Posted by: rusticblueranch | November 11, 2012

Snow, snow and more snow…

For two days it has snowed….light twirly snowflakes just piling up everywhere.  Wind blowing gusts all around….all our horses, donkeys and cows have snow blankets.  So, what comes next?

Posted by: rusticblueranch | June 14, 2011

El Torro

What a special little soul this is – our yearling jack, El Torro.  Such a winter coat on him still that I wonder if shaving him would cool him down.  Summer is finally starting here in SK, with yesterday presenting about 20F. 

Is there anyone that utilizes donkey’s winter hair for any use?

Look at this little cutey….

Posted by: rusticblueranch | June 14, 2011

Planting trees for a property fence line

Oh, how we love our neighbours – they are planting a line of trees on the property line.  You know how many benefits we get out of this.

Firstly, privacy – yay, what a pleasure to run around on the ranch, knowing that any nosy neighbours will be limited to watching us live our lives.

Secondly, creating a wind barrier (well, when the trees grow taller), to help stop the south easterly winds coming our way.

Thirdly, probably creating a sound barrier as well.

Fourthly, saving us the costs to put up fencing.  I wonder if the neighbours on the other side would do the same.

We love foliage.  For Saskatchewan that is pretty flat with plenty of wind, and fewer trees….this is an absolute treat.  And it costs us nothing.

We love to ride, train and spend time with our horses and donkeys….even better now knowing we can do this all with more privacy.  Very, very happy that our neighbours are taking care of that 😉

Maybe they deserve a gift basket of sorts?

Posted by: rusticblueranch | December 9, 2010

Winter travelling conditions…

Any transporter that has been doing horse transportation for a while, should have enough contacts on route in the event of bad weather and mechanical trouble that he/she can call upon for assistance when needed.




Posted by: rusticblueranch | December 9, 2010

Feed during winter transportation…

Feed during winter transportation should be of a high quality to help fight the cold weather.  Very few horses drink during transportation, therefore you need better quality feed for them.

Feed should be available to the horse(s) at all times…this will keep horses happy and it will help generate body heat during transportation in the winter months.

Transporters should stop every few hours to offer water to every horse on the trailer and hope that they do drink water.




Posted by: rusticblueranch | December 9, 2010

Horse transportation during winter months…

Horses should be in enclosed trailers….trailers are made of metal such as your deep freeze at home.  The more horses you have in your trailer, the warmer and the more comfortable the horses are going to be.  Safety concerns horses should either have winter blankets on or blankets should be shipped with the horses.

If your transporter breaks down and they are stuck there for a couple of hours or longer…what do you think is going to happen to your horse?  Please remember that in this country (US & Canada – AAA or CAA) will not haul your trailer with horses on board.

People who haul horses in livestock trailers really SHOULD NOT be hauling your horses, especially in winter weather conditions.  Hauling cattle in livestock trailers is fine if it is a short distance, but if your horse is traveling a great distance this is not a good idea.  What do you think the temperature is back there in the livestock trailer…is that what you want?  Let’s put you, the owner,  in the trailer and let’s put your horse in the vehicle – let’s see how comfortable you are in winter conditions while on the road.

In the event of a breakdown, if they are in standing stalls….they cannot move around – your horses are going to start to freeze.  It is highly recommended that they be allocated a box stall (space permitted) with sufficient food (better quality feed) to keep them warm.


Posted by: rusticblueranch | December 7, 2010

Food for horses….in winter

Many people do not plan or prepare ahead for the winter in securing sufficient hay for their horses.  On the flip side you have farmers wanting to sell their hay for xxx$’s and they won’t drop their prices and would rather see the hay rot than reduce their prices.  How stupid is that?

Also, we become far to complacent in buying from the same farmer….or just buy what we can, especially if the hay is not top quality.  Sometimes a bit of detective work via the internet and visit with farmers may surprise you with what you can come across.  We just discovered a jewel of a farm with the BEST quality feed – 80% alfalfa and 20% meadow brome…with no rain spoilage….did the horses just feast on this non-stop.

Posted by: rusticblueranch | December 7, 2010

Winter…and horses

How many people truly care about horses and their welfare in extremely cold climates?  We feed grain and ensure there is enough hay/alfalfa for the horses to still eat 24/7 if out in the fields and with shelters. 

While I do not like my horses to be outdoors in SK weather at -15 and below….we at least ensure that they get shelter, water, and adequate food and are checked on regularly.

I wonder if at some point we reverse the situation – put the horses in the homes, and put the humans in the fields.  Wonder who will scream first?

Posted by: rusticblueranch | August 21, 2010

Why look for cheap transportation?

Here is a request coming to us today – for 2 horses to be transported from California to Alaska.  This is a very long trip – so in the interest and comfort of the horses and to ensure they get to their destination in good shape – is it really worth looking for transportation that is cheap?

Do these ‘horse people’ know the differences between a stock trailer vs a horse trailer? 

Do these ‘horse people’ really care for a long distance trip or do they?  Or,

Are these ‘horse people’ completely ignorant or just plain cheap?

It is annoying to get requests from people looking for: quote: “whenever is most cost effective” or “cheapest quote please”.  The only time it is usually cost effective is to fill up the trailer with horses, and to also have horses being transported in both directions.  In the case of Alaska – there are more horses being transported from the US and Canada to Alaska than there are coming from Alaska to the US and Canada.

So, most transporters will quote for the trip to Alaska, but they still need to get their trucks and trailers back to the US and/or Canada to continue with business – THEREFORE, you will be charged for this time and expense as well unless there are horses coming back from Alaska.

There are transporters who will present a ‘cheap’ rate to pay their gas to get home again – so much for any business sense!  But if that’s they way they operate – good for them.  Covering expenses for repairs of truck, trailer, insurance, gas, tolls, ferries, etc….it sure all adds up. 

With us running our horse transportation business as a business – even when I winge when we spend approximately $3000 on 6 new tires for the truck  – it has to get done.  Mechanics as they are, and new technology – guess what, they do break down!  A known transporter to us, fortunately still has his new truck under warranty – $10,000 of repairs of which he has to find $1,000 of it out of his own pocket!

So, go figure – cheap ‘horse people’ – do your homework and make sure your budget works if you’re going to invest in horses and have them transported long distance.  Sometimes long distance transportation can cost more than horses themselves.

Posted by: rusticblueranch | August 18, 2010

Halter breaking….

Time and patience is necessary to halter break a foal.  Also, the earlier the better to get them used to you touching their faces and putting a halter on it.

Our two foals still have their soft baby hair and slowly with constant touching they are getting used to be touched.  It is such an awesome feeling to spend time with them and have them get to know us.  Having a light approach to introducing a halter is a good experience for all.

Halter breaking after two years of age borders cruelty and can become dangerous.  Many ignorant owners of horses out there who have not even made the time to spend with their young horses and get them used to a halter at a minimum.  When it comes to selling and then transporting them, the transporter usually lands up with a challenge to get the young horse (or older) into a halter and now getting them into a trailer which of course they probably have no experience with either.

I am seeing a friend bring up her baby Cob and she’s amazingly patience with this young filly and has spent many hours with her touching her stroking her, lying in the grass with her that putting a halter on the filly was a very easy thing to do.  I totally admire her tenacity in making sure this filly has a good experience……

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