Monday, 27 February 2012


I don't even know what to say.  I'm just so sick of everything.  I feel like I've gotten my fair share of bad luck lately and it's time for someone else to get it.  Needless to say, I'm having a bad day.

Today was my first non-training shift at my new job, and in the last five minutes of my shift, I got a text from my dad.  My dog was hit by a truck today and killed.  I loved her so much, I mean, I know everyone loves their dog, but it was Si.  When my brother and I were little we always dreamt of owning a ranch together and we would always draw what we wanted it to look like, from the front yard, to the house, to the horse would own and the dog we would each have.  The dog I would always draw was identical to Si, except Si didn't have a white mark on her forehead and I always drew my dream dog with it.  Other than that, they were exactly the same.  She was just a great dog, she was so smart with the horses, she was awesome in the city or the country and she was great with kids.  I could go on about her all day.

I have nothing but hate for the guy who did this and the company he works with.  My dad does not live far out of town, he is on a busy country road that has a lot of children and animals on it.  And the men from this company go speeding down this road at over 100 km/h.  We've put up Children at Play signs, signs begging them to slow down.  We've even hailed them over to the side of the road and asked them to slow down but nothing has worked.  The guy who hit my dog hit her, got half way up the road before he finally turned around to "apologize" by blaming my dog.  My dad lost it on him, although frankly he was much kinder than I would have been. 

The road was built right through the farm's front yard, the houses are right on the road on one side, and the barn is right on the road on the other side.  Children are there constantly, what if it had been one of the grandkids, like Sommer, instead of Si?  This company leaves gates open all the time so that horses and cattle escape.  I cannot tell you how many times we've had to call in to report open gates and speeding vehicles but nothing ever changes.  And now they've killed my dog.

I'm, so upset, I can't even begin to describe how upset I am, but I'm just angry now too.  I am sick of this.  I'm still trying to deal with Cas, I've only been up to my dad's once since she died, one of the big reasons being I can't stand being there without her.  I keep going to call her in the field, I look for her beside Fonda, I see her green blanket and I just start crying.  I can't deal with it.  Just the other day I was talking to my brother about him clipping feet and I told him to remember to trim Cas' foot.  This was followed by an awkward silence.

In the past three months I've lost my dog and my Cas.  Not to mention everything else that's been going on about that I've tried not to rant about.   I've started probably close to a dozen posts about other things in my life that I just end up deleting because I'm trying to keep this about Artemis but I'm starting to lose it.  Why do I keep losing animals?  We love and take care of our animals and yet we always seem to lose them, while certain people I know provide the bare minimum, and barely that, and their animals just can't seem to die no matter what happens.  I mean, I don't wish death on anything or anyone, I really don't, but I'm tired of this. 

I'm tired of a certain woman who keeps trying to truck our horses off to the auction, I'm tired of certain people taking advantage of my family members and then trying to make us feel bad about it.  I'm tired of everyone brushing off anything I have to say about horses because mine are now at a stable so I've obviously become too "citified" and don't know the first thing about horses anymore.

I'm sick of how insensitive people are being about Cas.  No, she's not the first horse to die but she was important to me and I miss her.  Making jokes about having her stuffed and given to me for Christmas is not, and will never be okay.  When she was alive all people did was make me feel bad for keeping her alive, and now that she's gone, the same people try to make me feel as though I didn't give her a chance. 

I'm sorry for this rant, I really am but I am just one big ball of anger right now.  Does that guy even care that he killed somebody's dog?  It won't slow them down.  All I can hope for is that next time it isn't a child.  With the exception of two people, my mother and my best friend, I can't even mention Cas to others because they change the subject, tell me how yeah babies die and because of that they can say whatever they want about Cas, no matter how upsetting and cruel, or they go into great detail about how exactly she did die.  I can't tell most people I know what I do with Artemis because clearly I'm doing it wrong because I'm too "city" or I'm just trying to show off. 

And as a side rant, I hate that texting has become an appropriate medium for sending bad news.  I could barely make it through the last minutes of my shift to getting out on the street to call my best friend and cry.

I'm just so angry about this.  I still can't really belive she's gone, it hasn't set in yet but I'm so angry about it.  Cas was bad, Cas is bad, I still miss her all the time but at least she wasn't because of some stupid idiot whose too self-absorbed to even consider slowing down as he speeds through the MIDDLE of someone's yard.    I know I keep saying this but what if that had been a child?  My dad was standing on the side of the road when Si was hit, and trust me, you have to be blind not to see someone standing on the side of the road. 

Si was usually pretty good about the road but today there was a coyote up in the pens.  She took off and he was going much too fast.  It killed her instantly. 

Sunday, 19 February 2012

When I Say Canadian Horse...

I mean this...

Not this...

The first is a Canadian Horse.  The second is a Canadian Warmblood.  I think most people will be able to see the difference between the two of them. 

You wouldn't think that it would be an issue, getting the two mixed up.  However, it's something that happens quite frequently to me.  The reason it comes up is when people ask me what breed Artemis is.  Technically, she's a grade, but I am fortunante to know what two breeds are most dominate in her and so those are what I usually tell people.  Her mother, Socks, is a registered Quarter Horse.  Her sire, Fonda, is three-quarters Canadian Horse.  Fonda's dam, June, was half Canadian half who knows what.  His sire was a registered Canadian Horse (although unfortunantly I don't know his name).  So I generally tell people she's a Quarter Horse/Canadian Horse cross. 

This is the Canadian Horse I mean...

Nine times out of ten, this is the Canadian Horse people think of...

I always politely inform them that Artemis is not a Warmblood, but a Canadian Horse.  They usually smile awkwardly and act like they know the difference.  On very rare occasions, they might actually know what a Canadian Horse actually is.  More times than not though, they don't. 

I find it kind of sad, to be honest.  The Canadian Horse is our national breed.  It was named the "Iron Horse" back in the days and they worked on the farm all week, and then participated in harness races out in the frozen lakes on the weekends.  They are tough as can be and have adapted to survive our harsh winters with no problems. 

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Canadian Warmbloods or Warmbloods in general, they are just not at all what I mean when I say Canadian Horse.  I'm very proud of our national horse, Canadian horses are tough and hardy, exactly what I want and respect in a horse.  To me they have a wild beauty to them.  I love everything about them.  I am very proud of the fact that Artemis has Canadian in her. Honestly, a Quarter Horse/Canadian Horse cross is not what I ever planned to breed...I always planned if I bred Socks to breed her to another Quarter Horse, but since I didn't have a choice, I'm not complaining that it's Canadian in her. 

I just wish we could get more information about the Canadian Horse out there.  It's surprising, how little people know about them.  It seems most people tend to think Canadian Horse just means Canadian Warmblood. 

I hope one day when I tell people what Artemis is, this is what they think of...


Not too much has been going on lately, we're still trying to find a bit for Jimmy.  So far we've been sticking with the snaffle.  Hopefully we don't have to change it again.  Socks is just being Socks, doing Socks stuff.  Which mostly means, eating, bossing Streak around, being very excited to go for rides.  Artemis has been hanging in the pasture, playing with Ebony and Charlie.  On our last ride she got to come in the arena and play around. 

My little pony does love attention though, and if there are people out in the barn, she stands at the gate and stares until they come give her some love.  She's kind of a little creep about it.  If there aren't people in the barn, or if Socks and I start going faster, she'll dash away from the gate and start bucking as she follows us around.  She shakes her head and does her best impression of a rodeo bucking horse. 

I of course wanted to get a video of her running around like a lunatic, so once my momfinished riding she grabbed my camera and began to film.  Well, Artemis seems to realize what a camera is and she loves it.  She wouldn't leave it alone and I have about two minutes of video of her nose.  She did finally run a bit but not like before. 

Mostly though, this post is going to be a comparision.  Artemis just looks...bigger.  She hasn't actually grown (well except for her hind end, it's like a ski hill) but she just generally looks bigger.  Her head has grown, I just had to loosen up her halter by a whole three weeks ago and I'm going to have to very soon again. 

This is Artemis at the beginning of January, when I first put my scarf on her.

This was her last Friday.  Next time I'll try to get a picture of her standing right against the stall.

This was taken in December.

This was taken last Friday.

Now to compare her to her father.  I unfortunantly don't have any pictures of her brother, I'm the only one who takes pictures and I haven't seen him since Christmas. 

This was Fonda at about seven months.

This was Fonda at about the same age Artemis is now.  It's hard to really tell if they look alike, since he was ten months old in June and had a summer coat, and she's ten months old in Febuary and has a fuzzy winter coat. 

Fonda again at about ten months. 

I can't wait until she sheds out and I can do a proper comparision between them.  She definitly has his tail and his head shape, or so I think.  And next time I see Hades, I'm going to take pictures of him as well to add in.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

More Riding

This was on my facebook page this morning and it made me laugh. 

We've had two rides, one bad and one good.  M and Zanza rode with us again and we set up the barrels to have some fun.  Socks was pretty good, probably the best behaved out of the three of them, but she was getting crazy competitive and hot because M and I were taking turns going around the barrel.  I realize there is going to be a certain amount of excitement in barrel racing, but my rule is that Socks cannot get crazy excited before we have a run.  She gets stupid when she's excited and when she's stupid we make mistakes.  You see some barrel horses that are rearing and trying to bolt before a run and I don't want Socks getting to that point.

Zanza didn't like the stirrups M was using and threw out one massive buck between barrels.  I'm still impressed she stayed on, I would have gone flying.  Jimmy...oh Jimmy.  Finding a bit for this horse has been impossible.  He was started in a sidepull, then put in a D-ring snaffle.  He kept chewing the snaffle and playing around with it until he got his tongue over it.  So I tried him in a French-link snaffle.  He was even worse than that one.  I tried him in Socks' bit, a curb and he went well in that for a few weeks and then he kept chewing that one.  So we ended up getting him a curb with a copper roller.  He was fine with that for months and now all of a sudden he's chewing it and messing with it all the time.  So we tried him in a regular curb again...but the same thing.  I am running out of bit ideas... I think I'm going to try him in the D-ring again and hope for the best.

Anyway, in the end, we all agreed to just stop riding.  It just wasn't going to work out that night so we decided to try again another day.

Our next ride went much better.  It was so warm last Sunday, there wasn't any wind so we rode outside.  First we rode in the pasture where Artemis and the old mares are.  It went fairly well, could have been better.  Socks has ridden in pastures with strange horses hundreds of times, but I think the fact that her baby was running around with all these horses was too much for her.  She was seconds away from exploding the whole time the other horses were around and I remembered why half-halts are my best friend.  I love how easily they help you to get your horse's attention.  She tried to kick Ebony but luckily she missed.  This was Jimmy's first time riding with other horses (and besides Artemis he's never met any of them) and he was perfect.  EB kicked at him and just missed getting him but he didn't react.  After that, all the horses, being ridden and running free, calmed down.

After that we just walked around the hay field, which takes much longer than it sounds.  The ride was about two and a half hours long, Jimmy's longest ride outside at the stable. 

Unfortunantly I don't have much to say on Artemis, even though this blog is about her.  I haven't been doing too much with her besides the same old, lifting her feet, leading practice, getting her used to blankets and such all over her.  She hasn't grown taller but I think she's starting to look a bit older.  Other than that though, nothing new with her.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Having Fun

I've had alot of fun during our last two rides.  The first ride it was my mom and I, with Artemis running free in the arena.  She was in a very energetic mood.  She kept running circles around us, bucking and tossing her head around.  She'd run in front of Jimmy, cut him off and then slam her breaks off.  Then when he tried to go around her she'd lay her ears flat against her head and chase him.  It was pretty funny to watch.  She's definitly taken after her mom with her bossiness.  When I had gone out to catch her that day the pasture horses were just coming up for a drink of water.  They were all at the water except Artemis and she came running up, bucking, and then chased off all the other horses away from the water except for one.  She even chased the lead mare away.  Tona was the only one she let drink.  If the others tried to come over to drink, Artemis would lay her ears back and they'd back off. 

Socks and I just played around with Artemis.  We'd lope a 20-metre circle and she'd lope it beside us.  Then she'd go bucking away from us and run over to my mom and Jimmy.  We didn't do any real work, we were just fooling around.

Today when we arrived the arena was full of people.  D was going to have a lesson so we tried to saddle up slowly.  Luckily when we finally got on only D and M were still in the arena.  We rode around with M and Zanza.  Socks, who's been in heat lately and kind of cranky, decided she can't stand Zanza and would lay her ears back and try to snap at him if he came near. 

Once D's lesson was over I pulled out the barrels and set them up.  I haven't worked on them lately because I knew Socks' teeth were going to get done and I wanted to wait until after to start training again.  Her turns are so much better now.  Usually when I train though, it's just Socks and I working on the pattern while my mom does whatever with Jimmy.  M wanted to try them too with Zanza so tonight her and I took turns.  It was a lot of fun.  It was fun to watch M and Zanza, this giant Thoroughbred all decked out in his shiny english gear doing the barrels.  He was great for his first time around them.  M had a lot of fun doing them too and it's the best Socks has been forever.  She's such a competitive horse and if she doesn't have any competition, then she gets lazy and puts no effort in.  The first few times Zanza went around she didn't pay attention.  But the first time he cantered around them my horse was glued to him.  She just stood perfectly still, ears perked forward and eyes trained on him.  She got serious about it after that.

It was a lot of fun, we're going to try to get together again to do it.  Socks needs the competition and it's good to expose Zanza to different things, including our brightly coloured barrels.  Socks and I managed to knock over two barrels, both times when I was too busy looking at the barrel to steer her.  It was a lot of fun, I forgot how nice it is to ride with other people.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Teeth Day!

Today was vet day out at the stable.  A vet from Red Deer was coming down to look at one of the horses here and he was going to be doing teeth as well.  My mom left work after a few hours to come pick me up and we headed out to the stable.  We wanted to be there to help if we could, mostly with Jimmy. 

We arrived just after the vet did and brought Socks and Jimmy in.  I think that was the first mistake.  Socks took one look at the vet and all his tools and she was not impressed.  Zanza was the first to get worked on and while the sedative was taking effect, the vet came over to check Socks' teeth.  Yeah, apparently my horse took to heart all the stranger danger talks I gave her because she was having nothing to do with this guy.  When he tried to check her teeth, which she has never had an issue with before...she hopped back and tried to get away from him until I told her to quit.  Then he untied her to bring her in a stall and there was no way he was going to get her in it.  She put on the brakes and wouldn't move.  So he handed her to me but the damage was done, Socks had made up her mind.  My darling horse was not going in a stall for the life of her.  She doesn't rear, or back up or anything, she just plants her feet and refuses to move. 

The vet decided to try Jimmy instead so E and I switched, he tried to get Socks in a stall and I led Jimmy in.  Our problem child walked in, no issues.  Socks finally decided to go in and just accepted that this was happening.  Jimmy was iffy about the needle, but the vet slowed down and in no time at all Jimmy was sedated.  Socks wasn't an issue to sedate and she started dozing with her head against my chest.  The vet started with Jimmy but it quickly became apparent that our little, 14.2 hh boy required more tranqulizer.  He ended up getting twice as much as the big Warmbloods and Thoroughbreds before he was finally out of it enough for the vet to do his job.  It doesn't surprise me, he needed extra sedative when he was gelded too.

Jimmy had his teeth done and then Socks had hers.  Both of them desperatly needed them done.  Once he was finished with them, we left them in the stalls for a while to wake up.  Jimmy stood there, his tongue hanging out of his mouth drooling.  It was...interesting.  Socks began waking up quickly, quicker even than Zanza.  Zanza had his sheath cleaned and although we hadn't initially planned for it, Jimmy did too.  We figured that if we have a vet out willing to do it, we might as well go ahead and get him too.  I'm glad we did, Jimmy had several large beans and seemed much happier once he was out.  Plus the vet actually cleaned everything, he didn't just get out the beans like most vets around here do.

My mom left to go back to work but I stayed at the stable to hang with the ponies.  Once all the horses had their teeth done and Spirit was done with her x-rays I went out to visit Artemis.  She came over to me and that was the best we got along all day.  We just had one of those days.  She wasn't being focused and I really wanted her to be focused....and together we were just awful.  She wanted to be with the other horses, I wanted her to focus on what we were doing.  She wanted me to stop telling her what to do and I wanted her to stop neighing because as cute as her neigh can be, it is so high-pitched she was hurting my ears.  She had a little time out in the round pen and I sat on the grass nearby so we, meaning me, could take a breather and start being productive again.  Sometimes my frustration gets the better of me and I try to go sit down for a few minutes to relax.  It calmed me down and I think it even helped her a bit, she was better afterwards, although I'm sure that's because I was much calmer with her. 

We went back inside and everything was fine until the other boarder there put her horse out.  Then Artemis exploded.  I think I need to make a sign to hang up when she starts.  The more people pay attention to her when she does it, the worse she gets.  She was getting better about being alone for a while there but then we went for a long time without her being alone, so she's just gone back to being horrible about it.  The stable owners and a few other boaders are on board with just leaving her alone and ignoring her if she starts up, but I'm having a very difficult time trying to convince everyone of that. 

What did make me smile though, is no matter how annoying she was being today, Artemis was great at backing up.  At one point, before we had our little time outs, she bumped into me and I turned around ready to kill her (okay I might be exagerrating a little bit) and told her to back up...and she did.  No problem at all.  Anytime I gave her the signal to back up she would, right away.  We're learning! 

M thought she had grown so I measured Artemis and sadly, she's not any taller.  Well her withers aren't, I'm pretty sure her backend has grown by another hand.  I sure hope she evens out as she get's older, you could go skiing down her back right now it's so steep.