Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Worth Their Weight

It's been fairly quiet at the Sanctuary lately (knock on wood). We are enjoying the last warm day before another cold spell sets in. Mike is headed to Madison tonight to bring home the snowplow before the cold front and snow comes.

Sometimes Sanctuary life gets a little boring, especially during the winter months when we're all cooped up inside or trying to stay warm outside. I know before we know it, summer will be here and there will be lots of fun activities and adventures to go on. The horses will enjoy the warmer weather and the green pastures.

I sometimes get caught up in all the hubbub with social media and trying to get our name out there. But I need to remember what's really important...the horses.  I went out to check on them this afternoon (yay for getting to work from home at the paying job!). It was nice to see everyone so relaxed and happy.

When I called to Jim, he pulled his head out of the bale and walked up to get his grain. It's nice that we all have a routine and are comfortable with each other. I mean, you gotta be comfortable with someone if you're willing to fart in their face (btw, it's Jim who does that to me...every time he sees me....every. time!)

The other day we had to put hay in. All I had to do was open a gate and they all walked in when I told the boys to help. Years ago, I doubt that would have happened. In fact, I was able to stop Bo, and tell him he needed to go to the barn rather than go into the pen (it would have stressed him out). And he did just that. It's not like I speak horse and it's not like they speak English. But it was fascinating to see how they handled what I asked. All 10 of them in the big pen knew what I was asking for and obliged.

I'm fascinated by how willing the Sanctuary horses are to do what I ask them. I forget how much trust they have in me and it's rather humbling. It really says a lot about age and wisdom.

Old horses are worth their weight in gold.

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday

This Wishlist Wednesday we wish for Dumor Weight Booster to keep give our hard keepers a little boost to ensure their weight stays at the right levels. We want our horses coming out of winter as fat as when they went in to winter.

You can find the Dumor Weight Booster at TSC for $20. Other weight boosters are also welcome.

Jim - our oldest resident (age 31)

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tip Tuesday

I've had to deal with colic (ours and a neighbors) in the past couple of months. Both turned deadly even with the best care possible. But I wanted to share a little infographic courtesy of Hygain in hopes that you'll never have to deal with colic.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Weekend Recap

It was a productive yet unproductive weekend at the Sanctuary! In June 2017, Mike realized that the farm truck/plow truck was in desperate need of a new engine. It's a 1980s model Chevy truck so it's seen better days, but it's what we can afford. Unfortunately, there was no cheaper alternative than to put a new motor in it, rather than buy a new truck.  I figured Mike new motors and cars so not a problem. Boy was I wrong. He's a Ford guy, not a Chevy guy and hadn't worked on Chevys much. With the summer and fall quickly flying by, it wasn't until the snow started to fly that the real pressure was on. Luckily I have awesome family who can help.

So this past weekend, after a few snow storms and fingers crossed that we didnt' get much snow, the plow truck headed up to Madison to get a new motor. Two days, countless hours and a whole heck of a lot of praying, we have our plow truck back! I think both Mike and I let out a collective sigh last night when he drove into my parent's driveway with the plow truck running smoothly.

It's one less stress to worry about.

Because it's a two day job, we spent most of our time in Madison. As I was headed home Saturday night, a snow storm quickly blew through and made driving impossible. I was irritated because we NEEDED to get home to feed horses. I'd let the bales run down to almost nothing and we needed to put hay in.

By the time we finally made it home (had to wait for Mike to get done working on the motor and for the kids to fall asleep (overnight with the grandparents)), it was 11pm and I was not about to put in hay and deal with hay nets and tying them down at midnight. Thank goodness for small square bales of hay there were donated. They've been a godsend these last few snowstorms. Unfortunately, I hadn't realized that it was going to snow so I never blanketed anyone. They all seemed no worse for ware so after tossing in hay, we decided to put bales in first thing in the morning and get back to Madison to work on the truck.

I should have been looking at the forecast. I should have done a pre-emptive strike and just put hay in Friday night or Saturday morning. Sunday rolled around and it was cold! On the bright side, while I was tying the nets down, Mike switched out the bale spear for the bucket and scraped up the lot again. We tried last weekend when it was warm but didn't get everything and Sunday he did it again and got a lot more. It's one perk of having concrete in the dry lot. The only downfall is the manure pile is really getting high. We are going to have to do some serious manure hauling this spring to get it out of the dry lot. I'll be so happy to see it go!

This winter we had gotten those hay bales donated but hadn't been able to pick up all 100 bales. So while the trailer was there, Mike picked up the last 16. We'll have to take the trailer back up to pick up the plow truck this next weekend (it's not exactly road worthy or licensed so on the trailer it goes). So once again, we'll be scrambling to get a few things done to make life easier but I'm all for it.

I did end up blanketing Rain and Bo yesterday  morning because it felt so chilly. I'm glad I did. It was two below this morning and I didn't realize it. No wonder I felt cold during chores! I'm not sure which I'd rather have, snow or cold. I'm too old and fat to be jumping on the ponies' water buckets but I'm too short to be hauling water through knee deep snow drifts. Oh the joys of being a Sanctuary caretaker!

Motor going into the farm truck/snow plow
With the plow truck in running order, the big tractor paid off, and the little tractor to be paid off in another week or two, life is looking good right now!

Friday, January 26, 2018

Exciting News

We have exciting news... ok so maybe it's only exciting to me but still, it's something I wanted to share!

Our big tractor (the one below)

Is officially paid for!!! SO EXCITED!

Now before you start to wonder, no funds that have been donated to the Sanctuary ever went into paying off this tractor. All funds donated to the Sanctuary go directly into their feed bill and never anything else. We have been paying for this tractor personally, using all of our own personal money. The loan, gas, oil, and general maintenance (because there's always maintenance) has been paid by us personally. So it's very exciting for me to say that it's officially paid for and there's one less loan to have to worry about.

I am so very grateful for this tractor as well. Before we got this tractor and after we moved to big round bales, we had to move bales with our farm truck (more on the farm truck soon). It would take 2 hours to put 2 bales in (very difficult when you have a baby at your side). So this tractor has been a blessing. It's not shiny, it's not new; in fact, it's rather cantankerous (a lot like the horses at the Sanctuary). But it runs and it's ours!

The other exciting news? The little tractor will be paid off at the beginning of February!! That means both of our tractor payments will be finished!! And the same thing goes with this little tractor. It has been paid directly out of my paycheck and no funds donated to the Sanctuary have ever gone in to paying off this tractor, buying gas, oil, or general maintenance. So it's another "win" to get these tractors paid off. They aren't shiny, they aren't new but they are ours!

We'll use the little tractor to mow the lawns and to knock down the weeds in the big pasture. There's a million uses for a little tractor with a belly mower!

The other exciting news? (who knew there would be such exciting news today!)

The plow truck is finally going in to get repaired. Well, not really repaired. Mike and some of my family members are going to pull the  motor and put a new motor in! I wont have to worry about the weather and how much snow we get once the plow truck is back in working order.

The plow truck is like the tractors. All costs accrued with the plow truck have all been paid by us personally. So the new motor going into the truck, paid for by us. And all the fuel and maintenance is paid for by us and not the Sanctuary/donations. It's a big undertaking to take on vehicles (especially old ones like what we can afford) but it is a relief to know that we have these helpful "farm hands" around the place to make life easier.

Keep your fingers crossed that all will go smoothly with putting the new motor in. I'll know by Monday if we have a new, working motor.

Got 5 Bucks?

Got 5 bucks?

Do we have a deal for you!

Skip the morning coffee and help out one of our senior horses. You might not think $5 buys a lot in the horse world, but it definitely makes a difference. Did you know, $5 buys a bale of hay; $5 buys a dewormer; $5 buys a grooming brush; $5 buys a salt block. And that's just to name a few! Imagine what a few $5 would buy for the senior horses at the Sanctuary!?!

You may not think that even $1 would make a difference but it does! Every $5, every $1, and even every penny counts and makes a difference!!

Do you want to help make a difference today for $5 Friday?

Happy Friday

Happy Friday
Have a great weekend

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to last fall with two of the arabs, Zeke and Lightening

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday

This Wishlist Wednesday we wish for feeders (over the fence or rubber dish pans). The horses love their grain and are a bit hard on their dishes. But it's all worth it to see their faces as they devour their grain (it's a loo of pure bliss).

You can find feeders at TSC, Campbell Supply, or even online. The feeders run about $10.

Brego & Zeke

Maverick & Chaos

Maverick & Chaos

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Measure Your Feet Day

Did you know, January 23rd is "Measure Your Feet" Day? What's a better way to celebrate "Measure Your Feed" day than to help out the Sanctuary horses with a trim?! Even though the horses' feet don't grow nearly as fast during the winter months, we want to make sure that everyone stays comfortable during the long cold days and nights of winter with proper trims.

We'd love to have our Sanctuary horses sponsored for their trims. Trims typically cost $30. You an donate trims through paypal at Simply specify who you want to donate the trim to.

#MeasureYourFeetDay, #FarrierDay


Monday, January 22, 2018

Can't Do Sorrel

I happened to be puttering on Facebook and came across a video. I'm not sure if it was real or totally fake and only there to make a point but it's been on my mind ever since so figured I'd bring it up here.

A woman was looking for a 1D horse for her daughter so that they could win. For me, it was a bit odd anyway because instead of working on their own horse and getting it to 1D, they simply wanted to buy a horse that was already there. But that means someone else has done all the work and you simply want a "turn key" as I call it, horse.

So the video continues on where the woman states she has a budget and that they are about ready to make a deal, or at least ready to schedule a time to come out. The next question out of the woman's mouth, "What color is it?" (first, not he or she but a "thing" like it's an inanimate object and then the absurdness of needing color.)

The next thing out of the woman's mouth "oh, we can't do sorrel. We need something flashy. We can't do sorrel." And that was the end of the conversation. All based on color. To some degree, I've had the same experience. I have Maverick who is a superb trail horse and I would trust my kids on him but he needs more training for drill team. So instead of putting the time on him, I went in search of a different horse. Some of it was, he wasnt' flashy...but mostly because he is a horse that I trust so much with my kids, I don't want to possibly jinx his trail riding skills and make him hot getting into an arena.

But it did make me think. People don't see sorrel. They want the flashy, they want the chrome, they want something that will catch the eye of others. It's all about the flash. So I wonder how many horses head to slaughter that are sorrel. How many broodmares are never posted on the kill pen sites because they arent' flashy enough? I wont' go into discussions about the kill pen/feedlot sales but it does make me wonder how many sorrels arrive and never get posted because they arent' flashy enough.

What of the 20+ year old gelding or mare with a little bit of gray around the eyes and muzzle. Will anyone notice them? What of the late teens broodmares who've "served their purpose" and can no longer make babies? Who will notice a sorrel?

Maverick is sorrel and yet, he's one of the best horses we have on the place. I trust him with my kids. I trust him to take care of his rider even though he doesn't necessarily have a lot of hours and miles on him.

But maybe instead of overlooking a sorrel, you may discover that a sorrel is really your next diamond.

Winter Weather

You might have noticed that I haven't really been very chatty as of late. I've been pulled away from doing anything with the Sanctuary except for the standard feeding and general care of the horses. Anything else, well, there hasn't been time. 

I'm in the middle of a huge project at the paying job and that's taking away all my extra time, the time I would put towards the Sanctuary social media and blogging stuff. And by the end of the day, my brain is done. Lucky for me, we have a snow day so I can sit and figure out where I left off and where to begin again. 

We've had some gorgeous weather but there was talk of a blizzard so I went out last night during chores and put blankets on everyone. Every time I'd check the weather, the forecast would be different. It went from 12 inches of snow to 4 inches to 1-2 inches. So it's a bit hard to be prepared but I'd rather have the forewarning than nothing at all. I'm sure others were grumbling over the uncertainty of the storm but I think we just lucked out at the Sanctuary, rather than anything else. There is a blizzard to the south and east of us and they can keep it!

The below picture is one I took this morning so you can see that the snow was blowing and making it a bit miserable this morning. Luckily there's only wind and the horses can get out of the wind. 

I'm  hoping that I can take a breather from my big project and refocus on the Sanctuary. So if you have any ideas on what you'd like to see, please let me know. I'm sort of winging it so if there's something you'd like to see more of, see less of, or something that would be beneficial to the Sanctuary, I'd love to hear it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!
Have a great weekend

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Throwback Thurday

Throwback Thursday to last summer when it was so darn hot that Penny used the ponies as shade.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday

This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for Ramona Feed. We like feeding Ramona feed to our senior horses. It's a mix of oats, cracked corn, and I believe soy meal or some other special ingredient that helps pack on the pounds and keep the horses fat and sassy.

We've discovered that Ramona Feed works well for those horses that experience ulcer while eating grains that include molasses. We like using Ramona Feed on Bo to keep his ulcers at bay but also to make sure that he keeps his weight. 

We'd love to have an entire barn full of Ramona Feed. A bag of Ramona Feed costs just over $10 and you can find it directly at Ramona Warehouse in Ramona, South Dakota or at A Bar K in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Even one bag makes a difference for the horses at the Sanctuary.

Picture Courtesy Ramona Warehouse

Bo (from this summer waiting for his grain)

Wind Chill Advisory

I've been a little incomuminicado lately thanks to the sheer amount of work the paying job has me buried under. I'm hoping that soon I can recover and breath but until then I'm struggling to get anything done. It's so frustrating but I guess that's part of work.

We had beautiful weather for about a week and then another cold snap hit us. I never realized how much easier it is getting everything done in warmer temperatures. And when I say warmer, even 5 degrees above zero is warm lately.

The cold snap was supposed to set in late last week. I was able to blanket everyone, including Zeke. I didn't go so far as to stall anyone because it didn't seem all that bad.

We had a bit of a stressful weekend trying to help a neighbor with his colicy horse. I hate colic. After dealing with Ivan's colic and losing him so suddenly, it was a little bit surreal. And frustrating but that's all I'll say about it.

By Monday we were into bone chilling temperatures. And silly me, I waited until Monday night to put in hay because I wanted the hay to last a little longer. I should have sacrificed the good hay and went ahead and put the hay in. Over half the herd was in the barn for the night because it was almost 10 below with a wind chill of almost 30 below. And wouldn't you know, I'm out there putting on haynets and securing them with twine. I'd been out in that kind of weather before but for some reason Monday night's "adventure" was bad. I think I came close to frost bite. What I cant' figure out is that the time before, I almost froze my hand to metal a couple of times but this time around I think hypothermia was setting in....or maybe it was just exhaustion. Either way, by Monday night, I was done in.

Luckily the weather is getting significantly better. Unfortunately, it's another 50 degree swing in temperature. And I believe that type of temperature shift is what caused the neighbor's horse to colic. I've always worried about major temperature changes and our seniors. Can they handle the temp change, will there be any effects on them? It worries me. The older horses can't always handle such sudden shifts in temperature.

By the end of the wee we'll be in the 40s! And to think we were 10 below on Monday with a 30 below wind chill advisory! That's South Dakota for you.

I know there's more to write but I need to get back to the paying job before I get more buried. It's so hard to focus on moving forward when you're barely keeping your head above the water. Anyone want to help with fundraiser ideas?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Play Time

We're warming up out of a deep freeze. I think everyone is happy for warmer weather. Here's a few pics from the other night during sub zero temps. I had to kick Lightening, King, Chaos, and Maverick into a different pen while the rest were in the barn. These four went into a different pen so we could put in hay. Nothing like waiting until it's 10 below to put in hay.

I'll let you caption these pics.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!
Hope you have a great weekend!

Dress Up Your Pets Day

Did you know, January 14th is Dress Up Your Pets Day?

I know you've all done it. You've dressed up your pet (horse, dog, cat) just for fun (much to their dismay I'm guessing).

Well, what better way to pass the time than to dress up your pets this weekend. I created an event on our Facebook page so you can add pictures of your pets all dressed up.

It's something silly I know. The event is just for fun. There's too much seriousness in the world and way too much negative so we thought we'd combat that with a silly event. The weather is too chilly to do much so why not see how others have dressed up their pets.

For some, it might be too cold to dress up their horses (if you're in sub zero temperatures), but you can still post pictures from the past. It's always fun to see what others are doing with their four legged-pets.

So stop on over to the Sanctuary's Facebook page and post a picture of your pet all dressed up. It's ok if they aren't horses. Lots of horse people have dogs and cats for pets as well, so they might as well enjoy the fun too!

Hope to see lots of pictures!

The event is listed at:

Not my pic but it would be fun to do something like this with one of the black horses

$5 Friday

Today is $5 Friday!

Did you know $5 buys not only a coffee, but a bale of hay which equals at least two meals (minimum) for a horse?! The small squares we currently have actually feed two horses two meals.

There's always so many costs with senior horses and keeping them fat and happy. But when you get down to the nitty gritty, $5 can actually buy a lot for a senior horse. Every dollar counts when you're caring for a horse, especially a senior horse. $1 adds up quickly and $5 adds up even more quickly.

Wouldn't you like to keep our seniors fat and happy during this winter?

You can donate at

or send donations to

Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 164
Humboldt, SD 57035

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Throwback Thrusday

Throwback Thursday to last summer with Brego

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Winter Storm Approaching

I know I already mentioned it earlier this week but we have a storm coming. We really didn't have any winter until winter solstice and then it's been super cold. We finally got a break starting this past weekend and it's been fantastic. In fact it's been in the 30s and almost 40s so the snow is melting fast (that type of weather is unheard of).  I'd pulled most of the blankets off horses on Saturday but left Bo's and Rain's on because the temps were still a little precarious.

I also don't want Bo to go down and get wet/chilled although I'm thinking I should have pulled it for yesterday and today. Rain has such a thin coat and thin skin but still I should have pulled his blanket today. I'm sure he'll hang out in the shade.

But today is the last day of warm weather. We're going to have a major shift in temperatures in the next 24 hours. I'm a little worried because the cold always means there's a chance for someone to get sick and/or colic. Not something I want to deal with. I'm still not over Ivan.

But today the high is supposed to be almost 40 degrees and then the cold front is to come through with a low of 10. The high tomorrow is a high of 10 and subsequently dropping into the sub zero temps. I think I saw minus 12. That's a shift of 50 degrees! We're also supposed to get rain and that will turn into snow. They've moved the bullseye from directly over us to away from us and I'm ok with that what with not having a snowplow to push snow. All my packed paths will be gone.

What I'm really worried about after the rains, is the wind. The horses will get chilled from the rains and then the winds will become wind chills of sub zero temps. The weathermen are talking blizzard like winds. I'm planning on blanketing everyone that I can. Luckily Dude has a new blanket. Maverick ripped the entire side of Dude's blanket and his butt was practically hanging out. His was actually Rabbit's blanket but once I get it repaired, it'll become a spare for those super polar vortexes and I can put it on King.

I'm hoping this storm isn't like Storm Atlas from a few years back. We missed the terrible weather but west river was decimated. They had rain turning to freezing rain, then lots and lots of snow. It killed off a lot of livestock. That same storm brought tornados on this side of the state. Of course we don't experience tornados now but the thought of freezing rains and then subzero temps isn't something I want to think about in mid January.

We'll hunker down for the next few days and let this storm pass before we do much more. Whenever we deal with subzero temps, it's mostly a time to simply survive and get through it. I need to put hay in for the mares/Junior tonight. They had more enough last night but with a storm coming, I want to get it taken care of before it gets icky cold. I hate putting in hay in subzero temps. And the horses will be happy to have a fresh bale to power through.

But I see myself being super busy for the next couple of nights to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable during this storm and cold spell. Add to it the high-priorities that got dropped on my lap this week from the paying job, I won't be doing much except keeping everyone comfortable and working. Sounds romantic and alluring right? Ah the joys of running a Sanctuary in South Dakota.

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday

This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for senior feed. We aren't picky about the brand, we integrate the senior feed if/when we switch brands. The senior horses (and hard keepers) need senior feed to keep them fat, happy, and sassy during the long, cold days and nights of winter. We want to give them just a little bit extra when they need it to make sure they maintain the correct weight.

Even one bag makes a difference in making sure our senior horses and hard keepers maintain the right weight to keep them happy.

Junior and Lace

King, Chaos, Dude, Rain, and Zeke


Monday, January 8, 2018

Weather Woes

From Wednesday afternoon to Thursday afternoon we have a temperature shift of almost 45 degrees predicted Wed high of around 37 and Thursday's low of around minus 12. ARG! I can't manage that kind of weather with old horses.

I pulled blankets this weekend but they'll be going on tomorrow night just before the rains hit. I think I may be getting stalls ready tomorrow night as well. So much to do and so little time to prep. I wasn't even paying any attention to the weather.

The last time I heard, we were going to get "some" snow. It's South Dakota, we get snow. But now we're getting significant snow. Add to that the temp change and I'm starting to worry. Then someone mentioned the wind. With rain turning to freezing rain and then snow, we'll have ice everywhere. And that also means wet horses. Wet horses and then plummeting temps don't bode well for horses.

Yep, think I'll be paying closer attention to the weather. I've been ignoring it lately but I better not for the next couple of days. So much for getting unburied.

I'll continue to freak out now.

Saturday, January 6, 2018


BONUS Trivia Question:

How many horses call the Sanctuary home?

If you guessed 14, you're right!

Trivia Answer 7

Trivia Question 7: Who was the first horse the Sanctuary officially took on?

If you answered Chaos, you're right!


BONUS Trivia Question:

How many horses call the Sanctuary home?

Trivia Question 7

Trivia Question 7:
Who was the first horse the Sanctuary officially took on?

Friday, January 5, 2018

Trivia Answer 6

Trivia Question 6: Which horse has a brand on his shoulder?

Trivia Answer: If you answered Junior, you're right.

Junior has a spade on his right shoulder.

Happy Friday

Happy Friday!
You  you have a great weekend.

Trivia Question 6

Trivia Question 6:
Which horse has a brand on his shoulder?

HINT: He's the only horse with a brand!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Trivia Answer 5

Trivia Question 5:
How many mares live at the Sanctuary and who are they?

There are TWO mares at the Sanctuary and they are Mayhem and Lace.

Throwback Thurday

Throwback Thursday to last summer with Penny and King

Trivia Question 5

Trivia Question 5:
How many mares live at the Sanctuary and who are they?

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Trivia Answer 4

Trivia Question: What year did the Sanctuary become a non-profit?

If you answered 2016, you're right!

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday

This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for blankets. The cold snap we've been feeling is definitely a reminder that some of our Sanctuary residents need blankets to keep them warm during the coldest parts of winter. 

Any size, any color, any brand, and in almost any condition (used is greatly appreciated as well as new) are always welcome. The horses aren't picky on what they wear. It's amazing how quickly certain horses can destroy their blankets while others keep them for a long time.