Monday, December 7, 2020

Heaves Medications

To cut down on the risk of ulcers and other digestive issues, we like to feed high quality grass hay. It gives the herd just the right amount of nutrients so we don't have to worry about anyone but the hard keepers or those that require additional supplements or medication to keep their ailments under control.

Sadly, horses do come to Borderlands with ailments and Digger is one of them. He has heaves and we are doing our best to keep them under control. While it may not be ideal to feed him round bales, we do. However, we do keep a hay net on it so that he cannot bury his head into the bale. It also may help that he can't toss any loose hay around stirring up dust. We do our best to keep the dust levels at a minimum for feeding for everyone.

While we take precautions with the hay, we also know that it's not enough. So we have also feed him a supplement to try and tone down the heaves. When he arrived, he came with two different types of heaves medication, Cough Free and Antihist. We've used Antihist in the past on a different horse with summer allergies (where her heaves flared up during the summer rather than the winter).

We've been alternating between the two to see if Digger likes one over the other or if we like to handle one over another. In truth, they both smell the same so it's really a consistency thing. Cough Free came as a pellet (although it also comes in a powder form). Antihist came in a powder form. I prefer pellets personally for ease of soaking.

We also soak all of our grain to reduce the risk of choke. But it also cuts down on any dust that the grain may have. Beet pulp and alfalfa pellets can become dusty when you first dump them into the grain bucket and we want to do everything we possibly can to make sure there is no dust in the food that we give the horses, especially to Digger (and Brego who we suspect has heaves as well).

It's always a learning curve with each horse to see what will work and what will not work. So far either Cough Free or Antihist seem to be doing the trick. We'll continue to alternate between the two for ease of use. They both cost right around the same amount $30 for a 30 day supply. It costs $1 a day to keep Digger's heaves under control and that dollar is worth every penny.

In case you want to look up more about Cough Free, here's some more information:

It can be bought at any TSC, Runnings, or Fleet Farm.

The Antihist is also sold at TSC, Runnings, and Fleet Farm

It's always a wise decision to speak with your vet about your horse's heaves issues. Digger's previous owners took him to the vet to figure out a game plan for Digger. We want to continue that treatment plan and will continue to give Digger his heaves medicine (either Cough Free or Antihist) for the rest of his life.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Giving Tree at Tractor Supply

We were blessed with the opportunity to have a Giving Tree at the Sioux Falls Tractor Supply on Cliff this year. It is a great opportunity to help the horses. Choose a snowflake wish from the Giving Tree, purchase the item, and take the snowflake home as a token of your generosity for your amazing support. We couldn't help the senior horses without your support.

We'll leave you with just a few pictures of the Giving Tree and we hope you stop down to Tractor Supply. And if you can't, check out the 12 Days of Christmas throughout December to help the senior horses. With your support, we can offer senior horses a loving and permanent home for their twilight years.

Giving Tuesday

It's #GivingTuesday and that means a lot of activity throughout the day for many nonprofits. This year we are keeping it quiet (like we do most years). Covid really through our plans out the window so we are in a holding pattern to see what comes of it and to see where we go when/if life goes back to normal.

But for now, we are participating in #GivingTuesday by posting all of our horses looking for penpals. Zeke and Skippy have penpals but they can always use more. The days are so short and the nights get so long and boring that it's always fun to have something to look forward to. So every hour on the hour if you go to Facebook, you'll see all of the horses who want penpals.

Every hour on the half hour, you'll see the horses again with their letters to Santa. We kept them short this year and told the horses that they can't have expensive items on their wishlist because the pandemic has caused many to be less fortunate than them.

The horses' letters to Santa will kick off the 12 Days of Christmas where the horses ask for items that they could use. Most will be the same items they asked Santa but it's always fun to see what they come up with.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Surprise Packages

Yesterday, while working from home for the paying job (not sure when we'll be back in the office), the UPS guy drove up the driveway. I wasn't expecting anything and didn't think Mike had ordered anything (but you never know with him). As I was running out the door to pick up the kids from school and daycare, I took a closer look at the three boxes.

And I began to cry. How can three big boxes make a grown woman cry? Fill them with Weatherbetta blankets for the horses!!! Weatherbetta and a Home for Every Horse donated 10 blankets to us to keep our seniors warm and snug this winter. And yes, it was an ugly cry sort of cry. We have blankets but they are starting to be in tatters and some horses don't get blankets (because they or their buddy) are too hard on them. I can now put a tattered blanket on one of those horses and put one of the brand new blankets on someone else!

I was not expecting such an amazing surprise. I can't wait to pull the blankets out and decide which one goes to who. I know everyone will be thrilled to have a new blanket and I can't wait to show them all off sporting new blankets.

Thank you Weatherbetta and a Home for Every Horse! Thank you for your generosity, your support of ALL rescues and sanctuaries. Thank you for allowing me to sleep easy at night knowing the horses will all be tucked in blankets when bad weather hits this year.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Christmas at the Capital

We were again blessed to have the opportunity to decorate a tree at our state's Christmas at the Capital. It is so amazing to see all the different trees and those behind the decorations. It is not only an honor but a privilege to have this opportunity to showcase the horses that call Borderlands home.

I like to think that we not only represent Borderlands, but ALL sanctuaries and rescues doing amazing work in South Dakota. I hope that our tree sparks people's attention and that there becomes an awareness not just for senior horses but for the idea of rescue and sanctuary of animals. That there needs to be more awareness and more help in caring for these amazing animals should be of great consideration. Wouldn't it be fantastic if our jobs were eliminated because there was no need for sanctuaries or rescues.

We drove out Saturday afternoon after getting all our chores done (thank you automatic water for making life even easier!) and enjoyed some quality family time (it was much needed). Being surrounded by laughing and happy children is the best medicine for stress (unless it's a horse nuzzle from your favorite horse). We were able to get to the capital early Sunday morning before people arrived so that we could properly social distance and do our part with covid. We questioned attending but figured if we went first thing in the morning on Sunday, there wouldn't be many people. And we were right. We had our tree to ourselves the entire time with only one group of people showing up for about 5 minutes.

As excited as I am to have a tree at the capital, I want to encourage everyone to do what is right for them if they choose to attend Christmas at the Capital. I'd strongly suggest masking up, washing your hands, and staying home if you aren't feeling well. But if you can sneak over some time, it will surly get you into the Christmas spirit. Our tree is on the first level and one of the first trees to great you when you walk in! Check out all of our sanctuary horses. They each have a picture in the picture garland and a gold ball with their name on it (minus three horses in the picture garland because I couldn't find their picture; they were at Borderlands pre-cell phone and are buried in one of the computers).

I will leave you with just a few pictures of our tree representing Borderlands Horse Sanctuary

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Chores in the Dark

When the days are so short and I can't get out to do chores until after dark, it's hard to come up with topics to discuss. Oh sure there's the how to blanket, auto water repair, snow removal, etc. type topics but the day-to-day stuff isn't nearly as interesting.

I've been preoccupied with the upcoming Giving Tuesday although I doubt there will be much interest this year. The pandemic has really set us back. I don't know that it has changed the number of horses requesting to come to Borderlands but it has really forced us to hunker down and not do any of the stuff we'd planned to do, thus finding extra cash along the way. We'll survive and continue on but the burnout this year is strong. I chatted with a couple of ladies the other day to find out how to improve Borderlands (at least on the social media presence). I'm always interested in learning how we can improve and make things better. There are so many successful organizations out there, I want to learn from all of them so I can figure out how to make Borderlands more fun. And if you have ideas, I'd love to hear them. Even something simple like more pictures and videos, I'd love to hear if that is what interests you.

The weather is supposed to be nice this week and weekend which will make life so much easier. Of course we'll be on a different adventure for Borderlands this coming weekend. My fingers are crossed that we can haul hay over Thanksgiving so that we can get all of our winter hay home. It's not paid for but at least it'll be home and I'll have to scrape up the cash to make it happen.

We do have some fun stuff coming up starting on Giving Tuesday and throughout the month of December. Hopefully you'll come along for the ride and enjoy a few giggles.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Best Laid Plans

Well, the weekend didn't go as planned. Mother Nature decided to throw 2020 at us to mess up our plans of getting the hay home. I'm already stressed about how to pay for it and now we have to figure out how to get it all home.

Friday evening the wind picked up and what little snow we had gotten on Thursday started drifting on one of the roads (we'd gone to Madison where the hay was and noticed the snow drifts). One of the other roads was a sheet of ice. We'd hoped by Saturday that the temps would warm and it wouldn't be a big deal but in the morning, it was still cold and the roads were still slick.

So instead of hauling hay with the big trailer that holds 11, we used our car trailer that holds 3. We made one trip home with three bales so we'd have at least something. After we unloaded, we headed right back to Madison to pick up another load. Unfortunately by this time, the ground had warmed up and the roads were getting cleaner (still not completely clear) and where they hay was turned into a muddy mess. We got the truck and trailer stuck without even having the bales loaded. Luckily we were able to get a push out after getting loaded up but it also meant that using the big trailer was a no go.

My thinking with using the smaller trailer is:

The big flatbed trailer we can borrow holds 11 bales. If we order 55 bales, that should get us through the winter. We had leftovers from last year which was a good thing, but if something happens and we say yes to a senior horse in desperate need, we'll need to make sure we have hay on hand. So 55 it is because that makes five trips with the trailer.  But because our time is so painfully limited, I came up with the idea that if we took a load of hay back to Borderlands (11 bales), then we could put another three bales on the car trailer. If we did that four times, we'd have the fifth load of hay home without having to figure out a time to get it home. There's an hour + round trip just in driving and another hour or so to unload the hay. So typically we only get two loads home in one day. So if we had a full weekend (which we did this past weekend), we could get all the hay home.

Unless Mother Nature decides to throw us for a loop.

We thought we could at least haul two loads home on Sunday but after looking at the weather forecast, we knew we'd only be able to squeeze one in. Woke up Sunday morning to roaring wind. We aren't going to borrow someone else's trailer and haul it home with hay when we don't typically haul hay. If it was our trailer, we might have thought differently but because it wasn't ours, we weren't going to take any chances. So instead we hauled one load of hay home on the car trailer. It'll get us through until Thanksgiving.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we can haul the hay home over Thanksgiving. We've made three trips with the car trailer so we'll only need to make trips with the big trailer. We'll be up to Madison sometime over the next two weeks to get the final load of hay on the small trailer.

The hay that was supposed to be ours is also trapped in a different field thanks to the unseasonably early snowfall. I was a little disappointed but the hay we are using is just as good. It technically could be certified hay if my hay guy wanted to jump through the hoops to make it happen.

So we'll try over Thanksgiving to see how it goes. Of course this coming weekend was supposed to be nice but we are out of town for a Borderlands trip. I'll have to tell you more about that later. But it's a somewhat surprise.

And because we work during the week, we can't haul day or even unload it if they bring it down. It's always dark thirty by the time we get done working and head out to chores when it's this time of year. Makes for some stress. Luckily we only have about two months of pitch black chores but it sure makes me appreciate doing chores in the daylight!