1st Blog Award

Over the New Years “break” a fellow blogger Non City Girl (http://noncitygirl.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/blog-awards/comment-page-1/#comment-702) nominated me for the Sunshine Award. Awesome! Sunshine award encourages nominees to write 10 facts about themselves and also to nominate 10 fellow bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere”. So here it goes.

10 facts:

1. I love to read. I am such a book-worm.

2. I grew up in a major city but spent a lot of time out in the Scottish and English countryside which made my transition to “rural” American a little easier.

3. I am working on my second degree and will probably die with many degrees and university qualifications.

4. I am never late. I HAVE TO always be on time or early.

5. Having a wine and cheese, and ugly christmas sweater party is on my bucket list.

6. I am definitely a wanderlust traveler.

7. I used to have blonde hair.

8. I love learning new languages. Currently I can speak: English, Gaelic and French fluently and I am learning Korean, Spanish, Italian and Russian.

9. I am a camera freak! I cannot go anyway without at least one of my cameras and I take massive amounts of photos.

10. I love teaching and crafting. I probably should have been an elementary school teacher or something along those lines.

My 10 Nominees area:

1. Mountaingmom

2. Stacy Westfall Horseblog

3. Claudine Giovannoni

4. Hot Rod Cowgirl

5. TBN Ranch

To be honest…and I know this may seem silly and untrue, but I really do not like nominating only 10 bloggers. I think every blog that I follow is inspiring. You all do such a great job and are each so individually unique and awesome in your own ways. So everyone who reads this has officially been nominated for a Sunshine Blog Award. Congratulations and thank you for making my blogging world fun to be in! 🙂

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National Finals Rodeo 2013

2013 NFR World Champions
2013 NFR World Champions

So the NFR has come and gone…dreams came true for some and were lost for others until next time. I watch the NFR to route for a lot of people…but I love watching all the events. Bull riding catches my eye for some reason…and man I love those bulls. I have no idea why, but they appeal to me and of course barrel racing because of the horses. 🙂

This year just some of the participants I was routing for were:

Luke Branquinho – Steer wrestling

Tuf Cooper – Tie Town Roping

Jessy Davis – bareback riding

Wade Sundell – saddle bronc riding

Trevor Brazile – Team Roping

Elliot Jacoby – Bull riding…along with many others.

Barrel Racing Qualifiers were:

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To be honest I love watching all of them run. I think they are all great women with even greater horses, however my favourites are Fallon Taylor, Taylor Jacob, Jane Melby, Brittany Pozzi, Sherry Cervi and Mary Walker. By the end of the NFR I was truly in awe of all of them, every single one. They all did great but in the end there can only be one winner for each event.

Fallon Taylor kept us all entertained with extravagent outfits for Best Dressed which people could vote for every night. Each night has a new theme and Fallon did not fail to impress, surprise and keep up.

Taylor Jacob, who was name 2013 Rookie of the Year, broke the arena record with a 13.37 riding Bo.

So the World Champions standings are as follows:

All Around World Champion: Trevor Brazile

Bareback Riding World Champion: Kaycee Feild

Steer Wrestling World Champion: Hunter Cure

Team Roping World Champions: Clay Tryan & Jade Corkill

Saddle Bronc World Champion: Chad Ferley

Tie Down Roping World Champion: Shane Hanchey

Bull Riding World Champion: J.W Harris

Steer Roping World Champion: Trevor Brazile

Barrel Racing World Champion: Sherry Cervi

Everyone who participated in the NFR this year is someone to follow/keep up with and admire. They all worked their asses off to get to where they are today and meeting any of them would be an honor. I know they are all enjoying a break before getting ready to go right back to work for their 2014 rodeo line-ups. One year we will make it to see the NFR live and in person but for right now the internet and TV will have to suffice. Congratulations to all who qualified for the NFR this year and a special congratulations to our 2013 NFR World Champions.

🙂

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Thank You!

THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING INTERNATIONAL COWGIRL!!!
THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING INTERNATIONAL COWGIRL!!!

I would like to send a shout-out of humble thanks to all my blog followers today. Today I reached 100 followers and although it is a “small” milestone in the world of major blogging, it is still one that I would like to take time to thank everyone for.

This has been such an adventure so far and I absolutely love it. I have come across people from all walks of life, even some who are meant to be in my life as friends or maybe even family (ha ha) and I love sharing experiences, swapping stories and seeing everything you guys are writing about as you read about mine. You are all wonderful and have such talents in so  many areas. People all over the world are seeing our blogs and our words, photographs, and blog posts can add a little something good to their days. 🙂

Goofy Thoroughbred

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This picture will certainly get you smiling on this Friday! 🙂 This is our goof-ball, Spidey who loves to talk to us when he is hungry. He also has this one facial expression that says I’M STARVING or like this photo: Is there something in my teeth?! He does this when we ask him if he is hungry, he will nod his head and make this face, when we ask him if he wants a cookie (a Nicker-maker treat, which by the way smell AMAAAAAZING), or when we ask him to say please this is the face we get. So I guess you can say that he is very polite. Ha ha.

Now when a horse does this frequently it is a sign that they are uncomfortable, sick and colicing from what I’ve been told but this booger loves to do this for fun so for the most part we are not worried. He is truly a horse version of a silly teenage boy running around and thinking he is smaller than he actually is. At 16.2 hands, that is a whole lot of goof-ball to deal with but he listens well and tries to get one over on us sometimes but fails most of the time. He is a great horse and loves to ride. We got a new saddle pad for him and he is was practically showing it off and sporting it around as if to say “look, do ya like my new pad?” “does it make my butt look big?” – which was hilarious to see. He loves to stretch which one day I am determined to get a picture of him doing…he is the barn’s yoga teacher with his version of the downward facing dog. Ha ha!

So there is a little glimpse into the day by day adventure that I have with this big boy!

Stay tuned for more coming soon to a WordPress near you! 🙂

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Promise Acres

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Jennifer is the proud and loving owner of Promise Acres, a horse rescue out in Avon Park, FL. I mentioned her in a post back when Tractor Supply was helping local rescues. We met, with no surprise, through a mutual friend and I quickly came to support her cause and the rescue.

Promise Acres is run by Jennifer and her family, purely off of their own skills, talent, knowledge and funds without any government aid and they are dedicated to helping rehabilitate each horse and improve the horses lives for the better, resulting in much deserved happy homes in the future. Many people like the status and appearance of horse ownership, but never fully educate themselves on the cost and care involved. This causes more and more horses to receive substandard or no care resulting in weight loss, damaged hooves, hair loss, parasite infestations, lameness, starvation, abandonment, and sometimes even death. Their goal is to provide the best care possible to neglected, injured, exhausted, or un-needed horses and then in turn place them into knowledgeable and loving homes.

This weekend a group of us took a little road trip and volunteered around the rescue for their Horses for Heroes and Open House event. It turned out great. There was live music, horse and pony rides for the kids, a bounce house, marshmallow roast, tack for sale and tons of other stuff. We had donated a lot of items along with food and drink items for everyone. We took a walk around the entire rescue property and made sure all the horses whether they were rescues or the owners’ horses were loved on for a bit.

It was a nice day and the two hour drive there and back wasn’t so bad. We went past our old holiday home and areas which I haven’t been in years. We saw miles upon miles upon miles of orange groves which makes me wonder why on earth we import our orange juice from California and why on earth Florida orange juice is so dang expensive….but anyway, the day went well, Promise Acres had another successful event, we did some good volunteering and back home we went to take  of our animal kids. Mission accomplished.

Please check Promise Acres out at http://www.promiseacres.com/ or on Facebook. You might be able to help give a horse a much needed forever loving home. 🙂

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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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