Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oh Goodie...

From our local meterologist blog for the upcoming weather......

Snow continues to expand across KELOLAND, with a general 1-3” possible in many areas today.  High temperatures will be very cold with readings near 7 in Sioux Falls, 0 in Aberdeen, 8 in Pierre, and 25 at Rapid City.  The snow chances will continue tonight as temperatures remain cold…below zero in many areas East River after midnight. 
Look for more cold weather the next couple of days.  Highs will struggle to get above zero through Thursday in many areas East River.  It does look dry, however, into Thursday as high pressure from Canada settles into KELOLAND. 
A warmer trend is ahead on Friday and Saturday, but more wind is expected and blowing snow could be an issue.  We’ll be watching those conditions the next few days.  We also expect dramatically colder weather by Monday with highs in both Aberdeen and Sioux Falls at -5 to -8.  This will likely be the coldest air of the season so far.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Weather Change Again

Where do I begin? This entire month has been a blur and the last few days have gone by so fast it’s hard for me to remember all that’s happened.
Saturday was beautiful! It was the nicest day we’ve had in a very long time. The temps were in the 40s! All the horses were enjoying the warm weather and not having to wear blankets. I know I enjoyed doing chores without having to deal with the bitter cold.
Gentle Spirits Horse (GSH) Rescue and Sanctuary hosted a Christmas party Saturday late afternoon that we were invited to. Of course we had to go! Oh what fun we had! It’s always so much fun getting to meet fellow horse rescuers and be in a place where we all have the same passion for helping horses. We met some of GSH’s volunteers and supporters so it was nice to put faces to names. We also had the opportunity to meet the current adoptables of GSH. I fell in love with Jackie, a 20 year old black solid paint mare. If we weren’t full and turning horses away, I’d be bringing her home. She reminds me so much of Queen that it almost hurts to think about it.  Oh don’t get me wrong, Butter and Flirt are drop dead gorgeous. I can’t tell the two apart but one of them has the most gorgeous golden dapples and amber eyes that are to die for. And to top it off, when they were both trotting around, I could see them in shows doing hunter, saddle seat or any other type of English. Those two saddlebred mares are going to be something else in the showring. I bet they’ll place every time with the right owner. They may be a little standoffish now but that’s because they hadn’t been handled until last year when GSH took them. They’ve come a long way and I bet with a dedicated owner, they’d be placing in shows by the end of the season. They have such a floating trot, it’s gorgeous. I had to wipe the drool off before it started to freeze to my face. Go check them out. You’ll not be disappointed. The pictures do not do these mares justice!
But I digress (as always when it comes to talking about horses!), after we met the horses, we went in to play games and hang out. When we arrived at GSH, the temps were almost 40 degrees. We were only able to stay for an hour (the Bear wouldn’t let us stay any longer). By the time we left, the temps had dropped 10 degrees. It took us only a half an hour to get home but in that time, the temps had dropped another 10 degrees.  I knew that cold front was going to come in but I didn’t realize it would come in that fast.  While we were at the party, the weatherman said that we were in a wind chill advisory! And by the time we got home, and I got bundled up to do chores, they were right! It was FREEZING out! I hadn’t wanted to blanket anyone before we left so I went about getting the mares and ponies out of the wind and bundled up first. Rabbit was very happy to get out of the wind and snug in her blanket. Of course, the evening meal of grain helped to keep her side tracked.
Once I got the mares and ponies settled, I started in with the big herd. Everyone was starting to get crabby so it took a bit more work convincing them that they needed to go where I wanted them to go. (Of course I hadn’t the foresight to get the stalls ready before hand!)  Luckily earlier in the day, Mike and the Bear had gone out and scraped the drylot so that walking was a lot easier and so that I could pull my hay cart with a little bit more ease (except when the horses go to grab a bite of hay and pull the entire wagon over).
Once I had everyone stalled, I went to work on getting them blanketed. I decided that Brego’s blanket didn’t fit him so he’d going back to the crappy Jeffers blanket and I’d put the new blanket on Jim instead. Jim’s canvas blanket is nice and heavy but it’s just not as good as the others that I prefer. So now Jim has his very own blanket that works fairly well. I’m not sure it’s 100 percent perfect but it’ll be better than nothing and shouldn’t annoy him like his old blanket. Out of the wind, the temps weren’t all that bad but walking back to the house, I was glad I’d put everyone in for the night.
Come Sunday morning, we were dealing with subzero temps again for the high. Let me just say, I am SO ready for spring to get here so we can get rid of these subzero temps. Anything that had melted and was slushy on Saturday is now a sheet of ice. If we get any more thawing and freezing temperatures like this weekend, the driveway is going to turn into a sheet of ice. As it is, in front of the barn is already a sheet of ice and I have to watch my step every time I come in and out of the barn (a bit tricky when hauling buckets of water back to the mare pen).
And now the weatherman says we are to get snow for the next three days. And following the snow is another arctic blast of cold air where the high is below zero. Oh I hate those types of days. It means extra hay, extra grain, freezing water buckets, and freezing fingers. I won’t complain about the snow. I’m hoping that the snow will help with the moisture and we won’t be in the middle of a drought any more. Oh how I loathe the word. But it’s so cold that the snow that falls now lacks any moisture so it’s more of a nuisance than anything else.  I’m sure hoping that the temps warm up and that what snow that does fall, is the nice heavy snow that is full of moisture!
I’m not sure what the next couple days will bring us other than more work because of the subzero temps. But I’m hoping to get caught up on a few things so that come 2014, I can focus my attention on the Sanctuary. 2014 is the year of the Horse so it’s imperative that we do something to celebrate it! Now, to come up with ideas. I’d love to hear your suggestions!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue - Jackie

Gentle Spirits Horse (GSH) Rescue and Sanctuary invited us to their Christmas Party yesterday. I had the opportunity to meet to current adoptables and I fell in love with Jackie. She is a 20 year old solid black paint mare. If we weren't full and turning away horses, I'd be taking her home in a heartbeat. She'd be one of my heart horses for sure!

She reminds me so much of Queen who would notice when I was upset and come and comfort me. I think Jackie is the same type of horse to the right person. Seriously, I'm in love with her. She was so respectful of my space and stood perfectly still while Tiffany and Nina put a blanket on her. She's such a doll. Of course, I have a thing for black horses but there's something more about her than her looks. She has an old soul that just speaks of her wisdom and experience.

I think Jackie would be the type of mare that would flourish under the care of a young teenager (or younger). She's the type that would take care of her owner and bring comfort when needed. I cant' stress enough how much I'm in love with this mare. She's simply a sweet mare that needs her own owner that can pamper her.

If I remember right, Tiffany said she was a bit of a more dominant mare but she respected my space and didn't push me around. She was pretty content to just hang out with me and since I'd never met her before, I was pretty pleased with her desire to just chill out with me (and I didn't even have any treats).

If you're interested in Jackie, here's her description from the GSH website. The description and pictures do not do this mare justice. You need to go visit her in person to see the wisdom and kindness in this sweet mare's eyes!

Jackie was obviously well cared for in her old home but could no longer stay there due to the fact that her previous owner has past away and the kids were not into horses. She has been out in pasture for the last 10 years and has many a baby with her pasture mate Duke. She was confirmed in foal when she came into the Gentle Spirit program and had her foal, Sheldon, December 2013. She is now enjoying being a pasture buddy at the Renner location but would love to have her own person and her own pasture. She is one of the first to come up for attention and has been very respectful. She is alpha mare, and occasionally kicks out or chases the other mares, but nothing that we consider abnormal.
She's easy to catch, respectful on the lead with occasional pushiness but she is easily redirected. We've been working on picking her front feet up and she's improving, and using a foot-rope to pick her back feet up. We did take her to the vet/farrier on 6/20 to have her feet done under sedation to give her a relaxed, good experience, and she did very well. He said she has very good feet for her age, and for the amount of time it's been since she had a full trim.
At nearly 21, we are adopting her out as a companion horse, though that's solely because younger horses are a priority to train at this point. There is no physical reason - just her age- that would stop anyone from seeing if she is broke and/or training her to ride at this point in her life. She's a big, beautiful mare who has raised many babies and now deserves to just be Jackie for a while.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Weather Change

Ah the joys of living in South Dakota....

From our local meteorologist:

Partly cloudy skies this evening will become mostly clear overnight.  Lows will fall to the teens and twenties by daybreak.
Saturday will be cooler with thicker clouds along with the passage of a cold front.  Highs will be in the twenties and thirties with increasing north winds throughout the day.  Winds will gusts as high as forty miles per hour on occasion as temperatures remain steady or slowly fall during the afternoon.  Along with the clouds and cooler air, scattered flurries or light snow showers will also be possible.  Any snow that falls will stay less than a half inch.
Sunday will be cold.  After morning lows in the single digits and teens below zero, highs will only make the single digits and teens above zero.  The cold air will last into next week along with scattered light snow.  While the moisture is limited, an inch or two of snow cannot be ruled out on any given day.


I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I was glad to be home on Christmas Eve day to avoid the weird weather. The snow went from little flakes to big fat flakes and then to small snowflakes again but luckily we didn’t have any wind. The snow fell so quickly that while we were out playing (and doing chores), we were covered in a layer of snow.  Visibility was low but it made for a picturesque scene Christmas Eve.
Christmas at the Sanctuary was rather low key, which is fine with me after all the hubbub over the past year.  Apparently Jim and Maverick had a tiff a few weeks back. Now Jim is dining with King more often these days. I’m not sure what the argument was about but the best friend combo isn’t there. I think Jim prefers King’s laidback and slow personality rather than Maverick’s constant harassment and movement. Jim is getting older and would prefer a more relaxed retirement than to keep a young whippersnapper in line. I don’t think King minds the company either.
We are supposed to reach 41 degrees today so I pulled blankets this morning. I put the last new blanket on Brego during the last cold snap. It definitely does NOT fit him correctly. I think I’m going to switch that one over to Jim and save Jim’s for emergencies only. It doesn’t really fit anyone else but it’s good and heavy. I think Jim would benefit more from this newer blanket and would be a bit happier. I need to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t start dropping weight. I’m still tossing around the idea of buying a blanket at the local tack shop that’s on clearance. Not sure that it’s still there but I may call down there today or tomorrow and see. Brego really does need his very own blanket that fits him instead of the ones that I have.
The weather is supposed to stay nice for today and tomorrow. I thought I saw the high for tomorrow as 35. Then Sunday’s high is 3. That’s right. There’s going to be a 30 degree drop in temperature. Never mind that the low for Saturday night is below zero (if I remember right). So there’s going to be a HUGE cold front blow through Saturday. I’m going to have to get myself organized pretty quick Saturday night to get everyone snug in their blankets and stalls. Having such a shift in temperature is so hard on everyone. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on the weather for the next 72 hours.
I’m still enjoying a bit of relaxing before the new year rolls around. But when that new year arrives, I want to set my focus on fundraising and paperwork. So if you’re bored and want to help, please let me know. I’m hoping that 2014 is the best year yet for the Sanctuary.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wind Chills

With the temps not even reaching above zero, I knew I needed to put the horses in last night. Luckily I had the stalls ready so it didn't take me more than an hour to get everyone situated for the  night. The other night when I opened the haybarn and turned on the light, I heard a thud. So I'm guessing a raccoon is now living in the barn.

But I digress. I noticed when I brought Dude in that he's off in his backend again. He hasn't been off in more than a year but now he was a little gimpy. That or he tripped walking into the barn but I'm going to keep an eye on him to make sure it doesn't get worse. His condition will never get better and will only get worse so I want to make sure that he stays as comfortable as possible. I did some homeopathy/herbal stuff on him a few years back and it seemed to help but I lost my contact for getting access to herbs. So through the winter, I'm going to have to keep a close eye on him. I was wondering if anyone has ever used one of those magnetic sheets to help and if that would be of some help to Dude. I'm curious and if it wasn't a couple hundred dollars, I'd be willing to try. So I want to hear what others think of them first before I spend the money.

But again, I digress. I started debating on putting the horses in last night. It was cold but there was no wind. This morning when I stepped outside, I was glad I had. It was C.O.L.D.! The wind is fierce. Now I'm wishing I would have left the horses in longer. The wind is out of the east, which is supposed to bring warmer temps but so far the wind is better and cuts right through you. I think tonight inbetween wrapping presents and getting ready for Christmas Day, I need to do some sewing on some blankets. I need to make due with what we have for the time being and if the winter continues as it currently is, we are going to need all the blankets we have!

I am starting to think that I need to stall Dude more often. Or at least whenever I stall the hard keepers and "delicate flowers". I don't have enough stalls for everyone in the big herd so I leave the three easy keepers out (Chaos, Maverick, and King). They are all fat and healthy and can withstand more than the others. But when Dude is out, they (except Chaos) get pushed out of the leanto off the barn. But when Dude is in the barn, it seems that everyone is more relaxed and gets a chance to stand where they really want to. I always thought that King didn't like being inside. I now think that it's because of Dude. King's feet are always so tender that he can't move as fast and if he's in the way of Dude, he has to move quick which hurts his feet. He's got such flat feet but I can't shoe him in the winter. I need to find another way to keep him comfortable. But if Dude is in, those three can wander around at their own pace since they are all pretty well equal. Although there is a pecking order and believe it or not, I think King is in charge. When Dude is out, Chaos acts like he's second in command. He buddies up to Dude and gets all the good stuff. But when Dude is in and its' just the three, King is in charge and Chaos can't push him around. The dynamics of the herd always change depending on who is where. Its' rather fascinating.

I can't believe that today is Christmas Eve day. It's amazing how fast time flies. I know I've only posted a few times this month what with all the commotion going on. Hopefully life will slow down a little (hahaha). I've really put the Sanctuary on the backburner these past few months. I've been simply trying to get through each day rather than plan for the future. But I'm hoping after the holidays, that I can regroup and focus on some upcoming fundraisers and other ideas to promote the Sanctuary. The fundraisers we had this year were so successful that I'm motivated to do more this coming year. There is still a need for horse rescue and sanctuary and I want to be able to step up and offer a home to an old warrior this coming year. I don't want to have to say no to someone again!

Monday, December 23, 2013


Talk about massive cold this morning. The cold air and wind took my breath away, although I was expecting it. The last few days have been a bit of a blur so not really sure even what to report on. Trying to get everything finished up for Christmas, Christmas with the family this past weekend, dealing with subzero temps for a couple of days, and getting over the flu, yeah I’m in a bit of a fog.
I’ll be putting the horses in tonight and should have last night. I should have also put blankets on a couple of the horses too but no one really seemed all that bothered last night. I’m tossing around the idea of buying a couple more blankets. We have some blankets but they either don’t fit, are ripped, or aren’t turnout blankets. I feel a little guilty when I know there are some blankets that “might” work but these are awfully nice. But not sure that I can scrape up the money to buy them since they are a closeout deal and will be gone before the end of the week.
After today and tonight, the weather is supposed to warm up. I’m hoping that we avoid the subzero temps for the rest of the winter but I doubt that’ll happen. Winter solstice was only this weekend and we’ve already been dealing with subzero temps earlier in the month. I’ll be glad to see green pastures again!
I also need to schedule a time with the vet to float a couple of horses. I think that might be Brego’s issue. I know he’s a hay dunker but I’m starting to think that he also needs a float. So now I have to figure out how to scrape up the money and find enough extra time to take off from the paying job. With being sick and the holidays, I’m down to zilch vacation time so I’m going to have to do some wheeling and dealing (i.e., work my butt off so I can take off time later in the week).   Ah the joys of a full time paying job and a full time Sanctuary job (not to mention full time mother)! No wonder I don’t get the super important non-profit paperwork going. By the end of the day, I’m falling asleep on the couch. Many a night I’ve woken to realize I’d fallen asleep on the couch and have to get up in a few short hours to do it all over again.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Long Week

Where do I even begin to catch you all up on the events of the past week. Let's just say the past week has been a total blur. Between Mike being gone for almost the entire week, dealing with subzero temps, and then a sick child (who subsequently got me sick with the flu), means I'm run down, stressed out, and totally behind on EVERYTHING.

My son has been sick for going on six days, luckily he's getting better. But I caught the flu over the weekend. Luckily it wasn't long lasting because even with the flu, I still had to go out and do chores. Well, minimal chores anyway. I only threw hay because that's all the strenght I had left. I didn't grain anyone and didnt' haul water.

Speaking of water. The water tank in the mare/pony pen is going to be the bane of my existence this winter. We have a smaller heater and it doesn't seem to be keeping up. Ok, "seem" isnt' the right word. It's NOT keeping up. There's a small hole for the horses to drink out of and when the temps are in the 20s, there's plenty of open water but when the temps drop to subzero, that little heater only keeps a small hole open. I need to find the bigger heater but it's lost in neverneverland, i.e., somewhere in either the tack room, garage (one of two), the red shed, or the barn. But I can't seem to find it. Lets just hope that we wont' have to deal with too much more subzero temps this winter! It's keeping up but I'd like to not have just a small opening for the mares and ponies to drink out of. Call me picky I guess.

Last night was glorious to go out and do chores. It's amazing what a 10 degree shift in temps will do for everyone. No one was cranky (me included), and the horses weren't pushing everyone around. I pulled Brego and Dude's blankets off and now I'm wishing I would have pulled everyone else's blankets off. I will have to watch the weather before I go out and do chores tonight and see what's predicted. I haven't had any time to watch the weather in about four days so I have no idea what's going on or what's predicted.

Christmas is just a week away and I'm not ready in the least. With other activities, work, and trying to make up hours for work, I haven't really had much time to do anything. My brain has gotten rather scattered as of late. I know there was a bunch that I wanted to babble about but right now, I'm trying not to freak out about not having anything done and being so FAR behind on everything. I'm a little frustrated but there's really nothing I can do except plug along and make the most out of it.

I'm sure that I'll be chatty later so keep your eyes open for another post. I'll try not to go a week without posting. But it's been super crazy lately.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Freak Out Time

I know I shouldn't worry, and I know I should just relax but I'm freaking out. I shouldn't but I am. And it's really nothing to freak out over. It's simply learning how to juggle a full time job, a toddler, a husband on travel this week, and a Sanctuary with 14 horses in the middle of winter (ok, so we aren't "technically" into winter but in SD, we really are in the middle of winter).

So, the weatherman is predicting teens below zero Tuesday night and we currently have subzero temps right now with who knows what ungodly wind chills. I'm trying to figure out how to jump through all the hoops to get everyone taken care of before it gets dark and even colder. Oh what I would give for a 20 stall barn that I could just open the doors and have each horse walk in to his/her own stall without having to figure out who goes where and which is the best combination for stall neighbors, and if they have blankets on, which stall would be the best so they don't tear up the one or two remaining blankets that aren't totally destroyed. Yeah, a 20 stall barn would be nice.

We survived the 20 below temps Friday night. I rushed home from work and got everyone snuggled into their stalls immediately. It only took me just over an hour to get everyone all safe in their stalls. It was great. Compared to the three hours it took me to prep for the two days of subzero temps, having only an hours worth of chores was fantastic.

Well, I wouldn't be freaking out today if all I was dealing with was the normal subzero temps that have been hanging over us for the past week or more. But Mike left this morning for the week. So now I have to figure out how to go to the paying job, watch a toddler, and care for the horses all in an average day. Never mind the fact that we are supposed to have super cold temps come our way tomorrow into Wednesday. Thank goodness for a lenient job and a mom that knows how to calm my nerves.

So tonight, I'll rush out to do chores. Once I kick the horses out of the barn, I'll get the stalls ready for tomorrow night's teens below zero temps (never mind the wind chill), and then race to get my son and get back home before it gets too dark and it gets even colder.

I'll be juggling the single parent phase all week and nasty weather. I think by this weekend I'll be a walking set of nerves to make sure that I can get everything accomplished and keep everyone happy. So if I don't post, I'm here, just pulling my hair our rushing from one place to the next.

Come on summer, I'm ready for you already!

National Day of the Horse - December 13th

Friday December 13th is National Day of the Horse.
Here's a bit of a read for those interested in learning more....


Friday, December 6, 2013

Deep Freeze

Baby it’s cold outside! The last couple of days have been an absolute blur and I’m running on exhaustion right now. I might have my days wrong but here’s what I’ve been so wrapped up in over the past couple of days.
Tuesday night I threw a blanket on Rabbit in preparation for the snowstorm. We hadn’t had any precipitation yet but it sure felt like there was a storm coming. The air was calm and crisp. The temps weren’t too bad and there wasn’t any snow on the ground so I was able to wrap up a few projects before heading in for the night.
Wednesday morning rolled around and I went out to do chores and was greeted with six inches of snow. I was a little surprised at the amount of snow. We were predicted to get 3-6 inches but hadn’t thought we’d be on the high side of that amount. Trudging back to the mare pen had me wore out! I was relieved that I’d put a blanket on Rabbit but had wished I’d blanketed some of the others.
By the time I’d gotten done with chores and headed back in to the house, my tracks were already being quickly covered up. I’d scooped snow away from the house door and there was already a solid third of an inch of snow on the ground. I figured that it was snowing about a half an inch an hour or so. And of course the weatherman predicted fierce winds to come in the afternoon, bringing the arctic air and making visibility hazardous.
I decided right then and there that I wasn’t going in to the paying job. If I couldn’t get home, what would happen to the horses? So instead I played hookie from work and puttered around watching the snow fall and the wind blow. I couldn’t go outside because our son was home too (supposed to be Grandma Day but we cancelled that because of the weather).
Luckily Mike kept an eye on the weather and when the wind picked up, he headed home. By that time, the roads were drifting over pretty bad (although the roads were worse in the morning than the afternoon so Mike said). When Mike got home, the snow was already drifting and blowing so it was impossible to know how much snow we accumulated. I’m guessing 6+ inches and then the drifting snow made the snow drifts even higher.
We pulled the carseat out and put it in the plow truck so Mike and Garrett could push snow while I headed out to do chores. I was so happy to go out and start chores at 4pm instead 5 or 6pm like it has been. I debated on putting the horses in the barn but figured that the temps were going to be in the double digits below zero on Thursday and Friday so I’d better hold off and get the barn ready instead.
I spent the first hour getting the barn ready and doing half of my normal chores. I filled water tanks and put straw and hay down in the stalls so that I would just have to open the doors and let the horses in on Thursday night. I spent the second hour putting blankets on horses and making sure that everyone was snug. I did a quick repair job on a couple of blankets and called it good. It’s not perfect and some blankets aren’t the right size but at least they have something to help fight off this cold. I spent the third hour getting the mares and ponies’ stalls ready in the hay shed. I hadn’t put up the temporary stall yet so had to make sure that I had that taken care of and ready to go. I was a little worried that the ponies would mangle something but so far so good.
By the time I was finished with chores Wednesday night in preparation for the deep freeze that was predicted, I had been outside for almost three hours working non-stop to get ready. I also broke into the hay in the hay barn instead. After pushing and pulling the two wheel wheelbarrow and the hay cart through the 1.5 foot snow drifts, I decided it wasn’t worth it.
But I’m sure glad I spent the extra time Wednesday night. The wind might have been chilly but if you got out of the wind, it was pretty nice. But come Thursday night, no matter what, it was COLD.
I got out to do chores immediately after getting home last night. I was out doing chores at 4:30pm. I was glad of it too. Once the sun set, the cold really set in. By 5:15, it was even COLDER! I ended up putting Jim, Dude, Rain, Ivan, Brego, Bo, and Zeke into the barn. Maverick, Chaos, and King stayed out but they had two leantos to go into and got extra hay.  I also pulled Mayhem, Rabbit, and the ponies into the hayshed stalls. That was a bit of an effort. Rabbit has a hard time seeing in the dark. I think that eye is giving her problems. She couldn’t see the grain that I had for her so I had to shine my flashlight so she could see. Mayhem was a little bit of a bugger and wouldn’t step over the little railing to get into the stall. It’s a sign that I have NOT worked with her enough and come trailer loading lessons, she’s going to be a pill. I’ll take the blame for not getting her around to loading and unloading like she should.  The ponies were happy to get in out of the wind.  (So was Rabbit and Mayhem for that matter although they were a bit confused).
By 5:30pm, everyone was tucked in for the night and I headed in. I was so relieved to be done just before it got super dark and the cold temps started to really plummet.
But with putting the horses in at night, it means morning chores take that much longer. Unfortunately, the temps are supposed to be even colder tonight so I wanted to do some additional prep work to make evening chores tonight go just as quickly.
I threw out extra hay to the big herd and then let them all out of their stalls. I think they were all itching to stretch their legs and get out of the barn. I threw out extra hay and emptied the water buckets so all I have to do tonight is put fresh water in the buckets, put their grain dishes in the correct stalls, and then lead each horse in to his rightful stall.
I still need to put hay out in the hay shed stalls but I was starting to run late and figured I’d take care of the mares and ponies right away instead of working on the big herd instead. I’m hoping the extra light will make putting those guys in the hayshed stalls a little easier.
I’m hoping to make tonight’s chores go as fast as last night. We are supposed to be even colder tonight. I am NOT looking forward to tonight’s chores. BUT, I’d rather get them over with in the daylight. I’m going to be in a bit of a pickle next week.
Mike is leaving Monday for training out of town so Garrett and I will be home alone. Trying to do chores with a toddler is impossible in the winter and then throw in the sub zero temps, I’m not sure what I am going to do. In fact, Tuesday’s low is supposed to be 20 below zero. I have NO idea how I am going to cope with getting everyone stalled AND take care of my son alone. It’s going to be a juggling act for sure!
And tonight after I get done rushing through chores, we have to jump back in the car and drive to Colton, SD. Colton is having a Festival of Trees this weekend. Last year the Sanctuary donated a tree to the silent tree auction and we are once again donating an arrangement. This time I got even more creative. Last year I took the top of a tree branch, painted it white, and hung red balls with the horses’ names from the branches. I thought it looked pretty neat. This year, I took some old barb wire that we had lying around and Mike turned it into a wreath. I added a sprig of somethingorother and some ribbon and wrote the horses’ names on the ribbon. It looked better in my head but at 10pm, working on a Christmas project that has to be done before the next day, well, anything that gets done is better than nothing!
So if you happen to be in the neighborhood and want to brave the cold, the Colton Festival of Trees is going on this weekend. I don’t know the hours but if you want to know more, I’ll get you the info.
I’ve been in “go” mode ever since I heard that we were going to be in an arctic freeze and with all the other activities and additional cold snaps coming along, I’m going to be in a frantic mode until at least next weekend. I’m sure hoping to catch a break and enjoy a little of the holidays.
I’m running out of stuff to say right now (hard to believe I know) but I’m sure to write more later today.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Six inches of snow and now blowing snow with subzero temps. The rest of the week is not going to improve. It's going to be a long week. On the bright side, most of the snow has blown into drifts so I either walk around them or plow through them. Mike and Garrett are out now plowing the driveway (which was plugged full of snow thanks to the wind).

I was considering leaving the herd out tonight and getting stalls ready for the next two nights but I may  stall them tonight. We'll see. I am going to blanket those that I can but I'm bummed I didn't get around to fixing all the blankets first. I may do some quick sewing here tonight and put different blankets on horses tomorrow. I wish the weatherman was wrong! I do not want 20+ below zero wind chills.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Winter Weather On Its Way

Oh goodie... Just read the winter weather advisory that will go into affect at 3pm today... I'll post more later today but figured I'd let you all see what we are going to be dealing with for the next 36 hours. 20 below zero wind chills do not sound like fun. Guess I better scramble tonight and get a couple temporary stalls set up in the hay shed for the ponies. Thank goodness Dad and Mike fixed the stalls in the hayshed for Mayhem and Rabbit. I think the next two days are going to be extremely long and stressful....


(Sorry for the all caps. I don't know why weather people have to do that. I'm not yelling, honest. ) :-)


Interesting concept.....