Friday, November 23, 2012

My fortnight in pictures - November

Firstly, I cannot believe how quick the time is going!! It is so hard to grasp that I will be here a year soon - its quite scary to think actually! I have been asked by a number of my American readers what excatly a fortnight  - its european (I guess for two weeks!!) So here are my last two weeks worth of photos.  :)

Herself and Misha having a lie in! 



Herself and Misha in the snow
Ali and Misha in the sneachta
The car park

Alas, due to global warming and the like it didn't last long

The next day!! Snow gone, still below freezing so tackling the outdoor with a quarter sheet on

Caught taking a nap!! 

Teaching at Windswept with my lap warmer Griffin

Part of the ACPS booth

time at Equine Affaire was simply amazing.For those at home think of an event like the Dublin Horse Show - but multiply it by 10. NO JOKE. This place was HUGE!! And the fact that I was alone there meant, Shauna got extremly overwhlemed from parking the car to just figuring out where abathroom was! However I met so many wonderful people, who were genuinely interested in meeting me and asking questions ranging from what I am finding different here in comparison to Ireland since I moved here, to training questions and dilemmas. Again I cannot thank the American Connemara Pony Society enough for involving me and being so welcoming to me since I moved here. 
On way!!!
After a LONG day of travelling from Equine Affaire, I got fixed up a tasty treat! 
As usual, work is hectic. Slowly packing for Florida! By the time you read this I will hopefully have loaded the horses onto the shipper and be on my way down. I am breaking my trip down into two days - 16 hours the first day from New Hampshire to North Carolina, and 12/14 hours the second day. Safe to say their is going to be ALOT of singing, eating junk food and drinking fizzy drinks, going on in the Mini Cooper!! Horses got a hard first two weeks of work in November and then got slowly reduced so they would be rested for the journey down to Florida. 

Peanut after a long day!!!

Reunited with an old Foster Medow friend Abby! 

Halloween things are barely off the shelves and I find this stuff in Target! 

In order to get into the festive spirit - Misha gets to play dress up (Couldn't get one to fit poor Marian!)

Challenge accepted.

Rug ruined.

The toguh life of Cody and Ginger

Sunday hanging with Vito
As I mentioned in a blog post a few months ago, Pam trains a number of riders from the Van Guard stable here in New Hampshire. I was lucky enoguh to be invited to their Halloween party in October.They also have a themed quadrille called Behind the Mask I highly recommend looking up some of their routines on YouTube!
Our tack room has never looked so glamourous! 

The detail on the costumes was amazing!!! 

Dress rehersal time

Getting ready!

AJ from Van Guard and his mount for the quadrille - Carnival! 

A team shot

Sigh, a picture from the summer - not long until I a back in shorts in FLORIDA!!! Woooo!!
Thats it for this post. By the time you read this, myself, the sheep and the mini cooper will be on a highway somewhere on your 1500 miles trip to Florida!!! Will have all those pics, Thanksgiving and all the latest happenings soon!!


Monday, November 5, 2012

October and Oíche Shamhna (Halloween)

Hello hello!! And belated Happy Halloween to all. October is going down as probably going down as my favorite month here so far, it was jam packed with horses, jumping, packing, weather changing and of course an unbelievable party thrown in there too :) 
Riding wise, everyday is different - I think I have finally figured some major muscle group out like the shoulders, poll, base of the neck and then BANG hit the wall the next day, with whatever horse I am on putting it to me yet again! And then there are days where it is magic, Pam is relatively silent(!) and it is a tiny eye opener as to what progress I have made and what I have been chipping away at all year at finally coming into fruition - but hey as Pam says if riding at a top level or being a top level rider adaptable enough to go from sitting on a 4 year Danish warmblood to a hot headed Trakenher, wouldn't EVERYONE be doing it. Telling you what this woman speaks in nothing but genius and pure sense! I am so lucky to be working with her and have her yell at me  daily - I LOVE IT! Putting into practice what in theory I am taught is the hardest part, sometimes I have no control over my arms and legs even though I would like to!! :)

Misha in one of her many outfits
With the clocks going back and daylight getting sparse videos of some of the horses were made last week before we took the outdoor arena down for the winter. Here is a link to me on the delightful but yet made of steel Peanut - have a look and see what you think!

To all those who may be interested into some of the theory of riding that Pam talks about this article was given to us as 'homework' to read

Marian and her Halloween decorations

My hand and lap warmer while teaching! 
I am still riding and teaching at Windswept Farm three days a week after work at Foster Meadows wraps up, so my schedule is still pretty hectic, throw in packing for Florida, general daily life necessities (ie grocery shopping!) the days are flying and I sometimes find myself panicked over the fact that (A) I am here almost a year, and (B) the move to Florida is weeks away, I feel I'll never get myself packed after I get the horses done! Would you believe packing my bags for leaving Ireland was easier then this - I just took EVERYTHING with me. 

Now onto one of the most exciting things to come our way in October - A Halloween Party! As mentioned in my last post, since moving here I was taken back by how much cinnamon Americans put on nearly EVERYTHING, and secondly how SERIOUSLY they take their holidays - I am loving it! Halloween was an amazing holiday to be around for, only slightly depressing that the day Halloween is over Christmas stuff is in the shops, no, no, not Thanksgiving stuff, CHRISTMAS stuff!! 

Here are a few snaps of the fab time I had at Van Guard stables, one great lady Ms. Kat Dow, comes to Foster Meadows to train with Pam, and it was through her that we ended up at one of the best party's in town!  Van Guard deals with Frisian's, costume based quadrilles among many other great things, here is their  link if you want to have a peak.

Myself, Marian and Sarah-Jane at Van Guards Halloween party
To anyone that knows me outside of the horse world, art and the art of all things makeup has been my calling since I don't know when, so with that 'title' that I have 'earned' it was my job to line everyone up and get them ready - this process took HOURS! 
Cleopatra heading out!

The lengthy transformation....

My hard work on all the girls paid off - I must say they looked unreal ;)

Foster Meadows staff photo

Red Riding Hood meets the Wolf!!

Myself and herself - also in costume as a Mummy

Team Foster Meadows minus Pam

Windswepts Kelly and CJ
The morning after the night before..

One of THE LAST leaves at the farm

A little DIY work outside before the move to Florida - Raking up ALL the  pine needles and leaves in the car park and driveway

Spot the Corgi....
A road trip I took, on my day off I travelled up to visit family near Boston and rode one of my uncles horses that is for sale, I rode the lovely dutch gelding for a sales video and in payment got brought to the Cheesecake Factory! I LOVE THAT PLACE! (Perks of doing favours for Family!!! ) It was great seeing family again, even though they are only an hour and a half away I don't get to see them as much as I'd like! 
Reunited with my Massachusetts dogs - Darla
Darla and Indie

Making a sales video with an aptly named horse Cavan

Chilling after his session

Possibly THE largest cat I have met - Zeus

And that wraps up October! November is the month which sees myself and the sheep up and move out of New Hampshire and drive the 1500 miles to sunny Florida, not before we get snow though! I am not leaving this state until I get a day in the snow!! November also sees me travel up to Massachusetts again, this time to be a part of the huge event that is Equine Affaire, I will be at the American Connemara Pony Society booth this Saturday the 10th of Nov, from 9.30am to 11.30 am meeting and greeting people, so if you are around  drop by for the chat - who knows you might just meet the sheep herself!