Work Wednesday—Almost Here!


Late yesterday morning, I received pictures of our new horses! In case you haven’t seen them, here they are:

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I spent the rest of that day basically jumping around the house; it’s a good thing almost all my work was done for the day! Well, except for the finishing touches: 003

And of course, the neverending saga of putting additional screws in the fence. Thankfully, the sun finally came out around 2:30. More or less.

My assortment of halters, ropes, and, inexplicably, a book called “The Backyard Cow,” arrived mostly unscathed, and this weekend we’re taking delivery of 50 or so bales of hay.

A lot of work? Yes. Cold? Yes.

But not nearly as cold as the weather in South Dakota, where the horses are coming from . . .

I’ll write more on Friday, but my horses are coming from a rescue that’s under court order to adopt out a certain percentage of the herd. The deadline to apply was November 30, which was about two weeks after I first heard about it.

The remaining horses are going to auction December 19-20, and yes, some will likely be sold to kill buyers. Again, more about this on Friday.

Now, I jumped at the chance to own a couple wild mustangs—come on, who wouldn’t? But I’m also rather practical. Most of the time. Okay, some of the time. But our intentions were always, once we moved out here, to get a couple horses.

I don’t think this is exactly what my husband had in mind . . .

Those of you who came out about a month after we closed on the farm will surely be wondering what the heck is wrong with us—the place was a wreck before you all came out and helped with clean-up. And we’ve done a few things since then.

We’ve been seeding the pasture area, spring and fall, and we’d always planned to put in the fence this year when the weather turned a bit cooler from those nearly-forgotten summer temps. We stepped up the timetable a bit after agreeing to work with a neighbor’s horse, and having her live here for a while during training, but neither he nor we were in a rush.

Then I saw the adoption site.

And here’s the problem—a lot of folks think, “Wow, free horses!” and they’re off and running. Sure, I thought that too, but 1) I have space and 2) I have facilities for horses and 3) I can afford to pay for transport, feed, vet, farrier, etc. And, well, 4) I have experience and quite a collection of tack and tools gathered over the years.

But some of these adopters, gosh, I really wonder if they know what they’re getting into. Some are sending their adoptees to be boarded; some, at least on social media, indicate little knowledge or experience; some can’t afford the hauling fees—how can they afford to board or feed the animals?

I understand that they’re saving the horses from a kill pen, but still . . . On the other hand, those in charge of approving adoptions presumably went over the applications and did give approval. So perhaps all is well.

I only know that were things we had to do before the arrival of our pair, and yes, we’re doing them. Probably will even be finished days before they arrive. Really, we only moved up the date, not the purpose.

In a nutshell, these horses are coming to a home where they’ll have plenty of hay and grain, shelter, vet care, and their very own people—none of which they had in South Dakota.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prep Monday—Critters


It’s important to prep for everyone, animals included. Our outdoor/indoor cat, Arthur, has a nice, cozy, straw-filled house on the front porch with an old towel and an old thermal curtain. She does, however, come inside at night when the temps are below freezing. She’s also very fluffy.

Doesn’t need coaxing anymore, either.

Our indoor/outdoor cat, Wilson, is in his element out here. Can’t hardly keep him in, which I prefer to do between sunset and sunrise, at least. He’s a Maine Coon and twenty pounds of muscle (and fluff), so he pretty much calls the shots.

And while the almost-four-year-old puppy loves to go outside, particularly for walkies, she’s pretty picky about going outside to do her business. Weather doesn’t seem to faze her, especially since she’ll just jump in a lap or snuggle in a blankie—or bury herself under the bed pillows—to warm up.

For myself, if the wind isn’t too bad and the sun is out, or mostly out, or even a tiny bit out, I can manage. Particularly since I just got a new Carhartt coat. Holy cow, how did I manage without it? That plus gloves and earmuffs, and I’m set. For windy days, or too much time on the ATV, I have a ski mask.

Also, the greatest socks in the world . . .

The big thing you have to remember is to stay hydrated and warm up every now and then. Even if you’re not sweating, you still need fluids, and while warm drinks are great, be sure to keep up your water intake.

Right now, we’re prepping for our new horses, arriving within the week. I think. I hope. Not entirely sure yet . . .

We’re building a run-in shed, 10X16, with metal siding and roof and of course, a wooden kick panel on the inside. Contrary to the common wisdom of facing south, ours faces east. We seldom get weather from that direction, and our prevailing winds come from the south/southwest. Picked up a couple bales of straw for the flooring, and we’re about ready.

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Our weekly town trip included a stop at our local MFA for feed buckets, a mineral block, and a few vet supplies. Might not need those last, but these mustangs are coming from a range in South Dakota under very harsh conditions, and eventually, at the very least, these things are good to have on hand if you have any livestock at all. Cuts and scrapes from fencing, sticks, fighting, and the odd incident—I once had a horse with a pretty deep “butt cut.” Yes, right THERE. Not even sure how that one happened, but it was a good thing Bingo was a very steady mare, because dressing that thing would have made any other horse completely psycho.

And yes, just like for people, water is important. We have inside and outside water for the aforementioned small critters, and a nice, deep tank for the horses. It’s unlikely to completely freeze, but no, we don’t use a heater—we do it the old-fashioned way, with a hammer and a few whacks!

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