Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rainy Season

I was going to upload pics from last night but blogger seems not like me at the moment.

So we had rain all day yesterday. I had realized the previous night that the pasture near the road was done, or so the horses told me. I realized that Junior is looking really tough. As in, he's lost a LOT of weight and that's my fault. I know that the heat took a toll on him and he lost some weight but I thought putting him in this pasture would be ok. But apparently it wasn't rich so he's dropped even more weight. I walked the pasture last night and I would say that it still has decent grass but it's not the lush grass that Junior needs. So I'm not sure what to do.

I don't want to put him in the other pasture because it won't hold up for as long as I need it if I put him in now. But I don't think he'd do good being on hay and I definitely don't want to start feeding hay in mid August. The horses have only been on this pasture for three weeks (Mayhem was on it longer but didn't eat that much). So I don't really know what to do. I'm working from home at the paying job today so Junior is out and enjoying the lawn. He's been staying close to the red shed and the mares so I'm guessing he's having a grand ol' time.

With the rain last night, when I pulled Junior out to put him in a different pen to eat (because the mares would push him out), he was shivering. Apparently with the cooler rain (everyone else was fine) and the weight loss, he had gotten chilled. So I stalled him and pulled Lace out to keep him company. And because Mayhem is so herd bound (even though she was fine earlier this summer) I had to put her in a different pen so she wouldn't tear up the pasture.

I need to refence where I had the horses in June because the grass is coming back after all this rain. But I don't want the herd on it just yet. I'd rather wait until September to put them back on it...and I don't want them to eat it down so far that we wont' be able to use it next year. I can tell that I sprayed that part of the pasture and the other part I didn't get a chance to spray. It's an obvious distinction. But it's nice to see that what I did, did do some benefit.

The weather is still so cool but there's talk that it'll warm up soon. That would be nice for the grass. I'm out of places for the ponies so I need to figure something else out. I either throw hay (again, don't want to be throwing hay) or figure out where I can set up corral panels that would actually work. I hate moving corral panels around though. it's such a pain.

And now that I am in full swing trying to get stuff done, Mike doesn't feel well. He told me the other night that his heart has been bothering him. It's de javu all over again. I joke that I'm old, but neither of us are 40 yet and he's already head heart surgery and now he's having more problems. So I don't forsee anything getting done around the place until he's feeling better. I think I'm going to have to start taking time off the paying job to get the stuff done and figure out how to do it all on my own. It's frustrating but I guess that's the hand I have been dealt right now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meet Brego

When  I first moved in to our acreage, the neighbor had horses. Brego was one of those horses. It was nice to watch the horses even if I didn't know them as ours were still with my parents. We were new to acreage living and wanted to take the winter to figure out the ins and outs of being in the country.

Fast forward to the fall of 2007 (about two years), and our neighbor said that we could have Brego and Maverick (this was after he'd taken Queen, the old appy and another QH mare to an auction. We brought Queen home from that auction). Unfortunately, we said we needed a few days/weeks before we could bring them in. I wasn't ready because we had some vacations and other family events to take care of. Apparently he'd gotten tired of waiting and when we got home after my birthday celebration, I found Brego and Maverick standing in one of our pastures one evening in the rain. They were in with Queen which wasn't bad, but they were also in with Babe and I wasn't happy about that. But it all worked out. I rushed them into a different pen for the night and started to evaluate them the next day.

Somewhere along the line, they had started escaping and the neighbor had shut them into a barn. Brego, at the time, was a bit of a harder keeper and he came to us thin. At the time I thought it was neglect but in truth I think it had more to do with his metabolism. Only recently has he become an easy keeper where I don't have to keep a watchful eye on him starting around February/March when winter seems to drag on.

Brego was and still is, a very quiet demeanoured horse. I love that about him. He's not aggressive and seems to want to make sure everyone feels comfortable (if they are low on the pecking order). When we brought Sam in to the Sanctuary, Brego and Sam became the best of friends. It was almost like Sam had a shadow.

After we lost Sam, and acquired Ivan, Brego became best friends with Ivan and they have been inseparable since that time. You may not be able to tell in these pictures but Ivan is right next to Brego in all of them. If there's not a shadow of Ivan in the pictures thats' because I was facing a different angle. When I look for one, I'll find the other.

Brego has a very soft heart and if he were a mare, I swear he'd be my go-to horse for when things aren't going right. When I was pregnant with my first, Brego knew that I was different and walked up to me and put his nose right on my belly and sniffed. He was curious. I have to be cautious when I'm pregnant because some of the herd will push, but not Brego. He's one of the easiest horses to be around.

When Brego turned 5, I sent him to the trainer on my own dime. I figured he'd better get some education. When he had been with the previous owner, they'd sent him to a trainer. I know that trainer and wasn't too impressed with their methods so wanted my trainer to do what he normally does. After 30 days, the trainer said he needed more time. It wasn't that he was stupid but Brego wasn't where he should have been after 30 days. I couldn't afford another 30 days so agreed to another 15 days. That would put him at 45 days. On the 45th day, Brego bucked the trainer off and not an easy buck but a "crash you through the corral panels" kind of bucking episode. The trainer said to NEVER get on Brego after that and volunteered to haul him to an auction. Well, we all know where Brego would have gone had he went to auction. But I have heeded our trainer's advice and never gotten on him.

So now he's simply a pasture puff enjoying his days. The previous owner had been bucked off Brego as well. So after those bucking episodes, I've gathered that there's an injury to Brego. It has nothing to do with behavior or attitude. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. So it all has to stem from pain. I don't know what he has as we've never had the extra money to do exploratory testing or whatnot to find out what's wrong. So instead, Brego hangs out and enjoys being a shadow to Ivan. He's not in pain so I'll simply leave him the way he is and know that he'll never be a riding horse.

Brego is a simplistic horse. He doesn't want for much, doesn't need for much, and is simply a figure at the Sanctuary. I do keep a watchful eye on him in late winter/early spring because he's been known to lose weight but in the last few years he's kept the weight on beautifully.

He does get cold easily so we make sure to blanket him. I would say needing a blanket in the winter and possibly some grain in late winter are his only flaws. Friends donated a zebra blanket and that's become Brego's blanket. But it would be nice to have a few more blankets in Brego's wardrobe because invariably his blanket will get ruined. Ivan isn't mouthy but Maverick is and even though Brego and Maverick don't hang out any more, Maverick is still a part of the herd and loves to torment (and ruin blankets).

Even though Brego is not rideable, he does like people and I am hoping that maybe he can be an ambassador for the Sanctuary as he'll be around for awhile. We had gotten him when he was 3, sent him to the trainer (and failed) at 5. He's now 12. He's grown into a very nice looking horse. As a 3 year old, he looked pretty gawky and nerdy and even at 5, he still seemed a bit unsure of himself and his body. But now at 12, he's pretty well set in his ways. I am afraid that his front legs will give him problems as they dont' seem to bend and break over like all the other Sanctuary horses. I don't believe the legs are what cause him problems when someone rides him but I think strenuous work would cause problems when he gets older. I would have loved to have turned him into a driving horse but with the unknown of what's wrong with him (be it his back, hips, etc.) I never followed the idea of driving education.

So I guess for now, he'll be the official Sanctuary greeter and he'll be the first we'll introduce a new horse to. Once Brego has welcomed a new horse into the herd and the new horse adjusts, I know I can start introducing other horses. He's a good friend.

If anyone wants to sponsor Brego, that would be fantastic. He's an easy keeper but he could always go for a bag of grain and a blanket to keep him warm. He doesn't like getting wet and seems to have thin skin.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quiet Time

You may have noticed that I've been a bit more quiet this month. I am trying to do more on Facebook but even that is lacking right now. My mind is elsewhere. It's actually being torn in a number of directions.

First and foremost, making sure the horses have hay. We had a semi load of hay delivered Friday at noon. It's great having 30 bales but we still need to pick up the other smaller bales and I'm still worried it's not enough for our current herd and there's NO WAY we can bring in another horse and that REALLY REALLY bothers me. In about another week, we'll be seeing horses, good horses, loyal horses up for sale by no fault of their own and that bothers me. These are the tried and true horses that are worth their weight in gold and yet with the hay issues around here and with people getting out of horses in general, I'm worried. So many more start to flood the market this time of year. And it makes me physically sick.

But August also drives me almost to the point of insane. This is when I realize summer is almost over and we're headed into fall and I need to be focusing on tasks at hand so we dont' have to deal with stuff during the winter months. All these odd projects that HAVE to be done before the snow flies. Every time I open the door and hear the katydids singing, I feel like they are mocking me or sending me some warning that fall is almost here and winter is around the corner.

I went for a walk at the paying job to get some fresh air and it's like I couldnt' breath. It's all stress and it's all self induced stress worrying about things that I have no control over. I need to remember to take one day at a time and just live. But it's hard when you're in charge of horses and worry about their care.

On the bright side, and where most of my attention has been, is that August is also my son and daughter's birthdays! My son just turned 5 on Saturday and my daughter will turn 2 in two weeks. So I'm trying to figure out presents and parties and all that stuff. It's more activities added to the already busy schedule. But I want to make sure that my kids get the full attention that the need and deserve and right now they seem to be needing more of my time.

I could really use the help though. If anyone knows marketing or accounting or anything business-y-ish, I could really use some guidance. All the information is up in my head but I need to figure out how to get it onto paper and into motion. I had the terrible thought today that maybe I should just let it all go.  Let everything dissolve and just be worried about myself. Yes I was (and still sort of am) riding the pity party. But it was a fleeting thought and I KNOW that I couldn't live with myself to not do more with what I have. So I'll keep plugging along.  But I may stay quiet this month. Trying to focus on the kids and not become too overwhelmed with all that HAS to get done and what SHOULD get done before the first snow flies.

Friday, August 11, 2017

$5 Friday Hay

It’s $5 Friday!

We have a load of hay scheduled to arrive today at NOON! It's 30 bales of 1500-1800lbs! I am excited to have hay secured and sitting at the Sanctuary waiting to be used this winter. I'd feel even better if I knew that the hay was fully paid. We still need to pick up the smaller bales but those will have to wait until next week. For now, the big bales arrive in just a few hours. I will feel relieved but would LOVE to have them paid off AND have a few more bales in reserve. Any additional bales would allow us to open our doors to seniors that need a soft place to land during this hay crisis. Every dollar counts! Does anyone want to donate toward the hay or have hay to donate?

Our small Sanctuary is supported by many donors who cannot share a lot but what they share is huge.

Every donation matters, and we are grateful you have chosen to help us with our mission, "Giving each horse a dignified retirement".

Did you know, $5 buys one bale of hay and feeds a horse for a day? We have 15 horses in our Sanctuary enjoying retirement. We start feeding hay mid to late October and continue through May. Would you like to feed one of our Sanctuary horses for a day?

You can donate to or send checks to:
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 35
Humboldt, SD 57035

Happiness Happens Report

I somehow missed yesterday so here goes:

August 10: I am happy for soft muzzles.

August 11: I am happy for hay delivery!

Sorry, need to get new pictures on this computer.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lets Talk Trailers

Let talk trailers

I can say that the trailers at the Sanctuary are about the only thing paid for! It may seem like an odd topic to discuss but if you have livestock, you need a way to get them from Point A to Point B and if not livestock, other "stuff" that needs to be moved.

So we're going to start with my old trusty stock trailer. This trailer doesn't look nice but it doesnt' owe me anything. Well, it does. I just put brand new tires on it so it has to last until the tires are worn out. I bought this trailer in 2003. It's a 1993 something or other. It's seen better days. We've had to weld almost everything on it but it still functions. It's my go to trailer even if it looks terrible. It is what it is and it's paid for. I'd love to get a better one but that's not in the cards unless someone wants to donate one.

The following trailer is my pride and joy although after a comment, there's a bit of a rub with it these days. It's a 1996 6 horse sundowner. I bought it initially because we had draft horses and we were making two trips to haul four horses to the vet. It was a pain and I loved the thought that I could throw a bunch of horses in and head to the vet (well, not going to the vet part but that I could haul anyone no matter what size they were). I like having it because there's comfort in knowing I could move almost everyone in an emergency. But in reality, I need to sell it. I need an enclosed trailer for drill team and when I haul in the winter. It makes no sense hauling this big trailer in the winter when I might get stuck in a snow drift and when I'm only hauling one horse.

I thought I was going to be able to sell it pretty quick but something happened to all the hinges so we are stuck replacing ALL the hinges and doing a bit of other work in hopes that I can come out, not even in selling it but not come out losing my entire butt.

I'll be sad to see it go but happy to buy a more functional trailer and possibly retire the gray stock trailer to only minor work.

The blue trailer was not quite a whim but I bought it because of the tires. It's a running joke in the family. I ended up using the tires off the blue trailer and put them on the gray trailer. I don't particularly like the blue trailer because its' slightly smaller and narrower than my gray trailer. But it's a 1979? and in better shape than the gray trailer. Right now Mike is working on the brakes and some other stuff so that we can possibly sell it. I'm not in a big hurry to sell it. It may or may not come in handy. Sort of silly to have three horse trailers but in an emergency, it's nice to know that its' there just in case. Silly but still there. It's in ghetto style but it'll need to be fixed and moved before the snow flies.

Last but definitely not least is the flat bed trailer. It's actually a car trailer but has seen more hay than vehicles. It's come in really handy. I would love to buy a gooseneck flatbed but we aren't there yet so instead we make due with this trailer. We try not to haul too much hay with it because the weight restriction on it means we can't pile on the hay like I'd like to. As it sits right now with six of the smaller bales, the trailer is maxed out. So it would be nice to have a bigger trailer.

And is the case, if a trailer is not unloaded right away, the stuff that's on or in it, will sit there until there is either an emergency and we NEED the trailer or we need the stuff on it. In most cases it's that we NEED the trailer for something else. So the stuff in/on the trailer gets unloaded in a hurry and usually in a heap somewhere. In most cases, unless it's an emergency, it'll just have to wait and usually unloaded a trailer is just that...not an emergency until you need it!

The gray stock trailer is loaded with Ondura sheets and 2x4s for the hay barn roof! Totally excited to see that project start but its' going to be difficult to figure out when we can get it done. The cooler weather helps and we should have access to a telehandler or boom truck, what with my uncle being stuck watching his crops whither away. But Mike's work schedule ramped up. That's the problem with Mike's schedule. It's opposite of mine. He's busy in the summer months and I'm busy with horses in the winter months.

But I there you have it...the trailers of the Sanctuary. I don't snicker at trailers either. We started out with a STEEL, 4 horse straight load turquoise trailer. Yes, someone painted it turquoise because that was the IN color in the early 90s.  You might have seen that trailer at the "summer retreat" when I had Junior and Lace up there. It's not one I "advertise" a lot because it looks dumpy. But it did get us from Point A to Point B...with a lot of snickers in our direction (but all in fun).

I think with any acreage, you almost have to have a trailer of some sort. Luckily we have a multitude to choose from and best of all, they are all paid for!

Drought Monitor Report

The drought monitor still shows that the Sanctuary (and the hay ground) are still in a drought as of today.

The problem is, I'm hearing horror stories from our hay guy. He's hauling water, losing cattle, and most likely going to lose some if not all of his crops this year. We are in a better position than we were five years ago when we had another drought strike. I've learned some hard lessons from that experience.

But the weather is rearing it's ugly head and making life difficult for everyone.

We are short on hay. We are getting a load of hay delivered tomorrow at noon (hoping I can sneak a Live video but we'll see). But it's only 30 bales. With the 25 smaller bales, we should be ok but I'm not comfortable. I want more hay. But the funds aren't there either if the hay was.

So now we are turning away horses. Even though we are small and unknown, the few people who do know us and do ask, we are forced to say no. For those with no other alternative than to take to auction, those horses are entering the slaughter pipeline and I worry. I'm sick over it. What can I do? I have to protect the residents that we have. Even if any of our current residents are sponsored, we'd still be tight because I cant' even FIND hay at this moment. Everything I see is two states away and I can't afford shipping for that far away.

Anyone want to be a HUGE Angel and donate towards hay?

Don't forget we also have our Be An Angel day coming up. I haven't had time to focus on it because I'm trying to get my son's birthday party stuff situated. Oh the joys of working a full time job, running a sanctuary single handedly, and caring for two small kids (and making sure they don't go without for the fun adventures they deserve).

So I'll just sit over here and stress over stuff.