Thursday, August 31, 2017

Where Did Summer Go?

It's the last day of August. How can that be? This weekend is Labor Day Weekend. It was just Memorial Weekend last weekend! How can summer have already gone by so quickly? The days seem to slip by even faster lately and I can't keep up. I'm tickled when I get a project done but there's always about 10 more on the list to get done.

We'll be scrambling this weekend to get a few projects at the very least started if not finished. I have no hope that the garage roof will be done. At this rate, we'll have to wait another year until the hay barn roof can get done unless I can call in some reinforcements. I had hoped to get the hay barn done this weekend. We have all the supplies but with the garage roof having a gapping hole, I guess we switch our gears and move to a different building. There's always something that needs to be maintained or repaired when you live on an acreage, especially as old as this acreage is. We haven't put much effort or time into our buildings and it's starting to show. We've been here almost 12 years and in that time, we've fixed a few things here and there but left the rest and that has bitten us in the butt. So now it's GO time. And there's a lot to get done.

I'm feeling a little stressed but I'm going to simply take it all in stride. And do my best to not come completely unglued. When I think of all those in Texas dealing with Hurricane Harvey and the subsequent flooding, it sort of makes my complaints and worries petty. I wish that we could do something, but every penny has to go back into the Sanctuary. I would LOVE to open our doors to a senior horse this year but I dont' see that happening. With the hay expense, roof repairs, and needing an automatic waterer, I don't see it possible to say Welcome Home to another senior horse. And now is the time people are getting rid of their horses as other activities take over, what with school starting.

So I sit and worry for those older horses being shipped off to auctions and subsequently to slaughter. What I would give to have an open door to let all the old horses come in and live out their lives with us. Wishful thinking or possibly a goal to strive towards.

The next few days will probably be quiet on the blog, twitter, and possibly Facebook as we tackle some of these bigger projects. So much to do in so little bit of time. If you're bored, I'd love the help! We'll even feed you. I think there's a pork loin and corn on the cob ready and waiting for all volunteers!

As always, we will continue to plug along. Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy a bit of the fall. I need to focus on our upcoming playday! Lots to do before then!!

We will persevere.

Hearing Things

I hear geese.  I hope they are local. I'm not ready for fall even though I sort of think September 1st is fall even though it's not "official". There's still so much that needs to be done. I'm considering taking a day off from the paying job to extend the three day weekend holiday into four days so I can bust my butt and get stuff done. Of course I'm not prepared and don't have enough supplies. That's usually par for the course.

I had to move the ponies the other night because their "pasture" was done. I put them in front of the barn so it's a pain to get into and out of the barn but at least I'm not throwing hay yet. I dread the thought of throwing that expensive hay.

I also started picking up the temporary electric fence that the horses have torn down. There's no sense in having it out in the pasture any more. All it's doing is getting tangled up and the horses are running through it. I dont' want them to get the idea they can just blow throw any electric fence they want. They are starting to push on the permanent fence too so I'm guessing hay will be in order soon.

We still need to pick up two loads in Harrisburg and two in Madison but I'm not sure when that will happen. Mike finally started in on the roof of the garage after a bit of "discussion" from me. There's no way we can expect people to show up on a long holiday weekend and work on a roof if we arent' prepared.

I still need to get blankets washed, repaired, and waterproofed. I may work on that this weekend as well. I also need to do some painting and scraping on either the barn or the tack room. At this point, I'll be happy to simply get one wall of the tack room done. I seem to only have enough time to get three of the four sides done. At this rate, I'm now down to just getting one wall done. But at least then, the place won't look as dumpy.

I don't know if I'll be back on tomorrow or if I'll resurface after Labor Day on Tuesday. If I get my way, I'll have a ton of projects done but I'm not going to hold my breath. Things seem to be going at a snail's pace these days.

Lets just hope that the only thing that picks up is the activity around the Sanctuary. Because pretty soon, there WILL be non-local geese flying by and I don't want to be in a panic when that happens.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Out of the Loop

So I've been out of the loop for about a week now. Actually, I had a bit of a panic attack and couldn't figure out how to get everything done that needs to be done. Truth is, I'm not anywhere different today than I was a few days ago but I've come to terms with some of it.

Lets recap so you can feel my pain. ... you're welcome.

The Saturday before last we had to run into town. No biggie but then we needed to get home, do chores, and then haul the camper up to Prairie Village. We had some how managed to score a camping spot during the Jamboree. It's fairly unheard of and we weren't planning on it. There's 500 camp spots and ALL of them are taken. But we were on a waiting list. Our thinking was that going to the Jamboree would be easier with the kids of we could camp. The answer was yes and no to the easy part.  So I got home Saturday and while doing chores, discovered that SOMEONE (Maverick) popped the lid off the automatic waterer and water was spilling over again. In the process, they cut the heater wire and it's to the point of no repair. So we have NO heat to the waterer this winter. THAT WON'T CUT IT. So now I'm going to have to buy a new waterer. Totally NOT in the budget and Totally NOT ready. And now it's another project that HAS to get done before the first freeze.

Fast forward to Monday night. We had camped at Prairie Village Sat and Sunday and didn't get home until late. Everything was dark so I couldn't see anything. Monday after work, I went to let the dogs out, only to discover that the chimney in the garage had crashed down. Inside the garage the chimney apparently had been leaking and the 2x4 that had been holding it up since the 40s finally rotted away. So we are now left with a gapping hole in the garage, cinder blocks smashed to pieces in the garage, and even more work. The garage roof was supposed to be reroofed after the hay barn but it appears that the garage will take priority. Not happy but with a hole in the roof, what do you do? Although we are getting close to having a hole in the hay barn if we aren't careful.

Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon, and I get a phone call from Mike saying he doesn't feel good and off to the ER we go. He's been dealing with some health issues for over a week now and he'd finally had enough. Unfortunately the ER doctors (nor his primary doctor) could find what's wrong. So, 3.5 hours in the ER with no results and now a huge hospital bill and we are left even more strapped for cash. (For those that dont' know, I almost lost Mike back in 2013 to WPW.)

So by Thursday when I did our weekly Thursday Sanctuary talks, I was a bit frazzled because in the evening, we were headed BACK to Prairie Village to camp until Sunday. So that's 3 days and 3 nights of camping and Jamboree stuff. Top that off with trying to get everything lined up for food so we don't starve AND get stuff ready so that we can have my daughter's 2nd birthday (and not have her get screwed over because everyone is focused on everything else and NOT her). So I was stressed.

But that's not all. Friday night rolled around and we had a severe storm roll through WHILE the kids and I were in the camper ALONE. I haven't been that scared in a while. We were left stranded with no vehicle and no cell phone service to view the radar  (yet I could get on FB or make phone calls). So by Sunday I was a bit frazzled but luckily my daughter didn't notice and she had a grand time on her second birthday. It didn't seem as big of a deal as when my son turned 5 three weeks earlier so I'm not sure if I'm just wore out or what. But I feel bad for her because her birthday seemed to be overshadowed by a lot of other stuff going on.

But now that all that is over, I have to focus on getting the roof redone. Mike still doesn't feel good but we have friends lined up to help with the roof. Except the garage has no eaves. Part of the reason why we've had water problems with the garage. But no eaves means Mike needs to build them and he thinks we should focus on that but if we have people WILLING to reroof the garage, we better make sure the eaves are attached. But that gives us FIVE days. FIVE. I don't think that'll happen because the days are getting shorter (and Mike doesn't feel good).

I may have to take time off the paying job just to get stuff done. The weather is supposed to be beautiful the rest of this week so maybe Friday I'll take the day off from the paying job and get things ready. We still need to go buy more lumber to makes the eaves but the horse trailer is full of Ondura and lumber for the hay barn because that's the project *I* was focused on. And the flat bed still has hay (but we STILL need to pick up hay from Harrisburg and now another two loads from Madison). I paniced. I had friends selling hay so I bought what they had left over. I wish I would have waited and bought from a different friend who is much closer but I guess I should just be happy that we have hay (and the funds to buy those few bales). I now need to focus on the funds for the semi load that we had to pay for already.

So I have big news I want to share or maybe not big news but good news but I need a day to recover from all that's been going on. I also had some stress at the paying job where I had/have three high priorities that are all due at the same time and I'm trying to figure out how to swing it all. I can't work extra because I need to be working at home and with the stress of everything I tend to sleep when I'm stressed. And that puts me even more behind. Oh if only I could have insomnia instead of stress sleep. I need the days to be longer not shorter. I need about five extra hours in the day to feel like I can get anything done.

So if anyone is free this weekend (or the following weekend for that matter), we could really use the help in getting things ready for winter. Because it's right around the corner!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What Happened

We are still around, but I'm in the middle of a bit of a panic. I will probably not resurface again until next week (or Thursday depending on how stressed I feel). We have lots of exciting news to share but I want to spend more than 30 seconds to write something that doesn't sound like I'm totally scatter brained.

We've had two mishaps in the last three days. Our automatic waterer will not survive winter. When SOMEONE (cough, cough Maverick cough) ripped the top off, the wires for the heater were destroyed). And last night I discovered that the chimney on the old garage (put in place by the previous, previous owner) fell off into the dog pen and the remainder of the chimney inside the garage crashed down into a bunch off stuff. The dogs are ok. But the roof is not. We have  a gapping hole in the garage roof.

So over the Labor Day Weekend I guess we'll be working on the garage roof instead of the hay barn roof. Anyone want ot help?

And don't is Be An Angel Day!!! If you want to sponsor a horse or donate even a $1, let me know and you can be a ANGEL for one of the Sanctuary horses!

If I don't resurface until next week...I'm trying to swing planning my daughter's birthday party during the Prairie Village Threshing Jamboree, camp, figure out supplies for reroofing two buildings, and getting all the other odd jobs scheduled and supplies bought. I need summer back to get all this done.

Anyone want to help?  If you come Labor Day weekend I'll feed you!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Be An Angel Day

Next Tuesday, August 22, is Be An Angel Day.

Would you like to be an angel to one of our Sanctuary residents?

Donate to or send funds to

Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 35
Humboldt, SD 57035

Any dollar amount helps. Just let us know who you wan to be an angel to and what you want the money to be used for (unless you want it directly into the Winter Hay Fund) and we'll post all the Sanctuary residents who have Angels!

$5 Friday

Last Friday we had our winter hay supply delivered. I would really like to have more hay onsite before the snow flies. I don't know if we'll have a bad winter but if we need to, I want to be able to open our doors to a deserving senior horse but without extra hay, I can't do that. So for now, I'm looking to get our current hay supply paid for and then go in search of a bit more for that emergency horse intake that I'd like to bring in.

We are building up our winter hay supply and need your help! Our small Sanctuary is supported by many donors who cannot share a lot but what they share is huge.

Every donation matters, and we are grateful you have chosen to help us with our mission, "Giving each horse a dignified retirement".

Did you know, $5 buys one bale of hay and feeds a horse for a day? We have 15 horses in our Sanctuary enjoying retirement. We start feeding hay mid to late October and continue through May. Would you like to feed one of our Sanctuary horses for a day?

You can donate to or send checks to:
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 35
Humboldt, SD 57035

Out of the Loop

This head/chest cold has knocked me off my feet. So much I wanted to do and needs to get done and I'm too petered out by the end of the day.

Last night as I was wrapping up chores around 9:30pm, I noticed the clouds rolling in and lightening off in the distance. I never heard a thing. But we did get rain. I went out this morning at 6am (I was late) to do chores. The clouds were off in the eastern horizon. I thought it was a bit neat I guess. But maybe that's in my haze of sickness that things seem different and somewhat amusing

I did put Junior in the spring/winter pasture to see if he can gain any weight. I left him out all day yesterday to wander around. He looks so thin. And it's all my fault. But hopefully I can get the weight back on him.

I have a bunch of things I want to do but the next couple of weeks are going to be packed with family stuff. So I'm not sure exactly what all is going to get done these next few days. I guess I'll just play it by ear.  Hopefully after a good nap and some helpful drugs I'll be back to my old self and rearing to go!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Rainy Season

I was going to upload pics from last night but blogger seems not like me at the moment.

So we had rain all day yesterday. I had realized the previous night that the pasture near the road was done, or so the horses told me. I realized that Junior is looking really tough. As in, he's lost a LOT of weight and that's my fault. I know that the heat took a toll on him and he lost some weight but I thought putting him in this pasture would be ok. But apparently it wasn't rich so he's dropped even more weight. I walked the pasture last night and I would say that it still has decent grass but it's not the lush grass that Junior needs. So I'm not sure what to do.

I don't want to put him in the other pasture because it won't hold up for as long as I need it if I put him in now. But I don't think he'd do good being on hay and I definitely don't want to start feeding hay in mid August. The horses have only been on this pasture for three weeks (Mayhem was on it longer but didn't eat that much). So I don't really know what to do. I'm working from home at the paying job today so Junior is out and enjoying the lawn. He's been staying close to the red shed and the mares so I'm guessing he's having a grand ol' time.

With the rain last night, when I pulled Junior out to put him in a different pen to eat (because the mares would push him out), he was shivering. Apparently with the cooler rain (everyone else was fine) and the weight loss, he had gotten chilled. So I stalled him and pulled Lace out to keep him company. And because Mayhem is so herd bound (even though she was fine earlier this summer) I had to put her in a different pen so she wouldn't tear up the pasture.

I need to refence where I had the horses in June because the grass is coming back after all this rain. But I don't want the herd on it just yet. I'd rather wait until September to put them back on it...and I don't want them to eat it down so far that we wont' be able to use it next year. I can tell that I sprayed that part of the pasture and the other part I didn't get a chance to spray. It's an obvious distinction. But it's nice to see that what I did, did do some benefit.

The weather is still so cool but there's talk that it'll warm up soon. That would be nice for the grass. I'm out of places for the ponies so I need to figure something else out. I either throw hay (again, don't want to be throwing hay) or figure out where I can set up corral panels that would actually work. I hate moving corral panels around though. it's such a pain.

And now that I am in full swing trying to get stuff done, Mike doesn't feel well. He told me the other night that his heart has been bothering him. It's de javu all over again. I joke that I'm old, but neither of us are 40 yet and he's already head heart surgery and now he's having more problems. So I don't forsee anything getting done around the place until he's feeling better. I think I'm going to have to start taking time off the paying job to get the stuff done and figure out how to do it all on my own. It's frustrating but I guess that's the hand I have been dealt right now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Meet Brego

When  I first moved in to our acreage, the neighbor had horses. Brego was one of those horses. It was nice to watch the horses even if I didn't know them as ours were still with my parents. We were new to acreage living and wanted to take the winter to figure out the ins and outs of being in the country.

Fast forward to the fall of 2007 (about two years), and our neighbor said that we could have Brego and Maverick (this was after he'd taken Queen, the old appy and another QH mare to an auction. We brought Queen home from that auction). Unfortunately, we said we needed a few days/weeks before we could bring them in. I wasn't ready because we had some vacations and other family events to take care of. Apparently he'd gotten tired of waiting and when we got home after my birthday celebration, I found Brego and Maverick standing in one of our pastures one evening in the rain. They were in with Queen which wasn't bad, but they were also in with Babe and I wasn't happy about that. But it all worked out. I rushed them into a different pen for the night and started to evaluate them the next day.

Somewhere along the line, they had started escaping and the neighbor had shut them into a barn. Brego, at the time, was a bit of a harder keeper and he came to us thin. At the time I thought it was neglect but in truth I think it had more to do with his metabolism. Only recently has he become an easy keeper where I don't have to keep a watchful eye on him starting around February/March when winter seems to drag on.

Brego was and still is, a very quiet demeanoured horse. I love that about him. He's not aggressive and seems to want to make sure everyone feels comfortable (if they are low on the pecking order). When we brought Sam in to the Sanctuary, Brego and Sam became the best of friends. It was almost like Sam had a shadow.

After we lost Sam, and acquired Ivan, Brego became best friends with Ivan and they have been inseparable since that time. You may not be able to tell in these pictures but Ivan is right next to Brego in all of them. If there's not a shadow of Ivan in the pictures thats' because I was facing a different angle. When I look for one, I'll find the other.

Brego has a very soft heart and if he were a mare, I swear he'd be my go-to horse for when things aren't going right. When I was pregnant with my first, Brego knew that I was different and walked up to me and put his nose right on my belly and sniffed. He was curious. I have to be cautious when I'm pregnant because some of the herd will push, but not Brego. He's one of the easiest horses to be around.

When Brego turned 5, I sent him to the trainer on my own dime. I figured he'd better get some education. When he had been with the previous owner, they'd sent him to a trainer. I know that trainer and wasn't too impressed with their methods so wanted my trainer to do what he normally does. After 30 days, the trainer said he needed more time. It wasn't that he was stupid but Brego wasn't where he should have been after 30 days. I couldn't afford another 30 days so agreed to another 15 days. That would put him at 45 days. On the 45th day, Brego bucked the trainer off and not an easy buck but a "crash you through the corral panels" kind of bucking episode. The trainer said to NEVER get on Brego after that and volunteered to haul him to an auction. Well, we all know where Brego would have gone had he went to auction. But I have heeded our trainer's advice and never gotten on him.

So now he's simply a pasture puff enjoying his days. The previous owner had been bucked off Brego as well. So after those bucking episodes, I've gathered that there's an injury to Brego. It has nothing to do with behavior or attitude. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. So it all has to stem from pain. I don't know what he has as we've never had the extra money to do exploratory testing or whatnot to find out what's wrong. So instead, Brego hangs out and enjoys being a shadow to Ivan. He's not in pain so I'll simply leave him the way he is and know that he'll never be a riding horse.

Brego is a simplistic horse. He doesn't want for much, doesn't need for much, and is simply a figure at the Sanctuary. I do keep a watchful eye on him in late winter/early spring because he's been known to lose weight but in the last few years he's kept the weight on beautifully.

He does get cold easily so we make sure to blanket him. I would say needing a blanket in the winter and possibly some grain in late winter are his only flaws. Friends donated a zebra blanket and that's become Brego's blanket. But it would be nice to have a few more blankets in Brego's wardrobe because invariably his blanket will get ruined. Ivan isn't mouthy but Maverick is and even though Brego and Maverick don't hang out any more, Maverick is still a part of the herd and loves to torment (and ruin blankets).

Even though Brego is not rideable, he does like people and I am hoping that maybe he can be an ambassador for the Sanctuary as he'll be around for awhile. We had gotten him when he was 3, sent him to the trainer (and failed) at 5. He's now 12. He's grown into a very nice looking horse. As a 3 year old, he looked pretty gawky and nerdy and even at 5, he still seemed a bit unsure of himself and his body. But now at 12, he's pretty well set in his ways. I am afraid that his front legs will give him problems as they dont' seem to bend and break over like all the other Sanctuary horses. I don't believe the legs are what cause him problems when someone rides him but I think strenuous work would cause problems when he gets older. I would have loved to have turned him into a driving horse but with the unknown of what's wrong with him (be it his back, hips, etc.) I never followed the idea of driving education.

So I guess for now, he'll be the official Sanctuary greeter and he'll be the first we'll introduce a new horse to. Once Brego has welcomed a new horse into the herd and the new horse adjusts, I know I can start introducing other horses. He's a good friend.

If anyone wants to sponsor Brego, that would be fantastic. He's an easy keeper but he could always go for a bag of grain and a blanket to keep him warm. He doesn't like getting wet and seems to have thin skin.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Quiet Time

You may have noticed that I've been a bit more quiet this month. I am trying to do more on Facebook but even that is lacking right now. My mind is elsewhere. It's actually being torn in a number of directions.

First and foremost, making sure the horses have hay. We had a semi load of hay delivered Friday at noon. It's great having 30 bales but we still need to pick up the other smaller bales and I'm still worried it's not enough for our current herd and there's NO WAY we can bring in another horse and that REALLY REALLY bothers me. In about another week, we'll be seeing horses, good horses, loyal horses up for sale by no fault of their own and that bothers me. These are the tried and true horses that are worth their weight in gold and yet with the hay issues around here and with people getting out of horses in general, I'm worried. So many more start to flood the market this time of year. And it makes me physically sick.

But August also drives me almost to the point of insane. This is when I realize summer is almost over and we're headed into fall and I need to be focusing on tasks at hand so we dont' have to deal with stuff during the winter months. All these odd projects that HAVE to be done before the snow flies. Every time I open the door and hear the katydids singing, I feel like they are mocking me or sending me some warning that fall is almost here and winter is around the corner.

I went for a walk at the paying job to get some fresh air and it's like I couldnt' breath. It's all stress and it's all self induced stress worrying about things that I have no control over. I need to remember to take one day at a time and just live. But it's hard when you're in charge of horses and worry about their care.

On the bright side, and where most of my attention has been, is that August is also my son and daughter's birthdays! My son just turned 5 on Saturday and my daughter will turn 2 in two weeks. So I'm trying to figure out presents and parties and all that stuff. It's more activities added to the already busy schedule. But I want to make sure that my kids get the full attention that the need and deserve and right now they seem to be needing more of my time.

I could really use the help though. If anyone knows marketing or accounting or anything business-y-ish, I could really use some guidance. All the information is up in my head but I need to figure out how to get it onto paper and into motion. I had the terrible thought today that maybe I should just let it all go.  Let everything dissolve and just be worried about myself. Yes I was (and still sort of am) riding the pity party. But it was a fleeting thought and I KNOW that I couldn't live with myself to not do more with what I have. So I'll keep plugging along.  But I may stay quiet this month. Trying to focus on the kids and not become too overwhelmed with all that HAS to get done and what SHOULD get done before the first snow flies.

Friday, August 11, 2017

$5 Friday Hay

It’s $5 Friday!

We have a load of hay scheduled to arrive today at NOON! It's 30 bales of 1500-1800lbs! I am excited to have hay secured and sitting at the Sanctuary waiting to be used this winter. I'd feel even better if I knew that the hay was fully paid. We still need to pick up the smaller bales but those will have to wait until next week. For now, the big bales arrive in just a few hours. I will feel relieved but would LOVE to have them paid off AND have a few more bales in reserve. Any additional bales would allow us to open our doors to seniors that need a soft place to land during this hay crisis. Every dollar counts! Does anyone want to donate toward the hay or have hay to donate?

Our small Sanctuary is supported by many donors who cannot share a lot but what they share is huge.

Every donation matters, and we are grateful you have chosen to help us with our mission, "Giving each horse a dignified retirement".

Did you know, $5 buys one bale of hay and feeds a horse for a day? We have 15 horses in our Sanctuary enjoying retirement. We start feeding hay mid to late October and continue through May. Would you like to feed one of our Sanctuary horses for a day?

You can donate to or send checks to:
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 35
Humboldt, SD 57035

Happiness Happens Report

I somehow missed yesterday so here goes:

August 10: I am happy for soft muzzles.

August 11: I am happy for hay delivery!

Sorry, need to get new pictures on this computer.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lets Talk Trailers

Let talk trailers

I can say that the trailers at the Sanctuary are about the only thing paid for! It may seem like an odd topic to discuss but if you have livestock, you need a way to get them from Point A to Point B and if not livestock, other "stuff" that needs to be moved.

So we're going to start with my old trusty stock trailer. This trailer doesn't look nice but it doesnt' owe me anything. Well, it does. I just put brand new tires on it so it has to last until the tires are worn out. I bought this trailer in 2003. It's a 1993 something or other. It's seen better days. We've had to weld almost everything on it but it still functions. It's my go to trailer even if it looks terrible. It is what it is and it's paid for. I'd love to get a better one but that's not in the cards unless someone wants to donate one.

The following trailer is my pride and joy although after a comment, there's a bit of a rub with it these days. It's a 1996 6 horse sundowner. I bought it initially because we had draft horses and we were making two trips to haul four horses to the vet. It was a pain and I loved the thought that I could throw a bunch of horses in and head to the vet (well, not going to the vet part but that I could haul anyone no matter what size they were). I like having it because there's comfort in knowing I could move almost everyone in an emergency. But in reality, I need to sell it. I need an enclosed trailer for drill team and when I haul in the winter. It makes no sense hauling this big trailer in the winter when I might get stuck in a snow drift and when I'm only hauling one horse.

I thought I was going to be able to sell it pretty quick but something happened to all the hinges so we are stuck replacing ALL the hinges and doing a bit of other work in hopes that I can come out, not even in selling it but not come out losing my entire butt.

I'll be sad to see it go but happy to buy a more functional trailer and possibly retire the gray stock trailer to only minor work.

The blue trailer was not quite a whim but I bought it because of the tires. It's a running joke in the family. I ended up using the tires off the blue trailer and put them on the gray trailer. I don't particularly like the blue trailer because its' slightly smaller and narrower than my gray trailer. But it's a 1979? and in better shape than the gray trailer. Right now Mike is working on the brakes and some other stuff so that we can possibly sell it. I'm not in a big hurry to sell it. It may or may not come in handy. Sort of silly to have three horse trailers but in an emergency, it's nice to know that its' there just in case. Silly but still there. It's in ghetto style but it'll need to be fixed and moved before the snow flies.

Last but definitely not least is the flat bed trailer. It's actually a car trailer but has seen more hay than vehicles. It's come in really handy. I would love to buy a gooseneck flatbed but we aren't there yet so instead we make due with this trailer. We try not to haul too much hay with it because the weight restriction on it means we can't pile on the hay like I'd like to. As it sits right now with six of the smaller bales, the trailer is maxed out. So it would be nice to have a bigger trailer.

And is the case, if a trailer is not unloaded right away, the stuff that's on or in it, will sit there until there is either an emergency and we NEED the trailer or we need the stuff on it. In most cases it's that we NEED the trailer for something else. So the stuff in/on the trailer gets unloaded in a hurry and usually in a heap somewhere. In most cases, unless it's an emergency, it'll just have to wait and usually unloaded a trailer is just that...not an emergency until you need it!

The gray stock trailer is loaded with Ondura sheets and 2x4s for the hay barn roof! Totally excited to see that project start but its' going to be difficult to figure out when we can get it done. The cooler weather helps and we should have access to a telehandler or boom truck, what with my uncle being stuck watching his crops whither away. But Mike's work schedule ramped up. That's the problem with Mike's schedule. It's opposite of mine. He's busy in the summer months and I'm busy with horses in the winter months.

But I there you have it...the trailers of the Sanctuary. I don't snicker at trailers either. We started out with a STEEL, 4 horse straight load turquoise trailer. Yes, someone painted it turquoise because that was the IN color in the early 90s.  You might have seen that trailer at the "summer retreat" when I had Junior and Lace up there. It's not one I "advertise" a lot because it looks dumpy. But it did get us from Point A to Point B...with a lot of snickers in our direction (but all in fun).

I think with any acreage, you almost have to have a trailer of some sort. Luckily we have a multitude to choose from and best of all, they are all paid for!

Drought Monitor Report

The drought monitor still shows that the Sanctuary (and the hay ground) are still in a drought as of today.

The problem is, I'm hearing horror stories from our hay guy. He's hauling water, losing cattle, and most likely going to lose some if not all of his crops this year. We are in a better position than we were five years ago when we had another drought strike. I've learned some hard lessons from that experience.

But the weather is rearing it's ugly head and making life difficult for everyone.

We are short on hay. We are getting a load of hay delivered tomorrow at noon (hoping I can sneak a Live video but we'll see). But it's only 30 bales. With the 25 smaller bales, we should be ok but I'm not comfortable. I want more hay. But the funds aren't there either if the hay was.

So now we are turning away horses. Even though we are small and unknown, the few people who do know us and do ask, we are forced to say no. For those with no other alternative than to take to auction, those horses are entering the slaughter pipeline and I worry. I'm sick over it. What can I do? I have to protect the residents that we have. Even if any of our current residents are sponsored, we'd still be tight because I cant' even FIND hay at this moment. Everything I see is two states away and I can't afford shipping for that far away.

Anyone want to be a HUGE Angel and donate towards hay?

Don't forget we also have our Be An Angel day coming up. I haven't had time to focus on it because I'm trying to get my son's birthday party stuff situated. Oh the joys of working a full time job, running a sanctuary single handedly, and caring for two small kids (and making sure they don't go without for the fun adventures they deserve).

So I'll just sit over here and stress over stuff.

Meet Dude

Dude in the sorrel in the middle

I am totally forgetting to do things lately. I was supposed to introduce you to Dude on Monday after the Live Monday Meet and Greet (and I forgot!)

So here it goes:

What to say about Dude? Dude was originally one of our personal horses. We needed a horse to replace our first horse Tiny Dictator. This would be Dad's horse. We knew of someone selling a horse (i.e., Dude) and went for it. The joke is, the minute a horse puts hoof on the property, it stays forever (and it's been true except for three horses...two which were adopted and one I sent back to the owner because I knew even before seeing the horse it was a bad fit for the Sanctuary). For some inexplicable reason, I KNEW that we should never have kept Dude. I told Dad to put him back on the trailer, but he didn't listen.

After countless tosses to the ground and other moments of frustration, I went in search of another horse for Dad. We'd bought Dude in January 2001. There was something about Dude that I didn't like. I've since figured it out, He's a button pusher. He's not the placid horse that I like. He's a go getter and wants to do things...his way.

Fast forward to 2006 when I said Hell No to any more riding on Dude. He'd just flipped over on top of Dad and I said no more. So that's when he became a permanent resident to the Sanctuary. After a few more years went by, we finally figured out what was wrong as it became obvious. I'm not sure of the scientific term but my vet said Bear Hump...for the love of god, dont' google that! Look up Hunters Bump. I'm not sure that's exactly correct but it's close enough.

Before we bought Dude, he'd been in an accident. We were told he got into a fence and cut up his leg. I believe he got into much more and had fallen, thus causing the problem. He'd fallen and broken something either in his hip or the tail bone going into his hip. But we didnt' know and being fairly novice horse owners, we had no clue.

Fast forward to a few years ago and it has become apparent that Dude is lopsided when standing square. The broken piece in his hip causes him pain (hence the bucking and dumping of anyone riding him if it just so happened to catch).

We knew we could never sell Dude because someone would get hurt (or killed). He's a gorgeous horse (so everyone tells me,.... I just see his attitude). But knowing that everyone thinks him pretty, he'd get snapped up and repeatedly dumped, we knew we couldn't let him go.

So here he is, enjoying retirement. I said a couple times in the video that he's an arsehole. He's not really. He's in charge of the herd (although doesn't take care of them like a herd boss). But he's not the laid back kind of horse I prefer. Had he not been broken and unrideable, he would have been a fantastic horse.

It does seem that all my registered horses have problems. Dude is a registered Quarter Horse. His registered name is My Blazing Skip. He didn't look like a Blaze or a Skip when we got him and Dad thought he looked like a surfer Dude it was.

I am afraid that his hips will be the death of him. I can always tell when he hurts by the way he stands with his front legs splayed apart to try and take as much weight off the hips as possible. I always keep my fingers crossed during the winter that he doesn't fall on the ice. He gets more and more cautious as the years go by in the winter.

Only Chaos ever seems to challenge Dude and it's never really a challenge, rather just Dude's shadow. The only one to challenge him is ME because *I* am the one in charge. We've had a few go rounds about who's in charge and hopefully those lessons have stuck with him.

I sort of make him out to be a jerk but he really is a good guy. He's come a long way. He never did like his face touched but he's finally coming around to it.  Hard to believe but we've now had him for 15 years!!! Holy cow! Unfortunately, most of that time has been in retirement but he's safe in retirement and there's no worries that he will ever be shipped to slaughter.

There's not a mean bone in his body, just a broken one and without knowing that there is a broken bone, his fate could have been a different one had he not landed at the Sanctuary.

Dude is a very easy keeper but in a very short time, we'll be looking at starting to grain him so that we can start using Buteless to help ease the pain in his hips. During the summer and fall his hips dont' seem to bother him but in the winter with the snow and ice and in the spring with the mud, there's definite signs that his hips bother him. So if anyone wants to sponsor him monthly, that would be fantastic ($100 for a month sponsorship, $50 for a partial sponsorship)...or if anyone wants to buy his Buteless ($50 for a container that lasts a long time) that we'll start to use in the next few months, that would be fantastic. Every little bit counts.

I may not always like Dude, but I am certainly glad that we have him. Just thinking of where he would have ended up had our paths never cross, makes me sad....because he would have most definitely ended up on a plate.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

4th Annual Playday Scheduled

It's official, our 4th Annual Playday is scheduled for Saturday, October 14th!

We have some exciting news to go with the playday but I want to get all my ducks in a row before I share all the fantastic news! I was riding the pity party the last couple of days and finally got over the funk. Hate when I fall into the "woe is me" crap. It's easy to do. But I have exciting news and I want to share!

So mark your calendars for October 14th, spread the word even if you can't make it because the more people the better!

Happiness Catchup

I was riding the pity party yesterday so I didn't get around to doing the happiness report but I'll make up for it today!

August 7: I am happy we have our hay delivery lined up.

August 8: I am happy we have 90% of the supplies on hand to redo the hay shed roof.

August 9: I am happy for cooler weather (anything out of the 90s is fantastic...and I beat the downpour walking in to the paying job).

Sorry, pics are all fairly old but this computer doesn't have many pics stored on it (yet).

Monday, August 7, 2017

Weekend Was a Bust

This weekend was supposed to be "Work Like a Dog Day" but it didn't happen. Mike had to go to the paying job and I was down and out with a migraines that left me stuck inside even though it was gorgeous! Let me just say, migraines should not last three days. And nothing touched it. But by Sunday evening, I was able to do more than just stare at the wall.

I actually started to panic Sunday night. Not a true panic attack but I definitely started to panic. For the entire month of July, we deal with temps in the 90s. All. Month.!!

Now that we are in August, we should be dealing with some heat but we aren't. It's cold. At least cold after being so hot for so long. Even then the trees are starting to turn leaves. Umm, that doesn't happen for another month! ANOTHER  MONTH!!!

I think I tend to panic anyway in August because summer is wrapping up, people are dumping their horses and going back to school, and the talk of fall is all around (and with me, that means winter). There have only been two years where I didn't panic about what was going on around me. That was five years ago when my son was born and two years ago when  my daughter was born. Otherwise, I freak out because I'm burned out from going so hard trying to fit everything in to three months.

I may have to start taking time off the paying job to get stuff done. It'll be the stuff I can do on my own and we'll have to figure out a time to really tackle the bigger stuff (like reroofing the hay barn and the garage). It's all going to take time and money, and we have neither.

I think I'll be sitting down tonight with  my planner/calendar and figuring out when I can squeeze in a few of the things that absolutely MUST be done.

I just don't know how to fit it all in.

So instead of ranting and complaining about my panic, I'll leave you with pictures of Zeke from the other night. He is most definitely enjoying his retirement. Anyone want to spoil this ol' boy with a sponsorship?

Zeke telling everyone Hello

Zeke looking fat and sassy. He may be 25 but he's not letting that slow him down (only his big grass belly will slow him down)

Happiness Happens Weekend

Playing catch up on the Happiness Report!

August 5: I am happy we have gorgeous weather today.

August 6: I am happy for time t much stalls and contemplate the world.

View from our cabin while on vacation

View near the cabin during our annual vacation

Friday, August 4, 2017

Happiness Happens Month

August is Happiness Happens Month. And August 8th is Happiness Happens Day.

I think in honor of the Happiness Happens Month, I'm going to try and find all things that make me happy with the Sanctuary! I'll have to go back a few days to catch up on the month but I'll start!

August 1: I am happy for vacations!
August 2: I am happy for rain!
August 3: I am happy for the horses of course!!
August 4: I am happy for all of our supporters!!

Catch back daily on our Facebook page to see all of what we are happy for at the Sanctuary!

$5 Friday Hay

It’s $5 Friday!

We picked up two loads of hay and still have two more loads to go.  These bales cost us $35 and we are bringing home 25 bales with the potential to bring home an additional 16 (we'll know more next week). These bales are smaller than our normal 1800lb bales which will hold a horse for a month. I'm not sure how fast the horses will eat through one bale of this size but I'm guessing with a herd of 11 eating, we'll go through three or four a week.
We also are scheduling to have the other hay delivered. Hay this year is going to be spendy so every dollar counts. We are looking to raise $5,000 to cover the cost of increased hay prices. Our small Sanctuary is supported by many donors who cannot share a lot but what they share is huge.

Every donation matters, and we are grateful you have chosen to help us with our mission, "Giving each horse a dignified retirement".

Did you know, $5 buys one bale of hay and feeds a horse for a day? We have 15 horses in our Sanctuary enjoying retirement. We start feeding hay mid to late October and continue through May. Would you like to feed one of our Sanctuary horses for a day?

You can donate to or send checks to:
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 35
Humboldt, SD 57035

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Work Like a Dog and Prep for Winter

If I thought I was a little spooked about winter coming faster than expected, I am even more spooked now as I watch our township (or maybe it's another township) apply gravel to our roads. I thought they were in ok shape but after sitting in my chair (working from home at the paying job), I've watched a half a dozen semis with two trailers loaded with gravel driving back and forth. That only means they are applying fresh gravel to our roads.

I'm not complaining mind you. When we first moved to the Sanctuary, we drove on mud! Now the county/township has been better about applying gravel to the roads. But it's also a sign that the county/township is preparing for winter. Although now that I think about it, we have a new grader person and he's been working the roads over for the past couple of months. But really, all this work is in prep for fall and winter. The farmers will tear apart the roads this fall with their machinery and then the rest of us will tear up the roads this winter and spring when everything turns to mud.

So now I'm back to thinking winter. I shouldn't be thinking winter when it's only the third of August! I shouldnt' spend my entire summer preparing for winter! A sad but true reality when you deal with winter six months out of the year.

Anyone want to help get the place ready for winter? Dont' forget that this Saturday is our Work Like a Dog Day from 10-5pm!

Lets Talk Vacation/Travel

Lets Talk Vacation/Travel

If you missed our Live Video on Facebook or don't want to listen to me ramble, here's another version of what is bouncing around in my head about "vacation". I'm sure I mentioned some of this in the previous post but still wanted to touch on it anyway.

So this past weekend we went on vacation. It's our annual tradition that we've been doing now for 30+ years. It's also not a tradition I'm willing to give up. I hear comments like "you're always going on vacation" "lucky that you get to go on vacation; we never do" or stuff like that.

I sacrifice to go on vacation when we do finally get to go. I also have small children that I want to make sure have the same experiences growing up that I was graced with. I don't want to be the reason they are held back from seeing the world. But it's still a rub to hear comments that maybe were meant to be nice but arent' taken that way because they seem overly negative. We've been going to the Black Hills for 30+. The timing has shifted over the past decade so we are stuck with going around the Sturgis Rally but managed to miss it this year (I don't hear motorocycles from the Sanctuary today which is odd...two years ago we went during the 75th annual rally AND I was 9 months pregnant...that's how stuck I am on this tradition!!!).

Where we go, we have no cell phone reception, no tv, no internet, no nothing. It's fantastic. I can unplug and just enjoy nature and relax. There's so much stress of running a Sanctuary, working full time, and caring for little kids. There's so many expectations and pressure that going on a vacation is wonderful, even if traveling with kids isn't really a vacation!

View from the valley where we stayed

What some don't understand is that with 16 horses, 2 dogs, and 1 cat, there's a lot of prep work! Checking fencing (or putting up fencing or moving corral panels), moving water tanks and totes, and making sure everything is in working order before leaving. Making sure everyone has enough food and water is the biggest and most time consuming task when planning on going for even 24 hours. Then you have to throw temperatures into the equation too. Because depending on how hot or cold it'll be means different work.

It might not seem like there's that much to do (after watching the video) but we had to move water tanks and water totes around, which also means moving pallets. It also meant moving corral panels around and adjusting where the ponies would be. And because Chaos loves to rip out fence, put temporary fence back up even thought I knew full well, he'd pull it back down (and he did).

Then there's the ever present need to ask someone to check on the place. I want to make sure that whoever I beg to look in on the place and feed the dogs doesn't have to do that much. If all they have to do is make sure that no one has fallen out of the fence and to feed the dogs, then I'm happy. Then maybe I'm not overextending my good graces on that person.

And because not all the horses were at the Sanctuary, we also had to do some scheduling to get horses hauled back home, ensure there was enough dog/cat food, etc. So for every day we plan on being gone, it's a day of prep. And that prep is always after the kids go to bed, which also means we are doing some of this prep work in the dark, OR we have to wait to leave until after all the prep work is done, which pushes back the time we are planning on leaving (both happened this time).

I love getting to see the world, and having my kids see and experience those same things but it takes a lot of time and effort to get there. We sacrifice a lot at the Sanctuary so that the horses can live comfortably. We give up extravagances (like most rescues and sanctuaries do) but I am not willing to sacrifice my kids getting to see what the world has to offer. This month they will be 5 and 2 and these are the ages where they are the most impressionable and when there are no obligations (on their part) so I want to take advantage of it while it lasts. Because before you know it, they will be 25 and 22 and on their own doing their own things and not wanting to go on vacation with us.

So for now, I will smile politely when someone mentions me going on vacation in a somewhat negative way, think unkind thoughts, and continue on my vacation.

If you have any questions about what to do or prep for when going on travel or vacation, let me know and I'll see if I can help. If anyone wants to volunteer to stop out and check on the place while we go on vacation (because YES we WILL go on more vacations), please let me know.

Vacation Time

You may have noticed a lack of blogs and Facebook posts. That's because we were on VACATION. And when I say vacation, it's not really a vacation when you have kids. It's just another location to tire kids out.

I get a lot of flack from people about "going on vacation". Umm,, I have kids. And because I have young kids who are impressionable, I want to make sure they see the world and they see the things I saw when I was a kid. It may look like we are only ever goofing around but there's a lot of work to do to go anywhere when running the Sanctuary.

And I may take time off from the Sanctuary because, well, I do get burned out. I'm the one person single handedly running the place and with all the other requirements and expectations, I need a break. And going on "vacation" with my kids is the one get away I can do and not feel guilty about it.

It was our annual trip to the Black Hills. It's something we've done for over 30 years. We ALWAYS go to the Black Hills around now. It used to be over Labor Day but things got messed up so now it's the end of July (it used to be during the Rally week but got bumped thankfully).

I got criticized once for going when I should have "had my priorities" somewhere else. Umm, no. I'm a stickler for tradition and this is one tradition I will not let go no matter WHO says WHAT to me. I know I need to let the comment go but it still stings even all these years later. But water off a ducks back.

The weather turned while we were gone. When we left, it was in the upper 80s and we'd been dealing with a month of 90s and humidity. Today as I sit at home trying to work for the paying job, it's in the 60s. Even when we were in the Black Hills, the temps were in the 80s, which meant down out of the mountains it was in the 90s. How crazy is it to have a 30 degree shift in temperature.  It now feels like fall rather than true summer. It almost feels like we are a month ahead of schedule for temperatures. This is truly September weather and not August weather. What we experienced last month was some of July and August weather.

So that sets of my spidey sense. Are we going to move into fall and winter a month early? This whole climate change has really changed everything rather drastically in the last five years or so. Everything is shifting more now than it has in the past 10 years. I think everything is a month early so that means I need to be a month early too. The problem is, I'm about a month behind. With the weather changing, that means I'm two months behind. Oh to have more time on my hands to actually get things done.

So I guess I better get to it and get some stuff done!

I'll leave you with a picture I took while in the Black Hills. My camera card was full so I can't even share any pictures. They are all on the old camera and I have to find the cord and everything to get the pictures downloaded. Oh technology, you have bested me again.

Stop over to our Facebook page at noon for a live video about what we do to prepare for a vacation. It's not all fun and games. I'll try to post more about what we do later today if the weather holds.