My name is Brandi Qualset and I am from Petersburg, Nebraska. I grew up in small town Arkansas on a farm. My mother swears that my first word was horse and it probably helped me get my first horse at the age of 3 years old. I currently own the only surviving daughter (she only had two) of my first mare. I also have a 20+ year old QH gelding with Cushings and a 3 year old araloosa mare.
I run a small yahoo group (working on website currently) called Missy's Hope Equine Rescue Resource (http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/MissysHopeEquineRescueResource/). It is a central location for information that the rescues throughout the United States can use to assist them for their rescue. I offer listings for rescues (website listing, if they need help, and their fundraisers), people needing help placing their horses, emergency information, people who are looking for horses (the rescues are required to check them out), listings for equine services, and many other rescue related pages.
Each night I send out a list from the emails that I receive throughout the day (between 500-1000 emails depending on what is going on throughout the United States horse wise that day). I also put out a weekly list of the horses that have come through the nightly lists that I haven't received updates on. The weekly list is further broken down by state so that those interested can see what horses in their area need help.
I enjoy doing the lists and having the opportunity to help the horse rescues throughout the United States.
One of the big projects going on for me right now is The Chey/Annie Project. The is a project to assist the rescues in each state in raising the funds to purchase slings for their state. Eventually the goal is to raise enough funds that each rescue will have a sling on hand in case of an emergency. I am doing this in honor of two mares, Cheyenne and Annie, that were rescued at auction in Oneill, Nebraska in October 2007. You can read their stories in the files section of my yahoo group http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/TheCheyAnnieProject/, or email me and I would be happy to share it directly with you.
I have owned horses since I got my first horse from my great grandpa at the age of three. In my family if you had a pet, you were required to learn about them and do all the care for them. I started out in 4H as soon as I was old enough and spent all of my time focused on horses.
My parents always hoped that I would outgrow my passion for horses, but unfortunately for them I never did.
My original plan was to go to vet school and focus on equines, but personal circumstances prevented that, so I got a degree as a veterinary assistant. I worked for a few years in dog and cat rescue at a no kill rescue in Arizona. I was the kennel manager and was in charge of rehabilitating the abused and neglected dogs that came into the shelter. I loved the one on one work that I did with the dogs and enjoyed having the opportunity to match them with the perfect family. I left dog and cat rescue after I got married and became pregnant with my first child.
We moved from Arizona to South Dakota and I started working for our landlord training his young horses. I only did the groundwork on them (with the exception of two) and enjoyed all the time spent with them. During that time I learned a little about the auctions that some people send their horses to and saw and was appalled by my first loose ring auction at Corsica, South Dakota. At the time, I was not aware that horses were going to slaughter.
Last year (October 2007), I became involved in horse rescue. That August I lost my filly to colic and my mare became severely depressed, refusing to eat, drink, or come out of the barn. I began searching for a horse to be a companion to her and stumbled across several yahoo groups for horse rescues. I ended up rescuing a beautiful gelding from euthanazia when he was retired as a lesson horse. I was told the owners didn't think that anyone would want a horse that couldn't jump anymore. I later found out that Fleet had Cushings and they were apparently tired of treating it. Unfortunately he went eight months without his medications before it was discovered. I also adopted a sweet mare from a family that did not have the time or financial ability to care for her any longer (they bought her mare and the original owner was unaware that she was pregnant).
I currently have my three horses and I assist my landlord here in Nebraska with his horses. I also spend as much time as I can volunteering at Phoenix Rising Horse Rescue (it is an hour away, so I usually only get to help out in special situations such as auctions and seizures).
In October I got to assist with my first severely emaciated mare (Cheyenne) when I assisted in purchasing her at auction for $5. Unfortunately the neglect that she had faced in her seven short years. She was in a sling for her final week before she had to be euthanized due to seizures. The local vet was amazed that I was willing to work so hard for her. It was a tough loss, but it made me even more determined to help horses like her.
I am just getting started on the TWR sites and am still new to the FOBs. I am looking forward to getting to know everyone and to share in the wonderful group that is here on the board.
I cannot begin to list all the rescue that I have worked with and support, but a few of them are Phoenix Rising Horse Rescue in Nebraska, HORSE Rescue and Sanctuary in New York, Beauty's Haven Farm and Equine Rescue in Florida, and many others that I have listed on my website.
I have learned a lot as I have worked with the horse rescues. they have taught me the true meaning of sacrifice and of love. I have learned to look past the shiney coats and slick up horses to see the weak and malnourished hidden away behind them. I have learned that inside the most neglected horse lives a soul that is more beautiful than the sunrise. I have learned that while there are people who are cruel in the world, there are also those who give their all to change the lives of those around them for the better. I have also learned that giving up is not an option. Having the strength to continue on when life, and sometimes people, knock you down is the only way to make a difference. I may not be able to save every horse, but I can do my part to help save at least one.
I have met a few FOB members when I was working to help save Cheyenne. In fact one of them (I am not sure off the top of my head her name here one the board) shared Cheyenne's story here on the TWR boards and I didn't know it until I started receiving replies from here.
I am looking forward to networking with other FOB members.
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