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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


Monday, March 29, 2010

Quick Update

Just a few things to catch y'all up on:
Pie and I are both down for the count with "the creeping crud". Thought mine was allergies brought on by decluttering (ooooh the dust!) and spring cleaning. Guess maybe it started that way but I do believe its now evolved to the CC.
Pie went to the doctor today, and I went with him 'cuz you know guys - NOT great at passing on info! lol We got the results of his A1C and its down to 7.8!! Very good news, the previous test was 8.4 and when he was in the hospital last year it wasn't even on the darn chart (I believe it was in the 12's or 13's) The goal is to get it down to between 6 and 7. His cholesterol is a teeny bit high, actually just barely over normal but they prefer to keep a diabetic's on the lower side of normal.
We also talked to Dr N about the CC. Because of Pie's history the doc is treating this "cold" aggressively, even before we know for sure what it is. Dr N ordered a chest x-ray and a heavy duty cough syrup. When I coughed while the doc was there I was told to take some of that cough syrup at night too. (probably a good idea, its been getting nasty) Being that Pie's lungs sounded good and his sugar is staying stable we're very hopeful that its nothing too serious.

The decluttering... ugh. I'm making progress but with being knocked on my butt with the CC its slow going. Kinda frustrated that Pie isn't able to help me more but between him being sick and working with NO days off... well I gotta let the guy rest when he can.

My lesson on Thursday was awesome. Voodoo knows a lot more than he's letting on, which isn't too surprising. I figure from talking to his former trainer that he's the kinda guy that is more than willing to take up bad/lazy habits if given the opportunity. Nanette has been helping me see through some of his shenanigans. He now is more willing to stay in a nice frame. But for the last few lessons our lope transitions were pretty yucky. He'd go into them with a wild toss of the head and then settle into his frame. Well this past Thursday we were going in and out of our lope with a nice, level headset :)
I'm still working on my shoulders though. Even when I have good posture in the saddle I ruin it with my shoulders being all hunched forward. Part of the boobilicous curse. But I am learning a new concept to me, using my shoulders instead of my hands. Liking the results with that.

Penning is over. Just ended suddenly. Our cows got sold on us so not yesterday but the Sunday before was the end of penning. Its okay, I should really use that time around the house. Not to mention sorting will start soon.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring?

Well its officially spring on the calendar. Outside it seems to be a bit confused though.
Sure the horses and dogs are shedding out their winter coats but the weather is nice one day and cold & blustery the next.
As for me, well maybe I'm getting a bit of spring fever. Or maybe I'm just hopeful that this is the year we sell our place in the city and move out to the country. But I have a 'project' list a mile long... and a good part of that mile is to declutter and downsize all the "stuff" in our house.
(I have another 's' word for it but Pie doesn't like when I call it that, so its "stuff" lol)
Between the decluttering, spring cleaning and trying to get my horses and myself in shape for a clinic and the barrel racing season I am going to be a pretty busy lady. Oh yeah and then of course there is the regular, every day stuff to do too. So a heads up if I seem to be a bit MIA for the next while. Be assured even if I don't post/comment a lot that I am still popping in to see what's up with everyone! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Confession and a secret

There's something I haven't told you all. I may have hinted at it, kinda suggested it but never really full on came right out and said it.
And it makes me feel like a bit of a... hmm... a fraud.
I tell y'all about my barrel racing, team sorting, team penning and trail riding. And I think that sometimes some of my readers think I must know a lot more than I do.
But the truth is that I'm not much of a rider. I've never really learned the "fancy" stuff, the more advanced stuff. To put it plain and simple I consider myself a beginner with a LOT of experience (about 20 years of experience lol)
You see I did not grow up with a horsey family. I grew up in a small town with parents that loved me like crazy but just didn't have the money to put toward my horse obsession.
(plus like most parents of girls they thought I'd eventually get over horses and focus on boys)
So instead when Kimfer and I turned 15 we started taking riding lessons. I paid for my lessons out of my babysitting money. There was really only one place in our area that gave Western lessons so that's where we went. I took all they offered: Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. Don't read too much into that though. The Advanced would today be considered a high level beginner/low level intermediate.
Anything more technical/advanced "fancy" would be available through 4-H or private lessons. Both were out of the question for me. Instead I rode anything I could, anytime I could. And I read.
I have always been a big reader. All through school I read way above my grade's reading level. And I read anything horse I could - fiction, non fiction, books, magazines.
Its always bothered me that I didn't know the more technical aspect of riding. Of course I'd read what I could and try to apply it but I wasn't always sure I was getting it right. So for awhile now I've been looking for someone to take lessons with.
As some of you know my schedule is a bit odd. So to find someone that was close enough, that would fit my schedule, that was affordable AND that I clicked with... well it took awhile.
But it happened! :) For about a month now I've been getting my butt kicked Thursday afternoons for about an hour and a half.
My lessons are not event specific, although there are definitely things that will improve my barrel racing and my cow work. Instead we are working on general horsemanship and fixing small flaws as well as working toward those more technical things. I've made a few small changes and have noticed an improvement in my riding as well as my confidence.
NC's is a fairly short haul from where I board. I've been taking Voodoo and using him for the lessons but in awhile I plan to swap out and use Applejack (who could really use the extra exercise lol). Probably do a few lessons on him and swap back, and continue switching horses every 4-8 weeks. NC is on board with that idea.
I like her style of teaching, she's quick to correct mistakes and make suggestions but has a positive way of doing it... and no comments like "you're too fat to show" lol And she also points out the good things about my riding. One thing I knew going in was that I was too much of a 'hands' rider. I don't use my legs enough, partly because I'm not always sure of exactly how I should. On the plus side though, NC says I have very good hands. And that while I may rely on using my hands more than I should I also don't pick at my horse's face.
I've filled her in on my riding goals/dreams. Now to see what I can achieve this year! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Erin Go Bragh!!

Here's to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here's to each lad and his darlin' colleen,
Here's to the ones we love dearest and most.
May God bless old Ireland, that's this Irishman's toast!
Slainte!
Happy St Patrick's Day everyone!

Wordless Wednesday


Friday, March 12, 2010

Beautiful

Oregon Sunshine passed this on to me last week. (Thanks OS!) Neat little factoid I found out when reading her post, my blog was the first one she ever read!


Now of course there are some strings attached... whenever this award is passed to someone they are to tell you 7 things you don't know about them and to pass it on to 15 blogs that are new to them.
Oh lordy... 7 things y'all don't know about me?? Here goes, hope some of you still like me at the end of this!
1- I try not to swear a whole lot in my day to day life, although I can certainly let fly at times. The ones I do tend to use when I do... the "F word" and a little word that starts with B and rhymes with witch.
2- I believe in God. I'm not the super religious, go to church every Sunday, "bible thumper" type but I do believe and consider myself a Christian, although I am baptised Greek Orthodox.
3- I have a kinda dorky/lame sense of humour. I like stupid jokes that most of my friends roll their eyes at. Such as "What did the fish say when it swam into the wall?" "Oh, dam" or "What do you call an empty jar of Cheez Whiz?" "cheese was" I told ya, lame. But at least I can tell them to my nieces and nephews.
4- The only children Pie and I have are of the 4 legged variety (for the record, 3 horses, 2 dogs, 2 cats)
5- OMG to me is Oh My Gosh. (see item 2) I don't take the Lord's name in vain, at least I try not to. I will admit there have been a few times it has slipped out. Also if I'm reading "omg" by someone that I know doesn't say 'gosh' I read it 'their way'.
6- I will befriend someone regardless of race or religion. To me its what kind of person they are that matters. Two things important to me: funny and kind hearted. I do happen to make "inappropriate" jokes and comments, other than the jokes above... but chill out I make them about myself too. lol
7- I have very eclectic taste in books, movies and music. In fact one guy I used to be friends with said that I was the only chick he knew that listened to everything from classical, to old AND new country, to pop, rock and all kinds of metal.
Now the hard part. Some of these are on my blogroll. Some I'm still getting to know. The 15 "new to me" blogs, in no particular order:
Okay that's it, I'm tapping out. 12 out of 15, that's not too bad is it? Sorry if some of you have already had this passed to you. I've been pretty busy lately and haven't been able to keep up as much as I like to.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

3 at a time, 2 ways

So the first '3 at a time' is to get you guys all caught up on how the last three team pennings have been going.
As you may have seen this past penning I took a bunch of pictures (see the Sunday Stills numbers post). The arena was booked by another group this past Sunday so penning was moved to Saturday. I couldn't ride because I work Saturday evenings but I went out to watch and cheer on everyone, and take photos :) Not only did I get some that I liked for the numbers challenge but I also got some that will probably be featured as Wordless Wednesdays (tomorrow is one of them)
The two Sundays prior I rode Applejack. For now I'm riding Voodoo at an indoor on Thursday and Applejack at penning, in a few weeks I'll probably switch that. So both boys are getting at least one good workout, plus whatever outdoor riding time I (and the weather) can manage to fit in.
The first of the Sundays Applejack added saddle bronc to the penning, little sneak didn't even give me a head's up that it was in the program for the day! lol
I took a good look at his back when I was untacking and noticed my saddle is putting some pressure on him. It usually fits pretty well but he has put on a LOT of weight this winter. For now I'm borrowing one of Kimfer's saddles as they are a bit wider.
When I took him the next week he did still buck, but it was one of his frustration bucks. As in "I know what the heck I'm doing mom let me do it my way!!" Too bad Mr Smarty Pants wasn't paying attention to the right cow or I would have let him do it his way. Guess I'll have to teach him the numbers 0-9 for that to work.
(its a common conversation with us, usually only includes the bucking the first couple times. its just a good thing he doesn't buck too hard lol)
When I untacked his back looked much better, so until he loses some of that weight Kimfer said we could keep using her saddle.
And the 2nd way for the '3 at a time'... well at the first of these three pennings, where Applejack was being a total goober, we managed to get all three of our cows at once! I was very excited, I'm a total rookie and that I was the team member that cut out all 3 cows together and ran them up to the pen - WOW. A bit of a rush!
Even more so because it was with my second team and my first team actually got a re-ride because Applejack was being so bad. (its a very low-key "for fun" club, I believe a re-ride is against actual penning rules)
And to end that day of penning on another good note, my team from the second half placed 2nd in the jackpot! I was joking that nobody wanted to get stuck with me on their team (teams are drawn) because of how bad Applejack was being.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Popular little thingamajig

Of all the pics I put up for yesterday's Sunday Stills challenge this one of the cattle counter hanging from Dave's saddle got the most comments:

A few of you asked for more info on what the heck this thing was. They are used to keep track of which numbers the announcers have called for penning. Really handy the farther you are in the order of go.
Each number will only be used once until all the numbers have been run through. Every time a new team goes in and their number is called you slide the little 'button' over.
Let's say you are on the7th team to go in. You've been paying attention and seeing how the cows react to the teams. You look down at your cattle counter and see that 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, and 0 are all slid over. That means your cattle number will be either 2, 5, 7 or 9. If you've been paying attention really well you may notice something like the cattle that are tagged 5 have been extra feisty and hard to deal with or that the 2s really like to run hard.
Hope that helps y'all some :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Stills - the next challenge: Numbers

Welcome to this week's Sunday Stills. Our challenge, numbers. Actual numbers, not a number of things.
Now numbers surround us in our world, but what to take pictures of? I wanted something that I didn't think everyone else would be putting up (and probably doing a much better job than I would! lol) Ah-ha, team penning! A bit of a challenge at times with the action but the perfect place to find numbers.
And I challenged myself a bit more, I decided to step out of my comfort zone... I left the little Nikon S210 at home and used my 'big girl' camera (the Nikon D90) for this one! Okay so the truth is my S210 had dead batteries lol. But the point is I am finally debuting the D90. And while I didn't go so brave as to go full out manual I didn't use it completely as a point and shoot, so yes there were a lot of not good shots. But that's okay, I'm just happy with some of the ones I did get (some will be up for the next few Wordless Wednesdays).
Okay enough rambling on. Here you are, remember I am a complete amateur but I'd still like to hear you think! (my personal fav is the 4th one)




























Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

photos taken July '08
at JLS Quarter Horses



Monday, March 1, 2010

With Golden Hearts

The 2010 Olympics have come to an end. They were an amazing, if at times troubled, games. I think something that came as a bit of a surprise to everyone is how patriotic Canadians are and how unabashedly we showed it to the world. Canadians are usually more reserved, more quiet in our patriotism but for the entirety of the games we were loud and proud as we showed how much we love our fabulous country!

These games will be remembered for many things, some wonderful and some heartbreaking.
The weather was a factor, with snow actually having to be hauled in. If only that had been the worst thing to happen.

Before the games even got underway there was the tragic death of Nodar Kumaritashvili, the Georgian luger. Only 21 years old, he died during a training run.


Joannie Rochette, a Canadian figure skater, had to dig deep and continue with true courage. Her mother Therese came to watch Joannie compete but died of a massive heart attack two days before the figure skating started. Joannie finished the Olympics with a bronze medal and the heart of the nation.


Canada's first gold was won by Alexandre Bilodeau. The 22 year old mogul skier will go down in history... it was the first time ever that Canada won an Olympic gold on home soil!

The medals presented at this years Olympics were beautiful, not just awards they were also pieces of art:

And it came as no surprise, at least to me, that the USA led the medal count finishing the games with a total of 37 medals! Congrats to all of my American friends!

Canada can be proud though, we may have brought home "only" 26 medals (finishing 3rd in the overall medal count) but 14 of those were gold... a record amount for any country in the history of the winter Olympics!

The Terry Fox Award, created by the Fox family, was awarded to Joannie Rochette and Petra Majdic - the Slovenian cross country skier who finished with a bronze, and her country's first medal, despite broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Besides the above these are moments that will stick with me:

The intense final for Men's Hockey, the US tieing it up in the last few minutes of regulation play and the dramatic OT goal that Sid the Kid scored for the Canadian gold. The energy in that building must have been incredible! I listened to the game on the way home from penning and saw recaps during the evening. I think if I had been there I would have needed medical attention! lol

Yu-Na Kim's breathtaking figure skating.

Jon Montgomery winning the gold in Men's Skeleton and strolling the streets with a pitcher of beer. How Canadian! lol

Shaun White's amazing snowboarding skills.

Melissa Hollingsworth's tears as she said "I feel like I've let my entire country down"

The last few minutes of the Mens Curling bronze medal match... to be honest I've never really been a curling fan and I found it incredibly intense.

The Canadian Womens Hockey gold.

The medal skate for Mens Short Track Speedskating... the crash, the disqualification of South Korea's Sung Si-Bak, the resulting gold and bronze medals for Canadians and silver to the USA.

And Jasey-Jay Anderson finally getting his Olympic medal. The snowboarder has won numerous awards but despite this being his fourth Olympic games he had never won an Olympic medal. I don't think he minds though, the wait was worth it... he won gold.

**unfortunately I was not at the Olympics, so none of these pictures were taken by me. They were all found online thanks to Google Images**