Saturday 31 October 2015

Halloween Horrors

Title may be a little misleading as my overdue return to tack was far from horrific, however as you'll see from the photos accompanying this post the state of my hairy monsters after 6 months turnout is a horror show.
Those with sensitive disposition be advised, the gnarly knotted manes and tails that follow are not for the faint hearted...However thanks to some Canter Mane & Tail spray, they are at least somewhat on the road to recovery ;-)

Russet-hairy "clean" photo to start
 the post on a positive

All joking aside, both girls were superstars for our return to arena work today. I think i have sat on Kika once since Beka visited and i lunged her once in her headcollar earlier this week before turning her loose in an arena to meet a new turnout buddy. (I wanted to warm her up/take the edge off in case there might have been some running involved ppst-intro...spoiler alert - i needn't have worried)
It must be a testament to how far Kika & I have come in recent years that I didn't have any fear of climbing on board without lunging or popping her on the walker first. I guess the 24/7 turnout keeps her sane & as you can tell from the photos, she's pretty hairy and rather unfit so not quite in shenanigan-shape...but she is still Kika so we just never know what's going on under the hood ;-)

Before & After of Nancy's gnarly tail
Prior grooming and trimming
I wasn't worried and she proved i was right not to be, we walked, trotted and cantered without fighting or flailing. The closest we came to having a discussion was at the end when I wanted to open the door of the arena from her back and ride out she started thinking about getting into it with me. Before any of her shenanginistic ideas took hold i hopped off and led her out of the arena so that we wouldn't end on a sour note. We were already finished and cooled out at that stage, having her cart my lazy ass the 15m to the grooming area would have just been the icing on the cake. No harm - No foul.

Ditto Kika's stringy mess of a tail

I had had a very quick walk/trot spin on Nancy last night, before potential-leasee (i'm going to have to find an abbreviation for her as it's looking positive that she's going to take a 1/4 lease on Nancy) hopped up for a refresher spin. I just wanted to keep things calm and controlled yesterday evening as it had been about three weeks since I'd managed to ride N & I didn't want her getting hett up (in her Nancy way not Kika hot) as P-L said her back was giving her a bit of hip. N was an angel as per usual.
Today, it all started out well. We walked, we trotted, we cantered and discussed how I ideally wanted her to carry her head/neck as she tried to convince me that really careening around like a discombobulated giraffe was more her style. The conversation between Nancy & I came about after some lovely initial canter work on one rein and her desire to immediately canter in her terms going the other way whereas I wanted a more balanced/correct trot prior to transitioning up. I eventually won out and we did get some very nice canter work on that side too.

Sadly all that is left of N's lovely mane...deff investing in a fly rug for turnout ahead of next summer & going to do plenty research about links between Friesians and sweet itch. Am I deluding myself in hoping it was just a bumper year for flies this year (it was) as mercifully N hasn't rubbed the tail off herself...Just her mane.

Bless her little heart, she was smarting slightly from not having gotten her way re:cantering-on-her-terms and as we trotted rather nicely (if i do say so myself) passed the entrance a horse coming in had the audacity to rustle fallen tree leaves with its hooves. Nancy spooked, as only Nancy can by taking off for maybe 5 strides and then regaining her composure with a few soothing words of wisdom; aka my laughing gently at her while patting her and telling her not to be so melodramatic. Difficult to identify or unexpected sounds are prob Nancy's spook-trigger. But bless her, even when she spooks she does so so demurely that it really dost register on the Richter Scale particularly in comparison to DonKikate (aka Dumbo) when it comes to spooking at different coloured sand/leaves/sunlight-in-the-woods/watermarks-on-the-sides-of-the-arena/ get the picture I'm sure ☺

And to finish with a cute
Nancy headshot
PS - word to the wise
If using Canter Mane & Tail spray prior to tacking up. I was reminded today (after dousing my hands in the stuff to rub into Nancy's forelock), not to attempt to tighten or close strapped leather goods (like a girth). The lovely spray that help brushes glide easily through gnarly knots makes for some super slippy fingers and while I did manage to not punch myself in the face while girthing - it was a close call *lolz*

Monday 19 October 2015

Brilliant Birthday

I celebrated a big birthday today wherein I officially started my third decade on this planet. Most of the celebrations however happened Saturday night when a lovely mixture of school and work friends joined me for a fun filled evening in an Italian restaurant. Thankfully everyone headed my request for no gifts and some very kindly donated to charities as per my suggestion as an alternative to presents. These included Médecins Sans Frontières  (doctors without borders) and an equine/donkey sanctuary in the UK. How great are these guys?!

Fab birthday card collection
My oldest school friends sneakily got together at 9am on Saturday morning to go to the stable when they figured I wouldn't be there & take birthday pictures with my two girls to include in a wonderfully personal photo album of our times together. They also gave me an awesome doggy bank to help me save towards future puppydom ♡
One of them who is a cupcake making wizard,  made me super tasty lemon flavoured cupcakes *swoon*

Nancy kept trying to "hold" (aka eat) one end
and Kika apparently couldn't make up her mind
between being curious and afraid of the sign lolz
Some of you may remember my belated posting of a 30 b4 30 bucket list back in December (i think) last year. Needless to say, I have failed rather spectacularly at fulfilling many of my hoped achievements. Mostly because the majority of my income every month is being split between ponehs, house & feeding myself - no complaints here as these are all things that keep me very happy but rather broke and unable to achieve many of the tasks I set myself. However, I am not disappointed and here's the two main reasons why ;-)

My puppy bank needs a name,
any suggestions?

I technically shouldn't be turning 30 till January 4th. What can I say?! I was a pretty early baby, born after only 7 and a half months cooking. I don't think it has impeded me any and for that I am super grateful; but i am using this as an excuse to extend my 30 b4 30 deadline for achieving some of the tasks I set myself lolz. That and the fact I was a couple of months late posting my bucket list last year so I figure a grace period isn't too far fetched an idea.

Delicious lemony-goodness

I am seriously considering changing this endeavour into a decade long attempt at goal setting and upgrading it to a 40 b4 40 challenge to give myself a bit more wiggle room and maybe set myself some loftier goals with plenty time to make savings and budget for them over the decade. ;-)
Anyone want to join me in a decade long quest?
The more the merrier :-)

Amazing hand-caligraphied piece my aunt and uncle
sent me with all my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents 
and immediate family's first names intertwined
in a Family Ties portrait.
 Both sides of my family, such a beautiful gift that is being framed tomorrow and will have pride of place in my flat. #love

Ps: if one of you awesomely techie wiz kids wanted to whip up an epic graphic for a 40 b4 40 undertaking. This artistically challenged individual would be forever grateful and would obviously give credit where credit is due each and everytime said graphic would be used *scouts-honour*

Tuesday 6 October 2015


Taking a break from my usual nonsensical drivel to ask a question of the blogosphere. I have a "big" birthday in a few weeks and was hoping to get your opinions on whether my idea could be viewed as too cheeky to ask for.

I am toying with the idea of setting up a go fund me page for anyone who wants to give me a gift so that friends can donate what they want towards helping me get a better fitting saddle for Miss Nancy. She has been very good and hasn't once complained about the fit of her current saddle, but even my untrained eye can tell it is awful on her. *sigh*

Is it cheeky/wrong to look for a handout, even though I would never dream of specifying an amount and would rather people give me nothing vs them buying something I will never use & potentially spending a lot of money on it. Typically i tell anyone who will listen that I don't want gifts, but no one listens when I tell them that even though I do whole-heartedly mean it.
I know when I buy gifts i would rather wait and get something my friends/family actually need and/or will use versus splurging on something they might never have use of for a specific day.

I don't want people to feel they have to get me a gift, as i stated above i would honestly rather not receive anything but anyone that has asked me what i want rolls their eyes when I tell them nothing and insist they will get me something anyway.
I am not sure how go fund me works, has anyone used it before? Can it be made so that donation amounts can be kept private if the spender wants anonymity?

Is this idea greedy/selfish of me to dictate to people that I would rather cold hard cash *gulp*
I would hate to come across as selfish or conceited.

So please guys, help, what would you do in my situation?

PS: i used inverted commas around the word big to describe my birthday, as i personally don't view it as a big birthday.  It's just a day like every other to me, but society insists passing decades are an achievement when really every day should be celebrated imo.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Saturday and Sunday Strolling

After a quiet week horse-wise, whereby I didn't manage to see the girls since the barefoot trimmer visit last Sunday. This Saturday dawned bright and warm for us here in Lux as our Indian summer blessed us with some more glorious 20°C sunshine.

Saturday 3.10.15

Nancy's potential leasee came to ride her again and I'd considered riding in the arenas due to the lack of saddle time since Beka & I went into the woods together last weekend; but the yard was a hive of activity as it was prepared for a SJ and Dressage show today. Jumps were set up in the arena i was hoping to ride in and a dressage court was being set up in the largest indoor, the only option to ride was the large outdoor as tents were being set up.
Call me a chicken all you want, but i know Kika and all that activity would absolutely fry her pea brain. Add that to the fact she hadn't been ridden in a week ... I didn't fancy my chances so we opted to scarper into the woods for a stroll.

Sweaty-Betty, you'd think she'd spent
 the hour in the woods galloping flat out

Potential part-leasee was super impressed with Nancy, especially when towards the end of our stroll i mentioned that Nancy was a little more up than she would normally be. Kika was less forthcoming with the good behaviour compared to last week. There was no striding boldly forward leading the way, however there was much hiding behind Nancy & hoof holding needed by Miss Kika.

Scoffing apples faces

This morning dawned overcast, grey and a little drizzly, knowing the yard would be mayhem with the show I opted to grab my gear; tack Nancy up at the field and take the two girls for a stroll in the woods. Things got off on the wrong foot when Nancy took offence to a field of corn, I have no idea what she could see but Needless to say if she wasn't going forward neither was Kika who of course decided she was not napping just yet. I slid off (voluntary dismount) and hand-walked/dragged them passed the offending field.

When something catches her attention,
we have to stop & stare

What is it about cooler weather that blows out cobwebs/changes scenery in such an offensive way for the beasties?!

Despite that initial hiccup, all went well after that. I went for a longer stroll than the last number of outings. I managed to nab myself a start time for L. Williams & Hillary's 2ptober contest, the entry deadline for which has been extended to Wednesday 12th. There are fab prizes up for grabs in case you haven't seen these wonderful ladies blogs, which I would find astounding as they are both better bloggers with more interesting content posted with more regularity than any of my drivel.

I probably could have made it easier on myself by not attempting to time myself while leading another horse...One who is partial to literally dozing as we stroll, thereby pulling me slightly off balance but then again having my attention split kept me distracted from any niggles or whining of muscles not used to stretching in that way ;-)
Nancy got mucho praise for being such a good girl and continuing to plod along as i faffed about trying to strike my balance while keeping Kika as engaged as i could get her. I can tell you my right shoulder is already grumbling at me.

How Kika typically accompanies Nancy & I
for strolls - aka sleeping & dawdling