Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Ramblings

I can't believe that it's already the last day of September. The last I remembered we were in the middle of July! I seem to be falling more and more behind these days.

I had to move Rabbit and Mayhem to the drylot last week. When I went to do chores Monday and Tuesday morning the coyotes were calling. It creeped me out a little but my trusty boys were up from the pasture. On Wednesdsay and Thursday no coyotes were calling and the boys were out in the pasture. I think they don't like the coyotes either!

I've spent the last few days playing with the horses like I should. I took both Zeke and Jim out for little rides this week. It's amazing how different each are (both in personality and in breed). Zeke is a very forward arabian who wants to run. Although, we did work on walking a large portion of our short ride. But he absolutely HAS to lope for a little while. Jim is a tennesee walker who is very down to business. I was surprised that he was as lathered up after we got back. I didn't ride him very hard (just a half mile to the next road and back home). I think he got excited since I rode next to the pasture and that's where he wanted to be.

Last night Jim was very cute. He came up from the pasture by himself and hung his head over the leanto gate waiting for me to let him in the barn. He's gotten spoiled about his grain. I'm not sure if it's the little bit of riding we've done or that he's finally happy but he seems to have turned a corner. He's still a little standoffish to walk up to him but I don't charge up to him and I ask before going further to him. He really seems like a different horse now. I don't consider Jim a mistake any more.

I've been slowly working with Ivan also. He's such a sweetheart when it comes to catching him and putting a halter on. He puts his head right into the halter. Leading him is a totally different story. It takes twice as long but we're working on it. Grain is such a wonderful thing! Now if I could just figure out how to get rid of his wormy belly (I'm slowly worming him with different kinds) and fix his cellulitis he'll be drop dead gorgeous. But then again, I'm partial to dark horses.

Queen and Babe both discovered the cockleburs in their new pasture. So now ALL the mares have cockleburs I need to tackle. Darn mares!

Last night I stopped at the bank and paid the first month of my 48 month loan on the trailer. I know it'll take a few years to pay off but I'm anxious to actually own the trailer. I'm already envisioning the many lives that will travel in that trailer.

This weekend is Kramers. I'd like to go but we'll see what happens over the weekend. Nothing exciting planned as far as trail rides. Nothing like the start of September where we had trail rides two weekends in a row.

I'm hoping to actually get something done around the place. Fall is most definately in the air. I want to try and sneak some riding in but definately want to get things ready for winter. winter.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Here's Your Sign

I asked for a sign. I think I saw it. Maybe I'm seeing too much into it but I think I've made a decision I just need to act on it.

You ask, what sign did I see?

First I was puttering through Craigs List and the first item in the Farm and Garden: Help Find Me a Home. It's for the 27yr old paint that lost her herd mate. Had I not already gotten Rabbit and Mayhem, I would have jumped at the chance to bring this mare home. But I'm taking it as a sign. Problem is my shyness on the phone. No email so I need to make contact through a phone call.

The second sign, again puttering through Kelo and the 15yr old mare that pulls back when tied is listed again with today's date.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. But those two ladies are calling me. We'll see what actions I actually take but I do believe I've been given a sign.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Ramblings

This weekend we didn't end up doing much. It seems I can't get into gear these days even with the impending winter soon upon us. I've been pondering, thinking, and stressing about those four horses I mentioned in my last post. What do I do? Someone give me a sign, please!

In other news, I finally got to play with the new trailer. There's definately some tweaks to getting things to work like I want but in the long run it's going to be very nice.

I also was able to get a halter on Mayhem. She's a fast learner. It still makes me angry that they didn't try to work with her more when she was first born. She's now officially three months old (as of September 24th). I had to move Rabbit and Mayhem from a grass pasture right next to the older mares (Babe and Queen) to the drylot. Rabbit's heaves flared up because she got into some alfalfa I left out (my fault). I put them in the barn until I could get the drylot ready (threw some corral panels up so Mayhem would push through).

I decided that since I had Mayhem in a stall, I could/should put a halter on her and start working her. She's pretty easy but it'll be a little bit harder than halter breaking Chaos. But she's only three months old and there's the entire world to investigate. So we'll take it slow and progress however fast she wants/needs.

Last night I spent a little bit of time just petting her. She's still not sure so I won't push too hard. But we'll win her over yet! Slow, thorough hands and patience to kill a saint. That's what I need and I'm working on it. By the time she's weaned I'll have her leading. That's my goal.

I pulled King out yesterday and fiddled with him. He goes much better in english (more because I can more easily post to his trot). He has such a jarring trot but posting makes a world of difference. I even hopped on Dude for a pass around the yard.

I've also decided I need to start pushing the issue with Ivan. He's so hard to lead. He's a perfect gentleman to put the halter on. He'll even tuck his head so you can slip the halter over but to lead him is like pulling a 1 ton boulder up a hill. But I'm going to drag the boulder named Ivan to the barn every night so I can mess with his celullitus and get him more used to being handled. Ivan prefers to hang out in the pasture with Brego than come up to the barn to see what everyone else is doing. He's a good boy but needs to be exposed to things around Borderlands. He's been exposed to a lot of stuff I'm guessing but I want to take it easy. He's got a huge belly but he's still ribby. I'm guessing he's wormy. I wormed him Saturday but will worm him again this coming weekend. He came to Borderlands ribby but with a big belly. I know it's not right and I'd hoped he'd come out of it after being at Borderlands for two months (and being wormed after getting here) but I'm afraid it's going to take more work. I'm planning on taking him to the vet to get his teeth floated. I'm guessing that's part of it but we we'll need to do a full exam to figure out what's going on. I want him happy and healthy going into winter.

Rain came up from the pasture the last couple of nights breathing hard. It's that time of year again. A year or so after we got Rain (in the fall) Rain became VERY sick. I thought I was going to lose him. But he pulled through. Every once in awhile he and Chaos will have an allergic reaction to something out in the pasture. I pulled Rain into the stall yesterday and he was fine after a few hours. I did the same the other night. Hopefully he's not breathing hard today. If he is, I'll have to come up with a new plan to keep him out of the pasture for the rest of the week.

My heart and mind are still with those four horses. I just don't know. Anyway I look at it, I'm not happy. So these next few posts may seem a bit grumpy but it's only because I'm not sure what to do. Follow my heart or follow my head, which controls the money.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Rambling and Stress

I thought I heard once that the winds in South Dakota had actually decreased over the past so many years. It’s been at 5-15 mph for the past few years. I thought I heard that the winds were going to increase. I don’t know if that’s true or not but the past two days sure makes me think it’s true. On the bright side, the wind will help dry out the land after getting three inches of rain. The bottom of the pasture is once again flooded out.

I know there is grass in the pasture but the horses keep eating the same stuff over and over and it’s down to the dirt. I’m worried. I added more horses to the pasture and lost the bottom portion to water/mud. I’m sure I’ve over grazed the pasture but everyone is still fat and happy. I want to avoid feeding hay until I absolutely have to.

Mike and I were talking last night about the weather. What we are receiving now, is the same weather we received last October. We had one month of dry last year (November) and then we went into the winter from hell. Mike was talking with a friend who said he remembers the winter of ’69 where they received so much rain before winter hit and that was the year they had to dig down to get to buildings.

I’m worried. I can only hope that we won’t get bad weather this winter but I’m starting to get very worried. I’m not sure what will happen if we have another winter like last year. I’m not sure my sanity can take it. I know it may sound dumb, but I think we are in the middle of a weather change. Every so many thousand/million years we change (dinosaur age/industry age/etc.). I think we are moving into a different age but since we’re living through it, it’s impossible to track.

All I know is that I’m worried. I don’t have enough stalls for the horses I have. I’m not sure if I have enough hay for the horses that I have. And I know I haven’t paid for it so who knows how much it will cost me.

But I’m worried. I’m seeing a lot of good horses getting dumped right now. I’m so torn. I’m maxed out in both space and money and yet there are about four that are pulling at me. The last one I just saw today on an ad. All but one I’m guessing are in their 20s (15, 22, 27, and the last is unknown). The 27 yr old won’t last long and that’s why they are dumping her. Their story is that they lost her companion so they want to find her a good home. Why not go and find her a companion instead?!?! I just don’t get it. The kicker is, the 27yr old mare is close to the 15 yr old mare that has only one issue and that’s pulling back when tied. It’s not a bad issue and it can be resolved. The 27yr old is free and the 15yr old is $150 but I’m wondering if I could talk her down. The 22yr old and the unknown age horse are both from the same people (the same person as we got Joe and Thor). The 22yr old is going blind. He’s blind in one eye and almost blind in the other. The unknown age horse is a draft cross mare and I fell in love with her when I saw her picture. I’m not sure if any of these are a true rescue case. The true rescues are at the auctions which I’m guessing will be coming up soon. I’m positive people will begin dumping horses the minute the roads clear up enough that they can pull their trailers out.

What surprises me is that all four horses (1 gelding and 3 mares) are all in Iowa. The 27 yr old and 15 yr old are only a few miles away from each other so I could do a two-fer trip home. The 22yr old and draft cross mare are living together and only about an hour away.

But I bought the six horse trailer and need to start making payments (and get the hitch on the truck). Never mind that I still need to pay for the alfalfa (and hay but that won’t be until January).

The other catch is that if I bring any more mares home, I’ll be out of pasture land. I should have moved Babe and Queen earlier and I did use their “winter” pasture this summer and it worked out ok. I also ended up using the lawn more as pasture this year. I still have a few more places I can fence off (no point in letting that grass go to waste). Not having the ponies at Borderlands made a difference but I need to take that into consideration too. But I can also manage putting the ponies in smaller places and having the lawn last a little bit more than others. I need to move Rabbit and Mayhem this weekend. Rabbit discovered the alfalfa bale that I need to get rid of. Rabbit absolutely cannot have round bales. I need to go to the vets and talk with them about my options for treating her heaves. They aren’t bad but I know how she feels when I hear her breath rattling around in her lungs. It makes my lungs hurt just thinking about it.

I can’t put Rabbit and Mayhem in with Babe and Queen because the fence isn’t good enough to hold Mayhem. I’m not sure how to keep Mayhem in. But it may be that we need to simply drylot Rabbit and Mayhem until I can wean Mayhem. Problem is, I’ve never done that before. The previous owner said I could do it at four months but they recommend six months. So now I’m in a bind. I think Rabbit will get along just fine with Babe and Queen. It’s Mayhem that I’m concerned about.

And if I bring those other mares home, I’ll be pushing my luck with pasture. The little pasture that Babe and Queen are on won’t hold that many horses. So I know the answer is no but I can’t help listening to my heart instead of my head. My head can just figure out how to make it work.
Rabbit is really starting to grow on me. I’m a little irritated that she keeps finding every cocklebur and is completely matted with burs and she won’t let me pick them off. But when she sees me she knickers to me. I know it’s only the grain talking but I’ll take it. I sort of miss not getting knickers from some of the horses. It’s a rather welcoming, enjoyable experience.
I know I’m rambling but I’m really torn. What do I do? I know the answer but I can’t seem to come to grips with it. There are just so many horses out there and I know I can’t save them all. But I really want to help. These horses aren’t yet in danger of slaughter and horses at the auction are in immediate danger. But if I could keep them out of the auction circuit, all the better.

I told Mike that for my birthday, I want to go to the Mitchell Horse Sale. It’s the day after my birthday and I plan to go no matter what. It’ll get him out of having to find me something.  I won’t be able to bring a horse home but I can at least note the prices of each horse and the condition that they are brought in. I haven’t been to an auction in a number of months. I have no idea what the prices are for horses right now but I’m 100% positive that they are going dirt cheap.

So what do I do? Save my pennies, rub them together to make more and go get one or two that I have my eye on? Or do I sit back and watch them fall into the wrong hangs, or do I wait for a horse that needs me at an auction? If I were an actual rescue where I could adopt out, I could possibly see myself bringing in more horses. But since it’s only my paycheck paying for the Borderland horses and no funds coming in otherwise, I know I have to be careful in my decisions. I hate being a grownup and making grownup decisions.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Escape Artists

I have yet to figure out how a blind horse can escape a pasture. Unless she had help! Last night when I went out to do chores, I couldn't find the mares. I know the fence is decent but was surprised to see as I was walking down the hill, Babe standing in the CRP. I continued down the hill and noticed that Queen was also out in the CRP. Luckily they were both just on the other side and not wandering around deep in the CRP or up on the road.

I'm sure that it was Babe that escaped and Queen just followed. They managed to push the fence up and squeeze underneath. I'd thought about moving them two weekends ago and had planned on moving them this past weekend. But their water tank was still half full and I was exhausted after two days of trail riding in bad weather.

I guess that will teach me not to listen to myself. So now the girls are devouring the grass in their winter pen. Last year we moved them the first of October. I can only hope that there is enough grass to keep them going for the next few months. I had hoped to put Rabbit in with Babe and Queen the first of November but I need to do some reading up on weaning before I make any rash decisions.

Last night my trailer arrived. I didn't get much chance to play with the trailer. It was getting dark and the mosquitoes were out like crazy. The gal handed me two key rings full of keys! I never imagined that a six horse trailer would have that many keys. I'm guessing there's keys for the dressing area, tack room, back door, emergency door, and for each of the six stall doors! I'll have to go through and mark each one at some point. But for now I'm just enjoying it sitting in the yard. I'm anxious to take it out for a spin with a few horses. But I still need to get the truck in and get a hitch on it. I suppose there is always something.

I'm also a little stressed. I know that I am maxed out, full, no room at the inn. But the person that I bought Joe and Thor from offered me a gelding thats going blind (free). I'm sure she's just going to dump him with the first person that shows up. She can't take him to auction because he's going blind (unless she runs him through loose and they don't notice that the second eye is clouded over). She also has a Percheron/QH mare that I really like ($350). Besides her, there is a lady in Sioux Center selling a 15 yr old registered QH mare. Her only problem is that she pulls back when tied ($150). The last one is a blind horse somewhere in the Sioux City area (free). It makes me furious. If you bring them in, keep them. I don't understand how people can think that anything and everything is disposable these days. Lives are not disposable. You can't use them and then toss them away like yesterday's garbage. It just infuriates me. It really breaks my heart. I just dont know what to do. And I should be saving my pennies so that I can save a horse from an auction. I am getting the impression that people are dumping horses fast right now so they dont' have to feed them. And people are being blunt in the ads too. They outright say they dont' need/want such and such a horse or they dont' want to feed them through the winter. GRRR. People need to be responsible for their actions.

How can I afford to bring in four more mouths? I can't, that's the problem. I'm just so frustrated.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Purple Pony Halter

This was an ad that has been going around Craigs List. I needed a laugh today and thought maybe you could use one too!

Used purple pony halter - $600 (Belleville)

Date: 2010-09-16, 2:45PM EDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


I have a used bright purple pony halter for sale. Adjustable and in fairly good condition.

A pony will be included with the halter. I currently call this pony "Juicy" although he goes by many other names as well, depending on my mood and his behavior.

This pony is just waiting to become someone's little dream pony.

This 12.2 hand, 7 yr old pony is fantastic, if you are into the type of equine that is is constantly invading your space/vehicle, etc.

He believes he needs to be everywhere you need to be, especially when food is present.

He is in great shape, if you consider round a shape.

He never met a horse trailer he didn't like and climbs in them every chance he gets, whereupon he immediately puts his feet up on the manger so he can look out the window. He made it halfway in the back of my car the other day before I noticed and sped off.

He LOVES little kids, especially little kids with treats. He will eat them. (the kids, not the treats) Just kidding.

This pony has been worked over 2'6" jumps and lunged over 3'3" jumps. However, he likes jumping my 4 ft. pasture gates the best.

He could absolutely be someone (else's) dream pony.

He's very affectionate, both with people(especially women) and horses(especially mares). This little guy is the neighborhood gigolo. By affectionate, I mean he will have no issue invading your personal space/private parts, if you know what I mean. He sticks his nose wherever he wants. With mares, he is lucky he is quick because he will mount mares, even the ones who have "a headache." He is not at all discriminating, although I've noticed he likes the fuller figured gals. His absolute favorite is mounting a mare while a woman is on the mare. Ask my friend Lisa, I'm sure she considered that a good time.

And when rejected? You can see that he is clearly thinking that the female is merely playing hard to get. This just makes him more determined.

This porky little guy very much thinks that he's got what the ladies want, even if they don't know it yet. He reminds me of the little guy at the bar who hits on everybody, whom you practically have to blow an air horn in his face to get rid of.

This pony has been on television, which probably adds to his ego trip.

He could be the perfect little dream pony(for someone else).

He walks/trots/canters/jumps, takes trips to the mailbox and to check the waters, goes trail riding, swims, poses on stripper poles(ask me), tests your trailer floor weight limits, tests your trailer emergency walk through doors, taste tests anything and everything, steals food from blind horses, tried to mount my dog(it is a big dog), stands tied patiently to the swing set while my son swings, loves to roll in the sand box, allows little kids to mount him from lawn chairs, buckets, swingsets, clubhouses, ladders, gates, side of the trailer and anywhere else, pulls little kids on sleds in the snow, tries to decapitate adults by running them under arena railings, and so much more.

Did I mention that he could be the perfect little dream pony(for someone else)?

"Juicy" is also a fantastic workout companion. I think I've lost at least 15 lbs since I've had him. I've never run so much in my life, either after him or from him. Though his little flabby butt cheeks closely resemble two pigs fighting under a blanket, he got me in wonderful shape.

I firmly believe he's a dream pony (someone's else's dream, that is).

Call me if you want a used purple halter and are a glutton for punishment.


•Location: Belleville
•it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 1957443796

Friday, September 17, 2010


When we first moved in to Borderlands in September of 2005, the neighbor had horses. I spent the first six months without horses but watched the neighbor’s horses until it was time to bring the boys home in May/June of 2006. I spent three years watching the neighbor’s horses. It was rather relaxing watching horses out the kitchen window.
In the summer of 2008 the neighbor asked if we wanted to buy his two remaining geldings for $100 apiece. We agreed that we would purchase them but that we couldn’t take them until after we made an out-of-state trip later in the fall. There was nothing set in stone and we didn’t see the neighbor for a few months. We did notice that the geldings made a break for it one day (as they are fence pushers) and were loose. The neighbor locked them in his open front and that was the last we’d seen of them for a month or more.

In October 2008, after coming back from a family party we noticed wheel tracts in the driveway since it had been raining. I had the feeling that the neighbor was tired of the horses and dropped them off. Sure enough, there were the two geldings standing in the pasture. I was concerned because the geldings were in with the old appaloosa, Queen, who used to be a herd mate but also with the blind mare. My other concern was that the fencers weren’t all that great and I KNEW they were fence pushers.

We were able to wrangle them up and put them in a smaller pen. Both were underweight but Brego was worse. It took about six months to put weight back on Brego. Unfortunately that time was during the winter months. Both geldings had once been to a trainer but had not been handled for many months. Therefore they were very wary of our actions.

Over the course of the next few months, we slowly worked with Brego gaining his confidence. By spring, Brego was up to weight and we began working on ground manners.

Brego came to Borderlands with many issues. When he first arrived, his body was eating way at his muscles and it was apparent that his back end was going to give out soon if something wasn’t done. Besides the terrible weight loss he went through, he was also a conformation wreck. He is narrow in the front with legs that paddle. We suspected that he was a slower learner than some of the other horses just in the way he acted and behaved. We decided that we would give him a full year to recover from his excessive weight loss.

In early spring of 2010 Brego was finally starting to show off his self confidence. We decided it was best to send Brego to “school” to learn manners. We warned the trainer of a few potential issues with Brego (conformation and being a slow learner). The trainer was confident that he could resolve these issues.

Unfortunately, Brego was sent to a bad trainer as a two year old. We believe that there may have been some residual affects to being trained that young by a terrible trainer. After 30 days of training, neither we nor the trainer was confident in Brego’s ability to be a ride able horse. We decided to extend his education for another 15 days so that Brego could master the basics a little better. Unfortunately Brego had too many mental blocks to break through. As of the summer of 2010, Brego is deemed non-ride able due to mental issues.

Our hope is that someday Brego can become a driving horse (as long as he’s with another horse). It will be a few years before we will put Brego back into training as there is no extra money to send Brego back to “private school”.

Because Brego is non-aggressive he latches on to other horses that are one or two steps higher than him in the pecking order. For now Brego will be our “Walmart Greeter”.


In June of 2008 I was puttering on the local classifieds when I noticed an ad for a free older mare. The ad mentioned that the mare was partially blind and the other horses were running the poor mare ragged. If she couldn’t find the horse a new home, the owner would have to euthanize the horse. I took the plunge and emailed the owner to find out more information. I was worried that a free horse would be easy pickings for a kill buyer. That and I have a soft spot for older horses.

The owner responded and told me more about Babe. She had owned Babe since she was a weanling and was now 26 years old. She’d trained Babe herself and had been a trusted mount for many years. Even at the age of 25, Babe had been used for light riding by a smaller girl. When I asked about her blindness, the owner said she was blind in one eye and could see shadows in the other. I decided that I’d already had a mare with one blind eye, how different could this new challenge be?

We made arrangements for the owner to bring Babe to Borderlands. Luckily for everyone, the owner lived very near Borderlands so it wasn’t a long distance drive. When the owner and mare arrived, they unloaded. I noticed then that what I had expected for partially blind was much different. I noticed then that what I thought of as shadows was much different. Babe could tell the difference from walking into a dark building and walking out of a building into the light.

But that didn’t deter me from falling in love with Babe immediately. Even though she couldn’t see with her eyes, she could still see with her ears. Even know, two years later she still fools me when she tips her ears towards me and “watches” me go about my business.

Babe has taught everyone at Borderlands how to handle a horse more carefully. She is an absolute amazing horse and easily adapts to new environments. Because she is blind, I try to keep her in smaller pastures so that she can find her way if she gets lost. When Babe does get lost, she’ll start making small circles and progress to bigger circles until she finds some landmark or fence to help guide her.

Unfortunately because she is in a smaller pasture, it means we have to move her to a different pasture for the fall/winter months (and for hunting season). She’s such a trooper. She identifies one or two landmarks and adjusts quickly to her new surroundings. She has impressed everyone at Borderlands so many times.

In the fall of 2008, we decided to take Babe in to get her teeth floated. She was plenty healthy but I wanted to make sure she would be find going into the winter months. The first winter a new horse is at Borderlands is always the toughest because we don’t know what to expect. We wanted to take every precaution that she would be just as fat and sassy in the spring as she was in the fall/winter. Because Babe is blind, we always haul her with shipping boots to protect her legs. She takes putting on the shipping boots like a pro. She unloaded at the vets like a pro and stood there like she was master of all. We insisted that there would be no power floats as Babe gets very upset when there is a lot of noise. She gets upset when a loud truck drives past and she can’t here. We knew the power float would cause too many problems. Luckily we have a great vet and he obliged by doing a hand float. And because Babe is such an impressive mare, she took the hand float without needing any tranquilizer. A few weeks later, I talked with Babe’s owner and she told me that Babe had never had her teeth floated before. Yet another amazing feat Babe surprises us with!

In the fall of 2009, Babe lost the sight in her “good” eye. She was no longer able to see shadows. But being the amazing horse she is, she adjusted and has learned to manage being completely blind. We were afraid that she may not adjust to being completely blind and would be faced with euthanizing. After a few days of bumping into objects, she figured out her new disability and has never had any problems since then.

Babe’s favorite time of day is feeding time. We feed all seniors a mash to make eating easier. Babe devours her grain. You can literally see the delight she experiences over every mouthful. Watching her is better than watching a child choose open a Christmas present. Besides being blind, Babe also has a bit of arthritis in her back legs but that doesn’t stop her from wandering around her pasture. When we put her fly mask on, we sometimes forget that she’s even blind. Babe has taught everyone at Borderlands so much and we continue to look forward to learning more!


My sweet, dear sister is getting me motivated to finally finish up the paperwork to be non-profit. She suggested that I write up a short description of each rescue horse. I'm planning on getting head shots, full body shots, and action shots (ok, more like grazing shots) to go along with each description. Once I have descriptions written for each horse, I'll post them for you to read and get to know. Once I get my act together I'll return to the post and add pictures.

I don't have pictures yet but here's what I have written for Queen.

When we first moved in to Borderlands in September of 2005, the neighbor had horses. I spent the first six months without horses but watched the neighbor’s horses until it was time to bring the boys home in May/June of 2006. I spent three years watching the neighbor’s horses. It was rather relaxing watching horses out the kitchen window.

In the summer of 2007, the neighbor said he was going to take the mares to an auction. We talked with him once about the horses but at the time I wasn’t brave enough to ask how much he wanted for the older mare. We did ask a few questions but didn’t find out many specifics on the old mare. All I knew was that she is an appaloosa and was considered old.

When I realized the appaloosa was headed to the auction in October 2007, I decided I would get her. Luckily friends went with for moral support as I hate bidding at auctions since it takes me awhile to get into the swing of their rhythm. I’d set my limit at $200. We sat there watching tack, goats, poultry, etc. go through with my heart in my throat. When the horses finally started, who should be the first horse up but the old appaloosa.

My heart was in my throat the entire time. The bidding started and before I knew it, I had her for $100. She was the first horse I’d ever purchased from an auction. Before and after the auction I checked on her. The old mare shut down at the auction. She’d had no food or water from the time they loaded her in the trailer at 10:00 a.m. that Saturday morning until I was able to unload her at 8:00 p.m. that night. The poor old girl must have been run through auctions in her past. When I paid the bill, it said she was 18 years old. Luckily she loaded right up into the trailer. Having never dealt with her before, I wasn’t sure how she would handle being loaded or being led.

After we unloaded her at Borderlands, we got her settled and everyone left for the night. I some time with her after everyone left and cried. I felt terrible that I hadn’t saved her from all that stress. When she unloaded, the neighbor’s two geldings herd noise and whinnied. So luckily the mare knew she wasn’t far from her old life.

The neighbor noticed the old appaloosa standing in the yard and stopped over. He said had he known he would have given her to me. DRAT! I could have saved her from all that stress. The neighbor said they used to call her “Girl”. I thought it wasn’t dignified enough. So she was blessed “Queen.” And a Queen she is!

When I took her to the vet initially, they said she was between 20-25 years old. But the vet admitted to not being able to read teeth very well. I later took her to a different vet who specializes in horses and he was guessing she was 30 or more years old. We’ll never really know her age, but ladies are never supposed to advertise their age!

The older Queen gets, the more set she is in her ways. She is a dear old girl that loves children. Any time kids come to visit, she watches them like they were her own. When the farrier comes with his kids, Queen stands and watches. I do believe at one point she was a trusted children’s mount.

She’s now retired from any riding and has become a complete pasture puff. She does have arthritis in her front legs but it doesn’t slow her down come feeding time. If she’s really excited she’ll come at a stiff lope.

We don’t really know anything more about her. She spent three years with the neighbor but I didn’t acquire any information from where they purchased her from. So her age and her past will always stay locked away with only two individuals knowing, Queen and God.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wordless Thursday


I shouldn't be surprised. But I always am. The same previous owner of Joe and Thor who carelessly dumped them when they started having health problems is doing it again! She's dumping one 22yr old gelding that's blind in one eye and going blind in the other. She's also dumping a couple of more because she's "downsizing her riding program." WTF is all I have to say.

Dont' tell me you rescue when you use them and then sell them. You "adopt" from a rescue and then "rehome" with a contract that won't hold up in court. It just makes you feel like you're a better person becaues "you're finding them good homes". What a bunch of BS.

I don't have the money to go pick up the gelding going blind. I did email her in hopes that maybe she'd cut me a deal and I'd go get him. We'll lose Joe in another month or so and I was planning on putting Thor out in the big herd. But if there's another horse Thor could protect (since this other gelding is going blind), it might make things easier. Or I'll stick him in with the mares and see how that goes!

My heart goes out to these oldsters that people keep dumping. Makes me FURIOUS!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Trailer

WooHoo!!! I just bought a trailer. Ok, so only sort of. The bank approved our loan and the people agreed to my price. Now I have to wait for the banker to return to cut the check so I can drop off the money with the owners on Friday!

I need to make arrangements to get it home since I don't have a hitch yet on the truck. More money. Hopefully the owners can drop off the trailer or my trainer can drop it off. The owners are the trainer's friends! Small world.

I'll blog more about the entire story but just wanted to post to say we will now be getting a 6-horse goosneck trailer!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Finally Some Pictures

Figured since I haven't posted many pics that I'd better finally get some on here. These were all taken Saturday when I put the mare and filly out on the lawn pasture. The herd came up and was very interested. Zeke at the salt block and Sam insisting that he get his grain. He's taken to coming up to the barn right when I get home instead of waiting an hour for his grain. I think he must listen for me to pull into the driveway.

Dude and Chaos watching the mare and baby. Dude is a lady's man. Chaos is just curious. These two are probably the most photogenic of the entire herd.

Sometimes when Chaos sticks his head over the gate he reminds me of Bob. Bob used to hang out in the leanto waiting for his grain. Oh how I miss that old man.

Dude and Chaos in front with King lurking in the background. He's not the pushy type to push someone out of the way to see what's going on.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Dudester

Finally grabbed the camera to take pictures of the horses. Everyone was up this morning drooling over the mare. It made for a great photo shoot with Dude. He may be a total #%@*^!! but he sure is pretty.

More pictures coming soon.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mare and Filly

Mare and filly are tucked in for the night. Will post lots more later and will need to get a bunch of pics.

The mare's registered name is Rabbit Choker Niki. We're going to call her Rabbit. The filly doesn't have a name yet. Starting to toss out ideas. She should be able to be registered but it all depends on the previous previous owner...yeah I said it right.. previous previous.

But I'm exhausted and ready for bed. Took almost an hour to drive home to make sure we didn't toss the little filly around (it's normally a half hour drive). Already made progress with the to scratch her butt. She's not anywhere near halter broke or even people friendly. Sheesh.. you want a baby...then take care of a baby! I don't get people. But that's another ranting blog. But for now, momma and baby are settled in the barn with hay and water in front of them for the night.

Tomorrow will be a day of hanging out in the barn until I can get home. After that, it'll be like Mr. Toads Wild Ride.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Expensive Week

I just bought a mare and filly. The one I was blogging about awhile ago. I'll blog more later on these two lovely ladies.

Looked at a trailer last night. Need to call the bank. It's not a trailer where I can just pay cash. It's a definate "Momma Like... Momma Want". And to top it off, I know the history of the trailer and the owners!

I'll post more later... but wanted to give a quick update that this week looks like it could be pretty spendy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

What a weekend. It doesn't seem like much of a vacation or that we got much done but after looking at the weekend I see great accomplishments. This morning when I went out to let the horses onto the pasture, I realized Fall is here. Now, the question is, how long will it last. This morning was so chilly I was ready to crawl back into bed for a few more hours (at least until it was light out). But no matter how long fall stays and no matter when winter arrives, I'm half way prepared.

Saturday morning the tractor arrived that will be used to unload the years worth of hay. We had originally talked earlier in the week that the hay supplier (my uncle...thank god for family) would come on Monday. But as the week progressed, we paid closer attention to the weather and it looked like rain. So instead, they decided they would bring the hay down on Sunday.

Saturday we puttered and did some preparing for the hay. I apparently let some of my cleaning go a little bit over the year. But I had almost everything set come Sunday morning when they semi arrived. I didn't get any pictures this year but if I think of it, I'll post some pics from last year's adventure.

Unloading 70 big square bales of hay took about two hours. I still had extra hay from last year (apparently I rationed too much). So I had to find extra spots for the hay. Unfortunately the hay is only under a steal canopy and not tucked up under a building. Once I get through the old hay, I'll be working on the hay under the canopy. Every year seems to be different as far as feeding the horses.

While I was talking with my uncle and cousin about feeding hay, they asked how I fed the horses. They feed their big squares to cattle so it's a different method. I think their jaws about dropped when I told them, I feed the horses one sliver at a time and then I divide the slivers into quarters so there's extra piles of hay! After tarping the majority of the hay we ended up petering out for the rest of Sunday.

On Monday Mom and Dad came down to help around the place even though it rained most of the day. We aren't quite organized like we used to so it was a scramble to get things figured out to work on. There's so much to do but it all requires a large shopping trip into town, which hasn't been done in awhile. We aren't into preparing for fall just yet and the shopping required to get us there.

But we did get the extra stall built in the barn. The only thing left is to purchase a latch. With the extra stall built, it actually gave me two stalls. So now I have seven stalls in the barn. The hard part is trying to figure out who goes in which stall!

Since the new stall was originally used as storage, Mom and I cleaned it out the best we could. I rearranged my grain room. Awhile back we bought locking barrels and I decided I'd start using them. With the stalls built the way they are, I want to be triple sure that no one can break into the grain. There's a bit more tweaking I need to do, but I think I now have more room and the grain is stored much better. The barrels hold a lot more grain than the garbage cans do so now my big pile of grain bags on a pallet have dwindled.

Besides getting the stalls finished, Dad reattached the insulation around the automatic waterer. The horses dismantled it this past year. I'm not sure if it really helps any but I'm game to try anything to help cut down on costs. We still need to build some type of insulation box around the 100 gallon water trough. Last year we ran out of time and just left it standing like normal. We ran through about $100 more a month by having it plugged in and not protected from the elements. Hopefully this year we'll have time to buy the correct materials and build a box.

It doesn't feel like we got much accomplished but having the hay (delivered and tarped) and having the stalls built really makes me feel less stressed about fall being here.

I need to do a bit more evaluations on blankets to see what more we need. I'm hoping Jeffers will have another blowout clearance sale and I can purchase a few more blankets. If this winter is anything like last winter, I want to be prepared. Now the hard part is finding/building more stalls to keep everyone in.

With moving the barrels and using fence posts to keep the tarps down, I made a bit of extra room in the hay shed. I'm thinking if I do some wheeling and dealing, I might be able to get a permanent stall built to give me three permanent stalls in the hay shed. That way I can put one temporary stall in and when the old bales are gone, I can add an additional temporary stall by the first of the year (depending on how fast the horses go through the hay). If I have all the stalls planned that I want, I'll have 12 stalls. That still leaves me horses that I need to find places for but that number may change depending on if the ponies come home for the winter or not.

I'm still debating on purchasing the little filly. I told the owner of the mare that I definately want her but I'm undecided yet on the filly. At this point, I'm almost ready to just take the filly home too since apparently no one wants her. The owner said he'd be able to sell her but I'm betting he's going to have a time selling her come the first of November when he can wean her. I'm not sure what the prices are like at Kramers and I'm betting he'd either dump her there or sell her super cheap on Kelo or Craigs List. I'm stalling because I can't make up my mind. I still have to put Joe down and bringing in a two month old filly is beyond my knowledge. I was going to only bring in old horses so the filly sort of throws in a hitch. I already have a number of pasture pets (five at this very moment) and the filly would add to that number until she's three. But maybe it would be better since I'd be starting with a clean slate. I don't know. I hate not knowing. The mare was a definate yes but the filly is my issue. What do I do?

So that in a nutshell was my labor day weekend. No vacation for me and it looks like no vacation for me until next year around Memorial Weekend. I guess I better get my list figured out so I know what all needs to be done before the snow actually flies since fall is "unofficially" here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

No Relaxing on Labor Day

So much for a relaxing labor day weekend. My hay is being delivered first thing tomorrow morning. EEEP! I'm not ready! I really let some things go and needed to do some major cleaning before they bring the hay down. Guess it'll be an early morning tomorrow!

Friday, September 3, 2010

What Do I Do?

What to do?!?! What to do!?!?!

The mare we looked at last week had a two month old filly by her side. I would have snapped them both up immediate but I noticed the filly had a hernia. I had to do some research before making my decsion.

I still feel bad. The mare was bought just before she gave birth to her filly. She was almost 100% guaranteed to produce a blue roan. What should pop up but a sorrel filly. So after seven weeks, the guy is ready to get rid of both. I'm guessing he was going to get rid of the mare no matter what but now he's looking to get rid of both.

I was sold on the mare. Not many give kisses to strangers. I love her and told the owner I'd buy her. Who would resist a $100 18yr old registered mare who gives kisses. She seems like she needs some TLC. She has heaves so it'll be a learning curve for me.

The only catch to bringing the mare home now is the filly. I'm not set up for a weanling but I'd make due. My concern was the hernia. I have some pictures and called the vet. I didn't ask anything specific but they said it would cost $200-$300 depending on size.

After talking with the owner, he believes it's an umbilical hernia. Neither of us have dealth with hernias so who knows. So I just called the vet to find out what to do for an umbilical hernia. She said that they sometimes grow out of it as long as it's not hanging down really far. Right now it's golf ball sized so they suggested just waiting it out for a few more months.

So now what do I do? Do I go get both the mare and the foal? Since they are apparently a planned but now unwanted pair? Or should I just hold out and wait for the owner to wean the filly and continue on my way and forget about the filly? I don't want to rescue young horses. But the mare is old and the filly is young. It's not really a rescue situation but I'm torn.

I'm afraid I'm going to get too many. As it is I don't get to spend time with everyone like I'd like. Instead I get to spend just a few minutes patting them or giving kisses on their nose. I have to think of the alternative...they could be in a very bad place if I didn't take them. I just wish I could pamper them more.

And to put yet another spin on it, I found another cheap mare. Nothng wrong with her other than she has issues with being tied. Why do I always go for the horses that have issues?So now I'm torn. I've committed myself to the older 18yr old mare. But her filly is still in question and this other mare is in question. I don't want mares, I want geldings. But I seem to be drawn to mares here lately. Poor ol' girls are used hard, then put up as broodmares, and then when they either can't produce or produce the wrong color they are dumped again to bounce around the auction circuit.

I'm so frustrated. What do I do?

Fall In the Air Already?

Well, it appears fall is here or at the very least arriving shortly. Here's some info from Kelo:

Storm Center Update-Friday AM
Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast today with highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s in many areas. This should really be a great forecast for LifeLight and the South Dakota State Fair, not just today but for the whole weekend. We still have breezy conditions today and a wind advisory has also been issued for portions of SW Minnesota with wind speeds over 30mph. Otherwise, winds will diminish from west to east today with clear skies expected through tonight. Overnight lows will be chilly in the 40s in most locations. We are forecasting 42 in Sioux Falls and 39 in Aberdeen.

Tomorrow will be a little warmer with lighter winds and highs in the 70s. Dry weather is expected to continue through Sunday and warmer air starts to return from the west. There is a chance of scattered rain on Labor Day for Rapid City, Pierre, and Aberdeen. Sioux Falls will likely remain dry until Tuesday, with yet another front and chance of rain by next Thursday.

I know we are not even near the freezing temperatures but I'm finally getting time to relax and now it's fall! I guess that's what summers are pack in as many activities as possible in between the mosquitoes, heat, and storms. Now I'll try to pack in as many activities AND prep for winter inbetween all the storms, mosquitoes, and cooler temps.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


It seems things may finally be settling down after almost a month of on-the-go. I'll be glad to settle down a little and get some things accomplished at home. I've really noticed in the last few days that fall will be setting in quickly. I want to take advantage of every outside opportunity I can get. But there seems to be so much to get done.

I was trying to figure out stall space for everyone and how to arrange everyone this winter. It seems everyone has a best friend or a buddy they hang out with. Unfortunately I don't have enough stalls to meet the needs of everyone's friendship. What I would give for a 20 stall barn.

Because the mares are old, I insist that they go in the barn. It's fairly well insulated and keeps the heat in from the horses, so no stalls in the hay shed for them. I'm figuring stalls with the addition of the mare we looked at last week. So in go the new mare, Babe, and Queen. That leaves me with four spots. Since Rain and Zeke are such "delicate flowers" they must go in also. Sam is a hard keeper (and takes for ever to lick up the last bit of his grain) so in he goes. That leaves on spot. I'm thinking I'll put Jim in the barn since he's getting up there in age and he's a picky/hard keeper during the middle of the winter.

The problem: Sam is friends with Brego. Jim is friends with Maverick. Jim has to be in a stall next to the wall away from other horses. Rain picks on Sam. Jim picks on Zeke. It's a vicious circle in the barn but I don't think I have any other options.

As it stands right now, I have two permanent stalls in the hay shed and will put up the temporary stall once the leaves start falling from the trees. So who to put in the hay shed? It's not very well insulated but it's at least out of the wind. Since the stalls are fairly spacious I'm planning on putting Thor in. Since Ivan is a Thoroughbred (and having never dealt with a Thoroughbred in the winter), I'm putting him in too. Maybe Thor and Ivan can be friends. That leaves me with one stall free. Brego seems to not handle the cold temps very well even though he's only 5. So in he'll go.

The problem: I'm not sure how Thor will handle the switch. I'm thinking of putting Thor with Ivan for a few days. Thor is the type to protect his buddy. Ivan and Brego are friends when Sam is in the barn.

The other problem? This arrangement leaves Dude, King, Chaos, and Maverick outside. Luckily there's the big leanto. I know Dude and Chaos will stay in it. King is claustrophobic and I have to push the issue with putting him in the stall (just during the winter months...bribery with grain works well right now to get him his meds).

The only other questions is: Will I have the ponies for the winter? I haven't yet talked with the trainer to make that decision but we have a few months. I'm thinking if I run through the alfalfa quick enough, it will leave a big enough spot to stuff the ponies in the hay barn. The hay barn would be perfect for the ponies.

My only other option with the big herd is to build temporary stalls in the red shed. The only advantage to this option would be getting the horses out of the wind. The red shed is not insulated and wouldn't provide them with any potential heat since it's so large.

So I'm going to be doing some brainstorming. We need to get some major fencing done in the drylot before winter sets in. The way it stands now, they'll fall over the fence. :-) If we're in the middle of putting in fence, we might as well throw together a quick and small shed for a couple of the horses. That way I could lock in two and that would leave two in the leanto. It's still an idea I'm tossing around and nothing is formalized just yet.

But this weather change has me thinking about winter and struggling through yet another cold and blustery winter season. (Todays high is only supposed to be 68). I want to make sure everyone is as snug as a bug in a rug. Going to do some research on blankets this weekend also. I need to get more blankets for the herd if this winter will be anywhere close to the winter we had last year.

I guess fall is in the air. I better start preparing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coming or Going?

We've been so busy that it's hard to tell if we are coming or going. Every day there seems to be something else that gets added to the list that needs to get done. I'm struggling right now with getting daily chores done (both horsework and housework).

I hope soon that things will settle down enough so I can get back to a normal routine.

There's been so much going on that I haven't blogged about. In a nutshell:

  • The first of August I took Maverick on a trail ride. It ended up being all gravel. It was his second trail ride and he did really well. He even met up with a wagon and wasn't bothered by it at all.

  • This past weekend was Prairie Village. I took Maverick, Chaos, Zeke, and Jim the first day. I didn't ride Jim but the other three were rode. Maverick did exceptionally well the first two days. I was a bit nervous at first but he was a total champ. I was surprised. By the third day, Maverick was in the swing of things and didn't want to stand still. He's a two day kind of guy I guess.

  • Chaos has scratches bad. The swelling is finally going down and his legs don't smell infected any more. There's still a long ways to go before I get him back to his normal self. Everyone with white socks has scratches (Chaos, Rain, Dude, Zeke, and King).

  • I havent' been home long enough to really take care of the herd lately. That means Ivan's cellulitis issue is coming back. I was hoping to get that fixed before winter set in. I'm not sure how he ever handled his wahoo hanging out all winter not freezing off.

  • Sam is not losing weight but maintaining it. He's still too thin for my preferences going into winter. I've upped his grain intake and started him on Calf Manna. We'll see if that helps.

  • I think Babe may have Cushings as her winter coat never really fell out and she's already starting to put a thick coat on already. Poor girl has had to deal with 90s and a winter coat.

  • The ponies are still with the trainer. Not sure when we'll get them back.

  • Took Thor and Joe up to Madison when we went to the Hills. Joe has put on a lot of weight. The pasture is drying up in Madison. There's a bit more grass up there for them to chow down. But once the grass is gone, I have to suck it up and put Joe down. I hate that thought.

  • Two weekends ago we had the farrier out (when it was 90 degrees). We made a mad dash to Madison to pick up Thor and bring him back since his feet were in desperate need of a trim. Of course there was a bunch of moving horses and hauling horses around during that episode to make sure that no one was alone or freaked out about being hauled.

  • I think I bought that mare. She's not as bad as I first expected. Now the question is the filly. She has a hernia but I'm not sure if I can afford to take her because of the hernia. If it goes away on its own, I can take the filly, otherwise I have to work out a deal with the owner. I still can't figure out why he wouldn't just keep them both. He's only had her for a few weeks and was going to dump the mare no matter what. All he wanted was a blue roan baby and he didn't get that so he's getting rid of both. Makes me furious.

  • This weekend is Labor Day weekend. In the past we used to go to the Hills but that tradition has past. I'm not sure what we are planning now. At this point, I'd prefer to stay home but I don't know if that's in the future. I have no idea what's going on. But if we leave I need to get things ready for the horses.

  • I think fall will soon be in the air. I've noticed the leaves are starting to turn and there is a very slight nip in the air. Morning chores are a little chilly and I'm driving to work in the predawn. I can almost get to work before the sun comes up. I've forgotten what it was like to do chores in the dark (and I'm not really doing any thing serious). I need to get back into the swing of things for morning and evening chores ASAP.

  • I'd still like to put my wedding dress on and take pictures with the horses out in the pasture. It's been so crazy I haven't had a chance to figure out when we could do it. At some point soon there will be no chance to take pictures and we'll have to wait until next year.

I still feel really scatter brained. There's a few family matters to deal with so I may not be around much to post. Hopefully things will get back to normal soon. I'd like to know which direction I'm going!