Equamore Foundation horse sanctuary’s annual Open Barn event in Ashland is a chance to celebrate all the great work Equamore does for horses all year long. Upon walking into the barn, visitors learned about Equamore horses through an array of photos and stories, and could then wander through the barn to meet the horses face to face.
I was able to meet several new Equamore horses, all of them so happy to be in a place where they are safe, cared for, and very well loved.
Walking through the barn I saw many beautiful horses I’d met before — among them Magic, Sara, Thor — and I also met Pal, a new rescue who is still a little shy but clearly very happy to be at Equamore. His owner had abandoned him to fend for himself, and thanks to Pal’s cleverness he was able to find a water source and survive long enough to be rescued by Equamore. He now has food, peace, and affection — and though the photo below is a little dark, it’s easy to see what a sweet guy he is.
Another new arrival is the beautiful Johnny B. Goode, who was rescued after the Jackson County Sheriff’s office received a report of a starving horse. Fortunately, though he was in very poor condition, Johnny is a great eater, and as you can see in the photo, he is bright-eyed and lovely.
Gandalf was a young stallion and one of several victims of an owner who wanted a herd of Percheron stallions and mares roaming freely. As a result of his owner’s unfortunate ignorance of horse care, Gandalf had to spend his life defending himself from the herd’s dominant stallion, and his body bore the horrible scars of his many battles.
Thanks to the hard work of Equamore staff, Gandalf was rescued along with Flint, another stallion, and Diamond, a mare. Gandalf was gelded soon after arriving at Equamore (along with Flint; you can read his and Diamond’s story here), and his wounds have been treated and are healing beautifully. As you’ll see in the photo below, he is a gorgeous, affectionate horse who will walk right up to you and stretch his head forward to receive a little love.
If you love horses and want to help, there are many ways to support Equamore and other horses.
You can support other Oregon horses by contributing to the Oregon Hay Bank.
You can check out Inspired Pet Portraits by Dana Feagin, an Ashland artist who does wonderful portraits of animals from local shelters and sanctuaries, including Equamore. Several Equamore horses are featured in Dana’s collection, including beautiful portraits of Wishes, Kizzy, and Bojingles.
So it’s now well established the Google Maps is better than Apple Maps.
But even Google Maps is far from perfect.
Awhile back, I was jogging up a steep hill in Ashland and was apparently moving so slowly that a young woman, also on foot and looking somewhat lost, was able to hail me over and strike up a conversation.
She asked, “Is this the way to the Goodwill store?”
It wasn’t. We were on the outskirts of the forest — other than a few homes hidden within the trees, there was nothing else around.
So I directed her about a mile in the opposite direction. And I didn’t think about it until I looked at Google Maps. And I noticed the Goodwill store she was looking for…
However, if you happen to travel to this location, you’ll end up right about here…
Clearly, there is no Goodwill around here, though it’s certainly a great place to take a walk.
Normally, I would guess that most people give up on Google Maps right about the time their cars leave pavement — but on the other hand, we’re well trained to believe what Google Maps tell us. I’ve had my own Google Maps issues. Last year, Midge and I were headed to the Eugene Public Library for an event. But thanks to my over-reliance on Google Maps, we ended up at City Hall instead.
Lesson #1 — Double-check your directions before leaving home.
Lesson #2 — Learn to enjoy getting lost; sometimes it’s a lot of fun.
One of the reasons we founded Ashland Creek Press is to use art (for us, that would be literature) as a way to draw awareness to issues surrounding animals. As one example, The Dragon Keeper is an amazing story (suspense, a love triangle, family drama, and everything else you could ask for in a novel) that’s also a subtly embedded history of the Komodo dragon. Mindy Mejia‘s research is so expertly woven into this novel you hardly realize how much you’re learning about this incredible species, endangered soon after it was discovered. And our new fiction anthology, Among Animals (forthcoming in February) takes a look at all the ways in which animals are a part of our lives.
As someone who can’t draw a straight line, I’ve always admired visual artists — especially those who use their art to do good for animals and the planet. No one does it better than Ashland’s Dana Feagin.
I just visited the Ashland Art Center to see Dana’s current exhibit, New Animals of Sanctuary One.
Like all of Dana’s animal paintings, these rescued animals are presented in all their adorable glory.
What I love about Dana’s work is how she captures these lovely animals at the best time of their lives — after they’ve found peace at Sanctuary One, a nonprofit care farm in Jacksonville, Oregon.
Best of all: These portraits are all for sale, and 10 percent of proceeds will be donated to Sanctuary One.
If you’re not in the Ashland area, visit Dana’s website to see all of her animal portraits, many of which are of rescued animals and shelter animals (she also does commissions!). And Dana donates a portion of all sales to local animal shelters.
She’s even done a portrait of our General Manager, Theo, a former rescue kitty. We especially love seeing his face on greeting cards, though when it comes to Theo, the cards are probably only appropriate for Halloween…