Thursday 27 November 2014

Monster Mare No More

I hope she doesn't prove me wrong the first chance she gets for saying this "out loud" but i think i am finally comfortable saying that Kika and i are back in a very happy place where I trust her as close to implicitly as i think i ever will again after our turbulent months (or was it years) in the aftermath of her move to Lux.

Awkward mirror selfies
I hopped on her this evening after not having sat on her in 15 days (sorry insta - i wasn't using my brain when I posted). She did get turned out from 1pm to 7-7.30 for 12 of those days, I was too poorly last week to go on my lunchtime trek on the 3 missing days. And she came for one walk in the woods on a "leash" while i rode Nancy. This kind of a break would most definitely not have been possible with Kika during the winter months a few years ago. She thankfully had mellowed and we are back to being in a good place together again.

Now don't get me wrong, neither one of us was perfect this evening. In fact we ended up working another 15 - 20 minutes longer from when I anticipated stopping with the idea that if she gave me a nice bend for a 20m circle in trot we could finish up...something she had done without issue numerous times prior this evening. Perhaps something changed in my body language but it took considerably longer for us to get on the same page & finish up.

"We've done good" - Kika

Still not bad by any means, at no stage did she threaten to rear or pitch any sort of a fit. The worst she did was get excited at the prospect of canter work and showed off some Hackney-style trotting skills which just made me laugh. We overcame this with walk/trot transitions till her trot was good, balanced and she was attentive to me and  o longer anticipating.

All photos taken post ride

If further proof of her transformation, or should this perhaps be reformation, were needed...I rode in my glasses! I never ride in my goggles if i can help it as they can slide down my pinocchio nose because they are a little loose and i had almost lost them a couple of times in her spook & spin phase. Including one memorable time i managed to catch them just before they went flying when we were hacking in the woods - that would have been a disaster & is actually the main reason I stopped riding in my glasses and why I prefer to stick to contact lenses nowadays.

Still easily distracted & not a fan of standing still - but i ♡ her

In saying that I do still do barn chores in my goggles if I'm not planning to ride. Miss Kika knocked them off my face only last weekend when I was putting on her rug prior to turnout on Sunday. Thankfully my mother had accompanied me (ref matchy-matchy photos with Nancy a few posts back) and was able to pick them up off the floor of the stable before either K or i moved & risked standing on them. Of course they fell in the straw in the doorway to her box where visibility is bad anyway & worse if you need the darn things to see in the first place hahaha

Wednesday 26 November 2014

WW - Winter Warmers

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Derpyness personified

Kitted out for colder weather in their Rambo Duo outer shells

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Tuesday Tidings

I thankfully made my return to the saddle this evening. Nancy's saddle to be precise as Kika spun on the walker...not sure which one got the shorter end of the stick there!

Matchy-matchy Monsters

It was my first time on horseback in 10 days, also the last time Nancy had someone on her back. Admittedly she did spend the afternoon on turnout and hasn't been locked in her stable all day every day since our forestry hacking Saturday week. Yet not an iota of fuss was made by Miss Nancy. We had our usual problems, so business as normal for us. We shall see if Kika is as good tomorrow ;-)

I was lazy again & didn't change from my Ariat Windemeres into my paddock boots and gaiters, but after sorting the turnout area with water and preparing the haynets for tomorrow; doing the girls feet etc i was rapidly running out of time before lights out. Plus after riding i still had to cool Nancy out, get Kika from walker and change her from fleece rug to stable rug, tuck each girl in for the night and pull their heavier turnout rugs with hoods (which I have removed for the moment) out of storage & tidy away lighter turnout sheets + dirty saddle pads & Nancy's busted purple stable rug into bin bags ready to go to the cleaners.
Gotta love horses, no rest for the wicked (aka me ☺)

Saturday 22 November 2014

Still Sick

Sadly I am still not 100%, so no new saddle time for me. I did snap two cute photos (imo) of my mama & Nancy as we turned them out this morning.

Matchy-matchy mama & Nancy - even foot falls!

And I caught what i think is a hilarious short video of Kika and Nancy letting loose. First K rolls & Nancy trots past full of beans looking for mischief.  Usually once K finishes rolling she leaps up and takes off farting & bucking. However today she was distracted by my mother filling their water - to see K's facial expressions imo is priceless. Plus you can totally see Nancy was anticipating some hoopla as she interrupted her own roll hoping for some fun.

They are such funny bunnies, although not captured on video this time (some day i will manage) the hoopla did happen shortly afterwards. Once I'd hung their haynets & noticed N acting a little strange. (You'll see her kind of kick at her stomach at the end of the video) So holding her just by the head collar i took her for a walk around the turnout area. Afraid of missing out Kika followed - leaving the hay behind, that should have been the first clue to the mischief that was to follow. However they were both angelic & cute while i walked with N. As soon as i let her go Trouble (aka Kika) took leave of her senses and unleashed her bucking and farting messing which set off Mischief (aka Nancy). The two of them had a right ould yeehaw before settling back down to stuff themselves with hay.

Maxi Nancy & my Mini-Mama

Nancy did no more stomach kicking so methinks their sprint & buckfest helped her loosen out whatever may have been troubling her. This is also what i get for not having turned them out since Wednesday. I was off work sick on Thursday and there was shooting/hunting in the woods nearby on Friday, so although I was back at work and could have gone to turn them out i chose not to for fear of stray bullets and/or spooking which could lead to a breakout and damaged ponios = no thank you!
I did get some video footage of my loose lunging the pair of them Friday evening which I hope to turn into gifs thanks to a link $900fbpony shared. Sorry I can't link but as usual am posting from my phone...I really need to buy myself a new laptop!

Wednesday 19 November 2014

WW- Moar Furniture Funsies

I have been rather under the weather since Sunday and I was actually sent home from work this afternoon by my colleagues. I have been going into work as i feel if I'm too sick to go to work I'm too sick to turn the girls out. Leaving them locked up in their stables all day is not something I want for them.

The random things one can come across in a secondhand store
Admittedly i didn't get to let them out or even visit them on Monday as the times I was supposed to go see them the heavens opened & as i was already feeling poorly I didn't think getting drowned was the answer. I'll have to see if I'm up to going to work tomorrow, my weekly deadline was today so tomorrow is a better day to be sick if that is indeed the case.

Now for the wordless part - photo spam from the secondhand furniture place i visited on Saturday.

Monday 17 November 2014

MMM - Furniture Funsies

Mostly Mute Monday presents Furniture Funsies!
To save me having mental meltdowns in furniture stores i have decided to use all these shopping expeditions to my advantage in looking for inspiration to sneak more equine themes into my home; eq-spiration of you will lolz.

Lovely collection of photos although I think i would personally prefer b&w
I hope others might get as much enjoyment out of this random collections of gems i found in stores (but didn't buy anything...yet) over the weekend. As always please excuse picture quality (or lack thereof) as i snapped these images quickly on my phone.

This beautiful rocking horse would ONLY have set me back €5,000!!!
The detail of the saddle is what I really love,
 the "horse" itself is a little harder on the eye ... btv much - eek

These photos were all taken in the shop i have ordered my couch from. I was super lucky & am getting it at a steal of a price due to going to a home & leisure expo last month.

What my couch will hopefully look like...

...but with the base colour in this slate grey with
 2 of the 10 cushions in burnt(ish) red

And last but by no means least, another shot of the adorabubble book ends!

PS: I have more photos from a secondhand store we went to after this fancy one that had actual tack amongst other equine goodies - which I hope to share in a Wordless Wednesday post. (Hopefully saying it now will hold me accountable to actually post again this week ;-) )

Saturday 15 November 2014

Happy Hacking

There is no better way to spend a Saturday morning (in my opinion of course) than by going for a stroll in the woods with my two best girls.
I have already shared a cropped version on insta,
 but love it so had to share again
They were angelic despite our meeting a plethora of distractions - sadly I didn't venture to photograph any of these as no matter how good my girls are you never know what might spook them & sitting on one while holding the other doesn't leave me an extra hand to snap more sorry, you're just going to have to (a) take my word for it & (b) make do with my blurry between the ear shots #sorrynotsorry

Distraction #1 was a horse & cart/carriage type thing before we even left the property as there is a carriage driving workshop at our yard this weekend. I had no idea how Nancy would react wih me on her back & not alongside her on the ground & I figured if Nancy freaked there'd be no saying how flighty Kika would handle it. I needn't have worried however as although Nancy did give them a wide berth and a bit of the hairy eyeball she didn't break stride, spin nor speed up. Thanks to that & K being inside N i cannot say if Kika even realised that we passed them lolz

Distraction #2 happened shortly thereafter where a digger came up behind us, so I pulled in to let them past again hoping they wouldn't freak, dump me and take off in different directions ploughing up the field of planted goods we had stopped alongside. Again I needn't have worried as my cool as a cucumber 5 yr old calmly watched the digger rumble by, again K was on the i her side of her and I cannot say if she questioned why we'd stopped other than to wonder why she couldn't stuff her face with the grass we were standing on.

No post from me is complete without a blooper
 shot with K sticking out her tongue

Distraction #3 immediately after letting the digger passed we met the Guru walking her two gorgeous bearded collies and another yard friend with her french bull dog, so we stopped again for a quick chat. This all happened before we even reached the woods which are no more than a 20 minute walk from the yard!!!

Under the motorway bridge we go

Distraction #4 was meeting another yard person hand walking their horse on the trails - NBD said the girls.

#5 was about 5 minutes later when a cyclist passed us in a wonderfully slow gear as we were all going up hill. He seemed like a happy happy & exchanged some banter about my taking the animals for a walk - Admittedly he must have also just passed the fellow barnmate hand walking his horse then came upon me riding one & leading another. He rightly fully probably thought us cracked.

About 15 minutes later I met another rider, again on foot although her horse was tacked up. We came upon them after turning a corner so neither of mine saw them coming & their reaction was comical. Nancy stopped & stared then two minutes after K noticed and jumped. Again NBD and we carried on our merry way.

Distraction #7 has to have been the most inconspicuous of all the things we crossed paths with but got the biggest reactions from my windy weirdo horses. LEAVES started falling from the trees, I found it magical - Nancy less so so she jumped, which made Kika jump (despite my being sure she has no idea why she jumped other than because Nancy did) which made Nancy jump again.
They cracked me up, this was their biggest spook of the whole spin. Not the carriage driver, not the digger, not the cyclist coming from behind them but leaves falling from the trees. Such Silly Billies!!!!

A jogger overtook us without incident for distraction #8. Not so much as an ear flick for me either girl, to be honest I was probably more surprised than they were as i hadn't seen him coming. I was proud of myself for being Nancy stoic & not Kika spooky as i didn't jump when I saw him ;-)

Finally as we were almost home we crossed paths with our final distraction which again illicit ed an unusual & unwarranted (imo) response from Miss Nancy. A fellow livery was hand grazing her mare on the grass verge along the road we were walking on. Now maybe the mare was sending scary vibes Nancy's way, or perhaps it was the we're almost home effect - but N couldn't possibly walk passed her normally, she had to bulge and gawp was we stataco choppy walked passed with Kika looking at her dopey'ly.

The other mare did spin to gawk at us after we'd passed, but to my eye gave no reason for N to stare at her like that while we walked passed.

I cleaned their feet, applied Klausan blue spray, rugged Nancy back up and retraced our steps to their winter turnout. Refilled their water, hung two haynets and let them to their own devices for the afternoon.

Kika demonstrating why she gets rugged
Returning to the stable I cleaned their stables and tidied my tack etc away before heading home to shower scoff some soup and am off now for some more furniture etc shopping - oh the joys!

Nancy showing her brains and how to win the war with the haynets
 to stop it swinging away from her
means more scoffing time when pressed against her

Friday 14 November 2014

Friday Fail and Photo Dump

After a good start to the week saddle-time wise, I failed yesterday & today. I planned to give the girls yesterday off, so that actually went accordingly but today was an epic fail.

Shiney shiney

I was uber naughty and didn't go to turn them out on my lunch break nor did I ride them this evening - however I did encourage them to blow off some steam in the arena thinking they might like to stretch their legs after being stabled all day...not really they said. We'll take saddle & turnout time tomorrow ... i may be putting words in their mouths.
Speaking off - there will be no more words from me now as i leave you with a hope to do either some pole work and/or trail riding this weekend so that none of us get browned off of arena flatwork. ☺

Ps: apologies for my craptacular blurry photos. I was trying to snap them before the rolled and while they weren't sidling up to me...#fail - totes the theme for the evening ;-)

Wednesday 12 November 2014

Wednesday Word Vomit

I might as well call it as it is...although this post has a handy amount pf pictures. I seem to be incapable of making anything 'wordless' *blush*
/End of PSA...on with our regular programming.
I feel truly blessed tonight as I managed to ride both girls today!
I got Nancy done this morning, as i took a half day to try sort out registering the car I bought from a friend almost 12 months ago (yes I am a suck face & it has been sitting idle in my parents garage since).

Mirror selfie before we warmed up - skinny jeans & country boots are totes acceptable *ahem**cough*

We were much improved on Mondays hissy fit, yet our right rein work still felt awful to me. I don't know if i was all over to one side, thus blocking her; or if she was looking outwards and locking herself - probably a combination of both. I kept to my plan of working on transitions and was super happy with our work on that front. Hopefully as we both get fitter again, our lopsidedness will level out.  Plus I hope to get a lesson again next week if possible. Although the main trainer is away from today till the 4th of Dec (lucky ducky), so Sa who i was working with last week takes over all of U's lessons while one of the WS (Su) takes over Sa's students for that time. I like Su, so if Sa doesn't have time i might see what the WS is like as a teacher...

Showing off her destructive nature & angel face

Thanks to having the morning off, I was able to turn them both out earlier than usual and fill the haynets for the turnout area ahead of tomorrow and Friday. Happy days! This means I won't have to do it in the dark after riding in the evenings (typically after 10pm). I left them just after 11 and skedaddled towards work for 12ish.

Hopefully this rug can withstand her abuse
 as i don't have another backup for her!

I brought the two happy ponies in about 7.30, picked their hooves & sprayed their frogs. Tucked Nancy into her stall and tacked Kika up for our evening spin.
Hopped straight up and marched around the arena on the buckled a couple of times like the big brave girl she has become. Gone are the days when I used to hand walk her around till she settled. Bonus for this evening was despite there being lots of rugs & jackets hanging on the side, she didn't take a blind bit of notice ☺

Kika post work doing her best Arabian impression (top)
 and generally being photogenic (bottom)

We went through transitions, not unlike yesterday - although a bit more interrupted & disjointed today as there were two others in the arena with us. What can I say we are both easily distracted *blush*
Although that wasn't even really a problem compared to how ADD we have been in the past. We got some nice relaxed walk, not bad trot & some very good canter work. Plenty transitions, circles, serpentines & changes of rein mixed in. Our right rein trot work towards the end was a bit of a shambles as we found ourselves alone in the arena. Although I don't really think that was the problem, it was probably me - i have no idea what i was doing wrong, but it made K lock her neck and unwilling to bend around my right leg as we circled. As it was the same side i struggle with with Nancy, methinks the common denominator (aka me) is the to figure out what i am doing wrong & how to fix it *grin*

Poser McPoserpants getting spoiled

For a start i am going to stop being lazy by riding in my Ariat Windemere Country Boots & change into my paddock boots and gaiters to ride. I also need to save for either tall boots or new gaiters & paddock boots as my current set are about to give up the ghost.

Bloopers/Gag-reel as K blinked (top)
& stuck out her tongue (bottom)

Any recommendations, oh shopping gurus?
I have tried on the Tredstep Donatellos (although aesthetically i prefer the DaVincis, me likey the zip protector at the back of the heel as well as the top of the boot/back of the knee) in SLIM euroshoesize 39 regular height i think.

She really is such a charmer
I also love the look of the Ariat Challenge Contour Square Toe Field Boot in brown *swoon* (although I have no idea what these cost, nor if i can buy/try them locally or in France/Belgium or Germany...I will travel for horse things ☺)
I don't have a set budget in mind, and shall have to save & set my pennies aside to splurge on a pair of boots so although I adore Hillary's beautiful brown LaMundials i will not be going custom without someone local to do measurements and even then mistakes happen. A great yard friend got measured for custom boots and had a 1/4 inch difference in the width of her calf from one leg to the other. When the measurements were sent off to get the boots made, somewhere along the line this fact was disregarded & her "custom" boots required more breaking in than they should have. Thankfully it wasn't a larger difference, her boot did stretch the necessary 1/4 inch - so not nearly the be all & end all it could have been when measurements aren't steadfast stuck to.
Sorry that was a serious tangent! *blush*
I'm shutting up now! Hopefully the photos in the post make up for the word vomit!