Archive for September, 2009

Sometimes You Need a Kick in the Head

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

That’s just what happened to me last Thursday. I was SOOOO lucky. It was my birthday 2 days later and it was a celebration that I was there at all. I had been clipper training my two year old and it was all going a dream. Face, front legs – a thoughtful horseman would have called that a day, but I had to go onto the back legs. She was awesome, so I put the hoof down and carried on. Then out of nowhere; wham!! The only reason I am here to write this is because I was near the swing of the blow and the force of the blow was just above my temple.

Some people may have called her a bad horse, or a dirty horse. Maybe, but she is a good one, a good one with the will to win and determination to do her best. What I failed to do was recognize her learning style. She takes on stress without showing signs until she has had enough. When she has had enough she is direct and clear in her communication.

I’ve thought a lot about that in the days since, as I seem to get hurt a lot around my horses. It mostly happens when I’m in a hurry and not taking the time to be aware of what is around me.

When I got kicked, I phoned Glen. He was home within 15  minutes. It made me realize how much he means to me and why we have been married for 33 years. I also got to reflecting on the patterns of my life and how no matter how much I’ve learned about letting go and only attending to matters I can control, I need to be more aware of the needs of others, as they are not always apparent. I need to constantly re-examine my motives and not try to impose my agenda. This is a powerful lesson for me, as I look back on my previous experiences. It was like finding a puzzle piece you had been searching for, for a long time.

I know this blog is more like a reflective journal, but it just reinforces how much we can learn about ourselves from being around horses. One of my short term goals is to get myself off to Cartier Learning Center and take their Equine Assisted Learning course, as it is a direction I’ve been moving ever since I brought animals into my classroom 15 years ago.

Spruce Meadows was a bit different this year, I was missing the familiar faces of friends who had exhibited in EquiFair for many years. The traffic in the EquiFair was down substantially and we weren’t able to demonstrate the Anivac on the “Breeds” horses. We are in final preparation for the Fall Classis Warmblood Sale where we have two horses in the sale as well as sponsoring a portion of the sale and have a trade booth. After that it is onto the Mane Event in Chilliwack. Time and financial committments have slowed our schedule somewhat, but there is never a shortage of things to do.

I have just submitted an application to FarmFair to have our Caspian Horses featured in the Breeds Showcase, so keep your fingers crossed

Breathing Space

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Aaah, a little bit of breathing space after Josh’s clinic, and again after the Alberta Barrel Racing Finals, before we head to Spruce Meadows Equi-Fair.  I finally got some badly needed things done around here and had a chance to work with my young horses. 

Then it was off to the CDI** at Amberlea Meadows where Anivac was a major sponsor.  Anivac Corp went half with Marsh Haven Farm to present an Eco WashnVac to the high point FEI rider.  The winner was Jodie Kennedy-Baker from Prince George riding Madore.  What was even better, was she had been wanting a machine for a long time.  Hats off to the organizers and volunteers who put on this event; it was a superbly organized show.  Watch for it next year when it will be a World Equestrian Games qualifier.

With one day turn around we went to Camrose, and the opposite end of the horse spectrum, to set up for the Alberta Barrel Racing Finals, a five day event.  The plus of doing those 9 days, two shows, was that I got to sleep in my own bed, with a 45 minute commute to both venues.  I have to say that after 40 plus years as an equestrian discipline “groupie”, I really love the barrels with all its technical points and speeds.  Dragging the ring every 10 riders takes a lot of time, but that’s the sport.  Although the stakes were high and the competition fierce, it was a very relaxed friendly atmosphere.  I think many equestrian riders would faint at seeing horses “stabled” happily tied to trailers.   What’s really cool is that barrel racers come in all shapes, sizes and ages and they all had to qualify to be at the finals.  Glen said he saw one woman about my age post a time of 23 seconds (the 1D’s were posting within the 15 second range) and that I should give the sport a go.  My response was that woman was at least 30 seconds faster than I could ever hope to be.  It took me forever to get the “D” rating system sorted out, but I think I get it now.  I still don’t know how everyone got into the final Sunday draw, even though it was explained to me several times.  I love watching the PeeWee’s (under 12).  Those girls can sure cowboy up.  Some gals were as young as 5 or 6.  It humbles one to see a 10 year old post a 15 second time.  They are going to be “some good” when they hit the Opens. 

Right now, on the farm, we are working on our outdoor riding arena and round pen and are hoping to get sand in sometime this fall.  We really need a place to take free jump videos.  The ring is coming great on the clay base.  Our friend Darcy Kublik, K-Bear Welding, has come up with a ring leveller, landscape tool that is beyond anything I’ve ever seen.  He will be taking orders for them and when I sell a few horses, I will be on that list.  He brought it over to try on the ring; amazing; it can turn clay into footing, as well as level out the natural waves of cat work.  So we’ll do the “poor man’s ring”, adding sand into the clay footing as we can afford it, and adding potash for the dust.  But when it’s done, I’ll put that footing against any top stables’ footing.  Tricia Wilsher has been riding in the ring, as rough as it is right now, and says the size rides great (30×50m).  So far we are light discing and chain harrowing to convince rocks to come to the surface for picking and weeds to go away. 

We’re cutting way back on our Anivac committments, so after the Mane Event in Chilliwack we will not be on the road until Horse Owner and Breeder’s Conference in January, although I will continue to attend local schooling shows and barrel races demonstrating the machine through charity horse washes.  I need to send that note to Sylvia Schneider, our web designer.  We need the money for hay, as many can empathize this drought is hard and even harder on those of limited income with too many horses.  I’m making some serious decisions right now and if you see anything you like on the sales page, make me an offer.  Cover Girl and Dharma are going to the Fall Classic Warmblood Sale at Thanksgiving.  I have more horses for sale than are listed on the sales page and I fear that many of them may end up at public auction.