Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Senior Tip Tuesday

I haven't been very good about doing the senior tip Tuesday fun. I need to dig out the "new" computer and get it going. Too much to do and no time to get it all done. Anyone want to set up my computer?

Anyway, even though it's not really a senior tip, here's a fun fact for Tuesday:

Horse to Human Age Comparison

Horse Age
Life Stage
Human Age
Life Stage
Foal, Weanling, Yearling
Infant, Baby, Toddler, Preschooler
Young Adult
Physical Maturity
Middle Aged
Middle Aged
Extreme Old Age

Counting Pennies

It's been a quiet past few days. Nothing really to report other than playing musical pens so that I don't have to throw what little precious hay I have left.

I'm writing the check for last year's hay and now I'm brainstorming ways to make money to pay for this year's hay. Yes, it's a mixed up deal, I know. I have a fundraiser idea and I'm going to start working out the details soon. Most nights I'm too exhausted to get much done. The paying job has my brain frazzled by the end of the day, so when I sit down with the kids to get them to fall asleep, I'm usually the one that goes first.

Bo was finally up from the pasture last night so I grained him and his cohorts. But they were taking too long and I needed to get in and do some skirtwork in the house. So I left them to enjoy their grain in peace. I almost forgot about them. We bought a camper when we knew we'd be doing the bathroom remodel and it sits right in front of the house, blocking my view of the barn and pens. I always leave the light on in the barn to remind myself but with the camper in the way, I really DO have to keep reminding myself. I almost forgot!

Junior and Lace are doing well at their fall resort and are putting on weight. Junior will never look like he's fat and will always show ribs but that's just him... and no matter how much grain I pump into him, he'll always look trim. Lace is putting on weight too. I really do want fat horses going into winter.

I think Bo, Junior, and Lace are going to be the ones I worry about this winter. Everyone else is fat, fat, fat (just the way I like it). I am enjoying yet another year of not having to stress over euthanizing anyone. It's been a relief these past couple of years.

I'm still stressing over trying to get everything done. I wanted to paint at least one of the outbuildings, but we are supposed to get rain each day over Labor Day Weekend, so yet another project might end up being put on hold until next year. We already look dumpy . I wish we didn't have to worry about maintenance and I could focus all my time and attention directly on the horses and worrying about where their next meal will be to keep them fat and sassy.

If you don't see me around much, we are here. I'm just stressing and counting pennies to make ends meet.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is to almost a year ago. This Saturday marks one year from when our daughter was born. Time really does fly. Much less drama from when the first child was born but time seems to be flying even faster. I remember in the evenings when Mike would get home, I'd need to get out and get some fresh air and check on the horses. Always the sun would be making shadows on the land. I wish I would have had more time to take pictures (as I wish I had more time to take pictures now). Fall is my favorite time of year, I just wish I could pack up and move instead of endure a long winter (which I think we'll be heading in to...and I'm not prepared).

Dude and Ivan

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday. We wish for horse shoes. We have a few projects up our sleeves we'd like to do but it would be much more cost effective if we had used shoes instead of brand new.

Brego from last year (he's actually fatter this summer)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Terrible Transport Experience

Wow... I am glad I've never had to ship my horses. My first horse was personally delivered to me but had to take the long trek from Colorado to South Dakota.


Fall Resort

Lace and Junior

I hauled Lace and Junior up to Madison so they could enjoy their "fall resort" before the grass died out. I need to get a few  more pounds on Junior before winter sets in (and Lace could do with a few more pounds too). Last year Junior did well here (he doesn't get fat but I don't want him ribby going into winter).

I had to make the haul pretty quick. It'd had been a busy weekend. Friday night Zeke and I had our last drill team practice and I came home to find out our dog was dying right in front of me. I'll have to blog about that an other time. I deal with death and it's part of what I deal with but this was tough. Saturday Zeke had his final drill team performance (he's enjoying retirement).  And Sunday evening I hauled Lace and Junior up to Madison to enjoy a fairly fresh pasture.

Last night I moved corral panels around so the ponies could eat in a different part of the lawn. It's not big enough and they already ate it down. I'd mowed it because I wasn't figuring on putting ponies there. But it's not a big enough area so I expect I'll have to move them in another day. It takes an hour to move corral panels. The next place on the lawn will be bigger. I'm moving them around to burn down the lawn so hopefully it'll come back next year nice. We'll see.

I'm also completely out of hay (except for the small squares that were donated). If it wasn't for those, I'd be out. So I don't want to be feeding ponies hay when there's grass to eat. I need to move Rabbit and Mayhem but need to do some additional fencing before I  move them to the other pasture. Rabbit won't get out but Mayhem might. I still can't figure out where they got out so I'm going to run a couple additional strands and electric (hopefully). But that all takes time and I'm not sure when I'll get it done. So I'll be diving in to that small pile of donated hay which doesn't make me happy. I wanted to save that for this winter when I'm in a pinch.

The last few days have been a bit stressful. I'll blog more if I can find time. The paying job is keeping me hopping, and the kids are keeping me preoccupied. So that doesn't leave much time at night to do anything but skirtwork and crash at the end of the day. The days are getting shorter, making it tough for me to get my chores done in the daylight. I guess I better get used to it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Happy Friday

Set Life to Music

I just finished watching season 8 of Heartland. Yes, I am a Heartland fan. For those that don't know what Heartland is, it's a Canadian based family tv show that focuses on family issues and horses. One word, AWESOME. :-) Love the show. My only wish is that they would show it here in the States rather than make us wait.

Anyway, as I was watching, I wondered how much more interesting my life would seem if it was put to music. Any tv show or movie has music (well, most anyway). Whoever the composer and musical expertise is for Heartland should be commended.

But I still wonder how much  more interesting my life would be if I set it to music. I don't necessarily think I do many outstanding activities but even day-to-day stuff could have music.

I know, this is totally unrelated to horses but it just made me wonder. How much more thrilling would life at the Sanctuary be if it was set to music? Would be we get more followers? Would we have more sponsors? Maybe we need to have a "reality" tv show ... Life on the Sanctuary. But I'm guessing reality tv doesn't have music, just drama. And I'm tired of drama. The only drama I want to deal with is which tv program should I watch.

So, think about it....what type of music would you have if you could set your life to music?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to late last summer/early fall.  I'm not ready for fall yet. Oh for lush green pastures once again.

Ivan, Brego, and Dude

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August Newsletter


Totally unrelated to horses but had to do the "parent thing" and show off my kids (two-legged that is)...sorry, can't help it. love these two more than words can express. August is a very stressful time for many but it's also a super fun time because both kids were born in August.


I'm feeling my age. My son turned 4 last Friday and my daughter is going to turn 1 at the end of the month. How can that be? It was just yesterday that I was a kid. Maybe once you have kids, you realize how fleeting time really is? Anyway, if I don't post much, I'm around just trying to figure out how to get everything accomplished.

From last year when he first went to preschool

11 month pictures

Time is My Enemy

I'm struggling. In fact, panic is starting to set in. There's just so much that has to get done before the snow flies. And now the Old Farmer's Almanac (I think that's the one), is calling for a cold winter. I cant' remember if that included more than average snow or just super cold.

But I can feel the nip in the air when I'm doing chores. It should be hot, hot, hot. But it's downright chilly some mornings (and evenings). The seasons seem to be getting messed up. Earlier springs, earlier falls. I'm not ready for it.

There's so much that has to be done. So, so very much! I could really use the help.

I'm struggling to find the time to get everything done. By the time I get home from the paying job, take care of the kids, and do my chores, there's no time for house work, horse work, or paperwork. I really need to buckle down and get focused on a few things and I can't seem to get there. I have a fundraiser idea that I'd like to do but need some help with that.

I need to get blankets washed, repaired, waterproofed, and inventoried before the first snow flies. I expect the horses will be wearing blankets more this winter. Jim destroyed his blanket last year and there's others that tweaked their blankets so its' not as easy to work with this year. I need to get those tweaks fixed if we are going to have a long winter and blankets need to go on. Each year the horses get a little older and a little stiffer in the winter so they need that little bit of extra lovin' to get them through the cold South Dakota nights.

The weekends have been packed with family activities so there hasnt' been much time to get anything else done around the Sanctuary.

I'm also super stressed about hay this year. We are switching hay guys because he'd never give us a price. So now I'm stuck paying for last year's hay this year because he wanted to see what the going price was. Little did I know he was going to stick us with too expensive hay prices. We have a new hay supplier and he's not going to pull the same stunt but that means we need to come up with two years worth of hay right now. I haven't done any fundraising to help offset the price of hay and I've missed the deadline for every grant that I've looked at. We need funds for hay and if that means fundraising, I'll do it but need help with a few fundraisers that will at least help take a small bite out of the hay money that I need to come up with.

The mare pasture is pretty much done. I'm throwing hay morning and night but I need to get out and walk the fenceline in the other pasture. The other pasture Junior managed to get out. I don't want to put Mayhem or Lace in that pasture until I can figure out where they are getting out. I walked the fenceline before and never saw a break so I don't know what's going on. I  may have to electrify it but that is a challenge all on it's own. :-)

I basically  need, money, time, and volunteers (but then again, every rescue needs that!) 

Yesterday we had to run in to town to do some shopping (daughter is almost one and we didn't have any birthday presents!) As we were driving, I noticed that a group of trees/bushes were already starting to turn. Although I do remember that same group of trees/bushes turning the beautiful fall colors early last year...not sure why I remember that in my pregnant fog.) I'm also struggling with the fact that it's been almost a year since my daughter was born. Time is flying by faster than I want it to.  When my son was born, the days didn't fly by as quickly (but I blame that on all the additional trauma that we went through medically).

So I guess I'm struggling with knowing winter is approaching, trying to pay for hay, squeeze in some fundraisers to help pay for the hay and see if the fundraisers would even work, get everything prepped for winter (at least blankets and the barn), and realizing that time is my enemy and that it is flying by faster than I can work.

If only I didn't need sleep (or money).

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday: We wish for paint brushes and scrapers. We need to get a couple of the out buildings painted (barn, tack room, hay barn). I lost all of the paint brushes we had and now I've misplaced the scraper as well. I think things grow legs and walk away some times.

The building in the background is the hay barn that leaks (and needs a new roof desperately). I got tired of looking at the doors that needed painting so I threw a coat of paint on them. The doors need work but then again, the entire building needs work. It's yet another one of the buildings that needs a good paint job.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday

It's been a bit crazy here lately so I'm behind.

So for our Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for volunteers so that I can get some help in not being AS far behind as I normally am.

We have lots of activities for volunteers...scraping/painting buildings, fixing fence, spraying/cutting down weeds, grooming horses (everyone has wind knots all of a sudden), prepping for winter, cleaning and organizing the tack room, washing, repairing, and waterproofing blankets, etc.

Lots to do and little time to get it done.

Bo and his tormentor, Ivan

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Before we went on vacation I put the ponies into their normal "vacation" pasture. They didn't go in it last year but figured it would be a nice change for them this year. I should have avoided that pasture. We are being over run by cockle burs and thistles.

Now stop right there. Please don't tell me that I "just" needed to get out and spray or cut down all the weeds. This is more than a one day task. We have almost 30 acres and I can't hand spray everything or cut every weed down. It's not possible.

Quite frankly, I'm not getting any help with any maintenance on the place. None, nada, zilch. What little time I DO have to get stuff done around the place is focused on the horses and what little upkeep I can do. I see the weeds; they make me mad. I cut them down; they come back thicker.

So not really knowing how bad the cockleburs were in the pony pasture, I let them go anyway. It was bad. I opted to roach Tommy and Skippy. I know people will tell me that I'm a bad horse owner for roaching instead of pulling cockleburs. But I could spend hours pulling cockleburs (Which I don't have). And I could spend hours cutting down burdock (which I don't have). So please, for the love of god, don't criticize me for doing what's best for the horses. There's other methods, but with my limited time, this is the best I can do.

For those that disagree, I will welcome you openly to bring your weed spray, your weed whackers, your cutters, whatever it takes and go after the weeds. Or come out and pull cockleburs ever day. It's a daily task and one that I dont' always have time for. Yes, weed control is a horse owner's nightmare and yes, I need to do more in the battle of the weeds but for right now. I'm not even keeping my head above water so, just know that Tommy and Skippy are enjoying their new look. Think less Fabio and more an Olympic swimmer.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!!

And check back soon. Skippy has been traveling all over the place (and forgot to post all his adventures) We'll be getting back to the "Where's Skippy" game shortly!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Update on Mare

We just got back from our annual family vacation. We've been going on this trip for 30+ years and not much gets in the way of it. It was great to get away even if for just a few days. This past year has been super crazy busy and when I sit down to think of all that's happened in the past year, it's mind boggling.

But what I really wanted to post about today was the mare that we were asked to take in last month. We didn't get any specifics other than she was mid-twenties and was pasture sound only. I have to admit that I drug my feet on this request. I'm not exactly sure other than funding is a huge part of my stress lately. I need to make sure that our current horses are taken care of before I bring another horse in. I hate saying no to this horse owner because they have a tendency to dump their horses when it doesn't fit their needs any more, or there is a health issue that needs to be worked through. Unfortunately, the horse owner are blinded to what they are doing and thinking that they are "rescuing" horses from bad situations when in fact they are causing more harm and putting more strain on people in this area.

So I replied to the person and asked if there would be any potential funding coming with the horse and it was a resounding no. I guess I should have asked more questions. It turns out that this mare was a hard keeper and had neurological problems. Not the first time from this owner. Maybe coincidence. But the owner did right and put the horse down. 

But the fact remains we were asked to take this horse. Had we said yes, we would have been faced with trying to keep this older mare not knowing she was a hard keeper and yet knowing that there was something neurologically wrong. So we would have put money into her to try and put weight back on, only to have to put her down because there's no way a horse with a neurological disorder that can't stand or walk correctly can handle a South Dakota winter. Perhaps the neurological disorder wasn't bad but I'm thinking back to Joe and his neurological disorder that he had and that rendered him "pasture sound".  We would have gotten attached to this mare and had the heartache of making the decision and putting her down. We would have had to watch her struggle with a new routine, new horses, a new life.

I'm angry. Why am I the bad person for saying no and feeling guilty yet all the information wasn't provided. "Pasture sound" is WAY different than having a neurological disorder. When someone says pasture sound, you think lameness or back injury but not to the point of a neurological disorder (at least that's my thinking). I hope to god no one would ride a horse with a neurological disorder. But I sure as hell wouldn't say that they are pasture sound only. Sure they may be unsound but there's more going on.

Now is the time people are dumping horses and I can't do anything about it. I'm faced with too many bills and I need to be responsible. I have ideas for fundraisers and yet I can't do it alone. I stand in front of the horses and feel alone most days.

So I guess what I really wanted was to simply tell everyone that we did not bring the mare in to the Sanctuary. For the rest, I can only hope that I can take the horse owner's word as true.