Friday, March 30, 2012


We lost Flower yesterday. I cannot compose myself yet to write about her passing.

I was reading a post from Habitat for Horses and it brought tears to my eyes. I thought I would share.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vet Appointment

Well damnit all. I had higher hopes that the vet might give me a better prognosis on Flower. There's STILL heat in her hoof six weeks later (even after healing the puncture wound and having an abscess break).

But she's still hobbling around and her other leg/foot is starting to give out.

I scheduled a vet appointment for this Thursday at 2:30pm. We will either resolve the issue or put her down. Those are the options. Pretty black and white as far as I can see.

I may not be around much the rest of this week. Trying to keep it together and not succeeding very well. Guess this is the life we live being a Sanctuary. Still sucky no matter what way I look at it.

My Enemy - The Wind

The goal this year was to simplify. It’s a lot tougher goal than I had expected. I wanted to focus more on home life with family and less on non-important aspects of life. Most might think it a simple goal but it’s not. Every time I turn around it seems like something else happens. But I guess that’s the price we pay for running a sanctuary in South Dakota.

Last night I was late in getting home. I don’t think twice about running to town to pick up grain for the horses but I do for grocery shopping. I think I know the answer but I’ll leave that up to your imagination. So after finally making it home from restocking our cupboards, I ran outside quick to start the mares on their beet pulp before I snarfed down a bite to eat. The wind was so fierce last night.

I hate wind. I’m not talking hate in the sense that it annoys me. I loathe wind. I see why some of the early pioneers went mad because of the wind. Every time I turned around last night, something else blew into my face. I don’t wear glasses, I don’t wear contacts. Herein lies the problem. Dirt, hay, debris always flies into my face. The other night, I had either debris or hay fly up into my eye. I am very protective of my eyes. I hate people getting close to my face and when there’s something in my eye I can’t get out, I panic. I was sure I was headed to the ER. Twice before I was able to sneak in to actue care to have the debris taken out (with a needle) but it was late and the only thing open was the ER. Lucky for me, Mike is patient and understands my panic when messing with my eyes. No ER visit, no needles to my eye. But I digress.

I heard tarps flapping while out feeding the mares so I took a peek around the corner and saw something I’ve been expecting but dreading. The Habitat for Horses shelter in the blind pen didn’t survive the 30mph wind (who knows what the gusts were like). It was going to take more than just me to dismantle the shelter in the wind so I got Mike and we went to work, fighting the wind, flapping tarps, bent poles, and Babe supervising. Yes, Babe is a great supervisor. I believe she’s the type that wants to dig in and “help”, also known as micromanaging. The sun was just setting when we went outside to rescue the remainder of the Habitat for Horses shelter and it was pitch black by the time we had enough of the pipes torn down and the tarp in the shed. Lots of swear words fell out of my mouth I’m afraid to admit. But when you’re dealing with 30mph wind, tarps flapping in the wind, pipes bent at odd angles, and bolts so snug in their “homes” that only a BFH will get it out, it’s hard not to swear. I know what you’re thinking, “What’s a BFH?” Leave a comment and I’ll tell you.

After we got the tarps put away and most of the pipes pulled out of the way so the blind horses could get to their water trough, I went back to doing chores. I struggled with keeping my composure while throwing hay. I tried to place it somewhere where it wouldn’t blow to the next county in 10 seconds (not an easy feat). I’d given up all hope of getting any hay to stay in Mayhem’s pen. That pen is on the top of the hill and depending on which way the wind blows, nothing stays. I decided I would put Mayhem in with Babe and Thor. It seemed like the easiest solution. I don’t think Babe or Mayhem minded one bit (or Thor for that matter). Babe once again went to town supervising me leading Mayhem in to the pen. I think she was happy to have another mare in the pen with her. I’m going to leave Mayhem in with the blind horses for another day or two until the wind dies down. I wanted Mayhem in a pen by herself so she wouldn’t get herd bound. She’s slowly working through that issue but if I leave her in with the blind horses for too long, I’ll be back to square one. Only in the last month has she been in a pen by herself. She’s never technically been “alone” before until this past month and even then I wouldn’t consider that “alone” as she can see the blind horses but doesn’t have them standing right in her pen. Not sure if that’s the best method for working through the herd bound issue but that’s what we’re doing, at least for now.

I was going to call the vet yesterday about Flower but wanted to see if there was any heat left. Sure enough, there’s still heat. So I’m going to call and schedule an appointment to have the vet out to do whatever it takes. I hate to see what that bill will run.

By the time we were done with chores and everyone was catching the piles of hay blowing in the wind it was 10pm. I was exhausted. That’ll teach me to be late in getting home. About three hours later, after only having a couple hours of sleep, I woke to a terrible sound. I’m not talking the wind. I fell asleep to the sound of wind. I woke to the sound of hail. Yes, HAIL in March!!! That’s too crazy! I guess from now on, we are going to put everything away that has to be put away because we could possibly have terrible hail storms all summer. Odd that we would have hail were in years past we would have blizzards instead. If we would have had snow during this wind, I think we would be in a blizzard. I somehow think we are past any chance of snow. I wonder if I’ll be proven wrong. I’m not sure how long the hailstorm lasted. I don’t think it was very long but the regular storm raged on while I fell back to sleep.

This morning everyone seemed ok; possibly a little bedraggled and tired but still ready for their breakfast. Flower was down again. I wish I would have put a sheet on her but nothing I have fits her sheetwise. Guess that’s something else to add to the list, along with wormer, and paying Flower’s original vet bill.

I’m hoping tonight goes a little smoother and there’s less wind. Life is so much easier when there’s no wind. I don’t expect the wind to die down until after I’ve done my evening chores. We’ll see. If you hear cursing on the wind, it’s probably me.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Update

Sorry for the lapse in any posts. I knew I wouldn’t have much time to blog the week before the SD Horse Fair. But I thought I would have time last week. Apparently I needed time to recover. I really didn’t do anything horse related other than standard chores all last week.

I did start Jim back on a bit of grain. He started to lose a little weight so figured I’d better get him on some grain. With constantly using Zeke, I started him on a grain supplement too. I want him in tip top shape for Drill Team. We are not practicing for three weeks so I’m giving him a three week reprieve. Hopefully I’ll be able to convince him that going into the barn every night for grain will make it easier to catch him once we do start back to practice. Bo already knows the routine and is at the door impatiently waiting for his nightly grain. I think Zeke and Bo are becoming best friends so it makes getting those two settled for their evening grain a little bit easier.

I let Queen and Flower out to eat a little bit of grass these past two days. I turned my back yesterday and both Queen and Flower made it to the front lawn. I guess that’s the tastiest grass on our place. I’m waiting until tomorrow to call the vet. Flower isn’t improving. I had such high hopes that it was a deep abscess but it’s been three weeks of absolutely no improvement. I’m afraid there’s more damage than I originally anticipated. So tonight I’ll do one final check to see if there’s any heat still in her hoof and then I’ll call the vet. I really want a second opinion. My opinion is pretty negative right now and I need a second opinion. If the vet confirms my worst fear, we’ll put her down that day. If there’s hope its’ still only an abscess, we’ll continue to work through it. But she’s down more than up these days and I will not allow anyone to suffer. I’ve prolonged the phone call for too long as it is.

Mike has been going out and grooming Flower, Queen, Babe, and Thor now that the weather is nice. I think he even snuck out and brushed down King. He’s shedding like crazy. Of all the horses, he came out of winter the best. If the weather continues to stay as warm as it is, we’ll have to start him on his meds. I don’t know the scientific name (or even the layman’s name) for what’s wrong with him. Every summer he comes up lame. When I took him to the vet to evaluate him, the vet said that it’s acid buildup in his muscles. There’s a powder medicine he is one but last summer was so cool and mild that the muscle issue never flared up. But with the warmer temps, I expect he’ll have problems and I’d rather not see him limping around. I may put shoes on him too just to keep him a little bit more comfortable. I bought EZ boots but they don’t fit his gigantic feet. Maybe if I have shoes on him, we can go for short walks up and down the grass of the driveway to keep his muscles limber.

During the Horse Fair, I found an incredible saddleseat saddle. I’ve been itching to try saddleseat out and think Bo would do fantastic in the showring. I still haven’t gotten on him yet. He dropped some weight at the end of winter so I’m trying to put the weight back on before I start making him work. But I had high hopes of showing him this year. It’s not going to happen but next year, watch out! I’ll have had enough time to mess with him and learn how to do saddleseat without making myself look like a fool.

I pulled Rain out Saturday and tried on the saddleseat. He is definitely not made for anything English. He’s a fat little arab and he’ll be prone to high withers and a swayback in his later years. Even though he’s a total spaze, I tend to pull him out for all my English riding. I have no idea why.

When I went to pull Rain out of the pen, Maverick let me know his disappointment in not picking him. I really need to start messing with Maverick. I’m hoping to do just a little bit of cattle work with him. I’m not sure how much we’ll actually get to do but I’m going to try and squeeze it in now while the weather is still nice. I think both Chaos and Maverick are bored and I need to really start using their mind. I don’t think they would be content even just to do simple trail rides. We’ll see what I come up with to engage their minds.

Rabbit is getting more vocal these days. I stuck her in with the ponies and although she tolerates them, I think she’d prefer to be in with the mares. She’s too hard on the old mares and would be absolutely cruel to the blind horses. I don’t want her back with Mayhem yet. Mayhem was picking up Rabbit’s bad habits and that’s not allowed. So for now, Rabbit will just have to suffer the ponies’ torture. I think all three secretly enjoy the company and harassing one another.

Saturday was such a gorgeous day. I wish I would have had a camera. Ivan decided he’d take a snooze but instead of curling up or stretching out, he was curled up but with his feet in front of him like he was getting ready to get up. Twice I looked over and he had his nose to the ground in between his front legs and his eyes were shut. He was wobbling back and forth. Silly horse. I don’t mess enough with Ivan. But he has his best friend, Brego to keep him entertained. Wherever one goes, the other follows. Although Ivan has picked up a bad habit of pushing Bo around at feeding time. I’m not exactly sure what’s the deal but any time Bo comes close to hay I’m tossing out, Ivan comes over and gets in the way of Bo. I guess Ivan is a little jealous. I may have to spend time with Ivan to see if that helps any.

I’m not sure if I’ll blog much this week. Hopefully I’ll have more energy. I missed out on the most beautiful day this weekend by sleeping 14 hours. I guess I really needed to recover from all the prep work and the excitement of the horse fair. If the weather holds out, I’ll try to snap a few pictures of the herd but I won’t make any promises.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Acero Goes Home

Wednesday evening found us loading Acero up for his ride home. Believe it or not but this champion Peruvian Paso is only about five miles from Borderlands. When we unloaded Acero, his owner came out and called for him. The look in his eyes and in how he handled himself after knowing he was with his owner is heartwarming. For anyone who says horses don’t remember, I wish you would have been there. Acero saw his owner and acted like a different horse. It was comforting to watch him relax and enjoy himself.

We talked with the owner for a very short time. Apparently Acero has only had two owners, which is unheard of these days. For being 30 years old and having only two owners goes to show the dedication towards this horse.

Very few of the Borderlands horses can say that they’ve had only two owners in their entire life. Some have had countless owners. Although I was very happy to find out more information about Bo last month. Although she wasn’t the owner, she wanted to know how Bo was doing and to give me the real story of what happened instead of spreading rumors. I’ll share that story later.

I’ll spare you my rant on what I think about people who buy and sell constantly. I am comforted that the horses of Borderlands are home. They are family. We do not sell or trade our family off for a "better" or "newer model". When they leave this earth, a piece of us goes with them. I only wish all horses had an opportunity to have a permanent home.

We are still trying to recover from the SD Horse Fair and all the prep work that went into it. Hopefully I'll have more energy later today to share in some of the latest adventures at Borderlands.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Acero - Champion Peruvian Paso

Sunday wrapped up the 22nd annual SD Horse Fair. In the afternoon, Acero's owner became ill. I stepped up to haul Acero to our place until his owner was well enough. Acero is going home Wednesday.

Acero is a 30 year old champion Peruvian Paso. Even at the age of 30, Acero still shows off his dignity and regal stance. When we were getting him settled Sunday night, I came around the corner and Acero was standing perfectly still at full attention looking like he owned the place.

It has been an absolute honor to care for Acero. The following are just a few pictures of Acero. The weatherman said we were going to get rain so I threw a canvas waterproof sheet on him. I'm glad we did. We had a downpour.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

22nd Annual South Dakota Horse Fair

I've been wrapped up with the South Dakota Horse Fair all weekend (and part of last week). Zeke and I have been having a great time! He really was meant for the ring. I may try to show him a couple of times (while my health holds out).

I know this is totally unrelated to rescue and I thought I would share in what Zeke and I have been doing for the past few days. It's a shameless plug for the Cowboy Way Drill Team! (And Zeke and I are representing Borderlands at the Fair too!)

The following pictures are from last night's performance!

The Drill Team was also asked if four riders would be willing to participate in the 4H Judging Friday morning. We didn't want to disappoint so we made sure to saddle up early. It was for a good cause and we had fun. I've never shown Zeke but just this little taste of it made me realize, I need to put Zeke in the show ring. I'm not sure how the kids placed the four of us riders, but the judge plazed Zeke first! Way to go Zeke!

Here we are after showing. Zeke did a wonderful job of representing Borderlands!

Don't forget to go to Gentle Spirit Horse Rescue and Sanctuary's Facebook page and website to check out the latest news on their current rescue efforts. If you can help in any way, please do. Your donations no matter how big or small really help!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Good Post from Habitat for Horses

Wish they all could have such a fruitful life and a caring and dignified end:

Brought tears to my eyes and really choked me up.


Please check out Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue and Sanctuary's Facebook page. They were contacted about a herd of neglected horses. There's already 30+ dead and another 20+ barely hanging on.

If you can help in any way, please contact Gentle Spirits. They need funds for vet, euth, and feed.

Please say a prayer for the remaining horses. If you can help in anyway, please do, even if it's simply sharing the information.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Weekend Recap - Where Did the Time Go?

I know I’m such a tease. I promised you a sales report from Friday’s sale and as you can see, I didn’t get to it. The last few days have been jam packed with events and I don’t foresee it to quiet down until the middle of next week.

Friday I hustled around to get chores done and head to the horse sale. Mike decided he’d come with, which was nice. I hate going to auctions alone and the moral support was a great help. We pulled in just before 6:30pm, which was when the auction was to start. The parking lot was full to the brim. We went right to the pens to look at horses. I didn’t see as many loose horses as I’ve seen in the past but I think having a monthly sale cuts down on the number of loose horses, but that’s just my opinion. We also took a quick walk through the open consignment horses. People put some work in to those open consignment horses. Nice to see some elbow grease going on. I did see one paint in a pen standing alone. I have a bad feeling this horse was rejected from the auction. He was a little bit on the thin side but with no auction tag. I don’t know what was going on with that horse. I didn’t bother asking anyone. I knew I would only get the run around and then possibly be marked as a trouble maker later on.

We finished walking through the horses and the auction started. I missed the first half dozen or so. The stands were packed. There really wasn’t any room for us to find a seat. Luckily there’s standing room way at the top and that’s where we headed. After a few horses, it started to clear out. I guess people got bored early. Mike left me not long after the sale started. He wanted to check out Cabellas (his real reason for coming with me!)

I figured Mike would have plenty of time walking through Cabellas while the open consignment horses ran through. The auctioneer was trying to give the open consignment horse as much time as needed. I was surprised by the prices. Oh sure, there was about three or four that went for way cheaper than they should have (and I’ll list those when I find my sheet). But the lowest a horse went (besides those three or four) was $450 and that horse was gimpy. The highest horse went for $2,000. The average was somewhere under $1,000. I didn’t bother writing down any of the open consignment prices because the stands were so packed and the prices were fairly decent. Spring is never the time to buy when looking to rescue. In about six months the price will plummet again.

I did read on another discussion board that the prices at the Corsica horse sale were really good. I didn’t bother going. It’s a good ol’ boys club and until I’m ready to take a trailer, I just can’t go. That auction makes me angry.

But I digress. The open consignment horses ran from about 6:30-8:30pm. When the auctioneer wrapped up the open consignment horses (approximately 50 head) and heard that it was already 8:30pm, he stepped it up about three notches. Infuriating! The stands were already fairly empty by that time too. The auctioneer spent two hours on about 50 horses. He spent a half an hour on 25 loose horses. A half an hour!!!! We were out the door before 9pm! There were some really nice horses in the lot too. I sure wish we could have brought a couple of them home.

After the sale we gragged a bite to eat and headed home. I was exhausted by the time we pulled in the driveway at 10:30pm. On the bright side, there weren’t any thin horses like Bo this time around. They did announce another sale in April. I’m hoping to go to that sale too, but again, no room and no funds to pull anyone. I’ll only be able to take down prices.

Saturday was filled with running errands. We needed to pick up some grain for the herd. We risked Walmart on a Saturday for Flower. I’ll never do that again. We got stuck behind someone who thought they knew how to do the whole “couponing” thing. Disaster. We stood around for a good 10 minutes waiting for the girl to realize she didn’t know what she was doing. Least to say I was ticked beyond belief. If you’re going to coupon, do it on a weeknight and if you do it wrong, don’t fight with the clerk. I think at one point there were three managers over there trying to tell her that she couldn’t do what she wanted to do. The worst part, we only came in for Epson salt. Of course, I can’t walk out without buying more than one thing so it’s not like I could just walk away from all the stuff waiting on the counter (although it crossed my mind). I just had to keep thinking of Flower.

Mom, Dad, and Grandma surprised us by being at our place when we got home. They stuck around to help me clean out the big gooseneck. I haven’t had time to clean it out and it started looking like my tack room (aka dumping ground for all my stuff because I haven’t had time to organize). I need to get the trailer cleaned out and ready for this weekend. That’s my goal for Wed.

After everyone left, I started cleaning out the horse pen. It’s been just cold enough that it’s impossible to clean out the pens by the time I get home. To clean the pens, we cheat and use the tractor. The problem is, the gate we normally go through is broken. Ok, not the gate, the post. I’m afraid if we move the gate, the post is going to fall apart. The post has rotted away but it’s not an easy fix because it’s surrounded by concrete. It’s something we’ll have to fix this summer (as the horses use the post as an itching post and weakened it even more). But I didn’t want to risk having the post break when the sun was already setting so we went through another gate. That gate meant moving the mares into the barn, back dragging the round bale out of the way to get the tractor in. It was a do-able project, just time consuming.

But the pens are a little bit cleaner and we were able to push the mares’ bale into the big herd’s pen to finish off. The mares don’t really like that hay and I’d prefer to give them the good stuff anyway. We weren’t able to get the entire pen cleaned out because the sun had set and it was too dark to see exactly where we needed to go. It was really an all day project that we tackled at the end of the day.

Flower spent most of Saturday snoozing in the sun. The puncture wound closed and healed, the abscess broke, but there’s still heat in Flower’s hoof. The heat moved from the corninary band to lower in her hoof. I’m hoping that a second abscess is working its way closer to the hoof wall. I feel terrible for Flower but I don’t know what else to do, other than to soak her foot and giver her bute or banamine.

Sunday we dealt with daylight savings time. My body must have already been on daylight savings time. I’m glad for the extra hour of daylight at the end of the day. I desperately need it this week. I thought the weather was supposed to be rainy/drizzley all day but the skies didn’t get cloudy until later in the day. But I already had a plan of attack for the day and Mike and I focused on projects that needed to be done in the house. We spent all day getting this project or that project going.

It wasn’t until about 7pm that we headed outside to do chores. For some reason chores seem so much easier these days. I can’t quite put my finger on why, unless it has to do with not having anyone take an hour to finish their beet pulp. We were actually done with chores in just an hour. Last fall we bought a tank for the back of the truck and Mike filled all the big troughs using that instead of carrying bucket after bucket back. It’s a time saver and now with the nice weather we can actually use the tank. I didn’t realize how much time it took keeping the water troughs full until Mike was waiting on me to finish up with chores. Usually it’s the other way around (at least since we lost Sam).

Mayhem is adjusting to being in a pen by herself. I need to start spending more time with her. She’s not as naughty now as she was when she had the protection of Rabbit. I think Rabbit’s bad habits were rubbing off on Mayhem and that’s unacceptable. Now Rabbit is stuck with the ponies. I don’t know if she really cares or not. She’s in charge which makes her happy. The ponies aren’t impressed but they at least get to steal some of Rabbit’s grain when she’s finished.

It’s hard to believe that today marks the one year anniversary of bringing Bo home. I was going to groom him down and get some good pictures of him this weekend but it didn’t happen. I have discovered that he is always going to need to be grained during the winter. There is no option. When the weather started getting nicer, I stopped graining him and he’s started dropping weight. He is always going to be a hard keeper. Hay alone will not keep his weight up. He’ll always have to be on some type of grain and possibly a weight booster. But it’s worth it. He’s such a sweet horse. I did get some more information about Bo. I was hoping to chat with the person who told me the information as it’s not rumor, it’s the truth. Some of the information flying around last year was total bogus and it ticks me off that people (who I thought knew me), would even consider those rumors and wouldn’t bother squelching them right then and there. But I at least know the truth now and how Bo got into the shape he did. I don’t want to post all the details until I get permission. But still waiting to hear back. But at least now the pieces are falling together and make more sense. But Bo is ours and safe at Borderlands until his final breath.

This week is going to be even busier than last week. I’m not sure if I’ll find the time to post or not. I am slammed at work and swamped at home with trying to get ready for the horse fair. Tonight we are working on our saddle pads and hair clips for the horses. Gotta have that bling! Tomorrow is our final practice at our normal location. Wednesday is my one free day and I have to do some serious digging to find a few horse items, clean all my tack, and throw everything into the trailer that we’ll need for the weekend. Thursday is our dress rehearsal at the arena so we’ll know exactly how it’s all going to work. Friday is still up in the air. Being that Zeke is white, I’d like to give him a bath but we don’t have access to warm water at our place. Unless I haul Zeke to the horse fair Friday morning, Zeke may just have to be dirty (unless anyone knows where I can haul Zeke to give him a bath!) If I don’t take Zeke and the others Friday morning, I’ll head to the horse fair Friday afternoon and just enjoy myself. Then, Saturday and Sunday will be packed full of horsie fun and performing! I can’t wait but it’s going to be an unbelievably busy next few days!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quick Update

It's a gorgeous day today. Hoping to get out and do some stuff outside while the weather is nice. I'll try to post all of the loose horse sale prices tonight after the sun sets. Lots to get done before next week's Horse Fair.

The auction wasn't as deplorable as they have in the past. No thin horses ran through the ring, although I had a bad feeling about one that was in a different pen.

I didn't write down prices for the open consignment but most were from $450 to $1500 with one being $2K. The average was just under $1000. There were about three or four that were way cheaper than I thought should have been.

The loose horses were about average for what they've been in the past. Two or three went higher than some of the open consignment horses but the average was under $200.

I'll post more tonight.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Auciton Night

Tonight is the monthly Mitchell Horse Sale. In honor of Bo, I'm going. Hard to believe that a year ago this coming Monday we pulled Bo from this same auction. I haven't mentally prepared myself for a sale but I'm going anyway.

I won't be able to bring anyone home. We have no room and no funds. But I want to go in honor of Bo (who is my happy-go-lucky heart horse). He was definitely a diamond in the rough. I'm sure to be a total wreck by the end of the night, driving home in tears. I feel helpless just sitting here. Even if I can't bring anyone home, I can do the next best thing and remember them.

If anyone would like to go with, I'd love the company.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Joe from Thoroughbred Friends said it best in his blog post today when talking about an old mare who served her entire life for humans and found herself at a feedlot:

"Dignity doesn’t come with a price. Dignity for your final days on earth should be a given."

I guess that's why I have such a soft spot for these oldsters. Sometimes I know what type of life they've lived, others times I know nothing. But they should all be given the dignity that they so very much deserve.

We should all be so lucky to have dignity until our final days on earth.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Recap of Last Few Days

The last few days have been a blur, most of it non-horse related. It was Mike’s grandpa’s 95th birthday this past week so we wanted to join everyone for the party. We spent Thursday night finding the right birthday present and didn’t get home until late. I had had such high hopes of getting everything ready Thursday night so that we could leave fairly early Friday morning but that didn’t happen.

Instead we worked like crazy. We moved Mayhem in with the blind horses that way Mayhem could dine on the round bale. Because Rabbit can’t be on round bales due to her heaves, we put her in with the ponies (because they should never be in front of a round bale either). I was able to get the ponies’ and Rabbit’s hay ready for the entire time we would be gone.

We proceeded to push in two round bales into the big herd. To distract the big herd, I carried an alfalfa bale out to the pasture. Unfortunately my little yellow cart had a flight tire so there was no help there. Everyone but Bo behaved themselves while I lugged the alfalfa bale out. Bo decided he would “help” and grabbed the corner of the bale. For being a slightly built horse, he’s strong. He picked the bale and practically tossed me and the bale around. Of course I told Bo a few choice words. But everyone stayed out in the pasture while we pushed in the two round bales. I was worried that two bales wouldn’t be enough for ten horses and that someone would get pushed out. We decided to push in another round bale to the two older mares (that way no one would have to throw hay and the bale would be pushed against the gate and reachable by the rest of the herd).

My plan worked like a charm, except in thinking that the mares would stay in their pen while we pushed bales. Queen thought she should join the big herd so I had to distract her and Flower with grain and get them in the barn while we finished up moving bales and feeders around.

It all worked out pretty well. Mom and Dad came down over the weekend to play with the horses and make sure everyone was fine. We finally got on the road Friday late morning for Davenport. We attended the birthday party Saturday evening and woke up long before the sun rose Sunday morning so that we could be back by noon for Drill Team practice. I thought getting up at 5am was tough but 3:30am is even tougher.

When we got home Sunday afternoon, I pulled Zeke out of the big herd and discovered that Mayhem at some point had joined the herd. I know how she got in but was surprised that no one was really bothering her or trying to put her in her place. I have three “ladies men” in the herd but none of them seemed interested in her at all. I have no idea how long she was in with the big herd but she was happy to come and see me. Besides her flaxen mane, she looks very much like Maverick. Maybe someday I can train the two as a driving team (and when I say *I*, I really mean save up enough money to send them to a trainer).

We busted butt to get to Drill Team practice on time and actually made it there before most (which if you know me is unheard of). We are getting ready for our first performance. I know I’m supposed to keep this blog to Sanctuary life but I wanted to put in one promo about the drill team. We will be riding both Saturday and Sunday March 17-18th at the SD Horse Fair. I’ll be riding Zeke and he’ll be representing the Sanctuary even though he’s not really a rescue but a personal horse. We are also going to present the flag Saturday before the Ranch Rodeo. It should be a fantastic experience and I can’t wait. This will be the first time I’ve ever had a horse at the horse fair. In the 22 years that the horse fair has been going on, I’ve only missed one and only attended and never participated. Had anyone asked me 20 years ago, I would have never thought I’d be a part of the horse fair.

Back on to the main story, the last time I was home longer than to simply sleep was last Wednesday. Last night when we finally finished with the few chores we had (thank you round bales), I fell asleep early.

It’s hard to believe that this coming weekend is Day Light Savings Time. I’m not sure how I’ll adjust to everything. This week is jam packed full of activities, all horse related but non Sanctuary related (sigh). But at least I get to play with the “kids” and talk horses.

So if I don’t post much over the next two weeks, it’s not because we aren’t busy, it’s because I’m so busy I can’t tell if I’m coming or going.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Old Girls Crack Me Up

Those old mares crack me up. When I least expect it, those old mares know how to lift my spirits, even when I’m not really down in the dumps.

This morning I was out doing my normal morning chores in the dark. I threw hay over the fence for Rabbit and Mayhem. I am not sure if Babe heard me or not. I didn’t think I had made that much noise. I ended up climbing over the fence to take Rabbit’s blanket off (no leg straps so I’ve been readjusting and I think she’s getting tired of the adjustments). I tried to move the hay a little bit farther away from the fence. The wind blows and they end up losing half their meal.

The last few days I’ve thrown the hay along the fence line of the blind pen. There was a bunch that had blown threw and I figured it was a lost cause. I hadn’t seen the hay the night before or even this morning. I figured it had either blown away or been covered in snow.

As I was pulling Rabbit’s blanket and moving hay, Babe wandered over. There’s just enough of a gap between the blind pen shelter and the fence. I know both Babe and Thor have wandered over for some odd reason. While Babe was wandering up the little aisle, I told her good morning and her ears perked up.

That silly Babe wandered all the way to the corner and stood there looking for hay. So SHE’s been the one snitching the hay and making sure nothing goes to waste! For being completely blind, she can sure find the hay!

Now that the storm has passed, I decided I would let Queen and Flower out of the barn. Queen was more than ready to get out. Flower doesn’t really want to move so she wasn’t too thrilled. Any other horse and I would have to halter and lead them to their designated pen but not Flower and Queen. I dumped their beet pulp into dishes, opened the gate, and scurried out of the way with their breakfast in hand. Queen came rushing out of the barn for her morning meal. If Flower wasn’t lame, she would have beaten Queen to the beet pulp. Without a halter, lead rope, or even a piece of twine those two girls walked into their pen. Only those two girls would mind their manners so well and do what I ask without me even saying what needs to be done. I think we are on a “Respect Each Other” policy.

And then there’s Maverick. He pretty much told me that he’s been missing my interactions with him. I was climbing over the gate to start morning feeding and Maverick was right there in my way. I make sure to watch where I swing my leg with Maverick. But he stood his ground. I gave him a pat and he still wouldn’t move. So I took his head in my hands and gave him a great big hug. He stood there soaking up all the attention. He melted my heart tonight and now I feel guilty that I haven’t been doing much with him. I guess I know what I’ll be doing, having some Maverick Time.