Thursday, January 31, 2013


Oh South Dakota, why oh why do I live here?
Today Occasional flurries before noon. Partly sunny and cold, with a high near -2. Wind chill values as low as -31. Blustery, with a northwest wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around -9. Wind chill values as low as -25. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming light and variable after midnight.
Friday A slight chance of snow after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 17. Wind chill values as low as -18. Light south wind increasing to 10 to 15 mph in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

Last night was C.O.L.D. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that type of cold before. Of course, less than half way through I was perfectly warm thanks to my irritation. It’s amazing how quickly you can warm up when you’re steaming mad. I’m not sure if the horses were anxious because of the weather or my mood. Either way, they knew to get out of my way (well everyone except Ivan).
I rushed outside last night so that I could get as much of my chores done before the dark set in and before the temps dropped any more. Everyone was anxious for their supper.  I put everyone I could into the barn and then fed extra hay to those that stayed out. I swear the ponies are going to be a rolling ball by the time spring rolls around. I feed extra to Rabbit and Mayhem but I think the ponies are benefiting immensely from it too.
Today’s high is supposed to be two below and I have no idea what the wind chill is/will be. All I know is that it’ll be painfully cold. I’m not looking forward to tonight when I have to go back out into the cold to do chores. Luckily the horses cooperate for the most part going into the barn. Rain was a bit over zealous last night. He wanted IN NOW! But because I’ve had to move him into a different pen, it’s a bit more tricky. Maybe I’ll switch things up again and put Rain in one of the first stalls instead so that he’s not harassing everyone else. Oh what I would give for a big barn with big aisles and big stalls instead of the barn with makeshift stalls and cramped quarters. But on days like today, no one seems to complain.
Luckily the temps are supposed to back up this weekend. I’m not sure I can handle too many days of below zero temps with even colder wind chills. I also don’t think my hay supply will last if we keep having cold snaps like this.
I expect when I get in from doing chores tonight I’ll drop. So no working on the upcoming fundraiser. I’m sure you’ll all be tired of listening to me talk about the fundraiser, but maybe the more I gab about it, the more publicity we’ll get and a few more people will show up. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Save the Date - Fundraiser March 23rd

Mark your calendars! We are having our first fundraiser event March 23rd at the Methodist Church in Brandon, SD. We are still working out some of the specifics but I wanted to get the word out as soon as possible to save the date!
For those that have kids, this fundraiser will be a great opportunity to get your kids out to play for a little while. I’m sure by March, we will all be anxious for winter to be over and ready for spring to hurry up and get here.
For the kids, we’ll have an Easter egg hunt, face painting, coloring stations, and pictures with the Easter bunny (no standing in long lines to meet the Easter bunny). For the adults, we’ll have a silent auction and possibly gifts to buy for upcoming birthdays or other holidays. Because I come from a family that revolves around food, there will be a bake sale to snack on sweet treats and other goodies.
And if that doesn’t sound like enough fun, we are also going to be holding a raffle during the SD Horse Fair (March 16 and 17). Come find us at the Cowboy Way Church booth at the Horse Fair to see what we are raffling off.
Can’t wait for all the fun events. Hope to see you there!

Being a Kid Again

You know you’re exhausted when you wake up in the recliner at 2:30am and can’t figure out what day it is. For some reason I thought it was Saturday. Sure makes getting up and going to the paying job that much harder!
I didn’t get out to do chores until after dark. I HATE doing chores in the dark. But it’s ten times worse when there’s a sheet of ice everywhere. By the time I was able to get outside, we had not only freezing fog but drizzle. Normally I wouldn’t have minded but I wanted to get a few things taken care of before this deep freeze sets in.
I went ahead and did my normal chores and then drug out all the hoses to fill tanks. I guess I should be thankful that I can use hoses at the end of January instead of hauling bucket after bucket of water back to the mares and ponies. But after doing chores, I knew it wouldn’t be safe to simply haul water back. We have ice everywhere and some of that ice is super slick.
I will admit that I did act like a little kid for a while last night during chores. After getting all the hoses hooked up and water filling the tanks, I had a bit of time to waste. I should have been working on ground work with one of the horses or doing something, but instead I decided that I would find a really slick spot of ice and slide on it. Yeah, I know, I’m 30-something sliding around on ice for fun. I know it’s silly and I’m glad it was dark and no one around but it did help pass the time away while waiting for the tank to fill. The only down fall of using hoses is that I get wet. I wanted to fill water tanks the night before but I thought I’d be nice and hurry with my chores so Mike could spend some time outside. I’ve learned my lesson there.
By the time I had everyone’s tanks filled to the brim, I was able to wring out water from my gloves. Unfortunately, soaking gloves in dropping temps made me crabby. After getting the hoses drained and collected, I was ready to be done. My hands were freezing. Unfortunately, in my haste to get done with chores, I broke the door to the house. We have to keep the hoses in the basement so they don’t freeze (unless we don’t want to use hoses when the weather breaks). So now I have to figure out how to fix the door before it gets too cold. I swear I tend to break more stuff than fix.
I think we may have missed out on the bad weather. I’m fine with that but it would be nice to get a little bit of snow. Ok, a lot of snow so that it covers up the ice enough so I won’t slip and fall. I am thankful that we are having this type of weather this year instead of last year. Imagine being out on this ice while pregnant. I would have been a total wreck worrying about falling all the time.
I did read that the cold front that’s supposed to blow through should only last a day or two. By the weekend, we’ll be warming up again. Maybe once it warms up, I can get caught back up on a few outside chores I’ve been meaning to do for the past few weeks.

Monday, January 28, 2013


The next 48 hours aren’t going to be any fun. That’s not to say that the last 24 hours have been all that great. Yesterday morning we saw freezing rain. We had enough freezing rain to melt much of our snow but replaced it with sheets of ice everywhere. Our yard is dangerous now. I didn’t fall but I came close a number of times. No matter where I walk, I’m on ice. Maybe I should correct that, no matter where I skate, I’m on ice. I was trying to push a wheel barrow of hay over to Babe and Bo up a very small hill (you wouldn’t even know it’s there most days). But I started going up that itty bitty hill and had to stop because I couldn’t keep enough traction to hold myself up, never mind push a wheel barrow full of hay. The pens are covered in ice and I’m worried about the horses. I’m trying to keep them off the concrete but that’s an effort in futility.
If the freezing rain wasn’t bad enough, yesterday afternoon fog rolled in. As the temps dropped, the fog started to freeze. So now we have ice from yesterday’s rain and freezing fog. I had hoped that the fog would lift before this morning. Nope. If anything, the fog was worse.
The weatherman is now calling for a winter weather advisory (of course the advisory stops before it reaches our county but we are only three miles from the county line so I figure we’ll be dealing with some serious snow).I’m not looking forward to snow on top of this ice. If the snow is wet and sticky, maybe it’ll make walking a little easier but if it’s the light fluffy stuff, we are in trouble.
If the snow wasn’t bad enough, we are supposed to get an artic blast and have a high of zero for Thursday. So we’ve had warm temps with freezing rain, turned into freezing fog, which will turn into snow, and then subzero temps. These are the times I wonder why we opened a horse sanctuary in South Dakota! These are also the times where I wonder why I live in South Dakota!!
Tonight I’m pulling out all the hoses to fill water tanks. It’s too dangerous now to haul bucket after bucket of water back to the mares and ponies. Last night I hauled two buckets back and slid the entire way. If I fall and break something now, we are going to be in a world of hurt.
Because of the bad weather and icy roads, we opted to hold off on bringing the neighbor’s horse over. We’ll wait until the weather clears and then try to find a time that works.
We had a great fundraiser meeting Saturday night. The hard part will be finding time to get the logistics of the event figured out. I’ll save the tentative details until after I make a few phone calls. I don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up for the event until I have a few more details worked out. We are focusing the fundraiser event more towards kids. The middle of March with the type of weather we’ve been having is a good time to have little kids get out of the house for an afternoon. At least that was our thinking. I know we aren’t focused more on horses but we want to get kids involved and educated in the ways of the horse and this is one step in the right direction.
I’m holding back the remaining eight round bales until March. So now the herd is enjoying different hay, although I think they may have preferred 24x7 access to hay. The herd has taken to standing in front of the barn doors so that they can get the best hay. I swear Dude and Chaos are always the first to be at the door. Because I don’t trust the herd, I always tie the doors shut. I used to think maybe I was being overly cautious but just the other day, someone had been working at the door and had it cracked open. So its’ probably a safe bet for me to always keep those doors tied shut.
I need to get the stalls ready tonight for the artic blast that’s supposed to come in later this week. Luckily the weather is supposed to warm up for the weekend. I guess on the bright side of an artic blast is that I’ll stay home and work on paperwork for the sanctuary. I’m usually so exhausted by the end of a day (what with the full time paying job, caring for all the horses, and taking care of the Bear), that I can’t seem to find the energy to do much after the sun sets. Of course, I don’t seem to get the chance to sit until well into evening these days. 
So for those that are in the Sanctuary’s area, please stay safe. We’ll be taking extra precautions over the next few days to keep everyone safe that the Sanctuary.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Fundraiser Meeting

We had an excellent fundraiser meeting tonight. I've been so excited and keyed up after the meeting that it's almost 1am and I'm still wide awake and antsy to get cracking on the fundraising event! I decided that I would go through my stash of pictures from the past few years (previous pictures are on the computer that crashed and I'm hoping we'll be able to recover them at some point). But we are thinking of doing a 2014 calendar so I went through and pulled some of the better pictures. Here's just a sneak peak of a few I pulled. You may be seeing these again. I'm sure some of these pics have already made it into the blog before.

If you are interested in helping us for our upcoming fundraiser, please email me at The more help, the better the event!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Upcoming Auction

Just saw that Mitchell is having their monthy horse sale February 16th. Loose horse will run through at 1pm followed by riding horses in their open consignment at 2pm. The remaining loose horses will run through after the open consignment horses.

I had throught I'd hold off until March but if the weather is nice, and I don't have any other activities, I may just go to see what prices are like. I haven't been to an auction since we brought Savanna and Sahara home and that was in April 2011. I'm thinking I'll be too swamped in March to go to a sale so maybe February would be better.

If anyone wants to go with, I'd sure enjoy the company! You'll have to help sit on my hands too!

Take My Breath Away

I didn’t pay any attention to the weather this morning. I knew it was going to be a little chilly but when I stepped out the door, the cold took my breath away.  I knew we were either in the single digits above or below zero. But after the brisk walk back to the mares and ponies, I was positive the temps were below zero and that we had a pretty serious wind chill. That’ll teach me not to pay attention to the weather a little more closely.
Everyone was standing out of the wind when I showed up to throw hay. I think everyone was rather pleased I was out a few minutes earlier than normal. I need to get my little yellow hay wagon back in to the hay barn so that I can load up hay instead of tossing it out from the barn. It’ll cut down the time it takes to do morning chores and it’ll make it so that the piles can be farther apart to reduce fighting. Although this morning everyone seemed to settle down in a hurry to snarf as much hay as they could get. I threw a little extra just because it was so darn cold out.
The cold weather is making it hard for me to get anything extra done outside. I have been naughty and not hauled water back to the mares and ponies since we topped the tanks off on Saturday morning. We’ve either been running late or it’s been too cold (or a mixture of the two). So last night I took a peek and sure enough, the tank was almost empty. I swear Mayhem is a water horse! I wasn’t able to top off the tank. In fact I was only able to carry back about six buckets before I petered out. Luckily Mike wanted to get out and get some fresh air last night too. So he hauled a few more buckets back. Not sure if we’ll get to haul water tonight or not. We have a meeting to attend so I doubt there will be enough time to do much other than normal chores and then leave. It seems these days we are never home. I guess I’m making up for lost time.
If anyone is bored this weekend or wants to get involved, we are having a fundraising meeting this Saturday at 7pm at the Sanctuary. We are going to start planning for the fundraiser scheduled at the end of March (for Easter). I’m not sure what we’ll be doing, but no matter what, it’ll be fun! So if you want to get in on the planning, we’d be delighted to have you join us. I’ll make sure to bake some type of treats for us to enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Makin' Snow Angels

What a weekend. If I wasn’t asleep on the couch by 8:30pm, I was out living the high life (haha). Saturday morning we scurried around trying to beat the cold front that was blowing in. Mike worked his butt off to get tanks filled, doors unfrozen, corral panels moved, etc. I stayed in and watched the wind progressively get worse. Saturday night we attended the Inter-Lakes Rocky Mountain Elk Banquet (instead of going to the Mitchell Horse Sale). From the time we left our house to the time we got to the banquet, the temperature had dropped 15 degrees.
Sunday morning took my breath away. All the horses got extra hay and were happy for it! I don’t think I saw a sliver of extra hay. I spent some time Sunday during morning chores getting ready to put horses in. The weatherman was talking 20 to 30 below zero wind chills and I figured that we’d get those gale force winds again (luckily we didn’t). But when the temps are barely hitting single digits, any little bit of a breeze makes for Wind Chill Advisories.
The big herd was happy to get into the barn. Everyone else that didn’t go into the barn had extra hay and was snug out of the wind. I apparently need to change the stall arrangements because when I went out Monday morning to let the herd out of the barn, Rain had made his way in with Brego and Ivan. Poor Brego and Ivan had Rain tormenting him for who knows how long. I know Brego got picked on. So Monday night I decided that I would switch stalls and put Zeke where Rain goes and vice versa. It seemed to work a lot better. Zeke even seemed more relaxed. But we’ll lose Rain’s stall next weekend when we go and pick up the boarder’s horse.
We were supposed to pick up the boarder’s horse Sunday but the temps were so cold and I didn’t want to haul late at night with subzero temps. So we decided to hold off until next Sunday. Hopefully we’ll get a little bit of a warm spell so I can do some last minute prep work.
Monday night I’d thrown extra hay for the three that didn’t make it into the barn from the big herd. Apparently I was over feeding because SOMEONE decided to pee on a pile of hay. That makes my blood boil! We have just enough hay to get us through this winter and what does someone do, but pee on a nice clean pile of hay. I’ll be sure to cut their ration. There will be no additional hay just to make me feel better. Although, with the big herd out today, I doubt there will be a sliver of hay left over. I am not one for waste, especially when it’s hay, which is in such short commodity.
The rest of this week should be fairly decent. We did get a little bit of snow during the weekend.  Nothing much in the form of moisture. It was all light and fluffy and if we get any wind it’ll cause low visibility. As it is, the snow made it difficult to see where the ice is. Where I thought the ice is, isn’t. I was walking out to do chores one morning over the weekend and slid, caught myself only to slide again, and then fall flat on my fat fanny. I laughed so hard I almost started to cry (but I stopped myself because I didn’t want a frozen tear stuck to my eyelash!) I decided while I was flat on my back to make a snow angel. At least that way I’d know exactly where the ice is and what area to avoid.

Friday, January 18, 2013

E is for Empty

I wish I could have snuck out of the paying job early today to play in the warm weather. I think today is our last really nice day before the cold front blows through and we'll be stuck in a deep freeze. Guess a deep freeze gives me time to recover from all the bugs and maybe sit down and do some much needed and much ignored paperwork.

I still don't have anything ready for the new boarder coming on Sunday. Or at least I think we are going to go and get her on Sunday. Now that the weather is changing, we may want to hold off. The weatherman is predicting 12 below Sunday  night. The herd will definitely be going into the barn and stalls overnight. I need to see if I can get the gate open in the mare pen so I can pull everyone out. If the winds are as strong as the weatherman is predicting, we'll be looking at wind chills of 30 below. The only catch with the horses in the mare pen is that Rabbit has been pretty standoffish lately and won't let me touch her. I think she's mad at me for putting her in with the ponies. She pushes Tommy and Skippy pushes Mayhem. It's an odd combination.

So I have to confess and tell a little story on myself. It's totally unrelated to the Sanctuary but it's a good lesson for me to remember when hauling horses. Last night I had drill team practice. The gas gauge showed that I had just under a quarter of a tank. No problem. I was only going to go a miles one way. I should easily be able to make it there and back.

I hopped into the truck last night to head home and saw the dreaded gas gauge light had come on while I had let the truck warm up. The only other time that light has come on was when Dad was using the truck for something. He pretty much said that the minute the light comes on, you better be close to a gas station. Well, I wasn't TOO far away but far enough as far as I was concerned.

Of course, in my panic to not be stranded on the side of the road in the dark with a horse trailer, I called Mike. He tried his best to assure me that I would "probably" make it but I'd better drive slow and coast as much as possible. Do you know, there's a lot of hills to get to a gas station from practice. And even worse, how can all those hills be going UP and not down?

I drove as slow as I thought I could without totally puttering. I was afraid if I puttered too slow, if I DID run out of gas, I'd stop RIGHT in the middle of the road instead of being able to coast at least a little ways. I was only about a mile away when I saw the gas station lights. It was a beacon of hope. I wasn't sure how much farther we could go so I slowed down even farther and we practically coasted into the gas station. I MADE IT! woot woot! I'll never let the gas tank run down that low ever again!

I filled up and put 22.5 gallons of gas in the tank. I am guessing it's a 24 gallon tank. But when you get six miles to the gallon, you watch how many miles you have to go before getting to a gas station. It's a good thing we weren't out in the middle of nowhere! I would have been riding Rain home!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

What a Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a day makes (and a whole lot of salt sand mix!) I wouldn’t say half of the ice is gone but a good portion anyway. The driveway isn’t a total sheet of ice and I can actually see some ground. It’s a mixed blessing to see the ground right now. If we don’t get snow, we don’t get moisture. But at this point, if no snow means no bitterly cold temps that they are predicting, I’ll take it.
Don’t get me wrong, I still slid around a lot doing chores last night but at least it’s not as hazardous (although I did manage to fall this morning up by the house). Hopefully with two more days of warm weather, we’ll be able to get rid of all the ice before the subzero temps set in.  We have too much to do to deal with subzero temps!
Last night I switched the big herd over to a new bale from the hay barn. I love new hay, although this bale is a bit of a pain. I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to get to the bale. It was right in front of the door and the only way to cut the twine was to squeeze in between the bale and the wall. I wouldn’t have even thought twice about it a couple years ago. But now that I’m older and fatter, trying to squeeze through small places isn’t an option. I did manage to squeeze through and now we are graced with light! Woot woot! I’ve been using the hay in the hay shed, which has no electricity. If I want to see anything, I pull out my flashlight that I constantly carry. Now that I’m in the haybarn, we have lights. I’m going to get spoiled!
Because we don’t have that much hay, I contemplated using older hay but then I was running the risk of losing more when I toss it over the fence. So I bit the bullet and decided to go the more efficient route. Once the first two big bales are out of the barn, I’ll be able to make chores go a little bit more quickly. I’ll be able to use my little yellow wagon. Right now there’s not enough room.
This morning when I went out to do chores, I thought I would have crabby horses, but no one was pushing anyone else around and there was absolutely no fighting. Even Dude who normally is a crab about having horses near him, was perfectly content to nibble on a small pile of hay instead of a huge sliver of hay that was a few feet away. Guess he was enjoying this hay. I sometimes think the Sanctuary horses are hay snobs. They know what type of hay they really like.
Now that I’m throwing hay to everyone both morning and night, I’m sure to have more hay in odd places. Last night, I had hay everywhere. I forgot how much I hate finding hay in my clothes. I should start taking bets to see where the oddest place I’ll find hay in the house. The oddest so far was finding hay in the freezer.
We have until Saturday afternoon to enjoy the warm weather and then the cold front is supposed to blow in. I need to scramble around Friday night and Saturday morning to get everything done. I want all the extra chores done before the cold sets in. I had thought maybe I’d sneak over to the horse sale in Mitchell on Saturday afternoon but we are going to the Rocky Mountain Elk Banquet instead. It’s for a good cause and it’s a lot less stressful. I may not go to another auction until March. I’m thinking maybe I’ll go to the Mitchell sale in March in honor of Bo. We’ll see how things progress.
Also, if you’re free and in the area, we are having a fundraiser meeting Saturday January 26th at 7pm for those interested. If you can’t make it but have some ideas, I’d love to hear them. Just send them to

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Warmer Weather and New Idea

I haven’t paid any attention to the weather lately. I’d heard a rumor that it was supposed to be nice today but until just now, I haven’t seen a report.  Looks like maybe we can get rid of some of that awful ice if the weather holds the way the forecast is predicted! We have at least three beautiful days to enjoy before a cold front comes in. I’m not looking forward to the cold front, when the high for Monday is predicted to be zero degrees. Think maybe we’ll just hunker down and try to recoup from all these bugs we keep catching.
While I was at drill team practice, Mike stayed home and set the truck up to spread the salt/sand mix. He picked up the salt/sand mix on Monday and thought he had enough. But he soon came to the realization that it doesn’t go as far as he thought. Of course, he really coated a couple of the really icy spots.  I just hope that the salt/sand mix works over the next three days so that we don’t have to deal with as much ice.
Last night the horses were disgusted with me. I had to throw hay instead of let them gorge themselves on round bales. I have now come to appreciate round bales instead of dividing and throwing hay. We have eight round bales left and I need to hang on to them for when Mike goes on travel and for the week before the SD Horse Fair. I won’t have time to throw hay during all that commotion. I also want to set back a couple round bales in case of an emergency and we need to be out of town. We have a couple family members who’s health isn’t the greatest so I want to be prepared.
I suppose it’s about time we switch over to the big squares. The quality is much better. Now that we are going into colder temperatures, it’s probably the best for the horses. I think the horses disagree although I know they love this new hay. We have hay in the hay barn and the hay shed. I want to go through last year’s hay before we start in on the new hay but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I want every last little sliver of hay used and throwing hay over the fence means we lose a little bit. Hay is too expensive to lose even one sliver. I have to break open a new bale tonight in the hay shed anyway for the mares and ponies.  I’ll go the convenient route, and start pulling from the hay barn for the big herd. That way I’ll actually have lights again while doing chores in the dark. I got so spoiled not having to toss hay, that now that I do, I want to be able to see. I guess maybe next year we may look at ordering big rounds instead of big squares. I guess I need to change my logic and way of thinking.  With the cinch nets, maybe rounds are actually the way to go. I am a little sad to see the hay stash dwindling, but every day we get closer to spring and green pastures (knock on wood that we’ll actually get enough moisture to support our pastures this year. But I won’t think about droughts right now).
Our amazing fundraising team pointed out a major flaw in my thinking (which is exactly why we need this group!) I had hoped to do a Chocolate Auction in February but there’s very little time to plan, prep, and advertise so we are scratching the idea and going to focus on something around Easter instead.  That’ll give us just enough time to properly advertise the event and get everything in order. So if you want to be on the team, let me know. We can always use more help! Mark your calendars the weekend of Easter for some fun activities to help support the Sanctuary!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Damn Ice

Have I mentioned I hate ice? Everywhere I walk, it’s ice. Everywhere I look, it’s ice. I’m sick of it.  Last night Mike bought some salt mix to help get rid of the skating rink that has become our driveway. Unfortunately, I’m not sure when he’ll be able to get out and put any salt mix down. The weather is supposed to be nice tomorrow so it would be ideal if we could do it tonight but that’s out of the question. We have drill team practice tonight unless Mike stays back to get the plow truck ready to scatter the salt mix.
I’m a little nervous about hauling tonight. Well, actually, I’m just nervous about loading and unloading. There’s only one or two spots that aren’t covered in ice and no matter what, we have to cross a sheet of ice to get to the barn.  For some reason I keep buying shipping boots, so I may just use them in case Zeke starts to do the splits on ice. Fingers crossed that we can avoid all ice but I’d rather be overly cautious than not.
This weekend we are going to take in a boarder. It won’t be for very long and normally I wouldn’t do it but we are helping out a friend. I’m trying to do the “Pay it Forward” thing a little bit this year. The friend called up asking if there was any place that she could board her mare that is due to foal in the next month or so. It wasn’t planned and now she’s scrambling to figure out what to do with the mare and soon to be foal. We don’t have an ideal setup but figure we could make the most of what we do have.  We can at least be “on call” a little bit better than our friend as she’s working a lot lately.  I’m sure, as was the case with Savanna and Prize (aka Jett), that I’ll take a day off when the baby is born. At least this time, it’ll be under less stressful circumstances (as long as the weather holds out).
So the rest of this week, I need to work on getting the pens and barns set up for the additional temporary guest. I’m a little excited. We haven’t brought in anyone new (four-legged anyway) since July 2011 with Flower and Prince. I love meeting new horses and getting to know them.  I’ve missed the excitement of seeing a new horse relax and enjoy retirement at Borderlands.
We are gearing up for our Chocolate Auction. If anyone wants to help, please let me know. I’m desperate for help! After working all day, doing chores, and taking care of the Bear, there’s very little if any time left to do anything like plan and prepare for the Chocolate Auction. So if anyone wants to take over, I’d be more than happy to release the reins and give you full permission to go forth and fundraise!

Sunday, January 13, 2013


So Monday night during drill team practice I succumbed to the flu as did Mike. Luckily Mom was willing to risk catching the flu to come and watch the Bear. Luckily it was just a stomach bug, I'm guessing the same one the Bear had last weekend. But it was a 24 hour bug that rendered me useless. Mom and Dad stepped up to take care of the horses while I was curled up in a ball wishing to feel better.

By Wednesday, Mike, the Bear, and I were in the clinic because the Bear was going downhill. He'd caught RSV (poor guy). After we got back from the clinic, Mike and I pushed in round bales. Because we hadn't done it during the weekend, and I had planned on pushing bales in Tuesday night, the horses were out come Wednesday. Luckily Dad had thrown hay for everyone. After we pushed in bales for everyone, Mike and I were exhausted.

Thursday found me down with the adult version of RSV, which is really just a bad cold. But now I know what the Bear has been going through. Luckily the weather had been nice all during the week so I wasn't too worried about the horses. But about 2pm on Thursday it started to rain. Yup, rain in January. I was worried about the horses getting chilled and then the cold front coming through. But the cold front waited until Saturday to blow in. But the rain melted a lot of the snow. Unfortunately rain at this point in the season does us absolutely no good and the runoff of the melting snow doesn't do us any good either.

When I went out to do chores Friday morning, the ground was a sheet of ice. Holy Sheet of Ice! Everything that was slushy has now turned into a sheet of very slick ice. Ive come close to falling a dozen times. It makes hauling water back to the mares very tricky. Even walking back and forth from the hospital ward to the barn is tricky. I'm not sure if we'll get warm weather again to try and thaw out that sheet of ice or not. If not, I'm going to have to figure out some way to melt the ice in the horses's pens for their safety.

The cold front blew in Saturday. We went from 39 degrees to 12 degrees for the high. I forget how much I hate the cold. I would much rather have snow than cold temps. Because of the cold temps and wind chills (and the fact I'm still fighting off this really bad cold), I only did chores and came back in. I would have loved to spend some time with the herd but I was getting exhausted.

So that leads us to Sunday. We are curled up under blankets watching TV, resting and trying to recuperate. It's going to take a bit for me to get back on my feet 100 percent. Seems like the Bear is doing better. We'll see how I do as the day progresses. It's going to be a fairly quiet week I hope. I need time to recover from all these different bugs. I'm sure the horses are enjoying me not pestering them all the time.

Friday, January 11, 2013


We are still sick at the Border household but thought I would post some pictures. Thought with the fog I could sneak in a few pretty picture. Nope, the rain from yesterday made everyone look scuzy. So instead, I'll leave you with some pictures from this morning of some of the dirty horses at Borderlands.

 Rabbit and Mayhem
 Maverick and Jim


Monday, January 7, 2013

Best Laid Plans

Seems my best laid plans never work. I’m wondering if I should plan less and expect more of the unexpected. But I’m a Type A person and this year I’m trying to be more organized (hahahah, for those that know me personally you know how unorganized I am and that I’m late all the time).
Saturday morning I went out to do chores and the herd hadn’t finished up their round bale with the cinch net. Last weekend we waited until Sunday to push in rounds so I had a feeling we wouldn’t push in rounds again until Sunday. There was still a lot left of the round but the herd has to work for it harder this time around (we got the bale in the feeder weird). 
Unfortunately, waiting to push in rounds for the big herd meant that I had to throw hay to Babe and Bo because their bale is gone. Not a big deal but different than the normal routine (I think Babe and Bo prefer the hay I’m throwing versus the round bale).
Saturday afternoon rolled around and the Bear got sick with his first flu. If I ever thought I was a nervous nelly when it came to a sick horse, I’m ten times worse with the Bear. As I sat rocking him in between bouts of sickness, I thought about all those kids that don’t get loved on when they are sick, that don’t have anyone to take care of them when they aren’t feeling well. Of course, then my mind flipped over to thinking about all those horses that don’t have anyone caring for them when they aren’t feeling well (or who are neglected, abused, and starved). It just blows my mind. The world stops when there’s a sick family member.  Any plans will have to wait until we know everyone is on the mend.
We had a long night Saturday and I didn’t want to shake the Bear up by putting him in the plow truck and bouncing him around to push bales in. Figured it was best to keep him quiet and let him nap the day away.  So I’ve been throwing hay to the big herd in the evening to ensure that everyone gets something to eat. I was worried that the aggressives would take over the bale and leave the more passive horses standing there watching. But I’ve seen the more aggressives standing in the sun to sunbath while the others eat (or I’ve seen them all hanging out at the round bale). But it makes me feel better knowing there’s some extra hay. Of course, now that they’ve had the taste of better quality hay, they aren’t as quick to demolish the rest of that round bale.
I have drill team practice tonight so there’s no chance of pushing in round bales to the big herd. But now the Bear is coming down with a cold so I don’t want him bouncing around in the truck if he’s still not feeling well. So my hope is that we can push in rounds bales Tuesday night. Mom is there to watch the Bear during the day and then we can scramble around to get the bales pushed in for another week.  We have enough round bales to get us through until the first of February. Then we’ll switch over to the big squares and chores will start taking longer than the standard one hour at night and ten minutes in the morning. I’ll notice it most in the mornings when we switch to the big squares. I’m going to have to learn to get up earlier or at the very least stop hitting snooze.
Although, driving in this morning was a delight. I was a few minutes late (shocking I know) and got to watch the predawn light show. On the bright side, the days are getting longer. I might not notice the longer days at night but in the mornings on my drive to the paying job, I am starting to notice. Longer days are something to look forward to.
And because the Bear was sick, I didn’t get a chance to take any pictures or get anyone dewormed. The weatherman is calling for another cold front to blow through this coming weekend. Maybe they’ll be wrong. They were wrong about the weather Saturday! It was supposed to be relatively nice but in the early afternoon the wind picked up and the snow started to fly (horizontal of course). The yard now has hard drifts to stamp through. Because the weather was supposed to be nice, Mike pulled the plow off the plow truck last weekend to do some much needed welding on it before it breaks completely but didn’t get everything done last weekend. With the nicer weather predicted for this past weekend, I think he was going to work on the plow some more. Amazing what one sick baby will do to all your plans.
We’ll see how this week goes. Mike and I are running on auto pilot right now. I was too exhausted last night to do much more than the necessary chores after getting back from drill team practice. I needed to haul extra water over to Babe and the mares but I was played out.  Hopefully while the weather is still nice, I can get caught up on some of the necessary chores that I’ve been putting off. So not looking forward to the even colder weather headed our way by the end of the week. I’ll just hope that the weatherman gets it wrong this time!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Quiet Time

I'm trying to be better about blogging. I had just enough energy last year to go to work and then come home and take care of the horses (barely). I didn't have alot of extra energy to blog. This year I'd like to make up for it. The only issue, it's winter and not much is going on. The much needed downtime is great but it doesn't leave much for me to blab about.

Knock on wood all of the horses are doing well. Last night when I went to check on the big herd (those not in the barn) decided they wanted to see what I had in the two buckets I was carrying. Apparently any bucket is now the grain bucket. Dude, King, Chaos, and Maverick were displeased with me. Ivan didn't even know because he was standing by the door waiting for Brego to finish eating his grain. Whatever tiff those two had early this summer is gone. Ever since I put them over at the neighbor's they buddied up again. At least they aren't too herd bound where they whinny for each other when they aren't practically touching.

Saturday January 19th is the next Mitchell horse sale. I wasn't going to go but now I'm debating on it. I haven't been to an auction in over a year and maybe it's time I went. My only problem is finding someone to watch the Bear and then actually going. I hate going alone but can't expect anyone to sit through until the last loose horse runs through. At least it's on a Saturday instead of Friday night. Those Friday night sales were long and tough on a body. I should hold off for another month or two but I think I want to go just to get my education on pricing. We'll see if I have a conflict with another event I'm attending (Rocky Mountain Elk Banquet in Madison....woot woot! get your tickets, it's fun!)

We are supposed to be in a warming trend for this weekend so maybe I'll get a chance to play with the herd for a little bit. I read the other day that we are still in a drought. I couldn't believe it until I was looking closer at the snowcover yesterday night. Yup, we don't really have that much snow. Oh sure it covers the ground and makes it a pain in the butt but when you look at how much snow we actually have, it's not enough. I don't want to deal with snow but we do need some type of precip. So I guess I'll start doing a snowdance to see if that helps any (as long as it doesn't cause a blizzard or make it difficult to get to the paying job).

Here's to a quiet weekend.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How I Miss Fall

I haven't taken pics of the herd in awhile. The last pics I do have are from October during the last week we had them at the neighbor's (hence the halters).  I'm hoping to get new pictures this weekend but the best laid plans never seem to work out. So instead, I'll just leave you with a few of my remaining pics of the herd from  this fall.

Rain  with Ivan and Brego in the background
 Rain with Maverick and Chaos in the background

 Brego (with Ivan not far behind)

Rain drinking and Maverick trying to mess with the water tank. I need to find something for him to occupy his time. He has a jolly ball but I think he's forgotten about it now that he's back in the drylot. I may have to "discover" it or him this weekend. 

Through the Ages

The weatherman was wrong. We didn’t get the predicted snow that they were calling for.  Luckily after today, the weather will start to warm. This morning was frigid! By the time I’d walked back to feed Rabbit, Mayhem, and the ponies, my fingers were frozen.  The wind was out of the West but Rabbit was tucked behind a wind block when I came around the corner.  They dove into their hay this morning. I love watching them eat.
The big herd either had their heads buried in the round bale or was standing out of the wind in the leanto at the bottom of the drylot. I didn’t go in and see who was where because I was freezing (and running late as usual).
I’ve been naughty about hauling water the past two nights (we were actually not home until late and I didn’t want to haul water at 8pm). So tonight I’ll be hauling bucket after bucket of water to catch up on the water tanks. This weekend is supposed to warm up so hopefully I’ll be able to sneak out for a few hours to do a little bit of cleanup in the hayshed.  I figured out that we have about four weeks left of round bales before we have to start using the big squares. I used to despise the big rounds because I would hand feed the herd, which is impossible to do when you have nine in one pen. Because I was going back to work and needed to adjust to this new routine, we decided to just push the rounds in and let the horses have free reign. I’ve gotten spoiled. Now I’m going to be disappointed when we run out of the rounds.
But I guess it’s a good thing that we will run out of the rounds when we do. The big squares are better quality hay. We still have a few of last year’s bales so we’ll go through those first and then start in on the new bales.  We may have to fix the gate by the hay barn so that I can pull from last year’s hay first instead of pulling from this year’s hay in the hay barn. Otherwise I’m throwing hay along the fence line and there’s not enough space for everyone to eat in peace. But we at least have a month to figure out how to get the gate working again. The original post was concreted in and has rotted off and is only in the ground precariously at this point. I’d like to fix the gate and make that fence line more serviceable. Hopefully this summer we can tackle that project but for now, we’ll focus on getting the gate fixed first. I may resort to corral panels until this spring when it warms up.
I was hoping to get some new pictures of each horse so that I could post a 2013 cheat sheet of the horses. That way everyone will know who I’m talking about when I bring up their names. But I haven’t been home before it’s dark to take any decent pictures. Hopefully on Saturday I can sneak out for an hour or two and get pictures of everyone (and get them all dewormed). 
The hardest part about the new year is for me to remember how old everyone is. Oh sure the oldsters are easy for me to remember. It’s the early teenagers that I have a hard time remembering their age. I struggle to remember Ivan and Tommy’s age for some reason. This year we’ll have anything from a 31 year old to a 3 year old. Crazy! Let’s see if I can do a quick rundown of ages while I’m thinking about it.

  • Babe – 31
  • Jim – 25
  • Rabbit – 20
  • Zeke - 20
  • Dude – 16 (How can that be?? We’ve had him now for 10 years!)
  • Rain – 15
  • King – 15
  • Bo – 12
  • Ivan – 12?
  • Tommy – 12-13?
  • Skippy – 10
  • Maverick – 8
  • Brego – 8
  • Chaos – 8
  • Mayhem – 3

Doesn’t seem real to me for some reason.  When I look at this list, I realize that each one has taught me so much over the past few years. Also in looking at the list, Dude has been with us the longest, followed by Rain. Bo has been here the shortest amount of time.
I also can’t forget those that we have had to say goodbye to:

  • Dictator - 28
  • Ace - 27
  • Ten Man – 30+
  • Blondie - 16
  • Bob - 21
  • Longhorn - ??
  • Joe - 24
  • Sam - 21
  • Sahara – 1
  • Dick - 28
  • Flower - 25
  • Queen - 34
  • Thor – 24
I’ve spilt a lot of tears over this second list. Each one is an ache in my heart but at least these family members were loved and hopefully knew it when they crossed over.  I can tell you why and when we lost each one, although I feel like I’m forgetting someone.
It’s almost a comfort looking at the first list and comparing the ages to the second list. Hopefully we won’t have to say goodbye to anyone for a little while longer.  As we begin this new year, hopefully we will be able to expand that first list by one so that he/she can enjoy a well-deserved retirement.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First Fundraiser of 2013 Brainstorming

On the heels of the last post, I want to discuss our first and most important 2013 resolution/goal for the Sanctuary, fundraising!
I would like to do monthly fundraisers but I know that it’s impossible so we are going to try and focus on one or two major fundraisers for the year and see how it goes. If we can get the ball rolling and get volunteers to help with the planning, our first fundraiser will be a Chocolate Auction set in February. I don’t have any of the details because we are still in the brainstorming phase.
But if you want to help out with the auction in any way, please, please, please let me know! We need everything from an auctioneer to chocolate items to auction off to a location for the event. I’d also like to do a silent auction so if you have any items you’d like to donate (either for the silent auction or for the chocolate auction), please email me at!
It may be a very small auction and only bring in a few bucks but every dollar counts. I’d love to hear your ideas for this fundraiser, so please email me.
We don’t have a large following so we need your help in spreading the word for this fundraiser event. Keep in mind that we are not a non-profit so your donations are not tax deductible at this time (and I apologize for that).  But it is for a good cause. All proceeds will be going directly to the horses.

2013 New Year's Resolution

I don’t have many New Year’s resolutions for 2013. I guess the biggest resolution is to focus on fundraising so that we can bring in an old horse so she/he can live out their retirement with us.  I’d say that’s my biggest goal for the Sanctuary this year.
In other years, I would normally have a few additional goals but having a four and a half month old makes it hard to have resolutions and goals. My goal is that I survive each day.
We were in Tractor Supply on Monday and I found two horse books on sale. I’ve wanted to go back to college and pick up an Animal Science degree or at the very least pick up the Equine Management minor but working full time, running the Sanctuary full time, and now having a baby doesn’t make it possible. So I decided that my other New Year’s resolution would be to read one non-fiction horse book a month. That goal might change into every two months or just a horse-related book every month. We’ll see how much time the Bear and the horses give me to sit and read.
I’ve learned a lot about horses in the last few years after meeting so many horse people in our community. I’ve gone to a few clinics over the years and met a bunch of very knowledgeable horse people. But I don’t want to stop my education there.  I need to expand my knowledge and try to better myself.  It’s a bit of a vague resolution but if I can read an educational book about horses once a month, I might be able to retain at least a little bit of that knowledge and apply it to the Sanctuary. That’s my goal anyway. I’ll try to post a “book review” when I’m done so that you too can see what I’ve learned. Call it a pop quiz if you like.  There’s no sense in having the knowledge if I can’t share it with others.

So in a nutshell, my 2013 New Year’s resolutions include:
·         Fundraising
·         Monthly book reviews