Thursday, May 28, 2015

Growing Grass

We are currently getting a beautiful straight down rain (unusual for us because it's always sideways rain). I love these soaker rains. Nothing too heavy so that it doesn't do any good but not just a drizzle to get everything damp but not enough to do any good. I love summer rains and thunderstorms (as long as there's no tornados involved).

Speaking of tornados, we are reaching the one year anniversary of having a tornado miss the Sanctuary by a half a mile. We still need to repair the run in shed at the bottom of the dry lot. I've come to the conclusion that there's no way to simply lift the roof from where it was flipped off and place it back on the run in shed easily. It'll have to be dismantled and reassembled. Anyone want to help? I will feed you!

The horses have been spending just a little bit of time out on the lawn. This weekend I'll be dividing the big pasture (temporary fencing only) and then letting them out. I usually wait until Memorial Weekend but that came so early and the grass hadn't really come back like I was hoping. So I'm waiting until just before the first of June. That means I'll have to break into one more bale to get us through until then. Hopefully that bale will last until I get everyone out on grass.

If we can get some nice soaker rains and then some heat and sunshine to go with, possibly the grass will come back and I won't worry so  much. In the summer I always worry about hay and pasture and in the winter I always worry about hay and weather. Guess it's just the nature of the beast.

I did notice that the solar fencer isn't working right. I am afraid I might have fried it somehow. Hopefully it's repairable. I have no idea what happened. One day it was working and the next it wasn't. Too bad because it was a nice fencer (and spendy). Unfortunately, we have a few major expenses to deal with in the next few days/weeks and I was really hoping to keep anything from breaking down to a minimum. Nothing lasts these days....except bills and stress.

But on the bright side, I see blue skies (even though it's raining, which is typical in South Dakota). So I'm guessing the rain will end soon and the sun will come out and hopefully we can get some heat to get this grass "a-growing".

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Calling BS

So it seems I'm calling BS on people these days. Awhile back I was on a website for a major horse auction and they boasted that stallions were not being sold to slaughter and if they were, there were strict regulations about how they were transported.

I've been following a feedlot page, Auction Horse Forum, and they post stallions all the time. There's stallions both in the Washington feedlot and in the Texas holding lot before they are shipped to slaughter in Mexico. You can't tell me that those stallions are being separated from the rest of the herd by a stud wall in a trailer. They are being loaded into semi trailers with the rest of the horses.

So I call BS on the pro-slaughter propaganda to try and make people think that it's only the old and crippled horses headed to slaughter. Most of the horses on the Auction Horse Forum are at their prime age and have some education. Best to do your research before you start chirping like a bird and repeating BS.


I was sicker than a dog last night so did minimal chores and headed back in to sleep off whatever bug I caught. The horses were rather disgruntled with me. I'm anxious to get them out on grass so they can be happy horses again. If I do it right, I'll have left over hay and hay has been on my mind. I've talked with a few people and they all say the same thing. The pastures aren't coming up as fast and I don't want to over graze what little pasture we do have. So I normally put them on the pasture for 12 hours but I  may have to cut that down. Let them out at 6am just before I head for work and then put them back in right when I get home (although that's 5pm so not really cutting down on hours). But we'll see how that goes. I hope we can get some sunshine and heat along with the rains we've finally gotten. I'm not up for a drought or dealing with sky high prices for hay this year.

I also made some calls and think I found an excavator to do some work at our place. Three years ago we had a fire and the chicken coop burned down. I'm still mad as a hornet over it and I'm even madder that it's taken this long to take care of it but with all the health issues we had and then paying for the health issues, we are just to the point of getting our head above water. Now I'm ready to tackle these projects that have been sitting for three years. It's a wait and see game right now to see if we get a call back. But I'm hoping we do. Then we'll have a place to permanently park the trailers instead of moving them around and killing off the grass.

I also called the farrier so hopefully if the weather holds this weekends, we'll have a farrier day. I'm behind on trimming as well as a few other horse activities. I need to get back into the swing of things but I'm struggling. I'm afraid I'm hitting the beginning stages of the last phase of pregnancy and I'm just exhausted. I'm sure my mood today is a mix of still feeling sick from whatever bug I caught yesterday and being overly exhausted in general. A good night sleep will cure almost anything.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Late Nights and Raccoons

Wow, Memorial Weekend came and went and I'm still trying to figure out what I should have worked on during the long holiday. We spent some good family quality time Friday and Monday. It was a good break from the stresses of life and Sanctuary work. I hate to admit it but I didn't post anything last week because I was out of sorts and didn't want to bring anyone down. I'm still out of sorts but dealing with it. Unfortunately, it's not all pregnancy hormones causing me to be out of sorts.

On Saturday I finally got busy and cleaned out the hay shed. It felt really good to be productive and get all the pallets stacked and ready to store until we get our winter supply of hay. I'm not sure how we'll store our hay this coming year because we are doing all round bales instead of big squares. It definitely changes everything up. We still have some square bales in the red shed that I want out. I think they are getting ruined in the red shed and hay is too darn expensive to get ruined.

I'm hoping to get the horses out on pasture this coming weekend. We'd hoped to temporarily divide the pasture on Sunday but the rains squelched that project. I'm hoping this weekend I can get out there and step in some poly posts and get some electric fence up. It'll have to be temporary until I can figure out how to get the fencing done the way I want it (and not the way we've been doing it). When we do put in permanent fence, we'll have to put in some wood fence posts/panels because of the hill in the pasture.

And we have a family of raccoons living in the hay barn. We've been dealing with raccoons in the grain bin and I've been fairly patient about trying to remove them but now there's baby raccoons living in the hay barn and that's unacceptable. Dad had patched the hole in the hay barn (it's only been there for 10 years) but now that they are in there, they can't get out. Oh there's a hole for them to get out, but it's the hole leading from the  main floor to the hay loft. On Friday, I didn't get home from hanging out with family until 11pm. That meant doing the shortened version of chores and not letting anyone out on grass. But as I walked through the dark hay barn, I heard something. I figured it was either baby raccoons or baby possums. Either way, not something I want to be near in the dark and alone. As I made my passes back and forth in the hay barn, I realized I'd better be in a hurry and have a flashlight in hand. Because it wasn't just the babies making noise. The momma raccoon was there and she told me in no uncertain terms that I was trespassing. Least to say, I got out of there as fast as I could. I spent a bunch of time in and out of the hay barn Saturday afternoon and didn't hear anything but I'm still creeped out by being in there at night so until we can remove them, I'm not lingering in the hay barn. If I were to get  bit, I'd have to have rabies shots and being prego, not sure how that would all work out.

Monday after we got home from hanging with family I put the horses out on the lawn for an hour. Everyone did really well and I was so impressed with them when I called them in for the night. Everyone went in without a fuss until Jim. I'm not exactly sure who the culprit was but someone came back in the barn to head back out to the grass and made Jim turn around. All I remember is seeing a bunch of bay and brown butts and getting pushed out of the way. Of course being prego, and not having a great sense of balance, the one little push that would have been easy to catch, didn't happened and I flailed around like I was falling from a 10 story building until I fell face forward. Luckily I caught myself but it left me feeling irritated to the max. Caring for horses is much different when you're pregnant. I'll never dispute that one again.

I did talk with mom and dad, and we agreed that their pasture is doing pretty well. Instead of waiting until August when the grass has grown and gotten hard and stalky, that I'll bring up a couple of horses so they can enjoy the pasture. Maybe if we don't over graze it, I'll be able to bring horses up again in August or September for a month. That's my hope but we'll see. I'm planning on taking Ivan and Brego. Brego needs the weight and with Ivan out of the picture, he won't be pushing Bo around (so I won't run the risk of getting run over as well). And with two gone, I can maybe consider putting Junior out with the big herd.

Junior has lost a lot of weight lately. I think he needs to be out on grass ASAP. He's on a bale 24x7 but I don't think it's the greatest. I have no luck with bays....Bo, Brego, and Junior. They are all such hard keepers. It's now my superstition that all bays are hard keepers (at least when I get them). I know it's not true but sheesh, how many hard keepers can a person get before you start to notice the coincidence.

I've been taking pictures when I let the herd out onto the lawn but haven't downloaded any pictures to the camera. I'll try to do that soon but I'm also looking at getting a new computer. The one we have is dying a slow and painful death and I'd rather get a new one before it actually calls it quits. We've been without a computer before and it's just not possible these days.

So, we've been busy at the Sanctuary but not with anything of all that much importance. Hopefully I'll get out of this funk soon and avoid all the irritations that have been causing me such grief as of late. I expect in another week, having the horses out on pasture will alleviate a lot of hassle for me and make life way easier for the next little while. Then it'll be time to focus on getting the mares used to grass and get them out to pasture.

There's always something....

Monday, May 18, 2015


We are in the middle of some weird weather. I guess the rest of the country is in the middle of some weird weather as well. We had rain all weekend which was very much needed and I won't complain about it one bit. I was concerned that if we didn't get rain soon, that the pastures wouldn't hold and the price of hay would sky rocket like it did a couple years back (having flashbacks of when I was pregnant with my first child and we were dealing with a drought and major heat indexes).

I'm not sure exactly how much rain we've gotten but we could use more. We're dealing with a little bit of mud right now but it's not too terrible, not like in years past.

The round bales we put in are finally done so I'm back to throwing hay. Boy was I spoiled not having to throw hay. We've had terrible winds since yesterday late morning. I forgot how much I hate throwing hay in the wind (those round bales really got me spoiled).

Now I'm hearing awful rumors that we are in a frost advisory starting tonight or tomorrow? I think we are supposed to get down to freezing. Not good! I'm going to have to top out the tanks and roll up hoses so nothing freezes and breaks. I've been known to break a few hoses because there's still water in the line when a cold snap comes through.

I FINALLY got most of the herd out on the lawn yesterday! Usually I try to get horses out on the lawn the first weekend in May but the grass wasn't growing and I couldn't seem to find the time. I didn't want to overgraze the lawn because I'll be putting the ponies on the lawn after the big herd and the mares go out to their respective pastures.

It was nice to get a little bit of help yesterday with putting in fence posts and stringing wire. My little boy is such a good helper! I decided that instead of putting the entire herd out and worrying about them running through the electric fence (which wasn't on), that I'd let out just a couple. Actually, my son was out and I didn't want to try and chase an entire herd around the countryside with a toddler in tow (speaking from experience). I also wasn't sure he wouldn't run in with the horses so I played it safe and only let tree out at a time.

I started out with Bo and Zeke because they kept getting pushed out of the remaining round bale. I also put Junior out with them. I wasn't sure how well that was going to go. Zeke had a death wish on Junior when I put him in with the big herd late winter. But they all seemed to be ok. I think Zeke was simply mad that Bo was with the mares and now his best friend was across a fence instead of with him. So there's hope I can maybe put Junior in with the big herd (if the pasture can handle it).

I left them out longer than I'd wanted thanks to a rain storm blowing through. Once I put them back, I pulled out Jim, Rain, and Dude. Dude was super naughty about demanding he be the next horse to go out to the lawn pasture. He's really lost his manners as of late and that makes me furious. Going to have to do some work with that brute. I wasn't sure how I'd be able to get them back in. I always put halters on when they are on the lawn in case they do break through the fence (safety precaution for me). But when I opened the door, they ran right in. They'd had to deal with a rain storm earlier that pummeled them and I think they were ready to get in out of the rain and back with the rest of the herd.

Then I pulled Chaos and King out for a little while. I didn't want either of them out for very long. I have to keep a close eye on King. But they were out longer than I'd wanted but I pulled them back into the drylot just before the next storm rolled through. Unfortunately, I didn't get Brego, Ivan, or Maverick out on the lawn.

I'm hoping tonight that I can maybe put some of the herd back out on the grass to get them adjusted. It's a lot of work because I halter each one (for two reasons. 1) so that I can catch the buggers and get them to go back in 2) in case they blow through a fence and we have to chase them from here to never never land). No it's not right but that's just how it has to be. Halters come off once they get into the drylot so no worries about them getting caught up on any feeders.

Once the big herd is out on pasture, I'll work on getting the mares out on pasture. Once they are adjusted to grass, it'll be the ponies' turn to go out on grass for a little while. It's a long, drawn out process but it seems to work (and then I don't have to worry about mowing).

But for now, I'm still throwing hay. Hopefully the grass and the remnants of the other ground bale will help offset the hay I have to throw. We will definitely be going with round bales next year. I got spoiled not having to go out before dawn and after dark to throw hay. Luckily it was light enough this morning for me to see the gigantic raccoon that scurried away. I hate coming face to face with varmints in the dark. I watched something the other day waddle through the knee high grass. I was hoping it was a cat. Nope, possum. I'd rather meet up with those critters in the daylight.

Godbout Express

Lets not turn a blind eye to what is happening...

I'm not exactly sure what to do other than to spread the word and hope that someone with a bigger voice than mine has the power and authority to step in and stop what's going on.

Friday, May 15, 2015

12 Years

Last night we had to make an emergency trip to the vet for our little house dog. We've had her now for 12 years and she's been a part of our lives longer than the Sanctuary has been up and running. The only other animal that we've had longer is Dude. Everyone else has come since we took Trouble in as a two year old. She's 14 years old and her health is failing.

It's difficult to watch the progression and for some reason I'm struggling with it a little bit more than I do with the horses. Maybe because I've turned a blind eye to what I know in my head and heart is really going on.

So I had a discussion with a co-worker about euthanasia and death in general. It was nice to get someone else's perspective. She couldn't figure out how people could turn a blind eye to what needs to be done (you know, the whole quality of life), but she's never had to make that final decision, to have to play God.

People continually tell me they don't know how I do it, to care for an old animal and then have to make that final decision. What I can't figure out is how people can NOT make that final decision and instead they do something more cruel and walk away from the animal when they deserve so much more in their final days/months.

Of course it's not an easy decision and there are going to be many tears shed over the next few days on what we do with our little dog (and there are many tears shed of horses that we have had to say goodbye). But I have a clear conscious. I know I've done right by those that I've had to make that decision. I can only hope they forgive me for ending their time sooner than maybe their body/mind was ready for.

I'll be truthful, it sucks to have to make that final decision. It sucks to have to play God. It sucks to be the one that has to decide because others won't. It sucks. Plain. And. Simple. But if I don't do it, who will? I will not dump a dog at a shelter in hopes that someone else will give them a "good home" when there's only a few months left and I won't don't a horse at an auction in hopes that they get a "good home" when you know damn well that they won't because you didn't put the elbow grease in to showcasing that horse.

Death is inevitable. It is not a topic that people want to discuss but it is a part of our life. There is no way to get around it. Do you have to play God all the time, no. But when it concerns your responsibility, then perhaps to the right thing and evaluate quality of life and ask yourself what is really right.

I will gladly go with you if you can't handle watching a euthanasia. But unless the animal is in my care, I can't make that final call because it's not my place to do it. But I will support you if you need that moral support.

So the next few days I'm sure I'll be in turmoil over the decision that I know is coming, it's simply a matter of when I will have to make that decision. You don't throw away 12 years for nothing.


The last two nights I've let Junior and Bo eat a little extra to hopefully pack on the pounds that they've dropped over the past month or so. I know why they dropped the weight and now it's a matter of getting it back on. Luckily we are going into summer so it'll be easier to get that weight back on instead of looking at trying to put weight on going into the winter.

So that means that I haven't been going out to let them back into their pens until 10pm. As hard as it is to drag my butt off the couch at 10pm when all I want to do is fall sound asleep for the next few hours, I pull on my boots and head outside. These past two nights have really revitalized me. No wind, clear skies, curious horses. One word to describe it.....


It's amazing how content the horses are when they have a round bale at their convenience. Unfortunately I'm going to have to start throwing hay sooner than expected. They ate one entire bale but the bale with the cinch net on is still partially there. Now the bullies are eating and pushing out the others. Always something I suppose. We'll be going with round bale this coming winter so I need to save up and buy another cinch net so there's no issue on which bale to devour.

But the last two nights have been relaxing. The horses have been curious and I think might actually miss me?!? I doubt it but it's nice to think anyway.

I still don't have the horses out on the lawn yet but that's my goal for the weekend. Usually I have the horses out on the lawn by the first of May but somehow I've lost track of May. And next weekend is Memorial Weekend and that's usually when I let them out onto the big pasture. Not going to happen this year. Actually, I've been stalling for two reasons...1) I lost track of time and 2) the grass hasn't really grown as quickly as I like either out in the pasture or on the lawn. So I want to make sure that the grass lasts as long as possible. Knowing that I'll be having a baby in September, I NEED to make sure that all pastures can sustain the horses through until I recover at least slightly from having the baby. It's all stuff running around in my head that I need to get figured out. I'll be dividing the big pasture soon (maybe this weekend?!? hahah ) and then rotate the herd.

So much to do and so little time to get it all done.


Thought we all might need a good laugh to start our Friday

Say Dat Who He

I have no words....

Warning: Graphic photo

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Here's another good euthanasia article.

I've seen the cost of euthanasia in our area anywhere from $175 to $300. Having had to say goodbye to a number of our residents, it's always hard but we know we are doing right by the horse.

Kaufman County Feedlot

Do you recognize any of these horses?

They are all located at the Kaufman County feedlot. It's the same feedlot I've been posting all the other feedlot horses from. It's the feedlot on the Texas/Mexico border. The gals involved in getting pictures and documenting are doing a fantastic job.

So many souls, ending life in such a terrible manner. I'll keep posting as long as they keep posting. If there's a chance that you're horse ends up here, it's better to know and possibly get them out of the hell they've been enduring and the painful death.

If only we could do our part here in South Dakota to keep the waves of horses from hitting the Canadian and Mexico border.  Unfortunately, most of the horses in our neck of the woods will end up at the Canadian border and there's no one documenting any of those horses. On I know there are feedlots in Colorado but I am unaware of any feedlots right on the border of Canada. I'm still too ignorant on that bit of information.

EID Forms

An interesting read on the EID forms that are supposed to be applied to horses headed to slaughter...

I'll let you make your own decision on the matter.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

April Sales Report

So the South Dakota Horse Sale, which was held April 18th has their sales report. I typically read and reread the sales report for the loose horses. I did find a few interesting points in their little blurb about loose horses. Prices are higher for loose horses "Yearling Feeders sold $100 and older thing horses $385".

"Stallions are unable to be shipped to plants per rules and regulations and USDA transportation rule require separate compartments in stallion travel. Stallions sell $75 to $150."

I find that statement interesting because I haven't heard any news about that bit of info. I've been watching the Auction Horse Forum, and they are now taking pictures and documenting some of the horses at the Texas/Mexico border but I never did see any stallions.

I also find it interesting that they are willing to pay almost $400 for older thin horses. Oh what I would give to offer them permanent retirement instead of being shipped to slaughter. Breaks my heart to pieces.

I believe the next sale is June 13th. I know I wont' go but I would love to, even if all I could do was sit on my hands and watch. The local auctions around here are disappearing, except for the one that has been in business for years. Maybe that's a good thing. I don't have any money to pull a deserving horse and with having to turn away free horses that need retirement, best to not be near any auctions. I'm just feeling helpless as of late.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day Weather

This is actually image I wanted to post earlier today but couldn't find it.

Only in South Dakota.....

Credit to James Joseph for this apt graphic on Mother’s Day in South Dakota.

Idaho Feedlot - Oldsters at the Lot

As someone else said... these elderly gentlemen and ladies don't deserve to be there. We can't help (too far away), but we can at least try to spread the word.

Oceanids is said to be 26 years old and broke to pack. He is as sweet as can be and is a big boy standing almost 16hh. He has some age related arthritis I suspect but he looks to be in overall good condition for his age. He is a sweetheart, easy to handle, and loves hugs. His hooves looked good and he picked them up for me. 

Deadline: 5/14/15
Location: Sunnyside, WA
Contact: Sabrina 206-250-5115 @ 8am-9pm

Oden has been owned by the same person for over 20 years and has now found himself at the feedlot. He is a larger well built QH who should be well broke to ride. He is gentle and calm, and gets along well with the other horses. He didn't appear to have any visible issues and is in good condition for his age. His hooves appear to have been taken care of and he will pick up his feet for you easily. This is a nice horse who should have many years left and would make a nice addition to anyones herd. 

Deadline: 5/14/15
Location: Sunnyside, WA
Contact: Sabrina 206-250-5115 @ 8am-9pm

Blizzards, Tornados, and Flooding Oh My

We've had some interesting weather over the last 24 hours. Luckily the Sanctuary wasn't hit hard with anything other than some much needed rain. We are on the east side of the state and Mike and Dad are on the west side of the state dealing with snow.

I didn't even hear about the tornado until hours after it hit. Storms, no matter the season, scary me. All too unpredictable and you never know what type of weather will come out of it.

I got a picture from Mike yesterday. There's so much snow that their truck is pushing snow with the bumper. That's a lot of snow! We've had about an inch of rain but I can't say 100%  the exact amount. But enough to make a difference (I hope).

The tornado that touched down in Delmont reminded me that it hasn't even been a year since the Sanctuary barely missed an EF2 tornado last June. We missed it by a half a mile. That's too close for me! And for those that say, they'll run to the basement when they see it, the tornado that barely missed us, was rain wrapped and impossible to see.

I'll be paying as close attention to weather during the summer months as I do during the winter months.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Jett!

Happy Birthday Jett! You have really become a very stunning and educated gelding. I know I didn't have any part of your education, but I'm so proud of you! Hard to believe that you could have ever been so itty bitty that I could pick you up and carry you around the barn.

Hope you have a great birthday!

Jett and his herdmate

Jett after a training session

Jett the day after he was born

Jett the day after he was born.

Happy Mother's Day

From our mares to yours, Happy Mother's Day



Tuesday, May 5, 2015


i am so disappointed right now. i'm at a loss for words and those words that i do have are unpleasant. i may not be online for a few days until my disappointment doesn't cause so much bile in my mouth.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Meeting Time

I think the horses were having a meeting and the cat, Little One, was running the meeting.

Other Ways to Help

I was also asked (during my freak out  moment) what are other ways for people to help.

I know that some don't have the funds to help sponsor a horse. And what we are proposing for sponsorship is for FEED ONLY. If someone wants to sponsor a horse completely for a year, including feed, vet, farrier, other maintenance, I'd be more than happy to discuss that. But for now, our biggest expense is feed. (have to start somewhere right?)

But there are other ways to help if you don't have the funds.  We usually have two fundraisers a year. I opted to not have our Easter fundraiser this spring and I can't figure out how to swing our annual fall playday (I'll have a one month old by that time and I'm not sure I'll have my brain back to plan for a playday with a few week old). So what we need are people to plan and hold fundraisers. We had a gracious offer for a fundraiser from one of our guardian angels but I can't figure out how to make it work without having a fundraiser at the same time. I have a ton of ideas but can't seem to get anything set into motion (mostly because of baby brain). If others have ideas on how to help, I'd love to hear them and support them. I'm just not able to be of much help. I'm hoping that by October I'll have my brain back but I'll also have a one month old at that time so who knows.  But if you have an idea, and want to run with it, you have my blessing.

And the other thing I need... moral support. We are all in this for a reason. I'm no different than you.  People tell me they don't know how I do it. Simple. Someone has to, why not me/why not you. See a need, fill a need. Set into motion one little action and see how big that little ripple can get. I am but one person. You are but one person, but together we can accomplish anything. The moral support is very helpful. I know some can't offer funds, can't offer in-kind donations, but can offer moral support. And that sometimes, is exactly what I need to keep moving forward.

Easy Keeper Feed Sponsorship - $500

The Easy Keeper Feed Sponsorship covers the cost of hay for one horse. This hay is dairy quality. I've joked with our hay supplier that if they really wanted to go through all the paperwork, their hay could be certified, it's just that good.

We currently feed 3x3x8 square bales and assume one bale per horse per month. I can't remember the weight of these bales but I think they are about 900 pounds (don't quote me though). Each horse is fed a half a "sliver" in the morning and a half a "sliver" in the afternoon/evening.

We have always used the big square bales but next year we are going to try our hand at using round bales instead. The hay supplier doesn't care in what method we get our hay. And with two little ones running around, I'm opting to use round bales this year with cinch nets over them for the upcoming year. I have two cinch nets and will purchase another cinch net. We'll have two round bales in the big herd and one bale in the small herd (mare herd).

We do offset the easy keepers with alfalfa during the very cold polar vortex type weather. We avoid graining the easy keepers to ensure no one founders. We may give a few handfuls of sweet feed to some of the easy keepers that are moving more towards the hard keepers (Dude and Ivan).

We are very lucky to get the "good guy" discount with our hay. The only catch is that our hay supplier asks that we don't pay for our year of hay until the first of January and in most cases, we don't know the price of the hay until late winter/early spring of the next year because he's waiting to see if prices will drop. Our hay supplier is really looking out for us!

Hard Keeper Feed Sponsorship - $1,000

Hard Keeper Feed Sponsorship is reserved for Sanctuary horses who require additional feed other than the standard dairy quality hay.

We are blessed to have access to dairy quality hay, which greatly increases the overall health of our equines. We have had to buy non-dairy quality hay and can quickly see the difference in the horses. We'll try to keep with dairy quality hay as long as our supplier is able to come through for us.

What other feed do we provide to the hard keepers you might ask (please keep in mind that not everyone gets all of the feeds listed and the quantity differs for each hard keeper)?

Alfalfa - We supplement the dairy quality hay with alfalfa. We prefer to buy baled alfalfa rather than pelleted alfalfa but we may offset the baled alfalfa with a little bit of pelleted alfalfa depending on the quality of the alfalfa. The weather has played a factor in our hay over the years so if need be we'll supplement with pelleted alfalfa as well.

Senior feed - We supplement with senior feed. We prefer to stick with Nutrena senior but have and are willing to try other senior feeds to see if it helps an individual horse. We don't have a standard feeding schedule that all horses have to use. We individualize each feeding ration to make sure it meets the needs of each horse.

Safechoice original - We offset the senior feed with Safechoice original for additional proteins and fat to provide an overall balanced complete feed.

Sweet feed - We use this more as a filler and don't depend on it 100% to keep the weight on a horse.

Oats - We like using oats to help keep the  molasses from keeping the sweet feed from clumping. We also like to add it to the other grains. By using oats, it is easier to see if the horse is processing all of the grain or if the body is starting to fail and unable to process all of the grains. If they aren't processing the oats, we know they aren't processing the other grains as well.

Beet pulp - We use beet pulp on the very hard keepers (Bo and Junior). It's an acquired taste so we work up to it.

Calf manna - We keep this for the very hard keepers because we are afraid that it might cause ulcers. This feed is used sparingly and only as needed during the deep winters.

Calf manna weight booster - We use this powder on a few of the hard keepers but have to keep an eye on it to make sure the horse doesn't eat around it (it's another one of those acquired tastes).

Please remember that not every one of the hard keepers gets all of these feeds. It's a complete list of what we provide. We also provide Rabbit with an antihistamine for her heaves.

We also soak all grain to make it easy for them to eat (less grinding and wear on their teeth) and reduces the chance of choke.

If you would like to know specifically which horse has what type of grain ration/amount, please let me know and I'd be happy to show/tell you.

Help with Sponsorship

Thank you everyone that responded to my ranting blog yesterday for help. I needed the moral support! I'll try to answer in more detail what I was asked yesterday....what can people do.

I mentioned we need sponsors for the horses. I have been in a bit of a quandary to say because the cost usually scares people away. So Mike and I recrunched the numbers and we came up with a number that might be easier to swallow.

The numbers we came up with are based on feed ONLY, no other additional costs such as vet, farrier, general maintenance (i.e., dewormer, etc.). But the feed bill the biggest chunk of my stress. So here it goes.

We actually have TWO categories. We have the horses that are easy keepers and only require hay (and a little alfalfa during the super cold snaps) and we have the hard keepers that require constant grain throughout the winter and less grain during the summer months to maintain their weight, along with the standard hay and alfalfa. Again, this does NOT include any other costs to maintain the horse.

Easy Keeper Feed Sponsorship - $500
Hard Keeper Feed Sponsorship - $1,000

Sanctuary horse in the Easy Keeper Feed Sponsorship include:

  • Tommy
  • Skippy
  • Ivan
  • Dude
  • Mayhem
  • Chaos
  • Maverick






Sanctuary horses in the Hard Keeper Feed Sponsorship include
  • Junior
  • Bo
  • Jim
  • Brego
  • Rabbit