Fall always seems to get so busy! After spending the summer hiding from the heat and humidity it is as though the cooler autumn months want to both make up for the misery of July and August and to give us a gift before the icy days of winter.
I went to the races Friday night which was great. It is so nice to be able to sit and watch the races, have a decent inexpensive dinner and visit with friends.
Saturday was spent dog training and attending a cookout at work. I was called in a bit unexpectedly to stay overnight at the clinic to care for an emergency and then spent yesterday catching up on some cleaning and a bit of nap time. It was a rainy day and I love sleeping while I listen to the thunder and rain.
The next few weeks will get really hectic. I have a freestyle competition coming up this weekend where I am judging and also competing. I get to dress up and play a pirate in the morning with my dog TillyBelle and friends Kris and her dog Roxie. Lots of friends will be coming in to compete and to help so it should be a grand time for all! Spur and I will be dancing to Soul Man from the Blues Brothers with friends that also have big blue merle dogs and Flag-puppy will be making his debut also during the Show and Go....
The following weekend I am doing demonstrations out at A Dog Walk In The Park to benefit the Bella Foundation. This is a group that in addition helps to find homes for unwanted dogs and cats helps to pay for vet expenses for senior citizens who cannot afford to keep their animals healthy. It is a great cause and I am proud to be able to help them raise money. The three freestyle dogs will be attending with me.
The next day I will be taking TillyBelle up to Edmond to run her in a couple of agility games. That will be her reward for working so hard doing what I like to do over the next couple of weekends.
The healthy eating lifestyle is going pretty well. I take a couple of steps back on occasion but for the most part I am sticking to a much healthier way of eating than I have been doing in the past. It is funny how even a few days of proper eating makes you feel better. And how just one meal of not so healthy options can make you feel pretty crummy. It sure shows that our bodies are crying for us to care for them.
Another interesting development. I have been suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) since I was a teenager. When I complained as a child I was told that they were growing pains, but I think it is time to give that idea up for good. Anyway- these creepy crawly feelings in my knees and calves have kept me from sleeping many times over the years. I read the other day that taking a bar of soap and putting in under your fitted sheet down by the foot of the bed can help control or even cure them. Sounds crazy- but I went ahead and gave it a try. The jury is still out- but the feelings did seem diminished last night. So I will leave my two bars of soap under there and see how it goes for awhile.
I have a big draft cross gelding named Cali. It is short for Excalibur (from the Sword in the Stone). I got on a bit of a Camelot phase a few years ago. My Border Collie that I showed in the breed ring is Celestrials Lady Guenevere, another horse is Joyous Guarde (the name of Lancelot's castle where he held his trysts with the Lady Gwen) and another is Princess Elizabeth (LizzieBeth)...
Anyway it is time to get Cali trained. He is a big quiet boy and has worn a saddle and bridle, has done a bit of round pen work and is in general very quiet. I got him out of Canada when he was just about three months old. He was pretty sick when he arrived, but after a few months he rallied and became a big strong boy.
The night that he came down to Oregon from Canada the news station came out to do a story on the babies. There was a cattle truck filled with about 60 of them that various people in Oregon and California had saved. They wanted to do a story to raise public awareness about the problem. Even though Cali had never been handled by people before that night he stood quietly with wires and lights draped around, over and on top of him while they broadcast that night from my backyard. I knew then that he was probably going to be quiet enough even for me.
This was at the height of the Premarin problems. Premarin is an estrogen replacement that is made from pregnant mare's urine. A few years ago it was the most widely prescribed medication in the US. Any woman who was past menopause was offered the chance to relieve her symptoms by taking this. But then studies started showing a correlation between the medication and breast cancer and the stock in this Wyeth product plummeted. At the time there were hundreds of Premarin farmers scattered across Canada who all owned hundreds of pregnant mares each that stood for 9 months out of the year tied up with their urine being collected 24-7. At one time all of the resulting foals were slaughtered immediately at birth and 9 days later their moms were bred back to insure that they stayed in foal about 50 weeks out of the year. Pressure from animal groups caused regulations to be put into place that allowed the foals to be born outside and allowed to stay with their mamas for the first two months of their lives while the mares became pregnant naturally while running with a stallion within their respective herd. However after two months the foals were still allowed to be sold for slaughter purposes.
People started to step in and try to save these foals. And that is how I got Cali. I became the US rep for a rescue group in Canada and we saved over 800 mares and foals in the year that we did this job. After the first year the industry had whittled down to just a few farms and the need for heavy duty rescuing stopped.
But the personal result for me (other than the expenditure of literally tens of thousands of dollars that I spent) was that in my back yard stands Cali, Lizzie and Joy, just three of the dozens of PMU mares and babies that came through my backyard over a couple of years.
My driving mare Splash was also a PMU mare that I purchased after moving to Oklahoma. She is a wonderful driving horse, but when she is loose she still reverts back to the nature of most PMU mares....untrusting and fearful of people. I have had her for 5 years and she is still terrified when I go to catch her. Once she is caught she settles and works, but it is a very difficult process to get her caught in the first place.
But anyway....back to Cali..... he is a big buckskin guy with a couple of white body splotches. He is a pretty crude moving horse, but hopefully as he goes through training he will learn to be a bit more of an athletic boy. After this coming weekend when I know that the hot weather is probably pretty much gone for the year I will start him back in training and I have hopes that by next spring he will be a nice riding boy.
It is hard because at his size and age (he is 7 years old now and I think that he is done growing) I want him to be big and really fat, but I know that I need to keep him on the light side for his health and soundness sake.
So part of Cali's life will be in my blog.....my animals are such a big part of my life that it cannot be any other way.
And that is how these past few days and the next few days will be going. Busy, happy, stuffed with music and dance and dogs.....
Life is good.
Thank you for listening, I really appreciate it.
Laura....not even sure what her weight is today.......