Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Helping Out

Sometimes we just need a helping hand.  Someone to step up and help take some of the load off.  My friend's mom had just had hip surgery.  She needed someone to help the farrier.  I was willing and able to help out.  So that's what I did.

It's always awkward to spend time making small talk with a random stranger.  Or at least it is for me...  anyhow, I greeted him and said I'd be helping out.  I had already brought the horses into the little barn and was ready for Operation Trim.  In response to his query I told him I had three horses and had done 4-H with Jeanne's girls.  His response?  Oh, so you're her girls age.  O-kay....  Smiling and nodding I continued to talk "horse" with him while he trimmed the horses hooves.  Once we finished I told him he could pop by the house and Jeanne would pay him.  His response??

Can you take off your toque (winter woven head gear for my American friends)?  O-kay....

It took me a moment to ponder whether or not I'd comply.  I gave an awkward laugh, shook my head and pulled off my hat.  Immediately my static filled hair followed, and I quickly shoved my hat back on. The look of bafflement must have clued him in and he explained that he liked being able to recognize people when he sees them in town...

Good luck my friend.  Good Luck.

My attire?  Black sweat pants, black Sorel winter boots, a large and bulky Carhart winter jacket, big black mittens and my pretty ski toque. Add to this no make up and glasses...

Yep, good luck recognizing me in my town attire....

But how can you not laugh.  I climbed into my truck and began to giggle.  Funniest thing to happen to me in a looooooonnnnnng time!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Animal Pictures

Ryder and Diva racing in the park.

Guinness catching a nap.

Guinness and Bacardi stalking me - kept following me making picture taking very challenging.


Buddies having drink.

New sheep.

Guinness - fat little fart!

Perhaps this is why he's so fat!

Bella, with her sheep.

House pics

Kitchen - whoever planned it out mustn't have been a cook - note all the tile counter tops...  BUT note ALL the counter space!

More kitchen view...

Look at the cupboard space!
(And the "old school" cupboards!)

My couches - now covered with old flannel sheets to dog "proof" them.

Living room - facing where the TV will go...


Office and Dog Room - this is where they'll spend the night in crates/pens.
Less Tessa who'll sleep in my room on her bed.

Spare bedroom

My bedroom.

Once I have all my furniture, everything unpacked and organized, and art work up.  I'll take new and improved pictures.


Yesterday was farrier day.  It was Guinness' first time having his feet picked up!  And I was stunned with his behavior.  It was totally unexpected.  Normally, when a young horse gets it's feet picked up for the first time there's some jumping about.  Often you'll see some mini rears, speedy backing up, and pawing or swinging of feet.  (Based on my past experiences.)  

So this is what I was expecting.  It didn't happen.  First we trimmed Bacardi.  Guinness hung out and made a general pest of himself.  Next, I walked up to Guinness and slipped a halter on him.  I led him closer to Derek.  Derek gave him a few pets and then reached down and asked for his front foot.  There was some swinging of the foot, but it was as if a light bulb went off in his head.  "Oh, all you want to do is pick it up??"  And that was the extent of the expected baby tantrum.  Blew me away.  His head came down, his ears relaxed to the side and he chewed and licked his lips.

The other four feet went easier.  Derek said when he asked for his feet Guinness gave them gentle, and Derek didn't need to use much pressure in the asking.

It has made me believe with every fiber of my being that you can't train a nice temperament into a horse - it's either their or not.  Case in point - Buddy the demon horse.  He was a blank slate horse, range wild when I got him.  And his disposition and attitude remained awful.  I'm convinced he was bi-polar.  This is the horse that would hunt you down and chase you in the pen.  He couldn't live with any other horse or livestock because he was so mean to them.  And after three months of training he decided he was going to buck and that was the end of the story.  This is a horse I gave up on - sold for $500.  Best decision I've ever made.  The only thing I worried about is that he'd hurt someone - but he did kick the man who bought him (while he was looking) and showed his true colors.  So he knew what he was buying.

Guinness, now there's a whole different experience.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Scared Awake

Between the move and my courses I'm not quite as on top of my work as per normal.  This means I've been putting in major hours for my report cards.  Last night I didn't make it to bed until after 11.  Which for me is crazy late.  I was comfortably asleep when Ryder stood up (hardwood = clacking feet), and began to growl, deep in his throat.  You know, the serious business growl.  Still trying to sleep, I shushed him.  And then I heard it.  The hard to place, not quite right sound.

I lay there barely breathing, listening with every fiber of my being.  And still the sound.  Was it in the house?  Outside?  I couldn't tell.  Ryder made the flying leap onto my bed, and sat alertly, staring out my window.  Growling.  And then a big serious bark.  Sitting up as though pulled with a string I fumbled for my glasses.  Crawling closer to the window I peered out.  The light pollution from the increasingly near large city providing a faint illumination.  I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye.  Freezing, I stared, stomach clenching as Ryder began to bark in earnest.

There!  What was that!  Oh holy crap!

Oh... it looks like.. a coyote??


This close to my house?

Relieved it didn't have two legs, the dogs and I made our way to the deck door and watched.  Ryder poofed up, growling, and watching intently.  Tessa back to the window barking when Ryder let out his warning barks.  And then it went streak past my deck.  Close enough to rope.  A massive coyote.  I think. Biggest I've seen with plush fur and a filled out tail.  Looked about the size of a German Shepherd but had the coloring of a coyote.  Calming Ryder I made my way back to bed.

Ryder, once again leaped up onto my bed and stood sentinel at the window growling.

This is how I fell asleep.  That is until Ryder let out another massive bark, jolting me out of my sleep, and causing me to hallucinate a man standing at the end of my bed.  Thank you Ryder, and Thank you sleep deprivation.

Let me tell you that got the old ticker going.

Yep, it was a restful sleep last night...

Monday, November 21, 2011

Dirty Little Rotter!

I have rotten naughty dogs.  Somedays I think life would be so much easier if I lived in a condo with no little fur balls.  In particular black and white fur balls that have been up to NO.  GOOD.  Yesterday I settled down to eat breakfast.  When I finished and traversed the 10 ft to the bedroom I saw something offensive.... my favorite pink Ariat baseball cap sitting in the dog bed.  Wet and chewed on.  I believe the offending culprit was Diva.  Who was - pardon the expression - tickled pink.

Last night I had a nasty surprise.  My basement is pretty much empty right now.  I have a big open room that I plan to use for exercise (myself) and play/training (dogs).  There, on the rug the previous owners had left behind, were three little turds.  Trying to bolster my attitude I used some self talk.  Things along the lines of "it's okay, maybe their dog had had an accident here too".  

This morning, after getting dressed and brushing my teeth, I went to do a basement walk through.  I was astonished and right ticked off to discover someone had left behind some MORE little lumps of love.  You can imagine my expression when I turned around to see that Ryder had pee'd on the pillar (only males can get it up that high).  I was ripped!  Calling him, he sees me standing by the steaming puddle of pee and turns tail.  He flat out refused to come near his mess.  The most frustrating part is all the dogs had already been outside in the run for morning business.  Grrrrr.....

The basement will remain out of bounds for all dogs.  The offending rug has been hauled outside.  And Ryder will be on a leash by me at all times he's not locked up.  The kicker??  No mess in the garage today - I was gone from 7:30 - 4:00.  Seriously.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Moving Mess

Jokes on me.  I took a bunch of pictures to show my moving mess.  Only I can't find the card reader for my old school Mac.  (Just waiting for it to kick the bucket before I buy a new one.)  Last night I caved.  I couldn't stand it anymore and organized my kitchen.  I thought my report cards took priority.  Silly me.

The pups have been wreaking havoc in the garage while I'm at work.  I need to get the dog door and panels set up to limit them to the outside run and their section of the heated garage.  We've made it through our first work week alone.  I was really worried about the babies and their ability to "hold it" while I was off working.  This is something they've never had to do.  And Tessa, well, we're coming off a pretty bad "crazy" day.  But all dogs were good dogs and did their business outside.  What more can a girl ask for?

It's bloody stinking cold outside (-25C or about -13F).  This is our first cold snap and snow fall and nothing has acclimatized.  I'm going to be running home and grabbing a winter blanket for Whiskey as she refuses to use her shelter (totally out of character for her).  She seems fine but her coat isn't as plush as I'd like it.  I'll blanket her up for this first snap and when it warms up take it off.  This will give her some more time to grow more hair.  I don't mind snow on the horse's back (according to the old cowboys it's insulating), but she's got some ice balls which are just not nice.

This weekend has dog vaccinations and new tires for me.  Oh ya, and writing report cards....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Contemplating Crazy

I am contemplating crazy.  Stark raving loony-toons.  So this has struck a chord within me.

This ad has been up for a while.  The price was much higher a day ago.  Why this horse out of the thousands out there jumps out at me - I'll never know.  But he intrigues me.  He fires up my imagination.  He makes me wonder "What if..."  This could be backlash from spending my cutting fund on house stuff.  But what if this horse was willing to work cows?  What if he had the disposition, conformation and ability I need?

The truly funny thing is I'm not a super huge fan of color.  I generally like plain with no white.

And yet, here I am, contemplating crazy...

Monday, November 14, 2011


Well, I'm officially in the new digs.  Dad and I put up the chain link panels creating a dog run attached to the garage. (Heated!!!)  Next step is to get a dog door installed so they can go out and potty at will while I'm away at work.  My bed is in the living room.  Yup, but as I have no other furniture in there right now, that's okay.  My kitchen is filled with boxes.  My garage is filled with boxes.  Whiskey is hanging in her new field.  Unhappily I think.  She was much more unsettled than I expected her to be.  Wasn't eating very much, but seems better now.

The dogs are also rather unsettled.  Tessa was extremely worried, so I gave her an extra Clomicalm and took her to work with me today.  Diva and Tessa are starting to war.  This is new.  I'm doing a lot of maintenance with them right now.  As soon as things settle down I plan to give everyone individual training time.  Ryder is awesome.  He settles in and lays down, watching what's going on.  He's my faithful shadow.  While Diva is super-snooper.  It's been fun keeping her out of trouble.

When it's not blizarding I'll get some pictures up of the mess.  I have no plans to tackle any of the mess until my report cards are done and my final paper for my class is handed in.  I must admit, very excited to get my Internet hooked up today...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lest We Forget

Today is Remembrance Day here.  Today is the day we take a moment to think about and remember those soldiers who have fallen.  For some it's just a day off work.  For me, it's a day that tugs at the heart strings.  It's a day that can strike a little too close to home.  I have friends, and extended family that are either active military or former military.  These are people who have served my country.  They have gone to strife filled countries to try and stabilize them so they too could enjoy some of the rights and freedoms I take for granted here.  These brave men and women will ensure I'll continue to enjoy the life I lead.  They are the people who have stepped up and are willing to go forth for my country.  For that reason they'll forever have my undying respect and appreciation.

When I was in France I walked the trenches of Vimy Ridge, now a serene pock marked park.  Let's not forget the sacrifices our soldiers have made.  Let's not forget that there are families who are short brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers.

Lest We Forget....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beloved Whiskey mare

Tonight I made it out to the barn.  I brushed Whiskey and popped her on the lunge line.  I hadn't been out for almost two weeks.  This video I took on BlackBerry.  Sorry, we get dark early here this time of year and the arena lighting is - arena lighting.  I think the video shows off some of the reasons why I love this horse so much.  In one hand I have the lunge line, the other my cell phone.  I've gotta admit I get a bit depressed when I work with her knowing she'll only be broodmare sound.  I also think she looks great having just had her baby weaned.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

New Home

Front View
Really not a big fan of the blah brown siding, but, beggars can't be choosers!

Field and barn area.

Backyard view.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I'm in the midst of a freak out.  (And immediately scrolling through my head is the song ...freak out, c'est chic... don't know the rest of the lyrics, and there's a really good chance those are wrong...)  No seriously.  I'm having a wee bit of a panic attack/guilt attack.  On Monday I took possession of my new digs.  However, I'd been having a dilly of a time making sure the utilities were transferred into my name.  Major fear and paranoia over frozen water lines - it is that time of year here.  After jumping through ridiculous hoop after hoop everything was finally sorted out yesterday evening.

On Monday, when the realtor handed over the keys and we did our walk through I was oh so happy to discover the missing baseboards - still missing, the massive manure pile - still massive, and the icing on the cake.... they had cut the electric fence and pulled off the power source.  Lovely.  Literally sawed through the tape/line.  To put it politely - I was annoyed.  It's the principle of the thing.  My realtor managed to get the manure pile removed yesterday, but the rest is now my work project.  To compound things I've been getting home late.  Making for wild and crazy dogs.

Whiskey is still at the stable, letting her bag dry up.  I've been fretting about having her inside with winter swiftly approaching.  The plan is to move her to my new place for the next few weeks.  This way she can continue developing her winter coat, and is in a safe place removed from her baby.  This means hauling enough squares to feed her, and ensuring the previous owners junk is gone from the barnyard area.  Add to that stripping the now useless and slack electric wiring off the fencing.  (Heart attack if she got caught up in it!)

Let's not forget I have a major and slightly massive paper due on Monday.  Or that my report cards need to be done immediately after that.  Oh AND I'm moving.  Or trying to before the snow flies.  Garck!  Did I take on too much??