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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Year in Review

Both Steph and Oregon Sunshine did this. I think its kinda neat, a way to recognize the negative but emphasize the positive if you will, so I thought I'd try it as well.

List 5 Good Things That Happened to You This Year
1 - started blogging and made some *real* friends.
2 - got to take a trip east and saw family I haven't seen in ages (some I had *never* seen)
3 - our restaurant is paid off!
4 - I got a nephew & a niece (nephew from sis and niece from brother)
5 - sold Quinn

List 3 Bad Things That Happened to You This Year
1 - my husband was rushed to the hospital and we spent the day in the ER. I honestly thought he might die and sitting by myself at his side while he was "out" was so lonely and scary.
2 - one of our cooks broke his leg. This is bad for *me* because hubby is now back to working 7 days (or rather nights) a week.
3 - I sold Quinn. Yes it was bad and good. Bad just because the whole thing is upsetting, but it *is* good that he's gone on to a new home.

List 5 Things You Want to Do in 2009 - not resolutions, more of a big picture list
1 - get my house organized and get rid of some "stuff"
2 - get a new horse, and have it be the *right* horse
3 - go to Greece!
4 - find (and buy and move to!) an acreage
5 - pay off my credit cards (its soooo close!)

List 3 Lessons You've Learned - doesn't have to be related to the good or bad so long as it was learned in '08
1 - that I feel SO much better when I exercise, as long as I'm careful not to hurt my back.
2 - that doing a little bit every day is easier, and more sustainable, than trying to do a whole lot at once (for pretty much anything you do).
3 - that the glass *is* half full!

Most Favourite Read of the Year
The Twilight series.

Most Favourite Movie Watched of the Year
I honestly have no answer for this right now! I am drawing a total blank. :o Thinking, well this was good but what about...

Most Favourite Horsey Moment of the Year
Galloping on the beach and in the water at the river with my 2 best horse friends!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Wrapping things up

Hopefully most of you have had a great Christmas (*I said most because I've heard a few people had a bit of a bummer of a Christmas - hope you feel better soon Lisa!! Too bad those llamas can't come visit inside!*)

Mine was pretty darn good. We closed the restaurant for 3 whole days! :o So there was lots of family time.

Christmas Eve Pie and I spent most of the day to ourselves. We went to visit Kimfer's Aunt J & Uncle B and drop off a little gift for them. (they are like family to me, and are also the ones we went team sorting with this summer). Kimfer's parents showed up there so we gave them their little gift too (again, like family plus they own the place where we board).

After that we went to see the ponies and give them some Christmas treats. This was big for me because between boarding and it being a busy season I don't normally get to see my horses at Christmas. We're usually at my family's or Pie's.

For supper we went to Pie's parents house and had a nice little visit. Then Pie, his brother G and his wife C plus their 2 kids and myself piled into G's van and went to the SIGA Enchanted Forest. (my pics didn't turn out so please click on the link for a tour, the display is gorgeous!)
SIGA is the main sponsor every year and it is held at the Forestry Farm (kinda a zoo). It takes about 10-15 minutes to drive through. It may not seem so in the pics but the light displays are HUGE. I can't imagine how long it takes to assemble and put up all those lights.

Christmas Day we spent at Pie's parents. It was really nice for the whole family to be together. This is especially rare with both boys and their dad running the restaurant. My father-in-law is very much the type of businessman that wants at least one of the owners at the restaurant at all times. So we're only all together when its closed.
There was movie watching and game playing, probably one of the highlights was when the wives (me & C) took on the husbands (Pie & G) to play electronic Battleship. For the record, we won 2 out of 3. :)
Another "highlight" was Pie calling me a lesbian at the dinner (or lunch??) table. lol We were all gathered after eating, looking at the new Greek Orthodox calender from the church. This one is so nice because it has info like what type of fasting and when, special days (ie Greek Easter follows the old calender and doesn't always happen the same time as "regular" Easter) and it also has when the name days are. (for a brief explanation click the link).
C is also my godmother, I had to be baptized Greek Orthodox to be married in the church which was Pie's dream wedding. "Lisa" isn't a Greek name so we had to find another name for my baptism. Elizabeth was the closest name to Lisa so we chose that. In Greek that is pronounced more like Ella-sava. Someone at the table asked what my name was (after all its not like I actually get called by Elasava! lol) and Pie, soooo helpfully, said something like "uhh... les..bianna..??" Which was very kindly pointed out that he called me a lesbian. That got a good laugh.
C & I, at the same time, went "No! Elasava!!". I followed it up by mentioning that if I were a lesbian he would be out of 'luck'. That got more laughs.

Boxing Day Pie and I spent mostly together, we also got to see the ponies (2 out of 3 Christmas days, wow!) and spent the late afternoon and evening at my brother's house with him, his wife and baby, where we had supper and played games and watched a movie.

Saturday we worked and then Sunday we went to my mom's. She had spent Christmas in Edmonton with my sister and her family. D and baby Lucas came back with mom and B (her husband). D is still on mat leave but her hubby had to go back to work so he couldn't come (we missed you P!)
Sunday was awesome, there was my family (except P) and B's daughter T and her family (hubby D, oldest daughter Dani, son Tyson and youngest daughter Tianna).
Tianna's 3 and I haven't seen her in the last year and half - 2 years so she was a bit shy at first. Some quality time with the puppies and the ice was broken! Tyson also brought his Wii so I played Guitar Hero (for the first time - I know I'm so behind!) and Mario Kart with the kids. Grampa B rocked out too.

So now its all wrapped up and back to "real life"... too bad its still so cold. I have a barrel jackpot in 2 weeks and I really need to put some miles on that fat little horse!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

To all my blog friends:

Merry Christmas!



Have a safe and happy holiday
*ornament picture found on Google Images*

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Story

Instead of boring you all with a weather report (let's just sum it up as freaking cold) I thought I'd share a little Christmas story with you.
Its a true story, it happened when I was about 4 (maybe 5), and while funny now it wasn't at the time. Basically, I ruined Christmas. (its okay, like I said its funny now)
Before I start I should mention that this story is partially my own memories and partially stuff that's been filled in by my parents over the years. At the time I was either an only child (mom would have been preggers with my sis) or my sister was just a teeny baby.
Like a lot of little girls I was horse crazy. Unlike a lot of little girls it never wore off... but you all know that! I wouldn't be surprised if "horse" or "pony" was one of my first words.
So that year, like many many MANY more to come, the main thing on my list to Santa was a pony! (or horse, really to my 4 or 5 year old mind they were pretty much interchangeable).
I didn't care what kind or what colour... I just wanted a pony of my own!
I am originally from New Brunswick. There my parents wouldn't have been able to tell me "No. Where would it live?" Because Grampie had a farm and of course it would live there! But now we were living in Saskatchewan. In a city. So my parents always had that excuse ready.
Of course to my toddler mind our back yard was H-U-G-E. The pony could live there!
"What would it eat?" my parents would always ask.
Well, duh, grass. But then I was reminded of the snow and wintertime. But I had an answer ready!
The pony could eat these:

To my little eyes Shredded Wheat were big. And almost like miniature bales of hay. Surely Daddy would let me give his breakfast cereal to the pony!

But no. That plan was always rejected... dang it.
That never stopped me from asking. So yes here we were... Christmas.
I'd asked for my pony.
I'd tried soooo hard to be good.
I made sure Santa, mom, dad, well everybody, knew that what I wanted more than anything was a pony.
Christmas morning my mom and dad came to wake me up... all excited.
(okay this part makes me feel guilty to this day. How excited could they have been that they got the *perfect* gift for their little girl? I mean really, they were up before me and came to get ME up!)
I remember very clearly my dad telling me "Come see what Santa brought you! He brought you a horse!"
I also remember running out to the Christmas tree.
Bursting into tears and running back to my room.
I threw myself on my bed and sobbed hysterically.
They were NOT happy tears.
Why? Well because...


...as I choked out to my parents... THAT wasn't a horse. THAT was a TOY!
My poor folks. They thought they had got me the next best thing to a horse, they had gotten me a rocking horse (the spring style, although not quite the one in the picture it was very similar)
Okay so my dad's choice of words may not have been quite right, but I still feel a bit guilty when I think of that Christmas.
For the record, after I calmed down that DID become one of my favorite toys EVER.




*I did not take/create any of the above images*

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Scribble-tastic

Thanks goes out to Lisa (formerly "Twinville") at the Laughing Orca. She passed on this cute award to me:

I'd like to pass this on to Trainwreck, Pony Girl, Lytha and Brown-eyed Cowgirls.
*the Scribbler award is not of my creation*

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keeping it all in perspective

I try to see the positive, really I do.
For example (as some pointed out) with Cessa's having a cut leg in the winter, at least there is no worry about bugs! :)

But here is a better story to show the power of positive thinking:

There were two little boys.
One was very pessimistic ('P'), the other one was quite the little optimist ('O').

Christmas was coming and the family decided to make a point to the pessimistic boy.
When the presents were opened 'P' had a brand new watch and 'O' had a lump of horse manure.

'P' said "Oh wow, a new watch!" voice dripping with sarcasm "it probably won't even work."

While 'O' gleefully exclaimed "Wow! I ALMOST got a pony!!!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Every Freakin' Winter

Went out to the barn today and brought the ponies in.
Was planning on giving them their "extras" (grain w/supplements) and checking for lumps, bumps and owies.
Applejack was standing at the back of the barn around the corner from the door. Nice.
Cessa was out in the pasture "grazing" (do horses get senile??). Called her name and whistled. She looked up and seemed to have trouble spotting me. Whistled and called again and waved my arms. I could tell she spotted me as she perked up and came trotting in.
While she was heading in I opened the back door and told Applejack to go in. Gave him a look-over as he walked by. It's all good.
Cessa was right on his heels.
**insert bad words here**
Didn't even have to really LOOK. It was right there. Bright red on her rear right leg. Not as dramatic looking as the cut from last winter that I posted about.
But still.... every FREAKIN' winter. She cuts a leg. DANG.
The good news is there is no heat, no swelling and she's walking fine (as I said she trotted in from the pasture)

Wordless Wednesday



Monday, December 15, 2008

F-f-f-f-f-

frozen!!

It has hit the deep freeze here in Saskatchewan. This is the kind of weather we are stereotyped for. It should be noted though that this is very cold, not our normal all winter temperature. I'm just hoping it breaks soon.
Today it is a balmy -25, but there is (of course) a wind chill warning. So it actually feels like -37. Scary thing is that it is the nicest its been since Friday.
The last few days it was in the -30's, but when you added in the wind chill it was -44. (remember that's in Celsius... so in Fahrenheit I think that's about -47)
If you ask me once the temperature is THAT cold you don't need numbers... it should just say "Dang cold, stay inside fools!"
I'm SO glad farrier Chad made it out last week to trim and pull shoes. Too cold for that right now.
I'm also glad that I remembered to plug in my truck and that it started. (I've been driving the "big" truck and leaving my Equinox in the garage... the Ford has a command start and the Equinox doesn't)
And I'm quite sure that the ponies are grateful to have their blankets on now. lol

*the ice photo was found via Google Images*

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Visit to Mom's

This Monday I drove out to my Mom's for a visit. She and her hubby live in a small town about 40 minutes from my house.

When I got there I could see her cats were NOT happy...

Kahlea (sp?) on table and Sascha on chair, pouting.


Their dog, Mack, wasn't exactly a happy camper either... then again St. Bernard's aren't exactly the most cheery looking fellas there are. But trust me, he wasn't too happy.

Awww... what's up Macaroon?
What could possibly have Macaroni and the kitties so out of sorts?

OH! Now I see why you guys are all sulky!

Meet Holly and Coco!


After baby Zoe's baptism the day before my Mom had told me she was going to look at a puppy. Their house isn't exactly big... Mack spends most of his time in his outdoor kennel, the garage or the kitchen. Mom had been wanting a small dog that could be with her in the house for awhile now. (empty nest anyone? lol)

Sunday evening she called me and said "Guess what I got?!"

"A puppy?"

"Nope."

Hmm.. "A kitten?" I asked.

"Nope."

Oh heck no. "TWO puppies?" I asked.

"Yup!" and she proceeded to fill me in one the babies. They are purebred miniature dachshunds. We made plans for me to come and visit the next day.

Of course I told her they should have Christmas-y names.


So far the cats are trying to act like the puppies don't exist. Its actually quite funny when the puppies catch a cat on the floor and chase her. Especially since the cats are WAY bigger but still run away!

Mack, the big dope, is also a bit afraid. Coco especially likes to charge him and make him back away. Here he is being brave because "mom" is right next to him giving him some courage:

Please make it go away mom!


Okay you big baby... nap time girls!

They are soooo frickin' cute! Both of them fit in this pet carrier (the size I use for cats). They had played hard since I arrived (trust me I was covered in puppy spit from nips, licks, snuffles and kisses).

They crashed out for awhile and then they were back to puppy business (being cute).

Us? Cute? Noooo way! *bat puppy eyes*
Holly is on the left, she is a silver dapple. Coco is a chocolate dapple.


Seriously mom, they're going to LIVE HERE?!
We don't need no pet rats mom!!

Fine since you're being such a whiner I'm going to beat u... errr, play,
yeah PLAY, with my sister!

Waaait a minute! Who are you calling "rat" mister?!

I'm ALL DOG and I'm going to kick your big old stinky butt!


(hard to tell in the above pic but she's actually air born LEAPING at the Mackster!

He quickly scrambled to safety)



Hey! Put your head down so I can bite your nose!!
Maybe if I jump I can grab you by the collar.

*sigh* Why am I being punished?
I promise, tell me what I've done wrong and I'll be a good dog.

Hmmm... does this look like play fighting or teasing? Looks like someone has their tongue stuck out:

Naaa nah nah naaaa nah!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

(almost)Wordless Wednesday

Mom we know you're feeling all Christmas-y but really...
this is soooo undignified!
Now give us our sleighbell collars back!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Six Things - a meme

A while ago Callie tagged me for a meme, Six Things You Don't Know About Me. Its taken me awhile to decide what six things to share AND to find time to post them ('tis the season... to be busy as heck!)
I wanted to share six things that are a bit more unique, although this first one isn't necessarily unique it definitely fits seeing as how long it took me to respond to the meme!


#1 I am a procrastinator...

and I have trouble being on time, but I am very impatient when I am the one waiting! lol
I'd like to think that I've gotten somewhat better. Or maybe not. But I do try harder to be on time. I also give myself somewhat looser time frames when it comes to meeting people. To me if you're 5 minutes early or 5 minutes late you're not really late. After all everyone doesn't have their watches/clocks synchronized.
And by the way, Pie is WAY worse for being late than I am. (we officially start work at 5pm, however we usually get there between 5:15 and 5:30)
But seriously I do put off getting actual tasks done. For example, I have Greek class every Tuesday evening.
I usually do my homework from the week before late Tuesday afternoon.

#2 I wear glasses

However I can't stand to wear them when I ride. First of all if something were ever to happen (let's say they fall off and get stepped on) I'd be screwed. Without my glasses I'm blind as a bat and there is no way I'd be able to get home.
Also for some strange reason when I wear my glasses while riding I tend to get a bit motion sick.
This is especially strange because it is pretty much the only time I feel that way. Amusement park rides, helicopter rides, flying, heck I can even read in a moving car... no problem. Ride with my glasses on, especially on grass footing, and I don't feel so great.

#3 I was a picketer on strike

And it was quite a long strike. Of course the place that went on strike was my part-time job so it was not really a big deal to me. Didn't walk the line or show up at the union meetings until I had to leave my full-time job (that is a whole other story, I wasn't fired though I had to walk away because of a crazy, stalker customer.)
Suddenly I had no income except the strike pay, which I could only get if I picketed. Thankfully our union had a decent strike fund and I got paid relatively well to show up and walk the picket line for 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.
I also got a different part-time job, which I quit when the strike was finally over and I was able to resume my job and also to turn full-time!
It was during this period that I met Pie. I had a LOT of free time on my hands so I'd go visit my friend at her work... which just happened to be as a waitress in Pie's bar.
Pie would talk to me while my friend was busy and after awhile it was more he & I hanging out and talking than my friend and I. Eight years later here we are, married! :)
(on the other hand that friend is no longer a friend)

#4 I have a weird shopping habit...

and this may be where y'all leave! lol
Okay I am NOT a total germ-phobe. However when I shop I never take the front of the shelf item. I always take something farther back, preferably 3rd or more.
It is just my way of thinking that the front item is the one most likely to have been handled by lots of people, sneezed and coughed on, dropped on the floor and damaged, etc etc.
I know that the other items have all been handled as well, but in my strange mind they are less likely to be as "dirty" as whatever is in the front.
I also never share my pen. I always have my own pen at work and usually in my purse.
Okay so I'm weird... hope I still have some blogfriends! lol

#5 Speaking of shopping...
I really don't like to shop, other than horse related stuff of course! However that doesn't really matter because I am not much of a frou-frou, get's all dolled up, girlie-girl. My preferred "style" of (or lack thereof) dress is lounge wear/pj's when I'm at home and sweats/jeans when I have to go somewhere. When I get home I'm right back in the lw/pjs.
(I don't wear the same pj's to bed that I hang around the house in... if for no other reason than because having 2 large dogs and 2 cats in the house makes for a lot of pet hair on the clothes!)
I do however loooove a nice bag and designer sunglasses. I also love a killer pair of shoes, although I don`t really have the need to wear them.

#6 I am a leftie!
I would consider this to be fairly unique... after all some 90-93% of the rest of the population is right handed.
Despite this my grampie, my dad and Pie are all lefties too! :)
In fact when I was little my mom was getting very frustrated because for some reason I just wasn't learning to tie my shoes. She tried and tried to teach me and I just couldn't get it.
Then my dad watched one day and said something along the lines of "No wonder! That's backwards to her" and he showed me.
BAM! I could tie my shoes!
Also a few years ago my little sister finally recognized the greatness of lefties... after years of teasing (not too much but it was there) she gave me a plaque which reads:
Everyone is born right-handed.
Only the gifted overcome it.

Now I'd like to pass the tag on to:
AOHCM, kdwhorses, Steph, Melanie, Flying Lily and Fantastyk Voyager.




*all images/photos were found online*


Friday, December 5, 2008

What's on your Christmas List?

My family and friends always seem to have a hard time buying gifts for me. (and an even harder time buying for Pie!!) Its not that we're terribly picky or difficult people, its that we've got so much stuff. (and trust me I'm grateful to be fortunate and not in need of a lot)
So today my Mom asked me to please e-mail her some ideas. I thought I'd share the list with you guys, including the little notes that were added:

Trail of Painted Ponies statues (check with Pie though as I have quite a few but I really really like these and would love to add to my collection!)
Books specifically ones by an author named Laura Crum. I only have her first book (Cutter) and would really like the others. Some are hard to find and only available used but Amazon.ca has good used sellers. I would really like her 2nd and 3rd books because they are kinda a series. Also books (or anthologies??) of Edgar Allen Poe.
Cool socks I don't know why but I've developed a bit of a "thing" for neat socks. Ones like the horse ones I've picked up at Lammle's and the "Happy Bunny" and "Planet Sox" ones that WalMart sells.
I would ask for a pony, like I have been for years, but I think I'm maybe getting a little too old for that. Instead I'd like to ask for a horse! :P

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Awww shucks

The fun and fabulous Lisa at Laughing Orca created the following:
It is for all Paint horse owners. As I used to own a cute little Paint mare Lisa said I was allowed to post this on my blog! I'll do a post some day (hopefully in the not to distant future) on Rain. My cute little overo mare, yes she was named after Spirit's "girlfriend" in that animated movie. I still miss her. She was a very sweet little horse. Unfortunately she was one of the horses I bought that I was kinda scammed on. Don't worry, I was 100% honest when I sold her.

This was also passed on by Lisa. Isn't it cute? And how neat, a butterfly! (I love dragonflies and butterflies)

I'd like to pass this on to: Denise (& Lester), Lytha, Leah, and Melanie. Truth be told, I'd pass this on to everyone on my blogroll (and quite a few that I'm reading that aren't on the roll yet). But if I did that who would y'all pass it on too?!
ps - did you know that Orca, overo and blogroll don't pass spellcheck but y'all does? lol
*I did not create these awards/images*

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thank you's!

I'm a little behind in responding to these, but... not that long ago I was given 2 more awards by a couple of special ladies! :) I didn't notice any 'rules' so I'll pass them on as I see fit.

Laura at Little Keebler gave me the "Million Dollar Friend Award". Thanks so much Laura! This means a lot to me, I really do think of you as a friend!

I'd like to pass this on to Steph (hope you're feeling better!), Mrs Mom, BECG and Lisa/Twinville
Speaking of Lisa/Twinville, she honoured me with this fab award! (oh, and if you haven't been to her blog lately you really need to go check out the alphabet challenge!!) I totally get why she was gifted with this award, her blog is so fun and informative! I feel privileged to have had it passed on to little ol' me!



I would like to pass this on to Meg, the 7MSN, Mikey and 20 Metre Circle of Life
*awards/images are not of my creation*

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Winter wound care sucks

**warning some may consider the pictures below to be of a graphic nature**
edit to add - sorry for the poor quality of the pics, they were taken with my cell phone

In an ideal world our precious equine friends would never have bumps, scrapes or boo-boos. And wound care any time of year sucks... each season has certain advantages or drawbacks. But up here in the frozen north, dealing with wounds that need water in the winter is a big minus.

Last winter Kimfer and I were both at the barn and when I brought Cessa in we were greeted with a massively bloody leg.

The thing is, how much was frozen blood and how much was actual injury??

She was walking sound, but there was soooo much blood. Only one way to know, clean it up.

But how do you do that in below freezing temps? Get some warm clean water, rubber gloves, towels, a pan and the blow dryer:

Thank goodness Cessa has had plenty of time with the blow dryer (winter tail washing) and doesn't give a darn about it.

Slowly the frozen blood warms up enough to peel off.


Frozen blood makes it look so much worse than it was.









Trusty pump sprayer... no hoses could be used due to the cold. Fill the bottle with warm water and spray away. Actually has decent pressure for cleaning wounds.
Hard to see in this pic but we placed Cessa's hoof in a rubber feed pan so the barn floor wouldn't get water on it and turn into a big icy mess.





This cut, while not so nice, is the cause of that huge bloody mess.






No idea what she cut herself on. I looked all over the feed pens and winter turnout and couldn't find a thing, not even a blood trail.
It obviously bled pretty good, but it was so cold out the blood was freezing as it came out. That's why it was so bloody and gory looking.
We cleaned it up as best we could and put some wound cream on it and bandaged it.
I talked to my vet and she said we could leave the bandage on for a few days at a time.
After awhile the healing seemed to stall so Dr.P came out and cut off that flap. She said leaving the flap on and pushing it down with the bandage was the right thing to do, it kinda acted as a natural bandage.
The tissue from the flap had died though and needed to be cut off.





It healed very nicely... hair is still as black as the rest of her leg and there is just a tiny bit of thickening from scar tissue.
It would have been MUCH easier to take care of in the spring or summer though!
(but then you have to deal with flies...)









Monday, November 24, 2008

For Lisa (aka Twinville)

Here's to a speedy recovery. Hope you are feelin' better soon! Lisa over at Laughing Orca Ranch is going through a bad spell. So much so that she took an ambulance ride to the hospital!
Lydia created this cute card on her blog and encouraged those of us how follow Lisa's adventures to post the card on our blogs. Here are the instructions as posted by Lydia -
Instructions:This card is extremely important. It is to be passed around the blogger world and not to be tampered with. Lisa's recovery is so important to me, and so many other people, and even though she is already doing much, much better, I'm sure we ALL want to keep her recovery going smoothly.
So, please TAKE THE CARD! :P
Post it on your blog and post these instructions. (That it is to be passed around everywhere)
Yes, I love the picture too! I think it's very cute! Also kind of scary...
So, please, participate and take the card, pass it on, ect.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Winter hair care

Around here it is way too cold to bath your horse in the winter.
But sometimes you just have to spend some "beauty parlour" time on the ponies.
Today was pretty mild so Kimfer and I took advantage of it and washed tails. Kimfer washed, conditioned and bagged Baron's & Isis's tails. I washed and conditioned Applejack's and Princess's.
OOPS. No tail bags for me. I forgot to bring them to the barn.
Washing tails in winter takes some practice. You don't want to slop too much water on the barn floor - ice patches, or on the horse - frozen ponies.
Or on yourself. Somehow the colder it is the more likely I am to soak myself. lol
We use pails of warm water. Dunk the tail, shampoo, dunk again a few times to rinse. Condition tails. Dunk in some clean water to rinse.
Then we towel dry as much as possible. Comb through and whip out the old blow dryer.
When tail is dry, braid into the nice polar-fleece tail bags.
IF you remember to have a clean one handy. :p

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good news all around

Mr Horse Dentist is in our area and came to do our horses yesterday.
He was a little bit late for our 3:30 appointment (arrived at 7:15) He apologized a LOT but I told him that when I knew where he was going before us that he'd be late. (I was right, his 4 or 5 horses to do turned out to be almost 15 head).
Kimfer had to work so I took care of her 2 and our 2.
Mr HD said Cessa should be okay, not too much left to work with there. And super good news, Applejack's teeth are dang near perfect! (If nothing goes wrong he should live a good long life with teeth like those **knocking wood**)
Baron didn't need done but Isis did. She's young and a tad parrot mouthed so Kimfer's keeping a close eye on her chompers.
Oh, and Mr HD watched Cessa as I turned her out... he said, "She sure is a nice mover. Even at her age!".

Then Kimfer called me with good news today, as of Dec. 1 she will be starting a new job! :)
She really needed to get out of her job. Her co-workers are a bunch of... well, can't think of a "nice" way to describe them. Plus its physically taking a toll on her. (She works in manufacturing, 'big' equipment such as wind towers for oil fields)

And best of all, for me at least, is that my darn cold is basically gone! (except for my cough which always lingers)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Last jackpot...

... at least for a little while. Our district doesn't have any more booked after today's. Kimfer mentioned that Charlie had e-mailed her about hosting some in the new year. (one of the benefits of Kimfer & Julie being our provincial directors is that they have to approve our district jackpots so I get a bit of a head's up)
So even though I would really have stayed in bed today I got my butt up and went barrel racing. My cold is pretty much over (I think) but I have that horrible nagging cough that always lingers for me.
It was actually pretty nice out today, but we still ran indoors. Crazy to think that 2 weeks ago we had an outdoor jackpot. Even crazier to hope that we would have been able to today.
Raincloud ("Applejack") warmed up nice, a little lazy but pretty good. I remembered to try to implement some of the changes the Berteig sisters mentioned regarding leg position while we warmed up. That is going to take some work and actual concentration to break my bad habits!
We didn't place in the money today, but I didn't even care. For the first time in ages I got two really decent runs with the little guy. I was especially happy that he didn't bow out super wide coming out of 2nd on either run! :) In fact he came out of 2nd pretty much perfect and ran straight and hard to 3rd. I also remembered to push him one extra stride past 1st and I think that made our turns there much smoother. I need to remember that he always wants to turn just a tad too early on 1st.
I think where we lost time was coming in. He really doesn't like running into Walker's indoor from outside. Next spring I should ask Tom if I could come over and just work on getting him more willing to go in and then work on getting him to run in. It seems to be something to do with the change of light outside to darker inside.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Never Forget


In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae, May 1915
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
Though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



Major John McCrae wrote that poem after a close friend (Lieutenant Alexis Helmer) was killed during the Second Battle of Ypres.
It is now very well known across Canada. This poem, along with poppy pins such as this:

are two of the most well known symbols of today's National Holiday, Remembrance Day.

Today is the day our government has designated as a time to remember and honour those who have served our country to protect our rights and freedoms, especially those who gave their lives to do so.
Many people think it is to remember those who died during the First and Second World Wars. I personally think we should remember all the soldiers who have put their lives on the line to serve our country. Both in times of peace and in times of war.

That is why I proudly have this sticker on my vehicle:



Whether or not you agree with war (a particular one or the idea in general) it is my personal opinion that you should show respect to those who serve.

We should all appreciate our rights and freedoms and never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for those same rights and freedoms.

Today is Remembrance Day. Wear your poppy with pride.

"Lest we forget"

*images found online*

Monday, November 10, 2008

Clinic

Kimfer & I had entered a clinic being held in Aberdeen and taught by the Berteig sisters. (Shaleh and Shantel). It was our impression that it was to be an "all around" kind of clinic but I knew the sisters have a strong reining background so I thought there was a good chance it would have an emphasis on reining.
Saturday when I got home from work I tried to chill out and get into a "bedtime" frame of mind ASAP. I think I got to sleep around 2 am. Wake up time, 5, came waaay too soon. It was a bit of a shock to wake up and find it still dark outside! lol
I had most of my stuff together the night before so I just had to wake up enough to put my contacts in (I hate wearing my glasses when I ride) and finish throwing together lunch, then I was on my way.
I drove to the barn and Kimfer had the horses caught and tied to the corral fence (barn still skunky). We hitched the trailer, threw the gear in, put blankets on the ponies and were on the road. Yeah, we managed to leave the yard a bit early!
We drove down the highway, through a dark Saskatoon and pulled into Aberdeen at 7:20. Parked in front of the equestrian centre (an old hockey arena the town had converted into an indoor riding facility) we realized we were the only ones there...
The clinic was to start at 8 am. Where was everyone?? Shouldn't they be here to get their horses tacked up and warmed up?
Kimfer & I decided to stay in the truck for a bit, it was chilly out and the wind was C-O-L-D. Around 20 to 8 another rig pulled in. Just before 8 everyone was there (except our barrel friends Holly & Brenda who had also signed up).
With our horses ready we went inside to find out where the horse entrance was. We found someone to tell us where the entrance was and brought our horses in to warm up.
The start of the clinic everyone was to ride together, then we would be split into 2 groups. We started with everyone introducing themselves and explaining what they hoped to learn/accomplish. My goals were general improvements to horsemanship as well as to build my confidence and work on my position. I explained that due to various injuries I was sure that needed to be worked on.
Turns out that Kimfer & I were the only ones who hadn't taken a clinic with S&S before (other than Holly & Brenda who were still MIA). Shaleh pulled us aside and explained a few things that they do along with how and why. While she worked with getting us up to speed with the others Shantel worked with them along the rail on collection.
Holly & Brenda showed up and were brought up to speed as well. After the starting ride group 1 rode (my group, which also included Holly, Brenda, Kimfer, and 2 others "R" and "M"). While group 2 was riding we put the horses up and warmed up in the lounge. Then it was lunch time and after lunch group 1 rode and then group 2.
I think I learned enough to make it worthwhile. I really enjoyed the sisters teaching style. I found them very encouraging and helpful. They weren't afraid to get after you but they made sure to find positives as well.
I got tips on more effective collection (something I will admit I need to work on more) and better leg position. I was also very pleasantly surprised to be told that I have fair hands and am pretty soft with them. :)
My one complaint is that "R" tended to monopolize the sisters time. If he couldn't get the undivided attention of one of them he would ride over to the other and get hers. That was fairly annoying. At first Kimfer & I thought it was because he was a reiner and that they were the ones focusing on him, but during the second group ride it became quite apparent that he was the one seeking the focus.
Then again, it seems there is always a person like that. I will also say that both sisters are quite good at working one on one and still keeping an eye on the group at large.
The wind had gotten bitterly cold by the time group 2 was starting so Kimfer and I decided to hit the road. Boy was I glad we did... it was starting to snow and the roads were getting slick. The snow being blown across the roads made driving home NOT fun at all. We had 2 not so great moments. One on the freeway when the truck and trailer started to slide around and another when the brakes locked up as we approached a red light (thank goodness the next lane was empty and I just moved over and stopped in time). Needless to say I was very relieved to get the horses home and drop the trailer!
Driving from the acreage to my house wasn't as bad... funny how not having the horses along makes me less worried about a wreck! lol I still drove cautiously but the roads were quite a bit better, until I got to my neighbourhood. My streets were ICY.
But still I got home safe, and while I was unloading the truck I snapped this pic of our first snow of the year:

My side yard from the street. I see there's a section of Christmas lights burned out on the garage. My poor garden looks so scraggly and pathetic this time of year. :(

And here is a picture of baby Zoe, my brother's little girl. She was born Monday (Nov 3rd) In this pic she is 2 days old:
Sleeping in her grandma's arms at the hospital.
I don't think I've posted a pic of baby Lucas yet. This is my sister's boy. He was born June 10th (I know! Bad auntie for not posting a pic sooner!!)


In this pic he is 13 days old. My sister lives in Edmonton and it was the first time I got to see him. I did spend 2 weeks with him later though, 24/7. My sister and I travelled together when I went east for my dad's operation in August. They're actually in town now as well. My sister flew in this afternoon and I'm meeting them for supper this evening!