Friday, June 30, 2017

Keeping Up with the Times

When I graduated college, I said I didn't want to fall behind in technology (and become a dinosaur). Well, I'm afraid I have fallen behind. Two years ago, I was happy to simply take pictures and post them online with my phone (albeit that didn't work very well because my phone never liked me). Fast forward two years and people are doing videos and such all the time.

Luckily today, I enter the 21st century! I have a new phone! So hopefully I can keep up with the times and have you more up-to-date with all of our activities at the Sanctuary. Don't worry, I'll still keep up with the blog but hopefully we'll have more content to discuss rather than my ramblings about nonsense.

I would love to know if there's something in particular that you'd like to see or know about. Our followers are still a small number and I'd like to grow that number so if I can provide you with more information and get more people interested, the better it is for not only our current residents but any future residents that will be coming in (no that's not a hint, everything is on hold as we are full even with Rabbit's passing).

So...send me your questions and your requests and I'll see what I can do. I'm excited to share!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

What's Wrong With Bo

I'm still asking What's Wrong with Bo! I called the vet today to see if they had any ideas. It may be a case of running a few tests to see what's going on. A fellow rescuer mentioned he might have cushings. I sure hope not. I was sort of turning a blind eye to it but I can't any more.

But I'm not sure that cushings makes entire patches of hair fall out. It's not ringworm because it's all over his body and not round. It's just odd. I know he's not feeling 100%.

I put him back into the big herd but I want to put him into a smaller pasture so he can get some relief from being pushed around. Zeke has taken up staying close to him so that's a definite sign that something is wrong. He's been splitting his time between Lightening and Bo but now it's all Bo. So I'm guessing they know there's something wrong.

I want to give Bo a medicated bath and then clip him but the weather hasnt' cooperated (nor as the time or mosquitoes). Does anyone local want to come out and help bathe Bo and/or help me clip him? I know I have a clippers somewhere. It's a matter of finding it I'm so disorganized around here!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


I hate when the weatherman says we'll have severe storms with hail. The worry kicks in when I hear hail. There's just too much outside to have hail. I don't think we had any hail last night. If we did, I apparently slept through it. I did wake up to a downpour but was too tired to investigate. I think I'm exhausted and just played out this week already.

I did put Bo and Zeke into the barn last night because they were talking hail. Bo is getting pushed out of the herd more and more and I KNEW he wouldn't be able to get into the shed if we did have hail. He's still got some major health issues working against him. I need to make time for a vet appointment but the funds and time are lacking as of late. Bo was more than happy to go into the barn and he munched on hay most of the night while Zeke just stood around. Zeke is fat. Not that he couldn't eat but I think he turned his nose up at the hay!

When I woke up this morning and went out to do chores, I noticed we'd gotten a considerable amount of rain. We don't have a rain gauge so it's hard to tell how much we actually got but based on the water sitting in the fields, we got a lot!

No one seemed all that interested to head out to the pasture this morning. Odd because yesterday morning, Dude almost ran me over. They all decided to hang out in the mudlot drylot rather than head out to the pasture.

When I got back up to the house, I noticed that even my flower pots were holding water!! And when I drove in to the paying job, the driveway and gravel roads had some serious washouts where the water ran. So that's my indication that we got a LOT of rain. I'm not complaining. We need rain and so does the hay ground where our hay is located!

Otherwise it was a quiet night. We have some exciting news coming but don't want to announce until after the holiday. I'm trying to scramble and figure out how to get everything together for our family outings over the holiday. So, juggling the sanctuary, paying job, drill team, and extended family stuff. It gets a bit overwhelming at times but I guess that's life. I'm just hoping I can find another pair of jeans. I seem to have lost ALL of my clothes over the past month. I had enough clothes to get me through the week and now I don't even have that and I KNOW they are clean because I'm washing clothes every week but I think they've all disappeared. So the mystery continues, at least for a little while longer until I can find the time to do some investigating.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Looking Back at Jett

For some odd reason, I decided to look back at the blog from a few years ago and went to June of 2011 (figured why not look and see what we were doing this time that many years ago).

And look who's face I saw:

That little bugger has really grown into a stellar gelding.

Jett is now doing drill team performances AND mounted shooting. He's sure come along way!

This is Jett all grown up (picture is from this summer!)

Summer Solstice

As most know, summer solstice was last Wednesday. Meaning, the longest day of the year has come and gone.

Insert panic.

I'm sure you're wondering, what am I talking about? It's the official beginning to summer (even though our summers start after Memorial Weekend). How can I be in a panic when we are now into summer and the days are filled with sunshine and warm breezes and all that jazz?!?!

Sorry - stole the pic from somewhere else.. it's not mine

But now with the days getting shorter, even if it's only by a minute a day, it means I'm losing time. There's so much that I HAVE to get done before winter sets in. If I don't, well, it won't get done. And for some, you're thinking...who cares?!

But those projects that don't get done in the summer cause me headaches in the winter. I went out the other day to spray and I was disappointed when I didn't see any of the leaves wilting or dying off. All that time, effort, and money put into spraying and nothing. But I looked today and at least the burdock is dying off! That means less cockleburs to pull, less matted manes and tails, less frustration for me!!! It means I'm winning the battle, even if right now I'm losing the war.

But there's so much that needs to be done before winter sets in. I hate to think that I spend my entire summer planning for winter but with old horses, I sort of do. There's repairs to be made to buildings, painting to be done before everything freezes, there's fencing to be done before the ground freezes. There's all kinds of stuff.

So now that everyone is enjoying summer solstice and summer in general, I'm in panic mode. Anyone want to help?!

Cross to Bare

I was feeling sorry for myself last night and this morning. I'm trying to sell my big trailer and discovered a lot of work that needs to be done before I can even consider putting it back on the market. I was bummed and feeling sorry for myself over that and a few other things. But then I was chatting with a coworker this morning and he mentioned a couple of things (while talking horses). And he reminded me that we all have a cross to bare. BAM!

Those were the words I needed to hear. So I'm climbing off my pity training and getting back to work!

I sometimes get wrapped up in my own world, that I forget that we all have our own issues to deal with. So today, even if you're a little grumpy (like I was coming in to work), remember that maybe someone else has it a little rougher today and could really use the pep talk. It definitely helped me.

Monday, June 26, 2017

What A Weekend

Oofta, what a weekend! I'm beat. Guess being at the paying job will be my way to recover from this weekend!

Friday afternoon I loaded up and hauled Rain to the Irene Rodeo (see the previous post for some pictures of Rain at the rodeo). Rain and I got home after performing around 9pm and we both crashed.

Saturday morning I ran up to Gentle Spirits Horse Rescue as they had a large donation of beet pulp and offered us a few bags, along with some donated shampoos and medications. Any little bit helps so we happily loaded the donations into the truck for our Sanctuary horses.

Then it was time to hook up the trailer and head back to Irene. I had thought about taking Lightening but I didn't want to have to worry about Lightening being tied to the trailer so I opted not to haul him (but left the halter on).

I have video of the herd but haven't posted on Facebook. I'm still technologically stupid so I can't figure out the live streaming on Facebook so instead you'll have to wait a day or two to see my video from Saturday night (or was that Friday night.. it's all a blur).

Rain and I got home Saturday night before the sun set and I realized when the herd came up that I better pull Lightening's halter. I'd left it on thinking it would be easier to catch him for Sunday's trail ride (you can see it in the video). But I've seen too many bad pictures of horses with halters left on so I opted to take it off. Except Lightening wouldn't let me catch him. Rain was thankfully still tied out to the trailer enjoying some grass so he wasn't forced to run around like the others when Lightening tried to avoid me. All I wanted was to pull the halter but he wouldn't let me.

20 minutes later, and I had the halter off and Lightening was in a different pen! I figured he could stay in a different pen if he was going to be a pill to catch. I don't like playing those games. The only problem with putting Lightening in a smaller pen without anyone is that he weaves. He weaves if he's in a small pen/stall and even if he has room, he'll still weave unless he has his buddy. But he did fine and settled down over the night and we loaded up bright and early Sunday morning for the Saddle Club trail ride. And let me just say, it's so much fun to load him. I've been struggling loading him ever since I bought him. He's only a handful of horses I know who will load through the escape door in a trailer rather than the big door on the trailer! I'm in charge of the saddle club as well so figured I'd better go on the trail ride...and it gave me a chance to ride Lightening on a trail ride.

It was great talking with other horse people and simply enjoying the beautiful scenery. Newton Hills State Park is gorgeous. I am not anxious for fall but riding at Newton Hills in the fall is almost better because there's so much color. So, not anxious for fall but looking forward to more riding.

For not really riding Lightening, he did great. But I was a wreck because I didn't know what he was going to do the entire time.

That's Lightening (the bay) carrying my fat butt...don't critique my riding please. I was happy to simply stay on! (not that he didn't anything but I'm always nervous when around new horses and riding single file)

So after two days of rodeo performances (stressful in itself) and then a not-so-relaxing trail ride (only because I don't know Lightening), I'm pooped.

But if rumor has it right, Skippy was supposed to leave yesterday or today to go on some travels. His travels might have been delayed by a day or two but check out our Facebook page (or check back here) to see if Skippy gets to go anywhere fun this month!

Rain the Pro Drill Team Horse

What a weekend! Definitely jam packed with horses! So this post is going to be all about Rain! He did awesome. I know I've talked about him before but not a lot.

So late winter, we decided to put Rain into the Sanctuary. He has been my personal horse for many years. We have dealt with a number of health concerns and issues over the years after he fell sick. He's my "delicate flower" out of the herd and I have to watch him closely during the winter and summer to make sure he stays warm and cool. You can hear a little bit more about Rain in the video on our Facebook page.

But Rain is close to reaching many of our requirements for coming into the Sanctuary. So we decided to go ahead and make life easier on everyone by putting him into the program. But now he's stepping out of semi-retirement this year to be my drill team horse as Lightening needs a bit more experience and exposure to all things rodeo. He's a good spokeshorse for the Sanctuary!

I was worried that this weekend would be hot and with heat, I worry about Rain and riding him. But it was gorgeous weather, downright chilly at times. Rain loaded up both Friday and Saturday afternoon to head to the Irene Rodeo and he did great. He is out of shape, but who isn't after being pulled out of semi-retirement to run through fast, sharp patterns and routines with horses that he's unfamiliar with (and are younger than him!). He's an amazing horse. I didn't always think so but we've come a long way in these past thirteen years.

Rain certainly doesn't look like he's 19 years old but he is. We've had him since he was six and we've worked through a few training quirks but mostly it's been his health that has always been our main concern. He's a bit hard to describe as he's not a typical Arabian. I'm sure he's crossed with something but he's for sure an Arabian.

He's stoic in his manners and won't take any gruff from Chaos but he does get pushed around from Lightening. It's odd how the pecking order works at the Sanctuary. Only Dude is free of being harassed by any other horse as he's top dog at the Sanctuary.

Rain loaded up like a breeze both Friday and Saturday and stood at the trailer while we got everything ready, even with 20mph wind and gusts even stronger. He performed beautifully. I'll have to try and download a video of the routine we did this year for those that might need a visual on what we do in drill team.

Sadly, Rain is the short one in the middle! Of course the appaloosa and QH he's standing in between are rather large horses! But he holds his own with these fellow ladies and their horses! This pictures if from our Estelline Rodeo performance (June 16 and 17). We won best equestrian at the parade. Yes, Rain does parades as well!

And this is the drill team doing the pinwheel at the Irene Rodeo (June 23 and 24). It's the one move that Rain and I struggle with but we're getting the hang of it. We have one more performance for sure scheduled and another as a possibility but still waiting to hear back. I think Rain did fantastic coming out of semi-retirement to learn the routine in only a few short practices. He's a sharp one. Now if only I could get Lightening going as my new drill team horse so Rain could go back to semi-retirement!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Itchy Skippy

I was going to mention this in the last post but I forgot.

Skippy has a weird skin problem. He's had it for years. I've tried treating with antihistamines, calamine lotion, nitrofurizone, you name it, I've tried it. Well, not everything I guess.

I was in TSC last week and was looking at the ointments, creams, lineaments, etc. I want to try using lineaments on Rain after a performance but with it being so chilly, that's a no can do. But maybe when we get super hot weather, I may try it on those that are a bit stiff and achy (Jim, Dude, Brego).

I happened to see the Fung-A-Way. I'd looked at it before but never considered buying it. Well, I read a little more about it and figured it was worth a shot on Skippy. He itches so much that he rubs all the hair off and then rubs his skin raw. He gets these weird bumps after he rubs the skin raw but then with his constant rubbing, he rubs the bumps off and he has open sores. So them I'm treating him for sores as well as itches. It's a terrible problem he's been dealing with.

I treated him last night with the Fung-A-Way but he wasn't too thrilled with it. He drug me around the pen when I started spraying him but I think he was more upset about the spray rather than if it stung or burned. I didn't notice him rubbing on anything afterwards but I think he was so ticked off at me that he didn't think about the itchies.

I'm hoping that it works. I'll try spraying him down where he's rubbing again tonight. The directions say to continue until the hair starts to grow back. That might take some time but if it helps with his itchies, I'll do it!

Anyone want to help cover the cost of the Fung-A-Way? I bought a 16oz bottle at Tractor Supply for $8 to see if it would work. I have high hopes that it will work but we'll be going through a lot of bottles if it does. We could sure use the help in covering the cost to keep Skippy comfortable all summer.

You can paypal us at or call in to the Sioux Falls Tractor Supply Company if that would make it easier.


What is going on around here?!?!

The beginning of June we saw some extremely high temps. It felt more like July rather than early June. We were talking mid 90s, which isn't normal for early June. I was worried because the change in temps had been so drastic. We'd gone from 60s to 80s and 90s in a matter of a day or two.

This morning I woke to a chilly breeze blowing through the house and I froze when I let the horses out to pasture.  I am not used to this temperature change. It was only in the upper 50s (I wasn't properly dressed for chores). I know I shouldn't complain but it's hard on a body, any type of body. The high today is right at 70 degrees and tomorrow, the high is supposed to be 68. I'm not complaining because Rain has to perform at the Irene Rodeo tonight and tomorrow night. I was petrified that it would be stinky hot and he'd get sick. I am no longer worried about him getting too hot. Now I'm a little worried he'll get chilled on the way to the rodeo grounds. Go figure.

We're supposed to get a warm up early next week so I guess I should just chalk it up to normal South Dakota weather. I remember blanketing a couple of older horses (Queen if I remember correctly) during a rainstorm in July. She'd gotten chilled and couldn't get warm again. Odd to have to blanket a horse in July...but it has been done.

Yesterday evening was still when I went out to do chores. I decided I'd take advantage of the stillness and do a little bit of spraying. It's a never ending job and I'm afraid I'm so far behind, I'm not sure that spraying will do any good. But I have to try.

I sprayed the drylot to get rid of the cocklebur plants. It's not technically burdock as these cockleburs are the sharp, painful kind that don't rip apart when you try to pull them out. Instead they stab you. Normally we disk them under but it rained a few days ago so the drylot is a bog and typically when we finally get around to disking them under, they already have seeds on them so we aren't doing myself any favors. My hope was that if I sprayed, then we wouldn't have to disk...and disking only really sends them back into the ground to regrow. So I'm hoping I fixed it. But when I went out this morning. Nothing looked sickly.

I also wandered out to the pasture to try getting some of the thistles out there. I didn't have enough to really do much damage but something is better than nothing these days. I'm anxious to see if the spray did any damage. We are getting over run by thistles and it would be lovely to get rid of even half of them. My goal this year and next is to get rid of thistles. The first year of a thistle is the rosette stage and the second year is when they bloom. So if I can tackle the rosette stage, maybe I can go after the older thistles after that. Wishful thinking really. I'm just spraying whatever is in reach of my spray wand. But I'm again going by the theory that anything is better than nothing these days.

I did notice that stuff I sprayed in the older pasture where Lace and Junior were is coming back. So I'm going to have to go after that with a bit stronger weed killer. I don't have time to go back and respray the stuff I already sprayed but I guess that's just how this game is going to be played. Just call me Weed Killer.

I let the ponies and Mayhem out this morning and Mayhem must have had a burr up her patooty because she just kept running everywhere. I'd let the big herd out into their part of the pasture and then the ponies and Mayhem. I guess Mayhem is tired of being with the ponies. I don't blame her but I need to figure out a better system. Once the ponies and Mayhem have the lawn eaten down, I'll throw Mayhem into the remaining small pasture (next to the road). I'm debating on who to put in with her. She hates Bo but I think that would be the better bet. Although I'm not keen on having Bo next to the road. He looks so rough right now. I'm trying to figure out how to extend all of my pastures. With the heat we had earlier this month and from conversations with my hay guy, I was worried that we would be going into a drought and wouldn't have enough feed. There's still that possibility so we'll see. But I'd rather be prepared. In other years, I simply stuck my head in the sand and pretended that nothing was happening. I can't do that any more. So I'm playing pasture rotation by ear these days. I have one last place on the Sanctuary land that I could use as a last resort. I'd been vetoed before on using it but if it does come down to having a pasture or feeding hay, I'll use it.

We've got wind this morning. About the time I sent the kids off to daycare (working from home this morning at the paying job before taking the afternoon off to get ready for the Irene Rodeo), the wind picked up. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing or if it's just a thing. I'm hoping the wind will go down before I have to leave and if not before I leave, at least before the performance. I'd rather not eat dirt....and now the wind picked up even more....oh goodie

I'm betting I'll not have anything more to post until Monday. This weekend is packed with horse stuff. Non-sanctuary horse stuff but at least it's horse stuff. Performing with the Dakota Thunder Mounted Drill Team tonight and tomorrow night at the Irene Rodeo and then the Minnehaha County Saddle Club Potluck Trail Ride on Sunday. And I sort of have to be at that ride. I've skipped all of last year's rides but this year I need to get Lightening going..and I'm in charge of the saddle cl ub. I think Lightening was used only as a trail horse. If I don't use him, I'll use Maverick or Chaos. They both need some saddle time too. Not enough time to get everyone exercised and keep their minds entertained (and keep them out of trouble). Hopefully we can come up with more ride dates for the saddle club. I've been struggling to get participation up the last couple of years, especially this year. So I guess it'll be a wait and see kind of thing.

But for now, I'm going to go find a sweatshirt because I'm freezing!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Meet Penny

I've been meaning to talk about this topic for quite some time. It's sort of a touchy subject for me so I waited for the longest time and now almost a year later, time keeps slipping away. I have better pictures but I keep thinking I'll get them and post and never do (again the whole Road to Hell is paved with good intentions kind of thing).

So I guess I'll just talk about it with only one picture.

So this Friday will mark the one year anniversary that we lost our English Shepherd, Gypsy. Not more than a week or two after that we acquired Penny, a red heeler.

We had adopted Gypsy from the Sioux Falls Humane Society when my beloved foster failure, Leroy passed away. He hadn't been with us for very long but he had claimed me so what could I do. I had wanted another big outside dog, and Gypsy fit the bill. She'd been a handful for a number of years until the last one or two. I had thought that I should start putting out feelers for another big outside dog at some point because both Gypsy and Farley were getting up there in age. Farley is 13 and will turn 14 in November.

A year ago this Friday, there was a terrible accident. I have no idea how it happened but Gypsy hurt herself horribly. She didn't tell us she was hurt. You see, she was a fuzz ball. So much fur, it was hard to know that she had managed to do serious damage to her and it went unattended. When we discovered that she was injured, it was too late. I'll never forgive myself. She died in front of my eyes. It wasn't the way she should have gone. I take full responsibility for not noticing her injuries until too late. I run through all the what-ifs and scenarios and how she could have done so much damage and we could have been so oblivious to it all. Just the thought of it makes me sick.

We buried Gypsy out back. This weekend for the past two years has been extremely tough for me. Last year we lost Gypsy to that terrible accident and the year before, we lost Trouble. She had had a stroke sometime Friday between the time I left for the Irene rodeo and the time I got back. We had to take her in that Saturday and say goodbye. I was even more heartsick over Trouble but only because she had been with us for so long. I knew the time was coming but with Gypsy it was a shock.

When I mentioned that we were in need of a new outside dog to keep Farley company (last time Farley got severely depressed), Penny arrived in short order. A friend of mine was looking to rehome Penny and she's been a blessing ever since.

Before we started the Sanctuary, we fostered for a small dog rescue. We had dogs come and go each month and they all had their quirks. I was expecting these quirks but Penny didn't have any. Her only pitfalls....licking faces and jumping. Both of which we can easily manage (not running off or anything else along those lines).

Penny loves the horses. She would prefer to heel them but she'll come up to them and say hello (at least to those that want to say hello). She's still so very young and inquisitive. She took a liking to me and my daughter instantly. I'm her dog when Leila isnt' around but when Leila is around, Penny is hers and only hers.

Even though I'm saddened that we lost Gypsy, I think Penny is an angel in disguise. She's not very protective of me but I think she's what keeps Farley going. Her heeling Farley will probably be what ends him. An almost 14 year old shouldn't be heeled if he has bad hips. Although I think Farley would rather turn into a house dog now that he's older. He's discovered the AC (I'm trying to spoil him in his old age). And I can't get him out of the house once he's in.

So I know I didn't ever really introduce Penny like I had wanted. But she'll have been here at the Sanctuary for a year at the end of the month. It saddens me that we lost Gypsy but it did give us the opportunity to meet Penny. I know some don't believe in God and I don't normally talk about it but I do think in a mysterious way, Gypsy sent Penny to us. If it was Gypsy's doing or God's doing or whatever. It just seemed like more than fate. To some it would simply be a coincidence.

Penny is a loyal dog and I'm sure glad she calls the Sanctuary home.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Listening to Rain on the Roof

I woke this morning to the sound of thunder and rain. It's a nice sound as long as you know everything is tucked away. I had to run through everything in my head at 4:30am to make sure I'd done just that. It had been a long night last night so I didn't get home until 11pm (at a training clinic) and I couldn't really remember if/what I'd left out.

I did fall back to sleep after I shut all the windows in the house and realized everything outside would either be fine or soaked. Of course, the alarm came all too fast but I still hit snooze, listening to the storms roll through. No point in going out to let the herds out in pouring rain.

Of course, I waited too long. Snooze one extra time sent me out during cloudy skies but forced me to leave for the paying job in a downpour. I think we've gotten quite a bit of rain during these storms based on the runoff in the pens and just walking out to the barns. I'm happy that we're getting the rain. Hopefully it'll help the hay crops and I won't have to worry as much about prices.

I caught a glance of something tan this morning but wasn't 100% sure I'd seen what I'd seen (sometimes my eyes play tricks on me). Nope, I was right, it was a deer. She'd come into the yard but with the corral panels up for the ponies and Mayhem, I didn't think she'd be able to clear the 5 or 6 foot corral panels. She cleared them with just a tick of her back hoof. I didn't see her again when I went to let the ponies out but I'm sure she went through the other fence, rather than the corral panels. Amazing to see them jump that high.

I still haven't posted the Monday Meet and Greet videos I had planned to post on Monday (and it's now Wednesday!!) I'd attended a clinic to help me improve my riding (and to get Lightening in the trailer) and it lasted after the sun set. So no chance of getting anything done for the Sanctuary. I don't expect to get anything else done this week before I'm gone all weekend for the Irene Rodeo and Saddle Club trail ride. I guess that's the problem with being involved in too many activities!

So we'll see if I have anything more to chat about later. But it was nice to wake up to rain. It did made it difficult to roll out of bed though. This is 100% sleeping weather and after a late night, I'm ready for a couple hour nap!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Paving a Road

I had a half an hour last night to bust my butt and get corral panels up for the ponies and Mayhem. Nothing like having 30 minutes to get a fairly time consuming project done. But I got it done before it got to be pitch black and the mosquitoes carried me away. For some reason, it took that long to fill the water tank as well. So either it normally takes that long to fill the tank and I didn't realize it, or there was a water pressure issue.

Either way, I was able to let the ponies and Mayhem out this morning after I let the big herd out. I figured there would be a lot more running, jumping, and farting but not really. At least not at first. I wish I would have had my phone because it's so much fun to watch those three race around and see the pure joy in their faces.

So now I have everyone on pasture and it feels great! I'm still struggling to pay for last year's hay, let alone save up for this year's hay. This year's hay is going to be way more expensive and our fundraising capabilities have been cut in half because of time and lack of help. It's going to be a struggle and we'll be pinching pennies like we always do but this time  I'll be rubbing pennies together to see if I can't make another penny pop out. It's just because there's been some additional bills and absolutely no fundraising except for the Light the Night fundraiser. Even a little bit of fundraising seems to help ease the pain and there hasnt' been any because I can't get the help.

I had meant to post videos for the Monday Meet and Greet and sure enough, I had a half an hour and it was more important to get corral panels up so hopefully I can get them posted tonight. What's that saying.... the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Sure seems like I'm paving that road pretty well lately.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Corral Panels

I have been gone so there isn't too much to report. I need to rearrange corral panels so that I can get the ponies and Mayhem out on the lawn pasture. Now that Junior and Lace are in Madison, Mayhem is with the ponies. I don't want the ponies on the regular pasture because the fences dont' really work for them. They could easily walk through any fence we have for the bigger horses. So, on to the lawn they go. Now to figure out what to do with Mayhem though. To keep her with the ponies, or to put her in the pasture and bring in someone else to keep her company?!?! What to do, what to do?!

I'm hoping to move the corral panels tonight. I doubt I'll get anything else done this week. Maybe a little bit of spraying and that's it. Another weekend of drill team performance will steal another weekend away from working on the Sanctuary.

The barn and tack room desperately need to be scrapped and repainted but we'll see if I can get it done or not. It's time consuming and there's so very little time for me to work on anything until just before the sun sets.

I had to scrap my summer fundraiser idea so I guess I'll have to refocus all my attention on our playday this fall. Bummed because we need a small fundraiser to bring in a little bit of money to help offset hay costs.

I'm behind on a bunch of stuff so we'll see how much I post this week. Lots of non-Sanctuary stuff to get done and not a lot of time to cram it all in.

Rain is a Performing Machine

So this is where I've been over the weekend...

I'm the one on the end! I had to pull Rain out of semi retirement for this year's Dakota Thunder Mounted Drill Team performances (and practices). I retired Zeke last August and was in search of a new horse. I found a new horse and retired Rain to light riding whenever needed but Lightening needs more work and time on him before he's ready for performances. Thank goodness for ol' Rain.

Rain was originally my personal horse (along with King) but this February we made the transition and put him into the program (along with King)...although he hadn't announced it.  (I'd been meaning to do a long post and video on our decision but haven't gotten there yet.) They are both 19 years old and have health ailments that render them Sanctuary residents. Neither would be good candidates for other people's riding purposes.

Rain became sick when he was much younger and we nearly lost him. He recovered but with some side effects. He can't handle the heat or the cold. So he has to be pampered at all times. King has flat feet and is very, very slow. He's not even a good candidate for a trail riding horse any more because he's so slow. We are looking at putting shoes back on him simply to keep him comfortable. He had shoes on before because he was ridden but when we semi retired him as well, we pulled the shoes. But semi retired or not, he may need shoes to keep him more comfortable. We'll see. I bought some ez boots but not in the right size. He's got a weird size so nothing fits him.

But back to where we were. I took Rain (and Lightening) to the Estelline Rodeo in Estelline, SD this past weekend. Rain did great. Lightening, well, lets just say I'm finding out more of his quirks the longer I'm with him.

It is nice to showcase a Sanctuary horse even if no one talked rescue/sanctuary this weekend.

Next weekend Rain and I will be back with the Dakota Thunder Mounted Drill Team to perform at the Irene Rodeo in Irene, SD. Come on out and meet Rain (and the rest of Dakota Thunder)! We love to perform in front of a large audience!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Three Weeks

It's been three weeks to the day since we said goodbye to Rabbit. Every time we have to make the decision to say goodbye, it's devastating.

I've been meaning to tell everyone, thank you for your heartfelt condolences, well wishes, loving thoughts, and moral support. It has meant the world to me.

I'm no less worry free today than when Rabbit was alive. New worries take over and become my full focus. Bo has become an issue health-wise. Odd how even in death, life goes on.

I've been watching a few videos today of horses in feedlots with shipping deadlines. I'm not here to debate the feedlot programs, shipping to slaughter, or any of those sensitive topics. I'm only stating it because those horses....those horses don't have anyone to cry over them, lament over their needs and pending end, worry over if they've done the right thing, etc. I know I made the right decision for Rabbit. But I worry about those that I cannot save, cannot help. In South Dakota, we have drastic temperatures. We are heading in to summer and hot temps (well, hot for SD anyway). Is anyone trying to make these "unknown/unwanted" horses comfortable until their end?

This is the thought that constantly rolls through my brain. I wish I could do more, save more, promote more, provide more. But at the end of the day, I do what I can and the Sanctuary horses are fed and happy and I guess that's all I can ask for.

I miss Rabbit and every time I think of Mayhem, I feel a little sadness. Mayhem is the last of Rabbit's lineage. I wont' breed Mayhem. There's simply too many others that need to come in. But Mayhem is her last daughter. Will anyone remember Rabbit in a year? I know I will because I cared for her. But her previous owners, will they remember her? Will they think of her?

I don't know. I must be in a "mood" as my husband calls it. Death is inevitable and with the Sanctuary it's a fact hat is in my face day in and day out as I watch the herd grow older. But it's an honor and I truly enjoy watching them. This morning I let the herd out to pasture. Half moseyed on out and the other half waited for a good five minutes before taking off at a slow lope. It was music to my ears listening to their hoof beats thunder across the pasture. The only better sound is listening to my children's laughter.

I'm sure I'm just rambling and this post isn't making any sense. It certainly didn't go where I thought it was going. But I don't want to forget Rabbit, or any of the others that have walked into our lives, even if it was only briefly. It's amazing how fast time flies. How can it be that it has already been three weeks since we said goodbye to Rabbit. Mayhem still looks for her and probably will for a little while longer. It's a little heartbreaking to watch and listen as she whinnies for Rabbit.

But someday we will meet again. Hopefully not soon as I want to meet more deserving older horses before my time is up.

And I wanted to sincerely thank everyone for their kindness towards having to say goodbye to Rabbit. It makes doing what I do that much easier. I never realize how much I need the moral support until I get a pick me up from a supporter and it truly brightens my week. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all your help and moral support.

Summer Retreat

Made a quick trip over noon to haul Junior and Lace up to their "summer retreat". Their pasture was done and I've been trying to get them to Madison for over a week now. I'm happy they are up there but will miss seeing them every day. I'm guessing they will stay up there for a little over a month as long as the pasture holds and there's rain to keep the pasture going.

I'm trying to see how I can make the pastures go farther this year to try and hold off on having to use hay. Hay is going to be expensive this year I'm afraid.

But for now, Junior and Lace are happy as larks eating their fool heads off.

Pictures tell better words. I'll post a video later too.

Lace and Junior

Lace and Junior

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday!

We wish for weed spray (any kind). We need to spray the big pasture and get rid of those darn thistles. I've been spraying but haven't gotten to the big pasture. It's going to take time, money, and lots of spray.

Don't have the money to help with the spray but still want to help? No problem!! Come on out to the Sanctuary and we'll put you to work spraying those darn thistles (and other nasty weeds). The more people spraying, the more thistles will be eliminated and the happier the horses (and I) will be!

Every last bit helps!

You can donate at or call TSC and tell them you're buying spray for Borderlands Horse Sanctuary (I'm sure other businesses would do the same).

So anxious to see wilted and dead weeds in our future!!

Jim and King enjoying the pasture that desperately needs spraying!

The pasture looks good but the weeds are there and just out of the picture!

Before and After the Storm

We had a typical South Dakota storm roll through last night. Mike and I were doing our weekly shopping and rushed home to get everything put away and horses under cover.

This is what we were racing to beat:

View looking west

Looking west at the impending storm

Looking east. You can see where the clouds had rolled in

The storm didn't last very long and there wasn't any storm damage except to our camper and it was very minimal (and can be fixed). I'd rushed to put the ponies and Mayhem into their other pen because it has better shelter.

Bo had come up before the rest of the herd at come up (I think to get a drink) and I put him into the barn so that he'd be safe. The weatherman had said there was going to be damaging hail and to get your animals inside! Oh my this is serious! I debating on putting Junior and Lace in because their pasture is so protected. After the hail hit, I was wishing I'd put them in. As you can guess, I didn't get them to Madison last night. So now I'm taking a long lunch tomorrow to haul them up so they can enjoy a fresh pasture!

But the storms didn't last long although the thunder and lightening lasted for another hour after but they all pushed to the east so no worries. It was too dark to go check the temporary fence. When I let Bo out, the big herd had already gone back out to pasture and I didn't want to mess with trying to bring them in and getting the gate shut.

And this is what I was greeted with after the storm:

Same view looking west (enough rain to create a little river in our driveway)

View looking east (yes, our ghetto view) with a rainbow!

A closer look  at the "river" (and yes it was that eerie gold/orange photoshopping on any of our pictures!)

I went out this morning to put Mayhem and the ponies back in their bigger pen. They were happy to be out and about. The entire herd was up this morning. I went out to check fence. I figured that the wind would have blown the fence down in a spot or two and the herd would have taken advantage of the opportunity to wander more. But instead they were up by the barn and the fence was up. It's much lighter in the mornings these days  but I still can't seem to take advantage of the extra daylight because I'm so blasted tired.

Going to be a busy next couple of days. Lets hope there aren't any more major storms. After barely missing a tornado, I'm a bit more cautious about tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings.

It's going to be another hot one today. It feels more like July rather than June with these temps. I'm a bit worried but that's part of being around farmers my whole life. Here's to a gorgeous day with sunshine and growing grass to keep everyone happy and healthy!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Gray vs. Blue Trailer Humor

So I wanted to provide a post as a follow up to our gray vs blue trailer.

We are rednecks. I won't deny it.

We dont' live in the ghetto or the hood, we're simply rednecks.

And this is how we roll.

Redneck Style

Monday, June 12, 2017

Gray vs Blue Trailer

Long before I started the Sanctuary, I bought my gray trailer. It's been probably close to 15 years ago that I bought it. It wasn't new then and it certainly has seen better days since then. I tend to use that gray stock trailer for everything. I still have the big six horse trailer but I need to sell it because I can't justify it any more. There aren't any drafts to haul so I might as well get a decent 4 horse and be done with it. But it requires time and patience. Of which, I have very little of either.

When we brought Bob (the Percheron) into the Sanctuary, the trailer floor didn't seem like it was adequate. We added a sheet of plywood to stabilize the flooring a bit more.

In the meantime, the whole darn thing started to rust away. Mike fixed the rusted away parts and welding on new sheet metal but not before the salt, slush, snow, rain spray did damage to the floor. I've been worried since last fall but knew the flooring was decent underneath the mats.

But this weekend Mike fixed all of the flooring issues. Thanks to our old farrier for giving us some good advice, Mike was able to get part of the flooring replaced and the trailer back into running operation in just under a couple of hours! I was amazed. I thought the trailer was going to be out of commission for weeks (which isn't good because I  need it tonight if the storms hold off...I'm at the paying job right now and the radar shows a big red blob over the Sanctuary).

Mike also took the trailer in to get new tires! I'm somewhat excited but not really. Another expense that is going to come out of my personal checkbook. But you absolutely HAVE to have good tires. I do not ever want to be on the side of the road fixing a tire because I was negligent in making sure everything was up to par....of course, I honestly leave that up to Mike. Although last week, I picked up a nail and one of the tires was flat, flat, flat before I even got out of the driveway.

So....the blue trailer story. One of Mike's coworkers was selling the blue trailer because they needed it gone. It had decent tires so I bought it for a reasonable price. We swapped out the tires onto my gray trailer and I've been using those ever since. Who does that?!?! Buys a trailer for the tires?! My family!!!

But the tires dont' seem to be holding up to my constant running with the drill team so I'm back to putting new tires on the gray trailer. The old tires are back on the blue trailer. I haven't decided yet if I'll sell the blue trailer or keep it as an emergency stock trailer. Not that I've ever had an emergency but being a Sanctuary with 16 horses, I guess it's always better to be safe than sorry. The trailer is paid for and I can use it in a pinch if need be.

I'm happy the gray trailer is back in use. I only wish that I could get it painted. It looks very dumpy these days and in truth, I need to replace it with a newer version. But until then, I'll take the rust bucket of a trailer and deal with my sensitive ego and stuff my pride in my back pocket and deal with the rust because the trailer gets the job done and it doesn't owe me a thing.

See all the rust? A tad embarrassing but I'll get over it! And no we dont' normally leave our lawn mower sitting out in the middle of the yard. Our old farrier needed to borrow it as his died and he wanted to get his lawn mowed before the rains came (fingers crossed we get rain!)

Stretching Legs

After the big herd moved out to pasture, I spent a few minutes and let Mayhem and the ponies out on some of the lawn that Junior, Lace, and Bo have been eating. The pasture Junior, Lace, and Bo have been on for the past almost two months is done so I was looking to use up the lawn pasture before moving corral panels.

I was also able to find some rouge weeds and get them sprayed when I sprayed the other pasture. I decided to see what the ponies and Mayhem would do on grass. There wasn't really anything left so thought it would be a good time to get them adjusted to grass as well. They were only on the pasture for two days before they burned down a couple of spots.

We had to move the blue trailer around so I lost some fencing. I'll blog about the trailers in another post.

But for now I wanted to show some more pictures of the horses. I had to move the ponies and Mayhem back to their pen but I'm going to play musical pens this week because I'll be gone Friday and Saturday night for the Estelline Rodeo. So those three will go back into the smaller pen that still has a round bale that the big herd hasn't demolished. That bale should last them until I can get back Sunday morning.

After this weekend, I'll be moving corral panels around and getting the next pasture ready. I'll finish up using the lawn pasture and then we'll go from there. I'm trying to save my pastures in case we are going into a drought. After living through a drought recently, I'm not sure I can handle another one so quickly on our heals (it was a few years ago but I'm still not recovered from it financially).

But for now, I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of the ponies and Mayhem. Mayhem was unimpressed with Bo being on the other side of the fence and Lace seemed overly crabby about having Mayhem anywhere close to Junior. Aah, the joys of mares!

Tommy stretching his legs.

Skippy is unimpressed with this heat and humidity

Skippy stretching his legs

Mayhem, Tommy, and Skippy on the "lawn" pasture. This "pasture" is done too so we'll be moving them to a different part of the lawn next week. Until then, they'll be back on a drylot, eating hay.

Summer Pasture Time!

I spent Saturday scrambling to get the temporary fencing up so that I could release the big herd. I've been more than anxious to get them out on grass. The hay guy is worried about having enough hay, which makes me even more nervous. So having horses out on pasture means no more putting hay in! Hopefully with dividing the pasture, we'll be able to rotate enough and be able to bring the horses back to this section of the pasture later this summer. It'll also give me a chance to do some serious spraying.

I've been trying to spray at least once a week to go after weeds that have been long forgotten and are taking over. I'm excited to see the results. So much neglect over the past couple of years and I'm finally getting back to it. Not sure that I'll get to do any spraying this week but this week is going to be busy.

I wish I would have taken my camera last night to take pictures. There was some pretty sights last night out in the pasture. But for now, I'll leave you with a few pictures of the first day out to pasture.

Jim and King

Brego, Dude, and Chaos

Rain and Jim

Penny supervising the herd

Penny having a discussion with Brego (and Brego's shadow, Ivan)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Hello Progress

I'm so much happier when I see progress, or know I'm making progress.

All this week I've been able to do something more than just chores with the horses. It's been great. I had about an hour before the sun set and I lost the opportunity to spray. So I had Mike make me up some weed spray and I went to town. I was able to go after almost every thistle and every burdock bush in the pasture that the mares, Junior, and Bo have been in for the past month. It felt great. They'd eaten down enough of the grass so I could tell exactly where the weeds are.

This weekend we can hopefully get the truck out and do some spraying in the big pasture but I'm not holding my breath. At this point, I'll be happy to take the big 3 gallon sprayer out and spend an hour spraying weeds.

I discovered last night:

The next best thing to riding...spraying weeds!

With the weeds and cockleburs gone, I'll be able to spend more time with the horses this fall instead of spending all my time pulling burs out of their manes and tails. THAT makes me happy!

I need to see progress to know that what I'm doing is making a difference. I have practice tonight so no spraying but hopefully this weekend I can get some done. I'm also hoping to get the herd out on pasture. The posts are in, I just need to spend about two hours putting up temporary electric fence wire and getting it all ready. I want happy horses!!

And my hay guy is worried about hay. And if he's worried about hay. I'm worried about hay. And that does NOT make me happy. So the few bales we have in reserve, I want to keep in reserve for emergencies that come up over the summer.

Because....we are in summer. It's 90 degrees. It went from a little chilly to stinky hot.

Hello Summer!

Thursday, June 8, 2017


I am coming to love farrier night. Don't get me wrong, our old farrier was great. So great that we included him in our personal life as a god father to our two kids. But he was looking to retire and I didn't want to impose. And our new farrier seems to click really well with the Sanctuary horses.

The days have been stressful and long lately and usually farrier night means just another night trying to pack in as much activities as needed to get everything done. But this time was different. It felt more like bonding time. I havent' been near the horses except to check on them and make sure everyone is happy. So getting to stand and snuggle with horses while they get their feet trimmed was relaxing and fun. Of course there's always the worry that I messed something up with King or that I let their feet go too long but everything was on the up-and-up so it was a good feeling last night.

We were able to get Dude, King, Rain, and Lightening done. We'll look next month at the ponies, Zeke, and a couple of others to see where they are at for needing trims. If you'd like to help with their farrier trims, you can donate to Every dollar helps in keeping our horses feeling comfortable. We have a couple that need constant trims to ensure they stay comfortable (Dude and King are two of them).

Life has simply gotten too hectic lately that I haven't had time to slow down and enjoy life. Now that summer is here, there's so much that needs to be done before winter arrives. I spend all spring, summer, and fall preparing for winter. But I guess when winter feels like it's 6 months long, you have to be prepared. :-)

I'm working from home at the paying job today and I'm relaxed. I'm sitting next to the peonies, smelling their wonderful scent, watching Mayhem and the ponies eat and Lace graze. It's simply relaxing. I'm ignoring the weeds in the flower garden, the dead trees that need to be cut down, and the piles and piles of laundry that await me when I walk back into the house.

For now, I'm going to relax, take a deep breath, and simply enjoy this moment, this hour, this day. It's going to be stinky hot later so I want to enjoy the time outside without sweating through every article of clothing. Through all that's happened over the past couple of months, I am trying to remind myself to enjoy the day that's been given to us. It's a gift, not a right.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

After the Break

Apparently I can't take a break for very long if I'm near a computer. I'm finally getting things done around the Sanctuary and that makes me happy!!

I've been struggling lately but hopefully with a few more changes, life will get a little bit easier. At least the horses will be happier. I'm all about having happy horses.

Earlier this week, I had just enough time to grab some temporary fence posts (poly posts) and start working on dividing the pasture so that I could finally get the big herd on grass. I do NOT want to be putting in hay all summer. It's good hay but the horses are getting antsy. I had to buy an extra load and that wasn't in the budget. I'm not sure how long I spent putting in posts but I was booking it to get all the fence posts in. I even had to go back and get more but at least the posts are in. Now I need to find an hour to get the electric fence wire onto the posts and then I am set!

I'm not figuring I'll have time tonight to get the wire up but hopefully tomorrow there will be time (and the mosquitos wont' carry me away). Once the wire is up and hot, I will let the horses out Saturday morning! I'm so anxious and giddy I could burst! I'm about two weeks behind in getting horses out on pasture. That makes me grumpy but I've been so far behind these days I guess I better just be grateful for what I do have done.

Before we left on vacation (yes we went on a couple of vacations over the past couple of weeks), and I had a bale with a hay net for Mayhem and the ponies. They hadn't made much of a dent in it. The big herd had eaten almost all of their hay and was left with chaff. I didn't want to put in another bale so I opted to tear down the corral panels and put the ponies and Mayhem into a smaller pen. I already had a bale broke open from a couple of weeks ago that I was using to feed the ponies so they are back to that bale. I'm not going to be able to use most of it. It somehow went bad. There's $70 down the drain...makes me grumpy but that's just the game you play when you're dealing with hay.

But with the ponies and Mayhem in their smaller pen, that meant I could open the gate and let the big herd into the other pen so they could eat the hay. I thought they'd go straight for the hay. Nope. Instead they did a lot of running, bucking, and farting while investigating the pen. It's funny how one minor change creates so much drama. But the horses were happy to have something else to occupy their time and I was happy that they weren't bored out of their minds. When I went in for the night, I saw the arabs running around chasing each other having a grand time. I know that with them running around, they are stirring up trouble and getting the rest of the herd to run around. I'm all for it. Exercise is good for everyone!

With stealing panels to keep the ponies and Mayhem in their pen, that meant I couldn't put the big herd on the lawn any more. But it also meant that I could swing some of the corral panels around and let Junior, Bo, and Lace out onto a small part of the lawn that hasnt' been touched. Mike mowed it a few weeks ago much to my dismay but hopefully that kept the weeds down. I didn't get a chance to get all the corral panels up until last night. But the pasture they are in is already done. It only holds for about a month and with three mouths on that pasture for more than a month, I guess I can't complain. I'd sprayed in that pasture and I'm finally seeing the results. I need to get back out to that pasture and do some more spraying and hopefully toss some more grass seed out. I need to see progress to keep myself happy.

The farrier is coming out tonight to do trims. We cancelled last month's appointment because it was raining like cats and dogs and there was talk of flash flooding. I don't want anyone on the road when the weather is bad so we postponed the appointment until today. Now I have twice as many to do but I'm ok with it as long as everyone stands still and it isn't so blasted hot. King has been off so I'm not sure if the laminitis is getting worse or what. We'll have to discuss his options on what to do to keep him comfortable.

And speaking of heat, it went from needing coats and sweatshirts over memorial weekend to needing shorts and tank tops. Of course we were on vacation when it was so chilly. At one point, I think it was 25 degrees (but we were in the Black Hills so the temps are always colder at night). But now we are dealing with upper 80s this week. It's hard on a body.

Bo is still not doing very well. I need to deworm him to see if that will help some of the issues. He still has a shaggy coat but I dont' think he has Cushings. He's now got patches of missing hair so I'm not sure what's going on. Everyone else is fat and glossy/shiny and he is looking dumpy. Even Skippy has shed out most of his winter coat. He typically doesn't shed out until July so I'm very happy that most of his winter coat is already gone. What's left are spots that he cant' rub off. I will have to find the clippers so I can give him a shave. I am going to have to do some more research on Bo to find out what's going on. If it's not one thing, it's another with him. We keep testing him for different issues and everything comes up negative so I just don't know. He perplexes me.

So the past few days have been super busy and productive. I'm hoping to get back to scraping and painting some of our outbuildings. The barn and tack room are in desperate need of a  good paint job. I had been scraping the tack room until the raccoons started growling at me. I took it as my sign that I better find a different project to work on. Well, I'm tired of being dictated to, especially by raccoons, so we are going to have a 'coming to Jesus" moment this weekend with the raccoons. I want what I want and until I get what I want, this momma ain't happy. And I want that tack room scraped and painted! I'm always looking for volunteers to help with scraping and painting other buildings. I'd really be happy with a fresh coat of paint on all the outbuildings. The place just looks ratty any more.

But speaking of improvements, I'm trying to push to get the roof on the hay barn fixed. It needs a whole new roof and the Ondura sheeting is on sale this week. It's a HUGE chunk of money and I'll have to pay for it out of my own pocket but at least then I won't worry every time it rains. Then we can move on to redoing the roof on the old garage. It's gotten to the point it's so bad, that the nails are falling out. Not good when you have little kids, dogs, and horses to worry about stepping on nails (never mind puncturing tires).

So, lots going on and I'm going to keep pushing myself to get stuff done. But I was so tired last night that I was getting dizzy. That's a bad sign. Hopefully I'll be able to get things accomplished and feel happy about it and get enough sleep that I wont' be dizzy and dragging.

Now that I'm back on my feet, I need to get back to our weekly Monday Meet and Greet. I'll have to make sure that the videos are better (i.e., do them during the daylight instead of at dusk). I have lots to say, just not sure if anyone wants to listen. But I do want to share in our Sanctuary horses so everyone can get to know them better.  Unfortunately my phone doesn't let me go "Live" on Facebook so any videos that I post will be at least a few hours old. Technology seems to be getting the better of me these days.

But I'm making progress, slow progress but it's still progress and that's what I need to see. Now back to the paying job to make some money for the Sanctuary horses!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Taking a Break

I need to take a break from blogging, social media, etc. I had high hopes of getting a fundraiser going and advertising this month and moving forward with a few other little fun things to keep everyone entertained.

But I have some personal business to attend to. It's going to leave me very bitter and angry and I don't want to impose that on anyone. So instead I'll take a break and leave you with well wishes and I'll see ya later.