Horsing Around

As mentioned in a previous post, our friend Sam is part of the horse racing industry. After meeting her friends Herb and Caroline at Grand River, I was eager to learn more about the horses and what goes on behind the scenes.

Lucky for me, Sam’s friends really liked me, so invited us out to their farm in Milton.

Sam took Kira and I to the farm early Monday morning to help wash, groom and prepare the horses for their daily jog around the track.

Herb and Caroline worried about Kira and I working with some of the more unpredictable horses, so assigned us to work with three they felt were safe.

First we groomed Gem and got her ready for her jog. I brushed her with the softer brush, while Kira worked on her mane and tail and then we both cleaned out her hooves. Then Sam helped us put her gear on, showing me each step so I’d get an idea of how it all worked.

Kira and I with one of the horses we groomed.

It’s not totally the same, but the harness racing gear is sort of like the gear Canyon wears for drafting.

Maybe I’ll see if Sam will explain it all to me so I can post it here sometime.

After Gem was ready, herb took her on to the track.

Next we worked with Love Detective or Lovie. Lovie isn’t as nice as gem in my opinion, she isn’t as streamlined, her hips are really boney and kind of stick out. Sam says the best horses are the ones with big butts, lol!

Lovie is a 3 year old filly. She is a really dark brown bay horse. I really need to ask Kira to describe how each of the horses look again, so that I can explain it better.

She was really patient. She stood calmly while I brushed the dust out of her coat and Kira combed her mane and tail. Then Sam came and we got her ready to take out. Kira really wanted to help Sam jog her, but Sam wasn’t sure how Lovie would be, so asked us to stay in the stable and help Caroline bath Photo Wine or Wine for short.

wine was a 2 or 3 year old gelding. He was going to race that evening, so needed to have a bubble bath.

first Sam wet him down completely with the hose then Kira and I got out sponges to soak Wine with soapy water and wipe down his body. he was perfectly happy to stand and wait for us to finish cleaning him. After he was thoroughly soaped up, we took turns hosing him off. Kira worked on his back end while I did his front and the top of his back since Kira couldn’t reach. At one point herb came over to tell me that I needed to aim a bit lower because I was hitting the horse in the next stall, lol!

While we were all busy working with the horses, Molly, Kira’s 2 year old female French bulldog was running around the stable looking for rats and other critters. At one point she found a toad that was probably half the size of her head. She went to grab it with her mouth and it sprayed her, causing her to foam for several minutes straight. While Molly foamed, Kira grabbed some water for her and Sam took the toad outside where it could find a new place to hang out.

I think I want to bring the golden retrievers to the farm the next time we go. I think Canyon will enjoy wandering around the stable and it will be good for Arizona to learn to interact properly with horses and other people.

After we finished bathing Wine, I stood with my back against one of the stalls. I didn’t know who was inside until Herb told me “your horse is in that stall behind you”. It turns out Gem was in the stall and she kept nuzzling the back of my head and neck and tried to eat my hood a few times, lol! Every time I turned to touch her, she’d back up and then when I turned, she’d return to nuzzle and check me out, lol!

caroline asked Kira and I to groom her again because she had been washed after her jog and needed to be brushed. Both Kira and I love this filly, so were eager to spend more time with her.

I brushed her with the soft brush and Kira combed out her mane and tail. Then Kira asked if it would be okay if she braided Gem’s mane and Caroline said sure. Unfortunately, Kira wasn’t able to finish the braids because lunchtime for the horses came, but she got about half of Gem’s mane done and it felt really neat. It would have been cool to see how her mane looked after the braids were taken out.

Once all of the horses were given their lunch of pellets made by Purina, Sam took Kira and I into the field to visit the brood mares and their foals.

a brood mare checks me out.

A foal checks out Kira.

There were about five mares and 5 foals, most of which were females.

I'm in a field with a number of foals and brood mares.

The foals were about 3 or 4 months old and 3 of them were really interested in us.

I'm surrounded by foals and maybe even a brood mare or two.

We had some foals biting at our clothing and others trying to bite our bums. It was a really neat thing to experience. I had never been around such young horses.

Kira with the foals.

Magical Gem

Our friend, Sam, has her horse racing and trainer license. She used to race regularly, but now tends to only help friends warm up or care for their horses. Huib works with her and we became really good friends almost immediately.

On Wednesday her friend’s horse, Magical Gem, was racing at Grand River raceway in flora, so her and I took off for the track. When we arrived, we went directly into the stables and I got to meet Gem and meet several of her friends which included a couple jockeys, like Sylvain Filion, that I often hear about when we go to watch horse racing at Mohawk.

It was SO cool! I have always loved horses, so it was really neat to be able to get up close and personal with real race horses and their owners, trainers and drivers.

When it was time for Gem to race, we went out to the benches to watch. gem did well at first, she was in third place until the last quarter. then she broke stride and fell back to fifth or sixth place.

Magical Gem is a two year old copper coloured Bay. She is dappled and has a bit of white (I think) on a couple of her legs, but otherwise I think she’s just copper colour. she was very patient when getting her gear on and she really enjoyed the attention she got from us.

I stand with gem in her stall at Grand River while she waits to go home.

After Gem’s race, we went into the horsemen dining room and ate with Sam’s friends herb and Caroline. they were so interesting to talk to and really nice to me. When dinner was finished they got ready to load gem back into the trailer to go home, so Sam and I took off.

I can’t wait to go to another race with Sam, she does an amazing job at explaining what is happening.

5 Already…

Guess what everyone!!!

I am 5 years old today!!

Mommy says she can’t believe I am already 5, but I say 5 is just a number and nothing to be concerned about 🙂

Boy, I have had a good day so far…I got a hand full of Froot Loops and some veal neck bones for breakfast, then Mommy shared some of her Skittles with me – I LOVE Froot Loops and Skittles!!

Later my friend Kira and her Mom are coming to visit…I wonder if they have presents for me…

Mommy says her and Kira are going to bake me a cake to share with Rogue and Cessna, I wonder if that means i will need to share it with Kira’s dog, Molly….she’s okay, so maybe I don’t mind sharing.

if I’m good and Daddy gets home early enough, Mommy says we’re going to Rens to get some new toys, come on Daddy, get home in time!!

It’s been great so far being 5…

A Taste of Bailey

Bailey is probably the more photogenic of the three visitors, so here are 3 pictures of just her.

Bailey lies on a dark brown leather couch.

Bailey lies on a red sleeping bag on the couch by Brooke's legs. Brooke is sitting on the couch wearing a dark green hooded sweatshirt with a bear paw on the front.

Bailey lies across the console of the dark brown leather couch. she is lying beside Brooke.

Bailey isn’t as active or playful as the rest of the dogs in the house, but she is definitely the most cuddly.

Fun With Dad

Canyon running through the forest with a wild look on his face, sort of like the smile on the Joker.

Canyon wagging his tail in the forest.

Cessna sitting in the forest with an icy beard.

Rogue making a path through really deep snow.

Rogue running through the forest.

8 Years Already

HAPPY 8TH ANNIVERSARY HUIB!!

It’s hard to believe eight years have already gone by since our amazing wedding day.

I can still remember the stress of planning and then the excitement as the day drew near. I still remember the butterflies I had getting dressed in my gorgeous wedding dress, knowing that in just one short hour I’d be walking down the aisle. I still remember the huge smile I couldn’t hide as I walked with Dad and Uncle Daryl to join you at the front of the room with Reverend Anne. Even though we had been together for 5 years, I still remember how thrilled I was to be told we were now “husband and wife”.

Huib, you complete me. Before you, I was happy and content with my life, but with you I’m whole. I was fine on my own, but with you, I’m perfect.

thank you for 8 wonderful years as your wife, and thank you for 13 unforgettable years as your friend and lover.

A Rogue Fall

Rogue walks among fallen trees wearing her new, black with teal and white sort of flowers, RC Pets coat.

Rogue stands on a tree stump looking over her right shoulder into the camera.

It’s getting a little chillier these days, so Rogue finds it nicer to explore the outdoors wearing her new winter coat.

Romeo & Juliet?

Or just a handsome golden stud, who really loves his Mommy…

Rogue Swims!

Today was a beautiful day, so we packed the gang into the orlando and headed off to Clear Lake.

Rogue hasn’t been much of a swimmer, choosing to bounce around on the shore while the others retrieved a toy or stick we threw for them.

Two weekends ago, we went to Woofstock in Toronto and bought three life jackets. Today we put one of the life jackets onto Rogue and hoped it might give her a little more confidence – it worked!

She didn’t swim as much as the others, but she swam nonetheless.

Fishing With Rogue

This afternoon Huib and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and take Rogue fishing. We weren’t too sure what we were thinking, taking the Rogue puppy, but we knew it would be an adventure anyways lol!

When we first arrived at the fishing destination, there was no one around, except for us. I had Rogue wear her Easy Walk Harness and then looped her leash through my belt so that I had both hands to reel in my line if I were to catch a real big fish. rogue isn’t a big swimmer, so we didn’t see an issue with her wanting to jump off the dock into the water, but we didn’t realize that she would find it necessary to talk the entire time we were out. She was either bored, or trying to call the fish, because she pretty much talked the entire three hours we were fishing – making her moans and groans and whines.

Huib was the better fisherman today, he caught two Pike and had a one and a half foot Pickerol before it became free. All I managed to do, was lose three brightly coloured lures lol!

After three hours of fishing, we had used up the worms and grubs Huib collected from our garden, so decided to pack up for the day. I’m not sure, but I think Rogue was also ready to go home.