Friday, October 10, 2014

Champs and Ireland!!!

Hello! Fáilte! Etc etc etc!! This is a bit of an multiple state/ international post. I left New Hampshire for Saugerties, New York in September, and then I left New Hampshire again in October for a quick visit HOME to Ireland. 

The regional Championships in Saugteries, New York was AMAZING! I was lucky enough to go there last year but did not ride - how things have changed in a year?! Vito was beyond great, at times taking me along and holding my hand! I am already hoping/praying/wishing that I qualify again for next year!!

Vito and Marian relaxing in the stables
While I was at the Championship, I gained my final core to receive an award called the Silver Medal. It is awarded to riders who gained a certain amount of scores and certain levels. This is a HUGE milestone for me, as it takes some riders a long time to gain this status, while I earned it from June to September with Vito - he really is an amazing horse! 

After the prize giving

Getting ready for our lap of honor

Then hop on a flight - enter exhaustion, time difference and a huge hole in my belly for a bag a taytos! It is so so so great to be home, even if it is only for a small amount of time I am having a ball - here are some pics that will tell you yourself what I have been up to for the first week that I have been at home!!

Fresh off the plane from Shannon!! 

Reunited with some familiar faces 

With my one and only sister Emma

Survived a night on the town after nearly 2 years!! 

Emma and Bobby lighting the place on fire! 

Along with my cousins Lara and Jane and the legendary Smarty Pants

Missed that view! 

Catching up with my former Foster Meadow-er in the Spanish Arch in Galway 

Myself and Eavan

Reunited with the pony guilty for my insane love of what I do...Smarty Pants!

Here fro one more week so get ready for some more photos and another Irish post!!

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Show Time!!!

Happy August!!! So far this month has been a BLAST!! The weather has not been the usual melting and sweating - but hey, I am not complaining about that! At the start of August, I travelled to a three day show in Maine, with Ziggy and Vito in tow. Ziggy is now a 6 year old and has had all of the Florida season to train, so it was perfect timing to bring him to the show with Vito also - so he can show off some more tricks he can do!!! 

The show was great! It was in such a beautiful location, and extremely well run. Also it was very successful! Vito and I won our classes on Friday and Saturday, by Sunday we lost a little steam and placed third - which is more than I could have asked for! Ziggy was as usual the cutest horse at the show and bounced around to get second in his class - all of which were hotly contented. And as has been the running theme this summer I was the youngest again in my class with Vito!! But onto the BIG news......

Me, Marian and Vito with our ribbons

Not so keen on the showgrounds themed pink colour!

Ziggy and Vito showing off there goods

Superstar :)

Ziggy clearly stressed in his house at the show

The SIZE of the dinner scones - or biscuits as they are called here in America!

The fantastic backdrop of the showgrounds

The two boys ready for road!

Back in New Hampshire and enjoying the lake

Lake time with Foster Meadow Family
Now onto the big news - Well my big news anyways!! Whilst at Puckerbrush Show in Maine, I got the last of my qualification scores to qualify for New England's Dressage Associations Fall Festival of Champions.
I am still rattled by qualifying since Vito and I only began our journey in mid May. I am so excited to just get there, the rest will be the icing on the cake especially since I will be the only Irish rider at the competition. The Championships take place in Saugerties, New York in September, where I will be competing in the Fourth Level Championship (Which is the equivalent to Advanced Medium to those at home) and also the Prix St. George. I wish Mam and Dad and the gang could be there to watch and cheer on but photos and the ol video recorder will have to do! 

Vito ALWAYS knows when a camera is around!

I have one more show this month, on the 31st of August. After that it is a little down time and back to the grindstone getting ready for the championships at the end of September. All of which you'll catch the results and pictures here!! 


Thursday, July 10, 2014

We are all set now!!!

Ok, we are nearly, finally, sorta, kinda up to speed with each other now!!! The day is Thursday and the month is July, the year 2014!!! Phew!! After unpacking, and settling in after we arrived in April it has been nothing but marathon pace for me. The workload is tough and at times overwhelming - simply because I have been learning so much in the last few months sometimes by brain just goes into overdrive! 

Taking a break from the saddle from some cross training - HIKING!!

The top of Mount Major, New Hampshire

Sun has arrived and the blue sky is back!

Enjoying what wonderful things New Hampshire has to offer

June saw the arrival of one very special visitor to Foster Meadow. None other then my great friend and fellow Irish team mate back in the day - Eavan Murphy. Eavan was lucky enough to stay at the farm for a month to ride and work with Pam, before she went on her way to New York for the rest of the summer. I have to say, it was so great having her and I got to be a tourist again, having to show her around - added bonus!
Standard selfie after an afternoon lesson

Adventures!!! To the BEN AND JERRY FACTORY. It really is all you can dream off and MORE!!

Classic tourist behaviour
Hiking a maple trail

Embracing tourism and American-ism...MINI GOLF!!

Dry weather makes for great car washing days

Evening drive lake views

I show off my delightful tan lines WHENEVER I can!

Buying a Ferrari ;)

One of our last rides together with Vito and Aldegonda

Now onto the most exciting news, and the most recent reason why I have not been able to commit to the blog has best as I can. I have been lucky/blessed/fortunate enough to start riding an amazing horse - Vito. He is a bay, Dutch warmblood and let me tell you - he knows a hell of alot more then I do!! Learning how to ride him has probably been the most difficult period I have had here since coming to Pam. So many things happen at once and so many things are on my checklist to cross off.  Like 'where are the shoulders?' 'Is his neck straight?' 'Why can't I move my leg faster to ask for the flying change?!' However, I am not naive and I am aware it all takes time and I am loving every minute of it!. For once I am being taught rather then being the teacher, which has been the case most of my riding career. We had our first outing at a show in June, competing at fourth lever (Adv Medium at home) and it was the best weekend! If I could have slowed the time down I would have. I felt like the test lasted 3 seconds! Our next show is on Sunday..... I have the tail coat in my sights!!  

Vito with his ribbons

I will be updating the blog after the show, with the latest reports and pictures. I am so excited at what lies ahead and for the rest of the summer!! 

Until next time,

Catch up Part 2

Finally back in the 'Shire!! After 30 hours on the shipper all the horses arrived safe and sound - and ready to be in their beds!! 

Aldegonda resting after the trip

Tackling and investigating the snow
Most of you that know me, also know my family which includes the wonderful Emma, my only sister. Emma graduated up to my old mount Creganna Clover or 'Bobby' as he is known as at home. Emma has had unbelievable success on him since I moved away - which is sad since I don't get to see them in action, and its also scary....pressure is being put on me to keep things up over here since this combo are dominating the scene at home!!!
Emma has also taken over my gardening duties since I left (THANK GOD!!!!)
Bobby, Emma, Marian (the sheep!) and Dad

Emma  and Bobby in action

Other combinations that are creating frequent homesick-ness for me and keeping me on my toes are my cousins Jane and Lara. Both proving to be exceptional pilots, and bringing home the winning ribbons on a weekly basis. I am secretly delighted that I am going to have an army of wonderful riders to torture with dressage when I get home!! 

My Uncle Mark, with my god daughter Lara and pony that has taught me how to stick to a saddle - 'Smarty Pants'

Jane on Dancer, winning and dominating the scene!!
Arriving back in New Hampshire warrants a drastic wardrobe change! No more shorts and bikinis - its long sleeves, hats and scarfs - until JUNE!!!! Global warming is most definitely real! Again, thankfully the horses are very adaptable with the weather change. The barn in New Hampshire is indoor, unlike Florida - so between rugs and doors closed it stays at a nice temp all day.

Teaching in the not so hot sun!!

Ziggy enjoying some grass after the trip!

My great edible birthday package!! 

Ziggy surveying whats going on in the woods!

I found Misha like this - need I say more!

Our neighbour, Roger and his driving horses calling up for a visit when we returned

A very special horse that trained with Pam - 'Tome' LOVING his new home!
In a not so equine part of the adventurous life of Shauna and that Sheep, we experienced our first prom!! My old work colleague and dear friend Ali's sister Taylor asked me to do her makeup for her prom. Those who know me - know I CANNOT say no to anything that involves cosmetics!! It was a rare treat to be put back in the world of eyeliner and dresses rather then bridles and jodphurs. I had a great day with my adopted Potasky family and I am waiting on the next makeup function I am called to do!!! 
Taylor looking perfect!! 

Dressage by day, makeup by night!! 
That is all for this week!!! I am on a roll (and good Internet!) so my third installment will be up soon!! Until then,