Must watch video of Pole Bending horse at Congress 2013

I saw this on an acquaintance’s page – I thought it was amazing. This horse really knows his job. I hope the rider was okay. A must see and reblog. 🙂

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Still trying to figure out why this chokes me up!

This is the first time I have tried sharing a Facebook video from someone else (not loaded on YouTube), if you have trouble seeing it let me know and I will try sharing another way.

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Knock Knock – May I Come In?

Meet Belle – a beautiful Andalusian horse. Her owner Jennifer and I became friends when we met at the PRCA Champion’s Challenge Rodeo back at the beginning of October through a mutual friend and we have the same sort of quirky and sweet personality so we hit it off right away. She was telling me stories about her horse, as we all do and of course I am enthralled by everyone’s stories being the horse lover that I am. Well this one really stuck to me: her horse Belle likes to come inside the house. She figures out how to open doors (unless they are bolt locked) and just comes on inside.

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I love how each horse has its own personality. Take ours for example. Ray is the Alpha horse, he is protective of his herd and is strong, manly and very patient. Spidey is the goof ball, the teenage boy, silly and thinks he can get away with anything. Billie Jean is the diva, sassy and pushy but knows that if she bats her eyes at us that she can almost get anything and last but not least Sparkles. The mini who is stuck to your side and helps us clean up the barn, but can also be the biggest butthead you ever meet.

Now 99% of the people we chat to about Belle or  who knows about Belle’s house fetish, will laugh and comment on how funny it is or something along those lines but with my luck, I always seem to run into that one person who has something crappy to say. Well they went on to say how he would have shot her if he had found his horse inside, and that it is an outdoor animal, it has no business inside. Duh! We know that! But it is funny that Belle just wants to be with Jen. It is cool to see how smart Belle is that she can open the doors and a lot of us have or know of horses that open stall doors all the time, but actual round door handles is another story. It is something unique, something you don’t see everyday. But it’s like a quote I once saw: “You can be the best, most perfect peach in the world, there will still be someone who doesn’t like peaches.” Either way, Belle is one peach for the memory book.

Screenshot_2013-10-30-09-43-03-1Belle asks if there is a blanket to match these yummy pillows. 🙂

Fleet of Angels

Fleet of Angels is an organization that I recently came across by accident and decided to check it out. Turns out it is one of the most genius ideas anyone could have thought of and I give major kudos to the founders. Fleet of Angels is an organization you can become a member of and offer/volunteer your time and use of your truck and horse trailer to transport horses from all over the country to their new homes. Sometimes multiple volunteers will aid in one transportation of a horse depending on distance/time/funds and so forth.  If you are not able to volunteer but are in need of the services of the Fleet of Angels, you can go on their site and request assistance. Even though they are doing this for a good cause, most transportation cases are over 100 miles away and people must realize that providing money to cover fuel costs is more than appreciated. If they are doing this for you, please provide them with the funds they need to bring your precious cargo safely to you. Can anyone else get as excited as I am about this? This organization is made up of both individuals and professional shippers who give horses at risk a way to get to their new forever home since not everyone can afford a truck and/or trailer. Many horses are considered “at risk” if they are going to be given away since the owners cannot afford to take care of them anymore, horses that are going to be sent to slaughter, horses being abused or neglected, even wild horses that are adopted off the range.

Members/volunteers of the Fleet of Angels do not just have to be able to provide transportation for the horses. You can provide help by being on the list of people who can offer drivers and place to sleep while on a long drive and have room for horses to get out and stretch their legs a little from being in a trailer. There are people all over the US and even some in the UK that are helping out either by offering a tired driver a spare room to catch a nap in for a few hours or some roaming room for a horse stuck in a trailer depending on how long the trip is. Some people may never be called but they were nice enough to place the offer out there if it is ever to be needed.

I think this is amazing! Saving a horse and helping out others who aren’t fortunate enough to own a trailer? Thumbs up in my book.

Any equine lover, horse owner or even future prospective owner needs to check out their website. http://www.fleetofangels.org/

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Skyler

I was taking a walk not too far down memory lane, when a Throwback Thursday picture came up recently. It was taken when I was showing Western Pleasure back in the latter part of 2006 and was new to the show circuit so we were starting off small at our local shows. At that time Skyler was the horse of my dreams, playful, young, just willing to learn and such a goober at times. He was a paint gelding, but all his paint spots were hidden on his belly and he had gorgeous white stockings and was so muscular. I fell in love hard with that horse. We did everything together; rode him bareback into the lakes, showed him, jumped him and could just lay on him if I wanted to. He was my buddy, we had so much fun together and he was awesome. We nicknamed him Skyturd, when he was being a butt-head or T.P (toilet paper) when we was dragging his feet.

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We started off showing in novice halter and conditioning classes earlier inthe year and began to work our way up to more classes very quickly and ended up in the intermediate level in some classes. The last show we ever did together was on my birthday at the end of November. My dad calls this my Zorro show, since I was dressed in head to toe black and was concentrating so hard I had a serious look on my face. At that last show, we participated in every class we could since I knew it was our last show together. The highest ribbon we won was second place and the lowest was forth, I think. We weren’t in it to win, I just loved showing him and he seemed to have fun flirting with the judges and showing off. The last class we did was a trail course and we ran into a bit of a problem. Even though we had gone over many bridges before, he did not, and I mean plain out refused to go over this little wooden bridge. I was the last one in the class anyway so I decided that we weren’t going to leave the ring until we had crossed that bridge. Everyone at the arena and the judge agreed and stayed to watch and encourage us, which I thought was awesome of them to do that when they didn’t need to. So what should have taken 5 minutes ended up taking us about half an hour and as soon as we crossed that bridge, I made him back up over it and go forward over it again just for good measure. Everyone applauded us and I rewarded Skyler and made sure he knew he did a great job, even if it had taken forever.

A few minutes later I got called up to the stand and at the time I had no idea why since I had received my third place ribbon for that class and thought everything was over, but I was told the judge wanted to see me. I was thinking it was for some constructive criticism or something along those lines. They ended up giving me a showmanship award for my effort, patience and how Skyler and I worked together as such a great team. Turns out we ended our very short show career together by going out with a bang. To this day when I think or talk about it, I tear up a little out of pride for Skyler and in missing him. He taught me so much more than I ever thought I taught him and I am glad I can think back to the days of being with him and learn from that chapter in my life with him.

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All photo credit goes to: Schmidt Photography.

Rodeo Round-Up

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Saturday was the 1st Annual PRCA Rodeo which took place at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, FL. A group of us went down for the rodeo and had a blast. Legends from all over the country came to Kissimmee and some of the winners have already qualified for a spot at the NFR (National Finals Rodeo)  in Vegas in December. So needless to say it was a fun time, it seemed like everyone from the UK found each other and we all managed to sit in one section, which seemed rather humorous.

The opening ceremony was good and the announcer and main rodeo clown did a very good job. The opening prayer was very well said, the national anthem was beautifully sung and the girl riding her horse holding the American flag did a great job and seemed to be enjoying herself. At intervals she ran around with the flags of sponsors which is something I had never seen done before which was neat.

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We got to be within 50 feet of legends such as Tuf Cooper, Mary Walker and Fallon Taylor. The bareback riding was intense but there was some gorgeous broncs there. Throughout the night two of them just did not want to move out of the shoot. They straight out refused not matter how hard the rider kicked. In the steer wrestling Luke Branquinho took home the win with a 3.9, followed closely by Kissimmee’s own, Juan Alcazar Jr with a 4.4. The tie down roping also went well with Brad Hartt, another Florida native from Sebring, bringing home a 7.4, following Tuf Cooper of course who won. In the Saddle Bronc Riding, one of my favorite horses was Multi-Chem High Life Gal ridden by Cody DeMoss and Rowdy Rascal was one of the two that refused to “co-operate”, shall we say?

In the barrel racing, every single one of the contestants did great. Two legends, who I have come to admire and love to watch ride, is Fallon Taylor  who ran a 16.92 and Mary Walker, who ran a 16.87.

Last but certainly not least, was the bull riding and man, was there some handsome bulls out there. While I was cheering for the riders to stay on for the 8 seconds, I was seriously contemplating moving out west and having a bucking bulls farm/ranch. Ha ha. Bulls such as The Wreckoning, Shoot To Thrill, High Pockets, Cat Can Do, all bulls of the Silver Spurs Rodeo were just a few of some great looking bulls with some high intensity bucks. Their sheer power and thickness just amazes me and I’d love to learn more about them.

Everyone participating in the rodeo did awesome and since this is the first time the PRCA Champions Challenge has come to Florida, I know there are many of us eager to go again next year.

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Meet Logan – The Sky Angel Cowboy

Get your box of tissues ready. This video was sent to me from an encouraging friend helping us through a recent loss.

This young boy Logan lives on a rural ranch out in Nebraska. He is wise beyond his years and such an inspiring soul. He went through losing someone special to him and learning the lesson about life and loss. His message is so touching and heart-wrenching. He is such a special young man…I wouldn’t even call him a boy. He was nicknamed The Sky Angel Cowboy and you can tell from just this little two minute video that he truly is an angel.

Tractor Supply helping local rescues.

Tractor Supply is one of my all time favourite stores to go to. What makes me feel even better about spending my money there is that they hold contests and give aways regularly, along with community events that are truly beneficial for everyone involved.

At this moment in time, Tractor Supply is partnered with Pedigree and Nutro Pet Foods during Pet Appreciation Week or PAW. Their current contest is Shelter Stories Photo Contest, where the rescue can submit a photo of any one of their rescued animals with a little blurb about the animal and situation. Voters will be trying to help their favourite and/or local animal shelter or rescue organization win a $5,000 grant. Yes, five THOUSAND dollars.

For local shelters or any rescue/non-profit organization, that is a major amount of money that could really boost every aspect and needs of the organization.

Jennifer, an acquaintance of mine and a friend of Donna’s, has her rescue out in Avon Park. This is her story about one of the horses she rescued; Novia.

Please vote for this entry in Help Your Local Animal Shelter or Rescue Win a $5,000 Grant!! Our friend Jennifer and her rescue out in Avon Park - she makes such a difference :-) please vote for her.

“Novia came into our rescue with numerous severe medical issues. She suffered from Pythium, Neurological Symptoms which eventually took her life, and issues related to malnourishment and insufficient care. Novia left quite the impression on us, our volunteers, and our team of veterinarians. While her eyes were sorrowful, her will was strong and intact until her final breath. Whether healing a horse or letting them go in peace, it is our mission to bring about the very best possible outcome for the horses who enter our gates and to do so with the utmost compassion and care. Winning this grant would help enable us to not only continue our efforts but to be able to offer it to even more horses in need. Thank you for your vote and support.”

You can vote at the following link: http://bit.ly/16XvyZm

There were many rescues who touched me with their stories of animals they had saved and either lived or passed. You can vote for more than one but only once per organization every 24 hours.

I organize charity and fundraising events both here in the US and back home in the UK and I love every minute of it. Seeing Tractor Supply and its partners hold this contest brings awareness to more organizations that I, and I know many others, would love to help. I have a team of people who I am so thankful for, who are always there, ready to help and have the same burning fire inside to help animals in need and great, reputable organizations. You cannot go wrong when you are helping someone, especially an animal who doesn’t not have a voice to ask for the help and love that it needs.

Go vote and help a rescue to save more of our four-legged, furry friends!