Sunday, 30 June 2013

Car crash dressage

Today the mare and I went to dressage. It was possibly the worst dressage test I have done in my entire life, in fact I don't think I have even seen many as bad.

Thankfully it was short. After I had left the arena for the second time and pretty much been run away with in the second canter I decided to call it a day and retire.

This goes against everything I have ever learnt. I was always taught to stick it out to the bitter end, no matter what, but sometimes it is better to walk away. Especially when you are making a spectacle of yourself.

Here is where I think we went wrong/a list of all the cock ups (I do love a good list)

1) After the last outing with super relaxed mare, I assumed that she would behave the same (hahahahaha) and left myself around 30mins of working in time. Of course, 30mins is a schooling session at home, but need to almost double that when out and excited.

2) I should have sorted a new bit sooner. I used to ride her in a copper roller bit with cheeks, but of course it is not dressage legal. So, before our last outing I started riding her in the gelding's bit, which is a little big and a little chunky for her. But seeing as she was going 'ok' I kept putting off getting a new bit. I shall make a decision this week and get a new bit ordered.

3) It hadn't occurred to me that there would be so many flies out today, but they were horrendous. There were lots of large, but harmless, bugs crashing into everyone and everything, but also the dreaded Horseflies were out - dirty, blood sucking bastards! I really should have brought a sheet for the mare to wear while she was tied up to protect her a little.

4) I shouldn't have let all the above bother me!

Oh well, onwards and upwards (hopefully!)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Why we have wine

Yesterday was a bit of a bastard.

The girl had her first school trip, and so the usual morning madness was a little bit more mad than usual.

I had cake to make. I like making cake, but the boy is being a bit of a terror at the minute, so anything that takes me away from giving him full, undivided attention is not going to end well.

So yesterday went something like this:

Get up, rush around trying to get everyone and everything ready. Be ready to tear my hair out by about 8.30am.
School run.
Home, put telly on for the boy and rush off to ice cakes for the school fete, and to make cake for the yard (I had promised)
Try to clear icing sugar off every single surface and kitchen appliance, while keeping the boy's grubby little fingers off the cakes.
Give in and let him have a cake.
Play pretend food with the boy (this mostly involved tipping dry pasta onto the floor and cajoling/threatening/pleading with him to at least help me pick it up again (this didn't happen just the once)
Have lunch.
Argue with the boy over anything and everything.
Hope the boy may nap (we need a break from each other)
He doesn't.
We do the horses together.
He then trashes my car.
I no longer care.
The girl is back from her trip early due to bad weather, so rushing back to get her and drop cakes off for the fete.
The kids are happy and having a nice game (involving the dried pasta) so I decide to have a bath. I have been feeling a bit crappy, hope a nice hot bath will help.
Nearly get brained by a Gup-A (toy submarine, for those of you not familiar with the Octonauts) as the boy has come to help.
Get out of bath, take kids to pool where the girl has a swimming lesson. Boy behaves (mostly)
Go to Hell on Earth, also known as school fete. But at least they had a hog roast and a fire engine.
Get the kids home around 7pm, wonderful husband puts them to bed while I escape to the yard to finish the horses and ride.
9pm wine.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Pretty Productive

Despite my having clearly failed at Monday morning, I have not done too badly since. In fact, by my usual standards I have been rather productive.

I am naturally a procrastinator, so will put things off until the very last moment. Housework gets done in the hour or two leading up to having visitors, despite having known about it for a week or more. I will happily give the horses a day (or 5) off, only to be desperately trying to get enough work into them in the week leading up to a competition.

Which is where we are now. The mare and I are doing dressage on Sunday, and although it is not just down to my laziness us having to play catch up (her having been lame too) it is a familiar experience.

I'll often write lists (I love lists) but although that seems very organised, it is just a delay tactic. I can't possibly clean the bathroom and hoover the stairs if it is not on some kind of list first!

So, this week (bearing in mind it is only Tuesday lunchtime) I have:

Done the weeks meal plan and shopping.
Exercised both horses.
Tidied and hoovered the sitting room.
Done a horrendous amount of paperwork (bank stuff, been putting it off for weeks)
Taken the boy to playgroup.
Played tractors with the boy (yesterday) and playdoh (today)
Taken my posh riding boots to have zip replaced.
Cleared out the car.
Washed lots of horse coats that were getting musty in the car.

As well as the usual dinners, packed lunches etc.

Pretty Damn good I reckon!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Monday again

Monday comes around way too quickly.

In some ways I quite like Mondays, I feel it is an opportunity to start the week as I mean to go on. Getting up earlier, making the beds straight away, brushing my hair before the school run etc.

But, inevitably, by about 7.30am I have already failed. Oh well, there is always next Monday!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

My wonderful Dad, and lots of rain

My Dad popped to the yard on his way home from work at lunchtime yesterday, and agreed to watch the boy for me while I exercised the mare. Excellent (my Dad is amazing)

So I ran to the field, dragged her in (she wasn't very enthusiastic) and got her ready. It was starting to rain, so at the last minute I grabbed my coat. My Dad had asked why the horses were wearing rugs, and when I told him it was because of the rain, he replied "what rain?"

By the time we got into the arena, the very light drizzle had turned into slightly harder drizzle, and within 5 minutes I was having to wipe water from my eyes and the mare had her ears flat against her head.

We stayed out there about 10mins, which was better than nothing. My wonderful Dad sat in the hayshed with the boy, laughing at me. I said to him "If I wasn't so grateful I might be pissed off with you, what rain indeed!" Which, from the dryness of the hayshed he found hilarious.

Despite getting soaked, and running out of time to skip out the field, I did manage to exercise one horse.

Learning to juggle

The boy is going to have to stop his naps. I knew it was only a matter of time, but while he was still wanting to nap I was willing to take advantage of it. However, if he has a nap now, he just won't go to sleep at night.

This makes doing the horses a bit tricky. He is fine to have around while doing the yard, but I don't like to have him around while I'm moving horses about. I'm often up there on my own with the boy, so if anything happens to me, I hate to think of the consequences!

I could ride early in the mornings, but my husband's job is unpredictable, so unless I was home by 6.30am (sometimes earlier) it just wouldn't work. That leaves the evenings or the odd lunch break (again, not reliable)

I like to ride in the evenings, especially at this time of year, but I also like to have dinner with my family. It used to work quite well, in that I would exercise the horses as much as possible during the day while the girl was at school and the boy napped, just hacking out once or twice a week in the evenings, which was a good balance I thought.
Now, my options are to only ride at weekends (which are often busy in their own way) with the odd evening thrown in. Or to start getting up ridiculously early, or to get in some babysitting favours. Or a combination of all the above!

Either way, juggling is the way forward.....

Thursday, 13 June 2013

A weekend off! Slightly more stressful than it should be?

I am starting to get a little bit excited, as tomorrow I am going away to Centre Parcs for a friends birthday weekend.

This means that from tomorrow lunchtime I will be free from childcare, horsecare and housework until Monday. I was a little worried about going, as I only know the birthday girl, and I have never spent more than one night away from the kids before. Also, I have been getting going with the horses lately and didn't want to chuck away a lot of the work.

However, the kids are tired and grumpy, and I am getting a bit worn down with going on at them the whole time, the house is (as always) a bit of a dump, and one horse is not sound and the other is off his little mind with the grass, so I'm very glad to be getting away.

As an added bonus, I checked my bank balance yesterday and I should avoid going overdrawn this weekend - result!

Of course, trying to get organised to go away is a bit a nightmare. I know my husband is more than capable of looking after two children and two horses, but I do have control freak tendencies.

One niggle I have though, is that I haven't had much practice being Christie lately. I am pretty good at being Mummy, or general shit shoveller/skivy/housemaid/cook etc, and I get some evenings where I get to be none of those things, just a 28 year old out with friends. But a whole weekend is going to be a struggle, I just know I am going to end up cutting someone's toast up into squares!

Sunday, 9 June 2013


Been a bit quiet on the blog front recently, not that we have been doing nothing, more that there has been nothing worth writing about!

We had the half term holiday, which meant more kids, less horses, and of course the obligatory wet weather.

I tried to pick up where I left off with the horses; the gelding just coming back into work and the mare working on going correctly.

However all is not going to plan.

Due to the very lush grass, both horses feet have grown stupidly quickly and they look rather desperate for new shoes. The mare is not moving correctly in front, and my husband thinks it is due to having unbalanced feet.

This means that I cannot take her to the riding club training evening this week, and although I considered taking my second string (the gelding) a quick lunge soon stopped that thought in it's tracks! The grass has another effect on the gelding, every year is the same. He seems to forget he is a 13 year old 'ex' racehorse, and instead seems to think he is, in fact a half broken yearling.

There is no way I am taking him to the riding club this week, as it may be the last thing I ever do!

So I am miserable. I am cross at myself for not going with my gut instinct of thinking the mare wasn't quite right last week, I just told myself she was being fat and lazy due to the grass.

So, I am waiting for the Farrier to get back to me, then she will have a few days off to let everything settle (which coincides with my weekend away) and in the meantime I will try to 're-break' the gelding and try to catch up with the housework. Fun.