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I guess it’s my turn to make a post today.  I was actually enjoying handing the reins over to guest posters this past week or so.  As usual, there are a variety of things to cover, names to say and things to rehash.  It’s become distinctly unfun to sift through so much fuckery from the HiCaliber feedlot  lately.  With the overwhelming amount of information flowing in, I sometimes have to let things marinate a bit before posting.  I never quite manage to get everything down that I want, but hopefully enough to keep everybody in the loop. I tried to get everything in this post that we’ve mentioned in the comments over the last week.  Feel free to jog my memory if I’ve left something out.  You might want to settle in because things are gonna get frustrating with this post and I’m not in a great mood today.  I think it will be clear why by the end of this post.

 

Here are a few screen shots of Michelle lying to her few remaining volunteers.  As per usual, she always has an excuse for everything, they just aren’t very believable.  It also seems that Peace Love and Sage Lori Anne has dropped the new age zen act in favor of being hateful.  No word if she’s bitten the head off a guinea fowl and completed her initiation into all things Manson Family yet.

 

Let’s look at the current condition of the inmates at HiCaliber. Yes, the grey up top is poor Squirrel.  Remember some people said that it had rained so of course they were dirty?  All these pictures were taken 4 days and more after it had rained.  They are all recent with the majority of them being taken within the last 10 days.  There is no excuse for this level of filth and Manson herself mentioned having to clip the mats off Royal Gambler on live feed.  I have been riding horses since before I could walk which means longer than Manson has been infesting the earth and I have never in my life had a horse so filthy that I couldn’t knock the mud off with a brush or a hose.  That is some deeply embedded filth and neglect and from the above pictures, I guess it’s easy to see how it happens.  I can already hear the VIs howling about how they are rescue horses that come from bad backyards.  Go look up any of these horses and the length of time they have been at HiCaliber.  None of them came with that embedded filth.  Then you have Bella the one on the top right and she’s an adoption return that obviously isn’t exactly thriving at rescue either.  Still not convinced?

 

All these pictures were taken on March 26th.  That is Boone standing ankle deep in shit.  I’m not sure if he has his bizarre bandage situation happening under that filth, but we haven’t heard what his x-ray results were either and that was a few weeks ago.  The other pic on the top right is of Brady’s Kat and Lex.  They never update either of those horses.  The bottom left two are Radar and Trish.  Remember Trish?  She’s the one that was returned from adoption due to being diagnosed as neurological by a real vet and deemed unsuitable for use as a lesson horse.  Of course that was overridden by Amanduh and the 30% vet who think it’s just fine to strap small children to the saddle and use her for lessons.  From the above picture she’s losing condition too.  It would appear from today’s live video that Manson managed to get a few stalls clean to show off to the haters (more on this anon).  Show us the rest of the ranch, Manson.  I dare you!

chrome 3-26-18

Mucho Chrome 3-26-18

They don’t do so many updates on Chrome now that he isn’t looking so good.  As a result he’s been evicted out of his stall in the barn and sent down to stand in a tiny pen that is rarely cleaned as he loses weight and condition. He’s not super skinny yet, but give him another month so and I’m sure he’ll get there.  I wonder if they’d like Art Sherman to come out and see him now?  I can’t wait to hear how Maggot defends this and still show her big moon face at Clockers’ Corner.  I guess just like horsemanship, self awareness isn’t one of her long suits so the snickers and side eyes just blow right over her head anyhow.  All this because nobody wanted to spoon feed her another story and she tripped over her bloated ego.

 

I’m sure everybody is up to speed on one of the Louisiana horses dropping a surprise foal in Price arena about 10 days ago.  The mare is Tilden and was one of the healthier Louisiana horses which means it’s not really likely she saw a 100% vet for intake as Manson was pretty much doing them all by then anyhow.  However, in typical Manson fashion, nothing is ever her fault and, in the youtube video above, she throws all the vets under the bus.  The only problem with her story, is that given the fact this looks like a full term foal so unless they did an ultrasound to preg check Tilden when she first arrived, last May, anybody would have missed it, especially a 30% vet.  Yes, people make mistakes, even vets, but there seems to be too many `oops’ foals and fetuses floating around to be mistakes rather than neglect.  This mare went full term and was down in Price arena with all the other sick horses and Manson and the brainiacs the live on the ranch decided they were all too fat and put them on a diet.  Given the fact they can’t even be arsed to knock the mud off the mare after moving her to the barn, I wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t bothered to check IgG levels on the baby or hang plasma to maybe give him a little boost and insurance against all the disease he has already been exposed to up in that barn.  Might be best not to get too attached to the little gaffer.

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In my last post I shared some current pics of Braveheart who continues to lose weight.  In Manson’s world that means you ride the shit out of them apparently.  Even if he was in good weight, she is too big for this horse.  I’m not fat shaming, I’m stating a fact.  According to their website, this horse is only 14.3 H and Manson admits to being a quarter pounder.  Then you can add improperly fitting tack to the mix and it’s a recipe for a horse becoming `behavioral’.  One of the best ways to see pressure and potential sore spots is to check their saddle marks after untacking and from the screen shots above you can see where the saddle is crunching the point of the shoulder and one side of his back.  Properly fitted tack will show an even sweat pattern.  His feet also look uneven and in need of attention so I’m wondering if he’s seen a farrier since Luis quit HiCaliber.  Clearly none of the gunsels at HiCaliber, Skeletor included, are able to recognize this horse is too skinny, especially given the length of time they’ve had him.

I guess the ride a skinny horse thing is just how they roll at HiCaliber.  The above pics are Harper and yes, they are recent.  She’s also on every trail ride lately it seems and she’s either packing Manson or Wrinkles. Besides being too skinny to be working hard, her feet also need attention and while Wrinkles is considerably smaller than Manson, her tack is no less ill fitting.  I guess I shouldn’t complain because they are bitless after all and that’s the way of the future according to Manson.

Manson schools us on riding bitless in these clips as Amanduh rides around on a lame horse.  I’m not against riding bitless, but I am against ignorance and riding lame horses.  I also know I’m preaching to the choir here, but I had these clips pulled out to save the rest of you from having to sit through the entire thing.

Manson tells us all that we need to grow our skills and ride bitless as Amanduh demonstrates her `skills’ and piss poor eq.

Because she has an excuse for everything, Manson pulls one out of her ass about why they can’t put a rope halter on properly.  Manson figures it’s no biggie because the rope halter is still on bone.  I guess the nerves and pressure points on a horse’s face are not something she cares about, and feels she’s doing a `dance’ with the horses.  (it just me or does anybody else get this image  in their mind when she talks about dancing with horses?) It’s ok though, because she and Amanduh have `super soft hands’ and know what they’re doing.  That’s super obvious from the pictures above.  Manson compares her rope halters to a bosal, or at least I think that’s what she’s comparing it to.  Her bizarre pronunciation of it makes me wonder if it’s not something she invented in her mind or learned from the Google Horse Training Acadamy.  Nothing says counterfeit like not being able to pronounce standard equipment while telling people they need to increase their skill set.

You asked for it, here it is.  The auction meltdown where Wrinkles loses her absolute shit over this `blind’ horse and rants about people letting `her’ go to Misner for $25.  While Wrinkles is cursing Vera from Love This Horse and other advocates,  the `mare’ who was actually a gelding had already been purchased privately from Misner.   This caused a lot of drama with the Village Idiots and The Manson Family because first they were angry nobody bought him, but then they were angry they did it in the `parking lot’, which they did not

What actually happened with the blind horse is that yes, Vera purchased him after he’d been in the ring.  What people need to remember is that HiCaliber pays to be able to go back in the chutes.  Vera had no way of knowing what horses were coming through the sale until they were int he ring and, having a breed specific rescue, she’s primarily there for Arabians.  She saw the `blind’ horse go through and missed him for whatever reason.  Vera immediately had somebody talk to Misner and offer to buy the horse for $100.  Yes, there was a mark up on him, just like Manson pays him all the time.  The other choice was to bid against Misner and let them run the bids up way higher like they did a few weeks ago when A Little Rescue was present.  The bottom line is the horse was purchased by Vera by 11:30AM as Manson and Wrinkles were cursing and saying their village idiots would step up and save this horse.  I’m still not sure why Wrinkles was so outraged about the horse having shoes on.

The `blind’ horse turned out to actually have some vision and is in not bad shape.  The video is of him arriving at quarantine where he will have a real 100% vet assess his vision.  His name is Don Quixote and he just won the lottery as far as where his ultimate destination is.  There will be updates once he’s out of quarantine.

ontario

Jumping back to auction, Manson was trying to network a horse that was already purchased by Love This Equine.  She is stuck on people sitting on their asses and letting  a horse go to Misner for $25 while conveniently overlooking that she and Wrinkles could have privately purchased the horse as well.  She shows up at auction every week with a trailer even though she’s `not officially rescuing’ and drags horses home and continues her remote parking lot deals.  She could have very easily purchased this gelding too.  She also claimed that Misner got the rest of the horses but that wasn’t true either.  His number is 413 and he took home two after selling the gelding to Vera.  Vera was the buyer on the last horse who was an Arabian.  For somebody that preaches being a rebel and thinking outside the box, Manson sure doesn’t like it when somebody else does it.  They hypocrisy was thick!

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Manson took her turn ranting about `other’ rescues and lying about the reason they are currently suspended.  I’m wondering why she doesn’t tell people why her PayPal account is still frozen because that isn’t something that usually happens when you’re just late with your 990s.  Actually, if it was as simple as a few forms, I’m pretty sure her CPA would have been all over it and they’d be up and running by now.  For comparison, and because she likes to use them as an example,  FHR missed that one form and had the situation rectified immediately without ever having a suspension.  Manson can pretend she’s on the hook for the same thing, but we know differently.  If you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe Romney Faye’s mother…

Thank you to Romney Faye’s mommy for confirming what we’ve known for awhile now.  It’s been fun to watch Manson squirm and lie about it but yes, they are under audit by the Attorney General.  The AG doesn’t just do an audit because haters made baseless claims.  They other fun part of Susie’s little rant is the `living stipend’.  That really doesn’t fit in with Manson’s previous claims of being a volunteer and not taking a dime from the rescue.  It also doesn’t fit in with Romney Faye being the only paid employee when she was CEO.  I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m also pretty sure that a living stipends aren’t retroactive meaning that they aren’t something you can claim after you get caught elbow deep in the cookie jar reaching back a number of years.  Then there are the ridiculous slaughter fables she regurgitates and we’ve only been over them a million times it seems.  If you want the specifics, you can look back a few posts where I posted the numbers and the facts about what does and doesn’t ship to slaughter.  Manson has saved nothing and, getting drug back to her feed lot to rot away in a small pen before getting shot int he face is every bit as bad as most slaughter horses face. The only difference is they don’t have to stand around as long as some of the inmates at HiCaliber do.  At least now we know where Romney Faye learned how to twist the truth and manipulate people.  How tellign that somebody her age needs her mommny to come charging to her rescue as she attempts to slither away and leave her good buddy Manson holding the bag.

Since Wrinkles had to pull her ridiculous rant down as soon as they realized they looked like dicks, or at least bigger ones than usual,  Manson manifested some blind ponies!  She couldn’t save the `blind’ horse in the ring but she’s all over the ponies from her regular flipper connection. I guess I’m not supposed to recognize the white double trailer pulled by a red truck that they came in or something.  Anyhow, the poor little souls were drug back to the HiCaliber shit pit where Manson had what appeared to be a prearranged rant on live feed.

manure

While she was `networking’ the ponies,that ended up going to Jen Baker, this comment popped up on the feed, followed by a long pause by Manson before she kicked off into one of her rants. The first red flag was that she didn’t screech to get him banned or tell him to EAD.   She sounded angry enough as she trudged over to training to show off her less filthy stalls, which was likely the whole point of Doug’s comment.  What she wasn’t expecting was for the village idiots to attack him like they did.  Doug is the one that helped with Snuggles, has Trently and has done Manson quite a few favors.  Why do I think it was a set up?

marineworkcrewshit

On her Wednesday live feed, Manson briefly mentioned the marines had been out to volunteer at the ranch for a few days.  What they  mostly did other than put up a few shelters, was shovel up a whole bunch of shit including the area she showed off in her rant.  If you noticed in the video clip, she walks right by Mucho Chrome showing off the `clean’ stalls but the picture earlier in this post showed the condition of his stall before the marines were there.  They also seemed to be cleaning the stalls belonging to Amanduh and Skeletor’s personal horses.  Anyhow, that’s why we saw a clean stall on the live feed and why Manson likely arranged to have that rant.  Nothing is every quite what it seems with her.

emerson1

emerson

This brings us to the part of writing these posts that I hate; listing the horses that did not land softly and make it out of HiCaliber alive.  I’m not listing them in any sort of order this week other than these are the ones that went to the killing field since my last post.  First up is Emerson.  She was looking quite healthy just a few months ago in her update video that they did.  The meme is what she looked like just before taking a tarp nap.  It appears nobody even took the time to clean up her face for her or vicks her nose, so I’m pretty sure they didn’t hot pack her abscesses and try to actually help her get better.  She deserved so much more.  RIP Emerson.  #sayhername

 

poseidon

Poseidon also went to the blue tarp recently.  He was originally a purchase from Misner a few months ago along with two other horses.  There was quite a lot of lies surrounding the three horses which you can refresh your memory about here.  If you remember our guest poster mentioned that Poseidon’s original date with the tarp was the day JacksonMax and Beatrice were executed but Manson didn’t feel like killing any more that day so he got to wait around for another few days until they had enough others to get their discount from the meat wagon guy.  It’s good to know that a horse that is deemed too uncomfortable to rehab is allowed to stand around several extra days to fit into Manson’s schedule or maybe it was Amanduh’s.  She is now making up the euth lists and taking turns shooting horse in the face.  I also am not sure who it was that diagnosed Poseidon with bladder cancer, but I’m reasonably sure Manson didn’t spring for the diagnostics to confirm that.  RIP Poseidon.  #sayhisname

LeDoux also was shot in the face recently.  I don’t actually even know what the official reason is.  I guess we can attribute it to whatever bullshit diagnosis Manson pulled out of her ass that day.  He didn’t last very long with HiCaliber and, again, not sure he ever saw a real vet.  RIP LeDoux.  #sayhisname

Cait is also gone.  I’m not sure what her crime was either other than her age.  Nobody ever really asked after her and she was just one of those horses it’s easy to make disappear.   The high profiles ones they can milk a few extra dollars get the tearful group photo with the carcass and live feeds while horses like Cait just get blasted in the face without skipping a beat.  RIP Cait.  #sayhername

Happy Prayer is also no longer with us.  To be honest, I didn’t realize that he had fallen into the clutches of HiCaliber given the shell game going on the day he was in the Ontario parking lot.  Apparently, his former owners never did make contact or get him out.  I’m not really sure what to believe because he had bounced around quite a bit before having the misfortune of going back to HiCaliber.

This is where Happy Prayer was living right before he ended up at HiCaliber.  They got him in a parking lot deal from either Jose or Marco.  They are brothers and usually together so take your pic, although I want to think it was Jose for some reason.  These pictures were taken at Jose’s place and do you know what’s sad about them?  The conditions he was living in there, as ghetto as they were, were actually better than where he finished his days at HiCaliber.  I have no idea why this horse was killed.  RIP Happy Prayer.  #sayhisname

As recently as a few weeks ago Micah was being used by Amanduh for lessons despite being lame and listed as a `puff only’ on their web page.  He had clearly lost weight and condition since he arrived at HiCaliber in November even though they said he was only 8 years old.  There has been no official explanation for why he is dead, but his death brought the total up to 36 dead horses this year and we’re not even 14 weeks in.  RIP Micah.  #sayhisname

rescoo

I think this is where I’ll leave things for today.  I’m sorry I’ve been slow with my own posts lately.  Rest assured that the information river still flows strongly, I just feel that the guest posts should be the priority when they come in.  I want to thank all the readers here for being supportive to our guest posters and continuing to keep the comment section awesome.  I do want to remind people to not get discouraged and think all is lost if HiCaliber is back fund-raising in the coming weeks.  We expect that and it doesn’t mean they are `cleared’ even though you can fully expect that Manson will be all over live feed making up for lost time and income and claiming they are.  If they are cleared, we’ll know it from other sources.  If you’re confused or wondering WTF is going on with that, just drop a question in comments and hopefully somebody will have the answers.  Who knows?  It might even be me.

******** By request, here is the most recent letter from the AG***************

ag

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I realize I owe everybody a post from me soon.  I promise that’s in the works. However, one of the benefits of ex HiCaliber people speaking out is strength in numbers.  It seems to have opened the door for others to come forward to share their experiences knowing they are not alone and that others will understand.  I feel like what these ex volunteers have to say is exactly what people need to hear most of all.  These aren’t `haters’ or people with an axe to grind.  These aren’t the people who have been `moles’ although I’m sure they’ll be attacked as such.  These are people who had real emotional investment in HiCaliber and, as you can imagine, it’s far from easy to let go of that.   Not only do they bring the facts, they share the feelings that are behind them.  What I can offer is a supportive space for them to share their own experiences without being deleted or edited.  Still, I have to admit that today’s post surprised me when it showed up in my inbox and I struggled a bit with it.  The guest poster has not always been my biggest fan and I get that, but the struggle was with what she shared.  It hit me really hard and I felt her grief as she talked about her feelings behind some events we’ve already discussed from the outside point of view.  I think that’s really important  for all of us to remember, that there is a real sense of loss for many that have left HiCaliber and, no matter how disillusioned they have become by how it is run, the love for the animals remains.  I want to thank today’s poster for entrusting me  with her story to post for everybody.  I want to thank her for what she did for the horses while she could and I sincerely hope that she will share her compassion and talents with another rescue at some point.  Although I felt sad to the point of tears for parts of her account, I want to thank her for that too.  That’s why we’re here.  With all that being said, I’m going to hand things off to our guest poster and let her tell things in her own words.

listen

From the first moment I stepped on the ranch, I felt at home.  We toured the ranch, and with every step, I felt a passion for horses renewed, and as I left that first day, I already could not wait until my next visit.  I loved it there. My drive to HiCaliber was approximately an hour and a half, so twice a month I made my drive to clean and fill waters and muck stalls. For the next year and a half, I worked everything around those two Saturdays a month.  

In time, I got involved in more things…I took some classes, and became a small part of the fabric of that ranch.  My daughter worked with the Orientation team and I joined the Feed Team, Glam Squad, and also stepped up to do adoption contracts (not nearly as much fun, but it helped the horses). I also took pictures and wrote about my days there. Quite simply, I loved being there.  

The problem with loving something blindly is when things start to seem a little off, you dismiss those feelings.  I did that. The times I had to fill empty waters, or dump and clean waters that were so disgusting, no horse would drink out them are endless. The crap build up in stalls that was nearly impossible to clean, the mountains of manure that grew and grew, until someone would just start a new mountain. Yeah, I would cry and then I would do my best to make a difference.

My first real aha moment had nothing at all to do with the horses. We were all there for a volunteer potluck, and Michelle was sitting there amongst everyone; glued to her phone while my step mom was trying to have some kind of a conversation with her.  A few of us walked up to the store, and on the way back, two of the roosters in the chicken coop were in the process of killing another smaller rooster. I banged on the pen like a crazy person, and my friend’s husband went in and rescued the little guy. We walked down to Michelle and I told her what happened and asked what we should do with him.  She just looked at me and said, “I don’t care – take him home”. No feeling, no nothing. I get he is just a rooster, but he was her rooster – she didn’t even bother to look at him. Thankfully he is now living the life of Riley (or Ringo – his new name).

While there are many moments I knew something wasn’t right, there are a few that stick out more than others. I am going to focus on two. First, was the day I discovered what Strangles are.  I was feeding, and I noticed Bunny was not eating. I spent a little time with her, and noticed she had a really disgusting open wound at her throat. I had my daughter run to find someone, and finally the head of the medical team happened by.  I called out her name and told her what I found, and her answer was, “we are aware of it”. Not anything about being careful, that this was not a flesh wound, it was something extremely contagious, nothing. We had a huge event that day, and there were many volunteers there, new and old, and Johnny Cade was there and the $160,000 Chrome.  Romney showed up to video the million dollar baby and was literally ordering volunteers around, she actually called out in a voice akin to the Queen, “Volunteers, volunteers (while snapping her fingers in the air), “Michelle wants these horses groomed for a live”. I was already cleaning up the area for said grooming, and tried my best to remain calm.  Around this time, someone brought Johnny Cade out for a walk, which seemed rather odd – he was supposed to be quarantined, and the horses we were grooming were also QT horses, and all the new volunteers were all over the ranch loving up on horses. Later that day, I was told about Strangles, and all I could think about was that poor boy. I don’t know if I have ever seen an animal with such a will to live.  He was special, and he deserved so much better than what he got. And that beautiful Chrome – he stands in his tiny stall all day, every day.

The next was not that long ago.  Again, I was there feeding. I came early so we could make sure we were done by the time the Glam Class started. We fed in the barn and I was sad to see Jackson Max back. He seemed in good spirits, and I planned on coming to spend some time with him when I was done. I always had a soft spot for that boy, and the day he left for foster, I was so happy he was finally getting a chance to get the attention he deserved.  My co-feeder and I then went to do the rest of the ranch. We were almost hysterically laughing at the conditions of the ranch. Fences falling down everywhere we turned, the shit piles, the stalls so unbelievably filled with manure there was not a clean spot to put the hay. It just seemed so absurd that this was okay. Not funny, but it was either laugh or cry, and you certainly didn’t want anyone to see tears there.  

Anyhow, we finished and went to the class, where Poseidon was getting ready to be bathed.  We were told this would be his spa time before going to Heaven. Michelle already had the Gramma mare tied up to the arena, ready to put her down, and then it was going to be Poseidon. We were all kind of stunned. The whole thing seemed kind of surreal.  I think we all had tears, but we kept on. I know the Gramma mare (I don’t even think she got a name) was in pain, and we were told Poseidon had bladder cancer, so we all did what we could to be upbeat and trust that they were going to be let out of their pain.

A friend and I went to get the horse we were going to groom, and on the way I told her I was going to make it my mission to find Jackson Max a place to call home. On the way back, we passed Michelle leading Jackson Max, and for the life of me, I do not know why I didn’t figure out what she was doing.  We tied up Chris, and I think it hit me, and I asked someone if she was putting him down. And pretty much as they were saying yes, I heard the shot. I could not believe it. I started crying; I think we all did, and I got rather loud and someone texted Michelle and let her know. The volunteer came up to me and said Michelle felt really bad, and she wanted to give me part of his tail. Like some sort of consolation prize – like that was going to make this any better.  I truly was kind of in shock and numb, so I just started grooming Beautiful Chris like a person possessed. Anything to not think about that poor boy. About 20 minutes later, Michelle comes walking up with this tail and proceeds to tell me how she feels like a dick, and I just took the tail and listened to her go on and on and on about how bad she felt, and she just couldn’t deal with doing any more. So Poseidon, who has the bladder cancer and was actually leaking urine and I believe he still is, was left in pain.  I put the tail away, and just focused on the horses I could help. We also groomed the Sushi Foals, who had never had a bath the whole time they were there. Two weeks prior, we had groomed them…again the first grooming they ever had. We actually had to use vinegar to get the shit and dirt off of Sake. They were not perfect when we got them done, but they were so much better.

It wasn’t until a couple of days later that I realized that the tail I was given by Michelle was not even Jackson Max’s.  I don’t get the whole tail thing to begin with, and I was not sure what I was even going to do with his tail, but now I have this tail in my car that is not even his.  I have seen pictures of the spot where he died, and it kills me to think of the reason she could not give me his tail. What kind of human being does this? My advice to anyone who loves a horse at the ranch is this – make sure you talk about that horse all the time, make them known. Jackson Max was a quiet horse, and he never got the attention he should have. I literally cheered when they came to pick him up for foster, and I will forever feel guilty because I was not enough of a champion for him.  He should not have died that day.

I am no horse expert; I guess if I was, I would have seen through all of the crap sooner.  I will say, I learned a lot during my time volunteering at HiCaliber. There have been many success stories and great outcomes for so many horses, but that does not excuse the ones that don’t find a soft landing, the ones that are either put down or left to stand in squalor day after day after day.  And for those who say this is about the ’15 minutes of fame’, come on – I have shared my love for this place since day one – I got my family and friends to donate to them, to share and like all their endless posts for money, and now I have to tell them I was wrong. My word is very important to me and what does it mean now.  But right is right, and hopefully someone will read this and listen to that little voice that is telling them that this is not right.

 

I have another guest post to share today.  This one is from a group of former volunteers.  I realize there have been a number of guest posts recently and I’m grateful for it.  These people are the ones that were there.  What they saw, felt and experienced is important for everybody to read.  I’m sure we’ve all see them attacked by Manson and the village idiots on live feeds and Facebook.  I’ve even seen some `hater idiots’ bash them for staying so long without realizing that without them hanging in there as long as they did, things would be far worse for those horses.  At the end of the day we all have our individual saturation points and we should be grateful that they have stepped forward with the truth knowing they will be attacked and harassed by what remains of the village.  When you are reading those attacks, it’s important to remember that Manson had zero problem with any of these people until they decided to speak out.  Without these accounts we would be nowhere as far as putting an end to this.  I admire anybody that can truly put the horses first which is just what the people behind today’s post have done and not just today, but many times.  With that being said, I’m going to turn things over to our group of volunteers and I’ll be back with you in a few days.  As always, this is their own words and experiences…

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#WeWereHiCaliber

 

We believed in everything we saw, everything we heard, everything we were told… until the day our logic, education, and /or common sense told us something wasn’t quite right.  We were HiCaliber volunteers and leadership team. As we started noticing things that were inefficient, ineffective, or just plain wrong we brought them to the attention of management.  When nothing was being done over and over and over again, we finally each came to the realization that we had to leave. One can’t enact change when it is not wanted or ignored. Michelle can talk the big talk (for hours), but she doesn’t want change.  Her actions at the ranch, or lack thereof, spoke volumes to all of us – there was nothing more we could do. People ask, if we saw these things happening and never said anything, we were “complacent,” we were “abusers” and we “did nothing.” Little do they know of the things were being said.  Of course NOT on a public forum and of course NOT to the outside. We all believed, wanted the improvements to be made, strived to improve the lives of the horses and get them adopted. We were not about to blast HiCaliber publicly when we thought we could help make things better – We Were HiCaliber through and through.  All of our suggestions fell on deaf ears, or even worse were told they would be considered only to never be acknowledged again. One learns very quickly that when you question the authority at HiCaliber, you get pushed out, ignored, blasted and Michelle will talk badly about you to anyone who will listen to her. She bad mouths almost every volunteer because NOTHING IS EVER HER FAULT. She constantly attempts to pit one against another by spreading rumors.  Even the current residents and some volunteers still there today were Michelle’s favorite people to complain to us about repeatedly and tell us how they “Fuck everything up.” But, in the same breath, we were told to “kiss their ass” or “not get on their bad side” because “they could become the worst type of hater because they know too much.”

 

Can any of you see a RED FLAG here, or is it just us?

 

We spoke up publicly about Strangles at HiCaliber because we knew that it was not being disclosed to fosters and adopters.  HiCaliber would only tell a potential foster/adopter if the horse they were getting was in a current QT area. Most people don’t know that HiCaliber has no QT area.  We have all seen the horses being moved around the ranch like pawns on a chessboard with no rhyme or reason to who goes where. They pretend that one area of vineyard is QT, but that is just a joke.  They are sending horses out into the community without full disclosure. If Michelle wasn’t going to be honest about it, someone had to.

 

Michelle mentioned in her inewsource interview on March 2, 2018 that, “We get horses from auction and outside parties that test positive for it and it’s not that big of a deal.  Our biosecurity is pretty darn solid as far as when a horse has it to the point that it doesn’t jump the ranch….. What my feeling about it once was to what it is now…. I’m not as worried about it anymore as I used to.  People fear what they don’t know…..”

 

Well then Michelle, we will give you that much.  People DO fear what they don’t know. When a person receives a horse from HiCaliber to foster and shortly after it begins to show signs of illness and then blows its lymph nodes, you bet your ass they are scared.  These horses are being brought to private or public facilities with other populations of horses. These fosters who think they are doing wonderful things by training a HiCaliber Rescue horse are now saddled with the guilt of possibly infecting their entire barn with a disease that could have been easily managed if disclosed.  

 

Is Strangles a death sentence? THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME, NO.

 

Is Strangles highly communicable? YES

 

Should Strangles be taken seriously, even if in a non-reportable state?  YES

 

Would any of us have an issue with HiCaliber having Strangles on the property so long as it was disclosed? NO

 

Would any of us have an issue with HiCaliber having Strangles if we thought QT was done properly? NO

 

Does our issue come from HiCaliber horses being sent out that could have been exposed and/or sick to barns in Southern CA without warning or concern?  YES YES YES

 

We know of three horses (Breeze, JacksonMax and Squirrel) that showed up in foster, came up sick very quickly, blew out their lymph nodes and were subsequently returned to HiCaliber.  These fosters had no warning of potential sickness and were unknowingly exposing hundreds of horses in the community to Strangles, which CAN BE a death sentence to some. It is this negligence and disregard for the safety of our horses that led us to speak out.  If Michelle can’t tell the truth, someone has to.

 

Some may say we know nothing, did nothing, weren’t real volunteers, didn’t spend time on the property, etc. Well between those of us bringing you this information we have been involved and/or leaders on every team at HiCaliber. We have seen the internal emails, chats and group conversations.  We have collectively fostered 34 horses from HiCaliber and adopted 24. Not a single person can tell us we were not there for the horses, we did it all.

 

We want to give the following story as much credence as possible.  We need this to be taken seriously. We want the public to be aware.  Please! If you adopt or foster from HiCaliber, quarantine the horse, no matter what they tell you.

 

We are focusing on Squirrel’s story today to show you what a foster went through.  The foster has NOT spoken publicly and all of the information you will see below is from our side of things.

 

Let’s begin.

 

Squirrel came to the ranch on May 16, 2017.  She was Squirrely, a little hot-headed and head shy.  She needed one on one time and HiCaliber advertised her as such.  Below are her gorgeous intake pictures.

Intake 1

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She finally found a foster in February 2018 and started showing symptoms of illness shortly after arriving

Squirrel Feb 25

The emails began back and forth between HiCaliber and the foster.  Luckily this foster had a vet check and Squirrel tested for Strangles.  POSITIVE. The foster relayed this messaged to HiCaliber with all pertinent information about the illness and proper quarantine offer with her vet.

HiCaliber declined.


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Per the email above from Amanda, the foster was waiting for pick up.  The foster was not getting a response and messaged the main page. This was Amanda’s response to her concern in the foster/adoptions internal chat group.


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The lack of concern by HiCaliber (Amanda) for someone who is only looking out for the care and well-being of the other horses on their property was crass and uncalled for.  (Although, for those of us that know “Nasty Amanda” or “Asshole Amanda” or “Abuser Amanda” it wasn’t that surprising). Maybe Amanda’s arms were still tired from beating the crap out of Squirrel to get her sedated for a trim before she left???  Who knows, but Amanda is a nasty piece of work, rude, disrespectful and blames the horses for her shortcomings. She has a very short fuse, but her training methods fit right in at HiCaliber. Take an already scared and abused horse, put them in a stall, never work with them and then smack them around or shoot them when they don’t learn manners by osmosis in a year’s time.  That seems very reasonable. Yes?

 

While HiCaliber may view Strangles as “not a big deal,” most people in the equine community do not want this infectious disease parading through their barns.  She just wanted Squirrel out to protect the other horses on the property. Is that too much to ask?

 

She was finally picked up on March 5, 2017 and brought back to HiCaliber.  She was put in Stall #41 which is directly attached to 2 other stalls, and less than 20’ away from the other stalls in vineyard and Price Arena.  Is this proper quarantine and the correct way to prevent the spread of disease? Put a horse with confirmed Strangles in a stall that is in DIRECT contact with other horses already housed on the property?  

Map Stall 41

This is NOT controlling the spread of the disease.

 

THIS IS NOT QUARANTINE!

 

This is why we spoke out and felt the need to warn the general public in Southern California about the risk.  From start to finish, Squirrel’s case was not dealt with properly. HiCaliber does NOT swab and test for every blown lymph node, hence why Michelle can claim they have so few positive results on the ranch.  She knows darn well that if she swabbed them all, it would send up huge red flags. One here and one over there can give her an idea that the whole section now has Strangles. If we are wrong, please Michelle, let’s see the swab results for Bunny, Tanner, Bev, JacksonMax, Duchess, Legacy, Squirrel, etc.  Show us! Where are their swabs??? In the random stolen box from the med room that none of us had ever seen? The file box that has magical invisibility powers? Good thing vets keeps records too, just ask them for a copy and show us.

 

Squirrel is now feeling better, but here are some picture of her from March 18, 2018 down in Stall #41, not eating, nose-to-nose with other horses and not being given any type of special care or diet.  She was so sick, depressed, covered in mud and miserable. The feeders were actually sneaking her soaked pellets that were “not approved.” If this is what is considered rescue, we will gladly eat the foot that HiCaliber claims is in our mouths.

We hope Squirrel goes back to her foster who loved her very much. But her story had to be told to protect the rest of Southern California horses and to validate what we are saying.  Michelle can spout all day long that we are “spreading rumors” and “making things up” for our “15 minutes of fame,” but she could never be more wrong. We are the boots on the ground.  We are the ones out watering, feeding, mucking and caring for these horses while she stays in bed and bitches about the “admin work” she has to do “16 hours a day”. Bullshit. We know her, we’ve seen her, we’ve been first hand witness to the lies, neglect and excuses.  We tried while on the inside for improvement to no avail and now we are the whistleblowers. Nothing can be fixed by being there; It is a fruitless and frustrating effort.

 

Please, adopt from HiCaliber.  Save a horse. BUT, quarantine the horse(s) and don’t believe a word they tell you about any care they have had while at their ranch, including vaccinations.  The care and record keeping are substandard to say the least. There are some amazing horses there that need homes, but treat them like they are fresh out of auction and not healed out of a rescue.

 

And just in case you would like yet another reason to give us more credibility than Michelle’s open mouth, please see the contract below.



Again, in the March 2, 2018 interview with inewsource, Michelle said, “ As far as I know HiCaliber’s paperwork does say there’s a chance that things have been exposed.  It does say they recommend them to be quarantined when they get to their new place.”

 

Below is an adoption contract from March 2, 2018 (the same day as the interview).  We don’t see any type of Strangles or exposure wording, do you? Nope, but after that interview where she flat out lied (we don’t think she could tell the truth even if she wanted to) – the wording was then added to new contracts.

I have another guest post for everybody today.  It is from one of the OLGH (One Last Good Home) fosters.  Without spoiling it, I can say that won’t be as upsetting as the last few posts, but it’s still a lot to consider.  Thanks to our guest poster, this one does have a happy ending, but it’s still very important to read.  It’s important because traditionally, the OLGH horses are on the death list with an expiry date and by shifting them off to foster, HiCaliber doesn’t have to count their deaths in their stats even though they are often returned to the ranch to face down Manson and her blue tarp.  As always,  I can’t thank our poster enough for coming forward and telling us about her experiences with HiCaliber. Beyond that, we owe a great deal of respect for her dedication to the horses she managed to save.  Ironic that what was supposed to be one last good home turned out to be the actual rescue.  With that being said, I’m going to turn things over to our guest poster.  These are her experiences, in her own words.

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I want to start off by saying that I am truly only writing this to share my story.   It is time for me to speak out because it actually is only about the horses for me.  My beautiful babies that I rescued from a rescue.  My experience was quite different than I expected, and I never really realized until now that it was not what I been led to believe would happen.  My opinion is it was not handled in the way a large, established rescue should handle an adoption.  I want to let other potential adopters know to do their homework and research and get all the records and info you can on a horse before you adopt it (from anywhere really) so you are not in the same situation I am in.

Ever since adopting two horses last year, Missy and Lorena, I have felt a little off or unsettled about the whole thing but have always brushed it aside because I don’t want to get into any drama or bring negativity into my life through a computer screen.  My horses are safe and happy, and that’s all that matters to me, but I wanted to share now after I’ve had time to reflect.  Settle in because this is a long one as I want to give all the important facts.  I am mainly focusing on Missy as she had the most issues.

I am in my mid 20s, single, financially independent, and I found HiCal a little while before deciding to adopt.  I have been around horses my entire life.  From giving lessons to working problem horses to training my own green horses, I have a lot of experience.  It has been a dream of mine to rescue an older horse who needed one final home after a hard life.  I am drawn to help older animals and was finally at a point where I could welcome another into my herd of equines.  In total I had 4 other equines (horses and mini donks) at the time I decided to get a OLGH horse.  Yes, I’m crazy lol.  I had donated a few times to HiCal on auction day, but I never was too involved with following the page day to day or diving into their practices and procedures.

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One day I did happen to cruise around their page and found the video asking for OLGH for an older horse who had a big knee and cancer, Lorena.  I felt a pull towards her, and that was it.  A week or two later it was a done deal, and I was headed down to pick her up the next day.  I looked on their page that evening reading all the sweet comments from people expressing their thankfulness to me for adopting.  It was great to see.  I saw that there was another horse, Missy, who needed a home otherwise it seemed she would be euthanized in the very near future.  She only had so much time left due to lameness from a big knee, they said, because she was in pain and they had exhausted all options.  Yes, they both have big knees, don’t be confused lol.  She just needed some one-on-one time and love before it was time to put her down.

I decided that the second horse, Missy, could come home with me too because she only had a short amount of time (supposedly) before she would be in too much pain to live a normal life.  Sure, I could afford another horse for a month or two, especially if HiCal was going to pay the hay bill (not board, just hay) and for the euthanasia when the time came.  Why would I think to question everything or delve into the depths of how they operate?  Seemed easy enough to give some horses a loving forever home, and that’s all I wanted to do.  Why would they not be 100% truthful about saying a horse will need to be put down because it is in pain?  It is logical and ethical to me to do so when a horse no longer has a good quality of life, so I was ready to love on these babies before it was time to say goodbye.  To me, euthanizing a horse is a BIG decision, and I assumed that they thought so too and that this was the best scenario for the horse after all other options had been exhausted.

I am not local to HiCal, so it was a freaking early morning and long drive before my friend and I got there with my truck and trailer.  It was rainy, so the conditions of the ranch weren’t immaculate, like any other ranch after some bad weather.  Whatever, a little mud is fine, and I don’t come from the prettiest ranch either or expect perfection.   No one really greeted me, but someone did help me with backing my trailer, which was nice.  There were people around, but no one seemed in charge or ready to make sure I was who I said I was and that I had the right horses, etc.

We went to get the horses from their perspective pastures, and I honestly was uncomfortable seeing all the horses in the one pasture in literal knee-deep mud on a large hillside slipping all over the place with no shelter.  There may have been a metal roof somewhere, don’t quote me lol.  Like I said, ranches get ugly when it rains!….but I just knew they were still all on that hillside with inadequate shelter when it didn’t rain.   And by “all” I mean at LEAST 20 horses on a constant incline unless they were at the absolute bottom of the pasture, which was even worse mud.  Just made me sad.  Yeah, horses can survive on a hillside and in mud, but it’s not my favorite thing to see.

Someone led us to get Missy in said pasture, and she had no idea which horse was which or if she was even in the pasture we were walking to.  Granted, when you have multiple similar-colored horses who are also covered in mud in a huge pasture, I could see how it may be hard to tell them apart right away.  She was still unsure as we haltered her and took her out, but we checked the markings against the photo I had, and off we went.

To my surprise, Missy was CRACKED out.  Honestly looked somewhat sound the way she was prancing and acting crazy.  I was expecting a lame, half dead, OLGH horse!  I noticed that her hooves seemed extremely short as we were walking her up and down the driveways on the hills up to my trailer. They were also covered in mud, so maybe they aren’t really that short, I’m thinking.  Let’s just get them loaded up and go home.

I held her as my friend went to get the second one, Lorena, with some people who I’m assuming were volunteers or something.  It took them probably 15 mins to catch her in the other super muddy pasture because she was deathly afraid of everything.  According to their Facebook page, she had been at the ranch for about 3 months….still could barely be handled.  Okay, she was probably herdbound, feeling frisky with the inclement weather, etc…whatever, let’s just get them home.  I was overlooking all these things because I wasn’t there to investigate or judge, but I definitely kept them at the back of my mind.  At that time I had never heard anything negative about HiCal, and I was actually excited to adopt from them.

We stood with both the horses for a few minutes before loading up because I was waiting on someone to give me either a final form for me to sign or some other document for the horses.  I can’t remember.  We were literally just standing there with these insanely ill-mannered, almost scared horses running us over until finally someone asked why we were still there.  Not hating on the horses’ behavior, it was just a less than ideal situation to be in at that moment, and these horses had been at this rescue for months (Missy over a year)…I thought they would be a little easier to handle since they were actively trying to adopt them out.  It was doable, but I was kind of surprised.  No way in hell a less than experienced horseperson could handle them at that point.  Apparently whoever had told me to wait had moved on or there was a miscommunication.  I don’t know.  So then we just loaded them up ourselves and left.  It all felt kind of weird, and I was hoping we did everything they needed us to do since I literally just took 2 of their horses.  I had my own expectation of how it was going to be, of course, but I was just appalled at how many horses there were on the property and how run down it all was.  They did take our picture before we left, so I guess that’s how they keep track of which horses left?  Not sure.

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Finally we got the horses home, and thankfully they were calm & normal as we unloaded them.  It now was very clear Missy was definitely foot sore.  I was completely shocked it was that bad. She definitely had some adrenaline going back at HiCal because she didn’t look sound anymore.  Her hooves were trimmed BEYOND too short.  With so many horses and all the mud, it had to have been an oversight or accident?   It was a long day so I tucked them in for the night in their nice clean stalls with some shavings and blanketed them since the storm was coming back in that night.  Missy rolled and rolled and rolled in her shavings.  I have never seen a horse that happy.  It was so cute.  I was so happy to have them, and I was honestly so, so glad they were out of that mud especially since more rain was coming.

Fast forward a little bit.  Both horses were doing amazing with me and settled in really nicely.    Missy was still extremely sore and almost looked like she had neurological issues the way she walked.  All four legs seemed to be moving differently and at their own accord, and it was also hard for her to walk because she was so tender on her feet.  She didn’t seem “off” on the big knee they had said was causing the lameness.  Well, she only had a little more time before she would need to be put down; right?  Seemed to fit what I was told.  Gave her some pain meds and kept her comfortable in every way I could.  That horse was just a doll.  Seriously, a gentle, sweet, smart little thing.

I would hug her and cry knowing that I would have to make the decision sooner than I wanted.  I had my farrier out to look at her feet.  He is a very no drama, level-headed, saint of a guy and has decades of experience as a farrier and horseperson.  I trust him not only with my horses’ feet, but I would trust him with all of my horses’ lives.  He was shocked at how short Missy’s hooves were, all 4.  He said he wouldn’t touch them for at least 2 months if not more so they could grow out and we could have some hoof to work with.  It was then that I thought, okay, so most of her pain right now is probably coming from the hooves being so damn short…..no way I would even think of putting down a horse because it was foot sore without seeing how it was with normal hooves.  Let’s wait 2 months and see what happens.

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Fast forward some more.  At this point we are probably a few months in.  Both of them are still doing great with regular turn out, whatever groundwork they were able to do, grooming, and tons of love.  They actually both clearly had been trained because they were absolute stars with groundwork, commands, etc.  It was awesome to see them feel confident with just a little mental & physical stimulation.  A few months in means that I should have had the “hay bill” covered for Missy.  Admittedly, I was not on top of communicating with HiCal about that because I was mostly just worried about the horse’s wellbeing, and I thought it would all get settled when the time came to put her down.  The money wasn’t a pressing issue for me at the time, and I really hadn’t had much response from them on other messages I had sent giving updates, asking questions, etc.  It is about the horses, not the money, the maybe $100(?) I had a feeling they would offer for hay.  I kept them updated with Missy’s progress.

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Fast forward a little more.  Now Missy was improving more every day.  Remember that she was only supposed to have a FEW WEEKS of comfort left.  Of course, any human or animal can defy the odds of a medical prognosis, but I was told that they tried treatment a, b, c, and d but nothing worked.  I was still waiting on vet records for both horses, which I don’t think I ever got, or I think I only got vaccination records, if that.  I just trusted that they did what they said they had done and what was best for the horses.  Why would any rescue or logical horseperson do otherwise?

So now what??? Because I have the best interest of the horse(s) in mind, I went with my gut and my heart and took Missy to the vet for a FULL lameness exam and whatever else was needed to get a true idea of what was going on with her.

Remember how she had a big, “lame” knee?  Well, she didn’t come up lame at all on that knee on any part of the lameness test. She was sensitive in the hooves as I suspected, and I even had him block the nerves so we could know for sure that it wasn’t in the legs.  Then we did full X-rays of both front feet.  Result was textbook navicular….TREATABLE.  There are many ways to treat it, but the best way for me to help her at that point was to follow my vet’s and farrier’s advice and do shoes with wedges and give pain meds as needed along with light groundwork or turnout.

The vet said she would live a long, happy life.  This horse had one of the best personalities and dispositions of all the horses I have ever had.  From the beginning there was just no way I could have put her down without knowing what was really wrong because she was so content and sweet and was improving as time went by.  I knew I owed that horse a chance to really live, whatever the cost.  So now I am well over $1,500 in on this horse with board for a few months and the vet bill, and there’s no euthanasia in sight.

Yes, it was my choice to spend all that money, but how could I not? I couldn’t send her back to those conditions, and then the vet said she could maybe be rideable at some point for a light rider at walk/trot.  This young-teen horse who was supposedly knocking on death’s door after being seen by vets and after ALL these attempts at diagnosing the lameness is now expected to live a healthy, normal lifespan (with care of navicular) after I literally did the first logical thing to diagnose lameness…….what the heck??

I was upset, but I was also just grateful to have agreed to take this beautiful, happy horse home with me at the last minute.  How could they not have found out it was navicular?   A simple flexion test would’ve proven at least that she wasn’t lame on the big knee.  I was honestly kind of annoyed (at HiCal) and stressed out because now I have this horse to pay for every month plus shoes & whatever else she needed.  Luckily I have a good job and could afford this, but I also had 4 other equines!!!  PLUS now these 2 HiCal horses who were NOT going anywhere any time soon. (Not that I was hoping they would, but I think you get the idea.)

Again, I know this is a tricky situation because it’s not like a vet or anyone can say for sure what will happen.  In my opinion, (let me repeat…in MY opinion) when you adopt a horse out and say it will need to be put down very soon for really any reason, you better be as sure as you possibly can be that euthanasia is in fact the necessary and right thing to do!  It’s not something you say just so it will hopefully get adopted.  In the end, it was my fault for relying on the info I was given and not double checking.

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As for the second horse, Lorena, I had a vet look at her as well after a few months of having her.  Her front right knee is quite large, the size of a huge grapefruit, but it is just arthritis.  The cancer is on the genitals and is one of the slowest metastasizing cancers for horses when on that location on the body.  The vet said the knee will kill her before the cancer does.  Eventually she will not be able to bend the knee, which is already slowly happening.  I am still sad thinking of her being in a pasture with too many horses in the mud with her bad knee and also being the easily spooked low man on the totem pole.  13 months later she is still not 100% trusting of people right away.  She wasted away there for 3 months scared and barely acknowledged (I’m assuming), and it pisses me off.

This horse was being advertised as a poor, old horse who is dying of cancer who just happens to have a big knee as well and will only be around for maybe 6-12 months (which is basically the opposite of her actual condition…the knee is more life threatening than the cancer).  Sure, I wasn’t positive of what the true cancer prognosis was, but I was committed to this horse for the rest of her life since she was the original one I went to rescue and give a final home to.  So I wasn’t as surprised to find out she would probably live much longer than 12 months as long as the knee doesn’t quickly get worse or some other emergency doesn’t happen.  There’s a couple more things I kind of want to say about Lorena, but it’s not super vital, so I’ll just finish up with my story.

So there you have it.  It has now been 13 months since bringing these “dying” horses (my inferred description) into my family.  I have sacrificed quality time with my other 4 equines that I had before adopting these 2.  I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars making sure they get the basic care they need and deserve.  I have missed days of work and lost sleep over what to do about these horses (mostly the navicular one).  I am not complaining about these things.  I am just stating the reality of what it takes to care for horses the way that I see fit and what was needed to make up for quality care that they should’ve had at a rescue.  But I would do it all over again.  In the end, it was my decision to not give up on them.  I LOVE these animals, and I do not regret anything.  I am just telling their story.

I have felt many things on this roller coaster of a year with them, but luckily the one emotion that trumps all the others is thankfulness.  For me it is all about those darn horses.  They don’t have a voice for themselves.  They didn’t ask to be dumped at an auction or to be abused or to be taken to a “rescue” and then moved again to me.  I seriously could not imagine never having met them or adopting them.  They are each such beautiful, patient, forgiving animals.  If I wasn’t in the financial or personal situation I have been in, what would I have done once finding out they will live normal, healthy lives and therefore not be OLGH horses??  They would’ve had to go back to HiCal, or I would have had to borrow money or get multiple jobs to afford them.

I couldn’t sell either on of them since they aren’t really riding horses on top of having health issues.  Seriously, what would one do in that situation?  What would you guys have done if you planned to have the horses even let’s say 6 months total and then find out that information was completely wrong?  I mean, I guess I could’ve never taken the navicular horse to the vet and instead had put her down after a few months…? I don’t know what other options there would be besides sending her back to HiCal if I couldn’t have kept her.  I would have died if that happened, honestly.  I felt that way the moment I found out she wasn’t going to need to be euthanized.  This was last year before I realized how bad it is at Hical.  It is sad to me that I cringe thinking of a horse going back to a rescue where it is supposed to be safe and get proper care and attention.

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By some miracle, I was able to re-home Missy, the navicular horse, to an absolute dream home.  They have experience with navicular horses and are really great people.  We stay in contact, and they will keep her forever.  It is truly humbling to have been a part of that story.  To think she may have been prematurely euthanized by someone who took her for OLGH and wasn’t able or didn’t know to do a full vet check and give her a chance at a real life scares me.  The people who adopted her from me had a hell of a time getting all the right documents from HiCal in a timely manner and when they did, some of the information about the horse was incorrect.

I messaged multiple people at HiCal trying to get help with what to do about Missy before I found her a home and got little to no response and nothing helpful at all.  Nothing of great substance or advice.  I do think they meant well at some point in time, but soooo much is getting lost because there’s so many horses. (my opinion)  Update: the girl who I contacted about the adoptions and even after the adoptions for questions has now left and is speaking out about the living hell that is HiCaliber.

I still have the other horse, and she’s doing amazing.  Who knows how long she will be around, but I hope she’s healthy and happy for a long, long time.  She deserves it.  To think of that little scared horse being with anyone else or being euthanized after 6 months of OLGH literally makes me sick.  She is such a trusting horse now and is the cutest damn thing.

So that’s it.  That’s the saga of two horses that are now happy, healthy, thriving mares in their forever homes.  Somehow it all worked out so they are safe for the rest of their lives.  I wish I could save more.  If you see or experience something, say something.  If you can safely adopt or network horses out of there, try.  Just keep it about the animals who are deserving of love and care and who are voiceless.

As you may have guessed from the title, I have another guest post today.  This one is a bit different because it written by two separate volunteers.  Because it has to do with both of their experiences with Johnny Cade, I felt it best to put them together and let them paint the complete picture of what really happened.  I will warn you that it’s upsetting.  It’s also important.  Just going by my own stats and inbox, Johnny Cade was a game changer for many people.  Because of what happened with him, many people could no longer stay silent and have stepped forward to share their experiences either in public or with reporting to various agencies.  His little life may have been way too short, but it most certainly was not in vain.   In some parts of this post, there are screen shots of the HiCaliber version of events.  Please read what our guest posters have to say carefully to see how Manson mislead people about what really happened.  As always, if you have any questions about the contents of this post, please leave them in the comments.  I can’t thank these volunteers enough for sharing their experiences.  I can’t imagine the pain of witnessing it.  I also thank them for being there for Johnny Cade and others.  They are the ones that were in it for the right reasons and what real rescue is all about.  My hope is that they will one day share their talents and compassion with other horses and animals at risk if they are not already.  The real rescue community needs people like them.  Having said that, it’s time to get down to business and we’re going to start with Volunteer #1, a former member of the leadership team.  As always, these are their very own words.

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It was January 13th.  We had a Ranch Leadership meeting that evening planned at a volunteer’s home.  At the 11th hour (literally 30 mins before everyone was supposed to arrive…) a group text was sent out advising us all that Robyn and Michelle couldn’t leave the ranch as Johnny Cade had gone down and they couldn’t leave him.
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Although it was suggested to postpone the meeting, they asked that we all go ahead and meet at the ranch so that we could make some headway on some items.  We had some new members to the leadership team as well – so this was supposed to be an introduction to the “inner circle” so to speak.  So everyone changed their plans and headed to the ranch instead.
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I parked near the main house and could see a group of people gathered just outside the barn near the backside of the chicken coop.  JC could be seen laying just off the right in the “road” that led towards training.  Michelle was on the phone talking about having a “BSC1” to someone.  She made the comment to the person on the phone that they “likely weren’t aware of what that was” and I remember thinking that was an odd way of getting help (by insulting someone’s intelligence).  I did not know for sure whom she was speaking to but it appeared (by the nature of the easily overheard conversation) that she was speaking to animal control as she was asking for a sling to get him off the ground.
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The team of people present found chairs and settled in.  Food had been planned so the person who had bought it for the meeting had it set up on a folding table right there in the same area.  There was a flood light to keep watch on JC and we attempted to get started with the meeting.
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Michelle stood up and announced that she wasn’t going to be able to stay for the meeting as she had promised her child (daughter) that she would take her to Toys R Us and that “the day had turned to shit…as usual…and she just didn’t want to disappoint her”.  This immediately put many of us into confusion as the whole reason we had turned the entire evening around to accommodate meeting at the ranch was so Michelle could stay with JC who was in distress.  I sat there in disbelief as she went on about the rescue interrupting her daughter’s life enough and she had promised her, etc. etc. etc.
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She then went on to hit the “high points” of what she felt was important at the ranch.  Her view was that with this new leadership team, she felt things could really “go somewhere” and that late summer/early fall, she really thought HiCal was going to go under but that in recent weeks, money was “back” and she felt a renewed sense of possibility.  She then went on to say that we needed more volunteers and more volunteer recruitment events because (in her words) volunteers were “expendable” and that you always needed fresh ones to replace the ones that leave. I was shocked by this – as one of the main issues I saw at HiCal was the constant bleeding of seasoned and experienced volunteers.  This left the ranch and horses/animals vulnerable to inexperience and errors.  At that point…I had confirmation that this was not heading in a direction I could support.  There was more to this meeting but I will stop here…as it diverts from JC’s story…but I am happy to continue it at a later date.  The reason I mentioned how the meeting started was to show her focus for the evening was control (getting us all there to her…so she had us on her turf) and deflection (excuses to leave and go to Toys R Us in the middle of a horse crisis leaving the leadership team to handle the “mess”).  Within about 20 minutes of the meeting starting, she gave Robyn some instructions privately and left.
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Meanwhile, JC had periods of flailing as he tried to get up so we would stop and assist him.  We got blankets and rolled him onto them to protect his bony parts and his head.  He was bright-eyed and you could tell he wanted to get up but he truly was too emaciated and had literally zero muscle to get much traction.  Apparently one of Robyn’s instructions was to obtain a blood sample to be sent to SLR for analysis.  Unfortunately Robyn did not know how to obtain blood using the Vacutainer needle and tube so I assisted her with this (I am a registered nurse).  The needle wasn’t quite large enough so she went and got a larger syringe and took blood which I then placed into the tube for SLR.  (those tubes were later given directly to and dropped off by a fellow leadership member…so I can say with 100% certainty that at least that blood sample was valid.  I cannot speak to any others)
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Over the course of the next 2+ hours, JC attempted to get up several times and we all stayed by his side, keeping him on the blankets when he moved and when he was able to rest upright (to a certain degree) he was hand fed tiny amounts of hay.  Finally, the lift team arrived from San Diego Humane Society Large Animal Rescue and the work began to get him off the ground.  One of the volunteers there brought the tractor down but with the slope where he laid…it wasn’t quite enough height to use to get him up enough for his feet to be all the way underneath (although they were able to use it successfully at a later date to hold him up) but that night, the SDHS team decided to utilize the tripod to know they had enough height to bring him fully upright.
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Around the time that SDHS first arrived and were assessing the situation, Romney and her son appeared out of nowhere.  I would assume that Michelle must have called her from wherever Michelle was.  At this time it was nearing 11pm.  Robyn and Romney huddled around Johnny’s head and began a Facebook Live broadcast while the rest of us stood as far away from that as possible.  It is important to note that none of us were A) happy to see Romney or B) found it appropriate whatsoever to have a Live being done with a horse situation so dire or C) why she was there at all?  Wasn’t she no longer part of HiCal?  Hadn’t she resigned?.
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       It was like another puzzle piece sliding into place for me – this was a heart string moment and they wanted to capitalize on it…and it was disgusting.  Romney was calling for hay for the “poor guy” and acting like she had been involved from the beginning on camera – we all just stood there in disbelief at the complete “act” that was going on.  Robyn – who had been receiving text instructions from Michelle the entire time while waiting for SDHS and just generally “being there” and supporting JC along with the rest of us etc – jumped into action for that live broadcast so quickly it was disturbing.  It was like looking at a different person and it was awful.  I liken it to Stockholm Syndrome or Battered Wife Syndrome…truly horrible to see firsthand.
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I know that Michelle was giving Robyn instructions on medications to give JC because I saw them on Robyn’s phone when she laid it down by JC’s head – unfortunately I didn’t realize what I was looking at (at the time) and wish I had paid better attention to those details in hindsight.  At what point sedation was given I cannot say – but I can say that by the time he was lifted by the SDHS team, he was sedated.  No vets were present.  Michelle was also not present.  My only conclusion is that she gave instructions to Robyn.
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After much time and amazing work by the San Diego Humane Society Large Animal Rescue, he was successfully lifted and walked with assistance to the barn.  I won’t go into more detail at this point regarding the barn…because this is where everyone saw the video of Romney’s feeding him sleepy and lying down.  This is also where she took the phone call about a “foal” that ended up being little Umbra.
Some of the volunteers had left to go and obtain some IV fluids from Dr. Talbot (he left them outside for them to pick up) and they returned with them.  Robyn wanted to warm them so she was planning to use the microwave in the med room.  I didn’t want JC to get unevenly warmed fluids so I went in with her to help.  First she removed old food from their med room microwave (ew) and then placed a large (equine sized) IV bag into the microwave and turned it on.  I immediately saw that it was too large and attempted to adjust it but by that time, it had been stuck in one spot (too large so the plate couldn’t turn) and melted one of the seams causing fluid to leak.  I pulled it out – advised her it was too large for that microwave and also said that the sterility of the fluid had now been compromised by whatever was in that microwave.  I said specifically not to use it for IV use but that it was perfectly fine to draw up for flushes or use for wound wash etc. so long as they used it within 24 hours.  At this point, Michelle returned.  I then told her not to use the microwave to warm the fluid (at least not that microwave) and about the leaking bag (not to use it for IV administration).  I cannot say what was done with that particular bag.
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I went by to check on JC and saw Romney was still in full FB Live swing.  No way was I staying for that bullshit and I left.  Needless to say, the meeting was a complete waste of time (except for some eye-opening glimpses into Michelle’s priorities) and helping me to discern that the emotionally charged posts that continued over the next few days were fabricated (at least from her perspective) because the night he went down – she could not have cared less.  She wasn’t even there to help him through the stress of the lift…but we were.  I feel horrible for the volunteers that were so caught up in that because they really did care and really did spend their nights there caring for him and sitting with him.
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I am sure you can hear more about the end of poor JC from other sources…but I thought you might find this story of his beginning (or at least the beginning of his end) to show this never-ending pattern of “caring when its convenient” at HiCaliber that is so truly disgusting….I have trouble conveying it in words.
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****The rest of this post is from Volunteer #2 who was there the night Johnny Cade died.  I have added in some video and screen shots to show the HiCaliber version of events in contrast to what really happened.  Again, thank you to these volunteers for coming forward to share the truth****
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Before I am called a hater or banned from any and all HiCaliber pages or you choose to have opinions of what I am about to say, I want to give you a little background on me.  I grew up with horses and have a love and passion for them that I will never outgrow.  I am in a position in my life in which I cannot own them or have access to spend time with them on a daily basis.  This is why when the opportunity arose for me to volunteer my time and money, I jumped at the chance to become a volunteer and “Villager” at HiCaliber Horse Rescue.  I was so excited at the opportunity, I didn’t care if I was feeding (yes, I was a member of the feed team), water, muck stalls, groom, rake up the barn, help clean out areas of the ranch that needed it or donate blood, sweat, tears and money.  Not once did I see the Michelle muck stalls, water or lift a finger but for her damn phone and Live postings.  Why did she need to when she could get volunteers like us to do it?  I did all of these things in the short time I was a volunteer.  I say short because it was.  I started in December and have not been back out since mid-February.  It didn’t take me long to realize something was not quite right, but I kept going the last few visits not sure if they were my last.  Now I look back and know that my gut had been telling me something that I should have listen to from that first four weeks.  It all went downhill for me the night Johnny Cade died.
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JC came in to the ranch on January 4th and exactly two weeks to the day, he was dead.  I kept telling myself that what was being done for him was the right thing.  Trying to save a horse that came in such horrible condition was the right thing to do.  But I was there that night and I have said that we tried everything to save him and the volunteers that gave up their time around the clock did.  I just happened to be on “night watch” that night.  JC was in his stall eating hay out of a bucket that a volunteer was holding as I came on for my shift.  It was starting to get dark and I stood there for an hour and a half, making sure he has plenty to eat, clean water and that he stayed up right in his sling.  Amanda and Michelle came into the barn and checked on him, all was well.  Amanda was going to take JC for a walk as the “vet “said that he needed to go for a walk and he hadn’t yet that day.  The straps on the sling in his stall were removed and I went to see the baby (not named Umbra until later), the baby goats and Granny goat all in the stall together with Michelle.  I wanted to pick up that baby and put her in the back of my car she was so darn cute.  All of the sudden Amanda was at the stall door, without JC.  Oh no, what happened?  He tripped and fell out back in between the chicken coop and the arena.  I ran back there and sure enough he was on the ground, breathing labored.  I asked Amanda what we should do.  She said we need to see if he can get himself up.  She tugged on the halter to the point we both thought it was going to slide off, she kicked him and yelled “Johnny get up!  Get up Johnny!”  She told me to push on his back and see if we could rock him up and when I did it was nothing but bone. I didn’t want to hurt him.  He struggled and tried to get up on his own, but he was tired and breathing hard.  I kept holding his head so it wouldn’t hit the ground.  Michelle was there and I heard the tractor, time to hoist him up.  We worked as a team and got his feet under him finally.  I was so happy when we finally got him up on his feet.  I thought the worst was over.  All we had to do was get him back to the stall once he was steady enough to walk.  He was pretty shaky so I kept talking to him and holding his head.
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Michelle told Amanda to go get something and she returned with a syringe.  I don’t know what it was and didn’t think anything of it as he had an IV in his stall. This was the “med team”, what did I know?  It took a few attempts for Amanda to get it in the vein.  Within a couple of minutes of that injection, his hind legs buckled, he was putting full weight on the sling, .Johnny seized, but he came out it.  I heard Amanda ask Michelle, “Could I have gotten it in the wrong vein?”  Michelle’s response, “Well, you could have.  It would go straight to his heart, but it wouldn’t kill him.”  Whew, that’s a relief was all I could think.  And then he seized again, Michelle said, “lower him, we need to lower him to the ground, but this time his head went limp in my arms.  Michelle flashed a light in his eyes and said, “he’s gone”.  I was in shock.  After a while, others started showing up after Michelle let a few select people know.  We put him on a tarp and moved him into his stall and everyone surrounded him and Michelle started her Live video.  I left.

Now I am not saying that what was in that syringe, killed Johnny Cade.  I don’t know what was in that syringe, only two people do.  But he should have been at the Vet Hospital.  He should not have been in the hands of a “med team”.  He should not have been kicked and yelled at.  Why didn’t I stop her when she kicked him?  I have asked myself a thousand times.  She did the same thing to Kevin the Cow, when he was dying and didn’t want to get up.  Is that what we do?  We kick them and this is how they know we are serious?

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I couldn’t be a part of this.  I know volunteers are still there because of their love of the horses.  If they don’t do it, who will?  You can bet it won’t be Michelle, who is too busy crying for all of you on a live video.  She can’t even file a piece of paper on time.  But she really cares doesn’t she?

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I have to apologize in advance for yet another really long post.  I’ve got a bunch of things to share today and a lot of them have clips.   Those of you on mobile phones just click on them and they should play.  With the increased media interest in all things HiCaliber, the instinct has been to keep things a bit closer to the vest in order to preserve their integrity in ongoing complaints and investigations.  However,  things have gotten this far because of many voices coming together, so people deserve to be kept in the loop as much as is appropriate.  Even though it’s Monday this post is probably best digested with an adult beverage or three.  It’s 5 O’clock somewhere!  Hopefully, I can present all of this in a somewhat palatable way.  Even I’m confused by some of it, but I’m pretty sure that is by design and not happenstance.  Somebody please kick me if I ever get this far behind again!

gonnalie

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Braveheart in Salvador’s trailer January/2018

Let’s kick off with the Braveheart drama.  About a week ago there was a post made on HiCaliber Horror Story that showed concern for the condition of Braveheart based on a picture that had been posted.  It was followed up with a denial from HiCaliber, complete with a strategically posed and cropped picture of him that was supposed to show he was in great shape.  For starters, the picture that Alex posted was not his intake picture or what he looked like when he got to HiCaliber.  The above pic in the trailer is what he looked like and he was not that skinny.  Also, if you notice the HiCaliber picture, it does show ribs and his spine protruding and it was originally posted on February 25th.  Manson just cropped herself and Merrily out of the pic.  Still not convinced?

All these picture were taken on March 10th and posted in one of HiCaliber’s secret groups.  They knew damn well that Alex was telling the truth and deliberately lied to their village to cover up the fact this horse has lost an astonishing amount of weight in the past few months.  He is not thriving.  The only thing we have seen of him is his ears as he hauls Manson around on trail rides or maybe catch a glimpse of him tacked up so you can’t see his spine.  There is no denying that this horse is much thinner than when they bought him.  A `hater’ did not sneak on their property to take these pictures of him either and the only mistake Alex made was that he came from Salvador and not Nacho.

THESE are what hater pics look like since were on the subject.  This was from March 9th clearly showing the filth and crowding.  Just so we’re clear and all…

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I’m sure most of you reading this post feel sorry for this volunteer.  She seems to want peace, love and happy horses.  I’m not sure the wisdom behind smudging with all those fire hazards around, but there has been rain so there is that.  Sadly,  just like Manson, this volunteer seems to be able to flip the switch between spiritual and just plain nasty.

So much for peace, love and sage, huh?  Let’s not forget these ladies were their friends.  You can not like what they did (personally, I love what they did), but some of this stuff seems a bit below the belt.  In fact, much further below the belt than I ever thought of going.  However, at least two seem to have a flicker of common sense and realizing that these people that were `reasonable’ and `not malicious’ are likely telling the truth.  Not smudging Lori though, she’s gonna keep things low.

As per usual, nothing is ever Manson’s fault.  You will note she says they have only had two positive cultures within the last year.  That is what you would call a lie of omission because she most certainly didn’t culture each and every sick horse.  In fact, she doesn’t even mention how many horses were cultured.  Two out of two is 100%, just sayin…

Last fall, a company came out to HiCaliber to film some spots for their rice bran product.  I remember this because it was sold to the village as a special visitor coming and a major working bee ensued.  It was pretty awesome deal for HiCaliber as the company left them 7 pallets of their product.  Rice bran is one thing that really good at putting weight on horses without making them hot.  It’s especially good for seniors and metabolic types.  I’d think that would be just the sort of thing a rescue would need.  However, just a few short months later they were begging for more during the Del Mar fiasco.

Flash forward to the present and there sits much of the rice bran right where the company left it.  Much of it is spoiled.  For over six months, as they begged for money for feed numerous times, they walked right past pallets of rotting feed nobody could get off their ass and move.  The second pic is the little bit that was able to be saved as they finally decided now might be a good time to move it into the feed room.

I’m sure most of you have seen the live feed where Manson addressed the recent media reports of her sketchy financial records.  She adamantly denied that she had ever used the donor funds for personal gain when she was interviewed by inewsource earlier.  Naturally, she had an excuse for everything and attempted to throw other people under the bus in her live feed.  The problem is that she’s pulling things out of her ass yet again.  The financials were not from the people she’s blaming and, contrary to her excuses, nobody broke in and stole anything.  I’m pretty sure the auditors won’t buy that excuse either because it’s about on par with the dog ate my homework.  The reason these Paypal records are available at all is that they don’t have to phone Manson up and ask her permission to view her them.  They would subpoena them directly from Paypal and for whatever reason they became available through a public records request. There is a reason her Paypal accounts are frozen and it’s not because a hater phoned up Paypal and made something up.  That order likely came down from the AG or one of the other investigating agencies.  Anyhow, back to Weight Watchers and Manson’s claim of reimbursing the rescue.  She shows one time that she might have and the dates were conveniently chopped out.

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Do you know what else her excuse doesn’t cover?  The fact that she used HiCaliber’s account for 4 consecutive months to pay for her Weight Watchers.  She says it was only one time and she `forgot her card’ but it was an online payment and how do you forget your card when paying online?  How do you conveniently make the same mistake 4 months in a row?  She sure does seem to forget her debit card a whole bunch when I looked at the rest of the financials.

Here’s a whole bunch of other times she must have `forgot her card’.  School fees, Google Play, Del Taco, Starbucks, bar tabs, etc,etc.  If you watched her live feed, you’ll recall she spoke at great length about appreciating her volunteers and buying them meals.  You tell me how many volunteers she’s appreciating for a $2.95 Starbucks tab or $6.46 at Del Taco.  How is it a business expense to pay a dog trainer?  What you won’t find is payments for lashes or nails on these records.  I’m sure those are cash transactions anyhow and there are a whole bunch of cash withdrawals from various locations, often with more than one within minutes of another.

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This was another fee that stood out for me.  It’s a payment to Manson’s divorce attorney.  The same attorney that is said to have a her personal horse living at HiCaliber for several years for free.

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Then you have the whole spyware lie Manson told on live feed.  If you recall, she said it was to spy on haters and she installed it on her own laptop to see if her records were being stolen.  That was a lie.  She actually installed the spyware on her ex’s phone to see if he was cheating on her. There is a screen shot of the volunteer that installed it saying as much and the other screen shots are the transcripts from the spyware on his phone.  I apologize they aren’t very clear.  You should still be able to see that it’s not a business conversation she was spying on.  Again, how is this a legitimate business expense or even legal?  Turns out it would be considered wiretapping and could result in jail time and/or fines.  Given the dates on these PayPal records and transcripts, the statute of limitations hasn’t even run out on that yet and it would apply whether she was spying on her ex or a former board member.  You can read about it here.  It’s laid out pretty clear and now we have Manson right on video admitting she did it, if not being truthful about who she did it to and why.  Don’t worry, videos are saved.

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The other day, Manson shared a rather disturbing video of her child trying to `milk’ their Pug.  She claims the dog isn’t pregnant and had a false pregnancy or something.  The dog was clearly uncomfortable and Manson’s child giggled and squeezed her nipples harder until something came out.  Like I said, it was disturbing and for that reason I won’t be posting it.  Manson likes to overshare her child’s problems on social media and claim she gets bullied and then she posts things like this for all to see.  Thankfully, it did not stay up long as even her village idiots were mostly not all that amused by it.  However, speaking of the Pug and all things financial…

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I wonder if Manson happened to forget her card the day she bought a $1600 dog?  Aside from the obvious issue with somebody in rescue going to a breeder and paying that much for a dog, it appears the rescue got to buy the dog . That’s a helluva `oops’ with using the wrong card.  Thanks Village!

Last Tuesday, many of us were interested to see how auction was going to be handled with a temporary suspension of Manson’s ability to openly beg and grift for money.  We knew there was no way she’d miss auction and the fact that she showed up with her horse trailer pretty much guaranteed she wasn’t going home empty.  The village idiots were appropriately and dramatically outraged before the horses were even in the ring.  Manson primed them even further with a pair of dramatic posts including the buzzwords she knew would stir up plenty of emotion and a sense of urgency.  Bonded pairs!  Melanomas!  Youngsters!  Thankfully, some of our stealth mole was around so we have somewhat of an idea of what really went down.  As we know, Manson stood in the chutes bemoaning about all the horses going to flipper and trippers until she heard that there was another rescue there and rapidly changed her story to one of whining about sustainability and how irresponsible it was for them to create this market because the way she does it keeps prices low.  In other words, the usual suspects may not be so eager to take her chump change in the parking lot if they think running them through the ring will pay better. What confused me is that Manson is always ranting about other rescues not stepping up and what would happen to the horses without them and yet when a rescue does step up, she whines about that too.  As far as sustainability goes, I’m pretty sure that won’t be an issue.  A Little Rescue is run by Brandi Perse.  Their property used to belong to Ellen DeGeneres.  I would like them to rescue me.  The other thing is that A Little Rescue came in and did this without drama or taking shots at anybody.  They were there to save some horses and that’s exactly what they did.

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What Manson did not show her village idiots was the dead animals she stepped over on her way to whine in the chutes.  Since she has yet to figure out a way to do parking lot deals for other livestock, it didn’t really suit her narrative to highlight the plight of other animals at this cesspool of an auction.  There was also at least one other dead animal in the pens as well.

 

Thanks to our stealth moles, some of Manson’s stories can be busted up.  Yes, the mare that had recently become separated from her foal was brought by Salvador. She came with the fleabitten gray Arab stallion that ended up with Love This Horse Rescue.  Thank you to them for stepping up as well.  I’m sure by now that everybody has heard all the conspiracy theories about this mare and who her foal might have been.  Without DNA that’s all they are is theories. However we know for a fact this mare was bagged up and producing milk.  We know that a week previously HiCaliber came into possession of an `orphan’ filly that was barely a day old and that filly possibly came from Salvador as he was at auction that day with his trailer but did not run horses through the ring.  We’ll talk more about babies and mares in a bit though.  Let’s talk about some other things that maybe not everybody knows about last Tuesday.

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After the sale horses had run through the ring, HiCaliber briefly posted about this horse and said they were looking for a private buyer and needed $700 for him.  He was very foot sore and was offered to nobody else.  The ad was also pulled down right away and the horse not mentioned again.

Nacho was also at auction last week.  I’m not sure which horses he brought or if it was just a goat day for him.  All these guys have Manson and Romney Faye’s number so they would have been aware that things would be going down a bit differently this week.

So after auction, this trailer belonging to another regular flipper named Jose showed up after Manson had left.  He did have horses in his trailer. He and his brother Marco are becoming regulars in the HiCaliber parking lot scams.  In this video taken by one of our stealth moles, he denies knowing Manson or HiCaliber.   He also mentions to his kid that they are being filmed and that he wants to get out of there but will be back next week and arrive earlier. I find that super interesting that he denied knowing Manson considering he has a very distinguishable trailer and has sold them horses before.  Don’t believe me?

It seems Jose is as unfamiliar with the truth as Manson is.  In fact, he’s done lots of business with her in recent months.  He sold her Gigi,  Roxanne likely came from him as well as Penelope among others.  He was also present in the parking lot the day the police paid them all a visit at Stater Bros.  Speaking of that, I guess now is as good a time as any to try to explain that to try to make sense out of that for everybody.

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Jose’s horse already in the HiCaliber trailer upon arriving at Stater Bros Parking lot. Jose followed them to the lot with an empty trailer.

So back on February 13th, our stealth mole followed Jose to the Stater Bros parking lot.  His trailer was empty that day, but it’s also the same day he brought Roxanne to auction and she ended up going home with Manson.  Jose wasn’t the only flipper that met them there.

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File # from the parking lot visit

Just to be clear, neither of the voices on the above video are mine.  They are stealth mole and let’s just say a `contact’.  We were kind of back and forth about showing this, but since there has been all this talk about the police maybe only being there because of a fender bender we felt it best to show why they were there.  They were there because selling horses in a parking lot is illegal.  The pictures show Manson with the horse that had come out of Salvador’s trailer earlier in the day (believed to be Chino), taking his pictures and getting ready to beg for money just before the police rolled up.  Regardless of what Manson claims about how `friendly’ it all was, it is illegal and it hasn’t gone unnoticed that she has gone to even greater lengths to hide her deals since this day including dragging the animals to a dirt road to film her tear jerking videos.

When the police rolled up, there was Jose, Pet Matchmaker, `Jason’ the hauler and Nacho all in the parking lot with Jose and Nacho’s trailers being empty.  The police seemed mostly interested in HiCaliber but for whatever reason, the flippers scattered like the vermin they are.

As I have mentioned before, Nacho nearly had smoke on his heels he ran to his truck so fast, jumped in and got the hell out of dodge.  Sadly, we only have still photos and no video because stealth mole kinda had her hands full at the time.  I don’t recall which horse on the trailer was his, but if you recall, Nacho was the one responsible for Galle back in January.  You can refresh your memory on the horrific condition she was in here. Nacho was also the one behind Mas, Magnum and so many others.  Now that we’re all up to speed on the parking lot bust back in February, let’s jump back to last week and what happened after auction.

Despite Manson not being able to raise funds last week and the fact that all the horses that were sold through the ring were purchased by other rescues, Manson just couldn’t help herself.  Unable to bitch that nobody else stepped up, she still managed to collect a full trailer of equines to drag back to the ranch.  I know it’s hard to believe what Manson claims, especially when she’s trying to point fingers in other directions, but this time it appears to be true.

At some point well after auction, Manson rolled up to Wells Fargo with a full trailer.  None of these animals have been introduced to the village idiots yet or even had their presence acknowledged which might make them easier to disappear.  We know that Jose had a trailer full of horses after auction that he refused to sell to anybody that asked and the lame black private buyer horse they posted about ended up somewhere too.  Manson likes to accuse people of not stepping up but how can they when they flippers are lying to them?  Now that we have it out in the open that these horses exist, let’s see how long it takes Manson to come clean or what lies she spins to explain them.

madre

 

twoweeks

Actually she had barely been with them a week but who’s counting?

Once A Little Rescue had the bagged up mare, now named Madre, checked over by the vet and confirmed that she had recently lost a foal, they reached out to HiCaliber to offer to purchase Emlyn.  They were promptly told `no’ because the `private buyer’ wanted to keep her.  Of course we know the `private buyer’ is likely fictitious and will probably donate the filly to HiCaliber once they are able to accept donations.  What human, let alone a rescue,  would deny a filly a mother?  Too young to be disrupted?  Really?  Because hauling her back in a trailer with pigs and strange horses and then throwing her in a stall with in a strange place and not allowing her a bottle isn’t disruptive at all.

Speaking of the refusal to give this filly a bottle, here is Amanduh trying to get her to drink out of a bucket.  Sound is off because of the child in the video and her mother saying her name.  One of their recent excuses for not bottle feeding this filly is the claim that she may aspirate if she drinks with her nose above her body or something.  I can’t recall the exact wording because it was so ludicrous.  Look at any foal nursing from their mama and, last time I checked, their teats aren’t attached to their hocks.  They have to reach up to nurse.  It’s also probably a lot cleaner than Amanduh’s filthy paws swishing around in her dirty bucket.  This poor little filly.  By all reports there isn’t the same sign up and interest to sit around the clock with her that Magnum had.

While we’re on the subject of little Emlyn, here is a nice lie Amanduh told and no, I’m not referring to the private buyer one.  The fact that she claims that this foal was saved from the slaughter pipeline was just crazy.  Even IF she wasn’t Madre’s baby, this filly was not in the`pipeline’  They do not ship horses under six months of age to slaughter.

pipeline

There are the guidelines from the USDA for horses shipping to slaughter.  As you can also see, that the majority of horses that Manson gets from Salvador, Nacho, Misner and the others are not horses that would ship to slaughter.  That isn’t ‘saying they aren’t horses that need some help from a legitimate rescue, key word being `legitimate’.  Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s clear up another myth Manson uses to create a sense of urgency and get people to dig deep.

slaughterstats

vislaughter

If you listened to Manson and forgot that shipping horses for the purposes of slaughter is illegal in California, you would think that the number of horses going to slaughter is on the rise.  Nothing could be further from the truth whether you are talking about Canada or Mexico.  The numbers have steadily decreased each year.  That might be useful to point out to Manson’s pro slaughter vet as well.  Don’t even get me started with the village idiots.  I guess this is what happens when Manson is your personal Wikipedia for all things equine.  They really need to learn to broaden their horizons and aim higher. We still have a long ways to go in order to remove the threat of slaughter, but we are making headway and the last thing we need is Manson and her village idiots running around telling lies.

I wonder if the village idiots have noticed how few actual update posts they get now that Manson can’t beg money for awhile.  Rather than use this time to make quality adoption videos or even update on any one of the 170 plus horses warehoused on their feedlot, she has turtled.  Because of this, I thought I’d update people on Magnum. You hear Manson mention how fat he is getting when, in fact, he is sporting that bloated belly with no actual weight on his ass or shoulders. Likely it’s from the fact that they only feed him hay and he’s never received proper supplements or he’s full or worms.  Probably both.  From the looks of any super young baby that has actually survived at HiCaliber, they have no idea how to feed one and they all end up with this sad physique.  He’s also being subjected to Amanduh’s version of halter training which seems to be designed to ensure he’s as rude as possible the bigger he gets as she allows him to either drag behind or wander out in front at full shank length.

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Even though HiCaliber cannot openly beg for money and disperse assets, Amanduh’s for profit `business’ using HiCaliber horses, equipment and facilities continues unabated.  For the minor fee of just $40 you too can learn how to crunch the shit out of a horse’s withers, tie a rope halter wrong and strap a child to the saddle.  Awesome!  And if that wasn’t enough for people, this past weekend she taught a groundwork class for the same fee.  The horse she used was poor Shasta who had once upon a time been a private buy, only to be returned to the ranch not so long ago.  She’s also kinda lame in this video.  I’m not even sure WTF is going on here other than a lame horse being lunged on way too short of a line in the mud as she slips, slides and tries to stay upright as Amanduh shouts instructions from off camera.  This level of ignorance is bad enough but the fact that she is inflicting it on rescue animals and teaching it to other neophyte horse people should be criminal.  Amanduh needs to stick to the horses that only eat quarters outside of WalMart.

 

Now we come to the part of these posts I absolutely hate.  Saying names.  I have to admit I fell behind and I feel terrible about it.  It gets overwhelming at the clip Manson is killing these past few months.  Still, these horses deserve to be remembered and honored.  Our first up is Andrina.  She was but a blip on the village idiot radar as she was killed almost immediately.  She was sore and appeared uncomfortable but I’m not sure she ever had real diagnostics done by a real vet.  I wish I had more information about her to share.  RIP. Andrina.  #sayhername

Despite the dramatic back story she came with, Little Bear was from one of the usual suspects HiCaliber deals with.  I’m not anti-euthanasia and I can see this mare probably needed a release.  I’m against exploitation and increasing her suffering which is what happened to Little Bear.  As Manson pontificated about knowing better and doing better, she also basically said she wouldn’t help this mare until funds were raised for diagnostics.  Does anybody think this horse saw a vet?  Any real rescue that saw this horse would get her help one way or another and not say, `only if we raise the funds, including the responsible rescue fees she will never use because we’re going to shoot her as soon as we get her home’.  I’m not even going to get into the whole issue with the black pony in the picture with her showing up at auction that week and ending up at Baker Ranch.  RIP Little Bear.  #sayhername

sahara

I do not have a lot of information on Sahara or her death either.  It has been confirmed she was recently killed but no details as to why.  The fact she was relinquished almost exactly a year ago suggest that her time might have expired.  RIP Sahara.  #sayhername

Callie also passed without a mention recently.  Purchased in the parking lot back in early December, she was deemed to be `remarkably sound’ in her intake video.  That was basically the last mention there ever was of her before she left this earth.  I wish I could say why or how.  RIP Callie.  #sayhername

Ruby Rose was one of the more upsetting cases lately.  Even though Manson had said she was `neuro’ it appeared there was more to it than that.  If anything she reminded me of a horse that had a head injury and it was upsetting to see them load this horse in a trailer to drag her all the way back to the ranch.  Not surprisingly she went down in the trailer on the way back and was promptly shot in the head upon arrival.  For all we know, her death may have triggered at least one or two others as Manson usually kills in pairs at the very least.  At least Manson didn’t blame her death on haters even though she claimed Ruby Rose was having seizures.  RIP Ruby Rose.  #sayhername

Freedom was bought on March 5th.  He appeared to have a blown suspensory among other issues and was not really able to bear weight on his injured limb.  Manson mostly just referred to him as `the compassion’ pull as she made her tearful live feed at auction.  This was shortly after the media shit storm had blown up so it was all very sad.  What made me sad is the thought of this poor horse being rattled in a trailer the two plus hours back to Valley Center to meet his fate.  What was actually in store for Freedom was so much worse than usual.  Instead of being released from his suffering, Manson let him live until the reporter from the San Diego Union-Tribune came out to interview her.  For whatever reason, he decided to simplify the problem adovocates have with HiCaliber and make it all about her euthanasia methods.  As a result,  Manson treated him to a little show on shooting a horse in the face with Freedom being the star.  There was a dramatic picture of him laying on his side.  The reporter waxed poetic about Freedom’s death march to the killing field, making sure to mention that they had to pause to shoot him up with `morphine’ so he could complete his journey.  Then, Manson put on a great show of being sad and telling the horse she loved him before shooting him in the face.  With that, Freedom had officially `earned his keep’ as an ambassador for taking a bullet to the brain.  The reported didn’t mention where he came from and why people were allowed to abuse horses like that while Manson protects and covers for them.  Instead he just allowed her to spew her propaganda without ever once asking a tough question.  Ironically, this article came out shortly after Manson made the post about giving all the reporters hand jobs.  RIP Freedom.  #sayhisname

I’m sure by now, most of you have heard about the death of Blaze aka Blazing Idle.  It was only on February 19th that Manson put up a placement post for her.  She was dead shortly after that and that’s where it all gets a bit murky.  We’ve all read about her former owner showing up to see her and being rather rudely and roughly treated by Amanduh while Manson hid in her house.  The owners gave HiCaliber $1000 when they relinquished her.  I’ve seen some people comment that that wouldn’t have paid for her upkeep for long and it was understandable that Manson shot her.  Why is it that this owner had to pay $1000 to relinquish his horse but Manson will repeatedly pay people like Nacho and Salvador money to purchase their completely mutilated and mangled horses?  Blaze was said to have gained weight and looked great at foster before being returned to the ranch and placed in south herd which ended up on hard QT, whatever that means.  I’ve attached a post from her former foster mentioning about the quarantine and where Blaze had been moved to.  How Manson treated her former owner, including attempt to throw him under the bus saying he only wanted her back to breed is beyond reprehensible.  Even if that was true, is shooting her in the head better?  I really don’t think so.  RIP Blazing Idle.  #sayhername

While we’re on the subject of mysterious reasons to kill a horse, these are all the times in the last year that Manson has claimed to have done a necropsy on various horses.  In most cases she promises to keep people posted and updated once they get the results.  I cannot recall her ever posting a necropsy result on a single one of these horses.  Don’t forget it wasn’t that long ago she admitted she had only actually ever had one horse necropsied and that was awhile ago.

jc

In lieu of promised updates on requested horses, Manson decided to finally post what passes for proof that Johnny Cade was actually cremated.  This probably came about because people were mentioning they never got the hoof prints they paid for and there has always been some question whether or not he was actually cremated.  Well, now we know there is a box with his name on it.  I wonder where the rest of him is.  I’ve had a horse cremated and there are a LOT of ashes involved.  Much more than the box that Manson displayed.  My horse had a very beautiful urn with a memorial plaque, and then the remainder of his ashes were in a cloth bag in a tote and were quite heavy.  Even as emaciated as Johnny Cade was, there should be more left over than that small box.  Given the other screen shots up above and Manson clearly displaying how little she values any animal, especially after dying, it wouldn’t be surprising if the additional ashes from Johnny Cade weren’t tossed in the manure pile.  Then there is Manson saying to tractor a hole and I have to wonder how many unmarked graves are on that place. Creepy.

loosehorse

Here are a few recent posts about horses running  loose at the ranch due to their shitty fences.  The one post even mentions the escapees taking a tour through the QT area.  That’s not even mentioning that at any given time they have studs waiting to be gelded or cryptorchids standing around who are also more than capable of getting a mare in foal.  There have been a few `oops’ babies in the past there that the math didn’t quite work out for it to have happened anywhere other than since the mares got to HiCaliber. I believe Renley was one of them.

done

I thought this was an interesting post for a number of reasons not the least of which is the admission of strangles.  Regardless of when she made this post, remember it was only recently that she said she had only ever had two horses test positive for strangles.  I did block out the child exploitation part because even though Manson chooses to air her children’s personal issues all over social media, I don’t have to enable that.

As I was looking up a few things, I came across this post Manson made in 2014.  It’s a pretty cool find as it shows how much of a complete 180 she’s done since moving to the new location.  I wonder what the 2014 version of Manson would have to say to today’s incarnation.  Not the least of which is that many of  the things she attempts to discredit her detractors for are evident on this post; taking the word of former staff and owners, going by photographic evidence, telling people to be the eyes, ears and voice for the horses.  All things she now claims have no validity.  Then her promise that as a responsible rescue she is going to expose abuses and those people that support those `horrific conditions’ is just the icing on the hypocrite cake.

liar I think that’s pretty much all I have for today.  It’s certainly not all I have sitting on my desk, but probably enough to wrap your minds around for now.  I have to admit I feel frustrated.  We’ve made our submission, things are rolling and really we should be able to coast a bit for now.  Instead, Manson and her merry band of accomplices seem to be intent on digging their holes deeper.  I personally believe things have gone long past the point of no return as far as Manson and the current board of directors and ranch residents goes, and I wonder why she continues to lie and hoard animals.  It’s abundantly clear we’re onto her.  She’s like the worst liar ever because she won’t commit to one version of events.  Couple that with her verbal diarrhea and malignant personality and she gives us all so much to work with and still she figures she can outshift an army of advocates.  One of her favorite whines lately is to say that she doesn’t think we, meaning the haters, meant for things to get this far.  She’s wrong. This is exactly how far we meant for things to get and even further.  We will not stand for her continued abuse and exploitation of vulnerable animals.  We will no longer remain silent as she flaunts her hoarding and grifting in our faces.  We will not look the other way as she protects, enables and covers for the very people that are abusing and mangling horses and, most importantly, we will be the voice for those animals and not allow them to be erased off the face of this earth.  Welcome to the new world order Manson.  It’s just about time for you to sing.

While I’m working on a few things, I have another guest post to share with you.  This one is from yet another former volunteer but her experiences with HiCaliber are a bit different from the others who have shared their stories.  At this point, I don’t even know why anything to do with that place surprises me much, but this one did.  As always, we owe a debt of gratitude to these former volunteers for coming forward.  Manson isn’t letting go easily and her wrath and retaliation is very real even when she’s not getting her own hands dirty.  I think it’s also important to remember that rather than counter any of the claims various former and present insiders have made, they respond with threats, bullying and intimidation tactics.  Remember when they used to preach transparency?  If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to hide.  With that being said, I’m going to hand over the reins to our guest poster and I’ll be back with you in a few days.  Our poster did ask that if you have any questions or need anything clarified, to put it in the comments here.  As always, these are her own words and her own first hand experiences.

taj

Taj

This is a very hard post to write, because I began volunteering at Hicaliber to be closer to horses and to make a difference. I had such high hopes for what the rescue could offer these neglected horses.  After volunteering for about 6 months, I started feeling uncomfortable with some of the happenings at the ranch. I began going to the ranch on various days and found that there was not enough people to get all the waters done and I would be there much longer than planned. I could not leave without knowing the horses had enough water and their stalls mucked. There were many times where it appeared that stalls had not been mucked in weeks. I felt that the horses were not getting their basic needs met, I wanted to go to the ranch to get more time around horses. However, I would spend hours just mucking stalls because I felt guilty doing anything else because I never knew the next time they would have a poop free stall.  Additionally, it felt like every time I felt truly connected with a horse they were euthanized shortly after. I had found my heart horse, Taj,and the big black beauty stood in the stall for months waiting his turn for diagnostics. When finally they raised the money for him to go to SLR it was determined to he would be a compassion pull due to having navicular and ringbone and had already been denerved once. They determined that he was beyond help. So instead of having him euthanized at the hospital, they dragged him back to the ranch where he waited another week before he was euthanized. He fortunately crossed the rainbow bridge by a true vet and not at the hands of Michelle’s .22. The heartbreak was hard to deal with, but I continued going because I was there making a difference even to just a few of the horses who didn’t have to stand in a shit filled stall.

pepper.png

However, in September, I witnessed something that was so upsetting I could not step foot back on the ranch. I arrived at the my normal time in the morning, ready to get right to work in the barn. As I began mucking the first stall, I heard the undeniable sound of a Husky crying. I went around to investigate where it was coming from. In one of the barn stalls, a young Husky was howling for attention. Knowing the breed, I understood why she was contained. Huskies are notorious for high prey drive and running away, but they also are super uncomfortable when they cannot see their surroundings. I tied the young dog in the barn so she could see us work and she laid right down. She quietly seemed to enjoy watching the us work and enjoyed the attention she was given.

heelerpups.png

A little while later, Michelle’s personal dog, Betty, walks into the barn and the Husky and her seemed to be sizing each other up. I figured the ranch was big enough for the two dogs, so I put Betty on a leash and walked her down to the where Michelle and the vet were doing castrations. Michelle hastily asked why her dog was on a leash and then quickly flew into a rant about the Husky not being on the insurance and needed to leave the ranch all together. I quickly offered to network her, Michelle said NO she needed to go to a shelter because she was pregnant. She said that a shelter was the only place for a pregnant dog and that they could take care of the puppies. I was a little confused because this was the week that Michelle and company hand just bought 2 Heeler puppies at auction. The two puppies were getting picked up and loved on by volunteers all day. Meanwhile the husky was put back in the barn stall and left alone.

For the next hour, I thought long and hard about what I could do to help the dog and I was not comfortable to leave the dog at the ranch with Michelle’s callous response to her. I asked if I could to take her to a local rescue myself. She agreed. So I went back to work and the Husky being back in the stall went back to howling. Michelle moved up to the barn and quickly got annoyed with the constant howling and remarked “If the dog was mine I would just shoot it”. That statement made me very relieved to be taking her with me. Then about 10 minutes later, I hear her googling the drug dosage to give a dog and she went into the barn stall to administer the drug. I begged her to not sedate her because I could take her right then. Michelle quickly took her word back and said it was Robyn’s rescue dog to give away so I couldn’t take her after all. Then she gave the dog the drugs. Pretty shaken up and I finished the stall I was working on and went to say goodbye to the dog. When I went into the barn stall the dog tried to stand up and couldn’t. She appear to have very little movement in the hind end. I was super freaked out!!!

leaving hicaliber

Drugged and leaving HiCaliber

In tears of fear for the dog, I reached out to other volunteers, unsure what to do. Leah jumped right into action and helped me get permission to get the dog out of there. Within 15 minutes, I had a very drugged dog in my car. Over the next 4 hours, the dog was barely lucid, I reached out to Michelle to find out what she gave the dog. She claimed she gave a dosage that was just slow acting and she would be out for 12 hours.  After consulting the vet it was very obvious a pregnant dog should not have been sedated. I was worried for the mama dog’s life but also the puppies. I felt her stomach and there was not movement. Sadly, the amount given to her was enough that she did not fully wake up for 2 whole days. Interestingly enough, as the dog woke up so did her puppies. She was far enough along you could feel the puppies move constantly from that point on.

Seeing the fear in the dog’s eyes and the hurt she seemed to be holding onto, I could not follow through with my plan of taking her to a rescue. The dog slowly built up trust and was given the name Pepper Lou.

puppies

One week after rescue

I never heard anything more from Hicaliber until Pepper gave birth to 6 seemly healthy puppies exactly 1 week after being given the drugs. The day she gave birth, Robyn was asking if she could come see her and mentioned how she was interested in one of the puppies. I also heard rumors that Hicaliber were planning on adoption contracts on my puppies. They were not there to help prepare Pepper, but as soon as money could be made they seemed interested. I once again felt very hurt and protective of my puppies. Meanwhile at the next auction, Hicaliber once again left with a dog. The dog was the same age as my Pepper, but it was a young male German shepherd. I looked at the dog and wondered why this dog was more valuable of a life than my Pepper. Why did Pepper the young scared dog get drugged, while Michelle fought to “rescue” the GSD?

puppies1

Good mama

When the puppies were three weeks old, they started failing to thrive and after a very expensive vet trip, it was determined they had parasites, low red blood count and low white blood count. I was warned I could lose a couple of the puppies due to the mother not having proper prenatal care. Again, I questioned what had happened at Hicaliber since Pepper had been living at the ranch for three weeks before I rescued her. Why had she not been given the care she needed?  After 10 days of antibiotics and multiple dewormings, all the puppies grew stronger and have since grown to be some of the cutest puppies in the world. Today all of the puppies are living in their furever homes and getting the life all dogs should have. As for Pepper, I can never change what happened to her, but I can promise she will never experience any of it again. She is getting the chance to experience the puppyhood she missed out on and I am seeing less of her fear everyday.

Despite finding the most perfect dog I could have ever dreamed of having, it hurts to think of what she went through. I constantly think of the callous response to her. I think if Michelle treated a pregnant dog this way what else happens at the ranch. I know it is a horse rescue, but I feel if it was a real compassionate rescue Pepper would have been cared for properly. I never thought I would be rescuing a dog from a rescue! Additionally, I have a constant pit in my stomach thinking of the horses I left behind and couldn’t help. I sadly check nearly daily to see if my last three heart horses are still alive at Hicaliber.

pepperlou

Pepper getting to live the life she was meant to have. She goes to doggie day care and cares for all the young and small dogs. She is in the preliminary stages of training for a therapy dog to go to the hospital to visit sick kids.