Can You Help?

This is the time of year when Thoroughbred race horses are most at risk. The rescue groups do their best to find "at risk" horses and rescue them. Still, too many Thoroughbreds need to find homes. Even horses that are sound are "at risk" of going to an auction because the trainer does not have the resources to take care of the horse over the winter. We will be putting up lots of photos in the next few weeks. This is the best time to buy!

Can't afford to buy but would like to help? Please donate generously to your favorite Thoroughbred rescue group. We have many of their Web sites listed on our Links page.

We can't save them all but we CAN make a difference in the life of ONE horse. Won't you help feed a rescue?

After the Finish Line by Bill Heller "Read this book and you
will know why we started
Bits & Bytes Farm .
Be sure to have several
boxes of tissues at hand."
- Elizabeth Wood

 

December 4, 2005

"Skinny" and Elizabeth

"Skinny" is happy with a mouthful of hay.

 

Becky is the guardian angel of Thoroughbred race horses!

Becky is the guardian angel of Thoroughbred race horses! She was our northern contact who made it possible to find homes for these horses.

 

 

 

Dr. Mike Farwick of Lebanon Equine Clinic .

Dr. Mike Farwick of Lebanon Equine Clinic was the man with the big heart who made it all happen for these horses. Thank you Dr. Farwick!

 

 

 

Elizabeth was the "driving forces" behind finding homes for 19 horses this week.

Elizabeth was caught checking out the 15 horse van "big rig". She was heard mumbling, " I wonder if I could get Barry to buy me one of these for Christmas? Just think of how many horses we could find homes for if we had one of these."

 

Our horse van driver Randy Meyers unloads "Josh".

Our horse van driver Randy Meyers unloads "Josh".

 

August Prospect Two on his way to his new home.

Barry leads August Prospect Horse Two - Allovertheplace - into the barn late Saturday night.

 

Cherish the Groom remained on the trailer to continue to Florida.

Cherish the Groom remained on the trailer to continue on to meet her new mom Cindel Alles in Florida.

 

 

Lise Matte gives Cherish the Groom a bucket of water before she continued on to Florida.

Lise Matte gives Cherish the Groom a bucket of water before she continued on to Florida.

 

 

Dana McLean helps Ben clean up Thistle for her photo op.

Dana McLean helps Ben clean up Thistle for her photo op.

 

 

 

Ben Helms with Thistle

Ben Helms with the older mare Thistle.

 

 

Noshrinking Violet

Noshrinking Violet loading to go to her new home South of Atlanta.

 

 

These are some of the twenty five special horses that need your help! Their trainer can no longer care for these well bred horses as he has in the past. He wants to find good homes for them. There are racing prospects, sport horse/racing broodmare prospects, resale/competition prospects and some would just make great riding horses.

These are twenty five special horses that need your help. Read their story on the Prospect Horses for Sale page.

"Andy"
Artic Vic SOLD!
Artic Vicky
Bad Hombre SOLD!
"Brett"
"Chap"
"Darling"
Eddy's Departure SOLD!
Finders Girl
He Named Me Katie SOLD
Hollywood Vic SOLD!
"Josh" SOLD
Most Always a Lady
My Sparky Boy SOLD!
Noshrinking Violet SOLD!
"Pretty" SOLD!
"Skinny" SOLD!
Suzy Maewon
Thistle SOLD!
Violet Maewon SOLD!
Viva Vicky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Josh" is drop dead gorgeous!

"Josh" is drop dead gorgeous!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Named Me Katie is a beautiful. big boned, dappled gray mare.

He Named Me Katie is a beautiful. big boned, dappled gray mare.

Read more about our 25 Special Horses.

 

Welcome to Bits & Bytes Farm

 

Christmas Happiness for Horses and Humans!

"Pretty", Thistle and My Sparky Boy
Three of the 25 horses needing homes. "Pretty", Thistle and My Sparky Boy meeting their new owners for the first time.

For the last two weeks we have been asking everyone to help us find homes for 25 horses that were in desperate need of new homes. Many of you responded and for that we say THANK YOU! Finding buyers for the horses was just the first step on the road to a new home for these horses. It took a whole team of people to make it happen.

First we needed to get photos of all the horses
to put on our Web site. . .

Our contact Becky drove an hour from Kentucky to Ohio to the farm to take photos of them. This was not an easy task with all the horses in outside pastures filled with mud. Many of the horses would not let her get far enough away to take photos. They are all very loving horses and were eager to be petted. Viva Vicky chased Becky to get her head rubbed. Becky also met with their owner and took down all the information about the breeding, age, sex and temperaments. She then sent this information to us to put on the Web site.

Viva Vicky still needs a new home.
Viva Vicky still needs a new home.

The response to the photos was overwhelming!

We had hundreds of e-mails and phone calls from people wanting more information. We had over 1000 visitors one day on our Web site! We had buyers but each horse would need a current coggins and health certificate to be transported.

Once again, Becky pulled it together. She located a vet that was willing to spend a half a day wading through mud to round up these horses and pull blood and worm them. Dr. Mike Farwick of Lebanon Equine Clinic was the man with the big heart who made it all happen for these horses.

With coggins in hand and buyers ready, all we needed was transportation and health certificates. Dr. Farwick drew up the coggins and our favorite horse transporter Billie Powell arranged for a 15-horse van to pick them all up. She arranged for special pricing so that these horses could make it to their new homes in the south.

How do you fill a 15-horse van in one week?

We had eleven of the 15 stalls filled but we had room for more. E-mails were sent out and phone calles were made to previous buyers. The buyers came through and we were able to sell five Prospect Horses that were for sale on our Prospect Horses page: Strict Mister, Cherish the Groom (our very pretty gray filly), "Lance", "August Prospect Two" the beautiful white gray Allovertheplace and one horse who never even made it to our site was sold! Brother Darcy was further north in Cleveland and we arranged for him to get to Nashville, TN on another van.

Barry checking on Strict Mister.
Barry checking on Strict Mister before he leaves for Florida.

Saturday December 3rd was "D" day (Departure Day) for our 15 horses. Two horses were in Columbus, Ohio, two were in Kentucky and the eleven special horses were in Cincinnati area of Ohio. Our van driver Randy Meyers picked up Cherish the Groom and Allovertheplace early Saturday morning in Columbus. Then, he had to do some fancy driving down back country roads to maneuver the 15-horse van down narrow winding roads to get to the farm and pick up our eleven special horses.

The calvary arrives . . .

Becky brought help to load the horses. Another of our trainer friends, Richard Estvanko, helped to load the horses. Eddy's Departure went on first and all the horses loaded without a problem. "Skinny" dragged Becky up the ramp to follow his buddy "Josh" into the trailer. It did take quite a while to load because each horse had to be caught and walked an eighth of a mile to the road and the waiting van. Eddy's finally got tired of waiting for his friends and he made his "Departure" from the van and refused to get back on. Time was running out and the van needed to be to Turfway Park to load up Strict Mister and "Lance" who had come in the day before from Louisville, KY.

On to Georgia . . .

The last two horses loaded without a hitch and the van started for Georgia at about 3:30 Saturday afternoon. Elizabeth stayed in touch with the driver and at 10:30 PM she got the call that they were getting off I75. That meant the horses were just 40 minutes away.

Barry had prepared three stalls earlier in the day with fresh water, hay and deep bedding to receive the three horses that would overnight at Bits & Bytes Farm. The other eleven horses were going to overnight at The Arena at Red Gate which is just a mile from Bits & Bytes Farm. One more call from the drivers let us know they were on Georgia Highway 20 and just minutes away.

Barry and Elizabeth jumped in the truck with Bits & Bytes Farm's four horse trailer attached. Lise Matte met us on the road and Barry lead the van convoy to The Arena at Red Gate. The time was now 11:30 PM on Saturday night.

We sold so many horses we had to hire a 15 horse van to get them all to the South.
In less than two weeks we sold 12 of the 25 special horses needing homes! We hired a 15 horse van to get our horses down from Ohio and some more from Kentucky!

The horse van's ramp was dropped and thirteen horses unloaded quietly. They were exhausted from the long trip. Cherish the Groom stayed on the van to continue to Wewahitchka in the panhandle of Florida. She drank a big bucket of water before getting on the road again.

The horse van's ramp was dropped and thirteen horses unloaded quietly.
The horse van's ramp was dropped and thirteen horses unloaded quietly.

Each horse had a stall bedded deeply with shavings and buckets of fresh water. Elizabeth mixed a bran mash and it was distributed with hay to all the horses. Each one was checked to make sure they were eating and drinking and not about to colic.

"Skinny" was tired and weak from his trip to Atlanta on the big 18-wheeler. When he came down the ramp, his steps were a bit wobbly. But his trip was not over yet. "Skinny" and two others had to get back on another trailer for the short hop to Bits & Bytes Farm.

When "Skinny" walked into our barn, you could feel the power and stability in his legs returning. He looked down the aisle of friendly horses welcoming him and gave out a confident whiny as if to say, “Yes, I have arrived!”

"Skinny" was last seen with his head in a feed bucket wearing a big grin made of sweet feed.

Sunday morning Elizabeth ran to the barn to make sure "Skinny" was OK. Big thunder storms had rolled in through in early morning hours. "Skinny" was fine! He had finished both buckets of water. He was quickly given more before Elizabeth, with Dana McLean, jumped in the car to head back to The Arena at Red Gate to check on the other horses and feed them before their new owners arrived to pick them up. Barry and Lise Matte stayed behind to feed the rest of the horses at Bits & Bytes Farm.

The horses meet their new owners . . .

"Pretty's" new mom is Halliea Milner who lives nearby. She was the first to arrive with her trailer.

"Pretty's" new mom is Halliea Milner who lives nearby. She was the first to arrive with her trailer.
"Pretty" and Halliea Milner.

Meanwhile, Kate and Ben Helms arrived to pick up the four horses their mom Melanie O'Donnell purchased: My Sparky Boy, Thistle, Violet Maewon and the miss named Eddy's Departure. They are also neighbors in Cherokee County, Georgia.

My Sparky Boy and Kate Helms
Kate Helms with My Sparky Boy.

Ben Helms with Thistle
Ben Helms with Thistle

Violet Maewon and Kate Helms.
Violet Maewon and Kate Helms.

"Pretty" was used to riding in a "big rig" and she was not about to load into Halliea's smaller trailer so Barry was summoned to bring "The Betty" - that's our nickname for our 4-Star four horse head-to-head trailer. He was followed in the drive way by Laura Durham-Dixon and her trailer.

"The Betty" was named after Barry's mom.

Laura was arriving to pick up the most gorgeous black colt "Josh" and the beautiful and kind Noshrinking Violet. Noshrinking Violet was used to help us load "Pretty". She quietly walked on to each trailer, but "Pretty" was holding out for "The Betty's" box stalls.

Laura and "Josh" and Noshrinking Violet with Laura's daughter Leslie
Laura and "Josh" and Noshrinking Violet with Laura's daughter Leslie.

Read more about our 25 Special Horses.

 

There are still more horses needing homes, so if you missed out on this load, call ASAP! Check them out here.

Here is the Update on Our Special Horses . . .

"Skinny" has found a home with Jessica Hughes in North Carolina. He made the trip down on Saturday night and he is at Bits & Bytes Farm for a week to gain enough strength to finish his trip home. GOD BLESS you Jessica.

"Josh" and Noshrinking Violet were purchased by Laura Durham-Dixon who bought Prospect Horse Miss With Attitude from us in February 2005. You can read her story also on our "How to Buy a Prospect Horse" page. "Josh" the colt is gorgeous and Noshrinking Violet is about the sweetest quietest mare you ever met. We loaded her onto many trailers to help get other horses loaded.

"I just wanted to let you know that we got here fine. Violet got right off and is in a stall with a paddock. She seems SO sweet and quiet. We backed up to the round pen, and Studley turned around, came to the end of the trailer and looked, then trotted right off very politely. I know my husband really thinks I have lost my mind now (as if getting two more horses wasn't enough to convince him)."

"Pretty" lives up to her name and is already showing a talent for jumping! Here is what her new mom Halliea Milner has to say about this filly.

"Just wanted to drop you a line to say that "Pretty" settled in immediately, she has been doing really well today. I turned her out with my mare and another gelding in the pasture that I have all of my fences setup in, and you would have thought that they have always lived together. When they did decide to play, I got a pleasant surprise - "Pretty" took it upon herself to free jump one of the fences set at 2'6"! Totally on her own, just playing in the pasture. I thought that was a good sign." : )

Older mares Thistle and Violet Maewon came down to Georgia with My Sparky Boy to live with Melanie O'Donnell and her daughter Kate and her husband Ben. Eddie's Departure will be joining them soon but he got tired of waiting for all eleven horses to load up and he "departed" the van and refused to get back on. We will get him next trip which we hope will be next week. Can we bring another one back for you?

At feeding time this evening, I can report that Thistle is settling in nicely at Wild Shamrock Farm and Sparky is, well, getting cabin fever!  That boy is nutso in his stall tonight, doing a great bucking bronc imitation in place :-D.  But he was fairly respectful when I led him out to clean his stall.  I'm sure that after a good romp in the morning he'll be a little saner.  He hasn't been confined in a long time, and now 48 hours of it is probably messing with his head. Violet's settling in well. Ben has already trimmed her fores and they look 100% better!  And she's had a bath with lots of conditioner.

Updates soon!
Kate

Violet Maewon and Ben after a quick trim of her feet.
Violet Maewon and Ben after a quick trim of her feet.

Bad Hombre will be living in South Carolina with Ashley Kinsey. He spent Sunday through Tuesday in Canton, GA.

BAD HOMBRE UPDATE DECEMBER 7, 2005

Hombre has arrived safely!  He's SOOO incredible and sweet... we unloaded him up by the road and he walked all the way back to the barn without batting an eye.  He couldn't seem to decide what he wanted more... hay or water.  His appetite is DEFINITELY good.  I can't wait to spend more time with him tomorrow!  I'm taking the morning off of work!!!! :)

THANK YOU,
Ashley Kinsey

Bad Hombre is resting before continuing to his new home.
Bad Hombre is resting before continuing to his new home.

Bad Hombre will be getting on another trailer with He Named Me Katie who was also heading to South Carolina to be with Candice Robertson who bought Duelin Little Joe aka "Willie" as a Prospect Horse last fall.

He Named Me Katie says good bye forever to her "Pretty" little filly.
He Named Me Katie says good bye forever to her "Pretty" little filly.

Artic Vic was also on the van and he will become a Horse for Sale at Bits & Bytes Farm. Watch for his photos soon. He already has a suitor and we don't think he will be here long.

Artic Vic now home at Bits & Bytes Farm. December 5, 2005
Artic Vic was one of the 25 special horses. Elizabeth grabbed him for herself.

Hollywood Vic is going to have a career at the track with our favorite trainer - Becky! Watch for updates on this boy.

We still need homes for the rest of the horses!!!!!!! Here is the scoop.

We have been asked by a retired breeder/trainer to help him find homes for his twenty five horses. We have found homes for twelve so far. He has two and three year olds that are unraced and unregistered, registered three and four year-olds, racing geldings, young broodmares and one older broodmare that he needs to find homes for. They are turned out in pasture so our photos are not the best. Most have good weight but a few need some pounds added to their frames.

The broodmares all have good breeding and have produced winning babies. Some of the mares would make good sport horse broodmares because of their big bone and correct conformation. Some of the horses still meet racing conditions. Many can be registered as Ohio breds. They are all from good racing stock.

Several horses have already be scooped up by smart buyers. Pricing starts at just $1000! Many are available for less than $3000! They are sound and healthy. We are looking for people who are willing to retrain these horses and find them permanent homes. Horse traders need not call.


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