Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Last night we had a terrible storm roll through dumping almost three inches of rain at Borderlands (and flooding the road out to the highway). I heard the storm coming last night as we had constant thunder for a straight hour or more before the storm actually hit.
I did not put Joe and Thor in although I contemplated it. I figured I would wake up when the storm hit and put them in at that time. I hesitate to put Joe in the barn since it's a concerete floor and he seems to be walking MUCH better these days. The hip is still giving him problems but he doesn't walk crooked. I also ran out of bute so he's been without for three or four days. We'll see if he starts walking crooked again and it's just the bute hiding his symptoms.
I didn't wake up until time for work even though the storm was pretty fierce. Everyone seemed just fine even with all the rain. Not sure what tonight will bring other than trudging through mud (always a favorite (haha) past time at Borderlands it seems).
Nothing else too exciting to report at this time. I'm looking forward to the weekend although it seems like it's packed already. I'm going to see if I can't sneak up to Madison and ride the horse we looked at the other day. I think I've made up my mind already but we'll see how things go.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I have not had the chance to go to an auction as of late. Luckily the South Dakota Horse Sale isn't having an August sale so less stress for me. I have not attended the Kramers Auction in months. It always seems that I'm swamped in the summer and can only attend in the spring and fall (since winter auctions are now closed).
We did go look a horse last night. Not really a "rescue" situation after talking with the owner/caretaker. There is one small health issue that will take a few more months to resolve. He has cellulitis on his "thing" (:-)...politically correct term!) Someone else was out six times looking at Ivan the horse but the cellulitis seems to be the deterant. The caretaker was very friendly and talkative. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to ride Ivan. Mike prefers that I try Ivan out to see what he's like. He doesn't want to bring another horse in that's young and have him/her turn into a pasture pet for years.
Mike doesn't mind bringing in the oldsters that will only be a round for a few years as pasture pets. But after getting burned with Brego, we are leary of bringing in a younger horse that may or may not be usable. Brego and Dude are both young pasture pets (5 and 13 respectively), much to my dismay.
I haven't yet decided. My concern is that the owner is only asking $100. Now they are trying to screen and find an appropriate home but what's to say someone couldn't lie. But on the other hand, if I were to bring Ivan home, that's one less spot for a horses to come from an auction. But a horse from an auction I can't pre-ride (if they run through loose), and I dont' get a story of where they came from or what they were used for. So it's really a toss up. Do I pay a little bit more for the knowledge or do I pay less and save one from an auction and possibly end up with a horse/donkey like Longhorn who is dangerous or have to dump a lot of money into and still come up with a pasture pet?
So I'm really in a bind and don't know what to do or what to decide. Maybe if I wasn't faced with Joe's impending euthinazia I'd be able to make a better decision. I guess this is what rescue is about...deciding who can be saved and who has to be let go. Exhausting no matter the decision.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
We had planned to look at a horse for sale. The horse was advertised as a "rescue" horse but I didn't get the story on how it was a rescue, only that the previous owner (not the current owner) had "rescued" the horse. I have no further information on the horse.
But as the storm neared, I made a few phone calls and we opted for looking at the horse today to avoid the bad weather. I'm always nervous about looking at new horses. Of course I consider each of my horses a family memeber and can't possibly let one go.
I kept an eye to the sky as the storm came closer. Before the storm hit, we had lots of wind and thunder. I decided then that I better put Joe and Thor in the barn. Joe takes so long to eat that I figured he could devour his mash and stay dry.
Before the skies turned pitch black I went back outside to let Thor and Joe out. Joe was not impressed. Just as I was about to head in, the skies opened up again and poured. Joe tucked his head over the gate so that at least his head would stay dry. I decided he'd better go back in. So I prepared his stall and Thor's stall for the night. I think Joe was more than happy to go back into the barn. I worry about him standing in his stall since it's concrete (nothing I can do about except save for stall mats).
After I had them settled the skies stopped pouring and I grumbled to myself for having put the horses in the barn even though the storm is over. But as I was falling asleep I heard rain on the roof so I knew I made the right decision.
Joe and Thor were more than happy to get out of the barn this morning. But it felt good to know that they were safe and dry in the barn last night.
We'll see what tonight brings us.
This morning I decided to putter online for just a minute. I had not been to a rescue website of a somewhat local horse rescue (located in NW SD). I went to their page and read the note that they closed their doors until they could receive more donations.
I'm truley disappointed in more ways than one. Now it will be up to the private rescues/backyard rescues to try and save horses in South Dakota. Every hores rescue that I know of has either shut their doors or are no longer taking in horses.
It's so easy to get burned out. I've been burned and was on the brink of burnout awhile back. But I keep going to the auctions and I am on different online groups. That's what keeps me going. I look into the eyes of those less fortunate, those that have their fate sealed, and I know I have to do something for them. I don't want these poor souls to be forgotten. They haunt my dreams but someone must remember them.
There are many concerned citizens who want to help but don't know how. Much of the time these same concerned citizens cannot afford much in the way of donations. So what other options can we provide these concerned citizens in helping spread the word about slaughter and rescuing horses?
I truley wish Borderlands could be as progressive and active as the NorCal Hores Rescue in California. They are continually swamped with horses and phone calls to take in horses. Around here, you have to buy these horses and are not given a chance to give them long-term permanent homes for free. I do so wish that someday Borderlands could be a standard fixture in the community instead of a backyard rescue/private rescue that no one knows about.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I scour CraigsList and Kelo and I'm starting to see some very cheap horses. It makes me sad that people treat these horses as an object of possession and not a part of the family. I know I'm odd in my way of thinking (horses as family and not as something fun to use and have for a short period of time).
But I do wish people would take into consideration that you are dealing with another living being that has emotions and feelings. And you can't tell me horses don't have feelings or emotions. Watching Joe these last few weeks has really shown me that he's actually a character. He's all about his grain.
And even Jim. He's a touch-me-not horse but I brought out treats last night and he was right there. He actually walked up to me to get a treat. Of course it's bribery but I'll take it wherever I can get it! If it means Jim comes to me, so be it!
I guess I'm just frustrated that people don't take into consideration the long-term responsibilities. I'm sure to see more horses for sale in the next few months. But at least people are being smart and trying to find homes now instead of mid-winter when no one but the killbuyer wants horses.
I had someone ask me today if I knew of anyone who wanted a four or five year old horse. I'm waiting to hear back specifics on if it's a gelding or mare and how much they want. But from the conversation, the horse isn't even green broke. From pictures, the horse looks fat and happy. If they were to advertise with a low price, I'm sure a trader or killbuyer would swoop down and pick him up. Just frustrating. Put some time and training into the horse and you'll have one that you can ride.
Just look at Maverick. I gave him six months off and then put him into training. With just a little bit of training he went from a horse with an attitude and no ground manners, to an absolute doll on the ground and in the saddle. He's actually a joy for me to ride. I wouldn't have said that a year and a half ago! But some time, money, and education fixes most horses (pleaes note the most... it didn't fix Brego). I guess I'm just disappointed in people. Put these domestic animals on this earth, make them dependant on you, and then dump them with an excuse that you don't have time. I don't have time either but I make time and don't mind the fact that I've got a handful of "retired" horses standing their consuming money....er food.
Tonight we go and look at a horse. The owner has it priced way too cheap. I'm not sure if I've already made up my mind about bringing him home or not. I'm maxed out but at that price, how can I pass him up. Cheap horses are easy targets for traders and killbuyers. I guess we'll see and I'll report back tomorrow.
Monday, July 26, 2010
This morning was very odd as it was the first time in a year and a half that I didn't have to go out and do morning chores. Granted I've gone on vacation and put everyone on self sufficient mode but this was the first time since bringing Tommy and Skippy home that I've not had to worry about their care.
Thursday the trainer came and picked up the ponies. I noticed their abscense right away and am still getting used to them being gone. I do miss them but I know they are being well cared for and people are enjoying them. I'm not sure how long the trainer will keep them but at some point I know Tommy and Skippy will return. I'm guessing for the winter, which makes their absense a little more bareable.
So this mornings chores were non-existant and it felt odd. I may grumble some mornings about crawling out of bed at o-dark-thirty but it's alway worth it to see what the skies will bring me. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of this morning's sky. The sun was not yet up but the moon was out and joined by a big puffy cloud made pink by the soon-t0-be-rising sun. It was a morning I wouldn't have minded doing morning chores. I'll enjoy my reprive for now because I know it will be short lived.
I am currently in the works of rescuing two more horses. I know it's sounds worse than it really is. It's simply people trying to find homes before their final option is an auction. One is older (23) and the other is younger (8-9). They are both priced low so that they are tempting for a killbuyer. I've contacted both since they posted through Kelo/Craigs List (so not really a rescue at this point). And no one has shown any interest. Perhaps the killbuyers prefer to go to auctions so they don't have to deal but with one person.
In any case I feel slightly guilty in even considering bringing more in when I am faced with putting Joe down. I had such hopes of letting him live out his life in peace and quiet here at Borderlands. He is getting just that but it is of much shorter time frame than I had hoped. I guess I'll take every minute with him and enjoy. I am proud of Joe. He has gained a great deal of weight and is looking better every day (minus the bad hip). He's also getting more and more vocal. His pasture was drying up and he kept whinning to tell me to feed him (of course I did by throwing him hay to supplement until I could move him to a different part of the lawn). He's such a sweet horse. He definately has made a huge impact on my heart even though he's only been here just shy of two months.
Not sure what tonight will bring us but I'm sure it'll revolve around the horses. The flies are starting to come out in full force so now it's time to ward them off with flyspray, flymasks, flysheets, and leg protection.
Friday, July 23, 2010
Whenever you bring a new horse in, there's always adjustments, which take time. It's an exciting time, but yet still stressfull. There's always an adjustment when a horse leaves. In the case at Borderlands, when a horse "leaves" means they are no longer living. Those are the hard adjustments, missing them, knowing they wont' whinny or step on your feet. It's hard to adjust when theirs an ache in your heart.
But when a horse leaves to go to the trainers, it's a different feeling. One of relief knowing they are "going to school" but knowing that you'll get them back at a particular time frame. It's also nice because you can check in on them. But it's still an adjustment none the less. Less work but the herd dynamics always change.
On Wednesday my trainer called to say he was ready to take Tommy. I had offered Tommy (to borrow!) so that his little boy could learn to ride. My trainer does not have any good horses he's willing to put his boy on to learn. He was looking for a pony but not having a true barn of their own (he rents the barn he trains at), there's no room for a pony. But I offered Tommy (to borrow) so that his boy could learn to ride.
We made arrangements for my trainer to pick up Tommy Thursday night. When I called I told him that it was a twofer deal. If he takes Tommy, he pretty much HAS to take Skippy (to borrow). Skippy is so herd bound it's impossible to do much. So he willingly took Skippy too without a second glance. I figured that if we broke Tommy and Skippy apart, something would happen and a vet bill would ensue.
Tommy and Skippy have been together for years. I've had them for 1 1/2years and I'm sure they've been together for most of their lives. They have also had at least six homes. 1) Who ever bred/raised them, 2) people who had to get rid of them because of the landloard, 3) New Hope Horse Shelter (aka DoubleHP), 4) Adopters, 5) New family 6) Borderlands.
I was out getting Tommy and Skippy ready when they pulled in with their two horse trailer. I think the trainer was more excited than his boy. The trainer hopped out and went straight for the ponies to learn a little about each before they took them (to borrow). We talked for a few minutes and I dug out the pony saddle, saddle pad, and bridle. Since the ponies will be gone, I doubt I'll be using any of those items. I'll want them back (just as I want the ponies back) but for now, someone might as well get a use out of them.
My trainer had his boy take Tommy to the trailer. His boy is not very old and the perfect size for both Tommy and Skippy. Tommy's head is taller than the trainer's boy's head. So it'll be a good match in size. My trainer lead Skippy to the trailer while I grabbed the saddle. I talked for just a few minutes to the trainer's wife.
She isn't a confident rider and prefers that her son ride a smaller horse or pony so that if he falls off, he won't fall as far. It sounded like she expected her son to fall off. Must be the life of a trainer's wife. :-)
Tommy didn't want to load at first but once he got his hoof in the trailer he loaded just fine. He's so small even for the two horse that it was silly just looking at him standing in the trailer. Then the trainer loaded Skippy. Skippy just sailed right in. I really do think Skippy is always looking for the next adventure. (naughty pony!)
I think my trainer is much more excited than his boy. But I know that Tommy and Skippy will be in good hands. I trust my trainer and know exactly where the ponies will be. I'm not sure how long they will have them but I know they will be taken care of very well. It sounded like they would be riding two to three times a week. It'll be a shock to Tommy and Skippy since they haven't had to do a hard days work in the year and a half since they've been at at Borderlands.
It's going to be a little different not having the ponies around. It's amazing how quickly you adjust to new horses/ponies and their little quirks. I'll miss them terribly but if I get the urge, I'll just stop out and say "hello." They will be at the facility where Chaos and Maverick were trained at. The trainer is boarding them there. It's a very nice facility and not far from me. And I can call or email whenever I want to find out their status.
I asked how long they wanted to keep them and they didn't know for sure. I told them, keep Tommy and Skippy as long as you want. If you don't want to feed them through the winter, I'll gladly take them back then. So we'll see how it all progresses. I guess you can call it a "free lease" and someone is going to learn how to ride and possibly teach more people about the plight of horses. It's always good to educate the young. If my contribution is loaning out Tommy and Skippy, so be it.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
When we realized we would need to get the bales, we looked at the radar to see if and where any rain was so we could plan accordingly. Of course, rain was coming our way. So we rushed home, switched the hitch out on the farm truck (much to Mike's dismay as he hurt himself on the trailer), and headed out.
The bales were in a different field than where I thought he was baling. Luckily it's a nice field and actually rather pretty just to stand and watch the dark clouds roll in. We had requested 75 bales but there were more in the field than that. After the half way point of throwing bales and moving the truck foward, we took a quick break to call the farmer to find out exactly how many were out in the field. He said it was 100+ bales.
I was worried he'd baled all the small ones just for us and we didn't have room. But no worries as the farmer had plans for the rest. Thank goodness it was overcast with a breeze. We kept a close eye to the sky and could tell it was raining all around us but not on us!
Luckily this year the alfalfa never got rained on, or if it did it didn't pour on it like last year. I was so disappointed with last year's alfalfa that this year's alfalfa looks almost good enough for me to eat! I am a little worried that some of the alfalfa was baled a little too soon but I guess I'd rather have my bales under cover and home instead of still sitting out in the pasure waiting to be baled.
We were able to get 80 on the flatbed and truck. I felt terrible to have Mike throw bales since he's allergic to almost anything horse related. (Now how in the world could I marry someone who's allergic to everything horsey?!!) :-) But Mike, the sweatheart husband that he is, willingly tossed as many alfalfa bales as we could get into the flatbed.
We pulled the flatbed full of bales into the redshed for the night and I will unload either tonight or this weekend. We then decided to treat ourselves to cheap pizza Wednesday in Hartord. By the time we gobbled down our pizza and got back home, it was starting to rain. I "enjoyed" watching the lightening as I drove home.
Before we left for supper, I had pulled Joe and Thor into the barn so Joe could eat (and Thor would'nt throw a hissy fit.) I also pulled Sam in. Unfortunatley with Thor in the barn I had to rearrange and Sam got the small stall. I was worried that Sam and Joe would start fighting but I think after full bellies they both settled down and ignored each other. Joe does not like Sam that close to him. Not sure why.
But as the skies started to rain, I had to get Thor and Joe out. I always think it's odd that I find myself touching metal objects during a lightening storm. Here I am buttoning up the fence after putting Joe and Thor in the lawn pasture and it's lightening. Go figure! One of these days!
The skies really poured last night. We got over two inches of rain. I'm sure glad we pulled our bales off the field last night. They are pretty good this year and I want to keep them that way. I want to get them off the flatbed as soon as possible. Last year we didn't get to it right away and started having problems with the bales. I need to make a few changes in the haybarn where I'll be stacking them. I knew I should have cleaned it out awhile ago but I didn't have the energy. Now that I HAVE to get it cleaned out and ready, I'll hop to it right away. Not sure if I'll get all the bales moved out tonight or if it'll be Saturday evening. But in either case we need the flatbed for next weekend so I guess I'll have my work cutout for me this week.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
So now the minute Mike gets home, we'll head over to throw 75 bales on the flat bed and book it home before the rain sets in. Too bad my tendonitis is flaring up. I'm sure I'll have stories later tonight or tomorrow. I still need to blog about Maverick and last weekend's fun trail ride!
I feel guilty. Here I am planning on euthanizing Joe and thinking of brining another one in. How cruel am I? Get rid of one to get another? My attention should be focused on Joe.
And yet I know that Joe's body is giving out. I had hoped that being on the lawn would help since he didn't have to walk up and down any hills. That doesn't seem to be the case. The bute I gave him really helped last week. I don't want to dope him up all the time since it's not good for him. But I think I may bute him until his last day since thats' the only way he seems to be comfortable. He'll trot in a straight line with bute. But can't walk a straight line without it.
It breaks my heart since he's so happy to see me. He whinnies at me during feeding time. He's got such a low, throaty whinny. I absolutely love it. His whinny means I've made a difference in his life. But I feel guilty. I don't want to have to put him down. I know I should do it soon. I should do it before we head off to the Hills for vacation.
So I have that heavy weight on my heart. And then I turn around and consider bringing another horse on. How fair is that?
But this other horse is so very much in the killbuyers price range; he's practically free to them. I asked for pictures and the kicker is he looks so much like old Tiny Dictator. It breaks my heart. All he's missing is a star, snip, and a couple white socks. But he's got that dashing dark brown color that I fall for every time.
I feel guilty for evening thinking of him when poor Joe is standing out in the pasture right now munching on grass. I know what I have to do. But I can't seem to bring myself to make that call just yet. I'm selfish and now I'm feeling guilty for thinking of bringing on a different horse.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I know there have been a lot of questions about what is going to happen when the EU rules go into affect which is now. The answer is that the kill buyers are still buying and shipping it's business as usual with a question as to what will happen next. New Holland auction operated same as always prices all over from $60 to $2,300 for one unique horse of a different color. I am hearing the same from the other kill buyers as well. There will be a statement needed to send in with the load that the horses haven't had drugs and random testing done on horses slaughtered I am told $5,000.00 fine if one is "hot" for drugs. TB's of course not wanted so much and I foresee a problem with them going through the underground direct to slaughter path now.
Both Canada and Mexico supply the EU chain of horse meat suppliers. More in Mexico are not EU so I do expect to see the Mexican numbers rise for a short time while people figure the details out. Slaughter hasn't stopped!
The horses we list are owned by people with a contract in Canada and contacts with contract in Mexico. Between the two of the dealers/killers they supply a vast majority of horses to both along with sale horses higher priced as well. We list ALL levels of horses on our website as I have seen expensive get hurt or start getting sick and go "the other way" quick.
This week I do expect more to go toward Mexico but did see horses getting prepared to go to Canada as usual yesterday. We will have to wait to see numbers of exports to verify and validate our thoughts.
In an effort to help the horses in the pipeline I evaluate and list the horses on our website www.ac4h.com under broker owned horses which includes pictures, information and also some video. They are available from listing until Friday at 4:00 pm est. Instructions on what to do to save one of these horses http://www.ac4h.com/BOABC.htm. All donations to help the horses in any capacity go to firstname.lastname@example.org which is AC4H's only paypal address. Information about this program is at the top of the page.
NOTE - We do not have time to fundraise on behalf of people we are running a rescue with 40 horses saved from abuse,m neglect and slaughter and our fundraising efforts need to be focused on AC4H and the horses in our care.
Thank you for helping them. For those who want to watch what happens to the horses or do not know below are the HBO Running for their lies which won Sports Emmy Award- AC4H was featured.
We list horses for multiple people. We have horses listed for almost every kill buyer there is in this area. Because they do not want to be revealed even though a lot of people know who they are and have seen them at auction or on video we will respect their wish of not putting their name on the forums, thank you for complying as we appreciate their allowing the horses to be helped have been stalked, harrassed and do not want to be so please respect that as well as the fact that there are multiple owners represented not just one although that may be your incorrect perception.
We have listed horses from Simons many times as well as Moore and purchased horses from them as well. Simons sells high prices horses and slaughter horses just like the rest of the large dealers. "It's just business".
Christy Sheidy, Co-Founder www.ac4h.com
The Simons she refers to is a killbuyer from Minnesota.
When I hear more, I will post.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
I can't seem to copy and paste but in June they sold 225 horses.
1000lbs and over = $150 - $350
900lbs and smaller = $100 - $200
Yearlings and very thin horses 800lbs and under = $25 - $125
Another note from their flier
Reminder - No Sale in August, so please bring your culled horses to our July 19th sale.
AAARRRG. So much for culling horses in the fall. Looks like people are already starting. I'd really like to go but not sure I can swing it. Anyone willing to go with me? Please?!?!? I can add to my hay order now.. and probably not later.. so I can save a few right now. Anyone up for a rescue effort?
And to top it off, Another Chance 4 Horses (AC4H) has until 4pm their time (3pm my time) to save Broker horses. What's terrible is that there are a lot of really nice horses there going for super cheap and there are a lot of them. You don't see that type of quality in South Dakota.
The Camelot Group is also trying to fundraise for a bunch of horses at the Camelot Auction/Feedlot. There's still 13 horses yet to save before Saturday at noon. Again, cheaply priced and good quality.
And right now at this very moment (2:10pm my time....3:10 their time), the SugarCreek Auction is going on. I know that it happens every month but there is a group there trying to pull horses now.
I HATE auctions. HATE, HATE, HATE them!
Wonder if we could pull off a similar rescue like the yearly Sugar Creek saves or do the weekly Camelot rescue or AC4H rescues. Uuugh, just makes me exhausted.
Anyone willing to do a major auction save effort? I'm game.
We've had Joe and Thor now for over a month now. I'd like to think Joe is putting on the pounds but it's always such a slow process. When I got home yesterday after work, I couldn't find Joe. I thought maybe he'd busted through the electric. Nope, he was standing with his nose in the corner of the leanto. I think he prefers it in there, soft ground, shade, and a view of his buddy.
I've been worried about Joe's hip from the day after we brought him home. I started him on bute. I had to bute him every day at first and now it's every other day or so. He now isn't walking crooked which makes me happy. He's still off and sore in the back. But last night he shocked me. I turned my back on Joe to look at something and when I turned around he was down. Not down as in colic or in pain. He was down TO ROLL!!!!!! And he did it in his fly sheet!
I didn't know if Joe went down if he'd ever be able to get back up! He proved that he can! I'm sure it's the bute speaking but i'll take what I can get. I was so excited to see Joe roll that I had to stand there and watch. So even though the hip pains him, he can still move around. I really thought I would have to put him down immediately. But with the bute, and now standing in the lawn pasture with a bit softer ground (I think), he's doing alright.
I had planned to euthanize him before our vacation early August but I may hold off and let him enjoy the entire summer. I know I'm putting off the inevitable but I can't do it. I can't put him down with those hips and ribs showing. I'd rather pay extra in rendering fees and have him cross over the Rainbow Bridge fat and sassy then skinny and hungry.
Tomorrow is the Lake County Saddle Club Poker Ride. I'm a bit nervous. I'm not sure who to take. I keep thinking Maverick but I've not ridden him out of the drylot, let alone a huge trail ride. The temps are supposed to be high (92) so I thought maybe I'd take Maverick anyway since it'll be too hot for him to do much. But then they mentioned wind. I'm just not sure now. I'm too chicken. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I've had Jim now for seven months and have not yet ridden him. When we first brought Jim home the weather was terrible. December is not the time to buy a horse. We had all that snow and then he started dropping weight. It wasn't until this spring that he started gaining weight. By that time I was wrapped up with wedding stuff. So it's taken me until last night to actually ride him.
I decided I'd start out with Maverick since I know what to expect with him (in the drylot). We puttered around for a short time. But I was really itching to try Jim out. I was a little worried that he'd be too much. I remember trying him out and there wasn't much control. I was more of a passenger. So knowing how I felt when I rode him to try him out I figured there might be some issues. So I round penned him and then hopped on. He's a cadillac... and a trained one at that!
All this time I've been putting off riding him. He's going to be one I'll grab more often. His slow walk is a bit uncomfortable but put him into a fast walk/amble and it's smooth as silk. I'm not sure why I didn't have any control when I tried him out. When I hopped on last night I could tell he was really well trained. Voice commands are superb on him. "Whoa" and he stops immediately. Cluck to him and he moves into a faster pace. I didn't want to go any faster than his amble but I could ride him all day. I'm sure I didn't have much control before because his previous rider was a teenage girl who liked to ride hard. I'm now to the point where slow is good!
I did decided to ride Maverick one more time. So I pulled Jim out (we didn't ride that much), and I round penned Maverick again. I got him into a lope this time... darn horse is so lazy. But when I swung up on him, he acted even slower! I got him into a slow trot for a few paces and then he stumbled and went to his knees for a good half dozen steps. Of course, me not reacting very well, just rode it out. Maverick wasn't upset and didn't get startled. I did swing off afterwards to check his legs... nothing wrong! Dang lazy horse.
So now I'm debating on if I'll ride him on this weekend's Poker Ride. After yesterday's ride I was thinking maybe not. But the weatherman said it was going to be 92 on Saturday. If there is any pee and vinegar in him, the heat will suck it out of him. So now I don't know what to do.
I can't take Rain because of his heat exhaustion/heat stroke issues. I don't want to take Zeke because he lugged me around all last weekend. I could easily take him but there's others that need to be ridden. King's sore muscles are back and I don't have shoes on him. Jim doesn't cross water and I know we have at least one water crossing (and he's out of shape for a long ride). Sam is out of shape and it will be too hot for him. That leaves me with Chaos and Maverick. We'll see which one I finally decide to ride. I guess it depends on if Dad comes along.
I was brave and left Joe and Thor out on the lawn pasture last night. The grass is much more lush there than in their pasture. Their pasture is pretty well dried up. Normally I would pull them but there isn't any other place for me to put them except on the lawn. The lawn is just two strands of electric and I prefer something a bit more stable.
But I guess it will have to do. The lawn grass is pretty thick and they can get out of the wind/rain if they so choose. So all in all, it's not a bad spot to keep them for the next few days. I don't know if they'll polish off the grass fast or not. But I'm planning on leaving them in the "lawn pasture" for at least a week before I put them back into their old pasture. I hope that by doing it this way, the old pasture will come back. It had old grass that wasn't very thick. So my hope is that the grass will come back thicker if I pull the horses off for a week.
I'm really excited for this weekend's trail ride, if not a little nervous and undecided on who to take. It will be so nice to ride. I'm going to get spoiled having three weekends in a row riding. Last weekend was camping and trail ride. This weekend is a trail ride. And next weekend is the Colton Trail Ride and parade. I'll pass on the parade but would like to attend the trail ride. I've not been on it before. If it's in the morning I'm not sure if I'll take Rain. Zeke seems to be my "Go To Guy" for all new trail rides not associated with the Lake County Saddle Club.
I am starting to see a lot of cheap horses listed on Craigs List and on Kelo. It makes me wonder what this fall/winter will be like. I'm kicking myself for not ordering more hay. I may have to see if I can't get more. I'd rather have too much than not enough. More hay means more horses that can be saved. Of course I've run out of stalls so I'll have to come up with some type of plan. Seems I'm always coming up with some type of plan these days! :-)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
In the picture, you can see I had them out on a different part of the lawn. They mowed it down pretty good and it helped them get accustomed to me a little bit better. I'm hoping tonight to add a second strand of electric and then I won't worry as much. I'm half tempted to keep them on the lawn pasture for the next week straight but we'll see how it goes.
The pasture they are currently in was full of tall grass. I've found that the tall grass isn't lush and doesn't provide a lot of grass. Now once it's been eaten down for a season, the next season it will come back thicker and closer to the ground. I hope that's the case for this pasture anyway. When we first started putting up the fence, the grass was so high and I couldn't walk through it without a struggle. Joe and Thor have successfully weaved paths through the trees making it easier for me to walk around.
I did let the ponies out into the grass. I had been running them from their pen back to the red shed. Unfortunatley they'd eaten it down to the dirt so I needed to move them. With the strong breeze we have today, I won't worry about the mosquitoes carrying them away. They are in the treeline right now in tall grass that isnt' very lush. I'm sure if I were to take pictures it would look lush but when you look close there really isnt' all that much good grass. My hope is that the ponies will eat down the grass and help get rid of any places for mosquitoes to live.
Short grass = less mosquitoes!
I did get a voice mail from the trainer (who trained Chaos, Maverick, and Brego). We'd talked this spring about him borrowing Tommy. He's finally got everything lined up so I'll need to talk with him to find out what his plans are. I'm a bit worried for Skippy but it would do them both good to be seperated. I can't do anything with Skippy unless Tommy is around. Being THAT herdbound is unacceptable. But we'll see how it goes and if Skippy gets too upset we'll either tell the trainer he needs to take Skippy or that we'll need Tommy back. I'm not sure how long they are wanting to use Tommy but it will do him good to do something other than stand around and be bored all the time.
I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. I haven't had time to do anything with the horses since last week. Camping and family have kept me away from the very basics of chores these last few days until last night. Now that I have everything set up for lawn pasture time I might have more free time to actually work with some of the horses instead of just stare at them.
I did put flymasks on everyone last night. I wasn't sure if everyone would keep them on over the night time period or not. Only Maverick and Jim didn't keep theirs on. The flies are starting to get fierce already which surprises me. But at least I have enough masks to go around to keep everyone happy.
I shouldn't be surprised that the days are getting shorter but I am. I had to do chores in the predawn light. I get so spoiled in the summertime not having to do chores in the dark both morning and night. I can't seem to get as much stuff done in the evenings because it's starting to get dark sooner (and the mosquitoes drive me in).
Hopefully tonight I'll get the last of the lawn pasture fenced in so Joe and Thor can enjoy some actuall lush grass for a little while. My hope is the lush lawn pasture will help pack on the pounds for old, sweet Joe.
Monday, July 12, 2010
I didn't get a chance to ride Friday after getting to Newton Hills but it was fun to drool over everyone else's horses. I was surprised to find that there weren't many campers this weekend. Of course it was hot, at least hot for me.
Saturday was a blast. We met a lot of nice people. Some were knowlegable about breeding and respected and understood what it meant to breed. I also met someone who is not knowlegable about where their babies go. I didn't want to harp on her but if she attends another meeting or trail ride I may mention something.
On Saturday, we rode for two hours in the morning, took a break for lunch, and a few of us headed out in the afternoon. Zeke behaved beautifully. He was full of himself in the beginning and trotted for the first 15 minutes or so. But that's to be expected since I haven't ridden him much. After everyone left for the evening, we puttered around the camp and went up to the main campground to talk with new friends who have horses (but didn't bring them to the trail ride).
After a bit we heard a weather report stating that a storm was headed our way. So we headed back down to button everything up. I decided that I wanted to be brave and take Zeke out on the short trail to see how he would do alone. I was a little nervous since it was starting to get dark, we were out by ourselves, and there was a storm coming. But I warned our camper neighbors that if Zeke came back without me to come look for me.
Oh what a wonderful ride it was. I was nervous riding alone but it was worth it. Right before we rode into the trees the lightening bugs lit up the path. It was incredible to watch. As Zeke and I were headed back for camp, the dragon flies flew overhead. It was so enjoyable I was sad to end the ride but knew I better get back since it was getting dark and the storm was fast approaching.
We survived the rainstorm but it made the trails slick Sunday. I had thought I would pass on riding since I knew some of those trails would be too wet to ride. But I was itching to head out on a trail so I took the chance and went on a path that no one had been on yet. I wasn't sure how Zeke would handle it but he did just fine. When we got to the more common paths, it started getting slick so I figured we'd better end it on a good note.
That vacation was exactly what I needed. I was worried for the horses when I heard the storm was headed right for Borderlands. But in the end everyone was the same as I had left them Friday late afternoon. Only the ponies seemed to care that I was gone.
I hope we can sneak another "mini" camping vacation in before the end of the summer. I had so much fun and really got to relax. It was absolutely worth the hassle of preparing for the trip, driving two vehicles down, and dealing with camper neighbors. I am refreshed. The only downside, I didn't get any pictures. I'm not sure why. I was so wrapped up with making sure everything went off without a hitch for Saturday's trail ride that I plumb forgot the camera. Oh well.
I'm hoping we can get another ride in sometime this fall when the leaves begin to change colors. It would be absolutely stunning down there, even if we do just a day ride.
Now to get things organized and ready to go. I talked with my hay guy last night and we have it squared way I'll be getting 70 big square bales. I need to do some caluculations to see if I need to order more. I would feel better with more but not sure the checkbook could handle more. I don't have enough space for more since I have left over. But if I get more, then I can pull another horse from an auction this fall, which is what I'm planning on doing. But I HAVE to make sure that the Borderland Herd is taken care of.
All in all, a very refreshing weekend. I am revived and ready to focus!
Friday, July 9, 2010
The Minnehaha County Saddle Club is having their second annual Potluck Trail Ride this Saturday. I'm not sure how I became president but oh well. It should be fun. I decided to take Zeke with me. I am hopefully going to sneak out Sunday for a short ride in the morning. Zeke is about the only one I can ride on the trails alone and not have to worry about spooking. Rain would be ok, but he's sure to spook. So good ol' Zeke it will be.
I've never camped in the horse camp at Newton so it will be a learning experience. Of course, I haven't camped in a year and who knows what all we are missing, let alone camp with a horse. I camped once before with horses but we were close to home and didn't have to worry about half the things I need to bring along this time. Oh well, should be fun. It'll be a nice getway and then I can really settle down and focus on getting the place ready for winter (sad, I'm thinking about winter!) sheesh.
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I did have the forsight to grain Joe ahead of time. I left him in the barn to give him adequate time. I am always rushing him as of late and I feel bad. So last night I put him in the barn about 7:30pm and didn't get back out until almost 8:30pm. When Joe heard me come out of the house, he whinnied! It was hilarious! I guess he was tired of standing in the barn by himself (even though Thor was guarding the barn).
I guess Joe had had enough standing in the barn and was ready to get out. Usually I am rushing him and have to drag him out of the barn. I always feel terrible not giving them enough time to enjoy. But last night Joe shot out of the barn and headed over to the permanent pasture to get a drink of water. No leading him this time!
I did stop at the vets yesterday and picked up some Bute for Joe and some Equi-Sec of King. I think the summer heat causes King to have more sore muscles than in the winter time. It could also be due to his flat feet but I have a plan for that too. But for not I'll start giving him his medicine and he'll hopefully show some improvements and not be so sore. I feel so bad for King.
I did let Sam in for his grain (and ran back in to the house to do more work). When I snuck out quick to let him out almost everyone was up at the barn. I normally have them come up to the drylot and then lock them in (so they stay off the pasture and to help them stay away from the mosquitoes). Unfortunately Jim and Maverick were still out in the pasture. I didn't have time to go hunt them down so I left the pasture gate open.
This morning when I went outside to do morning chores, everyone was standing up in the drylot. Here they had the entire night to be out on pasture and they were still up at the barn. I do love this routine. It made me smile seeing Sam, Brego, and Zeke all hanging out in a half way snoozing position. It was too cute. I wish I would have had the camera.
Tonight will be a short night for chores also. We have our monthly saddle club meeting. Hopefully everything will go alright and we'll get people to show for this weekend's Potluck Trail Ride. I guess it doesn't matter if there aren't a lot of people. Mike and I are going down no matter what! It will be a well deserved "mini" vacation.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
My plans for the 4th of July changed so I didn't haul Zeke to the Ramona Parade. Probably a smart choice anyway. I did take Rain out on the 4th for a quick ride down the road. I really needed a good ride even if it was short.
Yesterday Mom and Dad came down to work on the place. We've sort of let the place go because of the wedding and are just now getting back into the swing of things again. Dad and Mike worked on the new stall. There's still a bit that needs to be done but it's getting closer and closer to completion. I'll be happy to have another stall!
I have it figured out that I will be two horses over what I need for stalls if I did my math right. I'll have ten stalls and fourteen horses. Tommy and Skippy stay in one stall so that means two will be stuck in the leanto unless I can figure something else out. I'm sure to come up with something though. It all depends on how and where we place the winter supply of hay.
I decided last night I will be putting Joe down sooner than I thought. He simply can't stand. His back end is really starting to give him problems. When I bring him in for supper, he wedges his back end into the corner of a stall so he can put pressure on the stall wall instead of trying to steady himself on three legs.
I had hoped that I could keep him until fall but it doesn't seem to be the case. I'm angry. Angry at the previous owner for not disclosing the issue, I'm angry that I have to be the one to make the decision, I'm angry that I didn't get to spend more time with Joe. But perhaps I'm being selfish. It has been an honor to know Joe even if it's only for a short time. I'm simply upset that it didnt' work out as well as I'd hoped. The previous owner new there was an issue and wanted to dump the horse (even though I signed a buy back policy!) And maybe the hip didn't bother him until these last few days. But it does seem to be progressively getting worse.
I'm headed to the vets tonight to pick up some bute. I'll bute him to keep him comfortable until I can schedule the appointment. I've decided that I'll have to do it before we go on our family vacation the first part of August. It's a shame but I dont' know what else to do. He can't lie down and I know he's in pain. I just dont' know if I should be in a hurry to put him down or let him enjoy a few more weeks of a belly full of grain mash and grass hay. In any event, I have to do it where I can get Thor adjusted to the big herd before going. I need to keep an eye on him for at least a week because I'm sure he'll slip into a depression otherwise.
Rain water draining into the road from our driveway. The standing water is in our neighbor's pasture.
In better news, Dad and Mike built my fence where Thor and Joe are staying. It's the same pasture as the mares's winter pasture. I'm excited to have some of my corral panels back. I need to do some more figuring so that I can get more of the corral panels back so that I can use them for when we are on vacation. The fence looks so nice. The only problem is we didn't put it up right away so some of the boards warped really bad. I may have a crooked fence but at least it's functional! :-)
This was a view looking east. (Please escuse the spots. I was taking these pictures through the windshield. Nothing like bug guts to add special effects.) I believe this storm produced an F4 tornado in Iowa. Even though it produced a terrible storm, it did make for a beautiful scene as the sun set and lit up the clouds.
We also had a rainstorm blow threw in the early afternoon so that stopped most of our outside progress. I had a friend visit yesterday and we went for a ride in the late afternoon. It was so nice to actually swing my leg over a horse and go for a ride longer than a half mile. We rode about five miles. Poor Chaos. He had a greenhorn on him and the mosquitoes were really bothering him. He sucked it up and was a real trooper. But by the time we got back to the barn Chaos was completely drenched. He had sweat dripping off of him. Poor guy. But it does him good. He really hasn't been used that much this year, just one or two rides is all.
Not much going on this week. We are getting ready for a first ever camping trip to Newton Hills with the new popup camper. I'm taking Zeke down for a Potluck Trail Ride thi Saturday. It should be interesting. I can't wait. We've never camped in the horse part of Newton Hills before. Should be fun! Any excuse to ride at this point!
Monday, July 5, 2010
Busy day today and will post more when I get a chance. Tomorrow will be a short day with the horses as I'll be headed to Madison to renew my drivers license.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Friday, July 2, 2010
I have also noticed that the days are getting shorter, just a little bit at a time. Yesterday I watched the sun rise as I let the horses out into the pasture. I also enjoyed the sun set as I did tonight. It was a beautiful sunset. I'm always sad to see the sun set as it means another day is over. But the sunsets are always so gorgeous...pink and it turns the sky to a bright pink and orange hue. It's stunning.
The other day we had amazing clouds roll through. The pictures never do the skies justice. But I wanted to leave you with some pictures of why I love living where we do even with the mosquitoes, the insane heat, the bone freezing cold, and drastic weather changes. I wouldn't change it for the world.
I need to be riding Maverick every day if I ever want to take him on a trail ride. I don't know that I'll have enough confidence to take him on the July 17th Poker Ride in Madison. I'm not sure who I'll take.
But riding Maverick was nice. It didn't really help to recenter/refocus myself but it felt good to swing a leg over and ride for just a few minutes. Maverick and I have a bit of work to figure out what we both want from each other. It'll be a challenge to say the least but I think we are both willing. Now the hard part, finding time.
I was brave this morning and let the ponies out on the lawn pasture. Keep your fingers crossed we don't get a call from the neighbor! :-)
I'm not sure what our plans are for the long weekend. I do know we HAVE to be home Saturday night as the neighbor will be shooting off fireworks. I have to have Babe in a stall otherwise she'll get way too upset. I may pull a few more to keep them out of harms way.
I expect I'll have to pull Babe out Sunday night also just to be on the safe side. It's better to be safe than to have an emergency vet visit and bill.
I'm hoping to sneak another ride in this weekend. But if I don't post again until next week, have a happy and safe 4th of July!
Thursday, July 1, 2010
It may be that I'll have to put Joe down this fall. He had a bad day yesterday. Joe must have fallen sometime this past winter or spring (before I got him). I can't imagine how the previous owner could have ridden him the way he is now. When I went to pull him into the barn, he walked crooked. Not just crooked but practically sideways. It may be that I need to take him to the vet sooner. But I'm afraid of what I'll hear from the vet.
I'm going to be selfish for a little while and allow him to graze and gain weight before I make any decisions. Is this cruel, possibly. But at this point, I've been so stressed with changing jobs, planning the wedding, besides being rattled to the core with this horse deal this week that I can't take any more stress. Selfish I know. But I can't emotionally take any more change be it good or bad.
I'm hoping Joe will have a good day today. It may be that the pasture he is in is too hilly. Mike suggested I drylot him with the mares so that he doesn't have to move up and down hills. I considered the idea but the mares are in a pasture with a hill also. If I drylot him, he won't gain weight as quickly as I'd like since he wont' be on grass 24x7.
I'm thinking of creating a new "lawn pasture" which is flat and I'll keep a close eye on Joe. While he was standing at the barn patiently waiting for his grain, I saw that his left hip gave out and it pained him. He had to catch himself with the other leg but it startled him. So there is something going on. I'm not sure that my pocketbook can afford to investigate what is wrong. I'm afraid poor Joe's body is simply giving out.
We'll simply take every day as a blessing and see how each day goes. It may be that I need to stock up on bute for the time being just to make Joe comfortable. I gave him a dose of banamine (not the best idea but that's all we could come up with to make Joe comfortable last night). I don't want to stall him for fear of making him super stiff.
Luckily we'll have a three day weekend and I can keep him on flat ground to see if that helps. If it helps, then I'll keep him there until there is no more grass and move him to mom and dad's pasture which is flat. I'd prefer to get more weight on him before he has to travel again.
I'm glad that I was able to bring him home, a little disappointed that he was in such bad shape when the gal sold him to me, and I guess I'll have to look at it that I am blessed to have Joe in my life for however long his body can hold up.
I'm hoping this weekend to get a ride in to recenter and refocus myself. I'm mentally exhausted after the past two months of activities. I did pull some pictures off the camera and will post more in the next day or so. So there may be a few posts with just pictures. :-)