In which Connor is useful, Flower learns stuff, and we don't really clash

If you've read Endurance 101 (or even flipped through the book to admire the beautiful photos), you've probably seen (and laughed at) the picture of Connor.

Photo by Monica Bretherton.  Found on page 30 of Endurance 101.

Connor is Patty's dog.  He's a good dog.  He likes to be useful. 

If you are walking around the grounds of Fish Creek Farm with a helmet in your hand, Connor will usually offer to carry it for you.

WARNING:  sometimes Connor carries your helmet AWAY. 
Keep an eye on Connor if he has your helmet! 
Voice of Experience here!

Connor likes to help with other stuff, too. 

When it's time to bring Flower* from the field to the barn for her lesson, Connor is your go-to, helpful dog.
*Flower = River.  The name "River" just never stuck.  "Flower" suits her.

Connor isn't allowed in the arena, though, so Patty has to move the trot-poles by herself.  She tries to make a huge spectacle of the process so that the horses will understand just how much** she worries about them being afraid of trot poles.

**not much worry at all about engendering a fear of trot poles

Touch the pole, get a cookie

"Hey!  This pole has a COOKIE on it!"
 Flower works cheap. 

Wiggle around in the saddle as much as possible = Flower stands still.

Flower prefers cookies as a payoff, but she will also accept "Good GIRL!" as payment.

Hana was my tripod today.  She is more flexible after her recent chiro appointment, but she still bends strongly in a "D" shape, even when her bend should be a "C" shape.  We continue to work on this. 


Flower is now TROTTING under saddle!

 GOOD GIRL, Flower!

And just so you know:  with a little advance planning, Hana and I can make the dayglow tack "go" with the purple rider apparel:

No more bad Easter Egg!

After a nice session in the arena, it's time to put the horses back in the pasture.  And for that, we get Connor's help again:

Pull, Connor, pull!

Life is good, ya know?


  1. Ah, dog "helpers"! Adorable photos. Flower looks like she's coming right along.

  2. I about spit out my coffee at "Hey, trot pole has a cookie on it!". Now that I'm helping with babies again, I fully appreciate the need to make scary things goofy and fun, not scary. Way to go Patty!
    We're thinking a D shape is great progress!


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