OMG, Carol! Major horse die off--I'm so sorry for you and, of course, for them! I hate death. I know it's unavoidable, but I just wish the Big Equation had been set up differently.
How did you enjoy Paris and London? Your head must have been spinning after getting home--that's quite a whirlwind trip! What was your favorite sight, favorite experience, and favorite food of the trip?
Hi Angharad....hope you are not washed out by the recent rains. Actually it wasn't my head that was a problem but my feet! I did more walking than anticipated and before I left, I invested in a digital camera. Hampton Court my first private excursion in London, turned out to be more extensive than expected. It's 2 stories and I'd label it the 16th century version of a ranch style architecture although it was added onto by William and Mary, Cromwell and one of the Georges. The following day I was off to Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral and Dover Castle, and the next day I spent most of at St. Paul's in London including climbing the 500+ stairs to the Stone Gallery to look out over London. This was my 3rd trip to London which is why I did not travel with the tour group until we left for Dover and the English Channel crossing. The first day in Paris was going up into the Eiffel Tower and looking over Paris from above in the morning and Sacre Coer and Montmartre in the afternoon. This was my 2nd trip to Paris. The next day I spent at the Musee Quai D'Orsay which houses mostly Impressionists. There I saw horses: Degas's bronze horses and some of his other small bronzes including the Little Dancer. The walk home from the museum took a lot longer than expected. The last day in the morning we went to Giverny and Claude Monet's house and gardens: this was my favorite part of the trip. The gardens were spectacular! Everything was in bloom! The house was interesting but twice I wound up there trying to find my way to the bus. Hampton Court and the Eiffel Tower were my 2 favorite experiences and as for food I'd have to say the lunch I had in Montmartre at the Turkish restaurant ( I loved the sauteed green beans and onions!) and the chocolate pancakes I had at a Starbucks near Sacre Coer. If these images attach the last one is the sculpture in the courtyard of the Musee Quai D'Orsay. Hope you enjoy them.
I don't know how I missed this, Carol. WOW, it sounds like a lovely, busy trip, and I can certainly understand how your feet took a beating. I agree that Hampton Court is gorgeous and interesting. I've never seen Monet's home and gardens which sound absolutely breathtaking. I hope you took a zillion photos.
Unfortunately, the photos you posted don't seem to be here. I would have loved to see them.
What a gorgeous world Carl inhabits. I have always loved his wholistic, loving approach to the well-being of his horses.
Hi Angharad...watching that Hester video all I could think if was...money, money, money etc. Well yesterday was our first show of the year and a nice day it was as regards the weather. For me it was a disappointment as the judge rated us kind of toughly. Maxx rarely "jumps" into the canter...he's 24 years old! Ditto for a hollow topline. The footing in the arena poses the same problem as last year....the sand is too deep and he struggles a bit. What was missing from her comments were comments on lack of bend (she only noted it once), my hands bouncing and not being on the bit. Of course she failed to notice when she said my stirrups were too short that so are my legs! I went off course for Intro C once and after it was over and we were getting ready to leave, I forgot to pick up the test. On to the next test in August and a different judge.
BTW tried something nonequestrian last Saturday, dog agility. Terri hasn't been able to work her dog in it since last year due to ankle problems. So I sort of became the handler for an hour. The commands were different and so I didn't do too well with that and the hand signals. Miko loved it anyway. I'll try it again soom.
Yup, it takes a lot of money to own 24 top-flight horses (of course, he has partners), and maintain a set-up like his. I'm happy for him. He's adored and worked with horses since he was a young kid and earned what he has through passion, single-minded focus, and super hard work. Not to mention incredible talent, of course. :>) In a world where horses are just a business/commodity, I've always admired his true love for them and his commitment to their health and happiness. Lots of top riders are assholes...trust me.
HAHA! "She failed to notice when she said my stirrups were too short that so are my legs!" That's PERFECT, and what a great example of a judge's fallibility. I love your attitude about it. Yeah--new test, new judge.
Cool about the dog agility experience. It always looks like the dogs are having a blast. Nice of you to step in in a pinch--lots of stuff to learn quickly, and quite a workout. I'll enjoy hearing your take on it after your next try.
Rainy day and cool...not my kind of setting for a show. Maxx and I did a really good warmup and we reviewed the test (Into C). The footing had been improved since June's show with less depth to the sand and the drizzle had sort of tamped it down so that it was firmer. There were 2 riders before me and so I did a right lead canter and that's when Maxx went lame!
So we scratched our entry and went home. I downloaded a few photos. Hope you can see them
Nope you wont as they are too big!
Rats!! Can you reduce them in size using a photo editor? I'd love to see them.
So sorry about Maxx, though. Is he okay now?
And any more dog agility experiences?
Hi Angharad....I'm not as computer savvy as you ...maybe the next time.
Maxx has a suspensiory issue and is still on stall rest. So his substitute, Jelly Bean, has been filling in
for him. Jelly Bean is a dark roan large pony who likes to move fast. So we tend to have discussions, some short and some long, on the meaning and use of half halts. I've had problems getting the canter but the few times that I've succeeded, I've found his canter to be a bit rough to sit to which makes me miss Maxx whose canter is like being in a rocking chair.
I did not do so well with being a substitute agility trainer and so I've been replaced by an actual one. Which is okay as I knew my learning curve would be long with this activity. At least Miko is again building on solid training and I haven't screwed anything up badly.
Ah, so Maxx will probably be out of action for a good long while, depending on the severity of the injury. Is it a chronic suspensory-ligament injury? That can easily happen to school horses who get older or out of shape and are subjected to a schedule of classes, especially when repetitive movements are involved. Poor boy. I hate to say it, but it may be time for him to be retired.
Jelly Bean is a cute name for what sounds like a headstrong pony (and what pony isn't?). Yeah, pony gaits just feel so foreshortened because, after all, they are. Haha!
I keep hoping a new, younger horse will show up at the barn. One you can reliably partner with for the years ahead. Fingers crossed.
You maybe right about Maxx reaching retirement age but I'm hoping to compete with him next year. Most of this barn's clientele are children and the newer additions to the equines have been ponies. There have been new adult students but they are taller than me and consequently tend to ride the 3 or 4 larger horses which I would need a stepladder to mount and a parachute to dismount!
I have no idea how serious Maxx's injury is and it was only in passing after 3 weeks that my trainer knew and passed it along to me. So i bring him his weekly banana on fridays and he's happy to see me.