Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Remembering The Gwen

  Gwen was my Catahoula Leopard dog, who my mom took in after quickly learning she hated city life.  She became an incredible farm dog, and sadly last year was struck, and killed on the road on a very erie misty morning.  The world was just not strong enough to contain Gwennie!  She was truly something special.  

We always miss you Gwennie!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Frustration Station - All Aboard

  Frustration.  "A common emotional response to opposition. Related to anger and disappointment, it arises from the perceived resistance to the fulfillment of individual will. The greater the obstruction, and the greater the will, the more the frustration is likely to be. Causes of frustration may be internal or external. In people, internal frustration may arise from challenges in fulfilling personal goals and desires, instinctual drives and needs, or dealing with perceived deficiencies, such as a lack of confidence or fear of social situations. Conflict can also be an internal source of frustration; when one has competing goals that interfere with one another, it can create cognitive dissonance. External causes of frustration involve conditions outside an individual, such as a blocked road or a difficult task. While coping with frustration, some individuals may engage in passive–aggressive behaviour, making it difficult to identify the original cause(s) of their frustration, as the responses are indirect."

  This is what I feel at this moment.  You know that feeling when you are working with a green horse and you take two steps forward, and take one step back?  I hatttte that step back.  I am taking a few steps back.  I decided to go back to square one with William.  I thought long and hard about his scootie butt - try to buck move and decided there was a training block missing somewhere.  He goes great once he gets going and does not do the scoot nor attempt to buck, but getting on and starting off is always a bit sketchy.  I don't like that sketchy.  I don't like being the most nervous that I might die at the beginning of the ride.  Kind of takes all the joy out of it. And trust me, I am NOT a nervous rider.  I just stress a little bit over whether or not I am wrecking a perfectly good baby.  Perfectionist some may say.  Neurotic, I say.

  By chance - or fate you may say, my old John Lyons book - Lyons on Horses appeared the other day.  I started reading and realized my thoughts were probably right, that William is missing some key building blocks in his training.  He is flinchy, he is insecure, and not trusting.  He is a good boy and stands still but I can see nervousness in his eyes.  I am taking the steps back and following the John Lyons way.  I have been sacking him out for the last week and it's been going pretty well.  I can rub him all over with many things; towels, saddle pads, coats, and even giant plastic bags (you know the kind horse blankets come in).  

My western saddle concoction. 
What IS this thing?!?
Alright I will accept this...for now.
  We graduated from the sacking out and moved onto the saddling.  I decided to go western for this and have been using the western saddle.  I have been saddling and unsaddling, saddling and unsaddling.  Standing on the mounting block and saddling and unsaddling.  Saddling and tying scary things to the saddle and making him walk around the arena with all this contraption on.  Things were going really well.  I had not seen the scootie butt - almost buck in 2 weeks....that is, until tonight.
I stand perfectly by the mounting block now :)
  Since he was being such a good boy I planned on moving onto the mounting and unmounting - repeat - portion of the training.  My mom was riding in the arena while I was in there tonight and I think that gave big Willy an opportunity to pretend he forgot all about his special training.  I started him out how I have been with rubbing him all over with the saddle pad and letting him relax.  I put the saddle on and let him relax.  I tightened the girth and let him relax.  I asked him to walk forward and BOOM!  Bronc horse wanna be scooting his butt and almost running me over.  I stopped him, reassured him, and repeated the process.  He did it again the second time but much less effort.  By the third time I unsaddled him and saddled him he just walked away completely relaxed and no bucks.

Who me? I'm a good boy :)
  I guess we aren't quite ready for the mounting - unmounting portion.  It is so frustrating when you think you are improving so much and then you have a night like this.  I just keep telling myself that last spring I couldn't even get Archie to go over a jump, and look where he is now.  I need to whip out the patience and take as much time as it does to make sure William is comfortable and confident before I get on his back again.  There is no rush, and no need to ruin a perfectly good horse.  If we do it right, it will be great when we get there. :)

 Patience, forever! xx

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Third Blogiversary to A Filly's Best Friend!


  Amidst all the drama rolling around my parts these days, today is the day my blog turns 3!  I have never really kept track of the start date before but I am going to start now.  No time like the present!  There were a few times in there where I took a hiatus from writing here.  Whether it be from personal business, no time, or just no internet connection, I continually find myself coming back here.  I foresee no hiatus's in my future.  I am enjoying writing more now than ever and really appreciate having somewhere to express my thoughts, adventures, photos and videos.

  I began to think what I would do without blogging.   I would definitely spend more time being bored, going out is inevitable.  With going out comes drinking, and with drinking comes spending money.  I just may have turned into a poor drunk if it weren't for blogging.  I wouldn't have the inspiration in life I get from all the blogs I follow and read daily.  I might just feel a little lost.

  I read all sorts of blogs.  Horse blogs, dog blogs, funny blogs, creative blogs, writing blogs.  My blog is sort of a mash of all these things, but I think it represents my personality well.  Looking forward, I hope to write a bit more often than I do, and share more of my experiences.  I am really hoping to get a better camera in the new year and have a lot more and better quality photos.  

  I want to thank everyone who stops by to take a look at A Filly's Best Friend.  It never ceases to put a smile on my face when there are new comments, or I get to comment on other blogs.  I feel lucky to have such a great community to share all my passions with.  Here is to many more late nights of blogging!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Where Friendship Ends and the Doormat Begins

    They just want me to support them.  Support their decisions in life. (Not the greatest decisions in my eyes).  I am a good person.  I bend over backwards for my friends, go out of my way to help them, to help strangers.  I always put others before myself.  I do it to help people out, and because I like to be a generous person and be there when needed.  I enjoy it.  I know I would appreciate it if I needed help and someone was there for me.  I have been that person before, and have met some amazing people who have helped me through times when all I needed was a lending hand.

  At what point, do you stop being a good person, a reliable friend, and become a door mat?  How many times can you go out of your way to be there for someone before they take that for granted and it becomes expected?  How about those times when you want a friend, need a friend, and that person you have supported through all those times turns their back on you because they have something better to do?  At what point do I stop being the good friend, the reliable shoulder, and stop wasting my time with those who are so unappreciative?

  Why is it that there are certain events in life where everyone expects you to be agreeable and supportive? This all stems back to me expressing my opinion the other day.  Yeah, I said what I actually WANTED to say and they didn't like it.  Now they just want "my support".

  Why should we support things in life that we don't agree with.  Because it's the "right" thing to do? Says who? We have to be there and comfort those who are making bad choices in life BY CHOICE.  We have to support welfare cases who eat up our tax dollars and what do they give back to us? To anyone?  I am supposed to be happy people are doing stupid ass things because if I don't - then I'm a bitch.  Well you know what, in that case, I guess I'm a bitch.  Better than being an enabler.

  I'm so tired of being told to "be the bigger person", or that I should push my feelings aside and "just be there to support them".  Why am I the one who has to shove all my feelings and opinions aside?  I am not asking these people to take my advice, I am just expressing my opinion and why I can not support their decisions. Is everyone happier burying their head in the sand to avoid the uncomfortable outcome that may occur?  Are we really happier to watch everything to go to hell over the next few years and pick up all the pieces then?  Regardless of what the situation is, I am tired of myself and all of the others out there who are the constant supporters getting grief for choosing to not be there for someone, because they are standing up for what they believe in.  Why are we the bad guys when we trust our gut?

  I have gotten where I am today because of my hard work, good friendships, and believing in myself.  If you give nothing back in this world, you will not get very far.  If you are constantly looking for support, and just take take take, you will run out of people who are willing to give.  I will never turn my back on a friend, but friendship to me is not a one-way street.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Last Saturday Night...


  TGIS?  Wow, last Saturday night was quite a time.  I say that for a few reasons.  Reason number one being it was the OHTA (Ontario Horse Trials Association) Awards Banquet, and reason number two being that I drank somewhere between 7-10 glasses of both red and white wine and well, the ride home was quite a ride.

  Let me just say that I was really REALLY excited to go to the banquet since I have never been, and also for the fact that I knew I was getting an award but I wasn't sure of what exactly.  I was a little nervous too, since I didn't know anyone else going and I get anxiety in public situations sometimes.  Enter the wine.
  I love wine, I really really love wine.  I drink wine on a regular basis and a bottle is nothing for me to drink on a Friday night and get up Saturday and feel completely fine.  We had 2 bottles of wine on our table and we were sitting alone for the first bit of the the bottles were fair game.  I had several glasses and felt great.  After dinner, they had a presentation by Jessica Phoenix who told her story of her Gold medal experience at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.  She brought her medals and passed them around all the tables.  They were really heavy!  Jessica is the most amazingly humble woman, and noted that 15 years ago she was winning the Training Junior award at this very banquet and that everyone should be proud of their awards no matter where they are at.  It all has to start somewhere.  So very true.

  The awards came and Archie and I were 3rd overall for the Entry division in Ontario for 2011.  I can't explain how it felt to have some recognition of far we have come this year, and how proud I am of Archie and myself for making it out there this year!  On top of that, we won the top Thoroughbred award for our division and a $100 cheque came with it.  I think I was more excited about this award because of my love for Thoroughbreds and Archie representing the off the track Thoroughbred community.

  Shortly after the awards the dance started, and we headed home.  We drove about 3 hours to the banquet and it was getting late (and I was getting very drunk).  I didn't realize just how drunk I was until I stood up and started walking around.  Good thing we were heading home.  I passed out as soon as we got in the car...but the fun wasn't over.  I woke up about 30 minutes after and spent the entire rest of the ride getting sick in my car.  A nice little celebration present to myself.  I spent the next day comatose in bed.

  The moral of the story is; when celebrations are in order, don't drink 2 bottles of wine simply because they are there waiting to be drank.

Also, if you persevere, you can achieve your goals.

I'm off booze for a while I think :)
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