Posts

George and Loretta hosted another great Wednesday outing for the special needs children, this time, from Las Varas. Complete with a lunch made by Loretta and lots of time riding the rescue horses and playing with the other rescue animals (cats and dogs) at the refugio.

This has become a Wednesday tradition for these very appreciative young boys and girls. The children come from various schools from around the state, this time from Las Varas. They are not always children. The special needs participants range in age from 1 year to 30 years old. They come from various communities, including Las Varas, Zacualpan, Ixtapa, Chacala, El Capomo, La Peñita and El Monteon.

If you haven’t been up to the Refugio in a while, you owe it to yourself to pay them a visit to see what improvements have been done. Weekdays from 8-10 am and

A couple other big happenings… Lindsey Kato’s horse gave birth to a very spry young filly named “Lindsey” on Saturday morning early.  She is a beautiful filly.

 

 

 

 

And another rescue horse had it first birthday today. The whole group of children along with their chaperones, sang happy birthday to one year old “Junior”.

Having a loyal pup…

in the household certainly ensures an incredible amount of love from dog to owner, in a true “man’s best friend” fashion. Understanding your dog is fairly easy and it’s not hard to understand your pup wants to give you some delightful bits of love with kisses, but dogs can often behave in a more subtle manner as well.

Unfortunately, not all of us are as good at talking to pets as Dr. Doolittle, but here are 12 different signs your dog makes and what your pup is actually trying to say to you.

 

Puppy-Dog Eyes

Of course, this one is a true classic. The puppy-dog eyes are often imitated by younger children whenever they really want something, but dogs use it to show love and enforce a greater trust between the both of you.

Following You Around  

Granted, a dog that follows every step you take isn’t always ideal, but you can’t deny that it’s absolutely adorable. According to vets, this type of followers behavior is simply because it is a dog’s instinct to always do things with your family. How cute!

Giving You Little Gifts

Does your pup give you little gifts once a while when you’re not playing fetch? It turns out that dogs simply want to share their joy with someone else, and there’s no better person to share it with than you!

 

Cuddling After Dinner

It’s not always a great idea to interrupt your pup while they’re eating a meal because they’re often keen on their food, but cuddling with you after their bellies are filled shows that dogs feel truly comfortable around you.

Licking Your Body or Face

Some people love it, some people find it rather gross, but all dogs like giving people a couple of licks once a while. Giving licks is actually submissive behavior and helps dogs ease their stress, and it’s also a sign of love, of course.

Going Wild Whenever You Return Home

Just like in the movies, the second a dog hears you coming back home chaos is ensured – and they’re just overly happy to see you! Their enthusiastic response is simply their way of saying “I missed you”.

Knowing When Something Is Wrong

Dogs don’t need to be able to actually talk with their owners to sense that something is wrong or if you’re feeling sad. They can read your body language really well, and also use their senses to detect if something is wrong. They’ll also be more than willing to solace you.

Crawling In Your Bed

Getting up in the morning can be a bit of a pain sometimes, but perhaps your loyal pup joins you once in a while in your bed. They don’t just sit there because your bed is probably more comfortable, but it’s also how they keep you close when you’re not home and away for work, for example.

Raising A Single Paw

Raising one of two paws usually means that your dog is in the mood for some playtime or perhaps even hungry. Sometimes, they’ll do this when they spot something interesting in their environment.

Leaning Against You

If a dog is actively leaning against you, it means he or she is looking for a bit of extra love and hugs from the owner. Dogs sure love to have a bit of attention directed towards them.

 

Trying To Get Your Opinion

If you ever had the feeling that your dog was looking for your approval for something, it’s because pups really appreciate and value your opinion. A little love and affection goes a long way!

Squinting And Blinking Eyes

When a dog is seemingly playing a lot with his eyes, attention is the thing he or she is looking for the most. They’re ready to play and have a little bit of quality time with you.

Thank you to Jonathan Maes at Shareably for this article.

J.E.E.P. is very proud of our Team. Volunteers just keep stepping up for the project. We appreciate each and every volunteer and would like to give a special thanks to some extra special people:

  • Ron & Simone Nicholls have been caring for four of our rescues (Rusty, Joey, Jenny and Benji) at their home because they needed special attention. Ron took the animals to the vet for care, paying for their medical needs and has found all of them beautiful homes. They are very happy pups. Ron was at the Hilltop Refugio almost every day during the season, caring for the animals up there, as well as in his home.
  • Rob & Heather Erickson care for the cats and have found some of our rescues happy homes. They’ve also purchased meds for the dogs and cats, and Rob brings treats up to the horses almost every day.
  • Deb & Rob Tomlinson have been involved throughout the season as well. They clean kennels, feed and walk the dogs.
  • Kathy Thoens cleans horse stalls, rides the horses and keep things neat and tidy.

We certainly miss you all when you’re not here!

jeep signs
The new signs are hanging on the stalls thanking our contributors!

All is quiet at the stables… the “season” is over for another year, 
and what a marvelous year it was.


Hilltop Refugio Updates

Refugio Horse Rescue and Education

The Junior Trainers continue their education while working at the stable, assisting George and exercising the horses on a regular basis. As they age and learn more, they will definitely be a wonderful resource for advocating for the healthy care, feeding and treatment of horses in our community.Watch movie online Logan (2017)

Lindsey Kato JEEP Part 2

The famed horse “Sedona” was adopted by Lindsey Kato (top photo and above). She wrote several articles for J.E.E.P. and fell in love with Sedona last year. She came to visit this May just to see Sedona. It was clearly love at first sight for both of them. When Lindsey is in town she works at the stable each and every day and is a big help. We love her! Lindsey is an Alaska resident, but has been working on her Master’s degree in Colorado. As soon as she finished her last semester, she headed down to see Sedona, her baby.

Read Lindsey’s articles here:
In Search of Something: My Month in La Peñita, Mexico (Part 1)
In Search of Something: My Month in La Peñita, Mexico (Part 2)

Construction

More roofing and extension of the area for the therapeutic horseback riding is complete. The back fence and gates are in and allow access to the horses from the back, rather than from the arena side so the arena stays clean and can be used for exercising the horses during the summer months. Shade is critical during the these months!

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Our therapeutic horseback riding sessions have been suspended for the season. It was a marvelous season for one and all. The children are now looking forward to each new season and gaining confidence in their skills. Smiles abound!

Dog and Cat Rescue/Fostering & Adoption

The dog and cat rescue continues to expand as the word gets out in the community. Local people are bringing rescue animals up to the Hilltop Refugio, and Ron and George are caring for them, getting the needed shots, and in some case veterinary care for the animals that are not healthy. Street dogs tend to have all sorts of health issues. We adopted out one of the puppies in May. The plan is to build a cat kennel in the near future.

jeep rusty is adopted

Rusty (ADOPTED): Ron and Simone Nicholls took several dogs to Canada for adoption, but sweet Rusty (center) stole their hearts and is now part of their family forever! Shown here with Beans and Hardy.

jeep joey adopted

Joey (ADOPTED): Andrea Nicholls and Mike adopted Joey (at right). He’s one lucky pup.

jeep kittens for adoption

We rescued a mama and three kittens (Chula is shown above), and they are faring well. Mama is a fierce advocate for her babies, not realizing she is not a big fierce lion! For anyone interested, we almost always have kittens up for adoption.

jeep lindsey and pups
Lindsey and the puppies (up for adoption)… and boy are they growing!

jeep rooster
Our rescue rooster! Isn’t he beautiful?


Events at Hilltop Refugio

The Hilltop Refugio hosted two animal-related events during April and May. George and Loretta hosted a dinner for the volunteer vets who helped at the JBAR Spay and Neuter clinic. It was a nice send off for them.

We also hosted a lunch for owners Pam Sullivan and Marilyn Khan, from the PuRR Project in Puerto Vallarta. They are a “no-kill” facility and have over 150 cats. It was an educational time for us on cat rescue and fundraising. As you can see from the photos below, it was a “fun for all.”

jeep luncheon jeep luncheon 2


Donations

Monetary Donations:

George and Loretta Leavitt:

  • Construction: $3,200 USD
  • Personnel: $450 USD
  • Boarding Income: 1 horse = $100 USD

Other Monetary:

  • Little Rig RV Park (Brian & Carol Francoeur): $1,000 pesos
  • Emer & Marlyn Gudmundson: $100 CDN
  • Carla Rathburn: $1,000 pesos
  • Ross & Tara Rainsford (B.C., Canada): $400 pesos
  • Barbara & John Webber: $4,000 pesos
  • Pam Sullivan & Marilyn Khan (PuRR Project, PV): $100 USD
  • Dave & Suzanne MacNeil: $13,000 pesos
  • Sarah Walker and Friends: $500 pesos
  • David & Ally: $500 pesos
  • Barb Ratheaber & Mina West: $200 pesos
  • Jim & Lin Chimes: $1,000 pesos
  • Greg and Madeline Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD

Donations of Equipment and Other Items:

  • Heather & Randy Gunn: 2 bags of dog food
  • Chris Balardo: 3 bags dog food
  • Andrea Nicholls & Mike: Collars, leashes and automatic waters for the kennels
  • Dr. Jeff Bowra: Doxycycline from Aldergro Animal Hospital
  • Nancy Wilson: Meds, collars, leashes, tack, etc.
  • Dr. Malcolm Macartney: Meds for dogs (very special medication)
  • Gina Smith & Joy Patterson: Leashes, collars, toys and $200 pesos

New Kennels: Special thanks to Linda & Orval Haugan, who donated the proceeds from the Meat Auction Fundraiser, along with donations from Ron & Simone Nicholls, which made it possible to build the new kennels.

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. We’ve added dogs and cats to our cause as well. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

What’s next, Doggie Day Care? Just kidding, but our dog and cat rescue operation has greatly expanded, so we are looking for visiting vets to volunteer their time to help spay and neuter our rescues (learn more below).


Hilltop Refugio Updates

Refugio Horse Rescue and Education

One of our founding members, Donna Brownfield, was here this month. She worked with several of the rescue horses who were developing bad habits. It was good to see her. Our Junior Trainers continue their education, setting the example for local owners.

Construction

Every time this author leaves town and returns, major construction has taken place! The latest includes:

  1. Gate at the end of the indoor arena so the horses are blocked from getting out the back and can exercise inside during the rainy season;
  2. Rails at the back of the stalls to keep other animals out, like the steers and local horses who visit regularly;
  3. Gates to lock in the area behind the stalls to prevent the horses from getting out;
  4. Expansion of the children’s area to accommodate more children on Wednesday’s during our Therapeutic Horseback Riding;
  5. Roofing over the expanded children’s area, and last;
  6. An entirely new dog area has also been constructed, which will be explained below under “Dog/Cat Rescue and Fostering.”

JEEP March Gate
New arena gate

JEEP March Back Fence
New back fence

JEEP March Visitors
Some of our frequent visitors

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

The therapeutic horseback riding sessions at Hilltop Refugio have been temporarily suspended due to the Semana Santa holiday to determine if we have enough volunteers still here to offer a safe experience for the children. The season has been highly successful, with ongoing testimony from parents, teachers and caregivers as to the life-changing experience it has been for many of the special needs children.

Dog/Cat Rescue, Fostering & Adoption

This has been an even bigger month than last month for rescues and adoption. The local need is tremendous, based upon the number of rescues and requests for help. George Leavitt and Ron Nicholls continue to oversee this activity. Due to the expanding need, we have built yet another kennel, this time two large kennels for multiple dogs. We recently acquired four puppies (from the same litter) and two adult dogs that were rescued from the street.

JEEP March Dogs
We are a family of four, but you can only see three in this photo. Won’t you adopt us! / (top photo) I’m a cutie and I need a family, too.

JEEP March Kennels
Our new dog kennel is shown on the right. 

The goal of our expanded efforts is to get homeless dogs off the streets, stabilized them health wise, spay/neuter them as needed, and then adopt them out to either local families or visitors returning to Canada or the United States. In the interim while stabilizing them, we foster them in our kennels. In the near future, the space between the two dog kennels (shown above), will be an area for spaying and neutering.

IMPORTANT NEED!

We need vets or vets assistants visiting the area or willing to come to Mexico to volunteer for spaying and neutering, as well as other health needs for our rescue dogs and cats. Come enjoy Mexico, while volunteering your time for a great cause! You can learn more about the Jaltemba Bay area on JaltembaBayLife.com.


Donations

Monetary Donations:

George and Loretta Leavitt:

  • Construction: ____________
  • Personnel: $450 USD
  • Boarding Income: 3 horses = $300 USD

Other Monetary:

  • Greg and Madeline Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD
  • Anonymous: $1,000 pesos
  • Cinnamon and Erik Dagsvik: 3 bags of dog food

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

We never know who’s going to come visit the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita these days. Recently, a boy brought a rooster to us after hearing that we accepted rescues. Even though Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) is not a “refuge for roosters,” we were able to find the rooster a new home and he is doing well!


Hilltop Refugio Updates

Construction

Construction continues under the guidance of George Leavitt, with the assistance of our Junior Trainers… and thanks to generous donations! The dog kennels are now complete and provide comfortable accommodations for our rescues.

JEEP Dog Kennels

The most recent construction are the poles on the property. They are being installed along the road side so the horses can get exercise in the large outdoor area, without being able to run over the edge to the street (which one infamous horse has already tried!).

JEEP 418
JEEP 443

All 75 new bougainvilleas were finally delivered and are in the ground. They were planted along the new poles to create a wind break for the horses. Those planted earlier in the season are doing well and are an example of what the new wind break will look like when the plants mature.

JEEP 425

Refugio Horse Rescue and Education

Ongoing community equine education continues and includes teaching owners how to care for their horses, doctoring the horses and providing needed medication. The Junior Trainers are at the refugio almost daily assisting with the care of the dogs and horses, as well as receiving additional education.

JEEP 422
JEEP 368
JEEP 431

Helping the only way we could. This month, we rescued a mule whose foot and leg were severely damaged. The mule was living near the refugio and was generally tied and healthy. We are unclear what exactly happened, but somehow, he got tangled up in the rope and his hoof and leg were mangled. George received several calls about the mule and went out to find him, as well as the mule’s owner. He recommended putting the mule down, but the owner would not agree. We figured the owner would then take care of the mule, but that was not the case. George saw the mule a couple days later and its hoof had fallen off. George and Ron moved the mule up to the refugio and contacted the police to see if they could intervene. They didn’t, but knew about the refugio and allowed George to deal with the mule. George and Ron contacted the local vet, Dr. Eladio Tello, who said the mule was suffering greatly, could not be healed and to put the animal down. Eladio has been extremely helpful to J.E.E.P., donating his time, medication and assistance whenever asked or needed. We are so appreciative of his help. When contacted, the mule’s owner thanked George for stopping its suffering. Although it is sad to put an animal down, needless suffering is much worse. Too frequently, both mules and horses are injured from being tied out. George continues to educate local owners when these circumstances occur.

JEEP mule

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Visit the Hilltop Refugio any Wednesday during our therapeutic horseback rides, and it’s easy to see the importance of this weekly event. The special needs children who participate are thriving, and we continue to receive positive feedback from the teachers, parents and caregivers. In one example, a young boy was not speaking when he first starting coming, but he is now talking up a storm. The smiles of confidence on the children’s faces are visible testimony to the benefits of this experience.

JEEP kids
JEEP kids 2
JEEP 384

Dog and Cat Rescue/Fostering & Adoption

This has been a big month for both rescue and adoption. George Leavitt and Ron Nicholls oversee this activity and have taken in four rescues.

One dog was hit by a car and is being cared for by Ron. Another was brought to us for care, but had to be euthanized. It was a pup, and someone kicked it so hard that it crushed his hip. After the vet recommended that the dog should be put down, Ron took him to a vet in Puerto Vallarta for a second opinion, and he confirmed the diagnosis. We were very sad. A third dog was repeatedly attacked by other dogs and had bites all over his back. He has since recovered and has been adopted.

Last we rescued “Rusty,” a pup that we think had boiling water thrown on him. His head and the front part of his body, chest and legs were full of blisters. He had no hair left. Thanks to Ron’s care, his hair is growing back and he is one happy little guy. Rusty has just been adopted as well.

JEEP Rusty After
A happy and almost healthy Rusty today (shown on right) / Rusty when rescued (below)

JEEP Rusty 2
JEEP Rusty 1

Many of you may have heard about the heartrending story of “Spider.” Spider was found in La Peñita. He was so weak that he could barely stand and his body was covered in mange. He was immediately taken to the vet and given life-saving injections for mange and parasites. For the first couple of days he just laid there. Ron and Simone cooked rice mixed with veggies and ground pork. They delivered and fed it to Spider for at least two weeks, maybe longer, and he gobbled it up along with small amounts of kibble. His recovery was quite remarkable, and after a couple of weeks, he began to grow his hair back. After two short months, he has fully recovered and has a new lease on life. He is an active, loyal and loving dog that is neutered and fully leash trained. He’ll make an excellent dog for a family with children.

JEEP Spider  IMG_1453
Spider before (above) and Spider now… ready to be adopted! 


Donations

What a marvelous community we live in. Donations continue to flow in, and our two fundraisers were a huge successes this year. We are so very thankful!

On a personal note: For me, the “heart” in J.E.E.P. represents George and Loretta Leavitt. Their monetary donations, time commitment and hearts are dedicated to all phases of this project. The project has grown by leaps and bounds in all its activities. George is up at the Hilltop Refugio twice daily – rain, shine or muggy summer weather. Loretta assists in the summer when their hotel is closed. Donations come from her restaurant profits. Loretta also cooks frequently for the kids. I want to give them the credit they so strongly deserve. Donna Brownfield, one of the original project visionaries, has been in town and up at the refugio training horses. She also deserves commendation. We are so lucky to have such dedicated people overseeing J.E.E.P.

– Valerie Bennett-Naquin

Fundraisers:

The 3rd Annual Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser was held on Friday, January 23rd at the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita, and it was a huge success. Attendees had an opportunity to meet the rescue horses, dogs and cats, and to see the progress being made at the stables. Thanks to the generous participants and volunteers, our annual fundraiser broke our last two event records. Together, we raised a whopping $112,780 pesos in support of the J.E.E.P. project! You can read more in our annual Pony Up! update.

Our second fundraiser of the season was a “meat auction” held on February 10, 2015, and brought in a total of $11,320 pesos from 50/50 tickets, meat and alcohol sales. The event was a success thanks to Linda and Orval Haugan, who planned the event, and of course, all the volunteers who pitched in to help.

Monetary Donations:

George and Loretta Leavitt:

  • Construction: $2,500 USD
  • Personnel: $450 USD
  • Boarding income: 3 horses = $300 USD

Other Monetary:

  • Greg and Madeline Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD
  • Laura Gross (Corvallis, Oregon): $100 USD
  • Anonymous donations from people visiting J.E.E.P: $1,850 pesos

Donations of Equipment and Other Items:

  • Lunches for Therapeutic Horseback Riding: Greg and Cathy Weller; Brad and Karen Mattern; Bertha Cueva and friends; Carniceria La Nayarita, owner Efrain Cueva, in La Peñita
  • Jodi and Mike Ryall donated several kennels, collars, leashes and supplies for dogs and cats; also tack for the horses reins, bridles, etc.

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

The 3rd Annual Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser will be held on Friday, January 23, 2015 at the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita. Mark your calendars and please consider a donation to the silent auction. We will be hosting a BBQ and it will be fun for all! More details to come.

Special thanks for two very generous donations:

Don Menchhofer for the boxes of new tack! Don, from Indianapolis, Indiana, donated boxes of halters, blankets, lead ropes, cinches and other items worth several thousand dollars. All the horses are now nicely outfitted. In the spirit of the holiday, reindeer antlers were included and could be seen on three of the J.E.E.P. horses during the Revolution Day parade (see photos above and below)… a big hit with the children! As an FYI, we always need tack, as the weather rots the tack over time. Thanks also to John and Barbara Webber for transporting these items.

Simone and Ron Nichols of Nova Beauty Products held a raffle and collected $800 CDN.

These two efforts are phenomenal and our horses appreciate it!

J.E.E.P. is now hosting Saturday Trail Rides. For $250 pesos an hour, you can enjoy the fields of La Peñita on one of the rescued horses. Trail rides vary depending upon the number of people who join us. Contact George at Los Compadres Resort for a reservation.


Día de la Revolución (Mexican Revolution Day Parade)

Thanks to Brenda Wright, from Fernie, British Columbia, for sharing these amazing photos of the J.E.E.P. Horses and Team participating in this year’s Día de la Revolución parade in La Peñita.

JEEP 1 copy
JEEP 4
JEEP 5
JEEP 3
JEEP 2 copy
JEEP 7 copy
JEEP 6 copy


Hilltop Refugio Updates

Construction

Construction continues under the guidance and generosity of George Leavitt. The arena is dug out and sand has been delivered for a nice soft base for the horses. The sides of the arena are built up to accommodate trees which George plans to purchase and plant. Next is the roofing over the children’s area and a gate to the stable/arena so the horses can be let out to run and exercise (without coming back into the stable/arena to taunt the other horses!).

Hilltop Refugio/Horse Rescue Efforts

We are excited to report that Canelo has found a forever home in El Monteón. He is the only rescue horse that we have been able to rehab and reintroduce to open pasture feed, however he is high strung and can only be ridden by an experienced rider (not safe for children). Chuy, a local rancher fell in love with Canelo, and offered to provide him with the kind of home he needs and to ride him regularly. In appreciation, Chuy provided sand for the indoor arena at the Hilltop Refugio. Canelo will always be part of the JEEP Team and we will monitor him to make sure he is well taken care of. And although we would like to keep all the rescue horses and dogs, permanent placement with local families/ranchers is always preferable so they can receive even more individual attention and love.

JEEP Nov 2014 4

Meet Hermosa, one of the original rescue horses. She is fat, calm and happy. She is turning out to be an excellent horse for the children. When we rescued Hermosa her bones were showing through her hips and she was quite leery of interaction with people. She also seemed to prefer men and when Valerie initially started grooming her she would not allow it. Now she likes being groomed and is friendly. To illustrate her current level of domesticity and contentment with her new home, she does not even need a lead rope when George takes her outside the arena for exercise. She just follows him around like a puppy.

Equine Therapy for Disabled Children

Due to construction, equine therapy won’t begin until January, but the arena and picnic area will be well worth the wait! There will also be seating for parents and caregivers. We will serve lunches every Wednesday when the children are here. Volunteers would be greatly appreciated.

Dog and Cat Fostering

The cats from the newest litter are almost ready to transfer to the Hilltop Refugio. Loretta is having a difficult time letting them go! The new cats join the other older litter of 3 cats, our great vermin catchers! The three dogs are great for security. Oprah, the Rottweiler, has become very territorial about HER stable! A new dog was rescued who was in sad shape. The new dog, Spider, has already made a new home for himself and loves being in his new home. He happily greets all visitors. He, as well as the other rescue dogs and cats, are up for adoption so they can have full-time families.

JEEP Nov 2014 1
JEEP Nov 2014 2
Spider


Donations

Donations are always appreciated!

Monetary Donations:

George and Loretta Leavitt:

  • Construction: $1,000 USD
  • Boarding Income: 3 horses = $300 USD
  • Personnel: $450 USD

Other Monetary:

  • Madeline and Greg Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD
  • Diane Thompson: $100 USD
  • Rauol and Wil Schuhmacher: $50 USD

Donations of Equipment and Other Items:

  • Don Menchhofer: New tack (valued at several thousand dollars)
  • Kristin Giglio (thanks to delivery from Dr. Malcolm Macartney): Used tack

Donations for Silent Auction:

We are currently collecting items for the silent auction which will take place at the 3rd Annual Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser on Friday, January 23, 2015. Clean up and clean out! Donate to the silent auction. We are in desperate need of donations. Items can be given to Loretta at the hotel or restaurant at Los Compadres. These items have been received so far:

  • Traditional Vest from Michoacan – Value $70 USD: Valerie Bennett-Naquin
  • Original Oil Painting – Value $100 USD: Valerie Bennett-Naquin

Needs

George will be building the dog kennels the week of December 15th and could use help with labor and/or materials. Join him and meet the fostered dogs and cats. Take one home with you!

Things to Bring Down When You Return!

We could use lead ropes, head sets, horse brushes, curry combs, cinches (medium to large), as well as horse shampoo and conditioner. Donations for school supplies and art materials for the special needs children who come visit are also appreciated. These are relatively small items that will fit in a suitcase.

Ongoing Needs

We are always in need of contributions of feed, tack, medicine, medical supplies, money and other resources. Keep in mind that not only do the horses need feed, they must be also be shoed, have regular injections and sometimes medical care. All these things cost money. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Volunteers

If you like to ride, please volunteer at the Hilltop Refugio. All the horses need brushing, attention and maintenance. If you volunteer, you can go on the frequent trail rides. Get to know a special horse during your time in the region or adopt one of the rescued dogs and take it home with you!

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

I have been struggling to write something that I feel could accurately put into words those amazing last twenty-two days in La Peñita, Nayarit, Mexico. I ended Part 1 with an excitement of new friendships, animals and humans alike, how could I wrap up the last portion of my trip with words?

I kept my promise to Freckles (I later found out her real name is Sedona), I saw her every day of my trip, and spent as much time with her as I could. Riding, walking, talking, laughing, singing, crying, we did it all together. I made more than a new friend, I discovered a kindred spirit, a familiar, a soul that I feel has traveled in multiple lifetimes with me in different physical forms. Now, no matter what your views on life, death, reincarnation, one thing is undeniable, and that is the bond that I made with that little filly.

As I sit here and try and recall each moment spent with her, deciding which moment to write about, which moments to share with readers, it’s hard to decide which is more worthy to be written about. Do I focus on the life lessons learned from George and Loretta and Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) and caring for such incredible animals, or do I write about the intense bond I now share with a horse that is almost 4,000 miles away.

Lindsey Kato JEEP 2  Lindsey Kateo JEEP 4
(left) Stopped for kisses while getting everyone ready for the cabalgata. (right) Traffic stops when 400 horses cross the road.

My adventures with George, Loretta, and J.E.E.P. lead me to ride in a cabalgata with around 400 other horses and riders. Although I didn’t ride Sedona (Freckles) in the parade, I did however keep an eye on her the entire time as she rode with a more experienced rider among so many other horses. She did beautifully. As the cabalgata was held towards the end of my journey, it was incredible to see her growing confidence and character as she trotted from El Monteón to La Peñita and as I reflected on her immense progress in my short trip.

When I first came to La Penita, I didn’t quite know what I was coming for, I only knew it was something that I had to do. I strongly believe now that it was something stronger than curiosity that had me travel so far and so unprepared. A calling that was deeper into my soul than I had ever originally even thought. This magnet that brought me to the J.E.E.P. doorstep and turned two incredible humans and 10 horses into a family that I will have forever, and gave me the opportunity to connect with one very special filly who will have my heart until the end of time.

I could have written about her, how special she is to me; it’s hard for me not to go all Dr. Doolittle when talking about her, because I do feel I can communicate with her and understand the things that she says. But until you experience it for yourself, or witness her and I together in our own little world, taking selfies, singing or just leaning on one another, you probably would just think I am crazy.

So I leave you with this. Get up to that hill, and if you have trouble getting through the canine guards, tell them Lindsey Kato sent you. Learn the names of everyone up there, learn their stories and about the J.E.E.P. project and their Hilltop Refugio. I guarantee there is something for everyone on top of that hill, and just like in my case, you might find things you didn’t even know you were looking for.

Lindsey Kato JEEP 3
Tears rolling out of both of our eyes in this moment (our last early morning walk before heading to the airport)

I woke at 6am on my last morning in Mexico to get up the hill and spend my last bit of time with my Freckles. I told her how much she means to me, how incredible she is, and how proud I am that she’s doing so well. I explained to her how much I would miss her and whether or not it was me who cried first, or if it was her who shed the first tear, the two of us sat together the rest of the morning, embracing and crying, but knowing that one day we would be together again.

A special thank you to George and Loretta for the endless laughs, life lessons, and the opportunity to help out with the project (and for so many other things, I would have to make a Part 3 to list them all), and to Allyson for letting me spill my words all over her newsletter.

by Lindsey Kato (Juneau, Alaska)

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Start donating now for the Spring Silent Auction at the annual J.E.E.P. Fundraiser (date to be announced). Be creative! Donations can be dropped off at Los Compadres Restaurant & Bar in La Peñita.

Construction

The water is hooked up and being delivered now. We can now wash the horses regularly. They are quite happy about their baths and somewhat spoiled in the process. Roofing now covers most of the stable and the area that will become the arena for the kids. The next step will be to dig out the arena. This is expected to be accomplished before equine therapy starts up again.

JEEP October 2

Hilltop Refugio/Horse Rescue Efforts

To-date, donations have not covered the full cost of food, equipment, shoeing, veterinary care, etc. Therefore, the Hilltop Refugio entered into an income producing enterprise at which is a win-win in terms of resources, as well as availability of horses for the equine therapy project. Three horses are now being boarded at a profit of $300 USD per month after feed costs. These fees cover shoeing, vets, equipment, etc., and are an ongoing source of monthly income. (All the horses were shoed again in October and their feet are looking good). One of the boarded horses is for personal riding only, but two of the three are for J.E.E.P. use and are available for riding for those who want to ride and the children as George feels they are ready. The horses belong to local full-time resident Valerie Bennett-Naquin. You might remember BeBe (picture below). She won a local horse race this spring. Valerie also donated one horse, Chino, at the urging of Donna Brownfield due to his excellent temperament with the children.

JEEP BeBe
BeBe (4 year old mare).

JEEP Sedona
Sedona (3 year old mare)

Equine Therapy for Disabled Children

We are gearing up for the equine therapy. More helmets were donated for the kids to insure their safety. We expect to start the equine therapy again in December. Volunteers would be much appreciated, as we need help serving lunch to the kids and their teachers/parents, as well as with the individual horses and kids.

Dog and Cat Fostering

Pictures are included here for two of the four dogs available for adoption and looking for a permanent home. Last month we pictured the other two.

We have now added a litter of cats. We already had a litter of cats to keep the rats at bay, but a new litter arrived recently. The kittens are currently being tended by Loretta, feeding them at home until they are old enough to be on their own at the stable. Pictures will be forthcoming soon. All these wonderful animals need homes. Come and visit and see if any of them are a good fit for your family.

JEEP Sadie
Sadie

JEEP Chato
Chato


Upcoming Events

Save the Date: November 20, 2014

All J.E.E.P. participants who want to ride one of the rescue horses in the Revolution Day parade in La Peñita, bring a long-sleeve white shirt so we can get them all embroidered. There are also several other horses available if you want to ride.


 Donations

Donations have been coming in all summer and now as people are returning the donations are increasing. These contribute to the long-term sustainability of J.E.E.P. and the Hilltop Refugio. All types of donations are welcomed and put to good use – monetary, equipment/items, time, donations for silent auction, etc.

Monetary Donations:

A huge amount of credit must go to George and Loretta Leavitt. They have invested both a tremendous amount of time, money and effort into this project. George is up feeding and caring for the animals every day, rain or shine, and there was quite a bit of mud to contend with this summer! Loretta can usually be found during the evening visit. In addition, they have also made significant monetary donations to the project including:

  • Personnel: 7 months @ $6,000 pesos/month = $42,000 pesos (approximately $3,230 USD)
  • Construction: $10,500 USD
  • Boarding Income: $300 USD/month since July ($1,200 USD)
  • Greg and Madeline Bennett Family Foundation: $200 USD/month ($800 USD) and Chino (donated horse)
  • Donna Brownfield: $25 USD/month since March ($200 USD)
  • Lindsey Kato: $500 USD
  • Kylie Kato: $145.37 USD (Kylie is Lindsey’s sister and she is only 7 years old!)
  • Frank Schwartz: $50USD

Donations of Equipment and Other Items:

  • Helmets: Lisa Trahn & Jason Nielson

Silent Auction Donations:

  • 4-Wheeler Helmet (used only twice; cost $250 USD): Valerie Bennett-Naquin

Volunteer Time:

  • Lindsey Kato spent one month working at the stable every morning assisting George, washing the horses, feeding, cleaning, etc. She left at the end of October, but was a wonderful resource for the horses!

Needs

Things to Bring Down When You Return!

We could use lead ropes, head sets, horse brushes, curry combs, cinches (medium to large), as well as horse shampoo and conditioner. Donations for school supplies and art materials for the special needs children who come visit are also appreciated. These are relatively small items that will fit in a suitcase.

Ongoing Needs

We are always in need of contributions of feed, tack, medicine, medical supplies, money and other resources. Keep in mind that not only do the horses need feed, they must be also be shoed, have regular injections and sometimes medical care. All these things cost money. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Volunteers

If you like to ride, please volunteer at the Hilltop Refugio. All the horses need brushing, attention and maintenance. If you volunteer, you can go on the frequent trail rides. Get to know a special horse during your time in the region or adopt one of the rescued dogs and take it home with you!

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

 

I arrived in La Peñita the night of September 29th, having never been to Mexico before (other than when I was a toddler) and not speaking a sentence of Spanish. Many would call this a quarter life crisis. I had recently acquired some free time, last minute unforeseen circumstances forced me to enroll in online classes for this semester of graduate school. I knew I didn’t want to stay in Alaska for this season, fall in Southeast is not the nicest time of year, but where would I go, what would I do? Somehow with all of these unanswered questions I still jumped at the opportunity to come to a place I never even knew existed. It was a last minute decision to come here, the tickets were cheap and a good friend of mine who spends her winters here offered me the opportunity to stay at her place, free of rent (what more could a college student ask for). I booked the ticket, looked at the map, read about the area and downloaded a Spanish language app for my iPhone. Before I knew it I was already here.

(above photo) Bath time for Freckles. I sang rubber ducky to her the entire time.

I was in search of something, personal growth, self-discovery, adventure, independence, whatever it was it lead me here. My friend had mentioned a horse refuge nearby that peaked my interest even more; I had always loved being around horses and had ridden a bit in the past. There is a level of comfort I feel being around them, no need to pretend to be anything, they see you for who you are. The first day I was here I went on a hunt for a couple named George and Loretta. I wandered the neighborhood asking for George, Loretta and the horses in mangled Spanish mixed with some English, until I finally wandered to the right spot.

George was on his balcony and told me to meet him at 8am on top of the hill. I walked up the hill that afternoon to time how long it would take me to get up there, not long at all, and went to bed as soon as the sun went down, too excited for the next day. I couldn’t sleep, I tossed and turned, lightning and thunder isn’t something common in Juneau, Alaska. But finally morning came and if I was fit enough to run up that hill, believe me I would have.

George pulled up, opened the gates and what I found was more than I could have ever dreamed of. George introduced me to all of the horses; I learned each of their names and conversed with all of them. I spent the first few days talking and walking with them, getting to know each one individually. It’s lonely in a place where you don’t speak the same language as everyone else, but horses speak the language of love and compassion and I had never felt more at home.

That very first day, Freckles and I made eye contact. George was lunging her around, and something in her eyes made me feel like she could see into my soul. (She also reminded me of a unicorn, a species I believed really existed until I was 15 years old, this made her even more special.) I told myself to get to know her slowly, but we instantly bonded, walking and talking, I knew she was the one because the conversation was never forced and the silence was never awkward. We chose each other, and I decided then that I would spend every day of my trip working with and spending time with her. In the first week I learned the stories of all of the horses that had been saved, and those that had been lost.

JEEP Lindsey 4
A very clean Freckly face.

I found some WiFi and read about the J.E.E.P program and all that it stands for, not just rehabilitating horses but giving a safe place for special children to come and be with such incredible creatures. How perfect, therapy for horses and humans! Having studied mental and behavioral health in my undergraduate work, I was aware of the healing and therapeutic nature of horses, but never in my dreams did I think I would get to be a part of something like this.

JEEP Lindsey 2  JEEP Lindsey 1

Freckles is three years old, the least experienced and newest of the group, and just like me, everything is foreign to her. It only seemed fitting that her and I take on this next chapter of life together, spending time learning about ourselves, each other, and the world around us. I look forward to seeing her each day. In the mornings she’ll put her nose to my nose or on my forehead while I ask how her night was. Small things like resting her head on my shoulder, lets me know she trusts me. In the afternoon when I say goodnight, she watches me with those all knowing eyes as I walk away. I have made friends here these past nine days, but none compare to the friendship I have already developed with her. It’s early in our journey, I have 22 more days left here and each day I see changes in her, her confidence and her demeanor, and I consider myself so lucky to be a part of this. I thank George and Loretta for being so welcoming and allowing me to be a part of this incredible family here, I have found whatever I was looking for here with them and their rescued animals and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the month will take me.

by Lindsey Kato, Juneau, Alaska

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Exciting things are happening with J.E.E.P. up at the Hilltop Refugio! Last month’s article provided updates on the building project at the Hilltop Refugio complete with pictures. Click here to read more J.E.E.P. news.

Construction

Now completed are 10 state-of-the-art stalls, a tack room (below), feed room and bathroom. Most of the area which will include an arena is now covered. Plans for the future include electricity, seating area for the kids and dog kennels. Most of the construction at the Refugio has been through the generous donations and hard work of George and Loretta Leavitt, year round residents. Rain or shine George is up at the Refugio. He can be found every morning with the project’s full time paid employee, Mickey, doing the construction in addition to feeding, watering, exercising, grooming and caring for the horses and cleaning the stalls. The rain has been a real challenge to maintaining dry stalls! Loretta joins George in the afternoon for the second feeding and watering of the day.

JEEP 4

Ongoing Horse Rescue Efforts

Both the stalls at the Hilltop Refugio and property that George owns in El Monteón provide placement for the rescue horses. The horses that are gentle and can be used for the children are placed at the Rufugio and the others are in El Monteon. Since both of these locations are now full, in alignment with the goals of medical attention and educating equine owners to better care for their animals, George visits local owners with starving animals equipped with medication and food as well as education to prepare them for more humane treatment of their animals. He has also facilitated two local clinics providing the necessary vaccinations to establish and maintain the health of the horses.

JEEP 1
Notice how healthy and fat Peso is. He was one of the rescue horses!

Equine Therapy for Disabled Children

After the horses are rescued, then what? Horses, like people, thrive when they have a purpose. The rescued horses are used for equine therapy for disabled kids. These children are drawn from all over the region and are accompanied by parents and teachers. The horses which were starving and mistreated now enjoy the attention of children and their caregivers. They are thriving accordingly. Every Wednesday, beginning again in December, children will be bused in from the schools as far away as Bucerias, or transported by parents or other caregivers to the Refugio. Up to 30 children and adults arrive weekly to spend time with the horses. The children and their caregivers are fed lunch following their time with the horses (and now the dogs as well).

Equine therapy promotes physical, occupational and emotional growth in both adults and children suffering developmental and other disabilities. Equine therapy can help children build confidence, self-efficiency, communication, trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control and learning. Part of equine therapy is introduction of touch and interaction with the horses, which is in alignment with one of our project goals as well. Disabled children in our area have few resources, with the nearest school in Las Varas. Some children are unable to attend school. Spending time with the horses meets many of the needs described. The children are delighted to participate as witnessed by their shrieks of joy and smiling faces.

Dog Fostering

The word is out among the local dog population… “Hey guys, come up to the Refugio. They feed you up there!” There are now four rescued dogs at the Refugio. Realistically the dogs are most likely being dumped. The dogs are checked out by a vet and given appropriate shots and medical attention. These are wonderful animals and available for adoption. They will also be an integral part of the children’s program teaching the children how to care for and appreciate the dogs. The dogs help meet our goal to educate community members, in this case children, about the value of animals in our lives. Many of the children who visit have not had the opportunity to own or be are around dogs. Construction of dog kennels is a future building project for fostering the ongoing arrival of dogs. Oprah (below) arrived about a month ago with mange and is being treated for it.

JEEP 3
Victor arrived skinny and unable to gain weight. He is just now starting to recover.

JEEP 2
Oprah arrived with mange as well (see her eye). She just completed her second shot.

Needs

Things to Bring Down When You Return!

We could use lead ropes, head sets, horse brushes, curry combs, cinches (medium to large), as well as horse shampoo and conditioner. Donations of school supplies and art materials for the special needs children who come visit are also appreciated. These are relatively small items that will fit in a suitcase.

Ongoing Needs

We are always in need of contributions of feed, tack, medicine, medical supplies, money and other resources. Keep in mind that not only do the horses need feed, they must also be shoed, have regular injections and sometimes medical care. All these things cost money. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Volunteers

If you like to ride, please volunteer at the Hilltop Refugio. All the horses need brushing, attention and maintenance. If you volunteer, you can go on the frequent trail rides. Get to know a special horse during your time in the region or adopt one of the rescued dogs and take it home with you!

Upcoming Events

SAVE THE DATE: November 20th

All J.E.E.P. participants who want to ride one of the rescue horses in the Revolution Day parade in La Peñita, bring a long-sleeve white shirt so we can get them all embroidered. There are also several other horses available if you want to ride.

by Valerie Bennett-Naquin

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Hi Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) friends. Many of you have been wondering about what has been happening at the Hilltop Refugio and asking what you can bring down for J.E.E.P. this season. We could use lead ropes, horse brushes and cinches (medium to large), as well as school supplies for the special needs children who come visit. These are relatively small items that will fit in a suitcase. Of course, we are always in need of contributions of feed, tack, medicine, medical supplies, volunteer time, money and other resources are always needed. Visit the J.E.E.P. webpage for more details.

Here is a short update about the recent changes to the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita…

1) The water tank was installed and water is now available 24/7. The area to shower the animals will be located to the left of the tank.

JEEP Update 11
JEEP Update 2

2) A cement foundation was needed along the steel studs holding the stables roof and the new shade. It was needed to protect the horses from the sun and the rain.

JEEP Update 3
JEEP Update 9

3) More dirt floor has been covered with cement.

JEEP Update 7

4) Some of the stables were surrounded with wood because some of the animals could not get along with the next-stable neighbor. Shits happens even among animals.

JEEP Update 8
JEEP Update 10
JEEP Update 6
JEEP Update 12

The horses and the J.E.E.P. team hope to see you soon!

by Bertha Cueva for J.E.E.P.

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Earlier this week, I drove up to the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita to see what was happening. While I was there, I decided to help muck-out the stalls and share some love with the horses. Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) founders, George and Loretta Leavitt, continue to provide the rescue horses with necessary medical care, food, water and much needed TLC – and I am happy to report that the horses (as well as the dogs and cats being fostered there) and the refugio are all looking great.

With the school year winding down for the summer, these two angels are finally getting a much deserved break. Over the past several months, hundreds of school children (accompanied by their parents, teachers and chaperones) have taken field trips to Hilltop Refugio to get to know the horses, too. They have enjoyed riding, feeding and enhancing the lives of the horses – and all the while, these children are learning that horses, cats and dogs all respond to love, gentle touch and companionship.

It has been a win-win situation ever since J.E.E.P. and the Hilltop Refugio were established just 18 short months ago to care for the original seven rescued horses.

Currently, a roof is being constructed to shelter the children, other guests and the horses from the hot summer sun and rain.

JEEP New Roof 2

Seeing the great need for this shelter, George and Loretta have spent their own funds to purchase and erect the substructure. All that is left to complete the shelter, is to purchase and install about 60 galvanized roofing panels.

If you would like to support their efforts and/or the J.E.E.P. project, donations of any size will gladly be accepted. The panels cost about $600 pesos each. Let’s pull together so we can help complete the roof by the time the sun gets any hotter and rainy season begins.

JEEP New Roof 5

by David Thompson

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Many of us enjoyed the Escaramuza, or Lady’s Charra, event last year at the bullring, as well as recall their colourful costumes in the local parades. Many of you may also remember that local Charra, Bertha Cueva, offered side-saddle lessons as a silent auction item at last year’s Jaltemba Equine Education Project’s Pony UP! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser. Loretta Leavitt bid on the prize and passed this amazing opportunity along to Donna Brownfield.

You can read more about Donna’s experience in The Thrill of Being a “Charra for a Day

Bertha once again offered side-saddle lessons at this year’s annual J.E.E.P. Fundraiser which took place on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at Los Compadres Resort in La Peñita. Val Schrowe was thrilled to take home the prize!

To ensure this Mexican tradition continues into the future, Bertha invited a few students to attend private lessons at the Hilltop Refugio a few weeks ago. These are local girls who are interested in the J.E.E.P. horse-recovery project and want to learn more about riding. Donna also worked with Mikey, a local helper at the Refugio, to add a few pointers on training horses.

JEEP Side Saddle 6  JEEP Side Saddle 7 JEEP Side Saddle 4
JEEP Side Saddle 2  JEEP Side Saddle 5

On a semi-related topic… Calling all gardeners! Where you find horses, you will also find manure. The piles have aged anywhere from 10 months to this week, so load your sack! Suggested donation at least $40 pesos per sack. There are a few old feed sacks available or bring your own. First come-first served.

by Rob Erickson

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Some of you might recall an article I wrote before Christmas about a proposed cement pad at the Jaltemba Equine Education Project’s (J.E.E.P.) Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita. Funds from various donations and other sources allowed a crew to spend four days completing the horse-wash station and approximately 90 square meters of pad in front of the tack room and toilet, as well as a meeting area for visitors on the site. With time and more funds, we hope to cover this patio with shade-cloth or roofing to provide a relaxing area out of the direct sun. This is a great spot to watch the activities on site as well as enjoy the view of Jaltemba Bay. Contributors were recognized with engraving in the fresh cement, ranging from personal initials to names of pets. At the entrance to the pad, crews laid stones in the shape of the J.E.E.P. heart logo as well as the names of the horses.

If you missed Rob’s previous article, you can read it here: Rob’s Ramblings: A Christmas Gift that Keeps on Giving

JEEP Hilltop Refugio 4JEEP Hilltop Refugio 3
JEEP HIlltop Refugio 2

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the project and other on-going care at the Refugio.

by Rob Erickson

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Over 100 children, parents, teachers and school directors from three special needs schools visited the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita this past Thursday.

George Leavitt, founder of Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), and his team of volunteers are working hard to turn the Hilltop Refugio into a safe, fun and educational place for children, especially those with emotional and physical needs. The goal is to offer a unique and exciting experience for these children, many of whom have never taken a field trip, let alone ridden a horse before.

For children with disabilities, the companionship that animals provide is invaluable because it allows them to connect with and receive unconditional affection from another living being. It also teaches them the value of animals in life, and how to take care of them responsibly

A BIG thank you to the 30+ J.E.E.P. volunteers and instructors, as well as the parents, teachers and directors from the Centros de Atención Múltiple #9 in Las Varas, Centro de Atención Múltiple #6 in Compostela and Centro de Atención Múltiple CAM #12 in Bucerias who made this a memorable experience for these special children!

JEEP Field Trip DSC07341 JEEP Field Trip DSC07366 JEEP Field Trip DSC07384JEEP Field Trip DSC07504

Here are more photos from today’s field trip…

Get Involved in J.E.E.P.

Hilltop Refugio, the permanent refuge for the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), now has a bodega to store feed, a new tack room and bathroom (albeit without running water or a roof). We still need to purchase materials to build and install posts, fencing and a covered area for visitors. Our wish list also includes a round corral with fencing, a hot walker and panels for our riding area. J.E.E.P. is holding its 2nd Annual Fundraiser to help raise funds to complete these projects.

2nd Annual Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Please join us at Los Compadres Restaurant in La Peñita from 2-5pm to meet the horses, learn about the J.E.E.P. project and to show your support. We’ll get together to enjoy the panoramic view of Jaltemba Bay, gourmet pizza and drinks, music, a silent auction, 50/50 draw, friends and fun. Come dressed in your western gear and “pony up” for J.E.E.P. Tickets are $250 pesos per person and may be purchased at Los Compadres RestaurantCarnicería La Nayarit and from members of the J.E.E.P. Team. We are also asking that event-goers bring school supplies to donate to the Centros de Atención Múltiple #9 in Las Varas. If you cannot attend, you can still put your money on a horse and support the cause by making a donation via their webpage below.

Saturday Open House
9am-3pm – November to mid-April
Everyone is invited to come up to the Hilltop Refugio to meet our rescue horses, cats and dogs, our Junior Trainers and the J.E.E.P. volunteers. You can even ride a horse around the refuge, brush them and/or help muck out the stalls. We hope to see you there!

by Allyson Williams for J.E.E.P.

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donations will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for the rescue horses, as well as complete the Hilltop Refugio. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.


Los Centro de Atención Múltiple CAM de la Region visitaron La Peñita como parte del Proyecto de Educación Equina de Jaltemba J.E.E.P.

por ALLYSON WILLIAMS traducido por BERTHA CUEVA

16 de Enero de 2014 – Mas de 100 personas entre niños, padres de familia, maestros los directores de los Centros de Atencion Multiple, visitaron el Refugio de la Loma en la Peñita de Jaltemba este pasado jueves.

George Leavitt, fundador del Proyecto de Educacion Equina de Jaltemba J.E.E.P. y su grupo de voluntarios han estado trabajando arduamente para lograr que el Refugio de la Loma sea un lugar seguro, divertido y educativo para los niños y jóvenes, especialmente para aquellos con necesidades especiales tanto físicas como emocionales. El objetivo es ofrecer una experiencia única para los niños y jóvenes que no habían disfrutado de un día de campo o nunca habían montado a caballo. Para los niños con discapacidad, la convivencia con los animales, en especial con los caballos, es de gran estimulo ya que experimentan emociones de afecto de otro ser vivo.

Un gran agradecimiento a los mas de 30 voluntarios, a los instructores de J.E.E.P. asi como a los padres de familia, maestros y directores de los CAM de Bucerias, Las Varas y Compostela que hicieron posible que esta experiencia fuera memorable para estos niños tan especiales.

The owners of El Monteón Storage are getting creative. They are donating four of their abandoned lockers and a fishing boat to a local cause. The contents of each 5’w x 10’d x 12’h locker will be auctioned off to the highest bidder sometime in February and all proceeds will be donated to Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.). More details will be announced soon.

If you won’t be around in February, you can still support this great cause…

2nd Annual Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser 

Please join us at Los Compadres Restaurant in La Peñita from 2-5pm to meet the horses, learn about the J.E.E.P. project and to show your support. We’ll get together to enjoy the panoramic view of Jaltemba Bay, gourmet pizza and drinks, music, silent auction, 50/50 draw, friends and fun. Come dressed in your western gear and “pony up” for J.E.E.P.

Date: Thursday, January 23
Time: 2-5pm
Place: Los Compadres Resort & Restaurant
Tickets: $250 peso donation

Silent Auction items will include private riding lessons for adults and children, an opportunity to be a “Charra for the Day” and many other fabulous items.

Tickets are $250 pesos per person and may be purchased at Los Compadres RestaurantCarnicería La Nayarit, other local businesses and from members of the J.E.E.P. Team. We are also asking that event-goers bring school supplies to donate to the Centros de Atención Múltiple #9 in Las Varas. You can learn more about the special relationship J.E.E.P. has with this school.

Los Compadres Resort & Restaurant are donating all proceeds from the sale of food and drinks during the event, and dinner which will be available in the restaurant after the event, directly to J.E.E.P.

If you cannot attend, you can still put your money on a horse and support the cause… it’s a win-win! To make your donation, visit the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage.

JEEP-Map-500

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Are you having trouble deciding on a Christmas gift for someone? Maybe it’s a spouse that really doesn’t need anything or a child that really loves animals? Here’s a gift idea that will keep on giving for years to come.

Many people in the Jaltemba Bay area have heard of the new Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) and their Hilltop Refugio. Also, many people familiar with Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR) will know that our adoption cats and one dog are currently on the site awaiting homes. The refuge is located at the peak of the hill above La Peñita with stunning 360-degree views over the whole bay, as well as valley behind town. Construction is underway for additional stables and facilities for the animals.

One piece of construction that needs to be completed is for people visiting the site. There is space available for a patio at the edge of one stable which is a great location for tables and chairs. This patio might be used for people visiting the horses, cats and dogs, as well as being a great place to view the bay.

Rob J.E.E.P. Christmas 2
Rob J.E.E.P. Christmas 3
George Leavitt walking through the plans for the patio.

Each square meter of concrete pad will cost roughly $150 pesos and we plan to cover the patio with roofing to provide shade. The initial plan is for about 40 square meters of patio and there is opportunity to increase the patio as funds become available.

So, whether you love horses, dogs or cats, or simply want a place to sit and enjoy the view, maybe consider buying a few square meters of concrete. It will be there to enjoy for years to come.

by Rob Erickson

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) founders, George and Loretta Leavitt, their dedicated volunteers and junior trainers work year-round to care for their rescue horses. J.E.E.P. is holding two fun events to raise funds to build a shade structure at the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita and to pay for the ongoing cost of feed, medication and necessary gear.

The J.E.E.P. Team invites you to join us and support this worthwhile community project!

1st Annual J.E.E.P. Cabalgata (Trail Ride)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

We are holding our 1st Annual Cabalgata (Trail Ride) in honor of the 1st Anniversary of our first horse rescue. Join us on horseback in front of Hotel Decameron Los Cocos in Rincón de Guayabitos at 3pm. We will ride up to Hilltop Refugio and end at the Lienzo Charro Las Isabeles in La Peñita. Music and refreshments will be available. We expect close to 300 riders.

2nd Annual Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Please join us at Los Compadres Restaurant in La Peñita from 2-5pm to meet the horses, learn about the J.E.E.P. project and to show your support. We’ll get together to enjoy the panoramic view of Jaltemba Bay, gourmet pizza and drinks, music, silent auction, 50/50 draw, friends and fun. Come dressed in your western gear and “pony up” for J.E.E.P.

Silent Auction items will include private riding lessons for adults and children, an opportunity to be a “Charra for the Day” and many other fabulous items.

Tickets are $250 pesos per person and may be purchased at Los Compadres RestaurantCarnicería La Nayarit and from members of the J.E.E.P. Team. We are also asking that event-goers bring school supplies to donate to the Centros de Atención Múltiple #9 in Las Varas. Learn more about the special relationship J.E.E.P. has with this school.

Los Compadres Resort & Restaurant are donating all proceeds from the sale of food and drinks during the event, and dinner which will be available in the restaurant after the event, directly to J.E.E.P.

If you would like to volunteer, please attend the next volunteer meeting on Sunday, December 29 at 10am or contact George and Loretta Leavitt at:

Los Compadres Restaurant
407 Cristobal Colon (at the top of the hill)
La Peñita de Jaltemba
Phone: (327) 274-3263
Email: loretta@jaltembaequine.org.mx

If you can’t attend these events, you can still put your money on a horse and support the cause… it’s a win-win! To make your donation, visit the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage.

Here are a few photos from last year’s Pony Up! Fundraiser…

Rob JEEP 3
Bertha Cueva and her friend dressed up for the fundraiser to explain what the Charra tradition is all about.

JEEP Event 2
Party with a view, project with a vision. Pony Up! Fundraiser guests enjoy pizza by the pool at Los Compadres.

JEEP Event 1
It may have been a Silent Auction, but J.E.E.P. supporters were loud and clear with their generous bids.

 

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

This summer, Jack & Millie Andersen from Vernon, B.C. spent a lot of time organizing and transporting donations for the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.). Jack commented, “All the people I contacted at riding stables, tack shops and individual horse owners here in the Vernon and Alberta area, even when they did not have things to donate, were really cooperative and helpful. The generosity they demonstrated was truly great.”

The J.E.E.P. team and horses want to sincerely thank the generous people and companies who made donations…

J.E.E.P. Donors:

Big “D” Products, Mr. Darryl O’Brian (Vernon, B.C.)
Donated new fly masks, new halters and new lead ropes.

The Paddock Tack & Togs, Staff and Customers
Donated halters, leather reins, saddle blanket, etc. They also put J.E.E.P. on their webpage and made posters.

Rusty Spur, English and Western Tack & Feed, Chris Maltman & Customers (Lumby, B.C.)
Donated new leather halters, reins and used bridles.

Chris Schepp
Donated saddle cinches, lead ropes, etc.

Mr. Don Hull
Donated halters and miscellaneous tack.

Charlene Miller (High River, Alberta), Heather CraigHeather Cromie (Cochrane, Alberta) and Sheila Denike (Cochrane, Alberta)
Donated halters, saddle pads and blankets, miscellaneous grooming items, riding boots, etc.

Jack & Millie Andersen
Helmets.

WestJet
Graciously shipped the donated items free of charge.

JEEP Donations Jack Millie 1
Christian, Junior and Juan sporting their new riding helmets.

JEEP Donations Jack Millie 5
J.E.E.P. Founder George Leavitt and his trainers graciously accept donations from Jack and Millie Andersen.

Donated Tack & Miscellaneous Items:

  • 21 Halters, various sizes  (10 new and 11 used)
  • 11 Lead Ropes  (8 new and 3 used)
  • 6 Adjust-A-Fly Masks  (all new)
  • 7 Saddle Pads  (all used)
  • 6 Helmets  (all used)
  • 1 Bridle  (used)
  • 1 Saddle Cinch with cover  (used)
  • 3 pairs of Long Reins  (all new)
  • Large number of other leather tack items (continuous reins, etc.)
  • 1 Metal wall-mounted Saddle Holder  (new)
  • 1 pair of calf-high Riding Boots
  • 1 pair of ankle-high Riding Shoes
  • 1 Riding Crop
  • Various grooming aids (brushes, tail combs, hoof cleaner, etc.)

 

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) Jaltemba Equine Education Project was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

The Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) rescue horses in La Peñita had a special visitor on Friday afternoon. Dr. David El Fego Flores Alcalde, a veterinarian from Zacatecas, came to brand the horses using a “new to the area” method. Instead of marking the animals with a red-hot branding iron like we are used to seeing in the movies, Dr. David used a painless method of freezing the new J.E.E.P. heart logo onto the horses.

JEEP Branding 1257

Each horse was tied off and separated from the others just outside their stable doors.

JEEP Branding 1263

The area to receive the branding was carefully measured and marked off using the newly manufactured stainless steel branding iron as a guide. It was washed with soap and water, and then lubricated with more soap for the shaving process.

JEEP Branding 1265

George Leavitt, J.E.E.P. Founder, had the branding iron made at a local blacksmith shop.

JEEP Branding 1258

It is interesting to note that upon shaving Alma, we noticed that the skin under her light-colored coat of hair, was almost totally black.

The next step was to sanitize the area with alcohol to prevent any infections.

JEEP Branding 1270

Dr. David then gave each of them a light tranquilizer injection to help minimize any possible jumping around in case the horses got spooked during the actual branding process.

JEEP Branding 1273

Hermosa was the only one to be totally against the whole idea. I could almost hear her saying, “Hey you guys, just leave me alone… okay?” Flash, Billy Biscuit, Canelo, Alma and Peso were not necessarily willing participants either, but they were much more manageable.

After the tranquilizer kicked in, it looked like siesta-time around OK Corral (aka Hilltop Refugio).

JEEP Branding 1280

The stainless branding iron was methodically submerged in liquid nitrogen at -196 °C (-321 °F) for a few minutes before each branding.

The branding iron (see top photo) was then carefully applied to the shaved patch on each horse. The tranquilizer was used so that the iron could be held steady into position for approximately one minute.

JEEP Branding 1284

It took about 30 minutes to finish the branding of the six horses. The skin will blister, scab and fall off. In about a month, the hair will grow back white to show off the new J.E.E.P. “heart” logo.

JEEP Branding 1289

Dr. David donated his time and expertise to the J.E.E.P. cause and only charged for the medication and nitrogen used.

I am excited to see the white hair logos on these beautiful horses.

by David Thompson

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)
Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

The small towns in the state of Nayarit organize public horse riding on designated trails to celebrate different types of events. Among the events are church festivities, political support, honoring a dead person, beginning or ending of Mardi Gras and parades. The riding can go from one town to another or within the same town, from the main entrance to the central plaza of the town. The riding time can last from 1-6 hours in the same day, depending of the distance between towns.

Last month Hermosa and Billy Biscuit, two of Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) horses, had the opportunity to participate in a trail ride from La Peñita to La Puerta de la Lima. Their riders were the young trainers Julie (12 years old) and Christian (11 years old), who were accompanied by George and his horse Pinto and Bertha and her horse Renato. The ride started at 12pm (Mexican time), that means it was 1:30pm when all the horses started the journey. The group was escorted by the transito/police from the starting point and along Highway 200 heading north until the horses could get off the highway and onto the dirt trail along the side. This was a behavioral and health test for the horses. Hermosa and Billy Biscuit were calm and seemed to get along with the other equines and they proved to be in good health and physical condition after riding 20 miles from La Peñita to La Puerta de la Lima.

The J.E.E.P. team is planning their first annual trail ride. We will wait to announce the date when all of our sponsors and friends return to town in the fall. This will be an opportunity of a lifetime.

(top photo) “Peace and Love” says Christian
“Paz y Amor” saluda Christian durante la cabalgata


The J.E.E.P. Team waiting to start the trail ride.
El equipo de JEEP esperando para iniciar la cabalgata.


Bertha, Christian, Julie and George on the way to La Puerta de la Lima.


A ten minute rest before continuing the journey.

by Loretta Leavitt and Bertha Cueva

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)
Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.


Los Caballos de J.E.E.P. Participan en una Cabalgata

En el estado de Nayarit, los pueblos organizan cabalgatas por senderos establecidos, para celebrar diferentes tipos de eventos tales como son las fiestas eclesiásticas, apoyo político, honrar a una persona que ha muerto, desfiles para anunciar el inicio o fin de Carnaval o aniversarios de fechas históricas del país. Las cabalgatas se llevan a cabo de un pueblo a otro o de las avenidas principales hacia la plaza central del pueblo. La duración puede ser de 1 a 6 horas en el mismo día, dependiendo de la distancia que haya que recorrer.

El mes pasado, dos caballos que pertenecen al grupo del Proyecto de Educación Jaltemba Equinos (JEEP) , hermosa y billy biscuit , tuvieron la oportunidad de participar en una cabalgata de La Peñita de Jaltemba hacia La Puerta de la Lima. Sus jinetes eran los jóvenes entrenadores Julie (12 años) y Christian (11 años), quienes estuvieron acompañados por George y su caballo pinto y Bertha y su caballo renato. El viaje comenzó a las 12 de medio dia, horario mexicano que significa que la salida a cabalgar fue hasta la 1:30 de la tarde. Las patrullas de transito dirigieron el grupo del punto de partida y sobre la carretera 200 hacia el norte, hasta el momento en que los caballos entraron a la terracería a lo largo de la carretera

Esta cabalgata fue una prueba de comportamiento y resistencia para los caballos de J.E.E.P.. Hermosa y billy biscuit estuvieron tranquilos y parecían llevarse bien con los demás equinos y demostraron estar en buen estado de salud y condición física después de haber cabalgado 20 millas de La Peñita a la Puerta de la Lima.

El equipo J.E.E.P. está planeando su primera cabalgata anual. Vamos a esperar a que todos nuestros patrocinadores y amigos regresen a la Peñita en sus vacaciones de otoño para anunciar la fecha del evento que sabemos será una experiencia inolvidable.

por Loretta Leavitt y Bertha Cueva

When George Leavitt, founder of Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), says “mis caballos especiales están aquí para sus niños muy especiales, de mi corazon,” he really means it. For those of you who don’t speak Spanish, his short but meaningful introduction translates to “my special horses are here for your very special children, from my heart.”


Students in attendance: Karina, Mónica, Bárbara, Mayra, Adriana, Miguel and Cecy (Taller); Francisco, Ángela and Axel (Primaria 1); Jamin, Kilan, Zoe and Fidel (Inicial); and Esteban, Roxana and Jamin (Primeria 2).

George was referring to these 12 very special children from the Centros de Atención Múltiple #9 in Las Varas, who took a field trip to Los Compadres Resort in La Peñita today. They were accompanied by 12 teachers and about 10 parents. Not only did the students get their very own J.E.E.P. t-shirts and lunch, but they also got the opportunity to ride a horse – for most, this was their very first time.

As part of the educational program at Hilltop Refugio, the J.E.E.P. staff will begin introducing animal touch, interaction and therapy to local school children, especially those with emotional and physical needs. For children with disabilities, the companionship that animals provide is invaluable because it allows them to connect with and receive unconditional affection from another living being. Equine assisted therapy can improve muscle tone, balance, concentration and self-confidence. It also teaches them the value of animals in their lives and how to be responsible and take care of them.

The group arrived by bus promptly at 9am. Loretta Leavitt started passing out special orange J.E.E.P. t-shirts they had made for the children.

The school in Las Varas treats children and young people, age 45 days to 23 years, with special educational needs associated with motor and intellectual disabilities, deafness, blindness, communication disorders and hyperactivity.

Some were a little scared, but that quickly changed as George Leavitt introduced them, one by one, to the horses. This little guy was the first one on… and the last one off. There is no doubt that he will be back!

The smiles from the kids and from J.E.E.P. founder, George Leavitt, pretty much sum up the emotions of this extraordinary day.

All the students got help from J.E.E.P. volunteers and instructors-in-training.

Some also received a little extra help from their parents.

One of the teachers even decided to hop on for a quick ride.

Before lunch, Bertha Cueva introduced the J.E.E.P. project and gave a brief presentation to explain how these horses had been rescued, what special treatment they have been receiving in order to get them healthy and what kind of training they are going through so they can be part of J.E.E.P.’s educational program.

You can learn more about Bertha Cueva and her Charra team in our recent story: The Thrill of being a “Charra for the Day”

Local vet, Danny Cueva, took a minute to explain that he has been volunteering his time to help the J.E.E.P. team and horses. Today, he was there to give Hermosa an injection for pain and inflammation. She has bad knee joints and a lack of calcium caused by malnutrition.


Tommy, George Leavitt, Georgina Blasco (national championship Escaramuza trainer and judge of national championship of Escaramuza teams) Bertha Cueva, Neli, Christian (kneeling), Loretta Leavitt, Julie and Lic. Laurent Samantha Medina Gomez.

A BIG thank you to Lic. Laurent Samantha Medina Gomez, Nestlé senior assessor of special account sub-agency in La Peñita de Jaltemba, for donating water and juice for this event. J.E.E.P. loves Nestlé!

After lunch, many of the children asked if they could go for another ride, and as you can imagine, the J.E.E.P. team was thrilled to make that happen.

These sisters (shown above and below) got to ride together with help from the J.E.E.P. team.

This mother and son were both hesitant to interact with Hermosa… but not for long.

When George Leavitt, founder of Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), says “mis caballos especiales están aquí para sus niños muy especiales, de mi corazon,” he really means it.

When the field trip was over, the students and parents boarded the bus to return to Las Varas. Transportation was provided by the State government, because the school does not have a working bus of their own.

We also want to thank Julie, Tommy and Christian, the J.E.E.P. instructors-in-training, for helping out and making today such a special day!

The J.E.E.P. rescue horses have come along way since being rescued five months ago. Today, Hermosa, Shadow and Billy Biscuit proved without a doubt that they are ready to begin giving back!

After the field trip, Carlos Félix Aguilar the school director, commented, “We do not currently have a date set for the next visit, but we all leave feeling very happy and grateful for J.E.E.P.’s hospitality.”

by Allyson Williams for J.E.E.P.

Note: Hilltop Refugio, the permanent refuge for the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), is not quite finished yet which is why the students had to meet at Los Compadres Resort today. We need your help to fund to complete the fence, build a shaded area for children, bathrooms and tack room before we can open our doors to the public and especially to these special needs children. We desperately need children’s saddles and bridles, saddle blankets and pads, lead ropes, fly masks and a 22-foot lunge line for to begin our educational program. Our wish list also includes a round corral with fencing, a hot walker and panels for our riding area. We need ongoing donations of feed as well. Please consider making a one-time or recurring donation to this worthwhile community project.

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)
Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

The Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita has been bustling with activity the past few months. In addition to the usual morning routine of cleaning stalls, feeding, watering and grooming, the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) rescue horses and junior instructors have been doing a lot of riding and training. A few dedicated neighborhood kids have been chosen to be instructors-in-training and have each been assigned to a specific horse. They are learning how to care for and handle the horses, and in the future they will help teach new students how to do the same.

(top photo) Christian on Flash, Julie on Shadow, Tommy on Hermosa and George on Peso.

Billy Biscuit is my personal favorite and we have had more than a few excellent adventures. One of my most memorable is his first beach sand experience. I had no idea how he would handle the ocean waves, so when I followed the lead horse over the first sand dune I was thinking about noise and the action of the waves being of concern to him. Apparently, he was thinking about how nice and soft that sand looked because he hadn’t taken more than two steps in it and he was down. I found myself standing beside him while he contemplated a nice roll in the sand, saddle and all. It wasn’t easy getting him up either.

Shadow is everyone’s favorite. He is such a gentleman and the oldest of the group. Now that he has regained most of his health and vitality, he prances everywhere with his head held high. Julie, one of the instructors-in-training, has taken over the care and exercise of Shadow since Kathy’s return to Canada. Julie is 11-years-old and Shadow is her first hands-on experience with horses. She has gone from timidly brushing him from maximum arms length to being a confident rider. He takes good care of her and the other students. He has become the teacher.


Christian and Tommy on Hermosa

Hermosa is mainly being schooled by Tommy, a 13-year-old who loves to ride. Hermosa used to make mean faces when people came near but now she enjoys a nice rub on the head. She has big, kind eyes and a sweet and willing disposition. Hermosa stays quiet and calm and takes Tommy anywhere he wants to go. She is taking the week off to rest and has been laying down a lot.


Tommy teaching Billy Biscuit to circle

George, Tommy and Christian dug all the old hard dirt out of Hermosa’s stall and replaced it with soft sand. It is our habit to let Alma, the filly, loose to wander and explore when we are working at the Hilltop Refugio. She watched the new sand go in Hermosa’s stall, and as soon as we finished she ran in there and started pawing and digging it all up then she rolled and rolled. I think it was a hint that she would like some sand in her stall. It is a lot of hard work but each horse will eventually get new sand to lay on.

Speaking of Alma, what a little character she is. One day we had Flash, George’s older gelding that he rescued years ago, tied up waiting for Christian to finish his chores. We let Alma out and she ran straight to Flash, gave him a sniff then turned around and gave him a swift kick with both hind feet. She is so small she didn’t hurt him and he just gave her a “look.”

If she can reach through her stall rails to her neighbors food she will eat it first and save hers for later. She does the same with their water. I guess this plucky attitude is what has helped Alma survive her previous harsh conditions.


Christian leading Alma

Christian is 10-years-old and is one of our first students at the refugio. His favorite mount is Flash whom he rides every chance he gets. He arrives at George’s house first thing in the morning and waits on the step until George is ready to come down and saddle Flashy. He then rides Flashy up to the refugio where we saddle the rest of the horses.

George has been schooling Peso on a regular basis. Peso came to us very afraid of people. He is thick with scars on his hindquarters, but we don’t know what has happened to him. He has made the most improvement of all the horses. His eyes are much softer now and he is gaining confidence in people. He seems to have the most trouble with the mounting and dismounting process, so Christian and Tommy have been spending time getting on and off over and over until he realized it was nothing to worry about.

Canelo is gorgeous and athletic. He does not appear to have had much schooling in the past. George has sat on him bareback a few times and we put Tommy on him while we led him around. He will need some more training before he is ready to be ridden. He is a sweet horse and enjoys being brushed and petted.


Dr. Danny Cueva, Christian, Tommy, Donna Brownfield, Honey the rescue dog, George Leavitt, Julie, two day volunteers and Victor the rescue dog.

Local vet Dr. Cueva came up to the refugio last week to give the horses tetanus injections and some dewormer.

Having all of these horses in our lives is a special gift and it is so rewarding to see their progress both in health and in their acceptance of us.

And if Billy Biscuit would get up out of the sand, Carlos and his construction crew could get a lot more work done on the new bathrooms and gift shop!


by Donna Brownfield

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico.

To learn more and to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

Donate to J.E.E.P. Today!
Your donation will help J.E.E.P. buy food, shelter, medication and the equipment necessary to care for our rescue horses. Remember, donations of tack and gear, both new and used are always needed and much appreciated.

Horses have been a passion of Donna Brownfield’s since childhood, so it was only natural that she would want to explore the horse culture here in Mexico. On her first trip to the Jaltemba Bay area in 2008, she informed her housemates that she was “going to look for a horse to ride.” The valley behind her house in La Peñita was a logical choice as she could see horses over there. While describing this trip Donna says, “I hadn’t walked for more than 10 minutes when I heard a horse clippity-clopping down the road behind me. That was my first encounter with Abundio, the well-known octogenarian charro with a huge mustache and large sombrero, who would become my friend and riding partner for the next several years. It was on a ride in this same valley 4 years later that I came upon the emaciated herd and subsequently assisted George and Loretta in forming the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.).”

Donna distinctly remembers meeting Bertha Cueva, captain of the local escramuza team, who was at one of the first organizational meetings for J.E.E.P. After the meeting, she asked George Leavitt if he thought Bertha would let her ride with her. She admitted being totally ignorant of the traditional ways, but if it involved horses, she wanted to be included.

This is where Donna’s story comes full circle.

Ironically, the chance to become a “Charra for a Day” was auctioned off at the first “Pony Up” for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser on January 23, 2013. This amazing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was donated by none other than Bertha Cueva and included a special sidesaddle riding lesson and a chance to join the Charras in an upcoming event. Little did Donna know that Loretta Leavitt, an accomplished equestrian herself, and her husband George decided to bid on this item to give to Donna for all that she had done for the J.E.E.P. project.


Bertha and her friend came to the “Pony Up” for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser to explain what the Charra tradition is all about.

At the time of the fundraiser, Donna was in Oregon, and it wasn’t until the following day that she learned via email that Loretta had “won” the bid and had given this thrilling prize to her. Donna says, “I felt very lucky to be offered this honor.”

Donna returned to La Peñita in March 2013, and while she was looking forward to the lessons, she still wasn’t quite sure of what she was getting into. She explains, “At my first meeting with Bertha she asked me if I knew about the escaramuza, did I speak Spanish, and had I ever ridden sidesaddle?” Donna answered “no” to all these questions, so Bertha patiently explained the patterns and rules of the escaramuza and the Spanish words for them. She also forwarded a couple of YouTube videos of local escaramuza competitions. Donna says, “Imagine my shock when I saw how FAST they were riding the complicated patterns while sitting sidesaddle!” Needless to say, Donna had many butterflies on her way to the next lesson, but she felt fortunate to be able to take lessons on Renato, Bertha’s personal horse who is exceptional to ride. After a few lessons alone in the Lienzo Charro Las Isabeles in La Peñita, she discovered that, much to her surprise, the sidesaddle is actually a very secure seat.


Bertha is cinching Renato’s saddle for the ride


Putting on the bridle and bit so Donna can control Renato during the ride


Bertha warms Renato up for Donna’s lesson


Bertha loans Donna her own sombrero de charro and a bandana in preparation for the ride

On April 26, Donna took advantage of this amazing gift and experienced the thrill of riding sidesaddle with the Charras during their practice. Donna explains that “This experience was exhilarating and terrifying at the same time, as it was both faster and more challenging than previous lessons. I was determined not to fall off in front of all those experienced horsewomen. After about an hour my legs were like rubber from hanging on so tight, but it was worth every minute of it.”

Donna goes on to say, “This experience has challenged and enriched me and I am proud to have been a part of the team if only for a brief practice session. My sincere thanks to both Loretta and Bertha for making this happen.”


Donna sits on the still unfamiliar sidesaddle


Donna anxiously waits for the other Charras to arrive


Warming up in the Lienzo


Practicing one of the many choreographed escaramuza patterns


Bertha Cueva, the captain of the team, enjoys coaching the Charras

For any non-horse people out there (and according to the internet): Escaramuza is an equestrienne display of choreographed patterns. The event involves women’s teams dressed in a style reminiscent of the nineteenth century, participating in precisely choreographed patterns for horses. The immediate antecedent of the present Escaramuzas were the Adelitas, or “women of the revolution.”

The women in the escaramuza are mounted “a mujeriegas”, that is, in an “albarda” or sidesaddle that is peculiar in style to the Charrería but the underlying design has also evolved over hundreds of years in both Europe and North Africa. The traditional albarda for the Escaramuza is a cut down charro saddle, with a leather seat and leg braces, U-shaped for the right leg and C-shaped for the left leg. The word mujeriegas in Spanish means sitting in a saddle in a women style which is in a sidesaddle position.

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico.

To learn more and to make a one-time gift or recurring donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

A few weeks ago, an elderly cowboy rode his horse up to Los Compadres Resort in La Peñita. He explained that he was out of work because of the drought and didn’t have enough money to feed his horse. George Leavitt, founder of Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), is hearing this a lot lately.

Fortunately, word is traveling quickly about this new project. Locals are beginning to accept what J.E.E.P. is doing and some are reaching out for help. Horse owners are encouraged to work in exchange for the goods, services or knowledge they are asking for. In this particular case, the gentleman gladly offered to shoe one of the rescue horses in return for the bag of feed.


Hermosa’s new shoes after a few days of wear


Hermosa is feeling pretty in her new set of shoes!


Hermosa was curious and decided to sniff the camera during the photo shoot for this story.

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

A documentary film crew from Victoria, BC spent yesterday morning with the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) rescue horses and volunteers. After a short interview with Rob Erickson, the team moved on to a joint interview with George Leavitt and Donna Brownfield to get the history of the project.

Joining us for the morning was Dr. Malcolm Macartney and a few of his team from McKenzie Veterinary Services in Victoria, BC and the Mexi-Can Vet Project, who are in Jaltemba Bay this week for the spring Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR) spay and neuter clinic in Rincón de Guayabitos.

The film crew got some great footage, and recorded George’s heart-warming story of the last days of life for Chance, one of the original rescue horses.

The documentary film crew of Mike and Erin have followed a few animal rescue projects around the world, and will document this spay and neuter clinic as well. This is excellent exposure for both JBAR and J.E.E.P.

Stay tuned for the results!

by Rob Erickson

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more or to make a donation, visit Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

About Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR): Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR) was established in 2003 by Lin Chimes of Los Ayala, Nayarit, Mexico. Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue advocates humane and healthy practices for animals in the Jaltemba area by promoting health, education, spay and neutering, adoptions, foster care and positive relationships with animals and their owners. JBAR also works to find homes for street dogs and cats. This effort has significantly improved the overall health and enjoyment of life on Jaltemba Bay for human visitors, residents and also our four-legged friends. To learn more or to make a donation, visit Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR).

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

Saturday was a big day for the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) rescue horses. Kathy bought a new saddle on Friday, so Billy Biscuit, Shadow and Hermosa were saddled and rode by George, Kathy and her nephew Keenan, Donna, Rob and Heather. Christian brought Flash along so Tracy, a visiting teacher from Tepic, and her son Sean were able enjoy some riding as well.

These horses have come a long way in their recovery process, and have all enjoyed some needed attention in the past few months. Good work!


(top photo) Kathy proudly puts her new saddle (shown here) on Shadow.


Christian and Sean on Flash and George on Billy Biscuit. (Flash is one of George & Loretta’s personal horses.)


George warming up Hermosa


Heather on Billy Biscuit and Christian and Sean on Flash


George has been working with Billy Biscuit this week, and he seemed to enjoy the attention.


Keenan on Shadow with Aunt Kathy


Christian and Sean on Flash while Tracy, Sean’s mom, watches on


The excited riding crew!


Donna on Billy Biscuit


Tracy on Flash


Alma, the filly, being her sassy little self


George on Hermosa with Alma riding beside. Honey, the JBAR beach rescue dog, enjoying her new position as herd-dog. Honey now lives on site with the horses at the Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita.

by Rob Erickson
(photo captions by J.E.E.P. team)

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more, visit the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) community website. You can make a donation there as well.

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. To learn more about the author/photographer, click on the “Contributors” tab near the top of the page. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

Monday, March 18 was a special day for the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) team. During the past few weeks, George and Loretta Leavitt and their dedicated volunteers have been busy constructing stables at the new Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita. This donated 3-acre property is being developed into a permanent place for rescued equines, and the stables needed to be built to provide shelter for the horses before the hot and rainy summer weather arrives.

Several volunteers, including Donna Brownfield who flew in from Oregon the day before, arrived at Los Compadres Resort for a meeting. George surprised them all when he informed them “today, we’re heading up the hill.” Two by two, volunteers led Alma, Billy Biscuit, Canelo, Hermosa and Shadow (pictured above) up the hill to their new home.

Since being rescued on January 5, the horses have put on some weight and are starting to get their new coats, and George decided that they were finally healthy enough to make the trip up the hill. The new stables are open and bright, and are lined with bougainvilleas and palm trees along the back. The lucky horses and all their visitors are sure to enjoy the incredible views of the entire Bay of Jaltemba on one side and the agricultural valley on the other. Next, volunteers will need to finish building the fence to secure the property. Funds are still needed to complete this phase of the project, in addition to the $1,400 USD per month required for feed, tack and ongoing medical care.

Once the refuge is completed, the general public can visit the site and help care for these animals. The long-term plan is to break in these horses and use them as part of J.E.E.P.’s educational program for adults and children in the community.


Leading the way were Donna Brownfield with Alma and Loretta Leavitt with Hermosa.


It was a beautiful day for a walk.


The gates at Hilltop Refugio. John Webber watches as Rob Erickson brings in Canelo.


Two by two. Heather Erickson and Shadow were the last to arrive.


Getting settled into their new home, with lots of food, water and shelter.


Honey, the JBAR rescue dog, also has a new home here… and a big new job as the official J.E.E.P. watch dog!


The smile on George Leavitt’s face pretty much sums up the excitement and emotion of the day.

As volunteer Rob Erickson said, “Our leader, George Leavitt, was like a proud papa as the horses and Honey, a JBAR rescue dog, were each introduced to their new home. For George and Loretta, you can tell this is a dream solving a problem that needed attention many years ago. This was a great effort by many northerners and locals. There is still more to be done, and there are plans for more local involvement as many of us northerners head to our summer lives.”


The stables are open and bright, and overlook the agricultural valley on the back.


Billy Biscuit


Canelo


Hermosa


Alma, the little filly, was too busy eating to pose for the camera.


Some of the J.E.E.P. volunteers: (back) David, Loretta, Karen, Rob, Brad, Barbara, Simone, John, George and Kathy. (front) Donna, Heather and Honey, the new J.E.E.P watch dog.

To learn more, visit the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage. You can make a donation there as well.

Earlier today, the last of the panels were transported up the hill to the new Hilltop Refugio in La Peñita. When completed, these stables will be home for the J.E.E.P. rescue horses. And as you can see we had lots of help.

It was indeed an exciting day for everyone involved. It was hot and dirty, but no one complained; just a lot of helping hands doing what needed to be done. It was very well organized from beginning to end. Some of our crew included guests staying at Los Compadres Resort, a couple of local residents and of course, the J.E.E.P. team. John took control of the pick (I am sure he didn’t have to fight over it) and George was ready with the shovel in case he needed it. Rob, Dale, Jim, Ron, Brad, Dan, Carlos and Ramon were there to help as well. These are just some of the volunteers who have been enthusiastic to help give our little herd a home.

I know that Canelo, Billy Biscuit, Peso, Shadow, Hermosa and Alma appreciate all that is being done for them, and they will show it over and over again as time goes by.

From them to all of you… THANK YOU FOR CARING!

Written by the J.E.E.P. Team
Photos by Rob Erickson

About Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.): Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) was established in December 2012 by George & Loretta Leavitt to help large animals like horses, donkeys and mules who are ill, malnourished or being mistreated in Jaltemba Bay, Nayarit, Mexico. To learn more, visit the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) community webpage. You can make a donation there as well.

On one of my first trips to Mexico in the early 1980s, I was quite shocked to see the condition of some of the street animals. This prompted me to get involved with our local spay and neuter clinics for dogs and cats, through Jaltemba Bay Animal Rescue (JBAR). I guess it was only a matter of time for this concern to move into another species: horses. Even though I knew nothing about horses, other than the odd horse-back ride over the years, I thought: Why not try something different?

Seven horses were purchased from a local rancher by a newly formed group, Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) The horses were moved onto a borrowed field close to our home next door to Los Compadres Restaurant in La Peñita, under the initiative of Los Compadres owners George and Loretta Leavitt. Through the efforts of many volunteers and the efforts of local vets, the horses are improving every day. I encourage you to take a look at updates on the J.E.E.P. Facebook page to see how things are improving for this group of horses. The J.E.E.P. Fundraiser “Pony Up” a few weeks ago raised over $71,000 pesos, so people are certainly speaking with their actions as well as with their wallets.

What really interests me in this group is the involvement of local vets and local people. A neighbourhood farmer offered his corn field for temporary grazing. Through George Leavitt, the local Charros became interested in the project and offered a “Charra for a Day” or a day of training with the local Charras, as part of the Live Auction at the “Pony Up” fundraiser. Local Las Varas vet, Medico Hilde, has offered his services for free other than the cost of medications for the horses.

At a local primary school, one young student took the initiative to start a donation jar to help the horses and made a presentation on the project to his class. With spare change and snack money, the class raised over $900 pesos.

One component of the project is education of local families and children of the importance of horse care in the farming community. We already have a few local boys regularly showing up to work with the horses. As expected, one local rancher wanted to know if J.E.E.P. wanted to buy more “skinny horses.” As an alternative, the rancher was offered anti-parasite and other medications as well as advice on horse care. In return, he offered to help clear the field where the horses will eventually be kept. In an area where time is abundant for most, though funds are scarce, this is a perfect option. It also promotes local involvement, rather than a welfare project put together by northerners. Local brick manufacturers can use the manure in the making of new bricks. There is hope that local farmers or those interested in horses might one day “adopt” one of the horses, though the horse will remain under J.E.E.P. ownership, to ensure the group still has a say on the horse’s well-being.

For myself, it has been a great learning experience. The J.E.E.P. volunteers are looking forward to growth of the Hilltop Refugio site, and new ideas are coming in every day. The latest? Does anyone want to buy a sack of horse manure for the garden? We seem to have a great supply!

To learn more about the J.E.E.P. project, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage. You can make a donation to the organization there as well.

You can also visit the J.E.E.P. Facebook page.

About the Author: Rob Erickson, his wife Heather and their rescue cat Mayo, spend half the year living on Vancouver Island, BC. and the other half in the Jaltemba Bay area of Mexico, where they enjoy the warm weather and slower pace of life. Now that Rob has finished building their new house in La Peñita, he can be found mountain biking around the area, volunteering at the JBAR spay and neuter clinics and relaxing in his Mexican-style hammock.

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. If you want to join in and share information, stories or photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

The past few weeks were a real change for us. We provided post-op care for two rescue horses, namely Canelo and Shadow. As Canelo was one of the first horses to under-go palette surgery, his care was fairly easy. He enjoyed kitchen scraps such as pineapple husks, carrot peels, cucumber and lettuce. Shadow was in the second group to undergo surgery as his health was compromised and Medico Hilde was concerned about anesthesia. After the surgery, all of the horses were able to take some time eating rather than worry about another more dominant horse taking his share.

At the same time, my 81-year-old mother was visiting, and even though she is a bit apprehensive about horses, they still provided something to do, if nothing more than a bit of entertainment watching other J.E.E.P. volunteers with walking and care. Our rescue cat Mayo enjoyed keeping an eye on the horses, day and night (from the back of the sofa). He realized the horses also encouraged his neighbourhood chickens to hang around a bit more, while awaiting the left-over scraps. The manure clean-up also gave us some fertilizer for planting in the garden.

Within a few weeks, all of the horses will likely be moved from the corn-field below Los Compadres Restaurant to the Hilltop Refugio, currently under construction. Next season, watch for a Barn-Raising party at the Refugio. Keep your kitchen scraps in the fridge in the days prior to the function, to provide a special snack for the horses when you attend. The site itself is very spectacular, over-looking Jaltemba Bay, so the horses, the party, and the view are sure to please everyone.


Watch-cat Mayo keeping the chickens and horses under control.
(top) This is my best shot of Canelo. George calls him the new Jefe of the herd, as Peso is off to school in Las Varas.

To learn more about the J.E.E.P. project, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage. You can make a donation there as well.

About the Author: Rob Erickson, his wife Heather and their rescue cat Mayo, spend half the year living on Vancouver Island, BC. and the other half in the Jaltemba Bay area of Mexico, where they enjoy the warm weather and slower pace of life. Now that Rob has finished building their new house in La Peñita, he can be found mountain biking around the area, volunteering at the JBAR spay and neuter clinics and relaxing in his Mexican-style hammock.

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. If you want to join in and share information, stories or photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

During the Pony UP! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser two weeks ago, event-goers got a chance to bid in the “Name the Filly” Live Auction. The lucky winner would give this little rescue horse her name, and a new beginning. My dear husband, David, bid on the filly and “won” the naming rights. And bless his heart, he passed this honor on to me.

The following week, I arranged for our Compadres Adan and Rosalva and their kids to meet us up the hill at the stables at Los Compadres Resort. I invited some of the J.E.E.P. Team to join us for our little surprise. My Mom and her friend, Don, were also in town at the time, which made this occasion even more special.

Here’s the story of “how the filly got her name”…

When George and Loretta asked for my help with the J.E.E.P. project a few weeks ago, I couldn’t say no. Immediately, it became a hugely emotional project, and losing Chance (the filly’s big brother) so soon was a shock that challenged everyone involved. It was something David, myself and the rest of the J.E.E.P. Team were not prepared to deal with emotionally. The connection we had to this horse in just a few days was overwhelming.

Like the filly, I too am the littlest in the herd. And because she no longer has a family, her name needs to be special and meaningful and strong.

Unlike the filly, I do have a family… I have a 92-year-old grandma who I adore, an incredible mother who is one of my very best friends, a wonderful father, a loving sister and an amazing husband. And when I married David, I inherited two children and three grandchildren by proxy.

And while I do not have children of my own, I do have two rescue dogs (Taco and Panchito) who allow me to fulfill my motherly instincts.

I am also blessed with five godchildren. Their names are Alexa, Lucas and Maddy in the US… and Adansito and Allyson, my namesake, here in Mexico.

The way I see it, Chance saved the others in his herd. He was the leader of the pack and the “heart” of this project. To me, the little filly is the “soul.” She is the one who will carry on in honor of her big brother Chance and in his spirit.

The first letters of my godchildren’s names spell “Alma,” which in Spanish means “soul.”

As George and Loretta will attest, I am scared to death of horses. But being connected to this little filly will give David and I an opportunity to learn more about them and to spend some quality time with our dear friends up the hill at Los Compadres Resort. It will also allow us to introduce horses to our godchildren, which for me, is an opportunity to give this little filly a forever family.

Welcome to the family “Alma.”

Here are a few photos from that afternoon…


Alma meets her new family: David, myself and our godchildren Adansito and Allyson. (top photo) George Leavitt, J.E.E.P. founder, holds Alma’s halter as I attempt to explain our surprise to our godchildren in Spanish.


Adansito and Allyson sit on Flash, one of George and Loretta’s personal horses. This was our godchildren’s very first time on a horse.
(Above photos by Tosia Archer)


Tracy Holmes, Allyson and I take a quiet moment to admire Alma.
(Photo by Dan Cormier)

To learn more about the J.E.E.P. project, their initial horse rescue, stories about “Chance” and information about their first fundraiser, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project community webpage. You can make a donation to the organization there as well.

This story was written by one of our regular contributors. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

The old black jeep shutters and rattles down the pothole filled road. Even the potholes have potholes. As the jeep merrily bounces, I too am bouncing. Trying to stay in the seat but mostly airborne as I clench the roll bar with my right hand. I would use my left hand to grab onto anything, ANYTHING…, but there is nothing to be had.

I am somehow managing to stay mostly inside the door of the jeep, so I now take advantage of my time to quickly glance over to the pilot. He has a large smile on his face which causes his upper lip to disappear under his bushy mustache. This smile is what we call a SEG (shit eating grin). My study of George Leavitt is short lived as the jeep snaps my neck. I turn just in time to discover we are leading into the mother of all potholes! I flash back to a cheesy 60’s SiFi film where I am the reluctant passenger of a doomed spaceship heading into a black hole. I close my eyes and reluctantly open them to discover to my reprieve that the travel savvy jeep has discovered a way out of the death hole! I am also relieved to discover that the road up ahead seems to be somewhat smooth. I feel it may now be a good time to glance back at the driver. He still has that SEG on his face and seems impervious to the jeeps troubles negotiating the road.

Since we left Los Compadres, it finally seems like a good time to talk. I find myself screaming over the rumblings of the jeep yelling “where are we going?” The pilot yells back, “going to help some horses.” Since project J.E.E.P. (Jaltemba Equine Education Project) has come about, word of mouth has brought some attention to the owner of horses that need care.

Much to my surprise we do actually find the place. We turn into the old rancho, with a large concrete and brick arch. As we drive thru the arch, George explains that this was once a grand place, but used only as a working ranch and for many parties held by its previous owners. I can see in my minds eye the spectacle of its former story. A place people from the town would come to attempt to prove their horsemanship and achieve bragging rights with their friends. This was a place where Grandfathers and Grandmothers could teach Mexican traditions of horsemanship to the children and grandchildren.

The current owner is a well meaning man and is doing his best to maintain his lifestyle. He is able to feed his animals, but due to the hard times is unable to give them proper medical attention. He has therefore contacted George to ask for his aid.

We are met by the local vet, Dr. Tello and his assistants. The horses are in a pen with ugly looking Mexican cows. Our goal, is to separate the horses from the cows, so the vet can “doctor” the horses for parasites and give vitamins. George and the assistants are able to capture the horses so the Dr. can vaccinate them. I was able to photograph them!

The owner was so grateful for our help, that he donated two days labor to clean up the brush from the Hilltop Refugio, where the refuge horses will eventually be kept. He also gave us two watermelons for our perilous trip home.

Written by John Webber

To learn more about the J.E.E.P. project, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage. You can make a donation to the organization there as well.

This story was submitted by one of our readers. If you want to join in and share information, stories or photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

More help came Friday, January 25 in the form of volunteers to assist Dr. Hilde, the veterinarian from Las Varas. He was coming to treat another symptom of the horse’s plight of starvation. The choice of food was limited, eating weeds with tough stalks and/or stickers caused a sore to form on the roof of their mouth. This sore keeps the horses from chewing their food completely; therefore they are not getting the full benefit of the feed they are now receiving.

 
(left) Our vet setting up. (right) Placing the “bridle” on to keep the jaw open.

Dr. Hilde partially anesthetized Billy Biscuit and Canelo. This relaxed their head, so he could place a bridle like contraption in their mouth. This “bridle” is adjusted to keep their jaws open for surgery.

 
(left) Many helpers for the vet. (right) Shot for the roof of the mouth.

Next came the needle in the roof of the mouth to provide a more local “freezing” of the area. The sore is then cut out so healing can commence (top photo). This will allow the horses to completely chew their feed for easier digestion and benefit for their bodies. Billy and Canelo were also given a shot to help coagulate the blood due to the surgery and all the horses were given a booster shot of vitamins. Heather Erickson (a registered nurse) has volunteered to administer additional vitamin shots as directed by the vet.


Tosia clipping Canelo’s ears.

As an extra benefit Canelo and Billy received a little primping. Tosia Archer and Ron Nicholls, her assistant, clipped manes, legs and ears.

This is definitely an on going project and we will update from time to time on the plight of the J.E.E.P. horses.

Written by Barbara Webber

To learn more about the J.E.E.P. project, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage. You can make a donation to the organization there as well.

This story was submitted by one of our readers. If you want to join in and share information, stories or photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

The first official fundraising event for the newly-established Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) on Wednesday, Jan. 23 was a galloping success! Coming together in less than two weeks, we weren’t sure what to expect, but simply knew we had to do our best to give our rescued herd of horses a fast and fighting chance. A handful of organizers quickly became a full-on posse of more than 25 eager volunteers, selling event tickets in advance, gathering goodies for our Silent Auction, dishing pizza, serving drinks, selling 50/50 tickets, playing music, flogging signature J.E.E.P. t-shirts and ball caps, standing by at the stables to introduce our horses to the guests, and wrapping things up with our ‘Name the Filly’ live auction finale.


Fundraiser guests ‘pony up’ to meet the horses, who were also happy to be greeted by so many curious and compassionate new friends.
(top photo) Party with a view, project with a vision. Pony Up! Fundraiser guests enjoy pizza by the pool at Los Compadres.

In addition to our on-site volunteers, more than 100 guests came up the hill to meet our equine ambassadors: Billy Biscuit, Canelo, Hermosa, Peso, and Shadow. They also met our little filly, who now has a new name, thanks to a generous winning bid of $5,700 pesos from part-time Guayabitos resident David Thompson. David gifted the naming rights to his wife Allyson Williams, who chose ‘Alma,’ an acronym to honour her godchildren, and also the Spanish word for ‘soul.’

“The way I see it, Chance saved the others,” says Allyson, speaking not about the filly, but her big brother Chance, the one in the herd that died just days after the rescue. “He was the leader of the group and will always be the ‘heart’ of this project. To me, his little sister is the ‘soul.’ She’s the one who will carry on in honor of her big brother and his spirit.”

Additional tickets were sold to folks who knew they couldn’t be at the event, but still wanted to show their support. The youngest cowboy at the party was Griffin Cormier, who presented his ‘change for Chance, chance for change’ collection of $916 pesos, gathered from classmates and friends during the past week. And Junior, another boy from the neighbourhood, was also on hand to help handle the herd, as he’s been every day since they were first brought to the hill. These kids, with their youthful enthusiasm, unconditional compassion, and unbridled faith, are the future of this project, and what the second ‘E’ in J.E.E.P. is all about.


Guest Auctioneer Dave Stevens turned his 50/50 win into a 100% jackpot for J.E.E.P.


It may have been a Silent Auction, but J.E.E.P. supporters were loud and clear with their generous bids.

Our special guest Auctioneer Dave Stevens not only volunteered his voice and professional expertise to raise more than $10,000 in the live auction, he also won the 50/50 draw and then turned right around and donated it back to the cause. Local individuals and businesses came through too, with almost 60 items up for grabs in our Silent Auction, including jewelry, home decor, art pieces, specialty food and drink items, meals at local restaurants, even the thrill of being a ‘Charra for a Day.’ On behalf of the local Escaramuza group, team leader Bertha Cueva and a companion rider were on hand to donate special sidesaddle riding lessons and a chance to join the colourful and courageous charras in the upcoming Mardi Gras Parade. Loretta Leavitt, an accomplished equestrian herself, was the highest bidder, but did so as a gift to Donna Brownfield, one of J.E.E.P.’s co-founders. Donna was the one who first found Chance and the herd out in the valley behind La Peñita last November. She’s currently back in Oregon, so wasn’t able to attend the fundraiser, but pack your boots, girl, there’s a sidesaddle waiting for you when you get back!

The final total for this kickstart event? $71,244 pesos! Thanks are not enough to everyone who helped make this last-minute last-chance fundraiser such a success. We ponied up our pesos, and we also raised awareness about this important project for the long-term. Pony Up! is over, but the vision is just beginning to come true, to save and sustain the lives and dignity of horses in Jaltemba Bay.

On behalf of J.E.E.P. and the Pony Up! team, desde nuestros caballos, y de nuestros corazones, muchas gracias!

Tracy Holmes
Event Coordinator
Pony Up! Fundraiser
Jaltemba Equine Education Project

For more information, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage.

You can also view more event photos on the J.E.E.P. Facebook page.

She’s the littlest one in the herd, and she needs a name. For the ‘top dollar’ finale of our first fundraising event, we would like to invite individuals or groups to bid, in person or by proxy, in our ‘Name the Filly’ Live Auction, for the special honour of giving our seventh horse her name, and a new beginning…

No Mother, No Brother, No Name

She showed herself to be ‘Sassy’ from the start, doing all she could to keep up with others. The littlest of the herd, her ‘dam’ had already died by the river bed when we found them. After the rescue, she had her big brother in the stable by her side, but her brother was ‘Chance,’ and she was the one who stood watch over him, brave but helpless, in his final days. Orphaned and alone, life in the valley would have been short too for this frisky but forgotten filly. That’s why we’re giving her a special place in the J.E.E.P family, finding her a new name that will not only honour her for what’s she’s lost, but title her as a symbol of hope for a long and happy future.

Grassroots fundraising has already started in our local community. But it’s our ‘Name the Filly’ Live Auction that we hope will reach the world, to bring the most bidders and the biggest payout at ‘Pony Up!’ To honour a special friend or a cherished partner, to welcome a new baby in the family, remember a lost loved one, or simply to be a part of this special project with the lasting legacy of your favourite name, the highest bidder will get to christen the littlest and luckiest of our ‘Lucky 7’ herd.

International Bidders Welcome

We know there are lots of local folks naming names already, planning to come to our fundraiser just for the chance to ‘Pony Up!’ with their pick. But J.E.E.P. welcomes generosity regardless of geography, so you don’t have to be here to bid. If you or your group would like to submit an Advance Bid, you can. For the sake of our cause, we’re pulling down the fences to make sure our namesake filly fetches a fortune! Advance bidders must submit their bids before noon on Wednesday, January 23 (the day of the event). Please leave a message on this page if you would like further info. And please Like or Share this post with others who may be interested in joining in the auction from afar.

Auction Details

What? ‘Name the Filly’ Live Auction Finalé at the ‘Pony Up!’ Fundraiser for J.E.E.P.
When? Wednesday, January 23, 2013, 5:00 pm local time
Where? Los Compadres Restaurant in La Peñita de Jaltemba, Nayarit, Mexico
Currency? The auction is happening in Mexico, but bidding will be in US$
Who Can Bid? Bidders are welcome in person at the event, and also from anywhere in the world via registered Advance Bidding.
Starting Bid? $50 (US$)

How far does $50 go? If you’re a hungry horse, not far. Fifty bucks will feed and care for our filly for a bit more than a week, and we’d like to feed her for a whole lot longer than that. Do the math. $200 a month, more than $2000 a year? We want to give her a name next week, but even more, we want to give her the very best start to celebrate with a healthy, happy birthday this time next year, and every year…

For more information, visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage.

“Chance” was rescued a week ago by George Leavitt and his new large animal rescue group called Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Program (J.E.E.P.). Chance was a 4-year-old Appaloosa who was literally starving when Donna Brownfield discovered him and the six others in their herd a few weeks back. The seven horses had no food or water, and were literally fighting for their lives. Sadly, eight in their herd had already starved to death before being discovered.


Photo by Dan Cormier

As you can see, Chance was basically skin and bones. He was weak and his liver was failing because of months, or maybe even years, of malnutrition. Each day, Dr. Eladio Tello visited Chance to give him his daily IVs, vitamins and medication. The first few days were a challenge, but Chance now had access to good food and water, and was getting the medical attention he deserved and so desperately needed. Equally important was that he experienced loving and caring hands for the first time in his life.

On January 10, five days after being rescued, Chance passed quietly with George and Loretta by his side. He was a special horse with a sweet and gentle spirit.

Chance did his job by saving the rest of his herd. And in those five short days he touched so many lives, and I would be remiss if we didn’t honor him here. Chance is a real hero and he did not die in vain. A cemetery at Hilltop Refugio will be built in his name.

Rest in peace Chance.

This story contains a few of my favorite photos of Chance and some of the wonderful people who cared for him (shown both above and below)…

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, January 23rd and join us for some fun and fundraising to help give the other six rescue horses a chance at survival. There will be games, live music, a silent auction and some good old fashioned “horsing around.” You can read about the “Pony Up! for J.E.E.P. Fundraiser” here.

If you cannot attend, please stop by Los Compadres Restaurant in person or make a donation via PayPal (see the link below). Funds are needed to pay for the ongoing cost of food, vaccinations and medication for the remaining six horses, as well as for fencing panels and shade that need to be constructed at Hilltop Refugio. The current expenses are approximately $1,500 pesos per month for each horse. A community project of this magnitude needs continued local support.

Visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage for more information.

You can also read about their rescue here: “Hilltop Refugio to the Rescue.”

This story was submitted by one of our regular contributors. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

‘Pony Up!’ is the kickstart fundraising event for the newly-established Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) in La Peñita de Jaltemba, Nayarit, on the central Pacific Coast of Mexico.

In the late fall of 2012, a herd of seven horses was discovered starving and near death in the valley behind La Peñita. On January 12, 2013, they were rescued, and a long-time vision to sustain the lives and dignity of neglected equines in the area became a reality. For one of the herd, an Appaloosa named Chance, help came too late, and despite best efforts, Chance didn’t make it through the first week after rescue. But with your support, his memory – and the rest of the herd – will survive. Funds are urgently needed to save and sustain the others, and J.E.E.P. is leading the way.

Please join us on Wednesday, January 23 from 2 to 5:30 pm at Los Compadres Restaurant in La Peñita, to hear Chance’s story, learn more about the J.E.E.P. vision, and show your support through donations and sponsorship. Gather on the hill to enjoy a panoramic view of Jaltemba Bay, gourmet pizza and drinks, music, silent auction, 50/50 draw, friends, fun, and our ‘Name the Filly’ live auction finalé. These seven horses were first, but they won’t be the last. Help us help this founding herd while we still can, now and for the future.

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Time: 2-5:30pm
Location: Los Compadres Restaurant
407 Cristobal Colon (at the top of the hill)
La Peñita de Jaltemba

Tickets: $250 pesos each. Tickets are available at Los Compadres Restaurant. They can also be purchased from Jeanie Mintzmyer of Hidden Paradise Realty at our local markets on Thursday, Jan. 17 (La Peñita) and Monday, Jan. 21 (Guayabitos), and from members of the J.E.E.P. team.

If you can’t attend this event, you can still put your money on a horse and support the cause… it’s a win-win! To make your donation, visit the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage.

About the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.)

On behalf of the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.), we would like to introduce you to a new initiative of action, awareness, outreach, and sustainability for the horses of Jaltemba Bay. It started with a dream, it happened by ‘Chance,’ and it all kicks off with a ‘Pony Up!’ fundraiser on Wednesday, January 23, 2013…

Project & Fundraiser Goals:
? to raise money for our founding herd of rescued horses
(immediate needs: food, meds, other supplies)
? to raise money for the Hilltop Refugio Project in La Peñita
(immediate needs: clearing, fencing, shade, stables, equipment)
? to raise awareness about the newly-established Jaltemba Equine
Education Project (J.E.E.P.)
? to raise awareness about the need for ongoing fundraising, services,
supplies, and volunteers (this event is just the beginning…)
? to recognize and acknowledge the people already involved,
and their efforts so far
? to come together in a beautiful venue with a spectacular view with
a like-minded group of generous supportive caring ‘compadres’
and celebrate a courageous collection of ‘caballos’

How Can I Help?

When J.E.E.P. Co-Founder Donna Brownfield was out for a holiday trail ride in the valley near Mexico’s Nayarit coast, she didn’t know that a chance meeting with an Appaloosa would change her life, and the life of that horse… even if only briefly. ‘Chance’ needed help, so Donna teamed up with local ‘compadres’ George & Loretta Leavitt to save this horse and its herd. Sadly, despite best efforts, Chance just couldn’t hold on. But with your support, it’s not too late for the others. Here’s how you can help…

PONY UP!
support our fundraiser
? buy a ticket for Pony Up!
? buy a ticket even if you can’t come… support the cause in spirit
? buy a ticket for a compadre

donate to the auction
? donate your goods or services for our silent auction, ‘lucky draw’ raffle,
or as a door prize

pizza for pesos
? ticket price includes a slice of gourmet pizza and a drink… but you can
buy more to fill your tummy, quench your thirst, and support the cause at
the same time

buy 50/50 tickets
? enter the 50/50 draw

silent auction & raffle
? bid on goods and services from local and visiting merchants
and organizations
? enter to win the ‘lucky draw’ raffle prize of your choice

NAME THE FILLY
plan to be the highest bidder in a very special legacy live auction
? she’s the littlest one on the herd, our ‘horse with no name,’ but you could
be the one to bestow her with the name of a lifetime
? highest bidder (individual or group) gets to name her, after a special
friend, a cherished partner, a new baby in the family, your own ‘filly’ or
‘colt’, or to honour the memory of a lost loved one

MEET THE HERD
? get to know more about our kickstarter caballos, the Lucky 7
who got this whole thing going
? no cash necessary, just pay it forward with your interest and love!

GET DIRTY
? pull on your boots and help out with whatever needs helpin’ at our
‘Monday Muck-Outs’

SPONSOR A HORSE
? it’s no gamble to put some money on your favourite horse,
just a win-win for everyone
? sponsor for a week: $500 pesos / $40 USD
? sponsor for a month: $1,500 pesos / $125 USD
? sponsor for a year: $18,000 pesos / $1,500 USD
? your donation will pay for feed, meds, grooming, tack,
shelter, and general care
? donations can be made on line any time
? payment plans will be available for commitment donations
of 1 year or more

DONATE NOW!
? Visit the Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage
to make your donation now, or any time.

Submitted by Tracy Holmes

This information was submitted by one of our readers. If you want to join in and share information, stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

Due to generous donations from many people, George Leavitt was able to purchase the 7 starving horses reported on in our previous article. This is the first step towards establishing the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.).

This past Saturday, January 5, the animals were picked up and transported to a property close to Los Compadres Restaurant in La Peñita. An assessment was made concerning a colt to be transported separately due to its poor condition and the fear that it would be injured by the other horses. One of the adult horses was suffering from such severe malnutrition, that he fell down in the trailer during the move. The horse was unable to stand on its own and had to be pulled out of the horse trailer. Once out, it was unable to stand even after numerous attempts. Dr. Eladio Tello, a local vet, was called to help check the horse that was literally on death’s door. He was treated with electrolytes and vitamins with an IV. After a long period of time he was able to be hand fed by Loretta Leavitt. After being coaxed to his feet, his muscles then needed to be massaged in order to bring back circulation into his legs. He was then led up to George’s stable where he and the colt are being kept due to their need of more constant observation and care.

 
 
 
 

All of the horses will need extensive medical attention due to ticks, sores and parasites. Many thanks to Dr. Tello and volunteers for donating their time and expertise. There is still a need for donations to help feed and treat these defenseless animals. Any support would be greatly appreciated.

Donations can be made in person at Los Compadres Restaurant or via PayPal. Visit the Hilltop Refugio / Jaltemba Equine Education Project (J.E.E.P.) webpage for more information.

Written by Barbara & John Webber

This story was submitted by one of our readers. If you want to join in and share your stories and photos of Jaltemba Bay, Mexico, please email them to Allyson@JaltembaBayLife.com

Events

Nothing Found

Sorry, no posts matched your criteria