Friday, July 20, 2018

Life is Insane

Life has been insane lately. There's no time to breath, let alone think Sanctuary stuff lately. Just trying to stay afloat. The paying job has me so busy that all I can do is chores and then I'm back to working at the paying job to not get as far behind, or is it to keep my boat afloat? Either way, I'm getting farther and farther behind or my boat is quickly sinking.


It makes it tough to focus on Sanctuary stuff and I'm frustrated.


Of course sick kids and running kids to their appointments is getting more difficult. I'll be in trouble when they are in school and school activities. They are easy peasy at the moment (what with only being 2 and 5).


So if you have been wondering where we are at, we are here, MIA but here, frantically working.


I am starting to panic. I have a lot to share and a lot of it is really good but internet at home doesn't work and the paying job, well you know.


So I'll try to post again later this afternoon with a few of my thoughts so you'll feel my stress and pain (you're welcome).



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Losing Junior


We’re going to lose Junior.

I’m not sure exactly when but it’ll be sooner than I thought. I’m guessing by the end of the month we’ll have to say goodbye. I am cursed with bays. Junior is the last of the super hard keepers. I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself once all the hard keepers are gone. Bo and Junior have been my hard keepers for the past few years and now there won’t be anyone nearly as hard keepers as those two.

I hauled them to their “summer retreat” the first of June in hopes that Junior and Lace would pack on the pounds. With 24x7 pasture and grain, I had hoped they’d put on weight. They’d have the same here but usually they do better in their summer retreat but not this year.

I have been checking on Junior on a regular basis and he continues to lose weight. It’s not for lack of care or feed or trying. He’s simply no longer able to maintain what little weight he has. He was always a hard keeper. From the get go in November 2014, he was tough to put weight on. Only one winter were we able to put weight on and that was a mix of amazing hay/alfalfa, grain, and a ton of blankets.

I havent’ scheduled the appointment because I havent’ been around him enough to know if he’s given me a sign. I think he has and I’ve ignored it. He’s not a touchy feely horse and the last time I was up there, he put his head into my chest. That’s definitely a sign but I’m still ignoring it.

I am sad to see him leave this world but in truth, when he came to us in November 2014 at the age of 26, I didn’t think he’d last more than a year or two. In fact, he’s lasted until the ripe age of 30. He’s lived a life of luxury since coming to the Sanctuary. No work, no demands, just a couple of mares to keep him happy and away from the commotion of the big herd. He’s never liked big crowds so we always kept him with the mares. Mayhem will be devastated but she’ll adjust just as she had to when she lost her mother, Rabbit May 2017.

That’s the hard part of having young-ish horses. They get attached to older horses and when they leave this world, they leave a whole in the herd and in the hearts of everyone at the Sanctuary (both two-legged and four-legged).

I’m coming to terms with losing Junior but it still stinks. I can only imagine that in his younger years he was an amazing horse and riding partner. He’s been a fantastic horse at the Sanctuary. No real demands but he’ll watch you like a fox when it’s time for his grain. There are very few who could love their grain more than Junior.

I haven’t called the vet yet because I don’t want to hear what they have to say. With it being only a few months where the rendering trucks refuse to take horses euthanized with the chemical, I doubt that anything has been resolved. I had hoped that Junior would at least last until fall so we could bury him out back in the field but that isn’t going to happen. I am guessing that we will still need to find a place to bury him on the old farm place and have to call in a favor to have his body taken care of. We will use the chemical to euthanize as I don’t see shooting him as the respectful way to end his life on this earth. He deserves a better end. I haven’t called because it’ll mean calling for favors to take care of his body. I struggle with that part of death. I’m there until the last breath (and even afterwards) but I can’t be there for the removal. But now I’m going to have to figure out what to do with him afterwards. I guess that’s just how things will be for the Sanctuary until something is figured out.

I’m sure I’ll continue to talk about Junior these next few days but his leaving is weight heavily on my mind these days.

Pictures are from last spring after coming out of winter looking fantastic.



Wishlist Wednesday - Buckets

This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for buckets. It doesn't really matter what kind of buckets they are, as long as they are clean.


We use a number of 5 gallon buckets to haul water for the ponies or to fill water tanks in the winter. Water buckets are always a necessity when having horses. We use them not only for water, but also for grain.


We'd be tickled with any type of bucket, be it a 5 gallon bucket, a water bucket specifically for horses, or any other kind of bucket. Size doesn't matter either. We use a number of the bigger buckets to haul water but we also use smaller buckets to haul grain to different pens.


Buckets range from $5 to $20.



Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tip Tuesday - Fly Control

Now that we are in full swing of summer, the flies are coming out. In South Dakota, the terrible biting flies tend to come out around July (although they came out early and were biting everyone in June). Here's a few infographics that will hopefully help with the flies this season




.



July Already?

How can it be almost mid July already? Last I checked, we were headed into June and now all of a sudden it's July. The last four weeks have been a blur all revolving around the paying job. I had to help wrap up a big review right around Memorial Weekend and then was only given about a week reprieve to catch up on everything that got pushed in the shuffle before the next review started up. Least to say, I've spent the last four weeks in such a daze of mass chaos, it's been exhausting. Luckily the review is just about over and my part is about done but now it's time to play catch up. But in dealing with this big review and with playing catch up, there's been very little time to do anything with the Sanctuary other than chores.


I still need to flip the pasture so that the horses can be on the other part of the pasture. That's my goal for tonight and tomorrow night (mosquitoes be damned). I had to throw hay last night for the horses which chafes me to no end. A pasture ready and waiting and I'm throwing hay!


Speaking of hay, we put in our order for hay. Our usual hay guy is going to pull through for us. We're getting different hay than before, hay with no alfalfa so there's no need to worry about King. I'm not sure yet on price but I'm guessing our pasture hay will be the same as the hay/alfalfa that we have gotten in the past. I guess I should have gone with the better hay and just dealt with King's feet some other way. But trying to do right by everyone isn't always easy or cost effective.  I'm not exactly sure when we'll get the hay but we at least have our order in. Now to figure out logistics and to get it all paid for. We unfortunately won't be getting it delivered by semi so it'll take a few loads to get it all down here. But it'll be Mike and myself hauling so not too big of a deal. Thank goodness we can borrow our hay guy's truck and trailer (it's nice to have an "in" with your hay guy). Now to figure out how to pay for five loads of hay equaling 55 bales. I just hope that's enough. Even though we don't have Ivan or Bo, we may be looking at opening our doors this fall, which means we will need additional hay. We are looking at a cost of about $5,000 to pay for the current hay order.


I've been so under the weather for so long, that I haven't had time to do anything but take care of horses. No time to research grants or look into fundraising opportunities. It's a struggle and I'm disappointed I haven't been able to do more but when you're dealing with medical problems, I guess that's just how everything goes.


Junior has been on my mind for the past couple of weeks. I'll have to post more about him in a little bit but he's weight heavily on my mind. We are going to lose him.


I'm in desperate need of help in getting things done at the Sanctuary. I'm finally crying uncle and admitting that I need help. Granted, we've had offers but with our policies in place, someone from the Sanctuary has to be AT the Sanctuary, at least in the beginning. The problem is, its' summer and everyone is super busy. I'm just not sure how to get it all done. My list is growing but maybe if I actually write it down and plug along on it, it wont be so bad. I wont' want to be like last year where every time I went for a walk at the paying job to try and take a break, my entire chest would constrict and I'd feel even more stressed about the upcoming winter because I'd be thinking about all that needed to be done.


This past weekend I heard the kattydids. That means 90 days from now is our first hard frost. I think that's usually what sets me into a tailspin. It's not like they don't ALWAYS come out early to mid July but for some reason I spend May and June getting horses ready for summer that I don't have time to prep for anything else. And then I feel like we run so hard there's no time to get other stuff done and we are faced with all these tasks that have to be done before the first snowflake. I swear I spend all winter dealing with winter and then all spring, summer, and fall prepping for winter yet again. Of course when you have winter 6 months out of the year (or at least it feels like it), its' hard not to focus on it, especially when you have old horses to care for all the time.


I know there's more. There's lots more going on but I haven't had the time or energy to share all the news. We have lots of good stuff going on but without internet at home, it's been very trying.  Hopefully I can get that resolved soon and can get back to posting more on the blog and getting some of the really good stuff shared out rather than just posting what I can from my phone.


But for anyone that is bored, I need help. And lots of it. There's too much to do and it's looking like my August is filling up fast so I can use all the help I can get ASAP.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Busy


It's been a somewhat quiet week at the Sanctuary. The first day of summer, summer solstics, sure didn't feel like summer though. We had rain, rain, and more rain. I don't have the heart to walk out to the pasture to see how much of the bottom half is flooded. It raises my blood pressure every time I see water standing in my pastures thanks to people not considering their actions. I just hope that the rains we received also fell a little ways north to make sure that the hay ground received enough moisture to make the hay ground grow so we have hay and don't have to scramble to find hay somewhere else.


I am hoping that we can talk with my hay guy in another week or two and see what we can get worked out for a deal. Even if we had just one or two loads sitting at the Sanctuary, I'd feel a lot better. We have a few left over from last year but that's only because we lost Ivan in the fall and Bo in the early spring.


I've been swamped with work from the paying job so there really hasn't been time to do anything as of late. I forsee another week of being completely buried up to my eyeballs with work from the paying job so I may be quiet for yet another week. So much for being productive!


We did finally get the ponies out on grass earlier this week. They don't actually seemed thrilled. I think the flies are bad for them. With all the rain, they turned part of their little pasture into a mud hole. Luckily Mayhem seems to have settled down and she just hangs out in the shade and keeps an eye on the big herd.


So it's been fairly quiet and this weekend is going to be quiet as well for the Sanctuary. More family stuff going on so less time to work with the horses. I do have some good news I want to share and I've been meaning to mention it for awhile but can't seem to find the time. It's about Bo. I'm only now coming to terms with his passing and can talk about him without starting to cry. But I'll leave that for another post.


But until then, I think I have to get back at the paying job so I can try and stay afloat. Hope you all have  a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday - Halters, Lead Ropes, and Hooks

It's Wishlist Wednesday and today we are wishing for a handful of items. We wish for halters, lead ropes, and hooks to hang halters and lead ropes on. Our lead ropes seem to keep disappearing (they must disappear with my socks) and although we have halters, not everyone has a designated halter. We'd love to have enough hooks to hang a specific halter and lead rope for each horse instead of grabbing willy nilly. The art of organizing is lacking at the Sanctuary right.



 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Recap

Last week I played "soccer mom" and had to spend half my days driving kids around to their events. Boy am I not ready for that experience. What it also meant was that some things at the Sanctuary had to wait. I had so hoped to get  Mayhem and the ponies out to pasture (or the lawn) but it didn't happen. By the weekend, we were all too worn out to do anything.


But last night, with Mike's help, we were able to move corral panels around and get Mayhem out to pasture. She's not too thrilled since she's by herself but she needs to work on her herd boundness. She gets it every year and with having Lace and Junior in Madison, I thought it a good time to put her out to pasture. We don't normally pasture a horse alone but the ponies can't go out to pasture. Our fences aren't strong enough to keep ponies in (they'd simply walk under the fence where Mayhem is located) and they don't need THAT much grass.


We moved corral panels last night so that we could put ponies on the lawn. Of course a storm rolled through with lots of lightening while we were finishing up. I chickened out and left everything as it was. I was not in the  mood to get struck by lightening while holding on to a corral panel.


I'm hoping tonight that I can put the final touches on their "pasture" so that I can put them out to graze during the day. It'll be a relief to not throw precious hay. I hate throwing hay in June. But once that location is eaten down, there's not a lot of other places for the ponies to eat so we'll be  back to throwing hay. Oyi, expensive hay.


Last night the herd came up so I locked them in. Jim had a different idea and snuck out to pasture before I could get the gate closed. I left him out  knowing that'd he'd probably stick close to the fenceline where Mayhem was at. It would at least keep her calm. And sure enough, where do you think Jim was this morning? Hanging out along the fenceline near Mayhem. Comfort in numbers.


I'm starting to see horses for sale or for free. I wish we could open our doors but I'm still under the weather so no opportunity to open our doors. If only they would come with some financial stability, then we could possibly open our doors. All these older horses who deserve a comfortable place to retire to and we can't do anything. It frustrates me but in reality, I need to get off my duff and do more. Hopefully soon I'll be feeling good enough to tackle the challenges that come with trying to place older horses.


Last week was terrible for temperatures. We were dealing with 80s and 90s and a heat index of 100 but this week is glorious. We are in the 60s and 70s and everyone seems to be much happier and more relaxed. The flies don't seem to be nearly as bad this week either. This year's flies are terrible and they bite. The biting flies don't normally come out until the end of July or the first of August but they are already out. It makes me wonder what the rest of this summer will be like. I feel terrible for the horses. I wish we could do more.


Not sure what more we'll get done tonight. Doctor's appointments with the kids so that means not much will get done other than some good quality family time with lots of snuggles. (no worries, just kindergarten shots and yearly checkups). But it does mean less messing around with the horses.


We need to start working on washing and waterproofing blankets, spraying pastures of all the weeds (an endless job), mending fence (which is an endless job too), and a lot of other projects around the place. Always something to do at the Sanctuary. Stop on out if you get bored and I'll gladly put you to work!

#Tip Tuesday Times Two - Sunburns

With this week being the official start to summer, we thought we'd throw in a bonus #TipTuesday (or make up for lost time) and talk about sunburns. With the days being so long and the sun being so hot, we thought it a good time to look into sunburns. We have a few Sanctuary residents that get sunburns on their noses and are always looking for preventative ways to keep them comfortable (much to their dismay when I apply sunscreen).


Enjoy your #TipTuesday!



Tip Tuesday - Heat Stress

It's #Tip Tuesday and we are talking heat stress. With the temps in the 90s and heat index in the 100s last week, I thought it would be a good time to look into heat stress. Of course this week is glorious and in the lower 70s but the official start to summer is this week and that only means hot, hot, hot.

With Rain having experienced heat stress, we keep a close eye on him to make sure he stays comfortable during the extreme heat. Here's two infographics that will hopefully be of help in telling if your horse is dealing with heat stress.



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday - Hose Reel

It's Wishlist Wednesday and we wish for a hose reel. It might sound silly but we would use the heck out of a hose reel! We drag out 300+ feet of hose every few days to water the ponies and Mayhem (and Junior and Lace when they are not at their summer retreat). That means dragging out, man handling, emptying, and then coiling a LOT of hose.


A hose reel would solve a lot of that problem and make the place look nicer (by not having hoses lying around all the time and all over the place.


You can find new hose reals just about anywhere but we'd be happy with used too!



Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Pasture Pictures

I didn't get a chance to take pictures last night because everyone came up from pasture while I was out. After one day, they are already trained to come into the drylot for the night. I'm guessing it had more to do with the flies and mosquitoes than anything else but I'll take it.


There is so much relief right now for me with almost everyone out on pasture. No more hay (except the ponies and Mayhem and that will change soon). Everyone is pretty well content to enjoy the grass, water, and shade that summer brings. No more heavy winter coats, coveralls, boots, hats, gloves, mittens, etc. to don before trudging out. I can just walk out the door and not have a care in the world other than making sure everyone is comfortable in the heat.


Hard to think that 2 months ago, we were dealing with winter and snow. But I'm happy for summer even if it seems like we are dealing with July weather rather than June weather.


I will leave you with a few pictures from that first morning and their complete enjoyment of being out on pasture. Love seeing the look of pure bliss on the horses


Brego

King, with Zeke and Brego in the background

Jim and Rain

The herd (much smaller this summer but still very diverse)

Maverick trying to photobomb King's picture

Shoo Fly Leggings

During the Tri State Horse Expo I bought Shoo Fly Leggings knowing that others have really loved them. We have too many for me to buy enough for the entire herd and to go all the way around all four legs of everyone but figured I'd buy two sets to see if they worked.


Junior and Lace weren't sure at first but they started loving them right away as the flies are terrible. We are in the first of June and the flies and heat are typical for July weather. That worries me but I guess that's for another post.


I put the other set on King and Dude. I debated on who to put the other set on but figured with King being ouchy footed and Dude having hip problems, they would be the best candidates to try them out. Otherwise, we might try Brego and Zeke. But for now Dude and King are sporting theirs. King wouldn't move and Dude was high stepping. I guess he's never had boots on before!


I'll leave you with just a few pictures from last night.


King refusing to move after the Shoo Fly Leggings were put on.

Dude didn't seem impressed but I bet he'll be today!

I'm sure they were having a conversation about what tortures I put them through

Wishlist Wednesdsay - Shoo Fly Leggings/Boots


This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for Shoo Fly Leggings/Boots. We bought a two sets during the Tri State Horse Expo and put them on the fronts of Junior, Lace, Dude, and King. I can already see how much relief Junior and Lace are getting from them.

Even though it's only June 6th, we are dealing with July like temperatures (which also means July like flies. those types of flies are MEAN).

We want to make sure that everyone is comfortable this fly season and would love to put everyone in Shoo Fly Leggings. A set of 4 cost just under $50. It's well worth the price after seeing Junior and Lace relaxing. Even if we could only get front legs done (or back legs done depending on who's getting eaten up and where), we would be very grateful.

Even one pair of Shoo Fly Leggings would help. Anyone want to donate towards the purchase of a pair if Shoo Fly Leggings or want to buy a set for a specific horse(s).

I've only been able to find them either at the Expo or online.

(ps, the picture is not one of our Sanctuary residents. We are borrowing it from the Shoo Fly website)


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Tip Tuesday - Sings of Stress

It's #TipTuesday and that means another informative infographic (that I've conveniently borrowed).


Today we are talking about signs of stress in our horses.


With the heat increases rapidly in our area, I thought it might be good to know the signs of stress. Granted this infographic is for general stress but it's a good idea to always know your signs. Each horse will be a little bit different and you'll know your horse better than anyone else but this infographic may help.



Happy Ponies

I let the ponies out for about an hour last night to start getting used to grass. They get the left over grass that the big herd didn't eat. Because they are ponies (and therefore super naught) and because one part of the pasture had "courtesy fence (i.e., please don't push on this fence because it's really not electric and it's really only there to detour you from actually going where I don't want you to go). I left lead ropes on which I absolutely hate doing but knowing the ponies are hard to catch and knowing that there was a "courtesy" fence, I figured it was the best move.


But with a little bit of grain, and a little bit of coaxing, they were happy to go in after an hour of running and grazing. We'll start getting the ponies and Mayhem used to grass and then we'll be on easy street.


For now, I'll leave you with a few pictures from the ponies enjoying their outing (I promise, there was some running, bucking, and farting going on earlier).








Little Helpers




The Night Before

Going in reverse order from this morning (to last night). After we finished up with fencing, and while the kids were still in tow, I needed to get out and throw hay to the big herd (much to everyone's dismay). The big herd wanted to be out on pasture and not wait until morning, but I'm mean and made them wait.


I love how my daughter is so excited to be around horses. It makes my heart sing!



Morning Pasture Time

Finally had the opportunity to finish fencing last night (not without a bit of a temper tantrum and throwing out the "mom card") but at least its' done and now the horses are enjoying a portion of the big pasture. I'll leave you with just a couple pictures from this morning. What I would have given to spend about an hour taking pictures instead of only a few rushed minutes, knowing that I'll be late for the paying job (but oh so worth it).





Monday, June 4, 2018

Fencing Time

Well I tried to get the big herd out on pasture this weekend but that didn't happen. Fingers crossed I can get the fencing done tonight. Otherwise I'm relegated to throwing hay and that makes me grumpy when we are finally into summer.


I also need to get Junior and Lace up to Madison so they can enjoy their "summer retreat" time. Junior is looking super tough. I just don't know. I really messed up with him. I can only hope that we pulls through and packs on the pounds. So stressful.


We ran to TSC last night to pick up some electric wire. We've been using the super thin wire with sort of rope stuff but Chaos knows that he can break it just by looking at it. So my hope is that I fool him into a false sense of security and when he touches the fence this time around, he'll be shocked (in more ways than one). That look of utter teenage naughtiness is not something I want to contend with this summer.


During the last blizzard back in April we had the top of a tree break off and wouldn't you know, it landed on the pasture fence. Well, I thought it was the fence but what's saving the fence from being completely torn down is that the tree landed on the gate. Which is the gate I need to get in and out to put in the temporary fencing. I struggled with it, swore at it, and even cried a little when it finally budged but all my temporary fence posts fell out of the wheelbarrow (twice).


Fingers crossed that fencing will go smoothly. Those typically aren't two words said in the same sentence. I felt so exhausted this past weekend I couldn't get much done. Lets hope the heat isn't too bad and the wind is still there to keep the mosquitoes at bay and to keep the temps down.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Summer Already

It's the first of June. How can it be summer already? Where in the world did May go?


Well, I sort of know where May went. I took a bit of a hiatus from posting on social media, blogging, that sort of thing. I think I just needed a break. I've had comments in the past about me "unplugging" from everything and how unnecessary that should be but for me, as an introvert, I need it.


We took two family vacations in May that took me away from the Sanctuary. Thanks to amazing friends and family, we were able to leave everything in good hands and not have to worry one bit. Of course, we left this last time over Memorial weekend when it was so stinking hot and Farley scared the bajeezes out of my good friend (thinking he was dead). We'll see how Farley does this summer and fall. He is 14 years old and I'm not sure he'll make another winter. Its' a day-by-day adventure with him.


The horses are currently out on the lawn enjoying grass. Hopefully we put in the last round bale of hay last week while we were on vacation and we wont' have to deal with round bales again until October.


I'm planning on hauling Junior and Lace to Madison this weekend for their "summer retreat". They'll be there for a month. Hopefully Junior picks up the weight by being on grass 24x7. With them gone, Mayhem will be by herself again. I'll probably put her out with the ponies and get those three used to grass again. But that will be after the big herd is out to pasture.


My plan is to get up early tomorrow morning and start dividing the pasture again. I don't want them to have the entire pasture because I have a feeling we'll be dealing with drought if the weather continues as it has with all the heat. As it is, my hay ground is not getting any rain so we will probably have to go with someone else again for hay. Not my preference but maybe its' best for King. Not sure it's best for the others though.


If we don't put any more hay in, we'll have 8 bales left over. Which is what we had left over from the year before. I like having a mini stock pile of hay but I'm having a hard time figuring out numbers. We lost two (Ivan and Bo) for part of the winter so I'm not sure what to put in for an order of hay this year. It might very well be get what you get and scrounge for the rest. I guess we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.


I'm still not looking at opening our doors yet. With all my health issues lately, I haven't been up to much. I guess that's why it took this long to get the horses used to grass. What I would have given to get them used to grass sooner. I need to go out to the pasture and dump vegetable oil into the standing water to hopefully kill mosquitoes. It's going to be bad now that all the water from the surrounding fields goes directly into my pasture...all without my approval. I'm still furious about that.


I'm hoping to be online more this month, not like last month when I didn't surface except for a few times. Thank you to everyone who as stuck around. I am sure to be more chatty this month. May was simply filled with too much other stuff going on and my brain just couldn't take it.


So thanks for putting up with my lack of posts, and lets see what good things June brings us.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Throwback Thursday

This Throwback Thursday is to just under two months ago when we had our last official blizzard (and second to last snow storm) that dumped almost a foot of snow (ok so maybe it was only 6 inches). It's hard to believe that there was snow two months ago when we are going to be going into 90 degree weather this weekend.



Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday - Fly Masks


It's Wishlist Wednesday and today's wishlist item is Farnam Fly Masks (or any fly masks for that matter).

The horses were hard on fly masks last summer so we don't have many (if any) in reserve for this summer. We want to make sure that everyone is comfortable when fly season rears its ugly head. Trying to be proactive in getting everything rounded up now so that there's no mad rush to find fly masks. Fly season will start soon but it'll really get bad around August.

Farnam fly masks seem to work the best for the Sanctuary horses. They typically cost around $15 (but correct me if I'm wrong). We need 2 yearling fly masks (for Tommy and Skippy), 2 Arab fly masks (for Zeke and Rain), and then 9 regular size for the rest of the herd.

Anyone want to donate to buy a fly mask or want to purchase one?

You can donate thru PayPal at www.paypal.me/Borderlands or sent it via check at

Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
26160 457th Ave
PO Box 164
Humboldt, SD 57035



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Tip Tuesday - Laminitis

After a short break, we are back to #TipTuesday. Todays tip is about laminitis. Since most horses are out on pasture already (or they are starting to go out on pasture like the Sanctuary horses), it's time to keep a watchful eye on your horse for laminitis.


King is prone to laminitis so we are keeping a very close eye on him. Here's two infographics that might be of some help learning about laminitis.


Happy #TipTuesday




Happy Tuesday

It's been too long since I have posted consistently so I'll just leave you with a picture from early this morning.


Happy Tuesday



Monday, May 21, 2018

Finally Pasture Time

I sort of had it in my  mind that I would spend most of May away from the computer and social media. I've been too stressed lately and don't want to bring anyone down.


But when we finally do have fun stuff going on, I want to share.


I normally like putting horses out on the lawn the first of May but with the weather and my health, it's been impossible until this past Saturday. I had to keep everyone from trying to mow the lawn because it was getting too high. I want the horses to eat it down.


I like putting them out on the lawn so that they get used to the grass and I can call them in easily. Out in the pasture, they won't come in. I want to get them into the routine of coming when I call for them so that I don't have to wander the pasture in the middle of the night to get them to come in. I doubt that'll be a problem because we are going to be overrun by mosquitoes this year. The local farmers have tiled all their field and guess all that water is now going into OUR pasture. I'm not happy. I would have fought that decision had I known. But I'll be doing some of my own "field work" this fall to rectify the issue.


But I digress. The horses are happy and finally getting a few blades of green grass and that makes me happy. They all look really shaggy. I haven't felt well enough to get out and groom them. Junior looks terrible. I really let him down. I've been so under the weather I didn't get to grain him every night because I knew I couldn't make it back out to let him out of his stall. He takes up to two hours to eat his grain. And once May rolls around, he needs to be on grass immediately and I only started getting him on grass this past week. So he's looking like he's on his last legs. It could be that this is his last summer but we'll have to play it by ear. If he picks up weight with the grass and grain, then we'll see but if he continues to go downhill, then we'll look at the alternative.


But for now, I'll leave you with a few pictures of the herd enjoying their first taste of the 2018 grazing season.












Thursday, May 17, 2018

Loss

I'm no stranger to death. Running a sanctuary that focuses on old horses means that we are constantly watching each horse's health, happiness, and life quality. It's a day-to-day thing and we as caretakers are the ones who sometimes have to make that final call.


So I'm no stranger to death. But it's never easy. I'm not immune to the tears and the heartache. I'm not immune to the loneliness that follows. I'm not immune.


I still struggle, months later, with the loss of each horse. As we roll through May, I remember this as the month that we lost Rabbit last year. Its' also the month that we lost Ten Man and Blondie (who we don't normally talk about because it's been years since their passing). It's also been almost three months since losing Bo. But the loss and heartache is still there. It's the what-ifs and what should have beens.


I am glad that I am the one to be the final caretaker. To be privileged with the opportunity to meet these amazing beings. Each comes with a story, some they share, some they don't. But we all have a history and a life to live.


But even as each being crosses over and leaves me behind to wonder, worry, and recover, life goes on. Earlier this week, we were informed that a relative had been killed in an accident. I wasn't close to this relative but I always felt as though I could speak my mind and possibly be more vocal and opinionated without having to worry about stepping on anyone's toes. Life always made it difficult to do more than see each other once or twice a year but it was always fun to hear stories and know that I could let my guard down.


So now I sit here struggling with another loss. The suddenness is probably what gets me the most. Gone too early and too young. Gone before all the plans had been made and adventures taken. As I watch the horses, it's never easy to make the decision but it a little easier when they tell you they are ready. It's those times that it's so sudden of a loss that I seem to have difficulty in recovering from.


If you've read the last blog post, you'll know that I went MIA and after yet another blow, I need a bit more time to, perhaps not recover, but to recenter. It sounds a little selfish and maybe it is, but I want to make sure that this blog stays on task with the center of attention on the horses and not my sorrows. So I may continue to be absent for a bit longer. Until there is peace in my heart, the words seem to get stuck and can't come out.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

MIA

I've been MIA for a couple of weeks now. There's just been too much for me to take in, comprehend, organize, and do. When that happens, I not only disappear, but I shut down as well. So that's what's been going on. It's nothing mysterious.


I'm burned out.


I hate to say the words but it's true. I need a little bit of time away from not only the Sanctuary but in the paying job (they are ramping up for a couple of major projects for the entire summer and I'm slammed), and a few other stresses that have reared their ugly heads. It's nothing to worry about. It's all manageable but it does require some time away from the computer, time away from social media, and to focus on the horses and enjoy the weather.


We went from a blizzard to 80+ degree weather in under a week. I havent' had nearly enough time to mess with the horses now that the weather is getting nicer. I typically have the corral panels up so they can start getting used to the grass on the lawn. I'm behind by two weeks. It's those two blasted weeks of disappearing. It also meant other stuff didn't get done either.


I'm not trying to play the pity card or anything like that. Just trying to be truthful to not only you but to myself as well. When running a Sanctuary, you can never really pause but sometime it's necessary to take a step back and not even re-evaluate what's going on but to breath.


I think that's what I'm doing right now.


In the past week, we were asked to take in 5, not all from the same owner and not all with the same situations. I've been struggling with how to manage all 5. It's not possible. I've been so under the weather lately that I can barely care for the ones we have, let alone an additional 5. And of course those 5 don't come with any funds, food, or other donations. I get frustrated because even though we ARE a non-profit, that doesn't mean it makes life easier. We have to fight for everything and shuffle so much paperwork that it's nearly impossible to get funds for anything. I'm not trying to complain, just point out that those that tell me they cant' afford another horse, how do you expect ME to afford another one? Rescues are the same way. Its' all a balancing act. I'm struggling to balance right now.


So after talking with the Board of Directors, we've decided to close our doors to intakes for the near future. It stinks because we haven't taken anyone in since December 2015. There's been a few we've wanted to take in but of unfortunately those came on the heals of losing one of our residents. I don't take their loss easily and just because they are gone doesnt' mean we can instantly bring another one in. I need time.


So the doors are closed until I'm feeling better. When that will be, I don't know. I'm guessing the first of the year but then we'll be in the midst of winter and simply trying to survive. So I guess we'll see. It sucks to close our doors and tell people no. I want to help but without financial help, it's not possible. We've had some generous volunteers but again, with me being under the weather it's impossible to have volunteers that are minors come out. There must be supervision and I can't do it right now. Again, I hate turning away help but what can I do?


I'm guessing that I will return to being MIA for the next little while. I can't make any promises on when I'll be back. I'm still here trying to get through the day. If you have any suggestions or know of ways to help, I'm all ears. I'll try my best to pop on social media but that depends on technology. My phone has decided to not work and so has our internet connect and computer. It makes it difficult to do anything but then again, maybe it's a sign a need to take a step back and breath for a few days.


We'll see. But for now, I'm here even if I'm MIA.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Upcoming Events

I'm not sure where the last few days have gone. I've wanted to post a few different topics but ran out of time and energy. By late afternoon I was done "adulting" and needed to ..... well I'm not sure what I needed other than not be responsible for much.


We've had beautiful weather the last couple of days and that makes life easier for everyone. Everything is starting to dry out very quickly. I'm excited yet nervous. With everything drying out, the farmers are going to be in the fields soon. But we still need to get everything lined up to haul manure. It's turning into a mountain instead of a hill. The problem is the weekends are filling up quickly. In May, we have one weekend were we could possibly do it and that's only if the farmer isnt' in the field already. I'm not sure if we can get everything lined up by then.


This weekend we are going to be very busy and I hope you all get a chance to stop out. Tomorrow we are going to the Meet the Breeds demo and meet and greet at the Sioux Empire Fair Grounds (by the Old McDonald Farm building). It'll be from 10-2pm and there's going to be all kinds of dogs. Of course we'll be the odd ball and only horse related sanctuary but hey, that's just what we do! The Sioux Empire Kennel Club is putting on the event. We've never been there before but it should be fun.


Sunday, we'll be at Reclamation Ranch in Mitchell for Helping with Horsepower's Fun Day and Tack Swap. That's from 12-6pm. I'm excited to go to both events but this one will be in an area that we haven't ventured before so we'll be meeting a lot of different people. Always excited to talk about our senior horses and what we have to offer.


I've also wanted to talk about Bo but that'll need to be for a different post. Yesterday was 2 months since his passing. AND yesterday was Help-A-Horse day. I'd wanted to post something about it but ...well... I was pretty well done in for the day.


So we'll be busy this weekend talking with people and enjoying the weather. I need to get my act together but I seem to be slowing down rather than stepping it up lately. With the warmer weather, we need to get our stuff in gear and get a bunch of stuff done. There's too many half finished projects that need to be wrapped up this spring into early summer.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Throwback Thursday

This #ThrowbackThursday is to just over a year ago when we released the horses onto the lawn to get used to the grass. Its' easier to catch the horses on the lawn than it is in the big pasture.

I think everyone is looking forward to enjoying pasture time (even if it's on the lawn rather than the big pasture).


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday - Hay Rings

This Wishlish Wednesday, we wish for hay rings. The two hay rings in the big herd have seen better days. In fact, the one will not last another season. We bought them used (and used hard) so we are happy that they have lasted as long as they have. We have two other hay rings but they are cattle hay rings and the horses rub their manes off on the tops of the rings. Its' disappointing to see their luxurious manes disappear.

I've seen a number of different types of hay rings, some made out of metal while others are made out of plastic. In truth, I am not concerned at all on the type, brand, or even if it's used! We use hay nets along with the hay rings and without the hay rings, the  nets get trampled on by the horses so it's a necessity to have hay rings.

I know it's a lot to ask for a hay ring but it's definitely one that is used every day for six months out of the year.


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tip Tuesday - Healthy Treats for your Horse

It's #TipTueday and today's tip is about what healthy treats you can feed your horse!



Monday, April 23, 2018

Light the Night 2018 Another Success

Our third annual Light the Night was another success. This has to be my all time favorite fundraiser and event that we do all year. It's so humbling to see the number of loved ones being honored. 


Pictures are worth a thousand words so I'll leave you with pictures rather than my ramblings.