For the love of dogs


At the advice of my bestie and writing mentor, I am posting a chapter of my memoir that recently won honorable mention in a contest. As with many things in life, we rarely take the time to pat our own back or find it in ourselves to be proud of something we’ve done. I know I am one who has always struggled with low self-esteem and when it comes to writing I’m my own worst enemy. But the more I reach out and meet other writers, I learn that writer’s self- loathing is common. We edit, edit, edit, then re-edit again and proclaim our manuscript is rubbish and should never see the light of day.

Well, I’m taking my friend’s advice and posting this. No it didn’t win, but I am happy that it stood out to a few literary judges who read many entries from across the states and…

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Failing Toward Success


I was standing in the Show Office at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and the show secretary was looking for my Intermediare 1 Adult Amateur division test results. There was a glass jar with with sweets and wrapped chocolates. I picked out a chocolate and had just popped it into my mouth when the secretary  handed me my test sheet and …… a blue ribbon. FIRST PLACE!!  I nearly choked on the chocolate , coughing and spluttering.  “Are you ok?” the show secretary asked. “Yes,” I croaked. “I’m just so surprised to have placed first!”

C.S. Lewis once said “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”  This past weekend I rode the Inter 1 test on two days.  The first day’s test was a mix of good–not good–good–not good.  So on the second day I knew where I was going to have to…

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The Boys and their tag team morning routine.

Lucky Otters Haven

I have three cats.  BabyCat is my old girl, getting up there in years but as needy and neurotic as ever.  Then there are The Boys. Marley and Sheldon.   I may not have mentioned Marley before (named after Bob Marley), who is really no more than a big kitten, or catlet, since he is over 6 months but less than a year old.  That’s him above in my daughter’s arms, and he’s every bit as devilish as he looks.

Marley and Sheldon (my black and white tuxedo, pictured below) have a morning routine that works every time.  There is no way I’m getting back to sleep when they team up for their daily torment regimen.

Sheldon taught Marley a neat trick: knocking small objects off dressers, tables, etc.  Sheldon always did this to get attention, and he’d keep looking at you while he slowly extended his paw toward the object…

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Monday Minstrel: Signs! Signs! Everywhere Signs!


“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?” 

Does anyone else remember the ‘Five Man Electrical Band’ song from back in the day? Well, there were a number of signs at the Winter Equestrian Festival, held in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, that brought that song to mind. But they were all there for a purpose, not to block out the scenery, or “break” my mind.  Here they are…


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Perspective and Redemption.



Biasini and I rode our first Intermediare 1 test. It was not as I had imagined it. But more of that later.


I woke up and thought:  “Oh my….I’ve got to go out there and do it all again.”   It felt like I had a mountain to climb. Then I remembered.

Two days before the show we heard that a friend of my husband’s was back in hospital. He had spent four months in hospital and we had been happy to hear, a couple of weeks ago, that he was able to go home. But it did not last. Now he was back in hospital. They cannot get him stabilized.

I said to myself: “I am so lucky. I am healthy, well, able to get up in the Florida sunshine and ride.”  I said a prayer for our friend and sprang out of bed!


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The heartbreak of loosing a pet | Multiple experienceS

I’ve been blogging for a little shy of two years. I’ve come across many other blogs in that time. However I have one that is truly my favorite, Conversations with Stella. Conversations with Stella is…

Source: The heartbreak of loosing a pet | Multiple experienceS

Robyn Andrews: Para Equestrian Competing for the Worlds.


Robyn Andrews, para equestrian and paralympian ,is the second of my interviews of Canadian dressage riders competing this winter in Wellington Florida with the goal of representing Canada in the World Equestrian Games (WEG) this September. I am asking each of the riders the same set of questions.


Here are Robyn’s answers to my questions.

When did  you start to ride?  I started to ride for therapy when I was 18 years old. My Physiotherapist thought that it might help with my balance and coordination. I would ride once a month. I had never ridden in my life so it was very difficult for me . I had a leader and two side walkers for 5 years.
When did you decide you could be a para-equestrian and not just a therapy rider?Therapists said I had that competitive drive and asked would I ever consider competing. Then the then coach…

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Monday Minstrel: Humor from the Far Side




A little of Gary Larsen’s humor from the Far Side to brighten your Monday!

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Monday Minstrel: Flying Horse!


I would like to introduce you to the FLYING horse. Not a ‘Pegasus’ Dear Readers!   A flying dressage horse.   Let’s start with examining the canter. In dressage we want a clear three beat canter. In some other disciplines they do not want the horse to be airborne and are happy with a four beat canter. But in dressage it must be three beat. The fourth beat is silent because the horse is in the air. It is in that airborne moment that the horse can change leads. The lead is either the right or the left depending on which of the horse’s front legs are “leading” in the canter. When the horse is in the air that is the moment it can change leads.  It is called a flying change and in dressage we want lots of flying in that change. The rider asks for the flying change one stride…

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The Sighting of a Lifetime.

The Life of a Safari Guide

Thursday 11th of January. A day I will remember forever.


The morning started off well with standard  sightings of elephants and buffalo, but we were left frustrated when the lions that we had responded to decided to move off into the bush as we arrived. This meant my guests only vaguely saw the ear of a lion which was rather annoying.

Yet as always, when you’re feeling down Africa will always bring you back up, just as it can bring you crashing down after an almighty high. When I drive, I base it around waterholes, often visiting two or three different water points during the drive. My rationale: every animal needs water to survive. On the way to the first waterhole we saw a herd of buffalo grazing quietly, then out of the thicket came a 7.2 tonne bull elephant in musth chasing the buffalo around. You never realise…

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