Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Happy Birthday Archie!

 Yesterday was Archie's 13th birthday. He is officially a teenager. Seems like only yesterday when I brought him home, hard to believe we have been together nearly 6 years! Love my Chi, would be lost without him.

Here is Archie shortly after I first got him, before I went to work in the big city for a few years and left him to just be a horse for a few years.

Friday, February 22, 2013

An Update on Little Liam

  Since Liam is at my moms farm for the next while, I don't see him all day every day like I do my other guys.  I try and get over to their place once a week, and before William so kindly picked up an abscess, I was over there Friday, Saturday and Sunday with William.  It seems like every week I walk into the barn, the little Liam is growing again.

 He isn't doing much, coming in at night, getting a curry, going out all day and just being a baby.  It's hard to believe he is almost two now.  In just a few weeks I will have had him for a year.  Time is flying really is.  I'm not sure why the winter seems to be dragging on so long but that is another complaint altogether.

 Once the weather clears up a bit, I am going to start some ground work with Liam, and introduce him to the lunge.  He is already incredibly well handled and worked on the ground from his prior owner.  I mean, he showed when he was a weanling for eff sakes.  Bathed, clipped, trailered...the whole shebang.  I actually was put in touch with his Sires original owner and she sent me a photo of him showing as a weanling.  How freaking cute is this guy!!!

 Depending on how the lunge work goes, I am going to start him under saddle lightly shortly afterwards.  I would really love to show him in the ApHCC shows this summer in the 2 year old classes.  We have a lot of work to do before then but it's not an impossible goal.  He is such a smart easy going guy, I don't anticipate too much trouble.  That being said, you never know with Appies. They are SO damn smart.

 I have never shown on the Appy circuit, or any breed circuit for that matter, so it will be a new learning experience for me.  So far, the people I have met have been very helpful and encouraging, which is giving me some good vibes about the Appy world in my region.

as a weanling
  So, Liam is just chillaxin', growing steadily every day. Just look at his picture from weanling to where he is now.  He is almost two, and just about over 16 hands.

at 1 1/2

 Should be an interesting and educational summer with him.  Now for the warm weather to appear....

Monday, February 18, 2013

All Hail the Round Bale!

don't touch my roundbale Ozzy!

  Is it just me, or do all your horses go absolutely bananas for their round bale?

 Every other weekend, my man and I gas up my rents ol' diesel and make the 20 minute trip to go see our "round bale guy".  Never in my life have I used round bales.  There was never a need.  I kept my horses at my parents place, and we always had plenty of hay.  This year, is the first year I have had to run my own life full on with horses in tow.  Wouldn't you know it, it has to be the year where there is a massive drought and hay shortage.  Greaaaaat.

  Luckily, my parents cut their own hay and we were able to split that for small squares.  Sadly, there was not enough this year to keep us going completely.  I placed an ad on Kijiji looking for round bales that I could pick up freely.  I thought it would be a tall order.  Since I didn't have a tractor at that point, or anywhere to store them, I would need to just pick up a bale one at a time in the back of the truck.  I lucked out and connected with our hay guy, who had no hay issues for himself this summer.  He agreed to let me pick up a bale when I needed one and he would store the rest for me in the meantime.  Major score!

  For my four guys, they usually last about 2 weeks.  That was, until they completely demolished the round bale holder we made.  So, it is understandable why they build these things out of metal.  For me, I am not a fan of the metal ones.  One, because my horses are extremely playful and accident prone.  Two, because I just can't afford them!  Alas, we will have to build another holder, a much stronger, sturdier one.  In the meantime I have thrown their round bale out naked in the field for them to adore.

 On those days when a fresh round bale arrives, it's like Christmas for the boys.  They start by following the truck out to the field, blocking me so I can barely move.  We have to shoo them away so we can drop it off the back.  Once that happens they begin to run around and buck and play in excitement.  We roll it off the truck and be sure to cut all the strings off.

 Once the bale is all set we leave the paddock and then the craziness ensues.  William is always the first one to it, and proceeds to climb onto it, and rub his face and neck on it, then continues to slide off of it onto his back and roll around like a crazy man.  He does this several times....until Archie chases him away and flies into the sky doing airs above the ground.  They all start rearing, jumping, bucking, and rolling.  Carrying on for a good ten minutes.  We stand at the gate and just laugh in hysterics.  

Archie says "not on the hay guys!"

Parker is doing a canter pirouette and Archie is being a racehorse?

 From then on it's all about the round bale.  They spend every minute of the day there, in it's presence.  Not necessarily eating it.  Just protecting it, sleeping in it, rubbing their faces on it, and enjoying it.

  Horses.  Their love for the round bale gets me every time.  I do believe, they truly love it.

 Happy happy horses :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Happy Birthday Parker!

photo by Linda Shantz

  Yesterday was Parkers 5th birthday.

Parker shares his birthday with such celebrities as;

 Ice T
 Lupe Fiasco
 Sonny Bono
 Hugh Beaumont from Leave it Beaver
 The Olsen Twins sister Elizabeth Olsen
 and Kim Jongil   .........LOL

Parker is an Aquarius.  According to Astrology law, his traits are;

  Friendly and humanitarian
Honest and loyal
Original and inventive
Independent and intellectual

On the dark side....

Intractable and contrary
Perverse and unpredictable
Unemotional and detached

  I have read that Aquarius's are an exciting blend of mischief and deep thoughts.  I am sure that is spot on - on the first point, but a little doubtful on the second.  They are said to have a "live and let live" attitude, and that sure sums up Parker.  Aquaris men are said to make friends easily, having every second person they meet become a friend.  It is true for Parker, always friendly, always looking for companionship.  Do horoscopes hold true for horses?  I don' know, but it is fun to look into and compare.

Some noteworthy events on February 15th;

 1931 - The first Dracula movie is released.
 1950 - Cinderella is released.
 1955 - First plant to produce man made diamonds announced.
 1964 Beatles' "Meet the Beatles!," album goes #1 & stays #1 for 11 weeks
 1965 - Canada replaces Union Jack flag with Maple Leaf ( Canadian Flag )
 1965 - John Lennon passes his driving test (who shares my birthday!)
 2005 - YouTube, the popular Internet site on which videos may be shared and viewed by others, is launched in the United States.
 2013 - Meteor explodes in Russia.

What Birthday Personality Tumblr says about those born on February 15th;

 You’re drawn to people born on... September 24 to October 23  (I'm born on October 9th) :)

Luck maker
Avoid self-destructive; behavior  (hilarious)
To create luck you must avoid self-destructive behavior devote your energy to whatever fills your life with meaning and purpose. (Yes, please avoid these behaviours Parker!)
Those born on February 15 are full of vitality, adventure and fun. They like to walk on the wild side of life, and have great enthusiasm and ingenuity, especially when it comes to exploring novel things. When faced with a challenge, it is impossible for them to sit on the sidelines; they have to jump in and offer a solution—their solution.
The charming, energetic people born on this day have the ability to master skills quickly, using their enterprise and ingenuity to raise a skill, craft or project to undreamed-of heights. They like to live life in the fast lane and have no intention of slowing or calming down. Although this approach means they are often a powerful force to be reckoned with, it can also mean that they sometimes find it hard to know when to stop. (Rolex here we come!!)

photo by Linda Shantz

  I am looking forward to spending the next 20 years with Parker.  Getting to know him better, learning how to ride him, and taking him to his first and hopefully many events.  I love his personality so much I can hardly stand it.  He is like a little boy in a grown horses body.  Curious, loving, trouble maker, gets tired and moody easily or after too much sugar! :)

  Happy Birthday my Parky's to a good 5th year!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Doggy Photo Shoot Addition

 My wonderful boarder Susan has rekindled her Photography business, and very kindly agreed to take some photos of the dogs for me, including some of the dog I am dog sitting - Scally, as a surprise for her owner (my co-worker).

 What can I say, they turned out beautifully.  Here are just a few from our doggie photoshoot!

 Please visit Susans' website Susan Dall Photography to see more of her great work.  You can "Like" her on Facebook too.

***All photos are Copyright protected - please do not use without permission***

Monday, February 11, 2013

Protect Your Ass(ets) - Professional Equine Liability Insurance

    Picture this.  You have decided to take up an offer and train a horse for an acquaintance to make some extra cash.  You do a schooling ride on someone else's horse here and there for gas money.  You give a lesson once a week to help out your coach.  Seems like common practice in the horse world right?  A good way to spend time doing what you love, and make some extra cash along the way.  It's all good...

 Until it's not.

  When that horse you are training bucks off its owner and puts them in a wheelchair.

 That horse you are riding for a friend happens to trip and end up out of commission for the rest of it's days.

 That kid you are teaching falls off and gets dragged down the driveway, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical and dental care.

Then, that extra twenty bucks you were making here and there isn't looking so hot.

 I know it sounds extreme.  You think, "that would NEVER happen to me".  But let me tell you, it DOES happen.  It happens every day, all over the equine world.

 Here are a few cases for example, although not all professional;

 Hilz vs Riedel - A young girl is severly injured from a fall at a friends house.

Young vs McKim - A worker responsible for caring for a horse was kicked in the head while working.

Back Injury After Fall from Horse - A woman is injured during a riding lesson

  If you are a member of an organization like the OEF (Ontario Equestrian Federation) here in Ontario, you have automatic coverage for liability involving your horse, so long as it is not a commercial entity.   If you are not a member of an organization, your homeowners policy may extend to cover a horse in the event of a non commercial claim. The moment you accept payment for a service you are considered a commercial entity and need a Professional Equine Liability policy to cover you.

 A Professional Equine Liability policy will protect you when you are working with horses, for others.  It is imperative you carry this type of policy if you are training; teaching lessons, catch riding, boarding, and even grooming.  The upfront cost outweighs the potential long term devastating life crippling costs you may incur, should you be found negligent in the event of a claim.  If you are living in the USA, you better be sure to have coverage.  The most lawsuits are recorded in America.

  If you are practicing any of these activities on your own property - you better be sure your farm or home policy covers you for that also.  Most property Insurance Companies need to know if there are commercial activities happening on the property they insure - including training horses, teaching lessons, etc.  If they are not aware of this and you have an unrelated claim, your claim could still be denied.

 The same thing applies to auto insurance.  Do not ever take money for trailering (unless it's gas splitting), without a commercial auto policy.

  In Ontario - the average Professional Equine Liability policy costs about $800.

  But don't take my word for it.  Do the research. Get educated.  Call a broker, get a quote. Get covered.  

 Insurance is something no one wants to think about or pay for, but I can not emphasize enough how important it is to cover your ass(ets), whether your home, your horse, your future.

A few links to some good Equine Law Blogs which cover equine liability, not just professional:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Holiday's Are Over for Archie

 Since Archie has had his post eventing season holiday, he has been spending time getting fat and resting up.  Doctors orders.  He is looking nice and fat now and we are ready to start getting back into shape for the 2013 season.  What better day then today - with almost 2 feet of soft fluffy snow covering the ground.  

 Archie was very excited when I took him out, but well behaved as always.  I took him for a little gallop to get the zoomies out.  We mostly just worked at the walk, on relaxation and carrying himself into the contact.  He was most excellent.

 There is this feeling you get when you have been riding green and difficult horses, and you get back on your trusty ol steed.  Like the butt groove you acquire in your favorite Lay-Z-Boy.  Home.  It feels like home. Bliss.

  Earlier in the day, when the horses first went out they were having an absolute ball in the snow.  Rolling and rolling, bucking and rearing.  They were being typical geldings, loving their day.

William disappearing in the snow...

doing what he does best.
typical geldings.

Parkers DERP face.
William moonlights at the Spanish riding school.

I think he just loves to buck!

Merlin - Yetti?

Archie in all his glory

 Trying to make the most of this crazy winter...!

Friday, February 8, 2013

{This Moment} See Beautiful - Snow Dogs

  There is nothing more beautiful then an e-mail from your boss telling you to go home early.  A massive snow storm has hit us.  I think it has hit half of North America really.  I left work at 2pm and got home at 3:30.  What is normally a half hour commute took me 3 times as long.  I'm not complaining.  We had a beautifully Canadian Winter day today.  There was basically NO snow on the ground last night.   Now we have this.  It is still coming down.

 When I got home, my wonderful man was ploughing the driveway with our new Tractor!!!  You know you are officially a country girl when THIS thing excites you! (Check out that Canadian garb too).

  We are also dog-sitting my co workers dog - Scally.  She is a Golden Retriever/Rottweiler cross, though she just looks like a giant Black Lab!  She is massive!

 The dogs were having a blast in that snow.  A very beautiful moment.

secret - agent dog 

flying Benny hidden Broo broo

 Every second Friday, we participate in the {This Moment} See Beautiful Blog Hop hosted by the loveable Sugar The Golden Retriever.  Sugar is spreading beauty throughout the blogosphere, making take a step back and look for the beauty around us.  I hope you can join us!

 Have a beautiful weekend!

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