Welcome to my blog about horsey life in the North East - the good bits, bad bits, endless coffees and plenty of mud!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

New boots, Olympic fun and groundwork...

I had a sad moment last week when the zip on my faithful Mountain Horse boots gave up the ghost. It's been replaced before over the past seven years but something tells me this time it's terminal.
They've been great boots - comfy, practical and very forgiving of the fact that I only cleaned them once a year.
But all good things must come to an end and on Friday morning I went shopping for new boots.
I had something economical in mind but all sense went out of the window when I found I could get the zip on some swanky-docious Mark Todds past my fat left calf muscle.
Now I am furious with myself for spending so much money on boots that are clearly going to need a lot more care than the last pair. They look they would melt with horror if I splashed them by accident.
They're too posh and too shiny for grubby old me and I haven't dared wear them yet. Which means trotting around the arena in my old pair with the zip gaping open. Not quite the elegant switch over I had in mind.
 On a slightly cheerier note - I managed to wangle a day off on Monday to watch the Olympic eventing with my pals. It was great fun and I thought our riders and their horses were fantastic.
My friend also popped down to the yard to do some groundwork with Cady, who was on top form, and then sorted out my droopy contact and wandering outside rein so I can begin to think about working in a proper outline once more. A good day's work methinks :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Ignorance is bliss

It's a dark and terrible moment when your realise how wonky you are on a horse.

I rode out on Cady last night, my boyf took this pic, and I suddenly saw the truth.

Look at my left shoulder! What are my hips doing? I'm like a gargoyle clinging to the side of a building.

Those weekly yoga classes appear to be a waste of time. Poor Cady, no wonder she looks like she's peering around a corner when she's standing square.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Weekend pics

Top is me and Cad schooling in the sunshine and bottom is Rodney-cam - he was kindly lent to me on Sunday morning so I could ride out with Em. It was like a Christein Pullein-Thompson novel..blue skies, sunshine and fields of gold but no complicated mystery to solve...

Monday, 23 July 2012

How the internet helps us stay horse crazy 24/7

When I was little, maybe 10 years old, and my horse fever was at an obsessive level - I discovered the best thing ever.

The yellow paper, or Ad Trader as some will know it. A newspaper of classfieds with a big Horse and Pony section.

I spent hours pouring over all the adverts for livery yards, horses and saddles and show listings, confident that one day I would find an amazing horse for sale at £11.90 (my life savings) who could live in the garden and survive on £1.20 (pocket money) worth of carrots a week.

While some little girls may have planned outfits for dolls, I was busy deciding what my horses's show name would be and our cross country colours.

It would be some years before I could afford my first horse but that the yellow paper kept me busy for hours. As did pretending the garage was a stable and chalking a feeding schedule onto the wall - cringe!

These days things are even better - thanks to the good old tinternet. There are loads of Facebook pages dedicated to horses plus you can see everyone's horsey photos and buy nice saddle covers and all that kind of bobbins.

My boyf moans about me spending too much time on Facey but it's really just a grown up substitute for Pony magazine so he should count himself lucky ;)

At the moment I'm also loving all the horsey vids on Youtube which are great when it's peeing down or you've mashed your neck, back and shoulder like I managed to do last week.

I stumbled across some great vids the other day by a horse owner under the name NSSlover. Her real name is Georgina Bird and my God she copes very well with her horses. One has the most remarkable temper tantrums and she just sits there patiently and gently guides him and until he's working beautifully.

He's gorgeous but he makes Cady look like absolute child's play and really inspires me to perservere a lot more with schooling. I would definitely say they are worth a look, as are classics like Ross and Ed, which melt my heart and make me wee with laughter in equal parts.

*I'll soon be sharing some weekend pics of me and Cady being well behaved and schooling in the sunshine and the hunky chestnut Welshy, Rodney, who I rode on Sunday morning with my friend Em. As soon as I get my computer fixed anyway!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A friend in need...

When things are a bit rubbish, you find out what a difference a really great friend can make.

My mate Emma has been keeping a close eye on me since Harvey died because she's spotted that I bluster through things smiling when inside I don't want to get out of bed. 

Probably because she's faced a lot of heartache with her animals over the years and knows too well how sad it feels when they're gone and the world just carries on anyway.

I've spent as much time with Cady as ever lately and she's been a great comfort but my enjoyment for riding had just sort of trickled away. Enter Emma, who has gently kept tapping away at me to pick up the reins again. She texted me again last week and suggested she box over with her lovely mare Tia so we could go for a hack together.

Man I just did not want to, but I reluctantly agreed. And I'm so glad I did. Emma and Tia arrived and we had a great ride. Cady was good as gold and I was really proud of her, while Tia and Emma were number 1 superstar rock steady hack leaders. 

There was all kinds going on with traffic, flappy pigeons, joggers and road signs etc but we survived totally unscathed.

The sun even came out and when we got back and the horses were seen to we had a cup of coffee and some cake.

Since then I've ridden a couple more times and enjoyed it, cleaned my tack and bought some nice fly spray that smells of eucalyptus. I feel enthusiastic again and that there are plenty of good times to come - and very lucky that I have a friend who'll go out of their way to make me feel better.

I'm a firm believer that you have to take charge of your own life but I also know that you can't always summon up the motivation to move on without a gentle shove from someone who knows you.

And I think this is especially true when it comes to the horsey life. So if you're in a rut for whatever reason I would highly recommend accepting a bit of help from your friends. It goes a long way.