Wednesday, September 30, 2020

End of September

Blogger updated and it stinks. That's part of the reason for the lapse in posts. We will be migrating to a different blogging application and then we can resume our stories. In the mean time, it's been very hectic over the last week but unfortunately wrapped up in sadness. I'll explain more when I have more time and hopefully when we are on a new platform where I can actually post more than a few lines at a time. Have I mentioned this new blogger stinks!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Rain - Looking for a PenPal

Rain is the only other horse that has been with me since before Borderlands started. Rain was originally my personal horse and wasn’t added to the Sanctuary program until a few years ago when he was ready to retire (and I still kept pulling him out of retirement). Rain came to be with me back in April 17, 2004 as a green broke 6 year old. I saw him and knew I needed my own “Black Stallion” even though he wasn’t a stallion and anything like the Walter Farley Black Stallion. We had our ups and downs from the beginning but he and I have grown used to each other and know what to expect. Age is a wonderful thing (for both of us).

Not long after bringing Rain home to live with us, he became deathly ill and we were afraid we would lose him. We never had a definitive diagnosis but we believe he had a photosensitive reaction. Because of that near death ordeal, Rain is very susceptible to hot and cold. Because of Rain’s health issues, we knew that he HAD to stay at Borderlands instead of finding him a new home. He’s the perfect size for a youth but he cannot handle the heat. Any long trail rides are too hard on him so there’s no riding allowed when the temps climb into the 80s.

And with the South Dakota winters and even the fall/spring biting wind, we have to ensure Rain has a snug blanket and a place to go to get out of the wind and cold. He’s a hardy little arabian but doesn’t have a good winter coat or a thick skin to keep him warm during the cold winter months. In most of the winter pictures, you’ll see Rain wrapped up in a blanket.

Rain is enjoying full retirement these days. But the cold winter months are going to be long and boring so he’s hoping someone will fall in love with him and be his PenPal! If you’re interested in being Rain’s penpal, you can email us at and in the subject line, type Rain. Or you can send a letter through snail mail to Borderlands Horse Sanctuary 26160 457th Ave Humboldt, SD 57035 with an Attn: Rain and we’ll make sure he gets it (and responds!)






Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Auto Water Needed

We NEED to get an automatic waterer set up in the pasture next to the barn. I want to turn that into not only the winter pasture but also a pen setting so I can move the ponies over there this winter as well. But it's already the first of September and I'm not sure how to swing getting everything lined up and done. I always think that we can do it ourselves because it's so expensive and we don't have the money to pay someone else. But we don't have the time either it seems.

We spent the long weekend running around and enjoying the last little bit of summer before going back to school (school already started but for me Labor Day has always signaled back to reality and the end of summer). So we did a bunch of running and it was super hot both Saturday and Sunday. We'd get home late from all of our fun and I'd head out to do chores. The pasture with Diavlo and Mayhem has the 100 gallon tank and I was making sure that there was water but it wasn't topped off.

I went out yesterday  morning after Mayhem whinnied at me and realized the tank was low. So I filled it just enough to what should have made the day. When we stopped in again for a quick minute, I checked the tank and it was below that level again. So I'm not sure if they drank that much (normally they don't), or if it has a crack in it. If it has a crack, I'm going to be mad. I searched all around for leaks but didn't so maybe they just drank a ton of water because it had gotten so hot. I feel sort of like a horse mom failure for this one. But it's a definite reminder that we need to put an auto water in rather than deal with a 100 gallon tank.

With how I'm seeing the winter unfold, life is going to get a bit chaotic. There's some personal stuff going on, outside of the whole pandemic and kids going to school/daycare and that stuff is pulling me away from the horses. But family is my number one priority so it has to be this way. But if it continues, it means my mind wont' be thinking sanctuary work and it'll be focused on other stuff. But that also means that I need to make my chores as minimal as possible this winter if we need to make a quick run somewhere. It's the unknowns that boggle my mind and make it hard to plan, since I'm a planner.

But just having the auto water would make life easier and much less stressful at times, especially for the winter months as the farmers almanac is calling for more cold and snow this winter. But that's typical of South Dakota but it's 2020 and the Black Hills saw snow yesterday. In all the years we used to go to the Black Hills for Labor Day (and even after that), there has NEVER been snow this time of year. But it IS 2020 and I want to be prepared for anything. And that means we NEED to get an auto water purchased, the lines buried, and everything installed before the snow starts to fly here.

Anyone want to help in any fashion? We need funds to purchase the auto water which is $500 (at least the last time we bought one). I have no idea how much it'll cost to bury the lines but we can rent a mini excavator for a couple hundred for the weekend. But the plumbing will have to be hired out. It'll all cost money but will be 1000% better than me lugging buckets and hoses all winter!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Fall Arriving

By next Tuesday, we will be dealing with fall. Currently, we are enjoying beautiful weather albeit a little windy (but that's to be expected). It's beautiful with sun and temps that aren't searing. It makes life so much easier on the animals.

Come Tuesday, we are dealing with the potential for not even getting to 60 degrees and the rest of the week will be in the 60s. While it means I can hide in hoodies and fat pants again, it does mean that the horses will need more to maintain their weight.

The pastures are all but done. I am trying to keep them at the bottom portion of the pasture to save the two top portions that may be able to come back next year. Fingers crossed that it can survive this lack of rain. With one rain shower last week, we are close to a month without rain.

We don't have our hay lined up yet but I'm assured that we will get it. I won't even consider the "If not" idea. We need to fundraise for our hay but I'm out of ideas for what we can do. In person fundraising is out of the question and my online ideas are either the same as everyone else or boring. I know everyone is tapped out so I hate to ask for funds.

At this point, we've been asked to take in 20 horses since the beginning of the year. It's far less than last year thank goodness. And I'm sure it's a far cry from other rescues/sanctuaries that get inundated. But for each no, I am heartbroken. These horses need a soft place to land and I can't say yes without jeopardizing our herd. It's been a year since we said yes to the herd of four. We are down to only Diavlo (although Pepper went to a new home and is enjoying a new career). We will continue on as we have but worry for all those that don't have a voice.

This weekend is Labor Day weekend so you will most likely not see me online or posting much. I hope to return on Tuesday with some fun ideas. It's been something I've been mulling over and can hopefully bring some cheer to others.

The horses and I wish you a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. Enjoy the beautiful weather and sunshine!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Fences and Cockleburs

Last night after the kids went to bed, I headed out to do chores. I'm not fond of doing chores in the dark but I was able to sneak out right as the sun set. Sometimes being outside as the world falls asleep, helps put life back into perspective. Or maybe that was trying to fix fence in the waning daylight. By the time I was done fixing the fence line the horses had pushed through, it was dark and I was maneuvering the pasture with the light of the "corn" moon.

Luckily the horses hadn't destroyed the fence like I'd assumed. They somehow managed to knock over the corral panels we had set up. I swear they have a dislike for having a fence in that section. If we can ever get a fence company to get out here and fence the perimeter, I'll start tackling dividing the pastures so that it's not an ongoing battle with the horses.

Our pastures are pretty much done but I want to keep them off a portion of the pasture so that there's a fighting chance of the pasture coming back. I'm starting to worry that there will be no pasture and we'll be forced to reseed and that means feeding hay all of next summer which we don't have the funds for. As it is, we need to do some serious fundraising for hay this year. I don't know how we will do fundraising this year as everything we do needs to be online and our online presence is not as grandiose as I'd love.

Maybe my heart just isn't into pushing our cause online or getting our name out there online or in person. But that is a problem if we want to get our name out there to showcase our seniors and to show that seniors are worth their weight in gold.

I'm hoping tonight I can get out to the pasture and hopefully clear my head. It's too full of too many thoughts to really be of any use to anyone these days.

The one productive activity yesterday was roaching Tommy and Skippy. They both got into cockleburs. And if anyone says that it's mean for me to roach them and that it's cruel, it is more cruel to leave them with a matted mane and forelock than it is to roach them. If you want to have a long mane and forelock, I welcome your help in spraying in the spring, cutting down the burdock as they grow, and coming out every day to pull cockleburs out of manes every evening. Right now I'm struggling to get everything done before collapsing in bed every night more mentally drained than physically.

Here's to hoping tonight's chores will go easier and will be cocklebur and fence fee.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Drastic Weather

We haven't had drastic weather. At least not like the derecho or hurricanes that recently hit. Almost all of August was hot, at least for South Dakota. We were dealing with 90 degree weather for a majority of the time. Even last week was rough in the upper 80s. We finally had a stretch of nice weather.

But when I look at the 10 day forecast, I can hardly believe my eyes. Tomorrow is supposed to be 87 for a high and then next Wednesday, it's only supposed to be 60 and will be in the 60s for the rest of the week.

As much as I like the cooler weather (so I can wear hoodies and hide my fat), it's a hard shift to go from upper 80s and lower 90s to 60s. I always worry with major temperature shifts that the horses will be able to handle it. Such drastic weather makes them prone to colic.

The flies have gotten even meaner than they were in June. They are relentless on the horses. Luckily I bought fly boots but they don't seem to bother the horses legs. The flies this time of year go directly for the horses' faces. I lost a few masks in the pasture and cant' find them. I've walked that pasture and still nothing comes up. I was hoping for a fly mask sale but I haven't been in any stores and I get overwhelmed with the online sales. There's only one brand that really seems to work and even the big herd has taken to pulling their masks off.

We will be keeping a very close eye on everyone as the weather shifts. I'm happy for the cooler weather. With the cooler weather, hopefully the flies won't be so vicious and the horses can actually relax instead of stand in the shade to try and keep cool. Oh what I would give to have a 20 stall barn, with fans and misters to keep everyone cool in the summer (and a few stable hands to do all the heavy lifting). I can always dream right?

Hello September

As the memes say, it may be September but I'm still processing March. Ok so the memes are way funnier but you get my point. The days are getting shorter and even though the kids are back to school, it's a struggle to get chores done in the daylight. I struggled to get chores done in the daylight all summer but that was because of our crazy schedule. Fingers crossed that September will be an easy month. As it is, with everyone going back to school and daycare, we all caught head/chest colds. So of course everyone is on high alert for covid. I hope this won't be the new norm for long. But it IS the season for vet bills. Two Mondays ago, we took Jim, Rain, and Dude to the vet for floats. Jim needed his teeth done and had a tooth pulled. Lets hope the weight will start going back on. He's much thinner than I want him to be at this point going into fall. Dude also needed a float. Luckily Rain didn't really need one but we did a quick hand float to make sure everything is on the up and up. He had problems in the past and had wavy teeth and I wanted to make sure that that issue wasn't still happening. I'd wanted to take Zeke but there was no room. But I might have a chance to take Zeke in when I take Chaos in. So Chaos has been off and on lame much to my disappointed. I'd hung the moon on him with all my hopes and aspirations but with there being something wrong (and sadly the more I think about it), he's had this issue for years. But we are going to take him in and see what's going on. I have to call this week and see when we can get in. It's a bit easier now to make appointments now that the kids are in school and I don't have to jump through so many hoops to make sure everyone is where they need to be. We had the farrier visit yesterday and were able to get a number of horses trimmed. I had a few more but I was played out. King's feet are still not the greatest so we are keeping a close eye on him. His feet have been bothering him all summer. Dude's hips are bothering him as well. We don't normally grain horses when they are out to pasture 24x7 but we will return to graining Dude so we can start him back on Buteless to help ease the pain. We will be keeping a constant close eye on him. It won't be his weight or anything else that gets him. It'll be those damn hips that have been a curse for so many years. We also trimmed up Jim, Zeke, and Chaos. We'll need to relook at everyone in October but we'll need to do Lightening, Diavlo, and the ponies at that time. I'd pulled Maverick and Lightening out so that we could tackle their feet but Maverick was too naughty and that got Lightening all riled up so we skipped those two. My biggest goal with farrier day is to keep everyone safe. I'm not interested in getting anyone hurt. Safety is my number one concern in all that we do at the Sanctuary. So we tabled working on them and hopefully even with the days getting shorter, I can maybe start working Lightening and Maverick so that when farrier day rolls around again in October, we can actually work on them. My lack of time is such a frustration. The roosters are also doing well. They have adjusted their crowing to the daylight and the one seems to crow before the sun is up. They like to hang out by the house. We also have a flock of wild turkeys that have taken up residence. Luckily the horses are no longer spooked by them. 10+ years ago we had a flock of turkeys wander through and it put Maverick into a tizzy. Now everyone is used to them. They perch up in the old tree I loved so much but which died last year. We need to figure out how to get that tree down before it takes out a fence. Not much has happened in August Sanctuary wise. Life has been crazy bouncing from one birthday celebration to the next making sure my kids are happy. We also had our annual trip to the Black Hills that we've been going on for 35+ years and NO ONE is allowed to touch that trip. And yes, it was during the Motorcycle Rally but we avoided it like the plague it was (don't get me wrong, I'm all for it but not this year). We are continuing to deal with family health problems so that's an added stress that weighs heavily on my mind every second of the day. We also had camping and school starting so it was a crazy month. August is always a hard month for me with all the activities and then summer activities cause a lot of burnout. I'd really like to start focusing on the Sanctuary but time doesn't permit. We are now on the first day of September so I'll be in a panic. Now it's time to focus on winter preparations. I'm going to do my best to post more on social media in September. It doesn't mean I'm not super busy and feeling overwhelmed but I want to keep everyone in the loop a bit more. Now that we are going back to a semblance of normal schedule (At least with the kids going to school and daycare), I can maybe ramble a bit more. I'm sure there will be many more posts voicing my worries and stresses and sadly you'll get the brunt of those. If there's something you want to see, please let me know and I'll do my best. Right now it's about keeping my head above water. Hello September! Please be kind.