Friday, July 31, 2009
I decided that no matter what I wanted to bring them home. It took a few more months to get everything figured out but the first Saturday of February 2009 we'd made arrangements to go pick up the ponies.
When we arrived, they had one pony tied up but were trying to catch the other pony. I started getting apprehensive but figured I'd just give them some time. As we were walking toward the trailer, I learned their names, Skippy and Tommy. I also learned that thier kids rode the horses around bareback but that was about it. The dad of the kids didn't really know too much about horses so they didn't work with the ponies that much.
So we loaded them up and went home. The first thing I did was pull the halters off. Their halters were a bit snug and the winter hair showed it. Luckily after time and shedding out, you can't even tell they were wearing halters.
A few months after bringing Tommy and Skippy home, my coworker mentioned she ran into someone who know Tommy and Skippy and that they were once absued. That was about it. My coworker gave my name out and so that this person in question could contact me. I figured that would be fine anyway. The more I learn about the history of the ponies the better.
Well, this week that person in question contacted me. That person runs the local horse rescue. Apparently Tommy and Skippy came from the rescue. I'll paste in some experts from email correspondance:
" have been trying to track down the little ponies Skippy & Tommy. They were 2 of our first to be adopted way back when, and our original contract said adopters could find new homes for the ponies if they needed to, as long as the new homes met the care requirements.
well, we lost track of them. but this a.m. I got an email saying that Skippy & Tommy live with you now!
Do you have them? oh I hope so. then I won't worry about them anymore."
I requested more information. Here's the next email:
"oh I am so glad we know where they are and that they are with you.
did you know these were Skippy and Tommy? did you know they went through DoubleHP?
We adopted them to Tom & Lori Morris of Dell Rapids. (they also have Mercury who Lori rides). Lori called me when they decided the kids really weren't interested in the ponies anymore. And I told them we wanted to find them a new home. But then they decided to do it themselves (which our contracts allowed for at that time). They said they found a great home for them. a family with some little boys with disabilities.
We first got them from MN. I would have to dig out the file to see how many years ago. They were not starved but the landlord had given the owner a day to get the ponies off the place. (it was an in-law squabble type thing) and, well, they really couldn't afford them anymore. Skippy needed to be gelded. they didn't have a horse trailer. and on and on. so we went and got them. I rode Tommy a few times. he didn't know much but he was quite willing and I always thought with the right person he would be one of those nice riding ponies not a stubborn one. but the Morrises didn't do much with them. I know they were careful to keep them on dry lot and grass hay only, to make sure they didn't founder.
so, do you think you got them from the people the Morrises sold them to? the family with the little boys with disabilities? or do you think there were other homes along the way?
do they seem okay? are their feet good? were they careful not to let them founder?
from the photos, it looks like their halters had been on for a long time and tight. and I am imagining that I can see backbones. but it's hard to tell with winter hair.
how were they when you got them?
do they have any health issues?
I think we have Skippy's papers! He's registered!"
I'm surprised Skippy is registered. Hopefully I can get the paperwork so I can see his bloodlines. I'm just curious really. I answered all the questions. Tommy and Skippy came to me in good health. My farrier said they were healthy ponies and had been very well taken care of. Really it was a chance happening that these two were lucky enogh to stay together and not head to an auction.
I think they have been together for years. That would explain Skippy's herdboundness to Tommy.
The family with the disabled children is the same family that I got Tommy and Skippy from. Luckily from the time they went into rescue until they came to me, they only had two families. I wish I knew more as far as time frame goes but I guess I'm just happy to know a little bit more history on them.
It's such a small world. And to think, if I had not taken Tommy and Skippy in, they probably would have headed to Kramers, been separated, and lost forever headed in separate paths that no one could trace back. It's a small world I tell ya. I guess that's why I have such a hard time saying no.
Maybe some day I'll never have to say no to a horse. I'll have a dry, warm stall for them in the winter, plenty of pasture and hay to graze on, and constant love.
Keep your fingers crossed that I can get a bit more information from the horse rescue. Any information is always better than nothing. I need to start documenting all the information on each horse. Not that I would get rid of any of them but to tell a story. Each horse as a story to tell even if some of that story is unknown.
So the mystery of Tommy and Skippy is starting to unravel.
I've been surfing CraigsList for awhile and I've noticed a serious increase in horses for sale. I haven't been to a horse auction lately so I'm wondering what type of horses are being run through and at what price they are being sold. I've noticed the bigger auctions where they have loose horses the skinny horses aren't present. I KNOW they are out there but where are the ending up? It makes me wonder if they aren't being directly shipped or being sent to traders who need to fill a quota. These poor horses aren't even being given a chance for rescue.
I need to become non-profit so I can start working out a deal with the auction houses to simply take the thin, crippled, and blind horses. These horses need a chance.
I should maybe start keeping a closer tab on the horses on craigslist and posting them. At least that way they would have more views and possibly someone could rescue them.
I got on Kelo today and saw a horse trader posting that he was selling rescued horses. WHAT?!?!And the email said HORSETRADER. That's right, right in the email! uugh. So I emailed to see what he was selling for "older" horses. We'll see what type of response I get. Maybe I can start doing like what SOS Equine Rescue and Another Chance 4 Horses does and provide more viewing for these potentially lost souls.
With the economy the way it is, people are bailing and getting rid of their horses. The weather has been wierd so I'm not sure what the hay market will be like. I'm worried that the prices will be higher than last year. I'm a pessimist so it's hard to know for sure. :-)
The local horse rescue won't take in any more. They'll only take in those where authority figures are involved. I wish there was some venue I could put together where people who are selling their horses could meet and converse so that the horses could find GOOD homes.
On all these craigslist ads they put on there "to good home only" but how do they know its' a good home. I've been lied to by so many that it's hard to read people. I was used taken advantage of by some "good" friends. They made a promise that they never kept and I considered them close friends.
Without being non-profit I can't apply for grants for hay, land, vaccinations. I need help in getting that going but dont' know where to even begin. Well, I take that back. I think I do but then I have to clarify what I can and cannot do and maybe that's why I'm stuck. I have to define what age group of horses I can take and how many and I don't want to leave any behind. I think that's my stumbling block.
I have a bunch of ideas that I'd like to incorporate into my rescue/retirement home once I get it up and running:
- Low cost euthinasia in the fall
- Low cost gelding clinic in the spring
- Weekend clinics about geriatric horses or just clinics to learn anything and everything about horses.
- Some type of networking to advertise horses for sale so people don't have to take them to auctions.
- Fundraise to pull horses from auctions (loose horse auctions where their fate is already sealed)
- Basic lessons for kids and adults focusing on handling and general care
- Food pantry for horse owners that need a little help affording hay/grain/water to keep their horses for another month while they either scrape together money to keep their horse or find him a new home (instead of sending him to auction)
Those are the majority of ideas. Most of them are stolen from other rescues or Fugly Horse of the Day blog. I can't really take credit for any of them but I would love to get them incorporated into a rescue in South Dakota. There aren't enough rescues in the area for horses. There really needs to be a greater awarness.
I know there are a lot of pro-slaughter people in the area. I would love to get those people who are on the fence or who are uneducated and teach them. I believe education is the key. Now if I could just get off my fanny and figure out how to get the ball rolling. We really need something done in this area and fast. Fall is approaching all too quickly and something needs to be done.
I'd taken some pictures of him since I havent' gotten any goods hots of him. When I downloaded the pictures I had a huge double take. This isn't the picture that got me startled but it's in that same line. I'd taken a picture of Maverick sort of from the back end and I could have sworn it was Ace, my beloved riding horse I had to put down last November. They are both the same color and almost the same markings. It's a bit unsettling some days.
I'm hoping I can get a ride in on Maverick tonight since I havent' really done anything with the horses all week.
Just before the girls came home, we had to get their pasture set up and rea dy. Oh how I wish I had another pasture that looked this good. Since we let them in, they've eaten it down. I need to get cracking on the other fencing job so we can move them over. I'm a bit worried that if I don't pull them off this pasture soon it won't come back. I'd rather keep the mares in this pasture for the summer and the other pasture for the fall. That way I don't have to worry about the mares during hunting season.
I did have an odd feeling yesterday. Someone pulled over on the gravel road along our CRP and got out. I'm not sure what he was doing. I had Maverick in tow so I couldn't climb over some fences to investigate. I'm not sure if the guy was taking pictures of the horses (since it was a pretty picture) or what he was doing. It gave me the creeps. Of course I'm over protective and what people to just keep driving or come in and chat with us so I know what you're doing. I can't imagine what a convertable would be doing out on a gravel road and then to pull off right in front of my pasture. All the horses out in the pasture were the fat and sassy ones. Bob was already up in the barn so I can't imagine anyone would report me. It was just an odd feeling.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
90 days from fog is precipe. That puts the precipe in October. Hmmm, can you imagine what we'll get in October?!?!
60 days from the Kattydids signing is the first frost. That puts us into September!
It's the end of July and it's freezing. I was wearing a sweatshirt to do chores! How can that be?!?!?!
We had freezing cold rain this evening too. Poor Queen was shivering like crazy. She couldnt' get warm. Babe was just fine. I had to put a medium weight blanket on Queen tonight. I couldn't stand the thought of her standing out in the cold, shivering. So I rummaged around and found a half way clean blanket. It fit her pretty well. But it's the end of July... the END OF JULY and I'm having to blanket a horse?!?!?! What the heck is going on?
I let Bob out of the barn here tonight and the thermometer on the house said 59 degrees! WHAT!?! It's the END OF JULY!
Craziness. I think I better start preparing for a long, cold winter. Isn't that sad?! I'm thinking of winter at the END OF JULY!
Even the trees are starting to turn already. The fire bushes in front of the house are even starting to turn. Some of the trees on the way to work are starting to turn too. How can that be?!? It's the END OF JULY! It's supposed to be 90 degrees out during the day at 70 degress at night! How can it be in the upper 50s?
I don't get it. I guess maybe that's why I'm starting to panic. Or nest. Or call it whatever you want.
But it is the season. And I think other people are starting to think the same thing. I've been on CraigsList a lot here lately and I'm starting to see a bunch of people culling there horses. And for super cheap. Makes me sick to think of where they are going to end up. Wish I had more land, money, and training ability.
I best start preparing for a long winter and for possibly bringing in more horses, cuz IT'S COMING!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Mike was going to call the other hay guy to let him know when we plan to pick up the 150 bales in Madison. We unloaded the flatbed last night of the windbreak material. Having stuff on the flatbed was the only real holdup for getting the hay so far.
If it all works out, we'll head up to Madison tomorrow morning to pick up the 150 bales. I'm getting them for $3 per bale. Not too bad but not the greatest I bet. Hopefully we can make it in one trip. I don't want to take two trips so the trailer might get overloaded.
I'm hoping that while Mike heads off to work tomorrow I can spend the day unloading the hay. That way we'll have a free trailer for Saturday to pick up the hay in Parker (if they haven't already been sold). 100 bales at $2.50.
I know I shouldn't worry about hay. I can always contact my good hay guy and he'll find me some but I'd really like to be self sufficient. And if I "accidently" bring another horse home I want to make sure that I have enough. I did find a horse that would work perfect for trail riding. I wish that the email address would work. I may have to call tonight.
But for now I'm starting to feel less stressed about the hay situation. There's no better feeling than a winter supply of hay sitting in anticipation of being eaten! I love the feeling a full hay barn has on me.
I also had it figured that 150 bales should get me through five months of winter. I'm not really sure if that's true. But if I give a bale a day to a horse that would get me through five months. But since I'm planning on just using it as filler for Maverick and Brego (since they still need to do some growing), I don't have to try and make it last as long.
ok.. Just got off the phone with Mike. We have HAY!
Round 1 -- 150 bales at $3 per bale in Madison. We pick them up first thing tomorrow morning. While Mike is at work I'll unload them so the flatbed is ready for Round 2!
Round 2 -- 100 bales at $2.50 per bale in Parker. We pick them up 9am Saturday morning.
No sleep for the wicked or is that weary? Either way, we have HAY!
I'm feeling less stressed as the minutes fly by.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
I will need to put a breakaway halter on Maverick when I do finally let him out into the big herd. I don't know that I'll be able to walk up to him to catch him. I can't catch Rain or King so why would it be any different with Maverick. But I do want to be able to just walk up to Maverick without him walking away. So we'll see. I didn't have him out in the big drylot for very long.
I also moved the pony pasture to where I was planning on putting them while we were on vacation. The mosquitoes were too bad in the other place I had planned. This way hopefully the grass will be back and lush enough for them to enjoy while we are gone. The creeping charlie/creeping jenny was actually taking over. So I guess it's a good thing I'm running the ponies in there for now. If the grass doesn't come back I'll have to get their permanent pasture built a little bit quicker and a little bit more secure.
Last night Mike had to work late so it was just me and the four legged babies for the evening. I decided I'd better ride Maverick. It's been awhile since I've been on him. The days are getting shorter so there isnt' as much riding time.
Whenever I put the saddle on Maverick he turns into a different horse. For the life of me I can't get him into anything but a very SLOW walk. I like it but I'd really like to get a wet saddle blanket out of him at some point. I'd like to either move him to the big dry lot and work him in there or bring in some obstacles to work around in Maverick's drylot. It's getting boring just riding around, not even in circles. I'm still trying to figure out how to get him to respond better with turning.
I'm actually thinking I may switch bridles again. I just bought a regular snaffle bit. So I may put that in a bridle and give myself some long spit reins instead of the single reins. I need to be able to pop him on the butt with the reins to get him to move quicker. Also, the bridle is set up for Chaos who I think has a bit bigger head. I'd like to keep the bit loose for now since Maverick is still learning but he fiddles with it so I'd like to try something different. I want to have a bridle for each horse so I don't have to fiddle with readjusting every time (and because I can't remember how each horse fits the bridle). This way if I ever do decide to take both Maverick and Chaos out for a ride at the same time, I'll have enough tack to go with.
Lord knows I have enough tack to outfit almost every horse. I swear all the horses combined have a bigger wardrobe than I do!
When I got done riding Maverick, I decided to give him a better grooming. I need to start fiddling with him more. He's really a hands off type of horse. So instead of letting him get his way I groomed him down and braided his mane. He actually stood like a champ. I was impressed. I still need to convince him that when I come with fly spray he doesn't have to walk away from me or be tied up. He's not fond of flyspray even if it does help with the flies. Not sure how to convince him, if I ever will. Darn Maverick.
After I finished fiddling with Maverick I did normal chores. I wish I would have had the camera earlier in the day. Sam has taken to following Bob in the afternoons around grain time. They were both up, standing in the leanto waiting. They both popped their heads out over the gate. I sure wish I would have had my camera. The scene would have been picture perfect.
As the sun was setting I decided that I needed to get the alfalfa bales moved into the hay barn. Mike wasn't home yet and the dogs needed some time to run. So what better way to kill some time than to move alfalfa bales. I had to move the 25 bales that were wet into the hay shed instead of the hay barn. Letting them sit on pallets single file really did seem to help out quite a bit. Some were still pretty heavy so I hope there's no mold. I guess I'll find out this winter. Still makes me angry. I should have insisted on getting a different batch.
I must be out of shape because moving 25 bales was a workout for me. But I now have the bales in the barn and that freed up some space in the hay shed for the 150 idiot bales we have waiting for us. I'd like to clean out the area again where the hay bales will go but we'll see if I have time.
I'm not sure when we'll get up to get the hay bales. I'm sure the hay guy is getting anxious for us. But Mike has been working long hours. He'd hoped we could go up tonight but the flatbed is still loaded down with big sheets of tin that we'll use for either a wind break or for an open front (I'm hoping we can still build an open front this fall in the small drylot where Maverick is at).
I'm not sure were we are going to put the tin but I need to unload it tonight. I guess that'll be my project for tonight. I guess that also means Maverick gets a repreive from my fat butt sitting on him. We'll see how it goes though. I'd really like to get up and get those hay bales. I feel so much better with hay sitting in anticipation of the winter months. It's a secure feeling. Maybe once the hay is in the barn this panic feeling I've been having will go away.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Since King has a bum shoulder, Dad rode Rain again and I rode Chaos. Chaos did very well. This was only his second serious trail ride and he keeps improving by leaps and bounds. (He’s only been ridden three times outside of Borderlands so far.) Parking was a bit tricky. I hate that parking lot so of course I lost my temper (as normal when it comes to the truck/trailer). But we finally got settled, met all the people who were going to ride, and headed out.
We rode for about an hour. Rain and Chaos did very well. We rode in mostly wooded areas which is completely different for both Rain and Chaos. We had a bunch of hills to climb up and down. Poor boys had a workout. Chaos was completely out of shape but he’s so young it didn’t bother him. Rain has been trail ridden but he’s out of shape so was huffing and puffing. But I think that was more out of excitement than anything else. I wish we could have stopped to take a few pictures but there wasn’t any place to pull off the trail.
After riding the trails for awhile we decided to head back and have our potluck and schedule more rides. I was anxious to head back out on the trails so Dad and I ditched everyone and headed back into the woods. Without the security of the herd, Rain became very flighty. Poor Dad had to deal with Rain’s nervousness and quick reactions. Not good for a guy with vertigo!
But we managed to get Rain calmed down, and headed back out to the trails. We did encounter a few objects that Rain spooked at. You know the average rock, clump of dirt, and bicycle. Chaos only spooked because Rain spooked, otherwise he would have gone on as normal. I guess Dad and I should have switched but with Chaos only having one other major ride under his belt I didn’t want to offer. Dad had to get off Rain a couple of times. It was the safest thing to do. So here my safe little gelding wasn’t so safe after all. Poor Dad ended up getting into some itch weed to add insult to injury… well, I guess it’s better than having Rain spook and Dad getting dumped.
We rode for another couple of hours and got back to the trailer about 3pm. It was a good ride although I wish we would have had more time to ride the trails backwards. I also wish we could have had another couple of horses along so that Rain wouldn’t have been so spooky. But it did the horses good. I think we need to haul the horses over to Newton Hills a bit more next summer so we can get them into shape for when we head to the Black Hills.
This trip was the farthest I’ve driven in awhile. It was also the longest that Chaos had ever been in a trailer. He did very well. Only once did he get upset and make the trailer rock. But it was to be expected, since we drove past road construction. The last two times he got sweated up just a little but this time around he wasn’t sweaty at all. But it could be that we were on interstate for awhile and the sweat dried. I guess he just needs more trailer time. I need to start loading Chaos and Maverick into the trailer and drive around the section, unload, reload, and drive around. It all takes time.
But all in all it was a good experience for both the horses and humans. I’m not sure we’ll get back down to Newton Hills again this summer. I’m hoping to get down there one more time this fall. The trees would be gorgeous. But we’ll have to go with a few more people from the other saddle club. They are a bit better about humoring me with pictures.
I'll add pictures later today.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I'd had Mike call a guy north of Sioux Falls a few weeks back. He's the hay guy we bailed on. Turns out he had more for the second cutting. I'm buying 150 ditch grass hay bales. It's nothing special, but I needed something to offset Maverick's appetite. He can eat SO much hay. I need to get him on grass soon. I have exactly one month to get him adjusted to the herd. I hope I can catch him once he's in the herd.
Awhile back the neighbor said to come over and pull some fence posts along the gravel road. While Mike was making the treck back down the ditch to the approach I took some pictures. I should add a few more. The above was right at the end of my driveway. Everything looks so green.
The below pic is after Mike, our farmer friend, and I threw 50 bales of alfalfa onto the flatbed. I was a bit disappointed that half those bales started to get wet. I'm hoping my drying system has fixed the issue. It was so wet when they were baled and sitting on the flatbed. I really don't know if my fix worked or not. But no matter what I need to get those bales out of the hay shed and into the hay barn.
This was the view as we were pulling out of the driveway to pick up the bales. Nothing like waiting until dusk to throw bales. I knew we needed to get the bales out of the field asap. They were talking rain the next day. And low and behold, we had rain the next day. Luckily the bales were in the shed but I waited too long and some started to mold while sitting on the trailer. I hope that my fix works. I'll have to post a few more pics of our alfalfa bale adventure some other time.
I'm just excited we have hay bales, even if they are ditch hay. I'm paying $3 a bale. I'm sure that it's too much for what it is but the guy was willing to call us instead of the other way around. I'd seen his ad on CraigsList and thought maybe we should call but later on in the day he called us! AND I don't have to pay in cash (which is a pain to run to town). I think this guy is pretty honest so hopefully the small bales will be good enough. I'm not sure if I need to put in another order from him or not. I don't know how many bales Maverick will go through. I'd like to have an emergency stash of hay for this winter but I don't know. I don't really know how much to spend on small squares.
Friday, July 17, 2009
I know that it's only the middle of July but I swear it felt like September or October today. When I went out to do morning chores, it was predawn and the yard light was still on. I had to do chores in the morning glow instead of sunlight. Felt a little odd.
The temps are way off today too. This morning when I went to do chores it was 48 degrees in JULY! That's crazy! And they are saying the high will only be 72 degrees. That's definately NOT July weather. We had 90 degrees in March/May. How can we have low and comfortable temps in July?!?! I don't get it.
But this morning's chores gave me a feeling of impending winter. I think that's why I've been so stressed. This cooler weather has me spooked. It feels like we are headed for an eary winter but I can't think that right now. I just dont' think I'm going to get everything done before winter sets in. I sure hope I can settle down and get some stuff done.
I'm surprised that I can already feel the onset of fall/winter already. I don't normally get that feeling in July. Usually I dont' get that feeling until the end of August or sometime in September after our yearly vacation. I hope my premonitions are wrong and we have an open winter. I don't think I have enough hay yet to get me through a bad winter.
I know everyone keeps saying we are due for a bad winter soon. It's been over 10 years. But maybe it'll be another few years before we have another one. I'm simply not ready. Hopefully I can get a bunch of stuff done in the next few weeks to help ease the stress.
Should be a fun day tomorrow. We have a trail ride scheduled with the new saddle club. I'll try to take a bunch of pictures since I know what Chaos is going to be like on the trail. I'm excited but a bit nervous since I don't really know anyone there. But it should be fun no matter what. I've only ridden at Newton Hills once before. I'll try to blog about it tomorrow if I'm not too tired.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Dude tormenting Fred the cat.
I decided to bail on the horse workshop last night and get some stuff done.
I spent the afternoon/evening doing some fencing. I didn't get a lot done in the hour and a half I had before Mike came home. But I got enough done to pound in a few fence posts and string up some wire. I'm about a third of the way done in getting the permanent pony pasture done. I'm planning on running them in the trees behind their night pen. That permanent pasture is adjacent to the mare pasture so there's only two places where I need to do some serious fencing. I have one side almost done and the other one still to do.
I'm hoping to continue working on the pony pasture tonight before the mosquitoes come out. I figure I'll have to pull the ponies off every night before 8pm so they don't get devoured by the mosquitoes.
I'm looking forward to having something a bit more permanent for the ponies. I also got their temporary lawn pasture set up last night so that I could put them in this morning. I'm always nervous about putting them in a little area with just electric holding them in. I now have two strands of electric to keep them in but I'd still feel better if I had more permanent fencing surrounding them.
With Mike's help we were able to get the wind break back up in Maverick's drylot. The windbreak blew down (is that an oximoron or what?!?!). It didn't take long but it's been bothering me since Maverick is a fence pusher and without the wind break I figured Maverick would just push through the fence. It got to the point where he was actually standing on the wind break. So much for teaching him to avoid those kinds of objects.
I'd hoped to ride Maverick last night but by the time I got done with some fencing and getting the wind break up it was time to hurry with the chores before the mosquitoes came out. I feel so bad for the horses. At least they have a drylot and concerete to stand on if they want. The girls however have to hide by the big shed to get away from the mosquitoes. I love summer but I really do hate the mosquitoes.
This morning when I went out to do chores, there was such a pretty glow in the sky. We'd had a storm roll through and there were still some storm clouds in the sky (with lightening). There was a golden hue to the sky. I wish I would have been able to take some pictures. It was gorgeous.
Seeing the sky and cooler weather lifted my spirits this morning. And getting something accomplished last night also lifted my spirits. I'm going to hopefully hussle home and get back to working on the permanent pony pasture and maybe try to squeeze in a ride on Maverick or Chaos, but preferably Maverick since he hasnt' been ridden in a week, poor guy he's probably bored.
I need to get a list compiled of all the stuff that needs to get done before winter sets in. I know I shouldn't be thinking about winter just yet but there's so much that needs to be done it's going to take that long.
I thought I also found some additional hay but now I have to wait. The hay guy that we bailed on last time had an ad for some round bales of hay. I had Mike talk to him since he makes more sense on the phone than I do. I don't completely understand but it sounded like all the hay was already gone but he'd have more. So hopefully we're on the list. I know I already have my hay order in but I'd feel better if I had some additional emergency hay in case I "accidently" pick up a couple more horses. I always feel better having a bunch of emergency hay on hand.
Hopefully tonight the mosquitoes will stay away long enough for me to get chores done, work a bit on the pony pasture, and ride Maverick. Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe I'll get some good pics finally tonight!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I found two ads for hay today. I'm hoping to make a couple more contacts soon. I'd really like to have extra hay in the barn. I'm not going to be picky about the hay, well, picky as in dairy quality type hay. I just need average hay for Maverick and Brego this winter. I've decided I need to up Maverick's hay to get him back to the right weight, which means I need more hay. I also need to get him out on grass soon so that I can put him in with the big herd while I'm on vacation. Oh vacation, it can't come soon enough.
I'm hoping tonight to have more energy so I can start working on the pony fence. I have decided that I can't just leave the electric fence up. I put Tommy and Skippy in the pony lawn pasture yesterday and Skippy kept charging the fence, even with two strands of electric. I figured I'd better not push my luck so into the dry lot they went. It's frustrating to have all that good grass and not be able to have the ponies eat it. But I have to watch where I put them because of the mosquitoes. So there goes more hay feeding the ponies.
But I'm running out of options so I'm going to just throw a few strands of fence up and see what comes of it.
I need to get cracking on the other pasture for the mares. I'm afraid their current pasture isn't going to hold up as well as I'd hoped. I need to do a bit more fencing but if I don't get the other one up and running soon they will be pushing on the fence and either get into the CRP or out onto the road. Having a blind horse on a road is just not good.
I seem to be a bit stressed these days. I'm guessing it has to do with not getting the fencing done and trying to find more hay. I already put my order in for hay this year but if I get any additional horses this fall/winter I won't have enough. I'd rather have too much than not enough. I'm looking at not enough right now and that's unacceptable. And the weather doesn't help. I'm afraid any hay I get right now will mold, or get too hot and combust.
I'd like to work on the fencing but how do you put in big wood fence posts without an auger. The hand auger takes two people, we don't yet have a tractor we can borrow (although I think I asked for one three months ago). So that leaves me with the ol' clam chuck method. I don't want to do that but I'm thinking I'm going to start digging some holes to get the first fence in by the barn. I want that fence to be all wood so I might as well start digging.
This Saturday is another trail ride. I'll have to blog about this past weekend. I'm a bit worried about this upcoming ride, but only because of my lack of riding time on Chaos. I seem to be losing my summer.
I'd planned on attending a horse clinic/workshop tonight but with the overwhelming feeling I have right now I've decided to bail on the workshop and do some fencing. I'm hoping if I get something done around the place tonight that I'll feel productive and motivated to keep going. We are already half way through summer and I'm still at the beginning of summer instead. Next thing you know it'll be winter and I STILL won't have anything done that needed to get done this year. Lets just hope that this year will be a long fall or a mild winter so I can get stuff done.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Busy day today. I'm too tired to blog tonight but thought i'd just say that I was able to get everything done that I wanted to get done.
Oh, and I lost my good riding horse, Rain, to dad! I'm not sure I'll ever get Rain back as my standard mount for trail rides.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
My pasture is currently flooded. The horses go down to the bottom of the pasture and keep their feet cool by walking around in the huge puddles that are appearing. The little creek that runs in to the CRP is full. I need to build some type of bridge. The only way for me to cross the creek is to hop on a horse or jump it. I’m too short to jump on a horse out in the pasture and I’m too short to try and jump the creek, even in the best place to cross.
We had rain last night and another storm rolled through this morning. I woke up to lots of lightening. I figured it might pass before I had to go out and do chores. Not the case. Actually, the lightening I was seeing was from the storm that was approaching.
I scurried out to do morning chores in my pjs, hoping I wouldn’t get drenched and that I wouldn’t have any more escape artists.
I was getting the hay for Maverick when I heard the first rain drops on the hay shed roof. Luckily it always sounds worse than it really is. I scurried around and got Maverick situated for the oncoming storm the best I could. Babe and Queen were up by the corral panels I’m guessing trying to stay away from the mosquitoes, stay in the breeze, and stay out of the rain drops falling from the trees. Poor girls.
I was getting the hay ready for the naughty ponies and it started to rain more. I get a bit leery of being outside when there’s that much lightening. But what do I do but climb a metal corral panel during a lightning storm. I guess that’s what you do when you have horses.
I hurried on to work before the storm hit. It was either stay and wait it out or leave and get to work early. I left early and asked Mike to check on Maverick before he left. He never escaped from his dry lot but I figure at some point he’s going to push on that fence where the wind block blew down. I guess there’s always some type of fencing to do.
Last night we had to run into town to buy more grain for Bob. He seems to go through it pretty quick. We didn’t get a chance to run to Tractor Supply to buy the beet pulp but I’m hoping to make quick trip in on Friday.
The boys were a little miffed that I was home so late. I spent more time putting on fly spray because the mosquitoes were terrible. What hurt my feelings was that about four hours later a huge thunderstorm rolled through and washed off all the fly spray. I guess it helped them for four hours but I could have been inside where it was light, free of mosquitoes, and in bed. Oh well. I guess that’s what you do when you have horses.
I made an appointment with my farrier. He’ll be coming out tomorrow with the chute to trim Bob, Sam, and Babe. Babe doesn’t need the chute but I didn’t have a chance to have her worked on last week. I’m a bit worried about Sam. He hasn’t been done in over a year. Bob’s feet are bad. They are flaring out something fierce. I need to ride Sam before the farrier gets there, otherwise he’s very naughty.
I’m not sure how I’m going to fit everything in. I have tomorrow off so I’m hauling King, Chaos, and Rain to Madison so that dad and I can ride. We have a trail ride on Saturday so I figured we’d ride King and Rain on the ride. But I want to start getting Chaos exposed to everything so I’m hoping to ride him tomorrow too.
I need to run in to Sioux Falls in the later morning/early afternoon so that I can get Bob’s beet pulp. He’s been out for a week now and the beet pulp helps cut down on the amount of senior I use on Bob. I also want to swing through Horse and Hound’s clearance sale. I need a few new tack items so I’m hoping they have what I’m looking for. I’m always up for new/used tack as long as it’s a deal.
But then I need to rush home and get Bob and Babe ready for their tootsie trim. I also need to ride Sam to get the spunk out of him so he’s not so hard on the farrier. I always worry that the farrier will get sick of all my naughty horses and tell me to find someone else. Not many people in this area work on drafts. And my farrier is very reasonable. He’s actually the cheapest around but he does a great job and I don’t have to do anything but catch the horse. He comes out to my place instead of me hauling them and still getting charged an arm and a leg.
That’s about it for now. I need to add more pics. This blog is getting boring without any horses. Sorry Kaidan I know you’ve been expecting pics for a while.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I moved the pony pasture to right in front of their pen. So the only thing I had to do in the morning was open the gate. I didn’t have to put halters on and lead them anywhere. I thought it was perfect. Except when I opened the gate Skippy was all riled up and kept charging the fence. I figured he’d settle down. He has in the past, although he doesn’t like that spot where I put him out to pasture.
I didn’t think much of it and went on to feed Maverick and headed in to work. At 2:30pm I got a phone call from Mike saying he was finally getting back to Madison after picking up the ponies. WHAT?!?!?!
It seems the ponies decided to make a break for it. Of course, you KNOW who the culprit was.. .guesses anyone? Darn brown and white pony.
Mike got a call from our farmer friend. Our farmer friend was out delivering mail when he stopped at a neighbor’s to drop off mail and they asked if he knew anyone that had horses. Ed knew right away to call Mike. That was at noon. It’s sad. We are THOSE people who always have loose horses running around.
Apparently a neighbor saw them running and was able to corner them and bring them back to their place. As they said, it was a rodeo earlier in the morning. They were out rounding up cattle and saw Tommy and Skippy running around. Unfortunately they were 4-5 miles away from Borderlands to the west. That meant those darn ponies crossed Hwy 19. Luckily it was during the middle of the morning when that road is normally deserted. I was completely sick! The neighbors had to corral the ponies and herd them back to their place. Luckily they had a herd dog that I think did most of the work.
So after Mike got the call, since he was in Madison, he went and got Dad. They flew down to Borderlands, hooked the truck up, and headed over to the neighbors. The ponies could have stayed but Mike and I both prefer to not leave our animals out where someone else has to deal with them.
So two and a half hours after that initial call, Dad and Mike are back to their normal routine. I’m seriously sick over it. Now what am I going to do with those darn ponies.
And today added to the excitement. We had a storm blow through last night and I’m sure that’s what caused most of the problems. I was running late anyway so was hurrying to go feed Maverick. I opened the door to the hay shed and low and behold who should be standing there munching on alfalfa but Queen.
Now how could a 30+ year old mare break out of 6ft high corral panels. I knew she couldn’t jump, she’s arthritic in almost every joint! I herded her away from the alfalfa and discovered that when I put the corral panels up that the one next to the red shed wasn’t really touching the ground. With all the wind, and possibly the mares bumping in to it all the time, the panel just swung open.
Luckily Queen didn’t take Babe with her. Nothing like having a loose BLIND HORSE running around! I was able to muscle around the now floppy corral panel and hopefully got it wedged back so that it won’t flop open again. I really need to get that alfalfa put away!
But once I get Queen back in the pen, and hear Babe on the other side of the pen, I turned around and there was yet another problem to be fixed!
The pen Maverick is in has a bunch of tin bolted to the fence as a wind break. One piece had already blown half way off a little while ago but Maverick wasn’t pushing on that fence. I guess because that piece was half off the other piece wasn’t protected. With all the wind we had, that piece flew off. Luckily it didn’t hit Maverick or even spook him for that matter.
What makes matters worse, Maverick is a fence pusher. He has no respect for fences. So I was surprised that he wasn’t in with the big herd. The only problem with him being in the big herd is that the big dry lot needs to have the fence repaired too! If he’s supervised an introduction would be fine but an unsupervised introduction would be terrible.
So there I was in my pjs and tinglies trying to muscle around this piece of tin IN THE MUD! Not to mention the tin is about 16 feet long by 4 feet wide. Ok, stop laughing. I’m sure I was a sight to see. I flopped the piece of tin up against the fence so that hopefully it’ll deter Maverick from pushing. But I don’t have much hope that it will. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that everything is as I left it this morning.
Least to say, the past 24 hours have NOT been dull. I guess next time I’ll knock on wood when I say there hasn’t been much exciting going on. I’m ready to go back to dullville at Borderlands.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
This morning the girls were up by the water trough. I'm hoping that they will start a new trend and be by the water trough in the mornings so I can pull off their fly masks at night and put them back on in the morning.
The flies are vicious also. Except these flies bite and never let up. At least they arent' the face flies. I haven't yet started putting fly masks on everyone but I'm sure the time will come shortly. Usually the face flies start showing up about August. I might start putting on fly masks just to help reduce the glare of the sun.
I need to take stock of the fly masks. I also need to do some repairs on fly sheets. I'd like to try a fly sheet on Dude. I doubt the fly sheets help with the mosquitoes but Dude has such an allergic reaction to mosquitoes. He swells up everywhere he gets bitten. I can't stall him because he'll tear the barn apart unless I put someone else in there with him.
I did get a chance to ride Rain last night. I haven't ridden him since the last saddle club meeting. We didn't get to go very far. I need to make a repair to my saddle before I get back in, otherwise i'll lose a stirrup. It's probably a good thing we didn't ride too long. The mosquitoes got bad and maybe now Rain will let me catch him again for another ride down the road. He was ready and raring to go I think. I'm sure they are all getting bored with just standing around. I know I get bored.
I move the pony pasture again. Now all I have to do is open the gate. The problem is I am starting to run out of places to put them. I may have to finally break down and actually do some fencing in the trees behind their night pen. It would be nice to have that grass eaten down so we can get in there and cut more dead trees down. I guess there's always advantages to that.
That's the extend of the excitement yesterday at Borderlands.
Monday, July 6, 2009
You would not know that when looking at them. They are such good boys. At first Tommy was a bit naughty while trying to catch him. But he's come along in just a short time. He doesn't move a muscle when I put the halter on him. Skippy on the other hand is a bit naughty.
When I lead them to their pony pasture, Tommy is so good. Skippy is a bit naughty. He likes to bump into me. But because he's only a bit more weight than I am, we have a tendancy to bounce off one another and body slam each other. It's a bit annoying but I guess its' better than the alternative. I'm just glad he's not 2000 lbs!
I am a bit worried about them today. I put them back in their pony pasture this morning and the mosquitoes were out. I hope they don't try and run through the one strand of electric holding them in. If Skippy gets out, he'll go straight for the alfalfa and I'll have on dead mini on my hands. I wish we had some type of cattle guard or gate in front of the driveway so no one could escape. And I also wish that I had all the alfalfa bales in the hay barn. I left the ones that were wet sitting out. I haven't checked them; I've been too sick over knowing they were baled wet.
But back to Tommy and Skippy. It really does go to show that they've had good handling by their previous owners. Even the farrier had mentioned that they were pretty well behaved. So if they were abused prior to the previous owners, than they have adjusted to their new environments quite well. I'm impressed.
They may be naughty ponies but they don't let their past get them down.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I'd put the mares in the barn last night because of the rain/wind. They were shivering like crazy so I figured they would enjoy a night in a dry, mosquito free environment. They were happy to get out of the barn.
I led Queen out first and put her in the pasture. The minute she realized the was free of me, she spun around and loped out to the pasture. You have to realize that for Queen to move quickly on her arthritic joints is pretty amazing and fun to watch. You could tell she was feeling good. I thought she was going to kick up her heels.
Then I ran back and pulled Babe out. She's not one to do anything more than a trot but she was more than ready to get out to graze. I sure do love those girls.
Other than standard morning chores, not much has happened today. We decided to stay home to enjoy the 4th. It's an unusual feeling to be home and not working on anything. It rained so much that I can't do too much outside. Oh I know there's always something to work on but I can't seem to muster up enough energy or motiviation to really start working hard. I guess I'll enjoya leasure 4th of July this year.
Friday, July 3, 2009
When I got up, there were dark clouds to the west. I hopped online to see what the weather was going to do and it looked like it would be long before we got rain showers. So instead I decided that I would ride Chaos around the dry lot. I haven't saddled him up and ridden him around since March. So I guess it's a good thing that I had a chance to ride him around the yard instead.
About the time I was finishing up riding Chaos it started to sprinkle. I still needed to move the pony pasture to the next spot. I scurried around to get everyone situated for the day. By the time I walked in the door about 9am it started to rain.
Surprisingly enough it's been a straight down rain ALL day! I don't know how much rain we've gotten but it's a lot. Straight down, but still alot. At times the skies just open up and it pours while other times it just sprinkles along.
I hope the rain will be done by tomorrow. It could make a soggy 4th of July.
When I went to do chores tonight Babe and Queen were shivering like crazy. I went ahead and fed them their grain mash and got the barn ready for them. I figure I have a barn I might as well use it! I got Queen settled in and then Babe. I think they were both happy to be in out of the rain.
I feel bad that Maverick cant' get out of the rain. He was shivering too but I figured with a bunch of hay, he'll be fine for the night. Otherwise he has to go into the box stall and I think he'd tear that apart.
Earlier in the day I ran to the vets to pick up two more cats. While I was there I bought some luster to help get rid of Maverick's lice. The fly spray is just not cutting it any more. There's another batch of eggs just waiting to hatch. I still am not totally convinced that I shouldn't just roach his mane to help get rid of the lice. Or at least this way I could keep a closer track of the eggs and smother them with the luster stuff. He has to be completely lice free before the end of hte month. At the end of the month I have to integrate him into the herd so that we can go on our yearly family vacation that I so desperatly need!
I think the couch is calling my name though. It's been a wet, soggy day and I'm ready to curl up and relax for a little while before tackling another day at Borderlands.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I'll just have to remember to switch back and forth between Maverick and Chaos. I need to do a thorough cleaning of all the bridles and saddles. It's been so humid and I haven't been keeping the saddles in the tack room because of mice. So now everything is starting to grow mold. Makes me mad. But I guess I have an entire weekend to clean tack.
I putzed around on Maverick for awhile. I think I need some guidance on how to make him walk faster. The trainer taught him to constantly move when you bump him with your legs. But when I start to do that he slows down. If I leave him alone (aka. don't bump his sides with my legs and don't ask him to go in a particular direction) we go pretty well. So I am not sure if he's playing me or what. I'm guesisng I'm giving him incorrect cues. I need to do some major research on Clinton Anderson techniques.
While I was working with Maverick, Mike was down at the bottom of the hill pulling up the old barbed wire. I'm so excited. He was able to pull up two strands of barbed wire all the way across. I need to check to make sure there aren't any broken pieces laying out there but for the most part, Mike got the big portions taken out. So that leaves one more strand and the fence posts. We should be able to tackle that fence line without much problems.
We still need to cut down some tree branches. Mike called the neighbor who owns the land surrounding our place and he chatted about being able to get on his property to put fence posts in and to cut back branches so the farmer can plant a bit closer to the actual fence line. He's having to plant about three or four feet away from the actual fence line so he's losing precious farm land. I'm hoping some day he'll sell us a portion of the land surrounding our place so I can have some hay ground.
Nothing much else exciting going on last night after seeing Sunny off to her new pasture. I'm a bit apprehensive about where she's going but I guess I have to let some go and I only knew her for about five days. It's not like she was a part of the herd/family. Still makes me a bit nervous. Surprised and a bit shocked that the guy would want to buy Tommy. But I can't stand the thought of letting Tommy go. And if Tommy goes, Skippy has to follow and I know the gentleman didn't want two ponies. I think I'll enjoy my ponies and keep them.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I do think it's funny. The gentleman that came to pick up Sunny wanted to buy Tommy. I've only had offers on horses twice before. Once for Rain (the trainer), and once for Chaos (my farrier but he was joking). Surprised that without even knowing Tommy he wanted him. But I think letting one horse go is hard enough. I'm not letting Tommy go too.
Bye Sunny, which we could have worked something out.
I can definitely tell King hasn’t been ridden in awhile. He was absolutely a terror for the farrier. He wouldn’t stand still and kept taking his foot away. That would be fine if he was just getting a trim. But he was getting his shoes reset and new pads. The farrier wanted to see how he would do with pads to help lift him up to the correct angle.
I’m hoping it’ll speed King’s pace up just a little bit. I want to try riding King tonight to see if the new shoes and pads help him with a quicker breakover. When I trotted him in hand he seemed to take quicker steps and not lag behind. If the pads help, then we’ll go with pads from now on!
King’s shoes and pads took quite awhile. But I don’t mind. My farrier is slow and methodical. I’d rather have that than in impatient farrier that ends up upsetting the horse and myself and winds up doing a poor job. I’ve been to a few that have too hot of a temper to be working with horses.
After King, I caught Queen. She was in desperate need of a trim. She should have been trimmed months ago but I couldn’t figure out the most cost effect of way of getting her home, trimmed, and then back to her “winter” home. So instead we waited until today. She’d already chipped out a large section.
I wish I could have snuck Babe in too for a trim. She’s past due for a trim too. I’m figuring on calling the farrier right after the 4th of July to get the big boys trimmed. Then maybe I can sneak Babe in too.
Queen really surprised me. The last time I had her trimmed, she was a holy terror. Of course, I think the last time was the first time I’d ever had her trimmed by my farrier. I’m guessing she hadn’t been trimmed in a few years by that time. She’s actually pretty good at breaking off the long stuff and going short.
This time I warned the farrier that she might be a pill. I’m not sure if it was her age setting in, she knew she was going to get a pedicure, or it was too hot out. But she behaved. I think she only moved around this time because her joints started to hurt. The farrier did her front feet without much fuss and then tackled her back feet. I told him he didn’t have to but he wanted to see how she would do. He used a rope around her neck that would hold up her back foot (and to avoid kicking him). I think that helped some. She has arthritis in her back end so I think the rope trick helped.
Although by the second back hoof you could tell she was struggling. Her poor front legs were starting to shake. I felt terrible. I didn’t know she was that out of shape. But I was thoroughly impressed by Queen. She behaved better than King. I’d warned my farrier that Queen would probably be worse than King and Mike said you could just see the look on his face. I had to laugh. Good thing Queen behaved much better.
I’m not sure my farrier will come back if I continue to make him work on naughty horses. Next time I’ll work King over a bit before we do anything with his feet. I need to do the same thing with Sam. I don’t want him to cause any problems. Sam is a bit naughty when it comes to feet trimming. But I blame that on his Amish training.
So all in all, the farrier visit went very well. I need to make an appointment soon for Bob, Sam, and Babe.