Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Pet Blogger Hop

Broo teling himself Good Morning :)




Its another edition of Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop brought to you by Two Little CavaliersLife with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume! Welcome to all of you joining us for the first time we are so excited to have you!

Here's how you can join the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop celebration:

* Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add you link once to be seen on all the Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week.

** Grab the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button that our friends over on Life with Dogs made for us and include it in your Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop post so that your readers will know what is going on.

*** Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool and comment on their blogs to say hello!

**** Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like

***** Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop

****** Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop



Hey everyone, I'm back in town and my internet is all hooked up...yay!  I have moved into our new place in the city with my man and Broo and we are all settling in.  Happy Saturday everyone!!!

Its another edition of Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop brought to you by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume! Welcome to all of you joining us for the first time we are so excited to have you!

Here's how you can join the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop celebration:

* Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add you link once to be seen on all the Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week.

** Grab the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button that our friends over on Life with Dogs made for us and include it in your Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop post so that your readers will know what is going on.

*** Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool and comment on their blogs to say hello!

**** Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like

***** Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop

****** Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop



Monday, November 22, 2010

Holiday....Celebrate!

   (Quoting the Madonna song)....Going to take a holiday!  My boss so generously gave me an extra weeks holiday as a wedding gift.  I am going to use it to my full advantage and am taking the week off.  Today is the first day of my holiday and I am so excited to have a week with NO INSURANCE TALK! YAY.  Check that, actually probably not since I'm going to stay with my best friend in Ottawa who is, of course, also an Insurance Broker.  Ahh, the career choice you can never escape. 

  Anywho, enough of that.  I am heading out tomorrow to Prince Edward Island to meet up with my husband and road trip it back to Ontario.  He has been living there and we are finally going to get to start our married life together by the end of the week. WAHOO!  I am finally getting to move back out of my parents place - double WAHOO!  I get to see my husband after being apart for over a month - triple WAHOO!  

  I have not been to the East coast since I was very little so I am excited to take in the scenery.  It will be a true test to our relationship I'm sure...a 15 hour drive across the provinces.  It will either be really fun, or really horrible haha.  I'm sure we can do it, just have to make sure we have some good tunes for the ride.  I will try and take a bunch of pictures to share.  I am praying for no snow, apparently they have a bunch already.  Wouldn't want to bring that nasty white stuff back here with me :)

  Happy Vacation week, to me!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweet November Hacking Weather

  I am stoked about this November.  It has been nothing but beautiful without so much as a snowflake falling.  It hasn't really hit below 0c and the days are staying above 10c.  This makes Archie and I both very happy as we favour hacking over all other work.  Now that its dark when I get home, hacking is held off until the weekend.  All week I hold my breath and watch the weather network with anticipation....will there be sunshine?  Will there be rain??  Will there be 30km/hr winds that make my horse insane?  We held onto another gorgeous day, my mom and I went out early Saturday morning with Broo.  Archie was a happy boy, her mare Ace is really becoming relaxed on the trails.  Not bad for a dressage diva!


Fandango waiting for his turn.



Enjoying the sunshine, he LOVES his window.



Broo posing for me.  Showing off his new heart :)


Broo starting off with a bang.


Stopping to smell the air.


Something caught Ace's eye.



Our farm from the hill.



My mom and Ace.



Archie loves having his picture taken.  He purposely posed here.



My mom, me, Archie, and Broo.  What a great morning.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop


***Please excuse me, my internet explorere has gone on the fritz since I backdated my computer and I can't open some blogger blogs, including my own.  I can post but not look.  I want to get reading and commenting but this is making it extremely difficult.  I am looking for solutions if anyone can help!!!***

Its another edition of Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop brought to you by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume! Welcome to all of you joining us for the first time we are so excited to have you!

Here's how you can join the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop celebration:


* Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add you link once to be seen on all the Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week.


** Grab the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button that our friends over on Life with Dogs made for us and include it in your Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop post so that your readers will know what is going on.


*** Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool and comment on their blogs to say hello!


**** Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like


***** Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop


****** Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop

Friday, November 19, 2010

Of Herders and Heelers

  I am taking an initiative to understand the nature of my dog Broos herding instinct.  It was evidant from the day I met Broo and his litter they were natural herders.  Being half Aussie, half border collie/blue heeler it was a given.  I was taken aback the day I met Broo, his brothers and sisters were herding chickens and ducks at just 8 weeks old.  It was clearly out of pure instinct.  Then I got to thinking, just where does that instinct come from?

  I knew the herding trait benefited us humans and there is an obvious connection, but the missing link is what is in it for the dogs?  Do they get satisfaction from chasing, moving, and directing these animals?  Do they want to chase them, kill them, eat them?  With a little research I quickly realized the will comes from the drive to please US.  The owners, masters, head honcho of their pack. 

  I learned that the herding instinct was a trait, which was selectively bred into herding breeds.  Dogs which were naturally talented hunters, but not as likely to kill their prey and were more trainable were bred to create the herding breeds.  Dogs that the instinct on how to hunt, without the instinct to injure or kill.  Over the years working with humans has developed the many herding breeds into trainable, successful working dogs. 

  The dogs are not herding with the goal of a kill as their ancestor predatory herders, their goal is praise from their owner.  I have learned that a strong bond with ones master creates a stronger chance of a successful herding dog.  From years of dogs and humans working together, we have molded many breeds to be useful tools in our every day farm and competitive life.
  I have owned many dogs in my short life, but only recently a herding breed.  My Mini Aussie Zoe was the first of her kind in our family, however she didn't quite have that herding instinct that Broo has.   My parents also have a mutt who we think is an Aussie/Blue Heeler which is another herder.  After researching about the different types of herding dogs it's interesting to see where ours fit in.  There is typical "heeler" type which fall behind and push the herd forward, often nipping when the herd becomes stubborn and won't move.  There are the type that come from the side, pushing the herd  with their bodies so to influence their direction by physical contact and intimidation.  Finally there is the "header" type, which forge ahead of the heard, often becoming still and staring with "the eye", to intimidate and sort of what seems like a mind control tactic.
  My Mini Aussie did none of these.  Gavin, my parents dog is most time a side swindler.  He is always by our sides, seemingly herding us no matter where we are.  He follows us into any stall and guides us towards the horse.  Why?  I still haven't figured that one out.  He does get locked in a stall constantly because of this though.  He is very quiet when he is behind you lol. 

  Broo on the other hand, has all three styles.  He used to sit in the tack room door (more like squat) in the stalker position and stare our Catahoula Gwen down.  He would be still like a statue and it was the only time in my life I saw Gwen in a position of being dominated.  She knew he was doing it and she would stand still but pretend to not be looking at him meanwhile waiting for him to cave.  They would end up stuck for 10 to 15 minutes like until someone came along and called one of them over.  Truly a battle of herding will.  When he is in the house however, he takes on the pushy trait.  Herding the other dogs from their sides, cutting them off and trying to intimidate them into the position he wants them in.  When the horses involved, he becomes an obnoxious heeler. 
  I am on a mission to stave off the heeler in Broo. 

When I ride Broo is in the arena with me whole time.  He follows me most of time, or just runs around in circles chasing imaginary butterflies.  However, once I start the exciting canter work...there is Broo....chasing, barking, and god forbid - nipping at my guys heels.  An absolute no-no in my world.  The last thing I want my horse to be worried about when I'm riding is my dog running up behind him attacking him.  My method of attack is pulling up when he starts, asking him to sit, lay down.  If he listens - good.  He usually does, however, sometimes he starts back up as soon as I pick up the canter again.  If it happens more than a couple of times then it is not only allowing his bad behaviour, but is greatly effecting my ride.  I then get off and tie him up where he lies quietly for the rest of my school.  It seems to be working, as the last few rides he hasn't attempted to herd my horse once.

  I did pick up a video from the Salvation Amy about a year ago on how to train your border collie to herd.  Maybe it's time I take it out and put it to use.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Saturday Pet Blogger Hop



Its another edition of Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop brought to you by Two Little Cavaliers, Life with Dogs, and Confessions of the Plume! Welcome to all of you joining us for the first time we are so excited to have you!




To those who stopped by last weekend - thank you!  I haven't had a chance to check out your blogs with this very busy week but I will very soon!


Here's how you can join the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop celebration:


* Link up your blog name and URL using the Linky Tool below. You only need to add you link once to be seen on all the Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week.


** Grab the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop button that our friends over on Life with Dogs made for us and include it in your Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop post so that your readers will know what is going on.


*** Follow your co-hosts listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool and comment on their blogs to say hello!


**** Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like


***** Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from the Saturday Pet Bloggers Hop


****** Follow back when you get a new follower through the Saturday Pet Bloggers Blog Hop


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lest We Forget Ours Soldiers - Humans and Horses

  Today is remembrance day.  I wished my husband a happy Remembrance Day and he quickly reminded me that it is not a "happy" day.  He said this day brings out more reflection in him than normal.  I said I thought of it as a time to reflect and remember, but be happy and thankful for what our soldiers did and do for us.  Maybe I don't quite understand like he does, he is the one in the military after all. 

  Not long ago, when we first met, we visited the National War Museum in Ottawa.  It is a fabulous display of all the wars Canada has been involved in over the last centuries.  There was a large amount of information on the horses used in each war and how critical their roles were.  It got me thinking, what would have been without the horses?  Those horses were soldiers too.  Loyal, brave, soldiers.

  The horses used in war ranged from pony types, to Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, and even Mules.  As many Mules were used as horses in war.  These horses were cherished, the soldiers knew their worth and adored them like we do our show horses.   They were pampered in the stables and relaxed sweetly, and in the blink of an eye would be forced out and become the bravest horses in the land, galloping straight into the belly of hell and fire.

 More horses were killed in the war than I care to mention.  The numbers are staggering.  There were special vets brought in to stay at the camps and tend to the injured horses.  Many suffered shrapnel and bullet wounds.  Many died of dehydration.  They came equipped with gas masks to make it through the fog.  They all spent the last moments of their lives doing the bravest thing we have ever know.  They did it all for us, and why?  Because they are loyal, amazing animals. This solidifies my eternal love of horses. 

  The book War Horse by Michael Morpurgo has been turned into a play, which in turn, is now being turned into a Spielberg film.  The story follows a young man whose horse is sold into the Calvary.  His strong bond forces him to travel to France to enlist despite being under age.  It could be great, I hope it is.  I know it will at the very least be a tear jerker.  I want to try and get a copy of the book to read before the movie is out.

  I found some great pictures online.  The horses all look to be in top condition and turned out sharply considering the conditions. Oh what we owe them.






Here they are being loaded onto a ship.



Japanese war Mules.



Pack horses lined up.


German soldiers naked, bathing with their horses.


War horses waiting in Paris.



Horses getting loaded onto the train. The trains arrived every 10 minutes.

I love this horse.


These guys clearly love their horses.



I think this guy was pulling the raft across the river.

 Today, I would like to remember those soldiers who lost their lives for our freedom.  I give my heart to them and families who have loved, lost, and supported the soldiers come and gone.  I would like for everyone to also remember those horses who fought so loyally, so bravely, and so admirably.  We can not imagine what the world would be like without our human, and horse soldiers.
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