Wednesday, October 1, 2014

#NPCommPix - Day 1: You

The first day of the #NPCommPix Challenge is "You". I chose the following:

When I think of me, I think of those two guys. So, that's the happy two-legged family of the Sanctuary

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Herd

Hadn't posted pics in a while. Finally downloaded pictures from over the past year (oops). Found this one and wanted to share.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Horse(s) of the Month - Rabbit and Mayhem

Horse of the Month - Rabbit and Mayhem
So it seems I let the ball drop and didn't do a horse of the month for September and October is tomorrow. But it does seem a bit fitting to put these two together.
Rabbit and Mayhem.
Originally I was looking for an older mare that would join the current mare herd. Queen had coliced and left Babe alone in her pen.  I didn't want her alone but didn't really think the few geldings that would tolerate Babe would work because I pull them for rides and she'd still be alone. So I went in search of an older mare. I knew at some point one of the two old mares would go and then they'd be left alone standing in a pen.
I found Rabbit.

She's a registered Quarter Horse, with a registered name of Rabbit Choker Nikki. Her previous owners called her Nikki but I couldn't do it. Her sire was Rabbit Choker (hence the name).

The person selling Rabbit had only had her for a few short months. She'd been bred when the person bought her and the foal was guaranteed to be a blue roan, which is what that person wanted.

What came out, was a replica of Rabbit. We affectionately call her Mayhem. She's register-able but there was some issues with the paperwork and we never got her registered. Mayhem was born on June 24, 2010 and as the pictures show, she's sorrel. She's a bit different in sorrel color. Rabbit has a bit more red when the sun shines in her and Mayhem is a little less fiery red when the sun shines on her coat.

But being that Mayhem wasn't a blue roan, the person didn't want the combo and put them up for sale in September 2010. I had thought Rabbit would be a good fit for Babe and Queen. She wasn't. She was much younger than those two older mares (late 20s early 30s while Rabbit was only late teens). I don't remember the specifics of how I introduced the mares, but it didn't go well and so we were left with two mare herds. Well, Rabbit actually prefers the company of geldings. She's a no nonsense kind of gal.

Mayhem and Rabbit

Unfortunately, Rabbit has heaves. I've tried an antihistamine and it doesn't seem to work. Humidity makes it way worse. She actually seems to do ok when she's on hay (not rounds mind you). But if I grain her with the antihistamine, she coughs. I'm not sure what to do with her. I was told she was broke to ride but she's off in the back end. I've not had her evaluated but didnt' figure on riding her. So she's been retired from riding and making babies ever since. I didn't think that she needed to be pregnant when she has to deal with heaves. It was too much stress on her body. After she'd had Mayhem, she'd dropped a considerable amount of weight and it took a full four months to get her up to the weight that I wanted her at.

Mayhem and Rabbit (Rabbit was shaking her head and about to clear her nose so that's why the funny look)

Mayhem was born with an umbilical hernia (which I have yet to repair. Every time there's money, someone else gets sick and there goes the funds to get it repaired). Mayhem always seemed a little on the small side so I never pushed her. In fact, I still see her as the little filly that jumped off the trailer at three months old, rather than the four year old that she currently is. (I know, I really should have gotten the hernia taken care of but the $400-$800 price tag slowed me down and saving for it is always a challenge when someone keeps getting sick).

This spring Mayhem did get sick (May 2014) and we hauled her in to Dakota Large Vet Clinic to discover that she also has a heart murmur. So that explains why she isn't as big as her momma. She isn't disproportionate but she seems a lot more petite than she should be.  So she's had a few hard knocks against her in her short life (born the wrong color, umbilical hernia, heart murmur). I'm still collecting funds for her umbilical hernia, but if anyone wants to help it would be greatly appreciated.

When I weaned Mayhem, I put her in with the ponies because they were the same size. The ponies tormented her but that kept her mind occupied. Rabbit had to hang out by herself. She's since been pasture mates with a few of the others that have come and gone (Dick the Percheron, Savanna, and Sahara).

I've also put Rabbit in with the ponies. She'll pin her ears and give them the stink eye but I really think she likes their company. I think she prefers to have a flock to look after rather than just her own daughter.

After awhile I put Mayhem in with the old mares. There's something about a young horse in with old horses that helps both. The old horses feel young again and the young horse learns so much from the old horses. I was able to teach Mayhem how to stand tied rather quickly. In fact, within days of teaching her to put a halter on, she was trained to stand tied for hours (I had to tie her so that she wouldn't steal the old mares' grain).

Mayhem looks a lot like her momma. But she also looks a lot like Maverick. I've on occasion had to do a double take to make sure Maverick wasn't in with the mares. When summers come around, Rabbit also has problems with bug bites and a weepy eye. We try desperately to keep a fly mask on her but she's amazing at getting them off. She also is turning into a hard keeper so I like to put a blanket or a sheet on her when the weather turns (or we get wet rain/snow). But she is a mare that prefers to keep her wardrobe to a minimum. She's destroyed every blanket or sheet I've ever put on her. She's also now teaching Mayhem to destroy blankets. Like mother, like daughter.

I am thankful to have the pair at the Sanctuary. Both deserve a save haven. Rabbit will enjoy the life of retirement, and Mayhem will start her education under saddle in the next year or two. I want to ensure that her body can handle the rigors of training before we proceed with further education.

Rabbit and Mayhem have come a long way in the few years they've been at the Sanctuary.

Missed the Memo

I somehow missed the memo that it's dark out when doing chores. I have to have my chores done by 7:30 if I want to see the horses in the daylight. Right now the horses are on auto pilot for morning chores so I don't go out and do anything. But this morning it was D.A.R.K. I am SO not ready for winter chores when I have to be out at 5 am in the dark to throw hay.  I'm going to have to break the bad habit of waking up just in time to head to work instead of waking up an hour earlier so that I can get all my chores done.

Evening chores are going to be difficult as well. I know daylight savings time will be here but it won't help me get chores done in the daylight. If only I didn't have to go to the paying job to support he Sanctuary. I guess it's time I better check the batteries in all my flashlights and get ready for winter to be here soon.

Quietly Plugging Along

We've been fairly quiet at the Sanctuary as of late. We've been so swamped with life in general that we haven't had much time to do anything extra with the Sanctuary. But yesterday we did get a little bit of free time.

In the evening, I moved Rabbit and Mayhem to the road pasture. I'd pulled them off that pasture the first of August. Two months later and the pasture is coming back nicely (thanks to all the rain). I wish I would have had the time and good sense to divide the big pasture when I said I would so that I could switch the big herd back and forth instead of letting them roam the entire pasture. Now there's no real new growth.

Having been on vacation in August and again in September, I didn't grain Bo over those days. You can see the weight loss. I'm disappointed. He was looking so good but within just a few days with no grain, it's very apparent that he's lost weight. I'm not sure what winter will bring with him or what to do.

A couple weeks ago, we picked up a flatbed full of alfalfa. We are still trying to find time to unload all 100 bales. We'd originally asked our neighbor farmer but he wasn't sure when he'd get to cutting his alfalfa and when the 100 alfalfa bales popped up, we decided to go with those. The neighbor farmer called on Saturday to say that he's planning on baling alfalfa this week (if it doesn't rain) so our order will be ready. So we'll have a few extra bales on hand, which is a good thing if winter is as hard is I'm afraid it will be. The neighbor farmer said he was going to bale today but we got a good downpour last night so I doubt it'll be ready to bale until the end of the week. Unfortunately, we didn't get the alfalfa bales until AFTER we got the big squares and we are planning on putting them in the hay barn. So that means a bit of tricky work to get them in the hay barn. I could maybe put them in the red shed but that  means i'd have to carry alfalfa bales through snow drifts this winter and that doesn't sound very appealing. Anyone want to help move alfalfa?

We also had volunteers come out Sunday evening to help groom horses. When I picked Brego and Ivan up, they were covered in cockleburs. Some days I really think I should roach everyone and be done with it. The pasture and drylot are starting to sport more cockleburs (the hard prickly ones that hurt) so now everyone is going to be covered in burs. Luckily, the volunteers were able to groom three horses and make them look ready for as photo shoot.

Sunday afternoon I had a little bit of downtime so I worked on mending horse blankets. I cheated and used the iron on patches on one blanket and one sheet. I still need to do some repairs on the sheet as the patches didn't hold (the tears were that big). I was able to water proof the two that I repaired and another blanket that still needs repair.  I'm out of water proofing but at least I'm that much closer to being ready for winter (I'll never be 100% ready for winter).

We also had one of our supporters stop out with a box full of apples for the horses. I know they will devour them! She also brought out a saddle pad for when I ride some of the more sway backed horses. She also brought out a sheet (it's in MINT condition!) I'm excited to try it on some of the Sanctuary horses to see who it'll fit the best on. I'm sure one of the Sanctuary horses will claim the sheet as his own (Rabbit and Mayhem will be stalled when the weather gets bad...they are death on blankets. The blanket and sheet I half way repaired were from Rabbit and Mayhem's escapades with their outer wear.)

I also kept working on scraping the garage. It'll look nice when I can finally get a coat of paint on it. It'll be one step closer to getting our place looking nice. Four years of not being able to work on the place makes a huge difference on the appearance. My hope is that the bad weather will hold off long enough for me to get the garage completely done and maybe let me do some touch up work on the hay barn. We'll see (Mike is working on the foundation of the house so we'll be lucky if we get more than the garage primed). If anyone knows any masonry people or brick layers, I'd sure appreciate the names and numbers of those people. If we can get someone to fix the house, maybe I can side track Mike into putting in fence posts in the drylot. We have one that we can't use because the fencing is bad and the other, the horses started climbing over it when I had to lock them in. So if we can find someone to help with either the fencing or the house, that would alleviate some major stress for us.

I'm sure we'll keep plugging away but can always use the help.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

#NPCommPix Challenge

If I didn't have enough to do as it is... I'm going to play this game too! So keep an eye out every day in October to find some picture around the Sanctuary to describe each day listed below.


Hopefully this way, you'll get to see a little bit of each day of Sanctuary life. Can't wait for the fun to begin!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Empowerment Ventures

Today was the first of eight sessions in Kilians Empowerment Ventures program. It's a program that will help me push to get more focused on the Sanctuary and look at other avenues to possibly follow. And hopefully we can get that pesky non-profit paperwork figured out (after a full time job, caring for horses, and caring for a toddler, there's really nothing left of hopefully this program will help me)

And it wasn't an ol' stuffy class where you fall asleep within 20 minutes. I was disappointed to have to quit. Stacy made the time go by so quickly I didnt' even realize that it was time to go (and I was bummed that we had to quit).

This year's session is full but if you have an idea for a program/business/non profit, check out Empowerment Ventures.

It's definitely a great way to learn and a great way to open your eyes to new ways of looking (and a great way to listen to others with ideas). I was actually surprised...this wasn't a class that focused on how to make money, it was a class to see how we, as a community, can help give back to the community, to make this world a little bit better. These sessions are REFRESHING! I'm excited for the next opportunity in October!

Check them out on Facebook: