Thursday, August 29, 2013

Need New Hay Supplier

We need to find a new hay supplier for next year. I know it's a year away but we need to get everything lined up now. So if you know if a good hay supplier that has good hay at a decent price, please email me at


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Homes Needed

So I'm still riding this pity party train it seems. I was just looking through the ads and found two more horses to give away. I guess it's better to try and find them homes now before winter hits. But it's frustrating. In the last couple of days, I've now seen four horses to give away. And two of those four are only FIVE MILES away from the Sanctuary and one of them fits our criteria for coming in to the Sanctuary. It's just so frustrating to have my hands tied, especially when they are SO close! And of the four I recently saw online, they all come very close to meeting our requirements. Anyone up for sponsoring a horse?

I went out last night to take pictures of the horses as the sun was setting. The days are definitely getting much shorter. I am going to struggle to get everything done before the first snowflake. Unfortunately the pasture is becoming nonexistant. The hay guy put three round bales into the drylot and without locking the herd up each night, they still managed to polish off an entire round bale without leaving any waste (and that's without using a net or a ring).

While I was out taking pictures, I realized that something didn't feel right. At first I couldn't place it but then I realized I was missing horses. Oh don't worry. No one escaped. But it is a little weird how your brain will register a change. Of course I knew Ivan and Brego were up in Madison but being out with the herd last night made me stop and think for just a minute on what the difference was. The dynamics were still the same as I make sure to always pair horses up when hauling to a different pasture. Everyone has a best friend (Ivan/Brego, Zeke/Bo, Jim/Maverick, Dude/King, Rain/Chaos, Tommy/Skippy...the mares don't count. Mayhem pairs up with either Babe or Rabbit. It simply depends on who she's in with).

I had to fill water tanks last night and will have to fill them again tonight. This weather is just so hard on the horses. Unfortunately, this extreme heat is really taking its toll on Babe. I'm afraid we are going to have to say goodbye sooner than I had expected. I had hoped it would be a few more months but I have to stop fooling myself. I had hoped that this year would be the first where we wouldn't have to say goodbye to a four legged family member. I'm tired of saying goodbye but I guess that's part of being a Sanctuary. My heart is still tender from losing Queen last September and my Grandmother in March. So the thougth of losing Babe is a little tougher than normal. I guess there's something about these mares that cause me even more heartache than normal. I can't really explain it.

The last forecast I saw was filled with 90 degree temps. I guess we are getting our last bit of summer. I read that in one of the almanacs that we are supposed to get a colder than normal winter. They used the word "bitter". Greeeeeaaat. I hope they are wrong. I'd love to have an open winter. But if we do have a colder than normal winter, we are going to see a lot more horses being sold or given away. I'd like to step up for at least one older horse. I know you're going to get sick of me asking, but maybe I'll wear everyone down. But does anyone want to sponsor a horse? :-)

Monday, August 26, 2013

High Temps

I’m in a bit of a funk so hopefully I want be too snarky. I spent the majority of this weekend at the 51st Annual Prairie Village Threshing Jamboree. In years past I’ve volunteered/demonstrated and more recently helped park cars. This year, however, I opted to be more of a spectator. So there was another weekend of not getting anything accomplished at the Sanctuary.
We are expected to have upper 90s for temps all this week. I doubt I’ll be doing much other than making sure the horses have enough water and are comfortable standing in the shade. We’ve had such a cool August that it’s a bit hard for this ol’ body to adjust to 90 degree weather. Although, at the end of the day I’m so exhausted that I don’t think it matters what temps we reach in the evenings.
I’m keeping a very close eye on Rain. These temps are dangerous for him so I want to make sure that he has enough shade and stays cool during this hot spell.
I hope that this heat only lasts a week. We haven’t gotten a lot of rain lately and our pastures are starting to burn up. I’m afraid I’m going to have to move Rabbit and Mayhem to the back pasture. Not a bad deal really but I was hoping to hold out at least until the first of September to make sure that the pasture will hold. I need to walk the temporary fence to make sure that it’s still up. I had planned on pulling the temp fence down but never got around to it before the snow flew last winter. I’ve been saving this pasture for fall when hunting season begins. I won’t let the horses out on the hill pasture during hunting season because there are too many people who think that they own the road and can shoot anything that moves. Don’t get me wrong, I come from an avid hunting family but I still don’t believe in road hunting. Do your homework and your research and find the right locations. If you road hunt near me, expect me to stand there and watch you like a hawk and make you feel uncomfortable when you even THINK about climbing over my fence.
Sorry, off topic and ranting. With the higher temps, I’m hoping I can work on the 2014 calendar so that we’ll have something to sell to help fray the costs of the Sanctuary. I do have an idea for a fundraiser up my sleeve but you’ll just have to wait until I get more of the kinks worked out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Good Read

A good read:

Tarping Hay and Saying Prayers

In the evening after our winter hay supply arrived, I needed to scramble and get some of the hay covered. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough space for all the hay to be under cover so we had to do some rearranging. You don’t think tarping hay would be all that difficult but when you’re doing it in the dark and alone, it can get a little hairy. The first area to tarp wasn’t too bad. I didn’t have any problems hopping up onto the stack of hay but had to watch my head to make sure I didn’t bang it on the shed roof. I was able to get most of that pile tarped without any problems. Then it was on to the other two rows of hay.
The hay we purchase are big squares that are 3x3 and stacked two high. So silly me, instead of getting the ladder (because it was too far to lug back to the shed and it was already 9:30pm when I started, I went the old “hick” route and grabbed a pallet and turned it into a makeshift stepping stool.
The way we had to stack the hay made it a bit more difficult. Usually this stack is completely undercover but just needs the front covered. Instead we added another two bales so the hay was sticking out. There’s a small “wall” (hard to explain) so there was about a foot between the top of the hay and the bottom of the wall. I had to slither my way under the “wall to get back to the other hay and throw tarps. I had to slither my way back out to tarp the front of the hay. That’s when I realized that maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Here I am, alone with no cell phone and if I fall, I’ll fall onto concrete. Or the bales could tip and crush me if the tumble down. And of course I’m doing this all by the light of the full moon. At least there was a full moon because half way through tarping the hay, the flashlight just quit. No warning that the battery was giving out. It just stopped and everything went dark. It’s my typical luck. But in truth, it was easier to work with the light of the moon than to hang on to a flashlight and try to scramble around on bales. Once I was done with the second pile of hay, I had to go to the next stack and do the same thing again using my pallet as a ladder. I made sure to say my prayers when I was up on the hay! It’s always an adventure when dealing with hay.

(I'll post pics later so you can actually see what I'm talking about).
When my hay guy was here, I asked if he’d put the three round bales that we had from June into the drylot. I didn’t figure they were any good but the horses could eat on them if they got bored. Sure enough, instead of hanging out in the pasture, they are devouring the bales. Well, actually just one of the bales. Guess it was a lot better than I thought. But this way, with 24x7 access to pasture and a round bale, maybe everyone will be fat and sassy.
Tomorrow is the first day of the Prairie Village Threshing Jamboree. I’m planning on taking Chaos to help park cars. It should be a good learning experience. It’s the first time in 12 years that they are able to use the steam engine locomotive. We’ll see what Chaos does when he sees that big  smoke breathing machine coming down the tracks.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fully Loaded

Our hay arrived promptly at 2pm today. I just watched them pull away at 4:30. It's a great feeling to have a barn and shed full of hay. Unfortunately I didn't get my full order so I may be in search of a handful of round bales. I had hoped that with a full order and a few extra bales from last year that maybe we could take on one old horse but without the full order of hay coming through, I doubt we can take on anyone else unless someone wants to sponsor. I am waiting for the second weight ticket to find out exactly how much we will pay. I still need to go out and tarp some of the hay. We sort of ran out of room so I have a few that are a little bit more exposed to the elements than I would like. But, they are here so now I can worry about other things. We were able to get a total of 68 bales. I guess that was all the field provided. Last year we got 40 from that field. It didn't dawn on me until today when my hay guy said it. But it almost sounds like the field they pull the bales from is "my" field. Kind of a neat feeling to know that there's a field specifically for our hay. I can only hope that next year it'll produce better. Here's to keeping fingers crossed that we'll have good weather so "my" field will do even better next year.

Hay Today

If I thought I was in a panic Sunday, I guess I should have waited another day. I got the phone call yesterday after work that my hay guy was going to bale and deliver my hay today! TODAY! Ummm.. I had planned on working in the haybarn and hayshed a little bit last night in preparation for the hay arriving but I had no idea that it would be TODAY!

I forgot what it was like to work outside from the time we get home until dark. I was exhausted when we finally trudged in for the night. I would have been a little bit better had it not been a surprise that the hay would come today. It'll be a relief that we'll have enough hay to get through the year. But what's stressing me out is having to pay for the hay. It's always a struggle but even more so now with the hospital bills. I guess it's just a constant stresser I'll have to learn to live with.

The hay hasnt' yet arrived but I am anxiously waiting. The weatherman predicted rain for tomorrow and Thursday so I'm anxious to get the hay under cover before the weather changes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

In A Panic

I think Jim have uveitis, also known as moon blindness. I don't know what's going on. Last year Rabbit lost the eyesight out of one eye around this time of year due to uveitis. Now it's Jim. I can't figure out if it's something I'm doing, if there's something that they are getting in to, or what. I know that might sound weird but how can I have horses start experiencing uvietis one year after another. It makes me feel like i'm doing something wrong when I know it's just a matter of that particular horse.

On the bright side, at least Jim isn't skittish about that eye when I look at it. I need to call the vet to find out if there is anything we can do. I need to order a specific flymask for Jim and Rabbit so that the sun doesn't bother their eyes as much. It always seems that around this time of year (or closer to mid fall), that the horses start getting sick or having health concerns/issues. Seems we are starting earlier this year.

I am afraid we are going to lose Babe. She's still spunky but she's not putting on the weight. What hay I do throw out, she doesn't polish off. I also throw her alfalfa and she can't eat but just the leaves. She polishes of her grain, which is a good sign. She hasn't indicated to me that she's ready to go yet but I'm afraid I need to start preparing myself for the loss. She has taught me SO much in the past five years. I'm not saying it's a definite yes that we will say goodbye to her yet this year but I am afraid that will be what happens. It depends on Babe and the weather. I refuse to let a horse suffer through a South Dakota winter. So it may seem that we are being rash and euthanizing too early but I don't want anyone to get sick or go down hill during a cold winter day/night in South Dakota. My preference is for grain in their belly, grass in their mouth, and sunshine on their back when we say goodbye rather than ice and snow under them and only hay and grain to enjoy with no sun. So, I'm beginning to prepare myself. Maybe I'm wrong and I'm jumping to conclusions.

I'm also keeping a watchful eye on Jim. He is a hard keeper during the winter months but he seems to be doing ok other than the uveitis. I need to get Bo in to have a full exam. He's simply not picking up weight so I want the vet to see if there's some underlying condition that is finally breaking through. Brego needs to go in for a float, as does Rain. Unfortunately we are going to have to scrape pennies to get all of this accomplished. I'd love to take them in one at a time and save us the expense of paying for everything all at once but I want everyone on the up-and-up before the weather turns (and the paying job is overloading me with work).

August has not felt like August this year. It's been down right chilly these past few weeks. This week is turning out to be hot like our typical August but I haven't heard yet what the weather will be like after this week. Even the weatherman isn't looking any farther into the future than the next few days of intense heat (intense for South Dakota being low 90s).  :-)

One of our drill teams had our final performance of the year and this weekend will be the final performance of the other drill team. I'm hoping with practices and performances done for the season, that I'll be able to concentrate more on fundraising. Is anyone free in the next couple of weeks to meet and discuss fundraiser ideas? I have one of our guardian angels coming over next Tuesday if anyone would like to join us, the more the merrier.

I was also told yesterday that our hay supplier is going to be baling hay this week and they want to deliver it right away. I was in a panic when I found out the news so I went out to the hayshed to do some cleaning. I have a lot more cleaning to get done before the hay arrives! I still need to unload the 50 small squares of hay (we use those for emergencies and travel) into the haybarn before the big bales arrive. Otherwise stacking bales is going to be very difficult with the big bales in the way. I also need to move the ponies. I let the ponies back out on the lawn this weekend. They were happy but now they are demanding that they be moved. Depending on when the hay is scheduled to arrive, I can put the ponies in one of two places. I hate not being able to plan. I don't want anyone waiting on me or having to rush around to get stuff done before people arrive. I only have tonight and Thursday night to finish getting everything ready. I'm afraid Thursday might be out too as we have our son's one year doctor appoinment (and shots) and if he's not feeling well, I'm certainly not going to be out throwing bales.

We also have a ground hog. He decided to keep me company while I was cleaning out the hay shed. I came around the corner to go find a cat (found a mouse nest, yuck), and there was the ground hog. I set a trap so we'll see if I can catch him or if I'll have to move the trap to a different location. For those that don't know, we do not trap and release. Call use cruel and inhumane to wild animals I guess. But reality is we cannot have varmits on our property with all of these horses. We've already had an EPM scare, I don't want any other type of scare due to varmits!

Mike also sprayed the drylot last week. Oh what a blessing that is! The drylot was being overtaken by prickly cockleburs (you know, the ones that are painful to pull out, not the ones that shred into a million pieces when you pull on them). Mike didn't get all of the plants but now we can at least see which plants weren't affected by the spray and go after those. I do NOT want to spend my time pulling cockleburs out of manes and tails all winter long.

We have a million things to work on and I'm in a total panic. There's so much to get accomplished and fall is right around the corner. So, if anyone is bored, you are welcome to come out. We have plenty of projects to work on from easy tasks that shouldn't take very long (washing blankets) all the way to extensive time consuming projects (fixing the sliding door on the barn) and there's always fencing! So let me know when you are free and we'll get something set up!

No IA Slaughterhouse

It seems that the people have spoken and there will be no slaughter plant for horses in Iowa. Thank those that were diligent enough to push through and save the horses. Unfortunately, Valley Meat is going to push through until they get a slaughter plant in New Mexico. Although a slaughter house wont' be in our backyards, it's still necessary to keep pushing to save the horses.

I am seeing more and more good horses up for sale. There's absolutely nothing wrong with them other than an owner that no longer wants to care for that horse during the winter months of South Dakota (or at least that's the usual jist of most people getting rid of horses "need to thin the herd").

I found out a little bit of info on Bo's previous owner, I think. Well, it's not really info but it's the location of one pasture he either rents or owns. Only when people stop selling horses at auctions for cheap and when people start doing reference checks before letting their beloved horse go to someone else, can we stop somone like this evil man from acquiring innocent horses and subsequently hurting them (and eventually entering these horses into the slaughter pipeline.

Ignorance is not something you are born with.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Dude seems to be in almost all of these pictures. I guess he's just a photogenic horse. The following pictures are from the first of July when we FINALLY released them into the pasture. 

 Rain, Maverik, Chaos, and Dude

 Dude, Maverick, and Jim
 Apparently Dude really can flex!

 The herd coming in for the night.

Early morning

Bo and Zeke in the early morning light


In a state where people view horses as livestock and have pro-slaughter views, at least a few people saw the need to reprimand those that abuse and neglect horses.

From our local news:

Couple Convicted of Horse Neglect Near Rapid City

Jurors in Rapid City took just over an hour to convict a couple of neglecting dozens of horses last winter.

Donald and Terri Harwood were found guilty Friday of nine counts each of inhumane treatment of an animal.

Deputies in January seized 69 horses at the Rapid Valley home. A prosecutor says the horses at times were left without hay or water, and some were thin and weak. A defense attorney argued the Harwoods were caring for the horses, and that skyrocketing hay prices and illness among the horses played a big role in the case.

The Harwoods owned about 30 of the animals and were boarding the rest.

The maximum punishment on each count is a year in jail and $2,000 fine.

Now my question is, what are the penalties that they will actually have to pay? Lives were lost and yet I expect the repurcusions will be minimal. $2,000 fine is not adequate in my eyes nor is one year in jail (which I expect if that were issues, they'd be able to get out after a few days). If I hear more, I'll let you know. I find it hard for people to not value a life more highly. It's sad what this world has become.


Pretty cool:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Neglect in SD

From our local news:

SD Couple Accused of Horse Neglect on Trial
A Rapid City couple is on trial for allegedly neglecting dozens of horses last winter.

Donald and Terri Harwood were charged with numerous counts of inhumane treatment of an animal after the Pennington County Sheriff's Office in January seized 69 horses owned by the couple or left in their care. The charge is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Prosecutor Megan Poppen says the horses at times were left without hay or water, and some were thin and weak. Defense attorney Connor Duffy says the Harwoods were taking action to care for the horses, and that skyrocketing hay prices and illness among the horses played a big role in the case.

Of course I have an issue with the Defense attorney's response. Umm, hello?!? We ALL have been dealing with the skyrocketing hay prices and any horse can become ill. If you have that many, maybe you should have budgeted.  Don't use those excuses on me because those are too thin to walk on. I doubt they will get more than a slap on the wrist. I hope Karma strikes them down.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Days Getting Shorter

The days are definitely getting shorter. Oh how I crave for longer days and more sunshine. I so enjoyed the vacation and didn't notice how much daylight we were losing until I had to start doing chores in the dark, both morning and night.

I'm going to have to come up with a different routine to do chores at night. I really hate doing chores in the dark. Luckily the varmits haven't started coming out just yet but it won't be much longer. I need to put up some temporary fence so that I can run the ponies out on the lawn again. It didn't take them but a week to chow down on what little grass is in their permanent pasture (which really consists of mostly trees and a few patches of sparse grass).

I was thinking that maybe I'd haul two horses up to mom and dad's this weekend. I'd talked about hauling horses this spring but never got around to it. The big pasture, although looks like there's still grass, I don't believe has much left. I desperately need to get out and spray the weeds before they take over again. always something in that darn pasture.

The temps have been beautiful lately and we did get a good rain shower the other night. Hopefully that bit of rain will help hold the pastures a little bit longer. I've sort of been ignoring the pasture not wanting to see what I'm afraid I'll see, which is no more pasture. I think there's still plenty for the big herd to eat. When we came back, they were all looking fatter than when we left (a good thing in my book).

I did lock them out of the pasture last night. This morning everyone was hellbent for the pasture. Rain was stirring up trouble before I even got the gate open. Once I was able to push the gate open far enough, Dude bolted out with Rain and Chaos hot on his heels. The rest of the herd followed suit. The back half of the herd (Jim, Ivan, Brego, Zeke, and Bo) all raced out a little bit slower but once they hit the pasture Ivan and Brego started a bucking parade. Ivan is really lazy but in the last few months I've seen him really toss out a few good bucks (well not bucks to buck someone off but really bucks to stretch the legs, if that makes any sense).

I'm starting to see an increase in horses for sale. August is always the month that people start selling their horses. But I won't go into that topic of discussion right now. I'm hoping to find some time in the next few days to do some serious cleaning in the barns. I've gotten so far behind it's absolutely ridiculous how messy the place has gotten. I'd start a To Do list but I'd be afraid I wouldn't be able to stop, there's just that much that needs to be done before winter sets in. I have a terrible feeling that not a lot will get accomplished before the first snowfall.

If you're bored or need to work off a little bit of energy, stop on out. We have plenty for you to do. We have a mirad of tasks to accomplish, anything from fairly light duty work (cleaning blankets/brushes/etc. and painting) all the way down to serious brain and brawn power (fixing the big barn door before it falls off the hinges).

Maybe we'll get just enough sunlight to start on my To Do list. Maybe I'll go start on that list right now.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Back From Vacation!

Sorry for the lapse in posts. We went on our annual family vacation to the Black Hills. Unfortunately, we went during the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Week so we had to get creative in where we went. Also, having an almost one year old made the trip that much more adventerous. I'll post pictures later. I still haven't gotten through all of the pictures.

So, that's where we've been instead of plugging along at home. I even went so far as to turn off my phone and leave it off the entire week we were gone, except once just to check in to make sure that everything was fine back at the Sanctuary (which it was). It's nice to get away for awhile. With all the turmoil we have experienced over the past year with health scares, hospital stays, death, and general stresses of running a sanctuary, it was nice to get away.

I will admit that going on vacation with a baby is a lot more difficult than going on vacation when it's just you to worry about. I can say that I didn't come back from the Black Hills as relaxed or as refreshed as I had hoped but it was still worth every minute of being out there.

Now that we are back, I can focus my energies on the Sanctuary. I hope to begin working on some fundraiser ideas. But if you have any, I'd love to hear them. We might not be able to get to them all right away, but I love hearing about them and adding them to the list of activities we'll do some day.  If you have ideas, you can leave them in the comments, email us at, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.  I think I need to hear/see some ideas to really get my fundraiser ideas flowing in my little head.

The horses seemed to enjoy my time away. Only the hard keepers came up to greet me when I called for them last night. Stinkers that they are, they only wanted their nightly grain (I know where I stand with them).  :-) 

Bo is still too thin for my liking but I think 24x7 access to pasture and grain help some. I need to schedule an appointment with the vet to have him examined before winter. Unforutnately, work has me so buried that I'm finding it difficult to take time off during the day to haul him to the vet. Weekends are just as jammed packed. So maybe in a couple of weeks with a bit more pasture time and more grain, Bo will fill out a little more before I haul him anywhere.

I will try to get a video of the horses one of these nights when I call for them to come in. Last night was fun to watch all 10 heads pop up from the pasture and watch what I was doing. Luckily the hard keepers knew the routine and came up but the rest decided to be buggers and stay out. I don't blame them.

Luckily we got rain Saturday night (we beat the storm home). So now we have at least some moisture in the pasture. I was starting to worry but with as much rain as we got the other night, we should be ok. I need to get out and start doing some serious weed spraying both in the drylot and the pasture. The pasture has thistles and the drylot has those blasted hard cockleburs that hurt when you pull them out of the manes and tails. I want to get rid of them before they go to seed. So, it looks like my relaxing time has come and gone and we will be hard at it getting ready for winter to set in. I hate even thinking about winter but there's so much to be done before it sets in. So if you're bored one day, stop on out and I'll put you to work. We have a wide assortment of tasks that need to be done!

Happy Birthday Baby Bear!

Today is a special day at Borderlands. Today is the day our little Bear was born. It's also the day that changed how we manage the Sanctuary. We are currently on a smaller scale than previously. Although our mission is still the same, the scale to which we work is much smaller.

This past year has been absolutely crazy for me personally. We have experienced so much turmoil over the past 12 months it's hard to fathom. And yet, every minute with my little Bear is precious. We have had many tears and scares over the multiple hospital visits for me, Mike, and our little Bear over the past 12 months. We have also had many belly laughs, giggles, and smiles that hold so many special moments. I am truly blessed by the support we have received from everyone over the past year.

I am excited to watch our little Bear grow and experience new activities, sights, and sounds. I don't think life will slow down so I'll enjoy every minute I can.

Happy Birthday Baby Bear!

Garrett's 11 month pictures

Slaughter Statistics Article

An interesting article: