Peter Campbell ~ And So Much More!

Hello December!!!

November flew by…not sure where it went to be honest with you.

The beginning of November saw us ‘hosting’ Dr Glenn Bailey at our ranch as a part of a western Manitoba tour of duty he was doing working on equine and canine patients. Dr Glenn is a (human) chiropractor, and is also the first certified animal chiropractor in the province. I am a huge believer in chiropractic medicine for myself, so I thought why not try it out on one of our equines. Our two year old filly “Barbie” had been unsound after being on less than ideal footing in the late winter/early spring of 2011. A freeze/thaw/freezing rain cycle brought ice covered areas and we’re thinking she injured herself on the uneven and slippery footing. The first time we saw Dr Glenn was at Taylor McEarchern’s Wheat City Stables in Brandon MB in September. As we walked Barbie over to Dr Glenn, his first comment was “I don’t like the looks of that back end!”. She was very stiff, not able to step under herself very well and didn’t lead up well. After working on her, she was moving a lot better, able to step under herself better and lead up beautifully! Then of course, I had to get an adjustment done on myself as well…it’s not everyday that a chiropractor comes to you! We made arrangements to have Barbie looked at again in a few months–the beginning of November. Dr Glenn came to our place and not only did we have Barbie looked and adjusted again, we also had our wonderful aged appaloosa gelding looked at as well. Some friends trailered their horses over to get worked on and a good time was had by all. We’re happy to report that Barbie is doing well after her adjustments and we are looking forward to putting her back under saddle in the new year! Disclaimer–Please contact your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment if you feel that your horse is unsound.

One of the highlights of November was participating in Peter Campbell’s final horsemanship clinic of the 2011 clinic tour! There was a slight last minute change of location, but it all worked out and what an fantastic clinic it was. We were fortunate to have had such wonderful clinic hosts in Roger and Bonnie DeWitt of Sandhills Stables near Saskatoon, SK. The thought of riding in a clinic in November in Saskatchewan might be crazy….but not in the comfort of their huge, heated indoor arena!! What a treat! Mother Nature did cooperate with those of us that “camped” in our horse trailers….the weather was mild and we didn’t freeze our tails off at night. As for the clinic itself, I usually come out of a clinic thinking “OH WOW… incredible!” and I did this time as well. Albeit, this was a different kind of “OH WOW!” For me, the importance of what we were shown and taught this time around was much subtler…..and I’m waiting for it to smack me between the eyes with it’s true importance. It might be another week, another month, a year, ten years. I will understand it’s importance, and I can’t wait until I do. That’s one of the best things about riding with Peter….he leaves you wanting more~any one who has had the opportunity to ride with Peter will agree with me on that! A huge thank you to the DeWitts for the hospitality and use of their fantastic facility, to Quinton Senger (and Trina!….can’t forget about the gal that helps makes this all happen!) for getting this all organized, to the other clinic participants, and of course to Peter for braving a western Canadian diesel shortage and spending the weekend imparting more of your knowledge on us.

One of the less than spectacular aspects of November was two visits to the vet! (Touch wood) we are very lucky as to not require vet visits for other than routine things…..castrations or rabies vaccines for instance. In early November, a curious two year old decided to “make friends” with a porcupine! Luckily, he only ended up with a handful of quills in the nose…but call #1 to the vet was made. Later in the month, we were unlucky enough to have our first experience with a choking horse. Our horses are turned out 24/7 with either pasture or hay to graze on all the time, no reason for a horse to bolt their feed. So we were quite taken aback when we went out to the barn to load up for the weekly installment of 4H to find that our darling Bowie was choking on the grain we had given her when we put her in the barn. 4H was shelved for the night and after three phone calls (mental note…try not to have a veterinary emergency during the week of Agribition!) and failed attempts to locate a vet. Thanks to our one vet, she was able to ‘hook us up’ with Dr Joe King from Virden Animal Hospital. Dr Joe and (his now fiancee!!!!) Dr Gita were there when we pulled in to the vet clinic. Between Drs Joe and Gita and one AMAZINGLY cooperative Bowie horse, they were able to clear the blockage without the use of restraint (read–no twitch!). He did use sedative only after not being able to pass the tube up her left nostril due to the blockage. We were so proud of our girl! The next day, she was back to her normal self…not thrilled that we kept her in a pen in the yard overnight so to be able to check on her first thing in the morning! All is well! For more information regarding choke in horses, it’s diagnosis and treatment, please contact your veterinarian.

We can’t talk about November without mentioning our “family” vacation to Regina SK to take in Western Canadian Agribition! We came, we saw, we conquered. From the trade show, to “the swamp” and ranch horse show and sale to the rodeo, a great time was had by all with good friends from near and far! Too bad it’s another 350 some odd days until we get to do it again.

I am not a materialistic person and to be honest, buying a gift for someone because a guy in a red suit and white beard tell me it’s that time of year grinds my gears. We make sure that our son gets to experience Christmas in that we make sure “Santa” has left him something under the tree–or in the case of Christmas 2011….THE BARN! He’s getting his own horse for Christmas this year! He’s been riding him for the past month, but dosn’t know that he’s actually his yet. We’ll do him up with the big red bow and the whole deal for the Christmas morning SURPRISE. Don’t worry…I will make sure to have my camera to capture the moment! We’re also imparting the importance of “it’s better to give than to receive”…..which means I better get off my duff and get some shopping and wrapping done. Oh…the things we do!

My favorite part of the Christmas season truly is getting together with family and friends, which to us, are one in the same. Now I’m opening up the table for discussion! What’s your favorite memory of Christmas? What’s your favorite thing to do around Christmas? I’ll even indulge you and ask “What’s on your list for Santa?!” I’ll start the discussion and tell you I’ve asked “Santa” for an nice indoor arena LOL!
Enjoy your December and I look forward to your comments!!



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