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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, January 31, 2012

Stalked

The other day I took my camera and went for a walk in the pasture.  I was looking for something suitable for the 'framed by nature' Sunday Stills challenge.
I hadn't gone very far when I got the distinct feeling that I was being followed...
Sure enough there were Eli and Oliver.  I shoulda known!  Those two goofy cats will even tag along when I ride out in the pasture lol

** I had to work today, Pete was in charge for Odin's vet visit and then he worked tonight.  Hopefully I'll have an update for you by tomorrow **

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sonuvabiscuit!!

Today Pie & I ran errands in the city and then came home to meet the farrier, who beat us to the barn by a couple minutes.  Scott (farrier) was standing looking at Odin and says "Hi, what happened here?"
Not something you ever want to hear...  I got up to Odin's pen and looked at his back leg.  Then I ran back to the house to call the vet.  His back leg is cut open, it looks deep but like it missed anything important, and its too late to stitch.  She said to clean it, wrap it and she'd be out tomorrow.  So for now, this is Odin's fashion statement:
Pie & I walked the whole pen and I can't find blood anywhere nor anything that looks like it could have caused a cut like his.
Fingers crossed & jingles that it's not bad and heals up good.  So far he's putting weight on it and walking, although you can see he's ouchy on it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ Nature's Frames

This week's Sunday Stills challenge: This next weeks challenge is to get something framed by nature. Trees making a frame over a stream, a branch making a fork around the moon…nature does a lot of this if we’ll just open our eyes and look.

All but one of my photos are from the archives again this week.  I tried to get out to take there but I about froze my poor fingers off, even with gloves!

This first one is the 'teepee' at the park where we take our staff every year for a picnic:
Rainy, my friend Kimfer's dad's horse:
The moon framed by clouds (taken earlier this month):
A curious eye framed by luscious lashes (taken Saturday):

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I rescued a horse!!

**disclaimer, no I did not actually 
get another horse at this time**

In my post on Thursday I mentioned that I have a thing about "rescue".  There are some horses that are rescued where that term is, IMO, correct.  But there are sooo many horses out there that are 'rescued!' where I would debate that term.
If you bought a horse from the kill pen, if you bought a horse that was being abused, if you took in a horse that had been abandoned... those are rescues.
This horse is sure as heck a rescue! (if you haven't read Argus's story before make sure you have tissue handy if you click that link)

A horse that needs some training, a horse that didn't have perfect hoof care or needs some weight (not drastic, just not A+), if you buy a horse from a sale/auction, those are not rescues.  You bought a horse.
If you buy a horse that was living in a way you personally don't agree with, whether it was worked hard on the show/rodeo circuit or lived in pens 24/7 and your horses only live in pasture or are only ridden 30 minutes 3 times a week... if their basic needs are being well met, you didn't rescue, you bought a horse.

The horse that has no shelter from the blazing heat/frigid cold/wet/wind, little or no feed, unclean and/or limited water.  You could consider him a rescue.
The horse that is being sold because the kids lost interest and have moved on to boys/girls/cars/college/etc... you bought that horse.

There's nothing wrong with rescue, either groups or the individuals that do it all on their own.  Bless them!  The horse industry does need them!  
However there are bad rescues, the ones that are either taking advantage of people's hearts & money or that get in way over their head until they themselves need rescuing.  And there are definitely enough horses out there that truly need to be rescued that theses groups don't need to go trolling for horses!
**happened to me in the feed store a few years ago when I was buying senior feed for Cessa and it p!$$es me off even now when I think of it**

There seems to be almost a social stigma against buying or breeding horses these days.  Maybe that's why there's an overabundance of the "I rescued MY horse" being uttered.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Funny ~ Politics

Late one night, a mugger wearing a ski mask jumped into the path of a well-dressed man and stuck a gun in his ribs. 
"Give me your money," he demanded.
Indignant, the affluent man replied "You can't do this - I'm a United States Congressman!"
"In that case," replied the mugger "give me MY money!"

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Tom and Dick went to hear a politician speak.  Tom nods off and when he wakes up he finds the politician is still talking. 
"Hasn't he finished?" he says to Dick.
"He finished about half an hour ago," replies Dick.  "But he hasn't stopped yet."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Treats

I was reading a popular horse magazine last night and something caught my eye.  There was an article with a lady that had a big win at a show and she was talking about the treats she gives her horse for a reward, chocolate chip cookies & bananas are his favourites.  After their big win he got bananas and a bag of Ruffles.
Examples like those above kinda make me cringe.  I'm sure there's lots of treats we give to our horses that aren't exactly good for them.  I've heard of things like soda, beer, all sorts of candy (sweet, chocolate, crunchy, salty, etc), chips, and so on.  Peppermints & sugar cubes are long time favourites.  Other traditional, and probably healthier, treats include apples & carrots.
Something I find interesting about treats is how some people just assume all horses will eat them.  I've read plenty of articles/blog posts/comments on horses that have been "rescued"  and how the poor thing didn't even know what a carrot/apple/peppermint was!
(the term rescue is a bit of a sore point with me, not every horse that comes from a not perfect situation is a rescue!)
Some horses just don't like those treats.  My little Odin will not eat ANY treat so far.  Trust me, I wish he would.  It might make some training things a bit easier.  For example as soon as Tavi found out he got to eat cookies if he walked into the trailer calmly he was going in & out like a pro.
Until a couple years ago none of my horses would eat carrots.  Now they'll eat them, but only the 'baby carrots'.  And if you even try to offer them an apple or a peppermint they'll just look offended and turn their noses away lol  Horse cookies on the other hand will get you plenty of attention!
My horses get a cookie once they're haltered.  After working they'll get a pail with some cookies and/or carrots or if they're put into the tie stall they'll have their cookies/carrots put in the feeder.
So what  do you give your horses for treats?  Or are you a non treat person?  Also do you feed treats by hand or from a pail?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Selling a dream

Recently a Facebook status caught my eye.  It was in regards to a message to her horse's former owner updating the lady about his progress.  The reply she got was along the lines of:

"I'm happy for you but please don't keep updating me.  It reminds me of how much money I wasted.  I did my duty by finding him a good home, but it was nothing but pain for me to have had him"

Of between 20 - 25 comments (not including mine or the original poster's) there were only about two other people that didn't dump all over the previous owner.
I can relate though.  Its painful when you have a horse and have dreams and hopes for him only to have it not work out.  Remember Quinn?
I had a lot of dreams for him... he was going to be my 'step up' barrel horse.  Hopefully a 2D horse that could move up to 1D.  Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.  I held onto my dream for him, and him, hard and tried hard and it was a very bitter end.
(in fact if I was a different person 
he probably would have ended up as a steak)
I sold him to a friend of a friend and had a couple messages to let me know he settled in well and they really liked him.  That was nice to hear and I was glad that he had found a place with good people. 
Then through another friend I'd hear about how AWESOME he was and even kids could ride him and blah blah blah.
Yeah that stung.  It made me feel like a big fat failure.  I totally doubted whether I should even own horses and was considering quitting horses all together.  
(other than Cessa,
who would live out her days as a pasture ornament)  
So obviously I didn't really want to hear anymore of those updates.
I did talk to the buyer again, she let me know the only reason the kids could ride him is that it was a total 'no pressure' situation for Quinn.  Anytime anyone got on him and wanted him to "work" or had any expectations besides toodling along in the pasture on a total loose rein,  mindlessly wandering along well then Quinn would revert to his former badass which had caused me to sell him.

So I get it.  Its nice to know that the horse you've sold is in a new home doing well.  To be updated after that and reminded of what didn't work out for you, the lost dreams, the lost time, the lost money (let's be honest, for most of us money IS a factor!)... well that can hurt. 

Oh, and as for Quinn... I recently messaged his buyer to see how he's doing.  He's pretty much living his dream life now as a pasture ornament.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Those carved birds

These ones, from my Sunday Stills post:
They aren't just carved, they're carved by chainsaw.  Pie & I saw this place when we went to visit Uncle R at the cranberry bog.  We had to stop and check it out.  Glad we did too because it was pretty neat.
The carvings all start off like this:
And unless he has a commission for a certain work the chainsaw artist lets the wood speak to him and he goes to work.  Here are some of the pieces that were there:


Pie & I would have liked to get one commissioned, but not enough to pay to ship the darn thing all the way home! lol

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Good Horse...

is a good horse, regardless of breed/discipline.  Which is part of the reason I love this video:

Sunday Stills ~ Birds

The Sunday Stills challenge: For this next weeks Sunday Stills, shoot some birds

 Unfortunately its been CRAZY cold here lately.  We're talking -35C to -50C.  I don't think I would have been able to keep my camera warm enough to use outside, even if I had wanted to try!  So this week my Stills are all from the archives.

The snowy owl I caught napping, at noon on January 1st.
My friend Shann's pretty hens.

Sea birds at the harbour in Halifax.

Bird carvings by the cranberry farm where my Uncle R works (in New Brunswick)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Cabin (a bit late)

A while ago...
(okay, so it was in October
I promised to show you guys a bit more of the cabin Pie & I stayed at on vacation.  It's not anything super fancy, but it's cozy & quaint and I LOVE that place and I'm so grateful that Uncle D & Auntie S let us stay there :)

Here's a view of the cabin from the front, nice porch with a swing and barbeque, fire pit out front.
But before you even get to the cabin
you have to take the highway,
then a blacktop highway,
then a quiet little paved road, 
then find the turnoff and follow the secluded little lake road
yep, that's the road
 
This is the corner of the living room, to the left of that chair are the two little bedrooms and a small bathroom.  The kitchen & eating area are opposite the living room (That leather couch faces them)
While we were there it was chilly at night so we fired up the wood stove (thanks again Uncle D for making sure there was ample firewood!)
 Auntie S is very artistic and her art is everywhere at the cabin. Those two paintings below are her's.
I love the little details, like the wood floors, rough and rugged...
And the maple leafs on everything from the shutters to the deck railing

More art :)
Outside there was the hammock (yes I used it)  You can see more art hanging by it
evidence of art on the paint splashed rocks
I loved walking around outside and finding little surprises like this
Even the birdhouses were painted & pretty
And of course the views were divine!  I love Auntie & Uncle's cabin, it is truly a special place built of love :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Funny ~ Going buggy

A man goes into a pet shop and asks for 15 cockroaches, 35 termites, 12 wasps and three mice.
"What do you want all them for? asks the storekeeper.
The man replies, "I'm moving out of my apartment tomorrow and my landlord said I had to leave it exactly as I found it."

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A man answers a knock at his front door.  Outside is a six foot ladybug which proceeds to head butt him, kick him, and stomp on his head.
The man wakes up in the hospital where he describes his ordeal to the doctor.
"You're the sixth case like this we've had in today," says the doctor.  "There's a nasty bug going around."

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What's this I see?!

 What's that?  Snow?!  Yay it snowed!!  Saturday night we finally got some of the white stuff.  Unfortunately it also brought absolutely FRIGID temperatures with it.
We've been so spoiled with mild temperatures that even our regular seasonal temps would seem really cold.  So instead Mother Nature is blasting us with extra cold temperatures.  I kid you not.  Yesterday the temps were in the -30 to -40 range (with the windchill it was almost -50!).  Keep in mind those are all Celsius.
(so -22 to -40F, windchill -58F)
Tuesday night (very early Wednesday AM) I let the dogs out for their final potty before I went to bed.  I picked Walter up from where he had curled up to sleep, opened the door so Tucker, Comet & Misty could go out, set Walter outside the door where he promptly fell over.
Seriously :o  Poor Walter!  That cold was a bit of a shock... probably extra so because he'd been curled up on the dog bed in front of the pellet stove (yup, I felt bad) 
He got back on his feet, pee'd and came in and tossed me a look that clearly said "what the HELL were you thinking woman!"
I will gladly take the snow, I just think this extreme cold is a little cruel.  To try to take my mind off it I admire the snow and take pictures that amuse me, like this one... I think it looks like Mini Wheats for a giant
**I took this from inside my nice, warm truck**

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Okay camera buffs...

I wanted to do a bit of a side by side comparison of the two cameras I got for Christmas, well more liked stacked on top of each other.
The first test I gave them was night shooting.  I tried to get two shots as similar as possible to compare the cameras.  What better subject than the waning full moon on Friday the 13th?
S9100

P500

So what do you guys think?


** edit to add: both cameras were handheld, both settings were the pre-programmed night modes **

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time Out!

My poor little Tucker dog is on a forced R&R, which he's not very thrilled with.  Instead of playtime looking like this at our house:
There's supposed to be no wrestling, no running, no jumping, and he's restricted to hand walking for potty breaks.  Do any of y'all know how hard that is to enforce with a Boston?  Better yet, with two Bostons and one is a pup?!

I'm not exactly sure how it happened, it could have been as simple as slipping on the ice, but Tucker has a back injury right now.  When Pie came home from work Friday night I let the dogs out to greet him, everyone was fine.  But when they all came back in Tucker couldn't make it up the deck stairs.  When I brought him in he would barely walk, and when he did he didn't use his hind legs right.  When he stood he'd kinda hunch his back.  Poor little guy was miserable.  :(

I went to bed, but it was a restless night.  Got up early to call the vet's office.  When I told her what was going on she squeezed him in.
(I'm sure I've mentioned it before but I love our vet, she's awesome!)
He's already doing much better, which is a blessing and a curse... nice to see him on the mend but it makes it SO much harder to keep him quiet & calm!  He is on pain meds so that's part of it but I really think he's on the mend :)

The good part of this R&R?  More pics like these:

Tucker would like to thank his "on-line Aunties" for their well wishes, jingles and Facebook messages :)
Please keep the jingles coming, I want my little guy to make a full recovery :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Stills ~ Corners

This week's Sunday Stills challenge: This weeks challenge it to photograph corners…..corners on buildings, boards, streets…..just find yourself a corner and play with light and shadows.

I stopped at the 4 corners created by a cross-road by my place. 

First is the barb wire gate at the corner post of a pasture:
This marks the corner of one of my neighbour's places:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Country & I Know It

This has been making the rounds on Facebook & Youtube... thought I'd share it with y'all


But this has to be my all-time favourite. Pete has always said this is Tucker's song lol


(I found the above video via Mary's blog)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Funny ~ Word Play

Two trucks loaded with a thousand copies of Roget's Thesaurus collided as they left a New York publishing house last Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Witnesses were stunned, startled, aghast, taken aback, stupefied.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The "Help"

Whenever my nieces & nephews come to visit the big draw is getting to see all the animals.  They love to "help" do chores.
On Christmas Eve my sister & her family and my brother & his family were all out at 'The Ranch'.  Pie & I had waited to do chores because we knew the kids would want to help out and see the horses, pony, donkey and cows.
Lucas got right to work...
You know how it is, when you put a round bale out and a piece flakes off.  Well he saw me gathering that up and throwing it to the cows so he ran over to help.  It wasn't long and Zoe was right behind him...
(I just love the 'huge' handfuls they grab lol)

Little Abigail (or Abby-gail as someone calls her) ran over then turned and giggled.  You could almost hear what she wanted to say:
"I can't help, these silly mitts have no thumbs!"
I love this picture so I just had to include it.  I think my bro had no idea that George was sneaking up to check him out.
Don't worry, they didn't get worked to death.  But it is rather pathetic... they were trying desperately to make snow angels with the little patch of snow.
Lucas & Zoe learned that a very important chore is to check the waterers.  Gotta make sure they're working all year round, and in the winter check that there isn't ice in them.
("Its water Auntie!")
 
And of course the obligatory 'sitting on a bale' shot :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

D'oh, a deer!

When I was out shooting pics of the hayfield the other day something caught my eye.  
There were a couple of deer out there.
Then, just after I snapped this shot I took a quick peek at it 
and realized there weren't two deer, 
there were three.
I zoomed in a bit more and shot the two standing on the right.
And that was it.  
Too many little shutter clicks, they were off!
I watched them bound away, 
white tails swaying in the air like show girls.  
Headed for the hills, err, hill.