, or they knowingly misrepresented the horse.

 

In early November, Nala was shown to a 13-year-old girl (who had also tried the mare while she was with us). So, again, a reasonable person might infer that HiCaliber considered the mare soft enough and safe enough for a child – even after being returned.

 

At the beginning of December, we had reports that Nala had been showing strangles symptoms.

By mid-December, HiCaliber evidently considered Nala to somehow be too much horse for a professional – a professional who has proven more than capable of addressing the problem herself, and has offered to do so. And rather than taking responsibility for it – for ANY of it – they opted to blame us.

 

I’m honestly not sure what to make of this mess. My gut says Nala did have strangles, and HiCaliber was hesitant to let her be adopted while still symptomatic after the unholy shitstorm they created at Del Mar. Or perhaps it was pride, and an unwillingness to let someone succeed at rehoming her where they had failed. I honest-to-God don’t know, as I can’t fathom the logic. The one thing I do know is that nothing is EVER their fault.

 

And now, the last part of Nala’s story – and one of the worst days of my life.

 

On the evening of December 28, I got a message from a friend – several friends, actually – telling me to go look at the HiCaliber Facebook page. After reportedly being on and off her feed for nearly a week, Nala appeared to be colicking. I can’t accurately describe how I felt when I saw what was happening to my girl – so I won’t try. All I can say is thank God for the people who thought I deserved a heads up about it, since HiCaliber clearly didn’t.

 

I commented and messaged the page, begging them to give her more time. I didn’t yet know she was beyond saving.

In response, I got two messages, both (bizarrely) regarding my earlier requests to volunteer.

The first was from Romney, with whom I have had literally zero interaction. I’m not sure what the intent was there but I’m inclined to believe she was sincerely confused.

 

The last was from Michelle, and it was a lie. I have no idea what the purpose of the lie was, other than perhaps to mock me.

 

The next morning, a post went up on the HiCaliber Facebook page, announcing that Nala had been euthanized. Evidently Michelle had the time and motivation to send me a meaningless piece of bullshit, but not to let me know in private that the horse I loved was dead.

She also apparently thought it was appropriate to announce Nala’s death using a picture I had taken, despite never making contact with me about it and despite the fact that they had been actively trashing our training.

 

I cannot comprehend this level of callousness. And why? Because I’d had the unmitigated gall to speak up for a young horse in trouble? Because I’d sent one too many messages about the mare I loved, or taken “a tone”? Because it’s easier to deflect and invent an imaginary villain than take responsibility for your own mistakes and misdeeds?

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My sweet girl was gone. She died sick and in pain – I hope there was at least one face there that she knew.

I couldn’t save her. I couldn’t even say goodbye, or tell her how much she was loved. She was seven years old.

 

One last thing before I go: I need to correct some things that were misrepresented about Nala’s death. I tried to do so on the post announcing it, but was immediately dog-piled by presumably well-meaning but utterly vicious HiCaliber supporters.

  1. The implication that Nala’s internal abscess was a tumor. The language used to describe the abscess was taken almost verbatim from the vet’s assessment – except for the phrase “likely a tumor that abscessed.”  That was an addition by Michelle, designed, I can only assume, to discourage people from making a connection between the abscess and the rumors of a strangles outbreak – and of Nala, specifically, being afflicted.

 

This redirection is significant because strangles – not cancer – is the most common cause of mesenteric abscess.

 

 

As a brief aside, I would like to refer back to a filly named Praline, who died under very similar circumstances in early 2017…. Around the time of the last confirmed strangles outbreak.

Conversely, pneumonia/pleuropneumonia (remember Clare?) and mesenteric abscess are two of the most common complications of strangles.

  1. The assertion that Nala had a “long history of ulcers/colic/GI issues.” In my opinion, this was another attempt at redirection: if the condition that killed Nala had existed for months or years, it was less likely to be associated with the recent speculation about her being sick. However, their explanation may not hold water.

 

We had Nala for a little over 13 months, and in that time she colicked only twice, both times within hours of being given a medication associated with colic (as described above). Other than the two occasions on which she received cyproheptadine, she was as robust and regular as clockwork. You can make up your own minds, but in my opinion, that does not a “long history of colic” make.

 

As for her ulcers, I’m inclined to think they were not indicative of any underlying condition other than being a horse, and the fact that she came to us from a stressful environment with irregular and/or infrequent feedings. I would like to add that she was not the only HiCaliber horse that came to us showing ulcer symptoms. She was just the one who seemed most in need of a healing jump-start, given her existing anxiety and fearfulness. In fact, our only foster horse who arrived in excellent flesh and with no ulcer symptoms was Juliette – who came from a previous foster, not the HiCaliber ranch.

Regardless, I’m not sure how an abscess (or tumor) on her colon could contribute to ulcers in her stomach, except perhaps if they decreased her appetite and discouraged her from eating.

 

This assertion also begs the question: why was she adopted out as a horse with “no known health issues”? Either she had a long history of GI trouble and what was told to her adopter was a lie, or she had no health issues and what was said regarding her death was a lie. They cannot both be true.

 

I don’t know for sure that Nala had strangles, and I don’t know how long she’d had that abscess. I don’t know if she could have been saved.

 

But my gut says if different decisions had been made for her, she would at least have stood a chance.

Some of you may have mourned her, perhaps because HiCaliber told you to. Some of you may even have given her a passing thought the next day, or the day after that. And to those of you who sincerely loved her, sincerely grieved, I am truly grateful.

As for me? I will carry her with me for the rest of my life. I will carry the weight of who she was, what could have been, and how I let her down.

 

To those of you who will defend HiCaliber no matter what, even in the face of overwhelming evidence: this story is not for you. I don’t expect to convince you.

 

To those supporters who are just barely beginning to have doubts, who are ever so slightly uncomfortable with the things happening at HiCaliber: please, I implore you… look closer. There is plenty of good there, but plenty of darkness, too – and I fear it may be overtaking the good.

 

To the people who helped me, who tried to help Nala, and those volunteers who gave her a little extra love in her final weeks: you know who you are. Thank you, so much.

 

For Nala: I’ll leave this here, a bit like flowers.

 

I love you. I miss you. I’m so, so sorry.

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