Sunday, December 31, 2017

Trivia Answer 1

Trivia Question: Which horse has a bloody shoulder birth mark?

Trivia Answer: ZEKE


Happy New Year (Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018)

As I sit here with a few hours remaining of 2017, I reflect on the highs and lows that we experienced. 2017 was a roller coaster of emotions filled with much laughter, great sorrow, and many tears both sad and happy.

I am so very thankful for all the support we received this year, not just financially but also emotionally and morally. It is impossible for me to thank everyone for your generosity, kindness, and support.

For me, the Sanctuary has always been my life long goal, it is exactly what I knew I wanted to do when I was a small child. I've made the decision to sacrifice and make the Sanctuary my life. It's the choice I made years ago. What humbles me is the support I receive from all of you. The Sanctuary is not simply a home for old horses. It is my dream, my passion, my life. Your willingness to help humbles me and leaves me without words. I struggle to know how to say Thank You. Thank You seems as though it's not enough but it is what I can offer.

We experienced great sadness this year with the passing of Rabbit (and watching her struggles to know when the right time would be to say goodbye) and Ivan (with his sudden loss at such a young age). There is still great stress with knowing Bo is not far behind in leaving this world. His diagnosis of heart failure was (and still is) devastating. His diagnosis reminds us all that life is fragile and you should never take one day for granted.

We also saw great joy by meeting new followers and supporters. Without your support, we wouldn't have been able to sleep easy knowing we have a brand new automatic waterer or that the horses are snug in their stalls eating high quality hay during this cold snap. It is these blessings that I cherish the most because this support means the most, it's means comfort for our senior horses.

I mentioned that there were many tears both of sadness and of joy. The sadness was the loss of our Sanctuary residents but the tears of joy come from unexpected support. Just this month we received a generous donation from an anonymous donor and his or her generosity left me in tears.  Such generosity not only leaves me speechless but also humbled. I have been humbled many times this year and I am so very thankful.

I am looking forward to 2018. There is much planning that needs to be done and I am excited for the help in continuing to move forward. Moving forward means the potential for opening our doors to more deserving seniors that need a soft place to call home for their final days/years on earth. These senior horses are the reason we deal with 20 below temperatures with 40 below wind chills in the winter and why we deal with 100+ heat indexes in the summer and get carried away by mosquitoes. They are the reason we are here and they are the reason why we continue to stay here to try and make a difference even if it's only for a handful of horses.

Happy New Year!

Trivia Week

Did you know, January 4th is Trivia Day? To celebrate, we're going to have trivia week for an entire WEEK! It's a great way to learn about the Sanctuary on these cold days of winter.

If after Trivia Week is over, and you want to know more about the Sanctuary, just drop us a line at and we'll answer your questions the best we can.

We'll ask the trivia question first thing in the morning and give the answer at the end of the day. No need to make you wait in suspense for the answer. We'd love to see and hear your guesses!

Happy guessing!

Trivia Question 1

Trivia Question: Which horse has a bloody shoulder birth mark?

We'd love to hear your guess. Leave a comment on our blog, Facebook page (, or Twitter.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

No Time

Lots rambling around in my head but no time to write... so I'll share just a couple of pictures from this afternoon.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Picture Updates

Because I haven't posted recent pictures of the horses lately....

Bo coming in for his grain

Lightening was curious but Zeke could care less

Zeke, Lightening, and Dude in the background

Chaos, Brego, and Rain in his blanket

Bo found the hole in the haynet


Dude (his leg is cocked so that explains the funky hip)



Last night I went out to do chores (as I always do) but knew I was in for extra chores because of this upcoming storm. Originally the weatherman had predicted rain turning into snow, which meant wet and cold horses. Not good.

The wind was pretty fierce and I knew I'd have to leave Junior in his outside stall until we got back from church so I threw a blanket to ward against the wind chill. He's definitely changed since we first got him. He's gotten less accustomed to my movements and I'm not sure why. I wonder if he's going blind but I don't see any drastic changes in his eyes or even any spots. But the older he gets, the more unsure of anything I do. He's taken to spooking at the hose when I drag it through his pen to fill the water tank. And now he's taken to not liking his blanket or even having me come close with his blanket (or come close to him at all). He used to be a riding horse so he's used to people approaching him with a saddle pad and saddle. It's all very weird. As the years progress, he's more uncomfortable with anyone but horses approaching him. He's getting a bigger bubble as he gets older.

I also pulled in Bo, Jim, and Rain so that it would be easier to put hay in after we got back. Of course we didnt' get home until 9pm. There's nothing romantic about putting hay in late at night. Luckily most of the herd was out on the pasture, which is a good indication that the bales were done. What was left is mostly chaff and I'm disappointed that there's that much chaff to deal with. I am apparently a hay snob because all of our hay in years past never had any chaff and the horses would polish it completely.

I'm glad we put hay in last night instead of tonight. It's much colder today and there will be more snow. It's better to be pre-emptive and get things done before the bad weather hits (although it hasn't gotten bad and maybe it's not going to be bad this time around). But I'm definitely glad to see new bales sitting in the drylot for the horses.

They have figured out how to pull the hay nets off the bales and that drives me insane. So what used to take just a few minutes to get the nets on, takes twice as long because I have to secure the nets to the hay rings. I need to device a way to keep the hay nets on without having to spend a half an hour tying them to the ring.

I checked Bo out last night a little closer before putting his blanket on. He's doing much better. The cut on his leg is healing nicely. I really didn't think it would heal this fast or this nice, what with it being so deep and in such a bad spot. There was no way to stitch it so I figured it would never heal,  especially with Bo's heart failure.

But I'm wondering now about Bo. His heart rate was elevated because he was at the vet's. He's uncomfortable going anywhere and we've only taken him to a few different places over the years so even though he loads like a dream, he stays home most of the time. We like to keep the horses as calm as possible which means they don't actually leave the Sanctuary all that often. I really thought after we got home from the vet that Bo wouldn't be around much longer. But he's proved me wrong. I think with a calm environment, he'll do just fine.

The air pocket in his shoulder is also diminishing. It covered his entire right shoulder, started to creep up his neck and wrapped around his entire chest. I was worried but there was nothing we could do. The body is an amazing thing. Bo's air pocket is starting to diminish. There isn't nearly as much air in his shoulder. In fact, last night before I put his blanket on, I asked him to move and forgot and pushed his right shoulder. It crinkled. It was a little creepy but there was definitely less air. So investigated more and there is less air everywhere. Even in his chest, there is less air. There's still a big air pocket in his chest but that too will go away in time.

I figured with Bo in heart failure and then a deep leg cut and air pocket, that would be the end of him. But his body, even in heart failure is taking care of him. Now it's my turn to take care of Bo. We are keeping the ulcers at bay by feeding him Ramona feed. It's not easily accessible but we'll do what we can to keep him fed. It's a mix of oats, cracked corn and I believe soymeal. He's not gaining weight but he's also not losing weight. I also started adding in a scoop of senior to see if that would bother him but so far it hasn't.

I have been keeping a watchful eye on Brego. With Ivan gone, Brego is lost. Zeke on the other hand knows that Brego is depressed and has taken him  under his wing. I'm a little worried that it would cause Bo problems but I think everything is ok. So now it's the three amigos and Lightening will show up every once in a while. With Ivan now gone, there is less harassing for Bo. Ivan liked to torment Bo so that's at least one less worry... I guess.

Brego is doing well. He's still depressed but he's moving forward. Ivan wasn't the first best friend that he lost. He lost Sam a few years back but he wasn't nearly as attached as he was to Ivan. But now that he's friends with Zeke, hopefully he can adjust. I worry though because Zeke is 25 and how many more years will Zeke be around. Poor Brego will lose another best friend. But it's part of Sanctuary life.

But overall, everyone is healthy and happy. A few of the hard keepers are tucked in their blankets although I'm sure I overreacted. Now to deal with super cold temps. I guess that's what happens in winter. Just glad I had enough forethought to get everything done last night instead of tonight when it's so much colder.

Hello Official Start to Winter

Today is the official first day of winter. In South Dakota, winter normally comes much earlier. We've had storms barrel through as early as mid October so the phenomena that we are experiencing this year is unreal.

We've been experiencing beautiful weather, 30-40 degree weather. It's unheard of but it makes doing chores oh, so much easier. But today, on the first official day of winter, we are to get snow. And quite frankly, I'm exited for it. Not so that we'd have a white Christmas, but so that we'd have some moisture and protection for our pastures. If we would have had an extra couple of days, we could have possibly added some new seed to the pasture but that didn't happen. Maybe this spring.

Why do I care if we have snow for our pastures? I remember not too long ago a Christmas that was warm with no snow. It was a continued trend and with little rain. We ended up going into a severe drought. The only thing that saved us was our neighbor letting us use his pasture. We've since learned to divide the pasture but when you have an additional 20 acres to graze for a month, it makes a difference. So why am I worried? We don't have that neighbor any more so the grazing opportunity is gone. If we go into another drought, we will be dealing with a shortage of hay. I desperately want to buy hay from our hay guy. Had we known that the hay ground would get rain in the fall, we would have held off in buying unknown hay that isn't as high quality (it's good but I'm a hay snob).

So this weather leaves me to sit and stew. I worry. There's nothing I can do about it except plan. But to plan, we need to be prepared and I am not prepared for yet another year of no rain. So I am excited to see the snow even though it means a lot of extra work for me. However, I am not excited for the cold. I worry for the horses. Of course they've all lived through much colder spells. It's not even going to be that cold but I've been spoiled. I forgot what it was like to walk out the door and have your nose freeze instantly. It's all fun and games until someone's nose freezes.

I haven't been watching the weather as of late. I used to watch it like a hawk. But now, there's too many other things to worry about. The paying job has me so busy I don't have time to even think about the weather. We'll deal with whatever comes our way. I wish I was more prepared though. I'll be swamped with the paying job until the first of March. Mike's paying job is going to ramp up as well starting next month. It's going to make life/work/sanctuary balance a lot more difficult.  We'll manage but if you don't see us online as much, it's because we're swamped.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Bo Update and other Misc Stuff

I sound like a broken record these days. There's just so much to do and so little time to get it all done. I seem to be struggling as of late and not sure how to get everything accomplished. The paying job has me hopping and by the end of the day my brain is done in. I guess we'll see if I can pull through with a fully functioning brain after this. Two and a half months of high pressure coming my way. But enough of that.

The last few days have been so chaotic that I havent' been able to do a really good assessment of Bo. So last night, I did a quick assessment and I am happy.

His leg is healing nicely. I need to do some cleanup and trim the hair around the cut but it's healing so that you wouldn't even know there was a huge gash in his leg. The swelling in that leg has also gone down. There's still swelling in his back legs from his heart failure but that's a different thing. The swelling in the front leg is much improved and he doesn't seem to be bothered by it at all. His back end is bothering him, which does give me some concern but he's been having issues with his hips for the last couple of months.

The air pocket that started in his shoulder and that started moving up his neck and wrapped all the way around his chest is starting to go away. The air is out of his neck and there's only a small pocket in his shoulder. It's all in his chest. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not but his body is taking care of him. It's odd to tap on his shoulder to get him to move and feel that air pocket so I'm really happy it's going away. Even in heart failure, his body is still working hard to keep him protected.

He's back in the big herd but I'm not sure if that's helping or not. It's keeping the swelling down because he's constantly moving but I'm not sure about the depression. Being away from horses caused him depression but being in the big herd causes him stresses as well.

We did switch his grain around and he's been improving on that so no ulcers have reared its ugly head. It's Ramona feed and consists of oats, cracked corn, and I think soy meal. He's not gaining weight but he's also not losing weight either. I started adding in some senior feed. Originally it was to get him to eat his uniprim but after he finished with that, I continued on using it to see if that would help with the weight issue.

I think his heart was pounding so bad when we went to the vet that I was sure he was going to die within days. But now that he's home and relaxed with a standard routine, he's a lot calmer. We could have him for a few more months at this rate.. and that makes me happy. I won't prolong his life just to keep me happy but I want to make sure I've done everything. He hasn't told me he's ready to go.

There for awhile, he was off his feed and that scared me but I think now that he's back into his normal routine with the herd, he's much happier and he's been polishing off all of his grain.

We are headed into a cold snap so I'll be blanketing a few of the hard keepers. I struggle with what to do with Jim. He's our 30 year old Tennessee Walker and he's in better shape than Bo, the 16 year old. I wouldn't say that Jim has had an easy life but a lot less stress than Bo's for sure. Both the farrier and the vet have been impressed by how he's aging.  Oh if only all of our seniors would age as gracefully as Jim.

Junior is doing ok. He's enjoying his nightly grain mix. I'm still trying to figure out if the balance of grains I gave him last year will work this year. He seems to be doing ok but I'm keeping a watchful eye on him.

Lace is picking up some weight as well now that I'm graining her. She seemed a tad thinner than I liked...not thin or anything but I like them going into winter fat. She's adamant about her grain these days and will demand she get fed. She's second in command so she'll wait for Junior to go into his stall before I feed her but she wont let Mayhem grab a bite. Smart girl.

The last few days have been crazy busy with non Sanctuary activities. I am hoping for a short period of quiet but with Christmas right around the corner, I don't see that happening. I forgot what it was like to be so excited for Christmas until this year. Five year olds make you excited for Christmas and are so enthusiastic for all the activities. So while we plug along at the paying job and the every day chores, we're throwing in a lot of Christmas activities. So if we aren't around, it's only because I'm buried up to my eyebrows with work and I want to give my attention to my kids during the holidays...not that I don't give them my attention but there's extra activities at this time of year.

I'm sure to write more later but if you don't see me until the end of the week, it's that we are buried and I'm getting prepared for an upcoming storm on Thursday. Winter will definitely be here. Ironic that on the official start of winter, we'll get a snowstorm.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

One Day At a Time

Holy cow the days are flying by. We are here just buried under a million things that have to get done. Luckily we've only had one snow storm and the majority of the snow has all melted to make life easier for me until this crazy spell passes.

Last week was such a blur. The paying job had me so busy, I couldn't figure out which way was up. And then add to it, both kids came down with the stomach bug.

On the bright side, Bo's leg was healed up enough that I put him back in with the herd. He was most displeased because he wasn't getting his alfalfa. He'd been turning up his nose at the hay but when no alfalfa was present, he decided that the round bales were good enough. It's a little weird when I ask him to move, I tap on his shoulder or chest and I can feel the air pocket that is still there. Nothing has changed with him but it doesn't seem to bother him. So I guess we'll continue to take one day at a time.

Ivan's vet bill came in. I knew it was going to be high but more bill to pay. Brego seems to be hanging out with Zeke more but that might have changed now that Bo is back in with the herd. Brego is coming around but it's awfully slow. Zeke seems to know when someone needs a little bit of extra attention. He's something else. I didn't realize he was so sensitive to everyone's feelings but its' definitely showing these past couple of months.

Dude even seems to be mellowing out. That or he misses me. I'm not really sure. But I'll take it. I think he's really just mellowing out. He used to be a touch me not when it came to his face, but now I can touch his face and he doenst' care. Age is a wonderful thing.

I'm still buried to my eyeballs with work stuff so it's been difficult to get anything else accomplished at night. And now that the holidays are upon us, we'll be busy with holiday parties and such. I am hoping I can sneak in some downtime from work and get a few things done...and fingers crossed that no one else gets sick.

I've had too many horses get sick lately. Luckily the kids' stomach bugs were fast moving but even our Beta fish (it was the only way to get my son out of the butterfly house and marina...was to bribe him with getting a fish) Eda the Beta, isnt' feeling well. Who knew a fish could get constipated!

I may not be on much the rest of this week. We'll see. I'm taking one day at a time.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Buried to my Eyeballs

I am so far behind, I don't know if I'll ever be able to catch up. The paying job has me so buried that I can't even see the light of day right now. I'm hoping it'll get better but I don't know. I guess that's why there's been such a lack of posts as of late. No time to get anything done outside of the paying job.

And to add to the frustrations, my son caught a stomach bug and was sicker than a dog last night and today. So now there's my son getting better, a horse in heart failure, and our beta fish is constipated. I didn't even know a fish could get backed up! So now I need to figure out how to make everyone feel better and yet there's no time to run to the store.

We had that terrible snow storm blow through Monday. Luckily I stayed home. But the problem with living in the country and working in the country, is that I'm not anywhere near a store to swing by and pick stuff up. So that adds a layer of difficulty.

I know I'm just dumping on everyone here tonight but it's been a long and stressful 24 hours. Well, make that week. When it's Wednesday evening and I took today off to take care of my son and I'm already ahead in hours at work, that sort of says something. It says that the paying job hasnt' left me with any time to do anything with the Sanctuary other than to feed and water the horses.

I had to move Bo to the back pen yesterday because the wind was coming right into his pen. He's not thrilled with being there either. But I can't put him in with the big herd. He's still not completely healed from his cut and his leg is still swollen but now three of the four legs are swollen. I guess that's to be expected. But he's now taken to turning up his nose at hay. He'll only eat alfalfa. Even last night when I went to feed him, he turned up his nose at the hay AND his grain for his alfalfa. I'm not sure if that means I underfed him alfalfa in the morning or what. He hasnt' given me the sign that he's ready to go but I'm not sure what to do. I don't think he should go back into the big herd now that winter is here and if he's so picky that he won't eat anything but alfalfa, what am I to do other than keep him separate. But there are no decent pens for him to be in. So for now I guess I worry.

I know the holidays bring on some stress, but this stress is totally different. I owe thank yous to a number of people and haven't had the time. There's also bills to pay (both Sanctuary and personal) and I'm behind on those as well. On the bright side, I think we are down to four more payments on the little tractor. Woo hoo!

I normally keep a close eye on the weather but I've been so busy I haven't had time. Now I hear that we are in the single digits tonight along with a wind chill. That's all news to me. I would have maybe done chores differently tonight so I would be more prepared for tomorrow morning.

Ugh...It's all just too much. I'm ready for a vacation. Who's with me?

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Winter is Officially Here

I'm so glad I have a job that lets me work from home and that I had the good senses to stay home yesterday.

I was able to do a majority of my chores during my lunch break and that saved me lots of anxiety in getting chores done during the first winter storm of the season.

I watched the radar and watched out the window as I worked and at 3:30, it started to sleet. I'd already put a blanket on Junior while he ate his grain and put Bo in. Any wind that we get goes right up the driveway and right into Bo's pen. So instead he went into the barn where I thought it was snug.

Fast forward to when I could finally get out to do chores at 6pm. Boy howdy! I was sure glad that Bo was in the barn. By the time I got out, we had snow drifts in his pen and the wind was whipping the snow around so bad that it hurt when it hit your face.

I did end up putting Dude and Rain into the barn with Bo. I figured Rain wouldn't let me put a blanket on and if Dude was in the barn, then maybe others wouldn't have to crowd around the opening of the shed. Dude was standing guard and not letting anyone else in. That bugger.

This morning everyone was ready to get out and stretch their legs. I ended up putting Bo into the back pen because the wind was still hitting his pen. I'm not really sure what to do with him now. He wont' touch hay so I've been throwing him alfalfa. I'm not sure I can put him in the pen that he's in. I may switch and put the ponies where he is and put Bo where the ponies are but that's not a long term solution. I don't know. I guess we'll see. Bo had another off day yesterday where his breathing was labored. But that's for another post.

I'll leave you with some pictures of last night during chores and right as I was ready to be done for the night.

Dude happy to be in the barn

The view from the house as I was going in for the night. The yard light is where all the snow and wind goes when we have a snow storm.

The view somewhat close to the red shed and right in the middle of me doing chores

Rain happy to be in out of the elements

It's hard to tell but that's the pen Bo was in and that's exactly where all the wind goes. There's a snow drift in his pen now.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Good Cop - Bad Cop

I'd love to write this post more eloquently. I've tried two or three ways to start this blog but I'm not sure how to even begin. As a non-profit, we have a board of directors. I seek their advice when needed but for the most part, the decisions of the Sanctuary lie on my shoulders.

We are asked (not weekly or even monthly) to take in horses. The problem lies in our mission. We provide a dignified retirement home. We are not a rescue that adopts out. Bless those that can open their doors, rehab/retrain the horse, and rehome them. But that's not our mission. It's to provide a retirement home. We can only be so big. We can only have so many horses that we can financially be responsible for. There are only so many horses that the land can hold and I can care for.

So last week I was asked if we had room for two horses. As always, minimal information which bothers me. I can't make a judgment call without having a bit more information. A description of old isn't enough. What may be "old" in one person's eyes, may not be considered "old" to enter the Sanctuary. Because I am the main caretaker of these horses, I need to make sure that the horse's personality can mesh with the current herd and that the horse and I can mesh as well. Sometimes we get lucky and everything works out. Other times, there's a learning curve. Either way, I need a bit more information.  I did do diligence and asked around to see if others could take the horse as we are truly full and I'm still reeling from the loss of Ivan and the dreaded decision with Bo. And just because Ivan is gone, and Bo will be soon, doesn't mean that we are ready to open our doors. We have to financially pay the vets bills that we've accrued before we can simply open our doors.

So when I was asked, and couldn't immediately say yes, I felt as thought I was the bad guy. Why is it that it's my fault that we can't take in another horse? Why is it that you waited until the last minute to contact us? Why is it that you aren't willing to provide even the slightest olive branch token for taking your horse? Why is it that I have to be the responsible one for taking care of your horse? Horses are not an object that you can simply toss to the side when you no longer have time or when it is no longer convenient to keep them. Why is it my fault that I don't jump at the chance to take your stud? why is it my fault that I can't take in your horse with a medical issue? Why is it my fault that I have to take on more responsibility and give up more of my personal life to care for your horse?

Just because we are a non-profit does not mean that money flows easily into our pockets. We don't have high risk rescues...God bless those rescues that can take on major rescues and the care of horses during a time of crisis. We are a simple and small sanctuary. Funds are hard to come by. We are in a state that is pro-slaughter, which means funds are even harder to come by because many believe slaughter is needed.

Today, I had to say no to two horses. Not because I wanted to. Not because I wanted to play bad cop. But because I have to make sure the horses at the Sanctuary are cared for. I have to be responsible for their care and well being. I have to be the responsible one. I took on their care, so I am responsible until their final breath. Why is that not the same for others?

Do I feel guilty for saying no. Absolutely. Do I worry about the fate of those horses? Absolutely. I've already asked twice this fall for help with horses. In both cases, the need did not end up falling on our shoulders. But we have such great supporters, I didn't want to put anyone in a bind. I felt like I was crying wolf. So instead I played bad cop. Maybe if I asked for help, maybe if I could have financially swung it, and maybe if there would have been some kindness and willingness on the owners part, I would have been more willing to sacrifice even more of myself. But the manner in which I was asked, especially after losing Ivan not even a month ago and having Bo following shortly on Ivan's heels, I'm just not ready and not willing to tolerate bad behavior. So I guess I'll continue to play bad cop and say no, but feel terrible that I did so.

I hate playing bad cop.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bo Update

Fingers crossed that December is an easier month than November. I'm still reeling from November (and some of October). It's been a month since we found out that Bo's health issues are all due to heart failure and less than a month since losing Ivan to colic. And then there's the worry over Brego.

Even with death, life must continue but I've been struggling this month. Add to it that the paying job has me buried to my eyebrows in work that I can't keep up, I'm struggling. I've missed the mark on a number of activities and  I'm going to pay for it I'm afraid. And now that it's December and Christmas is right around the corner, there's more of my time taken to get everything ready. Although I do have to admit that I am back to enjoying Christmas. I forgot what excitement surrounds Christmas. My 5 year old is reminding me daily to enjoy the holidays. :-)

I'm not sure if I posted it before or not...everything has been a blur lately. On Saturday evening, we discovered that Bo had cut his right front leg open and it was deep. I called the vet right away to find out what to do. I didn't want to put any sprays on it in case I could haul him to the vet and get the wound stitched up. After taking pictures and videos we all surmised that the stitches would simply rip out so I was to treat it like an open wound. Wash and pack it with nitrofurizone. Well, I'm a weiny and couldn't pack it. I tried. So instead I did the spray method which seemed to do better because I could actually get the meds all the way into the cut. Bo has never offered to bit but with this wound, he's thought about it.

He's been on antibiotics since Sunday night and he's turning up his nose to the grain and meds. He's very picky about what he eats. I've even risked his ulcers and added senior grain just to try and get something into his body. I think the wound is healing nicely, for as deep as it is.

Bo is in a pen right next to the big herd so he can see everyone but not get pushed around. Wednesday morning I walked out and found Bo down. I paniced. In the 6 years we've had Bo, I have never seen him down. I sat next to him for awhile and he was struggling to breath. I thought maybe this was the end. He was feeling frustrated and tried to bite my foot. Not biting to be mean but that's his relief mechanism to bite ('s more like cribbing but he doesn't actually crib unless he's trying to relieve stress. I saw it when my friend came out to do body work on him in early October. Keep in mind, Bo has never offered to kick, bite, or do anything mean to me...other than run me over to avoid getting hurt so I knew his biting my foot was the only solid material for him to put teeth to, to relieve stress). I put some straw around him but that must have annoyed him because he got up. Wednesday morning was a bad morning for Bo. His breathing was much more labored. I thought I was going to lose him but he pulled out of it. He's going to start having more bad days.  And when I say bad days, I mean not being able to breath. Having asthma, I know what it's like to not be able to breath. Probably why I have a fear of drowning, not the water but not being able to breath. So I wasn't sure what to do other than to leave food, water, and some grain and wait.

I'm not sure if he had a reaction to the banamine, or the antibiotics or if he was just having a bad day. By Wednesday night, he was better. We will have to take each day as it comes with Bo. I'm not ready to say goodbye and neither is he. But the cold weather is right around the corner and I don't want him to go down and struggle. So I evaluate him every morning and every night to see how he's doing.

He was mad at me yesterday and off his grain last night. I'd let him out to wander the yard and eat grass but had to put him back when I went to pick up the kids from daycare. I'm not sure if he's just sick of the uniprim powder in his grain or if he was off. But I threw some alfalfa for him to eat and in the morning it looked like he'd eaten everything. A good sign because he's been turning up his nose at the hay I've been throwing. I guess it's alfalfa and Ramona feed for him from now on.

I called the vet Monday morning after discovering an air pocket in his right wither. I thought it was just at the wither but I was wrong. It's his entire shoulder, from the wither all the way to the base of his leg and into his neck. When you pat his shoulder, it sounds's the same sound as when you pat your dog's belly and it's empty. It's all poofy but it's not hard. I read up on it and I think it's benign. The vet wasn't worried. Give him banamine and let his body reabsorb it. The problem is, Bo's body is so compromised, I doubt it'll reabsorb. I guess we'll wait and see. It doesn't seem to bother him. And what's worse, I can't give him banamine. Anything oral that I have to administer and he' will try and stop me. For being sick and not feeling well, he still had enough strength to lift me off the ground and wrench my hand. So unless it's absolutely needed, I'm not going to give him any meds orally. Although, I did take it as a sign that he's feeling better. There's a definite will to live in that boy.

His right leg is swollen but that's to be expected with the cut. I was hoping that letting him out to wander the yard would take the swelling down what with him walking more. But that wasn't the case. I wont' put him back with the big herd because he still needs time to heal.

After we brought him home from the vet's to say he had heart failure, I noticed that his back legs had swollen. In fact his left rear had swollen before that so I was keeping an eye on him. But I guess that's just fluid all from the heart failure. It's something more to watch.

I've been keeping an eye on Brego as well. He doesn't seem as depressed but he does seem lost.

I caught Brego, Chaos, and Lightening all curled up this morning sleeping. Of course I had to ruin it when I went to get Bo's alfalfa. I'm glad they feel relaxed enough to sleep all curled up.

Oddly I'm making progress with Lightening without even trying to. He and I haven't clicked but that's no one's fault. There simply hasn't been any time to work with him. All the others, except Jim, come up to me or I can walk up to them to say hello. Lightening has to come up to me on his terms so I haven't been pushing the issue. We need to click if he's going to be my drill team horse. Slow and steady. Even if it takes a year to come down from a previous life, we'll give them all the time they need. But it's nice to see the slow progress finally coming to fruitation. Each has a history and a past that even though I might not know or figure out, I need to learn the quirks and know what they like, don't like, and what they can handle.