Tuesday, 30 April 2013

That moment when you think you have made a bit of a mistake.....

I schooled the mare today. The boy was having a lovely nap, the sun was out, and it seemed like a good opportunity to do some decent flatwork with her.

I decided to try her in the gelding's bridle, as he has a French link bit (she has a copper roller that is not dressage legal) and she seemed happy with it.

However, when we got into the school, I felt like I had very little control (eeek!) Our long rein warm up was a bit speedier than I would have liked, but the medium trot was quite something! Or, it would have been if I had asked for medium trot, as it was, I just felt less in control. At that moment I wondered if it had been a really stupid idea!

20mins of quite hard work later and I was feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. Tomorrow is going to be painful though.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sleeping children?

As I write this I am sat outside the yard waiting for the boy to fall asleep. He is desperate for a nap, but has reached that age where he will fight it with everything he's got. I actually don't mind having him on the yard with me, especially when the weather is nice, but when he is tired he falls over a lot (more than usual) and it becomes rather stressful.

I generally don't ride when I have the kids with me unless my husband is here. There are lots of people who have their kids sat in buggies in/just outside the arena, but for me it just doesn't work. Not least because I have as much hope of the boy staying in a buggy as I do getting my husband to do dressage - none.

I just can't concentrate on myself and my horse if I know I am the one in charge of the kids. Even if they are happy in the car playing their computer games I struggle to concentrate fully.
Asleep or not with me is the only time I can ride.

I have now spent 15mins sat outside the yard gate in the car, and the boy has finally dropped off. Right, I have approximately 30mins, time to get going!

Monday, 22 April 2013

Gridwork (or something along those lines)

I probably shouldn't write a blog post this evening as I am in a bit of a grump.

I have just got back from attempting to do dome gridwork with the horses and it was a bit crap.

As I was on my own, I couldn't ride the grid without having to get off and on again about twenty times, so I made a jumping lane and loose schooled the horses over it.

The gelding was a bit confused, but it doesn't take a lot to confuse him, he did manage the trotting poles quite nicely followed by a mini cross pole, so not too bad an effort.

The mare is frustrating. She is a bit of a know it all, and if she doesn't like the idea, she will do it her own way. This makes loose schooling gridwork a complete waste of time. She has no respect for poles on the ground.

They are looking better though, I have upped the amount of oil and Purabeet they are having, just until the grass finally makes an appearance.

The kids are looking pretty healthy at the minute too, a bit of sunshine, lots of exercise and a fair amount of carbs, is apparently the right combination.

Just me and the husband who are looking weary and worn out then...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Another Outing!

Bit of a disheartening week really. I seem to have worked really hard to get time to exercise the horses and it hasn't felt worth it.

The mare was stiff and reluctant on Tuesday when I was trying to school her, making me think that she was still sore from her slip months ago. On wednesday however, she was a bit of a tramp and proved that nothing was hurting as she bolted off around the school with a squeal and a buck (while on the lunge, thankfully!) Starting to feel nervous about jumping on Sunday......

No exercising of the horses on Wednesday and Thursday, as I was working (yes, actually working! My first job since before the kids - eeek!) The boy and I did some baking instead. He likes baking.

Friday was a bit of a disaster. We had an architect over to look at our house with a view to convert our loft into a bedroom and en suite but it wasn't as straightforward as we had hoped. The day just kind of went downhill from there. I got to the horses about 7pm that night in a foul mood. Wandering around the field poo picking in a bit of evening sunshine was just what I needed!

Saturday was a great day, the mare felt back to herself and I had a lovely ride. I bathed her, cleaned my tack and packed up everything for showjumping in the morning. The kids spent all afternoon playing out on the yard and in the giant sandpit, also known as the arena. The evening was spent eating pizza and nachos, and watching You've Been Framed with the kids.

Rather a leisurely start to Sunday morning considering we were going out competing. The mare was much more relaxed and there were no bucks! Rather a beautiful medium trot around the warm up arena that I struggled to hold, but still, that's progress! We entered the 2'3" class this time. We had a couple of little blips, mainly me nearly being jumped out of the saddle, but the behaviour was much improved and the actual jumping was better, more showjumping than hurdling!

Next trip planned is in two weeks. I'm really enjoying being able to get out and about so much.

Monday, 15 April 2013

The end is in sight!

Last week of the Easter holidays. From a parent/children point of view it has been a better week. It has been warmer, we have been places, seen people and done fun stuff. I have happy, hungry (in a good, eating all their dinner, way) sleepy children, and I am feeling a bit smug. I am pretty good at this parenting lark*

*this week. I feel you should take credit where you can!

The horses haven't done as much this week, possibly because I haven't felt the same need to escape as last week. But I did get in a good long hack on Tuesday, which was fun and perked the mare up no end.

Both horses got a good brush and a decent lunge at the weekend. Both went straight out into the field and had a really good roll. Of course.

Back to school next week!

Monday, 8 April 2013

Half arsed holiday

I was thinking this was going to be a rather half arsed post about a rather half arsed week, but actually it turned out not too bad (the week, that is, the post will still be half arsed)

It is the Easter holidays here, so the girl is off school, and our regular routine has gone tits up. I don't really mind too much, but nothing seems to get done and it throws the boy a bit.

My friend and I did a childcare swap, which seemed great in theory. I have the kids in the morning, she has them in the afternoon. However I ended up doing the lion's share due to her work commitments, and the kids spent the majority of their waking hours together and were ready to kill each other by the end of the week. Oh well, you live, you learn.

The horses have had a pretty good week. The mare has been schooled once, hacked out once and loose jumped through a grid once. The gelding has been hacked out once and ridden in the school (not really 'schooled' though)

Had a lovely family day on Sunday, but ended up exhausted!

Oh and it is sunny (yay!)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Lurgy and a yellow rosette

A bit late this week due to the lurgy.....

I started the week with Playmobil in my cup of tea, and an enthusiasm to start getting out and competing. I found some promising looking competitions on HorseDates and allowed myself a teeny spark of excitement. Not only am I actually going to be able to compete, I am going to be so prepared, with the mare and I in tip top condition that I am going to win some this year. I don't know if I've ever mentioned, but I am very competitive (not the best trait to pass on to your children, I might add.....)
Anyway, there is obviously some kind of conspiracy against me and my plans to take over the world win some rosettes. Firstly, as we all know, the weather has been shocking, secondly, the boy has not been as cooperative as he could be by deciding not to really nap much, oh yes, and getting a vomiting bug.

I don't think there is anyone who lives in as much fear of sickness bugs than a parent. Before kids, I might get a couple of grotty colds, the odd bad cough, and very occasional sickness (though they were very nearly all to do with alcohol) which was fine.
Since having kids, especially since the second one, the amount of vomiting bugs really is astonishing. We are now on our 4th (or possibly 5th) bout of vomiting since the winter began, and we are in general a pretty healthy family.

Anyway, the boy decorated our hall on Thursday evening, he filled his coat, my coat, his shoes and a bin. That was round one. Around midnight he perked up and decided he wanted to go to bed. The next morning he was perky, he had a bath (as did I, I'm sure some of it had gone in my hair) a hot cross bun for breakfast and was ok. He dozed on the sofa having cuddles (lovely) He then woke up, filled a bowl, a blanket and soaked my legs and feet. I had to phone my husband to see if he was passing (he was, phew!) to give me a hand. He cleaned up the boy while I had a quick shower and put on my 3rd load of washing so far today.

Tempted to give up on this week.

On Saturday I went over to the Riding Club show ground to help set up the jumps for Sunday's showjumping. I wasn't planning on jumping after the week we've had, but after putting up the jumps I really wanted to! There were so many reasons why I shouldn't - the horse isn't really fit, hasn't even been sat on for 2 weeks, it is Easter Sunday and is it really fair on the kids etc...

But anyway, I decided we would jump. I towed her myself for the first time (a little bit proud of myself) and entered the 1'9" class. We may have embarrassed ourselves a little, with the wild behaviour (bucking and jumping like we were hurdling) but actually, the most embarrassing part was being the only adult and horse in the jump off. We came 3rd, and I did feel a little like I had robbed these poor kids of a yellow rosette.....

But still, did I mention I'm competitive?