Hello beautiful people!  Welcome back to my 3 Corners Farm blog.  In case you were wondering how this blog got its name, it is because the property we live on is shaped like a triangle.  

It is three acres, which is less than we here hoping for, however all of it is basically flat and there is a nice deep well.  Other properties we had looked at had five acres or more of steep terrain or a shared well, and those designs didn't really meet our needs. They also cost more, and less is best, of course.

I am truly learning just how much you can do with three acres and if we had more, how much more work there would be to do! Yes indeed, we are content with what we have.
In this blog post, I would like to introduce you all to my herd.  It consists of three Hodge podge friends, all with hooved feet. 

First and foremost, there is Willow. She is my favorite (but shhh, don't tell the others) because we have been through so much together since I paid $300.00 for her.  I found her online and liked the looks of her and her kind eyes. 

I had previously lost my soul pony, a little Arabian, from a feedlot.  Cashmere, the pony, had come from a feedlot in Washington in October of 2015, and so much about her was unknown. 

In the end she had a growth on her jawline and a sarcoid that was growing at an alarming rate.  She was also off on her diagonal (the best way I can think of to describe this simply is to compare it to a human having scoliosis of the spine).  Cashmere's list of issues didn't end there. She had blindness in one eye that progressively worsened over the two year period of time that I had her. In the end, I was prepared to haul her to a more advanced equine facility that could better serve her needs because we did not have an equine vet facility in our town yet, at that time. 

We never made it however, because Cashmere passed quickly and suddenly on July 3rd, 2018 in a barn accident probably caused by her blindness.  Perhaps I will share more of Cashmere's story sometime but it still chokes me up and causes such strong grief in me that I just don't have the heart to talk about her journey just yet. 

We gave Cashmere our all and she died loved and well cared for.  This property was supposed to be for Cashmere and in my heart it will always be, "Cashmere's Corner".
After the heartbreaking loss of Cashmere, my friends convinced me to try out another horse named Mercy, but she just didn't seem to match me very well. 

She was a beautiful bay, completely sound and healthy, and only needed more rides on her to fine tune what training she had, to build her confidence. I knew that my heart was calling out to a horse somewhere that needed me more.  One that was deemed no longer fit for the needs of humans to ride on their back. After a trial month, I ended up giving Mercy back to the family I had gotten her from, and told them she deserves a working home that can give her a good horse job to do.  Mercy did eventually find her home.

In the meantime, I was not really looking at horses and was just trying to get on with my life without Cashmere, and hoping to spare my heart from another huge loss. One late afternoon I was sitting on the couch in the living room with my beloved dog Baby by my side, and I happened to see a picture of Willow on my phone.  
She spoke to me.  

My spine went straight as I sat up.  Baby jumped.  I studied all info I could about Willow, and asked some specific questions.  She wasn't too far away...I slept on it for a few nights and then told my husband I wanted to go have a look at her.  He was not sold on the idea but knew there was no stopping me once I had an idea in my head.  

Long story short, Willow was delivered back to the barn where I had lost Cashmere about a week after seeing the on-line post.  She had overgrown hooves, stone bruising (a clear indication of issues) and she NEEDED me!  

She was born in 2000 and was previously registered with the American Paint Horse Association, so I was able to follow her moves between Washington and Oregon. Willow had moved a lot!  That was another indication that there was more than meets the eye with this mare. Something was off. 

Her previous owners were pretty desperate to sell Willow and it came down to a choice between me or another family with kids. Let me tell ya, Willow probably would have ended up being sold by that family if we hadn't decided to take her in because she had some serious unsafe behavior issues when it came to riding, that were never looked into or corrected. 

 I am glad the owners chose me.  I am not perfect but I knew I could give Willow a forever home and a complete check-up to see what issues she was hiding. (Horses are masters at disguising pain if you don't know exactly what to look for).

It was November 2018 when Willow came to me and by December, a month later, she was completely lame.  I mean, incapable of barely walking, lame! It was like nothing I had ever seen before from a horse, and it was both gut wrenching to watch her in pain and nerve wracking to think, "What have I gotten myself into"?

It ended up that Willow had an abscess in one of her front hooves. Thankfully once it drained, she went back to normal.  She was a mix of sweet and sassy, and still is to this day. The farrier got started right away in trimming her every few months. By April 2019 Willow had been x-rayed because her lameness came up again and it was found that she was foundered. 

This founder was created previous to me owning her and is something she probably dealt with off and on for years.  This was starting to make sense as I put all of the puzzle pieces of Willow's past together.  

It explained why she went from home to home.  It explained the stone bruising and flat hooves. It explained her aggression about being ridden.  It wasn't because she's a mean horse or untrained because, ah contraire! She knows her stuff.  It was simply her way of saying, "Ow!  This hurts me!  I can't give you rides right now."

Eventually I got her diet managed and her laminitic inflammations under control.  I had been feeding her things like apples and horse treats that were giving her far more sugar than her body could process, but how could I have known? That important information was not passed on to me when I bought Willow. 

 I am certain the people who sold her to me didn't even realize it themselves. They thought she was just a bit of a problem horse. At least I caught on to it and got Willow treated and started on the correct diet regimen. It doesn't matter to me now anyway. She is doing well and I am glad to have her!

Now we have moved Willow from the stables to her very own field on two acres.  It's not much, but it's flat and she gets be outside and live like a horse.  She never was fond of being stalled which is actually why I had given her so many treats, to get her in a stall. As I look back, I truly believe that it all played out this way for a reason. 

Had I not had Willow stalled, we wouldn't have bonded over the treats that actually brought out the truth of her insulin resistance. She wouldn't have been able to have stall rest during her most painful times. I also would not have noticed her flare ups as much and would never have gotten the x-rays in time, which led to her diagnosis...You get it right?  

Now she is with me full time and happily living our her retirement.  She just turned 20 years old this month and now has a mini pony gelding, Chewbacca, and a female Nigerian Dwarf goat as her companions. 

(The goat has Willow's same white color with brown patches and Willow treats her as if the goat is her baby. The feeling is mutual from Clover the goat, who acts like Willow is her Mama.  It's really very cute). Together Willow, Clover, and Chewy make the 3 Corners Farm Herd.

We have signs about the animals' personal stories posted out on the road as well as a treat bucket full of low sugar, low starch treats for people to feed them.  Each one of these beautiful creatures has their own story to tell and/or health issue, but I think I will save those stories for another time.

Until then, I hope you have enjoyed reading up about one small part of my journey with animals in need. If you do not understand some of the terms I used in the information above, you can easily look them up on line for a better understanding.

I hope to encourage others to take a leap of faith sometimes. Whether it be in farming, animal rescue, or other endeavors, follow your heart and be brave enough to jump in! And if you do choose to save an animal, whether it be a kitten, a dog, or even a horse, they give such amazing unconditional love. You can only learn from them and be grateful for their time in your life. You will be blessed from the experience, I promise you that! 

I have so many more stories to tell and so much experience to share, so please fell free to reach out to me on our facebook page, "3 Corners Farm", or email me at [email protected].

Many blessings to all,
Amy and the Herd