Upcoming Events


Check out the news and events page for some great upcoming events in 2015 benefiting the Rescue!
Also coming up is Giving Tuesday, December 2nd.  And you can create your own fundraising campaign for Bear Valley Rescue through Canada Helps - check out their campaign creation page by clicking on the 'fundraise now' button!  We'll also be starting our 'fill the Christmas tree for the animals' fundraiser on December 1st - we had great success last year from all of your, our supporters, and filled TWO trees!
Fundraise Now Through CanadaHelps.org!

Nov 10, 2014


We were so thankful for the extended lovely fall weather but now winter is here full force!  About a foot of snow fell over the last day and the temperatures sure dropped.  We got a lot (but not all unfortunately!) of the fencing done and we're hoping the weather will improve by the end of the week so we can get more done, maybe even get it ALL done, plus we HAVE to get a couple of shelters built.  Today we have to brave the roads to try and get the remaining 20 or so horses still out on pasture back to the Rescue.  One trip we had to do we were able to put off to the weekend, thank goodness, as it would have involved driving east of Calgary and back with a couple of side trips in between.
We had 2 intakes last week, both Thoroughbreds, made possible through the efforts of quite a few people both before and after their arrival! 
Thank you to Mary Ellen Lickfold, Jaclyn Skorpack, Marcie Thompson, Evelyn Sabraw (R3 Equine Rehab) and friends, Renee Ptolemy and Terri Bodell for helping save these horses and secure their future (and shine a light on their past):
Tucker is from the auction, he's a big, beautiful dark bay/brown gelding, about 12 years old.  Tucker was run through the auction with absolutely no information at all and was being bid on by only the meat buyer.  Tucker seems very friendly and quiet (especially for a Thoroughbred!), was obviously raced as he has blistering on his cannon bone and a lip tattoo.  He doesn't appear to be unsound but we'll have to see.  We will try and trace his tattoo - by what I figure it is, he'd be from Illinois.  Not sure how likely that would be?  He's already had his teeth floated and is putting on weight.
Tyler is an older sorrel gelding, supposed to be 19 years of age.  Someone became concerned because he wasn't being cared for or fed properly and was very underweight, especially with winter coming (which it sure did!).  The owner apparently got Tyler for free on kijiji as a companion for his mare but they didn't get along, and the owner was not making any attempt to care for him.  We were able to trace his tattoo and his registered name is Little Taylor and he's actually 24 years old.  Tyler is in poor condition but we've already had his teeth floated (he still has all his teeth, which is good) and he's looking better every day with the extra rations he's getting and all the hay he can eat. 

Speaking of teeth floating, Chanel, Colton and Russa also had their teeth floated this past week.  Russa has so few teeth that they don't meet up so she needs annual dental work to keep them even.  Colton, even though he's only 7, had a lot of sharp points (as did both Tyler and Tucker) and Colton also had ulcers on both cheeks as a result.  Poor guy must have been very uncomfortable but he'll do much better now.

Esperanza's adoption has been finalized and Felicity has been adopted. Zaz came back last week from his foster home, thank you Carolyn for having him for the last year and a half as a companion to your horse, and then Zaz left on the weekend to a new foster home to be a companion to a blind horse, thank you Anne!
We have a sponsor for Colton, hank you Jennifer Graydon for sponsoring Colton!

Sadly we had to say goodbye to Munsie a couple of weeks ago.  Munsie was a cute little mare that came from an estate dispersal a couple of years ago.  She was pregnant at the time and had a sweet little foal, Thunder, born that spring, but little Thunder was premature and though he seemed to be doing well he only lived 2 short weeks before passing away.  Munsie was unsound when she came in to the Rescue and she had ongoing issues with abscesses that progressively got worse.  It became apparent that there wasn't going to be any improvement and we had to make the decision to let her go.  Thank you to Janine, her foster, for caring for Munsie over the last few months, and to Julie, of Julie's Natural Hoof Trimming, for her work on Munsie.

Munsie and Thunder

October 24, 2014


I'm going to try and post more often so I don't have to remember so much at once of what has been happening.  We have had two intakes. Stiles is a lovely Thoroughbred gelding.  He's huge, but a gentle giant.  Donovan is a return, due to health and financial reasons.  He's a 3 year old Quarter Horse gelding (can be registered), very friendly and well started with ground work.  We are also expecting 2 new Thoroughbred mares in this Saturday.  Felicity's adoption is confirmed, and we're delivering Catch, Nemo and Bhodi to their new home tomorrow. 

Today we picked up a big load of firewood, thank you to Anne and Glen for the wood, and Anne and Peter for helping load it.  We filled the 16' stock trailer to the top.  Of course now we have to unload it all, too, darn.

Mike is SO happy, he finally finished hauling home the 835 round bales from our one supplier.  That's one big project that is off his plate, though we do still have 50 or 60 more rounds and several hundred squares coming from other suppliers.  Now he's back to paddock cleaning and rushing to get all the other things done that need to be complete before winter.

We moved seventeen horses to another pasture that has been donated for a few weeks, and we've brought a number of other horses home as well.  Thank you Anne and Glen for helping with the hauling, and the horses were all so good for the moving too.  It's always nice when they're cooperative and well-behaved! 

The volunteers held a special volunteer lunch on the 11th.  We have such a great group of volunteers, some that have been with us for years and some that are brand new.  Everyone brought something to the lunch, which was fantastic, and some recipes were shared. 

Thank you to Katrina and Bev from Rocky Mountain House for the donation of square bales.  Thanks Katrina as well for loading and hauling it down to us, and helping to unload as well.  Thanks to Charlene and family for bringing over a load of pumpkins for the pigs, they certainly enjoyed them.  Thank you to Karen, one of our volunteers, for purchasing a 'Back on Track' blanket for Beth.  Beth looks pretty snazzy in it and it may help her too.

We did get Mesa and Pinkerton gelded, and they've already healed up with no swelling at all.  We have a bout of ringworm going through their little group so they're in quarantine until it clears up. 

We received the Husky Employees Foundation grant.  Our sincere thanks to the ladies who worked so hard to get us into the program for 2013, it's just really unfortunate that Husky decided to cancel the program the next year!  But we do very much appreciate the support we got for that one year.

Once again we'd like to thank the Donner Canadian Foundation for their ongoing support. 

Beth trying out her new blanket

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 anyone 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 prior owner of Wolf, one of our adoptees, 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, realtor 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.