New Year

When the Sanctuary was just starting to get a grasp on making a difference, I did a lot of blogging. As technology advanced, we moved away from blogging and posted mostly on other social media platforms. I’ve missed the opportunity to showcase the day-to-day activities and speak my mind (although I see now how opinionated, outspoken, and naïve I was when I first started and I shudder to read some of what I wrote). I’d like to return to blogging so I can do a brain dump of my thoughts rather than small ideas that randomly float out of my head. Sometimes the day-to-day is a bit boring but sometimes that little bit of insight makes you feel more at home in knowing what’s going on. We’ll see if I can continue that method or if it’ll get dropped like a hot potato when life gets more crazy than it already is.

Today we are dealing with single digits and subzero temperatures. This is the third most hated type of weather we experience in South Dakota. First is cold rain in spring or fall that soaks horses and chills them to the bone, followed by severe summer storms that pop up out of nowhere and drop hail before you can get to shelter (or the risk of tornados).

I’ve decided to put some of the geldings in the barn to keep them out of the wind. If the more “delicate flowers” are in the barn, it leaves more room for those that would get pushed out otherwise. My big heartache is that the mares do not have a shelter. While they are in a good location and protected from most of the wind, there’s still nothing substantial for them to stand in. The pen worked last year because I could walk the horses to a stall in the hay shed but there’s five horses with four of the five having absolutely no ground manners (and a lack of time in my schedule to get them to the proper stalls and back to their pens in the morning). We will see how the temperatures fall before I make a decision on who gets moved where for the mares. If I move them to the stalls in the hay shed, it’ll be a workout to get them there and then move them into a different pen for the following day (lugging water and hay to them). I’m also worried that our hay shed is falling apart and the extreme wind gusts are going to do additional damage. I don’t see it lasting another winter at this rate.

I also need to move a rubber mat into Perky’s makeshift stall. She slipped and fell last night while we were putting in hay. She and Satin were in the stall together getting jostled around and I’m afraid Perky may have cut her leg open in the exact spot that she had cut right after she arrived at Borderlands. I didn’t have a flashlight and everyone was far too keyed up for me to check on her when I opened the gates to let them back into the pen. I need to come up with a different solution for the mares because the current method of putting in hay and handling them does not work. Oddly it is night and day between the mares and geldings when it comes to putting in hay. I spent more than 20 minutes trying to move the mares around into pens and pastures they needed to go to put in a bale before the real cold set in. I spent 2 minutes getting the geldings to go into a different pen.

I wanted to put hay in last night before the subzero temperatures arrived so that the horses would have plenty to eat and we wouldn’t have to put hay in when nothing wants to work in the cold. The tractor already doesn’t want to work and with subzero temperatures, I’m not sure it would have started. Better to be pre-emptive and get the job done ahead of time and squander some of the hay than having hungry horses and run the risk of having to throw small squares and worry about not feeding enough.

The weatherman says the cold weather will be over on Friday and we’ll be back into the 20s again. While I’m spoiled with that type of weather, I’d be ok with some snow so we have some moisture. I am not ready, nor do I think we can survive, another drought.

And the real question is, do you want to see more day-to-day posts where I ramble about the day’s adventures with the horses or do you want more informative posts that you can glean information?

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