Monday, February 28, 2011
It dawned on me this weekend I let five horses, that's right FIVE, horses slip through my hands in the past month. I believe at least one of them was a diamond in the rough. I listened to others. I am trying to figure out exactly what types of horses I should really be taking in. I'm struggling with the idea.
I didn't listen to anyone when I decided to take on Chaos. I didn't listen to anyone when I decided to take on Maverick. They were both diamonds in the rough. There are always those that dont' ever become true diamonds, I'm thinking Brego. But there are so many diamonds in the rough that only need to be given the chance.
I got them young. I didn't know what I was doing. But you don't expect your six year old child to know how to do algebra. You send them to school to learn. You can't expect a three year old hores to know what to do until you send them to "school". Chaos, Maverick, and Brego all had that chance. I could easily adopt out Chaos or Maverick because they are true diamonds, worth more than diamonds to me.
I'm just mad because I listened to everyone else with those five horses and didn't follow my instincts. It would be hard work. It would be stressful. It would weigh heavily on my mind when it came to adopt them out. It would stretch my bank account to the max. But I would have no one to blame but myself for taking on a challenge and failing. Instead, I blame myself for listening to others instead of listening to my heart.
So don't be offended if I ask for your opinion, but I don't act on it. I'll be gathering everyone's opinons, weighing my options, and then acting but letting my head and heart have a higher rank. I am only one person doing the work of many. But I do need the moral support of others.
Ok, so I may not be making sense, but I feel better on my ranting and raving. Just ignore me today. I seem to be off kilter today. I'm betting a good horseback ride would fix that.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
I know I'm over protective of my horses and that's why I prefer to have a sanctuary instead of a rescue. I know there are good people out there who will take just as good care of their horses as I. But situations change, things happen, and all too often a horse is usually the first thing to go as they are seen as "extras" and not as a part of the family. But the horses of Borderlands aren't just horses, they are family and will remain so even after they are just memories. I know that I am near max capacity and without additional help/donations, I cannot take in any more family members. But it breaks my heart to know that there are so many good souls out there that just need to be given a chance.
I look at each member in the herd and think about their characteristics and personality. Each is different and special in their own way (even as naughty as they might be). Each individual gives the herd a new dynamic and I cherish the time I spend with them. Maybe I'm a hoarder, maybe I'm obsessive, but I want more individuals, to learn their life story as best I can, and to watch them grow old and enjoy the leisures they so deserve. I need to remember the Starfish Story but on the other hand, I also don't want to turn a blind eye to the millions that need help.
So I'm asking for your help again. What are ways to promote rescue? What are ways to educate people on over breeding? What are ways to highlight rescue horses? I have a few ideas and I hope to bring some of those ideas to light in the next few months. I am only one person but no one can achieve greatness without the help of others.
It's been awhile since I posted any horse pics. I need to remember to take the camera out. Here's a few scattered pics I've taken.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Sam also seems slightly better. He's still not eating but he's doing better than he was last night. There's still a dullness to his eyes this morning but after one dose of ulcer meds he's already improved just slightly. I'll be going out early afternoon to give him today's dose and then hopefully he'll want to eat something at tonight's feeding.
It's probably a good thing that it was so peaceful and quiet outside this morning. I've had such turmoil in my heart and brain. In the past week, I've had the opportunity to take in two free horses and purchase two very cheap horses. All registered and all young with no training. I know I need to keep my focus on the older horses, but I feel like I've signed a death warrant for all four of those horses. I think two of them will be ok as they are with someone searching for the right owner. The other two, I just don't know. Hopefully their looks will save them, but they'll turn into baby making machines, putting more horses on the earth without a care for their future.
I'm beyond the anger stage with these horses. I'm to the heartbroken stage. I know I am only one person and I only have so many resources. Those resources are being eaten up by the current 17 horses of Borderlands.
It just feels like I should be able to do more. I'm trying to live by the saying "Live with no regrets" but I'm finding that difficult. At the very least, I will regret not trying to wheel and deal with those two young mares. Too many people turn a blind eye and only focus on what they have. I know I should be happy/content with what I have and who I have standing out in the pen. But who is watching out for those other millions of lost souls. Someone needs to be there to remember them. I may not be able to save any horses at an auction, but at least I was there so that they would be remember at least by me. Even when their warrant is being signed by the killbuyer, at least I was there to remember them. Each soul weighs heavy in my heart, knowing that I couldn't do anything for them. Someone put them on this earth, and someone took them off this earth. I am saddened that people don't take more responsibility. I just wish I could do more.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Sam really is a high strung horse (for a draft horse) and we're guessing he brought on the stress himself. I thought I was doing ok with keeping him stress free but I guess not. I'll have to come up with something to keep his stress levels to a minimum.
I'll keep everyone posted. If I would be a good blogger I would document, photograph, and blog about getting Sam back up and running. We'll see how it goes.
I'm just glad I was able to catch it early. The last time his ulcers really kicked in he was a hurting guy.
Poor Sam. Used most of his life as an Amish work horse and now he's in retirement with ailments. I want to go give Sam a great big hug right now.
He picked at the hay last night and wasn't interested at all in the hay this morning.
I haven't been able to grain him Tues or Wed because of other activities going on. So I haven't been able to tell if he's eaten anything since Monday. He was sort of off his feed on Monday but he's been slower to eat his beet pulp as of late.
I called the vet but they were on the road. It doesn't sound like I could even squeeze a visit in since they are jam packed with work. I have to call back in a little bit to hear more.
I talked with the vet assistant for just a little bit and we're guessing it's Sam's ulcers. I thought I had them under control this fall with the alfalfa pellets but I took him off when he didn't seem intersted in them any more. Maybe that should have been my sign. He was only interested in alfalfa leaves.
So I may be putting Sam on some ulcer meds. I'll be running up to Madison if that's what the vet rules this is. I'll keep everyone posted after I talk with the vet again this morning.
I swear, these drafts are going to be the death of me yet.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I can get an unhandled registered yearling gelding and a registered 4yr old stud mini for free.
I can get a halter broke 4 yr old paint mare and a yearling paint mare for $300 (they are stunning)
I want to focus on the older horses but the younger ones keep popping up. ARG!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I could take the "opportunity" and stretch myself to the limit but know that I've done something good for one/two living being and improved the situation slightly. Or I could turn a blind eye and say I'm too busy and too maxed out to take on anything more.
If I go after this "opportunity" I could be jeapordizing any chances of helping in the near future (aka auctions). But it does seem that that the only opinions/comments for the upcoming auction are to wait and see (aka, now is not the time).
I wasn't born with patience as a virtue. It's a work in progress. But the wait part isn't easy for me to accomplish. Had I just kept my big mouth shut, I wouldn't have put myself into this position and I wouldn't be worrying about what to do.
If only someone would give me a sign.
Monday, February 21, 2011
As I type this, Queen is relaxing, Babe is eating, and Mayhem is curled up taking a nap. There's no better life for me than with horses.
I was upset earlier because I can't stop thinking about the upcoming March sale. I may not be able to raise enough for this sale because we're so close to the deadline, which upsets me. But then I remember that it may be more beneficial to pull horses from the fall auctions instead. Those are the horses that desperately need help.
And then I got on TB Friend's website and saw the very skinny thoroughbred they rescued from the other day. Every bone is showing. Unfortunately he didn't make it. Go look at the pictures of this poor horse (http://www.tbfriends.com/). At least he died knowing someone cared.
Seeing pictures like that and knowing there are others, only invigorates me to try even harder to rescue. Every one should be loved be it person or horse. Rescuing might not be the ability to save a horse for years and years, it's sometimes about giving them just a bit of love and compassion and letting them go.
I'm now out of my grumpy mood and motivated to do something about it.
Because I'm tired of all the white, I'll leave you with pictures from this spring of greener pastures. Here's to spring, which will hopefully be here in a few more months.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
I'm guessing the entire herd is pretty exhausted. I should have been a better horse mom and put them in during the day instead. Luckily the older horses and the hard keepers had their blankets on to keep them dry.
I let some of the herd in the barn to eat their grain and any time someone would move, their blankets would crinkle.
I've been doing more thinking and brainstorming for the upcoming March sale. It bothers me that I'm not farther along with planning. It also bothers me that I'm not very far in my general plans for the sanctuary.
I'm still a private sanctuary/rescue but the incorporation and non-profit are in the works if I could ever carve out some time. It's that darn moral support that I need to push me farther.
I've been crunching numbers for the March sale. For me to bring home a horse, I would need to raise $500. Most of that would be towards vet bill, hay, and quarantine for one month. I'm betting that the price of horses will still be fairly cheap in March because we aren't yet to prime riding season.
So, do you think we could fundraise $500 in less than a month? I'm working on getting the website up and getting a paypal account. But right now I'm just curious to know if it would even be possible to raise that amount before March 12th? What do you think? I desperately need your opinion.
The two horses in all three pictures are Dude (on the left) and Chaos (on the right). Dude has what's called "hunter's bump" (I can't remember the technical term). But it's left him lame in the back end. We bought him not knowing that he had it and the older he gets the worse it is (and there's nothing that can be done). Had we sold him, I'm 100% positive that he would have headed to slaughter. He's the type of a horse that needs to be worked and will push buttons to get his way. Chaos was headed to an auction as an unhandled grade yearling stud colt with a gash on his back leg. I'm betting that he too would have ended up in the slaughter pipeline. Both of these horses would most likely not be here today if we had not crossed paths.
I keep thinking of all the other horses that could possibly cross paths. Last night I looked up at the sky and saw a million stars. I'm guessing there are as many horses as stars that we could possibly cross paths with. I can only hope I'll be so lucky to cross paths with a horse in need or a horse that should live out his life in full luxury.
When I went out to do morning chores everyone was unhappy! I tossed out extra to try and keep the peace in the herd. I'm sure glad I have blankets and sheets on a majority of the herd. Everyone except Thor was covered in ice. Thor is the smart one and tucks himself into the leanto to stay dry where everyone else is out in the pen wandering around.
I already have some of the stalls set up for tonight. Everyone will be going in tonight. It's simply too terrible for anyone to stand out in this wind. And I want to make sure they actually GET some hay. A third of what I threw out this morning is already in the next county. Gotta love South Dakota. One day it's calm and sunny and the next we're in a blizzard.
And as I'm typing this, it sounds like the freezing rain is starting back up. Guess I'll be going out early to get everyone snug in their stalls.
Because I'm craving green instead of white, I'll leave with a picture from the Black Hills
Saturday, February 19, 2011
I did snap a few pictures of both exhausted momma and baby the day after they arrived. You could easily see how exhausted Rabbit was by looking at her. Unfortunately she also has heaves which flare up almost constantly (except when it's 10 below!)
I've been worried about her from day one. Having never had a momma and baby before I was a little out of my comfort box but I knew Rabbit needed a soft place to land. And Mayhem needed a place to call home no matter what color she is. I've now started joking saying that Mayhem is my blue roan.
Because pictures speak a thousand words (even though I ramble alot), I thought you might enjoy what a few months of high quality hay and mash do for a body. Here's Rabbit the day after we brought her home.
I know the lighting is terrible and she's filthy. I forgot to grab the batteries so I was only able to sneak a couple pics before the camera died. But there's no more hips sticking out, no more flanks caved in, no more spine protruding. You can still see a few ribs but that might be just how she's going to carry herself.
I've left a blanket on her since November when we weaned Mayhem. Unfortunately the weekend we weaned Mayhem we had a storm and I didn't think Rabbit could tolerate the stress of weaning AND a storm so on went the blanket. I also thought Rabbit was still too thin and needed that extra layer.
I did wean Rabbit and Mayhem a month early (at five months instead of six). I didn't want to wait until Christmas time to wean, knowing full well that Rabbit's body couldn't handle that much stress.
So here Rabbit is five months later. It's hard to tell the weight gain in the first picture but just look at her neck. She's finally getting some weight back on her enough where she has a normal sized neck instead of that pencil thin neck. Poor old girl should never have been bred and she should have been treated like a queen instead of just another baby making machine.
Rabbit's front feet are goofy but she was too naughty for the farrier. She's old enough (19 yrs old) to know how to get away with some things. I told the farrier I would work with her and call next week. I need to mess with her a bit more to gain more trust. Right now I'm just the feeding lady, but I need to become more. We're working on it already. But Rabbit is one smart cookie.
The following two posts are when we first brought Sam home. He had a very thin neck, could see ribs, and what I call the "table" was showing (aka, his spine was sticking out). The first two pics are after we'd had Sam for one month.
The following two pictures are of Sam the following spring (2010). The previous fall (2009) he caught a cold (from who knows where). AND his ulcers flared up. I didn't even know he had ulcers. I was very worried because he dropped weight FAST. But we put him on a grain mash and that seemed to help some but not as much as I'd wanted.
Here's Sam so far this winter. His ulcers did flare up this fall but I started him on soaked alfalfa pellets and Tums. Surprisingly that did the trick. I did read that alfalfa has calcium (and so do Tums) and the lack of calcium is what causes some of the ulcers (or something to that affect). After awhile Sam didn't want his Tums any more and I knew it was a sign that he was feeling better. We still have him on a grain mash but he seems to be doing better. His neck is HUGE compared to when we first got him or even from last spring (after a winter recovering).
I wish I would have had a camera yesterday. Sam doesn't typically cock a leg and snooze. But yesterday he was standing in the sun with a cocked leg, snoozing away. He looked at the proper weight and happy, and that's all that matters!
I'll try to get better pictures but he's wrapped up in his blanket to ward off the coming storm.
Here's what our local station, Keloland, has to say about the storm:
We are still on track to see a nasty winter storm affect KELOLAND for Sunday. The storm will start moving in tonight spreading moisture from the west and southwest into KELOLAND. For most of the state the precipitation will fall as all snow starting tonight. But for areas of south central and especially southeast KELOLAND a mixed bag of precipitation is likely. That means rain and freezing rain will be possible along with some sleet and eventually snow. Expect the precip to start as rain and freezing rain late tonight into early Sunday in the SE. The best chance of accumulating ice is in SE SD into NW IA. There could be significant icing in small corridor if conditions are just right. Power outages and very difficult travel aren’t out of the question.
Through the day Sunday the precip will transition over to snow. Areas that see the most rain in far SE SD and NW IA will see much less snow. That means there will be a very sharp cutoff in the snow totals. It is possible that we could have 3 inches in southern Minnehaha County and 12 inches in northern Minnehaha County. We will be at the mercy of the storms path which may change slightly and greatly alter totals.
The rest of the state will see snow and blowing snow through the day Sunday totals will be around 6-12 inches for most of eastern and central South Dakota. There will also be a wide swath of snow totals from 10 to 15 inches (see the map below).
Not only will the snow be extrememly heavy but we will have significant blowing and drifting of snow as well. That blowing will create blizzard conditions across much of central and eastern KELOLAND on Sunday.
The snow will wrap up late Sunday night into early Monday with just lingering snow showers for Monday. The winds will also drop off rapidly on Monday.
Travel is absolutely not advised on Sunday… stay tuned to KELOLAND.com and KELOLAND-TV for the latest.
Yup, you guessed it, we're in the SE SD. And we're only about three miles east of the Minnehaha/McCook county border. The last I checked, we were in a Winter Weather Watch but that could easily change depending on what we get for snow vs. ice. The next 36 hours should be interesting. But I feel better already knowing my herd is snug. I need a few more blankets/sheets. I did put Brego in a blanket for the first time. I didn't catch it until now but he's starting to lose weight. He's the lowest on the pecking order (I think, it's hard to tell) so he doesn't get as much. I've started him on a grain mix so we'll see how that goes. He's already getting to have better ground manners in the few days I've messed with him. Being that he's a pasture pet, I haven't done much with him like I have some of the others. Guess it's time to start working on him again.
Keep your fingers crossed that the weatherman predicted this storm wrong. I'll try to get a picture of the herd wearing their blankies tomorrow.
Friday, February 18, 2011
I sometimes forget that we have a slab of concrete underneath all that snow. Luckily Mike was able to get the tractor out and push manure, snow, and ice into a pile to make my life (and the horses) easier!
I will try to get pictures of Sam and Rabbit. They've had their winter blankets on and I finally pulled them the other day so they could actually have some sunshine on their backs. Rabbit has gained a large amount of weight and I want to show the results.
Sam kept his weight up throughout the winter. I want to do show some pictures of when we first got him (in the spring), the spring last year after spending a full winter of him recovering from ulcers and a cold, and this spring! You'll have to tell me if he's looking ok. I see the horses every day so a slight weight loss is hard for me to notice.
My mind is still focused on the upcoming March sale. There's actually a horse sale this Saturday but I cant' bring myself to go. It's a "good ol' boy's club" type of sale where they hide the loose horses and only the kill buyer snatches those horses up. I need to grow strong and go. But when I do go, I want to go with money and trailer in tow.
Speaking of money, I'm on the verge of asking for everyone's help. I've got the estimated cost of what it would take to purchase, quarantine, and keep a rescue for one month. It's that stubborn part of me that can't seem to ask. We are less than a month away from the auction. I'm still doing some brainstorming and maybe this sale will end up being more of an educational example for some.
I am going to try and go to the Kramer sale March 5th to harden my heart, but not my soul. I want to scope out the prices and the kill buyers. It's a tiny auction but the horses still have the same fate.
But until then, I'm going to enjoy the next two days of warmer weather (33 and 41) and try to get a few things done outside before more snow/rain and colder temps roll in.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
With that said, I want to admit to everyone that I have a hard time asking for help. I've had this "trait" since I was very young. I do not want to inconvenience anyone. I do sometimes take for granted people's help (which is another flaw I'm working on).
But having a hard time asking for help when you rescue doesn't really work. I posted on Facebook a few very cheaply priced horses and I voiced my concern (I'm good at voicing my concern but bad with my follow through, yet another flaw). Someone asked "What do I need help with?"
Herein lies the problem. I don't know.
Well, that's only a little true. I would like help with a lot but then I would have to be a "big girl" and suck it up and ask for help! :-) Here's what I need help with: funding.
I need funds to pull horses from auctions and craigs list ads. I need funds to afford the proper care of these horses (this includes, vet bills, farrier bills, hay bills, grain bills, pasture bills, etc.). In a sense, I need sponsors for the current horses so that I can pull old horses from classifieds and auctions and give them the proper retirement they deserve. Once they are at Borderlands, I'll need these old horses sponsored.
I am joining up with Gentle Spirits and would like the opportunity to pull younger horses from auctions and use their adoption policies to home the horse. But I'll need funds to pull a horse from an auction or a classified ad.
Borderlands focuses more on older horses but I have a hard time guessing the ages of horses unless they are completely worn out. Here again, I need help. I need the moral support and possibly the horse knowledge of others at auctions and looking at horses from classified ads. I am gullible and take people at face value, which doesn't work often in the horse world.
It's the moral support that has gotten Borderlands as far as it has. But I need more moral support to step it up a notch and really do some good for the older horse (and horses in general). I have lots of ideas but no follow through. I need someone pushing me almost 100% of the time to properly motivate me to continue on even when things get though.
In a nutshell, the next time someone asks me "What do I need help with?", I guess I can respond with funds and moral support.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
My favorite quote of the piece: "One dollar, one time, one broken piece of our world fixed."
Friday, February 11, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
It makes me think about the upcoming horse sale in March where most of the loose horses will go to slaughter. I am currently brainstorming how to rescue at least one or two of these horses destined for a terrible fate. I was asked what it would take to sponsor a horse from an auction. That's part of my problem. I haven't done enough research yet to know for sure and I want to give a good answer, not just throw out numbers. I don't want this sanctuary to fail.
I need to do the research and fast but there doesn't seem to be any time. There's so many things to consider:
- What would be a typical pull price (to pull the horse from auction)? (from $5 - $250)
- What is the initial vet evaluation cost? ($100 but I'm only guessing)
- What is the initial farrier cost? ($30 basic trim)
- What does a month of quaranteen cost?
- What is the cost after the horse gets out of quaranteen?
- How long do you think the horse will be at the sanctuary before he/she gets adopted?
- Will there be training fees if it's an unbroke, rideable horse? ($550 for 30 days)
- What is the cost if he needs to be gelded? ($100)
- Will anyone be interested in a weanling/yearling, or a two year old?
So I would like to do what Project Sage is doing and raise money before going to auction to pull a specific number of horses. She's asking to raise $3,000 to pull five horses from New Holland on the President's Day New Holland Sale.
I would like to be able to raise a certain dollar amount before the March 12th auction but I don't know how much. If I could figure out a set amount and then fundraise/beg (although I'm not allowed since I'm not a non-profit), that would be the goal. But it's all so overwhelming.
All I know is that no horse should have to go to slaughter. We have a month and two days to plan for the March 12th sale. Send me your ideas, thoughts, suggestions. Even if WE could save one life, WE'll be making a difference.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
But tomorrow morning is going to come faster than I want. So I'll leave you with a few pics from early summer.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Looks like everyone is going in tonight. Come on Friday!!!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I've only attended the Mitchell sales twice but was fairly impressed by how they were run (although they did say "sold" for an old black mare that went to kill..so not totally impressed).
This will be a Catalog sale so the first part will be horses that people have spent time in trying to promote. After the Catalog sale is the Non-Catalog sale (similar to the open consignment sale we attended in December).
Then it's on to the loose horses. These horses have a slim chance of landing in a safe home. In most cases, by the end of these types of auctions there's only a handful of people still in the bleachers.
So with that said, lets start coming up with ideas on how to promote good horsemanship, retirement, and the final years of your horse. If someone is looking for a particular type/color/breed of horse, please let me know and I'll look. Otherwise, I am willing to take on another horse if someone/group of people are willing to sponsor that horse.
I'm unsure what will be at the auction since it's spring. In the fall, it's mostly weanlings, yearlings, and broodmares. But it's very hard to judge what will be standing in the pens in the spring. The thin, lame, blind horses are not allowed to run through auctions so it's a bit harder to judge exactly what will be in the back pens.
I can't even fathom what types of horses will be there. But the majority of the loose horses will be bought by traders or kill. It's not just the old and sick. Good saddle broke horses are bought by kill buyers right here in South Dakota. Good broodmares that could easily be turned into saddle horses are bought by kill buyers. It's not just the old and the sick. Kill buyers don't want those since they don't bring in as much money. They want the good, fat horses.
We have just over a month to prepare for the sale. What can we do to promote and educate people about the sale and slaughter in general. Is anyone willing to sponsor a horse to make sure that they are pulled from the auction and live out their life in safety.