Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

Hope you all have a safe and happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Escape Artists

Those geldings know how to get on my nerves. Every time I have to run into town in the early evening, those geldings figure out how take down a fence or hurt themselves. In this case, two escaped and one got hurt.

I knew it was going to happen but was hoping that they would behave themselves. I guess I should have known better. They behaved while I was in the Emergency Room on Saturday. Chaos and Dude managed to escape from the drylot and harass Mayhem and Rabbit in their pasture. I'm afraid Zeke tried to go with but managed to hurt himself instead in the process. Go figure. We are starting to gear up for drill team practice and Zeke comes up lame.

Actually it seems that every fall we have additional vet bills. And right now everyone seems to be coming up lame. Rain is a little off but I think with a good trim he'll be back to normal. Zeke is now cut up and we'll have to start doing cold hosing and creams to get him back into shape. Brego came up lame just the other day too. I'm afraid that whatever is wrong with Brego is a lasting problem, not some fleeting injury that will be repairable. Whatever was wrong and flared up during training is now starting to show permanently. I have a feeling that its' the same thing Dude has (Hunter's Bump, where the tail is broken way inside and is putting pressure on the pelvis). But it's only a theory at this point. Unfortunately, if it is Hunter's Bump, there is absolutely nothing we can do to fix it.

I was hoping to do some fencing last Saturday but instead I spent the day in the ER. No worries, I'm fine now. Still don't know what was wrong. I guess my body had an opposition to working on fencing. But I had such high hopes of getting everyone moved over and put up fence in the drylot. I guess until the fence in the drylot is up, I wont' be able to move everyone to their winter pens.

I'm not looking forward to daylight savings time either. The only upside is that the first Monday after daylight savings time I have to go back to work and I'll be getting up the same time I normally do instead of getting up at 5am. That's about the only upside I can come up with. It'll be dark at night when I do chores and it'll still be dark in the  morning when I do chores. I'll only get to see the horses in the daylight on the weekends. Oh how I hate winter.

Friday, October 26, 2012

No Sun

This no sun for umpteen days along with snow and cold has put me into a fowl mood. We had about an inche of snow the other night. I ended up putting blankets on Babe and Bo and put Jim, Zeke, and Rain in the barn. I need to rearrange pens so that I can make sure Bo and Babe are out of all wind for this winter.

Still no word back yet from the vet on what the next steps are for Bo.

Instead of crabbing about everything, I'll just leave you with a few pics from this spring.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Well, we have good news and bad news about Bo. The bloodwork finally came back. He does NOT have West Nile. So no EPM and no West Nile. That's the good news. The bad news, we still don't have a clue what's wrong with him.

The next step is to start doing x-rays. The vet suggested that we start with the neck. The really ugly, the vet bill that we are going to incur to try and figure out what's wrong with Bo. He's been through so much but we need to figure out what's wrong ASAP. I'm waiting on a call back from the vet to see if we are x-raying his neck or some other part of his body. I don't think I can haul him but I'm not sure the vet is set up to do x-rays on a neck while out in the field.

I wish I could pinpoint exactly when he came up lame. If I knew, I could come up with why or how this happened. But having been in the hospital for a full week and then too sick to go out for the following month, I have no clue.

Poor Bo really has been shafted in life. And yet, he is the happiest horse I have ever met. Never have I met a horse that has been starved and now lame but still happy to see me and give me a whinny every time he sees me. (Of course he thinks he's getting food but I'll take whatever whinny I can get.)

I need to get him moved before winter sets in. It's going to be a long haul and I want to make it as easy as I can for him. So no tromping through drifts of snow, which means he needs to go into the pony pen, which has better shelter than where he's at now.

I was planning on pushing in a few bales to the different pens but I'm hoping this weekend to move everyone to their permanent winter pens.  He'll still be hanging out with Babe, much to Babe's dismay. I hate to move Babe, but I don't want her to be alone and I don't want her to contend with the ponies or Rabbit.

The weatherman said we are to get rain and then it's switching to snow sometime in the early morning tomorrow. I went ahead and threw a blanket on Babe and Bo to be on the safe side. I suppose we won't get any rain until this evening but the last time I waited to throw a blanket on those two, it rained. I dont want to take any chances of compromising their systems. So blankets are going on early. I can't believe we are going to get snow already, but I think we are at least one month ahead of schedule for weather. Sure hope it's an open winter, but with lots of rain now or in the spring. We need lots of precipe to bring back our pastures but I really dont' want to deal with cold temps and snow.

I'll be spending all day Saturday rearranging pens and getting everything set up for winter. Who knows when we'll start getting serious snow but I want to be ready no matter what. Oh how I dread winter.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


I have a question for everyone. For those that are local to the sanctuary, would you be interested in participating in a horseback scavenger hunt with all proceeds going to the sanctuary? Would you prefer we try to squeeze the scavenger hunt in now before the weather gets bad or hold out until next spring/summer when the weather is less unpredictable?

Please let me know. Leave a comment here if you are a follower, email me at, or leave a comment on our Facebook page!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Winter Weather Almost Here

I HAVE to start paying attention to the weather.I knew the weatherman said rain and breezy but I wasn't expecting that kind of weather. I lost track of when it started raining. I think we are on day three of clouds. I was able to get Bo and Babe blanketed two nights ago and boy am I glad I did.

All day I watched as the rain kept falling and the wind kept blowing. I felt bad for everyone but couldn't do anything until Mike got home. When I did, it was a hussle to get everything done before the dark set in.

We had terrible winds and horizontal wind. I was worried about Rain all day so I figured I'd bring him home. Mike suggested we bring everyone at the neighbor's home until this weekend. I guess that pasture didn't last two weeks like I had hoped. So now we are throwing hay. I was worried that Rain was chilled and I wanted to get him in and dry him out over night. So I hopped in the truck and brought everyone home since there was no food and they all looked miserable.

I left Rain in the barn overnight to dry off and warm up and I also put Jim and Zeke in the barn. I am going to have to pay more attention to see who needs to go in the barn. I had contemplated putting Bo in the barn but that's a long walk for a horse that can only walk on three legs. He already had his blanket on and I didn't really want ot leave Babe alone. So I tossed them some extra alfalfa and they settled in for the night. Bo was toasty warm in his blanket.

I think this weekend I'll start rearranging pens. There's still a ton of fencing we need to take care of but I want to make chores easier for this winter. I've heard that we'll have the same winter as last year, warmer than normal, and colder than normal. So who knows. But no matter what, I'm going to need to bea ble to consolidate my chores so that I can do them as quickly as possible.

My thought is to move Babe and Bo to the pony pen and extend the pen out with corral panels. That way they are protected from wind in all directions except east and then we'll just have to pull a protective wall. Otherwise I'll take them into the barn where it's a little bit warmer. But if they were out of the elements more and didn't have to content with very much snow, I think they would both do better all winter.

Then I'll put the ponies in the blind pen and put Rabbit and Mayhem with the ponies. I don't really want Mayhem with Rabbit because of Rabbit's bad attitude but it'll just have to wait until next year. Maye the ponies will be a good influence on Mayhem. I suppose once Mayhem goes to training, she'll be better. I just don't want her to pick up any bad habits from Rabbit.

And then there will be the big herd and everyone will have a stall or lento to get out of the wind. I am trying to figure out who goes into what stall in the barn. I have to repair a stall door in the hay shed and put up a couple of panels and then Mayhem, Rabbit, and the ponies will have a pen to stay out of the bad and cold weather. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll just get snow and not a lot of cold weather.

There's a horse sale tomorrow but I don't think I'l go. I can't bring anyone home and I've had to turn away horses. It breaks my heart to go but it also breaks my heart to not go. Who will remember those that go through. Someone has to care for them even if they can't do anything. But I guess I'll have to skip this one. Maybe I'll try to go to the Nov 3rd auction instead but we'll see. I'm not sure my spirits can take too much devistation these days.

I'm hoping the weather turns better for awhile. The weatherman said we'll be in the 60s for the next week or so. Hopefully we can get a few things done with the horses. I'm just not ready for winter yet. I lost all of the summer due to the heat, pregnancy, and some complications after Garrett's birth. I always joked that I was about two months behind but now I'm so far behind, I think I might be a full year behind now!

Please pray for the loose horses that run through tomorrow's sale. Pray that a private buyer takes them home. I'll be thinking of them all day.

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Today we went to Nikki Zebell's benefit fundraiser. Originally she was to attend and see all the wonderful people who came to support her. Unfortunately, she passed away a week earlier to bone cancer. I had the pleasure of meeting her last year when she baled me out at the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock Horse Sale. She had attended and took in a no value donkey and a no value yearling. She helped me get Savanna and Sahara home. Bless her heart for helping me out. We'd only met one other time.

She was an advocate for the no value horses. She would attend auctions and bring home the no value horses, feed them, educate them, and then find them good homes. For the past year I havent' been able to attend any auctions but I knew that Nikki was out there attending auctions and picking up the no value horses when she could.

I did feel guilty about not attending an auctions because I knew she was out there working her magic. She wouldn't ask for help, she wouldn't ask for money, she wouldn't ask for recognition. She simply did what was right and helped those that couldn't help themselves.

Although she may have lost her battle to bone cancer, she made a huge impact during the short time she was on this earth. Many of the community turned out to support her family. I can only imagine the medical bills that piled up. By the crowd at the Parker Community Center, Nikki touched many people's lives. I can honestly say I was honored in meeting her.  The beneift seemed like a success but I expect that the bills are still piling up. If you can help out, I am positive that the family would be relieved of the burden of dealing with the final costs. If you are interested in donating, please let me know and I'll post the details.

It is a sad day to know that Nikki is no longer on this earth and that there is one less advocate for the horses. But after seeing the number of people attending the benefit, there is hope that her cause will never be forgotten.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pipeline Horses

Beauty Haven's Horse Rescue and Sanctuary said it best. I'll just copy and past what the founder posted.

We know that Canada has stopped accepting horses destined for slaughter. We also know there are horses stuck in the slaughter pipeline that we are very concerned about. I’d like to remind everyone that the pipeline starts all around us. It isn’t just the horses on the front lines sitting at Sugarcreek, New Holland, etc. that are going to need help that we worry about. There are feedlots and dealers all over the country that supply KB’s with horses. We are worried about these horses as well. They all will need help.

We are trying to determine how, and if, we may be able to help any of these horses. Some organizations may already be asking for funds to help horses caught in the pipeline – we suggest that everyone be careful and to make sure the organization, and their plans to help these horses, are legitimate.

None of us really know what to expect or when. But we should start identifying ways to help. I know the dealers in our area will expect money for horses they are stuck with. Funds will be needed for this and other things – hay, grain, vetting, etc.

We can't accept any horses at Borderlands until we have donations or additional funds coming in. If you can donate, sponsor, or help in any fashion, we'd appreciate the help. Let's be proactive in finding ways to help. There are feedlots in South Dakota. Mitchell has a feed lot for sure and there is an upcoming sale this Saturday. Lets start planning and have a backup plan. Ideas are welcome. If you are a follower, please leave a comment. Or post something on our Facebook page or email us at The horses stuck in the pipeline need our help.

Friday, October 12, 2012


On my way home today I decided to drive by the local horse auction. My heart dropped when I saw a half dozen horses standing in a pen waiting for tomorrow's sale. I know it's not the auction house's fault for people dumping horses but it's hard to see souls standing in a pen waiting for their fate to be decided by someone.

There are two upcoming auctions that I'd like to attend even though we can't bring anyone home (besides the local auction tomorrow). It's painful to go but at least I can whisper some kind words and pray for them on their journey. I go so that at least they won't be forgotten. The two auctions take place October 20th at the Mitchell Horse Sale, which is where we brought Bo home. This sale is initially a catalog sale so there's hope that the cataloged horses will find a decent home but by the time the loose horses run through it's going to be late (and cold). And the second takes place November 3rd at the Sioux Falls Regional Livestock Sale Barn. This is where we brought Savanna and Sahara.

I expect with the drought and hay crisis that there will be lots of loose horses run through. When I read the stats for the South Dakota Horse Sale, they had over 200 horses run through loose. I expect all but one or two went to kill.

As a rescuer, we feel guilty. It's a heavy weight upon our shoulders to know that we can't help them all. We feel guilty for leaving some of them behind knowing that they will have a terrible fate in the end. It's a huge guilt but there's only so much a rescuer can do.

Now that I'm a mother, I feel that guilt even more. I want to do the best for my son but it makes me super sensitive to the guilt. Each life is precious. I have been blessed with amazing people and animals in my life but I feel guilty for not being able to do more.

As winter nears, I am even more aware that there are going to many horses dumped at auctions and so many lives lost. I feel guilty that I can't do anything. I know I mentioned in the last post about coming up with some fundraiser ideas. I have a few and I asked awhile ago for your ideas. They are still in the back of my mind but I'd like to hear of more ideas. And because I have the terrible habit of coming up with ideas but never following through, I'm looking for a few people willing to help. You don't have to be local to help out. If you have any ideas, you can post them here if you are a follower, post them on our Facebook page, or email us at

I look forward to hearing your ideas. Anything is possible. Maybe if we can focus on fundraising I won't feel as guilty for leaving so many behind.

Helping an Old Horse

Oh for green pastures.

It's been fairly quiet around Borderlands. We haven't had much time to work with the horses. Little Garrett-Bear keeps me busy. Last weekend we moved fences around and got the herd at the neighbor's in to a new pasture. They seemed happy.  I enjoyed moving fence around. It's the first time since we put the horses over at the  neighbor's that I've been able to help. I'm hoping that we can keep them  in this pasture for another week and then move them to the other little pasture for another two weeks. That would get us to about the end of October and I usually start feeding hay in November anyway.

We are picking up Dude and King this weekend too. It's been nice to have them at Mom and Dad's so they could enjoy the green grass. I had thought of taking Bo up there, now I wish I had. Maybe then he wouldn't have contracted whatever it is that he has (I'm guessing West Nile). But the pastures are done so we need to bring Dude and King home. I'm thinking of putting Dude in with the horses at the neighbor's but leaving King at home. King is a fence pusher and I'm leaving all the fence pushers at home with a bale in front of their face. I'm still not in any condition to be rounding up loose horses. It'll be nice to have Dude and King home. I've missed them both (even though I played with them when I went to Madison).

The weatherman is calling for rain on Saturday. I'm hoping that we get some. I was worried at first about the rain. It wasn't supposed to be very warm. I was figuring on having to blanket/sheet Babe and Bo but it's supposed to be fairly warm. I may still throw a sheet on both of them just in case. Babe is the oldest horse we have at Borderlands, topping out at 30 years old. I prefer to pamper her as much as possible. I also think that Bo should be sheeted too because he is a little on the thin side and still hurting from whatever ailment he has. I'd rather make sure they were dry. So I guess tonight while doing chores, I'll have to find and figure out what blankets/sheet works for Bo. Babe has her designated blanket thanks to her owner. :-)

I had thought of bringing Rain home so that I could put a sheet on him, but the weather is supposed to only be in the 40s and he can get out of the wind. It's supposed to be 70 by Saturday afternoon so Rain will warm up pretty quick. I can't put a sheet on him at the neighbor's because we finally  moved the horses into the tree pasture. I've learned my lesson about putting sheets/blankets on horses that have access to trees that reach out and grab blankets.

Since I've been home after Garrett's birth, I've been trying to come up with some fundraiser ideas. We aren't able to take in any more because of all the medical bills between myself and Garrett, along with the additional high prices of hay. So I'm trying to come up with ways we can promote Borderlands. If we had money coming in that wasn't associated with my paycheck, we could possibly take in another deserving old horse. I've seen alot of old horses looking for homes in the past month and it breaks my heart that we can't open our doors to them. I am very worried about what will happen to them if there is no sanctuary available for them to go to. I wanted to have a sanctuary for these old horses and now it seems I can't do anything in their time of need.

I'd love to step up this winter and offer a place but the finances only allow us the horses that we currenty have. I've been doing some brainstorming and have a few ideas but I would love to hear your ideas. I'd also love to get some help with the fundraisers. I am really good at coming up with ideas but not following through. So if someone has lots of ambition and is looking for a challenge, I could use your help! Your help would help save the life of an old horse!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I've had to do most of my chores lately in the dark. Last night I wasn't sure if the racoon in from of the tack room was dead or alive. Luckily it was dead (I had Mike check). But when I went back out, I could smell skunk. Farley, our lab mix, got sprayed the other day. I love fall but hate when all the varmits come out.

And because I'm doing chores in the dark, that's when I hear and see the varmits. It's usually either me or Mike doing chores in the dark. I've forgotten what the horses look like in the light.

I did get a chance to do chores in the daylight this morning. Much to my dismay, I should have kept a closer eye on Rabbit. I didn't realize it, but she went blind in her right eye. It's another vet visit I'm afraid. She also has a swollen left knee. I can't tell what hurts her because she wont' let me touch her. She's always been a "touch me not" type of horse but now she's really crabby about everything.

I just got the bill for Queen and Thor. I'm waiting for the major bill for Bo's bloodwork, and now we'll have Rabbit's vet bill. I have no idea what any of that will cost. To add insult to injury, I still have my hospital bill and Garrett's hospital bill. I think everyone is sick or hurt these last couple of months. So stressful.

Friday, October 5, 2012


The little Garrett-Bear has slept most of the day so I was able to play on the computer for a just a few minutes. I set up an email account for anyone that would like or need to email us directly.

I also decided to start a twitter account. We'll see how much I actually use it. I'm behind on all the technology so we'll see how fast I learn. I'd like to try and spread the word about our cause. Maybe then I wouldn't have to turn away horses.

Good News

Good news!! Bo does NOT have EPM. We are still waiting to hear back on the West Nile test. Luckily, the vet was able to send off the bloodwork to the same place so hopefully the cost won't be so much. The West Nile test takes a few more days I guess. We will anxiously wait to hear back from the vet if it's West Nile. If it's not, who knows what it is other than something neurological and most likely un-reversable.

Please keep your fingers crossed that it's something that can be fixed and he can actually be a horse for a chnage instead of always fighting one ordeal after another.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Saying No is So Hard to Do

It's hard for me to ask for help and it's even harder for me to say no. But in the last month, I've had to say no four times for horses coming in. The real kicker, three of the four fit into our program. I know it's tough for everyone but we are in the same boat as everyone else. The drought hit us hard too. I had to take out a personal loan to cover the cost of this year's hay. I'm not willing to downsize because then we wouldn't truly be a sanctuary. But to cover the cost of care, it's my paycheck and let me tell you, I don't make alot. We simply give up a lot of other things.

Up until now, I've been relatively healthy but with my emergency surgery and Garrett's stay in the NICU, we will be paying hospital bills for a year. I know that the sanctuary is separate from my personal bills but any "play" money that went for the sanctuary is now going to pay bills. That "play" money was what allowed us to take in an extra mouth. Now that that money is gone, we can't even consider taking in anyone else. I'm disappointed to say the least.

Now is the time that we need to be stepping up to help the horses even more. The drought took it's toll on everyone and the horses seem to be the ones taking the full brunt of the economy and drought. My fear is that it'll only continue to get worse. I can only hope that things will improve both for the economy and weather in general, and for us directly so that we can help more horses.

I haven't yet gotten the vet bill for Queen and Thor but I'm guessing it'll be in the $300 range and I have no idea what Bo's bill will be. Bo is happily hanging out with Babe. Babe seems to be happier having someone with her. Neither push the other around. I feel bad for Bo because his best friend, Zeke, is in the other pen. But Zeke and Jim pushed Bo around. Instead Bo hangs out on the fence. But it also means that it keeps Bo a little quieter on that foot. I can only hope that things will improve for Bo and that whatever neurological issues he now faces, that it won't be as severe as I think.

I'm now feeling well enough to do chores. Mike has been doing my chores for me for the past two months. Of course I had him only throwing hay but I'm now back to doing all my chores. And boy howdy have I forgotten how much I hate hay. It's everywhere, in my boots, in my hair, in my clothes. Luckily it isn't in my eyes or my freezer just yet. It's been nice to have the five horses at the neighbor's and two at Mom and Dad's. It really cuts down on the amount of hay we have to burn through right away.

But the horses at the neighbor's need to move again. We are pushing our luck by keeping them  there an extra week. I figured that pasture would hold for one week and now we are on week three. I'm betting we will have to throw hay later this week. But we'll have another two weeks at the neighbor's. The neighbor said to keep the horses there until the snow flies. I don't think that'll happen. It's a lot of work to move fence around but if it keeps the horses on grass, maybe it'll be worth it. I worry about having them in one strand of fence when hunting season starts. But I locked everyone out of our pasture until spring.

We also have to bring Dude and King home this weekend. I'm hoping to put Dude over at the neighbor's. We'll see how that goes though. Dude would be in charge and that'll change the dynamics of the herd again. I swear everyone was pretty well lost when I took Dude to Madison but I think it's helped. I'm sure Chaos and Rain will be glued to Dude once he returns. King on the other hand will have to remain in the pen. He's apparently a fence pusher and we can't risk having loose horses now!

It's hard for me to believe that it's already October. I lost three months this year and I don't think I'll be able to get as much done that I wanted to. Today is our last nice day before the cold front blows through. There's so much I'd like to work on before it gets too cold but I guess I'll just be happy to enjoy the day and nice weather. What I have learned in the last few months is to be happy when one small project gets done. I just wish there wasn't so much that HAS to be done before winter sets in.

Now that I'm slightly restricted in spending all my free time outside, I have a bit more time to think of fundraisers. I'd like to spend the next few months brainstorming ideas for fundraisers for 2013. Only with additional funds are we able to take in horses that desperately need new homes. I would love to be able to tell people, "yes, we'd be more than happy to bring your horse into our sanctuary for retirement." But until we have the funds, that can't happen. With that said, please start thinking of some fundraiser ideas that we can start researching and possibly doing for next year. We will consider all ideas!