February absolutely flew by! So this will be a more photo based post then text based. After the whirlwind that was the Masters, I once again got back into the daily routine. If anyone is interested this is how a 'normal day' in Florida went - 4am Muckers came and did our stables, it generally took them till we started at 630 as they put in new shavings etc etc. I won't lie, living on the property is great but at the start, when I first moved there my day started at 4am as I would be woken up by the sound of wheelbarrows passing my apartment!! So I start at 630, along with Pam and the other girls. We get morning hay and feeds organised, Pam rides her horses , we start the days turn outs and get our schedule for the day off Pam. telling us what time we are riding, who we are riding, when Pam is coming/going and when clients are coming. this schedule literally brings us up to when I finish work, at 430pm. Training wise I was being ripped apart - daily!! Pam totally reinvented my position and adaptability( is that even a word?!) to getting on and - riding the horse you have today. Not the one that went well for you yesterday, or the one that spooked left, right and centre on you but to ride in the present, and that is always a challenge for me. But it was the best thing I could have asked for, I had become rusty after training with her before and because I mainly ride cold blooded horses and ponies at home I had to adjust my seat, leg hand aids to these hot and spicy warmbloods, and I will forever keep this 'mantra' that Pam has taught me. Aids need to be of a whisper pressure and if not thump/whack/smack/curse and be done with it make them 'hot to your leg' as she says!
|Maaaaaaa-rian, myself and Goodwin getting ready for a lesson|
In other news February was the month that myself and the sheep first experience RAIN!!!!!! A MAJOR reason for our emigration and it was FOLLOWING US!!! Alas, it only lasted a few days but because we only had two outdoor rings, riding was slow and it took awhile for the arenas to drain,thankfully nothing that I wasn't used to!! The only weird thing about it raining was I didn't have to ride in it! Normally at home you are counting your lucky stars its dry when you ride!
|The aisle became a death wish to walk on!!|
Every few weeks new clients would come to the barn, either to train for a period of time or to just trailer in for daily lessons. However February brought us to wonderful ladies, who spent about 6 weeks training with Pam - Roxanne Jewel and Yvonne Ocrant.. Roxanne, from Texas, is a small animal vet, owner of Amalon (a grand prix) and Goodwin ( advanced medium) and the best dogs ever Annie and Katie. Yvonne, from Chicago is a three day enter and owner of Sam (an off the track TB) and an equine lawyer. These women were nothing short of unbelievable. I picked their brains daily on their jobs as they were so interesting to me, especially Yvonne's as my exposure to the equine legal world is pretty much non-existent. And I can tell you something, NOTHING gets passed any equine establishments, or even private happy hacking yards here, without contracts, statements, etc etc! Totally mind boggling to me but a great insight into how to approach certain scenarios when it comes to running a business or even accepting to ride a horse for someone.
|Roxanne's Amalon coming in for the cup of tea|
I settled in to a routine and really started to enjoy all aspects of work (even if it did mean being in pain from lessons with Pam!!) I really love the fact that in some sense everyday is the same (Daily chores etc etc) but in other ways no day was the same - the dentist would come one day, we'd go on a bike ride another day, watch our amazing vet Dr. Lockamee do something amazing! Or be entertained by these animals horses and dogs alike!! Let me formally introduce you to Pam's two corgi's Cody and Ginger!
|Ginger and Cody in our 'salon' - the wash stall|
|Cooling down after a rinse and repeat|
|Rocky, the gently 17hh plus giant!|
|I am so glad I caught this on camera look closely and you'll see Ginger four legs in the air SUN BATHING!|
|Ria, SJ, Ali and myself|
|Midlands & Western dressage in America|
|At the top of a building - the Sky Bar|
|SJ, myself and Yvonne|
|SJ, Ali, myself and Yvonne on a night out!|
A purchase that was made in February which baffled me! Kurt, the owner of our barn at White Fences traded in his old RV, drove to Texas and traded it in. This motor home was unbelievable - like a massive horse truck or a celebs tour bus!!
|The inside of the amazing bus!|
|Smoke for the sugar cane fields that we can see from the house|
|Maaaaaaa-rian with Yvonne's off the track TB - Sam|
|Getting ready for turn out|
|Maaaaaa-rian had to have her first spin cycle, she got up to so much!|
|The day........the dentist came|
|Poor Bernie after his appointment with the dentist, he was sedated and groggy/feeling sorry for himself for awhile!|
February was also the month that I got to see family since leaving Boston in December. MY uncle Peadar and cousin Siobhan made the trip down for her mid term break to see the wonders of Wellington. It was great to have them there for a few days and to see friendly faces!!
An after work activity - to a place called Party City, more to follow as to WHY we were there in the next blog!
|Trying headgear out for the Galway Races.|
Until next time! Wishing anyone that is doing the ol Leaving Cert the best of luck especially my bro - Kevin, the end is near and then the summer can begin!!
PEACE LOVE AND HOOFOIL!!!