Tuesday 20 August 2013

Splish Splash

A colleague of mine from work brought her daughter for a spin on Nancy last week, she joined us on her mountain bike as we had a leisurely stroll through the woods in all our fly gear - thankfully we weren't harassed by flies...I have finally learnt the best routes to avoid them.
My colleague snapped the following shots of us on her phone, as there are so rarely any photos of me on horseback I had to share them.
Apologies for the state of me...I'm not usually camera friendly and was really hoping I wouldn't be in these shots!
Argh the state of me!

Water crossing at the start of our hack

 The rest of the photos taken on our way home @ the same water crossing

Kika bravely leading the way in, she is such a water horse - loves splashing about as much as I do! Match made in water-loving heaven we are!

If it wasn't for me looking like a sack, I like the horses in this one!

Also before I forget, please check out these wonderful posts from Lorna @ EquestrianReality and vote for your favourite post of the three (or all three over the coming days if like me you like them all!) LINK
She is one of my favourite bloggers and has had three of her posts nominated for the Irish Blogger Awards - I always get a good laugh out of her posts, she has a unique outlook on life & a wonderful turn of phrase. Hopefully you agree and will vote for her posts to help hopefully win her an award. And who knows, if you like her writing style as much as I do - she may even get a few more followers from this plug! :)
I hope so - as she really is fantastic & inspirational!
Like all the bloggers I stalk *ahem* follow!

Wednesday 14 August 2013

Playing Catch Up

Sky as I walked to the field + some instagrammin'
Apologies to those awaiting the promised beach photos, unfortunately the friend who has them on her camera put her back out the evening we got home and is laid up at home - so please send her virtual healing vibes!
Nancy coming to meet me
 In the mean time, I have been checking the ponies who are having an easy week after their adventurous fortnight at the seaside - they did nothing Saturday, then the Mammy and I took Nancy & Kika for a stroll in the woods on Sunday and they have been chillaxing in the field since then. I do go to check on them every evening and pick out their hooves, give them treats, love on them and replace any and all removed fly mask...yes O & Kika I do mean you guys! The parentals and I have a mini-routine in the works, whereby I walk to the field and one of them comes to meet me in the car and I drive back!

Girls coming for cuddles
 YES - you read that right! I passed my driver's test on my second attempt just before we left for the beach. I am not quite confident enough to drive on my own yet so we have this little routine going. Unfortunately there will be no set of wheels for me as all my monies are being put aside for my apartment that is being built and into the horsies!

As you will see from the pics I am sharing Kika has also managed to rip her FM & poke a whole in the eye part...whether it will still keep the flies out I am not sure, but until it resembles L Williams Ramone's destruction attempt Kika shall continue to wear it...yes I am an evil Mammy!

It's so rare to catch Nancy making faces

So I am delighted I caught these candid moments!
Speaking of pictures, I must blame Laura @ the Roany Pony, for my getting over my technophobia and joining instagram yesterday.

 It has become an overnight addiction fueled by my pre-existing photo loving condition! It's dangerous guys! Prepare for a photo overload if you decide to follow me - if you think I overload the blog, bear in mind that i only select my fav photos every time for sharing on the blog - the mountains of photos on my phone & laptop will attest to my addiction.

Consider this your warning! :p

Lastly, for this post I have to parting shots from last night which I am only sorry I wasn't closer. A Bambi/Deer visited the neighbouring field last night and I tried to snap a pic + the horses' reaction to it - but I was a bit too far away for my camera phone!

Click to enlarge, although still fuzzy

 I am trying to play catch up on all the blogs I follow, so please bear with me if I haven't commented for a while! 

I will get caught up soon I hope, although we have another short week in work (today is my Friday - woop wopp!) and as that is where i cheekily do most of my blog reading I may fall behind again!

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Beach Ball

I am having a ball here in the Netherlands on holidays with my ponies and friends with their ponies. We're one big happy family ;-)

Two Happy Horsies

Daily routine has us up between 7.30 & 7.45 to be at the stables harassing the horses for 8am to have our fun on the beach by 10am when we then ride back to the stables via the local bakery. Taking it in turns to dismount and go in to order breakfast of fresh bread and pastries.
Most mornings I've been taking Nancy as she is such a cool cucumber, but a combination of Kika needing a change of scenery from the arena/field and Little Nancy having been ridden everyday since we got here last monday (29th); had me bite the bullet and try Kika again on the beach. Bless her she tried to be good and mostly suceeded, we had a funny dynamic whereby when she was fine and relaxed I was nervous and worrying about what might set her off and when she was antsy about something I felt weirdly relaxed as wound up Kika I can preemptively deal with - but whatever. I'm an oddball and we've a weird symbiotic relationship which works for us most of the time. I think if you asked my mother she'd tell you we're too similar. I guess the sayings about animals being like their owners aren't all made up...poor Kika!
Anyway she was a great girl despite there being a "lot" of activity for her over stimulated brain. I used quotation marks as this morning was a quiet day on the beach as it was rather overcast but it was still a bit much for Kika to absorb 100% calmly.  However she didn't loose the run of herself and managed to maintain her head and stay polite and rideable - a vast improvement on our previous beach outing.
Yay for making happy memories!

Daily routine continues with our return yo the barn after our pit stop at the bakery where we untack and turn our horses out for their 4hour timeslot window. While the 4 ponies hang out we eat a leisurely brunch on the terrace in lovely sunshine. Then clean our stables and if the mood takes us our tack. We bring the horses back in at 2pm then either go chillax on the beach or head to a neighbouring town/island for some shopping/sightseeing.
Today we snuck off to a tackshop where one of the girls had to buy a new pair of reins after hers broke Sunday evening in a scary incident where herself anf the Guru went for an evening beach hack while I decided to stay home and read. They were walking along the water's edge when they hit a bad patch and the horses sank in the sand! They came back destroyed but thankfully none the worse for weat. Phew!

I think that's me pretty much all caught up, we're heading back across the border to Belgium tomorrow to a lovely town called Brugge which is about half an hour from here for a nosy. I think plan is to skip morning spin  on the beach and pop the horses out a little earlier so that we can bring them in earlier before heading off.
My own plans are to give Kika the day off as she also hasn't had a break sunce we arrived and hack Nancy on the beach in the evening - although if we wake up on our own early myself and the Guru may head for a morning spin on the beach...besides the roadtrip we have no set plan of action gor tomorrow!

I can't believe we heaf home on friday!  :-(
Time flies when you're having fun!

PS: there will be beach photos when I get back yo Lux and get the photos from my friends camera!

Thursday 1 August 2013

Bad Books

Miss Kika is most definitely in the dog house after her carry on yesterday evening. We started out on the beach without any problems,  splashing right into the sea like the fish out of water she is. All was going well till for no reason it wasn't,  she wound herself up into an almighty state and coiled up like a spring.

I hopped off and walked for a while to calm her down, she then made an awful song and dance about my getting back up. One of the other girls had to get off her horse to hold her so that I could get back up then she kindly walked alongside me on the ground till silly Kika settled further. We even went for a little trot (when my kindly helper was back on board her own horse) without issue, yet Kika still wouldn't stay settled. She started jigging and trotting in the spot, being really obnoxious. I sat it out and tried to weather the storm but it just got too much for me as I couldn't find a way to difuse the timebomb I was sitting on. So I hopped off again and walked her home.

Back at the yard we went straight into the arena for some propper ridden work, where low and behold she didn't put a toe out of line. She has never felt so good under me, it felt like we were floating/flying along lovely.
The Guru kindly offered to ride Nancy for me as I was so mad at Kika, I didn't want my mood to affect easy going N. So the pair of them joined us in the arena gor a quick school. Once done we decided to go for a walk around the outdoor 'arena' (huge field) to cool out as indoor was quite warm so both girls and us riders were quite sweatty.

Kika led the way into the field like the good girl she was pretending to be, but the further we got from the gate the more obnoxious she became again, she was predictably worse when the other horses that had been there proceeded to leave the arena. We kept walking till she calmed down, but as soon as she'd settle her pea brain she'd endeavour to find something else to set her off - cow.
So more schooling insued after she finally made good on her threats to rear, she took advantage of my being distracted trying to stop her walking on a man's dog who was near the exit when she snuck up on me. Thankfully she didn't scare me, just fuelled my anger which had dissipated after the good arena work but then came back with a vengeance afterher carry on when we got outside. Gargh, some days I just despair for us as she works herself into such a state. Needless to say she was soaked with sweat again once I'd managed to convince her to calm down enough to walk by the entrance a couple of times. Poor old Nancy stood there good as gold watching Kika's silly carry on, she really is a model young horse - almost inflapable...bar initial introduction to the sea.

Speaking of Nancy, she continues to impress. We made a return to the beach this morning and had no issues with going into the sea or indeed walking along in it. We even went for a trot and a canter, she is such a godsend when Kika pulls these tricks out of her repertoire of annoying habits.

My plan for this evening is to ride Kika in the arena and make our way back outdoors over the weekend. Our return to the beach is behaviour dependent and weather dependent as if the beach is going to be super crowded I am not going near it with Kika.
Also I am on my holidays and don't want to be stressing and getting into arguments with her potentially undoing all the good work we've done over the last 12-18months. If she's not yet zen enough for the beach and/or never is I don't care so long as I can still enjoy riding & working with her elsewhere.

Apologies for lack of photos with this post, but I had to get something up to docunent the ups and downs while on hols.