The year that was – Twenty Thirteen.

So what a year that was! I am rather glad I started and kept us with this blog because it was a fairly interesting year, devastating and exceedingly brilliant all in one. One of the more poignant ones with many moments I will remember for a lifetime.

Starting the Year I didn’t really post any goals or achievements I wished to work towards. I think this post certainly lives up to its name. I would certainly never dreamt this time last year I would be in the position I am now, with the opportunities I have been given. Truly grateful to Ladies (and Gents) of the Aussie Dressage world for being so extremely generous with their time, knowledge and horses.

So here is my semi defining list of moments for 2013

1. Canberra Royal – I should really thank the giver of the biggest backhanded compliment I’ll probably ever receive. Opened my eyes up 🙂

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2. Boneo Park – The gorgeous facilities but more importantly meeting a wonderful new friend, getting a ride on a gorgeous WB.

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3. Miss S arriving. Everybody involved was so incredibly nice and went out of their way!

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4. Lost my Louis dog, so suddenly. Forever Loved. I clipped our little Lochie today and shed a few tears in that familiar face looking back at me.

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5. I did finish my exams, admittedly the months leading up to my final exam around June was a very hard slog. Thankfully passed my final unit and got the results back the day after I paid the deposit on S.

So a year of ups and downs. Hello 2014.

 

 

Heading Home

Not a particularly note worthy drive other than being very sad to leave the dressage diva lifestyle.

Came home to serious wetness….stables were rather damp, paddock chest high grass yet rather wet underfoot. Boys got all rugs off and put in the back paddock together to hoon…and hoon they did!

Unpacked the float, unplaited the ponies and although happy to be home (no sweeping??) Boneo Park soon felt like a world away. The week’s experience will certainly not be forgotten though, a big thankyou to the Boneo Park staff for making us feel so welcome and the agistees for putting up with us.

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All States Showdown

Park Hack class – E worked superbly. Perhaps the best ride I have had on him to date, the epitome of a true ladies Galloway he was an absolute joy to show.

 

Good pony 🙂

 I let him out for a rider class, at very short notice – the lovely girl riding him didn’t have time to practice a sitting extended trot but I promised her if she sat and asked him he would do it for her, in the workout it was up the centre line…He rocked it 🙂

E’s open I think was the most strongest class of the show, 7 horses including some seriously decorated National and Royal Champions. E was a commendable 6th, the fat kid amongst the lightweight types I was very happy with him.

J got worked and plaited in the afternoon.

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and Team NSW won the State Cup 🙂

 

Sydney Royal

The hardest/most stressful thing I find about Sydney Royal is actually get there and getting settled in, the rest is easy. We had literally the easiest Bump In ever and I was most happy to arrive in our aisle and find we were in with super lovely people! (Beats some old harness hag last year who hissed and spitted at everyone, including the feed guys! thankgod she left quickly). Also with one of the photographers and O M G the dedication she (and the rest) have is amazing, out on her feet photographing all day then back every night proofing photos. Don’t ever complain about paying the small amount they ask, that is for sure.

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In and settled that night we watched the Darcy’s Quest. OMG I think whoever came up with that was seriously on LSD, it was just bizarre from a big horse on a crane to people shooting static electricity at one another to kites of the back of quads with fireworks.

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Very easy schedule having the boys on separate days. I absolutely cannot fault how either of my boys worked, I’m so happy with them. E scored a good place in his Novice. Perhaps I am a little disheartened with our results as in a few particular classes some very naughty horses went up the line. Fair enough to ribbon a quality animal but seriously – at royal level they should be able to keep 4 feet on the ground when asked. Each to their own opinions anyway and this is mine!

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One class had the workouts shortened drastically due to time constraints – luckily we got a call but seriously for a royal show where you pay good money to enter, you would expect more than 3 laps on the ring – I seriously feel for those who went IRO within about 2 minutes.

On the flip side – nice to see horses being asked good workouts, stewards allowing a warmup circle or two and the lovely lady in marshalling keeping everyone informed even when classes got moved forward.

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I notice a lot of people are using google to search for opinions on the judging of the Show Hunters of which this blog seems to come up.

I didn’t get to watch the ponies but in the galloways he was definitely going for a heavier type – picture ASH/Welsh Cross/Saddle pony/WB cross etc. All the horses worked very well to deserve their wins/places. No rearing/bucking getting ribbons like other years which was most refreshing to see 🙂 Again, engaging workouts being asked for which was lovely to see.

As for the open galloways, the show jumping seemed to upset a lot of them, which as a rider is always disappointing but surely it beats having harness working in the ring any day.

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E being Uncle E with a very capable young rider…who was most enjoying doing flash lengthens impressing all the general public watching! I think E enjoyed it as well!

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It’s lovely to have use of the trail out to the park, we choose to work the boys over there when we can. On Thursday it was quite hot so I ended up riding 1 and ponying the other. I tacked J up and took him for a gallop on one of his free days, lots of fun…we did walk as well…he was keen to have a look at the boardwalk and much to my surprise happily clonked along it.

Being in Kelly Pavillion is quite good as you have the stairs up to the Main arena seats very close by, easy escape to the park…not having to battle the crowds and a work arena at one end. Only downer is you get a lot of crowds through at times, on Easter Saturday it was absolute madness – while I was trying to plait E people were streaming along our aisle with elbow room only. I snapped and strategically placed some wheelie bins…much easier! I don’t mind people patting the horses but sheesh they pack into the aisles and poke fingers at them whilst waving all manner of things from balloons, to sparklers to kids patting horses on the bum (eek! as they do it so lightly the horses flinch like it’s a fly!).

Not to forget Bumping Out, which entails a slightly dodgy (dark early morning and all that) walk over to the car park, locate car/float and do the circle around to get back in. Nice and easy thankfully, it wasn’t even raining! A joyously eventful trip home though we did stop and change drivers a few times, due to both of us being pretty tired! The boys were so happy to be home and eating fresh green grass! Not to mention E who has a phobia of rolling in the stables…so he enjoyed a good long roll!

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