Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vet School (joke)

This joke is making the rounds via e-mail. Thought I'd share it here:

First-year students at the UC Davis Vet school were receiving their first anatomy class, with a real dead cow.
They all gathered around the surgery table with the body covered with a white sheet.

The professor started the class by telling them, "In Veterinary Medicine it is necessary to have two important qualities as a doctor: The first is that you not be disgusted by anything involving the animal body."

For an example, the Professor pulled back the sheet, stuck his finger in the butt of the dead cow, withdrew it and stuck his finger in his mouth.

"Go ahead and do the same thing." he told his students.

The students freaked out, hesitated for several minutes, but eventually took turns sticking a finger in the anal opening of the dead cow and sucking on it.

When everyone finished, the Professor looked at them and said, "The second most important quality is observation. I stuck in my middle finger and sucked on my index finger. Now learn to pay attention. Life's tough, it's even tougher if you're stupid."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

1st try at a post with video (hope it works!)

What is better than a good looking horse? A good looking cowboy with that horse!

"Mantracker" is a Canadian t.v. show which features Terry Grant (aka Mantracker) who is a real life search and rescue rider from Alberta. He is paired with a 'sidekick' who knows the basic lay of the land. Its up to Mantracker and his sidekick to find and 'catch' two people known as the 'prey'.

The prey are given a map, compass , 36 hours, whatever they choose to pack for provisions and a head start to make their way to the finish line (approximately 40 km away) by whatever means they can. Mantracker and his sidekick have their horses and their know how. A flare goes off and that is the prey's cue to run and Mantracker's only clue as to the whereabouts of the start. Once he finds the start he tracks the prey.

One thing that I find very interesting about this is there is no prize other than the glory of being able to evade Mantracker. (if you're lucky)

Mantracker films all over Canada, which is why he has different sidekicks. This video is from the episode filmed in Saskatchewan (southern Saskatchewan, I live in central Saskatchewan which does NOT look like this - unfortunately!) One of my fav moments from this episode comes around a minute in (its in regard to the prey's search for water)

And this is just a slideshow of past episodes:

*images & videos are not mine*

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rainbow bridge :(

Yes Heaven has a new horse joining the herd...
This big, strong, loyal buckskin galloped over the bridge tonightI know his cowboy will miss him dearly
I'm so sorry for your loss Ben (and Jacquie)

Kimfer called me this evening to cancel our plans. She had got a call from her aunt, she wasn't sure what was up because her phone was cutting out, but she knew something was wrong. I told her no problem and to keep me posted (her aunt is like a big sister to me).
Kimfer called me back shortly after she got to Ben & Jacq's to tell me she was pretty sure that Bear had just died. They were waiting for the vet but Kimfer was 99% sure he was already gone.
Apparently when Jacquie went to check the horses this evening Bear was in the alley-way behind the barn and was staggering. She got Ben and called Kim. Bear went down and Ben had his head in his lap when he died.
The vet's diagnosis was colic, I'm not sure what caused it. But his gut had twisted and he had a big gas pocket that ruptured his insides.
Jacquie is feeling pretty bad, she had seen Bear in the afternoon and thought he looked fine. I'm sure Ben is taking it hard, as much as he tries to be "a guy" about his animals we know he loves them.

*Photos by Dany Rosseau*

A bit more from the clinic

When it comes to barrel racing the majority of the successful horses are Quarter Horses. That doesn't mean they are the only successful horses. Other breeds can, and have, done very well in the sport.
As good barrel horses have become fairly pricey animals one option is to buy a young horse and train it your way. I think I had already mentioned that KB (our clinician from last weekend) is very much in favour of this. As she points out most of us are on a budget, for some this is the only way to end up with a horse that is worth tens of thousands of dollars (or more). Not only does this save money but also sometimes it saves frustration. She pointed out that not one person rides exactly the same as another. And in barrel racing those 100ths of a second make a huge difference. For some highly skilled and competitive horses those small changes are enough to take it from being #1 to being just out of the money.
Another thing she advocates is looking for a good deal. A lot of the horses she buys are grade. Horses that others may have looked past (or not even looked at) because they don't have fancy papers. Basically what it comes down to is that, as long as you're not racing in a breed association, what you need is a horse built to do the job with the heart and mind to do the job.

One other little thing that happened at the clinic... I had a serious offer on Applejack. Money was never discussed because each time the subject of selling him was brought up I just said "No. He's not for sale."
Someone wanting your horse is almost always a compliment. This was especially so because the woman wanting to buy him is an Equine Canada certified Level 3 Western Coach. She said she really liked him, liked his personality, liked his try and thought she could have a lot of fun with him and could use him in her lesson program.
I just said that he is actually my husband's horse and that Pie is the kind of guy to give him a forever home. She just kept saying, "Well when you decide to sell him give me first crack."
I guess being told "no" 4 or 5 times just doesn't get through to some people. Besides which there are already people 'in line' ahead of her for 'first crack'.
Speaking of which... Mr Tim (who we bought Applejack from) was in the restaurant the other day. I told him that I'm looking for a horse in the spring, told him what I want and he said he'd keep an eye out! I've known Mr Tim for quite a few years now and I barrel race with his wife. I'm very comfortable with him looking for a horse (it is his business as well).

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Puppy update

Just before Christmas my mom brought home two puppies. (see post here) For those who don't remember here's a short reminder:
Mom already has a dog, a Saint Bernard by the name of Mack. The new puppies were teeny little miniature Dachshunds. Cuter than heck but apparently terrifying to Mack. I think the main reason was that Holly & Coco were too little and fast for him to keep track of.
Well the girls have either won him over with their cuteness and they're all one big happy family OR they've killed him...

ps - even the cats are okay now. One (Sasha) just steers clear of them and acts like they're not there. The other, Kahlea (sp?) will actually play with them.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekend Clinic

sorry there are no photos to accompany this :(
I really enjoyed the clinic this weekend. Things were kept simple and basic, but the drills (or stations) were things that were helpful and also were ones that I'll be able to set up at home and practice.
The first day we started off introducing ourselves and our horse, giving a bit of background on the training/competing level of both. Then we took turns going through the barrels 3 times each with KB watching but not commenting until we were done.
The first time through was at a jog, the second was at a lope or run (depending on where your horse is at in training, there were some totally green horses there) and then the third time was at a walk. KB likes to finish at a walk so that the horse doesn't get sour or feel too pressured.
After that KB pointed out what she liked and what she thought each horse/rider needed to work on.
I knew what one of my major 'fixes' would be, finishing 2nd. I didn't realize that my set up for 3rd was as bad as it was (I knew it needed work but I didn't realize quite how much!) I also hadn't noticed that I was getting into a very bad habit of looking down. Not just at the barrels either, but looking down A LOT during my riding! :o (baaaaad Lisa!)
One drill that I found very difficult the first day was the circle with two barrels. KB used cones to mark a circle with two barrels across from each other. The idea was to lope (or trot) a circle around the cones and when you get to the barrel you lope a nice, smooth circle around the barrel. Not a wide pocket, come out narrow like a barrel turn. A nice CIRCLE. (circles are my nemesis!) To make matters even better (yes that's sarcasm) we started to the right. To the right I flat out could NOT do it the first day (we repeated it the second day and I did it!) To the left was better but not great (again on the second day it was better).
Another drill I found useful was the four barrels. The barrels were set up in a square. You ride to the middle to start. To go right you ride up the middle and to the right making a right hand circle around the top barrel. When you come out of the circle you'll be on the inside of the barrel. You ride straight across to the top left barrel and make a right circle around it. Again you come out on the inside, now you ride down to the bottom left barrel, turn right, come out on the inside and ride straight across to the bottom right barrel. Right hand turn, come out on inside and proceed back to your first barrel (the top right).
Wow, that sounds confusing! I really wish I had a diagram for that! lol
The easy way to say it is that you turn all barrels in the same direction, coming out on the inside of the square for each one and proceed on to the next.
Another four barrel drill had the four barrels set in an offset square (kind of like the "zipper" exercise) You enter the pattern and turn right, run across to the next barrel and turn left, run across to the next barrel and turn right, finish by turning the last barrel left.
With these exercises KB was able to point out better positioning for our horses, better hand positions for the riders. Little tweaks like exactly when to look for that next barrel.
By the end of the second day my second barrel was being finished better and more consistently, my third had improved dramatically and I was looking UP and AHEAD! I was very pleased to have KB tell me she liked my hands but not too surprised to hear that I need to work on my confidence.
I really liked that KB was very down to earth. This is a lady who has raced at all levels, from our little provincial club up to pro (she's even been to the Calgary Stampede) She is very much in favour of training your own horse and working your way up. After all we all have little (sometimes teeny) differences in our riding that may make one smokin' hot horse not work that great for the next person.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bad blogger!

Yes I have been bad, I've been neglecting my blogfriends:(
Trust me its not intentional, just SUPER busy.
But I will have a real post up soon.
To tide you over:
I rode in the clinic today and it was awesome!
Then I rushed off to a (verra) busy night at work.
Seriously, when part way through the night you change out of you flats into 3 inch, strappy heels and it feels better just because its different... you've been run off your feet! lol
The restaurant was rockin'. So busy that we stopped taking any delivery or pick up orders for about 3 hours.
Oh, and semi news worthy... *I* wore a skirt to work tonight :O
(after all it was Valentine's Day)
But now I need to go and try to sleep, day two of the clinic when I get up :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I think its coming

Spring that is! The temps have been really really nice lately. Of course there is still the rest of February and all of March to get through (and March can be a killer).
But an even more promising sign of spring... I was looking at the SBRA website and there are more jackpots posted. Unfortunately there are 6 on Wednesday evenings, I'll have to miss those ones due to work. But its okay, there will be more! Also this weekend Kimfer, Julie and I are all going to take part in a barrel racing clinic!
And of course I have noticed the dogs and cats starting to shed out their winter hair... probably the worst part of spring! lol

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Some days...

I see the strangest things on the way to work. Such as one day a few months ago --

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Sunday

Not "SuperBowl Sunday", although I've heard for a few people that's what it was. lol
Nope my Super Sunday was barrel racing, getting to hang with the girls, and finding an indoor arena to ride in!
First up was the double header at Sandhills. For which I had to get up at 6:30 (remember, due to our work life I don't normally go to bed until about 4!). Its kinda annoying to get up that early when Sandhills is literally less than 15 minutes from my house. But of course I have to drive out NORTH of the city to get my trailer and the horses and then drive SOUTH of the city to the jackpot. Blah!
Kimfer took Isis, she's still retiring Baron from barrel racing. I took Applejack. Poor guy, he broke a sweat for the first time in a couple months. lol
The first jackpot I placed 3rd in the 3D with a not bad, not great run.
The second jackpot I had the best run I've ever had with him.
And the timer failed. (boo!)
I was offered a re-run and told the announcer I'd take it at the end of the Open so that 1)the other girls kept their place and didn't loose their ground and 2) Applejack could air up.
I was really considering not taking that re-run. After all our run had been awesome. How could he know that it was just a timer malfunction? But I ignored my gut and took it.
And hit a barrel.
This run was not as nice as our money earning one from the first jackpot but it wasn't our worst either. I nudged 3rd coming out and down it went.
Shoulda listened to my gut.
After the Sandhills jackpots Kimfer and I loaded up and took the horses home. Julie met us there with Blue (she was only exhibitioning not actually entering, trying the go slow and no buck route)
We stalled the horses with some hay and water and went to the Sports Page for lunch, then we headed to Kimfer's house for a little rest and to kill time before the 3rd jackpot.
Back at the barn the horses seemed a bit confused at being loaded again instead of turned out. Even when we got to Hanson's and were warming up they seemed to be thinking "didn't we do this earlier??"
Hanson's used to be a few different places. It is currently owned by a guy who owns a garbage company and Lora rents the arenas/pastures/barns from him. Her boarders are covering her rent, power and heat (yes the arena is heated!). So far its not covering the hay. She needs to find a way to make more money without taking in too many more boarders. (he's told her that whenever she quits renting he's going to use it to store his garbage equipment, it would be a huge waste and she doesn't want that to happen) I asked if she lets people haul in to ride and what she charges, she does and its $20/day or $150/month. Maybe if she has a few more people do that it would help. I know I'll be going a few times a month, its less than 10 minutes from where I board!
Back to barrel racing. Hanson's was a single jackpot and was run as 2 runs fast time. I had a good first run and my second run was even better. We ended up 2nd in the 3D!
To wrap up the day Kimfer was also very pleased because she won some money for the first time in a little while, at Hanson's she was 3rd in the 3D. And Julie was very happy because Blue stayed nice and calm, loped the pattern very relaxed and did not even consider bucking!
All in all it was a super day!

Wordless Wednesday ~ new trailer!