Not entirely sure if we’ll do Garryowen but I’ve pulled out the gear and working out what needs doing. Aka any takers for boot polishing?? Started breaking in our 2nd turnout bridle, I ended up having a spare but since learnt it’s kind of a good idea in case it rains etc. between Garryowen/Esquire that or if something breaks. Yes I’m weird riding with 2 reins on the snaffle – need to have bridle broken in with double bits on, I tend to drop the curb rein when riding…so ensuring both are equal πŸ™‚

My bestest ever tip and without a doubt most useful thing I’ve learnt this year is dispense with all forms of saddle and tack cleaner and use basic soap and hot water. Thanks to one very knowledged up horseman for that. If you’ve seen my saddles in pics the last few months, you’ll notice the difference – has totally removed all the built up grime that gets caught under your leg etc.

 

Dapples…just because ❀

In the process of mane control – using scissors *gasp* basically because Ollie has a lovely thickness to his mane and it doesn’t need thinning out. So basically grabbed super sharp scissors and chop upwards on 45 deg angle, comb mane over both sides of the next and repeat x 10. This giraffe is a super little guy but standing still for ages gets boring,Β  so over the course of the week we’ll get it done (and perfect!).

If you have a mane that needs just a little bit of thinning I’d fully suggest using a pair of rubber gloves and just combing fingers through the mane – works especially well if they don’t enjoy pulling.

So looking forward to it being Spring and warm, had our first rose appear – when we get a chance many more will have to be planted! Albury is absolutely stunning in the Spring time with roses everywhere.

The first rose – Spring is coming πŸ™ŒπŸ»πŸ˜€πŸŒ·

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Our favourite little Giraffe Ollie (he has earned the term because he has a really long front as is forever trying to be as tall as everyone else!) is now 2 and playing around in the long reins and learning the basics.

Shoutout to a really awesome business called A Bit Less. Totally not affiliated – just I think it’s a terrific idea, they have a range of 2nd but seemingly new range of bits. Awesome as I didn’t know what size Ollie would be and wanted to try a couple of mouthpieces without spending a ridiculous sum on tiny size bits. As it was he’s ended up with aΒ Sprenger KK Ultra Loose Ring Bradoon 10.5cm (4 1/8″).

Please ignore the bridle with straps everywhere, currently suffering the pain of a cheap leather bridle that no matter how much one oils and conditions the leather is horrid! I’ve left all the straps out of the keepers adjusts can be made without clonking the bit against his teeth. As the little guy is growing so much best to wait a little longer for a custom one.

 

Lucerne Trees & Ollie!

Lucerne trees and little Ollie have certainly been recent highlights!

Blessed to be in such a beautiful new area with so many gorgeous places only a short drive away. Thrilled to find Lucerne trees available at a nursery located near Yackandandah. Which just so happens to be a stunning place to visit! Not to mention lot of great cafes.

We’ve planted about 120 of them now, it will be interesting to see how they go over Winter.

Grace arrived safely and is happy in her new paddock. We are very excited for her foal, keeping everything crossed there. I forgot just how like Encore she really is. At least with a baby belly now we can tell them apart πŸ˜‚.

Little Ollie arrived last Thursday. One of those horses I’d seen online and LOVED since last last year. Hoping he matures small galloway or large pony. I would love him to be tall enough I can look “okay” on him in the show ring, even if that entails a bit of starvation on my part.

He was such an good little man travelling. I prefer to use Southern Cross as the horses come first. For a young weanling doing a fairly long trip he travelled brilliantly.

This week has been learning basics aka being caught in the paddock, rugs (poor wee thing has no hair…our 2/3deg nights meant rugs were a must!). In the space of a few days he is rather happy with life and quietly stood for a trim with the farrier today. Little champion of a pony – my pretend palomino!

(If you can’t tell already…I’m besotted!!!).

Purchasing pony rugs has been interesting as I’ve learnt how it’s hard to find decent ones are on the market in 4’9 and smaller. Talking super warm doona’s etc – don’t be surprised if I come up with my own range of pony rugs.

We met some more of the locals over the weekend, who have made a track along the road for about 3 mile which you can safely gallop along. Lots of our neighbours are into tent pegging so it’s not uncommon to see 1 go galloping past with a couple being ponied off the side. Or a gypsy cart with a couple of breakers tied to it. Good variety for Encore anyway – we went for a gallop today, startled a fox along the track 🦊.

Enjoying life anyway β˜ΊοΈπŸπŸ‚πŸ΄.

Home is where the horses are.

There is ever an particularly ideal time to “start” blogging again however the last couple of months have been a mix of chaotic, amazing and devastating.

To paraphrase very (very!!) briefly boxes ticked including moving house, a business and somehow place this around the major shows keeping Encore in work. I’m still not quite sure how what needed to be accomplished happened.

~~~

Encore frightened us all when he became drastically sick one afternoon in early January. Long story short he is alive, having spent a couple of days on a drip in pony hospital. The slightly shaved patch on his neck where the cannula was hasn’t proved too much of a disadvantage thus far.

We did start him at ENSW Hoty, allbeit he had lost a lot of weight and wasn’t quite so bright. The outing did him well as he picked up a little, appetite grew and scored well enough to be in the placings.

Birthday surprise Bunny…Flopsy

2nd time I’ve blown a Tyre going to Battle of the borders. Least changing takes about 8 minutes. Makes travelling with a spare spare worthwhile?!

Battle of the borders at Albury was fun, as we collected our house keys and enjoyed the weekend. Fairly sure we did half the wrong workout in our hunter class, one of those horse goes so well and your enjoying riding them you just pat lots and canter out. New hunter jacket was also a highlight.

Canberra Royal was fun. Really windy and we cut our time being there from a week to just a few days to maximise good grass time for E. Glad we left early aka before it flooded.

Grand Nationals was successful from the perspective as a sponsor, it was great to hear feedback on products and talk to customers. One would hope people are appreciate of the effort all sponsors put in – the cash donations made for the Grand Champions prizes really were huge and well done to those people for supporting the industry.

We had our own success at Grand Nationals with Encore. Finally! You see it’s been quite a few years of random misfortunes, judges rushing through the class so as not to miss flights or massive storm coming though and scaring the life out of E that he has never been selected.

This has always been a bit of a sore point because we know beyond any doubt the judge will love riding him. Encore really is the most fun and honest horse to ride. 100% good pony which is why we don’t mind all his other quirks.

So after 8 years in the ring, he gets his chance. Albeit a bit of an error in numbers being recorded we finally had our chance. (For the record – least the live-streaming shows the wrong numbers being called out!). Admittedly due to the fact of having really bad hearing and not being able to discern what was said, it was only outside did I understand he wasn’t just sashed owner rider but also Res champ. Well done E – best pony (after J). We’d been practicing our gallops for weeks, including warming up with a gallop up the paths so I think J would have been proud of us. All of this said, I really am just thrilled to be riding Encore and have him alive.

Sydney Royal was lots of fun there, I’m a fan of the food in the stables. It’s totally worthwhile to qualify horses and attend just to eat the meatballs & chips. Encore worked very well in his open class getting a bow – admittedly I get a bit lost with ribbons colours/placing after 1/2/3. Popular opinion would seem nobody wants a poo Brown ribbon and the pink or purple ones are the most popular. Meatballs and the ability to shop at Wagners 10 times a day is awesome.

Encore’s mare friend and companion Meeka. One very sweet older Black mare. She has come from an eventing home and is very gentle and easy to handle. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have such a pretty paddock friend for E.

Cue a few weeks with all the fun of setting up a new horse property. Safe stables and fences done we had the girls booked on transport.

As we had some of the larger events, along with moving it was arranged Scarlett would have 6wks off and stay to be companion for Grace. Grace being a few months in foal, we’d planned things to be as low stress as possible for her. The girls always got along well together.

Which considering the timing makes it all the more devastating when Scarlett had a horrific paddock accident. Poor Scarlett – we are all absolutely heartbroken. As a dear friend said, the are such big but fragile creatures.

So with that in mind, it’s so exciting to have Grace arriving home and yet rather tragic as Scarlett will not be led off with her.

What will be nice is to have all the horses together again, home is where the horses are.

Mission Garryowen complete.

In what has been the most monumental effort since we the idea was sorted of floated end of February…mission Garryowen is complete. Lots of fun but lots and lots of work!

Acquiring the gear, cleaning the gear, making sure everything fits or will fit ie 5 girths later and then cleaning everything again I’ll be quite happy to not clean tack for the next month or so. Apart from the fact everything needs to be cleaned before it goes into storage.

Scarlett whilst still paddock dwelling is coming back into work. I just didn’t have the time over Winter.

New boots – Cavallo Primus Pro

Firstly, yes slight redesign and update. I had this logo designed late last year for me, I absolutely love it!

Super excited to unbox a pair of the Cavallo Primus Pro today. Thankyou past self for ordering these at Canberra Royal!

I prefer to order through Wagners, as then I know with Caroline measuring they will fit perfectly.Β  I am of course a fan of the Cognac colour, once they darker a little (as all good brown leathers do with time!) they will be superb.