Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday

Lace and Mayhem with some of the outbuildings in the back ground

Our Wishlist Wednesday this week is for volunteers willing to scrape and paint outbuildings. We have at least three that need a new paint job.

In fact, one outbuilding all you have to do is look at it and the paint will fall off. Another all you have to do is sneeze and the paint falls off. And the last one will need a little bit of work but it won't take much to get down to bare wood.

Even a coat of primer will look nicer than what we have right now.

The barn, tack room, and garden house all need to be painted. The hay barn needs to be painted too but I'm looking into different siding first before tackling the painting job. The previous owner of the land ran cattle next to the hay barn and cattle are tough on everything, including buildings so we need to reassess the siding first before putting any time into painting.

But the other buildings desperately need to be painted. It took me two years to scrape and paint the garage (and without repairing the roof I'm seeing that the paint is already coming off...grrrr). But having one building with fresh paint makes the rest of the place look a little shabby (ok a lot shabby).

Even if you can't come out during the weekend to volunteer, I'll work my schedule so that we can get this task done no matter what.

So  who wants to get painting?!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Rabbit's Vet Appointment

Good news for Rabbit. The x-rays came back good. There is no rotation in the bones. In fact, the bones are all level as they should be. But as the vet said, her situation is "interesting". Not exactly what I want to hear from a vet.

So it's a combination of needing a bit more consistent trimming and vitamin E deficiency. Unfortunately the vitamin E supplement we had her on (Dumor Gold) isn't working so we are going to have to go back to what we bought from the vet.

There's also mention of a shot we can give her but I hate giving her shots and would rather look at supplements and better hoof maintenance (like every 4 weeks).

So, when people look at the horses at the Sanctuary, what they don't see are the "interesting" cases that we have. This is why we have who we have and we won't let them go because no one wants to deal with "interesting" cases.

We are looking for help in offsetting the cost of the vet bill (and the long-term supplement she will have to be on). Any help is greatly appreciated. Don't forget, we are a 501(c)3 non-profit now so your donations are tax deductible!!!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Bo and Chaos

Last night when I went out to do chores, I pulled Chaos out. He'd cut his leg last week and I'd been tending to it. But he reopened it this week when I put Lace in the other pen. I still haven't figured out how he cut himself. But reopening that cut has caused some problems. I thought last night that instead of applying some wound spray, I'd try to wrap it. Nope. That didn't go well. I think I used the last of my vet wrap. Guess  I know what I'll ask for on our Wishlist Wednesday...more vet wrap.

While I was messing around with Chaos, I decided to pull Bo out. Normally, I don't trust Bo. He's run before but with all the grass, I didn't think he'd go far. I was right. Bo kept me in his sights the entire time. It was a little weird.

The mosquitoes were out so I'd started doctoring Chaos in a pen but had to move back to the barn (with not as good light). Even with a breeze the mosquitoes are out. Once the horses eat down the lawn, the mosquitoes won't be so bad.

I tied Chaos up in the barn to let the medicine soak in and I went back out to play with Bo. He stayed fairly close while I was doctoring Chaos. I went in search of a curry comb and Bo got a little freaked out and went in search of the rest of the herd. But otherwise, he decided to stick fairly close to me.

It's weird. I don't ride him because he is such a hard keeper. So there's not a close bond just from always interacting and being riding partners. I don't mess with him when he's in the big herd because he's always on high-alert and WILL run me over if another horse tries to pick on him. He has terrible ground manners. But last night he followed me around and wanted to be near. It was like we had a super close bond. I dont' think it was a fluke either.

I think he knows what his fate would have been had we not went against the kill buyer to bring him home. I sometimes wonder when we are at auctions if I'm going against a kill buyer or a private buyer but it all goes too fast for me to figure it out (and the price is so low that it's hard to get a handle on who's bidding against you because there's very little time that he horse is in front of you or even having any bidding).  But for sure we were bidding against a kill buyer.

But last night was down right fun. If I could figure out how to put and keep weight on Bo, I'd turn him into one of my go-to riding horses because he's got that fire that I love to ride. He loses weight too quickly and gets too nervous in new situations so that'll never be the case. But maybe a short ride around the place once he's picked up a little bit more weight. Hard to say.

After getting rid of the rest of his winter coat, it was nice to see that maybe he doesn't look as shabby as I thought. He's definitely a keeper. I guess I'm just ready to see horse out on grass instead of standing in the dry lot.

Anyone want to come out and help?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wishlist Wednesday

We wish for a 100 gallon tank plug (or three). I have one somewhere but I lost it in the tack room (I hope). We have at least one 100 gallon tank that I can't fill with water because the plug is missing. But it's always a good thing to have one or two extra on hand so when one grows legs and walks away, I can grab another. Yes, I am that disorganized. Maybe the other wishlist wednesay idea would be someone organizing the track room and barn!
Sorry old photo of Babe our blind mare we lost a few years ago. But it's the only picture I have on this computer with a water tank!

This Tree

I love this tree. Every year is blooms beautiful pink flowers. You can see in the first picture in the lower right corner a brown patch. That's Bob. This tree was here when we moved in but we buried Bob by the tree and ever since then I've noticed that this tree blooms beautifully every spring. So I call it our Bob Tree.

Once again this spring, the Bob Tree didn't disappoint. Of course these are old pictures because I can't seem to find time to download real time pictures .

But I wanted to share. This year not only did we have our Bob Tree bloom but the lilac bush also is in full bloom.

I love spring. I used to grumble about late winter and spring with all the mud but then I read someone's comment. She was always in love with the land that she lived in. Her name was Esther Garvi. She would talk about the west African landscape. And that made me think about our South Dakota landscape. We are blessed with so many different colors. In late winter, there's usually no snow and the ground is a dingy brown but come spring, the grass is a lush green color and the earth is such a rich dark brown from being worked by the farmers. The little green shoots of corn add such an amazing accent of color (and gives me hope). We are blessed with different seasons to enjoy the diverse colors of nature.

I miss Esther's words of wisdom. She was killed in a car accident this past August. I never actually talked with her. I only followed her on Facebook and her blog. But her words set deep into my mind and heart about the land we are surrounded in. So today, as you drive to wherever you are going, take a second look at your surroundings and see the beauty in it.

Thank you Esther Garvi for having such long lasting effects on me. Even though you are gone, you are not forgotten (even from people who you never talked with). May you and everyone else, enjoy this day and find beauty in the simple things of life.

And So It Begins

That's begins. We are officially playing musical pens. Usually I start musical pens the first of May but everything has been pushed back because my time is so limited.

But I finally put Rabbit and Junior into the pasture yesterday morning. That left Mayhem by herself. She was not happy but she really does need to gain some confidence. She's always been with someone so we need to fix the whole herd bound issue.

Last evening I put Lace in with Mayhem. I wasn't sure how well that was going to go. When we first got Lace, she was hell bent to destroy anyone that came near her. When I put her in with Mayhem, she stood still for Mayhem to sniff her all over. I really hate introductions. They are so stressful (probably more so for me than anyone else). Mayhem was still on alert after being alone all day but you could visibly see that she was much calmer with someone else in the pen even if it was Lace (who tried to beat the tar out of her the last time we introduced each other). Lace ignored her this time around.

Lace was more interested in Dude and Chaos who were hanging on the fence. I forget what it's like to have a mare. Rabbit doesn't often go into heat and if she does, she doesn't show the signs of it. Mayhem hasn't really ever shown too many signs. Lace on the other hand was flaunting her stuff. I hope that after a year or so, she'll understand that she's not going to get any and there's no baby making allowed on the place.

But Lace settled down pretty quick too. I thought maybe she'd try and attack Mayhem but she actually seemed like a totally different horse when I put her in the pen. I knew she was low man on the totem pole at her previous home (which she was at for only two months) but she's been top dog ever since she got here. I had thought of putting her in with the geldings but if she's going to be strutting her stuff all the time, I'm not sure Chaos can handle it. And I thinks she'll be fairly low on the totem pole. With the ponies, she was definitely top horse (but then again Rabbit did the same thing when she was in with the ponies).

Chaos was hanging on the fence even after Dude lost interest (which was pretty quick). Maverick wanted to check out Lace too but wasn't interested in her other than to make friends. Everyone else didn't care and didn't bother rushing the fence like I thought they might.

Last week Chaos cut his leg. I'd been tending to hit and thought it was healing but he tore it back open yesterday messing around with Lace. Hopefully we can get it patched up quick. I'm afraid it's going to leave a scar now.   It didn't warrant a vet call the first time around but last night I wondered about calling the vet but I'm not sure that they would have been able to do anything now that it's been a week even though Chaos ripped it back open. Hopefully Chaos will settle down and the cut can start to re-heal.

I didn't put the ponies in with Lace because I wanted to give her a day to settle in with Mayhem. Skippy was unimpressed. I figured he would have been happy to be rid of her but he kept whinnying. Even Tommy was whinnying for her. Odd. But I will put them all in together tonight or first thing tomorrow morning. We are going to be doing a lot of running around in the next two weeks so this will help cut down on chores.

Rabbit and Junior were pretty content in their pasture but I didn't want them staying out all night (at least not on the first night). I know they've been on grass but I want to make sure that they didn't over eat. So I pulled them into the barn for the night. I was worried that Rabbit would get stocked up but she did ok. She's moving around a LOT better now than even a week ago. Maybe being on a pasture will help but I'm afraid if I don't get it checked out, it'll only get worse again.

Junior and Rabbit were ready to get out of the barn this morning. I may leave them out tonight but I'd rather have 12 hours on and 12 hours off but we'll see. Maybe after I get the big herd adjusted, I can come up with something.

My hope is that tonight or tomorrow morning I put the ponies in with Lace and Mayhem and then I can start pulling down corral panels so I can put them up in a different spot and get the big herd out. This morning Bo was hanging over the gate asking to be let out on grass. He DESPERATLEY needs to be on grass to pick up weight. I don't think I have enough corral panels to make it all work but I'll have to get crafty if I don't. There's two options for putting up corral panels. We'll see how it goes. If I leave some extra tall grass for Mayhem and Lace then maybe I will move corral panels around to a different way. It's all such a guessing game.

The days are getting way longer but I can't seem to take advantage of the extra time because I'm with the kids (not that I'm complaining just struggling to get everything done). Next month has the longest day of the year and I need to take advantage of it. Seems like once July hits, I'm thinking winter again. So I need to get really focused and get the herd out on pasture and then focus on getting stuff done so we can be ready for winter. Seems I'm always working through the summer and focusing on winter.

There's just so much to get done and so little time to get it all accomplished. I have some fundraiser ideas that I'd like to pursue but I need some help with that too. Anyone want to help? You don't even have to be close. I can put all my ideas on paper and we can converse through email. I just need another brain or two to bounce ideas off of. Otherwise I just listen to the voices in my head and they seem to be in constant contradiction these days.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Appointment Scheduled

Well, I called the vet this morning and have an appointment scheduled for next Tuesday. Normally I haul in to the vet (to help cut down on cost) and to free up time for the vet because we are so far away from them.

But Rabbit can't travel on all four legs soundly. And I'm not sure she can even hop in the trailer with how lame she currently is. I didn't actually speak with the vet but over the years, I've learned his technique. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

So I guess I'm preparing for the worst with Rabbit. Hopefully we can cure whatever it is but it's been months of lameness and she's not coming out of it and it's only getting worse. So we'll see what the vet says and go from there. Fingers crossed it's not something life threatening.

We could sure use the help in covering costs for Rabbit's vet appointment. For sure there will be x-rays and a farm call fee. Any little bit helps.

Rabbit Still Lame

I have to call the vet later this morning. Rabbit is dead lame...again.

I had the vet out late winter (February-ish) and he said she needed a good trim and a vitamin E supplement. I've had her on a supplement but that's not what's causing her the pain. She can barely put any weight on her right front foot. It's not navicular. Yes, she probably needs a trim but at this point, she won't really let you mess with that foot. I havent' done my research yet to make a general guess on what it is but I have a feeling I might know what it is. It is not an abscess. Abscesses don't last for months. Well, maybe they do but it's been nine months. She'd get better and then get worse so I have no idea what is going on.

But I'll have to have the vet come out. She can't travel. She's still weak in the backend and the front is only good on one leg. I'm sure the back end is compensating for her front and that was never strong to begin with.

I wish I would have been able to get out there and give her a massage every night but I was lucky to get out and get them fed. Some nights she did miss her medicine but I don't think the switch from the powder to the pellets was good. The supplement she's on right now doesn't seem to be doing the trick. So I don't really know what is going on. She's got the vitamin E deficiency still because she still hurts when you touch her but that doesn't have anything to do with her foot. She wants to stand on her tip toe when she does take a step.

So, I'm going to go do some research and then make an appointment. I hope that my guess isnt' really what's going on. But I'm guessing we'll be doing some x-rays to see for sure. Keep your fingers crossed. Anyone want to donate to her vet bill?

Musical Pens

So, it seems like I don't get much time to post much these days. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed lately and can't seem to figure out how to get everything done without burning the candle at both ends. I'm still trying to figure out how to juggle the paying job, caring for the horses, taking care of kids, and getting stuff done around the house. That doesn't leave any time for anything else, like trying to get something on the calendar for a fundraiser or doing research to help us cover costs for the horses. It's starting to really stress me out. Now that we are non-profit, I want to continue that momentum but it seems like we are slipping into a slump of some sort. It's summer, well, not really but there's no priorities are changing and things aren't getting done like I'd hoped.

It's the middle of May and normally I've had the big herd out on grass for two weeks. They haven't had a sliver of grass yet. Junior, Mayhem, and Rabbit have been out mostly because Junior NEEDS to be on grass and their pen was a muddy mess and Rabbit is a hurting unit. I'm trying to figure out how to get the big herd out on the lawn. I have to use corral panels for two reasons 1) Kids. Can't have electric up when there's little kids around and 2) the electric fencer is dead and its' going to cost $300 to replace it (which I don't have).

I think I have everything figured out of I play musical pens. I am going to move  Junior and Rabbit to the pasture that wraps around the drylot to the east. Mayhem isn't adjusted to grass like I want her to. At least not yet. She's been on grass but not to the point where she wouldn't get sick. I'll have to pull Junior and Rabbit at night and stall them in the barn.

That means I can put the ponies and Lace in with Mayhem (much to Mayhem's dismay). There's a round bale they can work on. Not sure if it'll last another month or not. I'm guessing not. But with Lace and the ponies out of their pen, I can pull the corral panels down and use that for the big herd. If Lace gets too nasty, I can put her in a small pen by the barn and keep her all by herself. I think she's angry because she's food aggressive. When the big herd has transitioned to grass and I can put them out on the big pasture (after I divide it), I'll work on getting Lace and Mayhem used to grass. Then I will put Lace in with the big herd and pull King out. King will have to go somewhere else when the big herd goes out to pasture. It's not because he can't handle grass. He blows through electric and I can't afford to have the herd going through electric. As it is, I'll have to figure out a way to get an electric fencer going and keep it on all the time. All. The. Time. But I am not going to tolerate him or risk them taking down the fence. If I do it right, I can rotate and have just enough pasture.

After memorial weekend, I'll haul Junior and Brego up to mom and dad's for a little while. They seem to do well together and do really well on their grass. Hopefully that'll fatten them up. It'll also take just a little bit of pressure off the pastures. I really want to not be feeding hay.

Hay costs money and we are pretty limited right now. Extra bills piled up and I'm trying to get them covered. And we'll have an extra bill due to Rabbit. I'll write about that in another post. So this week is going to be busy and hopefully I can start getting the herd out on grass (and get some good pictures and finally post something other than last summer's pictures....because that's all I have!)

Anyone want to help me put up corral panels? I could really use the help. What people don't tell you when they have a c-section is that you lose feeling from the incision to your belly button. The feeling will come back but not right away. Apparently for me, the feeling comes back after eight and a half months. I was moving some corral panels yesterday and I hurt something. The panels are light but I somehow hurt something right along the incision line. Add to that the feeling coming back, I'm moving a bit slow these days. I guess everything will get done, it'll just take longer.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: To last August when the pasture was drying up but the skies were clear and the temps were warm.

Although I have to admit, I prefer the green of May to the green of August.

What do you think the caption should be?

I like big butts!

It's the typical view I get.

Wishlist Wednesday

Our Wishlist Wednesday (on a Thursday because I ran out of time) is for a hose reel (or whatever they are called). With over 300 feet of hose needed to fill the far tanks, it would be nice to have the hoses all tucked up and tidy instead of constantly lying about. I'm usually pretty careful about at least putting the connectors up where we can see them but on occasion they do get driven over. With hoses being in short supply at the Sanctuary, I'd like to keep them a bit more protected. And it would make the place look nicer. We might be hicks but we aren't slobs. :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Happy Birthday Jett!

Time really flies!!

Happy Birthday Jett!! I can't believe it's been five years already. You've grown to be a very stunning gelding and have come a long way. That education is thanks to your adopter who's put a lot of time and training into you.

Hard to believe you were such a peanut that I could pick up.

Don't work your momma over too much Jett! She deserves a huge bouquet of flowers for all your orneriness.

Happy Fifth Birthday Jett

Friday, May 6, 2016

That'll Teach Me

Ever since we started using round bales, I've been using hay nets. I've learned that even with a hay net, you  need to use a hay ring. We'd purchased an old hay ring that was a bit dilapidated (ok, a lot). But for $25, you're not going to say no. Well, there's a learning curve to putting bales in a round bale feeder and one that isn't all that strong can't take too many hits or bales dropping on them before they are more of a suggestion rather than the real deal.  So least to say the hay ring for the  mares and Junior is more of a suggestion rather than the real deal.

I am still learning the art of putting hay  nets on and keeping them secured. The mares have the ability to pop the darn hay nets off. Usually it's not a big deal and I can either get them back on or let them go because it's not that big of a deal.

We had rain all of last week. And lots of it. It was almost knee deep around the hay ring. In that time, they also decided to take the hay net off. I hadn't been able to find it for two or three days. But we needed to put hay in last night after getting our hopefully last load of hay. So I knew I had to look for it.

I found it. Buried. Luckily it wasn't buried too deep but it was buried with some of the hay still in it, in more than ankle deep mud. The other portion of it was still in the hay ring but Mayhem had taken to standing in the hay ring to get out of the  mud so she'd compacted everything down even farther.

It took a bit to get the net out of the mud. Least to say, that'll be the last time that I let a hay net get buried in the mud. Or what we'll call mud. It's a good thing I hadn't eaten before going out. I gagged a few times. I had no idea that the mud was that bad. I dont' really like using hay rings because they stand around it all the time and churn up the earth around it, and when it rains, it gets deep. It's one disadvantage to a round bale and with the amount of rain we got, that didnt' help either.

So after dragging the hay net to dry ground, I had to get the hose out and hose down the mud and muck. Because there's no way they would eat the new bale without having a clean hay net on it. Let me just say, a dry hay net is heavy. A water logged hay net is almost impossible to throw on a bale.

But that'll teach me not to go out right away and either re-securing the hay  net or simply pull it off the next time a horse pulls the net off a hay bale and starts standing on it.


Rabbit and Mayhem
I know the pics are from this January, but wanted to post pictures of the culprits for my hay net incident.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Throwback Thursday

this week's Throwback Thursday is to our first load of round bales. We just received our last load of round bales last night. We had ordered by the ton so the last load of hay was unplanned but very much needed to get us through until we can get horses out on pasture (and to keep some on ponies).

With the extra load, we need help covering the cost of hay. Anyone want to help? Even $5 helps in putting a dent into the hay bill.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Evacuation Plan

I was just reading about the wildfire that overtook Fort McMurray in Canada. Our hearts go out to all those affected by this devastation. I cannot, and hope to never, fathom such an ordeal.

But it makes me think. If we were to evacuate, how could we? I've been tossing around the idea of selling the 6-horse trailer and use something a little bit more practical. There's only me and I'm usually only hauling one or two horses so there's no need for a 6-horse. But then I think about an evacuation. The 6-horse would move a lot of the Sanctuary pretty quick. It may hold 6 but I can always toss the ponies in somewhere so it would turn into 8 and then we have our trusty stock trailer that holds 4. If you count the ponies, that leaves only 4 left behind. We have another stock trailer so that would alleviate that issue (if we were to keep that trailer and that's not the plan). But I've been trying to figure out an emergency plan if we were to need one. There's phone numbers and people to call in an emergency but we like to be self sufficient (and I know we can't if we want to continue to grow).

So, do you have an emergency evacuation plan?

Wishlist Wednesday

Our Wishlist Wednesday wish is for brushes, any kind, any size, any shape, any color. But brushes are desperately needed.

Do you know how hard it is to get a white horse clean? One word...impossible.

At one point, I had bought a bunch of brushes when Rain had sarcoids and I thought it was spreading. I'd wanted to make sure that everyone had their own brush so that no one spread anything. Well, in the chaos that is life at the Sanctuary, those brushes all disappeared and we are left with one or two and some days I can't even find those.

So, we are looking for body brushes/dandy brushes, face brushes, curry combs, hoof picks, rubber scrubber thingies, shedding blades, etc. You name it, we need it.

Monday, May 2, 2016

10 Years and Exciting News

May marks 10 years of doing rescue/sanctuary work. I knew for years that I wanted to do rescue work and finally in May 2006 we took in our first rescue. He was an unhandled (he was friendly and had been touched but wasn't halter broke) yearling stud out of registered stock but couldn't be registered (isn't that the story on so many?).  He came to us free. And we took him sight unseen not knowing anything. That was Memorial Weekend, 2006.

Fast forward 10 years and numerous horses, and here we are today, May 2016. The icing on the cake....we are OFFICIALLY 501(c)3 non-profit as of April 2016 (and we still have the horse that started it all).

The horse who started it all....Chaos (pic from a few years ago)

We've changed our focus and direction in those 10 years to focus on the senior horses instead of any horse in need. We want to be the small niche for these senior horses because we see value in the wisdom that they bring. We understand and appreciate their crankiness and temperamental nature. We do still have a few "young 'uns" but we made promise and will allow them to grow old at the Sanctuary.

I would like to celebrate our 10 years and our 501(c)3 status. I haven't come up with any final plans and am looking for some suggestions (and volunteers).

So, who's with me in celebrating with us?