Monday, March 25, 2019

Introducing My Girl

Yesterday we had some excitement. We haven't brought in a new Sanctuary horse since December 2015 when we welcomed Lace. (I bought Lightening as a personal horse for drill team in January 2017 but that doesn't count for Sanctuary numbers.)

We'd been working since December to bring in our newest member of the Sanctuary, My Girl. The weather didn't cooperate and life sorta got in the way but we finally made arrangements for My Girl to come live with us.

She comes from an owner who wanted to do right by her and you can tell in everything this mare does that she's been well cared for. She was groomed down to the last hair (I felt bad for putting her in the pen because even her hooves were clean and shiny, which is hard to do with all this mud). Her owner was having some medical issues that needed to be taken care of and wouldn't allow her to take care of My Girl so we said yes.

I realize that there may be a rub for some reading that last year. We were asked to take in horses last year and we had to turn them away. Saying no caused me much anxiety but my own medical issues needed to be taken care of first. But now that I'm no longer pregnant, we can open our doors to one or two horses and My Girl just happened to fit our criteria and our timing.

I wish that we could open our doors to every deserving horse but because we are a Sanctuary, we have to take into consideration many factors. But I digress. Back to My Girl.

I haven't spent much time with her. I want to give her the next few days to settle in and figure out the ropes. I put her in the smaller pen next to the geldings so she was able to meet everyone that wanted to come up to the fence. Of course Chaos, Dude, and King were right there trying to see what this new horse was all about.

This morning, I found My Girl standing next to Brego (fence in between), quietly enjoying each others company. This is why I love Brego. He's my Walmart greeter. He wants to make sure that everyone feels welcome.

You can tell My Girl has been handled a lot . She came right up to me this morning without even knowing our routine. I think she was looking for answers. She had a questioning look on her face. If I could only tell her that everything will be alright.

But for now, she's in a pen with the geldings in another pen next to her. Depending on if there's time tonight, I may introduce the mares to her or I may just let her hang out for another day or two in a pen by herself so she gets used to me and the horses from afar. She's already gone through a lot of stress having to move from the only home she's ever known. She's only ever had one owner in her entire life so this is a big change for her. We want to take things slow and make sure we keep the stress to a minimum.

I'll be posting more (probably on Facebook) but wanted to share here as a record as well.

Please meet our newest member, My Girl.

You don't have to  look far to  notice she doesn't have a spec of dirt on her except her hooves and that's because I had to put her in this pen. She was groomed from head to hoof before coming to the Sanctuary.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Attemded the Tri-State Horse Expo

This past weekend we attended the Tri-State Horse Expo. It was a crazy weekend filled with great people, horses, scavenger hunt (think we'll make this annual), and Light the Night (we'll do it again at the end of April).

I'm still recovering from the Expo and trying to get caught up at the Sanctuary after being gone for three straight days. The horses are telling me that they are missing me as well. I love how they come up to see what I'm doing (well not all of them but most).

I want to share a story about our scavenger hunt but will do that on our Facebook page. It was a humbling experience and I want those kids (and their parents) to know they are amazing people!

But for now, we are trying to dry out and get back to normal. Although my normal hasn't been normal in over a year. I guess it's a new normal, which isn't a bad thing (new baby, new paying job, new season, yay for spring).

But I wanted to hop online and say we are here and doing ok. We survived the flooding but our hearts go out to those that have been severely impacted by the torrential flooding in our  neighbor state, Nebraska. I cannot fathom the devastation and I send my prayers in that direction.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Flooding and Another Snow Storm

It's been said that the storm we are in is the equivalent to a hurricane, category 2. At this point, I can see why. The winds we are used to. It's the amount of flooding that is beyond comprehension. Yesterday afternoon, to get to pavement, Mike had to cross water four times. That was all to the north of us. Today I went out to do chores and looked at the south. The entire pasture is now flooded (at least the bottom portion) and it's flooding over the road.

In the 13 years we have lived here, I have never seen this amount of water in both pastures. It has a lot to do with the tiling that the local farmers have done. Sadly, we were never informed and could never put a halt to it. So now we are the ones stuck with the flooded land. I wont' even begin to discuss this topic because it makes me see red.

But we are flooding at the Sanctuary. If the road to the north has water running over it, we are officially a large island. I guess that's ok because we are all safe and snug at the Sanctuary. I went out last night after the first wave of rain storms rolled through to put blankets on. I didn't put blankets on earlier knowing that we'd get rain. And boy did we ever. We had 1.5 inches of rain in less than 12 hours. It started raining around 6-7am and it didn't stop raining until 9pm. And for most of the day, it was a hard rain, what one would almost consider a downpour.

The rain finally stopped long enough for me to put blankets on everyone, feed the ponies, and head back in (not before falling on the ice once). I'm glad that I got in when I did. I had spent almost three hours doing chores and discovering our barn is completely flooded. It normally floods but not to that extent. I had hoped that I could put horses in this afternoon but with a half an inch of water standing everywhere in the barn, there's no point. About a half an hour after I got in from chores, the lightning and thunder started and more rain fell. I'm ready for thunderstorms but not those mixed with sleet and snow.

On the bright side, I did hear geese while out doing chores. Apparently no one told them that we were in a severe storm. But it's another sign of spring!

I finally got out to do chores this morning and I'm glad I didnt' wait any longer. Less than a half an hour later, the freezing rain started. And that's were the radar shows us right now. Freezing rain, which will turn into snow later this afternoon. And the wind picked up. So we'll have "flash blizzards" whatever that's called. It's apparently a new term.

So as we continue to prepare for the Tri-State Horse Expo and our annual Light the Night tomorrow night, we'll also be praying for everyone to stay safe and dry and that those who are dealing with the blizzard and flooding survive with their health, pets, and livestock.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Remembering Bo

I had the wind knocked out of me last night (figuratively that is). You see, March 11 (or maybe it was the 12, I'd have to go back and look), was the anniversary of rescuing Bo from an auction). If you go back to March 2011, you can read about us brining him home. It was a definite leap of fate to bring him home but I am so glad that we did.

He was a hard keeper and had many health issues. In the end we found out that he had a heart murmur and that's most likely why he was such a hard keeper. But we sort of think that maybe the stress of his previous life is what caused much of his body condition.

So last February (February 26th to be exact), we said good bye to our sweet Bo after his body failed him. He wasn't even in his 20s yet but his body had deteriorated to such a degree that we couldn't let him suffer. It's a bit hard for me to come to terms with him being gone. For seven years he was always at the gate waiting to be fed. He was always coming up to see what I was doing. He was always there for seven years. Even a year later, looking out into the herd, it still feels weird and wrong that he's not there. I have yet to adjust to him being gone. Chores are easier, I don't have to wait two hours for him to finish his grain. I don't have to worry about what grain mash I should make to ensure he maintains what little weight he has. I don't have to worry about him being chased around by any of the other but it still feels wrong. How can a year pass, and I still can't get into the right routine?

It sometimes blows my mind how a horse can have such an impact on a person. Bo was one of those horses. Even with all that he'd gone through, with all his health issues, he was still a happy horse. He was always happy to see me, always happy to do what I asked of him, always happy to hang out with his best friend. Always happy.

I need to remember to be more like Bo. Enjoy life as it comes. Be happy for what life brings you and take pleasure in what surrounds you.

You aren't forgotten Bo.

In Like a Lion

A week ago we had single digits above and below zero with subzero wind chills. Yesterday, we had above freezing. It's a major swing in temps that's for sure! I distinctly remember seeing minus 30 as a wind chill the Monday before last and yesterday was above freezing. Crazy weather.

But now that we are experiencing our spring thaw, we are going to be dealing with flooding. We are in a flood watch (or warning I can never remember).

And wouldn't you know, the storm that was predicted for this past weekend fizzled out (although we did have freezing rain). But now, starting later today, we are supposed to have rain, freezing rain, and sleet. Then tomorrow it turns into snow and possibly blizzard like conditions. I knew it was windy this morning when I went out to do chores and I saw half the herd tucked up on the north side of the hay barn (near the auto waterer).

These spring storms always have me stressed out. Do I blanket the horses so they stay dry but then will the blankets be too heavy? They aren't exactly summer rain sheets, they are winter blankets. But I don't want anyone to get a chill but will the waterproofing hold out on a downpour or will it soak through and then I have a soggy blanket and a chilled horse. These spring storms are just so hard to predict.

I guess we will just see how things progress. Lace and Mayhem might get blankets and the others may just have to deal with it. The mares don't have a true runin in shelter but the geldings do (although if Dude is in the lean to, then no one else can go in except Chaos).

On the bright side of everything, at least it's not subzero temperatures and we are seeing the masses of snow start to melt! Bring on mud season!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Update on Jett/Sir Prize

Its' hard to believe that the horse in the picture is the little foal that I literally picked up and carried around after the first few hours of birth. Way back in May 2011 we picked up Savanna and she gave birth to Sir Prize, now named Jett. He's become an amazing horse and I'm so glad and thankful I get the opportunity to watch the horse and owner grow and bond. I've seen this horse do some amazing feats and I'm blown away.

I'll leave you with two pics of Jett from December (on the one day of sunshine). And yes, the pictures were taken by Jett's owner (we need to convincer her to come take pics of the Sanctuary horses!!!)

Light the Night 2019

One week from today is our annual Light the Night fundraiser. I'm a little nervous because I've been so out of the loop. But I decided to take a chance and have the fundraiser during the Tri-State Horse Expo and hope that we get more interest. I've failed in advertising so hopefully people will help spread the word.

You're asking what's Light the Night?

It's a way to honor your loved ones, both two-legged and four-legged. It's my favorite fundraiser. For a $5 donation, we will light a luminary in honor of your loved one. Just tell us the name of your loved one, and we will personalize the luminary.

We will light the luminaries at dusk. I also take individual pictures and try to tag those that donated. It's a pretty amazing thing to see. All those luminaries glowing in the dark.

I just hope that we have a great turnout and that there are no more storms. There's rain/snow predicted for the next five of the six days and they aren't even talking about the weather for next weekend!

But we'll do it rain or shine because it's at the Tri-State Horse Expo at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds. We hope to see you all there. And if you want to donate, just let me know. You can send donations through paypal at

10 Year Anniversary

Tomorrow  marks the 10 year anniversary of me blabbing on blogger. It's crazy to think that it's been only 10 years. The first post I talked about was daylight savings time. And sure enough, 10 years later, daylight savings time is this weekend.

I am excited for it so that we can do more outside. Although with three kids, it's a bit more challenging. But I think everyone is ready for some fresh air. Now if we could just get rid of the snow. When I look back at the pictures from 10 years ago, I have to chuckle at myself. So naïve and so innocent. Boy how we have changed and been molded by our lives.

We are supposed to get another winter storm, so I may reminisce and go back through the blog and see what I talked about 10 years ago. We have seen many horses come through our doors and said good bye to many as well. It breaks my heart to think of all those that we have lost but I am glad that we were the ones that were with them in the end.

Here's to another 10 years. Maybe next time I'll talk more about daylight savings time (or maybe in 10 years someone will do away with it!)

And We Are Back

Did you miss our adventures? Hard to believe it's been almost six months of no blogging. These last six months have been a whirl wind of adventures. I have lots on my mind so I  may break this into a couple of different posts so I don't overwhelm and shock you after such a long absence!

So the reason for my absence from blogging? Well if you'd scrolled through the blog, you'd see that I had a baby at the end of September. I took advantage of my work's maternity leave and took the full 12 weeks. I'll never get that time back so I want to take advantage of it! If I've learned anything from the Sanctuary (and my kids) is that time is precious.

Fast forward the 12 weeks and I went back to my paying job. But instead of my old position, I went to a new position. Yup, that's right. Why not throw a wrench into everything and try a new job along with a new baby! Well, it's not really a new job. It's one I've been doing but at a minimal allocation and now I can focus on it. It's a good move for me but I'm struggling to adjust. It's like night and day between the two projects I worked on.

One week in to the new job and poof, partial government shutdown. I dont' work for the government. But I am a contractor to the government which meant no work. So I did get to enjoy another month of hanging out with the kids. It was fantastic. It made doing chores easier and making sure I got to see the horses in the daylight instead of only in the dark, which is the norm that time of year.

At the end of January, I went in for a medical procedure. Don't worry. It was planned and I'd known it was coming years ago. But with the shutdown, I figured it was a good time as any. That meant I was out on short-term for another five weeks. I was also restricted to not lifting more than 20 pounds. That was (and still is) a problem.

I'm now back to work but still have the restriction on me for another couple of weeks. I didn't realize how much I lift and how little 20 pounds actually is. Oh well, live and learn.

But now we are back and I can actually keep you up to date with what's going on, which isn't a lot. The horses have survived with my absence of blogging. I am still fairly active on Facebook so check out the pictures there. Everyone is happy and healthy and fat as ever.

We are headed into another storm starting tomorrow so everyone is still wrapped in their blankets from the last two storms (and severe cold snap). It's been a crazy winter for sure! Luckily I've been able to avoid being on the roads for most of it.

But now that i'm back to the paying job, you'll see me posting more here than before.

So hang on, we are going on an adventure!