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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


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Looks can be deceiving

Like this... this probably looks like an innocent, harmless little kitten. She's not.
No. This little furball has lived at our place for just over a day and already has given me a few minor heart attacks.
She's also started to rule with an iron claw... Alex, our big Bernese Mountain Dog, has become totally smitten with her. 
For now "Little Baby Kitty" (yeeeah, she needs a name lol) is living in a large wire dog crate.  She's going to be a barn cat so it's the safest way to introduce her to the current residents.  For the record Oleta's nose is QUITE out of joint about the little intruder, Eli thinks he needs to be tough so he half hearted growls and hisses and Oliver just denies she exists.  So for now she's in a big wire crate in the same room in the barn where we feed the rest of the cats.
I brought her home early Thursday evening and when I went to do chores before bed I took Alex with me, as per usual.  I showed him the kitty and he got really excited but she hissed & arched.  I made Alex lay down and took her out of the crate.  She ran over to him and rubbed up against his head., and from that moment it was over.  It's love lol  Alex followed her around as she explored the barn and was very reluctant to leave when I put her back in her crate.
Friday morning it was more of the same but Friday night is what this story is really all about...
I decided to let LBK roam free while I did the last feeding.  It was pretty nice out and I was curious to see if she'd stick around or make a bid for freedom.
She followed me around as I gathered empty hay nets.  Which is where the heart attacks started.  At every pen she'd wander under the bottom rail and go check out the horses.  I kept thinking she'd get hurt, but every.single.horse (and donkey) just froze as still as could be and then sloooowly lowered their head to sniff her.  When she bumped up against their muzzles they froze some more.
Not a single one moved until she had left their pen.  Meanwhile Alex and Hera (who had just met her) hovered anxiously like mother hens.  Whenever she was on the non-horse side of the fences they sniffed her to make sure she was okay and then followed her wherever she decided to go, which was generally where I was.
After a bit she seemed to be getting cold so I put her in m vest pocket for a bit and she just rode around until she was warmer and then hopped out (another small heart attack).  She continued to follow me for a bit, but I lost track of her after a few minutes.  No worries though, I just had to look for the dogs and I knew exactly where she was lol  When I was ready to go back to the barn I crouched down and said "Hey Little Baby Kitty!" and she ran straight to me, of course both dogs shadowed her.  I walked into the barn and she followed again so I closed the doors and let her (and Alex) roam and explore so that she didn't think going into the barn equals being jailed. 
After a little while though I had to return her to the crate.  Which started her pitiful crying so of course Alex had to rush over to investigate what was wrong with "his" little baby *eyeroll*  I opened the door to leave the barn and Alex would NOT leave.  Seriously, even telling him to go or that we were going to play ball (a recent obsession) would not get him to leave his baby's side.  I had to actually grab his collar and escort him out. 
She is pretty little still (10 weeks) so I don't mind keeping her locked up some.  It would be nice though if the other cats will start to accept her and she'll be able to get sprung from jail fairly soon, and she could snuggle up with them to stay warm. (it's not too bad out yet thank goodness but the cold is coming)
Gotta find a name for her soon though...

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I totally forgot!

Pie & I were working on some winter prep outside, you know the drill... closing stuff up, plugging stuff in, covering equipment that will sit 'til spring, etc, etc.
Then I realized I hadn't shared my awesome birthday present!  (from waaaay back in June!)
Pie may not be a horseman but he sure knows how to do presents for a horse crazy gal  :D



Thursday, October 24, 2013

I need a money tree

 It's that time of year... temps are getting cold so things are getting plugged in and the electric dials spin faster and faster.
I had to break down and turn the furnace up (electric heat is NOT cheap y'all!)  Monday we'll probably be kicking in the pellet stove.  I wanted to wait until there was a good week or so when either Pie or I would be home so it wouldn't be unattended for any length of time when we first get it going.
Heaters are on in all the automatic waterers.
Soon the heat lamp will be on full time in the coop.  Hopefully we'll only need one this year.  There are a few more birds plus we've insulated some of the walls.
Still to come are plugging in the tractor and vehicles.  Oh, and I've got to get some straw in for the winter.

On top of all that, Pie took Betty (the Ford F250) in for a wheel alignment and some new tires. 
We got a call that it would be $4500... apparently she needs a ton of work.  Struts, brakes, ball joints, etc etc.
Umm. NO.  I'm not spending that much fixing it up, not when she's only worth about 8k.
Thankfully Pie's buddy Jerry was able to do a bunch of the work, for about $1000 parts & labour.  She still needs the ball joints, wheel alignment and new tires but that other work saved us a l.o.t.of money!
Still that's more money that we didn't really need/want to dish out right now... I guess it will be awhile longer before I replace my broken iPod.

Friday, October 4, 2013

He was a good dog...

even if he did spend the first 8 weeks of his life behind bars.  Along with the rest of his brothers and sisters.
Pie & I had just bought our first home together, we knew we wanted a dog so we went to the local animal shelter and that's where we first saw the cutest little lab cross puppy.  The whole litter had been dropped off right before Christmas so they were named after Santa's reindeer.  Comet had our hearts right from that first day.
That was way back in 2001... and now it has finally come to that inevitable end, we had to say goodbye to our first "child".

(it's taken me almost a week to be able to write this post, I'm only this far and I have tears rolling down my cheeks)

Not only was Comet our first pet together as a couple, he was also Pie's first ever pet. 
He was a great dog, I have tons of wonderful memories of him.
Like when he & I broke the basement window, pretty much in the first week we'd lived in the house ... and Pie walking out the door at just the right moment to witness it.
How he liked to help garden, by digging up freshly planted flowers and following me around the yard with them.
The time he tore the front license plate holder (and license plate) off my car and brought it to the door.
How he loved to help, he'd carry or fetch anything he could.  He knew "remote" and "phone" and would get either one if you asked him to.  He was so obsessed (yeah, that was the Lab in him) that he would follow me around the house when I was cleaning, just waiting for me to drop something so he could pick it up.
He knew how to recycle, when he knew a bottle or can was empty he'd take it to the blue recycling bin.
He wasn't bad too often, but when he was the harshest punishment for him was to put him in time out.  Sit him somewhere out of sight and tell him to stay... that was almost a death sentence to him.
Comet never met a toy he didn't like.  Balls, squeakies, stuffies.   He would play fetch as long as you'd throw.
You could leave food anywhere near him and he wouldn't touch it unless you told him it was okay.  Heck he wouldn't touch the food in his bowl unless you gave him permission. 
His absolutely favourite treat was McDonalds fries.
Even as he got older he still tried to help whenever he could.  He'd carry pails & baskets, the feed scoops, pretty much anything he could.  But old age was slowing him down.
He was having trouble climbing the stairs. He was becoming incontinent.  His hind end was pretty much shot, he had to use his shoulders & front end to drag himself to standing and he was losing weight.  He was easily knocked down by the Bostons and I was worrying about him breaking something if he fell and landed badly.
(one time he fell and landed so awkwardly I thought he may have broken his pelvis, thankfully he didn't)
So we prepared to say goodbye to our boy.  On a particularly bad day last week I told him he only had to hold on for a few more days, I could swear I heard/felt him say Thank You.
Monday our vet (who is amazingly wonderful) came out to our place so we didn't have to try to get Comet in the truck (he could no longer get in the truck).
On that day Comet got his very own order of McDonalds fries all to himself.  Doc gave him a shot to make him drowsy and then walked away to let us say goodbye.  Comet laid down in the grass with his head in my lap while Pie & I talked to him and told him how loved he was and how grateful we were to have had him in our lives and Comet dozed off in the sunshine. 
Doc came back and gave him the lethal dose, he was gone before it was done. 
Thankfully it was perfect, for what it was.  There were no seizures or spasms, he didn't even let go of his bowels or bladder.  After dealing with how badly Cessa's end was I was extremely grateful that Comet's passing was textbook perfect.
We buried him out back in a spot of honour.  I hope he's over that rainbow bridge, running & playing free from pain.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Projects

There have been a lot of projects going on here this summer/fall.  Nothing huge, some downright little...

The chicken coop was a bit too cold last winter, so we've added some insulation.  Shavings getting into the corners of the door were a problem last year, they'd freeze and cause the door to not close properly.  Also we put in some roosts and took out the pallets that the hens had been using as roosts, holy smokes that made it seem SO much roomier in there!

Pie wanted an outhouse due to hosting jackpots and now having a boarder.  So he & J started building one (almost finished, just a few touches left)

Pie also wanted flags around the arena.  Seriously, he wanted them around the whole arena.  We compromised on two (it went something like "NO.  You can have two or none, your choice" lol)  So now there is a flag on each side of the gate.

The announcer booth got a coat of paint (white).

Corral panels were removed and a gate put in going from the arena to the pen beside it.

An electric waterer was put in the cow pasture.  This was probably one of my fav projects to have done as it means no more hauling water!

Not really a project, but Norman the runty little "let's give it a gamble" bull was sold and we have a replacement bull, Baxter.  Baxter is a papered Dexter, black and naturally polled (yay!  that means there's really good odds his calves will be polled too!)

A head gate was put in to make handling the cows less redneck and easier on everyone, human and bovine.

I've FINALLY started getting my barn more organized.  The tack room is okay, Pie bought me some sweet saddle racks last year so that made a huge difference. Then I got the storage/feed room cleared out, shelves and counter wiped down and floor swept.  Organized it and it looks much better. Still have two piles of miscellaneous stuff to go through and keep/donate/sell/toss, then decide where to put the keep stuff.  That will be a relief to have done!

I know, I know, some of this needs pics... hope to get some soon.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Wilder

George & Rootbeer are in a pen (too much grass for those little guys is no bueno) but the big horses are all turned out together (my 6 and KD's 2) 

Well the horses were all putting on a show the other day when Pie & I were out doing chores.  We had to just stop and watch them... it was hard not to, it's quite a sight to see that colourful herd in motion!

(black, bay, varnish roan, grullo, sorrel with a ton of chrome, a white grey, a steel grey and a palomino, it's so pretty to watch them all together)

They were all ripping around and then breaking off into little groups to play.  Snaking heads, rearing, dancing and prancing in little circles, bucking and then the whole herd would tear off again only to start the cycle again.

While it was entertaining it was also nice to see how much Wilder is changing (KD's steel grey).  When she brought her horses here KD & I both basically described him as socially stunted... it was like he didn't know how to speak horse. That was something that caused problems for him in the past.  He would get picked on or bullied because he couldn't read what other horses were telling him.  Tizzy (KD's palomino) thankfully understood he was her "little brother" and watched out for him & tolerated him.

Being turned out with my herd in a fairly big pasture has been good for Wilder though.  He's made at least one friend (Applejack, KD& I both called that one on the first day! lol)  He's gradually learning how to get along with everyone else (even Voodoo! :o ) and he's no longer constantly glued to Tizzy's side :)

During playtime the other day Wilder's progress really showed.  He didn't just run with the herd, he took turns playing too.  Instead of sticking with just Tizzy and Appy (like I was guessing he would) he alternated partners like everyone else - yay Wilder! 

There were a few times where he seemed a bit confused but he would just move a few steps away and you could almost see the wheels turning while he figured out what was going on and then he would join back in.  So while I wouldn't exactly say he's fluent yet, it's sure good to see Wilder learning how to speak horse :D

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

2013 Haying

No, we didn't just finish.  I'm just a little late getting around to posting... this season instead of a field of dreams it was more a field of nightmares.  The hay itself looks good, but getting it down, baled and put up...

First the new to us swather we bought last fall.  Yeah, we pretty much bought a POS.  We knew it wasn't great, it's pretty old.  But it was in our budget and with a little bit of work it should have been fine.  SHOULD have.
Instead it got a few feet and kablowey... the header deck came loose.  The good news is there is a very small chance it is fixable if someone who knows how to weld decently and knows farm equipment can fix it without it costing a fortune she'll get another shot at life.  The better news?  Our neighbour asked if it's still drivable and when we said yes he replied "Well bring it over, pretty sure I can fix it!"

The swathing was done by the same neighbour that cut & baled for us last year.

The square baler worked fine, until we were almost done.  Seriously, we were thisclose and it calved.  Good news though, it's fixable.  In the meantime neighbour that is going to look at fixing the swather came by and baled for us (rounds).

So we ended up with 6 rounds and hundreds of squares... with only Pie & I to put them away.  Once again good neighbours played a role.  My friend/neighbour SD runs a group home and he let us hire one of his guys to help pick and stack bales.  It still felt like forever getting them put up though because we only had a few hours each day before it was time for Pie & I to go to work.
One of the guys from work came to help one day too.  He worked his butt off and wouldn't take a dime, he just came to help because he's never done it before!

In the end it all worked out, with the blessings of good weather, family and good neighbours we have a hay barn filled for the winter :)  I just hope it's not as long as last years!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Monday, August 19, 2013

Small victories

I'll take 'em where I can get 'em!
We just wrapped up this barrel season, our district's mini finals were this weekend. Saturday & Sunday, all day in the blazing heat. It was fun though, I got to catch up with old friends and made some new ones!
I haven't been out to a lot of jackpots this year (or last), I also wasn't able to ride as much as I'd hoped this summer so I went with a very out of shape Voodoo.
Darn I love that little black horse!!  He may never be more than a 3D horse, but he tries for me every time - even when I haven't been fair to him and expect him to run his fat little ass off in the heat.
What I don't love, is the gate drama he's acquired.  Little hops & spins... he's not sore though thank goodness, he's just so amp'd up to get in and run.  Fortunately there were girls that were willing to help.  Voodoo had a couple pony friends walk him to the gate his first three runs (there were 2 runs each day).
We didn't clock that well, but I wasn't expecting to considering everything lol
Then on my final run KD asked if I wanted her to walk us up.  She was on foot so I said "Sure, if you're willing.  No promises that he won't rear, or maybe squish you."
I was up right after a rake, so while the quad was running KD just took hold of the cheek piece of his bridle and led Voodoo around in big circles, slowly getting closer to the gate.  When the rake was done and the gate opened we were just a dozen or so steps away. 
Voodoo didn't try to spin, pop or rear at all.  He just calmly walked forward and then a few steps away I said "OK I think we're good now."  KD let go and Voodoo entered the arena just fine.  I put my hands forward and he shot off for first.
Seeing as I didn't have to worry about getting him in the gate, or even toward the gate, I was sitting ready and was able to get both Voodoo and myself properly prepared as we ran for first and we had a nice barrel.
small victory!
We had our best 2nd barrel out of our four runs too.  I had been anticipating the turn a bit too much and rating too soon.  We'd been clean on 1st and 2nd for all the runs, they just weren't too pretty. 
This time, it was nice!  I remembered to ride to were I needed to be and not worry (anticipate the turn), we just ran to our spot and turned.
small victory!
We'd knocked 3rd on our second run the day before.  Our first run we had a nice 3rd barrel, and it was pretty ugly on our first run Sunday.  This time it was nice!  We rounded it and headed for home, kicking all the way to the timer (another problem for me lol)
another small victory!
 I came out of the arena pretty happy with my run, it was definitely the best of the four.  Voodoo had run pretty consistent all weekend but I was really quite surprised to hear the time... a full second faster than my other runs!
small victory!
I was even more surprised though when at the end of the day the day monies for both days were being doled out and we actually won some!  Last paid spot in 3D, and hardly any cash, but we still got some money! :)
small victories indeed!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Role Reversal

For the vast majority of my horse owning life I was a boarder. 
(18 of 21 years!)
Then in 2010 we bought our acreage and I (finally!) had my horses at home.
And now, now we're in a new phase... a role reversal.  We're the "barn owner" and we have a boarder.

Since we bought our place Pie & I have talked about maybe one day have a boarder.  Weighing the pros and cons.
We knew we wouldn't bring in enough money to make money but we were hoping to get enough to help offset some costs. (pro) 
We knew it would mean a little less privacy (con). 
With the right boarder I'd have someone willing & able to lend a hand with some horse stuff and maybe someone to ride with, and sometimes haul with (big pros!)

Late this spring/early this summer we had the perfect situation lining up.  A friend was looking to move her horses.  She was someone that we both trusted to be around when we weren't, that had similar horse interests, and that would be willing to trade off blanket duty in the winter! (I'd ride during the day, put my horse(s) in stalls with coolers.  She'd come out to ride in the evening, put my ponies out with proper blankets, leave hers in stalls with coolers and when I got home from work I'd turn hers out)
Then there were some big changes in her life and she did indeed move... hours away!

This Sunday I got a text from another friend.  She was asking if we'd thought about boarding and if we might have some space.  KD & I shot some messages back and forth "talking" things over.  I had a quick convo with Pie and then msg'd her "When do you want to move your ponies?"
I did some research on boarding agreements, drafted one and emailed it to her to check out (yes she's a friend but best for all parties if we have our butts covered in writing) ;)
Then Monday she showed up with her horses.  We decided that going for a ride around the pasture would be a good way to show her horses where the fence line is, and as a bonus it was a start to introducing Voodoo to his future pasture friends. 
(Voodoo was the one I had the most concern about, after all he is King of the World lol)
After our ride we grabbed a couple drinks, turned Voodoo, Tizzy & Wilder out in the pasture... no fireworks :)  Then we got the rest of my kids and turned them out.  Again no fireworks :D
We watched them for quite awhile.  There was a bit of moving around.  The "No this is MY buddy!  YOU stay over THERE" kind of stuff.  No real skirmishes (although Wilder did show that he can kick his heels up v.e.r.y. high) and absolutely NO squealing.

 The board is low cost and in return pretty basic.  We're planning on getting a shed for her stuff, she has use of the arena and a spot to park her trailer.  Horses are provided with hay/grass, water, salt/mineral. 
KD is willing to help out with little stuff (like turning out horses and I do the same for her).   She also barrel races in SBRA and is interested in going to team penning this winter. 
I'm hoping this works out for both of us, it could be a good situation.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Slowly but surely

After the Ed clinic my game plan was to not worry about the speed but focus on correct.  After all if you can't turn them it doesn't matter HOW fast you run, not to mention he is still a fat little pony lol

I missed getting qualified for provincial finals but managed to get enough jackpots in to qualify for our district finals (barely!)  We went to a double header that my friend Jewls hosted, didn't place but he worked nicely.  Then I hosted two double headers.
(actually three but I didn't ride in the first one)

Our first runs at home were good.  Not fast but nice and correct.  He did try to stiffen up on me a bit but nothing horrible.  However... Mr. Hotshot "I-think-I'm-an-NFR-horse" decided he wanted to be a drama queen at the gate. 
He has, on a very few occasions, gotten a bit goofy at the gate.  Acting like he doesn't want to go in and prancing around.
I know a lot of people think that's resistance because they're sore or burnt out.  And for some horses it is, but not for all.  When Voodoo gets like this it's usually because he's so eager to get into the arena it's like his brain is misfiring and not giving directions to his body properly lol

This time when he got gate goofy it was a bit different, he actually popped up a bit with me a few times.  As a matter of fact he was a bit high strung all night.  After our run in the first jackpot I took him over to the barrel patch to lope some circles and play with him to see if he had his brain on. 
He was listening, he'd bend and flex, change direction and speed as I asked.  But holy heck... when he was "loping" those circles, it felt like the verge of a runaway.  He felt almost panicky he was so hot and on the muscle.  I would have been scared actually, but every time I asked for anything I got it. 
Since his gate antics were a bit different than his normal silliness, and he was so hot & bothered,  I was considering that he might be sore, but he didn't feel off AT ALL and the energy I was getting from him was just "Let me GOOOO" so go we did.  Once he went through the gate he took off for 1st like his tail was on fire (keep in mind, that's still not very fast... fat, out of shape, shorty horse lol).  We had a really nice run, as in the quality of the turns not the speed. ;)  And again, no money.
My friend JL and I were joking around that Voodoo was acting like a "crazy barrel horse" because I'd FINALLY gotten around to putting his bling breastcollar & headstall on lol

This past Monday night we had our last double header.  Well, last to qualify... I'm hoping to host more jackpots this year now that I got my birthday present :D
Voodoo was really calm and relaxed.  I kinda think he didn't realize it was a jackpot lol
(pretty low turnout, only 12 open entries and 3 youth)
He warmed up really nice and easy.  He stayed relaxed in his lope circles but had more speed if I asked for it (and he remained calm). 
When we went in the arena for our run there was just the teeniest hesitation and he went in, he seemed almost surprised when I put my hands forward to let him run lol. 
I was sooo happy with our run.  The time sucked but his turns were soft and fluid.  He went where I asked, when I asked and with flex (he had been pretty stiff before our clinic).
We didn't place in the first jackpot but we "won" 3D in the second.  Just don't tell Voodoo that we only won because everyone else in 3D either no-timed or hit barrels ;)  I'm not going to complain though, I finished with some money. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Balance

I've been trying to find that balance... 
time for work, riding, chores, etc etc.  
So far I've managed to get a few jackpots in on Voodoo.
(more on that another time)
With luck he'll be qualified for district finals.
Cancelled any plans to qualify for,
 and attend, provincial finals this year.
Lots going on, just never seems to be enough time.
Enough time to get it all done,
or enough time to tell y'all about it.
Gotta find that balance!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Papa Ed

Last weekend was our yearly visit from Ed Wright.  I was entered into the regular clinic which was Sunday & Monday and took Voodoo... poor, chubby, out of shape little Voodoo.
The plan had been to take either Lefta or Applejack but for various reasons they weren't able to go and Voodoo, who had been sidelined for a bit, had to step up to the plate.
After the classroom portion of the first day I asked Ed if he had a moment, we stepped aside and I told him about how I had planned to bring other horses and couldn't so the horse I had was really out of shape.  Obviously he would know that, I just wanted him to know that *I* knew, and was feeling bad about it.  Ed just told me we'd work with what we had.
When it was my turn to ride with Ed he asked what I wanted to work on.  Well the only runs we've made lately had been a few practice runs at home.  First barrel was really bad, Voodoo was going in all stiff and turning very flat and I wasn't too sure what I was doing that was causing that.  Second was okay, not great but not too bad, my main concern was I felt like I was asking for the turn a stride too soon and that we weren't set up quite right for it because of first being bad.  Third I was pretty happy with, he was leaving second well and turning nicely.
After a bit of work we were turning first really nicely.  Voodoo was bending, grudgingly at times lol, and working the barrel to the point where he was turning it better than he ever has.  We didn't work him too much because he's so out of shape and it was H.O.T. out.
When we came in for our second turn of the day Voodoo was being a bit of a goof.  During our first work there weren't many people watching and this time pretty much everyone was hanging around.
Voo was prancing and dancing home from third when Ed commented that if he was feeling that good we'd use him a bit more.  I kinda laughed and said that he was doing it because he had an audience now, unlike me Voodoo's quite an extrovert. ;)  That led to a bit of discussion about what a character he is and how much personality he has.  Someone mentioned his name, not sure who, but Ed said "WHAT is his name?" and whoever it was repeated "Voodoo."  Ed just laughed and said it fit, and he'd never heard of a horse with that name but back in the day he'd dated a woman down in New Orleans who did it lmao
The second day we worked with a bit more speed, and like usual it fell apart a bit at first.  Things came back together fairly well though and I was pretty happy with the end result.
The Ed way seems to finally be clicking in my brain and it was feeling more natural.  Ed himself said I was riding a lot better and seemed to get it :D  I know it's not for everyone, but for me it works better than what I was doing before.
Ed liked Voodoo, I'm pretty sure not in the "hey he'll make a barrel horse" way but more in the "he's a character" kinda way.  I'll take it as a compliment though, Ed's not one of those clinicians that blows smoke up yer butt or tells every person there that he likes their horse or that it's pretty.
So the game plan for now is to get everyone going again... work on doing things correctly and slowly add the speed back in - or, in Lefta's case, work correctly and then add speed... we haven't really had that as part of the equation yet.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ages ago...

I hosted a jackpot and totally meant to write this post (June 3rd).  Then life intervened, it's been doing that an awful lot lately.

I didn't run at my jackpot, instead I was up in the announcer booth with my friend Scott.  For once I was kinda glad that I wasn't able to run, listening to Scott cracked me up!

First, to set the scene... I have a nice size arena.  We can fit in a regulation pattern :)  The timer line was about 50' from the gate (maybe it was 40' but I think it was 50')  so for those girls that run in hard they are really cruising.
Well the first five or so girls that ran in Scott would jump and exclaim "Oh my God!".
Now Scott is a very experienced, capable horseperson, he's my go to guy for help and my saviour dealing with Odin's darn leg wounds (thanks again Scott, you're an awesome friend!).  So every time he did that I would laugh. 
Finally he said "You have to understand, in my world if we hear horses coming like that something is VERY WRONG."  
(he breeds and shows halter & WP horses)
I replied "Well, in my world if you DON'T hear a horse coming like that, something is wrong!" and we both chuckled.

Something else happened during and after the jackpot.  Something almost unheard of.  I had several girls come up to me and tell me in person, or text me, or PM me on Facebook... to tell me the ground was good!  :o
Now, those of you that barrel race or hang around barrel racers will get why that is pretty neat to hear!

For those of you that don't this old joke may explain it for you:

Did you hear they cremate barrel racers?

Really?  Why?

Because the ground is never good enough!
lol



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

I Quit!

Well, for today that is.  I have been running my a$$ off the last few weeks and I'm worn out.  So today I waved the white flag and took the day off. 
From e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
(other than the chores that absolutely  
HAD to be done like collecting eggs)
My "to do" list is a mile long but I needed a "me day" so I read a little bit, watched TV and basked in the sun.  Walter, Tucker & I went to the city and took a stroll by the river with my work bestie.  And nothing, quite a bit of nothing.
Yes I feel guilty, I also feel recharged and tomorrow I'll be ready to tackle a new day!  It's back to my job, back to my ponies and back to that to do list.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I LOVE this stuff!

My absolutely favourite product for detangling manes & tails is Absorbine's Show Sheen gel.  It's a not as heavy and sticky as hair gel, but it's a bit thicker than baby oil.  It's nice because, unlike the spray, you can get it exactly where you want it and it doesn't end up on the coat instead.
**please note, I have not in any way, shape or form been compensated by Absorbine for this post**

Usually I'll groom my horses and then put some Show Sheen gel in the tail & mane.  Which ever is worse for knots & tangles is the one I brush/comb through last.  In the case of today's model, Voodoo, his mane was horrible.  It was full of lots of witches knots and almost dread like twists:
I put the gel in his tail, put more in his mane and then went to comb through his tail while the gel soaked into the knots in the mane.  Not soaked as in super wet, but as in it had time to work down into the hairs.
When I was done his tail I went and picked through his mane, some with my fingers and some with the wide tooth part of my comb.  Finally I combed through with the fine side and his mane was tangle free, smooth & shiny:
His tail wasn't as knotted as his mane, that change wasn't as dramatic so no "before" shots to compare to but here's his tail all gel'd and combed out:

Monday, May 27, 2013

Good day for a project!

I've worked a lot these last two weeks and Saturday was the first real day I had off so when it rained I was a bit bummed. But it turns out there was a silver lining... it didn't rain hard enough to make things muddy and messy, instead it was just drizzly enough to dampen the ground to be worked Sunday. So when I got back from brunch with the girls I fired up the tractor and headed out to the pasture to try to reclaim my track.
As you can see it was in need of rescuing!
All the rain we had last year made it really hard to get out there to work it before the weeds & grass took hold.  I did make one good pass on it last fall but it was basically unusable all year. 
Today was the perfect day to get out there.  The grass & weeds didn't have too good of a hold yet and the ground was soft but not sloppy from that light, steady rain.
The horses are currently turned out in this pasture.  As you can see they were terrified of the tractor lol  There's actually two horses in this mirror pic.  Tavi (sorrel) is easy to see but Odin (grullo) pretty much blends into the background.  Those two, Lefta & George followed me around for a good while.
After the peanut gallery finished following me they went back to grazing.  I had to laugh when I looked over at them and saw them munching away at the grass on the uncultivated part of the track!  I guess they wanted to get that tender spring grass before it was gone lol
(it takes two passes of our little tractor to work the track.  It's about 12-14' wide and our cultivator is only about 6')
I worked the track counter clockwise then turned and worked it clockwise.  It's not finished yet but it's definitely WAY better.
Next time I'll hook up some harrows.  I don't want to cultivate it too much, otherwise it will get too deep.  The footing isn't perfect but it is usable and I have a hunch that once it's harrowed it will be pretty darn good.
I would never have thought of working up a track out in that pasture but it was there when we bought the place.  I'm pretty glad to have it too... it makes a nice place to work a horse at speed plus it's somewhere to ride besides the arena.  We've only got 74 acres and you can cover that pretty fast even just walking/trotting.  I don't like riding out in the ditches here because people drive like yahoos and there are often bottles & cans hiding in the long ditch grass.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Running around in circles

Well, that's the plan at least!  Barrel racing season is in full swing, I've even got a couple double headers booked at my place :)

The barrel patch and the arena are looking good so I have places to practice, I just need to find the time!  And the time to get them legged up and keep them that way.

To qualify for Provincial Finals I need 6 jackpots per horse.  For our Mini Finals (district finals) I need 3 per horse and 6 separate District 1 jackpots as a rider (ie taking 2 horses to a double header would only count as 2 jackpots for the rider although the rider is entered 4 times)  Looks like the clock is ticking! 

I have three horses for barrel racing and a two horse trailer so that's a bit of a sticker, I guess I'll have to pick and choose who I think will run best indoors for PF.  If possible I'll see if I can hitch a ride for the 3rd horse to MF so I can enter all three.  Time will tell I guess.

After having the blahs this winter it's kinda just hit me that the barrel racing bug has bitten again!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Big Guy

*first let me apologize for the poor quality pics, 
I just had my phone with me* 

As of Monday (yeah, Monday... I'm a bit late posting lol) 
Anyway, as of Monday I've now put at least one ride on each of the four saddle broke horses this year.  That's not a lot of riding, but considering winter just seemed to finally end that's not too terribly bad.

Monday was Smudge's turn and since I've added all the horses to my "stable" on my phone I weight taped him before I rode.  Holy smokes he is fat errr big.
The pic below doesn't do his size justice.  And no, I'm not telling you how much the tape said he weighed, but I will say that my guess was DAMN close! 
I joke that he looks like a war horse.  In some ways he does, he'd probably look great as a mount for those people that role play medieval times (you know, whatchamacallit... Society for Creative Anachronism?  Is that what I'm looking for?)

Smudgers was pretty good considering he hasn't been ridden in a.g.e.s. but he does need a few more tune up rides before he can resume being 'the company horse'.  And from the sounds of it he is going to be in demand a bit this summer :)  He's a pretty nice ride, with his broad back and hip swinging walk you sure feel safe up there.  His trot is nice and he's got a great, smooth lope too.  But because he's youngish and had all that time off he's also a bit lazy, opinionated and stubborn.  Which means that he can get pretty strong when he decides he wants to head for the gate.  Or try trotting off when you want to walk.  And with that big, thick neck he takes some muscle to convince he needs to listen to the wimpy human on his back lol
Post ride pic above, he's looking all innocent, and nowhere near as fat as he really is lol. 

Little did he know he was about to be introduced to Mr. Water Hose to spray down his sweat marks and, more importantly, to wash his tail. 
Ugh, his poor tail.  It was sooo gross.  It was so stained it was almost tobacco juice brown/yellow.  Ick!!  Thanks to some nice "white horse" purple shampoo it is, for the most part, back to silver.
Smudge was great for the tail washing, however when it came time to spray his body down he was a bit of a brat.  Until my friend Janelle held some cookies, the way to Smudge's heart is definitely his stomach! 
I really think that he's never been hosed down before.  Considering his past as a ranch horse that's not too shocking.
After Smudge was hosed off I tied him to a fence post to dry off and looked up in time to see the glares.  It was pretty funny.  This is not the clearest pic but Voodoo is on the right, you can see the top of Lefta's head & her ears to the left and just in front of her, with his face squeezed in the gap of a missing fence board is George.  You could feel the waves of jealous coming from the peanut gallery lol

I'm going to try to get a decent pic of Smudge to share with y'all.  Then you could all take turns guessing his weight... maybe a contest is in order.  Hmm.... stayed tuned!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The end of the never-ending winter!

Finally!!!  After a good six months of snow on the ground, winter is over!
(despite the jokes about Saskatchewan having 10 months of winter that's not the case, normally)
There's still some snow but for the most part it's melted.  There has been some flooding, although thankfully not at our place. 
Best of all, the ponies are back on pasture!  Sure, it's dry, fall grass seeing as the spring grass hasn't even had a chance to grow yet... but between watching the dwindling hay supply after the extra long winter, having the last of the cattle hay buried under a massive snowdrift, and having the hay barn blown in after the last storm (the same storm that buried the cattle hay, and resulting in some ruined hay in the hay barn) it is a HUGE relief just to let them through that gate to the pasture!
I have to admit, it's also nice to let them out to pasture so they can stretch their legs, play and get the sillies out before I get back on them again too! ;) 
Which is the plan, starting tomorrow!  The arena will need some work before I can ride in there but the barrel patch is usable.  Now I need to come up with a game plan to fit riding in around work.  I love this "new" job (wow I've been here 8 months!) but the schedule kinda sucks for fitting in horse & outdoor stuff around work and being able to see Pie with his odd schedule.  It will happen though!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday ~ Camo dog

**ok, almost wordless... just apologizing for the pic quality, cellphone at a distance**

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's back!

Sadly I don't mean Spring, still looks a lot like winter out there.
No, what's back is the creeping crud.  Thursday Pie woke up with that hellacious cough he gets and a raspy voice.  Being that any kind of cold or cold like thing Pie gets is cause for concern I called his doc and booked an appointment for Tuesday afternoon (which was the soonest we could get in)  Then we both went to work but he called me and told me his dad sent him home.  Which is good but shocking.
More surprising is that Friday he didn't go in at all.  In addition to the cough and sounding like The Godfather he was also experiencing shortness of breath.  Saturday I ran him in to see a doctor at a minor emergency clinic.  After checking Pie over and getting a pretty detailed history Pie was sent home with prescriptions for a few different medicines and lots of rest, including vocal rest which literally made me "LOL" as Pie is quite a chatterbox!
I was so glad I had taken him in!  Saturday night/Sunday morning Pie coughed so hard a few times that he blacked out.  That was scary.  Made scarier because I has to work Sunday and leave him home alone.  I left him with a set of strict instructions (if you have a coughing spell SIT down so you don't fall down, NO going downstairs, NO showering, NO going outside, and you MUST answer the phone!)  I called him on a regular basis from work to make sure he was ok and had my friend Scott on standby in case Pie didn't answer.  I also left a colourful array of PostIts all over the house with our land location number in case they had to call for help.
Today he still feels like crap but to me he sounds a very teeny bit better, so hopefully the meds are kicking in.  Unfortunately I woke up with a sore, raspy throat and a hoarse, whispery voice.  At least I've got today and tomorrow off... I plan to rest as much as possible, other than chores the only thing I've really GOT to do is run in to the doctor with Pie tomorrow.
Y'all know how worried I get when he's sick, and with his history it's not a shock.  Please keep him in your thoughts & prayers.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Maybe it's per year??

What the heck?  I'm not sure why, but for some reason tonight I just had the thought to try to upload a pic and it seems to have worked!
So maybe that photo limit is a per year thing?
(could I have really posted that many photos in a year!?)
Anyhow, here's the pic I loaded... and an idea of the snow we got during that storm.  ALL the pens have these HUGE drifts, except for the cow pen of course! 
Here Lefta, Odin and Applejack are surveying their snow wall.  Don't worry, they do have some actual room in their pen too.  I think the only reason they went in this little tunnel like area is that I had been in there and they were being snoopy ;)
Can we all say "slow melt please"?
*keep in mind, Appy is about 15.1-15.2*

Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Funny ~ It's No Joke

Well, no joke unless you like Mother Nature's sense of humour.  The regularly scheduled Friday Funny has been postponed to bring y'all up to date on our welcome to Spring.

Wednesday, the first day of spring, most of Saskatchewan was greeted with a heckuva blizzard.  Almost all the highways in the province were closed or flagged as "travel not recommended".  There are tons of images on Facebook and in the news of stranded motorists and highways that are covered in huge drifts of snow.

Pie and I both managed to make it home, although our trucks didn't. 
I left work a little early (8:30pm) and was home by 10, after walking the last 1/2 mile.  Yep, that close to home and my poor little Chevy just couldn't make it through the last drift!  And that hour and a half drive?  That normally takes me about 30-40 minutes.
At 10:30 Pie called told me he was leaving work, I told him I didn't think he'd make it and that I had a great room for him at the hotel (the penthouse!)  But he insisted on coming home.  I told him that the first two grid roads from the highway were in no shape to try (one had a Suburban or Suburban type truck half buried when I tried it!)  I told him his best bet was to go to Delisle (the next town past ours) and take the blacktop to our grid, with a warning that from that second grid (with the buried truck) the highway was worse than it was from Saskatoon to Vanscoy (and that part wasn't great)
On the blacktop he'd need to go slow and watch for drifts and then on our road he'd have to watch for where my truck was stranded in the road.
**side note**  Although the highway was icy, visibility sucked and there were some drifts I've driven on worse.  The worst part of that night was that it was also SUPER windy.  There were a few times that I actually, literally got blown into the other lane :o

While waiting for Pie I was texting back and forth with my friend Scott.  Around midnight I got a call from Pie saying that he had almost made it but got stuck in the ditch.  I messaged Scott about Pie's situation and that I was going to walk out and meet  him with some warmer things (he has a bit of stuff in his truck but nowhere near what he should, and yes we have argued about that)
I bundled up, zipped my cell into my arm pocket and started trekking.  You know you really love someone when you leave your warm, cozy house to walk into a blizzard for them!  Not to worry friends, despite the storm the visibility on our road was good so it wasn't completely crazy to walk.  Not a pleasant stroll though, when you walked into the wind (which was toward home) it felt like the snow was sandblasting you!
Walking along I could hear my phone start whistling in my pocket (incoming text) and after a few whistles it started to chirp (crickets, incoming phone call).  Being bundled up I couldn't easily grab it so I ignored it.  Not too far from home I met up with Pie and gave him some warmer stuff then headed for home.  Turns out those texts & calls were from Scott, wondering where Pie was and if we needed help.  He even went looking for him, what a friend!

Thursday we tried to get my truck out with my friend Janelle's Jeep & our tractor but it wasn't happening.  We also had to dig the hay barn free to do chores.  Today we finally managed to get both trucks free, thanks to Janelle's husband Joey and their big bad ass truck (Joey had it at work on Thursday) and Pie's tractor, which had to re-clear the huge drift in front of my truck. 
The photos we took don't do the situation justice, unless you have a point of reference.  Janelle took on one her cell of my standing on a drift next to Joey's truck.  The truck is on the road where Pie had cleared the snow and I'm on about 4' of snow next to the truck, not sinking in at all!  Those drifts were like cement!
We managed to get Pie's truck too, thanks again to Joey.  I hadn't known exactly where he went in the ditch and when I saw how far he had to walk... he was about 3 or 4 miles from home!

Needless to say neither Pie nor I went to work Thursday.  Tonight Pie got to work a bit late but I didn't go, it was too late by the time we got the trucks out and mine needs to sit in the garage with the snow & ice melting away from around the engine.

Some people may think a snow day is fun, but in reality it means so much more work.  Even the simplest chores take longer.  Thursday we did the bare minimum, which normally would take about 15 minutes.  Instead it took between an hour & a half to two hours!  I'm looking forward to going to work Sunday! lol

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Chicken update

My little flock of hens is still here and seem to be doing well, although I think they're as ready for winter to be over as I am. 
I shoveled a clear area and laid straw out in their yard but they really don't have much interest in it.  However when I do chores I open the front door of the coop and let them out "in the wild" and most of the birds will wander outside.  If it's really, really cold I don't do that and on the other hand if it's really nice I'll open the door as soon as I'm down in the barnyard that way they can get some fresh air & sunshine while I'm doing chores for the other critters.
The girls have done well this winter, I had a least a couple eggs every day.  More often I had between 4 and 6.  Not too bad for a flock of 9.
Now that my first winter with chickens is drawing to a close I think there's a few changes I want to make for next winter... the three biggies are insulating the coop, add a sill to the door to keep the bedding in (spillage has caused a few issues with the door not closing properly all the time) and **fingers crossed for this one** running electricity to the coop instead of relying on extension cords.
Speaking of plans... it was surprisingly easy to get Pie to go along with expanding our flock.  Even though it also means adding on to the actual coop.  Yay!


Saturday, March 9, 2013

Baby Steps

Oh heck it's been forever since I posted... is anyone even here still?  Well for the few of you that are here...

Voodoo hasn't been himself since this past summer when he was hurt.  One of my friend's did some massage/chiro on him and physically he seemed ok, but mentally/emotionally he just wasn't himself.  I had a theory that he was associating the pain he had been in with me, and more specifically with me riding him.

Another friend of mine has started doing equine body work on him, she also incorporates oils and animal communication.  Now before you poo-poo that, I'm not trying to anthropomorphize (or as I prefer to say "people-ize" lol) I think that animals do try to communicate we just need to learn how to interpret what they're telling us and translate it into something we can use.

After his first treatment, or rather during his first treatment, I could see a difference.  He was starting to lick again and no longer wanted to frantically chew his lead rope.  He's been more himself in the pens as well, he's wanting attention and not wanting to share me with Tavi and Smudge when I'm in there pen.

Today when I went to get him for his second treatment he turned to face me and licked his lips before he walked over :)  During the treatment I was telling Janelle that I'm a bit worried about getting my hopes up and she told me part of my homework is to let myself hope.  Fingers crossed we can get my boy healthy & happy again and Voodoo & I can regain that bond we had!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Always Entertaining

One of the reasons I'm so glad that Pie & I were able to find our acreage is so that I can be around my horses more.  They're always entertaining. 

For instance Sunday night I went to check on everyone when I got back from a work function (bowling, poorly done but lotsa fun).  It was super cold out and it looked like George & Rootbeer were out of hay.  I couldn't see their hay net anywhere - they share a square bale in a slow feeder net - but it was dark so I just tossed them loose hay over the fence and made a mental note to find it in the morning.
So Monday morning I'm out doing chores, I glance into their pen on the way to get grain for the cows and I couldn't see the net.  Hmmm... They do drag it around as it gets emptier.
Cows get their grain and I go to search for the nets... the little brats had dragged them into their shelter and were happily munching away! lol  Meanwhile the hay I'd tossed the night before is just sitting by the fence.

Monday morning Lefta & Odin decided to put on a show of their own.  Lefta was running and bucking.  Odin was performing a gorgeous, floaty long trot along the fence by the alleyway.  He'd stop and blow warning snorts then take off running and running with his tail flagged out behind.
Poor Applejack was left to dodge out of the way whenever one of those two fireballs got too close to his personal space.
I stood there for about 15-20 minutes just watching them play and taking in the beauty of it.

I love living where my ponies live!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Threes

If bad things come in threes I've had mine and should be good for awhile... and they all happened within three days.

1) I was opening the hay barn doors so we could put out new round bales and a HUGE chunk of ice & very hard snow came down on my head/shoulder. 
    I'm fine but wow, had a heck of a headache for the day.

2) A oh so nice neighbour took Hera to the SPCA.  I know it was a neighbour because the shelter called us saying "We think we have your dog".  The calls were to our home phone & Pie's cell, only a handful of neighbours have his cell and Hera doesn't have a microchip or tags (they fell off, gotta get them replaced).  Also, because of the fee paid when we picked her up we know she was brought in not picked up by Animal Control.  It would have been way more expensive to get her out of doggie jail if AC had brought her in.
   Thankfully she seems to be keeping close to home now (she's "allowed" to patrol the neighbours on the North & South of us) 

3) I got sprayed, full on, right in the face, with bear mace.  Wrong place, wrong time. 

So there it is, three things... hope that means some good luck is heading my way.  Heck, I'd settle for things maintaining an even (no bad luck!) keel.