Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Better News

I am much less stressed now. I just found out more details about the horse, donkey, and goats. Seems someone is going to pick up the goats and donkey (although they'll have a surprise with the foundered feet). And the actual owner of the horse will return for the horse. I guess the people who used to own the horse sold the place with the two horses. The new owners sold the one horse (who I would have bought) and kept the horse in question. These people loaned the horse out for the few months and are supposed to be back to pick the horse up.

I will keep a watchful eye to make sure that people follow through. I'm a bit concerned for the dogs that were involved but I'm guessing that someone has taken them or that the person made arrangements. The person is a good person, but stuck in a bad situation.

Now hopefully this creepy, depressing feeling will go away.

Finally, Summer Shots

I've been so far behind on everything these past few months that I've decided I need to get back into the swing of things. So after filling water troughs, letting the horses out into their "lawn pastures", and doing normal grain routines for Joe, Thor, Babe, and Queen I decided I would fianlly give everyone their shots.

Of course by that time it was 8:30pm. Yup, that's right. I started giving vaccinations in the evening. I started with Joe and Thor and waited for the rest of the herd to appear. I should have done this LONG ago! I'm mad at myself for not having done this sooner. It took me too long to order the vaccinations and it took me a month to actually give the shots.

I had my method for doing vaccinations too. Instead of pulling everyone out, I decided to run each one into the barn so that I could give them their shots, worm them, and put flyspray on. It's a slow process and one that should never be started at 8:30pm! Of course I had to pull Sam in and let him have his grain mash s othat slowed down the process. I didn't really start in on the big herd until close to 9-9:30pm. I wasn't done giving shots, worming, and applying flyspray until 10:30pm last night. I still need to do the ponies and the mares. I have to go back ot the vet to get shots. I'm short two horses (because Joe and Thor came to me without vaccinations or farrier work! ) So hopefully this weekend I can make a mad dash to Madison to get the last of the vaccinations. Nothing like waiting until JULY to do spring shots. Where did the time go?!?!

Least to say, I crashed hard. I'm paranoid about a horse having an allergic reaction. I've had a friend's horse have an allergic reaction that required an emergency vet visit. Having finished administering shots at 10:30pm I was worried I would be making a late night emergency call to the vet.

I'd planned on going back out to check the herd at 11:30pm (giving them an hour to react to the shots) but I fell asleep on the couch...hard. Mike woke me up at midnight and I rushed outside to see if anyone had any reactions.

I saw Sam on the ground and anotherhorse. I thought it might be Brego but was Maverick. I then peered around the corner and saw Chaos on the ground too. I climbed the fence and saw another horse stretched out right next to the barn. The horses I saw initially were snoozing. I realized that as I climbed the fence and Sam got up. I was worried he'd have a bad reaction since I had a hard time with one of his shots (along with King).

But the horse, all stretched out by the barn, had me scared. I thought it was a bad sign. As I walked up closer to see who it was (because he was lying in a dark shadow), I realized it was Brego. And silly Brego was just sleeping. Apparently my boys actually sleep around midnight. After I counted heads and apparently disrupted their sleep, I headed in to the house to crash for what seemed only like a few minutes before my alarm went of signaling yet another day.

Everyone was fine this morning. It made me feel better knowing that everyone in the big herd is vaccinated (late but at least done). I feel bad that I didn't get to it sooner but with everything going on, it was impossible to try and squeeze it in sooner. I need to be more organized.

Shaken to My Core

I'm still really shook up over Monday's realizations. For some odd reason I can't seem to shake this terrible feeling. Perphas it's because I put myself into this person's shoes and it just shakes me to my core. But to leave an animal behind, I couldn't do it. As Mike keeps pointing out, this person is normally really responsible so I can't imagine this person would abandon a horse. I'm sure the previous owner will come get the horse but I have my doubts.

My typicall response is to lurk in the shadows, keep to myself, and stay a hermit. But rescue is not about that. I can't go with the same old standard that everyone has around here with "out of sight, out of mind." I'll never forgive myself. I may be gullible but I can't just sit by and watch this distruction happen without doing something (even if I'm lied to at least I tried).

I guess tonight I'll have to screw up enough courage to call this person before their phone service is cut off and I lose all contact information to save this horse and donkey (and the other animals).

I had hoped yesterday to go for a short ride to calm my nerves. There's nothing like a good ride to help recenter my focus. But as things usually go, I didn't get to ride. To keep myself occupied I fiddled with Joe, Thor, Tommy, Skippy, Babe, and Queen in the late afternoon since they were all in easy view. I'm too lazy to walk out into the pasture. :-)

It was nice to know that they appreciated me. Little whinnies are always a good thing.

When I first arrived home from work yesterday, I heard this unfamiliar whinny. I couldn't figure out who it belonged too. So after letting Trouble out and opening gates for the ponies and the two new horses, I went in search of the unfamiliar whinny. Want to know who it was? Any guesses?


I've heard his low nicker but never a true whinny. He was definately calling for someone because he kept repeating himself but I'm not sure who he was calling for. Probably Maverick since Jim was all alone. Jim made me laugh. I really needed it too. Makes me appreciate what I have even if it's not flashy, expensive, or top of the line.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Very Upset

I'm very upset tonight. I am finally sitting down tonight after an upsetting evening. My hope is that I'm over reacting and that the person in question has everything under control. But I'm afraid that may not be the case.

I'm afraid that a horse and donkey (and a few other animals) have been abandoned. The owner has packed up and left. We stopped out tonight to say our goodbyes and the person was already gone. Standing in the pasture was a horse and a donkey. Four goats were wandering around. I'm afraid they were let loose to fend for themselves (one of which is pregnant).

I'm upset because this same person could have called to have me pick them up. My only hope is that someone is caring for them. But who knows how long the water will stay on. I'm upset to say the least. My hope is that I'll get a chance to talk with the person one last time before I break all communication. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this person had everything lined up and the two halters hanging in the tack room are for the horse and donkey and that someone will be coming for them in the next day or so. I fear for the worst though.

I'll wait for the phone call and if I don't get one by late tomorrow afternoon/evening I'll call the person in question and bluntly ask what's going on. If they are abandoned as I fear, I'll be making a trip to pick them up immediately. If everything has been planned out according to this person, I'll continue to check to make sure everything is taken care of.

I KNEW I should have turned this person in months ago for neglect on the donkey. I KNEW I should have done something and yet I didn't. Now there are more lives at stake.

What hurts the most standing there petting the horse, I saw a flymask laying on the ground. It once was for this horse and was once a horse that was cared for by this person. This horse will now be forgotten, along with the flymask lying in the dirt. How can they abandon the horse?!?! HOW?!?! I'm close to tears!

Perhaps I'm over reacting. This entire evening has gotten me rattled. I'm creeped out and depressed. Maybe a good nights sleep will help. Pray for a phone call tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Godspeed to the forgotten many.

Monday Ramblings

This weekend was rather quiet for messing with the horses. We spent Saturday afternoon in town. On the way home we saw some omnious clouds and figured we'd better hurry home. By the time we parked the car, the thunder was non-stop. We heard on the radio heavy rain, hail, and strong winds. I decided I'd better get Joe in since his body can't handle any sort of bad weather.

In go the ponies, Joe, and Thor into the barn. I rushed off to find the mares to get them into stalls too. They are simply too old to stand bad weather. The rest of the herd had the leanto and protection of the barn. I was still worried but they are strong, young boys. I'd still perfer to have a 20 stall barn to run everyone in during storms like we had Saturday. I'm sure glad that I did pull horses. The rains came crashing down and we even got hail. I'm not sure the size but it was enough for me. We lucked out and missed the stronger, damaging winds. After the rains, we still had lots of thunder and lightening. Luckily the only damage we received were shingles torn off the roof of the house.

On Sunday I decided to be brave and pull Joe and Thor out to eat grass in the yard. Their pasture is getting beaten down from the constant walking. There wasn't much lush grass in that pasture anyway. My biggest concern is that the pasture Joe and Thor are currently in was supposed to be the mares's pasture for Sept and October. I'm not sure if I'll have Joe up to weight by then or not. So to try and eleviate some pressure on the pasture, I fenced in the yard from the chicken coop to the barn. I've had horses in there before and it works perfect. My only issue is that I only have electric at this time (no corral panels like I prefer). Both Joe and Thor seem to respect the electric but I didn't want to chance it today with being gone for work. Tonight when I get home, I'll pull them out to eat the better grass. I'm hoping tomorrow I can let them out in the morning. Both Joe and Thor were hovering by the gate hoping they could get out this morning. I guess that grass meets their approval!

I also extended the pony pasture. Tommy and Skippy have eaten down where they were currently. I decided to be lazy and just add more electric fence and extend the pasture so all I have to do is open a gate and they'll have the entire yard. It beats me having to halter and lead them to their pasture. This way their water is closer to the barn and I can keep a better eye on it. Again, I was too nervous letting the ponies out on the grass for the entire day. This new grass is a bit more lush so I want to work them up to it. I know some people don't approve of putting ponies on pasture since there's the risk of founder. I know of others who will put their ponies out on pasture and not think twice. I've worked the ponies up to grass but I want to make sure that I do the right thing. They are much happier out on grass even if it's only for a few hours.

I doubt there will be any riding time tonight or much this week since it's going to be so blasted hot. My alfalfa guy stopped out yesterday and said he'll be cutting alfalfa this week so I should have 75 bales ready for me by the end of the week. That means I'll have to hustle around and get the hay barn cleaned out and ready for all those bales. I still have some of the older bales from last year (that aren't the greatest). I guess this means I'll have to do some serious rearranging. I'm not sure if I can fit 75 bales on that side. But I'll figure something out. It always makes me feel better having hay and alfalfa sitting in wait for the winter.

Friday, June 25, 2010

More Joe Time

Nothing exciting right now (knock on wood). Joe is really liking grain time in the barn. Although I think he was a tad jealous. The herd took awhile before they came up and I already had Joe in the barn eating. I'm not sure he even looked up when I let Sam in.

Joe was almost done when Sam dived into his grain mash. But Joe stopped what he was doing and watched Sam. I think he was jealous. I think had Joe not been locked in his stall he would have tried to sneak a bite of Sam's mash! That Joe! He LOVES his grain!

Because of the mosquitoes I'm keeping a flymask on him since he had reactions to mosquito bites...poor guy. I have to keep him in an arabian fly mask so that it doesn't rub on the hairless spots. He doesn't seem to mind his flymask either. I brushed him down last night thinking that might help with the mosquito bites (helps with the itching). I think he was really relaxed and had to push his head against the gate to stand. Joe really does have those puppy dog eyes.

I'm sneaking out of work early today to run some errands, including grocery shopping for the horses. Hopefully I'll get caught up and can start getting things done around the place.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pasture Time, New Stalls, and Joe

I need to get pictures of Tommy and Skippy when I let them out to grab a few bites of grass. The expression on their faces tells it all. The way I have their "pasture" set up right now is long and narrow. It pretty much gives them a straight race track to gallop full out from one end to the other. Skippy loves to run. Tommy prefers to buck and kick up his heals and then run. I've had to keep them in a smaller pen so they don't always get to stretch their legs as fast or as much as I'd prefer (or they would prefer). Letting Tommy and Skippy out into the lawn pasture makes a big difference. I do like having happy ponies. Happy ponies means a happy pony caretaker.

I also pulled Joe out last night so he could dine in the barn. I'm always switching things up for these poor horses! Last time I put Joe in Sam's stall but last night I put him in a different stall. I do think Joe prefers being in the barn! I wasn't sure and I'm still leery of leaving him in the barn all night but that might be the way I go for the summer.

Thor does not appreciate this short seperation. He spent the entire time Joe was in the barn pacing and trotting all over the pasture. The only issue with the barn is that it gets stuffy and a little hot (but better than outside with the hot air and mosquitoes). So I'll have to wait and see what I do. I can't decide. But I know Joe likes being in the barn. I just don't know how hard it will be for him to stand on concerte for the evenings. I still can't tell if he's gaining weight, maintaining weight, or losing weight. I know it's only been a few days on this new grain/beet pulp mash but I'm so anxious to see weight on him. I'm sure it will be six months before he's where he really should be and another few months before he's fat where I want him.

And then I need to look at Sam. When he came home more than a year ago, he was thin. Once out on pasture he gained weight but then got sick in the fall, lost a ton of weight, and looked terrible. After figuring out the correct grain mash concoction that would work for him, he gained some weight and looks to be about the right weight now that he's on pasture. So it's taken an entire year to put the right amount of weight (although I'd prefer if he was a bit chunkier but that wouldn't happen). It also took Brego six months to gain back the correct amount of weight from when he was starved. So I'm guessing that could be the case with Joe too (six months until he's to the right weight)! Oh for easy keepers like Thor.

Dad was also down working at Borderlands yesterday too! I didn't see any tire tracks but once I opened the barn door I definatley new Dad had been working his magic on the place. Last week he'd brought supplies to build a sliding stall door. We discussed the best option and decided to go a different route than what Dad figured. The current stall set up requires one stall to be secured with chains and I'd prefer a different method. But with the number of horses currently at Borderlands, it's more important to simply have enough stalls than having stalls that function easily. I'm content with securing a stall with chains if it means I get a new stall out of the deal.

With this new additional stall I'll have six stalls and now that Dad knows what I want for stalls, I'm sure he'll squeeze in that seven stall. I've also got an idea for a stall in the hay shed, which would give me a third permanent stall. Last year I used corral panels but I'd like to reserve corral panels (in the winter) for emergency stalls instead (probably in the big red shed).

And I know what you're thinking. There's 15 horses and only nine stalls (six in the barn counting the new stall and three stalls, counting the temporary stall, in the hay shed). The rest of the horses use the leanto off the barn. I prefer keeping the less aggressive horses and the "delicate flowers" in the barn and keep the bossy horses outside where they will push to get into the leanto.

So we'll see how things progress. There's so much to do and I simply can't seem to get up enough energy to do more than simple chores. I hope that I'll have energy tonight to get something accomplished. I need to feel like I've done something more than just minimal chores these days. Maybe I'll look at Dad's handy work and that will motivate me!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joe and the Barn

Last night I decided to pull Joe out of the pasture. This is the first time since bringing him home that I've done anything with him outside the pasture. He willingly went into the barn for his grain mash. I think where there's grain, Joe will follow!

I wanted to see if Joe would lick up all the grain like Sam does or if he would leave some behind like Jim. Joe is like Jim but not to the same degree. I think Joe simply gets tired of eating. But I would like to start pulling Joe out in the evenings so he doesn't have to fight flies and mosquitoes.

Thor is not impressed. He whinnied until the herd came up for the evening. Then he settled down. I do prefer that the horses have a best friend but I do require the ability to pull a horse out at any time and not have them so herd bound that I can't even work with them or have to worry about the other horse blowing through a fence. I do the majority of the chores alone and can't risk getting hurt or having a loose horse on the place.

I'm planning on continuing to pull Joe out so that he associates the barn with good things. I did the same thing with Sam and he prefers the barn to any other place (as do most of the other horses).

With Mike digging the holes, we were able to get the cedar trees planted before being carried away by mosquitoes. Oh what I would give for a 20 stall barn so that I could run the horses in at night to protect them from mosquitoes and bad weather.

We also had a terrible storm blow through last night. I saw the lightening as I was falling asleep around 11:30pm last night. I think the only reason I woke up was that the wind was blowing the rain on me. I hustled to shut windows and fell back to sleep immediately. I did worry about the horses standing out in the storm. Mike stayed up until 2am when the storm finally passed. Silly guy! But if we had a nice 20 stall barn with fans and AC I wouldn't worry so much about storms and protecting my "kids" from insects.

I guess having that big of a barn will be the dream goal. Maybe some day. At this point, I'd be happy with enough stalls to keep the horses out of bad weather in the winter along with a few additional open fronts.

Not sure what the plan will be tonight. If there's no wind, there will be no riding. The mosquitoes are just too bad these days. If there's wind and the horses are up, I may try to sneak a ride in. Otherwise I'll just putter around with the horses.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finally... A Ride

I've been itching to go for a ride. I realized the other day, the last time I was on a horse (besides the five minutes on Zeke riding up to the church for my wedding) was back at the first of May for the Wengert trail ride. I can't believe I havent' been on a horse in more than a month! It was driving me CRAZY!

Luckily the boys were up when I went out to start chores. Rain has been acting a little off. I think it's because we havent' been riding partners this year. So I decided to snag Rain and go for a very short ride. I thought just down the road would be a nice ride for us. Rain and I are both out of shape and we could use some together time. It was also so darn hot I didn't want to tax him too bad since he's so suseptible to weather and heat stroke/heat exhaustion.

I saddled up and we headed down the road. Luckily there was just a tiny breeze to keep the mosquitos at bay. That is, until we turned around. That's when Rain got upset and wanted to run home and the mosquitoes started taking after us. But we kept to a collected trot home. I loved it. Rain would blow air through his nose and he sounded like such an Arabian! :-) Sweet, sweet Rain.

The neighbor to the south of us is putting in a pasture. I thought at one time they had a horse but I haven't seen it since they started building their house. I'm guessing they either boarded the horse somewhere else and want to bring him home or they think having a horse is romantic (insert snicker here) and want to do all the work of getting a horse. I'm curious to see what happens.

When we got back I hosed Rain down. He was completely in a lather but he gets that way coming home if he doesnt' expend some of his energy before hand. Because it was so hot and because of the mosquitoes I didn't want to work him too hard. But I hosed him off and put him in a stall to dry out. I'm not sure if the ride helped Rain or not. But it was so nice to get out and enjoy the weather even if it was stinking hot.

The ponies amazed me yesterday also. I had them out on grass surrounded by electric. fence I'm not sure what happened but they must have gotten into the fence and pulled it down (luckily I didn't actually have the fence plugged in). I guess that's my sign to move them to a new spot on the lawn. I did some pony pasture fencing and tonight they'll have a bigger pasture to roam around in. I'm slowly getting them used to grass again. My biggest fear will be that I dont' pay attention and they founder. But it's a slow progress of grass intake so hopefully I'm doing the right thing. The ponies are much happier these days and much easier to handle!

Joe seems to be in good spirits. He really likes his beet pulp/grain mash. He licks his dish completely clean. I have to leave Thor tied so Joe doesn't get pushed out. But once there isn't much left in Joe's dish I can let Thor go and Thor takes one lick and walks away, leaving Joe to polish off his supper. I may separate them for longer periods at a time so I can keep a closer eye on Joe and get him into the barn for supper feedings. I've learned I cannot feed Joe his grain next to any grass. On Sunday I plopped his grain dish down in grass. Joe takes one bite and slobbers half of it out on the grass (exaclty like what Bob used to do!) That means the grain mash goes everywhere. Well, Joe licks everything up and licked up grass and caused himself to choke. He choked twice Sunday until I realized it was my fault for having the grain dish sitting on the grass. I'd rather I had the dish in the barn so Joe could lick up his grain on concrete (like what Sam does now!) So we'll see. I may start making Joe come into the barn for his supper.

The mosquitoes were so bad I put a flymask on Joe. I need to find a better one. I just grabbed one and the mask rests right on the bridge of his nose where the halter had dug in at one time and now where there is no hair. I'm thinking I'll go dig out one of the arabian fly masks and see if that fits him better. Or I'll go buy one of the longer fly masks that covers the entire nose and see if that helps. Luckily the mask doesn't touch the spot on his cheeck where there's no skin. I think this might have been the first time Joe has ever worn a flymask. He wasn't comfortable with the velcro but he was too busy eating to do much more than spook in place. We'll get Joe pampered yet! He defininately deserves a pampered life after the hard life he's lived.

I'm hoping tonight I can sneak another ride in. But I still need to get the cedar trees planted before they die completely (although I think they may already be dead). It's the thought that counts right?

Monday, June 21, 2010

My Heart Cries Out

For those that can't figure out why I rescue, please read the NorCal blog from yesterday. I couldn't get through the entire blog without crying. I am the weepy type but this got to me mor ethan normal. It's still bothering me and I need to share with others so that you too can see what is happening.

Please spread the word. These horses and ponies should never have suffered. We need to set something up similar to what NorCal currently has with any KB to see if we could help pull one or two from going to slaughter.

I don't yet have any connections with any auction houses but if I ever get brave, I know the first auction house I'll go to since they are so easy to work with. We need to pull these types of horses before they are sent back to their awful owners and before they make that final ride or left to die in a pasture starving, in pain, and alone. As the KB stated in the blog, they'll take any type of horse no matter the size, age, breed, health, etc.

Monday Morning Ramblings

I can't believe today is the first day of summer and as such is the longest day of the year. I better make the best of it and get a ton done. This weekend again was a "bum around" weekend and I didn't get anything accomplished. Everything was on hold until the wedding but now that it's been two full weeks I still can't seem to get into the swing of things.

Poor Rain. I think he's feeling a little neglected. This morning when I went to let the big herd out, he just hung out by me for a few minutes. If the weather clears up I'll have to go out and catch him this afternoon and go for a short ride. I think he's feeling a little neglected and forgotten. I also need to start him on his scratches cream. I think the herd is down in the flooded area of the pasture and is causing everyone with white socks to get scratches.

Last night when I went out to do chores, everyone was coming up. I love that they are getting so trained. I can't go out earlier to convince them to come in sooner. But they all come in on their own accord to hang out for the night near the barn (and away from the mosquitoes). I thought everyone was up and shut the gate. I went in to feed Sam and realized I was missing a horse! My biggest fears started to run through my head. Jim was missing from the herd. Was he dead, was he down and colicy, did someone cut the fence and steal him? I've had this happen before where one of the horses is so engrossed in a grassy patch that they don't notice the rest of the herd. But I'm always worried that because they are old, that they've died out in the pasture (not a bad way to go but still a shock to me if it would happen). So I trotted on out to find Jim. There he was, happily eating away. I realized I didn't bring a lead or a halter to convince him he needed to come in for the night. He may be standoffish and hard to catch but luckily he knows the routine enough to come in and went straight to the drylot. What a good boy!

And speaking of good boys, Joe is really sneaking into my heart. I tried beet pulp on him the other night and although he turned his nose up for the first bite, he licked the dish clean. So last night I grained him and add beet pulp and a joint supplement. When Joe saw me, he let out a huge whinny. I wasn't even carrying the grain yet but he was so excited to see me that he whinnied. I know it's only because of the grain but I'll take it! I don't think he's yet packed on the pounds like I'd like but I've only been graining him soaked senior for a week now. And now that Joe has discovered beet pulp I'm hoping to pack on more pounds faster. Once he gains his weight back, I'll have to tackle getting his feet trimmed and then on to the vet for an evaluation of that hip. His feet are rather goofy. I know the angles are off because of the bad hip. But his hooves are also not right. I'm not sure how to explain it other than there are rings. Typically I'll see rings on a horse when I switch pastures or when something traumatic happens but Joe has rings going all the way up his hoof. It's rather odd. I'll see what my farrier thinks when I get him out to trim up Babe, Thor, and the ponies.

I'm itching to get some riding time in so we'll see how that goes. But it seems like there's so much to get done and I have no energy to do anything but bare minimum chores and absolutely no housework. So hopefully I'll find some energy reserve and go like crazy to get everything done.

Dad came down on Friday to drop off stuff for the barn. He's going to make me a sliding stall door so that I can add another stall to the barn. It was actually for a different stall but since that one is functional, I'd rather put it towards creating a new stall in the barn. I have it figured out that with the 15 horses and the new stalls I want to build, I'll still only have ten stalls (of which the ponies go together into a stall). So that leaves me with four horses that have to stay in the lean too of the barn during the winter and I'm not happy about that idea. I'll have to come up with some idea this summer to figure out how to resolve my stall issue. Sad that I'm thinking about winter already and today is only the first day of summer!

The weatherman is saying that soon the rains will stop and we'll have nice dry weather. I've so enjoyed the past few days of clear skies and sun. But I'll be sad to see the rain go. I'm afraid the pasture is already starting to dry up in spots. I've over grazed it and need to fertilize and spray for weeds. Yet another project that was put on hold until after the wedding and seems to be low on the priority list. Although the thistles are getting so big now that we have to do something or I'll lose the entire pasture to thistles.

I need to download some of the latest pictures and post more of the herd. I also need to get better pictures of Joe and Thor. I want to evaluate Joe's weight gain. Always something to do these days!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Joe and Beet Pulp

I think I have Joe convinced he can and should eat beet pulp. He never turns his nose up to grain (unlike Jim). So I thought I would give it a try (it's how I got Sam to eat beet pulp too!)

I soaked a cup of beet pulp, mixed in some joint supplement, and threw in the soaked senior. I plopped the dish down and went to get Joe. I had Thor haltered and tied so he wouldn't eat Joe's grain. Joe took one bite and walked over to Thor. Joe gave me a dirty look! I'd messed with his yummy tasking soaked senior mash! I think he was a bit ticked.

But he must have thought better and went back and polished the entire meal. I'm pretty proud of him. I really think he likes his grain and even if it tastes a little off, it's better than nothing (which is what happened the night before). So I think I'll be able to help Joe pack on the pounds now (teeth floated, 24x7 access to pasture, and soaked senior/beet pulp mash).

From the one side he looks pretty good. But from his right side, he looks terrible. That hip of his looks awful. I am going to have to prepare myself that he could only be around for this summer. I'm not sure if he'll be able to handle a winter.

But I'll put him on the joint supplement I have Queen on. I had Jim on it too but he doesn't seem to need it. I havent' ridden Jim so I don't think his joints are bad any more. They haven't gotten any wear and tear since I brought him home in December.

We'll see how Joe progresses. I'm also considering pulling him out of his current pasture and putting him on the lawn so that he doesn't have to walk around on the hills. We'll see if I get that far. I really hope the joint supplement will help. But I do think there is something serious going on. Unfortunately it's going to have to wait. I got the bill for the teeth floats. Yooouhza.

I really do need to become a non-profit and figure out how to get bills like that paid for. Now that Thor and Joe have been here more than a week, I think they are used to me enough that I can get some decent pictures of them. Maybe I'll try for that tomorrow! I'm also thinking of hauling a couple horses to Madison so I can ride around in the pastures and fields. I'm really itching to ride. It's been WAY too long!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Professional Horse Photos

Only once have I had one of the horses professionally photographed and that was for senior pictures with my very first horse Tiny Dictator (which didn't turn out well).

When we did our engagement pictures the photographer was intimidated by Sam but really liked him. I was worried Sam wouldn't photograph well since he wasn't up to snuff for weight but he doesn't look too bad in that picture. Wish I could have her come out and photograph each of the Borderland horses now. But at least I got some of the herd professionally photographed. :-)

Doesn't Sam look handsome?!

This picture makes me think of an enchanted pasture.

The photographer laughed because all the horses were facing the other direction so she shot a "Butt Shot". Nothing like getting a professional "Butt Shot". Way to go boys!

More Engagement Pics to Enjoy

I can't believe that we will have been married for two weeks as of this Saturday. I didn't get to share all of the engagement pictures and thought I would share a few more. Happy Friday!

Zeke, Dude, Chaos, Rain, King, Mike, Shanna, and Sam

Rain rolling, Chaos, Shanna, Mike, and Brego in the background
(I was going to hop on Chaos to get a shot but Chaos took off)

Brego, Maverick, Mike, Shanna, Chaos, King, and Zeke

The herd playin in the background

Maverick, Mike, Shanna, Chaos, and King

If you look close (near the tree line) you'll see the horses. Look for the white or to find the group.

Rain, King, Mike, Shanna, and Sam

Health Report and General Friday Ramblings

There is so much going on and yet, I can't seem to find any words today.

Yesterday marked one week with Thor and Joe. I'm really concerned about Joe. His right hip really seems to be giving him problems. He doesn't walk straight and won't put much weight on it when he's standing. I haven't started him on beet pulp yet because I havent' been home to get it started. I'm keeping him on the probiotics to see if that helps any. I'm also considering pulling him out of his current pasture and keeping him on the lawn. The lawn is fairly flat and no hills where the current pasture is all hilly. It could be he just needs a break from walking up and down the hill.

Thor has gone from a touch-me-not to a as-long-as-you-bring-me-food horse. We disagree about me putting his halter on for grain time. I don't want him snitching Joe's food so I halter and tie for the few minutes it takes Joe to devour his grain and lick the dish clean (it's too cute!)

No one in the herd seems to be too concerned with the new additions. I figured there's be a lot of nose touching and squealing over the fence. I've seen none of it. Of course both Joe and Thor are standoffish so we'll see what happens when I introduce them into the big herd. It'll be awhile. Until I can figure out what's going on with Joe's hip and he gains weight, he'll stay separate so he doesn't have to fight for his food or place in the herd.

I can't tell if King's muscle soreness is coming back or not. Every once in awhile I seem him off just a little in the front but it could be his feet. I decided I'd let him go barefoot but he has such flat feet. I'm trying to figure out what type of shoes to buy so I could possibly ride him again. The ones I want are, of course, the most expensive.

I also need to do some digging on Babe. I noticed something odd on her the other day around her fetlocks. I don't want to go into details until I've done some research. I would never have noticed except the other day it rained and her hair was matted. I'm a little concerned so it may be at minimum a call to the vet to discuss the possibilities.

Everyone else is doing great. Jim is to the right weight and I think Sam is too. I'm keeping him on his grain (minus the beet pulp). I'd prefer him to be a few pounds heavier but I'll take what I can get. I no longer feel ribs. It's a hard won victory. I do so enjoy looking out at the horses and seeing sleek, fat horses. Now if I could just get the weight on Joe. These hard keepers and picky eaters are driving my stress level up!

I think I'm a bit aggitated. I'm guessing it's mostly from work. But I'm starting to see some free and very cheap horses on Craigs List and Kelo in the past couple of weeks. I'm worried for these horses. It's only mid-June and I'm seeing good horses going to bad places. I havent' been able to attend any auctions. I believe this weekend is Kramers but again I'll have to miss it because of family obligations. It's probably best I avoid the auctions until this fall. I'm already maxed. I am guessing this coming fall/winter is going to be tough on the horse market. Everyone will remember what it was like last year and want to dump their horses the first sign of winter. I need to be prepared.

I'm finally getting motivated to work on our place again so we'll see how many stalls I can build and where I can find places for new stalls. I'm going to have to get creative soon! I do think that I need to go and hug a horse to get rid of this aggitated feeling that has come over me. So everyone do me a favor and go hug your horse. Maybe that will help me too! :-)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

At Risk Horses Blog Returns

I have been keeping a closer tab of horses listed on Kelo and Craigs List as of late. And that reminded me that I have a blog set up specifically to list horses at risk of getting into the hands of traders, brokers, and killbuyers.

I decided last night that I would start. The site is at:

I have noticed that a number of listings are pulled off CraigsList by the time I can sit down and post to the blog in the evening. I can watch all day but dont' have time to post until evenings.

So if you are looking for any at risk horses, sit on Craigs List for a week. I am seeing a number of cheap horses being posted. This makes me wonder if there will be tons of horses this fall. We are having a decent season for pastures (although we could use some heat). But I think the economy and people's life styles are changing.

I am fearful that there will be many good horses headed to slaughter and I want to post them so that they may have a fighting chance. Please keep your eyes open for cheap horses and give them a chance if you're in the position to.

Hopefully I'll keep the site up to date with the horses I see listed. I know there is another gal doing the same thing but she's not hitting the Craigs List ads as hard as I am. Maybe we can get a joint effort going. Anyway, if you see any suspicious ads, check them out. Those horses need your help!

Best Friends

Joe and Thor are pretty much inseparable these days. Glad we were able to bring both home. It would have been too hard otherwise. These two are just sweethearts.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Joe and His Grain

Silly and sweet Joe. Joe and Thor have not yet been at Borderlands for a week and Joe has already figured out the grain routine. At the very beginning, he was at the end of the pasture and I had to lure him in. Over the last couple of days, Joe has been fairly close but still out in the middle of the pasture.

Last night Joe was up at the fence patiently waiting for me. I went to pick up the feed dishes and he whinnied at me. That was the best sound I'd heard all day! I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision; maybe someone else could take care of them better, maybe someone else could pamper him more; maybe I'm not the best caretaker. But that whinny, that whinny summed it up. It doesn't matter if I'm not the best, in Joe's eyes, I'm the crazy grain lady and that's all that matters.

There is definately something wrong with his right hip. He favors it greatly when he comes up for grain. Of coures everything is so mushy that it's hard to really see how well he walks. I just hope that Joe is actually putting on weight instead of dropping weight. From one angle it looks like he's maintaining the weight and from a different angle it looks like he's dropping weight.

Of course it's only been four full days so of course Joe can't pack on the pounds in four days. I think I need to increase his grain ration but I want to work him up to it slowly as I can't monitor him as well as I'd like.

I'm thinking of starting Joe on beet pulp but I'm not sure if he'll go for it or not. He devours the grain but everyone else did the same and always turned up their nose at the beet pulp. So I might try two dishes; one with just soaked senior and a second dish with beet pulp and soaked senior.

I also started Joe on probiotics to see if that would help him too. I've bought the powder probiotic before at Tractor Supply but I happened to be at Walmart and they were clearancing out a bunch of jars. So I snatched up a few and we'll see if they do any good for poor ol' Joe.

I just hope I can get some weight on him. The cream I put on his scars/wounds on his back seems to be doing the trick. The flies are staying off of it. If I can't keep the flies off Joe, I'll invest in a good flysheet although I'm not sure that will work until I put him out with the rest of the herd. His current pasture has a lot of trees.

I'm not sure if I'll get to do too much with the horses tonight. We have a bunch of trees we bought at the Minnehaha County Conservation Office and we need to get them planted. I tried to prep everything yesterday and looked at some of the trees we planted awhile ago from the same place. Last night was all about yard work, stuff I've put off since before the wedding and had to wait on because of the weather.

We are to get nice weather today and then starting tomorrow more rain. The weatherman is calling for more bad weather with big storms rolling in next week. So it looks like still no riding time for me. I'd really like to go for a ride one of these days! Oh well. At least it's horsework instead of housework!

Craigs List Horses

Someone go get these two oldsters. I'd be willing to care for them the rest of their lives I just can't afford to drive out to Faith and pick them up. Hope no KB takes them as they are easy pickings.

Free Older Horses and a Pony for Sale (57626)
Date: 2010-06-15, 7:37PM CDTReply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]
I have 2 older horses 20 and 30 years old that need to go to a good home as a pair. They are great kids horses but my kids have moved on to younger, faster horses. Would be great for a child just beginning to ride. Free to a good home that will take both horses. Chip is the sorrel and Coco is the dark brown with the star. Please call because computer access is limited. Home #605-866-4557 Cell 605-490-0738 Ask for Laura. The pony is also for sale but not free. Her name is Taffy and she is about 13 years old.
Location: 57626

Monday, June 14, 2010


Sweet, sweet Joe. I don't have any really good pictures of Joe. Mike was able to get one or two pictures of him the first night but it was dark and the flash upset them. I'll try to get better pictures but I wanted to show what happens when you leave a halter on for too long. He's also at least 100 lbs under weight. I know a horse can drop weight pretty quick and it's hard to put back on. But I do get alittle irritated when I know that the previous owner didn't really do that much other than a teeth float and dumped him out to pasture. If you have oldsters, you should be prepared for weight loss and lots of TLC. You can't just dump an oldster out and expect them to survive a rough winter. So you can decide for yourselve....but in my humble opinion poor Joe has had a rough life and I can only hope that I can serve him well and justify his retirement like he deserves.

You can see where the halter rubbed and where the skin was ripped off his nose. It's also along the cheek although I don't have a shot of that yet.
The dark spot on his back (close to his withers) is also a scar. It's on both sides so I'm guessing he was in a fairly bad accident. I wouldn't even think of putting a saddle on his back with those scars. The flies have been bothering them the last day or so. You can also see (sort of) how thin he is. The picture is deceiving but he's definately thin.

Another angle. You can distinctly see where his face grew into his halter. Poor guy. He has the sweetest puppy dog eyes I've ever seen on any horse before. Now don't these pictures make you want to go out and hug Joe?

Dreary Weather

This weather is going to drive me crazy. I'm still on Cloud 9 from the wedding but this weather is starting to dampen my spirits.

Everything was on hold until after the wedding. And now that the wedding has come and gone I should be going crazy getting things done. Instead, all this wet, dreary weather makes me want to curl up on the couch with a good horse book or horse movie.

I hope at some point very soon that the weather will turn around and we can get some sunshine. Some of the once flooded areas are starting to flood yet again. The pasture I have Thor and Joe in is already half way flooded and I know the big pasture is starting to flood again. I haven't gone out to check but I know that there's no place for the water to go once the CRP fills up, except back into the pasture. We'll see what I get for scratches/mud fever this year.

So you can all suffer, I mean enjoy the weather we've been having I added a few pics from yesterday. Mike and I both needed to get out of the house for a little while so we hopped in the car and went for a short drive.

View looking east. This is the spillway off of Lake Vermillion. It's not as bad as earlier this spring but the water was definitely rushing.

Another view from a different part of the park.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Full Moon(s)

It seems this is the typical view around Borderlands these days.
Tommy, Skippy, and Rooster

Tonight was the first night Tommy and Skippy were out on grass. They'll be out on grass ten minutes at a time this week and we'll progress from there. But we sure had some happy ponies tonight.

Thor and Joe

Too tired to blog much about the new boys on the block. But I do think Thor and Joe are settling in nicely. They really are sweethearts. I wasn't sure at first since they were both so standoffish. But they've come around pretty quick once they realized I'm the crazy food lady.

I've taken to haltering Thor while he eats his grain and letting Joe eat without a halter. Joe eats so slowly I want to make sure he gets every morsel of grail. Joe is still so thin that I worry about him. But I think with a good helping of soaked senior every night, he'll gain fairly fast. Thor on the other hand doesn't need any grain but to gain his trust, I'm graining him a bit of sweet feed every night. Because Thor powers through his grain, I have to leave him tied so he doesn't push poor Joe out of the way. Thor is notorious for pushing Joe out of the way. And I've learned this in only three short days.

I'll post more about the new boys but thought you might enjoy some pictures. I'll include emails from the previous owner so you'll get to know both Joe and Thor just like I did.
Thor. Poor guy has a serious sunburn on his nose. I'm trying to treat it. Luckily the skies have been cloudy the last two days and he's been in shade. He's really huge and the old Amish owner that had Thor really took care of him. I can only find one or two harness marks on him (not like Sam where he's covered in harness marks).

To give you a comparison shot between Thor and Joe. Thor is shorter than Sam but he's built like a tank. Poor Joe is still so thin. I can't wait to see what he looks like when he's plump. He also has some really bad scars where the saddle goes. I'm not sure what they are from. The flies were biting at those spots so I put some goop on to see if it would help. I think Joe really likes his soaked senior mush. I'm not sure the old boy has ever had grain before. He wasn't sure about the grain the first night out but ever since then he's the one that brings Thor up for supper.

Another comparison shot of Thor and Joe so you can see how HUGE Thor really is. It also hides the fact that Joe looks so bad. I'll have to get better pictures but they didn't want to be photographed on Friday (their first fill day at Borderlands). I want to get pics of Joe so everyone will know why you never leave halters on a horse for long periods of time.

You can see how thin Joe is. Look at Thor's butt! Never thought I'd be a Butt Girl but look at that butt! It's HUGE! And notice that Thor has a different colored mane than tail. And his mane parts in both directions. Joe is a pretty line backed dun and if my eyes don't deceive me, he actually has some markings on his shoulders like a fat cross. I'll have to take pics for you to see and decide for yourself. Joe likes his grain but I try to leave him alone while he's eating. Everyone deserves some time to themselves when they enjoy their meal. :-)

They have both gone through so much and are pretty well attached. I can see now why the previous owner mentioned Thor after I said I was interested in Joe. It would have been terrible to break these two guys apart.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday Adventure

I can only hope that I made the right mistake. A week or so before the wedding I saw on ad on Kelo for an older well broke gelding. Of course I had to email and ask more about him. Come to find out he was from a lady who adopts from other rescues and uses them in her youth program. She pulls from a couple different rescues and I'm going to find out if she has the same deal with the rescue this horse came from as she does with the other rescue I've talked with.

Well, through our conversations she mentioned she had a belgian she'd like to place along with Joe the QH. I said I'd be interested in both. Unfortunately she needed both Joe and Thor out of the pasture because her youth group camp is this weekend.

I made arrangements to go pick up the horses yesterday. I pretty much bought them sight unseen as she didn't have any pictures of Joe (and I know why now). She did have pictures of Thor on her website but I think she wanted him gone before the camp started. She pushed pretty hard for me to get them before today. I understand but it still seemed a little odd. She does rescue and make people sign contracts and she was very worried about Joe and Thor going to a good home. So I think all in all the previous owner has a good heart.

So we left our place about 5pm to get to Alvord, Iowa by 6-6:30pm. We finally arrived and looked around. We had to wait for them to bring Thor and Joe up. She came and got us and right away I knew I was going home with both.

Poor Joe. His face has marks all over showing where his skin was ripped off by a too tight halter. I'm going to get pics and show you later. He's still so thin. All of a sudden he lost weight and he's only now slowly picking up the weight after a month of pasture and a teeth float. But as Mike and I discussed, Joe probably never had much for grain. I'll have to measure him and make sure that he has a winter blanket for this coming year and a nice dry/warm stall for this winter.

Thor on the otherhand, is massive. He made Joe look tiny. Thor doesn't look anything like Sam. Thor has a body like Bob's and has the coloring of Dude. The bright sorrel with flaxen mane. His tail on the other hand is a bit gray. Unfortunately Thor was used by the Amish and when he lost the sight out of his left eye, they got rid of him. It doesn't bother Thor any to not see out of that eye. In fact, the way he holds his head reminds me of Blondie and how she held her head. She too was blind in the left eye. Thor's feet are massive. I'll have to measure them at some point. His feet remind me of Bob's. Wonder what he'll be like for the farrier.

After deciding they were coming home with me we hung out and talked a bit more. One of the girls had fallen in love with Thor and waited until he was loaded to say her goodbyes. He had to hang out a little bit longer just for her but I didn't mind. We finally got going around 7:45pm.

Thor does NOT like to travel. We got to the West Lyon school near Larchwood and had to stop and readjust Thor in the trailer. He was all sweated up and rather upset for being a big guy. Earlier he tried to turn around in the trailer. Not a good thing for a 2000 lb animal!

Thor finally settled down and we continued to putter on home. When we hopped onto I90 we were able to go between 55 and 60mph but then when we started coming in to Sioux Falls the rain started. Oh how I wish I would have thought to bring a sheet for poor Joe. He was in the back of the stock trailer. I need to buy an enclosed slant load!

We finally rolled in about 9:15pm and we unloaded. Mike went in to make a pizza and I got the barn ready for Joe and Thor. I got them settled for the night and ran in for a quick bite and then back out for more chores.

I figured it would be safest to leave them in the barn overnight because of the stress and impending storm (which I some how managed to sleep through but was a pretty wicked storm). There was lighting in the sky when we finally made it into the house about 10:30pm. I felt so bad leaving Joe and Thor in the barn. I need to find some type of night light so they don't have to be in the barn in the dark. I don't like leaving the lights on overnight. It's an old barn with old wiring.

This morning I woke up fairly early and headed out. Both Joe and Thor were just hanging out. They didn't eat as much hay as I'd hoped but at least they'd gone through some of the hay. I took Thor out first. Boy is he a handful. He was happy to get out of the stall and into the mare's winter pasture. He wasn't too upset that Joe wasn't around. Joe on the other hand was very upset he'd been left behind. So I rushed back and got Joe and got him out into the pasture. I guess both Joe and Thor came from the same rescue in MN. I would have felt terrible breaking them apart.

I stood around for just a little bit to watch the pair graze on the tall grass. Oh how I wish I could have stood there all morning watching them graze. I'm a bit worried that the other horses will cause a problem later today but there's nothing I can do about it. Hopefully no vet bills will insue. I don't think that Joe or Thor will do much but hang out and touch noses with the other horses but I sure hope there isnt' too much excitement while I'm gone.

And to top it off I can't even go home right away after work. We are planning on picking up some of the left over conservation trees so I won't get home until sometime after 5pm! And all I want to do now is go play with Joe and Thor! Oh well. I'll try to get pictures of them out in the pasture so I can formally introduce them to you!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bad Ad

Saw this ad on Kelo and can't seem to get it out of my head:

Horses for free!
I have 8 horses that need new homes. Prices range from free to $250. Please no emails as I don't check it and have no internet at home. Call 712-389-5027.

Seller Contact Information
Jenny Schoen
Phone: 712-389-5027

Someone call since I'm a chicken and get me details. Maybe I can work something with this person. I'm sure I'd say something wrong if I got on the phone and she won't read any emails. Someone call and I'll see what I can do!

Too bad this isn't the only ad I've seen for $25 horses. A member of my saddle club is selling their weanlings and yearlings for $25 and up. uuugh. Makes me sick. But I can't take on any more young ones.

Someone please call and give me the details and I'll see what I can do to get these horses into good, loving homes!

New Memebers

I was going to wait until tonight or tomorrow to post but I have to share! Tonight Mike and I are headed to Alvord Iowa to pick up two horses. They aren't really rescues and they have a permanent home with their current owners if no one takes them. But I do feel that it's rather odd that she was pushing for me to take these two just to make her life easier. I'll be signing a contract with her and will do a buy back policy. But most of those never hold up under any scrutiny. But I'm glad to help out and glad to bring two oldsters into our retirement home.

I do feel guilty that I'm bringing these two guys home and they are taking up two spots for me to pull horses from the auctions. But I get an actual history and know (sort of) what I'm getting in to. I'm not really sure that I know for sure what I'm getting in to but at least I have some sense of history. I also know where one of the horses came from and will make contact with that rescue to give them my information if they need or want it. I've talked with them in the past. They've given this other person permission to find these horses homes that they'ved adopted out. I find it a little odd but I guess I can't control other people.

The only downside is that the current owner has a tendency to buy and sell horses and says she's a "rescue". Just because you sign a contract doesn't mean squat I'm finding out. But if you buy and "adopt" are you really a rescue or are you just dumping those horses that don't work for you and your program?

In any case, we'll be headed there tonight. I wish I had tomorrow off so that I could get everything set up. I'm not sure where I'll be putting these two boys for the time being. I don't want to dump them in with the big herd so they may have to go into the mares' fall pasture. We'll see how tonight goes and play it by ear.

I am excited but I'm also feeling a little guilty. I'm maxed out to the hilt bringing these two guys home and now there are no spots to pull true rescue cases. I shouldn't feel guilty but I do. I'll still go to the auctions and if one cries out to me, I'll bid and figure everything out later.

I'll get pics but I'm sure I won't get them posted any time soon. I'll let you know how it goes later.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Married Life is Good

This past week has been an absolute blur. I'm still in a daze and have not yet gotten back into the swing of things. Today was the first day back to work and I'm still slow in getting to my chores. Luckily almost everyone is on self serve out in the pastures.

I've been so worried about Sam and Jim with their weight. I've been stressing since October when Sam got sick and dropped so much weight. Now, within one week Sam has packed on the pounds and he looks good. Just a little bit more weight and I'll be happy as a lark.

No wedding pictures yet. I was a little disappointed that we didn't get more horse pics during the wedding. But we're going to rectify that hopefully this weekend if it doesn't rain too much. I'm planning to don my wedding dress one last time before it goes to the cleaners and saddle up Chaos and Zeke and take some pictures out in the pasture. I'd also like to try some pictures with Sam. How cool would that be?!?! We'll see how it goes. The dress is already muddy from the inch of rain we got on our wedding day. But all is good and everything went off without a hitch.

Until I get the wedding pictures and until I can get myself a bit more organized, enjoy some more engagement pictures. I can't believe they were only taken two weeks ago.

Married life is good.

The horses just happened to be standing in a circle.

The horses had been playing around at the top of the hill and they all decided to take off at a gallop. Lucky for us the photographer was able to catch them galloping off down the hill. I'm wondering who started the race!

This was one of the first photos taken. I'm surprised the horses went to eating grass right away but having had them on the lawn for a month eating grass it wasn't anything too out of the ordinary. Makes our place look picturesk.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Engagement Picture

We've always done things backwards so there's no reason to stop. We decided to take our engagement pictures over Memorial Weekend so that I could let the horses out and have horses in the background. Rather fitting actually!

Otherwise we would have had boring brown pictures since I wanted outside pics.

And of course, you HAVE to have a draft in one of the engagement pictures.

The next few days are going to be a blur. I'm sure there will be pictures of the horses but I probably wont' get to blog much over the next week or so.

But I had to share at least one of the engagement pictures. More to come....soon! June 5th is just around the corner.
Sam, Mike, and Shanna at Borderlands Horse Rescue