Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Upcoming Loose Horse Sale

I happened to be on the South Dakota Horse Sale website (it used to be the Corsica Horse Sale). They are looking to have a Loose Horse Sale the second Saturday in December. This will definitely be a time for owners to dump their horses before the real winter sets in (not that winter hasn't set in already).

Unfortunately, we won't be able to bring anyone home unless people would be willing to donate towards the winter hay. We are still short on funds for Junior's final bale of hay so I doubt we can bring another horse in at this time.

Here's the blurb about current prices:

The top ten Loose horses averaged $833 selling from $600 to $1500 top. On the weigh up end, market was higher. Heavy horses, 1000 lb and over sold .40 to .45 cents lb, 500 to 1000 lb sold.30 to .40 cents lb and yearling horses, 500 to 800 lb sold .23 to 30 cents lb. We hope to hold a Loose sale the 2nd Saturday in December, if weather forecast permits.

Of course they won't mention the No Value and the low prices that some horses brought in. I worry for the horses heading to the loose sale in December. People will be culling because of the harsh winter we've already had and expect to have more. I wish we had more funds to at least pull ONE horse.

Anyone want to sponsor a Sanctuary horse or be willing to sponsor an auction horse? Figure $65 per bale and we would need five bales. We'd also most likely need to purchase grain but for now, hay is the most important part. Maybe for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, you'd rather sponsor a horse. $100 a month sponsors a horse at the Sanctuary. Or maybe this year, you'd like to help save a life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This Is Horse Slaughter In Canada

A really good read:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Updates and Ideas

For those that might be interested in seeing the Sanctuary horses, I've updated the "Current Residents" and "Greener Pastures" pages with pictures and descriptions. Some of the pictures are a little outdated but still worth looking at.

Also, I'm curious to know what everyone wants to see for the upcoming year. Do you want to see more "challenges" like we did in October, do you want to see more pictures in general, more activities around the Sanctuary, or should I just keep plugging along the way I have for the past few years?  I am looking at ways to get you, yes you, more involved with the Sanctuary! ;-)

I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or send me an email at The more ideas that come my way, the better I can help our Sanctuary horses (and senior horses in general)!

Warm Up and Cool Down

This weekend was beautiful...ok so maybe it was more like Saturday was beautiful. No wind, no clouds, and plenty of sun. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to get everything done on my list that I'd wanted to. It seems to be a reoccurring thing with me (my lists are too big).

But the weather was warm on Saturday so we spent most of the afternoon hanging out outside. The farmers took advantage of the warmer weather and finished picking corn around us. Our farmer friend had a field to the west of us that still had corn. He was able to get it out but by that time, we'd already put the snow fence around some of the new evergreen trees we planted this summer. So now we don't have a snow fence to keep the snow off the road and plugging up our driveway. I guess we'll see how it goes. Too late now to do anything. Mike was able to put a couple more fence posts into the ground but it was a struggle.  I think the ground is pretty well frozen now. So much for getting a hole dug and a building pushed in and buried.

On Sunday we woke up to light sprinkles and by mid morning we were getting serious rain. Of course, Mike suggested we go out and move corral panels (something on my list that I wanted to do on Saturday). So out in the pouring rain I went. Mike and Garrett hung out in the tractor staying nice and dry. I was able to wring out my gloves by the time we were done moving all the corral panels. But now I have four back in the hay shed to make another temporary stall for the three in the smaller pen (Rabbit, Mayhem, and Junior). I'll feel better having that many stalls because I think this winter will be rough.

That's about all I was able to get done. I'd wanted to try on the blanket that was donated to Junior but didn't have enough daylight and I wanted to take pictures but again, not enough daylight. Too many other things going on to take pictures I guess.

I'm figuring this week will be fairly quiet, what with it being Thanksgiving. I'll be enjoying some family time this coming holiday season and it's exactly what I need to rejuvenate (ok, so would a trip somewhere warm!)

With the warmer weather, Dude perked up and this morning with the wind howling and the temps dropping I watched Dude. He's being very careful where he puts his feet. I don't know that it's his feet that are bothering him but rather those darn hips of his. He did come out of the run-in shed sooner than he has all of last week. I'm thinking I will get him a blanket and see if that helps any. If he's warmer and the cold doesn't sink too far into his hips, then maybe he'll feel better? I don't know. It's all such a crap shoot.

Junior is doing great. I called my farrier but he was out of town so it'll have to be a little bit longer before we can get those blasted shoes of Junior. I don't want him walking on ice with those shoes. With all the warm temperatures and the rain, we pretty much don't have any snow left. The few patches of slush have turned into ice. I'm hoping that we'll get a little bit of sunshine and that the ice will melt. With the warmer weather I left Junior out and boy was he displeased with me!

With the warmer weather, I held off on graining Bo as much. I think that was a mistake. I can't tell but I think he might have lost a little weight. I cant' tell as well with the winter coat on but I want to make sure that Bo gets his grain every night. He's such a hard keeper.

Hopefully tonight the wind won't be blowing. For almost the entire month of November, the wind has been blowing. I can only think of two or three times where chores have been easy and I haven't had hay in unmentionable places!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dude on the Watch List

I noticed that Dude is off. I can't place it. He's been off ever since last week when we got all the snow. I'm worried about him. The other day he was banging at the door to get in but he doesn't normally come into the barn (he's not deemed a hard keeper so he doesn't get mash like the hard keepers). But I've noticed the last week that Dude will hang his head out and around the run-in shed but won't expose the rest of his body.

Usually when I start throwing hay (or appear to throw hay), he rushes out of the run-in shed and makes a bee line right for the hay. Now, I'll throw a couple piles of hay and then he'll mosey his way over to a hay pile. He'll still pin his ears but he doesn't have that same gusto that he used to have. At the beginning of the month, his back end was really giving him fits, which means he's off on the front.

His left hip is the one giving him problems, so he puts all his weight on the right hip/leg. But when the right leg/hip starts to hurt even more, he puts  more weight on the front and in the beginning of November, he was limping on the front as well. Luckily we got him trimmed up, thinking that might be part of the problem (he's also slightly over at the knees as far as I can tell). But with the snow and freezing temperatures, I'm not sure if his hip is giving him more pain or if it's his feet that are bothering him. He doesn't walk like King, who has flat and super tender feet. But Dude does seem like he's overly cautious about where he's putting his feet. 

So I don't know what to do. I don't want to stall him every night because that could cause even more stiffness with him standing around. But he seems to be hiding from the wind, which used to never bother him in the past. I'm guessing the hip now has arthritis so there's a lot of aches and pains. So I don't know if I should blanket him to see if that helps? If there's less wind and a little bit more protection, maybe he'd be less inclined to stay in the run-in shed (and keep everyone else hostage who goes in before him). Or if I need to put him on some type of pain medication? I don't want to run him through a gauntlet of tests but I'm not sure what to do with him to keep him comfortable. It dawned on me that he'll be 18 years old this coming year. In the Sanctuary's world, 18 is still considered young. But with the hip, it could be that for Dude, 18 is considered old and I need to start pampering him a little bit more. 

So now I don't know what to do. I hate being in such a quandary. If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. Once the temps warm up, and the roads clear off, if Dude doesn't perk up, I'll be heading to the vet to see if there's anything I can do to ease his discomfort. I'm now adding Dude to my watch list. The stresses of a Sanctuary!

Junior and Tiny Dictator

Monday night the temps were supposed to be below zero with wind chills in the 20 below wind chills. I opted to keep the hard keepers in their stalls and feed extra to the others. I didn't put everyone in because there was no wind. I'm sure with a below zero temp that any wind would make it 100 times worse but everyone could get in out of the wind.

However, this morning I woke up to wind howling. Oh sure, the temps were higher but that wind just cut through everything. I can't believe it's only November and we are dealing with January type weather.

Junior seems to be doing great even with the upheaval of a new home, routine, and feed. He practically haltered himself last night. He is getting where he backs away once his nose is in the halter. I haven't figured out what that's about. He was in his stall finishing up his grain, waiting for his alfalfa and poked his head over the door. I gave his head and ear a good itch and then it hit me. Some of Junior's actions reminded me of my very first horse, Tiny Dictator. The thought left me frozen. Oh sure, Junior is much more friendly then Dictator ever was but some of that affection Junior showed me was exactly the same. I'm thinking maybe Junior was an old ranch horse. He had the benefit of having multiple owners who doted on him where Dictator only had three (me being the third) and I was the only one to have doted on him. It was just a weird feeling that came over me last night. It's a bit hard to explain.

Dictator many years ago

Monday, November 17, 2014

Boo To Winter

I'm already tired of winter and seeing white so I thought I would post just a few pictures of color! Yeah to fall, boo to winter.