This blog is about my life, a 31 yr old filly; working in the city, balancing her career, passion for horses, dogs, and the life they deserve. Following my dreams, and getting there takes a lot of patience and a sense of humour. This is my take on life, and the amazing and stupid things in it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Haynet Equestrian Blogger of the Year



  I have been a member of the Haynets' Equestrian Blogging site since the very beginning.  For those who aren't familiar with it, it is a Social Media site - where TONNES of horse blogs from all over the world are shared, and featured.  There are thousands of members now, and the topics of their equestrian blogs range from showing Icelandic ponies, to showjumpers, to those who keep horses at home and just starting out.  They feature blogs weekly and are very supportive.  There is also a horse care forum on the site.

 That being said, once a year they award the title of Equestrian Blogger of the Year.  This year there are 12 nominations, and I am surprised and thrilled that A Filly's Best Friend was chosen.  If you visit Haynet, you can see the list of bloggers nominated, and visit their blogs

 I would be honored to have your vote if you enjoy reading my blog.  Bragging rights and a nice hoodie from Haynet are on the line.

 Click here to be directed to the voting site.  I believe you can vote multiple times.

 Thanks for sticking around :) 

and just for kicks..... ;)



Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weenie Eventers Head to Hagyard Midsouth Three Day Challenge 2015 - Back on Track Giveaway!

 


















  You may have seen some news floating around - that my friends and I are planning a trip down to Kentucky next year - and no not for Rolex (although we are going there too :) ).  I have for years, and I mean YEARS wanted to head to Kentucky to compete in the Midsouth Three Day Challenge.  Originally, I wanted to take my old event horse and do the Long Format Three day.  Then when I had Archie I wanted to take him in the Training Three Day if we ever made it to Training Level.  Now, with Penny, I want to take her to the Long Format Three day!

  A while back I had talked about it with some friends.  We thought about how fun it would be to make a team and head down.  Then, just a few months ago after the 2014 Midsouth Challenge ended, we started talking more seriously and decided that 2015 would be our year.  There are 4 of us, all with horses at relatively the same level.  We talked about options and decided the best bet would be to aim for Beginner Novice as a team - since we are all comfortable there and it's an achievable goal for the group.  


 Then, we started to get some ideas.  Why not do some fundraising to help with the cost?  Why not touch base with some media outlets and see if we can make something of this?  A bunch of adult amateurs trying to cross something exciting of their bucket list?  With the four of us brainstorming surely we could come up with some ideas!  All that we needed was a name.... I couldn't help but think of this CoTH thread and thus - the Weenie Eventers were born!




  Team members include myself - on either Parker or William, Dana on Archie - Dana has never evented, just Short Courses, and Archie has evented 3 seasons up to Pre Training successfully.  Katie (whom I bought Penny and Dirk from) and her OTTB mare Bella - who has evented Pre Training, and Erica and her mare Destiny - who have successfully competed at Entry level.


  We have set up a Go Fund Me Page here - Send Weenie Eventers to Midsouth!, where we can accept monetary donations.  The first fundraiser we are doing is a Silent auction on Facebook - and we have had some FABULOUS donations so far.  This auction is going to have some seriously nice horse and non horsey things at rock bottom prices!  Some of the items and their sponsors include:


1. Island Sea Glass Designs- 5 handmade pendants and chains, framed piece of seaglass art,2 seaglass/driftwood mobiles (total retail $230) https://www.facebook.com/IslandSeaGlassDesigns

2. Taylor Made Photography -One hour photo session, 20 free photos of your choice on a CD with the option to purchase more. Belleville area.https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taylor-Made-Photography/345447458913461
3. Jonathan Taylor Farrier Services - 1 trim ($35 value). Northumberland/Quinte area.

4. Canadian Saddlery- 2 lightweight turnout blankets (retail $174.99 each), 2 Equisan H (retail $59.99 each), 2 Cornucrescine Hoof Dressing (24.95), 2 Ease Up (retail $39.99 each) www.canadiansaddlery.com
5. Rebecca Brown - 1 centered riding lesson
6. Dana Glass- Herbs for Horses Serenity supplement, Bobbys dressage bridle
7. Tori Myers- 2 schooling sessions at Catori Lane Stables, 2 entries to Catori Lane Stables Short Course www.catorilane.weebly.com
8. Katie Buxton- Ariat Pro Circuit show breeches, blue short sleeve short shirt
9. Erica Cobb- Ariat black cowboy boots
 10. Matthew's Auto- TBD
 11. PJ's Custom Embroidery- TBD http://www.pjscustomoutfitting.ca/en/
12. Kyla Ludlow- 2 blankets, bucket, jump stacks, saddle pad, 2 crops, purple gloves, bell boots, halter, 4 set of Professional Choice Boots
 13. Wilton Tack- Gift Certificates www.wiltontack.com
14. Countrified Design- Christmas Ornaments https://www.facebook.com/pages/Countrified-Design/307669266090247
 15. If The Bonnet Fits- fly bonnet https://www.facebook.com/ifthebonnetfitsNR
16. Unbridled Charms- Brow band and bracelet https://www.facebook.com/pages/Unbridled-Charm/1420899554842726
17. Lisa McGowan- StayOns Products
18. Tannery Lane Tack- 2015 Elise Genest ArtsCalendartannerylane.webs.com/
19. Painted Flanks- horse bum Xmas tree ornaments https://www.facebook.com/paintedflanks
20. Back On Track- quick wraps (retail $89.99) www.backontrack.com
21. Carly (Tori's sister)- Equine Super Diet retail $70
22. Horse Sport Mag- 1 year subscription and ball cap (total retail $50)www.horse-canada.com/horse-sport
23. Courtyard Marriott Hotel- two 1 night stays http://courtyard.marriott.com/
24. April Clay - 3 ebooks "Riding Out of Your Mind"http://www.bodymindmotion.com/index.htm
25. Greenhawk Stirling- Hurtta Cooling Dog Coat (retail $59.99), 2 pony size quarter sheets (retail $39.95 each), Kerrits Crossover Full Seat Breech (retail $159.95), Horse paint-by-number www.greenhawk.com
26. Tim Horton's- gift set of 2 mugs and box of Orange Pekoe tea
 27. Peterborough Tack- TBD
28. Greenhawk Peterborough - Elation Supasoft boot socks (retail $10.99) & size 6 Thinsulate Winter riding mittens (retail $26.99)
29. MacDougall Insurance - 4 Belleville Bulls tickets (retail approx $80 total)
30. Durham Farmers County Co-op - two bottle of EQyss MicroTek anti fungal shampoo (retail $32.99) and two packages of Carr Day & Martin Under the Tail Wipe (retail $11.99)
31. Miron Valley Stables- 1 private riding lesson (value $48)www.mironvalleystable.caNR 32. Tropical Gardens Pet Shop, Belleville Ontario - owner to donate assorted gift basket, gift card or aquarium
 33. Alicia Macdonald - 17' Brown, Wintec Western Saddle with saddle pad

So - you can see how awesome this is going to be!  I know some might not agree with asking for funding for our trip - but it is a way for us to make this dream more achievable.  For those who donate and sponsor - we appreciate it SO much!  For those who choose not to - your emotional support is just as nice!

 In order to spread the word, and get our awesome sponsors as much bang for their buck as possible, I am giving away a set of Back on Track Royal Quick Wraps - from Greenhawk!  This is a $90 value, and invaluable to your horses legs.  We all know and love Back on Track products, and here is chance to get grabby hands on some for yourself, or maybe you can gift them to someone you love during the Holidays!



 To enter is simple - First - you must follow my blog - A Filly's Best Friend.  Please comment on how you follow - Bloglovin', e-mail, Google, etc.  Then enter the Rafflecopter and follow the instructions!  The more you share, the more chances you have to win!  Some options are mandatory.  Contest starts today - and ends when the auction ends - December 10th 2014.  Contest open to WORLDWIDE entrants!  Winner will be picked by random generation through Rafflecopter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

  I will be posting regular updates from the Team and Sponsors on the blog. There has already been a lot happening so I will have to do some catch up posts.  To say we have received an overwhelming amount of support is an understatement.  There is a lot for us to be excited about this year and we reach towards our goal of competing at Midsouth.

 Thanks for reading - and Good Luck!

Sincerly, The Weenie Eventers!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sunday Baby Play Day



  We received a very light dusting of snow this weekend - but the temps were still far above zero.  The footing under the snow in the outdoor is actually perfect right now.  Soft but not sloppy.  I have been able to ride every night with the lights - it's keeping my spirits high and I have not yet started to regret the decision to leave the horses at home over the winter.  I will ride as much as possible without an arena, even if it means freezing my butt off!

 Sunday Nicole and I took the babies out for some work.  We put a saddle and bridle on Oliver for the first time and he literally did nothing but make a face for a few minutes like "what is this rubber thing in my mouth!?!".  He walked off with the saddle on and didn't even flinch, so perhaps he has worn one before.



  I put a saddle on Dirk for the first time also.  He just kind of looked at me like "WHY MOM WHY".  He stood really quietly in the cross tries while we got Oliver sorted, then we headed out to the ring.  Nicole worked on Oliver in hand, walking, halting, getting him to move off her hand behind the girth.  I just walked Dirk around and practiced some halts and backing up.  He spooked at the woods and reared up, and I let go of his rope.  Of course, he then ran off back to his field like a goof.  Parker tried to eat his saddle. I had to go back out there to catch him and bring him back to the ring.  Good sign - he did let me catch him. He then behaved much more civilized.




 It's a good thing I've started this boy early, I think waiting any longer and he will be too big to handle his shenanigans.  Overall though - I have to say he really is an excellent baby.  And what can be said about Oliver.  He didn't move a muscle when Dirk ran off and was a perfect gentleman in the ring.  This little horse is going to be stellar.  Look how cute he looks with his English tack on!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Welcome Oliver!



  Yesterday was an exciting day on the farm, it was the day Nicole got her very first horse!  A cute little 5 year old Registered Appaloosa gelding, who she named, Oliver.  Oliver hasn't done much in his 5 years of life.  He was purchased by a woman who shows Appies last year.  She is currently pregnant, without time to work with him.  He is a more forward type guy, with a nice big floaty trot - not exactly suitable for western pleasure.  He has a sweet, sweet demeanour, and with some work - I know this guy is going to make a perfect partner for Nicole for many years to come!

 Welcome Oliver to Catori Lane!  Hope you like it here :)






















Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Repost - Lest We Forget Ours Soldiers - Humans and Horses

  Today is remembrance day.  I wished my husband a happy Remembrance Day and he quickly reminded me that it is not a "happy" day.  He said this day brings out more reflection in him than normal.  I said I thought of it as a time to reflect and remember, but be happy and thankful for what our soldiers did and do for us.  Maybe I don't quite understand like he does, he is the one in the military after all. 

  Not long ago, when we first met, we visited the National War Museum in Ottawa.  It is a fabulous display of all the wars Canada has been involved in over the last centuries.  There was a large amount of information on the horses used in each war and how critical their roles were.  It got me thinking, what would have been without the horses?  Those horses were soldiers too.  Loyal, brave, soldiers.

  The horses used in war ranged from pony types, to Thoroughbreds, Warmbloods, and even Mules.  As many Mules were used as horses in war.  These horses were cherished, the soldiers knew their worth and adored them like we do our show horses.   They were pampered in the stables and relaxed sweetly, and in the blink of an eye would be forced out and become the bravest horses in the land, galloping straight into the belly of hell and fire.

 More horses were killed in the war than I care to mention.  The numbers are staggering.  There were special vets brought in to stay at the camps and tend to the injured horses.  Many suffered shrapnel and bullet wounds.  Many died of dehydration.  They came equipped with gas masks to make it through the fog.  They all spent the last moments of their lives doing the bravest thing we have ever know.  They did it all for us, and why?  Because they are loyal, amazing animals. This solidifies my eternal love of horses. 

  The book War Horse by Michael Morpurgo has been turned into a play, which in turn, is now being turned into a Spielberg film.  The story follows a young man whose horse is sold into the Calvary.  His strong bond forces him to travel to France to enlist despite being under age.  It could be great, I hope it is.  I know it will at the very least be a tear jerker.  I want to try and get a copy of the book to read before the movie is out.

  I found some great pictures online.  The horses all look to be in top condition and turned out sharply considering the conditions. Oh what we owe them.






Here they are being loaded onto a ship.



Japanese war Mules.



Pack horses lined up.


German soldiers naked, bathing with their horses.


War horses waiting in Paris.



Horses getting loaded onto the train. The trains arrived every 10 minutes.

I love this horse.


These guys clearly love their horses.



I think this guy was pulling the raft across the river.

 Today, I would like to remember those soldiers who lost their lives for our freedom.  I give my heart to them and families who have loved, lost, and supported the soldiers come and gone.  I would like for everyone to also remember those horses who fought so loyally, so bravely, and so admirably.  We can not imagine what the world would be like without our human, and horse soldiers.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

When They Talk - Listen


  Sometimes I really annoy myself.  Sometimes I really let myself down.  Sometimes I wish I could go back and change what I have done, but we all know you can't do that.  That is life.  Learning from bad decisions.  Growing from mistakes.  The most annoying thing is when you do something and you know you should have known better,  but you did it anyway.  I can beat myself up for days over these things.

  Since our last event, maybe even a little before that, Penny has been not wanting to accept the contact.  She has never really accepted it, but with each ride she gets fussier and fussier.  She is great over fences because I don't touch her mouth at all, only through half halts.  These past few weeks have been really trying.  At the canter Penny has been an absolute nightmare.  Grabbing the bit, running off, throwing her head in the air, and the other day she actually bolted on me and zipped around the arena a few times before I could stop her.  She is never like that.  This was after an already very frustrating ride.  I will admit something I am not proud of - I lost my temper.  When I was finally able to pull her up, I reached my arm out and smacked her upside the head.  I'm embarrassed to even admit this.  I don't know why I am even sharing this.  But it happened.


  Then, I realized what I done and just unmounted.  Then, I started to cry.  I never hit my horses.  I never lose my temper.  I guess I can't say that anymore because it happened, and I did.  I just took Penny's bridle off and hugged her and said I was sorry.  I don't deserve this beautiful horse and she clearly hates me.  I can't ride her for shit and now all I want to do is have a pity party and cry all night.  I have never in my life felt so guilt ridden as that night.  I took Penny back to the barn and gave her a good brush, a rub down, and wrapped her legs.  She worked really hard.  It was more like a fight.  I fed her her dinner and added some bute in case she was sore from the work.  Maybe she was sore in general.  Maybe that's why she is so unwilling right now. Maybe I smacked my sore horse who was trying to tell me something. Wow, I'm a horrible person.


  A few weeks ago I checked her mouth after reading the judges comments -"horse is extremely unhappy in the mouth".  Her edges were O.K but I noticed this strange edge of her upper right molar - it looked like a hook but it was almost like a new tooth growing.  It was very very tiny.  It was poking out the side but just barely.  I did a little research but got no where and figured it must be a wolf tooth that was late coming in.  I thought this might be what was bothering her, or maybe she was in pain in her hind end.  Could be the mouth, could be the hocks, could be anything really.  Could be her just being a red headed Thoroughbred mare.



this is how we entered the ring - not happy at all

  Yesterday, still feeling blue about my actions, I was talking to my sister and telling her about Penny.  She mentioned my vet was already heading to my moms (she works for him) and I should have him swing by after to check on Penny on his way back.  What perfect timing.  She set it up for me and after work he came by.  He looked at Pennys mouth and commented that it sure was strange.  It looked as though a sliver of tooth had somehow been embedded in her gums for quite some time and was now making its way to the surface.  We figure the tooth either fell out, or broke off several years ago.  Ever since it has been buried deep in her gum line right where the bit spot is.  Slowly making its way out.


sleepy girl after extraction


tooth splinter - the bane of our existence?

   The vet explained this would cause significant nerve pain, and that this is probably why throughout all her training with me and before me she has had issues with flat work and accepting the bit.  With a little happy juice, a needle in the gums, he was able to extract the tooth splinter.  The entire procedure took under 5 minutes.  Her mouth should heal in a week and I will be able to start riding again.  Only then will I know if that has been the issue all along.  If she isn't better then we will do a full lameness exam with X Rays...but something in me tells me this was it.  


 I had a feeling it was pain related a long time ago, but I ignored it.  I ignored it to the point where I got so upset and frustrated that I lashed out and hit my horse.  This is truly unacceptable in my eyes.  I know I'm not perfect, and it's these instances that remind me that I am still just human.  I need to try harder though, for my horses.  I'm sorry Penny.  I'm sorry I ignored the signals.  I'm sorry I took it out on you.  I'm sorry I didn't understand, or chose to ignore.  It won't happen again.  I will not ignore what my horse is saying to me.  This is a promise.


 This is a promise I can't ever break.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Love Affair With Amerigo


  After a month of waiting - my new dressage saddle finally arrived last week.  This has been a year long journey - finding the right saddle - and at the right price for Miss Pen.  She was fit last year by my coach and saddle fitter at Equestrian Imports,  By using pictures, video, and stencils, we determined the make, model, and size of saddle that would fit both Penny and I and place my body in the most desired position.  Of course in true Tori style, it has to be the most expensive and hardest to find model, the Amerigo Cortina.  Sigh.

 For the last year I have watched eBay and Tack Sale pages on Facebook.  A few popped up here and there but they were the wrong tree or the wrong seat size.  Sure, there are some out there now - but the price tag is way over my budget.  I'm in more of the "well loved" category for pricing than the, "shiny and new".

 Then one day in September, I decided to check eBay UK...and there it was.  The Amerigo Cortina, med wide tree - in a 17.5 seat.  The exact saddle I need - at a price I could live with!  Having purchased saddles on eBay before, I was confident to do so.  I hit the "Buy It Now" button and then danced with excitement!  Finally, after 9 long months of doing dressage in my close contact, I was finally going to have a dressage saddle that fit!







  Days came and went, then weeks.  I started to get nervous but the seller assured me it was on it's way.  Then, just after a month passed, Jessica and I were out riding when my husband came home with a big carboard box.  I knew he had stopped at the Post Office, but I had just ordered some blankets and thought that might be what it was.  Not wanting to get too excited - we watched from a distance as he took it to the barn and opened the box.  We saw a big black blob come out and knew it was indeed - the saddle! Whoo hoo!

  The next day I put it on Penny for the first time.  True to our measurements, it fit her very well.  The first sit in it was instant dressage seat!  My legs felt longer, I could sit taller, and I felt so much more in the right place for flat work.  The seat size fit like a glove.  This is the start of a new relationship, which will hopefully blossom into a long, loving relationship with dressage on Penny. 






 I highly recommend Amerigos to anyone looking for a dressage saddle.  They make trees specifically designed for each type of topline you can think of - uphill, downhill, high withered, high withers with a dip behind, flat withers, etc, etc.  They come in several leather styles - mine is just the classic (cheap) version, but you can get yummy calfskin Pinerolo with nicer finishing lines as well.  I've ridden in 4 different models, and they all feel different, but if you have the right model on the right horse -they feel like a cloud.  For example my moms feels amazing on Ace, but strange on Penny.  It all works together to create a nice harmony between you and your horse.

 And, I'm in love.



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