Tag Archives: Missy

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

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.

Missy

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)

 

 

How to look beautiful in your Bridle (not bridal!)

I, as you know, love horses, and as an aside I also love weddings!  So would never get confused between bridle and bridal!  Missy, in the picture below, is pictured in her latest model.

Forest Lane Stables

Missy in her Bridle

I did for a while ride her in a grackle noseband bridle (I know, I know- blah blah blah).  But I think she doesn’t like wearing it.  I get that distinct vibe.  She kind of reminds me of a bride trying on wedding dresses when I get a new bridle for her. She looks at it out of the corner of her eye, and while everyone around is oohing and aahing, she’s not so sure.

Pims 770

The “Double” Bridle

She doesn’t mind her double bridle either, which we use for showing, but is very happy when I take it off.  I like the plainer the better.  She’s such a pretty head naturally I don’t want to take away from it. And to be fair, she’s a dream to ride in it.  I think I’m more concious of being careful with my hands when using the double, therefore she’s happier in her mouth, and also in her head. Missy Double Bridle And as I can tell from the absolute MAHOOSIVE collection of photos I have of Missy, and Jessie, and many other horses- it’s really an obsession.  Almost of Bridzilla proportions.  Mind you, when we were getting married, photos were taken with a camera, by a professional, and printed for you.  Now, which I think is a great money saver and a better way of getting more pictures, you can send an app link to your guests who can then send you on all of their photos of your wonderful day too! Maybe I should encourage all my horsey friends to get the app too so we can share all our horsey pics- or is that just a step too far??  

What gives you life??

Thankfully I am (most of the time) a glass full kinda gal in life. It’s though sometimes, especially when I’m a bit tired.  But when I went to list what gives me life there were so many to mention I thought I’d have to do more than one blog post.

I am attending a wedding of a long time friend and work colleague, and am really looking forward to spending some time with my friends celebrating their marriage, the start of their long life together.  I’m also making the cake- which adds a *little bit of pressure! But I love the feeling of adding to their special day.

I went for a run yesterday in the Anne Valley Walk, near Dunhill.  The day was lovely, with a just perfect cool breeze.  As I am only getting back to proper running after nearly a year of a break due to injury, I am thankful that I can run- and exercise.

Looking out across the Anne Valley Walk

Looking out across the Anne Valley Walk

Family plays a very important part of my life.  Nigel is my soul mate and still now, an uncountable number of years later, he is the one who gets me.  My humours- good and bad, my quirks and habits.  He shares my passion for horses and cooking, and is an amazing father for our two kids.

Nigel feeding the "babies"

Nigel feeding the “babies”

Raising children is a responsibility that grows more with each passing year.  You give them life and try to bring them up respecting others and themselves.  I have two of the most wonderful caring and talented children, though sometimes I want to wring their necks.

Robert at the JHI's

Robert at the JHI’s

Jordan enjoying life!

Jordan enjoying life!

With so many relations living so close I love seeing my nieces and nephews grow up, with their grandparents in tow, I think it’s been so good for my kids to have so many other adults in their lives who bring so many different factors to our lives.

Family!

Family!

I realised while looking nostalgically through gazillions of photos that I don’t have a pic of all my friends together, or at least groups of them.  But photos don’t do our friendship justice.  Suffice to say I love you all!!!  More importantly they are great at helping me eat all the cakes I make!!

Strawberry cake with cheesecake filling

Strawberry cake with cheesecake filling

 

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.

 

 

Home. The place to practice.

I went home last weekend and was delighted to see everyone, and all the animals. My oldest cat, Percy, ignored me.  Punishment I’d say.

Nicki & Percy

Nicki & Percy

Eile, the collie was delighted to see me, but there again is delighted to see anyone, a true guard dog.

Eile watching it all from her bench

Eile watching it all from her bench

Eddie the donkey was happy to get a visit too, although my beautiful mare was more interested in Nigel’s apples.

Eddie and the stag

Eddie and the stag

Missy in the field

Missy in the field

I am truly lucky to have a wonderful kitchen that we can all be in together, either cooking or just chatting.  But it was a hive of activity as I practised ( and showed off just a little!), my new recipes and skills.

Celeriac soup with Chorizo crumb, served with the Ballymaloe Brown bread

Celeriac soup with Chorizo crumb, served with the Ballymaloe Brown bread

I STILL haven’t got the bread just right, but it’s improving.  Some things we saw in demo, we didn’t get a chance to make during the week, Limoncello – so of course I had to start that process

The start of the limoncello

The start of the limoncello

The chocolate fudge pudding went down a complete treat, but there simply wasn’t enough time to photograph it as it was simply inhaled!

Ballymaloe Cookery Schools Demo photo

Ballymaloe Cookery Schools Demo photo

 

Scones and bread, staples of any good weekend

Scones and bread, staples of any good weekend

I look forward to more practice this weekend.