Mia Did It

Well, Mia and I did it…

Ok it was all Mia.

Mia rode the elevator, three times! The first time was a please, get on. The second time went a bit better, the third time was an accident. We had rode up to the second floor, doors open and a resident gets on, I never ride with residents, too much of a liability and this particular resident was known to be violent, so we got off, the staff got the resident off and back on Mia and I got! She did it!! When Mia arrived a couple years ago, she was shy and nervous, hated mud puddles, hated bathing, farrier and the first time we put her on the trailer, Phil and I basically lifted her on.

Now look at her, ready to be used in therapy work. She needs a new harness and boots, she is significantly smaller than Red.

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CHRISTMAS! Did I mention I love Christmas, probably like a gazillion times. Did you see us at the parade, we were pretty much the best group in the whole parade. We didn’t win an award or anything, but I’m sure it was just an oversight. I will upload more pics later, we had Valentia’s minis, Brownie and Star and then our three. Red being the only one who pooped on the route, I sorta cleaned it up 🙂

Sunday is going to be Funday – also sorry Denise, I will not be in church again. We have Christmas on the Farm and the Down Syndrome Association of Peterborough’s Christmas Party. Saturday we have baths. I noticed yesterday both girls smell a little “country”. We’ll cowboy bath for Thursday, but Sunday it’s gonna be the real thing. Oh, we could watch Christmas movies and eat apples!

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I quit my job!!! There are so many good memes for this… I try to keep the blog PG though. We are halfway through my three weeks notice, I am going to take a week to do nothing. Well nothing of substance, I might take little Missy to the Aurora festival – wondering if there is any feedback from folks who have went, or just a quickie trip to the Distillery District for the Christmas Market. Lots of paperwork.

Speaking of which, I sometimes feel like sharing bizness stuff too. I got accepted into my founder boot camp and judging from the pictures, I missed a great time, I think they are doing it again in January, so hopefully I will be at that one. Timing sucked. I am slowly becoming one of those people you have to book stuff 6 weeks in advance with.

We upgraded to Quickbooks, it has aspects I like. So because we accept money for the horses, we have to travel in a commercial vehicle, CVOR and commercial insurance and inspections annually, so we have a transport side to the company to offset costs, so I don’t have to raise Red and Mia’s rates for 2020. This is why, I am uber careful to not call Max, Mia or Red, therapy horses. I provide trained, clean horses, UTD on immunizations and in accordance with strict bio-security protocol for use in therapy programs. See the difference? It’s important. All that aside, Mr Sheppard needed to be able to access the app on the go and lets face it, him uploading receipts is so much easier than him keeping them and me getting them 4 months later. (Actually it is more me) So we do some custom trucking, graduating to Quickbooks made sense. We previously used Wave and it was great! However, Quickbooks has one other integration I desperately needed, Method CRM.

CRM’s are customer management software, so Method integrates with QB and Gmail, I can manage my calendar from it, it works on a pipeline platform to track point of contact to sale and helps with retention. I am getting older, new companies get confusing, you are energetic, you talk to 100 people, you remember 20 – I want to remember the 100. Plus, this helps with task management, time management and goal setting – all things I love, things that can get pushed to the wayside. You tend to focus on the current clients and forget the prospective or the previous. Not everyone can afford us, so while I have 30 appointments for next month for example, my off time needs to be spent helping to problem solve for the 10 who need a bit of help, so I tag them onto a nighttime, or weekend, or a quickie one hour pop-in on the way home. Remembering to talk to those organizations who rent space for programs and can’t have a horse inside the building. Talk to them before Spring, can we attend an event for them, are we doing an event we can split proceeds with. For Small Hooves to survive and serve it’s clientele and expand, I need to employ my business school training (cough, Lazaridis, shameless plug), and my sales training. (Not the part where the older men in our professions told us we were young and pretty, don’t act like tramps if the wives were around. – Yes it happened, what a world we started our careers in. Sadly, I was back at Lazaridis a couple years ago and found out from a younger lady, who is an entrepreneur, University professor and business maven, the same thing was said to her recently.)

So for anyone thinking we have forgotten about them, we have not and I will be in touch very soon. Just winding down the old,to start up the new.

See you soon! Hopefully Sunday, 188 Valentia Road, Little Britian, 11am – 3pm 🙂

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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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That’s me excited for the Christmas season that kicks off, this weekend! (Kinda looks like Red, when she gets excited for food and before she got put on a diet). I am positive, the busier we get, the less time I have to obsess about inconsequential details, like whether all our hats are going to match on Sunday – just wear a darn hat! Toque, cowboy hat, just cover your heads! Last year I planned everything in my head and it all changed on the fly.

Sunday – Lindsay Santa Claus Parade! 2pm, be there! The parade leaves from Fleming College, Frost Campus and ends at Mill park. We are bringing the truck, trailer, 5 minis and 7 kids. Couple adults too – wave to Mr. Sheppard he will be driving. The theme of this year’s parade is Christmas Movies, I have a horribly trained, short haired Beethoven I want to stick in the truck. Young kids, Beethoven, people my age, oh Cujo! Some days she is both.

Poor Dixie – do a little throwback to last year.

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See last year, it was in a way a good thing we had a travel incident, because we found out, the end of the parade is a cluster you know what. So we figure, smarty pants we are, to take the truck and trailer and load as soon as it is all over! This is why I am a lunatic about trailer training, get on and stand still with no BS. We are supposed to marshall at noon – I might be there with the jeep, but I am not having the horses stand 2 hours, they can roll in at 1:15pm

Next weekend is quiet on the “horse” front – see that, clever gal I am! It is my daughters great, big, 9th birthday weekend. Some manis, pedis, a taco buffet.

December 1st, Christmas on the Farm and, just announced today, we are going to the Down Syndrome Association of Peterborough Christmas Party! Sorry Fairview, we might need naps Monday afternoon. I was going to schedule a home in the morning, sometimes things work out for the best, in spite of me, that is a good thing because I could blankety blank up a church according to my ex.

The 7th and 8th are quiet for now. We are in Sleeping Beauty performances for my daughter’s dance school. I really want to go to the Aurora Festival… But, they have a pretty good bake sale at the performance.

We follow that up the following weekend with Little Britain parade Friday night – Michelle is totes in charge, I will just drive the truck and trailer there. Saturday is Woodville Parade in the evening, I am down a child for that, she has defected to her dance team’s float. She was pretty excited til I reminded her she isn’t a “little kid”, anymore and will probably have to dance the entire parade! On the street, in the cold.

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Then, we start 10 days of Christmas Cheer and visiting. Some visits are surprises, you never know where we might show up! Like outside the CBC studios in Kitchener 😉 (After finding out L’il Ben rode the Go Train and then that a man and his goat were interviewed on the CBC, I reached out to my sister who works for the CBC, she is not interested in my minis. However I guarantee, I show up outside the studios with them, they will let me in! Then call my Mom, who will yell at me.)

Happy start of the holiday season folks! This year, because of what we are doing, it seems extra special. 🙂 Mr. Sheppard is disappointed I put the tree up alone, he seemed more upset when I mentioned, it was because, maybe this year it won’t look like an abomination. Our little Miss Glass Half Full reminded him, yes that is their tradition, but so is the gingerbread house and the scarfing down of 15lbs of sugar and candy in the building process.

‘Til later friends!

 

 

Barnyard Round-up

Roger’s Video

That is the link to watch us whenever and wherever you like!

So much happenings. We did Halloween at Frost Manor, it was a surprise, Red and Mia went. We had a special handler in Katelyn, she is the granddaughter of the minis previous owner, a very accomplished horse woman, and probably one of the best female hockey players in Canada. Ok the last part might be an exaggeration. Or not.

Christmas on the Farm. December 1st. This is going to be so much fun and work, but fun!

Everyone loves a parade! Instead of Oshawa, we are doing Lindsay, Little Britain and maybe Woodville. I love the vibe of Woodville so much, but Christmas is pretty packed this year.

Day camps, dear goodness what have I done? Michelle and I are running day camps through the holidays, add in 2 surprise visits Christmas Eve and I’m probably just going to sleep through Christmas Day.

So that is about it, plugging away, waiting to hear about a founder’s boot camp I applied for. Oh and in one of my founder groups for young, hot entrepreneurs, (made the last part up), there was a request to share this with our friends, so for the person who reads this blog, Earth Suds Get your clean on for the holidays! They have been successfully targeting hotels with these products that do away with single use plastics. For $5.99 you can buy a spiffy, little box to keep your shampoo and conditioner in. I am thinking of ordering as Christmas presents.

‘Til next time friends!

Well that was a hot minute!

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How cute are Max and I? First place in Adult Showmanship – We also took first in obstacles, but we were all competing against each other, so I beat children in that one. 😉 Not really brag worthy!

What have we been up to – quite a bit, apparently it has been 3 days since I signed into Candy Crush, in Patti world, that is a lot! 🙂 Sensory Saturday was great, we showed in Minden in September, I sent out 45 prospecting letters for when we go full-time in January and got a great response! I am going to take PJ on the road with me in January, that way we can bring 2 horses. (PJ’s parents own Casey’s Garage in Little Britain, go use them! Tell them I sent you! They also board at Valentia)

We attended a Fall Fest at Fairview Lodge in Whitby, we had a blast, hopefully we were useful in their fundraising efforts.

This past weekend was Farm Fest/Horse Fest at the farm. I put on the Marshall costume and I think I found my calling! I am a Paw Patrol character at heart! It was fun, plus walking circles at the pony ride was fun, for the first 3 hours, Marshall was a good change, once I got used to the feet. We did a mini horse obstacle demo and the competitive riders put on their own show, (ours was better).

Then we were off to Minden, on Sunday to show. Kiefer hurt his leg on Saturday, so it was Mya, Rachel, Jessica and myself. we took home 4 first place rosettes, 2 second place rosettes and 2 third place. What a great showing. This was an exploratory project. We wanted to see if we could put together a team, if there would be interest, in showing minis. Most importantly, could we see a positive effect on kids with exceptionalities, anxiety, behavioural issues or on the spectrum. Yes we did. So next year, we will have 4 age classes, 6 horses will be involved and we will attend 4-5 competitions with the kids as well as learning clinics and lots of practice and cool vests to wear. I wear a vest and black pants working, so I can get a discount for next year’s vests, (shameless planning). Also, I learned my trash talking can go too far when I teased the kids anyone who didn’t win had to walk home, guess who didn’t place in halter…

What is coming up? A ton of Christmas parties, we are doing a trick or treat visit on the 31st – it’s location is a surprise. The week of the 16th to 20th of December will basically just be parties, pay your regular visit fee and we’ll hang out all day – buy us lunch though. We are also doing special visits Christmas Eve – the evening is booked, but if anyone wants the afternoon…

Christmas on the Farm – my brain child, please do not fail. This was a rough year for hay yield, we are not alone in feeding our winter hay, now. Valentia doesn’t have the deep pockets to compete for quality hay and we will have to buy this year. So we need to raise money. So we will have a fun, rustic Christmas party on the farm. Professional photos, marketplace in the barn – no more rustic than that! Guided trail walks, visit the animals, decorations, maybe sleigh rides, the sleigh is antique,so it has to hold up and nobody wants to wreck it, ’cause it is worth a fortune. Free hot chocolate and cider. Michelle is doing Christmas arrangements – fresh and I will have led pictures for sale in the “birthday” room. We have a chocolatier, she is consigning with us, as she is at another show and I am hoping to talk another vendor into consigning to us, she is at the One of a Kind show that weekend. We are only having 10 vendors plus ourselves, top quality, handmade, artisan type stuff. I also, may have carolers coming. I am negotiating with a 9 year old to get her friends from choir to come. She wants $15 a kid for the day, I lied and said I found a group on kijiji for $7 each 🙂 We’re now at $10 each and a coffee can for donations they can split. I am making them buy their own caroler costumes 😉 and lunch and their hot chocolate – $0.50 a cup. Negotiations are tough and continuing! I will keep you up to date.

Whew, I think we are caught up! I got 75 photos loading too, to the photo page.

Thanks everyone who follows along! Come to Christmas on the farm, I’ll buy you a hot chocolate,with money from the carolers can.

 

Sensory Saturday

This Saturday! We are really looking forward to this.

If we ever needed affirmations that this type of programming was needed, we got it Sunday. I took one of the young ladies who is on the spectrum with me. Her mom said, I only put her down for 2 classes, don’t let them talk her into more. That young lady went in every event she could find a horse to run. A girl who never runs, running beside horses through poles and over jumps, giving advice to other kids!

To see the effect these horses have, I have a hard time articulating, but I know and am so grateful to see it!

Show and Tell

See the source image

 

See what I did there, pretty cool!

So, like, since we got the minis, I have been saying they need to show. That way if they act up in public I am not cursing under my breath threatening them with, wait ’til your butt gets back to the barn. Our farrier suggested Haliburton Horseman’s Association, small club, lots of minis, very laid back, no politics. Perfect for us newbies – I come from the racing world, whole different kettle of horse manure.

Getting ready, we shaved off whiskers, any longer hairs, trimmed up the manes, thinned them, cut off stray hair, shaved the feathers. This is where we made a decision, Mia was just going to watch. Mia wouldn’t let me shave her legs. I do not know why, I don’t know why the clippers were scary this time, but they were. So, instead of a quiet day at the barn, Red came in to pinch hit. Red would be shown by my daughter, I would show Max, Mia was coming, she could hang out with Trent and watch what happened.

Day of the show, we’re there an hour early, Max is clean(ish), we are ready to roll. The judge has kidney stones, there is no judging, just a fun day out!

We had Red, read by an animal communicator. The communicator knew stuff we were blown away by. Red apparently asked if I was feeling better – nobody outside of Trent and I knew anything about me not being well this year. Talked about her diaper, how she doesn’t always enjoy the memory wards, how her feet felt better since we changed how she is trimmed. She called Max a brat LOL

It was a great day! In light of the strangles outbreak, we will only be doing limited shows this year, but c’mon out! Now that we have the mini express trailer, we are trucking a ton of horses to Minden on September 8. We have 4 or 5 kids and minis coming.

 

Feeling so good!

Honestly, the last few days, amazing.It started with an email from a resident’s daughter, a story from an older gentleman, who actually raised and showed mini horses about how seeing Red helped their mental health. Today at our last visit with Community Living York South, I heard how some of the day program participants were too excited to sleep last night.We are doing something amazing, I feel so honoured to get to do what we are doing! Thank you to everyone who is along on this journey with us….oh and I shaved a heart on Red’s tushy. She didn’t seem mad.

Little Mia Worked

Max, bathed, stall cleaned, fresh shavings, poops and sleeps on it.So Mia went to work! I explained she was very young and new, at the first residence I walked her through a breezeway, getting her used to the doors. She stayed out until Red finished her rounds, then both came in at the end. She did pretty good! Except the elevator, she wouldn’t get on. BUT she has only been trailered a few times. So all in time.And now, some exciting things, we are shooting a TV spot on August 8, we are at the Haliburton Horsemans Association Show on August 11, we are doing the Oshawa Santa Claus parade, as well as Lindsay and, we go full time in January! Super exciting and this journey has been amazing. Thank you all for following along.I tried to get Tianna to do the get up challenge with Mia, have an Amy vs Tianna, Max vs Mia challenge! Mia kept laying down and rolling, she misunderstood the challenge.

Max the Therapy Horse?

He did it! He went to a nursing home and made people happy!

Here is before we left.

The first home he didn’t go in and the accidental double feeding of hay the night before was not favourable for Red. The diaper over flowed. Max ate hay at the trailer and hung out with Amy.

After a disgusting cleaning of Red’s diaper, Amy actually turned green, I was completely oblivious, because, well poop happens! A quick lunch, it was time.

Scary, new smells, weird grates on the floor, an auto door, where did we take sweet Max? I saw him quiver and I took a deep breath in, long breath out. He relaxed and did ok. Actually, he did really well and is going to start coming along. We will extend visits a bit longer and switch horses halfway through. Red got silly left alone with Amy, but Max wasn’t diapered and I wasn’t taking chances. 🙂

Everyone thought he was so gorgeous. He is.

Amy is tasked with teaching him the Get Up Dance Challenge. Check out Facebook and Instagram, some video there!

The minis are part of the programming at the farm this week. They get to play! Obstacle courses, inhand races, oh boy, they will be tired!