Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't Forget!

Don't forget, this weekend is the Colton Festival of Trees. Borderlands is donating a tree. So if you'd like to see our creativeness, go check it out. The festivties are free and all the proceeds go to a good cause.

Also, if you have time and want to get into the Christmas spirit a little bit more, we will be at the Hartford Parade of Lights. I'll be riding Zeke (although he's not a rescue he can still represent Borderlands). We'll be riding for the Cowboy Way Riding Angels Drill Team.

We are also having our brainstorming meeting Saturday evening at 5:30pm.  If you can make it, let me know so I know how many pizzas to order. If you can't make it but have ideas, email us at I am looking forward to hearing everyone's fantastic fundraising ideas.


I'm starting to worry. Ok, worry more than normal. I know that worrying doesn't do any good but I'll still do it. I can't remember the last time we had any rain (or snow) that soaked the ground. I don't know what's going to happen if we don't get some moisture into the ground.

If we don't get some decent moisture, we are going to continue this drought. Our pastures won't hold out at this rate. Awhile back we got a little bit of rain and the pasture started to perk up. If the pasture doesn't come back, we will be feeding hay. I'd rather not feed hay year round to the herd. As it stands, I still haven't paid for all of this year's hay. We are still saving up to cover the cost .

If the drought continues, I forsee an increase of horses headed to auction. That thought really bothers me. There are too many really good horses headed to slaughter.

So if anyone knows a rain dance, want to show me how it's done? I normally follow the old wives tale of 90 days after fog is precip. Well, so far that isn't holding true. Of course it depends on if it's an El Nino year or a La Nina year. La Nina doesn't work. Do not sure what this year is supposed to be. From my records, we were supposed to get a fairly decent amount of precip over Thanksgiving because we had fog that last weekend in August. But no dice. Still no precipe to account for anything.

On a happier note, Bo is really starting to come back both in reduced lameness and increased weight. While I was hopsitalized and unable to care for him afterwards, Bo dropped a bit of weight. But  now that he's on a round bale 24/7 along with a grain mixture, he's starting to look good again. He's also acting like there's no lameness. I am sure I'm being over cautious by pulling him from the big herd but I feel better knowing he's on soft ground and won't get pushed around.

I have spooked him twice now. I was busy doing my chores while Bo had his head buried in the hay (he and Babe are separated by a corral panel but I swear they eat with their noses touching). So when Bo finally heard me messing with his water, he spooked. I figured his spook would cause some damage to his leg but it didn't.

Last night after I got back from drill team practice (I'll talk more about that in a later post), Bo was going crazy! He was loping back and forth in his smallish pen. I sat and watching him looking for any sign of lameness but didn't see anything. So I don't know what's going on. I'm keeping a close eye on him but it's impossible to keep him quiet in that small pen. So we are still doing the "wait and see" method. But I'm about half tempted to throw a saddle on him and putter around the yard to see how he does. I am afraid my weight will be too much for him just yet and I want him to pack on a few more pounds before I do any riding of any sort with him. But if he appears to be sound with no issues, I may start working him a little to build back the muscle that he lost.  But I'm not going to push it and I won't be disappointed if he turns into a pasture pet. But it would be really  nice to ride him so that he can represent Borderlands AND that a super thin horse isn't always an old horse AND that it's possible to bring back a horse from the brink.

If Bo does stay sound and keeps the weight on, I may start using him for drill team.  But for now, either Maverick or Chaos will represent Borderlands on the drill team. It's nice to show off horses that would have potentially been lost to the auction circuit.

This weekend is supposed to be goregous so hopefully I can sneak a short ride in.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Missing You

I thought the blog was looking a little bare so I thought I'd go into the archives and look to see where we were at a year ago this time and so forth.  I came across pictures of Bob and I started to cry. I miss that loveable guy so much! These pictures were taken the day before we had to put him down. He was our first draft horse and boy was that an experience. He taught me so much, as each horse at Borderlands has. 

The more I look at these pictures, the more I miss him. I wish everyone would be given a chance to retire. Bob lucked out that we were able to give him a few years of leisure before we had to say goodbye. This is exactly why I want to fundraise and be able to provide deserving horses a place to retire. They work hard all their lives and now need to be pampered and know that their final days will be filled with food, friendship, and love.

I miss you my sweet Bob. The place has never been the same. I need to go now before I can't stop crying.

Hospital Ward

Last night we rearranged pens again. Hopefully this arrangement will work. We put Bo back in with the big herd Saturday but he seemed like he was off more Sunday and Monday. But on Tuesday when I looked, he didn’t seem as bad. But I don’t want to risk him getting hurt again or being off still. I don’t  know what’s wrong but my theory is that if he stays off concrete, doesn’t get pushed around, and stands on fairly soft ground (soft for it being almost December), then maybe he’ll come out of whatever it was. Maybe it was something neurological, maybe it was a severe pinched nerve. Who knows?
So last night after everyone had their grain, Mike and I hauled corral panels in to Babe’s pen. We divided the pen into two smaller ones. I have nowhere else to put Bo otherwise. I don’t want him in with the mares and ponies. I don’t think that’ll give him any relief. And right now there’s no round bale in front of them so not as ideal for gaining weight quickly before winter sets in. 
The dilemma is water.  We have the 100 gallon tank with heater in the pen but dividing it means that someone won’t get the warm water. We opted for Babe to have the big tank even though she won’t drink that much. We need to encourage her to drink so that’s who gets the big tank. Mike is working on a new game plan for Bo so that he can have warm water all the time too. We divided the pen so that Bo would have 24/7 access to the round bale. When we push in a new round bale in another week or so, we’ll rearrange the pen a little bit different to give Babe a bit more space.
 Babe was very upset last night when we brought Bo over. She didn’t realize that she was in a pen by herself because she could still hear Bo. I know she was depressed being alone and now maybe this setup will work better. Bo can’t push Babe around and maybe will simply keep his head in the hay bale until he’s fat (which is hard to do).
Where Babe and Bo are currently used to be the pony pen, and then it turned into the naughty timeout pen. Now it’s the hospital ward. Babe is recovering from her head wound and Bo is recovering from his leg injury or whatever is wrong. So the pen is not so lovingly dubbed the hospital ward until further notice.
This arrangement will work out well for me. It’ll make graining Babe and Bo easier. Last night I fed Bo in the barn and had Zeke, Jim, and Rain in too. Rain snuck under the chain dividing him from Bo and stole some of Bo’s grain. I gave Rain an earful when I found out he was snitching. Ivan wants to be in the barn at all times too. He loves his grain.
The weather is supposed to be fairly nice this weekend. Hopefully I can pull out the temporary fence in the mare pasture before the ground freezes. So not looking forward to winter. We have just a few more little projects to do outside before winter sets in. It’s nice to be able to tick off a few of the projects on our list. I can pass on the snow but we do need precip soon. We are still in a drought and if we don’t get anything soon, we are going to be in a world of hurt soon. We need rain and at some point, I’d even be fine with snow (just not yet).  If we go into another year of drought I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to the horse market even more. But I guess that’s a topic for another discussion.
I can’t believe that it’s almost December. I’ve always been at least one or two months behind. I lost half my summer and all of the fall with the G-Bear’s arrival (but it was worth it). Now it’s time to buckle down and get a few more projects done before the end of the year. I’m looking forward to 2013 and all the adventures we’ll be having.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

1000 Posts

As the title says, this is our 1,000 post! Hard to believe that I could find enough to talk about, and yet I do. I know much of what I talk about is boring to most but it helps me keep track of our day-to-day activities and more importantly, when we say hello to a new member of the family.

We have seen a number of new family members and said goodbye to a number of family members also. We have been blessed with new friends. Some have come and gone, others stay (probably for the sheer amusement of the next funny story like chasing Zeke and Bo when I'm two days away from my due date...see picture).

I started the blog in March 2009, with some rambling thoughts and continue to ramble now three and a half years later. This year saw less rambling and will probably continue with that lack of daily posts until I can get into the swing of caring for an infant and caring for 15 horses.

I enjoy blogging although I need to be better about adding more pictures. We have grown as a sanctuary both in numbers and in knowledge. Much of the experiences have been an adventure but I look forward to sharing more adventures with you.

I would like to spend 2013 fundraising so that when the need arises, we don't have to say no to another horse that deserves a soft place to land. I am curious to know what you would like to see more of at Borderlands. More pictures, more posts, more about each individual horse, a newsletter? I'm game to try just about anything but am curious to know what others would like to see. Keep in mind I might not be able to do much but I would at least like to have the thought in the back of my mind so that if the time permits, I could do something more. So if you have an idea or a request, please let me know. Send me an email at or leave a comment on our Facebook page. If you are a follower, you can leave a comment on this post.

I look forward to hearing your ideas and to writing another 1000 posts. Thanks for sticking with us!

Festival of Trees

To get everyone in the holiday spirit at Borderlands, we decied to participate in the Festival of Trees this coming weekend. We are donating a tree for the silent auction. All fundraising monies will be given in memory of Darla Van Asselt to the Feeding South Dakota Backpack Program at Tri-Valley and Chester schools. We may be small and a private sanctuary but everyone needs a little help now and again and this is one way we can help. 

So, if you would like to get into the spirit of Christmas (or want to see the tree Borderlands donated tree), stop on out and bid on a tree!

Festival of Trees
First Lutheran Church
Colton, South Dakota

Silent Auction and Music

December 1st and 2nd from 2-4pm to view and bid on the donated trees (and wreaths). Enjoy piano and vocal Christmas music (and if it's the same lady singing, GO and listen. She is absolutley amazing! If she had a CD, I'd buy it, she's that good.)

December 2nd 4-5pm Organ Christmas Concert
December 2nd 5pm they announce the auction results.

Borderlands will be at the festivities on Saturday. We will miss out on who gets the decorated Christmas trees, wreaths, etc. but we will be getting ready to participate in the Parade of Lights in Hartford, South Dakota. So if you happen to be in the Hartford area, stop on our. I'll be riding Zeke. The parade starts at 5pm. I'll be riding for the Cowboy Way Riding Angels drill team.

Hope to see you at the Festival of Trees on Saturday and at the Parade of Lights on Sunday!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Weekend Activities

The past few days have been filled with family and lots of laughter. We had a well-deserved break from sanctuary/rescue work (not that it looks like we’ve been doing much as of late).

We’ve been treating Babe’s head wound. I think it’s getting better. Her owner came out early last week and gave her a “sweating to the oldies” headband look. I busted out laughing when I saw it. I know, I know, I’m being mean. But she looked so cute although I feel bad for her.  I think the infection is slowly healing.  I need to get out and do chores before it gets pitch dark out. I missed the injury until it got bad because I haven’t been out during the day since daylight savings time. I’m doing thorough body checks now to make sure everyone stays healthy.

Saturday we pushed in round bales to the big herd. We bought a cinch net and tried it out this last time. It saved the bale and we could have waited to push bales in for another day but having only one cinch net, two bales, and nine horses, there wasn’t enough room on the bale with the cinch net to let all the horses at the hay. The weather was decent so we buckled the little G-Bear in the truck and worked as quickly as we could to get the bales in. I’m going to be pinching my pennies so that we can buy another hay net. What a handy thing for all horse owners who feed round bales to have. There’s no mess and it makes the bale last a lot longer. Granted the bales we have aren’t the greatest and that’s why we are using them now instead of in the middle of winter when they can keep their head buried in the bale longer.  When the real cold sets in, we’ll have high quality hay to feed instead.

I’m also wondering if the cinch net wouldn’t work for Rabbit. She can’t be on a round bale because of her heaves. Her heaves flare up even when I just toss hay, although pitching it from the round bale into her pen seems to keep the heaves down. But I’m wondering if she can’t bury her head in the bale, if that would help. It’s a theory I want to try. At some point we won’t be able to get our big squares and will have to convert to rounds (something I’m not really looking forward to until we get a tractor that can actually lift round bales).

I also decided to put Bo back in with the big herd. I don’t think he’s 100% sound yet but I had no choice. I’m keeping a close eye on him to make sure he doesn’t go totally lame again. We still don’t know what was wrong with him. The blood work came back negative for everything so maybe it was a severe muscle pull but I don’t think so. I think there may be something neurological but who knows. He’s a bit off but he was still a bit off when he was in with Babe. But the other night he kicked the crap out of Babe and she was a hurting girl. Luckily it wasn’t too severe and she wasn’t lame on the leg for more than 24 hours. But I do NOT tolerate bad behavior towards the blind horses. Makes me furious. So, if we have to pull Bo out of the big herd, I’ll have to do some rearranging to see if I can get Bo back in where I have Babe right now but have it so that they aren’t in together. For now Babe will be alone until she recovers from her head injury and to make sure that the kick to the shoulder/leg doesn’t flare up.  (We seem to be having a rash of bad luck this fall, like every fall it seems).  Babe’s owner suggested that we might get a goat because she used to be in with a goat. I’ll keep an eye on Babe’s demeanor and then decide what to do. The neighbor has goats so I may see if I can’t snag a goat for a little while to see if that helps Babe’s mood. She’d been down in the dumps ever since we lost Queen and Thor in September. Putting Bo in with her was a bad mistake. She got more flighty and was very uncomfortable with him pushing her around all the time. So we’ll see how things go with her being in a pen with a bale in front of her 24/7 first before we make any more herd adjustments. I had thought of putting Brego with her but for now, we’ll just let her come down from all the changes.

In other more up-beat news, Borderlands is participating in a Festival of Trees this weekend. I don’t have all the details but it’s going to take place Sat Dec 1st and Sun Dec 2nd in Colton, South  Dakota.  There is a silent auction where you can bid on decorated trees. Borderlands is donating a tree for the festivities. As always, we are going the unconventional route. So if you happen to make it to the Festival of Trees, you’ll be able to spot our tree with ease. I don’t know the times but it takes place at the Lutheran Church in Colton, South Dakota.  I’ll try to post more of the details later but thought I’d give you all a heads up in case you wanted to sneak over to look at all the beautifully decorated donated trees and enjoy some holiday festivities to get you into the mood.

Also, we are going to have a fundraising brainstorming meeting this Saturday, December 1st at Borderlands starting about 5:30pm. I would love to see you there.  Just let me know so I know how many pizzas to order. Of course I have to feed you if you help! That’s the rule at Borderlands. If you help, I can’t pay you but I can sure feed you. It’s the least I can do. So, if you’re free this coming Saturday please join us to come up with some fundraiser ideas. I want to focus 2013 on fundraising so that I don’t have to say no anymore. There are too many well-deserving horses that need a soft place to land be it for a few days, weeks, months, or years. Everyone deserves a retirement.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fundraising Meeting December 1st

For those interested, we are having a fundraising brainstorming meeting Saturday December 1st at 5:30pm at Borderlands. Just let me know if you can make it so I know how many pizzas to pick up!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

From our herd to yous,  Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wrapping Up Projects

It's been fairly quiet on the homefront (knock on wood). The last couple of days I've had just enough time to do chores in the dark and that's about it. I  miss being able to do chores in the daylight. I've been rushing through chores the last few days that I missed that Babe had cut herself.  The pen she's in now isn't ideal. But any other scenario I ran to put her in a different pen didn't work either. Luckily Babe is making the best out of the situation. She's such a trooper, love that mare. She somehow managed to bang her head the other day (not hard to do, poor thing). So now she's sporting a swollen eye and a cut just under her ear. I'll never know what she cut it on. Mike looked all over the place to see if there was something sticking out but couldn't find anything.

I wasn't able to catch the cut right away. It's hard to do a thorough exam of horses in the dark. But she's on antibiotics now just to make sure that she kicks the infection immediately. With the weather turning colder, I want her system to be prepared for weather and not run down. Always when I see injuries, I think worst case scenario. Maybe I've been hanging out with our vet too much. My biggest fear was that she was going to lose the eye (granted she's blind in that eye but that we'd have to physically remove the eye).

I guess I'm a little gunshy at the moment. We've had a rash of injuries as of late. It always seems to happen in the fall and I can't figure out why. Horses get sick or injure themselves in the fall right when I'm trying to pay for hay. Or they hurt themselves right before a weather change.

Today is our last really nice day. Hard to believe that it'll be in the upper 60s today and by Friday in the 30s. Don't get me wrong, I love nice weather but I worry that the temperature change will affect the horses. But when I look at the herd now, we don't have as many oldsters as we used to. The oldest is Babe at 30 and the next oldest is Jim at 24.

We were able to tackle one of the projects that have been hanging over my head for awhile now worrying me. Having moved into an old farm that used to have cattle, the drylot wasn't exactly in tiptop shape for fencing. Cattle and hogs are really tough on fencing. Horses are hard on fencing but I think cattle and hogs may be even harder. When we moved in, there was a dead tree right next to the drylot. We didn't want to take the tree down for fear of taking the fence down. Unfortunately no fencepost or tree can withstand the amount of runoff from the drylot (from the nitrogen in the ground from the cattle). So many of the old fence posts were starting to rot off. I expect they were close to 30 year old fence posts. In the mean time, the fencing started to decline and then this summer the big old dead tree finally came down, right on the fence. Luckily we only had one horse escape. Can you guess who it was....Chaos of course! On Sunday Mom and Dad came down to put up new fence so I can rest easier this winter knowing that the horses won't escape.  We'll have to do something different next year. It's not a permanent solution by any means but it'll withstand a few good snowdrifts for sure.

Now I can go into the old mare pasture and pull down the temporary fence there too. I still need to call someone to come and do some major cleanup (another story I'll share at some point...still in shock even though it's been months).

While Dad and Mike were busy in the drylot, Mom, Garrett, and I headed over to the neighbor's to finally pull down the electric fence. I had such high hopes that we would be able to use the one last portion of the pasture but there wasn't enough time and now there's really nothing of nutritional value. We'd gotten a cold rain come through the first of October so I brought everyone home. It just wasn't worth keeping them over at the neighbor's even if I didn't really want to start feeding hay. No one seemed to upset about being back home though. I'm relieved to have that project done too. I didn't want our neighbor to think we were ungrateful for such a kind offer of letting us graze his entire pasture. It held almost the entire summer and fall.

We did push in two new round bales for the big herd Saturday morning. That was after we went and picked up three round horse hay feeders. Someone was moving and selling their hay rings so we picked them up. They all need a little bit of work but it beats the old cattle hay rings that we were using. We also put on the cinch net. At first I was annoyed. Trying to put on a cinch net in the dark for the first time, I had a lot of foul words fall out of my mouth. Because it's literally like a gigantic hay net and I fight with hay nets all the time. Luckily Mike has more patience than I do and we got it on. And I will say one thing! WOW. I  need to go buy another one. The horses dont' make such a mess and they can't power through an entire bale in a few days. I'm really loving this cinch net. Wishing we could afford a second one even if we won't be feeding rounds all winter. But for now, it's a dream. I'll be pinching my pennies so that we can get another one. It'll pay for itself in no time.

So we are now ready for winter snow if it hits. I could handle nice warm rain but I doubt that'll happen. But we are prepared, at least somewhat prepared. I'll never be totally ready for snow, it's always such a shock to my system. But the major proejcts are taken care of. There are a few little projects I want to wrap up this weekend if there's time. Hopefully the snow will hold off a little longer. I'd love for another open winter but we desperately need the precip. So if we could get a little bit of snow and a lot of rain, I'd be just fine with that too.

And if I don't happen to hop on tomorrow, I want to wish you all a safe and happy thanksgiving.  This past year has been an amazing rollercoaster ride for me. I want to thank all of Borderlands' friends and supporters. It is so nice to know that although we may be small and now not as active as we once were (thanks to the little G-Bear), it's still a comfort to have that support and friendship. We truly are blessed at Borderlands.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happenings This Week

Earlier this week we put the ponies in with Rabbit and Mayhem (much to Rabbit's dismay). I wish it hadn't been so dark otherwise I would have gotten some really good action shots. Those ponies did hot laps around the pen, bucking and rearing and getting everyone else all stirred up. Even the big herd was riled up, racing around watching those ponies. Mayhem joined in with the running and bucking. She must have watched Zeke a few times because she kept her tail raised like an arabian instead of the Quarter horse that she is.

Rabbit was most displeased by having ponies in her pen. I thought maybe she would have a tough time adjusting to two little monsters in her pen now that she's blind in the right eye but he doesn't seem to care. She put the ponies in their place every once in a while. For being blind in one eye and a little lame in the backend, she can still flatten her ears and take two huge lunges at the ponies to get them to move. I secretly think she's loving having the ponies in the pen to boss around. Mayhem is too laid back for her to boss around so Rabbit doesn't really have anyone to pick on. Now she has the ponies to pester. It looks like she's annoyed but I really think she enjoys the company. I had the ponies in with Rabbit a couple of years ago and it seemed to work out just fine. So hopefully this arrangement will work out for winter.

I'm also starting to believe in miracles. I was devastated to see Bo so lame. None of the tests came back with any reasoning for his lameness. The next step was x-rays but I needed to hold off on doing that until after paying a few vet bills down (which are still sitting on the kitchen table). But before we moved Bo and Babe to their winter pen, I noticed that Bo was moving around a lot better. He is still a little off but not to the same degree. I figured Bo would go lame again when we moved him to the winter pen because he was pacing the fenceline. He did get a little bit more sore than I'd wanted but he seems to be getting better. We still don't know what happened to him but he seems to be improving. I expect it's something neurological, which is devastating but Bo seems to be able to go through anything. I can't keep him as quiet in his winter pen because it's not adjacent to the big herd. But if it seems like Bo is getting better, I may put him back in with the big herd. But it'll be a few more months before that happens I'm afraid. Through all that he's been through, he's still a happy-go-lucky horse.

This weekend is supposed to be nice so I'm hoping to get over to the neighbor's and tear down the temporary fencing. I've been meaning to get over there since we brought the horses home at the end of October but there doesn't ever seem to be any time. I want to get a few things buttoned up before winter really sets in. We still need to do some serious fencing in the drylot. We had a dead tree take down some fence and only because we keep the horses occupied with round bales have they not escaped. So I'm hoping this weekend to do some serious fencing so that when the first serious snowfall arrives, we'll be ready for winter.

I also heard a report of a mountain lion in the area. Someone saw a mountain lion chasing a deer a few miles north of where we live. I was a little concerned for the ponies, until I realized they are in with Rabbit and she's bossy enough to take a mountain lion down. I was also worried about Bo and Babe but they are closer to the house and I can keep a close eye on them through the kitchen window. It's a little un-nerving but I guess that's the price we pay for living in the country.

Avoiding Another Auction

There's another horse auction tonight that I'll be avoiding. Why do I feel so guilty for not going? I can't bring anyone home, I can't promote any of those loose horses, and yet I feel guilty.  Why do auction days cause me to have a heavy heart? I should be doing more but I don't know what more I can do.  Oh sure, there are things I could do but there are more time constraints on me now than there ever was before.

I know I need help in publicizing the sanctuary and therefore possibly bringing in more funds so that we could take in a few of the older, deserving horses that need a soft place to land for their remaining days on this earth, be it a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or a few years.

We are thinking of having a fundraiser in January. We were going to try for Christmas but there's so much going on and we are too far behind now to get the fundraiser going so we are thinking of pushing it off until January. Would anyone be interested in helping? If there's an interest, I'll explain more in an email but if we don't get it off the ground, no sense in boring you all with the idea. :-)

Maybe this coming year we can focus on the necessary paperwork and fundraising. I forsee another tough summer for hay next year, which means even more horses without a home for winter. I don't want to keep having to say no to those old warriors that deserve a retirement.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Comfort Horse

When we lost Queen in September, I lost my “comfort” horse. You all know the one, the horse that you cry in their manes, the horse that you tell your secrets to. 

Last night I was just in a bad mood for no apparent reason.  None of the horses seemed overly interested in me except one. When Brego saw me climb over the gate, he walked up and stood right next to me. For some reason, Brego knew exactly when I needed the most comforting. He stood there and let me hang on him and kiss him while the others just stood and watched. I’m not sure if Brego was simply lonely for attention or if he knew I really needed a bit of attention myself.

This is actually the second time that Brego has caught me off guard. I don’t consider him my “comfort” horse. We’ve never formed a very tight bond, not like with Queen. Oh sure, we enjoy each other’s company and know what to expect but to really know what the other will do before they do it, I haven’t gotten that with Brego…yet.

This summer Brego surprised me again. When we had them at the neighbor’s Brego came up to investigate my gigantic belly. He kept putting his nose on my belly. I’m not sure if he was smelling or just wanted to keep his head at that level. But it seemed like he wanted to comfort me (and the baby).

So it may be that I have a new “comfort” horse. Only time will tell but it was nice last night to give Brego a few extra kisses and a hug before heading back in for the evening. I guess blessings come in all shapes and forms and when you least expect it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

100 Degrees to 5 Degrees in Four Months

It's hard to believe that just four short months ago we were dealing with such intense heat. Today we are in the teens with a wind chill of five degrees. Yup, you read that right, five degrees. Four months ago you'd have to add a ten to the five. 105 degrees some days.

The cold snap took me a bit by surprise. Luckily last weekend we rearranged pens so that we had water tanks in the right locations. We need to do some fencing to get the ponies in with Rabbit and Mayhem. I think right now they are enjoying their barn life instead!

Last night when we went out to do chores, the water tanks were frozen over. Luckily Mike had almost everything gathered and ready to turn the heater on. But it's still a shock to the system to see such thick ice covering the entire tank. Luckily the temps are supposed to go back up after today. I hate seeing teens for the lows. I just dread the thought of winter being around the corner. There's still so much to do and so little time to get it all done. Well, actually, there's only a little bit of fencing we need to do to wrap up everything before winter really sets in.

Saturday night Mike and I pushed in round bales to the big herd. I never liked the idea of round bales because then I couldn't regular how much everyone got and I was worried that some of the non-aggressive horses would get pushed out. So far everyone is behaving. It's not top notch hay so they aren't always standing at the hay bale with their head buried. I have seen them all surface even if it's just for a little while. So I guess rounds aren't so bad after all. I expect that in the middle of winter, I'll be back to feeding from the big squares but those are a better quality.I guess for now it's a win win situation. The horses get to eat non-stop on those bales and later when they need better quality, I'll be back in a routine. This last week I went back to work (part time). After three months off, it was a big of a shock to get back to the paying job. It'll be an even bigger shock this week when I go back full time. I don't think the horses enjoy this lifestyle change.

When we were getting ready to push bales in Saturday night, I thought I saw lightening. I was busy haltering everyone so that we could get the bales in before company came. We weren't supposed to get any weather until after midnight. Nope, weatherman was wrong, again. I was finishing up haltering the last horse and I saw lightening in the sky again and felt a couple of drops. Mike had to deal with pushing in bales during a downpour. When he came back in, I had to go back out and let the horses go. I forgot what it was like to have thunder and lightening. The lightening was so bright, it was like daylight. It's been a long time since we've had a thunderstorm. But it felt a little weird having a thunderstorm in November. At least we didn't get the freezing rain and snow that the other side of the state got. They can keep the snow for as long as possible. I'm fine with rain. Ill not complain about the much needed moisture but I do need to keep a close eye on the weather these days to knwo what to do for the horses.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Emma - Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue and Sanctuary

Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting Emma. She's available for adoption through Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue and Sanctuary. You can read all about her at:

I have a soft spot for blind horses because they have to adapt to their surroundings differently than others. Emma is a gem. I didn't mess with her too much but immediately saw the old soul in the young body. She is wise for her years. I don't know if it comes from her past or if she was born an old soul. Either way, she is one amazing girl. 

When one of the founders of Gentle Spirits took me out to meet the horses, Emma was stretched out snoozing in the sunshine. Having had multiple blind horses, I don't often see a blind horse so relaxed that they are willing to stretch out and snooze. Many horses get spooky when going blind in one eye and here Emma is blind in both eyes and yet she's as cool as a cucumber. 

I think with the right person, Emma could really blossom into an amazing horse (although she has already blossomed under the care of Gentle Spirits). So, if you already have a horse and are thinking of bringing another into your home, Emma may be your girl. Having a blind horse is a new challenge but speaking from experience, a blind horse will teach you more than you could ever imagine. I've considered it an absolute blessing to have Babe at Borderlands. Whoever snaps up Emma will quickly learn also that blind horses tend to have more to give than other horses.  

Life In A Nutshell

The little G-Bear and I made it through our first day back to reality. I'm not sure if the horses like it better or not. Sunday morning I got up fairly early (thanks to daylight savings time), and headed out to do chores. I've been using the big rounds instead of the big squares to feed until the snow flies. The rounds take more time to pitch hay and I figured I could feed the rounds while I was still at home.

Knowing that I would have very limited time in the morning and at night, Mike and I decided that it may be best to simply push in a couple of round bales to the big herd. I couldn't toss out enough hay from the rounds to the big herd. I can handle tossing hay from a round bale to four or six horses but not all fifteen. It's just too much and takes too much time (and I use way too many naughty words).

I decided it was time to play musical pens so that I could get everyone set for the winter months. We still aren't completely done but are at least closer than before. I put the ponies in the barn and will be there until later this week when I can repair the blind pen, which is now the mare pen.

I added some additional corral panels to the old pony pen so that Bo and Babe would have some additional sunlight and space to move around all winter. By moving them, I had room to put Rabbit and Mayhem in the old blind pen. I can feed rounds to Rabbit because of her heaves. We will be putting the ponies in with Rabbit and Mayhem this coming weekend also so another reason why we can't have rounds in that pen. We still need to pull the round bale feeder out. It got too late when we were pushing bales Sunday night.

I wasn't sure how well I would be able to handle Rabbit or Mayhem. Having been laid up, I haven't handled either one of them very much. Mayhem did really well. She was a real champ walking around and investigating new objects. I'm hoping to get back to working soon. I wasn't sure how well Rabbit would do. She was acting like she was ouchy all over. I thought maybe it was her eye. Nope, she was just fooling me. She's turned into a "touch me not" horse and just getting close to her she flinches. It doesn't matter where I try to touch her, she flinches. I'm wondering if something in her past is causing her to think that she might get hurt. I was able to get the halter on without her thinking I was going to hurt her. I had thought maybe it was her eye but I discovered it was her ear and not her eye that was bothering her. She is most definitely blind in the right eye but she isn't too spooky about it. She's adjusting better than I had expected. However, if for some reason she goes blind in the other eye, I have a bad feeling that she will not adjust to her new handicap.

Rabbit and Mayhem settled down into their new pen right away. None of the boys seemed all that concerned either. I have to leave the electric fence up in the old mare pasture until we fix the drylot. Somehow Chaos managed to fall out of the fence and hang out with the mares. It's the second time he's escaped into the mare pasture. Darn geldings.

In the evening on Sunday we got home just before the sun set during a steady drizzle. Mike was able to get the bales tipped and ready to push into the pen while I haltered up all the geldings. Unfortunately, the little G-Bear wanted in on the action, so I had to take him for a drive while Mike did most of the work in getting the bales into the drylot. Poor Mike has done so much, he's a godsend. Mike pushed two round bales into the drylot and pushed another into the pen with Babe and Bo. Bo wasn't too thrilled. I think he wanted to be in with the big herd.

I do believe in miracles. I think Bo is getting better but I may be wearing rose colored glasses when I look at him. I had Mike take a peek too and he thought Bo was doing better too. But now that Bo has been in a different pen with different footing and he spent all day walking around this different pen, I'm afraid he may be a bit more sore than before. So who knows. We still don't know what's wrong. I have to get Bo's blood work paid off and Queen and Thor's euth vet bills paid off before accruing additional bills.  But for now, I think Bo is getting better.

I'm still a little concerned that not everyone in the big herd will get to the round bale. I want to sneak out tonight and see who is eating at the bale. I did notice that Dude wasn't at the round bale this morning and he would be the one to push anyone else out of the way. I am most worried about Zeke. I may start babying him a little bit more too. I'll be using him for Drill Team and I don't want him to lose weight. We may start doing beet pulp on Zeke, Jim, Bo, and Babe. I'm trying to get into the swing of work first before we get into the heavy evening graining.

I need to get over to the neighbor's and tear down all the electric fence. I swung over there last night to keep the G-Bear quiet while Mike was working his magic on those round bales (we don't have a tractor that can lift and move round bales. We are stuck pushing bales either with the tractor that isn't running right or the old farm truck). I noticed that one end of the electric fence was ripped off the fence posts and strung on a fence. I have no idea how it got there unless the neighbor messed with it or a deer ran through the fence and snagged it. I'll never know for sure but I want to get everything taken care of before the snow flies. We've already had snow so I want to get cracking on getting all the outside wrapped up before the ground freezes.

I know there's more going on but I'm drawing a blank. This momma's brain is done. I'll be happy to go out and play with the horses and then crash. I missed going to the last two horse auctions. It's probably a good thing but still disappointing that we can't do more.

We are looking at doing a fundraiser next month. Keep your eyes peeled for more details as we get everything ironed out. Also, I believe Borderlands will be donating a tree or a wreath to a church for their silent auction Christmas fundraiser. If anyone is interested, I can send you more information.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Return to Reality

Today is the last day of my maternity leave. I'm not sure if I'll have more time or less time to post our adventures here at Borderlands. Chores are going to be interesting when I do go back to work. I want to burn through all the big rounds before I start using the better quality big squares. But pitching hay from rounds is time consuming and I seem to have less time now than I ever did before.

I prefer to pitch hay, otherwise I can't tell who gets to eat at the round bales and who will get pushed out. With a herd of nine, I expect the less dominant horses will get pushed out but it may be that I have to simply keep a close eye on everyone to ensure they all dine on a round bale.

I'm hoping this weekend to do some fencing and subsequent rearranging of pens so reduce the time it takes me to go from one pen to another. We'll see how the new arrangement works. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it goes well.

We will soon be starting some brainstorming sessions for fundraiser ideas. If you have any that you would like to share, they are always welcome. Please email your ideas to

If you don't see many posts in the next few days, it's me simply trying to get into the swing of reality again. We are here as always here plugging along.