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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Work Wednesday—More Horses!


No, I’m not getting more horses, but I am getting the two, a mare/foal pair, from South Dakota sometime next week. Which means another project.

And it also means I’m taking a crash course in “All the Things I Used to Know About Horses but Feel Like I Can’t Quite Remember All of Them.”

Last night, I got an email from a Fleet of Angels transporter who said, and I quote, “These are some of the wildest horses I’ve ever seen.” Consequently, I did not sleep well. My brain kept jumping from adoption and hauling issues to arrival to pasture to shed to feeding . . . you get the picture.

At 6:00 a.m., I got a text from another hauler offering to bring mine down here next week. Nothing like an early text to make you jump out of bed—sadly, I’d really just fallen asleep. But at least now I can rest easy on that topic and know that I have about a week to finish getting ready.

Finish, you ask? Why, yes. There’s a lot to do:

My husband is making arrangements for hay delivery and picking up the last few pieces of lumber for the run-in shed—which we’ll be building tomorrow, the walls at least. Then we’ll haul it to the pasture for assembly. On Friday, we’ll pick up the sheet metal on order for the siding and attach that and the roof over the weekend.

Side note: Apparently the cat IS good for something. He just ran up on the front porch with a tiny mouse—or something—in his mouth. No, he is NOT coming inside with that!

I still have a few horsey items to pick up, like feed buckets and a second water trough. I have halters and ropes on order. But we do have to double-check the pastures for holes and any old wood or metal laying around. Wish I’d gotten to that yesterday when the temps were close to 60, but my husband had the Mule tied up with an outside water pump repair and I was working on the fence and putting up a few things for winter.

Guess I’ll have to put on my classy black looks-like-I’m-robbing-a-bank face mask and go outside after all. Which reminds me, I need to order more long underwear . . .

And that brings me to this morning’s conversation of “we need to bring more wood inside for the furnace.”

See, told you my brain is all over the place!