Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tough Hound All Sport Collar - Product Review


  I was contacted by the nice people at the Dog Bark Collar Store to do a product review of the Tough Hound Dog Collar.  I checked out their website which is clear and easy to navigate and jumped at the chance to try out this collar.

 I saw the collar had the dogs name and contact information engraved into the stainless steel area and thought it would be ideal for Ozzy who didn't yet have a name tag and I usually allow to run free on the farm.

  A few weeks after I picked my colour and engraving details the collar arrived and I put it on Ozzy right away with excitement.  The nice blue colour looked dashing on him.  I instantly felt some relief knowing if he does ever wander off, his name, my phone number, and address are right there etched into the collar easy to see.





I look goooood

  After several weeks of wearing it, I realized this collar was going to survive for quite some time.  This is a major plus for Ozzy.  He is the toughest little dog I have ever met, and he is low to ground so his collars get dirty and destroyed very easily.  Since this collar is made with polycoated nylon webbing, it has yet to tear, fray, or stay dirty for very long.  It's the perfect collar for a farm dog like Ozzy.

 The size was right on, it was easy to fasten and easy to undo.  There is a large  loop to hook a leash on easily.  Ozzy has already received several compliments on this collar.

 My only offer of improvement would be to either make a keeper for the extra length, or shorten the extra length.  I am just going to cut mine off so it looks neater and is less weight.  The collar is heavier than your average collar, but for a little ox like Ozzy I think that is OK.

 Overall I give the Tough Hound Collar two paws up!  I think will be getting two more for Broo and Bentley in the future so they can look as dashing as Ozzy.  :)


{ This post is day 20, letter T of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }


Monday, April 22, 2013

Stryder


 I have great news today; Stryder has been adopted!  He is going to an excellent home in Delaware sometime in the beginning of May.    I am so so happy for this little guy to have a loving forever home, but I will miss him terribly.  This is the hard part of being a foster.  You want to give an animal a safe and loving place to be until their home is found, but you grow attached to them like they are part of your family.  It is bittersweet when they are adopted.

 I only have another week or so with Stryder, and since I am leaving for Rolex in a few days, that leaves even less time.  

Let's wish Stryder the best of luck in his new home and his new life!  Also, a big thank you to the family who has given this special boy a chance.


{ This post is day 19, letter S of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }


Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event


  After years of trying to scrimp, save, and make the time available, I am finally heading back to Kentucky for the Rolex Kentucky Three Day event, the only 4**** event in North America.  I was about 12 the first time I went to Kentucky to watch the Rolex.  It was one of those trips that got me hooked on eventing.  Looking at the sheer size of these fences, and the ease of the horses to soar over them.  Makes you feel like a heel for being nervous about your 3' fences.

 For those that don't know, the Kentucky Rolex is the highest level three day event in North America.  This event dates back to the 70's.  The best of the best come out to play, the winner walks away with a brand new Rolex.  Three Day Eventing is the sport I compete in.  It consists of three days of competition.  Day one is Dressage, day two is Cross Country, day three is Show jumping.  The lowest overall score takes the win.


 Thursday night Alayne and I are embarking on a trip, escorting 40+ Pony Clubbers on a bus onwards to Kentucky.  It should be quite the experience in itself.  Lord give us the strength to tolerate teenage girls with overwhelming excitement to attend Rolex.  I will now finally have a taste of what it was like for my chaperones when I was in Pony Club.

 Only three more days, then we are Rolex bound!


{ This post is day 18, letter R of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quartz




  Quartz is my best buddies horse.  She is a Tbd/Percheron mare that my friend Dana purchased about 3 years ago.  Quartz is a pretty Dapple grey.  She looks like a typical nice Percheron cross, but under that guise is a jumping machine with a jump launch like a rocket.  Throughout the past three years I have watched them blossom from a new team, to a confused pair, to an uncertain pair, to an amazing pair.  Overcoming disappointment, fear, and heartbreak.

 This post is dedicated to my bestest friend Dana and all the hard work she has done with her girl Quartz.  She has worked so hard, taken all of the good advice she has been given from different people to heart, ignored the bad, and overcome obstacles that would have stunted others. 

  I can't wait to see what the future holds for you two.  I am so proud of you Dane!


**All photos mine unless listed on photo - credits as signatures **













 Here we are doing hunter pairs; somehow came 4th: 




{ This post is day 17, letter Q of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Procrastination - Just Another Thing I Hate About Being a Libra


  They never list it in the Libra "traits", but I swear it is one.  I am friends with several other Libras and they all complain about the same thing I do - procrastination. Procrastination; putting something off until the last minute, sometimes completing other totally unrelated unnecessary tasks before completing the assigned or desired task.

  I would really love to know where the drive to procrastinate comes from.  I was supposed to finish this post on Thursday, it is now Saturday.  I was busy, but still, I'm sure if I had pressed on I could have completed it.  There are so many things I have to do on a time line that I find myself leaving until the very last minute to complete.  Why must I add such unnecessary stress to my life?  It does not benefit me one bit to do this.  It adds anxiety and stress, but yet, I find myself procrastinating time and time again.

 When I was in high school and University I always found I waited until the very last minute to complete assignments and study.  I would stay up all night working and panicking the night before.  The only consolation being that I usually did extremely well in these scenarios.  It was almost like I was being rewarded for my procrastination.  The interesting thing is I do not procrastinate at work - AT ALL.  I do everything I need to do right away so it's done and I can move on.  Maybe because there is no concrete pressure or time line like there was at school  and in life I don't feel the need to procrastinate?

 Perhaps procrastination works for me because it makes me delve into myself farther than I would if I had plenty of time to do something.  Maybe my brain gets off on the stress and paranoia that accompanies procrastination.  Maybe it is a Libra trait and there is just no escaping it.  I would say I am just plain lazy but I know that is just not true.  I hate that I am a procrastinator.  I wish for the life of me could figure out why I do it, but I fear it will always remain a mystery.

 Do you procrastinate too? Why do we do it!



{ This post is day 16, letter P of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ozzy - Wordless Wednesday


  Ozzy - I LOVE this dog!!  Look at those eyes....










{ This post is day 15, letter O of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

News


 I am very glad I do not have TV today.  Twitter is hard enough.  I would be glued to CNN, crying.  The news is showing the lives destroyed by one selfish act that can not be undone.  The news is talking to those who were there, who saw things they never want to see.  I hate the news today.

 May we all take a moment and not wonder why, but how we can change things.  There are some very sick people in this world, people who do not know the good in life we do.  I wish we could help these people, before they became the people of the news.

 Rest in Peace those lost yesterday.  May those who survived and are different today than they were yesterday, be strong in their journey to live past April 15th 2013.  I am so sorry this has happened to you.


Mum


   I want to use this post to talk about my mom and how thankful I am to have her in my life.  Without her I would never have found horses, a job in insurance (not sure if Im thankful for that), or a love of dogs.  She does so much for me every day that I just can't thank her enough.  

  She lets me bring my horses over to her place all winter on the weekends just so I can use her arena and get some riding in.  She makes amazing soup and chilli for me so that we can sell it at our canteens at our shows.  She lets me keep her truck and trailer at my place so I can easily get hay, feed, and trailer my guys around.  She has us over for dinner all the time and tolerates our sarcasm over her love of Heartland.  

 My mom gives me advice at work, and is always there when I need her most.  She gives the best advice, and is a shoulder to lean on.  She is so incredibly smart and sensible.  She takes care of Liam for me better than anyone else could.  She lets me take her prized Dressage horse to hunter shows to kick butt.


 I don't know what I would do without her.  The most amazing thing about my mom has to be her dedication to her horse and her passion for Dressage.  She is the most dedicated amateur I have ever seen, always tries %110.  She has come so far in her riding, it is hard to believe she used to be a nervous rider.  Now she is hacking on her own, and dominating the Dressage ring.

  Last summer, my mom was champion in First Level for Western Ontario.  Perhaps the most competitive region in Ontario.  Riders were on their $40,000 fancy horses who have been there done that.  My mom kicked their butts.  Big time.  I have never been more proud.  This was a huge celebration for us.  I love that I can share this passion with my mom.



 I am so lucky to have Lady Z as my mum.


{ This post is day 13, letter M of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }




 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Learn

  


Everyday we face situations which we handle with ease, and others that create a long struggle to find a solution.  In our process to find a solution we can reach out to others, do research, trial and error until we get it right.  Learning is a necessary element to our survival in a way.  If we don't learn how to navigate through life we can literally end up sleeping in the gutter.

 Taking these situations and looking at them from the outside, understanding why the things happened the way they did, can help you to learn more about them.  I like to take this approach to my riding these days.  Listening, watching, and processing the things around me.  You can learn so much from just spending a day watching and really thinking about what is happening in the show ring.  What riders do and the reaction the horse gets.  Why some horses have a nicer overall picture than others and how it relates to the way the horse goes or is ridden.  Listening to others on the sidelines, watching how riders place.  You can learn so much from this.




 Taking the Equine Nutrition course from the University of Edinburgh through Coursera has made me much more aware of the functioning of my horses body.  I went to a seminar a few weeks ago put on by the local feed store and vet and I understood thoroughly what they were talking about because I had just finished the course.  I learned I was leaving something basic but very important - loose salt - out of my horses diet.  I am confident in my feeding program and horse care more so now.  I don't feel as though I have to worry if my horses are getting everything they need.  There is always so much to learn in the horseworld, and we have to be careful we don't reach the point where we think we know it all.

  No one knows it all, even the best horsemen, the smartest people learn from someone.  My point is that we have to be proactive in our education in life, and learning from our experiences - good and bad. Go to those seminars, clinics, watch education videos.  There is a huge resource of information on You Tube for everyone on almost every topic.  If you have a great experience, think about how you got there and learn from that path.  If you are struggling, take the time to think about why you might be struggling, and what you can do to get yourself back on the right path.

 We must learn to survive, to succeed.


{ This post is day 12, letter L of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }




Friday, April 12, 2013

Kids - The Question



  I am hemming and hawing over whether to write this post.  I feel like it will either really hit home with some readers or it will make some readers very annoyed.  Probably a little of column A and a little of column B.  Please don't be offended if you are all about kids.

 The question, oh the question I hear on a weekly basis from friends, co workers, acquaintances and family.  When are you going to have kids, is not the question.  Most who know me know I don't ever want to have kids.  WHY.  Why you ask?  Why? They all ask.  Why don't you want to have kids?  You will change your mind when it is the time is right.  But it's so rewarding.  It will be the greatest thing you ever do with your life.  Don't you want a little version of yourself running around? Who will look after you when you are old?  You are so selfish.  You will change your mind when you are older...

 Sigh.  Let me answer the question once and for all.  Because I don't want them.  There, happy?  No, of course they aren't.  Not wanting kids is never a good enough answer.  An explanation as to why is not a good answer.  There is always a reason to have kids, even if the parents are completely ill equipped to be parents.  The worst person in the world could be pregnant and the people say "oh how wonderful!". So what you have no money, no job, no knowledge of child care.  You laid back and had a seed planted.  Congratulations.   That was such a hard job.  Now everyone can celebrate another person making the right choice in the world - having kids.


 Of course I am thrilled for those who want kids, and do raise a family.  It's not like I don't like kids, though I won't pretend I don't shake my head and cringe when I see awful people reproducing.  I am not an anti child beast.  They just aren't for me.  What upsets me more is the general public oohing and ahhing over people with kids who are just horrible parents, horrible people.  Really, we are celebrating this?  I don't get it.  I don't say anything though, I keep these thoughts to myself.  Why can't others grant me the same decency.  Yes I am a young married woman, does that mean I have to have kids for my life to be complete and acceptable in your eyes?

 You would be such a good parent!  Your kids would be so gorgeous.  You could have a little horseback rider just like you.  Your animals are so well taken care of, you would be the best mom.  UGH.  Enough already people.  I do NOT want kids.  Why can you not just accept that?  Why do I have to be harassed and ostracized because I don't want kids.  I love horses and think they are amazing but you don't see me going around trying to convince everyone to get a horse.
  

 Are people jealous of my free life?  Do they want me to suffer the long suffering years of being a slave to a child like they are?  Mad because I get to spend all my money on my horses? I'm saying this tongue in cheek but I can't help but wonder just WHY it is so important to everyone else that I become a parent.

 Do you ask people why they don't want kids?  Try to convince them otherwise?  What is your reasoning?  Enlighten me!

 Sincerely, the childless old maid, who does what she wants when she wants :)



{ This post is day 11, letter K of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  
Posts are theme based on the corresponding alphabet letter, starting with A on April 1st.  
Sundays are skipped. 
 The last blog post should finish the challenge on the 30th of April 2013. 
 If you would like to learn more about the A to Z Challenge, please visit this site.  }


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