Friday, March 26, 2010

More Inner Turmoil

So much for a stress free Friday. Much inner turmoil about free and cheap horses being posted online. Not sure what to do but really stressed about it. Think I'll go outside and hug a horse and see if they give me any advice.

Happy Friday

Nothing exciting going on right now (knock on wood). Just figured I could share a pic from about a year ago. Can't wait until the pasture looks like this. I may have to refer back to these early summer pics today as I stress about some horses. I'll blog about it later but didn't want to ruin the mood. :-)

Happy Friday!
King, Brego, Sam, Chaos, Rain

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rough Housing

Last night while pulling King and Zeke out to let them eat, I noticed Queen had gotten through the fence and was standing in a pile of junk (which I had fenced off because of the hazard). I had planned on riding but after seeng Queen I realized I had other things that needed to be taken care of that took priority over riding.

I pulled Queen out of the mess and grained her to keep her occupied. I think it's time to pull her and Babe out of the pasture and put them in the dry lot.

I proceeded to pull Zeke and King out and let them have their grain. I also decided that yesteray some of the horses had been naughty, so instead of riding I would do a lesson in standing tied. I pulled Maverick out and tied him. Luckily he's a good boy and just stood there nibbling on old weeds. Because Chaos was naughty yesterday I decided I would tie him away from the big herd.

While I was out puttering, Mike came over and suggested that we do a bit more manure cleaning. So I had to pull Rain and Dude into the small pen and then untie and move King, Zeke, and Maverick into the pen too.

Boy did those horses LOVE running around. For the majority of the time Mike and I cleaned the pens, the horses ran around. It was mostley Maverick and Zeke running around, but Dude, Rain, and King got into the rough housing too. I'm glad they had the chance to get some of that extra energy out. It's so much fun watching them run, buck, rear, and play like horses should.

I wish I would have had the camera because there were a number of great shots. Oh well, maybe another time. I didn't do too much more after that, just the standard chores.

This morning Babe and Queen were down at the bottom of their pasture grazing. I called them up and fed them half way down the hill. Unfortunately they must not have been hungry. Babe and Queen kept wandering around. After moving the hay pile a second time I gave up on it and figured they can find their food themselves. I do think I'll be moving the mares to the small pen until the grass is up. I don't want the mare tearing up the little pasture and I want to give the pasture enough time to grow.

I think this weekend, I'll pull some corral panels so that I can make a makeshift pen on the concrete. That way if we do get any rain, the mares can get up onto the concrete instead of standing in the mud pen all the time. The small pen dries out pretty quick but it's still a muddy mess in some spots.

Disappointed w/ One but Surprisingly Proud of Another

To this past Tuesday:

I pulled Zeke and King out to grain them. I also pulled Sam and Jim in to eat their grain and alfalfa. While everyone was munching, I decided that I would pull Chaos out and ride him. To my disappointment, Chaos was naughty. The longer we rode around the yard, the naughter he got. We did walk through a few snow piles but by the end he was starting to rear. I'm not sure how to fix that bad habit so I decided we'd just call it quits. I think if we would have headed down the road and been doing something Chaos would have behaved better. It was also windy and I was tired but I figured that really is no excuse.

I was nervous pulling Maverick out. I was tired and the wind was bad enough to make Chaos flightly. I figured it would make Maverick just as bad, if not worse. I saddled Maverick up and we went into the round pen. We did a little bit of round pen work, unfortunately I didn't have my rubber boots on so my riding boots got muddy. But after a few times around the pen, with Maverick kicking up his heels, I decided it was time for me to get on.

Maverick didn't move a muscle when I swung up into the saddle. He stood perfectly still while I adjusted everything. It's what they are supposed to do but no one else seems to be doing it. I was so pleased. And then we decided to just walk around the pen. We are a little bit directionally challeneged but otherwise it was a fantastic ride. I even decided to be brave and ride Maverick through the gate when I was done, instead of getting off and walking him through. He was a bit spooky about the snowpile but once I got off we walked right through without any issues.

I was greatly disappointed with Chaos but surpringly proud of Maverick.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lots Going On

Lots of activity at Borderlands the last two days. Too pooped right now to blog about it right now. Hopefully I'll find time tomorrow to tell my tales. Until then, here's a pic from last year. I can't wait for lush pastures.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Washing away Worries

It's amazing how my worries and fears of the day wash away when I swing a leg over the back of a horse. I sometimes forget that bit of information as I trudge through the monotonous chores in the winter. But the last two days I have been jubilant and I couldn't figure it out until just now. I've gotten to ride the last two days, which has really lifted my spirits.

I didn't really have any agenda last night other than to possibly ride if someone let me. :-) I pulled Sam so he could eat and fed the mares. I decided I would try and push the issue with Jim and make him come into the barn. After just a little bit of patience on my part, Jim went in. I decided then that I wouldn't saddle him up but that I would groom him down. So I pulled him out and groomed him. Nothing thorough but a little bit of dirt busting and picking hooves. It seemed to help his attitude. I put him back in his stall and let both Sam and Jim devour their grain and alfalfa.

I decided to pull Zeke out next so he could have his grain. I also wanted to groom him down. The rest of the herd is so hard on him I wanted to give him some down time. With Brego gone, the herd picks on Zeke instead. I figured Zeke could use some one-on-one time. I've not really bonded with him this winter although he's an absolute sweetheart. I think spending even just a little bit of time with him, we'll be bonded for life. We're already bonded but I want a stronger bond and I'm sure to get it with him. He's such a loyal and dear horse. I think Zeke enjoyed his grooming and harrassment free grain time.

I grabbed a halter and walked out into the pen. I wasn't sure who I would catch. I sort of wanted Rain but figured he'd bolt the instant he saw the halter. Nope. He stood perfectly still and let me halter him, which was odd. I've walked out to him before carrying a piece of twine and he's taken off so I'm guessing he wanted to stetch his legs a little.

I saddle Rain up with his english saddle and we puttered around the yard. Granted my riding lasts all of about 10 minutes and we do nothing more than a very slow walk but it's something. I'm keeping rain in his english saddle for two reasons. 1) It keeps me from running him hard down the road and 2) I have the western saddle set up for the bigger guys and I'm tired of readjusting all the time. I need to replace a bunch of stuff on my saddle so it's easier to adjust.

I decided that I still needed to pull King out to grain him too but wasn't sure if I should ride him or just feed him. I decided that there was just enough daylight left for me to ride him and do chores in the light. Luckily he let me catch him with no problem. I saddled him up and he took the bit right out of my hands. He's still naughty when riding but I think changing the bit might help. He uses the shank on his tom thumb as a passifier. It's rather annoying. I need to figure out how to fix that issue. I didn't want to work him too hard because of his feet but he really does need a few lessons in manners, both on the ground and in the saddle. We'll see how it goes.

I felt a little guilty not working with Maverick but maybe tonight.

This morning while I was feeding, Jim came up to me. It was rather odd. I thought he was holding a grudge against me. He's been so depressed ever since I brought him home but this morning he walked up to me and let me pet him. It's one of only a few times where he's allowed me to pet him and where he's walked up to me. I'm hoping that daily graining and grooming will make him less standoffish and more hands on. I'm ok with standoffish as long as I can come up and pet you. You can ignore me all you want but don't walk away from me. I guess we'll see how it goes.

Yesterday's activities really did make me happy. I was able to put in two, although very short, rides in and did a bit of grooming on some horses. I love finally getting a chance to play with the horses. It's been so long of doing minimal chores that it's nice to actually appreciate them and get to know them yet again. I can't wait until this evening to see what new adventures bring me during chore time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wonderful Weekend

There is no better way to spend a weekend than surrounded by horses and horse stuff. This weekend was absolutely fantastic. I always enjoy the Horse Fair and look forward to a new season of horses and riding. The Horse Fair is usually my official start to the riding season.

Since Sunday was so nice, I decided to forgo the Horse Fair and play with the horses instead. Oh what fun that was! The weather progressively got better as the day went by making it even more fun.

When I went out to do chores in the morning I decided that the mares needed a good grooming. I also did a bit of grooming on Sam and Tommy.

Later in the day I caught Rain and saddled him up English. I figure if I start Rain out english than I won't want to rush either of us. I want to work him back into shape nice and slow. I hadn't been on Rain in almost six months so a little riding around on english for about 10 minutes is all we did.

After a short breather (because I'm so out of shape), I caught King and rode him around. This is the first time in more than six months that I'd ridden King. He seemed a bit soar so I'm back to graining him with his medicine. I need to discuss King's prognosis again with the vet to see what other options we have. I don't think the medicine is really working to fix his soar muscles. I'm also going to have the farrier look at his feet and tell me what size to buy for boots. I've decided to not shoe him this year but to buy those shoe boots instead. I know they are pricey but if I can ride him a couple of times, it'll cover the cost of shoeing. And if he goes lame again this year, I won't have wasted my time with shoes. But I do need to discuss it with the farrier to see what he thinks too. Maybe we do need to leave shoes on but leaving shoes on makes his feet get long. Pulling shoes lets his feet stay short but since he's so flat footed he gets sore. It's so hard to know what to do.

After King, I pulled Maverick out. I wasn't brave enough to ride him but I did saddle him up and do some ground work (round pen) work. Of course within about 10 minutes Maverick had my number and we didn't get anything more done. He's too smart for me. I know I should have gotten on him and ridden but I didn't. Maybe later this week I'll get my nerves back.

Then it was Chaos's turn. I saddled him up and we plugged along around the yard. Again, Chaos hasn't been ridden in about six months and he did extremely well. I wouldn't put him on a trail ride just yet but he did better than I expected. In fact, out of the three that I rode, Chaos did the best. Go figure!

I finally caught Jim, which is a feat all in itself. I decided that I wouldn't ride him but I wanted to see how he would handle a saddle. The previous owner suggested that you always lounge him before getting on. He'd never bucked for them but had bucked for her sister/previous owner. I wasnt' really in the mood to get bucked off and it was starting to get late. I still havent' figured out a bridle set up yet for Jim either. So instead, I saddled Jim up and we walked around the yard. I wanted to see how he would react to everything. He did pretty well and took everything in without spooking at all. I think he'll be a good horse under saddle once we get a few rides under our belt.

I'd wanted to ride Zeke but it was either ride Zeke and do chores in the dark or just mess with Zeke for a few minutes and do chores in the light. Since I'd been doing chores in the dark all week I opted to simply mess with Zeke and start in on the chores. That and I had left the new swayback saddle pad in the house and was too lazy to go find it. So instead, I just groomed Zeke down and let him enjoy some down time away from the rest of the herd.

I did leave Sam's blanket off last night. I think I might leave it off again tonight too. It's so nice out that I don't want him to get too hot. I might put it back on for the nights the rest of the week though. We're going back down into the 40s for highs and 20s for lows.

I'm hoping the weather will warm up soon. I need to move the mares out of their winter pasture into the pen. I will end up losing my small riding pen but I dont' want the mares out on pasture when the new fresh grass starts popping through.

I also need to do some serious fencing in the winter pasture. Luckily I feed the horses twice a day so I can check on them. I know some people said I should just feed them once so I can enjoy the horse fair a little bit more but I'm not willing to risk it. It's a good thing I listened to my own concious. Babe had some how managed to get under my temporary fence into a section of the pasture I need her to stay out of. I need to do a better fencing job to ensure she doesn't go back in there again. I'm hoping later this week to get that fencing done.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Quick Update

Just setting down after being at the SD Horse Fair all day and doing quick evening chores. We had a really good time although I was a bit disappointed about the "horse processing" presentation. On the bright side, I have the Professor's email so I'm planning on getting in contact with her, perhaps not to discuss horse processing but to at least keep my nose in other people's business. I'm really seeing a need for a retirement farm with a few additional programs. I guess we'll see how things go. But for now I'm too tired and want to put my butt on a nice soft spot instead of sitting on bleachers.

Tomorrow looks like it's going to be a nice day so I'll be out playing with the horses. Hopefully I'll get a chance to report a little bit about the Horse Fair. But until then, I'm gonna go put my feet up.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blast from the Past

Thought you might like some pics. These are from last year when Dad and I went down to Newton Hills State Park. It was Chaos's second ride with other horses. I think Dad is going to steal Chaos again for this riding season.

Dad and Rain. Dad rode Rain a few times last year but Rain is too spooky. I've been riding Rain now for a few years so I, for the most part, know what to expect before he reacts to it. Of course it's all been by trial and error. :-)

Chaos. Isn't he a hunk! I know that I kept him as a stud until he turned two but I can't imagine that's why he's as bulky as he is. I met his momma once before she died and I think Chaos got his body build from his mother. I never got to meet Chaos's dad. I do still consider Chaos a rescue. He was headed to a scary auction (Kramers) as an unhandled yearling stud colt. Boy has he come around since then. I can wait to start riding him this riding season. I swear riding him felt like riding Dictator, my first horse (who also happened to be my dream horse).

Enoy your Friday. Looking at those pics of green grass really makes me want to get out and ride even if I'd be riding in dreary weather and brown grass. Can't wait for trail riding season!

Gettin' Giddy

For some odd reason I'm practically giddy.

Maybe it was the fact I got to play outside in the beautiful warm weather yesterday.

Maybe it is the fact I have today off.

Maybe it is the fact this weekend is the South Dakota Horse Fair (which is only marred by a discussion about horse slaughter and keeping horses identified as livestock). The Horse Fair is my spring horse fix.

Maybe it is the fact that Mike was able to get the tractor out last night and push some of the big piles of manure into one gigantic pile so I now have more room to feed and less to deal with one shovel at a time.

Maybe it's just a combination of all of the above. In any case I'll take it!

The Horse Fair starts today at 1pm so I'll be heading on over in a few hours to scope everything out. I don't think there's as many speakers or activities that I want to look at this year. But I do like going on Fridays to get some of the deals at the used tack vendor. I think it's the Youth Appaloosa Club booth that always has used tack. I love that booth. I always seem to buy something from that booth.

The Horse Fair is the first time in the new year where I can be inundated with horses and horse stuff. I love it! Of course I don't always like the people that walk through but for the most part I can weave through the crowds and enjoy everything.

Now if the weather would only clear up and let the sun shine. But I guess I might as well enjoy the next two cloudy days since I'll be inside. I was thinking of going on Sunday too but they are talking sun on Sunday so I might as well enjoy the nice weather and stay home. I really want to get some things done at home. And with the warmer weather I'm finally itching to get on the back of a horse and ride. I really need to start working with the boys again to get them in shape. All in due time! But for now, I'm going to go and get my horse fix. I'll try to blog about it later!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Warmer Weather and the Horse Fair

Yesterday was such a gorgeous evening that I decided I would spend my time puttering with the horses. I'm itching to get my shedding tools out and tackle those that are starting to shed. I'm a bit hesitant to really go at it because starting tomorrow we're to have yet another storm and cold front blow though.

I did do a little bit of quick grooming on King, Dude, and Zeke. And what do you think those buggers did?!? They walked out into the mud and rolled right afterwards. Ungrateful boys! :-) I'd thought about riding but never did manage to get up enough energy to saddle anyone up.

While I was checking out everyone, I noticed that Rain is a little thin. He looks ok but I'm wondering if he's not wormy. Everyone is off their normal worming schedule so that may possibly be it. I don't want thin horses and I don't want to keep feeding those worms. So I guess tonight will be worming night instead of grooming night.

With the warmer weather I pulled Sam's blanket. I forgot to pull it yesterday so the poor guy was probably roasting. I need to be a bit better about watching the weather to know when to pull blankets.

I'm excited for this weekend. It's the annual SD Horse Fair. I always look forward to getting a horse fix. Although the joy of it is alittle dampened what with knowing that the Horse Fair is presenting pro-slaughter information and not doing enough in presenting both sides. But last year I sat through what was supposed to be a neutral conversation about the "unwanted" horses and I was rather disappointed in that presentation too. It's a shame that the Midwest is such backwaters. Don't get me wrong, I'm no activist in the ways of PETA but I do believe that there are no "unwanted" horses, just those that have bad luck.

So we'll see how things go. I'm disappointed in the lack of activities but I guess I was so excited about seeing Stacey Westfall last year that nothing can compare now. But I'll go at least two of the three days even with the increase in admission. I guess that's the price I pay for needing my horse fix.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Signs of Spring

The signs of spring are really starting to show. Last week I heard and then saw the first robin of the year. I've only seen the one but I'll take it. I've also seen a lot of geese flying.

Daylight savings time is also here to stay. I'm excited to get that extra hour in the evening but it sure is hard doing chores in the pitch black mornings. I was enjoying the morning pre-dawn show. And that reminds me. Last year I started blogging the first day after daylight savings time. It's been one heck of a year.

The snow is also melting quickly, causing major problems. The CRP is flooding. Luckily the pasture has enough of a hill that the lower part can flood and I still have pasture enough for the horses. The flooding is bad enough that our CRP is taking over the gravel road! I'll have to post more with pics later.

The horses are also starting to shed out, some more than others. Babe is really shedding. Others like Rain aren't anywhere near shedding out. Although Rain never really sheds out too much.

The horse pens are a mess. Luckily I have enough concrete, except that it's all under manure and ice still. I'm slowly working at getting the manure into piles. With 14 horses to care for all winter, working, and the terrible weather, there was simply no way for me to get out to the pens to clean them before the manure froze to the ground. I'd hoped to get a tractor in the pen to do most of the work but it doesn't look like that will be the case. Everything is so soft I don't want to tear up the yard. So instead, I'll put the shovel to work.

I did get the chance to clean out a little bit of the barn and that seemed to help. There's still standing water but it doesn't seem to be as bad. The water table is just as bad, if not worse but maybe it's just that it's flowing into the CRP instead.

The CRP is full and taking over the road. It's also backed up and wrapped around us. Who needs a mote! I'm a little worried that the bottom part of the mare pasture is going to flood out. I'll be rather disappointed. We just put that fence in and now the water will take hold of it. I'm sure nothing will happen to the fence it's just surprising is all. I need to walk down and check the fences in the mare pasture anyway so I'll investigate the flooding. The water was never this bad in the years we've been at Borderlands. Even when we had that major water break out to the horse water trough the water table was never this bad. At that time I thought it was bad we sort of flooded out the neighbor but in reality, this is 100 times worse!

Hopefully tonight I can post some of the flooding pictures. I was hoping to go out with the waders to see how deep the flooding really is in the pasture. I walked out just a ways into the water and it was already up to the tops of my rubbers. And that was on Saturday afternoon, before the CRP started taking over the road. Maybe tonight, now that it's daylight savings time (yet another sign of spring), Mike and I can set the live trapped to get the skunk living in the pasture, and I can go play out in the water.

Now if I could only figure out how to manage my time a little bit better to take advantage of that extra hour of daylight!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Coming out of my Skin

For some odd reason, I feel like I'm coming out of my skin. I'm not sure if it's the weather or the number of cheap horses I'm seeing online. Or it could be the first auction of the year for the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock sale is already scheduled. So many lives set to an unknown fate. It always upsets me because there's not enough money to bring them all home.

I need to spend the entire weekend cleaning out the flooded barn and making it as clean as possible for the water to flow in and out of. . I'm guessing it's just spring fever. I'm past the cabin fever and now progressed to spring fever.

The horses are doing well and are enjoying the warmer weather although I think they too are getting tired of the rain. I'm afraid I've been rather lax in pushing the issue with Jim. He's so hard to catch and I've been so swamped with work, I haven't forced the issue in making him come into the barn to eat grain. I'm afraid he's losing weight again. I really need to get him into the vets to get his teeth floated. Unfortunately the trailer is in the shed and I don't want to tear up the yard now that it's a river.

I think my antsyness is coming from reading another blog. Joe from Thoroughbred Friends sounds really stressed. I've never met him, only read his blog and you can read the worry and stress in his writings. He tries to stay upbeat but he's dealing with 170+ horses on his rescue and tons of phone calls every day. It just makes me antsy. I desperately need to get the paperwork signed and going on the rescue but I'm always running out of time. If I sit for even a minute I'm asleep. I'm afraid at some point I'm going to start falling asleep standing up!

I'm sure it's just this crazy weather that has me on edge. I know the minute I go out to do chores, the antsyness will go away. Whoever said "The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man" was totally right. I think even if I hope on the back of one of my trusty steeds will make all my worries go away. I may just have to try it, wet butt or no wet butt.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Flooding Hazard

I thought we might flood due to all the snow we received this winter. Now with all this extra rain, we will for sure flood! I didn't get a chance to really do anything with the horses again last night. Work has really stressed me out and I fell asleep before going out to the chores. Least to say, the horses were a bit grumpy.

The weatherman is now talking a potential for snow. So now I'm perplexed. What if I have to put the horses in the barn to dry out from the soggy snow? The barn is soaked too so it won't really help any, other than they won't have rain/snow falling on them. But they will have to stand in wet straw.

If I had more corral panels and more time before/after work, I'd set up some stalls in the shed at the top of the hill. But I'm out of corral panels and don't have time in the morning to halter and lead all 13 horses out to the pen. As it is, I'm cutting it short doing chores in the morning.

I need to figure out a new system for chores. Although after this weekend daylight savings time will kick in and I'll have an extra hour to do chores and possibly get more done outside (even if it IS wet out)!

I guess I'm just stressing. Maybe if I can get some stuff done this weekend I'll feel a little less stressed. Or if it would stop raining and there wouldn't be any chance of snow I'd be less stressed. But I guess I wont' complain. The weather is in the 30s instead of below zero. I do like warmer weather even if it reaks havoc on everything!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shanna's Ark

I'm considering turning the barn into a boat. I think we are just about ready to float away. The only catch is that the barn doesn't hold 13 horses. Oh, and the fact that if I did turn the barn into a boat, I'd have a considerable leak to contend with. I'm starting to think we are going to float away. Maybe the two rounds of alfalfa bales will float away and we can use them as rafters.

The barn is completely flooded now. Every stall has water in it. I'm going to have to buy a number of additional tubs to keep the grain dry. Right now they are all sitting on pallets but I'm not sure how beet pulp handles in wet conditions. I don't want to experience a beet pulp explosion.

I didn't get a chance to clean out the barn this weekend so now everything is starting to get soggy. I need to work on cleaning out the barn and get everything moved over to the tack room. I'm sure that everything is going to start rusting soon if I don't move it over.

I just hope that we dont' get a cold snap. Then I'm going to be in a pickle. I'll have to set up stalls in the big shed instead. That's about the only place that's dry right now. I don't even feel comfortable running horses in the barn because of the water ice.

And speaking of pallets. Sunday we had a skunk decide to take up residence in the hay barn. I was rather distraught. I hate dealing with skunks. I can handle coons and possums a little bit better but skunks are just awful. So every time I'd walk into the hay barn on Sunday the hair on the back of my neck would stand up straight. Awful feeling.

Mike baited the trap but still nothing. Last night we had to run into town so I was late in getting to chores. Luckily Mike was with me, carrying a pistol just in case. We investigated the hay barn but nothing. So I went out to go start getting the hay ready, and THERE HE WAS, THE LITTLE STINKER! The skunk was in the small pen waddling away out to the pasture.

Thank goodness Mike had a pistol on him. I absolutely hate doing chores in the morning when I know there's some type of varmit around. Now all we have to deal with is the skunk body. It's been raining non-stop for 12 hours so I'm hoping the skunk spray will wash away. The smell wasn't too bad in the hay barn but since the skunk sprayed, I'm sure the hay shed will stink to high heaven. I think we'll leave the body in the pen for a few more days to help wash away the stench. It's supposed to rain from now until Saturday morning.

Aaah, the joys of country life: flooding barns, mud, and skunks.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sleepy Queen

This morning when I went out to do chores, Queen was curled up on the hay/alfalfa. She looked so cute. I'm sure I disrupted her nap.

I do love a horse all curled up, napping. They make me want to curl up next to them and just enjoy their company. I didn't have a lot of time this morning but I couldn't resist sitting down with her for just a few minutes. I love to listen to them breath while they are curled up. It's such a calming sound. They are so relaxed, it simply soothes my soul.

Queen grazing last summer.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Woolly Mammoth to Sleak and Sassy

I'm so ready for the woolly mammoths to disappear.
And have my sleak and sassy beauties back!

Oh for greener pastures!


With the warmer weather, the barn is now flooding. It's not too bad at this point but if we get the rain the weatherman is predicting, I expect the entire barn will be flooded. For the past two days I've had to feed Sam in a different stall. His stall is starting to flood and there's no where for the water to go.

Unfortunately the water runs right into the barn. Rain and Sam's stalls are going to get the brunt of it but I'm sure that the entire barn will have water in it. I'm not exactly sure how to keep the water out. Everything was built on the downslope of a hill. It's not very noticeable at first, until you realize that water is running into the barn, garage, dog house, chicken coop, and house. Yeah, that's right, I said the house. I'm sure that over the years, the ground has heaved, the buildings have sunk, and more dirt has been brought in, so that's why I'm having problems with water in the buildings.

I just hope that the weather stays warm so I don't have to have the horses in the barn. I can deal with Sam in the barn but having half the herd in the barn with water in it is just a bit too much. I still need to haul everything out of the barn. It's amazing how much stuff accumulates in the barn over a year. The barn flooded last year too but it wasnt' this bad this early.

I figure I better move everything out of the barn so it doesn't get wet and when the humidity sets in, nothing will rust. I had that same problem last year with all my hardware rusting. Very annoying. I have to dig out the snowdrift in front of the tack room so I can start moving everything into there for the next several months.

And to top it off, the weatherman is predicting rain. Yes that's right. Rain. So on top of the three to four foot snowdrift in the yard (which covers the entire yard), we'll be dealing with up to a half inch of rain.

I think I may have to move the mares into a different pen. Their pasture takes the water run off. Unfortunately I have the three alfalfa bales sitting right where the water runs off. So now I'm really in a pickle. I don't have a tractor to move those bales. Luckily I'm almost done with one of the bales but that still leaves me with two bales to content with during the spring thaw. I have increased the mares alfalfa intake and reduced their hay intake. I'm sure it's completely wrong but I don't want to let the alfalfa go to waste and I'm not sure what else to do with those darn bales.

As always, there's something going on here at Borderlands.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Appreciating Warmer Weather

Life seems to be so much easier when warm weather arrives. I'm excited to be able to open the darn barn doors finally. Mike worked at getting the regular barn and hay barn doors open. The main barn door had been frozen shut for over a week. There's still about a foot and a half of packed snow in front of the door so we'll be tackling frozen doors yet again. But until that time I'm enjoying not hurting myself opening doors. It's the simple things in life that I enjoy!

The mares are also enjoying the warmer weather and drinking a lot more. Having never used a big water trough through the winter, this year has been a learning experience. Poor Mike, I'm sure he'll be happy to see summer when he doesn't have to haul water and I'll fill the tanks with a hose.

Nothing much else exciting other than enjoying warmer weather. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the warmer weather is here to stay. I'd sure like to watch the sun set over the horizon instead of the big ten foot snow drift at the end of the driveway.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sam's New Blanket

Last year I bought Bob a blanket because of his weight. I wanted to make sure he was spending his energy eating not trying to stay warm. The closest draft blanket I could find was two inches too big. So I had to order a size 96. Not a big deal. It fit Bob, not the greatest but it did the trick. I only had the blanket on Bob a few times last winter but had it on him all of this past October to keep the rains off of him.

When Sam got sick and Bob was gone, I used Bob's blanket on Sam. Unfortunately Sam is taller but shorter in length. Whereas Bob was shorter but longer in lenght. So the size 96 blanket was way too big. I've done everything I could to shrink the blanket down with pins and duct tape but it was just too big.

I've had that blanket on Sam since the end of November when I wanted to make sure he was spending all of his energy eating. I didn't want him to spend all his energy trying to stay warm to gain weight. Poor Sam has allowed me to mess with that blanket from day one. I dont' believe he's ever worn a blanket prior to coming to Borderlands. He's very patient with me. I dont' know if he really likes it or not but he tolerates it.

I decided that since Sam will be around for years to come (knock on wood), that I better buy him a blanket that actually fits. We measured him out as size 90 but I couldn't find any draft sizes that were in my price range. Sam has already half way trashed the other blanket. I wasn't too inclined to spend big bucks on a blanket he'll end up trashing no matter what within a year.

I found a couple of deals on smaller blankets but by the time I finally got around to ordering, they were out. I did find a deal at Jeffers. I dont' know why I didn't look at that site before. I found a size 87. I figured the blanket would be about three inches too small but it would be better than six inches too big. So I went ahead and ordered it last weekend.

The blanket came this Friday but I didn't get a chance to try it out until yesterday. It was so nice out that I decided to pull Sam's blanket and let him enjoy some sun on his back. I'm sure that today will be warm too but it was too chilly to pull his blanket when I did chores this morning.

I really like this blanket much better. I figured it would be too small but I think it fits him WAY better. The only place that might be too small his around his neck so I'll have to keep a super close eye on that. In the past I've always had to shrink the blankets down to be as small as they can go, but Sam's new blanket isnt' like that. I had to adjust everything. It's so nice to not have to duct tape things together to make sure they fit. I also prefer two belly straps, which this one does. The only thing it doesn't have is velcro on the two chest straps. I never thought about velcro but it really does help reduce the strain on those chest straps.

I think Sam likes his new blanket a lot better. I can actually see his cute Belgian butt! I'll have to get some pictures of Sam in his new blankie.

Last night while doing chores, I watched the sun set into the clouds and watched the moon rise. The moon was absolutely goregous red, turning to orange. I was glad to be out doing chores in the moonlight, to enjoy the view. This morning I watched the moon set and the sun rise. Daylight savings time is just around the corner so I wont' be enjoying the sunrise on my way to work. But I will enjoy more time outside playing with the horses.