Friday, December 30, 2011

More Jewel

I think she looks better. Boy, we had half the manure pile taken away and it is STILL huge!!! And always in the photos, damn it!! She is SO out of shape, and that belly...........

But still maybe a little thin? I really think she looks good to me, but I hate having a vet tell me with such intensity that she is too thin. If it were my dogs I wouldn't even think about it. I would just tell the vet, no, they are just right they are performance dogs and need to be thin. With Jewel, though, since she is sick.......lyme.......I don't want people thinking she is too thin. I want her thin, her laminitis concerns make me want that, but I don't want her without much fat in the middle of winter.

I know, these are better photos with the sun out and no mud on her, but I wanted the mud photos before to show her coat smoothed out and better show her condition.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Maybe if I had adjusted my camera setting first?

Although, it was set for outdoors. And I have tried the "action" setting before and it didn't make any different. I LOVE this photo of BAM!, but it isn't clear. Damn it!

This one he is moving way too fast, but it's a cool shot. Looks like he is WAY up on a hill, but really he isn't. It's just a little knoll, but the sun was SO low in the sky that the field below is all shady. The late winter light is amazing! That snow fall is all gone today after a night of CRAZY rain. Tonight they are saying wind chill of 5 below and yet this morning it is nearly 50 degrees!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Silvia says

Am I obsessed with Silvia Trkman? Yep. I am not in denial, I admit it!!!!

In her latest DVD about Speed and Conditioning she mentions toys. And how you can really just make anything a toy. I get that. Spur's favorite toy that makes him INSANE is a horse's lunge whip. Roscoe, too. Snap that whip and watch the boys go NUTS!!! It's how I taught them REALLY fast weaves. Now, if I could only make that snapping sound at a trial as they are heading into the weaves, they would FLY!!!

Kitties like boxes, just plain old used boxes.............Chloe with the box I brought her for Christmas. She loved it!!!! I tossed a crumpled bit of paper into it and she dove in to get the paper!!!

Another kitty I know likes Q-tips. Or crumpled up post-it notes.

Zep, he likes old stalks of broccoli. On our farm walk yesterday he joined us and being the sheltie he is, he just barks and barks and barks. I needed Excedrin Migraine when we got home. So, I grabbed him a broccoli stalk. He loved it!!!! Until he dropped it and the barking started again. I think he would rather bark than drag the broccoli, but we kept handing it to him because it did give us moments of quiet. Hey kid, shut up and eat your broccoli!!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas day

We shoveled in fish stew!! YUM!!!

My sister is a GOOD cook. Lobster, haddock, shrimp and salmon.

Poured over garlic bread.........

After taking the dogs for a nice long walk, we met up with Nate and decided to also shoved shit! Well, OK, it was a BIG shovel! And Nate did the shoveling. Amazing how much shit there was, even after many BIG shovel fulls taken away!

For a lot of shit!

After dinner we like to play table games. My sister bought a new one at the book store called "Dirty Minds". She said it looked cute and silly. Oh, it was silly alright. Not so cute, though. Here's the first card, which the first person reads one clue to the person on their left. That person then tries to guess the word or words from the clue. You read on down the clues if they can't guess the right answer. This one seemed fine. Didn't get the answer, but OK, game on..........

Next was Jeff's turn to read the clues to Ruby, my neice, his 16 yo daughter. The box did say for ages 17 and up. Sister Sara thought it couldn't be THAT bad, right. Wrong. Jeff starts to read the clues and turns red and giggles a little then finally says he just can't ask Ruby these clues............

Oh My!!!! We stopped playing.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mud mask anyone?

What happens when it just turns winter and the days are as short as ever...........the horse's have a full winter coat. Some say they grow their coats by the length of the days and that does seem to be. So, for a while they will have a very thick coat, then once the days grow longer that will slowly shed. They start shedding their summer coats in August. It seems to be so.

Then we get a year like this one where the weather gets cold. Cold enough to freeze the top, um, maybe 6 inches of ground. Then it thaws, about 2 inches and rains and rains. That rain just sits on the ground that is frozen beneath. And that just means MUD.

I am thankful to have a slope and fairly nice drainage around my barn. Notice they are not sinking into muddy "moonscape"? Most barns around here do not have such slope and drainage and the horses are all getting "scratches". A term used to label a crusty bacterial ick that affects a horse below their ankles. It gets crusty and hard and sore. None of my horses have that.........yet.
Today it is 19 degrees. No mud today.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

On line classes

Have I mentioned I am obsessed with running dog walk training? Oh, I have, A? A few times? Oh, like a million times? SO!!!! >:/

Silvia signed me up to continue in her January class. As auditor, I assume, I don't need any more help with Spur - he's perfect. :D I told her I was auditing Daisy Peel's class. I felt like a traitor. I even ratted out some of my friends. Seriously, it's not even about that it's just being honest. Ask Amy she'll tell you........honestly. Or is that bluntly? Or without much thought? Or in a dumb way like just not thinking if it would be a good thing to say or not. Yep, Honest Amy, that's me.

OK, so what's the difference in methods? Daisy trained her best dog with Silvia's method. Made some mistakes. Adopted her own method, based on Silvia's method. Rightio. It's really hardly Silvia's method now is it? It's Daisy's method. And what's strange is the only dog trained by this method from start to finish is her young dog Juno. I asked. She was Honest Daisy and said she didn't even think she was qualified to teach it since she had only taught her two dogs with the method. Huh? Solar was taught with Silvia's method. OK, so later she started him over with her method, but that just doesn't count. Sorry, it don't count.

Her young dog Juno is starting to look good. But, she started out really pokey and slow. Good for her that she has her running better now. I think it's good she needed to work through that. But, here's the issue I see. She had success with Juno, a low motivation dog. So, she thinks her method will work with other dogs. Maybe. Maybe not. Time will tell.

I do think her method, paired with Silvia's will produce a SMOKIN' and SOLID running contact. But, will it work with lots of dogs? I am not sure.

Here is how it starts..........slow as mollasses!!! No speed at first. OK, I think her plan is to get speed, if possible, but if no speed so long as the dog is running in a running type form you can progress along and she assumes the speed will come. The dogs I see in class are just like loping along. No speed. A few are running well, but most are just loping along. They are all still progressing. We'll see how it goes. It's interesting because there are some dogs in class who already started with Silvia's method, which is ALL about running as fast as possible or forget it. Watching them now just lope along is strange.

I am not liking Daisy's coaching at all. She is rude, snide and very, very strict. I would not have wanted her as a chemistry teacher. She assumes things that are not correct. Her website is HORRIBLE, she designed it, and it makes me INSANE, but I have told her I will hang in there as I am very tenacious.........and obsessed. If I were a participant I would ask for my money back. I know many people have dropped out because they couldn't stand her site. It's INSANE. She is presumptious and self-righteous and really needs to fix her website. She also is proprietary. All those big words to describe one small woman. She is very concerned about people stealing her work. HUH? She basically stole Silvia's work.

I think there is something to her method, but her attitude, her website, her demeanor sucks. Silvia freely offers advice. She's helped like tons of people train running dog walks. She's successful and she site is pretty good. There you have it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Videos from the weekend

Prudence Rabbit - misprint on yps. It was 4 yps. He has once before done a 5.75 yps JUMPERS run, but no not standard, LOL!!

His jumpers for a 3rd place. Might have been 1st if he had not regurgitated a treat in the weave and "retreated" it!! LOL!! Didn't miss a beat, though, good little Monkey Pants!!!

I have to say one reason he landed so high in the placements is because two of our biggest competitors were at the AKC Invitational and two that were there NQ'd. Still, I am pretty proud of his runs and, hey - HE RAN CLEAN.
It is so far, his fastest standard time of yet. We are going for sub 40 times and this one was 42:18. I THINK it was his best yps on a standard course, but not totally sure about that.
Race, our teammate from Nationals who won everything there and is out Performance National Champion, NQ'd on this run because of a table fault. Poor little guy actually did a tumble as he slipped to get on and rolled right off. His time would have been about 38 seconds. I am happy if we are less than 10 seconds slower than Race, LOL!! That dog is AMAZINGLY fast and Laura is amazingly good!!! I learn a lot watching her.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Honey Come Quick!!!

It was a GREAT weekend for mix breed dogs!! For the first time, EVER, a mixed breed was FIRST place at an AKC National event!!! Dana Pike's, Tangle, a little jack russell papillon mix won the 8" jump class at the AKC National Invitational this weekend!!! WAY TO GO Dana and Tangle!!!!!

For the first time EVER Spur-de-Blur WON his Excellent B standard class in AKC this weekend!!! Out of about 20 dogs, many of them very fast shelties!!! Race, our National Champion in USDAA, had a fault at the table and probably would have had a time about 6 seconds faster, but he FAULTED. And Jones, the super fast schnauzer also had a fault, so with those two eliminated Spur ROCKED IT!!! One of his fastest standard times, ever. 5 YPS. And I know he has more in him.

I do have video, but I need to load it. He ended up with nearly 90 MACH points over the two days. The courses were made for us. Nice, flowy, open with just a couple tiny little subtle challenges that got a lot of people. We managed to hang on for a perfect weekend. :D

I THINK he was the only mix breed there. Not totally sure about that as I didn't stay for the Open and Novice.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rubber makes me sick?

It's winter, plain and simple. The days are short and dark, the air is chilly and the trees are naked and bare. Except for the one on Wells Rd. where they must have hired a Christmas lighting service to string. Like the WHOLE tree and it's a BIG tree. It looks AMAZING. Not sure if my little point and shoot camera can capture it, but I am going to try one of these nights.

I still have some of my agility stuff out and before we head out on our walk I try to do something like sends to jumps at a distance, the table or the teeter if there isn't a coating of ice on it. But, classes are now indoors.

Last night was my second class at a barn in Buxton. A horse barn with crushed rubber. Lots of it. It makes for really nice footing. A little slippery for us humans, but lovely for the dogs!!!
However..........I seem to have a reaction to that amount of rubber in a barn. This has happened before at certain barns - I get a TERRIBLE headache. I think I am going to have to drop out of this class. I am not heartbroken about that, it is a long, dark drive out there and it is COLD in this barn. I work outside all day in the cold, then to come in and get warm only to head out again into the cold doesn't appeal to me. So, the headaches are maybe a good reason to drop out.
I would probably hang in there if not for the headaches because it is so good for Spur to work in different environments, but the headaches are brutal. I also wonder what is the cause? The "fumes" from the crushed rubber? Is that good for us? Yeah, I do get mild headaches from indoor facilities with rubber flooring or rubber bits mixed into the field turf, but not to the extent of these indoor horse barns. I think because the indoor horse barns get so stirred up and the dust hangs in the air and is visible. I blow my nose and it's brown and icky after breathing indoor horse barn dust. That can't be good. For me or Spur.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My dogs are jerks!

Spur and I seems to be the only oness who got this joke........ Do they look like jerks? Innocent little dogs, A? Bwaaaaaaa!!!! Actually, they really aren't THAT bad any more, but I have to be sure when someone starts coming on our property with another dog that my dogs will be OK. Roscoe's drugless brain seems to be fine, he's adjusting and doing really well. Still grumpy to the others at home, but not that bad that I think he needs the meds again. Spur is MUCH better with other dogs, but he can still be a jerk especially on HIS turf. Colby is also better as her eyesight fails, she simply can't react like she used to and has better self-preservation. However............

They are still protective little dogs and might not be very nice to an intruder on their property. Like the lady with the husky who joined Mary this morning, our neighbor who walks through regularly with her ancient dog who my dogs have an agreement with. They do aggress at Pepper and she at them, but nothing terrible and we like Mary enough, so we don't mind, it's a deal. But, for Mary to start bringing her friends along without those friends speaking to I have to be sure I don't have to leash my dogs on MY OWN PROPERTY!!!!

Rich had already spoken to them about this, but apparently Mary didn't listen. I approached them this morning and discussed my asshole dogs to her and asked if her husky would be OK if they were not nice to her dog. She looked kind of blank and mumbled something about the dog is fine at the local park off leash - "she is better off leash". Um, OK, but coming through here the dog is on leash - is she not going to hurt my little dogs if they are jerks? She says my dog doesn't look that little, as she asks if Spur is a border collie. I am starting to feel my blood pressure rising and say......"Well, one of them is 9lbs., and not that is a mixed breed dog". She asks how many dogs I have. What difference does that make??? Again I ask if her dog will be OK if my dogs are not nice to her dog? She just looks away with that strange blank stare again and Mary tries to speak and I have to interrupt and tell Mary I am not talking to her, I want to know if this husky will be OK with my not very friendly little dogs? I don't mind people coming through here with dogs, but I don't want to have to leash MY dogs when they do, so I have to make sure their dog is going to be OK with my jerk dogs. I get a blank stare off into the distance. I tell her I am not getting the feeling she thinks it will be OK. That blank stare again. What's up with that??? I am not getting a good feeling, at all. She isn't sure. Her silence is loud and clear.
Finally, Mary says something about not coming through with her friend. OK. Deal done.
I'm not sure why Mary's friend couldn't speak for herself.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Too skinny?

TOO FAT!! Even with her summer coat you can BARELY see any ribs. It is shaded, but she has cellulite on her thighs!!! Fat pockets on her rump and shoulders and what a belly. TOO FAT!

I work really hard to keep my animals lean. Jewel was SO fat for a while there and with adding Jazz this fall I have been able to get her weight down to where I am happy. However, our recent vet visit had the vet saying she is TOO THIN????? WHAT? This is a horse who has chronic lyme and several bouts of laminitis. She SHOULD be thin.

Personally, I think she is just right, but the pressure of the vet saying such a thing has me wanting some weight on her. I hate that. Really, I hate to think my convictions are over-ridden by opinions by others. But, they are. I do feel that way and she'll be fattened up in no time. Damn it!!!

This photo is yesterday after she races around and heated up so her winter coat is flat. You can see ribs......YAY!! I LIKE that.

It depends on the angle and position, here she sure looks fat......

Here she looks perfect (even with her butt whole waving at us. :P).

Looks good to me. She doesn't carry weight on her neck like Precious (a Morgan) she carries it more in her belly and butt. See the top photo. Nice neck even when FAT.

She looks pretty good here next to fatty patty Jazz. Vet said he was just right. Personally, I sure wouldn't want him any fatter.
I don't get it. I think the thing is that most vets see so many FAT horses that when they see one lean they are surprised. I think that goes for small animal vets, too. They are just not used to seeing lean pets. It is always better/healthier to be lean. Studies prove that!!! It just is!!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I know, eye level!

It is aways better to get to eye level when taking photos of dogs. It appears I am WAY up above them. I am only 5'6". Weird.

I got a LITTLE lower....
Still not the great photo I thought it would be.
A pack of farm dogs. Someone on facebook said real farm dogs don't wear clothing. Huh? George is THE real farm dog and he IS wearing clothing. You can't quite see it, but he is fashioning his lovely orange vest for high visibility when he works on the farm. George's idea of work? Guess. Did you guess killing rodents? You are RIGHT! There are other killers in the photo. Can you guess? NO not the frufry shihtzu's. Goodness they couldn't kill a fly, could they? Not dressed like that. Fancy pants and fluffy heads and all. The weather has simply been strange. So warm last weekend the mares tried to find shade!!!
Found this photo of Spur. It doesn't look real!! Like his front half is one dog and his back half another. I always marvel at the optical illusions of photography............

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Technology time suckers!! Are WICKED fun!

And totally cute and silly!! Right?
Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas cards

So, finally ordered cards for my clients and businesses that refer to me. OI! A LITTLE late. They probably won't arrive for a couple weeks, then I have to send them out. ARGH!! I am SO behind on this stuff this year......

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

One of Spur's runs last weekend

We worked on his start, doing the vault and go or vault and then back up and go. This one I should have kept his leash on for the vault as I couldn't seem to break him out of his barking and the barking was GOOD. So, instead I flap my fingers at him and have to INSIST he vault, which isn't good. But, I think it's not a bad start, will see on the second jump he actually LANDS on it and it STAYS UP??? That worries him, thus the trotting after. I tell him he's a GOOD BOY and try to just keep going, no biggie, hit a jump and you'll live little Monkey Pants Weenie Boy.......he DOES live and lives really nicely for the rest of the run!!!!
And not a bad table, just a second or two lost. What I love most about this run is his DW. He NAILS it and if you listen really closely you will hear someone in the background saying......"Wow, nice dogwalk!". I LOVE that and could repeat that over and over and over. OK, so I have repeated that over and over and over. I LOVE that!!! :D It WAS a nice dogwalk. From no speed to an awesome four paw hit!! The judge even says as she runs to see it....."Yep!!", but you don't hear that. I DID! :D

It was a small trial, so this run was actually one of the fastest standard runs. I think maybe only one dog ran it faster. :D Many NQ'd due to missing that down contact. Some tried to front cross, some peeled off like I did, but it didn't matter many dogs missed that contact. I am pretty lucky he took that last jump. It was quite a slice and he could have easily not taken it, good little man!!!