Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday Pics

Flower seems to be doing better. I added a pic of her when we first brought her home. I need to get an updated pic to see if there's any progress. While I was waiting for Sam to eat his nightly grain, I decided to throw a bridle on Rain and putter around the pasture. He did surpringly well for having not been on him in months.

I'll leave you pictures from awhile ago. I need to get new pics soon.

Chaos and Rain


Rain with Chaos behind him.

Flower - and no the the pic doesn't lie. Her ankle is goofy. As long as she stays to a walk, she seems to be fine. Anything more and she limps. Not sure how she ever managed to be a riding horse. I'm hoping that the next pic of Flower will show that she's gained at least some weight.

Data Dump #2

I don't know how we are supposed to go from a high of 91 on Thursday to a low of 63 Thursday night. That's a pretty big temperature change. I expect I'll be on colic patrol for sure Thursday evening into Friday morning. The weatherman did mention that after our heat wave Wednesday and Thursday, he expects a major cool down. I guess we will be enjoying fall come this Friday.

Fall. I love fall but I hate what follows it. I'm dreading the thought of winter this year. I don't have anything ready. My haybarn is empty except for a few round bales to get me through September and October. My big squares are sitting in Madison but not all of them are baled yet. Nothing like being on pins and needles until the hay is delivered. I'm hoping it gets delivered before harvest begins. And there's still the ugly check I have to write to pay for this year's hay and last year's hay. I shudder at the thought.

We really haven't had much for fog so I don't expect any snow until the Thanksgiving timeframe. We had a little fog one morning last week so I am guessing we'll have an ice storm of some sort at the end of November. I could only hope for an open winter. At this point, I don't know where to put everyone. We have way more horses this year than last so I'm going to have to set up a different winter routine than last year. I'm guessing I'll be doing chores for an hour in the winter and that's without putting everyone in the barn every night. Who knows what chores will be like when I have to deal with subzero temps. Chores already take me a half hour every morning. I guess when winter rears its ugly head, I'll figure something out.

Flower seemed to be doing better this morning although she wasn't 100%. I gave her a half dose of banamine this morning so hopefully that will help some. I need to go in search of sheets. I bought a couple canvas sheets but they don't have legs straps. I've discovered that without leg straps, there's no hope of keeping a blanket or a sheet on a horse that goes down. If the horse doesn't go down often, it should be ok. I prefer not to put sheets/blankets on Queen with leg straps because she HATES HATES HATES them. The only reason I didn't get bit this morning was beause I fed her grain.

I need to get organized enough to find all the blankets and sheets. This spring when I stopped using them, I sort of left them in the building that I took them off in. So now the blankets/sheets are scattered in about four different places and I can't seem to find the ones I'm looking for. I also need to get them all cleaned. Anyone want to join me at the car wash to do some good ol' blanket washing? I need to take an inventory of blankets and sheets. We aren't into the blanket season but I need to make sure I have sheets for both Flower and Queen (even if Queen hates them). Flower is going to have to be blanketed all fall/winter. There's no way she'll gain the weight if she has to deal with any bit of cold. On the bright side, she does stay toasty warm under her canvas sheet. Queen on the other hand I don't think stays warm under a blanket. But at least it keeps the rain off of her. I've also decided that Bo will most likely need to be blanketed most of the winter. The only hitch about blanketing is Maverick. He chews on all of the blankets and puts big holes in them. I will have to pull him out and put him somewhere else when the herd is wearing blankets. I haven't quite figured out where he'll go but I can't have him ruining blankets because he likes to chew on things.

I also need to buy a sheet for Sam. He has a blanket but I want to make sure that he too doesn't have to deal with being wet and trying to dry off and stay warm. I guess there's always something. I'm trying to remember what size he is. I might have a sheet that may be just a little too small. I don't want to do the "big guy in a little coat" senario though.

I'm tossing around the idea of putting Prize up for adoption. It wouldn't be until he's weaned and until he's gelded but I'm wondering if there would be any interest in him. I hate the thought of letting him go but someone could take him far and it would open a spot for an oldster possibly. I don't know, we'll see. I'm still just tossing the idea around.

I have more thoughts bouncing around in my head but I can't seem to have a complete thought to even formulate right now. I was hoping to go to Chamberlain this weekend but I'm thinking it would be in my best interest to stay home and work like crazy on some of my never ending projects that HAVE to be done before winter. Anyone want to help? I pay in food. :-)

Hopefully tonight will be a quiet night so I can get a few things done around the house and the barn. I already have my list written down and it would be nice to start marking some of them off. There's not much daylight in the evenings but I need to take advantage of what little time I have to get as much stuff done as possible.

Home At Last

I had to share this blog post from Home At Last, a California based horse sanctuary. What they said really hit home, it defines Borderlands (the only exception is that we aren't in our 60s). :-) I couldn't have said it any better.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011A sanctuary kind of day
Here, at Home At Last, there is a quiet and peace which is very special. The sanctuary exists to provide a lifetime home for the animals. The daily activities and chores are directed towards this mission. It is not glamorous or romantic work. In fact, it's pretty mundane and dirty. The thing is, without it, these great animals would be dead. Their lives, which they value as much as we value ours, depend on us. That is a big responsibility. We have been asked, "Why would you work so hard and give up so much to take care of a bunch of unwanted, old, injured, abused, starved animals?". Our answer evolved over the years. We used to try to explain or clarify. Now we say, "It's what we do". It's the content of our day. We take care of the herd and it's needs, but it's not a one way street. They meet our needs. Their peace and gentle ways are always there for us. We have a number of our critters literally in the back yard. These are our most needy. These are the ones that have been the most abused or are old or facing lifetime injuries. Because we are constantly with them, among them, they soon accept us. Animals that have not allowed people near them in years soften and trust and quiet. And, so do we. We're in our late 60"s. We've both dodged the bullet a few times. We know this is a short ride. We wouldn't trade what we do for anything else. Some folks say to us , "You sacrifice so much". Our answer, "For us it's an inconvenience, for them it's life or death". It may not be romantic or glamorous, but it sure is special.

Monday, August 29, 2011


I thought it odd when I fed Flower her grain tonight that she would paw at it. Yup, just as I expected, she's colicy. I gave her a dose of banamine and it seems to be working right now. She polished off her grain so she must be feeling ok enough to eat. She also drank some water. I haven't seen her poop and I thought she was passing gas but she was holding her tail like she was trying to pass gas but couldn't. When I checked on her after finishing Sam's evening meal, she was back to normal. In fact, she was a bit ticked that I hadn't given her any beet pulp. I figured I'd hold off on any more grain until tomorrow.

I'm worried though. It's sprinkling right now and I would normally put on her canvas sheet to keep the chill off and the dampness. But because she did go down a couple of times, I can't put the canvas sheet on because there are no leg straps. I can't find the other sheets that have leg straps. I've gotten so scatter brained I can't seem to find anything. So I guess Flower will go without a sheet tonight and hopefully we wont' get alot of rain.

I did put the canvas sheet on Queen and barely avoided getting bitten three times. Queen HATES being blanketed. The only way I can mess with her is when she is eating grain and is distracted. Otherwise, I have to be on my toes. I'm not afraid of Queen, never have been. But she sure makes me nervous when I have to put a blanket on her. She can't warm up once she gets wet. I have to keep her dry because if she gets wet, she doesn't have enough body heat to dry herself out. The low tonight is only supposed to be 62, but that's enough of a chill to make it hard for Queen to warm up. I'll avoid getting bitten tomorrow morning by distracting Queen with grain and wearing a coat for added protection.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the banamine will take care of Flower's colic. Those old girls know how to work through colic. I even saw Flower try to stretch it out so I'm guessing it's a gas bubble that needs to work its way through. But it's still stressful no matter what.

I was running through the gauntlet of things I've done with Flower and there hasnt' been any changes recently. Until I realized that I dewormed her last week with Panacur. Hopefully that's not the cause of her colic but it wouldn't surprise me. Flower was fine this morning and off this evening. She seemed to be doing ok when I checked on her before coming for the night. I guess we'll see how she feels tomorrow morning...seven hours from now.

Midwest Sunset

Caught a beautiful sunset awhile ago and thought I would share. I'm sure you're tired of me rambling on.


I’m hooked on a Canadian-based tv series called Heartland. It’s based on a book called, you guessed it, Heartland. I absolutely love, love, love this tv series. Unfortunately the latest episodes are only broadcast in Canada so I have to not-so-patiently wait for the next series to be released to the states. I have season 1 and 2 and found season 3 (which will be ordered once the vet bills are paid for).

This series touches on horse rescue and slaughter. The fourth episode in season two really hit home about slaughter. I was impressed. I’ll not ruin the storyline but I was impressed that someone would be willing to show the ugly side of the horse industry.

The storyline has girls of Heartland rescuing six horses headed to slaughter but have to pay $2,000. The auction house outright said they want double for the horses. When I heard that amount, I thought it pretty steep price. But then I started doing the math.

If the price was actually $1,000, which is what the auction house is getting paid by the slaughter plant, and there are six horses. The math comes out to $166.67 per horse. Mike was trying to point out that they tried to make the auction guy look like a creep (and he was) but in reality the auction house still has to pay the slaughter plant but I couldn’t figure out the other part of the cost. It’s all business, it’s not emotional to these auction houses. I’ll have to ask Mike how he figures the double price is right. He was looking at it as a business venture and nothing more. But when you get right down to it, less than $200 a piece for a horse is actually the going rate.

I’m glad that they touched on hauling horses in double decker semi-trailers. I don’t know the rules and guidelines for Canada but it was rather impressive that a show would discuss the ugly side to slaughter.

I’m watching the second season again until I can buy the third season. I love watching this series. Anyone interested in a weekly/monthly Heartland Marathon?

Data Dump

We seem to be experiencing internet problems at home. Go figure, it's one more thing that seems to be failing around here. I've got a ton of thoughts bouncing around my head and I swear that each thought richochets off one corner of my head to another corner. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and scatter brained these days. I'll do a massive data dump so you understand why I'm mentally exhausted by the end of the day. Hold on to your socks folks and I'll apologize for not being able to keep a train of thought for more than about 30 seconds.

Where to begin, where to begin.....

The herd at the neighbor's should last for another week. We walked the pasture the last couple of days and I think the grass will hold out for another week. Then we'll have to pull up fence posts and restring the wire. We walked some of the trees and it looks like I could run the horses in the trees for at least a week. I'm hoping for two weeks to keep the pressure off the old pasture for as long as possible. Heck, it's only the end of August (omg) and we are out of pasture pretty much. Anyone want to help restring fence in a week?

While walking fence at the neighbor's Saturday night, I came face to face with a skunk. That's right, a skunk. Luckily he didn't startle and I high tailed it outta there before he could claim his spot on the land. The skunk was gone by the time Mike got over there with his pistol. Yes, we shoot varmits. We don't trap and release. I know some don't agree but those people who trap and dump the animal into the country, you're dumping them into my yard and then I'm stuck dealing with dozens of wild varmits that have diseases and could possibly do harm to the horses.

As it is, we have a fox running around our area. Two nights ago the fox was out in the pasture barking at a cat. It was actually funny to watch him bark. I'ive never seen or heard a fox bark before. He's a little thing with four black socks and he's curious. Mike made some mice noises and the fox came up to investigate (not too close of course). He acted more like a dog than a fox, but rest assured it is a fox. He's been hanging out for the past week now. I've dubbed him Foxy.

We also have bats. It was just one and now we are up to five. Mike is talking about building a bat house. Fine by me. The bats are eating the bugs. I haven't done enough research on bats but they seem to enjoy flying past the yard light when it first comes on to dine on the bugs that are drawn to the lights. It started out with just one and now we are up to five. Wonder where his buddies came from.

I'm worried about Sam. He seems to be losing weight but Mike thinks he looks the same. If that's the case, then he looks tough. I don't think we are to the point were we have to make a decision. It's just going to be a very tough winter for me mentally to figure out his food without causing ulcers. As it is, he's on pasture 24x7 with beet pulp and soaked safe choice. We switched to safe choice because senior sky rocketed. Safe choice is the next best thing and I can actually afford it a little bit better. Remember, I run the sanctuary all through my paycheck and no I don't earn that much, I simply cut out all the fun stuff like trips and far away vacations. If anyone would like to help out with Sam's feed costs over the winter, I'd be more than willing to talk details.

Mike and I also had the conversation about some of the other thin ones. Flower is pretty bad. Mike thinks Flower is the worst we've taken in. I don't think so. She's the most recent thin one so it's mind boggling to see how thin she is and yet she's still standing. We are pumping her full of beet pulp, safe choice, and calf manna (anyone want to donate/sponsor towards her feed?). She also has 24x7 pasture and round bale (anyone want to buy a round bale or two?). I think she's slowly gaining weight after getting her teeth floated but Mike's not sure. He thinks Flower is the worst we've taken in. I think Bo was the worst. He also thinks Savanna was worse than Bo. Had Savanna not been pregnant when we got her, I wonder if she would have been in better shape. She still has a long ways to go. If I could get her into the trailer, I'd haul her to the vet's to get her teeth floated. I'm sure I could pay for the vet to come out but I've had that experience before of floating a horse not in stocks, not pleasant. And not really knowing Savanna very well, I dont' want to risk anyone getting hurt.

We've taken in a lot of thin horses over the years. It would be nice to have a few plump ones come in (although I do have one scheduled to come in sometime in October and who knows what shape she'll be in. I dread the thought since she'll have a baby weaned at that time). We've had: Sam, Bo, Savanna, Flower, Joe, Maverick, Brego, and Ten Man. Because Ten Man was 30+ and had health issues, we gave him the last act of kindness but the others I've brought back using my own methods. We lost Joe but there were a number of health issues for him. The others we still have. Bo is almost up to weight. He should have been up to weight already but it usually takes a good 6 months before they are to the right weight and a full year before they look like they should have when they first came in. Bo was at death's door. Comparing Flower and Bo, Flower is spunky even for as thin as she is. She pushes people around and really lets people have it. That first week we brought Bo home, he was lethargic. He could barely take more than a dozen steps without dragging his feet. Not the case with Flower. I really think Bo would have died in a week or so had he continued with the same ownership. I'll not even begin to touch that topic of Bo and his past.

Mayhem is a doll. Because I have to grain Flower and Queen morning and night, I tie Mayhem up so she doesn't interfere and take all the old mares' food. Mayhem stands tied like she's been doing it for years. She really is an amazing horse. I need to start saving back to get her hernia repaired. I need to take care of it before the cold weather sets in. It was fine last year but with her growth spirt, it appears that the hernia is getting bigger and I want it taken care of soon. Anyone want to donate to her hernia surgery? When I talked with the vet about Mayhem's hernia last year (when I was debating on taking her in), they said that if it was small it might go away or be superficial (like Prince's and Sahara's) but this one is much bigger and requires surgery. Surgery will cost $300-400. I doubt that they would give me a discount either. So I know have to come up with the cash to take care of the hernia before it gets cold. Not sure if subzero temperatures would cause problems or not. I guess I should do some research on that. Oh and I think Mayhem has heaves like her mother. I have a round bale out there for the old mares in hopes that Flower would gain weight but Mayhem is devouring the bale and I think she too has heaves. I need to get Rabbit on medicine but haven't had time to sit down and actually order the meds. I guess I'll be ordering additional meds for Mayhem.

I feel bad that I'm always messing with Mayehem and not doing anything with Sahara. I think she really needs to be handled daily like I do Mayhem. It seems Sahara is really getting shafted in life. I actually haven't spent any time with the horses in the blind pen. Luckily Mike goes in and checks on them but as long as they have food and water, I don't really do anything with them and I need to be. Everyone else gets more one on one time and the blind pen doesn't. I feel bad for not alloting more time to them, because they really need it too. Anyone want to spend some one on one time with Sahara. She halters and leads but I really want to get her more comfortable with people. She's still skeptical of people but I don't blame her because I'm not around much to do anything.

I did worm Sahara and Flower with Panacur. Hopefully that will help with their weight. Sahara went downhill. I should have wormed Sahara sooner but I wasn't sure how she would take it or if her legs would hold up. Her legs dont' seem to be giving her too many problems but she's also on a drylot that is fairly soft. There needs to be no concrete for that girl.

I keep thinking about that feedlot in Mitchell. I can't sit on my perch and preach to the world without doing something. Now that I know there's a feedlot, I have to do something. I can't just sit here with the knowledge that horses are being fattened up and shipped to slaughter and it's taking place just an hour away from Borderlands. I can't sit on my hands and do nothing. I'm looking for suggestions on how to approach the situation. I'm maxed out but I need to do something. I'll take any suggestions or ideas. There are no bad ideas.

Speaking of ideas, I keep thinking I should pose the question, what do you want to see of Borderlands? I try to give everyone an update but maybe there's something more or different that you'd like to hear or see from Borderlands. I can't offer much more than I already do since I'm the primary caregiver of all 23 horses but if there is something small I could do, I'd be intersted to hear what you'd like to see. I was tossing around the idea of an open house but that idea went out the window for this fall. It's alreayd August 29th. I'm at least three months behind. It should be June 29th instead of August! I need a week straight to work on projects outside. Anyone willing to come and help? I promise I won't even stick you with anything you don't want to and I'll pay you in food!

Ok, I know there is so much more to ramble on about but the paying job becons. Hopefully I didn't overhwhelm you too bad.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chores in the Dark

I fell asleep on the couch tonight so I was late in getting out to do chores. As it is, we're waiting for the water tote to finish filling for the blind pen. We spent the last hour of chores in the dark. I'm already tired of chores in the dark and we haven't even started winter chores.

I'll leave you with pictures from the herd at the neighbor's.

Brego, Ivan, and Sam

Rain being a goofball.

Rain covered in cockleburs.

Dude and Rain waiting for the water tank to fill.

Dude impatiently waiting for the water tank to fill after moving to the new pasture.

Cocklebur City

The neighbor's pasture is full of cockleburs. Now that they are in the new pasture, we have to deal with the other type of cockleburs (those sharp pointy cockleburs). Everyone is full of cockleburs. I need to see what the other gelding herd looks like for cockleburs. I think the bottom of our pasture is full of those icky sharp pointy cockleburs too.

So instead of playing/riding with horses, I'll be standing around pulling cockleburs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

October Auctions

Drat. The Sioux Falls Regional Livestock sale barn is having a horse auction Saturday October 15th. Mitchell Livestock will be having an auction sometime in October too although I don't know the date yet. I'm worried about these auctions. Fall is the time people cull their horses before winter really hits. It's the perfect time to swoop in and get a lot of plump horses for slaughter. I'm worried. Especially because we've had two bad winters in a row. Will people be willing to hold on to their horses for another winter and ride out whatever Mother Nature sends our way?

The other drat to the Sioux Falls Regional sale is that I'm supposed to go on a trail ride. I might see if I can't do some wheeling and dealing to move the ride. Otherwise, I guess my butt will be in a bleacher instead of in a saddle. Even though we are full to the brim, I still need to be there. Even though I can't do a darn thing, I still need to be there even just to report prices and remember the horses that run through.

I really hate auctions. Now, if we could fundraise to pull one or two to rehome, I'd be all about it. But I'm not sure what everyone thinks about that prospect. Going in to winter, the horse might be here for a long time and we would need sponsors until the horse found an approved home. I don't have the numbers crunched yet on what it takes to sponsor a horse. I was following Rosemary Farm's theory of $5 but that adds up to $150 a month. I guess spread over the entire year, that's about right what with vet bills, farrier bills, and feed bills. But some have higher/more expenses than others so the cost might not actually be as high while others might be much higher. I'm going to try and crunch some numbers this weekend to see what it would cost to sponsor a horse without any ailments.

The horse itself will probably be about $100 (if that) at an auction but then there will be feed and possibly medical. I'd prefer to run the horses through a vet for an initial eval but my pocket book isn't deep enough right now to do that. Most that I bring home, simply need food and dentist work.

I'd appreciate any brainstorming ideas on what Borderlands can do to pull one or two horses from the upcoming fall auctions. Please spread the word. There's diamonds in those loose horse pens. They just need time and a bit of polishing to really make them shine.

Morning Monologue

I was late to take care of the horses at the neighbor's pasture last night because of drill team practice. I think they formed a plan through the night to try and tease me for being late. When I pulled in the driveway I saw a head pop out of the trees and I do believe I heard some snickering.

Dude: "SShhhhhhhhh She's coming, everyone QUIET!"

Rain: "Snicker, snicker. She'll never see us in these trees. It's easy for us bays, browns, and blacks to hide in the shadows of the trees. Sorrells, you stick to the back shadows. Now she'll feel bad for not coming to check on us earlier yesterday."

Dude: "Ivan!, stop swishing your tail. She'll see you! Darn Thoroughbred is going to ruin all our fun."

Ivan: "I can't help it. There's a fly on my butt!"

Brego: "Yeah, he's got a fly on his butt! Can I swish my tail?"

Dude: "Sigh, no Brego. You need to keep your tail still too."


And then Sam proceeded to come out of the trees and head straight for me. I took some of his food away last night because I wanted to go home. We had major lightening to the north and I wanted to get chores finished up before a storm hit (which never did). I'm guessing Sam thought he was going to finish his grain and beet pulp from last night. Silly Belgian. I'll feed you extra tonight to make up for being late and rushing you.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Pasture and Broken Water Tank

Gorgeous weekend but I didn't even get to sneak a ride in. Instead we ran to town to buy grain on Saturday because it was on sale. I guess you have to spend money to save money. We moved horses on Sunday. The neighbor's pasture was about done so we reset the posts and wire to the other side and the horses are happily eating the lush grass. Unfortunately something happened to the 100 gallon water tank. We had it completely full but when we went to set the water tote up, the tank was half empty. We knew the horses had been thirsty but didn't think they were that thirsty. About 75 gallons later, we realized the tank had a crack so we went in search of another tank to fill instead. We also unloaded the five round bales from the trailer so we can have the flatbed back. I have to take the big slant load trailer to tomorrow's drill team practice as the stock trailer is 3/4 full of wood pallets we'll use for the hay.

It's been a busy weekend. I'll leave you with just a few pictures from today as the horses enjoyed their new pasture.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pasture Time

Before we left for vacation, we had half the big herd at the neighbors. When we returned, I took some of the horses back. Unfortunately, that pasture is only going to handle two weeks total. I guess I'll be changing fencing around to use the other half of the pasture I'm allowed this weekend.

I'm hoping that the horses can be there for another two weeks. The second pasture I'll fence in is a bit smaller. It's a bit of a worry having the horses over there but I'll sure feel better knowing that they are fat and happy. I'm still worried about Sam's weight but I've started him on his nightly grain mash of beet pulp and safe choice all soaked. I need to order gastroguard so that I have it on hand when Sam's ulcer flairs up. I'd like to be proactive on it so I want to do a tube just for maintenance now that he's back on grain.

The following are pictures from the first time the herd was at the neighbor's. It doesn't look this good now. Amazing what six horses will do to a pasture. Unfortunately the pasture is full of cockleburs. The neighbor wanted me to fence off the trees too but there's even more cockleburs and the horses are already covered in cockleburs.

Blanket Season Around The Corner

Flower is so thin. Queen has a hard time warming up. I just checked the weather and we have a 70% chance of rain from 7pm to 1am. Do I throw waterproof sheets over those two old girls to protect them? It's only supposed to get down to 64 degrees.

We are still in the middle of summer in the midwest but I worry so much about those two old girls. I don't know if Flower is going to make if if she doesn't start putting on some weight. Queen is starting to show her age too. I had so hoped to have her around for another summer. But I should be happy with the few years we've had together. I can't imagine what her life would have been like had she not come to Borderlands. I imagine that people would have tried to use her as a riding horse until they realized how old she was, then off to an auction to try it again with another family. Or tried to breed her and when she came up open, they'd send her to an auction. I can't remember now how many years we've been blessed to care for her. But we are guessing she's around 33 years old. She deserves a retirement and that's exactly what she got. I only wish others could be so lucky.

It shouldn't be the season for blankets and worrying about temperatures just yet. But with Flower's condition, I worry. We've had her for exactly one month and she still hasn't picked up any weight. She's now eating some of the round bale hay and I'm not seeing any wads of hay like I did with Dick. Hopefully the teeth float did her some good. I'm guessing she'll be on a grain diet. I'm pumping her full of beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, safe choice (step down from senior because of the cost), and calf manna all soaked into a mash. We'll see if that concotion works for her. I might throw in some oats to see if her body is processing the grains correctly. Otherwise, I'll have a decision to make soon.

So, go give your horse a great big hug, a peck on the cheek for me, and tell them you love them. Everyone needs a little lovin' time because you never know how long your loved ones will be around.

I also want to give a HUGE THANK YOU to the Lambertz Family (D and M especially) for donating blankets to the Borderland horses. I can't wait to try them on. Hopefully we won't have a rough winter but if we do, the horses will be prepared. Thank you so much for your generous donation. I wouldn't be able to do it without your support. Thank you a million times over.

A Must Read

An eye opening reality for OTTBs.


Wordless Thursday

What are you looking at?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two Minneapolis Craigs List Ads

Someone scoop this pretty girl up in the Minneapolis area.


Great Trail Horse - $200 (Stacy)

Date: 2011-08-17, 2:21PM CDT
Reply to: sale-p7xgm-2551950577@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

I need to sell my Morgan Mare to downsize. She is in her 20's and is ready to hit the trails! I have two young kids and no time nor money for her.

Uuugh. Horses are a commitment people.
2 shetland stud pony's must go asap (Hinckley)

Date: 2011-08-17, 3:30PM CDT
Reply to: sale-ad86k-2552090701@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

These guys are around 8 years old, they must go today or tomarrow, they are great pasture mates, never been handled outside of being stud's, verry beautiful horses but we just dont have the time to work with them as much as they need it, unbroke completely! To good home only, they can be seperated infact it might be a good thing to have them seperated, these are pretty much wild horses but could be excellent drivers or just studs, they are in a trailer and ready to move to your trailer, come get them asap, please!
I just dont have the housing or means to contain these guys, I recieved them on a labor trade thinking they might be easier to work with than they are! One is black and the other is blonde, both healthy and verry strong, verry muscular ponys to say the least and would look excellent pulling a cart!

Call only please, I dont get to my e-mail verry often and I am working in the yard without the computer strapped to my back!

General Thoughts

The last few days I've been wrapped up in other activities so I've only done daily chores and that's it. Last night I had to do chores at the neighbor's in the dark. Luckily the yard light works and the moon was out. Having the horses at the neighbor's is a godsend and a worry. I don't like having them in only one strand of electric. Too many things could go wrong. So every morning bright and early I'm over to check on them and one of the last things I do at night is check on the herd to make sure everyone is fine. It's so relaxing to watch the horses. Having the big herd split really has made a difference. Everyone is much more relaxed. I'll be bummed when we have to put them all back together again.

This morning I let Tommy and Skippy out on the lawn as their tree pasture is eaten down. Skippy ran laps for a solid five minutes. He must have had a plan because he'd race a cross the pasture and then stop, turn around, and race back. He did this three or four times and each time he started off running he'd let out a few big bucks for good measure.

I'm hoping tonight to unload the round bales we picked up from our second hay supplier before we left on vacation. There's been no time to do any extra chores lately so I'm behind. I also got a call saying that 70 of my big square bales are stacked and ready for delivery. I didn't get ahold of my hay guy soon enough to tell him that I needed an additional 30 big squares to ensure everyone gets food this winter. If I remembered correctly, they are going to bale up those bales this afternoon and hopefully get them undercover before we get rain tonight. It'll be a relief to have our winter supply of hay tarped and ready. I'm not looking forward to paying the bill. We pay a bit more for our hay and could go somewhere cheaper but we get cheap delivery and the quality is outstanding. We pay $100 a ton. The round bales from our other hay supplier is $80 a ton but we have to pick up, otherwise delivery would drive the price up I'm guessing to almost that $100 mark. I also have to pay last year's hay bill of 70 bales at $100 a ton. Add to that the alfalfa at $3.50 a bale for the 100 bales I ordered and an additional 25 bales at $3.50 due to a miscommunication. I'm looking at about $450 in alfalfa alone. Two years worth of hay, I'm guessing will be close to $10,000. Yup, my stomach did a flipflop too when I heard that number. Hopefully my math is totally off on that number but I'm betting not.

I need to run to Campbell Supply and Tractor Supply at the end of this week. We were in last week and saw that grain was on sale. I want to stock up now that the humidity is out of the air. I have to spend money to save money I guess. But I'd rather buy extra grain on sale than to buy grain at full price. I would much rather go to our local co-op but I can't seem to find the time to call and get prices. I know a couple different co-ops take in orders from other stables so it wouldn't be that difficult to add to their list. But again, I can't seem to find the time to make that little call (and I can't hear very well so phone conversations are tough for me). Anyone want to do me a huge favor and call to get prices?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Two Thoughts

I've had two thoughts running through my head for the past couple of days.

The first is that I don't know if Flower is going to make it. I've changed her feeding program so that she gets grain mash twice a day (and so does Queen but she's not in as rough a shape). I also plunked a round bale in the pasture last night. I don't know if there is any decent grass left in that pasture so I figure I'll see if they go after the round bale. They didn't touch it last night but this morning all three mares were hoverng around it. I think maybe they were using the bale as a pillow rather than as dinner. We've had Flower for a month and I've seen no weight gain. I'll keep plugging along at trying to increase her weight but that terrible thought is now in the back of my mind.

The second is Savanna. I simply don't know what to do with her. My last option is a cribbing muzzle. I will order one tonight. I have to electric fence any piece of wood I don't want her to crib on but there's only so much I can fence off. She'll even crib a corner of a building if she wants. She should be in a pasture that's all electric. Ideal but not feasible. If she cribs through the muzzle or breaks it, I'm not sure what my options are. Who wants a grade five year old broodmare that has no riding education that cribs like it's going out of style? I now totally understand why Savanna was at the auction. She cribbed right through 30 year old gear oil, although I didn't paint it on thick but it was slathered on. I think she licked that nasty stuff off. If I could find some peppermint spray and coat the fence with that I might be able to keep a rail or two. It wouldn't be so bad but I have "monkey see, monkey do" horses. Rain and Maverick are watching her and they are now starting to pick up on that bad habit. Luckily Rain is at the neighbors and away from the bad influence. Maverick is a closet cribber anyway but he's out in the pasture away from Savanna. I need to keep Savanna far, far away from those two otherwise I'll be fighting a losing battle. I'm at whits ends and almost in tears. I hate to even say it, but Savanna needs to find a new home. Once Prize is weaned, I'll be heavily promoting Savanna. The problem is I'm up front with all her bad habits and who wants a bad cribber. But she is a good horse. In my irritation I tightened her cribbing collar and she simply stood there while I tugged on everything. Maybe if she had a special someone to love on her, dote on her, and treat her like the princess she is buried way down deep maybe then she'd slow down on the cribbing. But as it stands, the cribbing seems to be getting worse, not better.

Maybe I'm obtuse and shouldn't admit it but is heaves hereditary? We put that round bale out for Flower and Queen but Mayhem is in with the old mares. I have to tie Mayhem up while the old girls eat their morning and evening grain mash meals. While Mayhem is tied, she coughs. Not exactly sure what that's all about. But Mayhem's momma, Rabbit, has heaves. She's ok now while out in pasture and off grain. But with the round bale in front of Mayhem's nose all the time, I'm not sure if that's the cause for the coughing or if I just need to move the mares off the road pasture. It's yet another thought to ponder.

Enumclaw Auction Experience

A good blog post about the Enumclaw auction in Washington state.


I honestly don't know if I could handle going to auctions like Enumclaw, New Holland, Shipshawanee, or Sugar Creek. I have a hard enough time with the few in this area.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Day In The Life...

This weekend didn’t go as planned. The death of the washer and drier changed a lot of what I had planned. But even the replanned weekend changed. Here’s a rundown of what we did this weekend. It might help explain my exhaustion every night.

We made arrangements for the farrier to come out Saturday morning to do a couple trims. I’d asked the farrier to bring the big draft nippers. There’s no way we will ever be able to get Thor into a chute and trim his feet. We could get him into the chute but he would get too upset when trying to work on his feet. Instead, the old fashioned draft nippers would be the route to go to keep him calm. We scheduled the farrier visit for 9am sharp.

At 8:30 I was out rounding up horses for the farrier. I had Dude, Zeke, and Ivan tied to the trailer. I was doing chores with the farrier pulled in at 9am sharp. From 9 until almost noon we diligently worked away at horses. Dude and Zeke we did the normal way. I haven’t worked with Ivan enough and we decided that instead of risking it, we’d use the big nippers. When we got Ivan, we were told that when they had their farrier out, Ivan had slipped and fallen on some ice in the barn so they weren’t sure how he would react. Ivan doesn’t like having his feet picked up. It’s something I need to work on in my limited time. But for now the big nippers will do. We also tackled Rabbit’s feet. The farrier believes that Rabbit foundered at one time. If he could get in and trim the proper way, he could get the flare fixed. Unfortunately, Rabbit knows how to work the system and none of us are willing to get hurt simply to do a trim. So we used the nippers method. I’ll continue to work with Rabbit in holding her legs but she’s a stinker. She really does know how to work the system. Last but not least we tackled Thor’s feet. We’ll do another round next month. With him going blind, I didn’t know what to do with his feet. But now we have the method of using the big nippers and that seemed to do the trick. Thor stayed calm the entire time and no one got hurt.

I needed a break after the farrier left. I’ve managed to mess up my back again doing who knows what so I needed a little bit of time to sit. We were running low on grain so in to town we went. We were in town from 1:30pm to 6:00pm and we only hit three stores, Tractor Supply, Campbell Supply, and Menards. Luckily we hit some grain sales. Hopefully I can sneak back in this week and pick up more. I figured we might as well save a few bucks and stock up now that we hopefully won’t be experiencing any more humidity.

At 7pm I headed out the door to do some chores. Before we left on our family vacation, I’d hauled the horses back to the big pasture. I wanted to haul horses back to the neighbors so we loaded up Jim, Maverick, Rain, and Chaos. I figured I would take the first four that came up to me. Big mistake. Maverick hasn’t been to the neighbor’s since he was three. Maverick ran, and ran, and ran, and ran, and ran…..and ran. We filled the water tank and decided to go back for two more. I did some chores while we filled the water tote and haltered Ivan and Brego. We loaded in the dark but those boys behaved like champs. Hard to imagine that last year when we picked Brego up from the trainers he wouldn’t load and Sat night he loaded in the back of the trailer with just the yardlight to see by. We dropped Ivan and Brego off and Maverick was still running everyone around. I wouldn’t have minded but there was one strand of fence. Not enough to keep horses in as far as I’m concerned. We went home and finished up chores and I ran back to the neighbors to see if they’d calmed down. Nope. So I caught Dude and hauled him over and did a swap out with Maverick. By then it was 11pm. We took the trailer back home and I went back to the neighbors to make sure everyone one settled for the night. We finally got in the house at almost midnight. By the time I sat down in the recliner my legs ached. I wear steel toed shoes to protect my feet on the off chance a horse steps on them. The only downside is that steels are heavy and tromping in steels all day sometimes wears me out.

I wanted to sleep in. I wanted to not wake up until noon. But that didn’t happen. I did get to sleep in a little bit but was worried about the horses. I puttered around in the morning and then headed over to check on everyone. Good thing I did. The fencer had fallen over during the night and ripped the ground wire off so the one strand of electric wasn’t even on. I’d pulled fly masks off Saturday and by the time I got there Sunday late morning the horses were covered in flies. So I grabbed the fencer and flew home and have Mike fix the fencer and grab some fly spray. We raced back and got the fencer hooked back up and I was in with the horses putting fly spray on when I had my next panic moment.

The fence wasn’t on at the time. I saw Chaos test the fence. I was putting fly spray on Dude when I noticed everyone staring at the corn field. Next thing I saw was a brown butt. Crap and double crap. Jim scooted under the fence and was loose. Normally not a big deal but Jim in notorious for being hard to catch. My worse fears flashed before my eyes. A loose horse in a corn field. I’d never be able to catch him and he’d eat himself sick. Jim saw me approach so he took a hard left and headed down the driveway. I started walking briskly and told Mike to get the car. We watched Jim go down the driveway and then I lost sight of him. I figured Jim had taken the driveway and was headed south. Mike saw him first. Jim was down in the neighbor’s low area headed for our place. Jim popped out onto the road and was walking home. I hopped in the car and we started following. I was petrified that a car would come over the hill at warp speed like the typically do on our road and hit Jim. Talk about nerve wracking. Had I known what Jim was going to do and know that no cars would come over the hill, I would have enjoyed watching Jim step through his gaits. He’s a beautiful mover. Let me say he has some gorgeous knee action when he flies. We got behind Jim but once Jim noticed we were behind, he took off at a gallop. Luckily he galloped up the road and took a hard right up our driveway. I’d taken his buddy away Saturday night and didn’t think that Jim would be all that upset. Guess he was. Teach me not to take best friends when I switch pastures. Luckily we were able to catch Jim once he was near the barn. I put him in the big pasture and haven’t spoken to him since.

Meanwhile, Sam spent all of Sunday whinnying. None stop. When chore time rolled around I gave him his grain and decided it was time to risk it and take Sam over. Sam would whinny and then Dude would whinny. I was already on pins and needles having horses in a pasture with one strand of electric and the whinnying, normally enjoyable, just caused me more stress. The minute we unloaded Sam and put him in the pasture everyone calmed down. No whinnying, no running the pastures, no testing the fence, no nothing. Guess that’ll teach me. Dude has a particular herd group and I didn’t have all of his members. Talk about herd dynamics.

I’m sure we did more Sunday but the rest is a blur. We didn't get accomplished two activities we had planned. As it was, we didn’t get in from chores Sunday night until 9:30pm. We'll tackle those tonight because it HAS to get done. I try not to over emphasize my exhaustion but at least this gives you a clue as to our daily activities.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Murphy Returns

It appears as though Murphy has returned to Borderlands. It was a good run while he was gone. In the past week, both the washer and drier died. The drier died with two loads ready to go. They are now together in greener pastures, or wherever washers and driers go. I haven't been able to muster opening the latest vet bill. It's going to be high, that's all I can guarantee. To be blunt, Dick's euthanasia didn't go as smoothly as I'd hoped, so I'm not sure if that will be added to the price or not. I'll refrain from giving details, but least to say it was emotionally and financially rough on me. I couldn't bring myself to look at the bill just yet. Added to that bill is the cost of Thor's adventures with a fence post and his face. I like to think I have a fairly strong stomach but I was nauseaus after seeing that cut. I also have to put in my order of hay for this winter. Add to it the expense of last year's hay that I still have to pay for. Maybe it's not Murphy visiting. Maybe it's Reality biting me in the butt. I've had to cancel all fun outtings for the next couple of months much to my dismay and to others irritation. In most cases my word is good. But when Murphy or Reality rears their ugly head, I have no choice but to abandon all hope of doing anything but the mundane. That also means that I have to go back on my word. Vet bills and household bills come first before play. Someone mentioned that I was burning the candle at both ends. I believe that person was right. I'm currently focused only on the day at hand. Too many things can happen in 24 hours. It makes planning anything difficult but when I can't even see tomorrow, there's no hope of me planning for anything more than hour by hour. Unfortunately I'm focused on the here and now and it takes me a long time to realize that what someone has said will affect the future. I'll be the first to admit that I am a slow thinker and it takes me awhile to realize what ramifications will occur to these changes. I know change is supposed to be good but when I only have time to focus on one emergency, anything else is lost in the weeds until I'm standing in the weeds dealing with the next emergency.

I'm going offline again for awhile. We had a family vacation for a few days but apparently Reality and Murphy took up residence while I was away and now I need to gather my wits and focus on the next emergency I'm faced with. Reality and Murphy are bringing me down and I don't want to bring anyone else down. If you need anything, I'll be around but I won't be blogging much for the next while until I can recover from Reality and Murphy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Help For Secret Weapon aka Levi

Can anyone help this gorgeous Thoroughbred?

I have a 10 yr old 16h OTTB that I've owned for 6 years. He is in good condition, very friendly, active, and LOVES people. He was put on the back burner for a couple of years due to my client and competition horses. Unfortunately, when I brought him back to work we encountered soundness issues. He is 100% sound in the pasture, but very short in the left front undersaddle. I have had multiple vets look at him and they are unsure of what is causing it. He flexes completely sound and does not palpate sore anywhere in his body. The next step is a bone scan. I cannot invest that much money in a diagnostic test and am looking to find a home for him. When he was going undersaddle he was schooling 1st level dressage and jumping around small (2'6") courses. Can you help me place him? If you cannot help personally, do you have any suggestions?

Secret Weapon (Levi) is a 10 year old 16 hand registered off the track thoroughbred gelding. He is 100% sound and comfortable in the pasture, but is unsound undersaddle. He has been ridden and shown in the past. We have had multiple vets, farriers, chiropractors, and massage therapists look at him. None of them have provided a permanent solution. Therefore, he is just suitable as a companion horse right now. He is an incredibly sweet and personable horse. He comes running when you call him in from the pasture. Will let you love on him all day long. Loves treats and LOTS of attention. Easy to load/tie/crosstie/clip/etc. He is the clown of the barn and loves to play (with anything!). He is well-behaved in the stall and in the pasture. He can be turned out with mares and geldings.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Goodbye My Sweet Percheron

Goodbye my sweet Dick. Even though you were only here for less than five months, you will always be a huge part of our lives at Borderlands. We miss you already.

I hope you find your teammate, Don, and enjoy the greener pastures. May we meet again some day.

I am going off line for awhile. I need time for my hurting heart.