We haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, I promise. The days seem to be getting away from me and I can’t juggle my time as well as I used to. Three kids, 14 horses, 2 dogs, and a 1 cat, along with the paying job makes it very difficult for me to get much done these days at the Sanctuary. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir. There’s been a lot of opportunities for the Sanctuary to get out and do more but my hands have been tied with family stuff so not much is going on.
We are more active on Facebook so check us out there and see what we are doing. I try to post a couple of times a week to keep everyone in the loop.
So what have we been doing?
We finally put up the temporary fence to divide the pasture and let the big herd out on grass. Everyone was happy to finally be on fresh green grass rather than hay. I hadn’t spent as long with them adjusting on the lawn as I would have liked but this spring was so wet and cold that the grass didn’t grow until late in May and then I was already behind. I also got the mares going and they are happily enjoying the pasture. The mares are a topic all on their own these days. The ponies are now adjusted to grass and are hanging out on the lawn. So chores are at a minimum which is good because we are running a lot with kids’ activities.
Jim’s eye issues have flared up again. I forgot to get a fly mask on him this morning so hopefully it won’t be too bad tonight. It gets all weepy and puffy and I’m sure very painful. He also lost a bit of weight this last month. I stopped graining him because the weather got warm and he was sort of on grass. But that was a mistake. He needs to be grained every night. Unfortunately he chokes so he has to have all of his grain soaked down to a mash instead. At 31, I need to make sure I pamper him. I’m afraid he’s now on my watch list, when he’s never been there before. His body is starting to decline. Lets hope this summer pasture will fatten him up. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on him from now on.
Lace is the other one on close watch. We are going to lose her. It’s just a matter of when. For sure it’ll be before the snow flies. It’s only mid-June and I’m already thinking winter. We are just now enjoying the heat and sun of summer and yet I’m already focused on winter. Lace has a large knee from her previous life/career. Sadly, it’s getting larger and with that it’s more painful. Because of the pain, she puts more weight on the other leg and now has a dropped suspensory ligament. So she’s having a hard time getting around these days. I have her out on the mare pasture near the road and I worry the steep hill is too much for her. I’m already starting to have flashbacks of Joe and his health issues and dealing with that hill. I was going to send her to the summer retreat but we’ll hold off. I think I’ll haul couple of the other geldings instead. But she lost weight and I know with the legs, she won’t be able to stand the bitter cold and depth of snow. So she gets to enjoy the summer. She already has shoo fly boots on because the flies have started attacking her. I’d love for her to have a brand new pair but at the moment can’t afford it.
I have a strong feeling that hay is going to be at a high price because of the flooding and farmers not getting out into the field. Any hay in this area probably went south so I expect the hay bill this year will be not double but a lot more than what I had initially thought. So there’s that worry and struggle still to come.
I haven’t been able to do any fundraising except for Light the Night earlier this year. I’m not home so it makes it difficult to host a fundraiser (I don’t even have time to plan one). I’d love it if someone else would volunteer or at the very least work along side me and come up with ideas. I always think too big and get in over my head, get overwhelmed, and then don’t do anything.
We have a lot of projects to work on at the Sanctuary as well. We’ve been here 13 years. Sadly after 13 years, lots of paint needs to be redone. And I never knew a tornado would peel the paint off a house. Every time it rains, the paint falls of the hay barn. The siding needs to be replaced (there’s isn’t even siding these days just the boards holding the darn building up). But it all requires time and money, which I have neither.
But back to the horses.
I had to pull Rain out of semi-retirement for drill team. Lightning requires more time than I had this spring to get going so hopefully I can start working on him this summer (but again, not sure when). Rain is doing ok but I worry that the heat will be too much. It’s nice to have Rain out representing the Sanctuary tho. Makes me proud to pull him out after not riding for over a year and he’s the same as the last time I rode him. He, like so many of the other Sanctuary horses, have a great mind, solid in their thinking.
So every night I call for the herd to come up for the night and lock them in the dry lot. The mosquitoes are terrible so it’s easy for them to come up. But they come up with just me hollering. It’s an amazing feeling. That feeling of mutual agreement and trust. Even the ponies seem to be doing the same thing. I just look at them and they know that it’s time to head back to the dry lot or head out to the pasture and no one fights me. I’m not sure if it’s their trust in me, us being together for so long (some of them have been with me now for 18 years), or our growing old together. Any way I look at it, I’ll take it.
I did as my vet about Mayhem and getting her surgery done. When we first got Mayhem, we didn’t have the money to do the umbilical surgery. Now that we have a good chunk of it, our vet can’t perform the surgery do to health issues. So now it’s me making the phone call to a different vet and making arrangements. I’ve been holding off on making appointments for anyone because I have no vacation time at the paying job. The furlough took everything and I need what little vacation hours I DO have for family stuff.
I’m also stressed out because we are now 6 months into the year and I’ve been asked to take in 16 horses so far. As a Sanctuary, it should come as no surprise but I’ve had to say no 15 of those 16 times. It’s difficult. If I say no, it feels like I’m signing a death warrant. If I say no, will I get a bad wrap for always saying no. I struggle because we don’t adopt and people want unicorns, which we don’t’ necessarily have. I made a promise to the horses at the Sanctuary and I won’t go back on my promise. But I can only help so many. But every one of those that don’t come in, goes straight to my heart. The thing is, I weigh the options and I think maybe every month it’ll be different that maybe we can bring someone in. Every situation and horse is different so maybe. But what makes my blood boil is I get asked and am expected to provide an immediate response. 99% of the time, when I mention asking for funding for the horse (even a small amount), it’s like I’m asking for something crazy like a million dollars. And yet I’m suppose to respond within minutes of receiving a request. I’m not even given 12 hours most times to ponder and crunch numbers. I don’t take the decision lightly to take on another horse.
People have a misconception that because we are a non-profit that we have money coming in and are rolling in the dough. We are hardly rolling in money. My paycheck foots a large part of the Sanctuary which is going to cause problems as the bills for me personally are getting higher. I don’t have the time to research and write grants and get turned down for all of them. We have an anonymous donation every quarter for $250 that helps greatly and I am so, so, so very thankful for that donation. It makes the feed bill not so hard to swallow or the cost of losing one of our beloved horses. Last year, we lost Bo and Junior and I used that $250 anonymous donation each time to cover their cost. It took a small part of the sting out of losing those two souls.
Perhaps I’m riding the pity train today. I think the stress of life is getting to me. I know that I could really use some help. Financially, physically, emotionally. Whatever you have to offer, I could always use. Winter will soon be upon us and I’ll be freaking out as the first snowflake falls. So if I go silent again, it’s not that we aren’t here, it’s that I’m overwhelmed and at a loss for words. There’s actually too many words in my head most days to put on paper so I try to spare you the craziness and stress.
But the offer stands. I need your help and if you have time, I’ll put you to work. You don’t have to be local to help. Every little bit helps.