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.

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.