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Cute Puppy Pictures

So I promised pictures of my puppy, Rocky, being adorable in exchange for winning the SMTT Equestrian Blogger March Madness Semi-Final Round I. And we did! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me, and to say thank you, you’re not only going to get cute pictures, but the full Story of Rocky.

My fiancée, Sam, grew up with dogs; I grew up with cats. When we decided to move in together, Sam really, really wanted a dog… and who was I to argue? Unfortunately, Sam is allergic to short-haired dogs, so that limited our doggie options pretty quickly. I preferred to go to the pound and adopt, but our requirements (non-shedding, small, easy to train) made me worried that we wouldn’t find what we were looking for.

At the time, we had moved in with Sam’s mom for a few months while we were in between apartments, and she has five dogs, so I figured we would just wait until we got our apartment. At the time, I was working for the Ohio Quarter Horse Association, and each July they host an AQHA Regional show. So of course, I was working and into the office one day walks a lady with two adorable Havanese puppies. She put them on the counter and one was running around, sniffing everyone and the other laid down and went to sleep.

The day we picked up Rocky!

I instantly fell in love with the sleepy puppy, named Grommitt (of Wallace and Grommitt fame because the dad’s name was Wallace). But the breeder was asking a lot of money for the puppies, and I just couldn’t justify it. There are so many dogs in shelters that need good homes, I felt like I didn’t need to spend a bunch of money to buy one. But I left the breeder my name and number anyways, and told her to call if she had any trouble selling them.



Two weeks later I got the call. The breeder still had a few puppies left and really needed to sell them. She told me to make an offer. I totally low-balled her, figuring we would meet in the middle, but she accepted! A few days later Sam and I drove up to her house and picked up Grommitt, who we promptly renamed Rocky (his show name is Rocky Roo Raccoon, because every respectable animal has to have a barn name, a show name and as many nicknames as possible).


And we’ve had Rocky ever since — just about four years now. He’s an awesome dog; super easy-going, loves to cuddle and smart. We potty-trained him in two weeks, he chewed exactly one slipper and one lamp cord and that’s it. We go on long walks, he sleeps in until noon on weekends and he responds to “Where’s the Baby?” but not to “Where’s the Dog?”

Rocky loves the wind!
Rocky and his girlfriend, Polly


Who me?
Oh hai
Snowtime Roo!
It’s too deep! HELP!
Chillin with Dad
Who disturbs my slumber?
Demonstrating one of his favorite tricks
Bareback horseback ride

March Madness – Vote for a Bareback Ride!

I’m up again in She Moved To Texas’ Equestrian Blogger March Madness. Never fear, you’re cute puppy pictures are slated for tomorrow, but I need your help once again! This time, I’m upping the ante. Instead of just cute pictures, if I win, I’ll do something I’ve never done before:

Ride Miles Bareback

That’s right folks, I’ve never sat on my horse without a saddle. In fact, I can’t even tell you the last time I rode any horse without a saddle. Probably not since high school. So if you vote for me, and I win this match-up I’ll videotape and photograph my first time ever riding Miles bareback! It’s sure to be some funny video of 1) me attempting to mount without a saddle and 2) attempting not to fall off while I trot and canter.

So what are you waiting for, go vote for us! Blogger March Madness

Lets Talk Joint Supplements

Let’s Talk Supplements, Part III

I will admit to being a very overprotective and worrisome horse owner. Miles definitely inherited some baggage when I became his owner, which includes paranoia about arthritis. My old horse, Visa, was mostly retired a few months before he passed due to severe ringbone and just general arthritis in his hocks and back. I was at the “evaluate his step every day” phase, and sometimes I catch myself doing that with Miles too. It’s a hard habit to break.

Just about every horse owner has dealt with arthritis, and the consequences thereof, thus it comes as no surprise that one of the most popular supplements are joint supplements. I had Visa on SmartFlex Senior by SmartPak, as well as Adequan when he got into his mid-teens; and the stuff worked wonders. But most of my research (which I now cannot locate, so maybe I’m making this up. Someone please call me out if I’m crazy!) shows that joint supplements are more effective when used as preventative measures rather than after the fact.

Of course, I want Miles around for a really, really long time. And I want to preserve his awesome joints for as long as possible. I wanted to wait through part of the winter to see if Miles got stiff or sore, but he really didn’t, for the most part. He was previously on MSM, but I’m not crazy about using that supplement by itself. I’ve read that join supplements are more effective when certain ingredients are combined (again, let me know if I’m wrong!). So I’m currently looking into SmartFlex I Maintenance by SmartPak.

It combines MSM and Glucosamine, while still being relatively cheap. Of course, part of my motivation for ordering this supplement is SmartPak’s free shipping for over $40 (which, if I also get a coat supplement, Miles’s “Pak” will fall at right about $40). Damn you, marketing strategies!

Of all the supplements I’ve discussed for Miles so far, this one seems to be the biggest stretch. There’s not a problem I’m trying to solve; so am I just throwing away money?

Do you feed a joint supplement? If so, why?

Lets Talk Skin and Coat Supplements

Let’s Talk Supplements, Part II

As I said in Part I, I don’t love supplements, but I don’t hate them either. My philosophy is if the horse needs it, he should have it. I felt very confident in my choice to begin feeding Miles ProBios (a digestive supplement) because there was a very clear problem that needed to be addressed. I also liked the ProBios supplement in particular because it simply gives more of what is already naturally produced in the body.

In this next installment, I want to talk about coat and skin supplements, which I feel less confident about. I’ve talked a few times before about Miles’s poor coat quality and dry skin. And while it’s certainly improved since I started brushing him more, it’s still not quite where I’d like it to be. Of course, there are lots of factors that play into this issue, some of which I can change (more currying) and some of which I can’t (no baths in the winter and wearing blankets for five months straight).

But the reality remains: Miles’s coat and skin could use some help.

I’ve used coat supplements in the past, including Ultimate Finish (which really doubles as a weight gain supplement), as well as SmartShine from SmartPak, and I liked them both well enough. But Miles doesn’t need pure fat (remember when he ate too much food and went crazy?), and part of me feels guilty for wanting to feed my horse a supplement just so he looks pretty.

But just like Miles’s loose stool, there is a real problem here (blanket rubs, dull coat and dry skin) that needs to be fixed. And the fact of the matter is I live in Ohio: it’s going to be too cold to bathe for months on end and Miles has to wear a blanket so he doesn’t freeze to death.

So I’m seriously considering putting Miles on SmartShine Ultra, at least for a year, to see how things go through next winter. Has anyone used this supplement before? And, more importantly, am I a terrible person for wanting to “cheat” on getting Miles’s coat and skin up to snuff?

What do you think?