Note: regretfully, the photos and links that were originally part of this article back in 2008 are no longer functioning--hopefully the farriers, the fundraiser and the charity are thriving!
"Like the horses they love, their strength shows in gentleness, their lives are rooted in history and tradition, and their spirits run free in the wind..."
So begins the dedication of the Hunks and Horses calendar.
Horse owners in the Tucson, Arizona area will have something to stare at while they wait for their farriers next year. Some will be staring at it quite fondly.
A good-hearted owners' group called the Swingin Saddlebabes has created a photo calendar of 12 of their favorite local farriers, hard at work on their horses. Proceeds will go to a local horse rescue agency.
I wonder who had more fun making this calendar--the horse owners or the farriers? All are in good spirits and out to do good.
The designated-hunk farriers are Philip Ramos, Karl Rossi, Don Miller, John Hall, Bobby Jenkins, Casey Abbs (really, honest), Ken Kalember, Todd Fairweather, Johnny Mill, Steve Shaw, Manny Madrid and Jason Willour. Ken Kalember gets extra points for posing with his Aussie dog and they all cheerfully posed with their clients horses, who are identified by name.
The lucky beneficiary is Equine Recline: Rescue, Rehabilitation, Retirement, of Sahuarita, Arizona. Right now, the ranch is paying $16 for a bale of Bermuda hay (foreign readers, note: it is a type of grass, not imported from Bermuda!) and they expect the cost to go up to $20 a bale this winter. Tucson is in the mountains south of Phoenix, near the Mexican border.
Farriers in Arizona have it made. And so do their dogs. Ken Kalember took off his apron and posed for the "Hunks and Horses" farrier calendar to raise money for a local horse rescue ranch. So did 11 of his (all male) farrier friends. The fundraiser was the brain child of a group of horseowners who are very fond of their farriers!
Projects like this at times like this are a win-win for all involved. Everyone needs a calendar. Everyone needs to buy reasonably-priced Christmas gifts this year. And the humane societies, animal shelters and rescue farms in your area need your help. And, most of all, everyone needs a good laugh.
There's a big difference between feeling like you're handing over a $100 donation out of your pocket and if you're ordering a pile of calendars (or whatever a fundraiser has to offer) that you can give as gifts.
If the hunky Tucson farriers aren't your thing, find out what the dog or horse charities in your area are selling for fundraisers, or figure out what you can make to sell to benefit them. You'll be giving the best gift to yourself: the feeling that you're helping make things better for the animals who count on people like you. And don't ever forget that your livelihood depends on your area's horse-friendly community of owners and professionals, no matter where you live.
© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing. This post was originally published on October 8, 2008 at http://www.hoofcare.blogspot.com. Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. This blog may be read online or received via a free daily email through an automated delivery service. To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness, please visit our main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Send email to email@example.com. Thanks!