Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Good Blog

An interesting blog post.

http://rtfitchauthor.com/2014/04/29/summit-focuses-on-ending-export-for-slaughter/

Rain and Rain


This weather just seems to keep getting crazier and crazier. We had one beautiful day, followed by three days of gale force winds, and now rain, turning into sleet and soon….snow. It’s the end of April. I think the spring storms are almost worse than winter storms. Winter storms mean that we’ll have the bad weather for a long time but the spring storms seem to be almost more violent and harder on the animals.

When I went out to pull Rain for drill team and throw a little hay to the mares, Rabbit was shivering. I hadn’t expected it to really rain. The weatherman had been wrong all weekend so I wasn’t expecting a lot of rain. The wind was still strong and the rain had soaked Rabbit so I threw a blanket on her. So much for being done with blanketing season.

I pulled the hard keepers into the barn for their daily grain. When the weather warmed up, I cut back on their grain ration. That was a mistake. The hard keepers started dropping weight really fast. Lesson learned. Until the hard keepers are on grass, do not change their grain ration even if the weather is nice.

Brego takes FOREVER to eat so I figured that I would let the hard keepers stay in the barn out of the wind and rain while I was at drill team practice. I’ll have to write about Rain in a little bit. I try not to brag up my horses but this time I have to.

When I got home, I decided that I better put blankets on a few. I was really hoping to be done with blanket season. But I’m sure glad that we have blankets to keep the harder keepers dry. I ended up only putting blankets on Rabbit, Rain, Brego, and Bo. Jim and Zeke probably should have had one on but they didn’t seem to really want to cooperate.

When I went to let them all out of the barn last night, I’d forgotten to close the stall door on Rain while I ran to the house for a minute. Luckily Rain was more interested in the little bit of hay left over. But they all went out but weren’t impressed with the weather.

This morning I looked at everyone to see who all was wet. Those that are drenched are the ones that get stuck out of the leanto. Bo was drenched so I was really glad that he had a blanket on. Dude and Chaos were a little wet but I didn’t see Zeke or Rain. Rain walked out and his blanket was completely dry. He must have been standing in the shed from the time he finished eating hay last night until this morning. He really HATES bad weather. The damp weather is really hard on him (as is the hot weather). It was nice to know that at least some of the horses had stayed out of the wet weather and were dry.

To the west and north, they are getting snow. I’m not sure I can deal with snow. We’ve had beautiful weather and the grass is really starting to grow The only upside is that it’ll be gone with 24 hours. But this weather makes life difficult for everyone. I feel bad for the horses. If it’s still bad today with wind, I’ll probably stall horses just to give them a break. I’m glad that I can give the horses the opportunity to get in out of the wind and that I can spoil them just a little. I feel so bad for those horses standing in a feedlot in the open. But I can’t worry about that right now. It’ll only upset me.

On a bright note, I try not to toot my horse’s horns but I have to for Rain. We’ve had Rain now for nine years. Hard to believe. Oh we’ve had our ups and downs and I debated my choice in making him a riding horse but last night proved that he’s a really good horse.  It’s taken Rain and I a number of years to be comfortable with each other but in the past year or so, after getting back into riding after pregnancy and major health issues, Rain and I are really meshing. I’m using him for one of the drill teams but I was worried that he’s not neck reined so there would be difficulty in holding a flag.  The last time I rode him was drill team practice. That’s about the only riding time I get. So I hopped on last night and started asking Rain to turn just using the reins. He actually responded. I have to admit that I’m not a good rider nor a good teacher so I put all of Rain’s abilities in his knowledge and understanding of what I’m trying to ask. So we worked on neck reining during the entire practice. We carry flags at one point and I didn’t think we could. But I figured there’s no time like the present. I wasn’t worried about Rain spooking. I was worried about the neck reining but after messing with him, I figured I’d give it a shot. Rain only spooked once when I brought the flag down next to his face and he wasn’t expecting it. I even waked his butt a couple of times with the pole (on accident) and he stood like nothing touched him.  I decided that I would see would he would do and took him through his paces. We even loped around the arena with the flag and he could care less. I was amazed. I’ve been flying high on that realization ever since. Now of course we’ll get to a performance and the loud speaker will start and he’ll freak out but that’s something else we’ll have to work on. But for now, we can do flags!!! It all goes to show that it just takes time and patience and you can do anything. Of course, trust is a HUGE factor.   Time, patience and trust. It’s a beautiful thing.


And because we need color on this blog, I thought I would post a few pictures from the crab apple tree from, oh my, four years ago. Sad that it's been that long but I don't have any other cheery pictures on this not so cheery day. Come on spring, I'm ready to see some color (although I'm happy to see green!)



Monday, April 28, 2014

You Call This Blustery?


We had a fairly quiet weekend at the Sanctuary. The wind was so fierce, it made it hard to be outside for much of the day.

Friday was absolutely gorgeous. No wind, beautiful sunny skies, and just an overall gorgeous day. We woke Saturday morning to 30mph wind and gusts of up to 40mph, making life miserable. I had to do some fancy footwork to get the hay in piles that wouldn’t blow away. I’m glad we don’t have any mud because it would have made feeding time that much more difficult. I am NOT a fan of gale force wind.

Saturday I went to the HorsePower Horse Show to perform with the drill team. I opted to head home and get stuff done instead of staying and playing. I think I would have had more fun playing. It was too windy to do too much outside so I ended up doing a bunch of skirt work instead. Although, when I came home and parked the truck and trailer, I had a few moments of questioning.

The windmill is broken. It’s been mostly broken since we moved in. But over the past few weeks, the gear box that makes the windmill actually turn, broke and fell. It’s now resting on the wooden platform. I’d take a picture but I’m too lazy to wander out. The tail of the windmill is also jammed into the wooden platform. But with the wind from the east, I was worried that it would finally make it’s final decent and crash into the truck, either totaling the truck or causing a couple thousand dollars of damage. So instead, I pulled the truck a little farther to the south. I debated on doing that as well. We have two hog barns. One which we converted into the hay barn and then another hog barn that doesn’t have a hay loft. We would tear it down but it’s a good wind block so it stays. The previous owner put tin on the roof. And for the past year or so, small pieces of tin have been flying off. Well, with the winds we had yesterday, the rest of the tin decided to make a rapid decent. I was in the haybarn with a barn door open (actually it blew open and I hadn’t had time to close it yet). I was messing around with Bo and I heard a terrible CRASH! I didn’t hear the scraping noise of tin on metal or glass breaking so I thought maybe I was in the clear. I peeked out the door and saw that the tin had missed the truck by only a few feet. I thought I was safe from any more tin falling after that. But when I went in to do the skirtwork and Mike went out to play in the wind, he heard more of the same CRASHING and saw the tin fly off the roof and just miss the truck. We opted to move the truck (which I should have done immediately).  Of course, the windmill never moved an inch. That’ll teach me.

Because we had such terrible winds, instead of throwing hay from the big squares, I opted to pull the small squares out and feed that hay instead. The horses weren’t as pleased with me but they got over it in a hurry. The weatherman had called for a slight chance of severe storms, with a potential for hail. I decided I would pull Rabbit and Mayhem into their stalls so they could get a break from the wind. I also figured when it started raining and with the wind, that they might appreciate a bit of cozy stall time. Because of the chance for hail and rain, we opted to put the tractor and manure spreader away as well. Mike has been working on the manure spreader to get it ready for hopefully this coming weekend.

Of course, the weatherman is just jumpy because it’s the beginning of severe storm season. I’m going to have to be a bit more patient with the weatherman and his constant calling for potential hail. We didn’t get a drop of rain Saturday night, nor Sunday.

We were supposed to go on a trail ride Sunday but the wind was too fierce. I knew it wasn’t going to be any fun for either me or the horses so I opted to keep them at home where they could get out of the wind.  Instead we had family time in Madison (much needed and appreciated).  We still had gale force winds Sunday evening so out went the small squares instead of fighting the big squares and losing half the hay either in my clothes or into the next county.

I was so hoping that the wind would die down and we’d have another beautiful day like Friday. Nope, more wind. The wind out of the east hasn’t let up since Saturday morning.  At least there’s no snow with it. Although there is snow in the western part of the state and predicted slush in the northern part. We are only supposed to get rain. When I went to do chores this morning, I thought I felt a sprinkle but figured it was my imagination. Twenty minutes later when I left for the paying job, the skies had darkened and it was sprinkling/misting.  Looking at the weather forecast, it looks like we are supposed to get rain for the next three days.  The weatherman also mentioned that we’d get 2-3 inches of rain over the next five days. I’m afraid the next few days are going to be trying.

Unfortunately, I have a lot of work to do before this coming weekend. We had someone graciously donate 60 small squares of hay. We were going to pick them up on Saturday but I had to go to the HorsePower Horse Show. So we made arrangements to pick the hay up this coming Saturday. I need to clean out the hay barn (I pulled Bo and Ivan in on Saturday to groom and they made a mess). So now I need to do some major cleaning. I’m also trying to do a bit of extra cleaning and keep up with my mess so we don’t have as many eye sores. We have a trailer full of junk that needs to go to the dump. I’m trying to figure out how to make it to the dump this week so that we can use the trailer again this weekend for another junk dump run. I guess we’ll have to see how things go.

I know there’s more going on and I’m sure to remember in a bit but the past few days have been a bit of a blur. I’m guessing the next few days are going to be an even bigger blur. Hopefully I’ll have more horse posts instead of weather posts in the very near future.

The grass is starting to grow and I’m getting anxious to get the horses out on the lawn to adjust to grass. I know they are all itching to get out on some grass. I pulled Bo out for a little bit on Saturday to eat grass and then decided to pull Brego out and put up a couple corral panels by the hay barn so he could eat the grass that’s coming up along the building. He did a pretty good job of trimming up the grass. My theory is that I’m trying to keep the place looking a little less dumpy. Not sure I’m succeeding.

Brego, Bo, and Rain have also lost a bit of weight so I’m anxious for them to get on grass. I thought with the warmer weather that I could cut back on their grain ration. I guess not.

I’m sure there’s more to write about but I’m drawing a blank all of a sudden. Here’s to hoping that the wind will die down and I won’t have to do some major work to keep the hay in THIS county, rather than three counties from here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gale Force Winds vs Soaker Rain

It felt like we had gale force winds all day yesterday, or at least while I was throwing hay. I woke yesterday to lightening and thunder and decided I'd hit snooze one extra time. No sense in going out to do chores in the rain. I did manage to luck out and avoided chores in the rain Wednesday morning but it was windy and cold. The horses were not pleased with the weather.

This morning, we had more rain but it was a beautiful, straight down rain that just soaks into the ground. No wind so the morning was beautiful. The weatherman is already talking about drought so having this bit of rain soak into the ground is a blessing. I'm very worried that we'll go into another drought. I'm afraid if we have another drought, that'll be the end of us. There's just so much more we need to do when there's a drought. And with a drought, comes more horses needing rehoming. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there will be enough rain to ward off any chances of another drought.

This morning I knew the horses were not happy with the rain. I even heard Rabbit call out, which she doesn't normally do until she sees me. I figured I'd better hurry and throw out a little bit extra hay just because. If Rabbit whinnies, you know she's not happy. She'll nicker, which I absolutely love but if she's whinnying, you know she's upset.

The yard light is still on the fritz but at least it worked this morning so I wasn't doing chores in the dark and rain. Hopefully the electric company will come out soon and get it serviced. I hate doing chores in the dark.

It's been fairly quiet at the Sanctuary as of late (knock on wood). I know we need to be gearing up for the next fundraiser, but I'm struggling to get through the day-to-day activities. Hopefully after this crappy weather passes this weekend, we'll have nice weather and I'll get motivated to tackle some major projects around the Sanctuary. Anyone want to come and help?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Horse Soccer and Maverick

Last night Maverick and I tried our hand at horse soccer. Least to say, Maverick (always the curious one) thought the gigantic soccer ball was a horse eating monster. So, we didn't really get to play. I got off once to let him investigate the ball but that's as close as we got.  I'm a little disappointed that he wasn't all crazy about it but I should have guessed. He's gotten to be a bit of a chicken.

I realized that I put him on the backburner for the past two years and haven't really done anything with him. I know some people would groan at my lack of consistency with Maverick. And they would be even more upset that I pulled him out of the pen, threw a saddle on, did two seconds with of round pen work, and then hopped on. Except, the minute I throw a saddle on and swing my leg over, he's pretty quiet. In fact, he's so quiet that I can't get him to do anything more than a trot. My own doing though. The trainer knew I was scared of him so he put the absolute slowest cue on Maverick he could get. I guess Maverick will make a perfect trail horse. He was content to follow along  behind the other horses even when the ball was in sight. But he didn't want to be the leader.

But if I recall correctly, Rain was the same way. We've ridden enough these past few years that now Rain is my go-to trail riding buddy (when it's not so blazing hot out) and he'll lead the group! He apparently has a lot of confidence as long as there's someone behind him. I just need to spend the same amount of time with Maverick and get him to the same spot.

I don't know why I get nervous about riding Maverick. After I rode him yesterday, I realized I really do LOVE riding him. I can't wait for trail riding season so I can pull Maverick out and hit the trails. I guess it's because there's not a lot of time between the two of us so there's no established bond. He knows his training and I know how to stay out of his space but there's no bond. I guess we'll work on it. I know he'll enjoy more activities once we have that bond. But it's nice to finally get out and ride a rescue horse to represent.

Now, to find a horse that DOES like horse soccer!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Super Crazy Busy

We've been crazy busy with non Sanctuary activities over the past few days. I hope everyone had a great Easter. Hard to believe that Easter has already come and gone. Although, this time of year reminds me of April 2011 when we attended the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock Horse Sale and brought home Savanna and Sahara (and unbeknownst to us, Sir Prize, aka Jett). It was the last weekend in April and Easter to boot that we brought home the trio. So much has happened in such a short period of time. But I digress.

Thursday  night I decided that I would take Bo along with to drill team practice. I wanted to see how he would react to being hauled and possibly ridden in an indoor arena. He's such a champ. Although he did whinny when we were all standing still. But when we were riding, he kept an eye on Zeke and just watched. I think Bo may either want a job or want to participate in drill team. :-) He's such a trooper. Now to just get him over his bridling/headshy issue and reassure him that when we load into the trailer, that he'll always, ALWAYS come home! We will get there. It'll just take time. We also need to figure out how to bulk him up. Looking at him from a different view and a different eye, he's still too thin. He's going to stress me out worrying about how to gain weight on him.

Friday ended up being drill team practice with the other team. I contemplated taking Maverick but chickened out. I'll be using Maverick tonight to see what he's like playing "horse soccer". It should be interesting. But Maverick desperately needs a job. He is B.O.R.E.D.

Last week we were also contacted to see if we wanted some free hay. Why of course we do! We need to make arrangements to go pick it up. Our substitute road maintenance guy stopped out this past weekend and dropped off a small square bale. It's so nice to go out to do chores and have hay mysteriously appear. I know who it is so it just makes me giggle a little.

But I WASN'T giggling come Friday night. Our useless yard light quit AGAIN! It didn't quit exactly but it turns on for 1 minute and then goes out for 2 minutes. It's rather frustrating because I'm out in the DARK and not having a yard light this time of year is dangerous. Not only do I have crabby horses that want their food and are starting to feel frisky now that it's warm out, we also have varmints starting to come out. Luckily the only varmints we have right now are raccoons and they stay hidden away in the grain bin. They refuse to come out and I only know that they are there because when I walk by in the  morning and night I can hear them scurrying around. Creeps me out but nothing I can really do until they venture out. But I've had to deal with doing chores in the dark three nights in a row. This morning was just as irritating having the yard light go off while I'm out doing chores in the dark. Mornings are still dark. I'm very displeased with Sioux Valley Electric. We were forced into renting the yard light and this is the second time in as many months that we've had to deal with this ^@#$%@$%^!*$%^ yard light. Least to say, I'm not happy.

On the bright side, we scored a tractor. We already own a tractor but it can't do as much as we need it to do. The Massey just isn't up to all the hard work we need it to do. We found a tractor that will be able to life and move bales (or at least has the capacity to do it). We still need to buy a bale spear but we at least will now have a tractor that can lift a round bale. So instead of it taking us two hours to push in two round bales, it'll take us 20 minutes. I'm excited! And it'll be set up so that we can use it to scoop manure.

We are now starting to gear up to do some manure hauling. The only problem is, the new tractor isn't at our place yet, the Massey still needs a little bit of work, and the manure spreader (because it has a flat bottom), is completely full of other stuff. So now we need to find a new storage location for the stuff that the manure spreader is holding so we can actually use it. I'm looking forward to "waste management". It's been YEARS since we were able to do some serious cleaning. It's been at least three if not four years. I need to go back through the blog to see when. It was our first and only attempt at spreading manure but we are in desperate need to get rid of our current piles. Now that we won't have to ask to use someone else's tractor, I'm itching to do some serious "spring cleaning"

I'm also finally tackling the stalls. I have some serious work ahead of me to get everything back in order.  But the days are getting longer and we are able to get our son to go down for bed earlier in the night (and we won't fall asleep). So hopefully we can start getting our projects done in the evenings. We just have to make sure that we don't burn ourselves out. I swear I'm burning the candle at both ends. But I guess that'll be what it is for the summer and we can sleep and relax all winter!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Crazy Weather and Cabin Fever

I would say it's been a weird week in weather but not really. It's a typical spring in South Dakota.

Tuesday morning we woke to record lows. The horses were not impressed by this cold snap now that they are adjusting to the warmer temperatures. Wednesday we woke to much warmer weather in the morning. I would swear it was at least 10 degrees warmer when I went out to do chores in the  morning. But throughout the day, the temperatures dropped. We started getting rain and I could have kicked myself for not blanketing some of the horses. By the time I was able to leave the paying job, we were dealing with some serious snow (and wind). Least to say, I was not impressed. The horses weren't impressed with the weather either.

We were just starting to see some green and now all we see is white. But it'll all be gone by this afternoon I hope. I ended up putting a blanket on Rabbit. She got chilled so I figured she'd be happier over night with her warm blanket instead. She doesn't seem to complain too much when I put a blanket on (at least not last night).

This morning was a bit chilly. The slushy snow from last night was stiff. I'm guessing it'll take until late morning before it starts to melt away. Now we'll be dealing with a muddy mess. I won't complain though. We are starting to go into a drought again. I'd rather have a bit of mud and mess now and avoid another drought.

I think I'm finally recovered from the fundraiser on Saturday. Now we are on to planning the next fundraiser. No rest for the weary or is it wicked? The weather is supposed to improve over the weekend so I'm hoping to sneak out for a little while and ride.

I think the horses are even starting to get bored being cooped up in the drylot. I think a bit of exercise would do them all a bit of good. So hopefully the weather will improve and I can start taking each one of them out for a little stroll (at a minimum). I think Maverick and Ivan really need a bit of work. Those two are really starting to get naughty. Ivan, who doesn't take but three steps if he doesn't have to, was running around like a crazy horse last night. So I'm guessing he's starting to get a bit of cabin fever. We'll have to figure out a way to put him to work and get his mind and body in shape! Look out boys, I'm going to put you to work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Horse of the Month - Ivan

I'm finally getting to the horse of the month. How to sum up Ivan in one word....goofy. I'm not sure if it's a thoroughbred thing or if it's an Ivan thing. But he's just goofy. If I were to sum Ivan up in two words, it would be goofy and S.L.O.W. When everyone else is galloping, Ivan is trotting. When everyone else is trotting, Ivan is walking. When everyone else is moseying around, Ivan is standing still. I think Ivan's past time is to just chill.
 
Although Ivan IS a bully when it comes to pushing Bo around, much to my dismay. I can see a glint in his eyes when it's feeding time and he knows he can push Bo around (don't worry I put out multiple piles so no one goes without).
 
 


We don't really know too much about Ivan's past. He came from somewhere in Iowa. We do know that he was never races. It's pretty obvious by is slow demeanor but there's no tattoo so he's never been raced.  I don't think Ivan would have the heart to do anything but be a pasture puff.  And that's exactly what Ivan is. He needs a refresher before we start hitting the trails. So for now, Ivan is enjoying the easy life.


Ivan is best friends with Brego. Where one goes, the other follows. Those to are inseparable, until they have a fight. Then it's very obvious that they had a disagreement because they aren't standing next to each other.  But usually something brings them back together and then they become "one" again. In fact, when it's feeding time and I let Brego in to the barn for his evening grain (Ivan stays out), Ivan seems almost lost without Brego.


Ivan is such a joy to have at the Sanctuary. We are truly blessed to have him in our herd. I am hoping this summer that we'll have the money to send him to a trainer for a quick refresher so he can start hitting the trails. I'm not sure Ivan would appreciate the extra work.


Ivan reminds me a lot of my very first horse, Tiny Dictator. Dictator was a quarter horse with a thoroughbred build. The only difference is that Ivan is all black/brown and only has a small patch of white on his right hind foot. You can barely see the small patch of white if you just glance at him. Some days I'll look out into the pasture and mistake Ivan for Dictator. It's nice to know that Ivan is in our pasture, happy and fat.


These last three pictures are from when we were considering bringing Ivan into the Sanctuary. He changes colors based on the time of year. Right now, he's sporting a fuzzy coat that shows off his black legs. His black leg markings come and go throughout the seasons. I'm so very glad to have Ivan at the Sanctuary.

 
If you would like to sponsor Ivan, please let us know. Ivan is an easy keeper and doesn't require any supplements (one of few at the Sanctuary!)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Easter Fundraiser - Today - April 12th

It's 1AM and in just 12 hours, our Easter Fundraiser will be underway. I should be asleep but I spent the last couple of hours baking and watching Dreamer. I'm excited and nervous. Even though it's supposed to be gorgeous out, stop on out, even for just a little while. You don't have to be present to make the winning bid on an Easter basket.

Easter Fundraiser
April 12th
1-4pm
Celebration United Methodist Church
Brandon, SD

We have lots of activities for kids and lots of amazing Easter baskets for the kids AND adults!
Wish us luck.
Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

More Fundraiser Baskets Coming In!

We have more and more baskets and other silent auction items coming in each day! I can't wait to see what Saturday brings us! I'll have to take some pictures tonight and tomorrow night and upload them so you can get a sneak peak and some of the goodies that will be up for silent auction and for sale! There are some AMAZING items... actually ALL of the items are AMAZING! So much thought and time put into each item.

I'm getting excited. Hope to see you all there! 1pm Celebration United Methodist Church in Brandon, SD this SATURDAY!! April 12th!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Another Good Post

Here's a good post. I have the same belief as the author of this blog. But to a different extend, some of the horses at the Sanctuary haven't been with us for years. But I do still believe that it's time that SOMEONE give back/pay back all their hard work. And that's why we have the Sanctuary.


http://equestrianink.blogspot.com/2014/04/payback-time.html

EVH-1 in SD

It appears EVH-1 is now in South Dakota....

Here's a bit more reading from our local news:

SD Veterinarian Prepares Horse Owners For Virus

April 9, 2014, 5:04 AM 
PIERRE, SD - 
The South Dakota state veterinarian is urging horse owners to vaccinate the animals and take other measures to prevent the spread of a virus.

Equine herpesvirus has been found in South Dakota. It takes three forms. A potentially deadly, neurological version of the virus has limited treatments available.

A respiratory version of the virus causes fever and coughing. And a reproductive version can cause a mare to miscarry.

Vaccines are available for the respiratory and reproductive viruses.

Horse owners are encouraged to isolate the animals before adding or returning them to a herd. The state also advised horse owners to regularly sterilize items used to feed and water horses.

The virus spreads through close contact.

It has no effect on other livestock or humans.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Bo Update

We are busy with getting the fundraiser together. I spent a good portion of last night working a presentation so everyone can watch pictures of the Sanctuary horses. I still need to tweak it but it'll be something to watch for those that want to see what all the hubbub is about.

On Sunday, I was itching to get out and mess with the horses. I didn't get a chance to enjoy the weather but did sneak out in the evening. I've been itching to work with Bo and decided that Sunday was a perfect time.

Bo arrived at the Sanctuary in March 2011. He was so thin that we opted to give him a full year before even evaluating him under saddle.

In March 2012, Stacy A. came out to help evaluate Bo. There's some saddling and bridling issues that we discovered will need to be worked with but while riding, Bo was a dream. I did ride him once but at the time I was pregnant and didn't want to risk getting hurt.

In March 2013, Bo came up lame with no determined diagnosis for what it was. We had the vet out to test him for West Nile and EPM but those both came up negative. So we left Bo in a small pen to stand on soft dirt and keep as calm as possible. With all the health problems with me, Mike, and our son, we opted to give Bo another year off. Bo also had a few other health problems and lost a bit of weight during all of this. So more time off for Bo.

And now we are in April 2014 and decided it's time to start working Bo. What can I say but AWESOME! Bo is SUCH a nice horse to ride. He has different speeds of lope. I didn't ride him much because I needed to get to chores but was dying to see what he was like. He remembers EVERYTHING. He's still headshy and hard to bridle and gets anxious when tied and being saddled but all of that can be fixed with time and patience. Once he learns that there's no abuse, maybe he'll settle down. But under saddle, he's a horse most people covet. He truly is a diamond in the rough.

I am so blessed to have him at the Sanctuary. I can't wait to start riding him and showing him off. I want everyone to hear his story! It's not quiet a rags to riches type of story but it's a rags to middle class type of story perhaps.

If you don't see another post, it's because we are frantically working on the upcoming fundraiser. Donated Easter baskets are starting to come in, along with baked goods, and other items for sale. It looks like we'll have a wide variety of items on the silent auction and to purchase. Don't forget, all proceeds will go to caring for the horses. Every last penny counts!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Friday, April 4, 2014

Good Post

Wow is all I have to say...

http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2014/04/04/orphaned-young-ridden-hard-a-change-of-fate/

Missed the Storm

Looks like we missed almost all of the storm that blew through. We only got a dusting of snow, and when I say dusting, I mean the only snow that's still around is what caught along the edge of the road and driveway. We missed out on most of the freezing rain as well. I wouldn't have minded a bit more moisture but glad we didn't get the brunt of the storm.

I was a bit worried that we would get the 8+ inches of snow yesterday. Only because I was down with some stomach bug. But like any rescue, when it's feeding time, you go out and care for the horses no matter what. Luckily by feeding time I was over most of the bug.

Hopefully this weekend we can continue to put the final preparations for our upcoming fundraiser. I would be nervous but I'm at such a state of chaos I'm not sure where or what to be freaking out about. We have exactly one week and one day before the big fundraiser. Unfortunately, I'm seeing a lot of activities planned for the same day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get a really good turnout. As far as I know, right now we have eight Easter baskets that will be auctioned off, along with a bunch of other items up for sale.

I'm sure as the day gets closer, I'll be in "go" mode frantically trying to get the finishing touches done on everything. Unfortunately I'm a Type A person and want everything to be perfect.

The horses will be happy when the fundraiser is over. I've put all my attention in to getting ready and I think some of them would prefer a good grooming rather than a quick pat and a hello. I'm really itching to get Bo under saddle. We did try him out awhile ago....a very long while ago. So I'm curious to see what he remembers. He knows a lot more than I do I bet!

I guess I'm just ready for better weather to get here. Spring always brings volatile weather, which is almost worse than a winter storm because it's so unpredictable. At least the spring storms don't last for very long but they do cause such havoc on everything. I'm ready to start tackling some major projects that we've had to put off for the past couple of years. I really want to start making our place look sharp, like it once was in its earlier years. I guess for now, I'll keep my attention on the fundraiser and just put one foot in front of the other to tackle all of the projects on my "to do" list.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Horse of the Month - Ivan

Sorry all, this is a reminder that it's April and time for another Horse of the  Month. I've chosen Ivan and will write more and post more pictures later. Come back soon to read all about Ivan!


Behind

Sounds like we are in for another storm tomorrow and Friday. I guess that's spring in South Dakota. I don't know about everyone else but I'm ready for some better weather. I've been terrible about watching the weather to see what type of storm is going to roll in. I used to pay such close attention.  Now I just hear rumors and wait until the last minute to find out what's going on.
 
I would say we are frantically working on the fundraiser but I can't seem to find the time to get more stuff done for the fundraiser either! I'm not sure where the days are going but apparently they aren't being very productive!
 
I'm so far behind, I'm digging pictures out of my archive just so that there's pictures to post. :-)  Here's Brego back in 2009 after an evening storm.
 

I'm sure to post more, especially once I get a chance to listen or read up about this upcoming storm. Right now the big herd is still enjoying their three round bales.  Everyone seems to be enjoying the 24x7 buffet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Good Post from Off Track Thoroughbreds

Another great read about a diamond in the rough....

http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2014/04/01/mare-who-showed-6-weeks-after-kill-pen-thrives/

Whirlwind Trip and Crazy Weather

This ol' girl is tired! The past few days have been a blur.  I'll try to recount everything but there was so much happening over the past four days, it's hard to remember it all. :-)

Earlier in the week, we'd made arrangements to pick up some grain and other items from a couple who had recently lost their elderly horse. Mike went on Friday with the trailer. I'll have to post a picture at some point. Thanks to Jim and Maxine W. for donating a large amount of grain, some straw, barrels for grain, and plastic barrels. This couple had an old horse who recently passed away. As Mike said, it was rather refreshing to talk to someone who's willing to go the extra mile. Their horse could only eat soaked senior feed, and that's what they did. They wanted to make sure the leftover supplies went to good use, and it certainly will!

Mike swung by Gentle Spirit's Horse Sanctuary and picked up two plastic barrels, courtesy of Travis B. We will be making hay feeders out of them if we can ever get a few free minutes.

Mike came home, unloaded the completely full trailer and worked on the truck. When I finally made it home, we pushed in three round bales thanks to Glen and Carol S. and Tom J. We had to go out of town for the weekend and wanted to make sure that the horses had enough hay so that Mom and Dad wouldn't have to do much for chores while we were gone. We pushed three bales into the big herd and got the mares and ponies' hay ready and organized so that Mom and Dad wouldn't have to wrestle with the hay. We topped out the water tanks (which took about 14 buckets of water to fill because I'd been running during the week and not keeping up with the water, and it was windy earlier in the week).

Saturday morning I threw hay out to the mares and ponies and we loaded up the truck and headed to see family in Iowa. Anyone with kids will understand that traveling with kids or even a toddler takes a lot longer than traveling without. The eight hour trip took more than ten hours so we were beat. Sunday we spent time with family. We woke up early Monday knowing that there was a blizzard on its way. We left knowing that bad weather was supposed to be rolling in and knew we needed to get home before the really bad weather hit.

We packed up the truck and trailer and were on the road, with a tired toddler in tow by 3:30am. We'd only driven a few hours and the rain started. I  missed the lightening show (I was snoozing!) Mike and I were both afraid that we were headed in to bad weather for the rest of the trip but after a two more hours, we drove out of the rain and in to sunny skies. We both looked at each other in wonder. So much for that blizzard! But as we continued to drive west, the wind continued to pick up. By the time we reached home and the Sanctuary, temps were in the 70s but the wind was pretty strong. After unloading the truck (we're waiting to unload the trailer for a little bit), the wind had picked up even more, which I didn't figure could be possible.

We puttered outside for awhile enjoying the sunny skies but trying to figure out if we really had bad weather on the way or if the weatherman had cried wolf. Nope, he didn't cry wolf. About two hours later, the wind picked up even more and the clouds started rolling in. I went out to do chores at 4pm and the temperatures had dropped dramatically. With the wind blowing as strongly as it was, I could have sworn there was a wind chill.

I decided I would pull Rabbit and Mayhem into their stalls and blanket Rabbit. The mares were happy to get in their stalls. The wind was strong but we hadn't gotten any rain or snow. I then pulled the hard keepers in to the barn for their grain and decided I wouldn't keep them in the barn because there was too much wind to try and get into their stalls and they had three round bales to work on. Instead, I blanketed everyone that I could. We have a few more blankets but they don't fit anyone. I guess we have much bigger horses than normal. :-)

By the time I was done doing chores, it was starting to have freezing rain. I was done with chores and inside before the really bad weather hit (and before it got dark). We had freezing rain for about and hour and then it switched to snow. Everyone could get out of the wind so I felt better but I still felt bad for not putting everyone in their stalls. But I figured they had free reign on three round bales. Zeke porked out and looks pregnant. Unfortunately Brego and Bo still look thinner than I want them to be.

I've decided I'm going to start calling Brego "Bob" because he's acting like Bob more and more these days. Brego takes forever to eat his grain. I'm not sure if it's the mixture of grain I have  or what. I ended up soaking his grain and that seemed to help. We floated his teeth so those shouldn't be bothering him but at this point, it's a crapshoot to know. If it keeps up, I'll have to take him back to the vet to find out what's going on with that boy.

When I woke this morning, we only had a dusting of snow. Luckily we missed the two to four inches of snow and most of the ice. We also missed the tornado warning that Brookings had. Crazy to have a tornado AND a blizzard in the same county! But it's not unheard of. It IS South Dakota!!

Tonight I have a drill team meeting so chores will have to be fast. We are supposed to be getting another round of bad weather on Thursday and Friday so I'll need to get ready for more snow and icky weather.

We have two weeks until the fundraiser and I'm starting to panic.  I've posted in a few areas but I know I'm not spreading the word as well as I would like. I guess we'll just have to see how it goes. I'm sure to be frantic these next two weeks. Add to the fundraiser panic, our normal routine, along with a few extra drill team practices and I'm going to be one worn out ol' girl.

Here's to April being a fast and exciting month of adventures!