Tag Archives: Horses

I’m in love with a horse called Blackjack

Velvet Blackjack, but don’t tell Missy!  He was jumping in the Puissance in the Dublin Horse Show a couple of weeks ago. And he was fine.  And it got me thinking do we have a “type” of horse that we like?

Is it like art, or cooking or even when choosing our life partners? I think it most likely is.  And, if I’m honest, I don’t like blackjack purely because he’s able to jump a MAHOOSIVE wall.  I think it’s his colour, his shape, and just the way he goes.

And no, I wouldn’t RIDE him.  Well maybe on a hack down the lane! But I would love him.  Very much.  As to be honest, as I’ve said before, a love of horses is akin to an addiction.  I just love them.  Watching them, feeding them, grooming them, riding them.  But like everyone has their favourite tipple, I’ve my favourite type.

As anyone who follows me on any of my social channels knows- Missy is THE one.  We’ve been together a long time, and we’ve had many a falling out.  But when I walk in the yard and she whickers (for food).  My heart melts. And all my current moods and problems melt away too.  And for that hour, or two if I’m lucky, I’m in my happy place. But there have been so many others- and who doesn’t fall in love with a beautiful foal??

The horse

Nigel and my beloved foal

And I’m lucky to have a VERY understanding family. A supportive husband- apart from the “bloody horse always comes first”, to my very-tolerant-of-the-smell son, to my also addicted daughter.  And because my father in law grew up on a stud farm I’m already on a winner there. I think my own parents knew that I was a goner from a VERY young age.


Horses can be companions. We trust them. In the past, people have travelled miles on them and never been let down. When you are with your horse, then you are a very contented person.

Missy at Belline

Happy Birthday Missy

You may or may not know that horses always have their birthday on the 1st January. (In the Northern Hemisphere- 1st August in the Southern Hemisphere)

first show

My very first show- I had no gloves, no jacket, no clue!

That means Missy is the grand old age of 16 this week.  And she doesn’t look a day over 12! And although the rule of the January 1st only really applies to thoroughbreds, it’s easier to apply it to all horses.

Pims 770

Who could resist this face?

And although the journey has not been smooth, still isn’t in fact, the bumps in the road are often quite hard, and sore.  I love her immensely. And although I have other equines, she’s the special one.


What are we up to today Mum?

I often describe loving horses as a disease.  For which, thankfully, the only cure is spending lots of time with them.  And even if I’m away for a while, with work or just life, she always whickers for me on my return.  It may be that she knows I’ll bring bribes, it may be that she recognises me and wants attention. Whatever it is (and please don’t burst my bubble-) I love it!

Missy Double Bridle

I love riding her in the double bridle!

I love the friends I have met through my interaction with horses.  We ALWAYS have something other than the weather to talk about.  And we can talk about it for hours.  And hours.  Believe me. Weeks even! And we all at different levels (yup I’m the worst!) and all have different horse types.  But we all have the same problems. Loading.  Stable stains. Weight issues.  The list is endless!

missy first pic

Jordan with Missy- The mare doesn’t look very impressed!


So.  My RESOLVE, as opposed to my resolution, with Missy, is to try to compete a little more.  And go more places with her.  Even if it’s not to compete. Apart from Bonmahon beach (not going there again :O)



Looking for a nightgown as I grow older

As the Killers new found BIGGEST fan, I am currently working my way repeatedly through their catalogue. Current song on repeat? (And I mean repeat…..) A Dustland Fairytale. To be perfectly honest I thought I was too old for concerts.   FYI- I’m not.  Second row, all the way.  Standing for 3 hours mind you is havoc on the knees and hips the next day.  But it was SO worth it.

The Killers

Especially as we were so close.  The supporting band- Houndmouth were pretty good too.  Supporting bands don’t get enough credit, and these guys got the crowd going- no mean feat as really a) we were all only there to see The Killers, and b) they sang all their own music!

I love the line-

“Saw Cinderella in a party dress,
But she was looking for a nightgown.”

And it kind of rings true for me. As all my friends know- I LOVE a good night out- but am invariably first to bed!  I love this picture of me in my finery at the Dublin Horse Show.  I was sewing plaits into a friends horse.  You should have seen the shoes!


But I’m not often dressed like that around horses.
Thankfully. Especially the heels. But it was a great day…

And as for a night out.  Love the out part, especially the eating- and wine drinking, and mostly the craic.  But the preparation- not so much. I own a hairdryer.  Not sure why, it gets used once or twice a year to dry something in a hurry.  And I never wear make up day to day… so why would I wear it at night.  I reckon Cinderella went au natural anyway 😉

My all nighter days have definitely gone- , and although I might only wear the party dress for a short while- I still like to wear it….





January is supposed to be THE month for getting fitness/ healthy eating/ new you on track.  I think I just need to do nothing- or maybe just  a short holiday…

Christmas is a mental time of year in the day job, and this year has been to a whole-new-level-of-hell worse than usual.  So by the time Christmas day comes I just want to hibernate for a month.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas, the lights, the food, the family get togethers.  I promised myself in December, that as soon as Christmas day came and went I would get out walking- and eventually running again.  I’ve joined groups on facebook to help motivate myself.  But it just isn’t working.


And I’m not sitting at home every evening watching TV.  Or eating takeaways every day of the week.  But I just can’t get back into it. I actually do not have one single spare minute.  I look around at 11 o’clock each night and go- right what’s next??

On a positive note I have started back riding again.  Missy is back after her operation, and we are both “enjoying” the exercise every day.  So I suppose that’s something


Missy and I in the arena

So where to now? I’ve lots of orienteering competitions coming up. And will need to be fit for both running physically and running mentally.  And I’ve vowed this year to step it up with my horse- no injury excuses. We’ve started off really well, but if I can’t last for longer than 30 mins in the saddle it’s not much use. So, where too from here? I really want to look as happy as I am in this picture-

The after run glow!

It’s going to be hard.  But nothing worth doing isn’t hard.  My father in law will be in New Zealand for the next 3 weeks.  My plan is to walk all the dogs each morning as a start.  Food diary is underway.  To be honest, my diet is good, too good- too much.  So portion sizes need to be tackled. And I soooooo love to eat and cook.  *sighs*

So a little help and advice would be appreciated.  And I’ll let you know how I get on…


PS I did my first parkrun in Tramore on Saturday and was ABSOLUTELY thrilled to run the whole 5km.  Slower than some people walked it- but I did it!!!!!!

All Creatures Great and Small- our Pets

Having always been a lover of animals, it is no surprise to anyone that we surround our selves with every shape and style of animal.  I fully blame the James Herriot books “All Creatures Great and Small”, and the “Famous Five”.  Who didn’t want a Timmy the dog??  And as for Black Beauty. Nuff said.


The cast from the adaption of James Her riots All Creatures Great and Small

So when Eile went to the great kennel in the sky, I firmly said.  No more Dogs.  And a week later we got Aoire.  I know, I’m soft. And as usual she has ruled the house from day one.


Monday 16th November 025

Aoire- our new puppy

She is a cross between a German Shepard and a collie.  So fits right in with her heritage.  The cats love her, well Percy does. Nicki thinks we’re mad.  And he’s probably right.


Monday 31 August 2015 008

Sticking together. All is fair in love and puppies

Most days Aoire goes to her “babyminder” aka Granddad’s house. As his pets- the two labs in particular are great company for her, adn tire her out in no time.  Benny in particular is a great babysitter, and loves all the kisses she bestows on him!  Then we try to get a walk in to visit the ponies to check their water.  She gallops most of the way, then pans out when she gets home.  As she’s only 8 weeks old on Sunday we haven’t brought her outside the farm yet on a lead.  That’s next weeks challenge!


Course some of the family pets are not quite in such good form.  She-who-must-always-be-revered aka Missy, is milking the whole I’ve a cast on my leg thingy.  Essentially they put a cast on to stop her damaging the wound.  To give it a chance to heal.  It’s on for another two weeks, which isn’t essentially hardship on her as she’s waited on hand and foot!  

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A not very good picture of my biggest pets cast

But- to be fair, the weather hasn’t been exactly favourable to riding at the moment, and work is mental, so at least I don’t feel guilty about her being inside.  And as I said, she doesn’t mind, so if anyone wants to sign her cast……

The “other” love of my life- with associated friends

She frustrates me, drives me mad, makes me smell funny, costs my a small* fortune.  But when we’re on form, we’re flying.  I really try to ride her as often as I possibly can, and when I’m in good form- she’s in good form.

Missy getting her bath

Missy getting her bath

She got her tail done especially for the day … I love plaiting tails, and hers is a dream as it’s so straight.  And there’s no chance in hell she’d kick, it would require too much energy!

Tail plaits

Tail plaits

And always loves to have a good look around when she gets to the events, munching her massive haynet all the time.  I should really only give her the net when she’s been ridden, but she hates travelling on an empty stomach. Don’t we all?

Nosy parker

Nosy parker

But ultimately she brought home the bacon-

Monday 2906 036

"The Bacon"

“The Bacon”

We came second in the dressage and won our small hunter showing, then reserve Champion in the Showing Championship class.  For the picture though- no smiles- just the usual get this bridle off me face!

My “grooms” pony also was out and about, as it’s pony camp this week.  And grey ponies are always a challenge.

Clean on this side anyway

Clean on this side anyway

But he really is the love of her life- I think the smile says it all.

Happy Daughter- happy pony

Happy Daughter- happy pony

And even better he’s stabled beside HIS best friend!

Jessie and Freddie

Jessie and Freddie

More horses this weekend as we are helping at the eventing.  I just LOVE summer!


It’s time to take the blanket off

My family get a great kick out of teasing me about my horses’ blankets.  As we drive through the countryside at whatever time of the year, I’ll always be heard muttering ….Look, freezing cold- and no blanket on...

Jessie in his fetching "light" coat

Jessie in his fetching “light” coat

I had brought down Missy’s light coat to put on her, but we had a disagreement on whether she should come in from the field or not, so it’s there for tomorrow.

"Summer" Wear

“Summer” Wear

And it got me thinking.  Removing a blanket of security is a difficult act.  As I am just about to head into a new world of cookery- albeit slowly, I feel a little like I am in a field with no blanket.  So to speak.  And  I know I need to trust my instincts, and that it’s ok to make mistakes.

But it’s still scary, and I’m not the jump first – think later kind of girl.

But if you do want to take a chance and take on of my cookery demos, register your interest here.


The Saddle Sagas

Missy has finally come around to talking to me again after the 12 week absence.  Not that she was just thrown in a field or anything.  She was in the equivalent of a 5 star hotel.  And being VERY well looked after.  Thank you to my trainer for minding her, leaving her was so hard.

Missy (and I)

Missy (and I)

We can’t do very much at the moment as I’m waiting on an MRI for my knee and my ankle, which is scheduled for next week, but I can still ride, even if its just for a short time.

Ready steady?

Ready steady?

At this time of the year it’s not hardship at all.  The yard is in a beautiful location, the sea is sparkling in the distance, and the Comeraghs are truly beautiful.

The View to the Comeraghs

The View to the Comeraghs

And today, while noone else but me was riding.  She was a saint.  We rode in perfect partnership. It’s actually quite special. And powerful in an almost spiritual way.  Knowing that she could hurt me in an instant.  But trusting that she never will.

And the reward.

And the reward.