I have had to be silent the last couple of days. Every time I turn on my phone I feel and have felt like something negative comes with it. This month has been insanely hard for me. The auction was SUCH a GOOD thing. So many lives were saved. So many second chances out of literal hell, for the lucky horses and donkeys we were able to help. Yet, with that, came so much damn negative. People are so mean. Going from THAT auction and trying to mentally process it, to turning 40 days after it, to reading hurtful comments and hearing about people who I have followed for YEARS, and respect so much, saying hurtful judgmental things, to knowing my best friend is losing someone close to her and feeling her pain having gone through it with my dad, to finding out on Christmas that a friend of mine of 17 years was killed, to just all of it, I haven't been able to escape this feeling of just 'down'. Of sadness. Of loneliness. Of just literally no wind in my sail to move me forward.
I literally bust my ass off to do right by the horses and donkeys, my friends, my family, the adoptors, the volunteers, the owner surrenders we take in, the staff, just ALL off it, and yet I am so weak. I get effected. I cannot get my guard strong enough to make it all just bounce off. I need to figure out the secret of how to just let shit go. Let unhappy people be unhappy. Let judgmental people be their judgmental selves. Focus on my path, and what's in front of me, not the people condemning me for walking it, nonetheless who are are not even walking it to see what it even is. Their mirage they have created in their heads is like a sick addiction gas fume of poison to them.
I try to be strong. Being in rescue takes so much strength and why people bow out of it. I can see why they do, honestly. This month was like taking the final blow of 2023 with the negativity surrounding the amazing good that was done at the auction, and adding in a giant final beating to my soul with the death of my friend. My heart is devastated. I am hurting so bad on the inside. The problem with growing a tough skin throughout my lifetime has been my inability to cry and let things out. This is me letting it out. I write. I am crying writing this.
We had an amazing mom and daughter to the barn yesterday, and some amazing visitors from out of state over the last two days who were wonderful. I have more Christmas cards on my fireplace mantle and every one of them makes my heart so happy to look at. The cardinal blanket that was sent to me that I am obsessed with, the horse necklace, the bracelet, the cards, all of it means so much to me.
One thing I do know is that in 2024 even more good is going to be done. The sick joke of my life, which I inherited from my dad, is my stubborn pride. If someone tells me I can't do something, I find a way to do it. If 2023 was big, 2024 will be even more being done, even more advocation and education on behalf of them. Even more being built up, expanded, more land moved into in order to help more horses and donkeys.
One of these improvements will be a weekly blog, like this, of the honest, reality of what is going on. How it feels. What happened that week from my prospective. Another is our newsletter thanks to Lori. She has been helping me get that out the last couple of months and I couldn't be more grateful to her for her help with that, she is doing an amazing job.
A companion horse foster program. Quite frankly if they are going to be sitting here being financially supported by us, I would rather them be fostered by a family who has nothing but love to give and updates to send. The more love we can supply them, the better off they will be. Within this program, regardless of where you are in the country you can apply to be a foster to our companion only horses who are non rideable. I cannot tell you how many people reach out from all over the country wanting to either foster or adopt non rideable horses, transport just becomes the ultimate issue. We are going to fundraise for that as an ASIAB community BECAUSE the more horses we can set up for success in these times of environments the more we can help and do.
We will continue to build up the remaining two Phases for the RST property which will allow us to continue to grow and expand and take in even more horses and donkeys in Texas and beyond. In California we will build out the 14 acres giving us even greater capabilities as far as working with Animal Control goes and owner surrenders. Having paddocks for non rideable horses to 'be' in gets them out of a stall to socialize and stretch their legs, while they wait for their Companion Foster Home to become available.
Every month we will do a giveaway where 100% of the proceeds will go to another non profit in the horse and donkey rescue/sanctuary sector. I have always been about helping others and that does not change. It never will.
We have teamed up with an amazing lady to also be attending a local auction here in California MONTHLY. We will have a donate button on Instagram and also in our LinkTree if you would like to donate to help us help as many horses locally here as we can. I am grateful for this opportunity to do and help more here in California.
Our website will feature our monthly expenses on the front page called 'by the numbers' such as vet, feed, training costs etc. I feel it is important that people understand WHAT it takes to help and do right by the horses and donkeys. This will all be provided by our amazing team who handles the books, made up of two bookkeepers, an accountant and a CPA who specializes in non profits.
I am going to be putting together a horse care handbook, from a rescues prospective, that we will have uploaded to our website for anyone to download for FREE, as well as sent home with every adopter that gives a home to one of our rescues and every foster that is caring for our horse, to utilize. I have learned so much over the years that I wish I had something like this when I got into rescue, hell, when I owned my first horse. There's all these care books but none of them taught me half the stuff I have learned running ASIAB. The important things to look for and do, on behalf of your horses and donkeys.
I will do my best to do more lives (mood pending) and educational videos on topics from rescue to horse care, etc. More training tips from our trainers on Youtube, more Patreon content on the main platform AND the RST Patreon account, more Youtube individual horse and donkey updates, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, social media in general. I will do my best to do more and provide even more than I am already.
We will continue to aim for our goal of 11,000 $1/month donors on our Patreon account to become the only non profit to be in their top 30 next to podcasters, comedians and writers. This will be a huge accomplishment and show that a lot of people doing very little, can accomplish ALOT. If you haven't signed up already, please consider doing so at Patreon.com/allseatedinabarn
I am doing my best. I always say there are no 'How To' rescue books because there aren't. Everything I have learned, I have learned through trial and error, negative comments, positive criticism, suggestions from business owners, advice from legal teams, etc. I have plans to grow ASIABs platform in 2024 allowing us to do more on every level, all of us TOGETHER. From education, to advocacy, to sanctuary, adoptions, training, ALL OF IT. This year has been a massive year for the barn in a lot of ways, with most of those being growing pains and a lot of learning. Without these growing pains it wouldn't put us in a position to confidently move forward to DO MORE. You need a solid foundation to hold a 'large weight' - that foundation has been being built behind the scenes all year.
Please be patient and kind with me. If you have something to add in a positive way to make us better as an organization, I/we are all ears. 2024 is going to be an amazing year with a lot of GOOD to be done, I just need to get the wind back in my sails. After writing and letting all of this out, thankfully, I already feel a gust of it.
If you would like to read more of my weekly melt downs, just kidding, I want the focus to be weekly updates on just ALL of it. All the things going on from my perspective, in the future I will be adding a sign up fee for $1/month that goes 100% to the horses. If it works, it works. I figure that people pay $5/month to read the news on their phone, this is $1/month and all about the rescue, the horses, the emotions behind it, and a little behind the scenes perspective with this just being another way I can do and help more.