Thursday, 21 March 2013

Week 9

6am on a Monday morning. Thanks kids, you shouldn't have. Yawn.
But the sun is shining, could this be spring?
Feeling springlike, the boy and I spend most of the day at the yard. We even take the trailer out for our first solo trip, empty, and only around the block, but still! Should have made the most of the beautiful weather and ridden or something, but the boy didn't want to nap, and I couldn't stop sneezing, it was ridiculous! Parents evening this evening, going to enjoy being told what a joy the girl is, sure it won't last.

Ok, so probably not spring, freezing here today. Mostly successful trip to playgroup with the boy, he seems to have moved on from biting, but likes to push instead. I suppose it is progress......
Lunged the mare this afternoon. Moving really freely at walk, tracking up nicely, trot shows her weakness though. Still positive. Was hair model for friend, now have swishy new hair.

Wednesday, quiet morning, coffee with friend, followed by making up a load of peanut M&M brownies to say thanks to all my friends who helped me with childcare last week. The gelding was loose schooled (in a very loose sense of the word) and looking quite pleased with himself. That will do.

Thursday already? Girl to school, back home for coffee and Nutella on toast, the boy watching Cbeebies. The cat then does a mad dash around the house, leaving nuggets of poo. Wonderful. Try to clear up and keep the boy from treading in it.
Make bolognese to put in slow cooker for tonight, chuck boy out into garden for 10mins, sort laundry, do a bit a clear up in kitchen. Then pick up pieces of puzzle that are scattered all over kitchen floor (for the second time this morning) reward myself with a sit down in the sitting room which looks like a toy explosion has gone off. So much I should do, so can't be arsed.
Lunged the mare, she is looking better and the trot was nearly as good as the walk today. Baby steps. Looking after a friend's kids after school for a couple of hours. Looking forward to a beer afterwards.

Friday, swimming day. It is good at wearing the boy out, but leaves me knackered.
Weekend! Crappy snowy weather, so all plans have been cancelled. Eating too much and being lazy instead. This weather needs to change a bit sharpish, or I will be the size of a house. Horses don't seem to mind the snow though.

Picture of the mare, looking not too shocking....

Monday, 18 March 2013

Week 8 - trailer training!

On Monday I drove up to Ipswich for day one of my trailer towing intensive course.
 I started with the reversing and the test manoeuvre, in an inch of snow! Did surprisingly well. The driving around Ipswich on the other hand......
Youtube clip of the reverse maoeuvre

Tuesday - day 2 of the course. I am exhausted! General driving with towing the trailer going well, but that bloody Ipswich town centre! As soon as I pass my test I will never drive there again. Got to memorise the correct sequence for hitching/un-hitching for tomorrow (YouTube is great for this). Fun. So far 12hrs of driving in 2 days. The day ended quite stressfully with the boy falling up some steps and getting a bloody nose.
Youtube clip of hitch/unhitch

  Wednesday - test day! Felt quite ill when I got up, but felt quite positive once I was in the car, that was until I got a phonecall to say my childcare had fallen through. Thankfully another friend could step in at the last minute. Not exactly a calm start! 2hrs of training, followed by the test at 10.15am.

  For the test I had to first read a numberplate (to prove I was not too blind) then a couple of questions. I was asked to open the car bonnet and identify where the brake fluid goes. Then I was asked what safety measures would you take when towing. I answered that you need to check your trailer and vehicle are fit for purpose (tyres, lights etc) and that your load is secure and evenly distributed. He seemed happy with that. Then I had to check my lights were working. For this I had to put on my headlights and hazards and walk around the trailer. I then had to do the reverse exercise. This was not as smooth as I know I can do it, and I picked up 2 minor faults. Cross with myself! Then the driving...... I think I was lucky more than anything! I had no buses try to take me out on a roundabout (unlike the previous day) and every time I needed to change lane I had a clear run. Back to the test centre and time to unhitch and hitch up. Had a sticky moment when I couldn't get it to unhitch, but I tried it again and it went.

Then the result........ PASSED! I had 2 minor faults for the reversing, 1 for a mistimed signal and 3 for not checking over my shoulder. 6 in total, I am delighted! (but slightly cross that I couldn't done it with less)

A quiet rest of the week, but then felled by man flu! Feel like shite and the weather matches my mood perfectly!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Week 7

The week started with sunshine and such a level of productivity that I scared myself! Both horses got ridden on Monday afternoon. This is the first time the gelding has been sat on in about 3months. It felt like riding a yearling, he was so weak and uncoordinated! They have really enjoyed having their rugs off for the afternoons. The gelding is filthy (but happy)

A friend came to ride on Wednesday, which was nice for both of us - I had some help and company, and she got to ride.

By Thursday the weather had turned and was cold and grey. I managed a coffee and a complete read of Horse and Hound magazine in peace - bliss! There was a very good article in there about an event rider who is also a single parent to two small children. It is quite inspiring and encouraging for someone like myself who struggles to get the balance right between children and horses.

Friday seems to be spent at the swimming pool every week now. I take the boy in the morning, then we are back there in the evening for the girl's swimming lesson. At least that only means one load of swimming washing each week.....

Saturday was a complete blur! The morning was spent going to town, then cooking meals for the coming week (going to be a busy one) followed by doing the horses in cold, wet and windy weather, the gelding has his third rug back on. Then the kids were dropped off at grandad's for a sleepover (felt a bit wobbly about it, we aren't used to leaving them anywhere) then home to scrub up for a party! On the (very late) drive home it started to snow, and persisted all the way home. Yuck. Lie in and a fry up on Sunday, then pick kids up, do horses (still wet, cold and windy) and onto a children's party at a soft play hell Fishfinger sandwiches for dinner, followed by Call the Midwife on the telly, and in bed for 9.15pm. Perfect.

This coming week I have 8 hours of trailer training and my test! Thankfully I have been practicing a bit this last week, so fingers crossed it goes well.