Sunday, November 1, 2009

Get Ready For Winter!

Hey Everybody!

Just so everyone knows, this puppy is STILL looking for a home. He is a 10-12 week old Heinz-57 pooch that is lovable and ka-yoot! He is great with kids, dogs, and cats, and is pretty much house broken. If you are interested in adopting him (because everyone needs a free puppy!), call the farm! Just remember, YOU might not need another puppy, but this puppy NEEDS YOU!
If you were having a good day, I'm about to wreck it with the next sentence. Winter is coming. Horse lovers know that that means a bigger hay bill, and longer hours making sure that their horses are truly comfortable. For the new horse owners that thought a horse would be such a great idea in the spring and summer (when their pasture was full of grass)... YES, you are going to have to feed old Bucky in the winter time. It is going to cost a LOT more than in the summer time. This involves BUYING hay and grain, making sure that their water doesn't have a 6 inch layer of ice on top of it, and making sure that your horse is not shivering off all of his weight. Now I'll be the first one to admit that dealing with horses in January when everything is slushy, muddy, and FREEZING cold is NOT appealing. In fact, I HATE busting up a frozen water tank then reaching in to pull out sheets of ice. We have all been there, though. The family gets together for Christmas dinner and during the festivities, you have to break away (hopefully dragging an unsuspecting cousin with you) to take care of the horses. It no big deal, it's just something that we do because we love our ponies. Sadly, there are people out there that have the whole "they can just eat the snow" mindset. These are the same people that have neighbors calling us off the hook telling us that there are skinny horses eating trees next door. This winter is going to be exceptionally bad because of the economy... if people have a choice to feed their family or feed their horses, which do you think will win? This is going to create an unremarkable need for our services, which is going to become increasingly difficult through the winter into foal season.

Something that we try to do is play 'Secret Santa'. We can only do this when we have surplus, but if we see a skinny horse shivering in a field, and we can't get in touch with it's owners to see if they want help, we will drop a winter blanket off at the house, or throw it some hay. It is not solving the problem, but the horse sure appreciates it. We can't do this, however, if we are struggling to take care of the babies that we are going to have in no time at all. This is where you come in. Your help, in any form, is greatly needed and appreciated. If you have a picky Thoroughbred that won't touch first cut hay... toss it our way, we ALWAYS know of underprivileged horses that would LOOOOVE some hay that is less than desirable for any other horse.

Shavings are always in demand at our farm, we are already stressing out about how to get enough to get us through foal season. Bales of shavings cost $4-6 a bag, and with the amount that we go through a day, the cost is daunting. We have been let in on a little secret, though. A big supplier is going to sell us bags of shavings for $3 a bag... as long as we buy a semi-load at a time. That cost to us (are you ready?) is $3500 a semi load. Add that bill to the never ending orders of $4000-a-load foal milk, and foal season is 'SPENSIVE! We made a promise to horses, foals especially, to do the best that we can. If you take care of them correctly, horses are expensive even if they are healthy... let alone if they need medical care like the one/two hundred babies that we get in every winter/spring! If you or anyone you know would like to get a tax write-off and donate shavings (or money towards shavings), any amount is helpful! There have been many times when we are down to 'that one last bag', and it just so happened that the bag was donated by someone who said that they "just came to drop off a bag of shavings... sorry it's not much!" People don't understand that every little bit counts and makes a difference. Come on out to volunteer, or even just to look around. I just got done taking a family on a tour with Victoria... people that have lived here for years and have driven by daily, but have just never stopped. This family FINALLY did, and were amazed by what they saw. If people come out to the farm to meet us, meet the horses that we save, and experience the Last Chance Corral, dogs and all, they will definitely be more likely to spread the word than if they just receive a newsletter from us once or twice a year. Help us help the horses, and spread the word!

Happy Trails,



jolstp said...

Speaking of winter...any word on the Holiday Party/Auction this year?

Last Chance said...

December 5th!
I'll post a blog sometime soon!