As can be seen from this photo, I was a lost cause early in life!
However I didn't get my first horse until many years later ... Hellloooooo 21st Birthday Present!!!
(Sort of, I still paid for half of Kika initially and every penny for her since)
A little bit about me...I was born in the USA to Irish parents who moved myself and my sister back to Ireland when I was about two and a half years old. Roughly a year and a half later we moved from Co. Limerick, Ireland to the teeny tiny country nestled between Belgium, France and Germany. I grew up in Luxembourg, attended a little Belgian primary school, then went to secondary school through English in Lux; before returning to Ireland for University - back to Limerick as it happens where I got a BA in European Studies and an MA in European Integration...can you see a theme?! ;-)
In 2010 I was offered a job back in Luxembourg as temporary cover for a woman on maternity leave, she decided against coming back and as they say the rest is history. In December 2013 I passed an EU Civil Service exam and pending the 9-month probation period (in the job I have been doing for 4 years) I should be officially made permanent as some stage before the end of 2014.
My riding experience itself has been sketchy at best, despite my family being relatively steeped in horses - especially on my mothers side and my fathers side dabbled in horses but the fascination passed him by per se (I hope to cover this in more detail in my Friday Flashback posts).
He doesn't dislike horses, but can't see the fascination they hold for me nor can he tell them apart neither from each other nor any of the other equines at the yard. If Kika or Nancy were moved from their current stalls for whatever reason - unless I or my mother/sisters were there to show him otherwise he'd probably continues "talking" to whichever horse is in their old stables not realising it isn't one of mine.
I was lucky enough to be exposed to horses at a young age; and always had access to them when we returned to my mother's home place for holidays (read:whole-summers-when-my-sisters-and-I-were-old-enough). One of my aunts set up a Riding School, now Livery Yard & Foaling Unit, on the family farm and that is where I got my grounding in all things "horsey".
Growing up abroad I sadly didn't get to continue my equine education as it might otherwise have developed had we stayed living in Limerick (less than an hour's drive from the family farm & coincidentally where one of my sisters & I attended University).
While I did briefly get lessons for a few months at different times in two different Riding Schools in Belgium (15-20minutes drive from where we live) there was just something each time that meant we couldn't continue & sadly I now cannot remember why we stopped going - it probably clashed with something else and sure we could spend our summers riding ... Which included some time spent @ Pony Camp which was just the best fun ever - the three times I got to go. :)
Sadly for my parents the "Horsey Bug" never went away for me & after a tumultuous summer in 2006, I got the wonderful birthday gift of a letter with a promise to help me purchase a horse when I returned to Ireland to finish my degree after my year abroad; part of my course required me to spend 6 months working in France & 6 months studying in Spain.
A four month search in 2007 led me to Kika; a barely handled, unbacked 3 year old filly from where my equine adventure truly began. This blog was, however, started 3 years later in 2010 after I packed up our lives and moved myself and Kika to Luxembourg when I was lucky enough to find a job during the dreaded recession.
In 2013 Nancy joined Kika & I in Lux, both girls thankfully get on like a house on fire & I have been having and shall no doubt continue to have plenty ups & downs as I learn to balance giving them both the time & attention they need while working full time.
I hope to give more details & share lots of photos and stories about both girls through the Friday Flashback Feature - so please be sure to check them out.
For initial info/background on both girls check out their Intro posts: Kika & Nancy.
Friesian X Irish Sport Horse
2004 Liver Chestnut
Irish Sport Horse
PS: I'll add more media to this intro page as images & videos make their inaugural appearances in the Friday Flashback Feature.