Thursday, April 23, 2015

I'm a Hoarder!!

It all became clear today.  As I scrolled through the horse ads a flashy Arabian caught my eye.  My fingers stilled.  I clicked.  Opened it up.  And thought.

I gasped.  I was a hoarder!!  I can't help myself I keep wanting to ADD to my herd.  I keep wanting to ADD saddles to my collection.  I have a problem!

Back to the Arab.  Wouldn't it be cool to have a really nice Arabian cross to rein on?  To compete in Working Cow Horse?  A person could show in the open shows as well as make a run at the breed shows?  Remember I grew up riding Arabian.  I have a deep and abiding love of the breed.

The next ad that stills the fingers is a lovely OTTB (off track thoroughbred).  I imagine this horse recycled.  Recycled into a hunter/jumper training program.  I love the idea of creating a second life for a horse.  It bothers me greatly how many of these lovely horses become disposable once their race career or failure to launch race career come to a close.  I am loving the jumping.  It's fun.  It's challenging.  It's making me a better rider.

And then I see it.  The stunning quarter horse colt.  Stallion prospect.  Fancy reining breeding.  Oooh - how neat would it be to raise, train and show a top end reiner.

Uh oh!  Did you see that great deal on the cutter??

Do you see my problem?

I love horses.  I love the possibilities in a horse.  I love breeding something and seeing the potential.  I love the research into pedigree.  I love handling and working with a young project.

It's the same reason I want a new cutting saddle.  A reining saddle.  A rope saddle.  I just can't help myself.

The first step is admitting it.  I'm a hoarder.  God help us all if I ever end up with a big chunk or land. Or money.  ;)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Ever Changing Like A River

I've been busy.  As always.  Who isn't busy these days?

My horsey world keeps shifting.  Sometimes I feel as though I have a split personality.  (And by no means am I belittling those who do have one!) I've been thinking of dropping my jumping lessons.  You see my heart is with the cows.  I do love me some cow work.  And then I go take my lesson.  And in my lesson I stretch and grow and challenge myself.  I can feel and see myself improving.  And I love it.

So here is the current plan.  I am continuing to ride Marnie.  I love it.  She keeps my brain active.  I'm also breeding her to Pegasus.  I won't lie.  I like the stallion but his ownership makes me feel a little worried.  I don't like the idea of a stallion being bred to a whole bunch of horses.  And I suspect that's what happens here.  But ultimately I think he'll make an outstanding cross for Marnie producing something that should be a great working cow horse type.

I'm also going to commit to riding her English.  I kept flip flopping but I genuinely believe that she's best suited to English world.  Jump training it is.

Another little project I've had in the works is picking up another horse.  I'm "pending" on a 20 year old mare.  She's quiet, safe, sound and sane.  She's currently a broodmare so I'm waiting for her to be back under saddle before she's "sold".  I need to be 100% that she'll pack a saddle with no issues.

To ease the pressure, I'm dropping dog classes.  It'll save me some serious money and free up time to do other things.  I'll reevaluate come summer.  Buying sheep next Monday so dogs working will become a priority.

And so I go...

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lovely Girl

My Marnie girl is learning how to move in frame.  Not quite steady but getting there.  She makes me happy.  It was a great way to spend day.


Please excuse Honey's stinky video skills.  Enough to make a person sick!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Dung Detective

The last month there has been a change in my dog's behaviour.  I've been puzzled as to why it's happening.  The other mystery is who is doing it.

On an astonishingly frequent basis I've found dog doody in the house.

In. The. House.

Let me be clear.  My dogs have been house broke for a good many years.  So why was someone messing at night in the house?  Possible causes could include Honey's new shift which is from 3:30 pm until midnight.  But I toilet the dogs on a regular basis.  After the second "surprise" I started going out with them at night.  I've made a point of working the crap quite literally out of them.  Lot's and lot's of exercise.  Both dogs were getting pumpkin on their food.  While I'm still feeding it, I've reduced the amount.  I've added a probiotic.  I'd like to point out that this isn't "oops I'm in abdominal distress" poop.  Nope.  It's normal.

Today, the dogs begin a month of spending the night in their crates.  It's time to reinforce good manners.  To be honest, I don't think anyone is trying to wake me up.  But I've also been super tired and sleeping really hard.  I've had the dogs wake me up first but not for a couple of years.  Diva usually wakes me in the morning.  Generally around 7:00 (which is better than the 6-6:30 she used to...)

Any ideas out there to help me figure out my Mysterious Pooper?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Balls in the Air

Juggle.

Juggle.

Juggle.

Juggle.

This is the story of my life.  I'm trying desperately to keep all the balls in the air.

This week is the break part.  I'm finished a bunch of work commitments.  Now, I get to focus on my animals.

Tomorrow, Whiskey goes in for her x-rays.  Marnie gets her teeth checked.  Vaccinations get purchased.

Saturday, I spend the day at a tack sale.  I'm going to try to unload some stuff I never use.

Sunday, I have my jumping lesson.  I've been miserably sick so have missed too many this month.

And Monday - Monday I get to ride my own horse.  :)

I plan to start riding her regularly.  I also plan to make a trip or two or three out to Drayton to work the dogs.

It's Spring-ish.  I plan to take advantage of it!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Enraged

I haven't blogged much the last little bit.  I've been too busy being angry.  I've decided that humans are offal.

My honey watches the news.  This is something that I've systematically avoided doing for a variety of reasons.  I need to start forcing him upstairs where I won't be exposed to it.  It was a CBC piece on wolves that started me on my rant.  (For my American friends - CBC is the national broadcast/news channel.)  In BC (the neighbour province) the government has begun a wolf cull.  Why?  Because caribou are threatened and wolves eat caribou.  Seriously.  Now, let's think about this.  Are the caribou threatened because the wolves are hungry, or are the caribou threatened because humans have damaged their habitat?  I'm kinda thinking it may have something to do with human development of their habitat.  Yet, who takes the fall?  The wolves.  Straight up pisses me off.

The other thing that's been garnering  a lot of media lately have been the "wild" horses.  The government considers them feral, not wild.  They also have decided that there are too many of them.  This leads to wild horse hunts, where horses are caught, and taken to auction.  The controversy arises when these horses end up at the packing plant - leaving bound to be someone's dinner.  I'll be very honest.  Both sides of this argument leave me furious.  On one hand, I am not pro-slaughter.  It is my personal belief that it is not a humane way to die.  You may be sassy and say - but you eat meat.  Yes. I eat cows.  An animal bred specifically for food.  I'm also quite anal about the quality of life that animal has led.  I'm lucky enough that I know exactly where my food comes from.  In my case, my dad's field.  It goes to a local butcher.  There is no assembly line product in my freezer.  So, I'm more than a bit irked at how disposable horses are.

This leads me into my next rant.  Why does everyone blame backyard breeders for the surplus horses that end up in the auction pipeline to slaughter?  I'm sorry but I'm the definition of backyard breeder.  I would challenge you to find an animal I've bred at the auction house.  Why do the people who breed 200 head of average horses not get the blame?  They're breeding horses that have no market.  I believe in quality over quantity.  How about those race horses?  Oodles of them end up hanging from a hook.

Back to the wild horses....
The other major rant that I have is how the organizations that want to save the Wildies act.  They freak right out but most people do not put their money where their mouth is.  The other issue is people who want to "save" all horses.  Buy horses at auctions, and then release them into the wild.  I would loose my shit on someone who did that to one of my animals.  Are you kidding me?  My horse is not equipped to live wild.  They will die.  And not a nice death.

I must be getting old because I sure have no patience anymore... and I find I'm increasingly annoyed with human stupidity.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Reminiscing

I've been looking back at and reading through some of my old posts.  It has made me think.  If I had to do it again, would I do it the same?

Yes.  And no.

I've been reading up on Border Collie working dog training, pedigree and health information posts on Facebook.  It's made me think a lot about my own journey.  In some ways it pisses me off.  There are people out there with so much information and knowledge.  But I've found it's like pulling teeth to get them to share.  Now, as a lurker on these sites I'm discovering how much there is to know and how little I really do know.  For example, there are lines with genetic issues.  People know these lines.  I do not.  They say if you want to know you can find out using the internet.  That's nice.  Using the internet does NOT tell me what dogs not to buy or breed to.  I'm left wondering how exactly do you know you have purchased a "good" puppy?  Pay someone to buy it for you?

This brings me to Reba.  Would I have bred her?  Knowing what I know now, probably not.  Knowing what I know now I probably wouldn't have bought her.  But if I hadn't bred her I wouldn't have learned as much as I did about dog and puppy development.  I was talking with a dog trainer who works at the local Humane Society.  She tells me that reactivity is highly genetic.  Basically, that I shouldn't feel bad my dogs are reactive because it's not my fault.  You can do everything you're supposed to and still end up with reactive dogs.  Because of their genetics.  Nice.  Again, this is something no one talks about.

As I look to the future this is vitally important to me.  You see, next year I'd like to get another puppy.  My dogs will be 5 moving on 6.  It takes a long time to develop a new dog.  As I plan on buying a puppy I'm trying to learn as much as I can now to try and prevent the learning curve being so nasty.  I want a dog that has a good off switch,  has power on stock, a trainable mind, and a fun and happy personality.

As I looked through my horse pictures there were some keen regrets.
1) I would have kept Izzy and put her in the training program.  Sold Roxy.  I never loved Roxy.... but kept her because she had the nomination into the futurity.
2) I would have kept Guinness.  Love that little man.
3) I would have kept Whiskey.

Looking forward, I consider my horse options.  Right now, I love the cattle stuff and I love jumping.  I'd love to get a hunter/jumper prospect.  I'd also love a neat cutter prospect.  I'm such a control freak that it makes me feel better to have them from early on.  This way I know what has been done with them.

Ugh.  Some days I think life would be so much more simple if I wasn't obsessed.