Friday, August 31, 2012

Newest Member to Borderlands

I’ve been trying to figure out for a few weeks now how to write this post (don’t worry, it’s nothing bad). So in my typical fashion, I’ll just blurt out everything.

I’ve mentioned for awhile now that my health has been an issue with caring for the horses at Borderlands. I ended up catching a little “bug” last year. I also said that we couldn’t bring anyone else in to the sanctuary. Well, I lied. We did bring one more member into the family this month.

Please meet my son, Garrett Eugene Border. He was born August 12, 2012 at 8:54pm 8lbs 1oz and measuring 19 3/4inches long. I am the proudest momma in the world. As the case is at Borderlands, nothing is easy. I guess we always need a challenge and Garrett gave us a challenge. After 15 hours of labor (with the final three being hard pushing), Garrett was born. Unfortunately, Garrett had to spend about four days in the Neonatal Intensive Care for low blood sugar. He was originally taken to NICU because I was running a fever of 104. My little boy was a trooper the entire time. He never really squawked when they poked his foot to test his blood (before every feeding). They put my son on my chest for about five minutes right after he was born and then they whisked him away to NICU. I didn’t get to see him for 12 hours. But then I spent the rest of my time with Garrett.

The hospital released me on Tuesday but didn’t realize Garrett until Thursday. Thank god for family and friends. They took care of the horses while Mike and I stayed at the hospital with Garrett. I cannot thank everyone enough for all they did while we were in the hospital.

But as every story goes, I hadn’t seen the last of the hospital. By Saturday I was sitting in the Emergency Room again. Once the ER doctors looked at me, I was raced around for an emergency surgery. When Garrett was born, I had to be stitched up (I’ll not go into details other than to say that I had 60 stitches total in a number of places). Somewhere along the line, all 60 of those stitches ripped out and I had to have an emergency operation to have the stitches replaced. I never did find out exactly how many the doctor put in but it was close to double from the original 60.

So I’m currently sitting on a donut with 120+ stitches currently in me. I’m restricted from lifting anything over 15 pounds, no housework, and I can’t drive. The doctors released me Sunday evening and I was the happiest girl in the world. I could finally enjoy my son for more than a day!

On Monday, J came out in the evening to help move the herd at the neighbor’s. The pasture had dried up while we were in the hospital. The pasture had lasted for almost two weeks but family had to throw hay while we were still in the hospital. I at least got to see them work on moving the fence while I stayed in the house and played with Garrett.

Mike spent all his time at home on the computer looking for hay. We were getting down to the wire to find hay. I only had half my winter supply. But Mike found hay and was able to get a couple of trailers and tractors lined up for this past weekend. He and J brought home 44 round bales. Buying that hay wiped me out. I just paid for last year’s hay and now I have to pay for half of this year’s hay (which cost the exact same amount). I still have to come up with the cash for the first 40 bales that were delivered a few weeks ago. With me being on maternity leave/short term disability, my paycheck is cut in half so making ends meet is going to be difficult. If anyone wants to help with some of the bales, I’d be eternally grateful. Every dollar counts. As it stands, I’m in the whole for the 40 round bales. I feel guilty for not being able to help but even now after this many days, I still can’t ride in a car for more than a few minutes/miles before I get worn out and am sore.

I’m supposed to go back to the doctors soon to get checked out. Apparently what happened to me is fairly unusual. Of the three doctors treating me, only one has seen something similar to what happened to me. Leave it to me to be the unusual one.

So you can maybe see why I havent’ done as much. I was dealing with morning sickness for the first three months, family issues still unfolding (even now), trying to get everything wrapped up with my paying job so that I could be out for a few weeks, and all the other unbelieveable happenings over the past nine months.

I expect it’ll be a few more weeks and possibly a month or two before I’m back on my feet 100% (even though I was chasing horses while nine months pregnant!) But I am hoping that life slows down a little so that I can enjoy the horses and my son a little bit more.

Unfortunately, we are faced with two impending euthanasia. I am heartbroken and even thinking about it brings me to tears. But with the heat and their age, Thor and Queen arent’ going to make it. I am devastated but I knew it was coming. I will be calling the vet on Tuesday to schedule an appointment for next week. It’s not fair to keep them going. They won’t make the winter but at least we gave them a few good years to live out their life without any stress.

But I’ll not think about that awful task until next week. For now, I’m going to enjoy my son. Even with everything that happened, he’s so worth it. I’m going to have a problem balancing the sanctuary and my personal life with Garrett but I’ll figure it out. If it doesn’t seem like I’m that active, it’s because I’m trying to stay focused more on family for a little while. Family is important and I couldn’t run this sanctuary without them, especially now. I hope that Garrett grows up learning what is right and wrong in the horse world and will do what’s right.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Still Here

We have wonderful news to share but I'm mean and am going to keep you in suspense. Exhuasted so will post after I've recovered some. If you need anything, please post on our Facebook page.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Queen, Hay, and Other Odds n Ends

I'd had a bit of a rough day yesterday so I didn't get out to do chores until dusk. Luckily the herd at the neighbor's is pretty easy to deal with. Chaos and Rain didn't want anything to do with me. Only Maverick seemed interested but that's because I was trying to fix Brego's flymask. I wish we could have the rest of the herd at the neighbor's but I don't trust Jim, Bo, or Zeke not to constantly test the fence and I'm in no shape to be catching horses.

Dude and King are enjoying life at mom and dad's. I'm considering hauling King home and taking one of the three naughty ones up there instead. That way King could be with the bigger herd and I wouldn't have to throw as much hay.

I'm doing whatever I can to reduce the amount of hay I have to use. I'm really starting to worry. We have 40 rounds lined up but the distance we have to go to get them will eat into any cost savings we might have had. I hate paying the same amount for half of what we will be getting. We are considering having someone deliver 34 of the 40 bales that we need and then only make one trip ourselves up there. We'd be short 6 bales otherwise. The flatbed we'd be borrowing holds 12 bales so I may see if someone in the area would be intersted in buying a few bales to help cut down on cost.

Our main hay supplier is supposed to be bringing our 40 big squares this Friday. I much prefer to work with big squares. We thought we might have had someone lined up with big squares but the price is exactly the same as if we were to buy the big rounds north of us. No matter what we we look at it, I can't afford this year's hay. I guess I'll be taking out a loan just to feed hay this year.

But back to last night. Ever since we put the mares into the other pasture, I haven't really seen them but for a few seconds. It's not like it's a huge pasture but I'm too exhausted to wander through the pasture to find them. Well, we were just about ready to go in and I hear this terrible noise. I figured I'd better go check and see what it was. I knew if I ignored the noise, I'd be in trouble the next morning.

It's a good thing I went and checked. That darn Queen managed to push a fence down and get in where Mike and Dad fenced some of the mare pasture off because of some junk we still need to clean up. How she managed to find the one weak spot, I'll never know. She hadn't been in there for very long but she wasn't happy about it. Mike got her out of there and the minute she was standing by me she let out a big sigh. I LOVE that girl. I was leaning on her back and she reached around and gave me a hug. I think we both have missed each other. :-) Because I haven't gone in search of her, I haven't given her grain. But because she was by the gate and such a trooper, I went to get her evening grain. Again, another big sigh when I put the dish in front of her. I do love that girl. I'm going to be heartbroken when we have to put her down at the end of the month.

I'm having a hard time making decisions as of late also. I know I need to set the date to put both Queen and Thor down. I also need to make a decision very soon about the hay. But my mind can't cope with all of these stresses right now. I'm sure I'll be able to focus later but right now I struggle to even figure out the day-to-day stuff, there's no way I can problem solve at this point. So if I sound wishy-washy, that's why. I'm simply happy to put one foot in front of the other these days.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Prep for Hay

Yesterday was a fairly productive day. Of course, not until late. Once again, we wrapped up chores in the dark. I haven't been out in the mornings at my normal 5:30am chore time for the past couple of weeks. I'm getting a little spoiled and its' going to be such a wakeup call when I have to go back to my old routine. I think the horses will prefer it though.

In our mad search for our full winter supply of hay, we decided to purchase some small square bales (fondly known as idiot bales). Mike hooked up the trailer yesterday and in the evening picked up our load of small squares. It'll be nice to have the small squares on hand during emergencies and when we need to go on travel with one or two horses. I shy away from small squares because Mike is allergic to hay and I hate to ask him to handle hay when it causes him so many problems. But it was his idea! :-)

Mom and Dad came down yesterday evening to help unload and fill the barn with the small squares. What a blessing it is to have such good family (and friends). I really am counting my blessings. Normally we would have waited for a cooler day or at least another day where Mike wouldn't have to touch every bale twice. But we borrowed our neighbor's trailer (the one where the big herd is at) and thought it best to get his trailer back. I don't know what we would do without that neighbor. Again, totaly blown away by people's generosity. Our flatbed is full of shingles for the house. Someday we'll get a new roof on the house but that's for another day.

After the bales were nicely stacked in the barn, Mom went to down cleaning out the hay shed. Apparently we are getting our half order of hay from our hay supplier later this week. I love it when Mom comes down. That lady knows how to clean! Everything looks so nice and I'm excited to see the hay shed filled with hay, even if it's only half a load. It's just that much more comfort knowing its' there. Luckily, I wont' have to pay for that hay for a few months.

We did find another hay supplier that has round bales. It's not as easy to handle round bales and it's going to be a long haul, but at least we'll have our other half of our winter hay supply. Unfortunately, I have to pay for that right away. After just paying for all of last year's hay, I have to turn around and find just about the same amount of cash for half that amount within about a week. It's not an easy task when I'm footing the bill for everything. Trust me, my paycheck is not large, Mike and I have simply learned to live without a lot. We will most likely have to make four trips to bring all 40 round bales home. I'm not looking forward to the endeavor but at least we'll have decent hay. If anyone is willing to help out, we'd be eternally in your favor.

Zeke is now in with Jim and Bo (and out of the Timeout Pen). Because our hay supplier is coming, hopefully tomorrow, I  need to move the ponies to the Timeout Pen. Of course, it wont' be a timeout pen then. I've been saving the last little bit of pasture for the ponies (because they are the only ones who can get to it). I'm sure they will enjoy the taste of green grass. But I  need the ponies out of the way and the three naughy horses in the barn when the hay supplier gets here so that we can load hay into the hay barn. I'm not exactly sure if the hay will fit. The old barn sags more and more every year and it gets tighter every year. It's fun to watch them load the barn and the shed full of hay. I think every horse person knows the relief of having a barn full of hay. It's going to be a tough year for hay. I expect once the neighbor's pasture is done (I'm guessing by mid Sept) that I'll be feeding hay morning and night. Aggrevating but I refuse to let them get thin.

I'm sure there was more that I was going to write about but I'm drawing a blank right now.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


It's been a tough evening at Borderlands. After moving horses to the neighbor's this morning and making sure that everyone was settled, Mike and I took a much needed nap in the afternoon. The stress of moving horses is always pretty high for me. I'm not keen on keeping them in electric only. After last week's escapade I'm even more nervous. But we have to do what we can to make sure that they have pasture.

Our hay guy informed me yesterday that they were only able to get half of what we needed. It didn't look likely that we would get our full order so I was in a panic this evening trying to figure out where we could find enough hay.

After a nap, we started looking for hay. We found enough (I hope) but its' going to be a pain in the butt trying to get it home. It's a bit farther away than I wanted to go but we didn't really have a choice. So this Saturday Mike and J are going to Miller to pick up the 40 bales that we need to make sure we make it through the winter. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we actually have enough. If anyone else has a big truck and trailer and is willing to haul, we'd greatly appreciate the help.

After getting the hay lined up, we decided to start in on chores. Mike suggested we go and check the herd at the neighbor's first. Thank goodness we did. We were still stumped on why the electric fence wasn't working right so we started walking the fenceline. All of a sudden, I heard a snap and the fenceline went slack. Bo decided to test the fence and take it down (and take Zeke with him). Luckily the rest of the herd was far enough away that they didn't realize the fence was down. Unfortunately we couldn't catch Zeke and Bo right away but the others stayed put. We were able to get the fence back up before the others decided they should go on another escape.

While Mike repaired the fence, I went after Bo and Zeke. Zeke, being the SOB that he is, will not let anyone catch him. Luckily they didn't go too far. Bo sprained an ankle (or at least that's what I figured) because he was lame two days after last week's "outting". But even with a bum leg, he could still move out. I jumped in the truck and tried to catch up to them. They did decide to turn around instead of head for the alfalfa field they ended up in last time.

Luckily the neighbor to the south of us has a few minis and a donkey. Zeke and Bo were sidetracked with those little guys so I was able to catch Bo (but not Zeke). It's probably better that I didn't catch Zeke. Because we were almost a mile from home, I knew I couldn't walk the boys home. I figured the next best thing was to drive them home. I lead Bo home through the truck window and Zeke followed along like he was tied to the truck. Unfortunately Bo had to hobble the entire way. If it would have been Zeke that I caught, we would have gone much faster. If the SOB can run away from me, he can go at a nice lope all the way home. But that wasn't the case. Instead, Zeke is now in the timeout pen to give him some time to think about behaving. We gave the neighbor's something to talk about.

As you can see, we are a bit "hick" in this part of the country. But you do what you have to do to get the job done.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the others stay in the pasture. I don't want to use up any more hay than I already have to. Our hay situation is going to be tight. We are going to have to start feeding hay early and what little we have left has to last. I don't want to dip into the new hay because then we won't have enough for the winter.

The hay supplier did say we'd probably get our half load sometime this week so now I need to scramble to get the hay shed and hay barn cleaned out before they get here.

Least to say, I'm exhausted after moving horses, fixing fence, chasing horses, and getting things lined up to get more hay. If I don't post again for a few days, it's probably because I'm too tired to think straight. Both Mike and I were struggling this evening. I couldn't figure out how to look at a picture on his phone and he couldn't figure out how to put the truck into reverse. It's a sign that we both need a break from all the stress. Now if the horses would just cooperate maybe then the stress would lessen just a little.

Please keep your fingers crossed that things get easier for us. And if anyone would like to donate to our hay supply, I'd greatly appreciate it. The price is going to be double what I was expecting. I just paid for last year's hay and now I have to come up with the cash to pay for this year's hay this week. It's going to be nip and tuck. Remember, it's just my paycheck taking care of the horses and I don't get paid a lot (we've simply learned how to go without).

Exhausted. Finally going to head to bed so we can do it all over again tomorrow.

Need Hay

Our hay supplier came up short with hay. We are only getting half of what we requested. Now we are in desperate need of finding enough hay to get us through the winter. If anyone knows of someone selling hay, please let us know through Facebook.

Friday, August 3, 2012

This and That

Last night was such a gorgeous night. It was finally cool enough to start in on a few projects (and the moon was absolutely gorgeous). Sadly, Mike and I were both discussing projects that we need to accomplish. The sad part, the projects are all things we have to get done before winter. Here it is only the first part of August and we are already discussing things that absolutely have to get done before winter sets in.

Earlier this week we had a storm blow through. As we were trying to get everything under cover (thinking it might hail), a huge gust of wind blew through the trees. Never before have I seen leaves fall from the trees during the first part of August (or ever during August). It felt more like late September rather than early August. Unfortunately we didn't get much rain out of that storm either.

The weatherman predicted extreme heat for July and August. So far, they were right. I did hear a rumor that we are supposed to actually get rain for August and September. I'm keeping my fingers crossed but not holding my breath.

When I let the big herd out onto the pasture yesterday morning (we haven't had time to fence of the neighbor's pasture), I thought some of the herd had broken down a fence. There were three horses standing in the pasture. Nope, the geldings were all there. I forget that the mare pasture is in an "L" shape and they decided to stand at the end of the L enjoying a nice breeze. Last night when we went out to do chores, Mike wanted to check on the mares. Rabbit and Mayhem were standing by the water trough but Queen was no where to be seen. Mike went in search of her in case she was down. He later confessed that his stomach dropped twice while looking for her (don't worry, she was hanging out away from mean ol' Rabbit). But both times Mike saw a white lump lying on the ground, he thought it was Queen. With her age and this excessive heat, we are both very concerned for her welfare. I'm guessing at the end of this month, we will haul both Queen and Thor in to euthanize.

Bo came up lame the other day too. So now I have two lame horses and I can't figure out why other than they pulled muscle during their rampage through the countryside last Sunday. There's no heat or swelling in Bo's legs or in Ivan's legs. I can't figure out what is going on. If it doesn't improve soon, I'll have to haul them in to the vet and find out what's wrong.

I want to apologize for my rant yesterday. Work stress, health stress, lack of sleep (thank you sleep apnia) all rolled into a day I couldn't tolerate. I can handle only so much ignorance and apparently I reached mine early on yesterday morning.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the coolest day we've had in weeks. Mike and I are hoping to get up early and tear down the electric fence at the neighbor's and reset fence posts and wire. I'm hoping to have the herd back to the neighbor's by the end of the weekend. Two strands of wire and a stronger charger will hopefully fix some of the issue. Keeping Jim out of that herd will also help. Last year he tested the fence, escaped, and headed home (thank goodness Maverick was at home). I can't physically catch loose horses right now so everyone will have to be on their best behavior and stay put.

Although I've been fairly quiet on the rescue scene, avoiding auctions and not bringing anyone else in to the sanctuary, I do want to start gearing up to do some fundraising this fall and winter. Last year we took in four emaciated horses that depleted our funds and took its toll on me physically and emotionally. I've had a few very awesome ideas for fundraisers that I want to look into further once things settle down later this year. If you have any fundraiser ideas, I'd love to hear them. I'm hoping that if i can get my ducks in a row late fall/early winter, that we can start promoting the sanctuary early next year so that we might be able to come up with funds to take in a few horses and give them a decent retirement. If you have ideas, I would love to hear them. Please drop me a line at our Facebook page.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Absurd #2

It has to be me. There is no way that there are this many people with such absurd expectations.

I just read on yet another thread where someone wants to sell a lame horse for a a little bit of money. It's not a lot of money but more money than what should be expected for a lame horse with unresolvable lameness issues.

What I don't get is that the owners go on and on about how much they love this horse and how the horse probably had the best life with them. How he's lived a full and happy life with them. But wait, now they want to dump him because the hay crisis and instead of doing the right thing by putting more money into him by putting him down, they want to make a few bucks by selling him.

What's even worse, no one wants him for multiple reasons (lameness, hay crisis, name any other reason). If YOU don't want your horse, how do you expect anyone else to want YOUR horse?? especially if there are health issues.

I've seen ads where people say they want to find a good home for their horse otherwise they will euthanize. Honestly, I know I'm opening a can of worms, but I would rather a horse with health issues be euthanized than be dumped into the auction circuit and eventually end up in the slaughter pipeline. I guess that's why we still have Dude. He's lame, unsafe to ride but yet we still keep him because we all know where he'd end up. Everyone wants a good home for their horses and the only way to ensure that is to keep them. Don't tell me that you want a good home for your horse and then tell me you're taking him to auction.

So back to this horse. The owner wants to make money on him but if the horse doesn't find a new home in a few days, he's going to auction. We all know what happens to a lame horse at an auction where there are known kill buyers. How can you say that you gave the horse all kinds of care and love him but are willing to let him suffer? I sign death warrants when I euthanize but I would never send one to an auction because it wont' be a quick death. It won't be some little kid playing with your lame horse in a lush pasture. It'll be hours and hours of standing on concrete or drylots trying to avoid other horses while you hobble around. It'll be hours on a trailer crammed in with others while you suffer in silence due to the lameness.

For the few bucks that the owner MIGHT make, wouldn't your conscience be clean if you did the right thing and spent the $150 to euthanize? If I die tomorrow, I know I'll go with a clean conscience because I'll know the horses I've sent before me went under supervision of a caring hand and my hand on them as they crossed over. I hope they will forgive me for ending their life and will meet me at the gate but I have a clear conscience knowing that I didn't dump them at an auction to suffer an unknown fate. I do not believe in out of sight, out of mind. What ever happened to doing the right thing?


Warning!! This post is a bit snarky. Do not read if you are easily offended.

I'm not sure if it's my current mind set, current health, or simply the absurdity and audacity of people these days that leave me dumbfounded (but not speechless since I'm posting about it.)

I've joined a few discussion boards recently to see what others are doing in the area. I'm not sure if it's this area, the constant heat, the drought, or what that is making people open their mouth before thinking through with their statement (or maybe it's always been this bad and I've ignored the rudeness until now). Oh sure, I have this blog and I'm sure to offend but it's a blog, not a post on a discussion board. And if you don't like my snark then don't read the post. But on a discussion board, you open yourself up to ridicule if you aren't careful.

But I digress.

I saw a post today that simply blew my mind.
I am copying and posting:

"anyone have any horses thats need a good home that can be rode does not have to be broke"

What is wrong with this statement? And to add insult to injury this is on a RESCUE discussion board. Why do people insist on getting a horse for a summer and then dump it? Horses are a luxury but they are also a lifetime commitment. I know some individuals will rescue and find homes and I commend those individuals (as long as there is a contract in place and the truth is fully told about that horse). Simply "hoping" they go to a good home isn't good enough in my books. I am simply left speechless by this person's comment.

That person's comment ranks right up there with another "horse lover" who constantly buys and sells horses. I have seen countless ads in the local classifieds for her horses. The information in the ads are not true. Oh sure, they may have been true when she first bought the horse a few years back but now the information isn't the same. I wish we had the funds (and my health) to work a deal with this person so that we could ensure a safe retirement home for these old warriors. Maybe then I wouldn't be so angry and dumbfounded by the audacity of people's actions.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Odds n' Ends

It's been fairly quiet around Borderlands after the escapade the horses had on Sunday. We are back to dealing with extreme heat and heat indexes. Luckily the weatherman mentioned a cool down for Saturday.

Mike and I have been slowly getting things ready to move the demolished fencing at the neighbor's to a new location. I have a feeling something spooked the horses. But we did go buy a stronger charger and more electric fence. I'd feel much more comfortable keeping the herd in with two strands of electric rather than one. One is simply too easy to break. If they were in our yard with a substatial perimeter fence, one strand would be fine but I don't want to experience another rampage of the countryside again...ever.

I do think I'm going to haul Jim to Madison and bring King home. We could have caught the herd hours earlier had Jim not caused all the heartburn. So we'll send Jim away for a little while and see what happens. I may keep Bo and Zeke at home but I hate doing that becaue there's simply nothing left in the pasture.

When I went to let the herd out into the pasture this morning, I heard a crack in the mare pasture and a tree move. I spooked myself for about 10 seconds until I realized it was probably the mares. Ever since we put the mares into that pasture, I have only seen them from afar. They prefer to stay where there's grass instead of hanging out by the gate and water trough. Whatever makes them happy as far as I'm concerned. I had thought the noise and moving tree was due to a deer and then I thought it was that loose inmate that's been running around the countryside for the past two to three weeks. But no. It was just Rabbit and Mayhem. I desperately need to separate those two. Mayhem is joined at the hip with Rabbit and picking up bad habits...FAST.

I'm keeping a close eye on Ivan. I'm not exactly sure what happened but he's one hurting guy. I know the entire herd was sore after their adventure on Sunday. When we loaded Ivan, he hit his leg on the trailer and then rolled his ankle getting out of the trailer. He's been stiff ever since. The only problem is, I can't feel any heat or see any swelling. I was too sick Monday to do anything with him and had to run to town yesterday to buy fencing materials so we could fence the neighbor's place while the temps are cooler. I'm not sure I will be able to do anything tonight until after the sun sets. This darn heat makes life so difficult.

Bo also got banged up during his adventure on Sunday. He charged a barbed wire fence and cut his chest. We've been doctoring it ever since. Luckily he's such a good horse to doctor. He'll stand for just about anything (except shots and worming). Any amount of messing around with him, and he's all about it.

We are supposed to hit 99 degrees today with a heat index of up to 108. I doubt we'll do anything with the horses until after dark. The last few nights we've been out after dark trying to do chores. The other night we decided to pull the water from the water tote so that we could water some trees (since the horses weren't at the neighbor's). Mike and I were both tired but it was so relaxing. There was a nice breeze, an almost full moon shining down giving us enough light to see by, and a relaxing atmosphere as we sat there waiting for the tank to fill with water. Oh how I wish all our chores could be that relaxing. This heat makes everything so difficult and I hate doing chores at night, but sometime it really does make you appreciate the little things in life. Nice weather, relaxing, and good company. Everything that we need right now.