Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday

This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for beet pulp. Even though it takes bit of convincing for the horses to eat, we wish for beet pulp to help pack on the pounds of the hard keepers. Even though the horses are on grain and 24x7 hay, some of the hard keepers start to drop weight this time of year. We add a little beet pulp (and have to convince them they like it) to add a little bit extra weight. 

The picture is of Jim from this summer before we was on beet pulp. Once he steals someone else's grain that has beet pulp, he'll devour it. It's all about convincing them they like it (it's like convincing kids the like vegetables). 

Jim eating his grain mash

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


We lost Bo yesterday.

It's very difficult to write those words.

His death was 11 years and one day after the loss of my very first horse, my dream horse. It's a hard pill to swallow.

I started to think about all those that have gone before Bo. 17 horses in 11 years. For me, that's a lot of loss but I remember each one so fondly. In between those 17 horses, we also lost dogs and humans, all who supported our endeavors. We have not had a year without loss of someone.

But that is the life of a Sanctuary focused on senior horses. It is the part of the job I hate. But it is also the part that must be done that others will not.

I will share more but  not today. Today, as I did yesterday, I mourn. I also rejoice in knowing that Bo is pain free and can share his happy personality with others in heaven. But for me, left behind, I mourn.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bad News for Horse Owners

I was at the vets today (Farley wasn't feeling well) and they told me a very upsetting bit of information.

Starting March 1st, no rendering service will pick up horses that have been humanely euthanatized with the standard serum. I've heard one excuse for this change but I'm not sure if it is legit or just talk.

But this is a huge blow to horses. How can you promote humane euthanasia if you have no way of disposing of the body? Now the only means is to shoot the horse and I can't do it. I can't be there for such a method. We have had to use that method twice and neither was preferred but it was the option that kept everyone safe and everyone calm. I didn't want to put any undue stress on them anyway and loading them into a trailer and hauling them to an unknown location would only cause more problems as they were both becoming aggressive (Longhorn the donkey who had foundered and we pulled from auction for $10 and Sahara who was a crippled yearling filly we pulled from auction for $5).

If an owner chooses to humanely euthanasia, they will have to find other means for the body and in most instances, it means burying the horse. But that adds up depending on who you go with for a backhoe and then there's the issue of having to bury a horse in the middle of winter! You can't. And what of those that board their horses?

I foresee more senior horses headed to auction and entering the pipeline. That worries me and makes me physically ill.

I hope that there is talk of other means and methods for human euthanasia. These old horses deserve a retirement. They deserve to spend their golden years enjoying time off from all their hard work. They shouldn't be shipped off from one auction to another simply because there is no other option for euthanasia.

And as the days slip by and Bo's condition worsens, what do we do? The ground is frozen and I cannot bear to shoot him. That is not what you do to an old friend and family member. And yes, he is like family. We are either going to have to make a decision quickly about Bo or simply see if he can hold out until spring when the ground thaws enough. But how many can we bury at the Sanctuary before there is no more places?

This is all news I was not looking for nor needing right now. I've been under the weather for the past month and it's taking its toll on me. I haven't been able to get anything done and I've now lost out on a couple of opportunities. Even if it's one step forward, it's four steps back.

I guess for now, put your thinking caps on and lets come up with a way around or find a loop hole in the system. I do not want to see senior horses who have worked their entire lives sent off to auction simply because there is no "alternative" for human euthanasia.

Happy Friday

Happy Friday

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to last summer with Mayhem

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wishlist Wednesday

Wishlist Wednesday
This Wishlist Wednesday, we wish for salt blocks. Even in winter, we need to make sure that the horses receive enough salt in their diets.

A white salt block costs about $5 and will last the big herd a month (and the other two pens longer). You can find white salt blocks at TSC and Campbell Supply. I'm sure there are other locations as well.

Zeke at the salt block

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Thinking About Bo

I cried myself to sleep last night. I don't think Bo has much time left on this Earth and I think he's going to leave it to me to make that decision rather than go on his own (but most have forced me to make the decision for them as well). It's always a tough decision. It's devastating for me but for some reason, I'm really struggling with Bo.

The other night, I went out to let him out of his stall and he let out the biggest whinny. It's the same whinny I get when it's time to eat, but this time it was simply to say hello. Or it could have been, LET ME OUT because I'd left him in with no friends. Jim rushed at him trying to get into the barn and I'd had enough of Jim's bad behavior rushing the door and either pushing Bo out of the way or trying to cram two bodies in through a door the size of me.

But that whinny. That loud, vocal hello (or get me outta here, whichever it was), is too much for me. His mind and spirit are still so very, very active and yet his body is breaking down right before my eyes. He always comes up lame, every 6-8 months and it's never the same foot or leg. But this time, it's painfully obvious that his entire back end hurts, more so his right rear.  He's also starting to drop weight even though he's on a heavy ration of grain that helps with his ulcers.

Maybe I'm being selfish. Maybe I'm keeping him around only to be selfish because I don't want to make that decision. I'm going to have to make that phone call pretty soon though. But it hurts and he hasnt' told me he's ready. His body has but his mind has not. How can I be so unfair? How is it fair to keep him going when his body is falling apart right before my eyes? But how is it fair to say goodbye to someone who greets me at the gate and demands his grain every day?

Bo has always been a complicated horse and I can see now that even in his upcoming, death, he's going to be complicated. Normally I can easily make the decision. Don't get me wrong. Easy is not spoken lightly. I simply know. I know when they are failing and need help. It's not an easy decision nor is it taken lightly. But it's written as plan as letters on a page but with Bo. It's there but I can't seem to read the writing. Maybe I'm being selfish. I don't know. I don't want him to go alone but I also don't want to stress him out because he hates being in a trailer and despises the vet. So that adds undue burden to him. But I don't want to take Zeke because then Zeke will "know" and I don't want to sacrifice one horse's wellbeing for another.

So I wait and I watch and I worry. I would say I'll have to make a decision sometime in March but I just dont' know. That would have given him an additional 5 months from his prognosis in October. It's 5 extra months to have enjoyed Bo's company but it's still only 5 months.

I'm feeling selfish but I'm also not seeing all the signs I normally see. So I don't know. So instead I wait a little longer. For what, I have no idea. It's not like the outcome is going to change. But I wait and I cry myself to sleep thinking about Bo.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Random Ramblings

I still can't put my finger on what's wrong with Maverick. I checked him last night, and he was fine. This morning, he was again hiding in his official spot in the lean to. Of course that spot is becoming a coveted spot so maybe that's it. I don't know. My brain and emotions are a bit tapped out as of late. There's all this stuff I'd really like to do and right about the time I find the time to get to it, something comes up and I'm taking two steps back. I guess that's the nature of the beast.

Yesterday was gorgeous, in the upper 40s. I was so ready for spring to get here although it's much to early for that just yet. And today, as the day progresses, the temperatures are continuing to drop and we'll be dealing with single digits again overnight. It's a hard shift on animals and people alike. I worry every time we have a temp change that's drastic. I worry about colic and who it'll be. I guess I'm a bit nervous after losing Ivan and now watching Maverick, trying to decide what's going on with my spunky red gelding that doesnt' seem to be himself lately. I could have sworn I heard and saw a robin this morning during chores. It's much to early for them to arrive but it was a bright moment nonetheless.

I've been fairly quiet on the blog as of late and I may unfortunately continue that trend. I've been under the weather for awhile and I need to get back into the swing of things before I can tackle any big projects. And that's a bummer because I had hoped to move forward with a couple of ideas but that seems to be stalled right in its tracks. I guess we'll see how things go but I don't expect anything to come of it for awhile.

On the bright side, Junior is looking good. I don't believe he's lost any weight. I can't tell if he's packing it on or just leaving it on but in any case, he's looking good for being 30 years old. I honestly didn't think he'd make 30 when we took him in. He was 26 at the time and I figured one or two good years would be all he'd have left in him. Boy was I wrong. I do love it when the horses prove me wrong.

And Brego, oh my sweet, sweet Brego. I went out to do chores the other night and I wasn't feeling well. Brego knew there was something wrong and wouldnt' leave my side. He walked with me all the way from the bottom of the drylot to the barn, never once leaving my side, walking as slowly as I was and stopping every time I needed a break. That boy really knows when I need a bit of comfort. I always thought I'd only get that kind of attention from the older mares. I was wrong. Brego just seems to know. Yet another reason why I do adore him so. He's simply the sweetest horse we have at the Sanctuary.

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday to last summer with King (and no the big squiggly thing on the right is not a snake, it's just a branch. Lord help me if I ever see a snake that big!).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Be My Valentine - Bo

Meet Bo
Bo has been a special case since they day I laid eyes on him. We rescued him from an auction when he, along with his emaciated herd mates, were ordered to go to auction. There are many rumors that have swirled around Bo. I've even been accused of being the one to send him to auction. Only those who actually know me would know what a laughable statement that is. But we outbid the killbuyer and brought him home for $110. I wasn't sure he was going to even make the trip home.

We nursed him back to health but he's always been a difficult one to care for. From the get go, he's been classified as a hard keeper. Every year one thing or another would happen and we'd be faced with more challenges: severe lameness, ulcers, weight loss, breathing issues, and now heart failure.

The minute the vet uttered "heart failure" my heart broke because there was  nothing more I could do for Bo. I can keep him comfortable and as happy as possible but I cannot bring his body back from the wreckage. So now, as the days pass, we constantly watch to ensure Bo's quality of life is where it needs to be.

Even with the abuse and neglect he endured  before coming to the Sanctuary, he is still a happy horse, always greeting me with a huge whinny (it's because of the grain but I'll take it). I think Bo knew he was close to death and there seems to be a different bond between him and me than any of the other horses. He still has no ground manners and will run me over if someone challenges his space. He's the lowest on the pecking order but has figured out evasive maneuvers to get away (which include running me over if need be).

But Bo is sweet. He has a kind heart and wants to love and be loved. He watches me just as closely as I watch him. If only his condition wasn't to this point. If only we could have met years ago. I believe we would have been an amazing riding team. We did go for a short ride but his previous life stressed him out for riding so I only took him once on a short excursion before realizing that from no on, he needs to stay home and stay quiet.

He's best friends with Zeke but now that he's in the barn over the winter eating, he's getting to know Jim a little more. They tolerate each other in the barn but I was hoping they'd at last hang out a little bit in the big herd, but so far that's not happening.

Bo has taken to sticking to himself, patiently waiting for his evening grain and hanging out with me.

I wish that I could speak more eloquently about Bo to show you how much of an amazing horse he is. I hesitate to post pictures because his heart failure is taking its toll on this body and we've always fought to gain any ground on his weight problem. But pictures dont' do justice to Bo's spirit and energy. He doesn't have the demanding presence but he has a different presence that for me is somewhat calming. There's just something about Bo that I can't put into words that I wish I could share with you all. Bo is a very special horse and although he won't be on this earth for very much longer, I would love to share him with you so you too can see what an amazing horse he is.

If you'd like to sponsor him, monthly sponsorships are $50 and it would go to buying Ramona feed (which is what keeps the ulcers at bay) and senior feed (which hopefully keeps some weight on him), along with a weight booster supplement and buteless supplement (to ease the aches and pains he's experiencing during this cold snap). In return, you'll receive monthly updates and pictures of Bo (mostly eating his grain!)


Happy Valentine's Day

Hope you all have a very Happy Valentine's Day!

Health Issues

I'm stressing over sick horses. I wasn't expecting Maverick to not feel well. He's my tried and true, my ever present, always happy, always healthy horse and he's not. I have a sneaky suspicion that it's the hay giving him problems.

Last night he was very pensive and downright grumpy, which is something he is NEVER. He had good gut sounds so it's definitely not colic and I thought maybe in the  morning he'd improve. This  morning I checked on him and he's still "off". He's farting but he's still not right.

We put in hay Sunday morning and Sunday evening I saw him, Lightening, and King all curled up snoozing. I am always a little paranoid when someone lies down but they all seemed ok. I didn't get a chance to really look at the herd Monday, too much chaos and commotion going on to really notice. And then all of a sudden it's Tuesday night and Maverick has this look on his face. No one else would notice it but I did.

Mike is going to pick up a 10ml syringe tonight at TSC so I don't have to try and give two doses of banamine. I know he's good about taking meds but that won't last for long if I have to give him two or three doses every time. I'm planning on pulling him out of the big herd and putting him in a smaller pen. He'll hate it but then I can keep track of him a little closer. I'll throw good small squares of hay and if he perks up, I'll know it's the hay.

This isn't the first time we've had problems with hay. I don't know the field where this hay came from. I don't know the true quality of it like the stuff we normally get. I'm wondering if there isnt' some switch grass in there causing problems. I only say that because a few years back when we had to use CRP hay, Queen would colic every time we put  a new bale of hay in. And it almost matches the same symptoms and time frame. No one else is having problems but that's not to say there isn't buildup. This hay has been ok but there's chaff and I don't like dealing with chaff. I want to go with our old hay guy.

If it truly is the hay, I'll be making a run up to Madison to buy Maverick a big bale of good, dairy quality hay and he'll simply be stuck in that pen until the big herd is done with those two bales. I expect it'll take more than a week to eat it down. That means hauling water twice a day, all the way back to the red shed. It's a pain, especially when I'm running late in the  mornings but it needs to be done.

On top of Maverick not feeling well, Bo's back end is bothering him. I hope it's just today that is bothering him. It comes and goes but today was bad enough for me to notice. He hides his pain but you can tell simply by the way he stands and shifts his weight. That sign tells me he's ready to let go but when he looks at me, his eyes don't tell me he's ready to go. His eyes are bright, happy and energetic. His mind and spirit are still there but his body is failing him. So when is it the right time? What am I waiting for? His body is failing him right before my eyes and I seem to be waiting for what? A miracle? Something to change the inevitable? I keep waiting and hoping that everyone is wrong as his body continues to fail. But his mind and spirit are still strong. They are still very present in the moment. So what do I do? Instead I wait. I don't want him to leave this worth with snow under his body and clouds in the sky I want him to  leave with grass in his belly and sun on his back. So I wait. I watch. I worry. Bo and I could use some good thoughts right about now.

Be My Valentine - Chaos

Meet Chaos
Chaos is the first horse to officially come into the Sanctuary. In May 2006 we welcomed an unhandled yearling stud. It was a true wakeup call because we'd only ever handled older horses. We accepted Chaos sight unseen but are definitely glad we took the leap of faith on him as he's been our go-to horse for many and seems to catch the eye of many as well.

Chaos has come a long way from that gangly yearling stage. He's now 13 and completely sure of himself, which makes me appreciate him more. He has self confidence that pours from him. There are certain horses that exude personality and confidence and Chaos is one of them. He demands respect and gets it from the entire herd (except Rain).

We've gone through many ordeals with Chaos include a foot stuck in a concrete loading chute, a nail in the hoof, getting caught up in the fence and cutting both back legs, and a few others that I can't remember right now. I honestly think that Chaos has and is a blessed horse with someone watching over him because he has been accident prone when he was younger.

Chaos is always one of the first to greet you at the gate and if you have treats, he'll be your best friend forever. He's carried me through countless trail rides and carried novice and expert riders with the same care. He's a bit on the lazy side and prefer to simply hang out but will pick up the pace when the herd goes on a gallop around the pasture.

Chaos is one in a million and I'm very glad we took the chance on him way back in 2006. He's a very easy keeper and only requires hay and his salt block. Would you like to be Chaos's Valentine this year and provide a monthly sponsorship? $50 monthly sponsorship would go to buy his winter supply of hay, countless salt blocks, and some treats that he does absolutely love. In return, you'll receive a monthly update and pictures of this hunk-a-hunk horse.

You can pay for sponsorship through paypal at or via mail at
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 164
Humboldt, SD 57035


Wishlist Wednsday

Wishlist Wednesday

Our Wishlist Wednesday is a wish we are always asking for...hay. We are always in need of hay (and alfalfa) in any shape or quantity. We are not picky on what type of hay we get (round bales, big squares, small squares, etc.). We are always in need.

It's amazing how quickly the horses go through hay and how even $5 can buy a bale of hay and keep a senior horse fat and sassy.



Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Be My Valentine - Zeke

Meet Zeke
I'm not allowed to have favorites but Zeke, well, he's special. The first time I swung my leg over the saddle on Zeke, it was like I was riding my first Arab that I had retired. It felt as though I was picking up where I had left off except with a different horse.

Zeke was just that easy to get along with that after only six months, I was more than comfortable riding him to the church in my big poofy wedding dress for my big day. That is how much I trust him, and I still trust him. Don't get me wrong, my biggest spill also came from Zeke but that's all my fault.

I wasn't looking for a horse but I'm prone to notice arabs for sale. I found him in September 2009 and bought him as my personal horse. We did everything together. He's been my trail horse (although failed miserably because he'd prefer to jump creeks rather than walk through them), participated in parades, and was involved in not one, but TWO drill teams. In fact, he was the oldest horse on the team and keeping up with the younger "pups" and showing them off. He knew when it was the real deal. I'm guessing he once was a show horse in a previous career but we'll never know.

But at the age of 24, he told me that he was tired of performing for drill team so I retired him at that season. He's been enjoying retirement to the extreme since then. When I retired him from drill team, I put him into the Sanctuary program and he's been very happy ever since.

I knew Zeke was special but this past year has shown me the extent of how special he is. He's the typical arab but seems rather down to earth. He's always hung out with Bo and even Brego and Ivan when Bo was in eating. He isn't one of the pushy ones and is lower on the pecking order. But he takes everything into stride.

When Ivan was colicing last November, Zeke stuck fairly close to him. I thought it was odd. He went to far as to touch Ivan's belly where it hurt. Zeke was trying to make him feel better. After we lost Ivan, Brego went into a depression. I was worried sick for Brego. I shouldn't have worried. Zeke was there to bring him out of his depression. Now I see them play fighting all the time, tormenting each other. If Brego isn't picking on Zeke, Zeke is picking on Brego. It's so good to see Brego out of his depression and it's good to see that Zeke is moving around like a typical young arab instead of an old duffer.

He still watches over Bo. There was a bit of a tiff when Lightening came. Lightening immediate went to Zeke for protection and to follow. It was like they were one and the same but in the past few months Lightening has found his own stride. That's a good thing because Zeke is back to watching over Bo. I think Bo and Zeke have always been fairly close friends because Zeke knows that Bo has never been 100% healthy.

Zeke is very special and even at the age of 26 he doesn't seem like he's slowing down in his retirement. I'm looking forward to pampering him during his golden years because he deserves it. He's taken care of me countless times, kept me safe during all our rides, and now deserves (and will get) a retirement where he can be spoiled every day of his golden years.

Would you like to help spoil Zeke? You can sponsor him monthly for $50, which will buy him a bag of senior feed and ensure he gets the needed trims to keep him balanced and comfortable. In return, you'll receive monthly updates with pictures. I know Zeke is special to me, but I'd love to share this special horse with you!

You can pay for sponsorship through paypal at or via mail
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 164
Humboldt, SD 57035


Be My Valentine - Mayhem

Meet Mayhem
Mayhem came to us as a three month old filly in September 2011. She was Rabbit's last baby and the owner didn't want either Rabbit or Mayhem as Mayhem was guaranteed blue roan and she obviously didn't come out blue roan. There are no guarantees in life other than death and taxes. So the owner wanted to find them a new home. We'd been looking for an "older" horse for our late 20s mare and there was Rabbit. The catch was Mayhem. We could either keep Mayhem for $50 or bring her back after she'd been weaned and he'd find her a home. I was worried because she was registerable but the papers weren't filled out properly so she never did get registered. She also had an umbilical hernia. Not many would take on that challenge and being sorrel, she'd be easy pickings for slaughter. So we kept her.

Mayhem had already had two strikes against her so she came to live at the Sanctuary. She's had a few additional strikes against her. We thought she was colicing and took her into the vet. We discovered instead that she has colitis. I will take full responsibility for that one. But in the  mean time, we also discovered that she has a heart murmur. Then during one of her runs through the pastures, she poked her eye and there is now a white spot on her left eye. She can see out of it but as she ages, I expect that she will have difficulty seeing.

So Mayhem is a bit of a horse who has been able to outlast the normal three strikes and you're out theory. Mayhem really does stand up to her name.

Personality wise, she's been around old horses so she's a bit of an old soul. But she also brings out the playfulness in the older horses, which is always a good thing. Mayhem is inquisitive but also a bit shy and unsure of herself. I blame that on me as we've never really done much with her. She always kept getting pushed to the back burner because another older senior needed our time, attention, and funds.

Mayhem likes everyone and seems to blend will with whoever she is in with. She can hang out with the ponies, or Lace and Junior. Or she can tease the boys and taunt them with her filly silliness. But overall, she's a solidly built mare who reminds me so much of her mother but with the carefree spirit that all horses should have.

Mayhem still has the umbilical hernia but we have the funds built up to get it repaired. We are currently waiting for the weather to warm up and for our vet to heal for an injury before we proceed. Until then, Mayhem is a very easy keeper and only requires hay. I'd love to send her to a trainer but that's not in the cards as I use my personal money for all horse training and there's a lack of funds right now for me.

If anyone would like to sponsor Mayhem, it would be $50 and would go directly to her hay bill and keeping a salt block in her pasture. She's a growing girl so she powers through the hay like no one else can. In return, you'll receive a monthly update with pictures.

You can send sponsorships through or via mail at
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 164
Humboldt, SD 57035


Monday, February 12, 2018

Lost Penny Day

A penny might not seem like very much money and in fact, in some cases, it's rather a nuisance. But we've all stashed pennies away for a rainy day and realized that pennies do add. up.

Lost Penny Day is the perfect day to take a moment to recognize that despite the fact that pennies may not seem like they are worth much, they can still be found and used to help those in need where very penny counts and adds up.

We count our pennies every day and it's amazing how quickly a few pennies can add up and help the Sanctuary horses. Would you consider donating a few pennies on Lost Penny Day?

You can donate through PayPal at or send your pennies via mail at:

Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
26160 457th Ave
Humboldt, SD 57035

Friday, February 9, 2018

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Be My Valentine - Brego

Meet Brego
Sweet and mello. That's the words to describe Brego. Brego is the gentlest horse at the Sanctuary and would never hurt a fly. Brego came to the Sanctuary in October 2008 on a rainy night. He was the first horse we dealt with that was thinner than we would normally have liked. We've struggled with his weight until we finally went to round bales and now he's nice and plump. I think he was so passive, that he let others eat his food.

Brego is a 13 year old grade quarter horse gelding.

Brego is a sweetheart with a heart of gold. He's always curious to know what I'm doing but never gets into my space without first asking.

When Brego was five, I sent him to the trainers to become a good riding horse only to discover that he should never be ridden. We can only guess that he has a back/hip issue that causes pain. So instead, he is now a pasture pet.

This fall he lost his best friend and I was terrified that he would fall into a deep depression. Luckily, he had adjusted well and seems to be back to his sweet self once again. I cannot believe how residential Brego is.

Brego is lower in the pecking order but doesn't seem to get pushed around either. He always seems to be congenial and sweet tempered. I don't know that I have ever seen him pin his ears at anyone.

Would you like to sponsor this sweetheart of a horse? Brego's monthly sponsorship is $50 and covers the cost of grain and will ensure that he gets a winter blanket. He has a blanket but it's starting to show its wear. Brego hates being cold and loves to wear blankets. It's one of his special perks of being a thin skilled QH. In return for sponsoring Brego, you'll receive monthly updates and pictures.

You can donate to or send via mail to
Borderlands Horse Sanctuary
PO Box 164
Humboldt, SD