Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Upcoming Loose Horse Sale

I happened to be on the South Dakota Horse Sale website (it used to be the Corsica Horse Sale). They are looking to have a Loose Horse Sale the second Saturday in December. This will definitely be a time for owners to dump their horses before the real winter sets in (not that winter hasn't set in already).

Unfortunately, we won't be able to bring anyone home unless people would be willing to donate towards the winter hay. We are still short on funds for Junior's final bale of hay so I doubt we can bring another horse in at this time.

Here's the blurb about current prices:

The top ten Loose horses averaged $833 selling from $600 to $1500 top. On the weigh up end, market was higher. Heavy horses, 1000 lb and over sold .40 to .45 cents lb, 500 to 1000 lb sold.30 to .40 cents lb and yearling horses, 500 to 800 lb sold .23 to 30 cents lb. We hope to hold a Loose sale the 2nd Saturday in December, if weather forecast permits.

Of course they won't mention the No Value and the low prices that some horses brought in. I worry for the horses heading to the loose sale in December. People will be culling because of the harsh winter we've already had and expect to have more. I wish we had more funds to at least pull ONE horse.

Anyone want to sponsor a Sanctuary horse or be willing to sponsor an auction horse? Figure $65 per bale and we would need five bales. We'd also most likely need to purchase grain but for now, hay is the most important part. Maybe for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, you'd rather sponsor a horse. $100 a month sponsors a horse at the Sanctuary. Or maybe this year, you'd like to help save a life.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This Is Horse Slaughter In Canada

A really good read:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Updates and Ideas

For those that might be interested in seeing the Sanctuary horses, I've updated the "Current Residents" and "Greener Pastures" pages with pictures and descriptions. Some of the pictures are a little outdated but still worth looking at.

Also, I'm curious to know what everyone wants to see for the upcoming year. Do you want to see more "challenges" like we did in October, do you want to see more pictures in general, more activities around the Sanctuary, or should I just keep plugging along the way I have for the past few years?  I am looking at ways to get you, yes you, more involved with the Sanctuary! ;-)

I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment or send me an email at The more ideas that come my way, the better I can help our Sanctuary horses (and senior horses in general)!

Warm Up and Cool Down

This weekend was beautiful...ok so maybe it was more like Saturday was beautiful. No wind, no clouds, and plenty of sun. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to get everything done on my list that I'd wanted to. It seems to be a reoccurring thing with me (my lists are too big).

But the weather was warm on Saturday so we spent most of the afternoon hanging out outside. The farmers took advantage of the warmer weather and finished picking corn around us. Our farmer friend had a field to the west of us that still had corn. He was able to get it out but by that time, we'd already put the snow fence around some of the new evergreen trees we planted this summer. So now we don't have a snow fence to keep the snow off the road and plugging up our driveway. I guess we'll see how it goes. Too late now to do anything. Mike was able to put a couple more fence posts into the ground but it was a struggle.  I think the ground is pretty well frozen now. So much for getting a hole dug and a building pushed in and buried.

On Sunday we woke up to light sprinkles and by mid morning we were getting serious rain. Of course, Mike suggested we go out and move corral panels (something on my list that I wanted to do on Saturday). So out in the pouring rain I went. Mike and Garrett hung out in the tractor staying nice and dry. I was able to wring out my gloves by the time we were done moving all the corral panels. But now I have four back in the hay shed to make another temporary stall for the three in the smaller pen (Rabbit, Mayhem, and Junior). I'll feel better having that many stalls because I think this winter will be rough.

That's about all I was able to get done. I'd wanted to try on the blanket that was donated to Junior but didn't have enough daylight and I wanted to take pictures but again, not enough daylight. Too many other things going on to take pictures I guess.

I'm figuring this week will be fairly quiet, what with it being Thanksgiving. I'll be enjoying some family time this coming holiday season and it's exactly what I need to rejuvenate (ok, so would a trip somewhere warm!)

With the warmer weather, Dude perked up and this morning with the wind howling and the temps dropping I watched Dude. He's being very careful where he puts his feet. I don't know that it's his feet that are bothering him but rather those darn hips of his. He did come out of the run-in shed sooner than he has all of last week. I'm thinking I will get him a blanket and see if that helps any. If he's warmer and the cold doesn't sink too far into his hips, then maybe he'll feel better? I don't know. It's all such a crap shoot.

Junior is doing great. I called my farrier but he was out of town so it'll have to be a little bit longer before we can get those blasted shoes of Junior. I don't want him walking on ice with those shoes. With all the warm temperatures and the rain, we pretty much don't have any snow left. The few patches of slush have turned into ice. I'm hoping that we'll get a little bit of sunshine and that the ice will melt. With the warmer weather I left Junior out and boy was he displeased with me!

With the warmer weather, I held off on graining Bo as much. I think that was a mistake. I can't tell but I think he might have lost a little weight. I cant' tell as well with the winter coat on but I want to make sure that Bo gets his grain every night. He's such a hard keeper.

Hopefully tonight the wind won't be blowing. For almost the entire month of November, the wind has been blowing. I can only think of two or three times where chores have been easy and I haven't had hay in unmentionable places!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Dude on the Watch List

I noticed that Dude is off. I can't place it. He's been off ever since last week when we got all the snow. I'm worried about him. The other day he was banging at the door to get in but he doesn't normally come into the barn (he's not deemed a hard keeper so he doesn't get mash like the hard keepers). But I've noticed the last week that Dude will hang his head out and around the run-in shed but won't expose the rest of his body.

Usually when I start throwing hay (or appear to throw hay), he rushes out of the run-in shed and makes a bee line right for the hay. Now, I'll throw a couple piles of hay and then he'll mosey his way over to a hay pile. He'll still pin his ears but he doesn't have that same gusto that he used to have. At the beginning of the month, his back end was really giving him fits, which means he's off on the front.

His left hip is the one giving him problems, so he puts all his weight on the right hip/leg. But when the right leg/hip starts to hurt even more, he puts  more weight on the front and in the beginning of November, he was limping on the front as well. Luckily we got him trimmed up, thinking that might be part of the problem (he's also slightly over at the knees as far as I can tell). But with the snow and freezing temperatures, I'm not sure if his hip is giving him more pain or if it's his feet that are bothering him. He doesn't walk like King, who has flat and super tender feet. But Dude does seem like he's overly cautious about where he's putting his feet. 

So I don't know what to do. I don't want to stall him every night because that could cause even more stiffness with him standing around. But he seems to be hiding from the wind, which used to never bother him in the past. I'm guessing the hip now has arthritis so there's a lot of aches and pains. So I don't know if I should blanket him to see if that helps? If there's less wind and a little bit more protection, maybe he'd be less inclined to stay in the run-in shed (and keep everyone else hostage who goes in before him). Or if I need to put him on some type of pain medication? I don't want to run him through a gauntlet of tests but I'm not sure what to do with him to keep him comfortable. It dawned on me that he'll be 18 years old this coming year. In the Sanctuary's world, 18 is still considered young. But with the hip, it could be that for Dude, 18 is considered old and I need to start pampering him a little bit more. 

So now I don't know what to do. I hate being in such a quandary. If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. Once the temps warm up, and the roads clear off, if Dude doesn't perk up, I'll be heading to the vet to see if there's anything I can do to ease his discomfort. I'm now adding Dude to my watch list. The stresses of a Sanctuary!

Junior and Tiny Dictator

Monday night the temps were supposed to be below zero with wind chills in the 20 below wind chills. I opted to keep the hard keepers in their stalls and feed extra to the others. I didn't put everyone in because there was no wind. I'm sure with a below zero temp that any wind would make it 100 times worse but everyone could get in out of the wind.

However, this morning I woke up to wind howling. Oh sure, the temps were higher but that wind just cut through everything. I can't believe it's only November and we are dealing with January type weather.

Junior seems to be doing great even with the upheaval of a new home, routine, and feed. He practically haltered himself last night. He is getting where he backs away once his nose is in the halter. I haven't figured out what that's about. He was in his stall finishing up his grain, waiting for his alfalfa and poked his head over the door. I gave his head and ear a good itch and then it hit me. Some of Junior's actions reminded me of my very first horse, Tiny Dictator. The thought left me frozen. Oh sure, Junior is much more friendly then Dictator ever was but some of that affection Junior showed me was exactly the same. I'm thinking maybe Junior was an old ranch horse. He had the benefit of having multiple owners who doted on him where Dictator only had three (me being the third) and I was the only one to have doted on him. It was just a weird feeling that came over me last night. It's a bit hard to explain.

Dictator many years ago

Monday, November 17, 2014

Boo To Winter

I'm already tired of winter and seeing white so I thought I would post just a few pictures of color! Yeah to fall, boo to winter.

Boils my Blood

I was pursuing Craigslist, which I should know better. I came across an ad for a senior equine in the same area that the Sanctuary is at. I won't post the entire ad but here's what made my blood boil...

I have an older quarter horse gelding around 25 years old. Looking for something younger and don't need this old boy anymore. 

I  won't bother telling the owner that he's not going to get his asking price, which happens to be over $1200. Don't need?!?! He's served his owner and this is the respect (or lack thereof) that he receives.  Oh sure, a 25 year old horse may still be great for small jobs of toting kids around or a short trail ride. And maybe I'm just touchy today about how people word what they say. I bet this is a darn good horse, I just wish he had a good owner.

Chronicles of Junior

For those interested, I am chronicling Junior's progress in the Senior Equine Care blog that I also maintain. You can read all about Junior at:

Winter is Here

The calendar might say that it's only November, but winter is here. I'm afraid winter is here to stay. We received our first snow fall on Saturday and had over six inches of snow. I wouldn't mind so much but we still had a few things that we needed to get wrapped up. But those things will have to wait. But with six inches of snow and me being only 5ft 3in, tromping through snow hauling two 5-gallon buckets full of water back to the mares and Junior is a little tough. The buckets were dragging in the snow. It wouldn't be bad either if I only had to haul back two buckets. With Junior, I know have to haul back six buckets to keep the 100 gallon tank full. I let it go one night and it took me umpteen buckets to get it back to full.

I've also been stalling Junior at night so that he can eat in peace. That also means that he needs to have his own bucket of water. I think I'm hauling about 50 gallons of water every night between the horses, ponies, and dogs. It's going to be a LONG winter.

I'll tell a story about Junior later. Or go over to the Senior Equine Care blog where I'm chronicling Junior's progress.

I was able to do all of my chores Saturday in the daylight which was lovely but every other day I've been out in the dark doing chores. I'm not ready for winter and winter chores. Six months of this is six months too long! Yesterday the wind picked up and it was bitterly cold. I guess the Farmers Almanac was right. Normal amount of snow but bitterly cold. It's supposed to be below zero degrees Fahrenheit tonight. The rule used to be that it the temps fell below zero that the horses would go in. But everyone can get in out of the wind and hang out under shelter so that rule might have to change. Junior will always go in just so he can eat all night. I threw in his hay, alfalfa, and grain mash last night and this morning I caught him with a mouthful of hay still! It takes him that long to eat.

The weather is supposed to warm up by the end of the week. I hope it actually happens. I did keep track of the fog we had earlier in the year. If we are technically in an El Nino, then the snow we had on Saturday was spot on! For those that might not know me, I'm a little weird when it comes to winter and storms. I follow the old wives tale of 90 days from fog is rain/snow. Starting this past week and going for another three weeks, I have fog marked down in my calendar each week. We'll see if it was just a fluke or if we truly are in an El Nino. It would make tracking predicted snow a little bit easier.

The farmers around us didn't get their corn out either. Our farmer friend has a field just to the west of us. We normally have to put up a snow fence to keep some of the snow from drifting up into our driveway but he still has corn. I doubt he'll be able to get the corn out at this rate. I really didnt' figure we'd get six inches of snow in the middle of November.

Winter is definitely here!

Auction Horse

I didn't write this nor do I know the person. But she is doing her part in trying to save slaughter bound horses that are trapped at feedlots every week.

Week after week I see slaughterbound horses. I go to feedlots and auctions and you would think that maybe I would quit feeling by now. Every week I go to the feedlot in Sunnyside. There are usually a few familiar faces from the week before, but mostly new faces, and new stories, or sometimes no stories at all. Sometimes I wonder how there are just so many horses that week after week I try to save them and say goodbye to the ones that ship to slaughter, yet there are always more.
I sat and just looked at this little foal for a while tonight and wondered what kind of life he would have and hoped that he wouldn't come back and end up in this kind of situation again. He doesn't have a home yet, nor does his mother, but I will post them and I will try. That's all I can do is try, week after week, horse after horse. I sat there on the hay and watched the little foals as they escaped from their pen and played in the alleyway while munching on hay, oblivious that this is not a safe place for horses to be, but rather death row.
Many people have the assumption that just because this particular feedlot lets us list horses to give them a second chance, that horses that are desirable will be able to be rehomed, for example, kids horses. 
Last week all but one of the kids horses recently bought at an auction shipped to slaughter without even a chance to be listed. The truck came early and the load was filled. These were horses that were rehomeable horses but they were bought for the purpose of slaughter, as all are there. When the truck is there, there is no time to look through stories on horses and find out who they are. It really is tragic that these kids horses shipped but no horse is safe when bought by a kill buyer. If you are thinking about buying them at the auction then please do and do not wait for them to end up at a feedlot because they will not be guaranteed safe. He tries his best to keep horses who could go back to be good horses for people and lets us rehome them for what they would bring slaughter price, but he has to feed them too and often times is lucky to even break even on their resale. Kill buyers are horsemen too, no matter what anyone says. I don't think one kill buyer likes shipping a horse that he considers a good horse, but there are just so many and their business is slaughter, not rescue.
I looked through about 130 horses today and only 30 will probably be listed. How do you choose? What do you say to the friendly horse that comes up to you and wants to be your friend but is lame? You give him some love and walk away knowing that he will be on the next slaughter truck. It's the crippled ranch geldings that really get to me. These were good horses who took care of their people and ended up crippled from working so hard. They were not given the chance to retire but instead just sold for their meat to use them one last time. Sometimes I just don't know how I can do it anymore as I look at the pregnant mares I can't touch also in the ship pen. I feel like I fail each and every one of those horses in the ship pens. Surely there has to be someone for them too, but the truth is, there just aren't enough homes, and horses are expensive.
As always, I thank each and everyone of you for sharing these horses and hopefully reaching one person that had no idea of their plight. If even one person chooses to rescue and not breed, or doesn't send their horse to auction and seeks responsible rehoming instead, or chooses to euthanize their old horse, we are successful. I am always amazed at how we pull together as a community to save these horses week after week. For those horses it makes all the difference in the world and you have my deepest thanks. Tomorrow I will spend my day posting new horses. Please have a look and share if you could. It does make a difference. Thank you.

If you are interested in learning more, please go to You will want to do your own research on this group as there is controversy about feedlots and such but I thought I needed to share. At the Sanctuary, we try to provide homes for horses to retire but we can only do so much and we need your help. The horses need your help. For Christmas, maybe you can help sponsor a horse? $100 a month or even just $5 goes a long way in helping a senior horse.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Horse Should Be Treated Like a Gentleman

I the following saying "A horse should be treated like a gentleman" on a twitter feed this morning. I thought it very fitting in thinking of Junior. Last night I brought his grain and went to halter him. It didn't take as long to get the halter on and I decided that I would put him in a stall instead. He was in the stall and had taken one bite of his grain mash and then gave me the biggest, most gigantic, most slobbery horse kiss right in the ear! I've not ever gotten a big kiss like that before. None of our "gentlemen" give kisses like that! I was blown away. Junior had been here for about 48 hours and he was already catching on to the routine and loving on me (instead of the other way around!)

I opted to keep him stalled last night. He seemed SO relaxed standing in his stall. I was nervous that he would get upset by being alone but he didn't seem to care. I threw a second serving of hay to him. I wanted to see how much he would actually eat. He devoured his grain mas and two slivers of alfalfa and this morning when I went to get him out of his stall, he'd eaten half to three quarters of his hay.

I'm thinking that he'll be stalled every night so that even if he can't eat in peace during the morning, he can at least eat in peace at night and not have to rush or get pushed off his hay. there was a totally different look in his eyes last night when I brought his grain.

This morning, after I put him in the pen with the mares, he kept coming to the fence. I would like to think he wanted to tell me sweet nothings, but really I think he was trying to tell me to bring more grain! But he followed me everywhere and it wasn't until I went around the corner (and peeked around to see him) that he settled down to eat.

So I think Junior and I have our routine. It'll put extra stress on me but it'll alleviate any stress on Junior, which is all that matters. That horse...that horse amazes me. I can't say enough good things about Junior. Love him. Treat him like a gentleman and you'll have a gentleman for a horse!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Junior Update

I didn't really get to spend any time with Junior last night. I had only 30 minutes to get what normally takes 1.5 to 2 hours worth of chores to get done. So I had to hustle. I'll try to get some better pictures of Junior this weekend when there's actual light. I do morning and evening chores in the dark so no opportunities for decent pictures.

I can say that even after just 36 hours, Junior is a total doll. He's still a touch-me-not but he come right up to the fence and waits for me. It's like he's following my every move. I am a little worried that Mayhem is pushing him around more than I expected. Rabbit could care less about him. I'm debating on stalling him at night so that he can get out of this awful wind and have an entire evening under cover with a huge pile of hay, alfalfa, and his evening mash without having to fight off a darn filly. If that doesn't work, I may put Mayhem in with the ponies. I think without having to worry about getting pushed around and getting to stand in front of his food without being bullied, he might stand a chance of gaining some weight. But I don't know. It's all a guessing game at this point.

He definitely is hard to catch. It took me a solid five minutes of trying to before I could coax him to let me get a halter on. But I told him that from now on, he wont' be worked and that the halter actually means food! He likes his grain. I think it might have been too dark for him to finish up his grain. Or he hit the bottom where the calf manna was stuck to the edges and he's not a "lick the bowl clean" kind of horse. Tonight when I have more time, I'll not rush him and see if he'll eat the entire bowl of grain. I may put him in a stall and not have to worry about hovering so much.

There's definitely a learning curve on both our parts but Junior is trying SO hard. It almost breaks my heart. He desperately wants to trust and be pampered but he's working through some issues on whether I can be trusted or not. It'll simply take time, and I have that to offer to him.

Junior is truly a blessing. He's a heart horse for sure!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Winter is Here

Last weekend we worked frantically to get things wrapped up around the Sanctuary. Temperatures started dropping during the weekend but the super cold temperatures held off. We were supposed to get a serious storm Monday.

But when I woke up and went out to do chores, there was no snow, just super cold temperatures (and the inevitable wind chill). :-( We bypassed the entire storm and the only snow that's on the ground is the little bit that caught in the grass along the edges. I'm glad that we aren't dealing with a half a foot of snow at the moment.

I'm starting to think that it's too cold to snow. We are barely into the double digits right now and the wind chill is below zero. Five below zero (Fahrenheit) to be exact. For January, that would be unpleasant but not out of the norm. For November, it's AWFUL! And unusual! We are dealing with January temperatures in November. That thought makes me VERY nervous. If we are dealing with wind chills below zero NOW, what will January and February bring us? Last year we dealt with -40 wind chills. Luckily everyone could get out of the wind. This year we lost the roof of the little run-in shed so it'll be more tricky. I'm hoping to work on the roof when the wind dies down and the temps warm up (at least so there's no wind chill in the below zero range).

I took an inventory of blankets earlier this year but now I'm thinking that I need to re-inventory. I still need to repair a half a dozen blankets. I may try my hand with a sewing machine to see if I can get some of the repairs done more quickly and the blankets available.

I did blanket Rabbit Monday night. She was shivering like crazy and I was worried that she'd get chilled. I didn't want to blanket her because she doesn't have a decent winter blanket yet. I put a temporary blanket on (not hers because hers is ripped). Hopefully we'll get out of these awful wind chills below zero soon. Otherwise we are going to have a very LONG winter!

I also introduce Junior to Rabbit and Mayhem last night. The wind was out of the west and Junior couldn't get out of the wind. So he got a quick introduction to the  mares. I'll write more about that later. Now it's time to warm up!

More About Junior

So, you want to know more about Junior?

I was contacted awhile back about taking in an older horse who needs permanent retirement (Junior). His owner wanted to do right by him and was searching for someone who could provide a quiet retirement.

Here's what I know about him:

  • He was originally sold to his owner as a seven year old gelding. But when she took him to her vet, they discovered that he was probably in his twenties.
  • The owner had him for four years and did almost anything on him. So that would make him closer to 25 right now (so that'll be his age).
  • The owner was told he was a race horse but as far as I know, there's no tattoo and no papers. Which means he was not raced but could have been a track pony.
  • His owner used him as a lesson horse for young children to learn how to ride but he developed an issue with his back end and now needed retirement from all work. He was taken to a chiropractor and the chiropractor couldn't find anything wrong with him.
  • His owner used him in ranch rodeos, playdays, and trail riding.
  • For some reason I want to say that he was used at a youth camp but I can't verify that information.
So that's the information that I got from his owner.  Here's what I know about him just in being around him for less than 24 hours:

  • I'm thinking that he's going to be a hard keeper. The weight that he has on him now is what he's looked like for his owner for the past four years.
  • He's very passive and will get pushed around. If a horse looks at him wrong, he'll move away. So I have to make sure that there are multiple piles of hay for him to eat so that if a horse looks at him wrong, he'll have another pile of hay to eat.
  • He is a touch-me-not. He doesn't feel comfortable being touched (even his owner said that and wondered if he'd been abused in a previous home).
  • But he does come right up to the gate to watch what I am doing. So he's trying really hard to be friendly and wants to please.
  • He loves his grain.
  • He doesn't like apples but liked licking my gloves that had apple juice (from the apples).
  • He may potentially be hard to catch but we'll win him over with daily grain (and lack of doing anything but being a pasture puff).
  • He has two brands on him. One looks like a spade on his right shoulder and another looks like a partial sun on his right cheek (the one on his cheek doesn't show right now with his winter hair). Those brands make me think that he was a ranch horse.
And here's what we need:

  • I took him in on good faith that we would be able to raise the final $65 to purchase his winter supply of hay. We are one bale short (the $65). We raised $260 to purchase four bales. Thank you Keith Letson, Heather McLay, and Barb Simon for donating to purchase four bales of hay! Junior will be happy!
  • I would really like Junior to have his very own blanket. We have a few spare blankets that don't yet need repairs but I don't know if they will fit him. I need to measure to see what size he is. But it would be nice to wrap him up in a warm blanket this winter to ward off this awful below zero wind chills. I don't care what brand or color. As long as it's a medium weight blanket, that's all that matters.
  • If anyone has access to brands, I would love to track down who owns his brand. I doubt I'll be able to get the brand on his cheek until spring but the brand on his shoulder is included in the pictures in the previous post. Any bit of information would be greatly appreciated.
  • Grain to feed Junior. I want to start him on the same grain ration that I have Bo on, which is Nutrena Senior, Sweet Feed, and Calf Manna. I'll be introducing beet pulp shortly but wanted to get him adjusted to his new grain ration before beet pulp since beet pulp is an acquired taste. Nutrena Senior is $20 per page, Sweet Feed is $10-12 per bag, and Calf Manna is $30 per bag. Beet pulp is about $13-14 per bag.
  • Donations to help offset the cost of grain. Any amount is greatly appreciated. $5 or $50, it'll all be very much appreciated by me and Junior!
I will keep everyone updated on Junior's progress. All I have to do is look into those liquid brown eyes and my heart melts. He is the reason why we are here. He is the reason why I feel so strongly about providing a retirement home to senior horses. There is something about Junior that I can't describe. My heart melts when I see him.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Meet Junior

I would like to introduce to you Junior. I will share more about him later. Right now, I'm beat.

Junior is Here!

Junior is here! He arrived safely this morning. He's such a love! Usually when a horse unloads from a trailer in an unusual place (and when its' windy and cold), they get a little upset. Not Junior. He stood patiently still, taking in all the sights. He's a very quiet boy.

I have him in a pen near the ponies right now to get used to seeing the other horses. I'm debating on putting him in with the mares for tonight so he can get away from the west wind. I wish it was the weekend so I could bond with him more. For now, I'm giving him some space to take in all the new sights and smells. I'm not one for pushing.

I have pictures but will go out later to get better pictures and will post pictures later today. We still need to raise funds for one more bale ($65) if anyone wants to donate. Even if you don't have $65, donating towards a bale would be very helpful. Every dollar counts! $1 or $65 doesn't matter. It's all very much appreciated.

And with this cold weather setting in so quickly, I would like to buy Junior a blanket. We have a few blankets but they are all spoken for, for the hard keepers. I'm afraid Junior might be a hard keeper and I would like to keep him warm this winter. If you have a blanket you would like to donate, we would greatly appreciate it. Or if you would like to buy Junior a blanket, I know Junior would love it! We have one or two blankets that might fit but they need some serious repair before I can use them and I'm not sure I'll have time to figure out how to fix them (they have serious tears). Blankets range in cost from $50 to $90 so if you dont have a blanket or dont want to go out and find one, you can always donate towards a blanket for Junior.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Horse of the Month - Bo

Bo has had an interesting life. I don't know the entire story but I can say that he is safe at the Sanctuary and will remain here and be watched like a hawk.  We rescued Bo from an auction in March 2011. He was nothing but skin and bones (see the fourth picture). He's a super hard keeper. I did meet one of his owners and was told that he had a high metabolism. 

I don't know the specifics; it's all heresay so instead, I'll focus on Bo's future. He's still a hard keeper as the first two pictures show. These were taken last year and he still looked tough. He had a few set backs while I was pregnant and lost a bit of weight. But I think I've figured out his grain ration but we'll see how it works with the upcoming winter months.

With what I was told about his past, I was shocked that Bo is still such a sweet and happy horse. He always greets me with a loud whinny and it warms my heart. Bo is fully broke to ride although I don't ride him that much. He gets very nervous and upset when I haul him anywhere, so I've left him to simply be a horse and will putter on him just around the Sanctuary.

I know people say that you only get one heart horse, but I've had a few. Bo is a heart horse. He tries so hard and wants to be near me. It warms my heart. He's also best friends with Zeke. They are pretty much inseparable when out in the pasture.

Bo is at the bottom of the pecking order. But I run him into the barn to get his daily grain ration. If I don't have his grain IMMEDIATELY, he lets me know that he's not happy about the delay. He's probably the loudest horse around when he whinnies for his grain!

The above picture was a week after we brought him home. When we first brought him home, you couldn't tell how bad he really was because his hair was fluffed up. I'd put a blanket on to ward against the chill and it became even more apparent that he was starving. At first, he was so lethargic that I left him stalled (for quarantine purposes) but I would hand walk him. We could only walk a few steps before he would become exhausted. But he's bounced back and although he'll never be fat, he'll always have food to devour.

The above picture is of Bo a month after bringing him home. It's amazing how long it takes to gain the weight back on (and how quickly it falls off him).

So you can see, after just a month of constant feeding and different graining rations, he's already gained weight.

Bo is a very special horse for me. I'm sure others would just see a gangly horse. He's a National Show Horse (which is part arabian and part saddlebred). He doens't look like a quarter horse and he's mostly legs and neck. But his personality is what I see. We are so blessed to have Bo in our lives.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Donations Coming In

Yesterday afternoon, what should I find in our mailbox, but a letter from a very good friend, Heather McLay. She and her family donated funds to purchase not one, but two round bales. So by Friday evening we had three bales covered!

Today, while hanging out with family, Barb Simon stopped over. She handed me a check for one bale!

We are now only one bale away ($65) from bringing Junior "home". I am getting more and more excited to tell Junior's current owners that he will have a permanent retirement at the Sanctuary. We still need to raise $65 but even $5 can go a long way in bringing Junior home!

From the bottom of my heart, Thank you!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Thankful Challenge

I had high hopes last night of getting a few things done for the Sanctuary, like the paypal account and getting pictures of items for sale (they would make GREAT Christmas presents!). It didn't happen.

I ran out of steam long before I should have. I'm reading/reviewing a book for the Senior Equine Care blog but I didn't get it wrapped up like I wanted to. Two pages in and I fell asleep. I'm hoping that I can get some motivation and get a few more things off my to do list. This daylight savings time and getting old are rough on a body.

Luckily I was able to do most of my chores before the sun set last night (thanks to my son's help). Even at two he's willing to help push the hay wagon and wheel barrow fully loaded with hay! What a trooper. It also helped this morning to have a full moon to work by. I'm using up the hay from last year before I start in on this year's hay. We had left over hay thanks to people donating their hay! That means I have to throw hay over the gate and then spread it around instead of pulling my hay wagon in to the drylot. That method will last until the first accumulating snow, which sounds like it could be Monday.

I'm going to be scrambling Sunday to get things buttoned up before the snow flies. I'm afraid we won't get the roof back on the run-in shed at the bottom of the drylot in just one day but I'm going to tackle it if anyone wants to help. We still have alfalfa to stack and put away and fencing to do. We need the alfalfa stacked and covered so that we can use the trailer to pick up fencing materials. The flatbed trailer is always a catch 22. We leave anything on it (for one reason or another) and then we need it. Never knew we would use that trailer as much as we do!

I'm not sure if I'll have time to post anything over the weekend but if you have free time on Sunday, stop on out. We'll be busy working on any number of projects. We can always use the help.

We are also still fundraising to bring in the older horse who deserves a retirement home. We have one bale paid for so we are down to FOUR bales left to fundraise for. Even $5 will go far in raising funds for "Junior". November is the month of being thankful. I'd like to say in the middle of the month that I 'm thankful we were able to raise the funds so we could bring Junior "home". Can you help?

Don't forget to check us out on Facebook. We are doing the November "Thankful" challenge. It's pretty easy thanks to all of our wonderful supporters!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I just saw the following in my inbox. I thought it rather fitting because we are in the midst of fencing. I thought I would pass it along in case anyone else is in the same boat as us for fencing.

Continual Fencing

Mike played hookie from his paying job to get a few things done around the place before winter sets in. Luckily, he and Dad were able to get the gapping hole fixed in the house. Once that was done, he and Dad spent the afternoon digging holes and putting in wood fence posts. The big drylot (where the geldings stay all winter) now have all new fence posts.

There's still plenty of work to do. The posts are in but nothing else. This Sunday we'll be putting in the new fence (although we still have to figure out exactly what type of fencing we are going to do). I had hoped we could reuse some of the old fence but Dude successfully bent over half of the cattle panels when he stood on them to reach the grass this past spring.

I've come up with a better fencing method to keep those darn horses OFF the fence (which includes electric!) We still have more fence posts to put in but that'll mean we have to buy more posts. We have used up all the wooden posts we bought from the state when they were redoing the fenceline along the interstate. I think we have super tall fence posts still for the big drylot. Our drylot is goofy because on the west side, there's a two foot drop off from the concrete to the actual drylot. So now we have to find fence posts that are tall enough to go 4 feet into the ground, be tall enough to span the two foot drop off and still be tall enough to deter the horses from jumping (although we don't have any jumpers because they are all too lazy).

The small pen still needs a new fence line (it's on the west side as well). If we don't buy new posts or have time to put holes in, I'll have to go with Plan B, which is use corral panels and wire them up to t-posts. It'll be temporary but it'll at least hold until next year. I'm planning on only having the mares in the smaller pen for the winter. I'm also considering keeping the ponies in a separate pen so that the mares have more time to eat. Those ponies know how to snarf down the hay before Mayhem and Rabbit can get a mouthful!

I'm excited for the weekend so that we can see more results. The fencing is a bit irritating because we put in a new fenceline two years ago. I couldn't do anything because I was still recovering from complications from having our son. But now, having to redo everyone's hard work is a bit bittersweet. It was a hard lesson to learn but now I know what works and what doesn't work in that drylot.

And it's a good thing that we are getting these projects done. The forecast is calling for rain/snow Sunday night into Monday. I am NOT ready for winter, especially when it's only the first of November. I'm afraid it's going to be a very LONG winter and very tough.

So I guess while everyone else works on the fence,  I'll be working on tearing apart the roof of the run-in shed we built a couple years ago. I think when we are in town buying supplies for fencing, that we'll buy some hurricane straps for the roof! Lesson learned! We don't have hurricanes but we DO have tornados!!! I doubt we'll get the roof on the run-in shed but at least we'll be making progress. There's too many horses and not enough shelters if we don't have that one in use.

So for anyone that might be in the area and bored, come on out Sunday. We'll put you to work. Even if you don't want to do fencing or "roof" work, there's always grooming or other activities with the horses that needs to be done.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Update on Funding for Senior Horse In Need

You guys are awesome! I have the first donation in hand already! Thank you to Keith Letson for purchasing Junior's first bale of hay! Four more bales to go! Keep up the great work!!
"Junior" - Looking to retire at the Sanctuary

For those interested in donating to Junior's cause, we are accepting cash and check. Right now you have to mail it because I haven't figured out paypal (26160 457th Humboldt, SD 57035). Setting up paypal is my goal for this week so keep checking back to see how much we raise for "Junior".

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Second Annual Fundraiser Playday Pictures

Finally, found the camera after two weeks of looking (it was in my truck!) The following are some of the better pictures. The entire album are located on Facebook. Not all the pictures turned out (you know, trying to take pictures in a dark arena with dust). 

We had a great time and we will definately have another playday next year (possibly two playdays instead of just a fall playday!)

Enjoy the pictures

Need Help for This Horse

We are trying to raise enough funds to purchase five round bales so that we can bring in this very deserving older gentleman. Can you help?

We typically buy hay by the ton so I'm not sure what the going rate for individual round bales would be. But I'm guessing hay is about $65 per bale (tell me if I'm wrong). I would like to have most of the funds secured before I say yes. The owner is patiently waiting but I would like to tell them by middle of next week if we can take in this senior equine.

He's in his 20s, was a race horse, worked at a youth camp, performed at rodeos, and now needs a retirement home where he can rest, relax, and be pampered in his golden years.

Even if you can't afford to donate for the price of a bale, even $5 goes a long way in securing this guy a new, forever home. Every penny adds up. If you can't donate, please spread the word. The more people who know, perhaps the more money we can raise and bring this guy "home".

Monday, November 3, 2014

Productive Weekend

This past weekend was very productive. On Saturday I attended the third class of Empowerment Ventures. Oh how I wish those classes were longer so we could do more brainstorming! Our teacher lined up a guest speaker, Holly from Fluxxr. Wow. Simply Wow. Talk about a great opportunity. Fluxxr sounds like an amazing company that's looking to help small businesses really get up and running. I'm hoping that even though I'm focusing on non-profit, that Fluxxr will be able to help the Sanctuary out as well.  These Empowerment Venture classes really have me excited about the Sanctuary and wanting to get the word out. I've spent years simply working with the horses and not focusing on anything else. Of course the welfare of the horses comes first but there's so much more that could help the Sanctuary if I simply get out of my comfort zone.

On Sunday mom and dad came down to help work on the place. Mike worked on fixing the house. It's not Sanctuary related but without a house for us to live in, it's hard to keep the Sanctuary going. So the house is 90% fixed. When his buddy Jon showed up, the tackled the fun job of fencing. With the help of the tractor, they were able to dig 14 holes for the new fenceline that HAS to go in before winter. We'd put up a fence two years ago but the horses managed to bend and mangle that fence. Dude took to standing on the cattle panels to reach the grass on the other side. I'm not sure what we'll do for an actual fence, but the fence posts are going in. We have five in the ground permanently, but need to finish up the rest this coming weekend. We also have more fence post holes to dig but we ran out of daylight (and energy).

While Mike and Jon were digging holes, Dad and I got on the roof of the barn to nail down the loose tin and to bend back the two sheets of tin that had blown up during the tornado. It hadn't been too big of an issue over the summer because the wind was never that strong and if it was, it was out of the west. We've had some doozies of wind storms come through over the past month or so and now it was very apparently that the barn needed to be fixed immediately.

In the afternoon our farrier came out to trim up Dude, King, and Tommy. It's a good thing he stopped out because Dude was off in the front, which means that there's more pain in the back end. Dude is 17 and in my eyes, fairly young, but that hip is going to be the death of him. He's not going to see mid to late 20s because of that hip I'm afraid. But the farrier knew not to push it and did a quick trim to make the experience tolerable. It's nice to have everyone trimmed going into winter.

We also had volunteers come out just before the sun set to help groom some of the horses. This daylight savings time really does a number on everyone. We took advantage of the extra hour to get more stuff done around the Sanctuary but now I'll be doing chores in the dark. I'm ready for March to be here already!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November is Thankful Month

For the month of November, I'll be posting daily things that I am thankful for concerning the Sanctuary. Check us out on Facebook to find out what we are thankful for!