Forever Watching

Forever Watching
Forever Watching!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

New additions!! word from Laurel last night that there are two new Minis..Red and Little Boy. They are a bit scared and Laurel will be working with them to gain their confidence and trust. I will post pictures and info when I get it!
Welcome aboard little ones ;>)

Here are the pics as promised!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What an audience!

I just checked the stats for the blog and I am happy to say that there have been  667 to date...and an audience that stretches from the United States including Alaska, Ireland, the U.K., South Africa,Romania, and Switzerland! Welcome to all who follow.... Sir and I and the North Shore Horse Rescue and Sanctuary thank you!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A day of reflection, sadness, and thanks

Here I sit approximately 400 miles from home. Outside my window is a beautiful view of a lake and a priceless sunset. And yet I am somewhat sad.

Today was an emotional roller coaster for me as I thought about my son. He is with me here and everywhere. But I need to feel his hugeness,,,he was 6 feet 4 inches tall and gave the best hugs. He constantly showed me how much he loved his mother and I. And since his passage to the other side of life that is missing.

Since I became a part of the grieving parents guild I had heard that my address book would change. Meaning that some of the people who you thought were closest to you fade away and some of the people who you thought were not close become even closer.

Now don't get me wrong, I am fortunate to have such wonderful support from our family and most of our friends. These are the ones that realize that the wound is still fresh and that this will never go will always linger just below the surface...lying in wait for some reminder to allow it to break through the surface and sting again.

In Sir I have found such immense comfort. Yes he is not my son, but he has given me happiness. I love him...not ashamed to admit it. And I feel that he loves me too. I am his human and he is my horse! He is big and strong yet docile and loving in his own way. The feeling I get when he comes when called and even when he is not is indescribable. He sees me and walks over. When he rests his head on my shoulder and leans against me with just enough pressure to let me know that he wants to be with me and close.

As a bonus, I am grateful for North Shore Horse Rescue and Sanctuary's humans.
There is Tom and Laurel who own it and do such wonderful work for the horses. The personal sacrifices that they make are unbelievable. They have welcomed me from the start of my joining them as a volunteer. They are caring and loving people. They have treated me like family and have welcomed me with open arms. I can honestly say that I would do anything for them. They understand my grief and have answered my prayers with Sir.

Then there is Sue the Volunteer Coordinator, Beth who is now the Treasurer, but was the Volunteer Coordinator who first invited me out and supported me all along.  The boarders, Pete, Patricia, & Rosemarie...who took the time to listen and who have also become friends of mine. And of course my fellow volunteers, Kale, Nicole, Elizabeth and her daughter Erika, Tammy, Louise and others who make me feel at home and who share my passion for the horses.

As you can see NSHRS is a sanctuary for Horses and Humans alike. That is why I will do whatever I can to raise money and awareness to ensure that it carries on.........

Exciting Events coming up

I was invited to attend the meeting of the board of directors of the rescue last Friday night and I attended. I was able to present most of my event ideas and was made to feel very welcome.
Some of the ideas that I presented were:
A Civil War Reenactment, A Civil War Ball, Pictures with Sanat....just to name a few.
2016 is stacking up to be a good year!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Heard in the Herd

Last Sunday evening, August 16, a small group of us, about 25 or so, gathered in the large grazing field for a unique meditation. The meditation was led by it's creator Louise A.
We sat on hay bales that were formed into a large horseshoe. I'm not sure if that was intentional or it just happened. But you know what they say about coincidences.....

With the sun setting in the background and a cool summer breeze blowing, Louise introduced herself and gave a brief explanation of what would take place. A couple of other speakers shared their experiences and enlightened us with their words.
The sage bundle was lit and the sacred cleansing smoke was carried on the breeze across the field as Louise smudged and blessed us all with the sacred smoke.

The tapping began and the meditation as well as Jack, one of the resident dogs who I feel is the ambassador of the rescue, entertained us with his rolling on the ground in the center of the circle and his brief visits with each of us in the circle. He is awesome.

As the group sat and and concentrated their energies, Laurel, Tom, and I, went to escort the 4 horses into the field. They were Black, Bullet, Copper, and Sir.
We removed their halters and set them free in the field. You could see their reaction to the energy that was created in the circle. They herded together, all four, closely intertwined...for a minute or so....It seemed that as soon as they were in tune with the group's energy they relaxed and moved to the other end of the field.

Darkness soon fell and the group of people slowly rose to their feet and moved towards the horses. I introduced a few to Sir. And one in particular seemed to connect with him as she laid her hands on him. A flood of emotion came forth and she could not explain where it was coming from or why.
The truth is, it didn't matter....just let it flow.

Afterwards we all retired to the round pen where we enjoyed snacks and refreshments. It was nice to hear the different stories and the laughter. More importantly it was nice to make new friends and enjoy the old as commune with people of like minds.

I was blessed to have seen a couple of shooting stars as well....

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A little bit about Sir. (No Pun intended) ;>)

Sir is a registered Quarter horse and man is he BIG! When I stand by his side his back comes up to my chin and I am 6' 1" tall. They tell me that he is 16 or 17 hands....
All I know is that when I dismount I feel like I am jumping off a roof! It's a long way down.

From what I know Sir was not physically abused but just as bad or even worse, he was mal-nourished. Either way, abuse is abuse!
I plan to highlight the many horses at NSHRS. Some of the stories will shake you to your core and make you question just how cruel people can be.

I waited awhile to ride Sir. I wanted to build that bond with him, and I did. I tried my McClellan saddle on him and his withers are so high that it didn't fit. (this is my life....nothing easy LOL)
So Laurel, as usual, was once again accommodating and let me use her saddle and tack.

Once in the saddle I was in a dream. He responded so well to the reigns, my legs, my voice commands. It felt as though I had been riding him for years. The first time that I rode him was in the round pen. Just to get used to each other.
The second time was started in the round pen and then we ventured out onto the property, Yes he tried to be boss and test me...but I wasn't having it and he soon realized that and we fell into sync.
The only issue was that he teeth needed to be floated and the bit was uncomfortable. So realizing that I got off of him and let him be.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


****September 4th & 5th 2015****

North Shore Horse Rescue and Sanctuary 
2330 Sound Ave
Baiting Hollow NY 11933

Will be holding a fund raising yard sale. Many items to choose from. Household items, art, etc.
All proceeds benefit the Rescued Horses!
Stop by on your way out east to the wineries or on your way back!

While there, take a walk around the farm and visit the horses....especially the Drafts....and if your heart feels it...make a donation to Mack's medication us to help this gentle giant fight his cancer! (he is making progress) 
If you can't sop by please consider making a donation online by clicking below

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

onward thru time.

So the weeks passed by and I found myself missing Sir more and more. He began to recognize me when I pulled into the property or walked up to the paddock. His ears would go up and his eyes would open wide as he craned his neck to watch me.
I found myself spending more time at the rescue as well.
It went from Saturday, to Saturday & Sunday, then Saturday, Sunday, and a night after work during the week.
Thank God for my wife Lynn. She is so understanding and patient and most of all encouraging!
She and others began  mentioning to me that they noticed a good change in me. I felt it too. The people at the rescue also mentioned the change they saw in Sir as well. He was more confident, seemed happier.
So here we were, a man and a horse both dealing with something that took something away from us.
I started sponsoring Sir and tending to him specifically. As time passed he was comfortable with me grooming him. Even allowing me to lift his feet to pick his hooves. He has even started leaning on me as I do it. I swear that if I didn't know better he was breaking my balls! LOL
He will follow me with his head at my shoulder, without a lead line and comes to me when I call him.
One day I was petting and talking to my friend Pete's horse Bullet and Sir ran in between us and was nudging me. Jealous? Some people thought so. And honestly so did I LOL

I started learning how to prep the various feed buckets for the individual horses. Each have their own diets and supplements. This was concocted by Laurel. There is also a Holistic spin on some of them.

The horses know when it's feeding time. They all either stand by the fences or go to  their feeding spot. Some go in the run ins, others go to the bucket hooks or the where the bucket is normally placed. It's amazing.
They all know their names and most will come when called. To think that some people think that these are dumb uncaring animals boggles my mind. Come spend a day with me out at the farm and I guarantee it will change your mind.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

First day continued

So the grooming commenced and Sir and I were feeling each other out. After grooming him I took him to graze in the back of the property. I was instructed to not allow it for more than 10-15 minutes due to the new grass could wind up upsetting his stomach.
So I followed the instruction and returned him to his paddock when the time was up.

I assisted with some other duties and kept hearing about Laurel. She is the founder and heartbeat of the organization. The driving force along with her husband Tom.
I kept hearing Sue tell people and myself when certain questions were asked that "you will have to ask Laurel".

Funny how your mind can manufacture what a person looks like or what a person is like based on comments, etc. The vision that I had in my head was of this older gray haired lady, maybe somewhat unapproachable. Why? Who the hell knows! I will leave that up to the therapists and CSW's., LOL

I eventually met Laurel's husband Tom. All bundled up and suffering from a bad flu or something. I tried several times to shake his hand but he refused in order to save me from the illness he was suffering with.
I can't remember exactly but I think I met the mystery woman Laurel the second time I went to the rescue. Was I correct in my assumption? Hell NO! ;-)
She was the nicest person and very welcoming! Far from old as well. (will not tell you her age cause it's just not what we men do! LOL)

She thanked me for being there and expressed that she had heard nice things about me. Which I was glad to hear. ;>)
We talked about my experience with horses and horses in general. The organization, etc.
I felt as if I had found a home......a new purpose and beginning.....

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Volunteer Frank Ruiz Sr. Reporting for duty!

It must have been around the late April early May time frame of this year that I emailed the new volunteer coordinator, Sue J.
We exchanged several emails and she invited me to come out on a Saturday. So I accepted the invite and planned on it.

Now most people wouldn't know that I am sometimes reluctant to meet new people on my own. And I was hopeful that Lynn would have come with me but she had other plans. I hemmed an hawed about going. Saying how much I had to do around the house. But Lynn, my eternal supporter in this and other endeavors, told me to I did.

I got in my car and headed for the Long Island Expressway and parts unknown LOL
Ironically the exit for NSHR was the same as the exit for Kent Animal shelter. I followed the road all the way to Sound Ave and made a right and found my way onto the property eventually.

There were several people moving about doing chores. I was approached by a woman who asked if she could help me. And I said that I was looking for Sue. She extended her hand and with a great smile said "Hi, I'm Sue" I immediately felt the anxiety slip away.
She proceeded to take me on a tour of the farm and introduce me to the various horses. There were mini's, and draft, and quarter horses, etc. She kept reminding me to always be aware of them and not to lose focus. She also set me at ease bye reiterating that I would eventually get it.
She introduced me to Elizabeth and her daughter Erica, both volunteers. I paired up with Elizabeth and we mucked a paddock for awhile. Then Elizabeth asked if I wanted to help her groom a horse and I agreed.
This was my first encounter with Sir. He was in a paddock with 3 other horses. 2 of which made sure that he was aware that he was low horse on the totem pole. They constantly nipped at him and intimidated him. So he spent the majority of his time alone towards the back of the paddock.

Elizabeth walked him into the barn and cross tied him. As soon as I put my hand on him and began to brush him I felt a connection. I can't explain it, it just happened. She went and got another horse and left me to groom Sir. I did the best I could not having done it since I was a kid. But she was patient and helpful, and supportive.
Sue came by to check on us and she said that eventually I would connect with a horse and be it's caretaker. I immediately told her that already had made a connection. Surprised she asked who, and I told her Sir!
And so began my relationship with him.