Sunday, October 30, 2011

Picture Sunday

Figured you were all tired of listening to me ramble on about stuff so instead I'll leave you with pictures.


Sahara - look she does stand tied...or about 30 seconds at a time.

Thor enjoying his grain mash

Babe - girl after my own heart. This girl loves her grain mash as much as I love my chocolate.

Babe - her age is showing a little bit but she's still a tough cookie.


Sahara watching Thor and Babe eat

Prince and Sahara

Prince - he's such a looker

Prince - he's definitely a Prince Charming

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fog Prediction

Mike said the awful word last night. Scared the dickens out of me. Wanna know what that word was? Starts with an S and ends with a W.

His fog prediction says we are to get precipe/snow November 5th. I missed that bit of fog, thinking it would either be rain or just a dusting of snow. I'm not ready. The last time I thought we were to get precipe/snow the first part of November was a La Nina and there was no way to track the snow. I'm hoping that it's an El Nino and I'll just suffer with a bit of snow if we are to get snow next weekend.

Maybe the snow will stay in other states or the precip will go to states that depserately need it. I can't imagine snow right now. The yard is still a mess and I'm just not ready (insert temper tauntrum).

I expect it'll snow next weekend though. Why you ask? Because Mike is taking a well deserved vacation over November 5th and it'll just be me, the horses, the dogs, and the barn cats over the weekend. So, not really "alone." The plow is finally ready for some action, although I hope there isn't much snow to push. But I would rather be too prepared than not prepared enough.

I'm hoping to sit down and mark the calendar a little closer. Mike was keeping a better watch than me apparently. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it'll only be a rain shower instead of snow. I still have fencing to finish and blankets to wash and mend. The blankets pretty much sat wherever I took them off last spring, thinking I would get to washing, reparing, and waterproofing long before winter rolled around again. Guess not.

On the bright side, we haven't really had any more fog lately. So from what I can tell, there's no major snow storms set in motion until February. Somehow I think this is a La Nina year. Anyone else a nerd like myself and track weather through old wives tales? I'd love to hear your predictions for this winter.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wednesday Ramblings

Surprisingly enough, I don't have much to ramble on about. I did finally find the camera and snapped a few pictures last night before we lost all light. It's so hard to get anything done outside now that the days are getting shorter. I don't even want to think about the time change coming soon. I'll be doing all my chores in the dark after the time change. There's about a month where I don't get to see the horses in the daylight except on the weekends.

The only bright side to the shorter days is that I can be inside earlier. Inside earlier means to bed earlier too! I tend to sleep more during the winter months. And when I say sleep more, I mean get close to my needed eight hours of sleep.

I hope once winter sets in I can start doing some of the necessary paperwork to take the sanctuary from private to non-profit. If anyone wants to help or has some good ideas, please let me know. I'm really at a loss and would be ever in someone's gratitude if they wanted to help me out. If we finally become non-profit, I could do more with pulling horses from auctions. Surprisingly pushing papers really could help save a life.

I did hear a nasty rumor that we will have a "wetter winter" or something along those lines. You know what that means? Snow, snow, and more snow. I hope the rumor isn't true and we have an easy winter. If we have another bad winter, I''m afraid of what will happen to so many horses. Of coures I like to spoil the herd here with a warm stall and a blanket. I've been keeping a close tab on fog/precipe but so far the only precipe I have marked on the calendar is for the very end of November. I hope it's a El Nino type of year so the old wives tale of 90 days from fog holds true. If it's a La Nina, we are up a creek without a paddle.

I'm still in the middle of trying to get everything ready for winter. We still have SO much to get done before the ground freezes and the first snow flies. I'm going to be working like a madwoman. If anyone wants to come out and help, just tell me when and I'll have a project ready and waiting for you. I have lots of different projects to choose from. The help is always needed and always, always appreciated.

Old Girls

Those mares love their evening meal. I'd compare their love of grain to my love of chocolate!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spittin' Fire

Poor Babe. She likes her pen quiet with no drama. She hasn't gotten a quiet day in a while. When Thor went blind, we messed Babe's world up by putting those two together. I've since had to rearrange living arrangements much to Babe's dismay. Hopefully things will settle down after a little while and Babe can go back to enjoying her drama free days.

We put a round bale in the blind pen Sunday night. It's not net wrapped so the horses pull half the bale out onto the ground. I was in the pen scooping it up and tossing it over for the big herd (who think they are starving). Thor and Babe were rather disgusted with me. They thought it was grain time. I kept telling them they had to wait but they wouldn't listen.

While I was scooping up hay, something got into Sahara. I have no idea what. Apparently no one has ever told her that her front legs are croocked and that she should take it easy. She took off like a bolt of lightening, racing around the pen. She was running and bucking for the pure joy of it.

Of course, that commotion got Babe into a tizzy. It also set Prince off. He started loping around with his head held high and his tail outstretched (boy is he a looker when he does that). Any time Sahara would take off with lightening speed across the pen, Prince would lope or trot around. At one point both Sahara and Prince were bucking around the pen. Poor Babe. She hates all that commotion.

It was fun to watch Sahara feeling good. She was running and bucking and farting all around the pen. Putting the young ones in with the old sort of tones down their spunk but it sure didn't have that affect on Sahara. It's probably a good thing that no one told her that her legs aren't straight. It sure didn't stop her from a full gallop around the pen. She'd always stop close to Thor. She must find comfort in Thor. That or Thor was her stopping spot for racing around the pen.

Prince looked gorgeous trotting around the pen with his tail out (makes his tail even more luxurious). I was surprised to see him let out a few bucks but apparently he was feeling good last night too. I sometimes forget that he's only 5 years old. He'll stand tied while I feed Thor and Babe and the only thing he does is paw every once in a while and tries to untie himself.

The other day, while Prince was standing tied, King came over and started harrassing Prince. Then it dawned on me, we have two paints one named King and one named Prince. Thought it was rather a neat idea. So now we have a Queen, King, and Prince. Never knew we'd have royalty. At one time we had a Queen, King, and Ace! I don't play poker but it sure felt like we had a full house.

Luckily both Sahara and Prince settled down after just a short time and Babe was able to back to a less drama filled pen. And to not forget Thor, he could have cared less about all the commotion. He just stood their searching for his grain dish. That boy may have lost his sight but he now has a better sense of smell. I did think it very cute to watch Sahara race around the pen and go straight to Thor, like Thor was the "safe zone". Rather cute.

That Sahara. She sure was spitting fire last night.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Have I ever mentioned what an awesome horse Bo is?

I have been itching to get on him for awhile now (although I still haven't ridden him yet). I decided I would see how he would react to being saddled and bridled on Friday. He's always so anxious when I tie him to the trailer but he stood while I pulled cockleburs out of his mane.

I went slow and let him sniff the saddle pad and went even slower with the saddle. I know he's been ridden as the previous, previous owner came up to me at the auction to tell me a little about him and that she said he's fast (which means she rode him).

I took him out after saddling him and lunged him both directions. This boy is AMAZING. He knows how to lunge both directions and stops after a loud "whoa".

I decided I'd push my luck with a bridle. Here in lies the problem. He's really hard to bridle. I just threw Maverick's D-ring snaffle and know for a fact that a snaffle wont' work on that boy! He didn't seem too responsive while I was on the ground after getting the bridle on. Now, getting the bridle on was another story. He slammed my arm in to the trailer. He's definitely mouthy when it comes to a bridle. I'll have to experiement on what type of bit will actually work with him. He's going to have a lot of "get up and go". I want to make sure I have a soft landing spot if his "get up and go" takes me for a ride.

But I think Bo is ready for some riding time. He's still thinner than I like, but he'll always be a harder keeper because of his metapolism. Now if I could just get brave enough to swing a leg up and over him.

Weekend Activity

Saturday Mom, Dad, and Grandma came down to help around the place. Last winter we had a fence break in the drylot. Mike and I cobbled it together and with no horses pushing on the fence, it held. Knowing that those boys are going to be pushing on the fence because there are girls on the other side, that fence won't hold. So Saturday we dug holes.

I had thought I could hand dig the holes earlier in the week. Nope. We are talking clay. There's no amount of hand digging gonna happen to get through a layer of solid clay. We spent all afternoon digging five holes. Luckily Dad's quick eye saw the bolt about to come undone on the two-man auger before we sheared off another pin and had to dig the auger out of the ground (speaking from experience, digging an auger out of a hole is no fun).

I played my weiny card after two holes. Dad took over my spot while Mike had to dig all five holes. We could/should have dug two more to have all the same types of posts but there are two railroad ties that are pretty solid in the ground so we left them and will use instead. Now we need to go back to town to buy more fencing supplies. Seems all I've bought this year are fencing supplies and feed. I'm not talking a couple bucks here and there for materials and feed, I'm talking a couple hundred bucks.

I knew this fenceline needed to be fixed and it wouldn't last after last winter. I just wish I would have had the common sense to take care of it this summer instead of now when everyone is busy trying to get ready for winter. But I feel a thousand times better having those poles in the ground. I can finish that fence even after the ground freezes.

Now I only have three more major fencing jobs that need to be finished before the ground freezes. Everything else will hopefully hold (fingers crossed). There's a few other things I'd like to take care of before the ground freezes but we'll see. I'm hoping the weather holds and I can get more fence posts in the ground before winter sets in. I'm still a little paniced but having those five beautiful fence posts in the ground have taken some of the pressure off.

Last night I pushed Sahara past her comfort zone. I paid a small price for it but it was worth it. We had to run to town yesterday for grain and I snuck in a quick ride on Jim before starting chores. It's too nice to not ride, even if it's just a mile or two down the road and back. A ride helps clear my head some days and Jim seemed like he enjoyed himself.

The blind pen was out of hay again so Mike had to push another round bale in. It's not as easy as it sounds, especially when we are working in the dark. Our tractor isn't big enough to pick up a bale and just dump it in. Here's a rundown of what I had to do.

  1. Halter Prince and tie him to a fence post.

  2. Halter Sahara and hang on to her because she still doesn't stand tied calmly.

  3. Track down Babe as she wanders the pen to feed her her grain mash.

  4. Coax Thor out of the way of the gate and feed him his grain mash.

  5. Lead Sahara out of the blind pen (can't stall her because she'll dismantle yet another stall).

  6. Grab the cable to tip the hay bale on to its side with Sahara in tow.

  7. Hang on to Sahara as she freaks out next to the tractor and have her smash me in to the tractor wheel rim.

  8. Stand with Sahara at end of lead rope while she gets anxious about the tractor coming right at her (in the dark with lights on.....she didn't freak out too bad except that one time but it was a lot for her to take).

  9. Watch Mike loop the cable over the bale and tip the bale over.

  10. Walk to the bale, grab the cable while Sahara sneaks a bite from the bale, and drag the cable out of the way.

  11. Holler at Thor to get out of the way. Apparently Thor ate faster than I had anticipated.

  12. Stand out of the way as Mike pushes the round bale in to the blind pen and then backs out.

  13. Walk Sahara in to the blind pen and then close the gate with Sahara in tow.

  14. Ensure Thor and Babe are done with their grain and unhalter Sahara.

  15. Push Thor out of the way of the hay bale and manhandle the hay ring around and then over the new round bale.

  16. Unhalter Prince (who stook patiently the entire time).

It may sound easier than it really is. But keep in mind, I have a frightenend yearling filly at the end of a lead rope during almost all of it. Sahara did pretty well, except for when I put her in a tight spot between the tractor and some aluminum pallets. She dragged me around for about 10 seconds and knocked me in to the tractor but after that she behaved. That's a lot to ask of a filly, to stand next to the tractor in the dark. We did walk around the tractor while it was running to see if she would freak out over it again but she didn't. I think it was just tight quarters that freaked her out. We'll see what happens the next time we push a bale in. Maybe she'll be better, maybe not. But I think she'll catch on. Now if I could only spend as much time with Mayhem as I do with Sahara.

Friday, October 21, 2011


There are no words:

This isn't just happening in California. The same cruelties are happening right in our own backyards. At this time Borderlands is full but I would like to raise money to rescue one or two horses, rehab, and put up for adoption. At least those one or two horses would be lucky enough to enjoy a second chance at life instead of dying in a gruesome manner.

It just seems like there's more cruelty in the world lately and there's less compassion for any living being. Bo is my daily reminder that there is so much cruelty out there and yet he can put the past aside. We need to do something to promote awareness and stop this cruelty. I'm open to suggestions on what we can do. I'd like to hear your ideas...please!


I'm totally rattled. I just found out that Thor, Flower, and Ivan's previous owner dumped 20 horses at last week's auction. I couldn't go because we had to move hay. It's a good thing I didn't go. I was suppsoed to take in three more from this same person but circumstances didn't allow it. I'm afraid those three went through the auction.

I am sick.

How can you brag that you "rescue" these horses when you only use them up and then dump them.

I really think I'm going to be sick.

Wordless Friday

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


After deciding to take a step back from a number of activities; I went a step farther back last night (and didn't realize it until later).

I've been struggling with Sahara but with the help of Mike (who pointed out what's going on in her brain), we now have a plan (and thanks to T from Gentle Spirits for giving me the moral support I needed to work with her more).

I realized a number of things last night while messing with Sahara, while watching Mike work with her, and thinking about what T said yesterday:

  1. Sahara is my mood monitor. I cannot be upset when I am near her.

  2. I must only focus on Sahara. My mind must be free of all other ideas/thoughts. When working with her, she has to be my only focus.

  3. I must exude alpha mare from within and exude it in my demeanor. I. Am. Boss. Mare. (hard for me to do since I like the laid back guys).

  4. If my inner self is not calm (even if it looks that way from the outside), I cannot work with her. I must calm my inner self before working with Sahara.

  5. Any leeway I give, Sahara will take it. Give her a centimeter and she will take 10 miles.

  6. Any minor deviance, and she thinks she's boss mare. Sahara requires boot camp. What I say goes and nothing more.

  7. She needs to be handled by multiple people to respect ALL people.

  8. The end of a lead rope is my friend. The end of a lead rope demands respect from Sahara.

Last night I wanted to get some hay scooped up from the round bale feeder (otherwise they waste it). Mike was near so I had him hang on to Sahara's lead rope. He was on the other side of the fence, safe from leaning, safe from hooves, and safe from teeth.

While I was working, Mike made Sahara mind. She wasn't allowed to paw or push. If she did, she got smacked with the end of the lead rope once. By the time I was done and had my little yellow hay wagon full of hay and out of the pen, Sahara was standing calmly near the fence. I probably stood there enjoying the view for a good five minutes while Mike and Sahara patiently stood there.

Maybe I'm too high strung or wired too tight as of late, but it was such an enjoyable view to see those two just standing their, Sahara just standing with a leg cocked. But she was starting to get stressed so we called it a day.

Now that I know she CAN stand alone, we'll work on it more tonight. Not sure if Mike will be able to work with her or if I'll work with her, but in any case, she's just playing me. And I hate to be played. She's a smart girl that is going to demand respect (as she so deserves). She's only a yearling so can't take long periods of training but she does catch on pretty quick. Now it's more a matter of working on us. :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


******Here I said I was going on hiatus and I can't stop...I'm addicted.
Hello my name is Shanna and I'm additcted to blabbing about the sanctuary horses!******

I'm starting to get my numbers down at Borderlands. It should be the other way around but for now, it is what it is.

Savanna went to Gentle Spirits to find her a perfect home. She has so much potential that it would be silly to keep her here at the sanctuary forever. From what I hear, she's doing amazingly well. I commend Gentle Spirits for their hard work!

Last Saturday, Prize went to his new home. He too has so much potential it would be silly to keep him here when there is someone out there just waiting for him. Congratulations Stacy A. for your new baby boy. Prize is now proudly called Jett! I can't wait to watch Jett grow up and turn into a stunning boy!

Next in line is Prince. Gentle Spirits will be taking Prince in the very near future. They are going to evaluate him and proceed with putting him up for adoption. He's such an amazing boy. He's so calm even for being only 5 years old and mostly blind.

Sahara is also up for adoption but she'll be staying at Borderlands until further notice. If anyone would like to know more about her, please let me know. Just be warned, I can't stop talking horses once I start.

It's always hard to let them go but when you know they are going to a good home, it makes it a little bit easier. Unfortunately there are those that live out their lives at the sanctuary. I now have five on my "watch list." Those are the horses where their health is a concern and if their issues progressively get worse, we will look at euthanizing. I hate to play god but that's a part of sanctuary life.

Sam is currently on the "watch list." Every fall/winter he loses weight. He's on beet pulp, soaked senior, and rolled oats besides hay (and pasture right now). Unfortunately I think the only thing keeping Sam going right now is the beet pulp. The senior flares up his ulcers. Sam's body is not processing the oats. They come out hole. So I can increase his senior feed to try and put weight on, which flares up his ulcers or I can keep him only on beet pulp and hay, keep the ulcers at a minimum, but watch him continue to slowly lose weight. It's finally hitting home that Sam may not make the entire winter. So he's now on our "watch list" and I will keep everyone informed when the time comes (for anyone that wants to say goodbye).

Flower's arthritis is realy starting to flare up. I will be starting her on joint supplement but if winter is bad and her arthritis doesn't improve, we'll be considering her options.

Thor is losing weight even though he's on a round bale 24x7. I'm planning on getting his teeth floated but if that doesn't help, we'll re-evaluate his options. It could be that old age is finally catching up to him and he's finally starting to show his age but he's now on the "watch list".

Babe is also on the watch list. But we have now put her and Thor on a grain mash feeding along with the 24x7 round bale. I already see the improvements on Babe. I love watching her eat grain. Watching her makes me think of when I have a good piece of chocolate. Every last itty bityt bite is mouth watering. Watching Babe, makes you think every bite is mouth watering.

Queen is the last on the watch list. She has perked up considerably since putting her on beet pulp. As long as she remains on beet pulp, senior, and calf manna, she may stick around for another year or so. But when she goes, it could mean that Flower goes with as Flower is joined at the hip to Queen. But Queen is 33 years old so I have to prepare my heart for her loss.

It's a sad realization to have that many on a "watch list" and is stressful. But knowing that their final years have been filled with love and lots of food makes up for it. We are truely blessed to enjoy even one minute of their lives, those that are permanent sanctuary horses and those that have gone on to new homes and new experiences.

If you get a chance, check out Gentle Spirit's website and blog and see what these amazing ladies do for SO MANY horses!


Ok, so I'm hooked. I can't stop blogging. But I am going to back down on a few things so I may not blog as often. But I do have a few stories I'd like to share.

The other night I was out in the pasture, watching the stars and the farmer wrap up picking corn. It was quiet, cool, and I was alone. I guess I just needed some downtime to re-evaluate some things going on right now. No worries for the horses though.

I only sat out there for about a half hour before the wind picked up (go figure it's SD). The horses were down in the low area of the pasture and I decided I wanted alone time. After awhile of laying there watching the stars, I heard a coon singing. I don't really like being alone, in the dark without some type of "weapon". The only thing I had was an empty pop bottle. Not really good a good weapon to protect myself.

So I decided I'd call it a night and head to the house. As I was wandering amlessly back to the drylot, I heard something. It sounded like someone was running right for me. Of course, every nerve freaks out and the hair on the back of my neck stands up. I spin around, wave my hands, and let out a little screech.

Wanna know what it was?!?!

Any guesses?


Not even a single one? Oh come on now, you know you want to say it.

The scary thing running up to me wasn't a coon, or a fox, or a coyote, or a freaky stalker, or anything like that. Nope, none of those.

It was....................................................



I guess he was just so happy to see me out in the pasture that he came on a fast trot (and he has a ground eating trot). I spooked him with my waving arms and little screech that he took off at a lope past me for a few hundred feet.

When I realized it was Bo, I started laughing. Laughing so hard it brought tears to my eyes. That Bo. He's my heart horse for sure.

As I was talking and petting Bo, telling him what a naughty horse he was for scaring the crap out of me, I heard another noise. Wanna know what the noise was?

Any guesses?

Not a coon, not an owl, not a fox, not a pheasant.......

It was King huffing and puffing up the hill to see what Bo and I were up to. King is so fat now that he practically waddles around the pasture.

I think both Bo and King knew I needed a little bit of "luvin" and they wouldn't leave my side until I climbed the gate. I don't think they were happy that I left.

I've been so caught up with personal matters and looking at the bigger picture that I've forgotten the most important things....the horses.

So I may not go into hiatus like I thought. But I'm going to focus more on the horses at Borderlands for a little while. I hate to "retreat" but I think it'll do me some good... and I think the horses have been telling me this for a while. Who else would come up in the middle of a dark pasture to check out what's going on?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Due to personal reasons, I'm putting this blog on hiatus. If you need to get a hold of me, please leave a comment on our Facebook page and I'll get back to you.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Am An Animal Rescurer

I don't know the author or I'd give credit. I saw this on a discussion board I follow today and it really hit home. Why it appeared today, on a day I really needed the encouragement, I don't know. But I'll take it as a sign. I know some dont' understand the feelings I have towards rescue or the draw I have towards it. I honestly wish that there wasn't job security in rescue.

I Am An Animal Rescuer

My job is to assist God's creatures
I was born with the drive to fulfill their needs
I take in helpless, unwanted, homeless creatures
without planning or selection
I have bought dog food with my last dime
I have patted a mangy head with a bare hand
I have hugged someone vicious and afraid
I have fallen in love a thousand times
And I have cried into the fur of a lifeless body
too many times to count

I have Animal Friends and friends who have animal friends
I don't often use the word "pet"
I notice those lost at the road side
And my heart aches
I will hand raise a field mouse
And make friends with a vulture
I know of no creature unworthy of my time

I want to live forever if there aren't animals in Heaven
But I believe there are
Why would God make something so perfect and leave it behind
Some may think we are master of the animals,
But the animals have mastered themselves
Something people still haven't learned

War and Abuse make me hurt for the world
But a rescue that makes the news gives me hope for mankind
We are a quiet but determined army
And we are making a difference every day

There is nothing more necessary than warming an orphan
nothing more rewarding than saving a life
No higher recognition than watching them thrive
There is no greater joy than seeing a baby play
who only days ago, was too weak to eat

By the love of those who I've been privileged to rescue, I have been rescued
I know what true unconditional love really is
for I've seen it shining in the eyes of so many
Grateful for so little.

I am an Animal Rescuer
My work is never done,
My home is never quiet
My wallet is always empty
But my heart is always full

Late Night Doing Chores

Sounds like we may have a busy day at Borderlands on Friday. I'll keep you all in suspense on what's going on until Friday rolls around. It'll just keep you coming back. ;-)

Last night I was late in getting chores done (was off playing with our drill team). When I started doing chores (in the dark), there was lightening all around us. I worked as quickly as I could but it still took over an hour. I was gathering up the loose hay from the round bale feeder (no sense in letting that good hay go to waste). Ivan and Brego were up at the barn while Sam and Bo were in the barn finishing their evening meal.

All of a sudden I heard thundering hooves coming. I love listening and watching the horses. Luckily the white horses were in the front and King's heaving breathing (because he's so out of shape) gave them away for who was coming in first. While I was standing their leaning on the bale feeder admiring the horses, a bolt of ligthening lit of the sky and I heard this funny noise. That noise is exactly why the horses came galloping up out of the field. Wanna know what that sound was?

You guessed it....rain. It's weird to hear the rain come before it hits. Unfortunately I wasn't completely done with chores and had to scramble. Luckily it wasn't a drenching downpour like it sounded and I didn't get too wet. The experience would have been more enjoyable had I been done with chores but it still made for a few brief minutes of amazement, watching the horses gallop in to the pen and watching mother nature at work. Looking back (now that I'm dry), I realize I'm pretty blessed.

Check back Friday to see what all the commotion is about.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Finally, a Post

Sorry for my laps in blogging lately. There is stuff to blab about but I don’t seem to have the energy lately. I think it’s the stress of knowing I won’t get everything done before winter rears its ugly head again. I’m at least a month behind. I can only hope that the ground doesn’t freeze and the snow doesn’t fly until the end of November. I’m not even sure where to start to get you caught up to speed with everything going on. So I guess I’ll just do a huge data dump of everything on my mind and you get the joy of piecing it all together.

I didn’t put two and two together earlier. I was told from my normal hay guy that I have 80 big squares. Who knows the price but they are baled and waiting for delivery. But I ordered 100 bales. The other 20 were supposed to come out of a different field but that didn’t happen. My hay guy dug up all his ground and put most into corn and beans. Everything else he’s shipping to TX. So I have no idea what it’s going to cost me and I wont’ know until January at the earliest. I did just write a big fat check for last year’s hay. That’s right, I had to use up everything from last year and then pay for it. It’s odd but the hay guy wants to wait until January but then the weight tickets disappeared and it took until last month to find them. So the 70 bales from last year and the 8 round bales to feed the horses this summer cost me $3700. Who knows what this winter will be like.

But because I was in a panic, I found someone on Craigs List who was selling hay. I do have hay lined up from a guy an hour away but hauling 20 bales 6 at a time would take forever and cost so much in fuel. So we went yesterday to look at some hay baled out of CRP grasses. It looked good and is only about 10 miles away so I took them all. 39 bales at $40 a pop. It will add up but I gotta have the cash on hand when we start picking them up Wednesday night. Anyone have a flatbed that wants to come and help haul? We are taking three at a time unless I can borrow another trailer (or someone else wants to bring their trailer and donate time and fuel). Luckily the guy is really nice and is going to haul the rounds to the end of his driveway and let us use his tractor to load them, since he wont’ be around when we can get there. It’s going to be a nightly ordeal until we get them all home. I don’t look forward to it all but at least we’ll have the remaining hay. There is a chance I’ll get some additional hay out of a different field from my uncle so I’ll have extra, which we’ll need to keep the blind pen full of hay until late spring.

Mom, Dad, and Grandma came down Sunday to help around the place. Mike has been scrambling to get a plow on the old truck. Our neighbor plowed us out all last winter but he’s moved so it’ll be up to Mike to clean out the snow for us to get to work and for me to work with the horses. Least to say, it’s not going well. The last time I looked, the fuel tank was hanging from the frame. Realize it’s a rust bucket of a truck. I hate to even take pictures because it looks bad. But it runs (when there’s a fuel tank) and it can go through snow since it’s a three-quarter ton and it saves using my truck. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully we wont’ have any snow any time soon and Mike can get the truck back up and running with the snowplow attached.

While Dad and Mike worked on the truck, Mom and I cleaned out behind the leanto of the barn. It’s been a junk pile for the past few years but I need it cleaned out so we can put up a little building for the older mares. The building will help save me time so I can throw the old mares in while they eat and leave the other mares out (so I don’t have to stand guard). By cleaning out all the old wood, I can now get in and start digging fence posts. Anyone want to help? I need a new fence line put in ASAP. We cobbled it together last winter/spring and the horses stopped pushing on the fence when we moved the horses out of that pasture but now that we’ll have horses hang on the fence again, it’s now become a necessity to get a new fence up. I also have to patch the blind pen fenceline. The first snow, and a few of the fences will just fall over. That’s the “blessing” of moving in after cattle were there. All the wood fence posts are rotting away and all the other fence lines are mangled. I keep my fingers crossed every time I have to open a gate on an old fence post. Hopefully there will be just enough time for me to dig enough holes.

Babe is going downhill, so is Thor. I’m really worried about Babe. I think Prince is really hard on her. I now have to halter and tie Prince up and halter and hold Sahara while Babe and Thor eat their grain. I need to figure out a different fencing situation so that I can give Thor and Babe additional food/grain. If I could tie Sahara up, it would be a big deal but Sahara still doesn’t stand tied. I’m trying to figure out her quirks but don’t have time to mess with her. I threw Sahara and Prince into a stall Saturday night so that we could push our last round bale in to the blind pen and give Thor and Babe time to eat their grain in peace. Bad idea. When I went to pull Sahara and Prince out, I ended up getting Sahara behind Prince while I was standing at Prince’s side. Prince thought I was Sahara (being that he’s blind and it was a new situation) Prince thought I was Sahara and bit me. Totally my fault but boy does it hurt. He left a huge bruise on my rib cage. I’m just happy it wasn’t three inches higher. ;-) hahaha… I just heard every woman wince.

I’ve decided to stall Sahara and tie Prince next to Sahara while I grain Thor and Babe. That’ll give the two older ones time enough to eat in peace and will give Prince time to learn how to stand (which he does) and will hopefully give Sahara time to adjust to being stalled and not stand right on top of someone. We’ll see how it goes. Hopefully Sahara doesn’t break this stall door too.

I think there’s more but my mind is mush. I’ll try to snap some pics but I make no promises. The days are getting shorter so much faster. I’m struggling to get even the basic stuff done before dark.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gigantic Queen Hug

I sure do love Queen. She may be old and crotchety but when you really need someone to lean on, she's there. I've been having a rough go of it lately and last night was no different. I decided to wander outside to get some fresh air and ended up at the old mares' fence line.

Queen, thinking I had treats or more grain, came over. She stood with her head over the fence comforting me. I don't know how many of the geldings would have done that. But she kept by my side until I felt better. She would try and wrap her neck around me or bump me with her head to let me know she was trying to help.

Flower came over to investigate too but Queen stood her ground and let me hang on her. She really is an amazing horse. She may drive me crazy some days but she really does know how to make someone feel better.

Thank you Queen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Recap of the last few days

Really, we are here. I promise. I've been so darn tired by the end of the day I'm lucky to make it to bed. So much has happened over the past few days. The biggest news is Savanna and Prize.

Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue and Sanctuary graciously took Savanna in to try and find her a new home. She has so much potential (even if I hate that word). She shouldn't be sitting around a pasture at Borderlands. She needs to be loved by someone and Gentle Spirits will find just the right person for her. Savanna is still a little underweight but she'll get there now that Prize is weaned.

I wanted to wait a little bit longer but Savanna needs as much time as possible to gain weight before winter. Savanna did amazingly well with the new experience. She (unlike Prize) loaded like a dream. I really think Savanna knows so much more. She stands tied for hours without a complain (unlike her daughter Sahara). She tolerates almost anything. We just have to go slow around her face. But Savanna jumped into the trailer and we took her Sunday to Gentle Spirits where she met her new pasture mates, Aries, Nikki, and Pi.

We'd been slowly weaning Prize over the past week and Savanna didn't seem too concerned. She whinnied a few times but otherwise she just checked out her new surroundings. I think Savanna was weaning Prize on her own.

Prize is still here but he's a little down in the dumps. He's hanging out with Rabbit, who also is down in the dumps. I think Rabbit and Savanna had become good friends. Poor Rabbit lost Dick the first part of August and now lost Savanna at the first part of October. Lifes been a bit hard on Rabbit. With both Prize and Rabbit down in the dumps, I thought I'd bring Queen over to at least perk up Prize (because Queen loves babies...two legged or four). But Flower would have noen of that. So we'll have to wait a little longer before bringing Queen in to hang out with Rabbit.

Prize is scheduled to go to his new home the middle of October. I'll be sad to see him go too but he's going to a fantastic home who knows how to work with babies. The new owner has already come over a couple of times to get Prize used to her and start halter training. Prize is going to be one fast learner. Unlike his sister Sahara!

Sahara and I have been going round. I decided that I now need to grain Babe and Thor. I think Thor is losing a little weight (probably needs his teeth floated). But that means I need to halter and tie Prince and Sahara. Sahara will have none of the tying. She halters, leads, and backs but will NOT stand tied. She broke two lead ropes the other day. I'm trying to come up with a solution or at least figure out her quirks. She's going to be a challenge. She's trying to be herd boss with me and that will not work. But the more I handle her the better she's getting. I really did just leave her be to be a horse these last few months. The first time I started working with picking up her feet she tried to take a chunk out of me. But now she actually picks up her left leg with barely any asking. The right leg is a little bit more work but she's getting the hang of it. She at least holds her feet up (unluck some of the other horses!) I haven't started working on her back legs. I'll need an assistant for that. I'm sure Sahara will try to knock my head off the first time until we establish that I am in charge. With the tying issue, I'm not sure what to do. I tied Prince up and then kept her close (but still in hand). She was fine but any time she started to paw, I'd correct that behavior. If I would stand still, she would pretty much sidepass around me, never standing still. So I worked her along the fence, just walking up and down. She did panic a little around the post where I had her tied but when she realized I wasn't tying her she stood just fine. The other day when I worked her along the fence and just stood there, she siddled up to me. I know that she's crowding my space (because she was touching me) and that is not right, but she stayed calm the entire time. It almost seemed as though she needed the physical contact to reassure herself that standing was ok. Because she didn't paw once. But she was touching me and almost butted up to Prince. So I guess I'll keep working her and see what she does. I know the space issue is not right but I'm still working on figuring her out. To fix one bad habit I need to figure out some of her quirks. If someone opposes my methods, I will gladly hand over the lead rope to someone else. When I let Sahara go after our "training session" she took off like a bolt of ligthening. Even with her crooked front legs, she can still truck it around the pen. Having her in with the older horses has helped, as it has with Mayhem.

Mayhem is getting naughty. She's come to not appreciate standing tied while Queen and Flower eat. I guess its' about time that I start tapping in to Mayhem's brain and getting her to think. She stands almost as tall as Queen these days. But Queen is a fairly small horse. She is doing well as is Flower. Queen is going to go into winter just fine and Flower is packing on the pounds. She doesn't look so unbearably thin these days.

Sam comes in every night for his evening feeding but I'm going to have to change that up a bit. His ulcers flared and it's due to the grain. So I'm going to have to come up with a different feeding ration for him. I'll be calling the vet later today to get the ulcer treatments. He gets ulcers every fall (I'm guessing due to the grain) but last year I thought we had it under control and it turned into an epic ulcer this spring so I'm not willing to risk it. He's going on ulcer meds. We'll start with the two week daily treatment and then I want to keep him on the maintenance. If anyone would like to help cover the costs, I'd greatly appreciate it. It's such a catch 22. Don't grain Sam and he loses weight. Feed him and he gets ulcers and won't eat. I just need to come up with a different feed for him to keep the weight on. Less senior feed and more beet pulp, timothy hay pellets, and oats I guess. But I'll try a different concotion and see how it goes.

Bo is full of himself these days. He comes in for his daily evening grain. Last night Mike was giving him treats. Bo would tip his head side ways to see the treats in Mike's hands. Oh I so wish I would have had a camera. Bo is such a special horse. We are really truely blessed to have his personality here. He just makes me smile. I'm blessed to have all the horses, but there's something about Bo that just makes my heart flutter a little faster. I didn't think you could have more than one "heart horse". Bo is such a ham and is very demanding for his grain. At least he appreciates his food.

Tommy and Skippy are porking out on the last remaining blades of grass on the lawn. I guess we'll be going in to feeding hay in the next week or so to the ponies. I had to cut off Tommy's forelock. He had a massive unicorn that there was no way I could get rid of. So I took the easy route.

Speaking of cockleburs. Maverick now has a toupe of cockleburs. It's going to take hours to pull everyone's cockleburs. The bottom of the drylot and the bottom of the pasture are full of those painfully sharp little cockleburs.

Last weekend Mom, Dad, Grandma, and Mike helped get the roof on the new leanto (you know, the one we started building this time last year). We have a few more things to do to the lean to to make it more secure and useable by the horses. I'm so excited to get to use it this year. There's not enough time to build another lean to so I bought a "garage in a box" for additional shelter for the pasture that Prize and Rabbit are in. It's just another place for the horses to go. I need to get an area cleaned up by the barn so I can put the new shelter up. We'll see how long it lasts before wind and the horses destroy it.

Last Saturday, Mike and I made a run over to Parkston and bought two round bale feeders. They aren't the good horse feeders but it'll do. I'm sick of watching the horses walk up to the round bales, rub on it, and then proceed to either lay down or pee on it. Makes me so mad! I don't like feeding round bales but the pasture where Queen, Flower, and Mayhem are is dried up and the blind pen does so much better when they have access to 24x7 hay. Thor gets pretty grumpy if he doesn't have hay in front of him. I guess I would rather waste a little bit than have a grumpy draft horse on my hands.

The days are getting so much shorter that I dont' have much time to do anything but evening chores before it gets dark. I haven't messed with any of the horses in the big herd. I had hoped to put the horses over at the neighbor's again because he offered his hay field. I haven't been able to find the time and next weekend is opening pheasant season. I hate hunting season. So we'll see if I find the time to get the horses over there by the end of October. We'll have to talk with the neighbor again to see if he's still ok with it. But less pressure on the big pasture is always a good thing.

I know there is more going on but i'm drawing a blank. It's been a busy few days with absolutely gorgeous weather. Hopefully I wont' be so blasted tired so I can get something done in these last few nice days.