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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, September 29, 2009

NHR

While in Halifax last summer my sister, brother and I took daily walks around the city. On one of those walks we came upon St Mary's Basilica. It was a truly beautiful church, with the tallest polished granite spire in North America. As you can see I couldn't fit the whole thing in one photo:

Waaay up there is a cross. On September 7th 1874 the Cross was erected atop the spire... 189 feet above the sidewalk!I forced my brother and sister into touring the church with me. It was beautiful inside and outside but these arches were what really caught my eye and quite possibly were my favourite part of the church:





To learn more about St Mary's Basilica go here






Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cool

The weather that is.
Kimfer & I decided to go for a quick ride into town on Saturday... man am I glad we didn't wait until today because it was darn cold and super windy. But yesterday it was still pretty nice.
I thought it would be a good idea to get some miles on Applejack as he's quite the pudgy guy right now. Voodoo was not impressed and was a bit of a jealous pest when I caught Applejack.
When I was brushing Applejack and looking at the winter hair setting in I noticed this:

His dark hair is shorter than the white hair. Kinda neat.In the past I've noticed that his largish dark spot on his rump has shorter hair that the surrounding white. But that's usually well into winter when the full winter coat is in. Its evident already this year:

Makes me wonder if those weather forecasters are right. They say we're in for a milder winter this year, or at least in the normal range rather than the super frigid weather we had last year.
But on our ride Kimfer & I were determined to enjoy what very well may be one of the last nicer days of fall. We rode to town and stopped for ice cream... here Applejack & Isis are discussing the flavour options:
It was Isis's first time into town and she did very well. We didn't go right into town, the ice cream shop is right off the main street so we rode in the ditch and crossed the road, then rode into the parking lot. Isis was a bit concerned over the changes in pavement where the road met the flattened curb area but after a bit of inspection she stepped right in.
There were only 4 flavours of ice cream left, so I got Kimfer & I each a chocolate cone. It was nice enough out that the ice cream was starting to melt so we started riding home while enjoying the cones. It was kinda funny, everyone driving by or biking by was doing a double take. What they've never seen anyone eat ice cream before? lol
I guess from now on we're going to have to stop in town for hot chocolate... I think its a few months before we can ride and enjoy ice cream again :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

I Tried

Really, I did. I was going to have pictures for this post!

Sunday was the final sorting. The second of the two big jackpot sortings, plus the dinner and awards for the series (points were given at all the sortings except the two "big" jackpot sortings).

I had both my camera AND my video camera with me, and Kimfer's parents were coming to watch so surely someone would be able to take some pics and/or video.
Yeah right. It was rainy, cold and miserable. Horses, riders and cattle soaked through.
Poo.
Kimfer's parents watched the first half and then escaped, errr... left.
I couldn't ask them to be camera people when they were huddled under a horse blanket trying to stay dry!

So no pics, no videos. :( But I have results!
At the JP sortings you ride on 4 teams. You can pick a max of 2 of your partners and the rest are drawn. I picked Kimfer (of course) and Susan. I got drawn with Doug and Dallas.
On the first round Doug & I got all 10 head. Dallas & I DQ'd. Susan & I got 10 and Kimfer & I got 10.
Quite a few people were getting either all 10 or good numbers like 8 or 9. I knew there'd be more blowouts in the second half as people rode harder and pushed more to try to get a better time and all 10 head. Because of this Doug & I decided to safety up and go for a clean round. We got 8 and were clean.
Dallas & I DQ'd again.
Susan & I went the safety up route and got all 10, and with the safe route Kimfer & I got all 10 - girl power! lol
I have to say that second half was getting tough. (The footing held up for the most part. A few people toward the end of the first half complained it was slippery but Kimfer & I were second last and we had no trouble with it.) But man the cattle were getting downright pissy about being moved back and forth in the mud and rain. Made for some, umm... interesting moments. And I was pretty impressed with my little black dude. The few times I've ridden him in mud I've noticed he doesn't seem to like it and Sunday was no exception. He did NOT want to play in that mud. But he worked and he did a fine job. (other than a few bucks)

In the end I didn't win any prizes in the points series. My friend Holly (who, along with Brenda, introduced Kimfer & I to team sorting) won the buckle in the series :)
The jackpot results? How nice of you to ask, Susan & I were 2nd (and won $75 each)

**edit: To truly understand the craptastic-nes of that weather not only was it rainy & cold (about 20C) BUT it was sunny & hot the day before (33C)**

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My first first horse

Usually when I refer to my first horse I mean Cessa. However this isn't technically true. My first horse, or rather equine, was a cute little guy I named Moon.
I had begged, pleaded, cried and schemed for years for a horse. Probably since about the time I learned to talk. My parents didn't have horse backgrounds themselves, nor the extra cash to buy a horse. It was explained several times to me that the actual act of buying the horse wasn't the major expense, it was the upkeep and vet bills. (that's where my little schemes came in... really to a 5 year old the backyard in summer and Shredded Wheat in winter is a dandy idea)
The closest I ever got was riding lessons when I turned 15. And unlike many a parents belief that their horse crazy little girl would turn boy crazy as a teen I was hooked on horses more than ever. Although at this time boys did look pretty good too (I would have given them up to have a horse though! lol)
The year Kimfer & I turned 18 a major thing happened... her parents bought an acreage just outside of town! Better still they said I could keep a horse there! Kimfer, as horse crazy as I was, and I were just about to have our dreams come true!!
Kimfer's first horse was a tall, leggy, bay appendix bred Quarter Horse. His name was Rave On Red, we came up with the barn name Rory for him. Kimfer loved him but he just wasn't the horse for her and he was sold within a few years.
My first first horse was a little scruffy guy we picked up at the auction. I named him Moon when we got him home. I also knew from the moment we bid on him that I'd more than likely be reselling him in the future. You see Moon was challenged, vertically challenged. He was probably technically a pony but he looked like a horse, other than his small stature. I'd guess he was probably a POA.
I have a few pictures of him, but my scanner is on the fritz. We always thought he looked kinda like John Lyons Appaloosa stallion Bright Zip so here is a pic of him:
Moon's colouring was more reddish than BZ's is in this pic.

Now you probably wonder why the heck I would have got him knowing that he'd never be big enough for me to keep. Well the auction was where my dad finally said they'd buy me a horse and dang it I was coming home with a horse!
We had walked the pens before hand and I had noted anything I was interested in on the program. Unfortunately for me it was a good night for the sellers. Everything I had liked was selling too high. The auction was almost over and then came in this cute little two year old stud colt. Yup, Moon.
He was listed as green broke to drive and I remembered his bright attitude from the pens. I knew there was a pretty good chance that he wouldn't end up big enough for me but I also knew that I'd be happier with a project horse than with nothing.
So we bid. And we won. And I brought Moon home for about a year and resold him. So technically he's my first horse. But I usually consider Cessa my first because she was The One that came home for keeps.

*photo is not my own*

Friday, September 11, 2009

I'm not the first

...and I won't be the last to post on this theme today. But I don't care about being unique or original.
Today I care about showing my respect and paying tribute to those who lost their lives on this day 8 years ago.
September 11, 2001 is THE defining moment for my generation. It is the one event that everyone in the western world will remember. It is my generations JFK murder.
I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing.
Heck I remember exactly what I thought and felt as the morning unfolded.

I walked into work, a rare for me morning shift. At the time I was a front desk clerk at a motel. We had a small TV at the desk, ostensibly so we could check out movie functions for guests. But it also had the cable package that all the rooms had so the regular front desk clerk always had it tuned to the morning news.
It was 10 to 9 so the first plane had hit. My thoughts were "How the heck does THAT happen?! That is a horrible accident! Pretty strange too."
My co-worker told me that they (the news anchors) were saying it was an accident, as I thought, but other reporters were saying the plane was hi-jacked.

I went into the kitchen to get my coffee. Of course the news was all over the radio. I listened for a few minutes more and walked back out to the desk. Still thinking what an odd accident that was and feeling horrible for all the people involved. Then, shortly after 9, the TV showed the world that it was indeed no accident when that second plane hit.
I felt sick. I knew that the world as we know it had changed. About a half hour later we heard of the third plane at the Pentagon. Then another half hour later we heard about the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, thought to be heading for the White House or the Capitol.
I started that morning in disbelief over an odd accident. That feeling remained but was joined by shock, by horror, by fear and by anger.
Yes anger. I was (and still am) angry that we live in a world where something like this could happen.
I myself do not directly know anyone that died that day. Or even close family to them. However this event has touched the life of everyone in North America, if not the western world.
I do not agree with everything that has come about because of this. Some things I don't think should have changed have changed. Some things that I think should change have not.
One thing that I do believe is that whether or not you agree with the military events that have followed you should damn well support those men and women that put their lives on the line to protect your rights, freedoms and lives!
That we need to show respect for those who lost their lives that day, and the ones that were left behind to pick up the pieces. Show your respect and support to those who have lost their lives in the days, months and years that followed. Soldiers, rescue and recovery workers, people who lived or worked in the area, reporters, photographers, everyone.
I feel grief whenever I think of that day, not just on the anniversary. But I try to remember to hope.
Hope that there is a better future and that this will never happen again. But for that to be true we have to remember that it did happen.


*photos found using Google Images*

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Stills

This is my first time posting to "Sunday Stills". I am not a photographer so please keep that in mind :)
The theme for this week was the Rule of Thirds which in a nutshell states that if you were to place a grid and divide the picture in thirds from top to bottom and left to right you would find the most pleasing spot for the main object is NOT the centre but rather in one of the thirds. The following is my attempt to capture the essence of the Rule of Thirds:



The first three pics were taken at Peggy's Cove (Nova Scotia, Canada) with my Nikon S210.
This last picture was taken in Halifax, also with the Nikon S210




Looooong Weekend

...and not in the "holiday" style (although it is officially that too). But long in that I have so much going on!
This weekend was our district's finals (aka "Mini Finals") and while it was a blast it was a ton of work. And I didn't win a darn thing :(
BUT my horses did work pretty good, especially for being so out of shape.

Friday I ran back and forth getting the last minute stuff (ie picking up the plaque for Volunteer of the Year) and getting together floats for entries and the concession, getting the added money for payout. Oh yeah, 2 am I was baking cookies (part of my donation to the concession). Dropped the Ford off at the acreage and Pie picked me up and brought me home.
Had lunch and got my own stuff together. Drove my little Chevy back out to the acreage, hooked the Ford up to Kimfer's trailer, loaded tack and horses. Kimfer drove the Ford and I took my Chevy.
Mini finals is a 2 day event. Friday is held indoors in the evening, starts at 7pm normally I'm at work at 5pm.
Helped set up the concession, handed over floats, got both horses ready and warmed up and changed my clothes (it was dress code so western shirt, hat the whole 9 yards).
First run on Applejack we hit first (hard) but had REALLY nice 2nd and 3rd. Voodoo's first run he was slowly approaching the barrel while looking around, and I'm sure he was thinking "what the heck? where are we?" We got to the barrel and he kinda jumped and then was like "oh yeah, turn!" So first was bleh, 2nd was ok and 3rd rocked. Literally, rubbed all around it but at least it stayed up!
Applejack's second run was MUCH better, Voodoo's was better in that he didn't get goofy over running indoors.
I was done and on the run. Untack both horses, help Kimfer load, wash up and change, jump in my Chevy and zip into town and go to work.
Yup, I had to go close the restaurant.
Get up Saturday morning after about 3 1/2 hours sleep. Drive out to the acreage, catch and load horses and off again! This time Kimfer drove the Ford and I rode with her.
Day 2 started at 10 am. Reverse order of the night before and outdoors, in quite a large arena. So we got there and tacked and warmed up horses, changed and it was on.
Voodoo ran into the arena SO darn good :) A little too good actually, by the time we were getting close to the pocket on first he was really cruising. I wasn't sure he'd turn it, I was thinking we'd blow by.
Actually my exact thoughts were "crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap!!!"
However what happened was I grabbed the horn, lifted my inside rein and said "easy" and around we went! Second was ok (that is really our trouble barrel right now) and 3rd felt pretty darn good. He zipped home and it was time to change horses.
Applejack ran nice and hard to first too. Wasn't worried about him blowing by though, I knew he'd turn. We rocked all three barrels but came home a bit crooked so that slowed us down some. Poor little fat guy was sure breathing hard. Hopefully next year they'll both be in better shape! Its kinda funny because he seems SO gosh darn proud of himself when he runs really hard! lol
Second run for both was pretty much the same as the first.
Then while we were setting up for the meeting I bolted down half a burger and it was meeting time.
The district AGM was brief, thank goodness, and then we did door prizes and regular prizes. After that Kimfer & I loaded up and headed home.
At the acreage we unloaded the horses, I jumped in my Chev and zipped home. Had the world's fastest shower - no time to wash hair though so I spritzed some perfume in it to kill some of the smell, changed clothes, a dash of makeup and off to work.
Now that I'm home I've had a proper shower (including extra conditioner to apologize to my hair) and am getting ready for bed. Or at least a nap until I pick Pie up from work and come home for a bit more sleep. Because bright and early tomorrow I'm up to go back to the acreage so we can go for a day of sorting! Thank goodness we just left everything (except the horses) in the trailer these last two nights, the only thing we have to load in the morning is the horses.

Now if this all seems a bit rambly and confusing you'll all have to forgive me, I'm a wee bit tired! lol

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cowgirl Camping

Do you all remember waaaay back to the end of July when Kimfer & I went to our barrel racing club's Provincial Finals?
Now do you all remember when I said I'd take pics?
Well I did! Sadly most of them were crap. However the series below DID turn out and I humbly present you with a photo tour of our "camp" in the horse trailer.

Bright and early (5:30ish am) my truck showed up outside of my house pulling Kimfer's dad's trailer with our lovely horses inside! Kimfer's mare, Isis, is loaded in the last stall. Applejack is in the middle stall and the front stall is reserved for "stuff" (ie farm cart, large plastic tubs, etc). The "stuff" is kept from sliding into the horses by the divider which we jerry rig with a plywood extension to the floor. Nothing is getting out of that first stall!
(by the way the basketball hoop is NOT mine. Instead the neighbours prefer to risk bouncing their basketball of our vehicles instead of their own)

Once the horses are settled we set up our own camp. Getting the horses into their homes for the week was easier than normal. We shared an outdoor pen so once the ground crew put in divider panels all we had to do was set up water buckets and hay nets. Easy peasy, just like being in a corral at home!
We've done this enough times that setting up our camp is pretty easy too. After we unload the horses we take apart that divider, unload the "stuff", scrape the poo out of the horse area and spray it down. Then we lay a canvas tarp on the floor and unpack. Here's a view from our bunk through the walk thru door and into the horse area (as you can see there is a small cooler on the right hand side by the bunks):
Hmmm, you want a closer look? Well of course! C'mon in...
Standing midway in the horse area we'll look toward the front, or kitchen if you will. To your left is a plastic shelf with a bar fridge on top. Its stocked with nummy pre-cooked food. Grilled chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers. Also assorted condiments, some salads, cheese and strawberries, carrots, drinks. This was all split between the bar fridge and the cooler in the bunk area.
Oh, and a chocolate bar.
Under the fridge is the microwave (remember all that pre cooked stuff?) and under that are some of the beverages.
To your right you will find the pantry (ahem, plastic shelves) which hold our cereal, plastic cutlery, paper bowls and plates, snacks, etc. There are more beverages stacked beside it, which didn't quite make their way into the pic.
Now we turn around and look at the back half of the horse area, otherwise known as the walk-in closet. We place a wood board across the top to hang our clothes, Kimfer's on the left mine on the right (c'mon that purple shirt & suitcase were clues right! lol) We also put our suitcases with non-hanging clothes (ie socks, undies, etc) and pop up hampers back here. After showers we hang towels over the windows and dividers to dry out.
There is enough room to dress back here, and if you have to eat inside because of rain and the neighbours aren't around (Julie or her parents with their niiiice new camper) then we can sit here too.
In the evening if there is socializing its usually done in the castle, I mean camper, that belongs to Julie's family or outside at our trailer or someone else's (Holly & Brenda were parked across the lane from us and Julie was right next door)
When it was time to sleep, or during the day take a nap, or if we felt like hooking up the portable DVD player we crawled up into our bunks, again Kimfer is on the left and I'm on the right (look Mom, I made my bed every day just like at home! lol) The weather wasn't as hot as it usually is and after the first night I also pulled out my sleeping bag which I unzipped and used as a top layer to my blanket.
So there you go... how to live pretty comfy in a non-LQ horse trailer!



Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Things Heard

This last week I've either overheard or been told some things that I thought were worth passing on...

Last week at sorting Ace told me that he thought I've become a better rider. More willing to get aggressive without getting rough. (something that some people have trouble doing)
At the jackpot this weekend Brenda told me she thought I couldn't have found a better match than I did with Voodoo. She thought he pushes me but isn't too much for me and that I look good on him too.
Sunday my step dad went riding with me, I rode Voodoo and he rode Applejack. Afterward I heard him telling Pie that he has a real nice horse :)

Now for some funny stuff...
My friend Lanette describing her chihuahua 'guarding' their horse trailer at a rodeo. "Twiggy lunged from under the trailer and grabbed his leg and bit and shook. After he was telling people not to go near that trailer because there was a vicious rat underneath!"
"My butt doesn't have as much padding as it used to" (by someone I rode with that hasn't ridden in a few years)
"Chase DO NOT rope your brother again!!" (said by KQ over the mic as she was announcing the barrel racing)

And I don't know where the heck she got this from but my little niece, Zoe (not quite 10 months) will crawl over to the picture of the snow leopard in the front hall at her house and while sitting looking at it will make a noise like a hissing cat and use her hands like cat claws scratching the air. Too darn cute!! Also if you ask her if she's a puppy she will stick out her tongue and make panting noises. lol