June 2 nd


JERAS Newsletter June 2, 2012

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JERAS Newsletter June 2, 2012

We have lots of news this month, and not all of it is good. The Idaho hay arrived in early May and some bales broke open while being unloaded. Feeding the loose hay required me taking multiple cartloads out to the horses. They are wild about this hay, too. Friday evening, 2 weeks ago, the horses were very anxious to get their dinner. I  was taking the 3rd cartload out, wearing my hat, sunglasses and respirator (hay allergies). My field of vision is limited..I went to dump the cart into a feeder and POW! Raven, the black domestic gelding hits me from behind and lands on top of me. My face slammed into ground and he’s scrambling to get off me.  Apparently, he had come up right behind me and Mariah, the aggressive, alpha mustang mare, bit him in the back. Raven is a calm horse and sometimes half asleep. He is just not fast enough mentally or physically compared to the mustangs. I got hit in the head and side of my chest. He stomped on my hip and grazed across my groin and lower abdomen which ended up very swollen. I also got a black eye and my teeth went through  my lower lip. I had to put a staple in it myself. My face and chin were scraped & bruised, my right ear cut. Then, I passed out that night when I got up to get a drink of water and hit the other side of my head on my concrete floor. Just another concussion to add to the collection… My black eye showed up the next day. I have a hematoma on my left hip bone which I partially drained myself and is now receding. I have severe MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities) and going to the hospital is not an option for me.

Raven is missing a chunk of hide on his back, I guess that is where she bit him…I had no idea that they were so close behind me. It is now 2 weeks later and I still have limited range of motion in my neck, chest & shoulder pain and pain in my hip & pelvis. My skull is still sore. I ended up with a huge amount of bruising down my thigh & across my abdomen. However, I feel grateful to be alive. I already have had a spinal fusion and have herniated disks in my neck. Getting clobbered like this could have had a much worse outcome.

I had to hire some help for the first week, but am now back to doing the work around here myself. I had to face the fact that Raven really did not fit in that well with the mustang herd. He also is healthy and only 6 years old. A local horse rescue offered to take him, start his saddle training and adopt him into a good home. They have very stringent adoption policies. I think this will be best for Raven and for me.

Just one day after Raven went to The Last Straw, we received these messages from Cheryl-

“….Do have a cute story about Raven, my granddaughter was brushing him today, she had a can of Pepsi, sat it on the ground, Raven picked it up, tipped it up and finished it off.   Must be something he remembered from when he was a child’s pet….
…Another story about Raven, he is such a card. We have a small horse ball here, my granddaughter went out to groom him today and took the ball with her. Believe this or not, Raven would take the ball handle in his mouth, dunk it in the water and throw the ball at Ariel. I need to get some pic’s of his antic’s, this horse loves to play.”

JERAS is thrilled for Raven. Thank you, Last Straw Horse Rescue!


I posted some pictures of Nina, the jenny, to my burro friends and  all agree that she is pregnant. She and Esperanza were rescued from the infamous Dennis Chavez feedlot in November and apparently both girls were pregnant. Esperanza is huge now and could foal at any time. Nina will probably foal in late autumn or winter.

Nina, front right, showing a baby tummy

Carson is about to celebrate his second anniversary since arriving. He has had a myriad of health & behavioral challenges, but is now very loving and doing well on special diet and thyroid and adrenal meds. To see his whole story, please visit his page. http://www.jersanctuary.org/dogs/carson/

Carson May 2010 and January 2011


Rhonda, the 9 year old beagle we saved 2 months ago, is doing well. She has gained weight and needed a low dose of thyroid medicine. However, she can be very bossy and possessive and can’t be trusted with other females. So, I now have the house divided into 3 sections, to keep everyone safe. I already had to keep Shyla and Liza away from the older dogs. Rhonda also barks at everything, when she is mad and happy, both. I find her bossiness comical, but not many people would. She has a stuffed toy that she carries everywhere. She does enjoy playing with Carson. She attacks the mop and vacuum cleaner.

Rhonda looking for rabbits

Here are a few videos. http://youtu.be/hjjvnCdwWiE


We agreed to take in a 20 year old mare. Our local friend had gotten her for Christmas. Penny was unable to compete with the other animals for food and was losing weight. Then someone moved in next to them with a Clydesdale stallion and have him contained by a flimsy electric fence. Mary was afraid the stallion would end up at her place and go after Penny. Penny has been here a week and is gaining weight on free choice hay and some supplements. She also needs a dental and we have also been treating her infected hooves and skin fungus. The vet will do her teeth on Wednesday. Rusty, the old Arab gelding fell in love with her immediately and they are inseparable.

Penny and Rusty- love at first sight!

Penny upon arrival

Although a farrier had told Penny’s owner she did not need a trim, he apparently had not looked at the bottoms of her feet. She has thrush (a fungal infection) and her bars were overgrown and laid over. I trimmed the dead frog tissue and the bars and did a bit of a mustang roll on the hoof walls. The walls have white line disease and separation, caused by the fungal infection. I am not healed up enough to do more right now. I soaked her in apple cider vinegar and then dusted her feet with antimicrobial hoof powder after I trimmed them

Penny's hoof

I had someone help put tarps up on the ends of the hay shed and they worked great to close in the hay.

Hay shed is full!

Crazy Patty catches and eats insects, including bees. A bee bit her back the other day. I treated her with benadryl and steroids and she was fine the next day.

Oh, that Patty!

We will be getting the second half of the Pepsi grant this month. We had the backhoe out to clear for fence line and get the pad ready for the shelter which is scheduled to be installed late next week. I have to order fence supplies to fence in the 3 acres and find someone to pound in 140 T posts. I will attempt to do the insulators and run the electric tape myself, but I am not sure I can do it all in light of my injuries.

Preparing for phase 2 of Pepsi Refresh grant project


We want to thank everyone who donated to the hay drive and allowed us to get 14 tons of hay. We randomly chose names and sent out some thank you gifts last week to donors. The Equi-Spirit ball (donated by Lisa Ross- Williams and Kenny Williams) went to Jodie Sinclair.

In spite of the fact we have a full hay shed, we still have to purchase monthly alfalfa cubes, pellets for Knickers, supplements, psyllium to prevent sand colic, pig, dog and sheep food, and pay for vet bills. Please consider becoming a supporter if you are not one already. Thank you.

Cathy & the Gang at JERAS



Mariah & Windy



Categories : News


  1. Sharon J-S says:

    WTH!?! Cathy!! You’re having WAY too many “I SURVIVED” … horse-related, “dangerous, accidents/mishaps”! Will you PLEASE be a bit more careful ?! JEEEZUM !!!
    Love You & the Gang!

  2. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    I was merely feeding & it was a freak incident. I do not have eyes in the back of my head, I never feel well because of the Lyme and I can only be “so careful”. C’est la vie!

  3. Lisa K says:

    Cathy I agree yikes:'(:'(:'( Love you and the Gang xxoo Thank you for YOU <3<3<3

  4. Lynne Ritzler says:

    Oh yea, I am a concussion queen myself. Horses have a way of remodeling our anatomy, don’t they. Watch out plastic surgeons, there is a lot of competition out there o the range. Thank god you are alive. Love, Lynne and my bunch of 4-legged friends.

  5. Christy Lee says:

    Everone looks so peaceful at the ranch, Cathy. You just absolutely rock. I just love Carson…your critters won the “critter lotto” when they found you!

  6. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thank you, Christy!

  7. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    Thanks, Lynne! No plastic surgeons for me, I can’t go into public buildings… it’s “do it yourself” around here..lol Love you!

  8. Cathy Ritlaw says:

    thank you, Lisa, guess it will take more than a horse to kill the AB….

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