Friday, 7 February 2014

Friday Flashback III

This week's flashback is another undated entry but I'd guess I'm about 5 years old. This is one of my favourite "flashback" photos as (1) I LOVE B&W photos, there is something so classic and timeless about them and (2) the horse/cob I am on was my mother's horse & the horse I initially learned to ride on + did my first pony camp with her when I was just six years old. I shall have to see if I can dig out any of those photos!
Tassie was well into her 30s by the time I rocked up and started bopping about on her back - she was a super star & I cannot imagine how heart-warming it was for my mother to have myself and my sister learn to ride on her old pony. I know if I ever have kids it'd warm my heart to have them learn with Nancy...methinks Kika might be too much of a headcase lol!

Left = me on Tassie, Right = my sis T on Nipper

Thankfully I did get to ride both girls this morning, although I really shouldn't have bothered with Kika. We have CRAZY winds here this morning - 36km/h (fun fact - in a car that'd be breaking the speed limit in residential areas). To say the arena were noisy is an understatement - and we know how Kika loves unsuspected loud noises out of the blue.

Google Images
As always I should've trusted my instincts when I woke up this morning and heard the wind battering the house - I did say to my mother that it wouldn't be worth my time even attempting to sit on Kika in that racket; her response to me "Just get on with it" - my mama is Old School! So I put on my big gurl pants, got to the yard, tacked her up and went to find an arena with a low body count. I ended up in the largest arena which was shockingly empty - I realised why immediately!!
I hand-walked K around as I'm wont to do prior to riding in case there are any gremlins hiding in the corners - I'd rather reassure her from the ground before tightening the girth and getting up, it makes it such a non-issue once in the saddle. There was some whirring sounds from the wind on the roof, so I decided to turn on the radio - after walking around another lap (did I mention that the yard is hosting a small livery show on Sunday so a dressage arena is boarded off in the large arena complete with judges table / plenty for Kika's frazzled brain to oogly-eye at) I stopped at the entrance end to take off my jacket as before hopping up I was after getting quite warm.
Thank God I was still on the ground, the wind suddenly hammered & battered the roof with such gusto that I couldn't hear the radio and despite being absolutely terrified Kika managed to contain herself to stepping slightly away from me and tensing with eyes-on-stalks. One reassuring/heartwarming thing despite her usually completely irrational fears - is the complete trust she has in me when i tell her it's ok so long as I am on the ground with her once in the saddle it is an utterly different ball game - but such is the enigma that is Kika! Lol

RIP Blue Triangle EquiKozy Socks

Needless to say I decided against riding in that arena and went to seek refuge in the oldest arena where one girl was getting a lesson, rather than my preferred arena where 5 people were riding  they obviously all had more sense than me! While the "new" arena was considerably less noisy than the main arena it was still nowhere near quite enough for the hamster in Kika's brain - as always she settles better when hand-walked so I did a couple of laps on foot before hopping up. We got some nice walk & trot under saddle and lot of distracted eye-balling of the sides when we changed rein - when glass collectors outside started making noise I decided to call it quits before her brain gremlins took over completely and I lost any semblance of sanity from her. I took off her saddle and lunged her in the smallest arena where she behaved beautifully then tucked her back into her stable while I rode Nancy.

N is such a gem and behaved like an angel as I put her through her paces in our preferred arena, where I'd also ridden her last nigh. Both spins were very productive and allowed us to practice the lessons L had given us on Sunday & Monday. While we still have a lot to work on, when I remind myself to keep out of her face and attempt to un-knot/straighten myself on my bad rein we really do get some quite nice work done.
There were three other riders with us in the arena, so maneuverability was questionable at times - but despite this we got some really lovely soft & calm canter work with lovely non-stressed transitions back down to trot afterwards. Our trot/walk transitions as usual left a lot to be desired ... but it is all a work in progress.
Heck two weeks ago I was down in the dumps about my inability to ride Nancy, so to have made some progress since then is a huge stride forward for me.
Positivity & manageable goals + eyes on the ground is the key to improvement!

Sadly the crazy wind, meant I decided against turning the girls out today which I am super disappointed about as it really helps them mentally to spend a couple of hours a day out in the fresh air. Sadly such is life sometimes - i am super lucky to have access to winter turnout. One day inside in cozy stables with plenty hay won't kill them.

Right that's me all up to date & I'm now ready for road.
I'm all packed and on my way out the door to catch train to Brussels to fly back to Ireland tonight.
Fingers crossed the Mammy & I have a safe journey! The weather has been awful in Ireland since Christmas and most western coastal areas have been battered and are sadly flooded. So many people affected & businesses ruined. Hopefully we can get away with a hired car and not require a dingy or speedboat!


  1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one dealing with weather problems!

    Safe travels to Ireland :)

    1. Hopefully that wind doesn't make a habit of causing such a scene!
      Thanks for the travel well wishes, all went well.
      Got back safe & sound last night and am back in work today, I hope to be back in the saddle this evening...must check in with the Guru & see what the girls did over the weekend. :D

  2. The weather has made all the ponies at my barn a little unpredictable! A wee bit jealous you're on your way to Ireland... I want to visit! And I love the photo!

    1. Thanks pet, apparently weather was crazy all weekend & the ponios couldn't be turned out. Hopefully they'll be good for me as I make my lunchtime dash tomorrow as I won't have much wiggle room for cray-cray ponios!
      Am back from Ireland with a Wordless Wednesday picture post in the works

  3. hey, just saying hello have to catch up on your blog some reading for tonight! Hope you and your girlies are well. Am totally lost without stable to stable :(

    1. Hey hun!
      Welcome back to the waffledom that is my blog! Hope you've plenty time set aside with a cup of tea & some biscuits as my posts tend to be word heavy...sorry! I do try to balance them with images as best I can ;-)

      I hope all is well with Misty! Am really missing S2S as well

  4. I saw your socks and I have one thing to say: Perfect timing! A surprise on the blog soon! :)

    1. Oooh!
      Shall keep my beady eyes peeled, hopefully if it is a contest/giveaway it won't be a facebook entry like last time as me = saddo and have deleted my fb account!

  5. Ouch what happened to the socks and your heels? Did your boots rub blisters? Looks painful.

    Chrome is the same way as Kika. He's not worried about anything when I'm on the ground, but when I'm on his back he's a bit nervous and hesitant. He's getting better, but I haven't exactly tested him out in a scary situation yet either. It sounds like Kika may be way spookier than he is though. Hopefully you won't have anymore wind so she can calm the brain gremlins (love that lol)!

    1. Socks were just old and heels were worn away, thankfully no blisters. It happens to all my socks as I'm stupid and rarely tie my shoes properly. Plus I love the EquiKozy knee high socks and wear them so much they get worn out from overuse which I don't think is a bad thing as they are very much appreciated & loved. :)

      Kika can be a spooky silly billy - but as ever with her it really just depends on her mood on the day. 9 rides out of 10 stuff she passes won't phase her, then one time it'll be slightly diff or she'll catch sight of it from a diff angle and suddenly it's horse-eating & signifies DEATH.
      She is a special character :-)


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