Friday, May 30, 2014

Pasture BedTime

What an absolute gorgeous morning. No wind (well enough to blow hay into my hair but not enough to be too annoying), warm temps (I didn’t require coveralls, heavy coat, gloves, hat, and scarf!), and the horses were happy to see me. I love mornings like that.

Yesterday after getting home from the paying job, I realized that the horses weren’t hanging over the fence waiting for me. I had my suspicions but left it at that.  I’ve been putting them out on the lawn since last week. I’m not sure if they are ready to be on pasture for a full day or not so I was planning on letting them out on the lawn for a couple of hours.

When I climbed over the fence, no one was around. As it happened, someone figured out that the gate wasn’t completely closed.  I’m not sure if it’s been like that for awhile but I had my suspicions. Luckily the herd wasn’t far from the gate. They were barely into the pasture when I caught them. I hollered and almost everyone came up at a slow saunter. At least they came up. I want/need to get them trained to come up when I call. Everyone but Ivan and Bo were willing to come in so I got the rest of the herd out on the lawn and went back for Ivan and Bo. Ivan came up and gave me this innocent look with his droopy lip. I kicked him out onto the lawn and went for Bo.

I had to grab some twine and lead him into the drylot to convince him he didn’t need to be out on the pasture. After I let him wander, he stood right by my shoulder. If he was my only  horse, I think the bond would be 100 times stronger. There’s just something about him. He’s chosen me and I’ve chosen him. He’s still way too thin for me to ride him but I need to figure out a few things to put weight on him. I need to start reinforcing that bond and start doing MY part.

When it was actual feeding time, I kicked everyone back into the drylot and decided that I would let the mares and ponies out on the lawn. When I came around the corner, they were all standing in a circle with their heads together. When I came around the corner, everyone lifted their heads like they were telling secrets. Makes you wonder what they were talking about. I let Rabbit and Mayhem out at first and then went back to get halters for Tommy and Skippy. I’ve learned my lesson with those ponies. Halters are a MUST when they are on grass. They are such stinkers to catch.

I left them to graze and play and went to fill their water tank. We’ve been in the upper 80s for the past week so I need to keep better tabs on the water situation. I topped out the water tank and got the big herd fed. By the time I was ready to put the mares and ponies away, it was getting dark. Surprisingly, I was able to catch Skippy first but the other three tried to play keep away. I was able to get Rabbit and Mayhem back in the pen with very little problem but Tommy was a pill. I finally caught Tommy after a lot of running (on his part not mine). I desperately need to get the gate fixed. I don’t want to be taking the horses in and out of that gate often but that’s the only gate I can use. So the half-arsed method worked for awhile but we need to get it fixed ASAP if I want to use the pen this summer.

I had planned on keeping the geldings on the lawn until the middle of next week but I’m thinking that I may put them on the lawn for the day tomorrow and then let them go into the pasture. I haven’t walked the pasture so I have no idea what it looks like. From the brief moment I was out there, it looks pretty nice but with 10 mouths eating all the grass, I’m not sure if it will hold up. I guess we’ll wait and see.  I am planning on taking Brego and Ivan up to Madison  (i.e., the “summer resort”) for a little while but I need to get Ivan’s feet trimmed first. Yet another phone call I need to make but don’t seem to get around to doing it .

Once the geldings are on pasture, I can get the mares and ponies used to grass. We’ll see how it goes. I want the mares in their pasture but the ponies will have to stay on the lawn. It’ll make it a bit interesting with Garrett around. I may have to pull ponies off the lawn while he’s out playing. I don’t want a toddler discovering electric fence. Or worse, getting in with the ponies.

I have a huge long list of things that need to get done around the place. I have no idea if I’ll be able to get them all done or not. But it would sure feel nice if we could get a few items marked off the list. Mike got the new tractor out and was pulling volunteer trees up out of the yard. Hopefully we’ll start focusing on making the place not look to ratty. So much to do and so little time. Anyone want to come out and help? We have all sorts of activities to work on! I’ll feed you too!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Clever Allemont

For those that might follow Old Friends, a thoroughbred racing retirement farm, you may have learned that Clever Allemont was euthanized on Memorial Day due to colic. Clever Allemont was a racehorse that was rescued at the ripe age of 26 from a kill pen. The past few years he's enjoyed retirement at Old Friends.

I have to share one quote from the blog post because it is SO fitting. Not just for famous and not so famous thoroughbreds that raced but for all horses....

As Dr. Val Nicholson so beautifully put it, “Clever couldn’t hear, but he could listen. He and the other horses remind us that it’s the minutes and moments that count. The minutes and moments determine eternity.”

So very well said. The horses at the Sanctuary do remind us to take time out of our busy day to enjoy those few brief moments to revel in the beauty of the day. Those brief moments are what count.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Memorial Weekend

Tradition normally calls for us letting the horses out onto pasture over Memorial Weekend. Last year was an exception because of the terrible drought we’d had (and subsequently lost 90 percent of our pasture). We’d kept the horses off to reseed last year until the first of July.

This year the horses STILL aren’t out onto pasture over Memorial Weekend. But usually I start putting horses out on the lawn the first of May. Unfortunately, it was so cold the first part of May that the grass didn’t grow and pasture wasn’t even a fleeting thought in my mind when the first of the month rolled around. We also needed to haul manure out which meant that we couldn’t have horses out on the lawn or fencing up.

Another kink in the lawn pasture is that now that we have a toddler on the move, I can’t throw up some electric fence and call it good. Our toddler will either touch the electric, or run passed the electric into the herd and spook the horses. So it took me until this past week to form a plan that would work for everyone.

I took off early from the paying job on Friday so that I could start getting the horses adjusted to grass. We have to have the horses adjusted to grass in two weeks. So I started hauling corral panels out. I thought we had enough and I’d tried to step it out (to measure the length and see how many corral panels I would need and if we had that many). I spent 1.5 hours hauling and putting up corral panels. There were a few swear words involved but at the end, I had a solid fencing that I wouldn’t have to worry about my toddler or the horses getting on the wrong side of the fence.

While I hauled panels, I haltered Rabbit and Mayhem and tied them up so they could munch on grass. BAD IDEA. Rabbit got her foot caught and she freaked out. Luckily she didn’t freak bad when it caught around her front foot. She stood while I unclipped her. The same thing happened again, but with her bag leg about a 20 minutes later. I know better than to tie them long but I couldn’t let them out and I want to start getting them used to grass as well. I thought it would work but I was wrong! Luckily Rabbit didn’t freak out too bad and I was able to help get her unstuck. I think she was giving me the evil eye though.

I put the mares away and haltered the boys and let them go onto the grass. I ended up having them run through the barn. It’s always an experience the first few times that they are haltered and let onto the lawn. Some will question my reasoning for haltering when there’s solid fencing. It’s for me to catch them. I know that if I let them out without a halter, some of them would play keep away. And that’s not a game that’s allowed at the Sanctuary.

The horses were out for about a half an hour to an hour and then I had to lead them back in to their drylot. I let them out again for a little bit on Saturday. I locked them out of their drylot during the time they grazed. I guess they were full because when I called for them, most came at a trot back and through the barn.

We went camping over the weekend (although came home to throw hay). But I let the horses out on the lawn again on Monday for a couple of hours. It’s amazing how quickly they can demolish the grass on the lawn. I thought it would hold for a lot longer. I was off on my thinking! But after a few hours on grass, I figured I’d better start chores. I had all the hay thrown out onto the drylot. While I was getting hay, I heard them galloping around. I’m not sure who started the shinanigans. I’m guessing Maverick. But I called for the boys to come (and that it was suppertime), and they all came at a trot to and through the barn. Hopefully we get into this routine quickly. I took halters off and that was the end of it. I’m starting to consider not putting halters on tonight. With the corral panels up, there’s really no need now that the horses are coming on their own. It’ll be a different story when we finally put them out onto pasture. I’ll have to post a few pictures from when I released them onto the lawn on Friday. I don’t remember the last time I took pictures of the herd. Life has really gotten crazy as of late.

I’m hoping that in two weeks that I can put the horses out onto the big pasture. I still need to spray and this time I’m going to divide the pasture so that I can hopefully rotate to save the pasture. I’m afraid we are going into a drought.

It usually rains over Memorial Weekend and we only got a few sprinkles on Monday. Although we did get a soaker rain overnight and everything was soggy. If the weather keeps up with beautiful weather, lots of sun, and rain overnight, we could have a gorgeous summer. But there’s always that thought in the back of my mind that we are going into a drought. If we do, more horses will be in trouble this year. And I’m not sure if we are in a position yet to help any of them. At this very moment, we aren’t. So I’ll continue to keep an eye to the sky and pray for more beautiful weather.
Also, we started a new tradition, totally unrelated to the Sanctuary but I want to share. I also want to take note of all those that have gone before us. May we always remember them. If there's time, I would like to post a few pictures of those horses that have gone before us. May they always have a spot in our hearts.

Friday, May 23, 2014

April Sale Report

For those that might not always look at auction prices, the South Dakota Horse Sale always puts a blurb in their catalog about the loose horse sale. I guess they are trying to market slaughter horses. Here's what they wrote:

Loose Sale - Sold 249 Head. A MUCH stronger market both on the weigh up end and the still usable and broke to ride end. There were 105 Loose horses that sold $400 to $1200 with the top 15 Loose horses averaging $769. The heavy horses, No. 1's, on the weigh up end, those 1200 lb &N over sold 45 cents to 50 cents a lb. 1000 lb to 1100 pounds sold 25 cents to 40 cents. 1100 lb to 1200 lb sold 35 to 45 cents lb. Thin young horses, stallions & mules sell $75 to $125. Best to geld those stallions before bringing them to market for much better prices. Our volume loose horse sale brings in all the top byers in the country. Seats are full.

First, No. 1s are the top horses kill buyers want. Not the thin and old horses. The No.1s are the fat and meaty horses.

Second, the seats are NOT full. We were there once and it wasn't packed like they say. Loose horse sales are totally different than catalog sales. People are packed like sardines for a catalog sale, but a open consignment thins out and loose horse there's barely anyone but the kill buyers in the stands. Sure, the seats are full. Full of KILL BUYERS.

I wish we could start fundraising to go to these auctions and rescue loose horses from a CERTAIN death. June 7th is the next sale but we won't be able to attend. I haven't been to an auction since we brought Bo home in March 2011. I've been turning horses away and would prefer to welcome these horses because I think their last chance  may be us. Owners keep threatening to take them to auction, even though they don't want to knowing the fate of their horse will be slaughter. I don't get it.

But right now our hands are tied. if we could get some serious support, both financially and emotionally, we could tackle this huge project. Who's with me?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Horse of the Month - Brego

Brego is a very soft and tender hearted soul. He came to us in October 2008 as a very skinny three year old. Actually, we came home from a family outing to find Brego and Maverick in a pasture with some of the mares on a cold and rainy October evening. Brego was always a love even from the beginning.

I have a bit of a soft spot for Brego. I'm not sure why. I guess it's his expressions. He's such a meek and mild mannered gelding. He gets pushed around all the time, which drives me crazy. He'd rather stay in the shadows then get pushed around.

In his previous home, Brego went to a trainers but bucked his owner off right after coming home. I gave Brego a full year to recover from losing so much weight and at the age of five took him to our trainer. I warned our trainer that Brego was a bit "slow". He didn't really have the  mentality at the time to work or think through things. Or so I thought. But I gave the trainer a heads up. Thirty days later, the trainer said Brego was still not coming along like he wanted. We were going to do another 15 days (my pocket book is only so deep). On the 45th day, the trainer took him in to the round pen to get him to lope and Brego blew up. We have no idea why. He tried to jump the corral panels and crashed in to them instead. Luckily the trainer bailed and jumped onto the corral panels to avoid getting hurt. The trainer said to never get on Brego. And I've listened to his suggestion. I always thought there was something wrong with him but I couldn't place it. I thought maybe he was slow.

But after watching Brego in the herd and watching someone come up and bite him in the butt, Brego would buck straight into the air like someone hurt him. So I'm guessing it's not a mental thing with Brego but rather a back/hip pain issue. I've never gotten him checked out. Instead I officially retired him and he's a pasture puff and official greeter for the herd.  We will never get rid of him. I don't want anyone to think he's a good riding horse and get hurt. I have a feeling he has the same thing as Dude (hunters bump). But because he doesn't pack on the pounds, it's not as visible. But I'm really only grasping at straws. Until I get him officially checked out, he'll remain a pasture puff (and will even after being evaluated).

When I was pregnant with my son, Brego would come up to me and sniff my belly. He wanted to see what was going on because I wasn't "normal". He's a very intuitive horse and very sensitive to his surroundings.

He's also a VERY hard keeper. He always loses weight in early spring. We are battling the weight loss with a grain ration that will hopefully fix the issue. The only real problem is that Brego is a super slow eater. We had his teeth floated in the winter of 2014 to see if that was the problem and the vet said he had pretty decent teeth. So as always, Brego thinks slow, moves slow, and eats slow. I sometimes kid that I should start calling him "Bob". (Bob, the old Percheron, used to take an hour to eat his grain at night.)

Brego is best friends with Ivan. At first when we brought Sam home, Brego was best friend with Sam. But then we brought Ivan home and those two have been inseparable ever since.  Where one goes, the other follows. I never have to look far to find both horses. The only time they are separated is when Brego goes in the barn for his nightly grain and Ivan stands outside the door looking forlorn. When it comes to feeding time, Brego doesn't push to get to the barn. He's still reserved and won't push the horses higher in the pecking order. So it takes a bit of coaxing to get him there. But every time it's feeding time, he sees me and lets out a whinny that will melt your heart. He knows what I'm trying to ask him but those bully geldings are always in the way.

Other than being a hard keeper, Brego is a pretty easy gelding. He's probably one of the more sensitive geldings we have at the Sanctuary. I am so thankful that we saved him from heading to auction and to an unknown fate. With the issues he has with his weight problems and back/hips, I am 100 percent positive he wouldn't be on this earth right now if he weren't at the Sanctuary. Brego is a joy to have at the Sanctuary and I'm glad to call him a Sanctuary gelding.

(Sorry no recent pictures of Brego. These were all back when the pasture was lush and beautiful. These pictures were about six months after bringing Brego home and getting him back up to the proper weight.)


Say Cheese

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May Recap

The past few weeks have been super crazy busy. I honestly can’t remember all that’s happened. I thought June was going to be a blur but apparently May has been a blur so far as well.

At the beginning of the month, our “new” tractor arrived. It’s such a blessing, although it’s going to take a few years to pay off.  But we put it to work immediately. The first weekend in May, Mike got both tractors going and hooked up the manure spreader. We had four years worth of manure in the drylot. We’d been pushing it into a gigantic pile because there’s been no time to get it out into the field. I put the mares in their stalls and the ponies in a temporary pen. And then moved the big herd to the small pen. I forget how much ten horses can drink. They had the 100 gallon tank drained by the end of the day.  Mike had the  majority of the manure out but still had more to go by the end of the day. Unfortunately, we only had one day to get it all done that first weekend in May.

During the week, we were scrambling to get other things done and the weekend we had plans outside of the Sanctuary. So no “Waste Management” for us the second weekend in May. Actually, I ended up taking Chaos on a trail ride to “represent” the Sanctuary. He did alright for having not really been ridden in a few months.

During the middle of last week I was able to deworm the horses. It’s been awhile.  I hate to admit that I don’t remember the last time I dewormed the horses. It’s not a good practice for me to get into and not a good practice for the Sanctuary. I’m irritated at myself and that lead to my extreme irritation at myself on Friday morning.

But let me rewind to Thursday. I was running late Thursday evening and needed to get to drill team practice. When I went out to catch Rain, I saw something black out in the mare’s summer/fall pasture. Then I noticed it. Chaos. He’d somehow managed to get out of the drylot and was running all around the other pasture. He was blowing a little so I don’t know if it was from the running or a reaction to the grass. He’s had a bad reaction to grass before, where he breaths hard for a while. So I finally caught him and decided he would stay in the barn until I could figure out where he got out. I promptly caught Rain, saddled him up, loaded him into the trailer, and slammed the door. The initial impact of the door hitting reverberated through my entire body. The trailer door on the stock trailer finally broke. It was now hanging by one hinge and had dropped a good three inches. I couldn’t lift the door so had to get Mike. I figured I had Rain, so I could still go to practice but would have to unsaddle and lead him through the escape door. Any other horse except Zeke wouldn’t have gone through. Luckily Rain is very trusting and he went willingly out of the trailer when we got to practice. As I was pulling out of the yard to get to practice, I drove over some netwrap. I knew I shouldn’t have but was too lazy to move it and couldn’t drive around it. (Mike had pulled it out while hauling manure. That’ll teach me not to do a better job of picking up twine and netwrap). So I was late and hauling butt to get to practice and look out my side window. I saw something flapping and thought maybe it was the rope we have on the back of the trailer door. I looked out the other window and didn’t see anything. I slowed down and didn’t see anything either but then I saw it flap in the wind. Netwrap. I swear, netwrap is like toilet paper. I had no idea if it was caught up in the wheels or axel or what. I knew I was in trouble. During the winter, we had gotten netwrap caught up in the driveshaft of the plowtruck and bent the drive shaft. So I had no idea what to expect when I got to practice. When we reached practice and I hopped out, I noticed that the netwrap had gotten caught on the safety chains and nothing else. I had to laugh. Netwrap went from the back of the truck, the length of the horse trailer, with an additional six feet of netwrap dragging behind the trailer. It made me think of toilet paper stuck to a shoe. I laughed pretty good. And the weird look I got from someone that drove passed me makes sense now. I unloaded Rain through the escape door and got to practice just a little late. But I had to load him again through the escape door. Luckily he loaded and unloaded like a champ. He really is a good horse. I lucked out.

I went out to do chores Friday morning quick and discovered that Mayhem was sick. I gave her a dose of banamine, threw a blanket on her (it was super chilly that morning and she’d gotten chilled for being down), and walked her for a half an hour. She’d farted and pooped a couple of times. I put her into a pen to keep her calm. I went against my better judgment  and went to work. Let’s just say I was very displeased with my paying job for making me put my priorities in the wrong order. I was not happy and I’m still not happy. When I got home, Mayhem was down. By the time Mike got home and I called the vet, our normal vet was gone with no option for on-call duty. They suggested that we take her somewhere to get looked at. So we called Dakota Large Vet Clinic and they told us to get her to the vet right away. One problem. I put Mayhem on the back burner from the time we got her three and a half years ago. I really haven’t done anything with her except halter train her and teach her to stand tied. Otherwise, I’ve done nothing, which is a HUGE injustice. By the time we’d called the vet, it was getting late. So I ran out , caught Mayhem and figured it was worth a shot to see if she would load. Wouldn’t you know. She loaded quicker than some people’s normal riding horses! I’m so proud of her. She was leery of the trailer but loaded within five minutes of asking her to. Unfortunately, we had our son in tow and it meant that we had to swap out carseats or swap out vehicles. We opted for swapping vehicles. So we had to unhook the trailer, keep Mayhem calm, and then get the other vehicle hooked up. From the time we called the vet, to the time we were on the road, a half an hour had already passed. Had I gone with my gut instinct, I would have hauled Mayhem to our normal vet during the day. Although I’m not sure that I would have been able to get the trailer door closed. It was still broken so Mike had to lift it up to get it closed after Mayhem loaded. We were on the road by a quarter after 7pm. We couldn’t go very fast because Mayhem would get upset. But she was a real trooper the entire way down to the vet. The vet was waiting for us when we got there. He got to work right away. He did a general exam on her and noted that she had a fever. And to my surprise, Mayhem has a heart murmur. But that explains why she’s still on the small side. She’s fairly tall and her head is the normal QH size (although petite), but the rest of her seems still fairly small. The vet said that was due to the heart murmur. It wasn’t too bad but it’ll cause problems in the future. The cards are definitely stacked against Mayhem. I guess it’s a good thing she’s at the Sanctuary. Her heart murmur just adds to the list of oddities at the Sanctuary that we deal with on a daily basis.  The vet said that she isn’t colicing but that she has colitis. And that’s all my fault (he didn’t say that though). He said with the wormer that I used, I probably killed off too many. I wanted to user a different kind but didn’t have any on hand and wanted it done. So I used something different and shouldn’t have. That’ll teach me. But the vet gave us some antibiotics, told us to keep her tied so she doesn’t lie down any more (don’t want a twisted gut), and sent us home. He offered to keep her overnight but I figured I could do the same night checks as him and not have to pay for the constant checks on her. So we loaded her back in the trailer. And YES, she did load, with very little hesitation. She’s SUCH A GOOD GIRL!! I am SO impressed with her. We hauled her home, got her settled in the barn, left Chaos in the barn to keep her company, did chores, went in the house, set my alarm, and promptly fell asleep.  I got up again at 1pm (it took a half an hour of snooze to actually get up). She was down but didn’t seem to be in pain so I left her down. I was going to check her again at 3am but a half an hour of snooze made me realize that I couldn’t move. So I went out at 5 am and she was down again but got up the minute I walked in. She ate, drank, and seemed perky. So I left her for another couple of hours.

Saturday was the last day we would be able to get into any fields around us. We had to use a different farmer’s field and they were going to disk and plant on Sunday. So I pulled Mayhem out of the barn and put her in a pen and then pulled Rabbit and put her with Mayhem. They were both happy to be together. The ponies went into a temporary pen and the horses went into the small pen. There was a lot of bucking and farting and then even more when I let Chaos out to join them.

Then Mike got to work hauling manure. The old tractor has something wrong with it and couldn’t handle too much work so Mike babied it as much as possible. He spent all day hauling manure. He got the majority of it out and the rest we need a skidsteer. Unfortunately, it’ll have to wait until this fall. Any other manure that we want to haul out will have to go down to the bottom of the hill.

By the end of the day, we all crashed. Sunday I spent the majority of the day cleaning stalls and picking up twine. I am frantically working on the barn to get it cleaned up and organized. It turned into a pigpen during the winter and I have all kinds of junk scattered everywhere.  I want to have everything organized so I can find everything I’m looking for immediately instead of spending half a day looking for one little item. I’ve lost more stuff than I can count. Unfortunately I didn’t get the barn completely cleaned out. When we had the polar vortex this past winter, I ran horses into the barn. In the mornings I didn’t have time to clean stalls and in the evening everything was frozen down. Now that I have time and the weather is warm, I’m faced with a huge mess. But it’s nice to finally tackle it. I know it’s not the right method and again, it’s one of those things I’m doing wrong and know it. But I had to quit after a little while. My body couldn’t keep up with the demand of getting it all cleaned out in one day. While I tackled the barn, Mike worked on the trailer so we won’t have to load horses through the escape door or have to pick up the heavy back door. It’s fixed along with the lawn mower.

I had high hopes of pulling out the corral panels so that I could get fencing up and get the horses out on the lawn. With our son, I can’t string one or two strands of electric on the lawn and call it good. He’ll either touch the electric or go running in with the horses while they graze (and buck and fart, and run). So I have to put up corral panels to keep the horses in and my son out. I normally have the horses out on the lawn by now but it’s been so cold and we needed the lawn to maneuver the manure spreader. Driving on the lawn really mashed the grass down so it’s not grown as quickly  (although the thistles are growing like crazy…damn you thistles.)  I normally put the horses out to pasture over Memorial Weekend but that’s not going to happen this year. I’ll be lucky to get them out on pasture by the first full week in June. That means a few more extra bales to use and I was hoping to hold back a few for safe keeping during the summer months. Keeping a few extra bales would help ease the pain of buying additional hay during the winter months.

So this weekend I’ll be putting up corral panels, cleaning stalls, and spraying thistles. There’s still a ton of other stuff to get done but that’s what’s been going on in a nutshell for the past few days.  I’m sure there’s other stuff but life has been such a blur it’s hard to remember everything else.

I still need to do the horse of the month. Hopefully later this week I can get something posted. Poor Brego is always shafted.  Here’s to a quiet rest of the week.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Still Here

We are still here and busy as ever. Haven't had a chance to put up any posts. Busy at the paying job and by the time I can put my feet up at night, I'm sound asleep. But we are still here, Mike is frantically working on the tractor to get it up and running again.  Hopefully this weekend we can continue hauling manure and get the drylot completely clean.

I still need to post the  Horse of the Month for May. It'll be Brego!

More to come...

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Manure Happens

Mike has been frantically hauling manure since noon today and it's almost 9pm. We got a late start (our son let us sleep in!) So now Mike is trying to get the majority of the drylot cleaned out before it starts raining again. Our tractor arrived earlier this week so we wanted to put it to use right away! What better than to start scooping manure. Poor Mike has only taken two breaks in the past nine hours. I think going to the paying job will be like taking a break.

To prepare for hauling manure, I had to move horses around to different pens. The mares went into their stalls because it was just easier. I don't think they minded. We've had an east wind and I know Rabbit does not like wind. The ponies went into a temporary pen I put up so that the horses could eat grass near the hay barn.

Hopefully Mike will be done soon so I can go out and do chores. I moved the big herd into the small pen after moving the mares and ponies. At first I was haltering each horse and then decided it was too much work and that I would try and dig out the gate that was somewhat buried and broken. Luckily the gate broke free so I could get the rest of the horses in. There was a lot of bucking, running, and farting going on. Of course the horses were mad that I'd waited as long as I had to get out and do chores. And then to move them to a different pen really had them all riled up.

I need to go out and move the horses back. The pen they are in is just too small for ten horses. It works perfect for four.

I haven't seen the weather report in a while. All I know is that at some point it's supposed to start raining but I don't know when or for how long. Mike and I are trying to do some extra cleaning. I was talking with my sister the other day and we realized that it's been four years of just "surviving". We haven't really been able to do too much in the past few years to improve the place. We've been simply surviving and I've been struggling to just keep my head above water. But now we (ok, more like mostly all me) are on a kick to get the place cleaned up and looking better. Having moved into an old farm place means that you always have something to fix and since we haven't been "fixing" anything for the past four years, you can imagine the predicament we are in currently. I'm going to spend all summer fixing and repairing everything that's broken. Ok, not everything but at least fixing all the major things that broke...or at least that's the goal. I'm sure I'm over estimated myself but that's just what I do I guess.

I also realized that it's the first of May already. And that means we need to pick another horse of the month. I'll get something posted later this week.

I also forgot, on Saturday morning we ran to Sioux Falls to pick up some donated hay. Thanks to J and D for donating hay. The horses love it.

Well, I'd write more but it sounds like the tractor attached to the manure spreader is dying so I better go and rescue Mike. I'll write more later.