Wednesday 31 December 2014

Mischief & Mayhem

Aka two of the nicknames i have for the girls...yes they are longer then their actual names so maybe pet names are a more accurate description ;-)
Although maybe I should swap the names considering Nancy tried to trample me as i led her to the field due to getting a fright when a jeep & trailer passed us. Really she was just taking advantage of the situation to let off some steam after not being let out yesterday - well a combination of that & the fact that the snow makes her antsy and un-Nancy-like.

Looking like butter-wouldn't-melt

I had a fab day in Paris yesterday meeting up with one of the awesomest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Sadly I'm an idiot and forgot to nab a picture of the meet up, hopefully the one(s) they got come out ok. I had a ball of a day chatting & laughing with a long time friend. In the mean time here are some snapshots i did capture of the beautiful city.

Sunrise over the Seine

Order of equestrians

And finally some blooper shots of Nancy from earlier today. Wishing every reader a very Happy New Year & I hope that 2015 will be an amazing year for all.
Thank you all so much for the wonderful support and comments all year. Lots of love to all ♡♡♡


Monday 29 December 2014

Monday Mugging

A few snapshots from when I turned the little darlings out this morning. I led each horse individually to & from the field today across the frozen tundra that is currently besieging us. I may not have sat in a saddle since the 26th but i am still getting a workout ;-)

I know this is nothing compared to the snow fest Scandinavians, Russians, Canadians & North Americans have to deal with - but i hate the cold, snow & ice and was overjoyed to have had such a mild winter last year.

No such luck this year sadly, temps plummeted to -6C on Sunday evening & are due to stay below freezing for the rest of this week. Whether this means we'll get more snow or not I've no idea. One thing I do know is snow on top of iced snow is a recipe for disaster when leading excitable beasts to turnout. So they may not be going out again if temps don't increase.

They are deff staying indoors tomorrow as i am off to Pareee for the day for a super awesome meet up. Fingers crossed all goes well! At least there is no snow there - i am reliably informed ☺

Sunday 28 December 2014

Silent Sunday - Snow Day

I couldn't get N to pose - she hasn't seen
snow like this in 2 years.
 She was having fun in it

They had fun kicking their heels up playing in the snow when I let them loose in the turnout as you'll see from the yeehaw'ing in the videos.
I was super glad my sis & I went for our hack in the woods St Stephens day before the snow completely covered the country yesterday.

Friday 26 December 2014

Twice as Nice

My baby sis came with me for a hack in the woods today. She rode Nancy & I was on Kika the Chicken.

She is so funny, for as often as she has come into the woods with Nancy & I while on the lead, the terror is real when she has as rider on her back lolz. A few hesitant steps here and there where she got a little sticky but walked on like a good girl when I asked her too & of course Nancy was on hand for figurative hand-holding and general cool-level-headedness that she is awesome for. ♡

She is miles better than she used to be, and will never be 100% zen hacking in the woods but she was as good as she can be. She walked on well, in front, beside and especially behind. She can doze when she slots in behind Nancy lol. My sis got a good kick out of Kika's emotive satellite ears.

Love my big brave girls ☺
Happy St Stephens/Boxing day

Thursday 25 December 2014

Christmas Crackers

Nollaig Shona Duit blogosphere!!!
(Happy Christmas)

I hope that Santa was good to one and all. I am looking forward to catching up on all the blogs and reading all about your wonderful gifts.

I managed to snap some quick photos of the girls in christmas hats after bringing them in this evening.

Sorry for poor staging & photo quality, I was clock watching as i was conscious of the fact I should be hurrying home as we're about to sit down to our Christmas dinner.

Love to all from Luxembourg ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡

Monday 22 December 2014

Rider Railroading

Bad me hasn't ridden since Saturdays spins, we were invited as a family to a friends for late lunch/early dinner on sunday & then I went christmas shopping after work this evening and thankfully think i am now finished for the most part.

K got more blog time last post, but can't not share another image of her

So I am going to use this post today to rip on myself for my poor riding in the photos my sister super kindly snapped for me.
Apologies for double posting of some from the last post - but needs must or progress may never be made!

I shall share photos in the chronological order they were taken in.

- I need to raise my eye level a little more, it is better here than usual but I am not exactly looking between the horse's ears - so more work needed.
- I need to carry my hands a little more; this will be easier to work on with Nancy vs Kika. As K is little miss sensitive and can't handle such things - the drama queen!
- I need to sit up more, actually engage my core and roll back my shoulders.
- I am not sure what my leg is doing swinging in no-man's land. My calf should be on her side supporting her through the bend #shame

Sorry it is a bit blurry
- I actually like this photo for the most part.
- again I need to look up more, roll my shoulders back and sit straighter
- I still need to raise my hands and drop my heels (as always)
- I should get her to engage more from behind and step under herself, again will improve with time & when I can put more consistent work into her so that she can develop the muscles needed to sustain such work
- is she a little BTV? I need to get a better feel for that so that I can recognise such things and try to stop them before muscle memory takes hold

- this isn't the most flattering moment and I think i am a little ahead of movement
- of course my heels are misbehaving
- my hands are slightly better positioned although I'm suffering from floppy wrists so again loads more work needed
- on the upside my back is straighter and my shoulders are better. Small victory but i will gladly take it
- again I need to raise my eye level some more

- again sorry about the fuzzy pic quality but i am happier with my upper body in this snapshot.
- if my head was up a bit & my hands higher it would be even better
- I need more bend in my elbow. That will hopefully come when I lift my hands more, keep my shoulders back, weight in my heels and sit on my ass
- Nancy might be slightly disagreeing with me from the tilt of her head and I could deff help her step under herself more. Again this will come as we build back up muscle through more consistent work

- not a bad canter pic, but i am leaning too much to the inside to help her balance & my hands are still pretty hideous
- my naughty heel is still creeping up but I thankfully don't seem to be gripping wih my knee or thigh...or at least it doesn't look like I am to my uneducated eyes. Then again a momentary capture of a movement cannot tell the whole story

- this is prob my fav photo of the bunch; it is far from perfect but there is plenty i like about it - not least of all because i am smiling/laughing at her antics just prior to this where she had done dolphin leap/lead change transition up into canter
- dare i say she almost looks slightly uphill despite me seeming to be doing a good imitation of the leaning tower of Pisa
- I need to use my hands less and legs more to help balance her through the turn
- again I need to look up, sit up, pull my shoulders back and drop the weight into my heels supporting her with my calves

N is such a good girl to put up with my craptastic attempts to "ride"
 I didn't actually know this photo had been taken
 until my sis sent it to me ♡♡♡♡

And last but not least a bit of a comic relief photo as Nancy shows her adorable side posing for a selfie with my sis & mama ♡

Sunday 21 December 2014

Surreal Sensation

I am super glad to have managed to ride both girls today. Considering neither one had been ridden in 10 or 11 days they were both legends & very forgiving of me!
My mam & sister came to the yard with me & snapped some fun photos which accompany this post.

I rode Nancy first, no walker, no lunging and no turnout yesterday - she was such a sweetheart. My sis caught some lovely moments in pictures, which I am super stoked to have.
We got some truly lovely walk/trot/canter work while the spectators were there (Yay for nice photos), which is just as well as she was not a happy camper to go back to work after stopping to say our goodbyes to my family.

She tried to convince me that she could not possibly be expected to walk in a straight line, now walk without her head to the outside! Back to basics we went with some ugly giraffe'ing walk/trot transitions with random 10m circles to reinstall some inside bend. Thankfully it worked pretty well and we got back to some much better work before calling it quits.

Please excuse the state of me sitting like a sack
- but Nancy is super cute

Kika thoroughly surprised me with her stellar behaviour. We were alone in the main arena and the rain was sporadically hammering outside of the building. Not once did the sound break her concentration, the arena sides are another matter but the odd side-step & squiggly squirmish along one long side & her corner nemesis are par for the Kika course and just make me giggle as she randomly jigs at something then goes past it without batting an eyelash before and after.

Pre-work mirror selfie
When I first got up i thought I might be in for a bit of a battle as again she tried to refuse to sidle up to the side so that I could deposit the quarter sheet after our walk warm up. A couple taps of the stick, leg and a verbal scolding reminded her that I am indeed the boss and meant business - oddly enough not a problem after that ;-)

Foam Face

We got gorgeous walk/trot/canter work and transitions up and down all super soft and willing. I couldn't help but grin the whole time, praise her and giggle at the odd misstep when  some shadow or other offended her. A yard friend joined us in the arena and commented on how well she was going. I beamed and said I couldn't believe it either considering she hadn't been ridden in over 10 days and hadn't been turned out yesterday. However she had spent time on the walker while i rode & put Nancy away after our spin.
Sadly there is no media of this super spin, the family photog was long gone home to recover from jet lag after her long route home (Vancouver-Dallas-London-Lux) with a 4h delay in Dallas resulting in an unscheduled overnight in London.
Although to be fair, if i had had an audience i would probably have ridden like a plank and not had the wonderful spin that has kept me smiling all day.

PS: I edited my previous post to add shots of the empty apartment if anyone is curious...

Saturday 20 December 2014

WTF?! - Edited to add photos

The fear is real guys...

How did this happen? It wasn't supposed to be ready till March - yet i got a call Wednesday to say it was ready and if i wanted i could get the keys early.
With my sister making the long trip home from Vancouver for Christmas and our not knowing when she might next be back. I took the plunge and figured why the hell not. Well besides the obvious fact that bank repayments will now be starting - but i guess they'd have started eventually and the sooner they do, the faster i can adjust to the hit on my salary each month & the quicker it'll all be paid off.
Now both my sisters can see my new flat as soon as they land off the planes. I haven't told them, I want to surprise them on our way back from collecting them from the airport with a quick detour.

Lux by Christmas lights @ night

I can share some photos of bare rooms if anyone wants to see (i don't mean totally bare, tiling, painting, bathroom fittings, windows, doors etc are all in) ... or you can wait for furnished pictures whenever I manage to start furnishing lolz
As i wasn't  expecting keys till March, the order for the couch was only made at the start of Dec, so it won't be ready until end of Feb/early March. I have to contact the shop i bought the kitchen from tomorrow and see when they might be able to come install it - probably not before next year due to short notice.
I honestly didn't think I'd be ticking  that item off my 30 b4 30 list this quickly - i figured it would'nt be until next year! #freakout

EDITED TO ADD a photo-guided tour

En-suite off main (eep my) bedroom 
Master bedroom
Hallway view from main bedroom
 First door on left = front door,
 saloon doors opposite = coat/shoe closet,
second doorway on left = main bathroom,
doorway opposite = second bedroom,
living/kitchen straight ahead
Second bedroom
Cozy main bathroom with yours truly caught in the mirror
Glass door between hallway
 & kitchen/living
Kitchen (top) - living (bottom) terrace doors left
Sorry photo quality so poor, it's difficult to snap photos in a small space with a phone - i don't know the best angles to get the most into frame. #awkward
Some of my favourite features include wood-look tiles in bedrooms & bathrooms; the stone-work on the bath & the glass door entering living area. Plus the terrace is massive, but i didn't get photos of that yesterday as it was getting dark and raining.