Thursday, October 29, 2009

To Stall or Not to Stall

I debated last night in putting Babe and Queen in the barn. I opted against putting them in so that I could give Sam some extra room. I left Bob and Sam in the barn but they didn't seem to eat as much as I'd hoped.

I went to put a blanket on Bob and then thought maybe I should put it on Sam instead since he's fighting a cold and ulcers. He looks terrible. I can't believe how much weight he's lost in such a short amount of time. I'm not really sure how to put weight back on him. I'm afraid he's going to be a hard keeper. I am not supposed to grain him because that's part of what's causing the ulcer. I haven't yet introduced alfalfa into his system yet so I have to work him into that. But I'm going to have to do something fast.

Sam is doing much better. I havent' seen him look back at his flanks since day two of treating him. He still has the snotty nose so I'm sure he's fighting that darn cold.

I was going to put the blanket on Sam and tried. But when I went to put the leg straps on I knew I knew it was going to be a battle and opted against it. Apparently Sam is shorter in lenght than Bob. The leg straps would not work at all! So I think I need to order Sam either a blanket or a sheet so that when it rains I can at least keep the moisture off his back.

I'm not sure Sam has ever had a blanket on. He didn't act like he knew what it was and got rather spooky. So I guess I'll run him into the barn and leave him in to dry out for the night. I don't want to stress his system more than it already is.

I'm guessing I'll put the mares in the barn too just to dry out. I did have the forsight to put a blanket on Queen so she wouldn't get wet. I need to order sheets so I don't have to keep using the medium weight blankets. It's not cold enough for those yet!

I must have been in a bad mood because I didn't pull Maverick out last night. I decided i'd leave him standing in the mud. Actually before it started raining his pen WAS starting to dry out. Now there's been steady rain since this morning so I'm sure his drylot is a swamp again. I'm planning on pulling him out so that he can stand on dry land and get out of the rain even just a little.

Hopefully we'll get better weather next month. If we get too much more rain I'm afraid we are going to float away!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Introducing Zeke into the Herd

Last night I decided I'd had enough of Maverick's bad behavior towards Zeke. Zeke is lowman on the totem pole but I don't have to stand there and watch him get beat all to heck. I wanted to wait until the weekend but I missed my chance last weekend somehow.

I sucked it up and made the plunge. Poor Zeke. He hasn't had it easy since coming to Borderlands. Either he's being picked on by Maverick, has to deal with crappy weather, or is walking through a foot of mud.

I pulled Bob and Sam in the barn so they could eat. I decided I would put at least one more horse in the barn so it wouldn't be so hard on poor Zeke. Chaos was the closest so in he went.

I then let Zeke through the hay barn and in to the big drylot. I left the halter on just in case. I think he's one that will be hard to catch and I figured if there was any drama I wanted to be able to catch him.

I let him go and he started investigating the ground. I had the forsight to throw a little bit of hay on the ground to stall the inevitable fighting (which never happened). Everyone was more intersted in the hay rather than Zeke.

Zeke walked around while Dude and King ate hay. Rain later came up along with Brego and there was still no fighting. Zeke is pretty good with the evasive manuver so he was able to stay out of the path of anyone's wrath.

I did see Zeke rubbing shoulders with King for just a few seconds. I think the transition was easier because Zeke spent so much time in the smaller drylot and could play/tormet the horses over the fence. That way they were able to meet each other and not run the risk of throwing any punches.

I later caught Zeke and Brego eating from the same hay pile. I wasn't sure how Brego would handle the new horse but he didn't seem to care. I think those two might become best buddies. Rain of course will hate Zeke but as long as Zeke has a friend I wont' worry. Although I'm not sure who will be at the bottom of the pecking order. It'll either be Zeke or Brego.

I later let Chaos out to see how the introduction would go. Chaos pinned his ears and Zeke went the other way. So I'm guessing they'll be fine. I later let Bob and Sam out. Sam stayed close to Bob and neither wanted anything to do with Zeke. Both Bob and Sam have been stalled right next to Zeke so I'm not too overly worried about how they'll handle another horse.

All in all the introduction went amazingly well. The only stress was on my part worrying about how it would all work out. I was curious to see how Zeke was doing this morning. To my amazement he was the only horse in the lot this morning. He was standing by the fence watching Maverick who I'd pulled out of the swamplot and put in a temporary pen by himself. Maverick needs to have a good long timeout session. Since Zeke was alone I tossed out some hay so he wouldn't go hungry. I don't think there's that much pasture left and Zeke is herd bound to Maverick (but that will change).

I hope that when I get home everything will be calm as it normally is with that motely crew. So the introduction I was dreading went very well. I don't want to introduce Maverick because he's mean and will cause too much chaos in the herd dymanics. I need to work with him more so I'll keep him separate for awhile longer.

I love having horses that are easy to work with and that have the same temperment as me!

Impending Weather

I guess I have my answer as to what I'll be doing with the oldsters. The image is terrible I know. But what it shows is tonight 60% chance of rain and tomorrow a 90% chance of rain. So I guess instead of just blanketing the oldsters for the evening I'll stall them so they can stay dry until I have to kick them out in the morning.

I just walked by a window and the skies look very hazy. It's not yet misting so I'm not sure if it's just a haze or if it's fog. See what did I tell ya?!?!; I'm a total freak when it comes to weather. And to think, it's not even BAD weather season yet!

I can't believe that it is already the end of October. It was just yesterday that I realized it was the beginning of October. So much has happened this month that it's all becoming a blur! To top it off, it's been all GOOD things happening which is odd because I tend to see things as "the glass is half empty" sort of perspective.

I did create a new temporary stall for Maverick last night. I'll blog about that later. I'm not sure that I'll get a chance to clean out the box stall tonight since I'll be trying to get everyone situated in the barn. I'm not sure how it will all work.

I'm planning on pulling Maverick out so that he doesn't have to stand in mud.
I'll pull Queen and Babe out so they don't have to stand in the rain.
I'll pull Bob out because he needs to save his energy to try and keep what little weight he has on.
I'll pull Sam because he's fighting a cold and the ulcer. I wish I had two draft blankets. I know I'll lose Bob soon but for right now I'd feel better if I had a blanket on both the drafties.

So that leaves me with one stall open in the barn. I'm not really sure who to put in there if anyone at all. I'm debating on either Rain or Zeke. Rain needs to stay out of the wet weather because he's my "delicate flower". But on the other hand he is packing quite a bit of weight so could handle the wet weather. He's also more inclined to go into the leanto. Zeke needs to stay out of the wet weather becaues he too is my "delicate flower" (that or he's playing me). He is also packing quite a bit of weight but he will not go in the leanto and is still adjusting to being in the big herd (I'll blog about that later too!)

So I think I may have just answered my own question as to who the last stall will be for. I need one more stall in the barn! Actually I need more stalls for everyone but for now I'd be happy with one additional stall. So in the barn will be Bob, Sam, Zeke, Babe, and Queen.

I'll need to rearrange Maverick's temporary stall so that it's under a roof more than what I originally had set up. Oh the joys of corral panels. Although I'll never turn my nose up at a corral panel. They've saved my hide more often than I'd like to think!

I guess I'll keep my eye to the sky and ear to the weather. At least it's not a blizzard on Halloween as we've had in the past!

They Can Keep It

Everyone is frantically getting ready for this next wave of bad weather. At least they aren't talking snow for the Borderland area. I couldn't find the graphic for the snow prediction for the Black Hills. The weatherman was talking almost a foot of snow for the Hills. They can keep it!

As it is, we are supposed to get a bunch of rain. It all depends on which model they look at. As you may have gathered in some of my other posts, I'm a weather freak. I always have an eye to the sky and an ear to the weather forcast. I guess it's for two reasons.

Reason# 1: I work far away from where I live. Everyone jokes how the weather is always different south or north of I-90. Well, let me tell you, the weather is different in all four quadrants of the I90/I29 coordior. I know because I typically drive through three of the four and when the weather is bad, I drive through ALL FOUR.

Reason# 2: I'm always worried about my oldsters. I have to pay pretty close attention to the weather so that I know when to stall them, when to blanket them, and when to let them just roam free in the pasture.

As I was coming back in from morning chores, the National Weather Service upgraded the upcoming storm. I can only hope that it stays in central SD. We were just starting to dry out the swamplots. The bigger drylot was actually fairly solid and the smaller drylot had spots where there was firmer footing. Now they are predicting an inch of rain, which means I'll be back to wading through ankle deep mud.

I haven't yet decided what I'll do as far as stalling horses. If I don't stall the mares and the drafts I'll have to do some blanketing. I know they HATE their blankets but it's better than getting drenched. Queen is getting better about letting me blanket her although she's still grouchy about it. I've learned to blanket her during grain time. I also bought some safety pins to put in Bob's blanket. It's a couple inches too big so it slips and gets caught on his leg. So hopefully I can do some "mad safety pinning" on his blanket.

I'm really not looking forward to the rain. If we get too much more all the farmers will be beyond crabby. The horses are starting to get grumpy with this weather too. The horses are either on the pasture or standing on the concrete next to the barn.
I guess as long as it's rain instead of snow I shouldn't complain. I also have this Friday off so I can pull horses into the barn Thursday evening to dry out, warm up, and stand on solid ground. Oh for that Indian Summer everyone was hoping for.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maverick - Returning to His Old Tricks

I came to the conclusion last night that I have to either send Maverick back to a trainer or go in search of a trainer for ME! Maverick is falling in to his old habits and he's starting to make me uncomfortable again.

Mike and I discussed Maverick for some time last night. He's a good horse but he doesn't match my personality. I think with constant riding he'd be just fine. Unfortunately with all the wet weather, riding is impossible. And once I get on, all we do is walk around in circles. Talk about boring for both of us.

Maverick is the type that has to be challenged ALL the time! So I'm struggling with what to do. I'm not sure how to correct some of the bad behaviors and I don't want to be in the same boat I was last year at this time.

I've decided that I'm going to pull Zeke out tonight. He hates being in the mud and you can tell his personality is changing. Maverick is beating him up and all he can do is lurch through the mud to try and get away. I wasn't sure how to introduce Zeke but I guess I'll just stick him in the big herd and see how it goes. Anything will be better than having to deal with mean Maverick.

Then Maverick can be by himself and consider the options. I don't care if he's bored. He'll have to figure it out... in the mud.

We compared Maverick to Dude. Dude is pushy and bossy but he'll stand for being reprimanded. Maverick is pushy, bossy, and will not tolerate punishment. I have to treat him like I do an arabian but that means, how do I reprimand him? I can reprimand Zeke by swatting him and telling him know. He understands (smart boy that he is). Maverick has an ornery streak. I just have to figure out how to manage that ornery streak. That's easy...keep him busy, exept I don't know how.

So I guess I'm going to go in search of a trainer so that he/she can school me with Maverick as my mount. I think that'll be the only way I can keep Maverick. Otherwise I'm going to have to look more seriously at my options. Unfortunately, now is not the time to sell, especially a green broke, grade sorrel gelding with front legs that paddle when he trots and has an attitude of a toddler.

Medicine Season

Last night began the beginning of medicine season. I swear about this time every year I have horses go downhill and vet bills sky rocket. I guess that's the price I pay for having horses.

Luckily mom was able to get to the vet to pick up the six tubes of ulcer medicine for Sam so I could start treating him right away. I'm to give him 3/4 of a tube for the next couple of days. I took the ulcer medicine pretty well. He was a bit dismayed with me and stood in the far side of his stall. But it's hard for a draft horse to hide in a stall. He still swung his head around to look at his flanks. I'm sure it'll take a few days for the meds to work. I then proceeded to pump him full of dewormer. I'm behind on worming everyone and figured I'd hit him up with the dewormer paste. I held off on giving him penecillan until maybe Tuesday or Wednesday for his cold if it's not any better. I figure he's been sleeping the cold off.

I also had mom pick up King's Equ-Sec for his sore muscles. King was more than happy to come into the barn and snarf up the grain liberally dusted with his meds.

I also had mom pick up the tranquilizer for Longhorn. I called and said that I needed a tranquilzer so that we could trim a donkey's feet. The lady said she'd go talk to the vet. When she came back on the line she said: "You have to be very careful with this tranquilizer. If you poke yourself, it could kill you. Do you still want it?" I almost busted out laughing. What am I getting myself into? Of course I needed the tranquilizer so I said yes. The tranquilizer won't knock him out cold but it will make him stand still and not move. I'm a bit nervous but I guess I'll talk to my farrier tonight.

I also started Queen on joint supplements on Saturday. She gets so stiff standing in a stall and with the weather the way it is, I figured I'd get her on a join supplement before winter sets in and her joints get stiff and cold.

Then I started joking with Mike about all our animals with health issues:
Bob - no teeth and cant' chew hay
Sam - ulcers and a horse cold
Longhorn - skis for hooves
Queen - arthritis and stiff joints
Babe - Blind and arthritis
King - Sore muscles and flat feet
Dude - broken tailbone (unreparable)
Rain - heat stroke (photosensitive)

And that's not including the summer ailments of sunburns, scratches/grease heel, bug bites, etc. Or the horses that have past through Borderlands and headed over the Rainbow Bridge. We sure do have one heck of a crew!

I did mention bringing Sam in to get his teeth floated but the vet advised that we wait until we get the ulcers under control and his cold is completely gone. So I'll have to wait another couple weeks before I get everyone in. I'm planning on taking Sam, Rain, and Zeke in for a float. Since last year was the first time Babe had ever had her teeth floated and who knows about Queen I figure I'll be naughty and wait another year to see how they are eating. They are powering through all their food with no problems.

So begins my new job of being a nurse besides caretaker. I guess all that matters is that everyone is healthy, sassy, and happy.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Adventures of Longhorn

Sunday was a pretty exciting day for Longhorn. I still need to get pictures. Maybe tonight!

I've had Longhorn separated from the ponies from day one. He's been near them but never with them. I've had a cattle panel and a corral panel separating them. Every time I go to feed the ponies and Longhorn the ponies whinny and Longhorn does a quiet "heehaw".

I spent last week trying to coax him into letting me touch him. No go. I didn't even come close. So Saturday I brought out a lead rope and halter and left it hanging in his pen so he'd get used to the smells. He did come up and sniff the halter but then backed away. I took it as good progress and left it at that.

I also moved the apple flavored lick toy in between the pony and donkey pen. Longhorn went up to it but he hasnt' shown any interest in it since that first encounter.

Sunday moring I did chores like I normally do and then went back inside to do some housework. I came out later and noticed something just wasn't right with the ponies and Longhorn.

.... Longhorn was IN with the ponies!!!!....

How ever did that happen?!! I figure he'd been hanging his head over a low spot between the cattle panel and a wood fence beam. He must have got it in his head to jump it. The cattle panel is slightly bent so I figure that's how he got in. There were no other places that he could have gotten out. He's lucky he didn't get his front hooves caught on the fence. It could have been disasterous.

I was surprised that he would want to be in with the ponies. Skippy bites him when they stand next to each other. Tommy has a death wish and charges him even with a fence/panel in between.

Poor Longhorn looked really stressed being in with the ponies. So I climbed in and moved the corral panel so that I could trap the ponies in one pen and Longhorn in the other. Of course with all the rain I'm doing this in mud.

The ponies see Longhorn's uneaten hay and go right for it. Longhorn follows. I put the panel back and went back for the halter/lead rope. I opened the panel back up and Longhorn walked right up to me like he was planning on walking right past me instead of being spooked at me.

I put the lead rope over his neck and he didn't do anything! I moved out of the way and he kept coming in to the pen with the ponies. I finally got the halter on him and started petting him. Unfortuantely right then Tommy decided to charge Longhorn. I had to let Longhorn go and wasnt' sure I'd be able to catch him to remove the leadrope but he let me get near enough to catch him again.

I was totally shocked! I decided to leave all three together to see how it went. Longhorn must be lonely. I did feed them in two separate locations this morning so hopefully Longhorn will at least get a little bit of hay before the monster ponies take over. I'm hoping to fiddle a little with Longhorn and see if he'll let me catch him and touch him again.

I'm hoping the ponies have a good affect on him. I've been hugging the ponies and playing with them so that Longhorn gets the idea that being manhandled isn't a bad thing. We'll see how tonight goes. But getting the halter on was a total breakthrough!

Sam has Ulcers?!?!

So I called the vet to see if he could give me a prognosis over the phone. I know it's a bit hard but it would save me vacation time from work, my time running, and any chance of stressing Sam out more.

When I explained Sam's symptoms the vet immediately said ulcers. I guess I'm not too surprised. He's always been a bit of a worrier. He doesn't seem to be as close to Brego as before.

I told him I'd given Sam banamine and he said banamine actually causes MORE ulcer problems, as does the grain! Well DANGIT! So I'm not sure what I'll do for feeding Sam. I may just feed him soaked alfalfa pellets and hay for a little while. Apparently ulcers can make him lose weight too.

I need to work it out so that I can pick up the six tubes of ulcer medicine to give him for the next few days to see if that helps.

I also mentioned the mucus and the vet figures he has an upper respitory infection and that's why he's got the snotty nose. I'm not sure where he would have picked up a horse cold or why his ulcers would flair up now. I'm almost 100% positive he's had ulcers in the past. He was at one point an Amish plow horse and has the scars/marks to prove it. He's always been herd bound so I presume he lost his mate and that's why they got rid of him. He's a hard worker. But I suppose the stress of his past has caused the ulcers.

But at least I now know why he's been so tired. The cold is wearing him out and the ulcers are what's making him constantly look back at his flanks. Now if I can only get the meds tonight and start in on treating him.

Sam is Under the Weather

Sam is sick. I can't figure out what's wrong but he's not himself. I was going to call the vet this morning but he was acting pretty perky so I'm not sure what's up. Let me start from when I noticed something was up.

Mike and I were working in the hay shed Saturday early afternoon. I noticed that Sam actually had his leg cocked. He never rests a leg and snoozes. He was acting really tired. It started to sprinkle so he wandered over to stand under a tree and snoozed. I thought he looked rather cute but odd that he'd be that tired.

The rain finally quit. Sam returned to his spot in the drylot and continued to snooze. The next time I looked over he was laying down. I've NEVER seen him lay down before. I was a little concerned but figured he was just that tired.

He later wandered out with the rest of the herd back to the pasture. In the evening he came back in but kept looking at his flanks. I figured he was a bit colicy so I gave him a dose of Banamine. He wasn't kicking at his belly, he wasn't biting at his flanks (although he kept looking at them). He had good gut sounds, passed gas, and had pooped earlier in the day. He did have some yellow muchus coming from his right nostril. Knowing that you're not supposed to grain them if they colic, I held off graining him. He was very much upset with me.

I did pull Sam out and walk him around in hopes that more gas would pass. But once we got onto grass he was more interested in eating. I didn't really let him graze too long, just a few bites in case he was having mild colic. I did notice he'd lost considerable amount of weight. I'm not sure when he started dropping weight but it's noticable.

I went to check on him at 10pm Saturday but he was out in the pasture and it's almost impossible to find him in a 10+ acre pasture with just a flashlight.

I went out Sunday morning and he was standing in the pasture acting normal. No kicking at the belly but resting. Always resting! I noticed later that he was laying down again. Not rolling around, just curled up snoozing. It's like he's exhausted. I can't figure it out.

I brought him in last night to grain. I gave him a dose of Banamine and grained him. He snarfed down the food. He continued to look at his flank, not bite it, just look at it. I later took him out of the barn so I could clean the stalls and let him graze. He acted like he was starving. I know I need to get his teeth floated but I didn't think he was losing weight because of his teeth.

I also noticed that he had more yellow mucus from his right nostril and there was a trace of blood. Or what looked like blood but I'm not sure. I let him graze for a good half hour and he was happy as could be. He never once put his head up to look back at his flanks. The entire time he ate he never picked his head up. Is he telling me that I'm starving him and that he's simply hungry?

He has been coughing a bit more lately so I'm not sure if he just picked up some cold or something. I don't know.

I put Sam in Bob's stall so that I could keep a close eye on him. I put Maverick and Zeke in to the barn so they could stand on dry ground. I figured I didn't need to put Brego in the barn as long as Sam had someone for company.

When I went out this morning to do chores, Sam was bright eyed and cheery. Usually when I pull horses out (Maverick and Zeke) they are pretty groggy. But Sam was happy to see me and ready for the day's adventure. He let out a whinny when he saw me. Guess maybe I should have fed him more.

Sam ate everything that I'd given him. There were a few whisps left but I'm not sure he could find them in the dark. I let him out of the barn and he went straight for the salt block. No mucus (just remants from throughout the night). Once he was finished with the salt block he wandered out to the pasture. No looking back at his flanks or anything.

I wanted to stall him so I could see what was left in his stall. Unfortunately Sam is a stall walker. I didn't know that until today. His stall was trampled. I could distinguish two poop piles and all of the straw was peed on. I guess that's a good sign. I figured he would have pooped more.

So now I'm not sure if he's just got a cold or if he's got a mild case of colic. But how can that be when he's pooping, peeing, has good gut sounds, and is eating everything in sight.

I need to worm him so maybe that's the next step. I will call the vet later today to see what they have to say. I don't know. I just know he was off this weekend. I plan to stall him again tonight with Zeke and Maverick so that I can keep a close eye on him. I may give him a full bale just to see how much he actually eats. It could be he's just hungry. I dunno.

I've come to the realization that Sam is NOT an easy keeper.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Summer Sleak

I do miss the summer sleak look. Everyone is turning into wooly mammoths. I won't complain. Just prefer sleak to wooly.
King and Darl

Chaos -- isn't he a hunk?!?!

Friday, October 23, 2009

At Long Last.... The Sun!

What's this I see?!?! Could it be?!?! It can't be! But wait... it IS! It IS the sun! Hello sun, we've missed you! You've been gone for so long!

Finally, after way too many days to count the sun is finally out. I can only hope that the sun will stay out for the next few days. I need the swamplots to dry out. Maverick and Zeke are over their hooves in mud. I almost lost my boot this morning to the mud.

I decided that the mud was too much for Maverick and Zeke last night. It wasn't raining cats and dogs but I figured they may appreciate a night on dry land. I noticed Maverick was full of himself bucking and running around in the drylot. I knew he was going to be a handful leading him to the barn. He's losing his ground manners.

Thankfully Mike took Zeke and I manhandled Maverick. He settled down after I tied him to the fence but that short walk to the barn was no fun for me. I am coming to the realization that I may need to send him every spring to the trainers for a refresher. It's impossible to ride in the mud so Maverick is going to regress.

I'd forgotten that I'd left Sam in the barn so I had to tie Zeke and Maverick to the fence while I kicked Sam out. I threw some hay and got the stalls ready. I decided that they needed a lesson in standing quiety so I brushed them down. Maverick of course was naughty. Darn horse. I need to work with him more.

I first led Maverick in to the barn. Bob was still in the barn. He was just finishing up so he ended up sniffing Maverick as we walked by. Unfortunately I didn't have the forsight to shut the gate and while I was trying to get Maverick in his stall Bob decided to make a break for it.

Bob made it all the way out of the barn and went over to meet Zeke. Luckily there wasn't a big wreck and both Mike and I were able to convince Bob to come back into the barn. Mike grabbed a lead rope but what do I grab?!!? TREATS! The only way to Bob's heart is treats!

I finally got Bob in to the big lot and went back for Zeke. Unfortunately Zeke is totally herd bound. At one point he must have thought he was completely alone (never mind the ponies, donkey, and the horses behind the barn).

I think it may be time to work with him and Maverick on being alone. Maverick can handle being alone but he's losing his ground manners. I do NOT appreciate being run over or walked in to. Since it's so muddy in the swamplot I may sacrifice a portion of the driveway to work with Maverick. He needs to be exposed to more so maybe just lunging him on the driveway will get him accustomed to different surroundings AND burn off some excess energy.

This morning Maverick was decent walking back to his pen. He has taken to crowding me but at least this time he didn't do a mini rear. He still spooks me out but if I would work him like I should he would be way better.

I have a huge ToDo list for the horses. I'm hoping if I can tackle some of that list I may be able to get the red shed cleaned out in a small portion so I can start working Maverick, even if it's just flexing and bending. Anything is better than nothing at this point. All the horses need some "mental time". I guess it'll be back to school for the younger gang. I just have to figure out some of the logistics.

Hopefully the sun will stay out so that I can be more motivated this weekend. Keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Where did the sunshine go?

When I finally got out to do chores last night it was wet and cold. Luckily Queen was nice and dry under her blanket so I left the mares out. Instead, when I went to feed Maverick and Zeke, Zeke was shivering. I'm not sure if he was cold or just playing me.

I decided I would pull them out of the muck and mire and stall them. Unfortunately I can't get their drylot to dry out. How can you when it constantly rains? I don't have any other place to keep them except for in a stall and that's unacceptable since I don't ride every day.

I pulled Zeke and Maverick out. I think they were happy to be on "dry land". Everyone else seemed content. When I went to put Zeke and Maverick back in their swamp lot this morning neither wanted to go in. I don't blame them one bit. Who wants to stand in mud all day and deal with wet, cold weather?

I'm not sure if I'll pull them out again tonight but I may just have to since there is standing water in there swamplot. I need to take some time to clean out the box stall and finally get the second box stall finished so that I don't have to take up space in the barn (where the mares will need to go). Maybe tonight if I can get motivated I'll clean out that stall.

Unfortunately it's been so wet, I don't dare take the tractor down to the bottom of the hill. So that means that I have to take wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow down the hill. I'm not too thrilled with that idea (neither is my wrist) so I guess that's why I haven't tackled the big project. Maybe tonight I'll just suck it up and do it. But then again, I've said that before.

Not much has been going on lately. The weather isn't conducive to do much other than to fly through the chores and go back in. This weather is taking it's toll on me. I'm sure it's taking its toll on the animals too. I can't seem to get motivated and am always tired. Not a good combination when there's 14 four legged animals to feed, water, and pamper. Come on sunshine. I need you more now than ever before!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Floating Away

Another quiet night to do chores last night. I didn't get a chance to actually watch the weather but I'd heard rumors that we were going to get more rain. I know the farmers are frantic to get their crops out. I'm sick of all the mud.

Knowing that it might rain I decided to throw a blanket on Queen. I had throught about putting Queen and Babe in the barn but throught it might be cruel to kick them out into the rain first thing in the morning.

I'm glad I put Queen's blanket on when I did. It wasn't raining at 6pm when I went out to start chores, nor was it raining when I finally made it in by 8pm. But by 11:30pm it was raining so I was glad I'd had the forthought to throw a blanket on BEFORE Queen got wet. I need to order a waterproof sheet, that way I don't have to throw that medium weight blanket on and throw her system all off.

I didn't spend much time with Longhorn. I decided to see what he would do if I stayed in Tommy and Skippy's pen. Longhorn kicked up his heels a couple of times and warily watched me. Unfortunately there was no sniffing. I'm really not sure what to do with him.

I have decided that for sure I'm pulling Zeke out of the pen with Maverick. Maverick is just too mean and I think he's wearing Zeke out. Poor Zeke.

Today is supposed to be the last day of rain for at least the next couple of days. Hopefully we'll start to dry out before it gets super cold. I think I saw the low as 32 degrees. Hopefully it won't get that cold. I don't yet have the water troughs set up yet with the heaters. I'm not sure what I'll do with Maverick's water but I have the mares' water positioned where I can easily run a heater and not worry about cords laying everywhere or putting a strain on certain wiring.

I'm not sure what tonight will bring. I guess it all depends on the weather and if/when it will stop raining.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

General ramblings for the Day

Lots going on but not much with the horses. At some point (after I recover) I'll blog about Babe's adventures in the new pasture. I decided on Saturday to move the mares to the new pasture before everyone got out on the road for opening day of pheasant hunting season. After Babe's adventures I'm constantly checking on both Babe and Queen. I think Queen likes the new pasture. I've seen her curled up snoozing a couple of times already. I'm guessing she prefers the less steep hills.

I realized this past Saturday that I haven't done anything with Longhorn. I still need to get a call in to my farrier. I decided Saturday I'd spend some time with Longhorn. I climbed in and had hoped I could at least get near him. Nope. Not even close. He did spook me a couple of times by tossing his head around and swishing his tail. I wasn't sure if he'd charge me or not.

I climbed in Longhorn's pen yesterday and of coures he was uncomfortable with me. I stayed near a post or a pen but he did kick at me right away. So of course I'm now a bit more spooked of him. He's so darn fast, he could kick me and I wouldn't know that he'd done it until he was half way across his pen.

Last night I climbed in again and stood there talking to him. Skippy came over so I started petting Skippy through the panels. While I was messing with Skippy Longhorn came up. I didn't pay any attention to Longhorn. Longhorn came up close enough to stretch his nose out and sniff my coat. I'm considering it progress. Unfortunately he got close enough that he repositioned himself and had his butt half way facing me. I became overly uncomfortable and made both of us spook. Luckily he didn't kick me. I think if he would have kicked I'd consider trimming his hooves and putting him out to pasture with the cows. It's still an option I'm contemplating.

I was in town last night but forgot to pick up King's Equ-Sec. I still need to talk to the vet (when he gets back) to see if there is anything more for King's sore muscles. I'd like to be able to ride him again at some point.

Nothing else going on with the horses. Maverick is being a total prick to Zeke. I'm half tempted to move Zeke out and put him with the big herd. I'm afraid he'll get picked on but at least then he'll be out of the mud and away from nasty Maverick. I think Maverick needs some "alone time" to cool off. I don't want to put Zeke out on the pasture since he hasnt' been on pasture since the first of September. But there's not too much grass left in the pasture so maybe this weekend I'll introduce him. He's been playing with the horses over the fence so maybe it's time to introduce him. I was planning on waiting to introduce Zeke to the rest of the herd until after Bob was gone but I can't seem to make "that call" just yet.

Bob is eating me out of house and home but he's happy. I'm sure he's starting to get a little thin so I know I need to just call but I can't seem to do it yet. He's so happy to come in and eat his grain mash and beet pulp. Sam makes more noise than Bob but it's so worth it to see those two big guys standing in the barn slurping up their grain. Those old horses do have a calming affect over me.

I did hop on Chaos last night with a halter and two lead ropes. He did alright for the most part. I should just start hopping on whenever I get the chance on any of the horses. I need to figure out how to make a small portion of the red shed into a riding arena. It doesn't have to be big, just big enough for me to ride around in circles and maybe work on a few things. I havent' been on Maverick in at least a month and it shows. He's getting a big head.

Not sure what tonight will bring. The weatherman is calling for more rain so who knows what will be headed our way. I'm hoping to spend at least a little bit of time with Longhorn (just ignoring him playing with Skippy. I didn't know donkey's could get jealous, if that's possible with Longhorn.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away!

I hate to complain about this weather but it sure is getting old. I thought the weatherman was saying 60s for the weekend but when I looked just now it didn't show 60s until Sunday. I'd really love to have just a few more weeks of nicer weather.

I feel like I've been caught with my pants down. I'm simply not prepared for winter this year. Of course it IS only mid October so we should be having nice fall weather instead of end of November weather.

Last night I had to do chores in the rain. At times it was a heavy rain and at others it was just a steady rain. I may need to invest in a good waterproof coat or a rain coat if this weather keeps up.

I immediately pulled Bob into the barn. Since I was gone Tuesday night I forgot to prepare Bob's beet pulp so he only got his senior feed. Don't worry I did go back and feed him his beet pulp later in the evening but it takes about two hours for the beet pulp to soak before feeding. I think without the beet pulp Bob would have gone to bed hungry (even though he had free choice hay).

I pulled Sam and King in to get their grain. Sam was disappointed that I had to kick him back out. If I would have had enough water tubs I would have left him in.

I finally got Babe and Queen into the barn but couldn't get back in the house to get their warm water for the mash. They were a bit put out while I did all my chores but they were happy to be in some place dry.

I did decide to pull Zeke into the barn. He was shivering again. Rain was fine. It's odd. I can't figure out if Zeke is playing me or if he is like Rain and gets chilled easily. Rain could get out of the rain so I didn't worry about him. I wasn't sure how Bob and Zeke would react to each other but they behaved just fine. Zeke was curious and did some sniffing over the chain. Bob pinned his ears and then turned his back on Zeke. I think they'll be just fine!

Tommy, Skippy, and Longhorn didn't venture out of their small pens to stand in the rain/mud. They stayed under cover. Longhorn is starting to do his "heehaw" at me every time I bring him food. I hope that at some point he'll learn to trust me and that only good things will happen to him from now on.

I was worried that Maverick would be chilled standing out in his swamp lot but he was just fine. I think Maverick is pretty tough. He has a decent winter coat, unlike Brego.

When I went in last night Dude, Rain, Chaos, Sam, and Brego were standing in the leanto. King decided he'd rather stand out in the rain. I can't figure him out. He prefers the bad weather to the confinments of shelter. I have to position him in the barn inbetween two horses. If I have him near the wall he gets uncomfortable. Of course he gets uncomfortable being stalled next to Sam too. I'll have to remember that for this winter.

I dried of Queen last night before I fed them their grain mash. I wasn't sure if she'd dry out otherwise. Water just poured off her. After the last time I wondered if in the morning Queen would need a blanket. I was right. Queen still wasn't completely dry. I can't figure out why she doesn't dry off other than she can't get her body warm enough. I'm sure she's spending all her energy trying to stay warm.

So this morning I decided to throw the lightweight blanket on her. I need to invest in a waterproof sheet so that I can just throw that on her whenever it rains. She really can't handle being out in the rain without some type of blanket/sheet. She really can't tolerate any bad weather.

I think starting the first of November I'm going to break into the alfalfa for the mares. I have 50 bales so we'll see how far they go. I'm not impressed with this batch so hopefully next year I can get a better batch. But if I have it, I might as well get them used to it.

Hopefully this weekend the weather will be nice enough to dry out most everything before the next wave of rain comes through with a cold front.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Questions Answered

I guess my question has been answered.

Question: Where are all the thin horses that used to show up at auctions?
Answer: Standing in a pasture/barn starving.

Sale barns aren't allowed to sell very thin horses. I haven't seen any even questionably thin horses. Now people will use the excuse they can't take them to auction.

from Keloland News

Horses Seized From SD Farm
The McCook County Sheriff's Office says it has seized 12 horses from a farm near Spencer.The Second Chance Rescue Center in Sioux Falls helped with the removal of the horses, which officials say are in poor condition and in need of proper feed and shelter.One horse was taken to the Dakota Large Animal Clinic on Wednesday for treatment. The others were turned over to the animal rescue center.The farm was not immediately identified. The rescue center says charges have not yet been filed against the owner.

There has to be something I, or Borderlands, can do. Anyone interested in helping me figure out how to start a "horse food pantry"? There HAS to be something I can do. I'm maxed out but can't let this go!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Longhorn the Donkey

I've never had a donkey. I've always wanted one but don't know the first thing about them so this will be an adventure.

When we finally got home and chores done it was time to get Longhorn out of the trailer. He let me put a halter on although he wasn't too happy about it. He's skittish around people. I'm sure he's been around people but not handled all that much, not abused, just not handled.

I got Rain's halter on him and went to lead him out. Nope! I pulled and tugged but nothing. I guess donkeys are going to be a bit more difficult. He loaded with some difficulty because of his skis for hooves. I was worried he had gotten a hoof stuck in the trailer somehow. At one point Mike said to just leave him in the trailer since it was getting really late. It was supposed to get cold so that was out of the question.

I kept the end of the leadrope inhand but jumped out of the trailer. That's when Longhorn followed me. The open trailer door must have appeared as an invitation. He jumped out with no problems. Then the hard part, leading him into the barn. Longhorn wouldn't lead. He'd just stand there and give me this confused look. Obviously he's not halter broke but will tolerate the halter.

So to rush the matter I reversed him, since that's the only direction he would go, and backed him into the barn and then into his stall. I have now come to the conclusion that you can't lead him unless he's in front. I learned that trick. Keep a hand on his butt and use the leadrope more like a rein to get him to go in the direction you want.

Longhorn does NOT like dogs or cats. Gypsy is going to have a tough time with Longhorn. I can just see the vet bill now!

I got Longhorn settled in for the night. He didn't want anything to do with me. I was disappointed. Here those two nice mares were so friendly and then I get this unfriendly donkey. Sort of breaks my heart to know I chose the wrong one and didn't bring the friendly horse home too. It's not for lack of trying to bring her home. I just am not quick on my feet at auctions.

Sunday we had a family get together so I left Longhorn in the barn but opened the door so he'd get at least a little bit of light. I wanted him to relax after Saturday's ordeal at the auction. His life has totally changed.

To add to the problems, Longhorn doesn't have hooves. He has skis. That's right. His hooves have been so neglected that they look like skis or elf shoes. Because I can barely handle him I don't know what my farrier is going to do. I called the vet to see what they had for options. But my vet is out until the end of October and I want Longhorn's feet done ASAP. They are long and he's pigeon toed to make matters worse. So I'm going to call my farrier and see if sedating Longhorn will make working on his feet a bit easier. I can barely touch Longhorn. I won't let my farrier handle an animal I'm uncomfortable with. Longhorn can kick.. and he has no problems kicking. I'd rather not have my farrier's head kicked off.

So I now have to put a call in to my farrier. I have more Longhorn stories from this weekend but those will come shortly! I finally bought batteries on Friday but seem to have lost them already. Once I findthem I'll get pics of Longhorn and his awful feet!

Saturday's Horse Auction

One word that sums up Saturday is "Stressful". Maybe only to me but I take auctions very seriously. I don't see livestock. I see a life changing moment for so many four legged animals where someone simply didn't care about them any longer. There are better ways to move someone on than to dump them at an auction with disease.

I got up fairly early Saturday. The auction started at noon and I wanted to be there by noon to get a look look at all the loose horses. I rushed around to do all the chores and we headed out the door in the car about 11am. With Mike driving it didn't take as long as it does when it's just me puttering along.

We arrived at the sale barn just before noon and I went directly to the loose horse section. I didn't see any thin horses. I cant' figure it out. They are out there but no one is accepting them. I KNOW they are standing in a pasture or barn starving. It's not like the starving horses just disappear because the salebarn wont' accept them. They are OUT THERE!

But I digress. I walked through the whole lot of loose horses. I fell in love with some and remembered their numbers for later. 707 and 706. Two belgian cross mares. One with a halter and friendly. The other without a halter, a bit thin but super friendly. Loved the head scratches. I simply fell in love. Saw one other horse with terrible feet. I figured I'd see how much he/she went for and would bid. I'd do the same for 707 and 706.

Let me just say I dispise auctions. Absolutely hate them. Cruel people and sick horses. Hate it, hate it, hate it. But I have to go!

After a walk through the loose horses I went over to the catalog and non-catalog horses. Lots of noncatalog horses saddled and waiting. I didn' tlook too hard at these horses knowing that they would get decent homes. I figured I wouldnt' be able to touch most of those horses and didn't come to see them anyway, although I'm always interested in prices.

I grabbed my number and headed up to the arena, knowing that finding a seat right after the sale started would be tough. Of course they ran out of catalogs and I had to snag a supplement sheet to write down all the prices. I stood at the rail for an hour writing down prices. Lots of nice horses. Once the non-catalog sale started people started to thin out (not a lot but enough for us to get a seat).

We sat for about two hours watching catalog and non-catalog horses go through. Luckily the same auctioneer did most of the sale. I hate it when they switch. It takes me at least a dozen horses to get the feel of the new auctioneer, and that's pretty hard when they start rushing through loose horses.

Unfortunately they started in reverse order on the loose horses and started almost immediately with the horses I was intersted in 707 and 706. I couldn't figure out how to raise my hand and ended up letting 706 (the one with the halter) for for $280. 707 which is the one I really wanted went for $160. Why did I not raise my god damn hand?! WHY?!!? I'm so angry with myself.

The loose horses started to go faster and faster as the crowd continued to thin out. It was 3pm and the place was emptying out and buyer #79 kept buying all the horses. You KNOW he was a killer buy. He bought 706 and 707. I am still sick over it.

Then they rushed a donkey in. I remember seeing him but didn't remember much since he wasn't on my radar. No one bid. Then the auctioneer asked if anyone would give $10. All of a sudden my arm was in the air. What the heck?!!? I just bought a donkey! Dont know anything about him. I guess my thinking was I would buy that terribly crippled, long hooved horse that could barely move. Then it wouldn't be such an expense to drive down to get one animal.

Unfortunately my hand froze when the aformentioned horse hobbled through. He went for $10 to buyer #80 (another killer buyer I think). What the hell was wrong with me?!!?! By 4pm I was exhausted. They'd switched auctioneers and everything went to hell. Everyone was clearing out. They were going so fast that the temp dropped at least 15 degrees because the doors were constantly open. Buyer #79 bought amost everything. Every horse that went through was a sorrel but I didn't know anything about them. I couldn't even tell if they were mares or geldings. I was getting SO frustrated.

So I gave up. I had to quit. I figured that we better get going since we had a few hours on the road to go bring my donkey home.

I went to the office to pay for my donkey. The lady laughed and said someone had put a longhorn donkey on my ticket! I guess that's what we'll call him! Longhorn! or LG for short! hahahaha Once I had my recipt and pickup order in hand we rushed home to hook up the trailer and head back. It's about a 50 minute drive one way. So least to say we were busy driving for most of the evening.

We got back home about 5pm. Mike went to get gas in the truck while I did some chores. He hooked up and headed back to Worthing at about 5:30pm. We didn't get back to the salebarn until 6:30pm. I'd decided while driving that I would ask them if I could get the buyer #79's information and see if I couldn't buy 707 from him.

We got to the sale barn, backed up and handed them my papers. They'd already put him to bed for the night. Awesome people helping. I really liked how they handled the animals and were willing to answer my questions. So once we got Longhorn into the trailer I asked about buyer #79. They said he'd already taken a load but I was more than welcome to go see if the mare was still there. There were 30 horses he hadn't taken yet. I felt sick!

I climbed over fences to see if she was there. If she wasnt I guess it wasn't meant to be. I walked along and climbed the fence to see if she was there. I spotted 706. She came right over to me and started nuzzling my coat. I couldn't figure out why. I then spotted 707. I kissed to her a couple of times and she same over but didn't spend any time with me. She put her head back into the round bale and continued to ignore me. Of course 706 was still pushing on me. That's whne I realized I had put treats in my pocket to lure the donkey into the trailer. I'd forgotten about them so I gave 706 a handful of treats. She wouldn't let any of the other horses get any. If I would have known I would have dropped them all so she could have every single one.

I rushed back to the office to say she was still there. They gave me the guy's phone number, Ryan. I called but no answer. They said if I didn't get an answer to come back in. They were getting ready to go but were willing to help me out. They called but didn't get an answer. They called a differnet number and got someone else. The guy said he already had a buyer for her. I totally spaced asking about 706. But I figure he had a "load" and wasn't willing to sell her since she was bigger (although ribby). If he sold one than he wouldn't have a "load" and wouldn't be able to sell. Makes me so mad. Why did I not RAISE MY GOD DAMN HAND?!!?!?

I had to rush out of the building so they wouldn't see how upset I was. I pretty much drove home in silence. I decided I would put my attention towards the donkey.

Got home about 8pm and still had to do chores. I left Longhorn in the trailer while I grained, watered, and hayed everyone. Then came the adventure of getting Longhorn out of the trailer and into the barn.

I'll post that story later! :-)

By the time I was done doing chores I was so tired, stressed but still keyed up. Mike went right to bed but I stayed downstairs. I think I cried myself to sleep knowing that all of those horses in that holding pen were going on a truck for their last ride. It's a same. 706 and 707 were super friendly. They haunt me now.

Friday Evening Adventure

With all the excitement of the last few days I'll start at the beginning and add new posts for each new "adventure" although without pics since I still need to get batteries in the camera.

The weatherman forcasted rain turning into snow Friday. I'd bought some lumber to finish the wood fence between the chicken coop and the barn along with some lumber for another open front. I finally found the missing receipt. Of course it was right where I put it, in the OTHER car! Silly me to forget which car I was driving.

So we decided at 5pm Friday to run to Sioux Falls and pick up grain and lumber. Mike hooked up the flatbed and off we went. I hate not having a lot of time to get all my errands done. We rushed to Campbell Supply and bought senior grain and fence clips for the new mare pasture. My hope was to pick up the wood and some other fencing supplies and finish the fence during the weekend. Remember, that was my hope!

Once we checked out of Campbell Supply we rushed over to Tractor Supply (always with the flatbed in tow). I'm glad Mike is comfortable driving along pulling the flatbed with the Explorer. I'm not used to the flatbed (just the horse trailer).

I had to pick up beet pulp and more t-post covers. I love seeing those white caps on all the fence posts. Makes me feel like Babe will be more secure in this new pasture.

Once we checked out of TSC we grabbed something quick to eat and then headed to Menards. We had to buy a few things inside (like batteries) before heading out back to pick up my wood. We weren't in any of the stores for very long. I'd checked the weather before we left and it said that it would start to snow about 9pm.

The weatherman wasn't too far off. We loaded up the flatbed in the freezing cold. I hate hauling stuff on the flatbed without the sides because we have to secure everything! It took longer to secure my small pile of wood than it did to find it and load it all up. We finally pulled out of the Menards parking lot about 8:30 and the snowflakes were really starting to fall. We didn't get more than a mile away and one of the straps popped off and went sailing so we had to resecure everything in the cold and snow.

By the time we finally got back on the road and hit I90 for home it was snowing like crazy! I was glad Mike was driving. As it was I could barely see. We slowed down knowing the bridges and overpasses would be slick.

When we pulled out of Menards it was 40 degrees. By the time we got onto interstate it was 30 something. By the time we hit our gravel it was in the upper twenties. Crazy how the temps would drop that many degrees in just a half hour. It was a little scary!

Unfortunately with all the snow we missed our gravel turn off and had to go an extra mile. We finally made it home about 10pm. We rushed to get the wood under cover (although not sure why since it was all treated!)

I had to start chores at 10pm because I didn't realize we were headed to town after work. So there I was pulling Babe, Queen, Bob, and Rain into the barn. I don't want the mares to get wet. I don't think Queen can handle it.

I had to take a break to get warm water for those that need their mash and switch into dry shoes! I hate wet shoes! Rain was a bit put out in being stuck in the barn but I figure he'll get over it. I felt bad that I had to leave Zeke out but he wasn't shivering. I desperately need to get those stalls finished!

I finally got all my chores done by about 10:45pm. Luckily I didn't need to get morning chores ready so that cut some of my time down. Mike helped haul water so that cut down on my chore time too.

I do hate winter. I can't figure out how to squeeze in a trip to Sioux Falls AND get my chores done without having to fight everyone in the dark. The stores all close before I can get there if I do chores first. If I go in first to buy supplies then I'm doing chores in the dark with ticked off horses. That leaves the weekend for shopping with all those crazy people who will end up getting me sick! I'm not seeing a win, win situation here! For now I guess I'll do half my chores in the light and do the other half in the dark, rushing the entire time.

So that was my Friday evening adventure! More to come soon!

Rollercoaster Weekend

There's been so much going on in the past four days it's hard to keep track. I'm now under the weather and am hoping I didn't catch something too serious. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow. Otherwise I may decide to "take a day" for myself and curl up on the couch.

Need to get a bunch of pics and have at least one story/experience to talk about for each day I've missed of blogging. Hopefully I'll be able to blog later but thought I'd post to say it's been one heck of an interesting weekend (fun, stressful, sad, disappointing, hilarious). It's been a rollercoaster ride this weekend.

More to come shortly.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Just a quick update to say we attended the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock auction. Had to run home to get the truck/trailer to pick up a donkey. Wishing I would have been thinking faster to bring two Belgian mares home. May have to hunt down their new owners (who happen to be a killbuyer).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pending Snow

It appears winter will soon be here or at least the snow that typically goes with winter. I'm afraid the Farmers Almanac may be true. Frigid with lots of snow for this winter. Depending on which weather forcast I look at we could get lots of snow but no one is really saying exactly when it's going to hit.

I also read somewhere that it'll be rain first and then switch to snow. If that's the case then I have to figure out who else needs to be in the barn.

I'll most definately put the mares in. I simply don't think Queen can handle much cold weather. She definately cannot handle being wet since she didn't dry out from the last time (after giving her almost 12 hours to dry out in the barn). I can't put a blanket on her yet unless I want to leave that blanket on all winter. She doesn't have a thick enough coat yet.

If it does rain and then snow I'm thinking I'll leave Bob in the barn too. He's partial to Queen so I'll stick Bob in the stall next to Queen so that they can at least keep each other company if not love on each other over the gate.
I'm also debating on whether I should put Zeke in the barn too. He's a bit more delicate than I originally thought. I don't think he can handle the colder weather like some of the other horses. I see him shivering often and that bugs me. Even Rain doesn't shiver as much. But it could be that Zeke is playing me. He's a smart boy. Or I could very well have two "delicate flowers."

I haven't decided yet if I'll put Rain in or not. If I put Rain and Zeke in the barn also I'll have a full barn. The box stalls aren't yet ready for horses. I figure if I pull Bob and Rain out than the rest can stand in the leanto and at least get out of the rain (except Maverick).

I'd hoped that I could get an open front built in the smaller drylot but it's not looking like it's gonna happen. The only other option would be to build it on skids so that I could possibly move it around and then make it a permanent location later next summer. I guess that'll be an option I need to talk with Mike about.

I'm really dreading this snow. It's only October 9th and it's going to snow. Although my Fog Predition called for precipe tomorrow so I guess I was a bit more prepared (at least in a sense).

I'm hoping we can run to town tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. I have a whole list of things that we need to pick up to finish fencing and need to get additional grain for the horses (nevermind people groceries). I suppose there will always be something but I'd rather get my running down now before the wet and snow arrives along with the cold.

The high tomorrow is going to be blasted cold. I'm definately going to have to dress appropriately for the horse sale. Now I need to decide if I drag along the trailer or go just to see/take notes and if necessary go home and get a trailer. I can't decide!


I confess I don't like doing chores in the dark, especially in the mornings. When the moon is out it does make morning chores in the dark bareable if not pleasant. I typically turn on the outside yard light by the house and always have the trusty large yard light. I've taken to carrying a flashlight because of all the varmit that are now starting to appear. We caught a possum the other night. Those little buggers need to disappear.

The hayshed is pitchblack in the mornings and it's nice to have a flashlight handy for two reasons: 1) so that I can see any little buggers running around and 2) to use as a weapon if a varmit decides to attach. I can toss and run the other direction!

This morning, like other mornings, I scurried around to get outside to do chores. I let the ponies out to find their hay. I waddled on over to feed Maverick and Zeke. I decided to toss some hay to the mares this morning too but they weren't up close to the hay shed. When I went to feed Maverick and Zeke I noticed Babe was just on the other side of the fence. I climbed the fence and Queen was again flirting with Bob. Bob and Queen really do like each other. I think Bob would prefer to be in with Queen.

I tossed the hay in front of Babe and called for Queen who promptly left Bob for the hay! I decided I'd go give Bob a pat and that's when I noticed the bright, almost full moon. Each of the horses cast a shadow. I love doing chores when I can do them by the light of the moon. I sometimes forget how easy to navigate around the pasture without any type of light except the moon. The yard lights seem to make everything else feel and look so much darker than it really is.

Yesterday was pretty uneventful as far as horses/chores go. The horses have decided to start finding every cocklebur bush on the place. The horses are coverd in cockleburs: mane, tail, checks, belly, feathers... EVERYTHING!

The night before last I braided Rain's mane and tail. Last night I pulled Brego into the barn while Sam and Bob ate their warm mash. I braided up Brego's mane and tail. He was good for about half the grooming. I need to start spending some more time with him to make sure he has good ground manners. I hate having to deal with horses that have no ground manners.

I finally got Brego finished and decided I would tackle King. He's gotten really bad about having his head handled. He's not head shy really. It's more ear shy. He has ear plack. I need to figure out how to get that fixed. I dont' know why I didn't have the vet look at him when I took him in back in August. I think I didn't want to push my luck but he's had the ear problem from before I bought him back in April of 2007. I think if I spent more time with King he'd be back to the way he was before as far as handling and not being overly naughty or spooky. The less I worked with him this year the more spooky he got. That'll teach me.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Babe Time

Yesterday late afternoon the weather was gorgeous. I'd left blankets on Bob and Queen overnight and didn't want to pull them since it was around freezing temps (too hard on the oldsters to be pulling blankets at that temp).

I rushed home yesterday so that I could get Bob in the barn to pull his blanket and get Queen started and pull her blanket. I was also thinking that I could maybe get the pups out for one last walk while it was still nice out.

On Tuesday I'd emailed Babe's previous owner to give her an update. I tend to email her about every four to six months just to give a status. I figure the previous owner had Babe for 26 years. She made a good decision to find her a different home that could take care of her. Her previous owner came out last night about 6pm to see Babe.

Babe was too busy eating her grain at the time to really pay much attention to anyone! Babe's previous owner also admitted that Babe is a pig! It was nice to know that Babe's previous owner that Babe looked fine going into winter. Unfortunately I couldn't get Babe all groomed down before hand but I guess we all know what our horses look like pre thorough grooming.

Babe's previous owner loved on Babe for a little while until Queen realized that someone was there dooling out some lovin'. We stood around watching Babe and Queen for a little while and then I had to show off the rest of the "kids".

Babe's previous owner did ask about Bob. I think everyone that ever meets Bob remembers him! So we had walked along the drylot to show off all the horses. She was ready to take Chaos home in a heartbeat. I think it has something to do with being tall, dark, and handsome! :-)

We looked at the big herd and then went into the barn to see Bob and Sam. I think she really liked the big guys. We stood in the barn for a good half hour talking horses. I LOVE talking horses. I just feel bad that I'm always talking about my horses and going on and on and on and on about them. I guess I'm just one of those proud parents that likes to brag about their kids!

I'm hoping that maybe we can meet up once or twice this fall/winter and ride. She's very near Borderlands although I don't know the exact location. But I'm betting we could meet up with each other within about 15 minutes. I'd love to go over and meet Babe's daughter and grandaughter.

Not sure what's on the ToDo list tonight. I'd like to get a ride in on Maverick or Zeke but I think I'll be happy to just get chores done tonight. The weatherman is calling for snow Friday night into Saturday morning. They are also calling for snow Sunday night. It's too early for snow in October. I guess I better get prepared.

I am hoping to get the mares moved over Saturday morning or sometime Sunday. I want them away from the road and enjoying the new pasture. I think they will be better protected in the new mare pasture. I guess we'll see how the next couple of days go.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

General Routine

I'm not sure about the horses but I know *I* am not ready yet for winter. Since it wasn't raining chores were a bit easier. I'd thrown a blanket on Bob the night before and Queen in the morning. I really do hate blanketing. I never know what's the right thing to do. I've read that once you start to blanket, you're stuck blanketing all winter.

Since I don't get home until evening and there is a chill in the air, I figured I'd leave the blankets on. The weatherman was calling for a low of 35 degrees this morning. I figured there's no way I can pull a blanket off in the evening and make them suffer through the night. So I opted to leave all blankets on. Bob's doesn't really fit but Queen's does. She looks pretty cute and she looked happy last night (and this morning).

While Bob, Sam, and King ate their grain I pulled Rain in to groom him down. He was filthy. His mane and tail were full of cockleburs and wind knots. I was able to at least get most of the mud off of him, pull out the burs and unsnarl his mane. I braided up his mane and tail in hopes that I can keep most of the cockleburs at bay.

I'd like to braid up everyone so I don't have to spend my evenings pulling burs and knots. But I need to be careful that I don't leave the braids in too long. The last time I did that, I ended up messing up Chaos's mane. The rubberbands ripped out and shortened his "oh so gorgeous" long mane. I hope it grows back.

Since it wasn't raining and the mares could get out of the wind, I left them in their pasture. I hate to stall Queen until I get her on a joint supplement. I'm not sure the mares cared one way or another where they were at as long as they had their warm mash.

I did decide to pull Maverick and Zeke out of their swamp. The mud isn't going to dry up in that lot for a while. I'm afraid it's going to have to freeze first. I decided I'd put them in the barn to give them a break from the slop. Once Bob, Sam, and King were out I put Zeke and Maverick in. They were a bit confused because I didn't put them in their normal stalls. The mares had leftover hay so I put them in the mares' stalls instead.

Everyone was pretty quiet last night although Maverick is getting to be a handful again while leading him around. I need to work with him ASAP.

This morning was chilly doing chores. When I went to let Maverick and Zeke out, Zeke was curled up in his stall. If he's in the drylot he'll stretch for me. I love to watch horses stretch. When he's in the stall he likes to lay down and rest. I figure I'll have to keep stalling them until the ground freezes or the lot dries out (which won't happen until June).

The mornings are normally dark. The last few days have been pitch black at night. This morning I had the moon to help guide me through my morning routine. Having a clear sky with a full moon really does make morning chores much easier. Today is the first day we've had sun in almost a week. I think the sun peaked out this weekend but it scurried away pretty quick.

I'm hoping the sun will stick around but the weatherman is calling for more rain tomorrow and a chance for snow Friday night, lingerng into Saturday morning. And you KNOW it's going to snow on Saturday because it was 90 days ago we had fog AND there is a horse sale I want to go to.

I emailed Babe's previous owner yesterday and am hoping that she'll be able to make it out to see Babe tonight. We'll see. I'm sure I'll be out doing chores. I'd love to sneak a ride on Zeke if I can. If it's nice I may have to ride Maverick to get some of the vinegar out of him. :-) I expect I'll put Zeke and Maverick back in the barn tonight to give them a break from the slop.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that today will be a nice day (although not too nice since I have blankets on Bob and Queen and don't know when I'll get to pull them off unless today turns into an absolutely gorgeous day).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Morning Raining Chores

I knew last night that I would have to get up early to get everyone situated in their respective mud pen or pasture. I was out the door by 5:10am. I felt bad for having to kick horses out of a nice dry barn. When I stepped out the door it felt damp out but not raining.

I let the ponies out and threw a bit of hay for them to munch on. Still no rain. When I went into the barn to grab a bit of hay, Zeke was curled up in the barn. No more white horse!

I put a halter on Zeke and stepped out of the barn. Light drizzle. Drat! Luckily Zeke was nice and quiet. I was worried that we would meet a skunk so we walked slow and checked out every shadow. Zeke behaved like a gentleman! Thank you Zeke!

I rushed back to the barn once I put Zeke in the pen. I'd already thrown hay out the night before, knowing that I wouldn't have much time to throw hay. I haltered Maverick and headed out of the barn. Light rain! Double Drat! I was afraid that Maverick would be full of himself like he was the night before. Luckily he behaved and never once did more than a slow walk. He wasn't spooky at all. Neither he or Zeke were thrilled to be in the mud again but they were patient with me.

I rushed back to the barn. I haltered Queen but noticed that her coat was still plastered . Her coat look like someone had used a lot of moose on her. I felt her back and was shocked to feel a wet back. Everyone else had a dry back and was warm. I didn't know really what to do. I felt bad that Queen never really dried out. We'd brushed her down to get rid of the extra water but I guess I should have toweled her off. I threw a blanket on her much to her dismay. I know she doesn't really like blanket but if she was STILL wet after almost 12 hours there's no way she could handle MORE rain, which was in the forcast. She'd come in the night before shivering. I guess I should have taken a closer look at her. She stopped shivering but I figured she would have dried off sooner. I lead her out of the barn and she didn't want to do anything but eat grass. I can't wait to get her into the new pasture.

I rushed back to the barn. I haltered Babe (checked to make sure she was dry, which she was) and lead her out of the barn. Rain. Double Drat! She patiently and willingly walked over to her pasture. I threw in a bit of hay for both mares and headed in to finish getting ready for work.

All of that took a half hour. I'm not sure what's going to happen when I have normal winter chores and more horses are in the barn. I'm going to have to get up earlier than 5am to get everything done.

I'm hoping that the weather will get better. I'd like to pull the blankets off Bob and Queen tonight. But the weather still doesn't look too conducive. I'm not sure what I'll do for everyone. I will feed Bob like normal but I'm not sure what to do with Babe, Queen, Maverick, and Zeke. If the weather is still icky I'll pull the mares back into the barn. I want to pull Maverick and Zeke so that they don't have to stand in six inches of mud. I'd prefer to put Maverick and Zeke in to those box stalls but they aren't ready yet. So it may be that I get to do this entire routine again tomorrow morning.

Hopefully I won't have to do tonight's chores and tomorrow's chores in the rain. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm also keeping my eye on the weather forcast. The weatherman is calling for a hard freeze Friday night (25 degrees!) BRRRRRR. I'm NOT ready for winter and all the extra chores involved. Guess I better start preparing myself for a long winter doing chores in the dark!

Evening Chores in the Rain

Last night's chores took forever. Anything out of the norm always adds extra time. Everything is soaked and flooded. I knew right away when I got home that I needed to get started on chores ASAP. I'd already had Bob's beet pulp soaked overnight so that it would be ready right away. Unfortunately I must have filled his dish with too much water so I couldn't give him any warm water with his grain and beet pulp. I'm afraid I rushed Bob on his grain.

Sam was right with Bob so I let them both in and grained them. Luckily Sam doesn't have as much and eats quicker. Although I do think he's learned Bob's art of milking it for all it's worth. I felt terrible for rushing him. While Sam was eating I ran to get the mares.

I was able to get Babe first. She has such a thick coat that the water made her look almost like a Curly Horse instead of a Appy. I lead her into the barn to get her out of the wind and rain. I rushed back for Queen and we trotted back to the barn. Mike was a sweetheart and tried to wipe off the worst part of the rain on the mares. Babe was loving it. The mares were rather disgruntled in not getting to right into their stalls. Sam did not want to go back out into that rain and was procrastinating.

While waiting for Sam, I pulled Zeke and Maverick out and tied them in the hay shed. Zeke was standing there shivering and I'm sure he was exhausted from walking around in the mud. Maverick needs the exercise but he's a bit rough on poor Zeke. So into the hay shed they went. Unfortunately the box stalls aren't ready so I had to simply tie them in the shed and wait. I think they were happy to get out of the rain and mud.

I kept checking on all six of the horses. I finally had to kick Sam out so that I could get the mares in. Rushed around to get their warm mash while Bob was still eating his grain. While I was in the house getting warm water, I grabbed Bob's waterproof blanket. I would have just thrown a sheet on but I don't have a big enough sheet that's waterproof. I figured if I couldn't keep him in the barn that I would at least blanket him so he'd stay dry overnight.

I finally had to kick Bob out. I felt like a TERRIBLE horse mom. Bob was rather displeased. He went right into the leanto and didn't once move while I was out doing chores. Luckily Mike was out and helped lead Zeke into the barn. Zeke is really starting to impress everyone. With just small hand movements and even less movement in the halter Zeke would do exactly what Mike had told him to do (even though Mike didn't know he was asking Zeke to do anything). Mike was definatley impressed.

I led Maverick in to the barn. Always at one spot Maverick gets a bit spooky. This time he tossed his head around making me realize that I need to spend more time with him on ground manners. I rushed Maverick in and then rushed Zeke in so that they could dry off.

In between waiting for everyone, I pulled the ponies in to their leanto to munch on hay. I felt bad that I couldn't feed King his medicine but with the rain I figure he'll just have to deal with it.

After finally getting Babe, Queen, Maverick, and Zeke settled in the barn, Tommy and Skippy settled in their leanto, Sam and Bob grained I decided I better check the rest of the herd! King, Sam, Bob, Rain, and Dude were all standing in the leanto. I checked Rain to make sure he wasn't shivering. I think Bob was still mad he was kicked out of the barn. But if I have Bob in the barn I have to have Rain in the barn.

I realized at that point that I was missing a horse. I couldn't find Brego (never mind the fact I'd forgotten that I was missing another horse!) I started thinking the worst so I headed out to the pasture. King and Sam decided to follow. I figured if Brego wasn't up waiting on Sam, something bad must have happened (not remembering that Chaos was still out in the pasture too!)

I barely got into the pasture with Sam right on my heels. Sam started whinnying for Brego and up over the hill comes Brego and Chaos (that's when I realized I'm a bad horse mom and forgot one of my kids!) King had followed along behind and trotted on out to meet Brego and Chaos. And would you believe it, he trotted sound! The medicine and soft ground must really be helping.

So I turned around and headed back through the sloppy mud. Chaos was right behind me (practically in my pocket). As I was more than half way to the big drylot pen I saw something black come out of the grass. Whatever it was started waddling. Then I realized it was a SKUNK!

I started to freak out. I didn't want it to come my way. I was trying to figure out how to get out of its way. Luckily but unluckily it didn't head my way. I did start to yell at it to make sure it didn't come my way and towards the horses. Unfortunately the skunk jumped all the mud puddles and headed right up the drylot towards to haybarn and that's where he went. I was SO upset!

I didn't dare to looking in the haybarn, knowing he might be in there still. I never did smell him although I walked right across his path. It usually happens that when Mike goes in before I do, some varmit decides to show up.

Mike did go out later in the evening to see if the skunk was in the haybarn but he'd already disappeared. I'm sure it's the same skunk that I saw about a month ago and that I sometimes see around the section. I set the trap after I saw the skunk and will keep my fingers crossed that we'll actaully catch the little bugger.

By the time I got in, after two hours of chores, I was completely soaked and a little rattled. At least it's not snow!

Summer is Gone, Fall is Leaving, Winter is Fast Approaching

I just looked at the weather and they are predicting a 20% chance of snow Friday night. Well, I guess that correlates to my 90 days from fog theory. Of course it will snow, there's a horse sale on Saturday!

I am not prepared yet for snow or winter or cold. The horses all have a decent winter coat, some have better than others.

I can't remember the last day we had sun, much to Trouble's dismay. It's rained every day except Sunday so far this month. Sunday we spent the entire day fencing so no riding. I desperately need to ride Maverick but now it's too muddy. I may have to suck it up and ride on our driveway and tear that up so I can at least put time on him.

My farrier did say that if we get a lot of precipe in October, the rest of the winter will be fairly open. So now that's another Old Wives Tale I'm going to try and keep track of.

I know I shouldn't be surprised that we are getting this type of weather. A year ago Mike and I were working on the garage when an ice storm blew threw while we were trying to finish putting on the garage roof and getting it shingled.

The weatherman stated we had an inch of rain in the past 48 hours. I'm thinking we've had more. Of course the drylots all slope down and also take the brunt of the runoff from all the outbuildings.

Maverick and Zeke's drylot is now a swamp. I was literally up to my ankles in mud and water . I'm expecting to pull them tonight so they aren't standing in a quagmire.

The other swamp, er I mean drylot, isn't as bad since the horses don't have to stand in it all the time, churning it up. Maverick is always on the move chasing Zeke. I'm not really sure what to do for those boys. I may see if I can't get the box stall cleaned out and the door latching correctly on the new box stall so I don't have to pull them into the barn again.

I'm not sure where the year went. Summer I spent the entire time making sure the horses were comfortable, cool, and protected from flies. Fall I spent the entire time making sure the horses were protected from flies. Now that winter is fast approaching, I'll spend all my time making sure they are warm, dry, and comfortable. I spent two hours last night just doing chores in the rain. And I really didn't spend any time with the main herd (King, Chaos, Brego, Rain, Dude).

King seems to be doing better although I didn't get a chance to give him his medicine. I need to build a couple temporary stalls in the leanto.

I sure hope that the snow holds off at least until mid November. I still have a lot of cleaning in the mare pen to accomplish. I should have been cleaning it out all summer after the ticks disappeared. Now I'll be cleaning in the mud, wet, and cold. But it has to be done ASAP.

Goodbye Summer; so long Fall. Hello evil Winter.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Dude the Gentleman

I called my farrier Thursday evening to schedule an appointment for Dude and Tommy. I'd been meaning to call for more than a month but the days keep slipping away. When I called, my awesome farrier said let's go Friday at 5pm! WOO HOO!

So Friday about 4pm I went out to pull Tommy and Dude so that I could get them a bit dried off from the mud. Of course pulling Tommy means pulling Skippy. With the wind and rain we were having I decided we would do the trimming in the hay shed.

I also decided to pull King out so that my farrier could look at his feet. We have been tackling King's feet for two years to get them to the right shape, angle, and lenght. With King's muscle problems (still need to post on that) we havent' done any riding on him so his feet are actually doing better (lenght/angle wise) without shoes.

Every time I try to have Dude trimmed, he turns into a complete unruley mean son of a gun. I decided on Friday to try something different. I figured that tying Dude up and making him stand would make him angry. Instead I let him eat some of the loose hay and let him keep moving around, enjoying the time out of the wind and rain.

My farrier arrived right on time (as he always does) and went to work on Dude. I was afraid Dude would be a handful. He proved me wrong! My farrier started on Dude's left front hoof. No big issues there. My farrier moved to the right front hoof. No major issues there. Dude did think he should lean on my poor farrier while he was filing down the hoof. Let me just add, Dude is overweight. He has a fat ridge on his back where water can pool he's that fat. Leaning is a bad habit I need to correct!

I was shocked. Two feet done and Dude behaved. So my farrier decided he'd tackle the back feet. The last time I was at the vets I mentioned Dude's lameness issue and that he's crooked/lopsided. My vet figures he has "bear hump" where some portion of his tail has broken off and is putting pressure on certain places. There is no fix to this problem.

So I warned my farrier about the diagnosis but he tackled the back legs anway! Did I mention I have an awesome farrier. My farrier started on Dude's left hind leg. I could definately tell that this was Dude's bad hip. He didn't do anything mean but you could tell by the expression on his face that he was uncomfortable. My farrier then moved on to the right hind hoof. The expression of pain wasn't there.

I was completely shocked that Dude stood the entire time and didn't try giving my farrier a hard time with any of his feet. If he doesn't want his feet done, it won't get done. So once Dude was done, I tied him up to a post and moved on to Tommy. The entire time my farrier was working on Tommy, Dude stood quietly tied. He normally NEVER stands quietly. He typically paws, rears, and causes all hell when tied.

I put Tommy back and pulled King out for a quick review of his feet. Dude STILL stood quietly. It was like Dude was a completely different horse. It goes to show that I really do need to spend more time with him and give him a bit more attention. The last few times I've dealt with him he's been unruley and tried to bulldoze me down (which he can do in his 1200 lb glory!)

So now his feet are done and they look great. I'm disappointed that his condition is irrepariable but I'm glad to know that he's again comfortable standing on trimmed feet. I should have done it a month ago but time flies.

All in all, two full trims and a quick trim on one of King's hooves cost me $50. Not too shabby! My poor farrier gets all kinds of horses: naughty horses, flat feet horses, horses that lean, small ponies, large drafts, horses that won't stand, etc. Luckily I don't have any that kick. Of course they know if they are too naughty they'll get a workout.

I do need to do some major work with Maverick. He's due for a trim but he's not yet ready for the farrier. I refuse to let my farrier work on a horse that isnt' half way willing to have their feet handled.

So until the next trim for Dude, I need to remember to give him a bit more loving and let him think he's getting away with something (even though I won't let him get away with anything).

We're Almost Done!

We are almost there! We're almost done! Well, at least for the time being.

Sunday was the big fencing day. When we started I didn't think we'd get as far as we did. In an emergency, we could actually use that pasture! YEAH!

During the week Mike finished up the panels so that they were ready for wire. So Sunday late morning Mike, Mom, and I started the serious job of fencing in the east portion of the new pasture. Dad stayed back to work on my second box stall in the hay shed (which I desperately need!)

I must be in better shape than I thought. After pounding in all those steel fence posts, my arms aren't tired. My tendinitic flared up so I had a difficult time holding on to the post pounder but otherwise there are no lasting effects of yesterday's adventure.

We did only put up two strings of wire. I want three strands but figured we should get two strands around the entire perimeter so that later when the mares are already in the pasture we can go back.

The hardest part of fencing yesterday was the north side where we had to fight the shelter belt. Luckily it was a short stretch. The trees are so thick that there's no way a horse could crash through to the fence but I'd never want to even risk the very thought of leaving the old barbed wire up to hold the horses in.

Unfortunately we ran out of clips to keep the wire secure to the fence post. The wire is up well enough that it won't sag or fall down but it's not secure enough to put a horse in. We still need to figure out a small gate on the east side (thanks to the clay mishap) and go into town to pick up the boards for the small wood fence portion.

I'm hoping that by this coming weekend we'll be able to get the rest of the fence done. Dad said that opening day of pheasant hunting season is Oct 17th. I want those mares out of the old pasture and settled in to the new one before opening hunting day starts.

There's plenty of grass in the new pasture. I'm half tempted to throw the corral panels up and move the mares this week anyway. I would prefer to do a little bit more cleanup work before I put the mares in but if I get pushed for time I think I may move the mares anyway.

While we were at Tractor Supply on Saturday I picked up more fence post covers (and forgot to buy fence clips). So after everyone was on their way I went back down and put more fence post covers on the T-posts. I love seeing that line of fence posts with caps and fence wire all strung out just waiting for my mares.

The entire time we were pounding in fence posts, stringing wire, and grumbling about fencing in general, Dad was busily working away on the box stall. We could hear Dad pounding away but I didn't want to take a break to see how it was going while we were in our "fencing groove" so I didn't get to see the box stall until Dad was almost done.

I absolutely love the second box stall! It's going to come in handy! There's still a few things that need to be done (add a handle to the stall door, etc.) but at least the major portion of it is done. Dad was able to remove the auger and the old water trough too. So now both stalls are bigger. I still need to clean out the other box stall. Apparently mice have decided to store the mouse poison in the old box stall, so no horses in there until I can get it cleaned out. I sort of wish it was already cleaned out and the new stall was ready to go. It's been raining all day and Maverick and Zeke have been standing in mud/slop all day too.

I've decided that with all this rain I'm going to pull the mares and put them in the barn tonight. But with all the added rain, Maverick and Zeke's drylot is now a swamp. So I'm going to pull them out and put them in the barn. I don't want to run the risk of them getting thrush (since I've never dealt with that before). I'd rather give them a break from standing in mud. A nice, dry barn with secure footing is exactly the break they need for the night.

Putting those four horses in the barn will simply mean I have to get up earlier to do chores. I'd intended to switch my schedule to go in earlier (and leave earlier) but after hearing rain at 5:00 this morning I decided I'd sleep in a little longer. Now I'm kicking myself. I really want the mares in earlier in the afternoon/evening. I guess we'll see how fast I get rolling tomorrow and how long it takes me to get everyone situated in the morning.

I suppose there is always something going on at Borderlands!

Saturday Horse Auction

I decided that I've missed a lot of local horse auctions this summer and wanted to see what people were dumping off at the local horse salebarn.

We arrived around 4-4:30pm and they were still on tack. I have yet to figure out when to show up to see the horses go through without having to sit for hours watching the tack portion (or missing the entire horse sale).

I figured that there would be thin horses. I was surprised. All but one horse had decent feet. Only the babies looked like they needed some TLC. I didn't stay long enough to see what the prices went for. We looked at each horse and then stopped in to see where they were at... still on tack so we left.

What was standing waiting to run through included:
  • Two weanlings that desperately needed to be wormed. One had super runny boogery eyes and the other had some hair loss around its eyes. I didn't look to see if they were colts or fillies.
  • One palomino gelding that had a hernia. Very pretty but you could tell he'd shut down and was trying to forget where he was at. Made me think he'd been there before. He wore a pretty halter
  • One sorrel and one black standing in a pen. Both fat and furry. Both wore halters but the black's halter was broken. I think the black was a mare but I don't know for sure.
  • One yearling/two year old (I can never tell) paint. More interested in eating the poor quality hay than watching what was going on.
  • One yearling that desperately needed to be wormed. Along with him/her was a shetland/mini (I can never tell). I didn't see what either was (gelding/stud/mare)
  • One shetland who was rather irritated that he was tied. He was the only one tied out of the entir bunch.
  • One sorrel and one black bay. Black bay was super curious and came right up to search for treats. I figure he was either two or three. He was the only one with cracked/dry feet. Really liked him. (I don't know if they were geldings or mares but it's easier for me to say he for some reason).

There might have been one other horse but I can't remember now. I figured for a cold, drizzly day there would be more horses. I was glad to only see the handlful. Usually drizzly days bring out all the weird people who spend their entire day at a horse sale but never buy a horse.

Of course it made me sad to see a horse trailer pull out empty, knowing that he simply dumped his horse and drove away. I don't think I could ever have the heart to leave an auction with an empty trailer.

I really wish I would have stayed to see what the prices are currently at. I also need to find out if they will be having two sales a month or if they are going to back down to only one sale a month. Last year was the first year they did one sale a month during the winter months. Good for me so that I can actually enjoy my Saturdays instead of trying to figure out how to plan a trip to Kramers AND get everything else done while sitting there in the cold.

I really was surprised to see so few and to actually see most in fairly decent condition. I've gone in the past around this time of year and seen WAY too many thin horses standing in line. It does make me wonder. I KNOW those thin horses aren't getting fat. I know they are standing out in some pasture starving. I really wish there was something more I could do to help.

I'll be going this Saturday to the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock Horse Sale. I'm not sure I'll go to the catalog sale but I may try to make it for the non-catalog portion. I'm curious to see what the catalog, non-catalog, and loose horses go for.

I can't decide if I should drag along a trailer or not. I am sure Mike will kill me if I bring home yet another horse (especially after this weekends fencing adventures!) I am for sure going to list prices. I have the last sale that occured back in May. I need to hunt those papers down and then see if there is any correlation in price. Obviously there will be lower prices now going into fall but I'm curious to see none the less.