Tuesday 27 January 2015

Moaning Myrtle

(HP reference for the win!)
I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer this evening, but this blog is my outlet to chronicle my equine adventures - good and bad.
Let me preface this here to say nothing bad has happened, I know i am truly blessed to have two happy, healthy horses; a permanent job and my very own apartment almost easy to move into. The thought of doing so is both exhilarating and terrifying in equal measure. Being wholly responsible for upkeep, maintenance, bills, cleaning and feeding myself is not something I have encountered for longer than 6 months before and I rented so wasn't wholly responsible. There was always a landlord or contact person should the need have arisen.

An impending, as yet unknown, moving date has me conscious of loneliness. I am nervous about living alone, as with the two horses i don't have much of a social life. Please don't get me wrong, I love having the horses but recently have found myself increasingly isolated and even lonely at the yard.

The Guru, who would have been my closest barn friend and I don't see too much of each other anymore due to differing schedules; and to be honest a bit of a cooling period in our friendship when I moved the horses back to the yard from the off site turnout we had been sharing prior to that. I may be being overly sensitive, and hold my hands up to being equally responsible for the cooling of our friendship - in fact I even feel a little guilty as her mare was heading for retirement and then she struggled to find another horse for a few months. In other years I'd have offered her the ride on my girls especially as i haven't exactly been a model of consistency this autumn/winter. However her riding style is very different from mine and when she helped me out riding my horses last winter as her mare struggled with lameness. My issue was that our approaches and skills were too different and when I did manage to ride my girls - i felt pretty inept and useless in the tack.
That and the fact that she has barely spoken to me since the end of June has meant that I have been selfish with Kika and Nancy. We haven't actively stopped speaking to each other and always smile and have a quick "how are things" catch up when out paths cross, but it is a far cry from the long conversations we used to have. Perhaps we are both just awkward around the other as we obviously have unresolved differences of opinion on things that I have never mentioned on the blog, but there has been a definite cooling in friendship since the summer months. No argument or full on fall out, but we are no longer as close as we once we're and from the way things have been this autumn/winter i can't see how they'll go back. I realise now I relied too much on one persons friendship and potentially alienated other friends along the way, which although all still smiley and happy when our paths cross - conflicting schedules mean this rarely happens.

Plus my hoping to ride one or both girls of an evening limits my ability to stand around chatting with fellow boarders - if there were many left by the time i get there in the evening the yard tends to be a ghost town. This is combined with the fact that every evening i must prepare the turnout for the following day. Which means refilling the haynets and topping up the water, before bringing the girls in and sorting their stables for the night. Not back breaking in anyway, but time consuming and time is a commodity i seem to be lacking the ability to preserve.

My working days are long and busy, I probably feel more tired in the evenings because i take public transport (2 buses and walk uphill for 10mins) to get to the stable to put my gorgeous girls out for the afternoon. The opportunity to pet them and talk to them on my lunch break is the perfect way imo to break up my day. Especially thanks to Nancy's daily greeting and the extra warm fuzziness when Kika joins in the midday chorus - that in itself is so rare that it totally warms to cockles of my frozen heart & almost makes up for her grouchy faces when I change her rug ;-)

Basically I am being a Moaning Myrtle, not to be ungrateful for the opportunities i have but because I'm worried that this is a slippery slope into hermithood. I have no SO on the scene, which most days is a blessing as i don't have to justify my time spent at the stable - but at the same time - the time i spend there curtails my options of meeting someone special. I worry that I will end up a spinster with horses instead of cats *blush*

As always this is getting long and rambly,  my apologies for the whining and lack of media to lighten the mood and/or break up the blocks of whine. I am hoping that the stress of apartment decisions will soon be behind me and then I only have to worry about finances from here on out LeLolz - what a way to pick myself up. *eye-roll*

I am really hopeful that when I move and start taking my car to work, I can squeeze in a spin on one of the horses on my lunch break.  With any luck i can perhaps even schedule a lesson or two per week, as the trainer i ride with only teaches weekdays and not after 6pm. So at the moment I can't ride with her unless I have time off. #sadtimes #firstworldproblems
I know that if i can get more saddle time and feel like we are making progress things will pick up for me mentally and i won't be so down on myself. Honestly spending time with the horses makes my day worthwhile.

Here's hoping that if i can re-balance my day and ride one at lunchtime, I will not only benefit from vitamin D & the positive effects of not feeling like I am a complete night owl - but it will also help me potentially ride the other in the evening and/or give me more time to call in on friends or have friends over and not feel guilty for abandoning the ponios. Who let's be honest are always happier when I don't ride ;-)


PS - if you read all that you deserve some sort of badge of honour. I already feel better for airing my worries and woes on my own little patch of the interwebs. Now to buck up and make the changes that will hopefully help me find my missing motivation

Mama do the Hump

Apologies if this doesn't translate - but I've had this Rizzle Kicks song stuck in my head all evening. Nancy gave me some serious sass this evening when I sat up.

Derpy Diva head toss 
It may have had something g to do with my not riding her since Sunday week and/or the dressage court being set up in the large indoor arena (sorry no photos because I'm a muppet & forgot to snap one). We got half way around the arena on a loose rein warm up walk - when I felt madam's back start to arch beneath me. Cue a leg aid, rapid shortening of the reins on my part and a def channeling of energy into anything but bucking. My only fall from Nancy to date was following a surprise (to me) bucking spree on our first beach outing the summer before last. She sometimes has a cheeky crow hop when transitioning upwards from trot to canter, but i just had a feeling I would be in big trouble of she got her nose between her legs this evening.

Image Link - YouTube link for fun song...hopefully this works
 & yep that is the legendary James Corden in the music video,
coming to a movie screen near you in Into The Woods
which I CANNOT wait to see ♡

Trotting forward more briskly than I would have ideally liked considering this was supposed to be our warm up - but if sass was the alternative i was ready to set up camp trotting ;-)
She settled pretty quickly and we got some good and less impressive walk/trot/halt work done - more or less keeping in line with the struggles we've encountered our last couple of spins. I 100% take responsibility for not logging enough saddle time recently & truly hope to remedy that going forward.

Foamy lips evidence of relaxed work post-humpiness 

We got some nice & not nice work on both reins, the nice was super nice & I could feel serious power building within my monster mare. If i can get back into a regular riding schedule and pencil in some more lessons a little further down  the road - i think we can have some serious fun & maybe tick off my Dressage Anywhere 30 b4 30 bucket list item.

Far from a masterpiece of photography;
but someone was not in the mood to pose after work

Tomorrow evening will hopefully be Kika's turn again before the next dump of snow arrives as of Thursday...is it evident yet how much I dislike winter & the cold. Yet i know i shouldn't be complaint at all as I have happy healthy horses, access to indoors and it's not the scary negative temps that assault places further north than me...but there is a reason I don't live there!!
Now sod off please winter & bring on spring ☺

Saturday 24 January 2015

Full on Friday

Despite having the day off work it was a surcharged one. I hope to keep this update word light as i am actually fit to fall asleep but i have a couple of cute Nancy videos to share, some derpy Kika photos & a finished kitchen which a few people expressed an interest in seeing ...
I had an earlier start than I typically like on my days off; as i went to the flat for 8 am to let the guys in to finish installing the kitchen.

Nancy's adorable reaction to my appearing before 9am after not having seen me since Tuesday evening...isn't her face just melt-your-heart-awesome

I was at the stable and had the girls turned out before 9am. I felt i owed them a longer day out as they hadn't had any fresh air since Sunday. #badhorsemama
Being at the flat every morning to let the kitchen fitters in before going to work meant I couldn't take the long lunch i need to turn the ladies out in my break. #mademesad

She made me laugh so hard trying to be bad ass & wild in this video - but then totally derailed her plans when she saw the haynet had been hung!!!

My mother and I then flitted over the border to Belgium to look for bedroom furniture. Sadly we didn't find anything we liked before we got the call from the kit hen fitters that they were finishing up soon and could we come back to check everything and sign off on job finished. However my dad had been looking for bird seeds to leave out for the wildlife and one of the "local" tack shops to me (about 25-30mins away by car) also caters to all other kinds of animals so my mother insisted we stop there first to collect bird food. You'll all be shocked to hear i didn't spend a penny! Didn't buy a single thing...now before you all faint in shock. I have to head to a different tack shop tomorrow to pick up a special blue spray for the girls feet to help stave off frog infections (thrush maybe?! - this is the downside to communicating in people's second or third languages...we don't all have the same vocab)

Checked out the kitchen, signed the paperwork, made the video featured in this post, snapped loads of silly pictures. Including the first inhabitants of the flat - the Tefal pots i was given for my birthday. Which we had brought in the car to check that everything had been properly connected before the fitters left ;-)
A word on the kitchen, in case anyone think me posher than I actually am. Obviously because i am horse mad i am cash poor. I managed to snap up this amazing deal on the kitchen as sadly the company that made it had gone bankrupt so the kitchen shop was selling off the display model from the shop floor and it happened to fit almost perfectly into the measurements of my flat. And thus I was a million per cent spoiled my getting such awesome perks as the island i had hoped for (with heated slabs for eating - something I would never have thought of!), GRANIT (honestly something I could never have afforded without the super sales price), all the electrics - 3/4 size fridge and freezer (separate &  hilt in under the ovens), an oven & microwave oven, hob & extractor fan, lights in the upper shelves, built in washing machine & dishwasher. Plus the already mentioned heated eating area; we also found out today that the granit sink is also wired to heat...although why o have no idea as hot water comes out of the tap; which in itself is epic and i love but would probably never have gotten only it came part & parcel on this dream of a kitchen. The separate unit at the start of the video also came with the Kitchen and is decked out with a matching granit surface - i have been beyond lucky to have found this kitchen/living combo as now I just need the couch to arrive and some high stools and my living area is complete! *SQUEE*

The Mammy & I then flitted across the border to Germany for the afternoon (maybe 30-45minute drive in the opposite direction to this morning) to see what sales a super large furniture store had on whole bedroom sets (namely bed frame, wardrobe & bedside tables). Didn't see anything I had to have, or rather that topped the current front runner from another shop. However we've a couple more places in mind to check tomorrow before I make my final decision. Has to be done this weekend as sales offers are only good till the end of Jan, and the best deals tend to be on the expo models - to be in luck i can't wait till the very last day next weekend.
Finished up there just before 7, I had to stop by the office to collect my Ariat Windemeres that had spent the week in my cupboard there on the off chance I was able to sneak off to turn out the horses for my lunch break - sadly didn't happen. As snow is forcast for tomorrow though I needed them at home so that I could use them if needed!

Posing for an awesome mirror selfie - she was such a legend this evening 

By 7.30 i was at the stable, hauled the horses in and actually managed to ride Kika. She was being a bit of a muppet again, although nowhere near as maggoty as she had been on Sunday. As it was friggin freezing i kept my coat on and she kept her fleece quarter sheet on and we did 90% walk work with a little bit of trot thrown in as she was being good despite her auspicious start. Spending the majority of my spin at the wall was a refreshing change for me & hopefully K. We were really able to focus on doing the basics well and I got such pleasure in getting through to her and helping her relax during her eyes-on-stalks / the-arena-walls/shadows-are-going-to-eat-me. As you might be able to see from the photos I rode in my new boots, boy do those bad boys catch the backs of my knees when i ride in Kika's GP saddle. They pinched less when I kept my heel down so maybe these will finally train me to stop nudging with my heels. I believe this kind of learning approach is called negative reinforcement - eh...whatever finally gets those suckers down will be a total win in my book ☺

Derp-alert i have to have the best photo taking timing ever

Hopefully I get some Nancy saddle time tomorrow and ideally Kika too - but if it is anything like today...i will be lucky to have the energy for one let alone two!!! Vive la fin...i can ot wait for all decisions to be made and furniture delivered so i can move and find my new normal!

Congrats if you read all that drivel, hopefully the videos & photos make up for all the word vomit...I definitely failed at being concise - SOWWWIEEEE

Tuesday 20 January 2015


Or summat to that effect - hopefully the videos will work today so that I can share with you the "wildebeests" the girls become after 2 days without turnout

Video I (LINKed in case embedding fails)

As you can see Kika really let loose with the head shaking - what a wild one she is *wink*
I can't but laugh at these videos they are so typical of both girls. Nancy wants to let loose and run for fun; whereas Kika is all "do not pass go & do not think about going faster. This is all about being lazy" cool-girl-hair-flick

Video II (LINK)

Yeah, Miss K is a total Diva...is it just me or does Kika look a little off in the videos? It might be general stiffness due to a combination of the colder weather and lack of turnout so far this week. Sadly due to kitchen fitting at the flat i have been unable to turn them out during my lunch break this week - not looking like changing till at least Friday at this rate #sadtimes :-(

Angel-face looking like
butter wouldn't melt

Either that or Miss Priss has done herself a bit of a mischief with her pawing. I checked with the barefoot trimmer on Saturday, as i am forever worrying about her front foot with the white sock. Of course this is the leg she paws with 9 times out of 10. The trimmer reassured me that despite this fact she somehow managed to wear the hoof in such a way that it was still in pretty good nick, if a little imbalanced when compared to the other one which had obviously had more opportunities to grow *roll-eyes*
Kika currently resembles Cinderella, as a friend has lent me a lone boot (her horse lost the other on turnout last year), and after checking with the trimmer that putting only one boot on wouldn't leave K imbalanced...i proceeded to put it on her when she is stabled (likely to paw at feeding/hay time) and when she is tied in the cross ties for grooming/tacking up. I do not ride her in it nor turn her out with it on, she *knock-on-wood* doesn't paw in those scenarios.
The jury is out so far as to whether it'll make much of a difference, hopefully she gets tired of pawing before she wears through the rubber sole. Even if it only protects her hoof a little bit, that's a win in my book as she obviously cannot be trusted to protect herself and stop pawing when her hoof gets too small. This horse has remarkably poor self-preservation when it comes to her feet.
She is however priceless when she starts to paw with the boot on, as you can read her thought process that it isn't making the right noose and therefore is not having the desired effect. It then takes her a few minutes to get the brain in gear to switch sides - the muscle memory isn't as ingrained with that side and so is much harder for her and she gives up faster. *fingers-crossed* she might eventually stop altogether *mumble-grumble* Bloomin wagon ...

"Whosa Pretty Pony?"
/creepy sing song voice

Nancy was her joyous self as i loose lunged them, all she wanted to do was stretch her legs and play but Kika kept getting in the way! She did have one moment of mad fun which of course I managed to watch through my camera-phone screen but never actually hit record *headdesk*
She did get a freshly laundered and fixed rug change. The purple rug is perhaps a little lighter than I'd ideally like for her to be wearing at this time of year. But she is a much warmer creature than I giver her credit for and actually has a bit of a rash/hives from being too hot under her other rug with the pesky un-extendable front closure & high neck that she doesn't even like. So Kika has inherited the 6ft6 one Nancy had been wearing with the neck as it is thicker than the one she had been wearing. These things will balance out when I can turn them out again as Nancy's turnout is newer than Kika's and appears heavier & thicker...this may just be because it is two sizes bigger - but who knows! Hopefully they will  both be happy and cozy within the new setup...

PS: I also fixed the video link of Nancy's Midday Greeting from Friday Fail/Flashback post (LINK).

Monday 19 January 2015

New Boots - New Bruises

I spent Saturday flitting around Ikea and Maison du Monde, as well as an outlet center just over the border in Belgium before getting back to the yard in time to haul the girls in for some TLC I'm the form of pedicures & hair cuts.

Sadly I'm a muppet & didn't nab any before/after clip pics
 and this is as much of Kika as will be seen on
the blog today...read on for reasons

Sunday was "testing" day for my new booties. As has become the norm, I started with Nancy while Kika spun on the walker.
N was a very good girl in spite of the fact she hadn't been sat on since the Sunday before and our previous attempt at arena work on the Saturday had been rather an epic fail with her forgetting how to walk straight and not bend to the outside on the left rein *sigh*
She did try to get away with inverted squirming on the same rein this Sunday, but unlike the previous week i had remembered to bring my whip and a couple reminders behind my inside leg and we got back on the straight and narrow. Including some brief but lovely canter work where we got all our leads and didn't spend 10 minutes working on re-balancing the trot after our downward transition.
My new boots felt awesome! I ride Nancy in a dressage saddle and the longer stirrups totally played into my favour as i found out later when I hopped up on Kika in the GP.

Nancy & I pre-ride, shiney new boots & my ♡ eurostar jacket
 and ADE flight breeches...i felt like a million bucks *blush*
 Now to hopefully start riding better!

Kika on the other hand was an absolute wagon. True a horse was on the treadmill outside the arena we were working in...True it was making quite a racket, however she has heard it before and just decided that that day it was her turn to give me the finger as she had been so good of late.
We walked around fine on a loose rein, but once I gathered the reins to start working towards some trot work She started to loose the run of herself. For Kika this means a loss of her front end, her head comes up she jinks from side to side as she finds things to offend her in the arena panelling or any excuse really. And if i dream of attempting to sponge the reins or touch her face in anyway she throws her front legs about and reminds me in her not so subtle way that she does rear.
Now she didn't attempt to lift a front paw off the ground, but she was still being a pain in the ass! Un-surprisingly considering her mood, she got worse when the horse was taken off the treadmill & the noise stopped. *eye-roll* Search me - she is an enigma...we'll not really, she was just on a one woman mission to piss me off.

Adding halt to my laundry list of things to work on ;-)

When two other riders joined us in the arena and she continued her cap - we were literally only walking at this stage without any semblance of her listening to be perfectly honest. The arena was getting progressively smaller as she jinked, snaked and cut corners wherever she could. Feeling insecure in the new boots to pander to her cap, I hopped off and went to get a lunge rope & whip.
Back in the arena this time, she was like a different horse. 100% listening and  responsive on the lunge. Grrrr - she knows just how to push my buttons.
I had changed out of the new boots to lunge and was back in my trusty windmeres. Stupidly i forgot my whip when I gathered the lunging gear so when I hopped back up after some walk-trot-canter transitions on the lunge i was hopeful that I wouldn't rue that fact.
She was still being an ass wipe, but we did get transitions done and worked all three gates without descending into a full on argument. I call that a win considering how the spin started.
Due to her carry on, there were no mirror selfies taken on Kika that day. #sorrynotsorry

Conditioner i used - LINK to product info & photo credit

I have two nice bruises at the back of my knees (one for each knee) and am looking forward to them dropping a little to stop catching me there when I walk. Thankfully I have (as yet) no bruising on the front of sides of my knees which bodes better for the fit of these vs the larger size which managed to bruise my right knee when I only tried them on and walked up the stairs once!
I found them easier to ride in with the long stirrups of Nancy's dressage saddle - although to be honest Kika was hardly being a model citizen so i will have to try again with the GP tomorrow. Although for those first 15-20minutes of her shenanigans i was very aware of them pinching me behind my knees - however in saying that I would not be surprised if i was subconsciously gripping with my knees Lest she opt to practice her circus pony act.
I was a good girl and conditioned my boots post ride. I am hopeful that I can get into the habit of doing my tack & boots once a week (preferably a sunday) admittedly i will alternate the girls tack each week rather than set myself up to fail by pretending i will clean two saddle, two  rides and boots every weekend. I know myself better than that! Higher Standards will be coming with me to the barn *shame-faced* Yes it has been living nice & cozy in the house

Friday 16 January 2015

Friday Fail / Flashback?

This is more of a week long fail then just a Friday Fail, as i haven't sat on Nancy since Sunday's hack in the woods & Kika hasn't had tack on her back since Saturdays spin.

Friday Flashback to last night

However i particularly failed today as although I had the afternoon off work to accept the delivery of MY NEW KITCHEN!!!

All ready for installation first thing Monday morning
I still didn't manage to log any saddle time or try out my new boots #fail
I spent over an hour and a half with the delivery guys as they brought all the stuff into the flat & then went to do grocery shopping for my dad. By the time i got home from that I was mentally exhausted and feeling the guilts for not having managed to turn the girls out - so i buried my head in the sand and opted to spend the evening chilling with my dad.
Me-so-bad :'(

Such forgiving creatures 
- Nancy's midday greeting
(video from this day last week
 so even "further" flashback)
LINK - in case for whatever reason the embedded fails

I also wanted to ask another tall boots maintenance question & thank all those who responded to my post yesterday. What do ya'll mean by conditioning? Is that saddle soap then oil, or just conditioning balm straight from the package?
I have different products but if it's the latter option i was leaning towards attacking them with my Higher Standards balm...should I soap them first?

Apologies for being so ignorant *blush*

Thursday 15 January 2015

Take Two

My second pair of Tredstep Ireland Raphael Long Leather Boots arrived today. I ordered them a size down from the pair I got last week (LINK). I am annoyingly between shoe sizes and needed to try both to see which fit better. I will be keeping the smaller size methinks.

New size 39 pair
First pair size 40
The smaller pair fit so much better around my calf. I have also tried to capture comparison shots where the larger pair had quite a bit of excess under my knees. However boot selfies aren't easy to take, so apologies if the weird bunching doesn't really come across in the side-by-sides.

39 on left / 40 on right
39s are much tighter around my calf and
don't have the empty excess beside the tags
39 on left / 40 on right
Massive unnecessary excess bulge behind the calf
and a smaller bulge beside the leather strap at the top of the boot
Again 39 on left / 40 on right
Large bulge still evident behind the calf of size 40
 & bulge by the TS leather label.
 I'm a bit saddened to see the leather TS strap
 also bulging on the 39s. Hopefully this won't cause problems later

I am hoping they will drop a bit behind the knee as sitting on a horse will be interesting till they do ;-)

Close ups of some of the details.
The size 39 right boot is a little floppy @ the ankle when empty
 & the top is a little bent over on itself (bottom left image)
but I am hopeful with proper care and inflatable inserts
when not in use the leather will straighten back out
I remember the bruises I had from my ProG2 gaiters when I got them a few years back and cannot wait for these boots to be like the second skin my gaiters were. Fingers crossed I can ride in these at the weekend!

I can't think of a more inspirational way to "break in"
New boots than watching Puissance jumping from Olympia
These are my first pair of tall boots, can you wonderfully knowledgeable blog readers please give me tips and advice as to how to treat them and keep them in good nick? ☺

Right boot getting tucked in with its inflatable
i'm hoping it will support the floppy top;
there is little difference when on...although
maybe that's why the leather strap bulges
on that boot & not the other one.
Or it could just be that my right calf is chunkier;
it sure seems that way when the boots are on in any case
Also I may have tried them on over the skinny jeans I wore to work - so will have to see how I like the fit when I wear them with breeches. Fingers crossed they fit even better!

Wednesday 14 January 2015

WW - Drowned Rats

Sorry this is blurry
Now imagine the state of me after refilling haynets & water under the same deluge that left them like this.
Cannot share in words how much I LOVE the Horseware Rambo Duo turnouts with neck covers & my own Horseware Rambo waterproof trousers - we were all dry underneath them.

(Ok so as always this isn't quite "Wordless" - but it has a lot less word vomit than my last post ☺ ... you're welcome)

Yes I love Pitch Perfect & cannot wait for the sequel
- no i don't care that you may now think me a looser.
Google Images LINK

Monday 12 January 2015

Short and Sweet

The title is obviously not talking about the content of this blogpost, because we know I suffer from massive word vomit - but i do promise to include pictures...of the horses; not vomit!

Her facial expression is saintly - she is soooooooo rocking the crimped look. The things my horses put up with from me

First off I had one of my fab horsey weekends that I haven't had the pleasure off in what seems like for-EVAR. *sigh* #adulthoodwoes & #grownupproblems

Photo-posing fails after our Sunday stroll in the woods.
Kika is not tied to Nancy, the leadrope is just resting over N's withers.
I hold K's lead while on Nancy
Saturday started off with an incredibly frustrating spin on Nancy, not 100% her fault as she hadn't been ridden since the 1st of Jan - but still there was no inside bend what's over on the right rein. Zilch - in fact she was twisting so badly to the outside that she kept drifting into the ring - Eurgh, I would've cried if not for the frustration. Our typically worse left side was a dream by comparison, she was all "bend? No problem I can haz that ☺" but tracking right i got a big fat "No comprendo" ... if the difficulty continues I will get osteo out - however I hold my hands up & readily admit the problem could be me being crooked and/or sending mixed messages. Or could just be her way of telling me to F-off that has been enjoying the downtime and doesn't fancy working on circles & bend etc again.  Welcome back to the teenage years ;-)

Photos taken in sequence
Kika on the other hand was a dream, admittedly she had spun on the walker for 30 - 45 minutes (I never know exactly #badhorsemama). We ended up being in a less than ideal riding situation with a crowded arena. The large main arena had been mostly abandoned due to crazy winds rocking through Lux this weekend (forecast said between 80 & 90km/h) and the main arena is horrible when super windy as there is an awful racket which would completely fry Kika's special brain of I had even considered attempting to ride in there. As I value my life & her sanity - I never had any intention of doing so. It would appear I was not the only one as I found myself with four other riders in the smaller arena - one of which was getting a private lesson through headset. A situation I find incredibly difficult to share the arena with as the rider is concentrating on what the trainer is telling them and it is up to others to keep out of their way. Let's just say K and I practiced a lot of stop/start. Sort of transitions, right?!

I think this is the only capture i managed with both their ears forward

 Anyways she was a rock star considering the poor space ratio, I managed to carve out a chunk for myself. Put K through her paces and skedaddled back to the sanity of a quieter grooming area. Due to the winds I didn't turn the girls out Saturday, but did leave them naked in their stables so they could roll & scratch to their hearts content without the rugs taking from the good of it. They had 100% fresh beds as I cleaned their stables myself between spins and had unbraided Nancy on Friday evening so she could shake it off for the weekend.

Google Images LINK

From there I went to hangout with my good friend S, who used to keep her horse at our yard but moved him to another barn in May and I obviously no longer see enough of them. So she swung by my barn to see the girls, chat with her other friends before we scarpered together so I could play with her pooch while she worked her horse. It really was the perfect way to spend a Saturday ☺ (or at least imo)

Blooper - Derpy Nancy
Sunday is where the blogpost title comes from.
When I woke up to blue skies I decided if it wasn't too windy Nancy, Kika & I were going to go for a hack in the woods. Of course by the time I was ready to hit the road, the blue skies were intermittent but the wind was considerably more contained than it had been the day before. So rather than potentially argue with Nancy again about bend, I decided we needed a change of scenery. That and I heard sad news Saturday that the first person I spoke to at the stable when Kika arrived 5 years ago & who accompanied me on our first trail ride to show me the routes had unexpectedly passed away at 71 years of age the night before. She was a wonderful person and so full of life, hearing of her death really knocked me for six.
So in honour of her I opted to take my girls for a stroll in the woods.

Kika's turn to be derptastic 
Now the wind was hardly abashed and in fact I had to go back before leaving the car park to take off the bright orange waterproof quarter sheet Nancy usually wears for hacking in the woods (so we'll be seen and not accidentally shot by hunters - not likely, but I'd rather be safe than sorry) as the wind that was blowing it was going to wreak havoc with the quarter sheet. It wasn't cold, just blustery so I figured we'd be fine without it for our quick spin. I wanted to keep it short & sweet (geddit - post title makes sense now right ;-) ) so that we wouldn't get caught out if the wind did turn nasty.

Derp squared
I actually hand-walked them both to the entrance of the forest, as the road to get to the woods is tarmac'd and an awful wind corridor so I didn't want us to suffer any mishaps or get tangled before we even got into the woods. The good thing about the wind was that Kika stayed closer to Nancy & I than she normally does and I didn't feel like I was hauling her along with us ;-)
I didn't nab any forestry photos this time sadly as although both girls were angels about the wind, I didn't fancy getting caught out if there was a sudden bluster or something and I didn't have 100% control cos I was acting the maggot snapping photos on my camera phone! Safety first ☺

Re-plaited last night ready for the week ahead

I am unlikely to make it to the barn this evening as I am meeting a friend after work, so I haven't turned them out this lunchtime just in case I don't get back in time to bring them in. Hopefully it will be service as usual tomorrow with all going well some saddle time tomorrow evening when I am hopefully to be more patient and make some headway with Nancy & my arena work - if it is dodgy again on the same rein this week I may have to see if I can schedule a lesson before May ... May being when the girls go back on 24/7 turn out and I save some pennies on their livery costs, so am hoping to be able to snag 6 months of lessons before the go back in for November 1st. Sometimes there is method to my madness - sometimes!

PS: Apologies if this post title was misleading and you thought this might be a less wordy post than my norm #sorrynotsorry - Guess I have the gift of the gab

Friday 9 January 2015

Seasonal Sales Splurges

Full disclosure I had already ordered these items when I posted my Wednesday Wishlist, however when I started writing the wishlist post before Christmas - I didn't think I'd actually be able to buy these things so soon. But I found them on super sale and couldn't pass up the opportunity to add them to my growing human equine closet.

First up I nabbed two pairs of Aztec Diamond Equestrian breeches for the price of one as part of their post-Christmas sale.

Sir Mixalot would not approve; i gots no butt & I cannot lie -
them other brothers can't deny etc etc.
(Don't mind me as I keep humming to myself)
Sorry the pictures are such poor quality, I never realised how difficult breech selfies are to take! *blush*

Love the detail on the backside - although it was only when
I received them I noticed the half-Union Jack by the unicorns.
I think I'll just keep pretending I didn't notice!

I will post a more detailed review once I have ridden in them & washed them a couple of times. Initial reactions however are that I love the colours & patterns on the back pockets. The material is much lighter than the more cotton-based Horze breeches I have had since moving to Lux.

Apologies for the state of me,
 as I mentioned breeches selfies are hard

The ADE breeches are polyester & spandex, they feel almost waterproof to the touch...I shall have to see if that is my mind playing tricks or if they will have some level of impermeability (this is not an advertised perk - I am just musing in written form). I love the knee patches & thinner tapered material around the calf/ankle area. This will facilitate the wearing of socks & non-bunching when combined with my next sales splurge. The Horze breeches I favoured of late were all velcro fastners at the ankles, which while handy could be bulky inside my gaiters especially as the breeches had more wear & washes resulting in the velcro's stickability lessening.

These awesome knee patches are one of
the things I am most excited to try in tack

Then this weekend I saw that Equestrian.com had Tredstep Ireland tall boots for sale. They aren't the field boots I was trying to decide between in my previous post. But at half price with a further £10 discount I took the chance to splurge on my first pair of leather tall boots.

Sadly I ordered the wrong size so I have emailed them and am hoping they still have a pair left in  my actual size before I send them back.

Sorry I struggled with the lighting &
camera phone for shiny boots *blush*

Funnily enough when I was first looking at leather tall boots these Raphael ones were the ones that caught my eye - as initially I preferred the clean look vs boots with laces. Now my preference has changed slightly & I was going to buy those with laces eventually, but I just couldn't pass up the chance to buy these boots at this price. Especially when I got another 10 quid off for spending over £100. I'd have gotten £15 if the boots had been a penny more ;-)

Each boot had its own velvet bag, inflatable insert & separate insoles

That's a great sales technique as I actually seriously contemplated adding more stuff to my basket to get more of a discount - but wheeled the spending in when I remembered all the upcoming expenses I have already got coming my way at warp speed *jeepers*

I was hoping to try out all my news things together either this evening or definitely at the weekend. I'm not sure if they don't have my size whether I'll try the boots again with thicker socks - or if I'll try to sell them...I'll have to wait and see what customer service replies to my email. I feel like such a dolt for ordering the wrong size, but as I am between sizes I didn't want them to be too small. I should have known better though as I did try them on last time I was in Ireland in both sizes & preferred the size down. I stupidly thought I was being better safe than sorry as I had tried on the Donatellos & not these.
More fool me #imamuppet

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Wednesday Wishlist

Seeing as I can't ever manage to keep my "Wordless Wednesday" posts wordless, I am making a new WW.
This was not a Christmas wishlist as I hadn't mentioned any of these desires to people who might be buying gifts for me. Call me stupid, but I think these items are too pricey for me to ask anyone to buy but me *blush*
I'd feel bad, especially as this year I do not have excess funds to splurge on equally lavish gifts in return.
I see this as more of a never ending wishlist *grin*
I also hope to create a new tab/page at the top of the blog to facilitate my finding it and updating it. Either with more items I want (most likely) or if/and when I actually manage to tick things off the wishlist (less likely - let's be honest here peeps) ;-)

- Tredstep Field Boots, Da Vincis if i can find them for a bargain otherwise I would be just as happy with the Donatellos. I love the fact that the DVs have button closures at the top and bottom of the boot to protect the zip. What leads me to lean more towards the Dts is the pricetag *faint*

 - Royal Rider stirrup irons...but must do background research into supposed benefits as I don't actually know anything about them. Hopefully they have magic-help-keep-my-heels down powers.

- Shoulders back aid.
My body could deff do with some retraining in this department, both in tack and in general everyday life. I sit very badly in both scenarios, although oddly i am slightly better when in a saddle - but still a long way from actually having my shoulders as they should be - which actually just goes to show how poorly i am in RL as you have seen my abysmal riding photos! Hopefully actually getting my shoulders back might help me lift my eyeline and stop staring at my hands/the horse's neck and actually look between their ears like one is supposed to *nod*

Now to figure out what the difference is between Shoulders Back & Shoulders Back Lite - although it is probably something simple like the material the product is made from, amirite?

- New bit for Kika, below is her current bit which I think I got in March 2013. Sorry the photo quality isn't great, but i have never remembered to take an actual picture of it laid out. *note-to-self* DO THIS!

Anyways, one of the rings is after getting stuck, probably because I don't clean it as well as I should. I mean sure I rinse the middle section after every ride, but I don't exactly get my hands soaked in cold water to de-funk it properly after every spin - especially not in the subzero temps we've been getting this autumn/winter #shameonme
Now I'll have to pay the piper though and keep my eyes peeled for the same bit again as she goes well in it and I picked it up for E20 at a trade fair. It's a no-name brand (as the price would suggest) but it works well for us & I have been super happy with it to date. I am just a little nervous now in case the fact I paid so little for it comes back to bit me in the ass - I just hope if it is going to break that it doesn't do so when I am riding!
Although if it did, it would totally serve me right for (a) buying cheap things but more importantly (b) not taking proper care of it. As it is not only price tag that dictates quality, one must also look after their things...lesson learned and I will take better care of Nancy's and whatever new bit I get Miss Kika.

- Rollerball spurs & a new schooling whip.
I misplaced my spurs a few months back and recently lost my good schooling whip, both times by forgetting to tidy them away after using them and so they grew legs and/or were kindly tidied away by the WS/trainers and as mine were both generic items i didn't bother trying to find them again. Moar spending required - *drool*
Open to suggestions - particularly on the spurs as I don't often ride in them, but have found that I am relying more on my schooling whip when riding Kika than I should be, so perhaps some gentle spurs could be of better use to us.

- Alternate winter jacket to trade off with my Eurostar Carlotta so that I can still be warm when one is in the wash. Maybe Horseware Babel in black although I am not sure about the leopard print inside the collar, advice please!
I'd better make up my mind quickly though as I don't think Horseware are still making this line of jackets as the link I have shared (and where i lifted the picture from) is the only place I have found it still for sale online & in my size!
Although i do also really like the look of the Cavallino Marino Atlantis Riding Jacket picture below. Both are quite pricey, but i haven't been able to find one as warm as my Carlotta on sale...shall keep my eyes peeled all the same.

- Monograms!!!!! I want to monogram all the things, so that my stuff won't go walkies, advise please on initials please. I have a bit of a dilemma; my initials are AA, and although I don't drink alcohol anymore...I did not give up because I couldn't control myself. I gave up so that I could afford to keep a horse (that ended up being Kika) while I was at university. Or else I was thinking maybe AKN; combining mine & the girls initials or some variation thereof. Methinks however i should probably lead with my initial and at least pretend like I run the show ;-)
Also advice me please on monogram productions, I know of Personal Preppy, Relatively Stable, Gigi & Tea ... am open to learning about any and all others. I would love to support a small business, but i need to know about them - also they would have to ship internationally. So i will have to do some investigating too

- Roeckl gloves - I mean come on who doesn't want a pair of these?! Especially after L @Viva Carlos' awesome review & ringing endorsement of the product *thumbsup*
The only question will be - whish colour(s) do I need ;-)

- Aztec Diamond Flight breeches and/or Annie's Tardis blue amazingness. I lay 100% of the blame for both these desires at $900fbpony's feet as if it wasn't for her awesome blog, i would never have heard of either of these brands and I would still be living with even more breech-envy than I currently do.

I am sure this list will evolve and grow with time - but these are the desires topping it at the moment. Some like the bit, jacket and whip/spurs are practically necessities - everything else is an unadulterated frivolous consumerist desire #noshame
Oh & the boots - the boots are of utmost necessity as my current paddock boots & gaiters are very much on their last legs. In fact every time I put them on I half fear they will either not go on, fall apart or never come off again as the zip sticks *blush*
I would make the worlds worst hunter princess - I literally fall apart at the seems

PS: all photos in the post are either taken from the links listed or in the case of the bit are my own images. No copyright infringement is meant!
PPS: I am making my first attempt at scheduling a post, so fingers crossed this works!