Monday, March 24, 2014

Another Hunter Schooling Show Hosting in the Books - Parkers First Show!

Parker making friends

  Alayne and I hosted our second indoor schooling show of the year at her farm this Sunday.  I have blogged about these plenty before so I will spare you all the details - typical hunter schooling show - lots of cute ponies and kids, and some nice horses.  Good turn out, a fun day.  Too cold for my liking, but we were lucky to still have a decent attendance despite the horrible winter we have had.  We can't really complain there.

  This show was a little more special because Parker got to come, and it was his first show!  He has been off property once or twice before, and was a very good boy for his first outing!  He went over Saturday night and had a ride around the arena.  He was fresh but still very good for Jess.  In the morning when I went over before the show started he was happily resting in his stall.  He had his breaky before Jess arrived, and then after some time he went out for an early morning warm up.  He went right over all the fences like a brave boy and was fairly respectable, not getting too excited.

Parker and Archie catching up

My two big bays!
 Parker was entered in the cross rail class.  Two over fences classes and one flat class.  Dana was also showing with Archie, and Archie and Parker had a nice visit together in between classes.  Both these boys went great.  Parker ended up with a 3rd and a 2nd over fences, and a 4th on the flat (after he spooked and bolted down the long wall hehe).  I am so thrilled with how well Parker went.  He is really one cool horse.  He is still fairly green but everything comes to him easily.  He is a real trier and I am very excited about his future.  Jessica did a great job riding him and for that I am very grateful!

Looking legit grown up!

The boys and ladies with their loot!
 On Saturday we went to the local tack sale and I saw something I just had to get for Jess - a Pink Optimum Time watch for $40!  I want a blue one, and her colours are pink and black.  Too good of a deal to pass up.  Alayne got a white one for the same price.  Major scores for the day.  Not much else at the sale unfortunately.  Turned out to be a good thank you gift for showing Parker for me.

  Now if we can just get the heat to turn up...I might be able to start riding a bit more at home!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Taking A Leap

  I'm trying something new.  I'm done with the amateurs getting the shitty end of the stick.  We pay all the big entries while the pros have their clients pay for them.  Prices go up, we are left in the dust.  I'm going to do something about it to help out the ammy riders in Ontario.  Since the events claim they can't lower costs or offer good prizes, I am going to start a Non Profit Organization dedicated to helping fund entry fees of amateur event riders in Ontario.  I have a lot of ideas on how to raise money.  It will be a lot of work, a big project, but it's worth a shot.  I have no idea what I am doing.  But I can learn.

 We already have a Board of Directors.  I started a Website.  For those with web talent I would really appreciate your input and ideas.  If anyone wants to donate time/talent to help create a better logo I am open to this.  Also images for the website would be appreciated ;)  

Ontario Amateur Event Riders Fund

 If you have ideas on how to help fundraise, comments on who should "qualify" for funding, or any other ideas, I would LOVE your input.  I know you are all ammys like me, and your voices are the most important.

 Hopefully this works out, and we can save some fellow riders some money this summer!  The sky is the limit. Wish me luck :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - OHTA Events Entry Fee Chart

 There is a little venting session happening about the entry fees for Ontario events this year.  I *may* have started this vent.  Some awesome forum poster made this spread sheet to compare prices across the Province and levels.  Personally I think anything over $150 for PE and Entry is robbery.  What do you think?  

Levels go PE-Intermediate

Monday, March 17, 2014

Another Early Morning at the Track

  Saturday morning I headed back to Woodbine racetrack in Toronto with Alayne and her husband Nando.  Marianna and Aiya Aiya were going back for another workout.  Nandos' 2 year old Funky Eyed Cat was also coming for his first trip around the track.  Funky Eyed Cat was bought in the fall at auction for a really good deal - because he only has one eye.  He is the sweetest little guy, and has a lovely chunky build with good bone.

  The girls ran well and FEC was a perfect little man for his first outing.  Having just learned how to canter, he went out on the track and trotted and cantered around like a gentleman, only giving things a look here and there.  He is so easy going!  He will make a nice horse whether he makes it as a race horse or not.

  We had a little bit of drama on the way up, a flat tire on the trailer.  Luckily a nice man waved us down and we were able to pull off before we were getting back on the highway after a pit stop.  Good thing too, we were right beside Canadian Tire!  Way better than being stranded on a major highway. No other hiccups for the day.  Once again everyone was really friendly and saying hello.  I really do love the track.  The horses, the much fun.

 It was overcast and windy...but my pictures really caught some interesting light.



Friday, March 14, 2014

Photo Dump Friday - Why We Should All Watermark

  I have to share two Apps I discovered through one of my favorite bloggers, Sugar the Golden Retriever

 The first is a photo editing app called Snapseed.  It's free and has a bunch of cool editing options.  It's easy to use and so far I have enjoyed playing with it.

 The other app she shared is Phonto.  It's a free app that lets you add text or an image to your photos - great for a logo or watermark that we should all be using these days.

 Lately, I have read on quite a few blogs that photos have been taken from the blog, and either used as their own, or turned into really horrible internet memes and used for negativity and hurt.  One example comes from the blog A Fat Girl and a Fat Horse.  She was randomly Google searching her key terms and found her own photo, used over 100 times with different horrible and ugly memes on them.   I am linking her blog because I am amazed at her poise in her response.  I know if it were me, I would be incredibly hurt and upset.  Another blog I read, the woman also had a photo of her horse in training taken and blasted on a Facebook Group for "hilarious horse memes".  The photo was shared and commented on by hundreds of internet armchair athletes who know nothing behind the woman, the horse, or the single moment in time of the photo.  One last example I have is of another woman who blogs.  The blog Romping and Rolling in the Rockies features amazing photographs of the writers dogs and her hiking through the Rockies.  Someone on Facebook stole her photos and claimed the dogs were hers.  She created a back story about the dogs, and even referred to them as "her boyzzzz".

 Why people do these things, I can not say.  The Internet is a strange place.  I love the internet for it's obvious vast education sources and communities (like the blogosphere), but then there are the dark corners.  Where people lie, hurt others, and hide behind their screens.  I think it's safe to say that we are all in danger of this type of thing when we put ourselves out there online.  One way we can try to protect ourselves is to watermark our photos.

 I am going to try and develop my watermark in the next week or so.  It is relatively easy to watermark photos with a Mac, and now with the Phonto app, I can watermark the photos I put on Instagram or Facebook too.  Until then, my photos will have to be shared watermark free, and open for stealing.

What do you think?  Will you start, or do you already watermark your photos?  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Blog Hop: What's In Your Name?

  I am participating in another Blog Hop hosted by the lovely Viva Carlos.

 This time around, we are exploring; What is the story behind your blogname/url?

 I started this blog at the end of 2008.  I discovered blogging and was instantly hooked - on both the writing and the following of other blogs.  I originally wrote a lot on my dogs, my hate for back yard breeding and some about my ponies.  I also blogged a lot on being young, single, and working full time.  I wanted a name that would fit both my loves - dogs and horses - and still include myself.  I write a lot about my life and personal outlook on situations that occur.  By my side through these times I have always had my dogs and horses and to get my through.  Man's best friend right?  Plus, as a writer, I love a good play on words.

 The title refers to myself as the "Filly", and the ponies and K9s, are my best friends.  Together we concur the world, and share it with the blogosphere. 

Schaeffer, the star of my blog in the early years

WW - Happy Birthday Penny!

 A very happy 8th Birthday to Miss Pen Pen < 3

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Morning at the Track

  Saturday morning I joined my friend Alayne and her husband for an early morning trip to Woodbine race track.  Her husband has one Thoroughbred who will be racing this year and another in for training.  Those two were going up to do a workout and then we also had two others they had in for winter breaking.  I was up at 4am and over to their place to leave for 5am.  It's an early morning, but it is never too early for Thoroughbreds.

  I have only been to this track a few times, once to watch, and once to drop off a horse with Alayne when we were on our way to the Championships.  I am not familiar with life behind the scenes, although I was always interested.  I always find it exciting to be there.  This time was no exception, and going first thing in the morning means lots and lots of Thoroughbreds out.  So. many. horses. I. want.

The Thoroughbreds head out for their morning workout

  We tacked up Marianna who is their horse and set her out for her gallop.  She is a big tall bay, looks a bit like Archie.  Well mannered and fit looking.  Many comments were made about her "Florida coat" and nice bay shine.  She had a decent workout and came back to the barn without breaking a sweat.  We untacked her and I hand walked her to cool her out while Alayne tacked up the other mare, Aiya Aiya.   The barn for those who are not stabled at the track was quite nice, wide aisle ways around the walls with the stalls in the middle.  Clean with fresh shavings, and best of all - heated!

Nando wrapping Marianna

 Aiya Aiya went for her turn and ran extremely well.  It was her first workout and she had the second best time, without even letting her go.  A good sign for the future!  She also came back in good form.  She was handwalked for 20 minutes also and had a nice big drink.  Once the mares were cool, Alayne wrapped them with rubbing alcohol and we left them to relax in their stall for a bit to munch on their haynets while we grabbed breakfast at the track cafeteria.

 After breakfast we loaded the girls up and headed back.  Just like that we were home again, slightly after lunch.  It's fun to do these things before show season starts and we won't have time to.  Everyone at the track was so friendly and happy, it was a really nice atmosphere and I am cheerful to be heading back again this Saturday.  Parkers brother is at the track and now that I know what he looks like, I will be going to find him and say hello if I can. Hopefully the weather stays a bit warmer as it has been and I can have a few more hours of Thoroughbred watching :)

Marianna smiles for her fans ;)

Miss Marianna

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Baby Got Back - Cracked!

Willy man bum

  On Saturday Penny and William received more pampering.  My chiropractor Brandon, who I have blogged about before, came out to give them an assessment for the year and an adjustment.  I figured Penny would enjoy it since she has been loving her acupressure.  She has a tiny muscle bulge by her poll she has had since before I got her and I was particularly interested in hearing if her neck or poll was out, along with her back.

  Penny went first and was very good for her first adjustment.  Her condition was overall decent and only needed a few adjustments.  Brandon complimented me on her coat and said that he thought she was a very quality horse - words I take to heart as he is an excellent rider, horseman, and most importantly, eventer!  He looked at her neck and poll and said his old horse had something similar.  He had actually asked about in school and advised that it is from improper training, poll carriage and bad muscle development.  He thought Penny had a great prognosis to work out of it as she is still fairly young and just starting out her training again.  Any muscling that was less than ideal done on her prior to my ownership can easily be erased with proper work in the future. Yay!

Penny: "me next?"

  Overall Penny was good, he did not think she would need anything other than maintenance in the 6-12 months.  Score.  William was much better behaved this time for his adjustment.  He didn't try and kick him the junk when he worked around his stifle and belly like last time haha.  Brandon was able to adjust his neck this year, whereas last year William wouldn't let him do anything to it.  He had quite a few good adjsutments done there and on his back.  After one on his back William let out a big buck in the isle.  It was pretty comical, I guess he set something straight in there!  The remainder of the process went off incident free.

  He also said William was pretty good, and to just keep working on his topline and long and low to start to help stretch out his neck.  I have noticed this week that William seems looser in the neck (just from the ground, still not riding because of cold).  I don't know if it is from the adjustment or if I am having the placebo effect happen on myself but either way he looks better and that makes me happy. Yay again!

Shiny man Will

 Both horses are good to go for the next few months.  Now all I need is the sun to come out, the temperature to ride, the arena to thaw, and I can finally get back on my ponies!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

7 Deadly Sins Blog Hop - Hosted by Viva Carlos

  In honour of Fat Tuesday, Viva Carlos is hosting a 7 Deadly Sins Blog Hop!  Since it's nothing but a snowy frigid mess outside, I thought I would join in.

Seven great things/strengths in your riding life

  1. Dedication
  2. Ambition
  3. Friendships
  4. Sharing the love with my mom
  5. Ability to learn
  6. Fearlessness
  7. Knowledge - years of Pony Club

Seven things you lack or covet for you or your horse

  1. Longer legs for better riding
  2. Master dressage skills
  3. More money - for showing and lessons
  4. A horsebox
  5. A Back on Track rug
  6. A new dressage saddle
  7. A full set of show jumps

Seven things that make you angry

  2. When fellow riders complain about their lack of success, but don't take lessons or work hard
  3. When I make a stupid mistake I should know better not to.
  4. Rails in stadium...ugh!
  5. People who can't load their horses - but also don't want help
  6. Missing out on shows because of brokeness
  7. Lame or sick ponies

Seven things you lack to do or cut corners on

  1. Clean tack every ride
  2. Keep manes tidy in the winter
  3. Wash my winter blankets
  4. Keep a training journal
  5. Follow a budget
  6. Calling the vet - for major emergencies only
  7. Get enough sleep

Seven most expensive things for you and your horse

  1. The farm
  2. Devoucoux Biarritz Monoflap X Country saddle
  3. Premiere Equine Cross Country boots
  4. GPA Speed Air helmet
  5. A collection of Ecogold pads
  6. Chiro/Acupressure sessions
  7. Dressage Lessons (yes, they are THAT expensive ;) )

Seven guilty pleasures or favorite items

  1. My farm
  2. Horse showing with friends
  3. Having 4 horses
  4. Beach Gallops
  5. Cross Country Schooling
  6. Matching Cross Country gear
  7. Ribbons

Seven things you love about horses and riding

  1. Friendships
  2. The bond with my horses
  3. The drive it gives me
  4. Horse smells
  5. The workout
  6. The purpose in life
  7. Competing

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