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.

Monday, February 16, 2015

I Miss Summer

I was scrolling through my camera roll, and stumbled across some clips of the dogs working.  I'm going to be upfront.  They are crappy clips.  The dogs seem to know that when I'm taping I'm not really paying attention the way I should.




I also found these gems!


How cute were they??



I miss summer.  I want to play outside!  I want to ride... I want to work dogs...

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Horse Marketing or Just Plain Crazy

I may have an obsession with following the various horse sales pages out there.  I regularly scroll through Kijiji.  Lately I've discovered the world of Facebook sales pages.  There are oodles of them.  I belong to around ten.  I know.  I have a problem.

Lately I've noticed a few trends that leave me feeling baffled.  I wonder why is this the new norm?

Rant #1

Why in Gawd's name is every horse with a kid on it a kid's horse???  Back in the day true kids horses were truly rare.  Now you see the three year old colt who's been rode by an eight year old marketed as a great kids horse.  WTF?  I know there are exceptional horses out there with great minds but a baby rarely makes a good child's horse.  Why?  Because both the kid and the horse lack experience and can do unpredictable things.  Generally a recipe for disaster.

I grew up and learned to ride in the school of hard knocks.  I got bucked off on a regular basis.  While I did develop as a rider, I also recognize that if I didn't have such a deep love I would have quit.  I am left now as a middle aged adult with a body that is loaded with aches and pains.  It is quite literally falling apart.  Why?  Because the years of abuse my body took in my learning to ride phase has left some long term issues.  For this reason I would never put a child of mine on anything that wasn't sane, safe and broke to death.

Rant #2

WFT is up with all the people standing on their horses backs?  When did this become the thing to do?  Why?  I don't get it.  Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  I know I could do this on my horse, but why would I?  It's just plain weird to me.  I've heard the argument that it shows trust.  Anytime a horse let's you on it's back it's showing you trust...  The weirdest thing to me is that adults are also doing this.  Not just kids!!  So strange.

If anyone out there can shed some light on my questions, I'd love to hear from you.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Shortlist

If you haven't realized it yet, well... I'm crazy.  Seriously.  For real.

Here's my twisted nonsensical thinking.  I have two horses.  One of whom I will need to put down this summer.  One of whom I've really enjoyed riding.  So. Much. Fun.

So, because I love her - and trust me I KNOW you are not supposed to do this...

But!

Well, this horse has so many positive qualities.  She's got a great trainable mind, she is relatively athletic, personable and affectionate.  So, in my twisted sense I'm thinking of breeding her.

Trust me.  I know there are 5 million unwanted horses.  I get it.  That being said, I'm not one to send mine to auction because I want to mass produce horses.  This foal would be something I'd want to keep and develop.

So I created a short list.  My goal is to add cow to Marnie's performance type pedigree.  She has no earnings and isn't trendy breeding.

Here are the four stallions in no particular order:

Pegasus 
This stallion has earnings.  Is NonPro friendly.

Rollin in my Dually
This guy is in solely on his disposition and pedigree.  No earnings which is important to me.  And pasture breed only which I hate.

Bet Ichi
This guy has a wicked pedigree.  I have yet to find a conformation picture which is not good.

Reys From Heaven
He doesn't have the earnings as two of the stallions, but he also has a great pedigree.  He however has a pedigree that may not produce a NonPro friendly baby.

Well?  Which would you pick?  Why?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Something New

Today was vet day.  It seems vet day gets increasingly expensive.  However, it needed to be done.  The dogs had their yearly exams.  Both dogs are healthy, however one is intermittently puking.  Not sure who - but I suspect Diva.  So I being the person that I am, took pictures of the puke.  After the vet reviewed she felt they looked like Bile.  Did you know that dogs can get the equivalent of Acid Reflux?  Learn something new every day.  Now I'll be feeding a handful of kibble each morning to help them feel better.

I also picked up dewormer, and meds for both Ryder and Diva.  (Anxiety and Incontinence.)  In the spring when Diva heads into heavier work (stock) I'll need to add a different med as she tends to be leaky when she's tired.

Both dogs have lost some weight.

Diva is now 46 lbs.  Ryder 50.6 lbs.

The vet says these are good weights to maintain on.

It's good to have healthy animals.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

It Was A Good Weekend

I kicked my weekend off with a bang.  Friday night I did my standard three classes of agility basics.  Woot!  Went much better than last week as last week we had a wee bit of a situation.  I may or may not have needed to change my drawers...

You see, during Ryder's "crate" time, a lovely male Pit Bull got the Zoomies and accidentally banged into Ryder's crate, dislodging the pin that holds the door closed.  Ryder being Ryder, came out like his ass was on fire and went after the hapless Pit.  The hapless Pit reacted like he was under attack.  It ended with Ryder running back into his crate.  Thank the good Lord there was no damage to either dog.  Mostly noise was produced.  But very scary for me.  (And I'm sure the other owner.)

This week there was no near deaths.  Put a check in the WIN column.

Up early on Saturday, I hustled out to Drayton Valley.  It was back to basics for the dogs on stock.  I really want to fix some things I noticed during the November trials.  This was the first time both dogs had been on stock in ages.  And by ages I mean since the beginning of November.

It involved Ken speaking firmly with me and me running through the melty, sometimes icy and shifting snow.  Can we say buns of steel?  (Our weather has been freakishly warm this month!  Melting!!)  We began with Diva.  And she worked and I worked.  We worked some more.

I created this little video of her.  Please let me know if you can't view.

video

I found it humorous. (Ok - so it works on my computer... maybe not yours??)  Note Diva peeing as I walk to Ken and give him shit for still recording.  That girl has got to go the moment she gets any exercise!

Ryder was his soft and sensitive little self.



I just love his expression on the sheep.  Ken commented that he doesn't upset the sheep.  They seem to like him.  He also felt that Ryder showed more confidence on stock than he has in the past.  I'm wondering if the break was good for him.  

Because Ryder is terrified of the horses, Ken rode one of his colts while I worked Ryder.  I was very impressed with how brave Ryder was.  The filly was super cute too!  

To bring the end to my weekend, today I had a jumping lesson.  I think I have a perpetual smile on my face now.  I really, really needed this time with the critters.  Feeds my soul.  

This is Frank.  He's the lesson horse I jump on.  He's old and a character.  Probably one of the only "push" style rides I've ever had.  (Hey - I grew up on Arabs - and mine required very little leg!)



Sunday, January 11, 2015

A Social Experiment

In my household, Ryder is a ball hog.  We jokingly call it his soother.  He carries a ball around everywhere.  Diva, for the longest time showed little to no interest in playing.  Over the past six months she's started stealing the ball from Ryder.  She proudly carries it off.  Then Ryder chases after her and takes it from her.  

Tired of the sibling bickering over the ball.  I went to PetSmart and bought two, identical balls.

Blue.

Because I have a sense of humour...



I wondered if each dog had their own ball would they still fight over them?

How did my little social experiment turn out?

Well, it turns out the ball is most desirable when the other dog is in possession of it.  Basically, they don't care that there are two identical balls.  I can even try to play with both.  One dog will drop a ball to play with the other one.  In other words, only one dog and ball is in play at any given time.

It was worth a try...