My name is Leslie Brown. As a little girl I always dreamed of owning horses but knew it was a huge responsibility. It wasn't unit My husband and I bought 5 acres that my husband bought me, my 1st horse Bonnie (Ree Bar Bonanza) for $350 from a neighbor who had taken her in because her previous owners were going to send her to auction. Bonnie was 19 and came with baggage. She wouldn't load in the trailer so my husband John walked her 2 miles down the road to get her home. And so on Christmas 2003 began the journey of horse ownership.
In the early spring of 2004 we went looking for a horse for John. That search lead us to Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue in Jones, OK. There we met Natalee and Shawn Cross, and Ranger. Ranger was our 1st adopted horse. Immediately and to this day Ranger and Bonnie were a bonded pair. John and I learned many things about horses through the care and daily interaction of the horses. Let's just say sometimes it was a rodeo and not necessarily because of our horses lack of knowledge but because of ours. I was hooked on Blaze's and their mission after those initial encounters with Natalee and Shawn. They came out on several occasions to our place at our request and taught us many things about care and feeding of horses.
It was when I saw the picture of "Brandy" in a 2006 newspaper article about the Spencer horse seizure of 36 horses, that I realized "They need help and they can't do it all by themselves. That is when I realized this is my calling too. There is no way I can do what they do every day but I know I can make a difference in helping them help the horses. Sometimes it is labor like working at the concession stands at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds during various events, buying livestock water tanks, or buckets, or picking up a load of donated hay, sometimes all I can do is pray. Sometimes like the 2007 Forest Park Arabian horse seizure, it is loading up 44 scared and hungry horses into trailers in the wee hours of the night and praying they can make the drive to Blaze's where they will receive a constant supply of food and water and medical care. It is easy to become discouraged because the inward flow never seems to stop and the adoptions are so sporadic but the staff at Blaze's are a team and we take turns lifting each other up.
John and I now own 7 horses and a donkey. 6 are rescues from Blaze's , including the donkey, Poppie. Bonnie is still with us, now, she is 26 years old and retired. I now ride Bashira (aka Lulu), who I am conditioning to ride Limited Distance Rides in state and regional Endurance Races. We completed our first ride in Texas this past Nov 2010. My latest adoption is Razzmatazz (aka Wiggles). He was born at Blaze's in the spring of 2008. His mother successfully carried him although she was nearly starved to death before reaching Blaze's. I hope to someday ride him on the trail and in limited distance rides as well.
I encourage everyone I meet to become educated about the plight of America' horses domestic and wild. Americans have and still do benefit from the relationship horses offer. It truly is a relationship that provides love, accomplishment and challenges. It requires the opening of your eyes and your heart, the dedication of time and energy, and the commitment to realize you will make mistakes but your horse will forgive you. You must also be able to realize that you will never know it all and there is more than one way to do it, whatever it may be.
In December of 2009, I was asked to join the Board of Blaze's Tribute Equine Rescue. It truly is a blessing to be part of such a great cause. I look forward to the future with Blaze's.
Please call or email to schedule an appointment to visit the horses currently available in our rescue program. We are generally available by appointment Monday - Thursday after 5:30 and anytime Friday - Sunday. We do maintain full time jobs, so we are not always available on weekdays. Please be patient with us and we will return your call/email as soon as possible.