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Hi. This is Jim Gath from Tierra Madre Horse Sanctuary in Cave Creek, AZ. You may have heard that we're working thru some real financial difficulties right now & I'd like to address more or less how we got here & how we plan to get through it.
As we were, until last Fall, primarily a boarding facility (although at the time we had 15 or 16 horses that belonged to Rancho Tierra Madre, my place), we were doing quite well with our boarding, training & lessons. We generally had $12-20,000 cash on hand.
Late last Summer, however, we had some horrible health problems with several of my horses: severe colic followed by ulcer treatments (30 tubes of Gastrogard at $51.50 a tube ain't easy to swallow, so to speak) that cost over $10,000; an injured horse off the track with a slab fracture of the right foreknee followed by severe abscesses in his off (left) hoof; two, count 'em - two very bad leg infections in my two largest T-breds, two cases of laminitis (a Cushings horse & a Mini with bad stifle problems) - all that cost us nearly $20,000.
During that period, we had a number of homeless horses come our way, so when a boarder moved out, we moved one of the new ones in.
Pretty soon, I realized I basically had a sanctuary on my hands. I applied for non-profit status (& rec'd. it) from the State of Arizona & applied for our 501(c)(3), which took several months. We received that status about six weeks ago.
About a month ago, I had arranged to purchase 25 tons of hay at a very good price, but couldn't afford the entire load myself. A friend (now, an ex-friend) agreed to split the load & cost with me. She backed out of her end of the agreement while the tractor trailer was on its way to my ranch, so I ended up taking the whole load, thereby costing me $3000 that wasn't budgeted.
All of these things conspired to drain our bank account & deplete our resources. We are busy working on several projects that promise to deliver substantial revenues, but those projects won't come to fruition for the next couple of months. At the moment, I feel like I'm racing the train to the crossing. But I'm gonna make it.
Our website has only been up for 3 weeks or so & our PayPal component has been up for only a week (before today, it's already generated several hundred dollars for the week).
After sending out the note that Barbara Beck posted, we took in nearly $4000 today alone, most of it via our website & PayPal.
To further bring our revenues & expenses into line, we just recently added 3 new semi-permanent pens & will move some horses around to be able to accommodate a few new boarders. We charge $350 for boarding & I try to attract those with horses needing training that can double the monthly revenue.
Needless to say, I'd rather use those pens to house needy horses, but maybe it's time to re-feather our nest a bit to make sure the 25 horses now in the Sanctuary continue to have their happy, healthy home. I won't give up, though. It's my goal to give a 'forever home' to as many horses as I have room for.
There are those who say we should adopt out the horses that come to us. Here's the deal: of the 25 in the Sanctuary, 15 of them were adopted from rescues. The people that adopted them, after a period of months or a year, decided they REALLY didn't want or could afford a horse. Here's a very real problem that isn't often addressed: many, many horses that are adopted find themselves homeless again, sometimes over & over. It's a terrible thing to do to a horse. And I won't allow it to happen to those that come here. Once they're here, they're home for good. That's my promise to them.
Anyway, that's it in a nutshell.
We're going to make it. In a prior lifetime, I was in marketing. I know how to generate money. The problem we face right now is getting through this rather tenuous position until the plans we have in place start coming to fruition.
Thank you for reading this & thank you for understanding & thank you for your kind thoughts & whatever help you feel comfortable in sending along to us.
TIERRA MADRE HORSE SANCTUARY
Rancho Tierra Madre
27115 N. 45th St.
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Jim, welcome! I wish I had more time to read your entire website, but it didn't take me long to see what a wonderful soul you are, and what a blessing you are to horses - so true, that so many of them are constantly shuffled around and ultimately homeless, winding up in the kill pens and feedlots. Your post brought tears to my eyes.
I'm glad you found ABR, I hope you'll find support and make new friends here! I'm going back to read some more of your website, which is beautiful, by the way -
Jim, I just read the quote on your website page,
"...and he said unto the horse, 'Trust no man in whose eyes you do not see yourself reflected as an equal."
Hi - just read both of your messages & really appreciate your kind words.
Here's the way I see it, in the words of Chief Seattle:
"When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear. When that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them."
We are simply those Warriors.
Thanks - guess every family has some colorful characters, huh?
Welcome Jim! I lived in Scottsdale and Cave Creek for 5 years. Moved back to Texas with my horses in 2003, so I guess we just missed each other. Did you ever visit Harold's or the Buffalo Chip? I miss Cave Creek, the desert and the mountains alot. Loved riding out there, but Texas is home.
Lynn, Austin, Texas