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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, September 27, 2010

I rode!!

Thursday I went and had a reflexology treatment done. It seemed to do wonders, I had no headache the rest of the day and my back felt better. Ditto for Friday.
I was going to wait until Saturday to try going for a ride but Friday as I was walking past the pens Voodoo left his hay and watched me. (Pie had fed breakfast)
When I went to walk back to the house he followed me as far as he could and then he called. I went over and gave him some scritches and told him I would be right back... then I hustled to the house to grab boots and tell Pie I was going for a quick ride.
I caught Voodoo, tied him up brushed, saddled and went to bridle him. He practically bridled himself! When I lifted the h,eadstall he thrust his nose in and grabbed at the bit. Wow somebody sure seemed eager to get out. Kinda made me a bit nervous, wondering if he was going to act a bit goofy.
I led him past the house to the barrel patch, the actual arena being too muddy to use. He looked around at the stuff going on, Pie & Ben where putting together our gazebo, but stood nicely as I tightened his cinch and got on.
He was AWESOME! Sure he had his little moments making sure I was paying attention, but no outright acting out. Everything was great until we stopped from a lope. And. He. Stopped. Hard. That little move was just a wee bit too much for my back. We finished with some walking and sidepassing and then it was out to the pasture for a few hours as a reward.
Have to say it felt GREAT to be back in the saddle :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

He still isn't sick of me

Yesterday Pie & I "celebrated" our 7th wedding anniversary. Oh yeah it was quite a party... he drove me to the chiropractor, we went and picked up feed, went out for burgers at lunch (ok so I *am* a burger girl and it *is* one of my fav burger joints)

In other news:
Since George has been out in the pasture keeping Miss Cessa company I've noticed that I don't hear the coyotes from out back as much as I used to. "Out back" being out where the larger pasture is. Its the pasture that I usually have Cessa & George in.
I know donkeys are good for predator control but even one as tiny as George? Those coyotes I'm SURE had a spot they were living in back there. JK (the former owner) said he would work up the track and when he passed over it a second time there would already be paw prints on it... and his dog was left at the house.
I very rarely hear coyotes out that way lately although I do still hear them from the neighbours on either side and across the road.

Cessa update, my (awesome) small animal vet did a bit of asking around and located a horse vet with a very good reputation. I am going to try to get her to come out and check out Cessa's teeth, her overall health, do a fecal count and review our feed program/options.
Kinda funny but since I posted asking y'alls advice (Thanks!) I've noticed more of a spark in her eye and spring in her step. She's even been doing her big, floaty trot whenever I've led her anywhere :D

Tucker is still the love of my life. That little brat thinks he runs the place. Comet has finally come on board and accepted him, he will even play with the little guy now. Pretty funny to see a little Boston Terrier puppy controlling a big labX dog lol.

Our new place has electric heat and 2 pellet stoves, one in the basement family room and one upstairs in the living room. My mom & stepdad came over Sunday for a visit. Stepdad looked over the stoves and showed me how to operate the one upstairs. Yes sadly it was cold enough to light it for awhile. The upstairs one is pretty simple, the downstairs one is a bit more complicated.

Haven't really been riding lately. Have been getting horrible headaches and migraines for almost 3 weeks now. Hoping to feel good enough to get on in the next few days. Fingers crossed for warmer weather! I really need to be getting some miles on the boys. Not sure which one is going yet but we're signed up for an Ed Wright clinic and its just around the corner!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Help Wanted

I'm asking you guys for advice... It's about Cessa. I'm trying to decide if its That Time. I don't know if I'm being selfish or not but now that we finally have our own place I'd just really like one last winter with the old girl. One final chance to give her 150% care now that we're home. I just don't want to try to get through the winter if it's not what's fair to her.
Here's the situation. For the last few years I've supplemented her diet in the winter. It seems she has a hard time eating hay** so I would give her beet pulp mixed with senior feed, crushed/rolled oats and some oil. She had a hard time keeping on weight but I think that if I had been able to give her that extra feed every day she would have done better. However that just wasn't possible because of my boarding situation. Instead she got that extra feed anywhere from 3-6 times a week (I know it is better for horses to get fed on a regular basis, I was doing my best in the situation)
Once spring came around and she was able to graze on nice, soft grass she always seemed to thrive, I was even able to stop giving her that extra feed.
**I've had her teeth checked on a regular basis and the last horse dentist to take a look at her told me there's not really much he could do for her. A certain place that had worked on her teeth with a power float had pretty much screwed up what was left of her teeth. And yes this pissed me off royally.**
When we first moved Cessa was doing pretty good on pasture. The last little while she has dropped a lot of weight. A. Lot.
We have good quality pasture. In fact I often have the geldings in pens and just Cessa & George in the pasture, otherwise the boys get too fat.
I'm planning to have a fecal count done to check and make sure she doesn't have a heavy parasite load and then deworm accordingly. I've also been referred to a good horse vet (by our small animal vet who happens to own horses herself) and will get her teeth checked just to make sure that there are no sharp edges bothering her (even if there's not much else that can be done for them)
I've started giving her that "winter ration" once a day, and now I've just upped it to twice a day. Its 2 cups of beet pulp, measure dry then soaked; I add to that 4 cups of senior feed, a hoof supplement, a cup of rolled/crushed oats, a cup of sweet feed (just because she likes it) and 2 cups of oil. She seems to be starting to put on some weight, but not enough to get through winter. I have no problem giving her that ration 3 times a day but in my thinking if I need to do that to keep weight on her NOW what will I do once winter comes? If she has trouble eating hay again this winter what can I do for her?
One suggestion was to feed her soaked hay cubes but lets be realistic... she's an old gal that takes her time eating and this is "Tundra Country" as Mrs Mom puts it. Those soaked hay cubes would freeze before she could eat them.
When I had her stalled overnight to get out of the super cold rain the other day I gave her the smallest, softest, fluffiest scraps of hay that I could get and she ate those right up. The actual hay that was in the stall? Not so much. But that isn't really a workable solution, I can't exactly sift through the hay to get small fluffy bits all winter, even if I could there wouldn't be enough.
However I remembered an article I had read a few years ago, not sure what magazine it was in. Probably Horse & Rider or Equus. It was about feeding chopped hay to horses that can't chew very well. The people in the article chopped (or shredded??) the hay themselves with some kind of garden implement or power tool. That's what has me stumped. I can't remember what the heck that thing was called! All I remember clearly is that you can get electric or gas powered models and they advised getting the electric so that you don't risk gas fumes contaminating the hay. Any clues what the "thing" may be???
If you guys have any tips/ideas/advice I would really appreciate it. I'm not sure yet whether I'll try to keep her this winter or if I'll just have to be a big girl and say my goodbyes now. I'd sure like to give her a chance, and not just for my own selfish reasons but because Cessa still has a spark in her eye and a spring in her step... she even trotted her nice floaty trot to the barn the other day when I was bringing her in out of the cold.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Then & Now

It's been 9 years... the images are still replayed in the news, on the internet, on TV. I am choosing not to post any of those pictures here today. I'm not going to ask you where THEN. Instead I want to ask you where you are NOW. Mentally, emotionally and for some, physically.
Do you still feel the strength of coming together against a common enemy? Do you still accept that we need to support the men & women that put THEIR lives on the line so that WE can all remain free?
Sadly I don't think so. I think a lot of people are becoming complacent. Living in a bubble. Maybe sticking their heads in the sand. When the USA first went to war after 9/11 there was a lot of criticism from the anti-war groups. Now it seems that more and more people just want the troops to come home.
(of course I want every soldier to return safely... I just don't think the job is "done")
I would like to take today to encourage people to support those that do so much for others. Whether its someone in the military, police force, fire department... they are all putting their lives on the line to do a job that a lot of us take for granted and worse, criticize.
Sure you may not agree with them all the time, whether its a speeding ticket from a police officer (yeah I got one recently) or the fact that our countries (Canada & the USA) are at war with a common enemy. However it is MY opinion that we need to respect these individuals that do so much for us. They are putting it out their to keep us safe at home. Safe from local crime or safe from terrorists that not that long ago struck on our own land.


How can you forget? And if you remember how can you not support the troops?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Final Finals

This weekend is our district finals for barrel racing, or as we often call it Mini Finals. Its a 2 day event with day money paid out each day and prizes for the overall winners to be given out on the 2nd day after the AGM (this way its more likely people will stick around for the meeting).
I elected to enter Voodoo and leave Applejack at home. Primarily because as a member of our district's board I have to help work/run the finals but also because Applejack hasn't had a lot of riding and is bucking on the pattern.
Yep bucking. My theory is that now that he's feeling good he thinks he should run all out. I however would like to get him back in shape before asking that of him. In return he gets pissy and bucks as a horsey version of "F. you".
Speaking of finals I never did fill you guys in on how the Provincial Finals went.
They were NOT good. At least for me. Our district had a pretty respectable showing.
But no, Mr Voodoo did not like the arena set up. It was indoors and the "arena walls" were made of corral panels.
Not a huge deal except that the only bleachers were on the right hand side. The arena was pretty small so the bleachers were very close to the corral panel. Add to that the fact that we run left first so when you cross the arena to go to the right barrel its not just a bunch of people close to the rail its also that they look pretty much like they're sitting in the arena around the barrel.
He put on the brakes and I'm sure was thinking "hells NO!"
Yeah so it wasn't cool but it got my horse out seeing something new. Next year will hopefully be better.

Friday, September 3, 2010