Monday, January 28, 2013

My Catori Lane Cross Country Course

  As I mentioned last month, we held a short course event at our farm in late October.  For those of you who are not familiar with short course, I will give you the just of it.  A short course event includes a dressage test, followed by a shortened stadium course which continues onto a shortened cross country course, then re enters the stadium ring and finishes there.  They are a great start for those wanting to try eventing without going to an actual three phase event.  

  We chose to make introductory levels for various reasons; easier to build, more popular, and a good way to bring "outsiders" into the world of eventing.  The levels we built were 18", 2', and 2'6".  The lowest level "Grasshopper" was meant to be a very simple yet eventing course.  We wanted small and inviting yet not boring with the same ol log after log thing you normally see at this level.

 I built almost this entire course on my own.  It was built in about two weeks and mostly with materials laying around the property.  It came together so nicely and I am very happy to have this at home for schooling!  This year I plan to build an Entry (2'9" level).  Not to mention some BIG schooling fences!

 Here's the course;

Grasshopper on the left and Start/Pre Entry on the right.

Grasshopper on left, start/pre-entry on right.

Pre Entry

this is after someone stepped on it and pulled it apart lol


Pre Entry


Pre Entry

Pre Entry


Pre Entry



Grasshopper stone wall.
Pre Entry on a little hill

I can't wait to build more and have two more Short Course Events this year!  Do you want to come schooling?

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Warming Up For Super Dog Sunday

  This year we are participating in Super Dog Sunday which hits its peak during the Superbowl next weekend.  The event is hosted by All Things Dog Blog  and Dog Tipper; sponsored by  Arenus, Event Barkers, Luv and Emma, Nature's Logic and Toby and Max.

 From All Things Dog Blog;

{ "All this fun and great prizes have been brought to you by a group of sponsors who care very much about animal welfare and wish to help support the efforts of Petfinder Foundation and their work on behalf of shelters. You can help us help them by letting them know how much you appreciate their donations to support this event and Petfinder Foundation, as well as the more than $1500 in prizes to be given away for Super Dog Sunday™ winners.

  Super Dog Sunday™ is a pet photo contest. All pets are invited to participate. The primary criteria is that your pet photo must be football-themed in some way. Your theme need not include a team name or even be related to an NFL team. Just plain football works for us!

Watch the blog for another post on #SuperDogPics, an upcoming Twitter Party to help you with ideas and techniques for your Super Dog Sunday™ entries.You may dress up your pet, use backdrops or items in the foreground to theme your photo, and you may also use Photo editing tools available online or through programs you can purchase. You may enter only one photo per petHowever, you may enter as many pets as you wish, including Petfinder adoptable pets." }

Head to All Things Dog Blog to check out the rest of the details and join the Pawty!!

Here's Ozzy ready for Kick off!

Broo has his game face on...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Frosty Wordless Wednesday

  It's mighty Tropical here in Napanee Ontario.  It was -28° Celsius this morning, which is approximately -18° Fahrenheit.  It was so cold yesterday I left them in the barn all day.  Luckily my barn is very warm, it only dipped to -5° C last night in there, while it was -36° C outside.  BRRR.

 They were happy to be out this morning...but it's still bloody cold.  The cold snap is supposed to end Friday.  Here's hoping...

grumpy ponies

Archie says - my shelter all to myself :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All Bets Are Off - Parkers Baby Pics!

  When I was living in the UK I was surprised by how popular horse racing is there.  There are turf tracks everywhere, races heavily covered in the news and on TV, and radio ads belting out "best odds for Cheltenham 2013 betting found here" hourly.  What I didn't see any of were Off The Track Thoroughbreds.  I'm sure they are there, they have to be.  I am sure they make up their army of fabulous event horses which fill the 300 entry spots in their day Horse Trials.  There was no big thing in the UK at that time like there is in Canada and the US now, supporting and promoting the retraining of ex racing Thoroughbreds.  Yet somehow, we have all come to the same conclusion; that they simply make the absolute best event horses in the world.

  I was not a huge Thoroughbred fan, even after owning the great Westie.  I loved them, but it wasn't until I laid eyes on Archie that I really, truly, became an OTTB addict.  Being an owner of a wonderful OTTB for almost 5 years now, I had little restraint when I met Parker to not bring him home.  Nowadays, my eyes are solely on Thoroughbreds.  I can still appreciate other breeds, but I am a Thoroughbred girl until the end.

  The lady I got Parker from connected me with the woman who raised him.  Not only did she raise him, she took beautiful photographs and also painted him throughout his time there.   Her name is Linda, and she has been kind enough to allow me to share with you all of Parkers baby pictures - from the day he was born up until his first race.  Linda has some absolutely beautiful artwork and photographs of Thoroughbreds and life at the track.  You can check it out at her blog: Linda Shantz.

Thank you Linda for sharing these photos with me, and all my readers :)

The day he was born :)

need to cuddle!!

he loves his sticks


learning how to be a racehorse.

his mom - not him.

His first race!  He was 5th :)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A New Kind of Animal Rescue Scam - Saturday Pet Blogger Hop!

  A new kind of animal rescue scam is going around.  I was on Facebook the other night looking at one of the Horses For Sale/Lease/Part Board groups and a post caught my eye.  I'm not sure if you guys have these groups for people in your area, but it seems like there are a billion for Ontario riders.  There are ones for local cities and ones for the entire Province.  Horses for Sale. Tack for Sale. Trailers for Sale. OTTBs Needing Homes....the list goes on.  These groups can be great for buying used tack, seeing what clinics are coming up where, and maybe finding that horse of your dreams.  However, these groups also seem to be creating a new kind of scam artist.

 I saw a post that looked something like this;

 "Hi, I am 17 years old and l am looking for ANYTHING; BLANKETS, TACK, BUTE for free as I just rescued a mare.  I went to the local auction and as I was leaving a Chestnut mare with 3 socks was getting loaded onto a meat truck.  As no one else was there to save the mare, I did the only thing I could and bought the mare from the meat dealer and took her home.  She is two years old and completely starved, very very skinny, almost dead.  She is full of worms and covered in rain rot from head to toe.

  I have spent all my Christmas money on vet bills and buying her so I have no more money to care for her.  I really need items donated so she can be properly taken care of and have the best possible life.  Since I am only 17 this is a big responsibility and I am really hoping you guys can help me out."

  The poster goes on in conversation to say that her parents rescue Thoroughbreds and re home them but since this horse was her idea they will not support her in any way and she will have to take care of everything herself.   People ask what items she needs and she said blankets, rain sheets, stable sheets, winter blankets, tack, and BUTE.  The most shocking thing of all to me were the people responding immediately asking her where to send money and items.  Some people asked for photos and the poster said she did not want to post any as the horse is too disgusting looking and that they will scar everyone for life.

  My first inclination is that she is lying.  I feel this way for many reasons.  First off; no kill buyer will buy a bone thin 2 year old, who is full of worms and covered in rain rot, on deaths door.  That will not happen.  There are very few kill buyers in Ontario now.  Second of all, I do not think any 17 year olds parents would allow their daughter to go to an auction by herself, and buy an almost dead horse - then proceed to let the horse die at their house while running a Thoroughbred rescue themselves.  Thirdly, there is no proof whatsoever that this horse exists. Regardless, whether or not said horse exists is not really the main issue.

  Here we have good hearted people on the Internet, readily opening their wallets to someone simply because they posted a somewhat convincing post on a Facebook Group.  People were commenting that she was a hero, she is so great for saving this horse, without seeing the obvious problem.  If you can not afford to take care of animal you rescue, you are not really rescuing it.  You are simply removing the animal from one bad situation, and placing it in another.

  If I could get others to foot the bill for every animal I took in, then I would take in every single horse and dog that needed a home.  Part of giving an animal a second chance, is having the resources to take care of that animal properly.  The other major issue here is that people were willing to send this girl BUTE.  A 17 year old stranger on the internet.  Bute should only ever be supplied from a veterinarian.  Not only that but it is known to be taken as a street drug.  So now we have good hearted (albeit stupid) people on the internet, ready to ship some 17 year old girl equine pharmaceuticals no questions asked. FACE PALM>

  I voiced my concerns and while there some people who agreed with me, most others said I was just a negative person trying to attack a 17 year old girl.  I explained I simply want people to KNOW where they are donating before they donate, to make sure their good deeds end up in the right hands, and that no one gets hurt.  I suggested the girl re home the horse to someone who had the resources to take proper care of it.  I also made a point that if you go on the Internet on a public forum asking for handouts - you better have some solid proof of where that money is going and what it has done.  The thread disappeared after that post.

  Perhaps the story is true and this girl did rescue this 2 year old mare and just needs help.  Unfortunate for the horse, but a hard lesson for the teenager that even though your heart is in the right place, you need to use your head at the same time.  No 17 year old girl living at home, should be taking in rescue horses without the help of her parents.

  Just a warning to those with big hearts.  Use your head when determining when to follow your heart.

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Welcome to the new and improved Pet Bloggers Blog Hop! This is is a weekly event to help you connect with other Pet Bloggers. Whether you are a seasoned blogger, one who loves reading pet blogs, or if you’re just thinking about starting your own blog – there is definitely something here for you. Acquaint yourself and enjoy – this is your resource, so use it as you see fit!

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You only need to add your link once to be seen on all the Pet Blogger Blog Hop Linky Tools for that week. If your blog is not pet related your link will be removed. Also note that only one post per blog is acceptable, and links promoting giveaways that are unrelated to the pet blogger hop will be removed. This is a weekly community building event and not a promotional vehicle.

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 Grab the NEW “Pet Bloggers Blog Hop” button and include it in your Saturday Blog hop post so that your readers will know what is going on. 

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 Follow your co-hosts Of the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop listed in the first 3 slots of the Linky Tool. Follow as many other blogs on the Linky as you’d like. Following could mean via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, their daily newsletter, or any other place they happen to be interacting on the web. Take a moment to comment on the other blogs that are linking for the Pet Bloggers Blog Hop telling them you’re visiting from the blog hop. Make friends learn new things watch awesome animal videos and grow your blog. 

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

If You Blog and Use RSS You Should Read This

  And take a minute to reflect and thank Aaron Swartz for the technology.  The co-founder Reddit and co-inventor of the RSS technology was found dead in his apartment in NYC on Friday.  He took his own life.  Aaron was 26 years old,  considered a genius, and a Robin Hood type figure to his friends and colleagues.  He was facing up to 35 years in prison for his role in hacking Scientific Journals and sharing them with the internet community.  The owner of the journals wanted to drop the charges but this never happened, and it obviously became too much for Swartz.  His death has been labelled a "travesty", and the prosecutors of his crime have been blamed.

  I don't want to go into the details of his so called crime.  If you care to read into it you can get the information herehere and here.  I think it's important to understand who Aaron was, and what he did for the public.  Not only that, but without him, us bloggers may not be able to have that lovely RSS and blog role that we so take for granted.

  In this day and age, we do take things for granted so easily.  Our smart phones, the internet, hydro, hot water...the list goes on.  Even now, my internet has come back on miraculously after being off for a few days.  I was so lost without it.  Could you imagine being the person who brought the world internet and then was going to be punished for that great act?  Aaron took scientific information that he believed the public had a right to know about, and shared it with the world for free.  35 years in jail, was this really an appropriate punishment?  He gained nothing from his actions, he hurt no one.  He was a hero to the public.

  Take time each day to be thankful for the things we take for granted.  You never know what someone may have gone through, to bring it to you.  Forever in our hearts Aaron.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Few Pics From My Past Eventers

  I found some old pictures in my parents barn and took some iphone scans (pictures) of them to save on my computer.  I thought I would share them with you guys here.

  The first few are my first event horse Westie, at our first event which we won somehow!  This horse was an absolute superstar and if I had known more then or could have him now, he would be a definite Rolex horse.  He had never evented but had so much jumping training that I just had to point him at them and he figured them out.  He took me to Prelim and jumped those courses like they were entry. He was a hot hot hot head and often we could only walk on a loose rein to warm up for stadium and cross country.  He was an OTTB and raced until he was 9.  He was just a little guy at 15.2, but he had the presence of Charisma and taught me everything I know about eventing, and love for Thoroughbreds.  He is so similar to Archie that we often call Archie Westie by mistake after all these years.  I had him until he passed at the age of 23.  We did one last event at Training level when he was 21 where he jumped the only double clear.  I have more pics to get on my computer and I will share his whole story at that time.

Our first event, flying.  I believe around 1997?

He always was at least 2' above the fences.

Here we are flying in the warm up ring.

This is my old horse Bobby.  I sold him several years back.  He is a registered Appaloosa.  He evented Training level.

A pony I had Lotto.  She was a pretty little hunter that sadly developed severe founder.  My vet now owns her and obviously she could never have a better home!

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