Thursday, April 26, 2012

TMT I missed a few...

Ok Ok I'll play again too!
1. Are you a morning person? A night owl? Do you pop up out of bed full of song and happiness? Do you just hit your stride after dark?

Typically a morning person.  I like to get up early and then would LOVE to be able to have a nap early in the day.  Defiantely not a night person, when it gets dark I'm ready for bed!!

2. What is your favorite candy?

Hmmm I don't really eat a lot of candy.  I'm loving these Lindor Truffles my co-workers gave me yesterday though!

3. What is your biggest driving pet peeve?

Umm I have to pick just one?????  Yeah everyone knows I'm full of road rage.  I guess slow people, especially if you are going under the speed limit, OMG that is cause for me to scream at you.  Yes I admit I am a speed demon...

4. How do you prepare yourself and your dogs for summer?

I don't really.  I barely heat my house in the winter and I barely cool my house in the summer.  Lots of open windows and fans and occasionally the air just because of the humidity.  So they become acclimated no going from freezing cold inside to hot outside that gives me migraines!

5. Lets talk about grass in your dog yard. Do you have any? How much maintenance do you do?

Well in the yard there is tons of grass.  I do have 10 x 10 kennels that dogs go up in when I'm "doing something" ie feeding horses, riding, mowing grass, that sort of thing and those have no grass, but they didn't to start with.  They used to have a nice bed of mulch but a combination of dogs running around it it and pushing mulch to the outside and rain its washed out of the kennels.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

TMT way late...hey it still works Tell Me Tuesday ;)

1. Where were you born? Did you grow up there?

A little town called Derita....which is no longer a town and seems to be an outskirt of downtown Charlotte at this point.  Back then it wasn't, the neighbors had cows, I remember the cows getting out and the "men" of the neighborhood going out to round up the bull.  I remember playing in the creek, last time I looked at that creek I thought if anything went in that water it would come out mutated.  So now I just say Huntersville becase no one from anywhere other than Derita knows where Derita is and it really was an outskirt of Huntersville back then.

2. How did you come to end up living where you are now?

Well I'm poor but I wanted land/a small farm.  So I had to go where land was affordable.  This is definately not where I thought I would live but I'm glad I didnt' find land in Huntersville, its just TOO congested now!

3. What is the most unusual trick you have taught your dog? Or the most unusual animal you have taught tricks?

Umm well if you hold your finger in a gun and say bang Duke will "die".  But I think he only does that for me.  And he crawls as well....I'm not much on tricks, Duke is just good at it and he doesn't do anything else so I randomly decide to teach him things :)

4. What is the most unusual food you enjoy?

Ummm well I did try some of Jen's rabbit the other day does that count?  I like quail.  I don't like sushi or any of that stuff....I'm probably boring

5. I know this has been asked before, but I'm always looking for a great book to read so what was the last book you read? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?
I just started The Girls of Ames.  I'll let you know how it is once I actually get into the book.  My son did make me take him to The Hunger Games movie on Sunday, it was actually a very good movie considering I do not like Sci Fi stuff....

Friday, March 9, 2012

Random TMT on Friday

Laura's TMT for this week was to post random thoughts....OK I'm warning you in advance, you asked for it.
- How can people be so unhappy with life.  I mean really its too short to be that miserable!
- I wonder how loud I can turn my radio up to avoid ^^ without getting in trouble at work
- How to I manage to spend so much money on my dogs without realizing it?
- I don't think I'm ever going to get on the road tonight to get to the trial, so much to do.  I think I procrastinate on purpose, because I work best under pressure and all....
- Is any of this making sense or have people stopped reading because they a. think I'm crazy or are b. bored out of their minds
- I hope Tucker is doing well at his battle of the books competition today
- Is the rabbit I just bought going to make my Jen less itchy...please please please I beg the itchy gods :)
- I hope I don't forget to do something before I leave....
- Can I bring anyone a cat to the trial?
- Ok I should stop now, maybe I'll add more later

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TMT - 2 post in one day....something must be wrong!!!

I'm having one of those days at know the ones where you wonder why you even bother.  Ok so maybe one of those months, I'm fed up with people who dont' do their jobs somehow getting raises yet those of us who slave away are stuck....
Moving on to something more fun now...
1. What blogging tip would you give other dog-bloggers?

I don't think I blog enough to have any tips.  Except maybe control your crazy.  If I can read your blog and decipher just from it that you probably need mental help and not in the ha ha funny way, you should probably step away from the computer

2. If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island and could take five things with you (aside from the clothes on your back), what would they be?

Chapstick, sunscreen, my dogs, food and water

I'm obviously not very practical LOL

3. How much pain are you willing to endure in the name of physical appearance? Do you have painful things done to enhance beauty?

Well it depends on what you consider pain.  Waxing?  Yes I wax.  Plucking?  Yes I pluck.  Work out?  Yes I work out.  That's about it...

4. Speed limits... how fast do you drive? Do you drive Miss Daisy? Do you do the Indy 500 to work?

Well ummmmm I don't drive slow lets just put it that way.  This is my dad...what does that tell you :)

5. What trial (that you go to) is your favorite, and why?

Well since I don't go to many.  I'd say the trial at Shoofly Farm is one of my favorites.  Good friends, good cause, great fun and good food!

I told you someone was going to get hurt

If I have to look at one more picture of one more horse that wasn't properly taught to jump and is flinging its self over a fence because that's all it knows how to do I'm literally going to throw up! 


I will no longer offer suggestions to people who are friends on how they can improve their horses jump.  Obviously there are lots of trainers out there who can do it better and would no way ever use a grid/gymnastics exercise to teach a horse to use its self over a fence rather than haphazardly flinging its self.  Because its better just to keep raising the fences, eventually they will figure it out.  And I'm I'll remember that I'm so old school in my thinking that horses need A LOT of flatwork before being put to fences.....because you know there isn't oh like 1000 strides in each over fences course verses the 10 jumps. 

I have said a million times, your gonna get hurt if you keep doing things the same way with horses over huge fences that really have no idea how to jump.  But what do I know, lets just blame it on something else...And all you top notch professionals out there that are in it for the money or keep students by making them happy with bigger fences you are doing nothing more than downgrading the future of the equestrian sport.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TMT time :)

1. Jorgen would like to know what skill would you like to have that you don't currently have?

Honestly, I'd like to be able to talk to animals.  Not the hokey kind of animal whisperer you laugh at but to be able have a true connection and talk to them and understand what's going on.  If you don't feel well, tell me what is wrong/painful/etc so we can do the right test.  If you don't understand something tell me what it is.  That kind of thing.....That would be wonderful :)

2. If someone were going to play you in a movie, who do you think it would be?

Is there someone out there that brave?  Can I make them much more attractive than me?  And smarter too?  And someone who had no fear of saying the things that I bite my tongue and sit on my hands to keep from saying/typing to people :) HA! I'll have to think on that one...

3. Kelsey wants to know what is a quality that you admire in a dog but would never fit with you?

Hmmmm probably an extreme of either end.  A super, super soft dog and I wouldn't get along.  I have tweaked myself to get along with Dutch who is an unconfident dog because I love him but sometimes even I still scare him...I just am not the cheerleader type.  And a super hard dog and I wouldn't get along, because that would turn into a battle of the wills and I wouldn't stop until I won....I just want a dog who can get the job done with out a lot of input.  I like dogs that are smart and get things with few repititions too :)  I dont' ask for much LOL

4. If you had just enough money to pay someone to do one chore for you, what would it be?

To keep my car clean.  I have this thing where if I can't keep it perfect I just can't deal with it.  And with a ton of dogs and an 11 year old son I can't keep it perfect.  So it looks like a rolling trash dump...or something like that. I try I really do, but I just need someone to do it for me, PLEASE!  My dad once told me about an old car I had when I told him I was going to clean it out "you better not clean that car out, I think all that crap you keep in it is what holds it together and if you clean it, it might go into shock and fall apart."

5. Are you a procrastinator, a doitnower (I made that word up), or something in between?
Well it depends on what it is.  I'm kind of a now or never kind of person but if I know that I'm not going to achieve perfection then I'm more than likely a procrastinator.  Oh and at work I'm definatley a procrastinator, I perform quite well under pressure.  So I do tend to wait until the last minute to do things are work...nothing like trying to beat a deadline!

Friday, February 10, 2012

This is way off the dog topic but maybe it relates....

This is my, hopefully, final vent about horse things going on around me....I gave up the horse showing world for a reason and really stopped teaching for the same reason. 

I love horses, I love sitting on a horse, I love teaching kids and adults alike and I really love caring for horses.  But what I don't love it the politics, uncaring trainer and riders, and those who move up the levels without the basic skills that keep them in the saddle.

Classical equitation/horsemanship, is just that classical.  Yes it can change slightly, you can put your variation on it, each discipline has slightly different forms of equitation to better serve the terrain they will be riding over.  But classic equitation should be the same basic seat, hands and leg position with slight variances for what type of riding you are doing. 

So if you look at every single picture and video that people have taken of you on a horse and you are looking down.  You should probably start doing something about getting your "chin up".  If every picture and video shows your heels up, or your horse inverted, or your horse in rollkur then that is how you probably ride the majority of the time or how your horse goes.  DO something about it.  Stop blaming the photographer or the day or whatever.  Find someone that can help you.  I'm not talking about backyard riders/trainers here that have no clue, I'm talking about competent students and adults who will argue that its just in that picture or those pictures.  Its not.....I'm sorry, if someone captures you doing something in almost every single picture/video on different days doing the same thing then its a problem.  If your trainer isn't catching it then ask!  If they don't see a problem with it then maybe its time to start looking for another trainer or a supplemental trainer, something as simple as looking down can affect your whole position.  Constantly hearing that you need to lift or pull back your inside shoulder?  Straightening your head/neck is only going to help your shoulder.  Use the pictures people take to help you understand whats going on, post them and ask for honest opinions, I'm so tired of seeing horrible pics of glaringly blatant faults where everyone goes "how pretty"....

And you trainers who are out there and have gotten by without the basics, have no idea how to teach the basics and have just lucked into damn good horses.  STOP, stop now.  Don't teach anymore because you are going to get someone killed.  Good trainers have students that get hurt even with the best basics, bad trainers are the ones that are getting kids killed.  I'm not calling anyone out but we all know trainers who have kids over faced on horses or who let kids jump 3'6" because that what the kids/parents or even the trainer wants.  Horses are dangerous in themselves, 1200 pounds of raw power, that we sit on and point at huge fences.  Just because your horse has gotten you out of scary situations doesn't mean your students are going to fair so well.  I honestly hold the trainers responsible for what their students are doing.  You are the higher power, you should know what's right and wrong, you should put a stop to it, you should do the right thing no matter what.  Just because something is in right now or not being effectively stopped by the governing bodies doesn't mean you should teach it to your students! Its not just hunters, jumper, eventers, dressage riders.  It flows over into the western sports as well
Rollkur in western?

Yes there are different ways of getting a result but in the end they should all start from the forward riding system, legs first, hands just control the movement!  I ride hunters and believe me I'm not taking up for them either, most hunter riders need to learn how to sit!  I'm glad I can go back to being an amateur and not have to be the one who decides what is right and wrong, but now I need to find a trainer who has some b#ll$ and isn't afraid to do the right thing...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Its that time again :) TMT #6

1. Robin wants to know what your ideal number of dogs is?
4, it makes it so easy around my house.  Though I currently have 5 dogs...
2. Lora wants to know if you find that your dogs are better or worse after time off from training?
I'd say yes, my dogs had to take an unexpected and unwanted vacation from work after my sheep were killed and they can back working very nicely, though they were a little pushy and hard to handle, the work flowed very nicely.
3. What is your favorite power tool? What power tool do you wish you had?
Well its a toss up, I use the drill a lot but I love my circular saw too....
Hmmm what do I wish I had.....I really have no idea.  Does a skidsteer count as a power tool LOL
4. What did you want to be when you grew up?
5. How many of your friends are not "dog people"?

Ummm none?  Maybe not to the extreme I am though.  And if by some off chance someone I know isn't a dog person they have horses, so they are a horse person.....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

TMT 2012 #5


Its that day of the week again....
1. Julie would like to know one frugal tip this week.
I had to come back to this question.  Hmmm....does it count that sometimes I wash out plastic sandwich bags and reuse them?
Or I've been leaving my house heat set at 55 and just warming the room we are in with a ceramic heater?  The verdict is still out on wether or not that is saving me $$$
Lately I've also been trying to cook bigger meals at night so that I have lunch to take to work with me the next day.  The $9 lunches are killing me!!!
2. What are you reading this week?
Reading?  Craigslist, emails, those count?
No I have 2 books I'm flipping through now, one on farming on small acerage, the other on gardening on small acerage.  Just trying to get a plan for the garden this year.  I'd go broke if I got new books every time I finished one, most of the time I read the books my mom gets me for christmas in about 3 days :)

3. Barbara wants to know: do you hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, and if so how many times?
I set the alarm so it goes off 15 minutes before I have to get up.  It makes me feel good to have a few minutes to lay in bed and watch the news!  So I hit snooze once (my alarm goes off after 9 minutes) and then get out of bed a few minutes later

4. If you had to travel in a sedan (or if you already drive a sedan type car) and you had five or six dogs, how would you handle it?
I had a mazda protege and I had, I think, 4 dogs at the time and Tucker who had to still ride in the back.  Solution was to throw dogs in the back seat and one in the front and crates that folded up in the trunk.  It wasn't ideal or super safe, but it worked.
Now I have a mazda tribute.  Its the small SUV.  I have more dogs, 5 to be exact, which is lower that what I typically keep.  One rarely travels with us so that helps.  But I do Jen and Hep in a crate together, they actually do wonderfully that way.  Dutch and Cass ride seperately.  I'm searching for used Central Metal crates, they make them in narrower and shorter versions of regular crates, which would allow me to fit 4 crates of the same (intermediate) size in the back.  I can fit 2 intermediate and 2 mediums in the car now, but I'm still searching for cheap medium crates on craigslist :)  I've gotten 3 intermediate/large crates for $10 why do people want more for medium???

5. How much do you filter what you put on your own blog?

A lot, I love the super snarky blogs, but I also know that I have people that would offend and also some of my former riding students who read here.  I also work for a non-profit that is funded by the state :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

I guess it would be bad if I didn't answer my own TMT questions while they are in the spotlight?

1. How do you search for and then choose a trainer?

Word of mouth and past history.  I have a lot of experience being and choosing trainers in the horse world, not so much in the dog world but I think the same principles apply.  For myself I'm not looking for the most flamboyant trainer or the one who stands out.  I tend to be drawn to the trainers who are reserved and have a way with the animals that goes without speaking....they are the ones who will be in the world a long time, not the one or 2 hit wonders, and they may not win every time but they are consistently near the top even in unnoticed.

I have had my share of bad horse trainers, those who maybe were at the top but got their because of short cuts.  I don't believe in short cuts...  Most people today (again this is the horse world) just want to win, they don't want to take years of slow and steady work to achieve the proper training and form to win.  Sorry went off on a tangent :)

2. The dog world is small and... uh... talkative. After choosing a trainer how do you handle those people in your life who don't believe in that trainer/trainers methods and criticize them to you?

I listen, I catalog and I move on.  Everyone has a past, everyone does things that others don't approve of.  Its up to you to decide if you can live with them.  Every one can also change, just because you've see Mr. X do Y to a dog in the past doesn't mean that is still the method he uses today.  I've heard dogs can be ruined by letting them sleep on your bed, I know horse trainers that believe a horse can truly be ruined by letting them pick up the wrong lead one time.....

3. Do you believe that a person's personal life should influence your choice of a trainer? (i.e do you believe a person's choice to be a party animal outside of work would affect your choice?)
I asked this question because of an on-going debate in the horse world.  There is a decent lower level trainer in the area that has quite a flamboyant lifestyle, he is a homosexual man and likes to party.  People are trying to get his judges card revoked just because of the lifestyle he chooses to lead...
My thoughts are, if you can keep your home and work life separate then I don't care what you do.  However, I can't condone drugs, stealing or crimes against nature (rape, bestiality, etc...) so if I find out you are part of these then I'm probably going to part ways with you.

4. When you have a break through moment with your dog, do you feel that moment makes your connection stronger with that dog and makes the next step in training easier?

Having recently had a break through moment with my dog I find the connection between us amazing.  She has always been a great dog but recently its like things just clicked with her and she has now turned into an amazing working dog.  Its like there isn't anything she isn't getting right now.  Maybe its her age or the fact that she matured or maybe because I just started working her with no thoughts on where this training would lead.  But I'm blown away when I work her now.....

5. Do you stick with just one trainer, or do you go to multiple sources for help?

I would like to stick with just one trainer but he's too far away!!  But I tend to stick to trainers who have basically the same philosophy.  I do like to hear others thoughts, just to keep them in my pocket even if I don't use them right away or on a particular dog.

And now for pictures of my new curly coated retriever....just kidding she's really a border collie.  And she is out of a litter with 3 other smooth coats :)


Thursday, January 19, 2012

TMT 2012 #3


1. What is one lesson you've learned this week? brain is fried, good thing today is my Friday :)

2. Who or what might you have been in another life? What might you be in a next life?
I was probably a horse in another life.  Though my best friend and I, in college, went to one of those psychic readers and she said I was a healer in a past life :) 
In my next life I just want to have lots of money...ha ha no not really.  Being another healer would be great!

3. What unusual things do you like the smell of but don't usually admit?
dirty socks..gross but true, vingear - I could smell it all day, horse poop

4. What are your thoughts on continuing on vs. retiring when a trial run is going badly? How do you decide? Where do you draw the line?
I dont' think I have trialed enough to have a definite answer.  I hope that I would be one who would walk away to help my dog before the sidelines are (Laura!) going OMG go help your dog, but I can't make promises on that.  I don't want to injure anyone's stock so....

5. This is a call for questions or subjects you'd like to talk about - I'd appreciate suggestions (and please come link up so that I'll be sure to see your post), so here's your chance!
I have a few questions...they all stem from things going on in my life :)  And believe it or not it is stuff that isn't going on in the dog world
1. How do you choose a trainer?  By word of mouth?  Watching said trainer work/train?
2. And after choosing a trainer how do you handle those people in your life who dont' believe in that trainer/trainers methods and criticize them to you?
3. Do you believe that a person's personal life should affect your choice of a trainer? (i.e do you believe a person's choice to be a party animal outside of work would affect your choice?)  and did I use the correct form of effect/affect?????
4. When you have a break through moment with your dog, do you feel that moment makes your connect stronger with that dog and makes the next step in training easier? 

And here is a personal plea!  I know some of you that read my blog aren't my facebook friend, so while this is my personal blog i'm going to post this.  (if it offends you let me know!)
I am a national board member of the Brown Dog Foundation (, we have a national fund but without wonderful donors we are going to be out of funding.  Please if you can give, even if its just a dollar, consider giving to Brown Dog!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

TMT #2 for 2012

Laura's question for the week are as follows:

1. Stopping your dog - what do you prefer? On their feet? On their belly? Some combination?

Depends on the dog in my case.  When Jen stops is is smack to the belly, as of recently she thinks stopping is optional so we are working on simply stopping.  There are cases when I would like to have a stand on her so my next task is to teach her to stand. 
Dutch on the other hand does NOT lie down behind sheep, no way, no how.  He's always had a standing stop even as a puppy.  I did eventually teach him to lie down off stock and he does it.  And on rare occasions he will lie down when we are setting for an outrun but this is not the norm for him.  He is quiet and not scary to his sheep so I'm OK with that.
Hep seems to think that it doesn't matter if you stand or lie, its a mixed bag with her.  Maybe its because we are just getting a feel for each other but I sense that I am going to have to enforce a lie down because she can be a bit of a bugger behind sheep :)

2. At what point do you start teaching this?

Jen came with a beautiful lie down and when she listens she still has that beautiful lie down.  Dutch never was one to lie down so he got the stand command from the start.  Once I get Jen's stopping issue back in hand then I am going to start trying to teach her a stand, though I think its going to be hard because the lie down is so ingrained in her mind that any form of a stop means lie down to her.

3. Do you have a favorite dog? I won't tell.

Favorite dog overall?  Yes, Jen everyone knows its not a secret.  No matter how hard Dutch sucks up and is a wimpy mommas boy Jen will always be my heart. 
Working?  Depends on the situation.  When the sheep are flighty and likely to run like bats out of he!! then I prefer Dutch, he settles sheep and can get right up their butts without spooking them and he will stand all day holding sheep without pushing them while I do things like trim feet. 
If I have tough sheep I prefer Jen.

4. What is the #1 thing a dog can do to push your buttons?

Off stock - not come when called.  It is one of my pet peeves and makes the "evil mom" voice come out and me come after said dog :)
On stock - to bust in or make a mess of things when I am trying to perform a task, i.e. trimming feet.  I hate that, don't keep pushing and pushing until someone bust off or runs me over.  Jen used to be the worst about that, many discussions later she is better, though not perfect :)

5. Brrrrr... it's winter. What is your favorite soup recipe?

Hmmm I'm a sucker for potato soup.  I have a great recipe which is not with me at the moment.  Maybe I'll remember and add it tomorrow

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The passing of a great

I was fortunate enough to get to keep Robin French's Spottie for her retirement years.  I trialed her a few times but mostly used her on the farm to help with my small flock of sheep.  She was a great teacher and taught me so much in the 3 years she was here with me.

She was an amazing trial dog for Robin and a great teacher for me and I will never forget that.  Thank you Spottie, may you now run free without pain. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

TMT 2012


TMT is back...Thanks Laura.  I didn't see this yesterday before I left work, so I didn't get a chance to fill it out...

1. What is your favorite new toy? I know you have one, so you might as well go on and fess up.
I didn't get any new toys this year.  I'm sitting here trying to think of something interesting and toy like but I have nothing....

2. If you're going to be caught under the mistletoe, who would you LEAST like it to be with?
That's probably a longer list than what anyone wants to sit here and read!

3. New Year's Resolutions - for your dogs - share!
Hep - to get her to take my away whistle and flank and to get her trialing.  She needs to be more fit before doing that so we are working on it.
Jen - to get her healthy and get her trialing as well.  She is driving quite well now even if she tends to get dyslexia on the flanks! 
Dutch - keep building his confidence and get him out to new places.  I think we have figured out his weight issues, so I would like to make sure that he says at his new chunky weight :)
Duke - he is going to be trying out agility for fun and so that he has a focus, his resolution is to focus!

4. New Year's Resolutions - for yourself - share!
To be more organized
To get out to see my friends who aren't close more
To get my dogs to trials, even if just the local ones

5. How did you handle the holiday food situation?Oh, I wasn't supposed to eat everything in sight?  We have 4 Christmas's, I ate a lot....I now wonder why I have a muffin top.  Maybe the getting Hep fit thing will help me lose said muffin top?  Lets pray :)