Monday, June 28, 2010

The Big Plan for Abby Coming Home

Thanks all for your comments on my last post. I love the people here in bloggerland:)

Switching gears entirely....

I need to start getting ready to welcome Abby home! I am not sure on an exact date yet but I know that this summer will pass in the blink of an eye and I'd really love to have everything set and settled before she gets here. The best laid plans of mice and men, right? Right.

Anyways, one of the biggest decisions I have to make is whether I am going to try to find a place to board or if I am finally going to take the big leap and find a place to lease. Right now I am leaning towards finding a few acres to lease for a year which will give me enough time that I can have Abby foaled out and her 2011 foal weaned before having to even think about moving.

That is not to say that I have a specific (empty) barn in mind... I am going to have to pull up my big girl panties and go pound the pavement and knock on doors! It is funny how now that I am looking there seems to be nothing but empty fields and barns ripe for the picking... if only it were that easy.... people have the strangest ideas about privacy and liability! My goodness:)

Anyways, my BIG plan (I always have one of those tucked away in the back burner of my mind) is to find a place, pay one year lease up front, rub a little elbow grease in to it, buy a trailer full of great hay, find someone who wants to board another in foal broodmare and then settle in for the long Canadian winter. I would just love to have another baby around come Spring so that my foal has someone to play with and Abby isnt alone either.

If only I could snap my fingers and have it all settled!

I think tomorrow I'll take a drive and start mapping out some possibilities. And, I'll be sure to bring my camera along for the ride;)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Bad- Sending a Horse to Auction

This morning I received a comment on my post "Look In On Old Horse" from "notimpressed" expressing her opinion on sending horses to auction and, as politely as possible, criticizing my decision to do so (I had written: "Of the eight horses I've owned in the past decade, only two have slipped through my fingers- the crazy horse that ruined my knee and a crazy old mare I bought from the auction and returned to the auction a few months later.... good by and good riddance to them both!")

Here is the reply. I post it here not to defend my actions but because I think she (or he) did an excellent job at expressing the very reason why I would never send a horse to auction again and why I hold such regret over having done so in the past.


- "Sad to hear of the mare who went back to auction when she didn't work out for you. I know for some people that is a realistic choice, but having saved one slaughter-bound horse and looking forward to more in the future, it never will be for me. If I can't deal with a horse's behavior problems or the cost of getting professional training to make it saleable, I'll have it euthanized myself rather than ever risk an animal I took responsibility for ending up on the long, cramped, hot trailer ride to slaughter.

I had hoped most other responsible horse owners felt the same, but this post made me uncomfortably aware that there are still people--and people who take good care of the horses they own--who don't shudder at the thought even of a rank, ugly horse being crowded into a double-decker trailer for 16 hours to face the captive bolt gun. Or perhaps people think that only completely worthless horses end up at slaughter? If my kind and athletic gelding was headed that way, a "crazy" horse unwanted by her owner likely didn't escape that fate.

I'm trying to rationalize this--maybe you meant a sporthorse auction, not the kind that attracts kill buyers. I hope that's it. But if it was the other, more common, sort of auction where you sent a horse whose behavior issues you couldn't handle, for shame. The beautiful filly your mare produced could someday, after the wrong sort of treatment, be someone else's "crazy" horse who they felt deserved nothing better than the kill buyer's trailer."

My reply:

I agree with you completely. And I am ashamed of my decision to send that mare back to auction. I decided not to get in to that whole thing in this post in an effort to stay focused on the horses who's new owners I had spoken with and because I try, as much as possible, keep my blog light and positive. The very reason why I have stayed in contact with each of those owners is, in part, as a result of the lessons learned from that mistake. I cant go back and change it but I can do differently today (that was 8 years ago when I was 19 or 20)...and I do.

Yes, I did say "and good riddance to them both" as that was my true in sentiment, as much as I might feel I made a huge mistake in sending her back to auction I wont pretend that I regret selling her.... I HATED that mare and it had nothing to do with being particularly dangerous, she was just the biggest bitch you've ever met. As for putting down a horse that is unfit for sale- two years ago I did just that. It was a VERY difficult decision but I know it was the right one.

Thank you for your comment, sincerely... It is people like you, who express their opinion without attacking the author, that help others keep and open mind towards a different way."

Too often horses have to pay the price of our mistakes. I wont hide behind excuses. I could tell the story of that mare, of what I was going through in my life at the time, what I did to at the auction to ensure she didnt go to a kill buyer, what her issues were and if they were or were not "fixable". The story doesnt matter. No matter the circumstance, I will never sell a horse at open auction again.

As horseman, I feel it is our duty to do our best to evolve in to better patrons for our horses... to admit mistakes and learn from them and to, most importantly, do differently so that the horses that have had to suffer our mistakes did not do so in vain.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is Your Horse A Rock Star? Update with video

I am sure this book has been covered by bloggers a hundred ways from Sunday but I just had to get my two bits in on this one! "Is Your Horse A Rock Star?" is a book by Dessa Hockley that looks to classify horseinality profiles... it is the equine equivalent of the Meyers-Brigg personality test.

I think it is a positively brilliant way to better understand your horse and could be used to determine the suitably of a horse you are considering for purchase.

It basically works like this: there are sixteen different personality categories. To determine which category a horse falls into you must decide if he is...

1. Dominant (D) or Submissive (S)
2. Energetic (E) or Lazy (L)
3. Curious (C) or Afraid (A)
4. Friendly (F) or Aloof (A)

The four characteristics you pick correlate to a horseinality profile.

So, for instance, my old horse Rocky was Submissive (S), Energetic (E), Afraid (A) and Friendly (F) which made him a SEAF "The People Pleaser".

Click here for more info on the various types.

But if you are like me, (one who thinks things to death) I had to wonder how much of a horses personality was as a result of nature vs.nurture. How do you account for abuse? For lack of exposure and training? I found it fairly easy to peg little JW as he is so virgin and untouched... his view of the world is so direct and unencumbered. Figuring out a horse like Abby with her history of being pushed through training is a little more difficult. Or is it? I had a gelding who was at the top of the pecking order in one herd and at the very bottom of another. I had one who had to be in the lead when on familiar ground but fell to the back of the pack when things became stressful. I found my horses all fell in to multiple categories but there was still a lot of truth in the descriptions of each.

After all, horses are never an exact science.

How accurate did you find the horsinality quiz?

Update: watch the video!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

NRHA Derby

Just thought I'd provide a link to the NRHA Derby's live webcast! I've been catching a few runs here and there. It's always nice to see some of my favorite stud's four-, five-. and six-year-old offspring in action. Watch it long enough and you'll start to see how some of best sires in the industry have stamped their get with a certain style, flair or type and how some of the trainers have done the same.

(pictured above is Lena Spark, sire of a Sparklin Chic who scored a 218.5 in the Non-Pro this afternoon (while I was watching) with Matthew Armenta aboard).

Click below for...

NRHA live webfeed from the Coliseum in Oklahoma City

or the NRHA Derby Main Page for links to live score, blogs, video and much more.

I'm rootin' for all those Canadians competing! Go Canada Go!

Monday, June 21, 2010

April 14th, 2011

Tiiii-i-i-ime is on my si-ide, yes it is!"

Trust me, my singing voice would hardly be an improvement on that rendition! What a great and oddly eerie song! But maybe that is because I tend to association it with that uber-creepy movie "Fallen" with Denzel Washington. Mmm... Denzel. But on with the whole point of this post... which is... shockingly, time.

And the lack thereof.

Where has the time gone? It seems there are nothing but milestones and anniversaries flying on by me while I'm still stumbling around trying to catch up and figure out how and when I became a grown-up. A few days ago marked the third anniversary of my grandfather (Poppie's) death.

This summer is my ten-year high school reunion. I turn 28 in two weeks. My best friend's husband just turned sixty (she was far more upset about that he was!) In September it will have been two years since I've had a horse at home and since I put down my gelding. Hawky turns seven this September as well. SEVEN!! But he's just a puppy! Someone else I know is turning a major milestone this year... but dont worry Mom, I wont tell.

And most importantly... just 9 more days till Eclipse opens. I have my priorities in order... really.

But I guess there is one more little mark on the calendar I'll be keeping my eye on.... actually, it is one juicy little tidbit of news that I've been holding out on you all!

Sometime around April 14th, 2011... or there bouts, I will be looking to expect a foal out of Abby. She is confirmed infoal and bred back to Jumping Jack Whiz (JJ), the sire of her 2010 foal. And, yes, with all luck, I will be the proud owner of this one. I just pray she'll have a safe and uneventful pregnancy and that this next foal will be just as lovely as the filly she put on the ground this year... because I dont know about you but I sure l
ike the way this little one is turning out!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hot Hollywood Bods'

Nauseous... I am oh-so-nauseous. Have been for days. Why? Flu? Bug? Pregnancy? NOT! Oh heavens no!

I've noticed, as I've gotten older, that the first question people ask me when I say that I'm nauseous is, "Oh! Maybe you're pregnant!" And then they glance at my tummy....if I'm lucky I'll manage to suck it before they get an eye full... Is there anything worse than being a little (or a lot) bloated just when you have to go to some social occasion....Of course the degree of the bloating is directly proportionate to the intensity of the social pressure at said event (as stipulated in Murphy's Law).

Anyways, I had a day like that today.... I worried that my wee Buddha belly would accidentally be mistaken as a baby bump.... but perhaps that's just tabloid fodder effecting my body image?...

It seems that if a hollywood celebrity so much as takes a deep breath these days the tabloids claim that their (shockingly) convex belly (as oppose to concave!) is a baby bump. I hate to talk about something so trite as how the media effects women's body image but... well... sometimes the media really does take it's toll on women's body image.

Okay... so a question...which female celebrity do you think best reflects hollywood's ideal of perfection?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Reiner in the Making

Why looky here!! I'd say we have a little reiner in the making! Actually, his stops were even more impressive but that pesky post was in my way of getting a good shot.

I didn't get much of JW's circle work either.... though I do like the way this boy moves!

He even demonstrated a little roll back for me....

But what he really wanted to show me was just how proficient he's become at being a pain in his Mom's royal backside (and what a fine backside it is!)....

"Who me!"

I get tired just looking at this guy.... but like most boys he eventually wore himself out....

And, like most boys, his next stop was....

(followed shortly after by a good and satisfying poop... boys will be boys!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Look In on Old Horses

I checked up on an old horse of mine today and found that Gala (Lena) is still owned and loved by the folks I sold her to. Sometimes looking in can be scary because as much as you want to know that a horse you once loved is okay, it's a little nerve wracking to contemplate the consequences of finding out that she is not. Sometimes it is easier to remain blissfully ignorant and to not look back. Of the eight horses I've owned in the past decade, only two have slipped through my fingers- the crazy horse that ruined my knee and a crazy old mare I bought from the auction and returned to the auction a few months later.... good by and good riddance to them both!
Other than those two, I'm pretty up to date on the rest...
Lets see.... Keo (now Ty), my PMU rescue is being used as a rope horse by the daughter of the folks I gave him to. They say he is the quietest horse they've ever known and worth his weight in gold. I am really hoping to see Keo in action this summer.

(Gala's full brother. Isnt he gorgeous?)

Gala (now Lena) is the mare I sold to the East Coast and the one who's owner I spoke with last night. They plan on breeding her in the next few years....I hope they pick a decent stud for her, or maybe I should hope for the opposite. I'm going to have to work hard not to buy her babies.

Despite the language barrier I have exchanged a few e-mails on Ellie, the mare I sold to Slovakia. After speaking with Gala (Lenas) owner I figured I'd drop her an e-mail too....Heaven knows what I'd do if she were in trouble... given she's now half way across the world but they still have her and she had a beautiful colt last year. (Update: I just received a reply saying that Ellie is doing well and in foal for 2011 to a nice Gunner stud. Thank goodness I dont have to be tempted by her babies!)
(left pic is Ellie's 09 foal. He is a gold champagne so will shed out to the color of a palomino)

My two old geldings (I hope) are waiting for me... (or someone they once loved more than me), on the rainbow bridge.

And then there is Miss Abby... more news on her in a different post...

Oh well, how about a hint?

My count of having owned eight horses in the past ten years may not be, at this time, entirely accurate....

It's nice to know that all the horses I once loved are still well taken care of an in good health...or waiting in a better place.

Crazy Woman Disease

Today I had a bad day... a day where everyone just pissed me right off. I pity the fool (she says like Mr. T) who made me wait, questioned my logic, cut me off, or stole my Cheetos (Hawk!) I was impatient, bitchy, cranky, rude and totally unable to control my emotions despite being acutely aware that these thoughts and impulses were baseless and that my anger was a result of an imagined insult, show of disrespect or act of (IMHO) stupidity.

And by some miracle DB was actually wise enough to know to just put up and shut up despite being given the silent treatment for the better half of the day over some infraction he both did not know he had committed and which I could not specifically put to words. At this point I cant quite say I`m sorry as I`m currently still quite annoyed with him, and my dog (I wanted those Cheetos!)... the TV for being so noisy.... and my sheets for being!... At any rate I`ll apologize tomorrow... when the hormones that have rendered me temporarily insane cease and desist and allow me to return to my normal, sweet and reasonable self.

Till then...

PMS blows.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Missing Maui this Monday

(My last sunrise in Maui... last Monday)

Okay... I've officially been home a week.

I'm ready to go back now.

While I missed this boy (and my man) like crazy....

I think I could handle another few weeks.... or months away from home.

I went to the river yesterday and the waters were still glacier cold....

And while the sun briefly made an appearance so that I could stop and appreciate the beauty of BC in bloom...

My sinus headaches are killing me.

The water here is the wrong color green....

And I really... really want to go back to Maui.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

New Pics of Abby's Filly

The first time I viewed these photos I actually used the phrase ( absentmindedly and incorrectly) "Be still my heart" ("Be still my beating heart!")

Friday, June 4, 2010

John Wayne is More Than Just a Name....

John Wayne is more than just a name... It's and attitude....

You remember my friends new colt John Wayne (JW)? Well, he's doing his namesake proud! Now this is one sassy, brazen, and confident little foal!

He's also highly suspicious....

He keeps an eye out for any potentially offensive behavior...

Suspicious meaning that someone might try to cop a feel when he isn't looking..

Oooop! Like that!!!

Right there!! You see that?!?!

Some creepy sneaky hand! Feeling it's way along to.... HEAVEN FORBID, THE FACE!!! Oh no! Not the face!!

Oh but it's such a pretty face... er'... I mean handsome...

He might just make being called The Duke one day.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Oh my goodness! I love Maui!

Oh my goodness!

maui cc 011

I am home and while thrilled to see my friends and babies (cats, Hawky and my man included) I soooo wish I didnt have to leave. We had an awesome trip!

I totally love Maui! Love. Love. Love.

You know what else I love? My Mom, Sister and Auntie. I am sooo incredibly lucky to have such an awesome group of ladies in my life. I absolutely cherished the time we got to spend together and the memories made..... I'll never forget it. Thanks Mom, Fel and CC! And that's all I gotta say about that here or else I'll get all teary (again).

So... wanna hear about my trip? Too bad! You're gonna! Okay, okay... I guess you have the choice! I'll start with getting all the horsey business out of the way... It wont take long because all I have to say about horses on the Island is that they look pretty much the same as anywhere else on Mainland....Only maybe not as hairy.

I didnt really know that Hawaii had a rich history of ranching and their own version of cowboys called Paniolo. Here's a brief edited version of information from Wikipedia...

By the early 1800s cattle were brought to the islands as a gift from England for the current Hawaiian King. They were left to roam wild where they multiplied astonishingly and wreaked havoc throughout the countryside. In 1817 a wayward sailor was given permission to capture the wild cattle and tame them through hunger and thirst and thus the Hawaiian cattle industry was born and came under the rein of the Hawaiian king's son Liholiho. When, in 1932, Liholiho's brother returned from a trip to California he brought with him several men trained in the art of the Vaquero who taught the paliono to ride and work the cattle. Thus the Hawaiian paliono resembles the California Vaqueros and the traditions of working cattle are much alike.

End history lesson.

Unfortuntely the only horses I saw were from my car window.

I didnt go riding :( Two reasons: First, I had a horrible sinus/throat/jaw/ear infection that zapped all my energy for the first week. The second, that infection kept me out of the water for the first half of the trip which just about killed me. I love, I mean L.O.V.E. the water! And as I rarely get the chance to spend a lot of time in a (warm) ocean I really hated missing those days and made up for it by spending as much time in the water as I could once I felt better.

Also, I might be a little cheap and the rides were awful expensive!

More on my trip to come.