October 12, 2014


Wow, over 2 months since the last update!  I hope I don't forget to mention anyone or anything.

I usually start with adoptions, so here goes..   

We've had quite a few adoptions recently, which is always great news -  Thor, Count Decost, Ginny, Vita, Catch, Nemo, Ferrero, Zip, Oats, Spitfire, Yuma, Gabby, Valour, Clancy, Gizmo, Elvis and Bhodi.  Both Count Decost and Oats went straight to a new homes as soon as they came in.  Zip was a return and also went straight to a new home.  Other intakes we've had are: Mesa, a wildie colt with a huge umbilical hernia; Kokanee, a standardbred gelding; and Heathcote, an unsound 2 yr old Akhal Teke gelding (there's a breed I never thought we'd see here!).

I'm really happy to say Rain has a new home, with Ginny!  She's been here a long time, so it's especially nice that she has her own person now.  Macie and Kahlua are back from summer foster, thank you Carol for hauling them back home for us. Two other long-term fosters came back - Cash#2 the saddlebred gelding and Mugsy the old pony mare.  Cash seems to have possibly a stifle injury and his weight is not good.  Our vet will be checking him out next week.  Mugsy came back looking great, thank you Stella for looking after her so well.  Mugsy was companion for the last couple of years to Stella's own old pony mare until she was put down this fall.  Colton was returned after being adopted for only a short time and Elmo, a wildie who was adopted out back in 2009, came back as well, though unfortunately it would seem he's had little handling in the last 5 years.  Though Vita was adopted that fell through rather quickly so she's once again up for adoption.  Chanel has come back (her previous sponsor Kerry is very happy about that!) because she is not sound and a lot older than we'd originally thought.  She has joined Sasha, Munsie, Joanie and Monkey at Janine's (Larosa Home of Rest for Horses).  We took in a beautiful bronze turkey hen, thank you Sasha Ladawn and her husband for outbidding everyone else in a raffle to win her and save her life as she was supposed to be someone's turkey dinner! 

New turkey hen
Trixie in training
PictureMarnie with a saddle on for the first time
Lucky#1, Sebastian, Marta and Voodoo were out for a short period of time for training but didn't have much done with them before they came back a few weeks later due to personal circumstances.  Thank you Shelly for the time you did spend with them.  The six youngsters who were out for summer school, Rasta, Gizmo, Quentin, Morgan, Zora and Marnie, have come back now, with lots of experience under their belts (or cinches!), with Gizmo already adopted out.  Quentin needs more work on his hind feet as he is quite kicky, but with time we should be able to get him past that.  They've all done haltering, leading, tying, had stuff on their back and under their feet, etc.  We took Roche, Twix and Snickers to fall school now for the same sort of handling, thank you to everyone who contributing to their schooling.  They'll be a bit more work though as they are new to the Rescue and pretty well unhandled, save for Twix who had a bit of work done with her by our volunteers. Thank you Susanne for the work you are doing with these youngsters!  Hershey as well has gone out on foster for handling (he went with Clancy's adopters).  It looks like Trixie, Kirby and Felicity may stay at Marcie and Christian's for the winter to continue their training if we can get sponsors for them. Thank you to the ladies who have already sponsored Trixie's stay.  There is a possible adoption in the works for Felicity, so if that goes through only Kirby is still looking for sponsors.  If you would like to sponsor Kirby at $100/month (or any portion thereof) please indicate that on your donation when you send it in.  Estelle, Tivio, Boston, Powder and Salsa are staying on at Trendsetting Stables in Androssan to continue their training.  Spitfire was adopted from that group last month.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of Sharon Neary.  Sharon was the owner of Wolf and Old Red, who was one of our senior residents until his passing last year.  Thank you for the bequests in her memory.
We also received a donation in memory of Teresa Henry, and in memory of Nomad and Ramilika.  We had 3 different birthday donations, thank you Scott Bell, Cole Mclean, and Jacob Chisholm!  It's usually the girls who are horse crazy, so it's really nice to see this thoughtfulness from young men as well!
PictureThe new bale yard
We were very busy in September fencing the new bale yard.  With over 800 round bales coming in for the winter we needed a better place to store the hay.  There's been a nice influx of new volunteers so we've been able to get lots done around the Rescue in the maintenance and clean-up departments.  The day to day care of the animals takes up so much time that things that need to be done outside those vital chores tend to get put aside and before long become an overwhelming list. Also with all the rain we had over the spring and summer, some things like paddock clean-up couldn't be done until things dried up, which they are FINALLY starting to do (in time for winter!).  Now we are starting to bring home the horses from the various summer pastures.  It is nice to have them back home and in one place, but the down side is that it also means we have to start feeding hay.

Lots of people to thank and I'm sure I'm going to miss someone important -
Cheryl Emblau for the senior feed
Horse n' Around in Red Deer for the nice halters and leads
Terri Bodell for the hay
The Tack Collector in Calgary for the great on-going support and the donations through your patrons
Merlin Integrated Solutions
Bower Consulting
Gordon R. McLeod Fund at The Calgary Foundation
Christine from The Horse Store in Calgary
Jose Fornelli for the small blanket
Karen McLaren for the vet wrap

Sylvia, Amanda, Brad, Arlene and others for the sidewalk sale held in Sundre that raised over $800!
Equine Wellness Magazine - we were rescue of the month for September!
SOAAR - Supporters of Alberta Animal Rescues - for the donation towards our vet bill
Karen Allen for the special blankets for Beth
Spruce Meadows Masters for the feed - special thanks to John Garner, Lisa Murphy, and Laura Day

Photographer Debra Garside (http://www.sableislandhorses.ca/) has a beautiful 2015 calendar for sale of Sable Island and Alberta Wild Horses.  She has very graciously chosen Bear Valley Rescue to donate a portion of the sales proceeds to.  If you would like to order one of these calendars you can order them through the Rescue - email us at bearvalleyab@aol.com.  They are $26.50 each plus postage.

I was interviewed by Vets to Go Radio
(http://vetstogoradio.com/) on Sept 7th, 2014, episode 48 (my interview starts at 22:00 minutes) about Bear Valley Rescue and our origins.  You can listen to the interview on their website, just scroll down the page to that episode.  Their show airs every Sunday between 11 am and noon on Calgary AM770 Radio.

Mike and I, along with a number of our volunteers, were able to take a day and go up to Lake Louise to Timberline Tours for a 2 hour trial ride. Paul and Sue Peyto from Timberline are great supporters of the Rescue and wonderful horse people.  They have adopted a number of our horses and we got to ride some of them!  It was a beautiful day, the scenery was breathtaking and we really enjoyed ourselves.

There has been a rash of foot abscesses affecting the horses, probably again due to all the moisture we had this year.  Penelope, Toby,
Munsie and several others have had them.  Several of the younger pigs had a serious bout of some sort of respiratory illness, with Penny being the sickest.  Thankfully we caught it in time and after a few injections of antibiotics (now that was quite the experience, trying to give them shots!) they all recovered within a few days.  Our guinea hen decided to go hide in the forest and hatch some eggs and she came home with 16 keats (baby guineas) in tow!  Wilbur the cow had an eye infection and had to go into the vet, thanks Krystle for watching over him.  Joanie's leg has continued to fester so we had it debrided.  Unfortunately we don't know that we're any further ahead with in now either.  Thank you Janine for continuing to deal with it and with Monkey's leg as well (and Munsie's abscesses). 

The vet is coming out next week, we have Pinkerton and Mesa to geld and several teeth floatings to do.  Mike is still working on hauling home the round bales, he's almost half way done, then we have some square bales we have to pick up and also we have to finish moving the rest of the horses home before the snow flies.

We are in the running for a CREB (Calgary Real Estate Board) grant of $10,000.  Members of CREB can vote daily for a charity and the top 5 in each of 3 categories get a grant.  If you are, or know of any, realter members of CREB please have them vote for Bear Valley!  Here's the link to the contest - http://www.calgaryrealtorscare.org/investinginhope/Nominees/Vulnerable_Populations/Bear_Valley/

WHOAS (Wild Horses of Alberta Society) will have their 2015 calendar on sale soon, available through their website or locally at the following locations:
Olds UFA
General Store, Water Valley
Sundre Museum
Millarville Christmas Market (Nov 6, 7 and 8)
Cremona Winterfest (Dec 6)
Olds Fashioned Christmas
There will be additional locations where the calendars will be available, posted on their facebook page.

We were heartbroken to learn of the passing on Fonda (Gracie), the draft filly
, due to colic.  Our condolences to Rachel and family.  Also Maydie, a filly with a crooked foot who came to the Rescue in 2012 as a weanling, was euthanized at her foster home late this summer.  Thank you Jen for fostering her.


August 2, 2014


We've had a few adoptions - it is always nice to see the horses going to new homes where they will be loved and doted on and get the individual care they deserve.  Thor, the Morgan ex-stallion, has been adopted, as have some of the other Morgans, namely Belladona, Twiggy, Page and Desiree.  We delivered Snow White to her new home and took Belladona and Twiggy along to meet up with their adopter half-way, so that worked out well.  We also dropped of Esperanza and her foal Isobel at a summer foster, and that worked out really well too because the foster home is going to adopt Esperanza!  Colton's foster home has confirmed that they are going to adopt him, which is great news.  Sunny was adopted today!  It is supposed to be a trial foster first, but I'm sure it will be a permanent adoption as she is such a sweet mare. 

Catch had her foal!  She had a lovely little colt, born July 18th.  I was a little worried, as she's not even 3 yet, but she's a great mom and didn't seem to have any problems.  He is bay like his mom and his name is Nemo.  He is available for adoption but won't be able to leave until he is weaned at the end of the year.  We took in 2 surrenders from a domestic violence situation - Mr. Goat, a 27 year old mini, and Ginny, a 21 yr old possibly draft-cross mare.  Thank you Lori and family for picking them up for us and taking them on as fosters right off the bat.  Mr. Goat is available for fostering and Ginny is available for adoption.  I'll get them posted on the website within the week (I hope!).

Thank you Colette for fostering Berlinetta, Silhouette, Cash, Catch and Nemo for the rest of the summer.  Thank you to Amber and Roy for fostering 2 of the goats, Isabel and Waffle, this summer.  Beans, the pygmy goat that came in earlier this month, was castrated this past week.  Berlinetta has her teeth floated, Beth had acupuncture, and Junior had a checkup.   Beth still can't get up by herself if she lays down, but her condition is improving every day, her demeanor is good, she holds her head up higher and she nickers to us all the time, so we're pretty happy with that.  Ivor and Valiant were gelded and are already pretty well healed up.  They were very good, considering.  Valiant wasn't crazy about getting the needle, but who can blame him?!  Monkey and Silhouette both tore open their old leg injuries.  Janine is so frustrated, she was having such success with both Monkey and Joanie and has been so diligent in bandaging and cleaning their wounds.  Joanie didn't re-injure her leg but the wound did start becoming active again.   It really does seem like one step forward, two steps back, with some of these old wounds that won't heal.  Gemma is just about through week 3 of antibiotics, and it looks like we are winning the battle with her constantly runny nose.  I just hope it doesn't come back with a vengeance once she's finished the antibiotics.  The only other option may be a guttural pouch flush, which would involve a trip to Moore's for her.

Some more thank-yous - to Team Telus Cares for the donation; to Dennis and Donalda Way, for the trees and cuttings for the goats; to SOAAR (Supporters of Alberta Animal Rescues) for the donation towards our vet bill; to Jill, for the hay donation, and to Lori, Laurie, Julie and Charlene and family for helping load it all up;
to Sarah Leete and LCARF (Little Creeks and Rough Fescue Appreciation Society) for the interesting talks at your weekend fundraiser and for getting the massage treatment for Valentino (who Sarah is fostering); and to Kellie and Bryan for the new cart.  Also a big thank-you to Ken and Michele, our neighbours.  They are holding a shin-dig tomorrow to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, and they are doing a fundraiser for the Rescue at the party, in lieu of gifts.

We led the hungry herd home yesterday evening as they'd grazed down the pasture they were on.  They are back here until we get electric fencing put up at another neighbours' and then they can go over there for the rest of the summer. 
Mike used the skidsteer to unload the 3 pallets of feed we got this week.  What a nice change from having to unload everything by hand!  The paddocks and winter pasture are all looking better as Mike is cleaning them up, also using the skidsteer.  It's a pretty handy little machine, that's for sure.

There have been some great updates from Susanne on the youngsters that she is working with for us.  They are all getting lots of handling and are settled in very nicely.  There are pictures on our facebook page of some of them 'learning the ropes'.

We got a call on the 23rd of July from someone about 11 yearlings that were heading to auction.  They were offered to us at $200 a piece (plus tax), which is pretty reasonable.  The Rescue did not have the funds available to commit to purchasing them without depleting our bank account (as always it is not just the purchase of the animal, but the aftercare that really adds up!) so we put out a request on our facebook page asking for donations so that we could take them on.  Once again the amazing support of all of you out there blew us away!  Within a few hours enough donations came in that we were able to say yes, we could take them.  They arrived that same evening.  There are 4 fillies and 7 colts.  One of the fillies has a crooked front foot, one filly has a swayback, and one has a sore on the inside of her knee.  One of the colts was slightly lame (already recovered), a couple have small umbilical hernias.  They are all lovely though, with some nice colours, if you're into that, such as red roan, palomino, buckskin.  I'll post them on the website as soon as I can.  Three of the fillies are fairly friendly but the rest of the yearlings are pretty fearful and seem to be completely unhandled.  Once they are halterbroke we'll have the colts gelded. I've already dewormed them with a 3-day course of fenbendazole.  They were pretty wormy but should start to thrive now and they have already settled down quite a bit.

July 16, 2014


We had Pat, our farrier, out for one day, on the 5th, and got about 23 or 24 horses done.  I also had our barefoot trimmer, Julie, out on the 9th to do the minis and Farrah.  Because she tends to get abscesses Farrah can be difficult to trim, which is understandable, but she was very good for trimming this time and we're accomplishing a lot with her.

We delivered 6 of the youngsters, Zora, Rasta, Marnie, Gizmo, Quentin, and Morgan, to Susanne for summer school.  Although most of them have been haltered and are very friendly, Susanne will be working with them on more groundwork, such as leading, tying, picking up feet, and desensitization.  We do have to pay a some board for them while they are there.  If you'd like to sponsor one of the youngsters for summer school, at $100/month, please indicate that on your donation.  We anticipate sending more youngsters when these six come back in a month or two (depending on how quickly they progress) so the total cost will be about $2400 this season.  We're already received some summer school donations (about $500), thank you to everyone who has contributed so far!

Snow White is adopted, we'll be delivering her to her new home at the end of the month.  Boston is pending adoption, though we haven't received a deposit on her yet.  Burlesque left for her new home and is fitting is very quickly.  She's already been ridden and her adopter said she was great!

We have had a few intakes, including:
Colton, a grey 9 yr old TB gelding who has gone straight to a foster home for some work - thank you Shelley for picking him up and for fostering him.  He may have found his permanent home too, as Shelley may adopt him too;
Beans, a young pygmy goat, and 5 hens from the Calgary Humane Society.  Beans was found wandering loose in the Chestermere area.  He needs to be castrated but he is very sweet!  The hens were apparently let loose at a Calgary high school as a year-end prank, obviously without any thought to their well-being;
Sebastian, who was born here at the Rescue 2 years ago and adopted out as a foal, was returned due to a family crisis that resulted in his owners having to sell their farm here and move to Ontario on short notice.  Sebastian is a very nice, friendly gelding, halterbroke and footbroke, who is now looking for a new, permanent, home;
and Beth, an emaciated and injured 2 year old filly.  Thank you to Steven and Kate, for noticing her and doing something about it, and to Rory, for contacting us to help.  Beth has a long road ahead of her to regain her health.  She seems such a gentle soul but she's also a fighter - she had to be to have survived as she did - and we are doing everything we can to help her in her recovery.

Beth - even just a few short days after arriving, she's already starting to look better
Beans the goat
Thank you to Terri, Linda, and Mac & Judy, for the hay donations, and to Sheena of Blazing Saddles for the straw donation.

The Rescue was really hopping last weekend!  First off, thank you Carmen, our volunteer coordinator, for bringing everything together for the weekend.  On Saturday we had some of our 'regular' volunteers out (though I wouldn't describe any of you as ordinary, lol!), and Carmen also did an orientation for 6 new volunteers.  Thank you Pat and Sasha for coming out and fixing fences and stuff - Sasha's birthday present from her husband Pat was to come out to the Rescue and be put to work.  What a special guy and thank you for doing that for the Rescue, Sasha!  On Saturday we had a volunteer team here from Spectra Energy.  A huge thanks for everyone's hard work (and the great lunch too) over the course of the day.  They rebuilt a shelter, put up a new length of fence, cut down trees for the goats and llamas, shoveled poop, fixed fences, cleaned waterers, and more!  Thank you Leane and Tracey (two more of our 'regulars') for helping with the day.  A LOT of things got crossed off our 'to-do' list!  Thank you to Jenn of Spectra Enegry and Kaitlin Rogers
on behalf of Four Feet Companion Foundation for bringing this about.
Look, it's a city work crew! (apologies to spectra and city work crews)
Boyd the turkey overseeing the fence building.
There are so many things we are thankful for, because we can't do this without the support of all of you out there.  Whether it is donations (either monetary or items), fundraising, adopting or fostering, volunteering,
or simply 'getting the word out', it all comes together to make the lives of these animals better, safer, healthier and happier.  I know 'team' is an overused word of late, but it IS a team effort.  Thank you!

July 4, 2014


I've posted a newsletter for the first half of 2014. I missed a few things so I've updated it.

We had been contacted late last year about a situation involving a small herd of Morgan horses that were (was?) going to need to be rehomed by spring.  The owner had returned to the States due to ill health and was not going to be coming back to Canada.  Fortunately he had arranged for a caretaker to look after the horses over the winter, but when it was determined that he would not be coming back, come spring, when the hay ran out and the property was repossessed or the power cut off, the horses would have nowhere to go.  After a bit of finagling we were able to obtain legal permission to take in the horses.  Mid June, with two trucks and trailers we drove all the way to the Saskatchewan/Alberta border to pick up the twelve Morgans.  Of course there’s always a ‘but’, and in this case it was that two of the twelve were stallions. No matter, we got them all home, the stallions have already been gelded and 2 of the Morgans have already been adopted.  At least in this case all twelve horses are halterbroke.  That’s a big plus when we’re used to dealing with horses with no history and often little or no handling!  Thank you Mary Ellen for hauling one of the trailers, and thank you once again to our vet, Dr. Erickson, for meeting us that evening when we got home, to stitch up the one horse that got a serious cut over his eye in the trailer.

The Morgans are all posted on the website now, plus I updated the Hungry Herd horses' pics, and some of the youngsters'.

We took three of the Morgans to Colette's for summer foster but Silhouette went through a fence less than an hour after we dropped them off, so back we went to pick them up and bring them home. I guess they're just a 'little' herd-bound.  Not surprising, considering they've lived together for years and most of them are related to each other.

We delivered Flora and Marshall to their new home.  Mercy was fostered but has come back as she jumped the fence again.

Quill has been adopted by her foster home, along with her foal that was born there.

Adopted are Burlesque, Cash #3 (two of the Morgans),
Zane, Peso, Isobel Too, Tacoma, and possibly Snow White.  Foxy #2 is relisted, we decided she wasn't going to be a good fit at her adoption.  Dixie was picked up by her new owners, along with her mom Thelma who they are also fostering.

We delivered Macie and Kahlua to their summer foster.  Just as we left, Mike spotted a baby moose tangled in a barb wire fence.  We were able to untangle it but it was pretty seriously injured.  Thank you Charlene for watching over the little moose during the day.  It went to Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, but sadly it did not make it due to shock and stress.

The llamas were sheared, finally.  Then two of them decided to jump the fence (not on the same day), we believe they were spooked by a bear.  We went walking through the neighbouring quarter section looking for them.  We didn't find the llamas that day, but we did find the bear!
It's a grizzly!
Thank you Christian and Marcie for taking on Felicity, Kirby, and Trixie for the summer, to work with them. 
We have some other youngsters we would like to send out for some work to someone else as well, but we will have to pay $100/month board for them, so we are fundraising for that.  If you'd like to sponsor a youngster to go to summer school, please indicate that on your donation.  We are hoping to send at least Marnie, Morgan, Quentin, Gizmo, Rasta and Zora, and more if we raise enough funds.

Thank you Linda & Ken McEwan for the donation of really nice electric clippers, and also the fence posts and other misc. stuff.

Thanks also to Terri Bodell for donating more hay, Ginia for donating feed, Linda Paget for donating hay, Four Feet Companions Foundation for donating feed, and Linda Somers for donating to cover the cost of gelding one of the stallions.  We are also fundraising for that, as we have 5 stallions to geld.  It is at least $350 to geld one mature stallion, including the gelding and aftercare.

June 08, 2014


This is our most busy time of year, what with trying to get the horses out to pasture and cleaning up the mess that's accumulated over the winter.  We've had some real highs and some terrible lows over the last month.

The saddest news is that we lost both Coal and Montego within a few days of each other.  Coal colicked on May 30th and even though we rushed him to the vet clinic in Calgary, he was in so much distress that euthanizing him was about the only option.  Then the next day Montego had a very swollen leg up by his stifle and he was completely lame.  I was hoping it was only an abscess, as Dingo had the same sort of injury back in April, but it turned out that Montego had a broken bone in his upper leg and we had to have him euthanized as well.  It was so tragic, they were both such sweet boys.

There is loss but there is also birth. We had a lot of babies arrive over the last month.  Thelma foaled on May 18, and what a surprise, she had a bay paint filly with blue eyes!  Gabby, one of the Clydesdales, foaled a colt, Valour, at her foster home on May 21st.  Esperanza had a filly on May 22nd, she's been named Isobel2.
Quill, who we got at auction last summer and has been fostered out, also turned out to be pregnant and had THE most handsome colt, born June 2nd.  Quill is being adopted, along with her foal, by the foster home.  Gabby is being adopted, along with her foal.  Dixie has already been adopted too, and especially nice is that they will be fostering Thelma as well!

We took in a few new animals this past month.  We got Oliver the piglet, and he was immediately rehomed to The Alice Sanctuary as we had no place to keep him.  C
oming in to the Rescue were a sorrel mare we've named Cola, (she was supposed to be a gelding!) and a pony stallion we've named Lincoln (who was also supposed to be a gelding).  Cola is a bit nervous but she seems very well halterbroke, picks up her feet (fronts, anyway), and trailer loads.  Lincoln seems to be completely untouched.  His hooves are very overgrown and his front legs are slightly crooked, though he's not unsound.  Also when Mike went to an auction to look at skidsteers he came home with a horse instead!  Sunny is a lovely papered QH palomino mare, very well mannered, quiet, halter and foot broke but not broke to ride.   We took in another 20 chickens that were being culled, these are all very nice red hens about a year old.  We are going to have to sort and isolate all the roosters as they've become way too aggressive with the hens (hence the reason for getting more hens, to try and spread out the roosters a bit, but it hasn't worked!).

There have been a few adoptions (thank goodness) -
Yoshi, Quill and her foal, Gunner, Flora and Marshall, Jara, Jax, Sigmund, Spark & Peso, and Dixie the foal.  We took Powder, Spitfire, Boston, Salsa, Tivio and Estelle up to Trendsetting Stable by Edmonton, as they have offered to work with the horses for us to help make them more adoptable.  Thank you Lara Ulan, owner of the stable! 
Mercy went to her new foster home, as did Wilbur the bottle calf.  We took Frank the steer in to have his feet trimmed, and Oreo the bull to have his one testicle removed, then dropped Oreo at his foster home, along with Mercy.

Flame and Elvis were gelded.  We had some wire cuts happen (Abby, Gypsy#1 and Morgan) but fortunately none were really terribly serious.  I took Emmy in to Moore's for an evaluation of her suspensory ligament issues.  Unfortunately there's nothing that can be done, but we can make her as comfortable as possible hopefully through the summer at least.  She is moving a lot better now, but we're pretty sure we won't make her go through another winter.  Prince also is starting to have more trouble with his arthritic knee, so we'll have to see how he does through the summer.  Maggie(#3) had her first trim, which we sedated her for because she's had so much trouble with her hind feet and abscesses.  Turns out she has some weird proud flesh corn-type thingy coming out the bottom of her hoof as a result of the abscesses, so between the vet and the farrier it was lanced and hopefully will start to heal over.  Speaking of the farrier, Pat was out for 3 days in late May and trimmed as many as we could do, including Maggie.  We also sedated Biscuit to trim him up as his front hooves tend to break off too short and then he ends up lame.  We had a few youngsters who had their first trim, including Chaplain, Leo and Dingo!

The Hungry Herd is doing really well, we'll have to start calling them the Happy Herd instead.  I still have to get Ivor and Valiant haltered so we can geld them.  We moved a lot of the horses out to pasture already.  Sixteen went up to one pasture north of us, 22 went to a neighbour to the east, 5 went to a summer foster down on Horse Creek Rd. and we moved the 2 mares with foals and Louise, Maggie and Sunny to another pasture.  We have 5 or 6 more to move next weekend, and hopefully the 10 or 12 already adopted ones will be leaving in the next couple of weeks as well.  We have a few more fosters to drop off too yet this week.

Thank you to Karyn for holding a horse handling clinic for some of the volunteers last month.  We also are so thankful to everyone for the support during the fundraising blitz for the a new skidsteer, which we have now purchased.  It will make Mike's manure-shoveling a lot easier!
  The Dueling Pianos fundraiser was a smashing success, thank you Krystle for arranging the whole show!  We made the leap to leasing a new stock trailer, it's a 24 foot and will hold 9-10 horses, which saves so much time and fuel when hauling it didn't make sense to NOT get it.

Thank you Meadowlark Stables for the donation in memory of Eileen Day.

We are now set up to accept donations of Aeroplan miles -


I've added a couple of new things to our Wish List.


May 5, 2014


We had a good time at the Mane Event, thank you to the volunteers who helped man the booth.  I was only there the one day but it was nice to reconnect with some previous adopters who stopped by the booth.  I'm sorry I missed some of you on the days I wasn't there but it was nice to read the notes you left!  We held a raffle during the Mane Event and the winners were:
Timberline Tours (Lake Louise) trail ride for 2:  Greg Creencia
Photo print of Zane:  Rebecca Nichols
Bucket of horsey stuff: 
Madison Stepp
We raised $945 between the raffle and t-shirt and hoodie sales.
A big thank you to Kathleen of The Tack Collector (used tack sales, located in Calgary).  They held a raffle benefiting the Rescue at their Mane Event booth and raised $630!

There was an article about Bear Valley in the Calgary Herald Neighbours paper - here's a link to the article:

Ellie and Dru left for their new foster home, thank you Linda and Ken for fostering!
Yoshi got a small cut on his hock, Zane had to come up to the house for a few days when he developed an abscess, and Saffron had a scary colic episode last week.  Our vet here did what she could but because Saffron's heart rate remained high we rushed her in to Moore's clinic in Calgary that evening for an ultrasound.  She stayed at Moore's for 2 days and everything returned to normal.  Colic is such a terrible diagnosis and is so often fatal, and we are SO thankful that she recovered.  She is back with the herd and doing fine.  Django has had ongoing issues with sarcoids, he's got several now - 2 on his chest, one on his neck, and one on the side of his face, and possibly one more on the other side of his face right by his mouth.  I've been diligently treating them with Xxterra and the biggest one is starting to fall off so hopefully we'll get rid of them all within a few weeks. 

New additions:
I can't recall if I mentioned Missy in the last blog.  Missy is a big Thoroughbred mare, over 20 years old.  She was badly neglected but is doing well now.  She might even be a good mount for someone with experience looking for an occasional ride around the pasture.
  She is very food motivated and can be a bit pushy.
This past weekend we picked up a beautiful 2 yr old bald-face bay gelding named Mac.  We bought him from one of the local horse dealers who had asked us if we'd be interested in him because he was too nice a horse to ship. His owner was moving out of the country and apparently couldn't be bothered to try and find Mac a home.  Mac is a nice horse, beautifully put together, a good height, nice and straight and correct, halterbroke, great feet, but we've discovered that he has serious food aggression issues which will have to be worked out before he is safe to be around.  I assume Mac was badly spoiled as he doesn't seem to have any concept of personal space or respect for people and is downright dangerous where food is concerned.

If you haven't already done so, check out our home page!  Through the efforts of our great volunteers and our good friends at AARCS, we have the opportunity of matching a donation of up to $10,000
(for a total of $20,000 raised) towards a skidsteer (generic term for a 'bobcat').  Mike is SO excited.
Please consider making a donation, any amount is appreciated, which will double through the matching donation and allow us to purchase this much needed piece of equipment.  So far we've raised almost $6,000 and it's only been a week!  Thank you to the anonymous donor who donated tack, including SEVEN saddles, to our used tack sales to add to this fundraiser. 

If you are looking for good used tack, c
heck out our facebook tack sales page, managed by Mary Ellen - just message her to get added to the group. - https://www.facebook.com/groups/bvrusedtack/

April 26, 2014


Wow I thought for sure I'd posted an update since March, but I guess not!
What has been happening...?
Fonda and Bitsy were adopted, together, and went to a fantastic new home (thank you Rachel, Adrian & Ashleigh!).  Three of the drafts, Isobel (renamed Dolly), another pregnant mare now named June, and the stallion now named Ragner, were adopted to another great home, and talk about good timing, Dolly foaled a beautiful colt that evening after they got home, and his name is Johnny (there's a country and western theme going)!   The two young drafts (now named Itsy and Bitsy) were adopted together and left for their new home.  We have a group of five going to a new home shortly - Spark, Jax, Jara, and Foxy, along with Sigmund the donkey - they are going to be SO happy to get out on pasture.  Also Ellie and possibly Dru (depending on how friendly she presents herself!) will be going to a new permanent foster home next week.  Sonata and Diamond, two horses that were out on foster, were adopted by their respective foster families!  Diamond Dan went to Janine's, to join the other six older horses that she is fostering. 

We brought Gemma back from foster as she'd injured her neck getting her head stuck between a gate and post (that's why I posted the reminder for all our volunteers here about making sure there's no slack on the chain when latching gates!).  She was presenting with a head lilt when eating so we got her teeth done, which she really needed, but she still has the head tilt so she's going to have massage to see if that helps. I think she's happy to be back as she's in a quiet group with Pet, Russa and Twenty.  Reba also got her teeth done and I moved her to a different paddock, giving Prince, Ellie and Emmy a little more space and quiet.  Thelma is about ready to foal, we keep expecting to see a little one every morning but nothing yet.  Elvis came down with distemper which is rather odd as he wasn't in any area that contained the horses from the previous outbreak last year (which came in with some auction rescues).  Sigmund and Flame, who are in with Elvis, haven't come down with it , which I can see that with Sigmund, as he's older and has probably been exposed prior to this, but I would have thought Flame would come down with it too.  Elvis is now healed up, he didn't have it very bad, and we'll wait a few more weeks to ensure Flame doesn't get it before we have the two of them gelded, after which they can join the herd.  I have haltered them both now in preparation for their gelding.  Sigmund was gelded at the same time that Reba and Gemma had their teeth done, in anticipation of him going to his new home, but again we're waiting for the quarantine period to pass before sending him to his new home.

Mike and I were able to get away for a few days to Banff at the beginning of April.  A huge thank you to all the volunteers who helped hold down the fort while we were gone!  Only casualties while we were away were Dingo, who got a puncture to his thigh and had to be brought up to the house for meds, and the boiler, which had a major meltdown!  Thank you to our vet for helping the volunteers with getting Dingo up to the house and providing for his care.

We've had a lot of used tack donations and Mary Ellen raised over $1000 selling it!  There's still more available on the facebook page mentioned in the last post, plus there's more coming in all the time.  Thank you to everyone who's donating, and buying.

We took in 2 chickens needing a home.  They are very lovely red ones and very friendly. Currently they are in with the silkies and frizzles.  We need to re-evaluate our chicken coop situation as we have so many roosters and they are hard on the poor hens!  Either that or we need more hens. 
Other new arrivals are:
Missy/Shakira, an older (over 20) Thoroughbred mare - she is friendly, sound and healthy, though she hasn't really been ridden in a while, and she can be a bit pushy especially around food.  She will be available for fostering.  She was badly neglected and subsequently cared for and rehabbed by some caring people.  We had committed to taking her last fall as they knew at that time that they would only be able to care for her until spring.
Sundance, a 12 year old palomino gelding, originally adopted out 9 years ago.  He was returned due to divorce and health concerns of his owner.  Like the majority of broke horses we get, he found a new home within a couple of days of arriving here.
Cecil, Samia and Nina were returned together, due to financial reasons.  Not sure what was going on with that, as Cecil was a foster to start with and his adoption was just finalized a couple of months ago, but in any case we're happy to have them back.

We had to have Esther, our oldest cow, euthanized last week as she was down and couldn't get up.  She was almost twenty years old, which is very old for cow, especially one that had had a lot of calves in her life.  She had a good long retirement at least.

We still have 4 of the Clydesdales here.  Gabby hasn't yet left for her new home, Esperanza is going to be available for fostering only, once she foals, and Marshall the gelding and Flora the sorrel are available for adoption.  Marshall is having more issues with his rear hooves, it looks like the other one has broken off really short as well and he's quite lame on it.  We have to get them trimmed up one way or another.  I'm pretty sure I saw a farrier with a tipping table advertising on kijiji.  The hungry herd is doing really well, though I discovered just the other day that Valiant and Ivor are, in fact, stallions and not geldings!  They had so much swelling around their sheaths when they arrived that you couldn't tell.  Good thing I noticed, and the priority now is to get them separated, halter-broke, and gelded! 

Percy has a special trim at his foster home, we're hoping to encourage his crooked leg to grow as straight as possible.  He may even be sound for riding at some point.  Sadly little Maydie's crooked joint has deteriorated and she will have to be euthanized at some point as surgery is neither practical nor affordable, but for now she's still feeling okay and being her usual spunky self.  Her foster home is monitoring her and as long as any pain she has can be managed and she can get around we'll let her be.  I dewormed the drafts, the hungry herd, the mares and foals group, and Slinky's group.  The drafts were VERY wormy.

The Mane Event is Red Deer is under way.  Stop by and visit the booth if you are there, we are booth #802.
We have hoodies and t-shirts available for sale, I'll get pictures and info posted as soon as possible.  The hoodies are embroidered and will be $50, while the t-shirts are silk screen and $20.

A reminder about our May 31st fundraiser in Cremona - Dueling Pianos!  Lots of tickets still available, and there will be a silent auction as well!

We are on the lookout for an affordable skidsteer, if anyone knows of one.  Preferably under $20,000 and at least partly finance-able.

March 29th, 2014


Where to start...

The Hungry Herd from the February rescue is doing well.  The littlest mare, Maggie, is so thin and is having trouble with abscesses, but she is eating well and is putting on some weight.  It just seems such a slow process.  You want them to get better, right now!, but rehabilitating them takes time and can't be hurried.  I put her in the barn the other day thinking I can soak her foot easier if she's inside and give her extra groceries, plus she'll be warm and dry.  I opened the top of the dutch door so she could see out and get some fresh air.  I came back a little while later and she'd jumped over the door!  I don't know how she managed it, but I decided to put her back outside with the rest of the herd, figuring if she's that upset about being separated the stress won't help her at all.  I've been able to halter her and clean the burrs out of her tail and poultice and soak her foot so she's getting some good handling at least.  Haven't had a chance to work with the others at all, but they do come running as soon as they hear the chain on the gate rattling!

On March 9th we went to a local horse dealer's lot to check out a herd of Clydesdales that were there.  There were 7 geldings, a stallion, a yearling filly, a two year old filly, and 6 mares - four of which were pregnant and one that had just foaled that morning.  All were in pretty rough shape, underweight and with terribly neglected hooves.  Some of the mares seemed friendly but most of the horses were nervous and
seemed unhandled.  Not surprising, given their situation.   Six of the geldings had already been sold and were going to Iowa to be trained to drive.  The remaining horses' prospects weren't too bright.  We ended up buying the rest, 10 plus the foal that had just been born.

We happened to have our horse trailer with us as we'd just dropped off some horses at Janine's and made what turned out to be the fortuitous decision to bring the mare and foal home with us that evening.  We named the mare Philomena and the foal Fonda.
The next morning it because apparent that the mare was very ill.  We suspected retained placenta and Mike rushed her to the vet where an exam confirmed it.  Retained placenta in horses is extremely dangerous, becoming toxic very quickly and often being fatal, especially if not caught early enough, and it can also lead to founder and laminitis.  She was flushed out numerous times and put on a variety of medications to try to counteract the toxicity.  Philly came back to the Rescue that afternoon and over the next 10 days we battled to keep her going.  Mike set up a system in the barn so our vet could easily flush out Philomena's uterus, as she needed to be done twice a day for the first several days, then daily for a couple of days, and then less often after that.  
Philomena was on several different antibiotics and other drugs, most twice a day, to help her recover and to try to prevent founder.  While we seemed to win the battle with the toxicity, as her temperature returned to normal, she exhibited signs of heaves, her heart rate remained high and, worse, she was not eating.  

Meanwhile, Fonda the foal, such a sweetheart!, was doing well in spite of all that her mom was going through.  We began supplementing the mare's milk to try to take the burden off Philly of having to nurse Fonda continuously.  Fortunately Fonda took to drinking from a bucket right away.  But in spite of everything, we could not get Philomena to eat anything but a bit of sweet feed.  She would only nibble at hay or cubes and as soon as we added anything else to the sweet feed, like supplement or broodmare mix, she wouldn't touch it.  The following Thursday, after 10 days, she laid down and we couldn't get her up.   We'd IV'd her and tubed her with everything we could throw at her to try and boost her energy and get her going again but it was not to be.  Philly was euthanized on the 20th.  We were so heartbroken.

With Philomena gone, Fonda became an orphan and we had to figure out what we could do to make her and our lives a little easier, as raising an orphan foal is no small matter.  The next day we were advised of a mare for sale a couple of hours away that had aborted twins the day before.  We made the immediate decision to purchase the mare and try and get her to take Fonda as her own foal.  A huge thank you to Gigi and her family for driving out to pick up the mare and bring her to the Rescue!  It was a really long day for you.  And thank you to everyone else who offered to help.  The new mare, who we named Bitsy, is a beautiful 14 year old registered QH mare (Ima Bit Te).  She has a scar on one hock, looks like an old wire cut, and she was very lame.  We were told she'd been recently kicked.  Thankfully within a day she was fine though.  Gigi and family arrived with Bitsy late in the evening.  We put Bitsy in the stocks and gave her a bit of sedation, then allowed Fonda to nurse a little.  Fonda was happy to do so!  Bitsy wasn't too crazy about it but she didn't fuss much.  The next morning we did the same thing.  By that afternoon after a couple of more feedings without having to sedate Bitsy, foal and mom started to nicker to each other and Bitsy even faced towards Fonda's stall when they were separated.  Mike and I had to go out that evening (thank you Judy and Sherral for taking over while we were gone!) but by the time we got home late that night Fonda and Bitsy were definitely bonded and got to spend the night together and have been together since!
The reason I said earlier that it was fortuitous that we'd decided to bring Philly and Fonda home that first day (as we weren't able to go back to pick up the remaining drafts until later) is that, even though we lost Philly after a 10 day battle, I'm sure that had she still been at the horse dealer's the next day, she and Fonda would both be dead.  I cannot believe that Philly would have been noticed to be ill and would have died there almost immediately, and in all likelihood Fonda would have been euthanized immediately as I know they would not have taken on the trouble of trying to raise an orphan foal or to find her a replacement mom.  So even though Philly is gone, Fonda is healthy and happy, and we also now have Bitsy, who we have taken out of a breeding cycle that is perpetuating so many of the unwanted horses.

Thank you to Four Feet Companions Foundation for the grant towards the care of the 'Hungry Herd'; to Trendsetting Stable Riders and Noble Riders 4-H Club for the donations; and Shay-Ann Rangen for donating for your birthday!  Thank you to Calgary Regional Trail Riders for once again generously supporting the Rescue through your donation.  Thank you Annalise Blishen for doing massage therapy for Emmy.  Thank you Linda Somers for arranging the weekly fruit and vegetable donation from Planet Organic Calgary North. The pigs, goats and poultry love it! 

Mary Ellen has set up a facebook page for used tack sales to benefit the Rescue - https://www.facebook.com/groups/bvrusedtack/  If you aren't on facebook, you can contact her directly if you have tack to donate or are looking for something  to purchase - email maryellen.lickfold@yahoo.ca

Krystle has arranged a wonderful fundraiser for Bear Valley!  Dueling Pianos LIVE! from Las Vegas - Come join us for an exciting evening filled with LIVE dueling pianos (all the way from Las Vegas!), May 31, 2014 at Cremona Community Hall. $40 per ticket, $5 drinks, silent auction! You will not want to miss this fantastically fun evening!  Call Krystle at 403-836-4096 for tickets.  If I can find a website for the venue I'll post it on the fundraising page.  There is a facebook page set up for the event - https://www.facebook.com/events/628812433879006/ 

Snuffy and Isis have been adopted together, and Cecil, who was out on foster, has now been adopted by his foster home.  Janine, our treasurer, has taken on some of the special care horses - Monkey, Joanie, Munsie, Torque, Snips and Sasha.

We have a lot of new sponsors - Isobel, Shay, Dan, Saffron, Marnie, Eclipse, the goats Isabel and Waffle, have all been sponsored in the last month, in addition to the sponsors of the Hungry Herd!  Thank you to all  sponsors, past and present.  Your continued support helps us to meet the needs of all the animals in our care.

Torque, Snips and Ellie had their teeth floated at the beginning of March.  We have about 10 more that need doing this spring - just have to get to it!  Also once the weather warms up we have to do some gelding - Sigmund, Elvis, Flame and the Clydesdale stallion need to be done.  Mike hauled home another 100 round bales, with another 50 still to pick up.  We also purchased over 500 more square bales.  Can't wait for winter to finally end!!  We now have 96 horses in the main herd and 44 at the house, and lots more fostered out.  Adoptions have been slow while intakes have been overwhelming.  It has been such a long, cold winter, I think everyone, us included, has been in survival mode.  Hopefully things will pick up once winter loosens its grip.  It is, after all, almost April!

March 24, 2014


It has been an incredibly hectic month.  I'm part way through updating the horses, adding the new ones that have come in.  We took in 10 Clydesdales (and 1 foal) and lost the mare of the foal as she'd retained a piece of her placenta, then found a nurse mare for the foal.  I'll post more info in the next couple of days on what's been happening. 

February 23, 2014


I was able to spend about 12 hours yesterday working on the website (one can get a lot done when starting at 4 am lol!), so I've finally got pretty well all the newer horses posted, moved some around (sadly, all too many had to be moved to the rainbow bridge page), and hopefully today I can get the new 'hungry herd' posted as well. For now they'll all go on the foster page. On the plus side I moved Dingo and Simba from 'foster' to 'available for adoption' as both of them have improved immensely and no longer have issues with contracted tendons. Now I just have to create and add the links for the 'montage' pics for those most recent that don't have them yet. Oh and I think some picture links are missing from when the new website was created so I'll go through and find which are missing and add those as well. I did find a few of them yesterday.
It's getting a little easier as I'm becoming more comfortable using the new website developer. Just wish our internet/computer were faster!

I spent a few more hours on it today and got all the missing 'collage' pics linked to the thumbnails, except for the newer horses which I still need to create them for.  The newest 'hungry herd' is posted on the 'fosters' page.  I noticed that a LOT of the youngsters need new pictures, they've all grown so much and look so much better than they did last year.  A good project for anyone who wants to come out and take pictures in the spring/summer!