Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fugly Post - Someone Has to Do It

Wow.. the fugly blog hit my thoughts square on the head with this post....


The last sentence is very fitting...."Someone has to do it."

That's why the Sanctuary is here. People don't seem to consider the lifetime effort and commitment needed to take care of a horse, no matter their health status.  Unfortunately, many of the ads in this area are the same as the one listed in the post. The owner uses them up, and then wants someone else to take care of them because they dont' want the financial burden of caring for a now "special needs" young horse. I'll be up front and say, it's costly. I have a few in the herd that are special needs and as the years progress, they are now reaching the retirement age, but to keep them as pasture pets when they are five is a burden, but a burden that we were willing to accept.

As Fugly said...someone has to do it.

Monday, March 30, 2015


There was a recent blog post about a rescue in Nebraska that dealt with a fire wiping out most of their pasture and a fence line. I follow them on Facebook but don't actually know the operator. Fire is a scary beast. The same day that the rescue I mentioned lost their pasture, I was looking out the window only to see flames as well. Luckily it was a controlled burn set by the local fire department. However, it was per request of our neighbor. We were never informed by either the fire department (nor do I think they have to) or our neighbor (which in these parts is a courtesy).

We are already in a fire ban so I was surprised that the fire department would agree.  But I guess if someone is to set a fire, it best be the fire department to keep it contained and managed. As it was, the wind was out of the north west and smoke rolled through our property. Had it gotten out of hand, we too could have lost our pasture. And because we are not a non-profit, we can't go in search of grants. So I thank my lucky stars that we only had to deal with the smoke from the fire and the shock of seeing flames while looking out the kitchen window. There would have been NO time to get the horses evacuated safely.

I'm also starting to worry. I'm a little bit more free to talk about it this time around. When the fire department came last week, I was 16 weeks pregnant. As things seem to unfold, I was also 16 weeks pregnant with our son when we had our fire at the Sanctuary. Unplanned and completely scary. Luckily no one was hurt and we only lost a building (and are still dealing with the after affects of the ordeal).

But I'm starting to see the same trend.  We are already starting to go into drought mode. We haven't had rain or snow in weeks. I would have sworn we were going to get dumped on in March because of all the snow in December. So far, not a drop. The pastures need the rain. The ground is already cracking. I'm worried that if we don't get some rain soon, we'll be left with only a months worth of pasture. This time around, we wont' have a nice neighbor who will let us graze his pasture. We'll have to supplement with hay and that will only add to the always increasing hay bill that we face. And being that we are not non-profit, I can't go in search of grants that could help us.

So I'm getting nervous. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that we get rain in the near future.

Friday, March 27, 2015


When someone asks if you're a dog person or a cat person, I sort of look at them weird. I'm a horse person.

In most barns, it's a good thing to have a couple of cats on hand to keep the mice at bay. At the Sanctuary, we have no luck with kittens or friendly cats. The ones that survive are the ones that come to us because they are standoffish (meaning they aren't the ones anyone wants).

Last night I decided to sit and take a break in the hay shed to contemplate life. I was enjoying listening to Junior eat his grain and watching Mayhem and Rabbit power through some hay when our two cats showed up.

Stocky we got from a rescue because no one else would take a feral neutered male. Little One came from an acquaintance who had to get rid of their cats. Both were standoffish when they arrived but in the years they've been here, they have come around. I was sitting on a pallet watching the clouds roll by when the cats appeared.

I see why some people  like cats. I don't have to do anything but sit there and they'll love on you. Little One purrs like crazy when I give her any attention. After a stressful day, it was nice to be wanted even if it was by the cat. The horses only pay attention because I have food. The dogs demand attention as does the husband and the toddler. So it was a nice reprieve for me to just sit there and have them love up on me.

And with the stresses of the week piling up on me, the cats simply sat by my side while I had a good old fashioned cry. It was almost like they knew I needed the moral support. Once I was done and back to doing chores, they disappeared to do their thing (which I'm hoping was to hunt mice).

I wouldn't say I'm a cat person but last night made me appreciate them and the little things in life, like a paw on the shoulder.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

So Long Spring

So much for spring being here. I followed my instincts and blanketed some of the harder keepers. The weather finally warmed up yesterday but the wind was so fierce, I opted to leave blankets on. We are supposed to get more rain tomorrow and I have no idea what the wind will be like. The wind we had was out of the east and then switched to the west. I much prefer wind out of the west. It doesn't seem to be bone chilling cold and the horses are protected by the buildings.

I did get a chance to finally do chores in the light yesterday evening but I ended up rushing everyone that was eating grain. I'm not really sure why I rushed them other than all my help was leaving.

Junior is starting to shed. But it's not normal shedding. He's actually shedding out on his head. It makes him look a little goofy. I'm curious now to see when he sheds out, what the brand on his cheek will look like. The winter hair covered up both his brands. I could barely make out the one on his right shoulder when he arrived and it disappeared with a heavier coat. The one on his jaw, I could never see.

Ivan is back to his old tricks of pushing Zeke and Bo around. I'm debating on what to do with him. I think he needs a timeout for awhile. But I can't put him back in with the mares because he got even more bossy in there. So maybe I'll divide the pony pen and let him be in there for a few days to see if a timeout will help adjust his attitude.

Spring needs to get here. Everyone seems to be in a bad mood as of late (both two-legged and four-legged).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


A long while back I talked about trust. Our horses trust us to protect them, care for them, feed them, etc. They do what we ask (most of the time without question).  We sometimes take that trust for granted or even forget about our horse's total and 100% trust in us.

I saw that trust this weekend. Now that I'm pregnant, I'm grounded from riding so while my drill team performed this weekend, I had to stand on the sidelines and watch. Our drill team loves to thrill the crowd and loves to perform. It's a fantastic group to be involved with and I love every minute of it (even if I can't ride right now).  Go check them out.. Dakota Thunder Drill Team (or Dakota Thunder Mounted Drill Team).

During this weekend's performance, there was a crash. We've had near misses in the past but this was a definite crash. The more I think about it, the more I'm amazed. It was an accident and everyone is recovering nicely but I'm still amazed. These horses put their trust in us to guide them through the routine. Sometimes there's split seconds between horses crossing paths and they trust us to keep them safe. The horses in question trust their owners. They did what was asked of them possibly knowing that they might get hurt.

It's not just in the drill team world that horses put their 100% trust in their owners. It's in any event with a horse be it barrel racing, eventing, etc. But the more I think about it, the more I'm amazed at the amount of trust our horses have in us.

Then I look at the feedlot pictures of horses (I look at the feedlots based out of Washington because they are the most active that I can find) (http://auctionhorseswa.proboards.com/). I wont' go into the debate about buying from a feedlot or buying from a kill buyer. That's not the point of this post. The point is, those horses standing in that feedlot trusted someone to care for them. They put their life in someone else's hands and look what happened to them.

I'm afraid people treat horses like a piece of machinery. When they can no longer perform at the level they want or have lost interest, they dump the horse without a second glance. Now dont' get me wrong. Sometimes it doesn't work out and the owner does everything in their power to find their horse a perfect home. I commend those owners for doing what's right by their horse. It's the owners that drop them off at an auction without a backwards glance and are only concerned about how much money they make. Those are the horses I feel bad for. Those are the horses were the trust was broken.

I look at the Sanctuary horses and although some of them are standoffish, I know that they trust me to care for them. I am constantly amazed when I look at Bo. He was treated horribly, starved, and beat and yet, he's still the happy go lucky horse. Somehow his trust was never broken. And I can tell that he trusts me. And when I look at Junior.  He's only been here a few short months and he's already trusting me. He started trusting me the first day he arrived, which blows my mind. How can someone trust so quickly? Not because they have to but because of their personality? I really have no idea why.

I just now that the trust horses have in their owners is an amazing thing. I know that I'm not explaining myself very well. I can't really put into words what I'm feeling. I guess what i'm saying is that the next time you go out to play with your horse, take a closer look at him/her and see what type of trust and bond you have. Trust is such an amazing thing.

Following Your Instincts

I'm sure glad I went with the instincts. I'm not kicking myself this morning!

I wasn't able to get out to do chores until well after dark. And with almost a new moon and clouds covering up what little moon we had, I had to go by the light of the yard light. I'd switched coats, thinking it would be warmer and didn't grab my flashlight. So much for these longer days with daylight.

The mares' and Juniors water tank was almost out so I had to get that filled up before this next cold front came through. Mike pulled the heater so hopefully we don't have any super cold weather any more. The wind was out of the east, which makes everything cold around here. The horses' pens get the direct hit from the east (and even our house is cold when the wind is out of the east). To top it off, it was a damp feeling. I am glad I'd hopped onto the internet to check out the forecast.

While Junior was enjoying his grain mash, I put his blanket on and dug out Rabbit's blanket as well. She'd been wearing a blanket most of winter so she doesn't have as thick of coat as I'd like. And she typically gets chilled easier.

The round bales are pretty much done. The one bale with the cinch net on it (and not in a hay feeder) is still there but the horses have taken to peeing on it (darn you horses!). So I started back to the old routine of throwing hay. When I opened the barn door to haul the hay out, Rain was tucked in the leanto off the barn. I knew it must be cold if he's hiding in the barn. He's so sensitive to any type of wind. After I finished putting out the piles of hay, I grabbed Rain's blanket. Some times he's a real stinker about getting his blanket on but he was either cold last night or knew that something was coming because he stood perfectly still while I fiddled with everything. Sometimes he's the typical flighty Arabian and other times he's so docile that I forget he's at least half Arabian. I'll never know his breeding since he's grade but his head is 100% Arabian and he carries himself like an Arabian (he's just a little on the plump side).

I hemmed and hawed about putting a blanket on Bo. I haven't been graining him the past week because I've been so swamped at work and it's been super late getting out to do chores (and he takes forever to eat). But in just that week I can tell he's dropped some weight . He'll always be such a hard keeper. I opted to lug his blanket out and get him snug in it before I went in for the night. He isn't like Rain and wont' force his way into the leanto to get out of the weather. So I'm glad he's wearing his blanket.

I'm a little worried that I didn't blanket Jim or Zeke but those two have been such buggers about catching lately, Zeke especially. Of course, I think he knows he's on my naughty list because when Junior was in the big herd, he'd harass him and that would make me mad. Those boys definitely know my moods.

When I went out this morning to do chores, we still hadn't gotten any rain or snow. But now that I'm at the paying job, it sure looks like we'll either be getting rain or snow in the next few hours. What always confuses me is the four corridors.

You're probably wondering what that is. The four corridors are were I90 and I29 meet. Depending on which corridor you live in, the weather is different. Unfortunately for me, I live in the SW corridor, drive through the NW corridor so that I can work in the NE corridor. I never know during the winter what I'll be faced with. Each corridor can be so different. Blizzard in one and sunshine in another. The weirdest part is that there's only about 30-40 miles in between my house and work. So what I'm seeing at work right now, might not be the weather we are having at the Sanctuary. It does make for some interesting days.

We are supposed to get about a quarter of an inch of rain (and I'm thankful for it!) After that, we are supposed to get wind and lots of it. So I'm glad I blanketed a few. We'll see if any need to go in the barn tonight. I'm hoping not but I'd rather be safe than sorry. No point in having clean stalls and blankets and cold and grumpy horses.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Showers

I'm trying to get a handle on the upcoming weather. I didn't hear about the upcoming rain/snow until this morning. I'm going to be scrambling to figure out what to do with some of the herd.

Last Wednesday we put in round bales and I moved Junior back in with the mares (because he'd get pushed out of any hay) and Ivan back in with the big herd. Everyone seems content (except Junior but  I'm not sure he'd be content no matter which herd he's in).

We aren't supposed to get rain until early tomorrow morning but I'm not sure what to do. The temps will be right at freezing. So I'm not sure if I should blanket some of the hard keepers to keep them dry and risk them getting a little too warm or let them get wet. The temps wont' be too terribly bad but if they get wet and then chilled from the wind, which will be blowing until tomorrow night, I'm just not sure what to do.

Don't get me wrong. I'm excited for the rain/snow. We are starting to get really dry and I'm starting to worry about the pasture. (I'm hearing talk of people hanging on to their hay because they are worried about this year's crop.) The wind chill will be lower each day and by Wednesday we are supposed to be pretty windy.

I guess I'd rather be a little bit cautious on some of the harder keepers and "delicate flowers", so we'll see what actually happens. I wish I had a slew of light weight blankets or rain sheets for this type of weather. I sort of wish everyone had two blankets (one heavy weight for those polar vortexes and a light weight one to keep the chill of on certain nights) and a rain sheet for these weird weather days where it's difficult to know what to do.

I'm sure I'm over reacting but I want to make sure no one gets chilled. We technically may be in to spring but in these parts, we can still get blizzards and snow storms. We can still have snow even the first few days into May!

So I may be pulling out blankets and putting them on a few of the Sanctuary horses (specifically Junior and Rabbit because their pen gets the brunt of any east wind) and possibly Rain because he can't handle any cold weather.

Last night when I went out to do chores, everyone was grumpy even with the hay still in the feeders. The wind was out of the east, so no one was happy about the piercing wind. I threw out some alfalfa to help brighten their moods. I'd spent the entire day the South Dakota Horse Expo. I'd hoped to be involved in the planning for it this year but somehow I wasn't aggressive enough to get my foot in the door. Seems that's the case for a lot of things for me and the Sanctuary as of late. I figure I only have about two or three months where I have a brain and then baby brain will set back in and I'll be a walking blob. I'm trying to get ideas flowing but it's difficult. So if you have any fundraiser ideas or ways to improve the Sanctuary, please let me know. I can use all the help I can get. I might not be able to jump on them right away (remember baby brain). But maybe together we can tackle them? Are you game to help?

18 Ways to Dismount

It's totally not Sanctuary related but it made me chuckle. I figured everyone might need a little giggle first thing Monday morning.

From HosreChannel.com
The Near Side: 18 Ways to Say You Fell Off Your Horse

  1. I bought real estate
  2. My horse and I went our separate ways
  3.  I didn't fall off, I performed a random gravity check
  4. I had a free bone density check
  5. I had a flying lesson
  6. I didn't fall off, I flew Air Equestrian
  7. I had an unscheduled footing inspection
  8. I visited Dirt City
  9. I didn't fall off, I had an assisted dismount
  10. UI had a dirt facial
  11. I didn't fall off, I became a lawn dart
  12. I used the emergency exits on Air Pony
  13. I performed an equine-assisted aerial maneuver
  14. I didn't fall off, I existed out the side door
  15. I had an unscheduled dismount
  16. I bid farewell to fine leather
  17. I didn't fall off, I'm in a transitional relationship with my saddle
  18. I fought the lawn and the lawn won.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Some might have noticed my lapse of activities at the Sanctuary. Besides the pneumonia in January and the long lasting cold in February and March, I've been under the weather.

I had high hopes of welcoming an old warrior into the Sanctuary but I'm not sure if that will happen this year unless someone is willing to sponsor that horse or one of our other horses.

However, we will be introducing a new member into the family in September. :-)

(And yes, the picture speaks for itself as far as the trucks go!) 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bo - 4 Year Anniversary

This past Thursday, March 12th marked Bo's 4 year anniversary in coming to the Sanctuary.

He's had a few ups and downs in that time. But he's always been the happy horse from the very minute I stepped into his pen at the auction to put a halter on and lead him HOME.

Bo will always be a hard keeper so he'll never be as fat as some of the other Sanctuary horses. As long as he's in decent weight, and continues to stay happy and calm, that's all I can ask for. I have yet to ride him but once or twice since he came to the Sanctuary. He gets so nervous that I'm almost too worried to take him anywhere for fear he'll drop all the weight we've struggled to put on.

He's such a happy horse. Still has no ground manners. He's best friends with Zeke and seems to be adjusting to being with Junior more these days. He's still at the bottom of the pecking order but he knows when to push in and get his hay. There will never be a lack of hay for this boy. That's a promise I made to him.

These pictures were taken over the weekend. I'll try to dig out the first pictures of Bo so you can see the comparison of what he looked like when he first came. I really had my doubts as to whether he would even make it that first week after coming to the Sanctuary. 

It is an honor to have Bo. He continues to remind me that no matter what life throws at you and no matter how many hard knocks life gives you, to keep on smiling.

Late Nights

I was late in getting home last night. From the time I hopping in my car to leave until I reached the Sanctuary, the temperature dropped almost 15 degrees. The wind picked up and the cold front blew in. I'm sad to see the warmer temps go but I won't complain. 70 degree weather in March is not always as great as it may seem (thinking a few years back when we had excessive heat and droughts). I'd rather not experience another drought.

With getting home late, it meant getting out to do chores late. So another night of doing chores in the dark. So much for daylight savings time helping me out to do chores in the daylight. I haven't' seen the herd in daylight in a few days now.

I've been leaving Bo and Junior out at night (i.e., not stalled). But I was late and wanted to make sure they had their grain so I opted to stall them. I also figured with the temperature drop, that it might be nice for them to get in out of the wind. I dont' think they complained. When I walked in the barn this morning, I didn't turn the lights on. I couldn't tell if Junior was curled up or not. I know Bo was snoozing with a leg cocked when I poked my head in.

I had to lock the gate to the pasture. So now the horses are pretty grumpy with me. I'm worried that Junior will get beat up more now that he doesn't have an escape route. Zeke is still tormenting him. Maverick is too but I get the impression Maverick thinks he's "playing" rather than harassing. Maverick needs to burn off some energy!

I'm going to be playing musical pastures again this week. G and C Shade graciously donated round bales to the Sanctuary! We'll be putting in round bales Wednesday or Thursday. The bales will help cut down on the number we have to use. I'm hoping we can keep some back like we did last year. Having just a few to start the next winter season is a relief and keeps the stress level a little bit less. I want to put the hay in Wednesday or Thursday because I'll be late getting home to do chores the rest of the week.

This weekend is the South Dakota Horse Expo. It's my annual horse fix. I wish the Sanctuary had a booth but the money is better spent on the horses. Maybe next year, maybe not. The drill team I'm on is performing Sunday afternoon so I'll be there with bells on! I'm excited. Of course I'm always excited for this time of year. Getting to be surrounded by horses and horse accessories, how can you not be giddy!

I'm afraid tonight is going to be another late night but hopefully I can at least get Junior and Bo started on their grain ration before the skies turn dark. It works so much easier to start them on their grain and then go in and do skirtwork and other stuff, and then come out to do chores. We'll see. I'm still trying to figure out the right schedule.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Junior - 4 Month Anniversary

Last Wednesday marked Junior's four month anniversary with us. We've had a few ups and downs but he's such a love. I can't tell if he lost more weight or if that's the weight he was at when he came in. I think he lost weight. I had him in with the mares and put out a round bale and I don't think the round bale was any good for him. I was also sick all of January so the routine of graining him wasn't always routine.
I've since put him in with the big herd (more for my safety rather than his). So now I'm not sure if he's getting enough to eat or if the big herd is pushing him around. Maverick and Brego seem to want to eat with him. Zeke wants to kill him and the rest ignore him. So I have no idea what to do. I'd wanted him in with the big herd so that I could put him in the barn every night and grain him. It's so much easier than pulling him out and leading him to his stall for an hour of grain.
But we did get a few round bales donated this weekend so I'm going to try these round bales and switch him back to a quieter pen with the mares. He was getting to the point where he could push Mayhem around.
I'm going to try one other type of grain and see if that additional grain will help put on weight. Actually, I have a few more options to try and put on weight. I don't think he's a picky eater. I bought some weight booster and he doesn't seem to care. Bo on the other hand will eat around it. So maybe I'll leave the weight booster for Junior only.
I know the picture below isnt' the greatest.  The herd of deer were moving so he was more interested in them rather than trying to stand nicely for a picture.  I'll post more pictures later of Junior (or go check them out on our Facebook page).

Last Thursday marked Bo's four year anniversary with us. I'll be blogging about him soon so check back.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Weather Swings

It's a little hard for me to wrap my brain around the extreme weather conditions we have in South Dakota. I've lived here almost all my life and know to expect the extremes. But when I sit down to think about it, it's a little scary.

Just last week we were dealing with Winter Weather Advisories, Wind Chill Warnings, Blizzard Watches, etc.  I was worried about the horses and who should be stalled and who should be wearing a blanket, etc.

And now...we are currently in the 50s with the last two days in the 60s and tomorrow reaching 70 degrees. The only thing I'm worried about now is if I'll get stuck in the mud and lose my boots. We are supposed to have beautiful weather for the next week or so. I'd like to take advantage of it while it lasts. I'm hoping that we aren't in for a drought again this year.

With all the fog we had in December, I was sure we were going to get hammered with snow in March. So far, just that one little storm and nothing else. Of course, we ARE only in the middle of March so I won't count my eggs before they hatch just yet.

On a bright note, I heard and saw a robin last night during chores. Spring is here no matter what!

And today marks the 4 month anniversary of brining Junior home. Tomorrow marks the four year anniversary of brining Bo home. I'm hoping to get some pictures of both horses tonight, even if they are scuzzy and covered in mud.

I've been leaving them out of the barn at night because it's so warm. Two nights ago, they were standing next to each other. I'm really pleased that Junior is starting to feel comfortable around some of the horses. Even this morning, he came up behind Rain. Luckily Rain is pretty agreeable (he wasn't in the past). So hopefully Junior can feel more comfortable soon. He's only been in with the big herd for a short while.

Here's to hoping we have some great weather and can get a lot of stuff done around the Sanctuary. We are so very far behind. If anyone wants to come out and help, I can't pay you but I CAN feed you!

10 Signs of Spring

10. Remove blankets and see all the different colored horses.

9. Boot sucking/shoe sucking mud.

8. All the different colored horses turn a nice color of mud (possibly new registered color?).

7. You can finally take your gloves off to pet horses without risking frostbite.

6. No more tank heaters.

5. Seeing and hearing geese and robins.

4. No more frozen water buckets and having to chip away ice.

3. Lots and lots of horse hair…in your clothes, in your hair, in your mouth, in your car, in your house, etc. It’s everywhere.

2. Now not only is there hay in the house, there’s mud everywhere as well.

1. It’s worth repeating….M.U.D.

Ok so it's fall colors and not spring colors. But right now, everything is still brown.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


While others are excited about daylight savings time, I'm still trying to figure out the new routine. Having a toddler and running a horse sanctuary is a bit tough. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but the balancing act is a little rough some days.

With daylight savings time, I tried a new routine (i.e., I'd wait until I'd put my son to bed an then go outside). Unfortunately, by that time, it was already dark. Going to have to come up with a different routine. I'd also decided that with the warmer weather, Junior and Bo don't need to be stalled every night if I can get them grain early enough in the evening.

So I finally went out last night after dark to do chores. I was feeling sorry for myself  because it was dark. Yes I was riding the pity train, but some days I'm allowed. I'd fed the ponies, mares/Ivan, and was getting hay ready for the big herd. Unfortunately, I had to break into a new bale and this one is another one of those awful bales. The hay is so fine and so thick that the baler can't chop it. It wouldn't be a big deal but trying to man handle a 3x3 sliver of hay that's anywhere from 2 inches to 4 inches thick is a little difficult. I have no idea the weight on these but they are HEAVY. I know, I know. I'm supposed to feed based on weight but these bales that have fine/course hay are hard to judge.

So I was man handling the bale last night and I just couldn't take it. After getting one sliver half of the way into the wagon (and having another sliver drag along behind AND having the wagon try to roll away), I just gave up and crumpled to the ground and started to bawl. (That's me hoping on the pity train.) But the minute my butt hit the ground, a gust of wind came in to the hay shed, rattle the roof and touched my cheek. What I didn't mention was that it was completely calm. There was no wind, or none that I could tell when I was out earlier feeding.

Some might think I'm crazy and some might think I'm insane (who wouldn't be to run a retirement farm in South Dakota). But it felt like someone was telling me to hop off that pity train and get to feeding those horses. I'm not overly superstitious but it was a very different feeling. It certainly wasn't scary. But all I wanted to do was sit down and cry for a good five minutes and I couldn't. So back to fighting the hay I went and got everyone fed.

When I was done feeding the horses, there was a very light breeze. Un-noticeable had I not had that odd wind just come in to the hay shed. And when I say odd, I mean odd. I was at the middle of the hay shed so it would take a huge gust of wind to get to where I was at.

So I'll leave it up to you if I'm crazy, simply exhausted, or had watching over me.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Strides for Success March Photo Challenge

I've tried two months in a row to participate in the Strides for Success Photo Challenge and both times I've been beaten down by some sort of sickness. So I'm going to try again. Third time is the charm right?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

When It Comes to Senior Horses

I was puttering on Twitter and I saw an interesting question. It made me think. So I'm going to ask a similar question and I'd love to hear from you.

When it comes to senior horses, I'd like to learn more about ______________________.

I'd love to hear from you. You can leave a comment, post your information on our Facebook page, comment on Twitter, or email me at borderlandshorsesanctuary@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Herd's Acceptance

Last night when I went out to do chores, I couldn't find Junior. I thought maybe he'd wandered out into the pasture (he's discovered that Zeke won't torment him if he's in the pasture). I figured I'd get some of my chores done before I went to get him. With the wind as fierce as it was, most of the herd was tucked into the leanto off the barn. They saw me moving around and came out. Sure enough, Junior came out. He'd been stuck in the back the entire time. I'm not sure if  he'd wanted to be in there with everyone else or not. I'm guessing not.

At least most of the big herd has incorporated him into the herd as one of their own. I figured the pushier horses might boss him around but they don't seem to care one way or another. Now if I could only get Zeke to stop bothering him.

Although last night it was rather cute. Junior was hiding in the leanto with just his head sticking out and Rain came over. I was worried cuz Rain can be mean. Nope. He stopped short of Junior's bubble and reached his neck out to touch noses with Junior. That sight very much warmed my heart. Rain has accepted him.

I normally put Junior and Bo in the barn but with the wind, figured I'd put a couple more in the barn. I opted for Rain, which still gave Junior most of his stalls to move around and get away from anyone. I'd planned on putting Zeke in the barn as well but he wasn't cooperating so I let Jim in. Everyone else stayed out. Call me mean I guess.

We are supposed to get more subzero temps so some are going back in the barn tonight. But then we are supposed to start getting a warmup. I heard a wonderful rumor that we could be in the 50s by the weekend!

The blankets are definitely coming off! I can't wait to see everyone's colors again. I used Junior's blanket for two purposes.  One: as a buffer in case someone would take after him and bite him. Two: to make it difficult for the herd to figure out who is who (between him, Brego, and Bo). But I'll be pulling his blanket off on Friday so we'll see if that causes any drama. I doubt it but I'll still worry.

Here's to hoping this is the last cold day/night of the 2014-2015 season!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Junior is Relaxing

Temperatures are quickly dropping now that the 30+ mph winds are here. Luckily we missed out on the  majority of the snow so we arent' dealing with white out conditions. If we got more than an inch of snow, it would be hard to tell. It's going to all blow into drifts as far as I can tell.

Last night I knew the storm was coming. The horses must have known there was something coming as well. They were really spooky. I tried to blanket a few but Zeke wouldn't have anything to do with it. I put Jim in a different blanket. I shouldn't have. It's now torn and I'll have to figure out how to repair yet another blanket. One more blanket down from the pile of useable blankets.

When I went in to the barn to get water for the ponies, I only noticed one set of ears standing in a stall. I was a little worried because last night while eating Junior was acting uncomfortable. He's doing the same thing that Brego did the other day. Where he'd kick his back leg a little...not like he's kicking at his belly but that he didn't feel 100%. I wasn't sure if that's because he was eating his grain and he normally paws or if there's something wrong with his back end. He came to use with something wrong with his back end so I'm not sure what's going on right now.

Anyway, when I took a closer look, I noticed that Junior was actually curled up in his stall. It's the first time I've seen him lie down in the 4.5 months since he arrived. I'm glad he finally feels relaxed enough to rest. Even if his only opportunity to lie down is in his stall, I'll take it. Made me so happy this morning. I just hope he wasnt' lying down because his back end was really bothering him. But he seemed fine once he was up. So I'm sure I'm over reacting.

I'm not really sure what to expect for the weather this evening. The winds are terrible but are supposed to die down after dark. And someone reminded me that next weekend is daylight savings time. Oh how I love daylight savings time and hate it at the same time. If it wasn't for the feeding schedule and the toddler, I'd love it. I much prefer the opportunity to feed horses in the daylight when I can do a more thorough check on each horse to make sure everyone is happy.

And tomorrow is supposed to be the coldest day of this week but then we're going to have a huge warmup and be in the 40s by this weekend. Blankets will definitely be coming off. I wonder if this is or last hurrah for storms. I doubt it. But I'll take the warmer weather whenever I can!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Weather Drama

Just checked the latest on this upcoming storm.

We are still only one county away to the north from a blizzard warning (that's only about 15 miles away). Now they've put us in a Winter Weather Advisory. At least the county to the west of us (the one just three mile to the west of us) is out of the blizzard warning and into the winter weather advisory. No one mentions to Mother Nature that the weather has to change at county lines.

With wind chill temps, we are supposed to be sub zero Tuesday night. No wonder I'm exhausted all the time. If it's not this darn cold, it's this darn weather.

Currently at 25 degrees and by Wednesday we'll be at a high of 8 degrees with Tuesday night and Wednesday night below zero (not looking at wind chill because that makes me sad).

This is what I get for actually paying attention to the weather. Now I have to figure out who goes where. Think everyone stalled ok the last time with Junior going in last. Now, to keep Dude from crashing through and demanding he go into the barn as well. He broke a stall so we are one stall short of letting him in.

Maybe we wont' get any snow (i.e., only an inch) so there wont' be much to deal with. The ice is still buried under the snow so I still have to be careful where I walk.

Brego seemed colicy Sunday so I took him for a walk out in the pasture. I think it was more his back end was bugging him. But I hate to walk him out in the driveway because I don't know where the ice is at these days.

Come on spring, where are you?

Blizzard Watch

So apparently I need to pay  more attention to the weather. It's the beginning of March and I knew March would be a doozy of a month but I sort of let that all fall by the wayside since I've been sicker than a dog lately.

This morning I hopped online only to discover that we are in a Blizzard Watch (or will be starting tomorrow at some point). It's March. We shouldn't be dealing with blizzards. Although I had a general idea that March will be a rough one this year. I was tracking fog back in December and we had a lot of it! So I looked at my calendar. Sure enough I had it marked that we had fog 90 days ago come this Thursday and Saturday. So it's not completely spot on but it's close. I need to start keeping an eye on my calendar and my "fog report" to know when the next storm is on its way.

I had such high hopes of getting things cleaned up around the place over the weekend. But I managed to catch yet another cold that has left my brain in idle mode and my body in off mode. I couldn't get off the couch yesterday afternoon despite my best efforts.

I finally finished up with all the hay in the hay barn. I do love having the hay in the hay barn. It means lights and easy access to hay without snow. Now I'm back to pulling hay from the hay shed. I guess I shouldn't complain. It's all under cover. But the hay shed has no lights and no electricity so I have to go by the light of the moon and the little bit of light that comes from the hay barn. I'm not sure if we'll have enough hay or not. I thought we had more than what I was figuring but maybe that's because I'm forgetting some of the hay that's in the red shed still. I dunno. I expect I'll start to worry about hay in the middle of March.

I had hoped starting in February to start doing some monthly give aways but I can't seem to get over being sick long enough to get my thought processes going. So maybe this month or next month I'll get my poop in a group long enough to start. Sunday was Horse Protection Day and i'd so hoped to do something. And the weather was decent for a cold and windy day. I'm hoping maybe next year I can do something fun. I seem to be missing out on all kinds of opportunities as of late thanks to being sick all the time.

I'll be glad when spring is finally here. Maybe then I'll finally start to feel better. It would be nice to feel good enough to go out with the camera and take pictures. Maybe after this blizzard passes, I can sneak out for a few minutes to get a few good shots.