Monday, 31 March 2008

Great great great day

Yesterday was a great day. Dan and Rupert (Bright Fame) had their first event of the season. It was at Belmont Park - which apparently belongs to Johnny Depp! They did a lovely dressage test and then a very nice show jumping round and then followed it up with a very precise clear cross country round. Her face was a picture of joy as she cantered home after the cross country, and I shed a tear.

Then my car got stuck in the horrid red mud, however it was well worth getting up at 5am, and driving for two and half hours to see her succeed. Well done Dan xx

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

No Crusts

I have just eaten two pieces of toast, and - HORROR OF HORRORS - left my crusts. All through my life I have strived to do the 'right thing' and that begins with the simple stuff like eating crusts. My lovely Auntie Mimi (Mum's twin sister, and the closest thing to a second Mum that I have) ate a sandwich a few year ago and left her crusts. My Mum questioned her over this terrible act, and her reply was that at 67 she could leave her crusts if she bloody well wanted to!!! I am with her totally on this one, and from now on shall be leaving my crusts. I did feel a bit naughty, slightly decadent, and a wee bit giggly at the thought of breaking this unwritten rule of life, but hey - worse things happen at sea...don't they?

Does anyone have any other suggestions of naughty things I could do ? (I've already tried sticking out my tongue at a policeman and this resulted in an ASBO!!)

Sunday, 23 March 2008

No Chocolate

I have a mother who loves me, a daughter who loves me and countless friends - but alas - not a tiny bit of chocolate has been given to me today :(

Phoebe has settled down in her new house

I am pleased to report that Phoebe has made herself quite at home in the new stable. I had a lesson on her yesterday and I was a bit nervous as she was having a good 'goose-neck' look at everything, and not really paying attention to me. I'm a bit of a nervy rider and everything has to be going right for me to feel comfortable. Couple that with the fact that it was blowing a gale and starting to hail, and you can understand why my nerves were a bit high. But my instructor was very understanding and we did some exercises that are designed to keep the horse thinking, and - I suspect - me too!!

I have ridden her again this afternoon and she was very good - despite a little pony that was being ridden at the same time thinking it was good idea to stand up on his hind legs and wave at Kent!!! Phoebe just took no notice and plodded on!!

I have spent many hours this weekend sorting out all my horsey stuff and have discovered many things long forgotten!!! My back is aching, and my knee has been hurting - but it's been very cathartic. Mind you the inside of the range rover is a wee bit grubby!!!

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Walking with a limp

Yesterday I moved Phoebe to her new home. I was dreading trying to load her onto the trailer - but good old Emma was there and she went in after about 5 attempts and ten minutes - which as anyone who has ever tried to load a tricky horse will tell you - is really not bad going!!! We drove through a thunderstorm - another massive no-no, and unloaded her nicely at the other end. Put her in her new stable and as part of saying hello to the little pony next door she squealed and kicked out. Unfortunately I was in the way and got hoof to knee...ouch - and when I say ouch I really mean OUCH...for the first few seconds I thought my knee cap was smashed - but no - just really badly bruised.

Once Phoebe was settled down for the night with a big fat haynet, Emma and I went for a well deserved curry. This morning I can hardly walk and my knee is the size of a melon. I love my horse :)

Sunday, 2 March 2008

When can I ride my horse?

The yard where I keep my horse is going a bit downhill. We have an outdoor school where we can ride - but as I prefer to ride alone (no dodging flying ponies) I'm a bit limited as to when I can ride. It's never really been a problem before - but yesterday I went down there on three separate occasions and each time there were show jumps in there and somebody riding. We have outside instructors coming three evenings a week - so we can't ride - and then people having lessons at peak times (between 4-6pm) and prefer to have the school to themselves. Couple that with the fact that the people I trust to look after my horse have turned her out onto bare pasture (No grass leads to equine bickering and fighting, injuries and vets bills), when people who have been there 5 minutes are having their horses turned out on the new lush grass - I've been getting a bit pissed off. I won't even mention the flying shetland ponies who have been housed right next door to our school - extremely problematic.

When I mentioned these concerns to the yard owner I was told "if you don't like it you can always go somewhere else", and she is, of course, correct. So I have found another yard for Phoebe and will be moving her and all our equipment before the end of the month.

Livery yard ownership is the only business I know of where the prices go up and the level of service goes down. It is the only business where the customer is most certainly NOT king, and if you decide to leave a yard there is a queue of people waiting to take your stable. It is the only business I know of where you never get what you are promised, and service levels seem to drop once they have your money. Clients are regularly taken for granted, and it certainly the only business where the business owner feels that the client needs them more than they need the client. I work very hard for my £££ and need to make sure that I am getting a good deal for every £££ I spend.

For the most part Livery yards are run by women who can't work in any other sphere. They tend to be insulated in the world of horses, and regular readers will remember, can blow up and go off alarming at the drop of a hat!!

So I have decided to vote with my feet and after two - for the most part - happy years, we are off to pastures new (pardon the pun).

I do hope Phoebe likes her new home!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Dan and Jan

Dan's coming home today with her new boyfriend! Yikes. Her dad and I had better be on our best behaviour. The poor kid lives in fear that we will show her up - we are all a bit barking. His name is Jan (pronounced Yan) so clearly he is of viking extraction. She met him at Uni so he's either a rugby player or a trainee blacksmith...oooooer!!! Either way he will be all rippling muscles and big hands!!!!

The Tax man is after me !!!

I completed my tax return on time and had it with the IR by 31st January deadline. They have sent me a bill which is quite stern in its tone. They are asking that I pay my tax bill without delay, and if there is a delay there will be serious consequences. In the final paragraph of said tome they even mention imprisonment!! Having tangled with the tax man before I really don't want to get into trouble with him again!! :). Today I am going to write out a cheque and post it immediately as I really don't want to incur the wrath of the grey men in grey suits. The amount of my tax bill is £1.60. I don't think I can afford it. What am I going to do?