February 11, 2024

Monday my hubby was home to help with chores, he did the majority of it himself while Amy and I slept in a bit. I’m sure going to miss my little cuddle bunny when she goes to her new home on Saturday. She is doing so great with her recovery from surgery, I couldn’t be happier with the way she is healing. She doesn’t even seem like she is in any pain and she is using her leg well. She does seem to limp a bit after using it a fair bit, but I think that’s to be expected. I went to town and picked up a few packages, which was pretty exciting, our volunteer handbooks arrived and so did the cups we will be handing out at our event on April 13th, both turned out great!

Tuesday morning Amy decided that sleeping on my head would be the best place when she came to bed with me in the morning. By the time we got up, Karen had most of the chores done. I have really been lucking out with the chores lately, loving all the help from the volunteers. Karen is not super comfortable with the horses yet, so I brought Felix and Angel out so they could have their special feed. Then I went in and got the surrender agreement ready and hooked up the horse trailer and Amy and I headed out to pick up Butter. We had decided we were going to give up on trying to catch him and come back the next day and I had just pulled out of the driveway when I got a call, he had just walked right up to his owner and she had him caught. I came back and he jumped up in the horse trailer like he had loaded every day. Butter is in the round pen in the middle of the yard, just to make sure everyone is healthy.

Wednesday morning Amy was sleeping across my neck like a scarf. I got up and went outside to do chores, literally the first day I have done chores in like a week, thanks to my amazing volunteers. I finished feeding everyone and did waters, they were pretty full still, might have something to do with the standing water everywhere in the pasture (in February). Then I noticed Opal’s blanket was pretty much torn to shreds and around her neck so I got that off and found her a nice newer one to put on her. Thanks once again to the amazing people that donated a number of blankets to us. Wasn’t long before I heard the tractor coming with a load of hay. The horses were so excited to see that load of bales! They have been really going through hay the last couple weeks, we barely make it to the next hay day before they are out. We are at about 6 days per load now. Jake came out in the afternoon to do some work with Butter who already seems to love him, at least he is much friendlier to him than me lol I took Jake home and headed to Libau to pick up some ducks, a lovely lady had some call ducks who needed a home and our call duck lost her partner a few weeks back. We also brought in a lone Rouen duck named Jullien, how cute is that. That’s about it for the day besides all the drama on Prairie Horses, seems like there are a few ladies who just have a vendetta against us, pretty sad really. 

Thursday morning Amy was sleeping across my neck again like a scarf, she sure makes staying in bed cozy. It was a miserable day outside, cold, rainy and windy. I got all the chores done and went inside to actually do some cleaning on the house. The floor was just aweful with all the mud outside these days. We got word from Dr. Neil that our test results are back and we do have strangles on the ranch. We will continue to quarantine and make the horses as comfortable as possible until it clears. 

Friday, I got up and did chores with Jake’s help. We walked through the pastures to see if there were any more horses with symptoms, luckily there weren’t. After chores, we went to the city to pick up Sophie and then off to St. Laurent to pick up 7 puppies for Spirit of Hope. While we were doing that all hell was breaking loose on Facebook. After arriving home and getting everyone situated I made yet another post on Facebook to hopefully put minds at ease. At this time I received a call from our hay guy concerned as someone had contacted him to let him know about our issue and told him all his cows were going to die. So I educated him on strangles and what precautions we need to take.

Saturday morning I was up early with Sophie, she said it was mornin time and we had a busy day. Jake and Tracey arrived pretty quickly and I went out side to feed and water the seven new puppies. I tried to get a little Amy love before her new owners came to pick her up, it was pretty hard to see her go, but she will have a good life. Sophie had breakfast and then we loaded the seven new puppies up in the truck and took them in to Plessis Vet for Spirit of Hope, then Sophie and I spent the day together while Jake and Tracey took care of the chores. I got home just in time to get ready to go support the firefighters at The Fraserwood Firemen’s Ball. News came out that there were two more farms with strangles, these two are down by Steinbach which I can’t seem to see any sort of correlation between us and them as we have not even been close to that area in months. We also found out some really big news but we aren’t allowed to share it yet, stay tuned for the in the coming months.

Sunday, Jake, Rhiana and Eliza took care of the chores and cleaned out the chicken coop and warm room. They did an amazing job. I worked with Dr. Neil the majority of the day to come up with an action plan going forward and communicated out to our team what the decisions were. Volunteering is cut back to a bare minimum and all other volunteers have been put on hold. All volunteers are aware of and practicing proper biosecurity measures (I am going to post full details on what that means later). All boarders will be informed by the end of this evening that they aren’t allowed on prem until one month after this is all over. We can take photos/videos to help them keep up with their animals. We have decided not to vaccinate and allow the herd to develop natural immunity while continuing to monitor and isolate anyone showing symptoms. Our little buddy Butter, that came in before we realized what was going on is still being isolated in the front pen so he is good there until this all resolves. We are on lockdown for visitors, no horses in or out and will keep you all informed where we are at with that. Late afternoon Jake and I went to pick up an awesome donation of building materials and we are very excited as we think its enough to make a significant impact, meaning enought to build one, possibly two shelters. I think we would still need a fair bit of support materials for that, i.e. 2x4s, 2x6s, etc.

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