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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


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Alls well that ENDS

Another year, another District Finals over... and I am no longer on the board!  For the 3rd year in a row I said that I'd like to step down and finally someone else stepped up, five years on the board is long enough (well last year someone did but I was 'encouraged' to let my name stand and got voted to stay on)
I didn't place in the money yesterday or today, so I didn't end up in the prizes either.  However I have to say my horse was pretty darn consistent. 
It was nice to have the finals right next door, my friend Jewls camped out here with her ponies staying in one of my pens.  Last night after everything was said and done we had time to enjoy some adult beverages ;)
AND I was able to talk to Neighbour T about the hay situation - finally.  He has agreed to take a few less bales (12 rounds instead of the original 20) and half the squares (he had mentioned that he wanted some squares at the start, just not how many) plus some cash to make up the difference.  So that's a big relief -- especially since fatty Applejack is on a diet now!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It is what it is

For starters its District Finals for barrel racing this weekend.  I had, note HAD, both the boys entered.  Today when I went to warm up Applejack I ended up scratching him. Which backtracks me to another "it is what it its".  The saddle I'd been running him in didn't fit.  Played around with some options and ordered a new saddle.  A gorgeous saddle.  Oh my I love that saddle.  That it turns out also doesn't fit.
We went from too narrow to too wide.
*sigh*
As it happens I can't return the new saddle.  I can trade it (have to find out the details to that) or try to sell it privately.
So between the saddle not fitting and a nasty crack he's got on his front left hoof Appy's feeling a bit ouchy.  The kind of ouchy you can feel at a walk, if you know your horse and pay attention, and that you can see at a trot.  I would have loved to see what he could do but its not worth risking hurting him more so I scratched him.
Voodoo... he still ran.  And run he did!  Now don't go getting the wrong idea, he's still not a 1D or even 2D horse.  But holy smokes did he have wheels on!  He ran SO hard to first that I literally said out loud "Oh shit, turn!" when it was time to rate. lol
His usual style is to roll in at a good clip, wrap 1st and pick up speed throughout the pattern.  Not today.  Today he started off hard right from the gate.  Then instead of just running he picked up speed every. single. stride. to the barrel.  And the arena we're running in this weekend is pretty darn big, with the pattern set deep into the arena so it was a looong way to the timers and to 1st.  I had no idea if he was going to blow by it or turn, thankfully when I said "Oh shit, turn!" I followed it with an "easy" and he turned. 
OMG I was so thankful lol.
Fast time up to that point was a 19 so I was hoping for a 21, which we got.  Unfortunately the fast time moved up to an 18 something.  Not sure where I'll end up in the payout for today, I didn't hear many 20's so there is still a (small) chance for day money.  And if we can be consistent and have a nice run again tomorrow who knows, maybe just maybe we'll sneak into the prizes.
(and there are some nice prizes this year!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday Funny ~ Middle aged

MIDDLE AGE TEXTING CODES: 
ATD - at the doctor. 
BFF - best friend fell. 
BTW -bring the wheelchair .
BYOT - bring your own teeth. 
FWIW - forgot where I was. 
GGPBL - gotta go, pacemaker battery low.
GHA - got heartburn again. 
IMHO - is my hearing aid on? 
LMDO -laughing my dentures out. 
OMMR - on my massage recliner.
ROFLACGU - rolling on floor laughing and can't get up.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Last Words

 "My friends, love is better than anger.  Hope is better than fear.  Optimism is better than despair.  So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And together we'll change the world."


Jack Layton had fought cancer once already and this summer he stepped down as leader of the NDP to fight it again... he passed away Monday.  
While I may not be a fan of his political party I have great respect for the man he was.  The words I've quoted above are the closing words from a letter he wrote on Saturday, which he had arranged to have released to all Canadians upon his death.  They moved me and remind me of the person I try to be.
RIP "un bon Jack"
Jack Layton
1950-2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Funny ~ 100% Math

 Mathematics:                           

What Makes 100%?             

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%?             

Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been to those meetings where someone wants you to give over 100%.  


How about achieving 103%?             

What makes up 100% in life?             

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:             

If:             
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z             

is represented as:             
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then:

H-A-R-D-W-O-R-K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and

K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But,

A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%             

And,
B-U-L-L-S-H-I-T             
2+21+12+12+19+8+9+20 = 103%             

AND, look how far ass kissing will take you.

A-S-S-K-I-S-S-I-N-G             
1+19+19+11+9+19+19+9+14+7 = 118%                           

So, one can conclude with mathematical certainty, that while Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and      
Attitude will get you there, its the Bullshit and Ass Kissing that will put you over the top.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grampie

**This post is NHR and might be a bit 'too personal' but I think its something I need to just get out of my system**

My Grampie has been on my mind a lot lately.  It seems that every few days something happens, or I read or see something that makes me think of him.  Grampie passed away July 8th.  Although I wanted to pay tribute to him, I couldn't really get it together to write about him then, even now I'm sitting here with tears streaming.
He had been in a care home for some time, after Grammie passed (quite awhile ago) it was discovered that he had Alzheimer's.  Mom called me at work on the 7th and let me know that he wasn't doing well and to expect the worst.  We talked about maybe taking a trip East to see him but the next day Auntie M called Mom and let her know he had died.  I hadn't expected soon to be that soon.
(Most of my relatives are in New Brunswick.  My parents moved out to Saskatchewan when I was very young)
I think I felt guilty for not getting there to see him, the last time I had seen him was a couple years ago when I went East for my Dad's kidney transplant.  And since moving here when I was little I had only seen him a few times.  Until the last few years I just couldn't afford to travel like that, and then when I could I couldn't get the time to go.
Grampie was the first man in my life.  I didn't have a father until my parents got married when I was about 2ish.  My earliest memories are of Grampie and Grammie, playing with her Red Rose tea figurines (Mom brought a box of them back for me after Grammie passed, they were the only thing I wanted).
Gathering eggs from Grammie's hens.  The day that Grampie came home with a dead rabbit, which I happened to see as he came in the door.
I remember the day that I was banned from the barn.  The cows were being dehorned and they didn't want me to witness that.  Afterward when I saw the cows I felt bad for them and told Grampie he had to give them extra grain lol.
But probably the thing I remember most is "helping" Grampie feed cows.  Of going up into the loft and watching as he threw hay down, he was good enough to let me think I was helping with that even though I was far too little to actually help (I only found out a few years ago that Mom was always scared when Grampie took me up in the loft).  Going down and sweeping the leftover bits of hay from the alleyway to the feeders in front of the cows... making sure that it was fairly distributed, except of course that my favourites got a bit more and the one cow I didn't like got a bit less (not really sure why I didn't like her but I distinctly remember strongly disliking one).  And that broom, it had to have been almost twice as tall as me!  I remember petting the big ol' red bull with his white curls on his forehead.  Grampie was so nervous, he knew I liked the bull and that the bull was friendly and liked attention, but still he was a bull... one swing of that big head and there I'd have gone! 
I have a more recent photo of Grampie, but its not 'him' to me.  He had gotten thin and frail.  When he passed away he was under 100 lbs, being in his early 90s he weighed just a tad more than he was old.  Instead I like to remember Grampie as strong and healthy, like in the photo below. 

I love you and I miss you Grampie

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Time Well Wasted ;)

Sunday I went and visited my friend Jacquie, she's like a big sister or an aunt.  We don't get the chance to visit very often.  Jacq & her hubby are farmers so their schedule is pretty busy and y'all know Pie & I have a weird schedule.  Then add in that they live North of the city and we're West/Southwest of the city, so its not like we're neighbours.  Usually I only get to see Jacq & Ben at sorting or penning (dang I hope there's penning this winter!)  
Jacquie & I had set Sunday aside for a good visit.  I ended up being gone from home almost all day and didn't get anything done at home... but like the title says it was time well wasted. :)
Its been about a year since I've been out to their farm.  Zara, from yesterday's post, is a new addition since I was there last.  And their heeler Ringer sure has grown up into a nice dog:
Ringer tied up out of the way 
while some horse doctoring was going on

Jacq & Ben are "late in life farmers".  They started 5 years ago, following Ben's life long dream.  I personally think that's pretty awesome!!  They raise cattle (Black Angus I believe) and sheep, and of course have horses and a donkey (I missed getting Chili's picture!)  The sheep are where Zara comes in.  She's not just a pretty yard ornament.  She and her buddy Achmed protect the sheep.
Achmed the llaca
she's a cross of llama & alpaca

Achmed isn't as friendly as Zara.  She's a bit more aloof and timid.  Also whenever she got close she screwed up her face like she was considering spitting at the camera.  
I personally think that Zara is prettier, then again most alpacas seem cuter to me than llamas.  But I have to say that I love the little white tips on Achmed's ears:
Another look at the little beauty queen Zara
Zara also has a baby, Apu.  She's not a lot bigger than the sheep she helps protect!
The llaca & alpaca do a good job protecting 'their' sheep.  This spring one of Jacq & Ben's neighbours lost 25 sheep to coyotes, and they had a donkey and dogs to protect them.  Jacq & Ben didn't lose one!  And its not like they don't have predators.  They've seen coyotes eating the placenta from when the cows calve and they even saw three coyotes playing in the straw in the field where they sometimes keep sheep!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Trying to figure out

...how I could steal her 
and not lose my friend
or my husband ;)

Zara

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday Funny ~ Robot Lie Detector

A man buys a lie detector robot that slaps people in the face when they lie.  He takes it home to test out.
At the dinner table he asks his son "Where were you today?"
"At school," the son replies and the robot slaps him in the face.  "Okay, okay I was watching movies at Joey's!"
"What movie were you watching?" questions the dad.
"Just a cartoon," replies the son and again the robot slaps him in the face.
"I said what movie!" says the dad and the son replies "It was a porno."
"What?!  When I was your age we didn't even know what a porno was!" says the dad.
The robot slaps him in the face.
The mom speaks up "Well he sure is your son."
The robot slaps the mom in the face.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Smart Ass

The first time I tried to put fly spray on George he was quite alarmed.  He wasn't too naughty, but he was visibly upset.
The next time he got fly sprayed was a time when all the horses came in for water.  I took the fly spray and a lead rope and went and sprayed everyone.  George cautiously came over and took a cookie, I put the lead rope over his neck and started spraying... he still looked kinda worried but it was as if he understood fly spray was a GOOD thing.
Fast forward to now... George definitely knows fly spray is a good thing, and the silly little guy will practically BEG for it! lol
Today the horses were all out in the pasture except for Cessa & George, they were still hanging around in the corral.  I'm guessing they were the last ones to drink and just hadn't headed out yet.  I closed the gate between George &  Cessa so that I could hang a pail of 'senior stuff' for her to munch on without harassment.
George stood quietly on the other side of the gate waiting for his beloved to finish.  Until I brought out the fly spray bottle that is.
As soon as he saw me spraying Cessa he started running back and forth at the gate, lying down and rolling in the dust, jumping back up and running to the gate.  Aaaand repeat.
As soon as I went in his side of the pen he came over and stood stock still while I sprayed him (no halter, no lead rope over the neck, nothing!) His chocolaty eyes closed and ears at half-mast bliss.  I swear I could see a small smile on his little mouth.
Dang I love that little guy!  He's such a character!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Drumroll please

It has taken me a bit longer to get around to announcing a winner to the giveaway celebrating my 500th post.  Here it is...

Number 27 turns out to be Stephanie - congrats Steph!  I'll be putting together a package for you and shipping it out :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

It is what it is (or it was what it was???)

The 2011 Provincial Finals are over, for me.  There was some good, there was some bad...
Voodoo wasn't fizzed by the crowd this year (yay!) but his first run wasn't as fast as it could have been.  It was my fault though because I was riding defensively, waiting for him to booger, instead of riding pro-actively and being a good pilot.
Applejack was up next and we had a good warmup.  Our run, hmm... well he had stage fright.  He came tippy-toeing through the gate, I'm sure his thought process was something like "wow! look at ALL those people!"
I'm used to him running hard to first, even if he comes in the gate a bit slow.  Of course he doesn't usually tip toe through.  But no, I asked him to pick up and what did he do?  Slow easy lope.  I joked with the girls afterwards that he was thinking "well if all those people came here to see me I'll go nice and slow so they can admire my beauty" lol
Going to second barrel *sigh* yeah he boogered at the crowd.  When we did get there he turned pretty nice though and ran decent to third, decent turn and ran home.
Wednesday was the second go and the order reverses.  Appy was up first.  My goal was to ride him like the day before hadn't happened - except I was going to carry a whappin' stick.
I do over & under him some on the pattern but I don't usually use a crop.  I wanted to be able to give him a light smack to get his attention.  The plan was to give him a little smack on the way in and between 1st and 2nd.  Some people can do that with the over & under but I'm not quite that coordinated lol
During our warm up I tapped his shoulder with the crop but all it did was slow him down.  So then I tapped his hind end and he sped up.  Good thing I got that figured out in the warm up, I had been planning to smack his shoulder!
When we went in for our run he walked slowly through the gate, not tip toeing but not too fast of a walk.  He glanced toward the crown just as I asked him to go so I smacked his butt a few times and he ran to 1st.  Not as hard as he normally does but at least he didn't lope!  We had a pretty good turn and went to 2nd, I gave him a couple smacks on the way but he still slowed some.  Not too bad but he definitely wasn't focused only on his turn. Decent turn when we got there and off to 3rd.  Couple more smacks, turned and ran home.  He shaved 2 whole seconds off his previous time!
Still not good enough to place BUT it gives me hope for the next time he runs with a crowd.
Voodoo... I was thinking that if I could shave 1 to 1 1/2 seconds off his run we'd probably make the short go, and possibly even get some day money.  It was entirely possible, he had not run as hard as he could the day before.  Alas it was not to be :(
Just as I was getting on him to warm up Pie called to tell me Tucker was missing.  There was a bit of drama and basically I was left to warm up wondering if my baby dog would be okay or not.
Normally I don't run with my phone in my pocket but I kept it with me (on vibrate) so that IF Tucker showed up and Pie called he could get in touch with me.
Warm up went okay, even with me being distracted and worried.  It really fell apart right before I ran.  I took my phone out during the rake to see if Pie had called and sure enough he had, but he hadn't left a message.  I could only think the worst... Pie had found Tucker dead on the road or attacked by an animal.  After all if there was no message it must be bad news right?  Pie wouldn't tell me something like that in a message.
I could NOT focus.  Voodoo ran in nice but I just wasn't there for him.  I quit riding halfway to 1st and sure enough we knocked.  He ran to 2nd and I still wasn't there to help him set up and we hit it.  I kinda snapped to and rode to 3rd but didn't get him positioned too well.  We didn't hit it but it was a crappy turn.
I got a hold of Pie when I got back to the trailer, Tucker was fine!  He had showed up at the back door like nothing was wrong and Pie put him in the mudroom when he left for work.
(in his defence Pie had no idea where I was at in my day, if I was getting ready to run or killing time)
Thank you God but wow, it would have been nice if Pie had left a message so that I could have focused!
(then again if the 'cost' of still having my pup was sacrificing a good run, I'd gladly sacrifice the run.  I am ridiculously in love with that pup)
Then my friend Jewls was on her 4th horse of the day (yes she entered 4 horses, yes I think she's slightly crazy and/or a sucker for punishment lol)  Dang if that little *bleep* of a horse didn't turf her hard!  She had a nice run going and between 2nd & 3rd she started to buck.  It wasn't an "I'm frisky" or "I'm scared" or even an "I can't handle running hard yet" buck.  It was a DIRTY buck.  Out of no where, head down, bronc style buck.  Which she has pulled before but its been quite awhile... Jewls was thinking she was finally through that b.s.
Thank goodness Jewls wasn't hurt too badly, although she did bugger up her shoulder.  The good news is that Jewls made it back to the short go on her gelding Mav.
Quite a few of our girls made it back, I'm so proud of my district!
I didn't make it back, BUT I missed by only 15!  That's the closest I've come to make the short go... next year, yeah that'll be my year!
Tomorrow I'm going to watch & cheer at the short go.  I think maybe I'll take Tucker with me... if I can figure out a safe place for him to chill while I watch.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What the Whoa?!

I was reading BEC's recent post ("On the Bubble"), she was talking about fine tuning her barrel horse (Moon) and smoothing out his rate and turn.  When she mentioned adding a verbal cue it reminded me of a story...
Now there isn't a hard and fast rule about what to use as a verbal cue, however the most common (that I know of) are whoa, hup and easy.  Whoa seems to be the most popular, at least among the people I know.
I personally use 'easy' for the simple reason that when I say whoa I want my horse to know it means W.H.O.A.  As in STOP. Now.
Well back when I was still running Cessa I screwed up.  Of course I did, when something goes wrong when we're riding it is most likely OUR fault after all ;)
Back to my story... It was an early spring jackpot.  The first one I'd been at in ages.  I was deep in the order of go and being that there was still snow on the ground the 'waiting area' was inside the arena.  So there I am watching girl after girl run until it was my turn.
Cessa started off so nice, running free and easy to first.  And then I did it.  I said 'whoa'.
And she did.
If I could read her mind I'm pretty sure she would have been thinking "WTH!?" because after that split second of a stop (and yes it was a complete stop) she picked back up, went around first and headed for second.
Needless to say we didn't place lol

Today is the first go for finals and I WON'T say 'whoa' to either or the boys until I want them to actually stop ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Booourns!!!

Spent yesterday getting the last of finals prep ready... Western shirts are washed and dried, truck and trailer are cleaned (insides only, didn't make it to the carwash), fresh shavings in trailer, boots cleaned (wore out my scrubby brush cleaning boots lol) and EVERYTHING is loaded except water & ponies so that this morning I could just load up and roll out without a rush or worrying about forgetting anything.
I jinxed it!!
Toonie runs are cancelled for today.  There is supposed to be 12" of ground and there's only 4.  Not sure who's screw up that was. 
Better still the arena set up is changed so the bleachers will be on the left barrel, and since I've switched both boys to running right first we will again be running straight into the crowd for our 2nd barrel. grrr  Last year running into the crowd for that 2nd barrel really caused Voodoo to booger. 
Now I know if they are seasoned enough blah blah blah.  Simple truth is that around here unless you rodeo your horse doesn't get exposed to that kind of thing.
(I hadn't switched directions because of finals, it was just a nice bonus)


Then there's the hay situation... last year we paid Neighbour Tony to cut & bale our hay.  He couldn't do it this year for medical reasons so he talked to Neighbour Tom and told us to call him.  Neighbour Tom agreed to do it and cut & baled our hay.  Its really nice hay but our yield is way down this year (it is for a lot of people in this area).  Last year we had 65 800# round bales and about 280 squares.  This year there are about 120-130 squares and only 28 1000# round bales. 
** the square bales this year are a bit heavier and tighter bound than last years, I estimate that if they were baled the same there would be between 180-200.  still down from last year but not as drastically **
Tom told us he wanted some of the squares for when his son is out on the rodeo trail.  Not a biggie, we still have some squares from last year and we use mostly rounds for feeding in the winter.
Yesterday Pie asked Tom what we owed him for the hay, thinking cash.  Tom told him he doesn't want cash, he wants 20 of the round bales. 
Sh!t  That leaves us 8
With the rounds we have from last year and the 8 we'd get from this year we will have JUST enough to get through the winter, hopefully.  But then what about next year?  Buying our own equipment to hay 30 acres just doesn't make sense financially.  Then again basically ending up with no hay and having to buy extra isn't great either.

Pie told Tom to talk to me today and we'll try to sort this out.  I'm really hoping he'll either take less hay & some cash or no hay & all cash.  Not sure though because it sounds like he really wants hay... then again he took over all or most of the hay Tony did last year so its not like there's not other hay out there for him.
If he insists on taking 20 then I guess we'll have to figure out something else for next year.