Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Stinks!!

Many parents with young toddlers "child proof" their houses.  I Tessa proof mine.  Tessa has a deep and long lasting fear of baby gates, so of course I use them strategically to block off spaces I don't wish her to enter into.  Right now this means she cannot access the stairs (dog + splint + stairs = potential catastrophe).  The furniture is all blocked off so she can't jump onto any chairs or couches.  Instead she has three dog beds located in various parts of the house and water on both floors.  

Last night I went to bed with her snoring on her bed beside mine.  This morning I woke up to notice she didn't seem her perky happy self.  As she hopped in front of me on the way to the door I realized she was packing her broken leg - something she doesn't do much of now that it's in a splint.  Bending down to put the IV bag on the bottom of her splint (keeps it dry and clean when she's outside doing her "business"), I noticed her leg seemed to be bent more than normal.  Feeling her leg I could feel the jagged edge of the hard plastic splint.  She broke her bloody splint!

How she did this I'm not entirely sure.  And off, once more to the vet we go.  (Oh yes, my vet is out of the country and the other vet at the clinic normally is not in today.  He's coming in just to fix my dog's leg, after all his other calls.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Foundation Bred AQHA Colts For Sale

First off, sorry about the poor pictures.  You see, in July when I took these I had no idea I'd use them in the future as advertising.  

The breeder I purchased Izzy from has two colts (half brothers to her) for sale.  The reason the two colts are for sale is the breeder has had to purchase hay this year due to extreme drought conditions.  This is a first for them.  Normally, I wouldn't be inclined to sell them but two things have occurred: 1) Izzy has a stellar personality and has handled all the strange new things with style and class and nary a tantrum in sight, and 2) Brad has said he can't feed them which means they sell, even if it means they end up at the canners.  

Both colts are more conformationaly correct than Izzy, they're shorter in the back etc.  Both colts are taller  and should mature out in the 15 hh range.  For those of you who follow bloodlines here's what you can expect.  The following names ON the papers: Hollywood Jac 86, Easter Gentleman, Lads 50.  Fourth generation you'll also find Topsail Cody, and fifth generation Cutter Bill, with many foundation names up close.  The added bonus is their colors - you have funky palomino and grey - both of which likely carry dilute genes.  If Izzy is any indication they'll be athletic with sweet personalities.  These colts should work as cutting, working cow or reining horses.  And all he wants is $500 CND for each.  What a steal of a deal for a performance prospect!  If you want more info fire me off an email (on profile page) and I'll forward the phone number.  They are located near Coronation, Alberta. (East Central)

Saturday, November 21, 2009


When I was a child I spent most of my waking hours on a horse.   As a child I had an unique horse upbringing.  First, I was surrounded by people who stated breed does not matter - it's the quality of the horse that counts.  Second, my mother did not believe in having children ride in saddles.  As such, I rode bareback until 4-H loomed and I needed to learn how to ride in a saddle.  Third, once I started 4-H I began riding English.  With the exception of those first few years spent in a Western saddle the majority of my youth was spent in an English saddle.  For many children this would be considered normal.  For a farm raised western kid, perhaps not so much.

As a teenager I would ride the 1/4 mile to the nearby grazing reserve and spend the day having adventures with my trusty steed Smokey.  All in my beloved Fels Bach All Purpose English Saddle.  When the 4-H group went cattle penning, Smokey (my flamboyant Egyptian Arabian) and I would load up and go - complete with my English saddle.  (You can imagine the looks we received!)  During the 4-H extravaganza at Northlands, we would run gymkhana - yep, you guessed it, in my English saddle.  I loved that saddle and thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.  Looking back, I realize it might have something to do with the fact it was not a cheapo special (the western saddles sure were).  

As a young adult I grew fatigued with my English show world and I moved on to new adventures, with new horses in new disciplines.  I bought myself a fancy Vic Bennett Rope saddle and enjoyed myself thoroughly.  During this phase of my life I said good bye to my beloved English saddle.  The small seat no longer fit my much larger seat and the narrow tree would only fit the necks of the horses I was now riding.  Years passed and an unfortunate accident blew out my shoulder sidelining (at the time I thought ending) my roping life.  So I sold my fabulous rope saddle and bought a Ross Ellas Cutting Saddle.  After all, cutting would be the next best thing.

I regret not having an English saddle but recognize the Fels Bach had served it's purpose with me and needed to find a more suitable home.  I really regret selling my rope saddle now that I know I can rope again.  Don't get me wrong - I love my cutting saddle.  You'll have to pry it from my dead lifeless fingers.  Some days when I'm feeling down I'll go over to it (its in the house) and smell it's leather smell.  Love it!  

Here I am with one saddle and so many horsey things I want to do.  So tonight, I began doing some Internet searches.  I'll often drop into the Vic Bennett site to check stuff out but right now I've decided the priority saddle will be to find an English one.  
I feel somewhat lost in my searching as I don't really know what I'm looking for anymore.  I know I want an interchangeable gullet system as that's the most practical for me.  But I don't know what size and I don't know what type or what brand.  And into the scary old but new world of saddle shopping I go...

Pictured is my cutting saddle.


Tonight I realized my one year "blogging" anniversary had passed with nary a thought.  It's made me think back to why I started this.  Initially, I wanted to write.  Period.  I looked at the blog as a strategy to work on my rusty writing skills.  Now, I'm beginning to understand it's metamorphosed into something else.  I still enjoy the writing component even though the time I have to write has been in short supply.  Mostly I enjoy sharing my little furry family.  When I chose the topic, I chose to write about my animals because I know writing what you know is so much easier.  

Here's to blogging...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Say What!?

The day dawned crisp and clear! Today was the first day of the Northlands Stock Dog Trial and Tessa and I were entered up. Only I made the trip into town alone. No black and white furry companion. Yesterday morning Tessa began three legged hopping with her left hind held up in the air. This morning she continued hopping and was not weight bearing at all. So I made the trek to Farmfair to scratch her from the competition.

While making the trek I called the vet, who wanted to see the dog today. So, I made the trek back out into the country, picked up the dog, turned around and drove back towards town (the clinic is on the outskirts). I explained to Sam the history and what I thought the problem was. She did a brief exam before stating she was going to get the x-ray machine ready. And off we went for pictures. I had told Sam that if she told me the dog had a broken leg I was going to start crying. She looks up at me and tells me she needs to get a box of Kleenex.

My dog, my pampered well taken care of dog, has broke a second leg in the period of a year. As I write she is lying behind me with a splint and bandage while we wait for the swelling to go down, after which point it'll be decided if she should be casted or if we'll stick with the splint and soft bandage.

Sorry, no pictures as my Macbook died and is off getting repaired.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Puppies on My Mind

The last few months I've had puppies on my mind.  I keep telling my self, "No, no, no!" but I just can't let go of the idea.  There are a number of well bred border collie puppies around right now.  Here's the rationale:  Reba is turning two this February.  If I got a puppy now then it would be ready to start when she was three.  By the time it would be trained Reba would be four or five and Tessa would be geriatric.  

The other thing I've been contemplating is breeding Reba during her next cycle.  This would get her first litter of pups out of the way and wouldn't interfere with her competing and working.  But if I were to breed Reba I'd want to breed her to something with good lines and proven working ability.  I'd like something a little uncommon pedigree wise.  Reba herself is extremely well bred and she has the talent to work so I'm not worried about her.  All she needs right now is time and work.

Reba is by Corey Perry's Ben who has won many prestigious arena trials including the Northlands Farmfair trial.  Ben goes back to Norm Close's Joe and is out of Abe Marshall's Mist.  Her mom is a working ranch dog who works cattle easily in addition to trials sheep.  Her mom is Keith Mulligan's Clair.  Clair is by Ron Gale's Whip and is out of Jack Knox's Keli.  Keli goes back to Gonnet's Moss.

All of Reba's "star" breeding is up close.  The question at hand is what lines would cross well with hers?  I'll be doing some research and will keep you posted as I come to a decision or decide to wait.

The Sneak

This weekend my brother and sister-in-law, along with their 6 month old German Wire Hair Pointer (Kobe) came to visit.  We had been sitting in the kitchen having coffee before Eric and Crystal left to go home and the dogs had been enjoying some free time in the yard playing.  As Eric and Crystal began loading up their car all the dogs with the exception of Reba continued with their wild ways.

Crystal called me down stairs.  You see, Reba had snuck into the house and they couldn't get her out.  As I walked around the doorway she went into hiding.  Finally, I sat down and called her to come for a treat.  Which she did.  It was very strange.  She curled up on the floor beside me and put her head in my lap.  Later, once Eric and Crystal left, I left her in the house.  All she did was lie down near the door and chew on one of Tessa's left over rawhide pieces.  

Finally kicking her out, I went to change into my running clothes planning on taking her and Joey on my jaunt today.  But the phone rang, and the person on the other side was someone I hadn't visited with in a long time.  Sitting on my bed I began to catch up.  Only to hear this whining sound.  Looking around I see Tessa sound asleep by the bed - and no noise coming from her.  Opening my blinds I see Reba sitting up against my window crying.  (Walk out basement, so in my room the window is level with the ground.)  She must have heard me talking and came to the window.  When I asked her what was wrong she put her paw up against the glass.  

So once again I go to the door and let her in.  Once in she didn't want to follow me, she was quite content hanging out in the boot room.  Even when we finally got going on our run she was "off".  Not her normal spunky self.  I have to wonder what made her feel so clingy and needy.  It could be the disruption in routine with Kobe here.  It could be I'm just not giving her enough attention.  And it could be plain bad behavior.  What do you think?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Furry Family Portrait

I must say I've been wanting to get a picture with myself and my four dogs for a long time.  May I say this is a challenging endeavor!  Today, I managed to get three of them in the picture with me.  Bella, deciding something was up ran off into the field to be with her sheep!  Even with treats she could not be coerced back into the yard for the photo op!  
In the picture: Left: Tessa, Front: Reba, Right: Joey.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Running in Town

I accept that some people may think I'm crazy but a few weeks ago I had decided to begin training for a half marathon.  A half marathon is 21 km long or about 13 miles.  To help me reach my goals I decided to register in a clinic run out of the local Running Room store.  As part of the clinic we meet on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday of each week to run or learn about running.  Tonight was "speed work" and because I hate running without my dogs I brought Reba into town with me.

Poor Reba has been somewhat neglected in her exposure to different situations so this was a bit of a rude awakening for her.  First I unload her in a busy parking lot.  Next I take her into a very busy recreation facility.  And then I run with her in town.  All of these are new situations for her.  

I was soooooo proud of my dog!!  She was awesome!  You could tell she was scared while we waited in the recreation facility.  After all it was noisy and filled with people going to different areas.  (This facility has swimming pools, skating rinks, indoor soccer fields and a gym/fitness area, in addition to offices - so it's large.)  She was very happy to leave the building and run outside.  

She handled the city noise and hustle wonderfully, watching me and attending to what I was doing.  The only "scary" things were the little marker flag on a wire stick that she didn't notice until she ran over it - I had to giggle because she tucked her bum and scooted like something was chasing her.  And the other "scary" bit was the fire hydrant - and really can you blame her?  It's not like those are normal things in the country.

When we worked on the drills portion of our run in a nearby parking lot I actually dropped the leash only to have her go to my jacket and lay down on it.  She paid very close attention to where I was.  When we finished and I began my stretches she laid down by my feet and waited patiently.

For my little country mouse's first trip to the big city she was a superstar!  I can't wait to see how this dog continues to develop!