Thursday, March 31, 2011

Little Yellow Hay Wagon

When we first got horses years ago, we would use an old red sled to feed hay. It was my childhood sled and even though it had outgrown it's original purpose, we used the heck out of it. As more horses came to Borderlands, the sled wasn't as useful. So for my birthday a few years back, Mike bought me a little yellow wagon (from TSC). I've mentioned it a couple of times throughout the blog (I'm too lazyto go look for those posts). It was the greatest thing ever! My life was WAY easier. I used the heck out of it for the past few years. Unfortunately I'm hard on it. The poor little hay wagon had a few accidents over the years. The last straw happened a few weeks back (that's why I'm relegated to the wheelbarrow). The poor little yellow hay wagon took yet another spill. It usually tips over at least once a month thanks to the horses. I use this hay wagon twice a day for six months out of the year so I use the heck out of it. So, that last spill took it's toll. Some piece that keeps the front wheels connected broke. Because the install instructions were long ago thrown away, we decided that it might be better to simply buy a new hay wagon and use the install instructions to hunt down the website or phone number so that we could acquire the correct part. As Mike said, then I would have TWO hay wagons for chores. (Gotta love that guy!) As a buddy would say "BRILLIANT!" So last night we headed on over to Tractor Supply to buy a new hay wagon. Youch. $100 later and I have a new wagon. It's still in a box in the back of the vehicle, smelling like moth balls but hopefully this weekend Mike can put it together. I'll be living it up with TWO little yellow hay wagons. We looked at some of the other wagons but they didn't work. The dump wagon was a little bit more expensive but the hay wouldn't fit. The cheaper little wagon wouldn't fit the hay either. That little yellow wagon is exactly the size of a hay or alfalfa bale. The hay fits exactly inside the wagon so I don't have to take the sides down. It's also exactly the length of the big hay bales. All I have to do is fold the hay flake in half and I'm on my way! It's great. The hard part now will be convincing the herd to stay away from my brand new hay wagon so we don't get into any more wrecks. Hopefully we'll be able to replace the broken part on my beloved old hay wagon. No matter what, we'll make something work. I'm excited. It may seem silly to be excited about a wagon but it'll make life so much easier. Ah, the simple things in life.

Upcoming Auction

It's time for me to put my big girl boots on and prepare for another auction. I'm guessing that I won't be bringing anyone home as I am full. Mitchell Livestock changed the date of their sale and will be having their sale Friday April 15th. Tack is from 4-6pm and horses start at 6pm with loose horses to follow (who knows when that will actually start). I'm not sure what a Friday sale in the evening will be like. I'm a little worried. I may be taking a half day off just to get my chores done and get to the sale with plenty of time. If anyone wants to go, let me know and I'll be more than happy to show you what little I know about that sale. Have I mentioned I hate, hate, hate, hate auctions? Even though I may not be able to bring anyone home (unless it's a real bad case like Bo), I want to spread the word to make sure that those loose horses have a chance. It's not a catalog sale so who knows what types of horses will be standing in the pens. It always worried me and not knowing what a Friday sale will be like is even worse. My stomach is all in knots already. (can you say nervous pooper?) So, here's my official invite to everyone. If you would like put your big girl/boy boots on and attend but don't want to go alone, let me know. I'll be there.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Leading Mayhem

I'd hoped to post pictures today but I was too tired and too lazy to hunt down the cord to plug the camera in. In my defense it was 10:30pm. Maybe this weekend I'll be able to post pictures. I want to show you all Bo's progress. I SWEAR he's gaining weight but it could be my imagination. I ask Mike every few days but he doesn't see any progress. Maybe I just see what he WILL look like. Last night was beautiful. No wind. Need I say more. I decided that I've been so focused on Sam and his ulcers, Bo and his weight, and Thor and his blindness that I've sort of put everyone else on the back burner. I decided it was time to turn my attention back on some of the others. So I pulled Mayhem out for a leading lesson. I haven't done anything with her in about two months. The last time she was haltered was the last cold snap we had when I put everyone in. She always comes up to me to see what I'm doing so it was no surprise when she walked up ready to see what I had in my hand. We walked around the yard for a little bit. We need to work on respect and space but she's already farther than some of the older horses we get when they first come in. The entire time Mayhem and I were walking, Bo was whinning and pacing in his pen. He wanted OUT! Mayhem had to deal with Bo's whinnying, Queen's whinnying (didn't realize she was so connected to the filly), Farley's barking, and noise in general. Mayhem did really well. Only a couple times did she even toss her head. I apparently was going to slow for her. We walked up and down the driveway a couple of times and then I tied her to the cattle chute for another lesson. I decided I better get Bo out for his daily hand walk. He's really gaining strenght. We walked up and down the driveway a few times while Mayhem whinnied and then I let Bo snag a few bites of grass. He really powers through the grass in the front yard. He didn't let one blade of grass leave his mouth the entire time. I kept Bo's outing short so that I could groom him and Mayhem before it got too dark. The horses are mud balls. Mayhem was a total mess. It's going to take a bit more grooming to get all the mud off of her. I swear she finds the muddiest spot to snooze in. Luckily she is a diva and loves to be groomed. She stood perfectly still. I'm sure it's because of all the mud but I swear she's a curly! She's got a wavy coat and a wavy mane. It's pretty cute. We'll work the waves out I'm sure. Both Mayhem and Bo are starting to shed out. Having never had either for a spring shed, it'll be interesting to see what they look like this spring. Of course, watching a baby grow is always fun. I wish I would have taken monthly pictures of Mayhem so you could all see her growth spurts. She's getting really big now. I missed her nine month birthday last Thursday. It's hard to believe she's that old already. This morning everyone was calm. I couldn't put my finger on it at first until I started tossing hay. No wind. It was a mix of absolute bliss with no wind and a little odd. I'm so used to wind that not having any this morning was almost creepy....almost. Unfortunately the weatherman said that the month of April is supposed to be windy. So I guess I'll take my morning and appreciate it. It was so nice not having hay in my face when I tossed a flake of hay. I'll take it as a sign that things are starting to improve at Borderlands. (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Murphy left!) PS...sorry for the one large paragraph format. I can't seem to get blogger to cooperate lately. I'll see if I can't make the next post more readable.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Thor, Bo, and Sam Update

I want to thank everyone for their moral support. This past month has been a little stressful and knowing that I have such great friends brings me to tears. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thor seems to be adjusting. He still bangs into things but he's getting the hang of his little pen. He's discovered that he can reach over and drink from the automatic water. We are on a close watch to make sure he doesn't slip into a depression. But he is eating his grain mash and alfalfa like there's no tomorrow. We are simply taking each day as it comes. He's such a gentle soul. He's a little standoffish but I'm guessing he's just trying to figure out and learn all the new sounds that are lost when you have sight. He isn't yet as observant as Babe but he's picking up quickly how to handle life without sight. He is carrying his head the same way Blondie used to so I'm wondering if he can see shadows. Bo was all worked up last night. I'm not sure if it was the weather or if he is just feeling great. I fed him his grain mash and then took him for a walk. We've been going on short hand walks up and down the driveway to gain strenght in his legs. At first we wouldn't even make it down the driveway because he seemed tired (tripping over his feet). But now we can make two laps and he doesn't take a wrong step. He did spook last night as we rounded the house (there's something about the house that spooks all the horses). Bo behaved like a dream. He spooked and side stepped away from me but never once pulling on the lead. The prints Bo left in the gravel would make you think that we had a wreck but he is all legs so I'm sure he was just trying to keep all four legs under himself. As we were walking it started to snow. Bo is snug in a blanket to ward off the chill and damp from the snow. We did hand graze for about five minutes by the house. We'll have his teeth checked out but from the way Bo was powering through the grass not leaving a morsal, I believe the state in which he arrived to Borderlands wasn't because of teeth issue (not like Dick who leaves wads of hay behind) but to lack of food. Speaking of Dick. He has settled in for the most part. I moved him to a temporary pen by the red shed. He's next to Rabbit and I swear he and Rabbit are girlfriend/boyfriend. I'm a little hestiant yet to put Dick in with Rabbit just yet. I'm also not sure that Dick is ready for the ponies. I'm keeping a close eye and we'll see how Dick and Rabbit handle each other over the fence. Two nights ago they were standing side by side with the fence in between. Last night Dick reached his head over to touch Rabbit who let out a small crow hop and a squeel. ...silly mares. So maybe putting Dick and Rabbit in together is an option but for now we'll keep them seperated with a fence until the weekend. Sam seems to be improving by leaps and bounds. This time during the last medication he wasn't near as far as he is now. Of course, I'm following vets orders and feeding him twice a day. I feed everyone hay twice a day and grain in the evenings normally. But with Sam's ulcers I've taken to feeding him beet pulp both morning and night. That way the "hay shelf" as the vet calls it, is always there andt the beet pulp coats the ulcers so the grain has time to work its way through Sam's system. Luckily Sam has been powerng through the beet pulp in the morning so when I'm about ready to leave for work, I just let him out of the barn. We are only on day four of Sam's 30 day ulcer treatment but it seems like he's feeling better already. Sam's mustache is coming back in full. I guess Sam has decided to wear a mustache these days. When we first got Sam, he had a mustache but he decided that it wasn't the "right look". But in the last few months he's been letting it grow out. I swear we could make a handlebar mustache out of it. I need to get a pic of it so you can see how funny it looks. Everyone else is doing well. I know my focus has been Bo, Thor, and Sam but everyone else is doing well to. I will be so happy when the grass is here and I can let everyone out on grass instead of feeding hay. The wind has been out of the east for the past 24 hours and I swear I had more hay down my shirt this morning than other mornings. Of course the hay bale was kicking my butt last night. Hopefully the snow that fell will melt quickly today and the sun will soon shine so that we don't have to deal with mud! I am very much looking forward to spring. I do need to take a look at spring shots. For those of you in the Minnehaha County Saddle Club, I just got the Valley Vet catalog so I can get prices on shots. I still need to see what Sioux Nation will charge for shots. I will try to get something emailed out to the group before the monthly meeting. It might be nice to do our spring shots clinic after our first trail ride? And a big Thank You to Stacy A. She did some research on worming a starved horse. I haven't had a chance yet to read the article. I'm always looking to learn more so even if I might have known the information (and I'm not sure that I did), it's good to reconfirm and remember. There's always room for more knowledge. Lord knows these horses are teaching me new stuff every day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Monday Bo Update

Without a computer at home, I am having a hard time keeping up with everyone. I will try to answer everyone's questions but if I haven't gotten to you directly, posted on the blog, or commented on Facebook, shoot me a line and I'll try to answer your question. I've been on a number of discussion boards where someone asks a simple question and it never gets answered so I want to make sure that I answer all questions posed. You might not like my answer but remember, this is my blog so I will say what I want. Someone asked if I'd taken Bo to the vet. If you follow along in the blog you'll know I haven't taken Bo anywhere. So the answer is: nope. I had two options. 1. Take Bo to the vet. I don't believe that he is in good enough shape to haul anywhere and be poked/proded by a vet. I'm sure after two weeks he could but right now I have not taken him to the vet. 2. Have the vet come to Borderlands. With the cost of a farm visit at $45 and the cost of an office visit of $20, I decided that I would spare my vet the drive time to visit and save myself an additional $25 which will go for either a bag of calf manna or a bag of senior and a bag of sweet feed. In all honesty, I have to think not only of the horse that needs a general exam but of the other horses. I took Thor in with an emergency vet bill of $170 and I have $350 worth of meds to pump into Sam. I'll have another $200 worth of meds to pump into Sam next month. That doesn't leave me with much cash to take Bo in for a general exam. Is it right that I deny Bo a general exam? No. Should I take him in? Absolutely. Will I? No, until I have my vet bills paid off (remember I pay for them out of my own pocket) and until the weather warms Bo will not be traveling. I try to avoid hauling horses in colder weather and even more so when the horse's system has been compromised. I was asked what Bo's fecal count was. Well, I dunno since I haven't taken him to the vet. It's obvious that he has worms by the looks of his belly. But I remember reading somewhere on the Camelot Horse Rescue page that it's not wise to deworm a horse immediately from an auction because of the stresses. Now of course I can't seem to find that information. Should Bo be wormed? Absolutely. Hopefully the chaos and running will stop so I can get Bo on a deworming schedule this week. He's now been with us for two weeks. I wanted to give him enough time to come down from the stresses he lived through. Is that the right logic? Maybe yes/maybe no. But it is what it is. I may simply be feeding worms at this point but I will research the best method to bring a starved horse back to proper weight and control the over abundance of worms. If you don't like it, you have one of two options. 1. You can suggest a deworming schedule and pay for it or 2. Keep your pie hole shut since you aren't forking over the money to assist. I'll gladly take recommendations but make sure to word them in a way that is not offensive. Rememer, my nerves are shot after a month of dealing with Murphy's Law. Has Bo had his teeth floated? Absolutely not. I highly doubt any vet would want to put Bo through such an ordeal what with him being 200-300 pounds under weight. I'm a bad judge of weight but when you can count every rib, see every bone in his body, I dont' believe any wise vet would tranquilize a horse to work on his mouth. We'll have his teeth looked at once he's gained some weight. As is the case right now, he's chowing through everything that's in front of him. I'm sure I'm coming off defensive but it irritates me that someone would put Bo into such bad shape. I am more than willing to bring him back up to weight but it's going to be a slow process. Yes, he has worms. No he has not yet been wormed. Yes he will be dewormed once I figure out the best method/routine to follow. No he has not had his teeth floated. Yes he will have his teeht looked at and possibly floated when the vet deems it necessary. No he has not been seen by a vet. He will once he has some additional weight on him and the weather warms enough that I can haul without worrying about him. As far as I'm concerned, Bo is still in quarantine. I'm sure he should have been seen by a vet by now but money, logistics, and time haven't allowed that to happen as of yet. If you want to step up and pay for the vet exam, by all means I will be more than happy to accept your money. Just remember, I am not yet a non-profit so your donation is not tax deductible. On a side note, I did find some quarantine information from the Camelot Horse Rescue website. I'm trying to follow their guidelines Arrange Quarantine- Once these horses have co-mingled in the pens at a sale barn, they should be quarantined away from other equines for a minimum of three (3) weeks to ensure that a contagious disease is not introduced into a healthy herd. Quarantine involves keeping the horse isolated from other horses - - they should NOT be able to touch noses, share water, feed or hay sources and should be outside 'sneezing' distance from other equines. Handle them last, do not share grooming equipment, wash your hands, change your shirt if they wipe their faces on you, etc. The most virulent virus with which we are concerned is 'strangles', which is highly contagious and which has a 3 week incubation period. Horses from auction/sales situations can also contract simple ailments such as 'colds' and upper respiratory infections from the stress and crowded conditions. Sometimes this condition is called Shipping Fever as they will normally spike a high temperature. When Bo does finally go to the vet, I'll post on the blog. Until then, if I can get my camera fixed and find a working computer, I'll post pictures of Bo from the past two weeks. I'm taking weekly pictures to show his progress. I swear I can already tell the progress but I'm too close to Bo to really tell. I can tell however that his spirits are high. I saw him trot through his covered pen the other day. What a magnificent mover he is! I can't wait until he's up to weight (thank goodness a previous owner contacted me to warm me that Bo has a high metabolism) so that I can show him off. For all that has happened to Bo, he's still such an absolute doll. I love working with him. He's currently snug in his blanket to keep the chill away while he has another week of down time in quarantine.

Thor's Terrible Vet Appointment

Last Sunday we noticed that there was something wrong with Thor. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it but there was something “off” about him. I thought maybe he had tangled with Dick when I let him into the herd but I don’t think those two ever met. Two thoughts went through my head. 1. Thor has a neurological issue going on and can’t figure out where his feet are or 2. Thor is blind.

With everything going on, I was emotionally and mentally exhausted last week. It took until Wed for me to fully function well enough to have Mike look at Thor. He confirmed my fear that Thor was blind. I made an appointment Thursday to go to our normal vet. The problem: we couldn’t get in until Wed of the next week. I told Mike and he didn’t like having to wait so he called around and got us in to a different vet for Friday at 11:30am.

We hooked up the trailer, and patiently worked with Thor to load. He is such a doll to load into a trailer even though he couldn’t see. He is such a willing boy. My heart goes out to him. Thor was an Amish horse for the better part of his life. I believe that he is still uncomfortable in a trailer but being the good boy he is, he will do what you ask. Thor does have one requirement; that we only go 55mph. We joke that Thor is our cruise control.

We left at 10:30 to make sure we had enough time going 55mph and made it right as the clock ticked over to 11:30am. We stopped in the office to say we were there and then unloaded Thor as best we could (very unceremoniously with a thud to poor Thor’s head as he came off the trailer faster than I had liked).

We went into a heated building where they took a quick look. Multiple times we were asked how old he was and what we did with him (if he was a driving team, where his mate was). I’m not sure how many times we repeated ourselves but we answered the same every time. He’s 23-24 years old and he doesn’t do anything. He’s a pasture pet. We’ve only had him since June and his “mate” was a QH we put down last Oct.

They examined his now blind eye (right eye) and looked at his currently blind eye (left eye). Again asking us what we did with him and how old he was. Is it not possible to have and keep a retired horse? I get the impression that the vet had already made up their mind before we even arrived. On the phone they had mentioned doing a steroid shot in Thor’s eye. I wasn’t impressed with the idea but if that’s what needed to be done, so be it. I was still torked with being questioned on what we did with him. I realize the prognosis wasn’t good and that my horse would most likely be blind. But I didn’t get the impression that having an old, retired horse was normal.

So the vet looked at Thor’s eye and said they wanted to do a steroid shot thinking that since this was a sudden onset of blindness that they could do something to reverse the effect.

They tranquillized him and all hell broke loose. I honestly didn’t know how much Thor weighed. He looked like a pretty big boy. But Thor was getting mad at having his head handled. We don’t talk loud at Borderlands, nor do we pat a horse. If we pet a horse we pet them softly but never pat them hard. Do YOU like to be patted on the back hard?

So Thor got upset by this type of handling and commotion. I’ve learned that with blind horses, you can talk loud to get their attention but then speak softly so that they can figure out all the different noises. Blindfold yourself once and then have lots of noise. Tell me if you can hear everything going on. Then take away all that noise and make everything soft. Is it easier to figure out what is going on in the room? The vet put some goop in Thor’s eye to numb his eye for the steroid shot.

After the initial tranquilizer, it became very apparent that Thor was having problems. Apparently he’s very susceptible to tranqs. The vet and the vet assistant began beating on Thor to try and keep him awake. They beat on his neck, on his side, and even on his face next to his blind eye. I get that they were trying to keep him awake but the constant beating when they over dosed him. UNACCEPTABLE.

The vet had overdosesd Thor because Thor was tossing his head and the vet was worried about what would happen when he put the steroid shot into Thor’s eye. I understand but if you’re going to tranq a horse, do it right. The vet tried once to do the steroid shot before Thor lost his balance. There are two types of tranqs. One to make them sleepy but still stay awake and one to knock them completely out for such things as gelding.

Imagine a very large, very drugged draft horse in a very small garage with four people standing around watching. Thor lost his balance, took a couple steps in every direction, crashed into the cinderblock concrete wall and the rebar that protected the window, and slid to the ground. Luckily I had left his blanket on so there was a little bit of padding when he hit the concrete wall. FURIOUS does not describe the anger and bile that rose in my throat. The vet then proceeded to administer the steroid shot into Thor’s eye. Mike admitted afterwards it was all he could do not to cry. He was completely pale.

We waited around for about 10 minutes and then the vet became impatient. He administered an antigen to the tranq. But when that didn’t work he administered a different antigen. We waited about a half hour for the tranquilizer to finally wear off. Had the vet administered the tranquilizer properly, we would have been on our way sooner. OR we at the very least wouldn’t have watched our beloved Thor, bewildered and confused, crash into a CONCRETE WALL. Instead we had to watch that terrible display AND listen to the vet complain that it was taking too long for Thor to wake up.

Once Thor was up, the vet decided to weigh him. Instead of the 2,000 pounds that we all figured, he only weighed 1400 pounds. Apparently looks are deceiving. Granted he has lost some weight and I noticed it a while ago but I think the vet wanted to know how much he overdosed the poor horse. Poor Thor had to be practically drugged to the scale to be weighed and he slipped on a patch of ice, with no care in the world by the vet or the vet tech that he was STILL BLIND, doped up with TRANQUILLZER, CONFUSED, and ON ICE.

We loaded Thor as soon as he had his land legs back, wrote the $170 check, and got the HELL out of there. The vet said they would like to see Thor again sometime this week. Until Hell freezes over, thaws, and refreezes will I EVER take a horse there. I am putting that vet on the “Do not use unless there is a major emergency” list. I already have a vet on that list; now there are two. I’m really surprised at this vet as they are bragged about by many. But I apparently have bad juju when it comes to vets and am not impressed by many.

We finally arrived home around 2pm, unloaded Thor, settled him in as best he could even though he was upset beyond words, and then spent the rest of the weekend in a total stupor upset about how Thor was treated and about the realization that Thor is blind. Poor Thor, if I could only tell him that everything will be alright and to apologize for the terrible way he was mishandled.

Playing Defense

Like the horse, I am a flight or fight creature. I try to avoid confrontation as much as possible but when backed into a corner, I will fight. In the past year and a half or so I’ve fought more than I would like. I can only be pushed so far before my nerves are frayed and I am exhausted of being polite and having others walk all over me, assuming that I will be the one that constantly bends. I was told the other day that I am being defensive. Yes, yes I am but for good reason. This month has been absolutely hellish. In fact, this entire year has been overly stressful and downright rough. My nerves are raw and my temper is high. I try to keep everything in check but I am to that final straw. So here’s a few bits of info into my world these last few weeks/months so you’ll understand why I am defensive. 1. Dr. Mr. Murphy, Thank you for visiting. We always welcome guests (both invited and uninvited to Borderlands). However, you have stayed a very long time and we suspect that you have others that are waiting for you to visit. We would hate for you to stay and continue “helping” when you could spread your good cheer on others. In the past month you have helped us: break the tractor so it no longer runs; break the brake line on the farm truck so it’s deemed unsafe, you have helped to bolt on that tire connected to the bad brake line so that it’s impossible to get the tire off without breaking tools and at some point will send Mike to the ER (keeping fingers crossed that doesn’t happen), break my hay wagon so that the tires almost fell off, blew out the tire on the two wheeled wheel barrow so now I’m relegated to trying to throw five flakes from a big square bale onto a one wheeled wheelbarrow, maneuver through ten horses throwing hay here and there without the horses “helping” to the “buffet” on a one wheel wheelbarrow; assist in caring for a horse with a serious case of ulcers; assist in watching and caring for a horse that went blind and is still adjusting to his new life; assist in caring for an emaciated horse that apparently comes with a history unbeknownst to me; slammed me with enough paperwork at work that I won’t be able to surface until fall; spread the lovely “le pew” perfume morning and night by our dear friend Mr. Skunk; and that’s just the list from this past month. 2. I am opinionated and as such have warned in this blog several times that I speak my mind and will offend people. But what’s that saying about true friends not getting upset by what I have to say and those that aren’t your friends will get upset? I can’t remember now how that saying goes but that’s the gist. For some odd reason, people think that just because I say something, they should get their dander up. This is my blog people and I will say what I want. I will present the information that is presented to me be it true or not. I would rather provide all the information so that everyone knows exactly what I know. So if you don’t like what’s on here, for the love of god stop reading this blog. If you take offense by what I say then stop reading damnit. I will not sugar coat. I follow Fugly’s rule that if you don’t like what I say, don’t read my blog. 3. If I know something, I will try to at least put the information out there and not try to keep it hidden from people. Even if I don’t understand everything, maybe the information that I do know can help others piece together the entire story. What information I do know may not be correct but at least it’s there in plain black and white. I’m not trying to be sneaky. BUT, if I find something and think it might be helpful for a specific cause AND I ask that you keep that information confidential I EXPECT that you will. Instead, I am put into a rock and a hard place. Either my confidential request is spread to whoever OR I have to insert myself into a situation where I don’t know all the information, I am not educated on all the details, but I still have to insert myself because someone else wouldn’t follow my request of keeping the information confidential. I only provided the information so that they could be aware of the situation; although they thought they were doing a good thing, instead they put me in a bad spot. I don’t appreciate it. Shame on you. 4. I try to provide information but if you tell me you have information and I have to ask for it three or four times, I believe that behavior is uncalled for. If you need/want my information than turnabout is fair play. I expect that you too will provide me with all the information you know instead of giving me little pieces and expecting me to provide everything I know. I also expect you to tell me right away instead of making me ask multiple times. My time is just as important as yours. First time, shame on you; second time shame on me and it won’t happen again. From now on, I will not share all my “horsey knowledge” to just anyone. I’ll demand to know the entire story before I provide any knowledgeable information. 5. I don’t believe in spreading rumors. If I know something is incorrect I will say so no matter who’s feelings they hurt. If it’s not true, it’s simply not true and the facts will speak for themselves pretty easily. 6. I dislike with an absolute passion of being told what to do. I realize I’m still learning; every day with each horse is a learning experience. Each new horse I bring in has a story that I try to figure out; each horse has certain needs and requirements that I need to figure out. There is no black and white written rulebook on how to care for a horse and what works best for one horse may not work best for another. I can only go by the experiences I have and the suggestions of others. But if I am told do so something, I expect a little help. I was told to use my money to pull a horse from an auction because they had a connection to the horse. Of course it was a phone conversation so I have no proof. I would have gladly pulled a horse had there been money; had I been told a little bit more about the situation; had there been any additional information provided to me so that I could make an educated decision on what to do. But I wasn’t provided the information. I was told the other day that the grain I feed has enough water and I don’t have to soak my grain. What I should be doing is XYZ. Except that I have other horses than the one you’re looking at right now and they don’t have adequate teeth to chew even with soft pelleted grain. I choose to soak all the grain to make life easier on everyone AND so I don’t have to deal with choke. When was the last time that individual dealt with choke in their own horse? Probably never because many people don’t keep an old horse until their dying day. I have six horses that are in their mid to upper twenties. I’ll do what’s best for them and in my opinion, soaking their grain is in their best interest. Unless you step up to the plate and help, don’t tell me what to do. 7. I work a full time job to support the sanctuary. Without that job, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the luxury of horses. The only assistance I receive is from my loving husband who didn’t ask to be involved but quietly helps me day in and day out with the chores. It is my pocket book and my time that take care of the Borderland horses. We are not yet to the point where we can request funds or at least not feel guilty about asking for funds. 8. If/when someone does ask if they could help, their offer to “ride a horse for me” is very much unaccepted. Horses are not a pleasure item that you can use as you wish and toss when you don’t want them anymore. If I wasn’t doing the chores, I would be riding. What help I do need is in the chore department not the riding department. If you ask, I’ll be polite and only chuckle at the offer but will seethe with anger. But it’s hard to find anyone willing to be outside at 5am to lug Sam’s beet pulp (so he’ll have an hour to eat), toss hay to the big herd, to the mares, to the ponies and Rabbit, to Dick in his pen, Bo in his pen, and Thor in his pen or to lug water to Dick, Thor, and Bo’s pens all of which takes about an hour to accomplish all before rushing on to work all in the dark. Or spending two to three hours in the evening (5:30-9pm) after a full day of work just feeding and watering horses to make sure they get the adequate foods they need to survive and to make those that have additional health issues comfortable. And in most cases, evening chores will end in the dark. 9. And this is just the horse related activities. I avoided mentioning anything about my work where I put in 40 + hours. It’s just all very frustrating. So those are just a few of the items I’ve been dealing with this past month. I’m sure there’s more but I’m exhausted. I’m sure that I’ve hurt people’s feelings but put yourself in my shoes for a day. I’ll make sure to give you the non-poopy shoes that don’t leak when standing in a water puddle. I’ll even make sure to give you the steel toes to make sure that if a draft steps on your toes, they won’t hurt you.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thor Update

We are headed to Dakota Large Vet Clinic tomorrow at 11:30am. Mike and I are both taking the day off. Hopefully it's nothing serious and Thor can recover.

I'm not sure when I'll be near a computer again but I'll post as soon as I can. Keep those good thoughts headed our way while we are at the vets. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good prognosis.

Thor is Completely Blind

Damnit. I should have caught it sooner. I should have known. I knew there was something wrong but I wasn't 100% positive. Thor is completely blind.

Thor (along with Joe) was pulled from an auction by Great Expectations Rescue. This auction is somewhere near the Minnesota/Canada border. Without Great Expectations pulling these two horses, who knows where they would have ended.

I remember seeing a picture of Thor on Great Exptations' website and thinking he was magnificent. They noted that he was blind in his left eye. After looking at his eye, it looks like he injured it rather than just going blind. But he'd pretty much adjusted to the lack of sight in that eye.

Destiny Youth Ranch in Alvord Iowa adopted Thor and Joe not long after Great Exptectations pulled them from the auction. I believe Destiny Youth Ranch had both horses for about a year. They incorporated both into their program but decided to retire both last spring (May 2010).

That's when Borderland stepped in to offer a permanent retirement home. Unfortunately Joe didn't last very long and he was humanely euthanized in October 2010. I was very worried about Thor but he seemed to handle himself ok.

Jump forward to last week. I noticed there was a change in Thor but we were running so much I didn't have time to investigate like I should have. We were gone for the SD Horse Fair and only home long enough to throw hay so I didn't catch on either.

On Monday, I noticed that Thor was acting very strange. I worried and put him in the barn with Sam. I was worried that he too was having some neurological disorder like Joe. That or he was losing his eyesight. Either way, it wasn't good. I kept to the same routine and put him out with the herd but kept him stalled at night because there was something wrong.

Last night I had Mike take a closer look and sure enough, Thor is blind in his right eye. His one remaining good eye is now blind. I feel so bad. I should have known that he was blind or should have done something earlier this week. I'm calling the vet this morning to schedule an appointment to see if there is any chance of reversing the damage that's done. Looking at the eye, you would never know he's blind.

We played musical pens last night to get Thor into a safe pen. I pulled Dick out and put him into the hayshed stalls for last night and today (and put Skippy in a stall next to Dick much to Skippy's dismay)and put Thor in the pen where Dick was in (between the barn and the cattle chute). It's a fairly small pen so hopefully Thor can wander around and get accustomed to his lack of sight.

I belive Thor can see shadows (similar to what happened with Babe). Thor can see shadows as far as going into a dark building or coming out into the light. But otherwise he's blind. Hopefully he'll adjust to this blindness.

It is a great sadness to me that such a magnificent animal went blind. Hopefully Thor can adjust. We'll see what the vet says and I'll keep him confined to a smaller pen until he adjusts to his lack of vision. Babe gets around just fine without seeing so hopefully Thor can adjust to it too. I am tossing around the idea of putting Thor and Babe together in a smallish secure/safe pen and simply feeding them round bales until their final end. I don't know how else to keep them safe.

Like any parent, they want to keep their children safe and make sure that nothing bad comes to them. I'm the same way with the horses. I am devistated for Thor. Please keep him in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sam and His Ulcers

Sam isn't over his ulcers. We had him on ulcer meds for 14 days. I should have called the vet immediately after we ran out to see what the plan was. Sam isn't back up to snuff and you can tell.

I called our vet this morning and we are putting Sam on ulcer meds for 30 days. Youch! I am not going to like that vet bill.

We are supposed to give him the ulcer meds for 30 days at full dose and then do another 30 days at half dose. Double Youch!

And when I say youch, I mean 14 days of ulcer meds cost just over $100. So there's the 14 days that we did already at $100, there's the 30 days at full dose at $200 and another 30 days at half dose so that'll be another $200. So to get Sam back up to snuff, we are looking at a $500 vet bill.

I'm going to have to do some additional research as one vet said feed alfalfa and remove senior/calf manna and one said take away alfalfa and keep with the senior feed. I wish there was a better diagnosis for ulcers. Better yet, I wish Sam didn't have ulcers altogether.

We'll be starting ulcer treatments tomorrow after getting the medicine. We could buy the over-the-counter Gastroguard or Ulcerguard but the vet has their Gastrogaurd compounded with pepto to help the horse feel better faster. The cost is almost the same as far as I can tell.

So here's the plan. Start Sam tomorrow on Omaprizal (I'll get the true spelling later). Give him meds for 30 days at full dose (aka half a tube). Then we'll go for another 30 days at half dose (aka a quarter tube). We'll see where we are from there. Hopefully we'll be on to pasture so life will be easier and the ulcers will be gone, gone, gone.

But there is one additional caveat. Both vets I've talked with recommend continuous feeding. That means evening graining isn't good enough. I need to spread it out throughout the day. I'm not sure how that'll work but I'm betting I'll be getting up earlier to get Sam eating in the morning. If I can feed him half his beet pulp in the morning and the other half in the afternoon, that should keep the "hay shelf" covered and the ulcers will heal faster. Or so I hope.

So that's the plan. Early to rise to feed Sam some of his normal grain ration and afternoon feeding with a dose of ulcer meds. Not sure if this will be the new routine for the future or just for the next month. I know with Sam, it should be for the rest of his life. We'll see how I handle it.

Any Ol' Horse

I know I shouldn't be offended but I am. Bo was slaughter bound. Had I not stepped in, I'm not sure if he would have gone to a private buyer or not. I have a hard time telling who is bidding but I know I was bidding against someone down on the floor near the corner (which is where the KBs hang out). So I'm guessing Bo would have been standing in a slaughter feedlot right now waiting for his turn like the majority of the horses run through at a loose auction.

Someone recently said something about "trying to save any ol' horse from a slaugther feedlot."

Every horse has a story. Every horse had someone care for them at one point in time. NO horse is just "any ol' horse in a slaughter feedlot." They are the unlucky who ended up at the wrong place at the wrong time.

I know some about the situation and I'm hoping the words were spoken out of anxiety and frustration. But NO horse should be standing in a slaughter feedlot. By what this person said, Bo could have been any ol' horse from a slaughter feedlot because they didn't have a vested interest. Just because someone doesn't have a vested intersted in a particular horse doesn't mean they aren't worth something. A horse means something to someone, it's just a matter of finding that right someone.

When I saw Bo, I saw a skinny horse that needed to be saved. I know there were horses in better health that went to slaughter and I could have pulled them and rehomed. But there was something about Bo that drew me to him.

Bo is most definitely a diamond in the rough and I look forward to seeing him improve. I want to tell his story because apparently he was just "any ol' horse" headed to a slaughter feedlot.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More wind and ramblings

In my last post I mentioned wind. I was debating the other day which I hated more: mud, hay, or wind. I decided last night as a big just of wind whipped the hay into my face and down my shirt while standing in ankle deep mud that I hated wind the most.

I feed big squares of hay. And because I have such a large herd, I have to scatter the hay in a number of piles so when someone gets pushed out, they can simply go to another pile. Easier said than done when there's 30mp wind. I swear half the hay I feed is in the next county. The other half is either in my eyes or down my shirt! It just irritates me to no end to watch a pile of way tumble along the horse pen like a tumble weed. The horses couldn't eat it fast enough!

Hopefully the wind will die down soon. We're supposed to get a major weather change tonight into tomorrow. We are going from 50s to 30s. It might not be too big of a deal for most but I worry about the oldsters having to deal with such a drastic temp change. I know I'm worrying all for not but I'm a worrier so I have to worry about something.

Speaking of worrying, Sam is still not yet on the mend. I'm going to call the vet tomorrow morning to get him started on another round of ulcer treatments. Mike and I attended an ulcer lecture at the SD Horse Fair Sunday but we really didn't find out anything more than we already knew. I'm going to try a different feed and see if no moll asses will help. I left Sam in last night because of the upcoming bad weather and I knew he wasn't feeling well. He didn't even power through his beet pulp like he normally does. Poor guy. It may just be that he'll have to be on ulcer meds in the spring and fall. Poor guy finally gets to retire and he can't even enjoy it because of the ulcers.

I left Thor in with Sam last night. When I let Dick out into the big herd, it really spooked Thor. I know Thor and Dick didn't tangle but Thor is acting a little differently so I'm a bit concerned that there may be something wrong. He acts like he doesn't know where everything is. I just hope he's not going blind in his good eye. There's nothing in it as far as I can tell but he still seems a bit off. I am betting I'll leave Thor and Sam in tonight.

I know the weather is supposed to be in the 50s for the high today but with the wind I doubt that it'll get that high. If it does, there will still be a wind chill. And with the rain I decided that it would be in the best interest that I blanket some of the horses. Even Bo is now sporting a blanket. He fits into the one I had on Brego much better.

You can still see Bo's hip bones through the blanket. It's terrible to see him in such bad shape. I would normally be so angry but every time I look at him, all I can think of is joy that I have him, and joy when I pet him because he's such a love bug that wants to be in your pocket. Mike and I have talked that horses this thin could really be mean but Bo is the exact opposite. That guy is more interested in being with us than eating. He would rather be around people than eat. I have to make sure that I don't distract him while he does eat, otherwise he'll never gain any weight. I did start him on a grain mash and he's starting to pick up on that pretty quick. I'm sure by tonight he'll be demanding his warm mash. If I can ever get to a computer (besides the one here at work), I'll download Sunday's pictures so that we can chronicle Bo's road to recovery.

Tonight's chores are going to be wet, wet, wet. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the wind will die down. Last night the wind was so strong, I could barely get big barn door open. It's normally a bit tricky but with the wind, it was almost impossible. Lets hope everything goes smoothly and quietly tonight.


Have I mentioned how much I hate wind? I'm sure to post more today but I just had to say in the most positive way possible....

I hate wind.

Looks like we are in for some wet weather the next few days. Time to pull up the waders to do chores. I almost lost my rubber shoes the other day in the muck and mire of the horse pen.

But least I forget the main point of this post...

I hate wind.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Musical Pens

We had a great time at the South Dakota Horse Fair. It was so nice to get away and see new horse stuff and catch up with old friends. The Horse Fair is the first sign of horse season, where I get to meet new people, talk about horses, and finally get to ride. I'm anxious for this riding season and it sounds like everyone else is too.

I realized this weekend that I need to put the mares in a drylot so they don't tear up their fall/winter pasture (and what will be a temporary pasture). But to put the mares in a drylot, I have to play musical pens. It was easier when the pens weren't full. I'm still figuring out the logistics of it all.

I had hoped to put Dick in with the herd but that was a fisasco last night. I guess Dick will have to be in a different pen for a little while longer. He wholloped poor Rain. Rain is a 14.2h grade Arabian and Dick is a 17h grade Percheron with much bigger feet. So back in the pen Dick went until I can figure something else out.

I pulled Bo out of his stalls and set him up in a covered pen. I'd torn the panels down last year and hadn't used the leanto where the ponies had been for awhile but figured it was a good time to get Bo out. I took some pictures of Bo yesterday (still without a computer). I'm going to try and take weekly pics of Bo so that everyone can see his progress. I found out just a tad bit more about him but need to email a few more people to find out just a bit more. There are some stories that will never be told I guess.

Bad weather is supposed to roll in starting tomorrow. The temps are in the 50s but we are supposed to get storms with hail and then the temps are going to drop back into the 30s. I'm guessing I'll be blanketing the oldsters and "delicate flowers" to protect them from the rain and colder temps. So much for a relaxing week.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


We have another surprise!!! We have another new horse to join the Borderlands herd. No pictures as of yet. But we are welcoming Dick, a 28 year old Percheron gelding. He had a loving owner for the past 18 years but due to age, needed to find him a new home.

Tomorrow is the SD Horse Fair. I'll be there both Friday and Saturday wandering around. I wont' be near a computer so just track me down at the Horse Fair if you want to talk horses!

More Unknowns

Check out DoubleHP's blog to find out more about the pen of horses Bo was with at the sale:

I'm still really confused about what happened. I was surfing through the local ads and came across this ad:

Selling of my Horse


LOCATION: Sioux Falls, SD

Is it right for someone to sell a horse or any animal when a court has ordered that thee animals in question be returned? If thee animals are not returned but sold,should the individuals who sold them be held accountable. It has happened to me and i believe that Jim Mcgregor and Rhonda Logus should have to rehimburse me for thee horses they sold of mine.I paid to have them returned and instead they sold them at the mitchell livestock auction on March 12th.If anyone has any insight as to what should be done feel free to contact me .

I know I need to ask a few questions but my focus has been on Bo and making sure he's doing alright. Of all the pictures I've seen and of seeing some of the horses in person, Bo was the worst of the lot. I'm just happy that Bo is safely tucked away in a stall devouring his alfalfa and hay.

I don't know the whole story, nor do I think I'll ever get to know the entire story. My concern and focus is Bo. But I would like to have the entire story out in the open at some point.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


The little paint named Apache was at the same sale and in the same pen as Bo. I'm heartsick. I should have paid more attention to that lot. I should have bid on all of them at the very least to make the KB pay more. None went more than $150 except for one black mare who went for $200

Read DoubleHP's blog about the group of horses Bo was in with.

Now I wish I would have pushed harder to raise money to pull horses. Theses horses had a story to tell. I am heartsick.

Bo - Update #2

So it appears that Bo was supposed to disappear, or at least sort of.

A gal was looking for her horse that was wrongfully taken from her and sold at the March 12th auction. She posted an ad on Kelo asking to know where her horse was located, knowing that she might not be able to buy the horse back but wanting to know the horse is safe. I did email her because Bo was in the same pen. I'll be in contact with her again to see if I can get more information about Bo.

Here is the ad the gal posted:

To My "Horse Angels"

Thanks to everyone that helped me find my horse.. to tell everyone what is going on she is in a happy home in oklahoma being a donor mom thats ok i am glad to hear she went there instead of other places.... I never realized that people in the area still care about people that they dont know .....

For Everyone Else that bought a horse on march 12th that were loose with the numbers: 700*s they were also taken and in a court battle and that they were sold to them illegally and the party involved is not on a so straight and narrow path GOOD LUCK !! and we can give you the name that the horse knows if you like (we dont want to really take the horse from the new buyers and make them go through the misary we had to. we just want to be compinsated for what we lost).

Bo's hip number was 7001. My curiosity is getting the better of me so I'll be asking more questions today.

Bo Update

The more I learn about people, the more I like my horses!

I'm still trying to piece together the story of Bo. I need to make a few phone calls and send a few emails but there doesn't seem to be much time. I swear that even thought we lost an hour because of daylight savings time, I really lost about two hours! The last two nights we've had to run some errands which means we are doing chores in the dark at 9pm. And then I'm on high alert because of the resident skunk.

I've been keeping Bo in the stalls in the hayshed. I've got them all opened up so he can wander between three different stalls. I was hoping to keep him fairly quiet this first week so that he could concentrate on his food and not spend his days anxiously watching the other horses.

Both nights after work, I pulled Bo from his stall to walk him up and down the driveway once or twice. I don't want to make him exert much energy but I do want him to stretch his legs a bit. He seemed a bit more anxious Monday night but everything was new to him. Last night I took him out, walked him half way down the driveway and back to the barn. He seemed a bit more sluggist yesterday so I didn't want to stress him out. I think he's been on high alert from the time he was dropped off at the auction Saturday until Tuesday morning when hopefully he realized there is a routine to Borderlands.

I didn't want to walk him far as he tripped once or twice. There is no muscle left on him but I do want to do small, short hand walks around the yard just to get him out and about. Once he's back in his stall, Bo will wander through the three different stalls to check out the different piles of food I have set out for him.

Both Monday night and Tuesday night I groomed him down the best I could. The first night, I had him tied to the trailer and he couldn't see the herd so he was a bit more upset. Last night I got smart and tied him to the fence so he could at least see the other horses. (No nose touches yet. Bo is still in quarantine). I swear he just about feel asleep. He had his eyes open just a slit there for a little while. I was doing my best not to hurt him. How do you groom a horse that is skin and bone? He's still covered in crusted manure but I can't go after it like I would any of the other horses. I'm petrified of hurting him. But he seemed like he was enjoying the attention. What I could get thoroughly groomed looked pretty nice.

While I was brushing him down and spending some lovin' time on him, I realized that Bo is definitely the skinniest horse I've ever had come in. He makes Brego and Joe look like they were in decent shape when they came in. I'll get more pictures sometime when I can find a computer to download pics. We are still without a computer so I'm "borrowing" some computer time where ever I can find it.

I'll continue to keep you posted on Bo's condition. I just pray I'm doing the right thing with bringing him back to health. I'm so worried about refeeding syndrome but it appears that Bo knows what he can and cannot handle. Excuse my language but...... Bo is a damn smart horse! Can you tell I'm already biased? Bo has my heart already

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I'm getting the impression that Bo was supposed to simply "disappear" aka head to slaughter and never be seen again. I'm also betting that the person responsible for Bo's neglect is the one spreading rumors about Bo.

So here's what I know and you can help fill in the gaps.

Bo is a 10 year old National Show Horse. He was at the Mitchell Livestock Horse Auction March 12th with a bunch of horses. I have the previous, previous owner's name and email address and will be in contact with her. I will not disclose her name at this time. I'm wondering if people are getting me and her confused as we are both blondes.

Someone put an ad on Kelo asking for help in finding a horse that was taken from them before the sale. Her hip number was 7007. Bay mare named Misty. I emailed that person and said I dont' remember her but to contact the Mitchell Livestock Auction as they were very helpful. I also mentioned I'd bought a horse from that pen/lot.

I received an email from someone stating that she heard a rumor that I sold Bo at Kramers . It could possibly be that the girl that previously sold Bo took him to Kramers. Who bought him at Kramers I do not know.

The first time I ever set eyes on Bo was March 12th in the afternoon just before the auction. Didn't know who he was, who his previous owner was, what happened to him. Hell, I didn't even know if he was a mare or a gelding. When I paid for him, Bo was a sorrell mare and when I talked to the gal right after outbidding the KB, he was a bay gelding. I simply bought a horse that needed some help.

I have never sold a horse. I posted Maverick on Kelo once and then decided to pull him and I'm so very glad that I did. I will never sell him. I have only bought one horse from Kramers and that was Queen. Queen came from the neighbor's place so I knew some of her history. I attend Kramers to see what's there but have never even bothered to get a number except when I was buying Queen (hence the reason I've never bought any others). I have not attended Kramers since sometime last summer.

I recognized a number of people that attend Kramers at the Mitchell Livestock Auction. I also would hope that Kramers has a decent record of buyers/sellers and it would be pretty easy for someone to go to the auction and ask for records of my selling and buying. My "rap" sheet is going to be pretty slim. Buy = 1 horse (Oct 2007) Sell = nothing.

I can also tell you every horse I've ever owned, the month/year they came to live with us, and the month/year of the horses that have died in my care (I've never had one die due to neglect, they'ved all died due to old age).

And here I thought I was just a nobody that simply attended a few sales but never purchased anything. I thought I was simply a face in the crowd.

I know think someone had it out for Bo. Which is a pitty because he's an absolute doll. I'll write more about Bo but I wanted to clear up any rumor mills. I invite anyone out to see the horses and I'll talk your ear off.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bo Pictures

Did some wheeling and dealing and was able to get the few pictures of Bo on this computer. I only got a few pictures before the camera died. I swear all the electronics are failing on me!

I'd like to introduce Bo our newest and most deserving of rescues.
Bo is a 10 year old National Show Horse.

He has a long road to recovery but has high spirits. More pictures will be coming.

The following pictures were taking the morning after bringing Bo home.


The past two days have been an absolute blur. Stacy PW and I attended the Mitchell Livestock Catalog Horse Sale on Saturday. As is the case of a catalog sale, they run the catalog horses through, then the non-cataloged horses, and then the loose horses. The sale started at 1pm (although we didn't get there until 1:30 and into the bleachers until about 2pm). The sale was over by 4pm. There weren't as many horses as I had expected. I also didn't take notes on descriptions, price, buyer, etc. like I should have.

Stacy PW and I chatted through the catalog horses but as the loose horses neared, we both got quieter and quieter. When they started running the loose horses through, I pretty much stopped talking altogether and my heart rate sky rocketed. In the loose horse pens was a group of horses with one desperately needed a new home. I was adimate that the horse was coming home with us.

I had though the horse would be run through first since the numbers started at 7001 (and that's the horse I wanted to bid on). But the horse ran through very near the end (adding to my already shaken nerves). We bid against the killbuyer and got the horse for $110.

Immediately following a gal stopped over and told me that the horse was a gelding and that she had owned him a year ago but sold him to go to college. She was angry that the horse was in that bad of condition. She called him Bo.

After the sale we went to go look at him but I honestly couldn't tell for sure if the gal was right about her horse or mistaken. I peeked under neath but never saw anything. I'll blame it on the wormy belly and winter coat. When we went to pay for him, the bill of sale said sorrel mare. So that's why I was a bit confused throughout Saturday evening and Sunday morning.

It wasn't until Sunday morning when I pulled the horse out of the stall that indeed the girl was right (I should know better than to think a girl wouldn't know her own horse). The horse IS a gelding.

He's been tucked into the hay shed stalls since yesterday. There is too much ice and he's too thin to be out in the elements. The hay shed stalls are open enough to get adequate sunlight and he can peek over and see the horses so he's not alone (but still quaranteened).

I'll hopefully have more pictures but our computer is dead, dead, dead and we are in the process of getting a new one. It might not be very soon that we actually get the computer up and running so there won't be any pictures until I can steal a computer and internet access.

But we are now the proud caretakers of Bo, a 10 year old National Show Horse. We did manage to get some pictures of Bo on our Facebook page. When we get computer access again, I'll comment on everyone's Facebook comments.

Keep your fingers crossed. Bo is not out of the woods. He is VERY VERY thin. I would put him as a 2 on the heinke (sp?) scale. It's hard to tell how thin he is because of the winter coat and wormy belly. I would put him worse than when Brego or Joe came in. I believe Bo will be our toughest one to get weight on as the girl I talked to warned me that Bo has a high metabolism. I'm sure I'll be burning through all my resources of hay, alfalfa, and grain quickly to get Bo up to the correct weight as fast as we can.

But throughout all of Bo's ordeal of starvation, he's still a sweet, people-oriented horse. He absolutely soaks in any human contact. He'll stop eating to whinny at me as I'm just standing there. This morning as I was getting his breakfast ready, he came over and put his nose on my head. I wonder now if he was giving me a kiss of thanks. :-) I'm already in love with Bo. Go check out Bo on FB (please). :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011


I'll be without a computer in a few hours. The home computer is dead so we'll be working on getting a replacement (can't live without internet apparently).

But I wanted to put a quick post out there that I will be attending tomorrow's auction. I'm trying to keep the positive thoughts flowing instead of getting stressed. I'll try to take notes on what horses ran through, the prices, and who bought them.

Keep your fingers crossed and pray for those unluck souls that are bought by the killbuyer. Everyone needs a guardian angel. If all we can do is remember them, I will be there. But I could sure use some moral support.

Please. Pray for them.

Small World

I'll admit that yesterday I was "in a mood" and couldn't seem to shake it. I wasn't sure if it was from the upcoming horse auction, stress of work, stress of family issues, being unorganized, or what. I also had a saddle club meeting I was not prepared for one bit. I like to be prepared for meetings but with this one, I'm only prepared about every fourth meeting.

I scurried around to get all the chores done before the meeting. I hustled the few miles into town and started looking through my notes as I was the first one there. The saddle club meeting is a great escape, so many people to talk horses with. We had a few new members, which always peeks my interest. It's fun to learn about everyone, their horses, and horse hobbies.

After we wrapped up the meeting, some of us sat around gabbing about horses not paying any attention to the time. It was down to just myself, Mike, and a new couple that sounded like that hada vast knowledge of horses (those are the ones I lean towards to gain more knowledge.)

As is normally the case, we all tried to figure out where we all lived (since we're all practically neighbors). I don't remember the specifics or how the conversation progressed, but at one point we were asked if we were interested in a Percheron. Without even hesitating I said HECKYEA! It sounds like a neighbor not too far from us had a team of percherons but one of them died and the owner wasn't sure what to do with the other horse. I'm still foggy on the specifics but it sounds like we'll be bringing in a Percheron gelding!

While we were talking the couple mentioned a lady south of Humboldt who takes in old horses. They had thought of trying to contact that lady to see if she would be interested in this percheron. At first, I was trying to figure out who around us had older horses because I'd love to talk with them since that's exactly what I am trying to do. I was also trying to figure out where this lady lived; if she was so near us, than why didn't I know about her already.

Trusty Mike piped up and said "ya, I think we're pretty close to her." I am not sure if he said that with a straight face or not, but I caught his hint. They were talking about ME! That's right, I'm the lady who takes in old horses. BAHAHAHAHHAHAA

And in my mind I heard "The crazy lady who takes in old horses."

Come to find out we were talking to Babe's owner's dad. So then of course we had to sit around talking about Babe for just a little bit. Such a small world. I was truley and completely floored and downright honored. I figured most people would consider me the crazy lady with a bunch of horses. But it's nice to know that what we're doing at Borderlands is making a difference. We might not be able to take in many, but we are making a difference for those older horses that deserve a retirement home.

I've decided that if I make up business cards, I'll have it as:

Shanna Border
The crazu lady who takes in old horses.

I absolutely love it.

Mother Nature and an Emergency Plan

As I was driving to work, I heard about the terrible earthquake in Japan and the impending tsunami. I'm always shocked at how much Mother Nature can truley scare me. Mother Nature can set the most amazing sunrises (like this morning) and amazing sunsets but to think of the awesome powers that Mother Nature can unfold, it is rather humbling.

While I was driving in to work, the radio stations would each say that the tsunami was going to hit Hawaii in so many minutes and that people were fleeing to higher ground. What does my mind shift to, the horses. What about the horses that are stuck and can't flee to higher ground? What about the people who are trying to get their horses to higher ground? I am a worrier. So I worry about things I can't do anything about.

But it does make me think of a contingency plan/escape plan. I bought the six horse trailer as safety/reassurance that I could get 10 of the 17 Borderland horses out in case of an immediate emergency. I've actually done some additional thinking on who I could stuff in which stall and who I could possibly stuff in the tack compartment to make sure that I get as many horses away from the impending danger. There's also the 4-horse stock trailer (where I'm betting in an emergency I could cram five horses in if they were the smaller ones). I know it might sound silly but I want to be prepared in case there is an immediate danger and I don't have the opportunity to haul the horses 30 miles away to Madison. And, if for some reason 30 miles isn't far enough, I need to know that I can haul all of the horses to safety. I'm still four horses short of getting everyone to safety but Mom and Dad are my backup plan with their 4-horse straight load. It pulls well but hasn't been used in years. But if there's an immediate danger, I believe we could make it road worthy in a hurry.

It may be that I need to actually write an emergency plan/contingency plan in case there is an immediate emergency or impending emergency. It's better to be overly prepared than not prepared at all.

But it's always a good idea to have some type of emergency plan, even if it's not in writing. So, what's your emergency plan to ensure your horses are safe from danger?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The last four days have been a blur. My head is still spinning. If there's another lapse it's because the computer is dying (it also means no pictures until we can afford to get another computer).

Not much horse related activities this weekend. We were wrapped up with family activities so there was only enough time to feed the horses and run. With everything going on, I wasn't able to give Sam his ulcer meds on Friday or Sunday. I could definitely tell he wasn't himself this weekend because he didn't get his medicine. I'm guessing that even after the 14 day medicine, we'll have to go another 14 days to make sure the ulcers don't rear their ugly head again. I will be so happy when he's feeling better. It's pretty easy to spot when he's not feeling well, he cocks a leg. I did keep him and Brego in the barn last night to keep a closer eye on Sam. Sam can't polish off his grain like he wants to and I don't want to rush him, so he stays in the barn. Brego stays in the barn too so that he doesn't get pushed around. I do think Brego needs his teeth floated and that's a portion of why he's losing weight.

The horse I passed on back in January is now up for sale again. The two free horses I passed on the first part of February are back up on the classifieds. I am guessing the other two that I had to pass on are headed to an auction. I feel terrible but with everything going on with family matters and work matters, I haven't even had time to breath let alone bring in another horse and figure out the financial responsibilities.

Without any financial or other support, it's impossible for me to really do much for any of the horses outside of Borderlands. I'll do my best at this weekend's auction but after talking with some of the board members, we are now focusing on the older horses to ensure they receive a decent retirement. So that means that four of the five horses I passed on didn't fit into the program, which is heartbreaking.

And with everything going on, I missed going to the auction this weekend in Sioux Falls. I just couldn't swing everything that needed to get done so the auction fell by the wayside. We'll see how everything goes this coming weekend.

If I'm not around much in the next few days, it's simply because I have run out of time. Work, horses, and family are taking up the majority of my time but I'll be around.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sick Tole

Our computer is sick. The sick tole is now up to three. I swear I get one finally back to feeling ok, and another one goes down.

Sam is doing much better. I again put him in the barn to keep a close eye on how much he's eating. He even went to the now frozen barn door and bangeg on it demanding I let him in for his supper. He decided he didn't like the soaked calf manna but devoured the soaked senior. So we'll change his grain mash up a little bit until he's back to eating his normal ration. I've got beet pulp soaking and alfalfa pellets soaking in the hopes that he'll be hungry enough to eat them. We're already through six days of ulcer treatments but I think I need to go to the vet and get the last two doses (to go 14 days). I want to make sure there is no relapse.

To keep Sam happy and calm, I brought in his friend Brego, who seems to be a little on the thin side too. He's getting spoiled. I' am thinking he may need his teeth floated even though he's only six. I thought he wasn't going through all his food because the others pushed him away, but last night I had hay and alfalfa and he didn't get through all his hay. Can't figure that one out.

Mike also went downhill the same time Sam went downhill. Too bad I was a bit more sympathetic to Sam than I was Mike... Poor Mike! Apparently Mike has been dealing with influenza since last Thursday (the same time Sam went downhill with ulcers).

So Borderlands has been an infestiation for not feeling well. But everyone seems to be on the mend. I'm hoping that by this weekend, everyone will be back to their chipper selves. I'll feel stressed and worried knowing that "my men" are feeling better. Nothing sets me to worrying faster than a sick husband and a sick horse (but maybe not in that order?) :-)

And now the computer is sick. We've been tossing around the idea of buying a new one but haven't gotten to it. I'm guessing this month will be the month we finally get around to it. Why is it easier to bring a horse in with all his/her problems than it is to find a computer?

This Saturday is a local auction. I'm thinking about going so that I can at least get a better feel for what prices will be like at the Mitchell auction the following weekend. I do hate auctions and going both weekends will just add to my stress level but I'd rather be prepared and see if there is any that are in desperate need (when I say deseperate, I mean health reasons...not the impending killbuyer since there are too many to try save from the KB).

But I seem to be ranting so I'll go. Until we get a new computer, there may be few pictures and possibly the posts my be sporatic. But dont' worry, we're alive and I'll be frantically scurrying around like I do every day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Runnin' Ragged

I feel like I'm going into warp speed trying to get everything done. Another busy night.

Yesterday was Day Four of Sam's ulcer treatment. He whinnied which was good but barely touched his grain. He did dive into his alfalfa. Tonight, we'll see how things go. I'm afraid he's losing weight... and fast.

The farrier is coming out tonight to try it again with Rabbit. That old mare knows how to work the system. I haven't done much with her to get her over her naughty habit. I was supposed to work with her for a week or so (whoops).

If Rabbit behaves, we'll work on her. Then there's Skippy. We're also going to try Rain and Zeke. They are both getting a little wonky. Hopefully Zeke won't be spooky. He was last time. I want to get Ivan in but he's really naughty so I need to start working with him, along with Chaos and Maverick. So many horses, so little time.

While the farrier is here, I'll try to see how much alfalfa I can stuff into Sam. I'm really worried about him. Tonight will be day five of ulcer treatments. I hope they finally start working. I think they are but it's a slow process. I wish I would have caught it sooner.

I won't be arond much the rest of the week so no pictures unless I go through the archive. With Mike down with a cold and Sam down with a flareup of ulcers I feel like I'm running ragged to get everything done. There's a saddle club meeting tomorrow where I get to try and schedule some time for group riding/showmanship lessons. I plan on taking either Maverick or Chaos to the lessons. What better way to promote rescue than use a rescue horse! Hopefully by this weekend I'll be able to take a breath and enjoy the horses once again (and get current pics)