Sorry I haven't written for a bit, but I haven't been in the mood. I thought everyone would be bored with my latest passion- horses, but apparently not. So here's a wee entry for my darling sister.
Let me introduce you to Dambala a.k.a. Oscar. He is very, very special and I absolutely love him. He is for sale, but as he is not your average horse, he is priced for the international eventing market. So one day soon my dear Oscar may wing his way overseas, but while he is here I get to enjoy seeing him when he is out an about. He belongs to Emily Cammock (nee Butcher) and is competing at the advanced level. He is a bit of a sensitive creature, and likes to be approached with respect and caution, but now he has met me a few times, he seems very happy to let me give him lots of love. In these photos he was at the Amberly One Day Event, which we attended last weekend. A good time was had by most, except for the poor girl whose bit broke and her pony bolted. There was much alarm and screaming. She didn't fall off luckily.
After a pep talk from me (oh, and some input from Emily) Oscar got a clear round in the show jumping. He won the Advanced class in the event. He was rather relaxed about his success.
I wasn't as relaxed as either Oscar or Emily because some of the cross country jumps were hideous. Emily is one of the bravest people I have ever met.
Last night I had my riding lesson. Last week Sam gave me a bit of trouble as he was looking for trouble and decided to shy and carry on a few times. I hate the feeling when he pricks his ears and swings his backside around while reversing. This week I didn't give him a chance because I kept him "on the bit" for almost all of the lesson, including walking to and from the arena (past the chickens and the building site). I really got my trotting going well, keeping my reins the right length, managing steering with legs and hands, plus keeping my legs wrapped around his tummy sides much better than last week. Plus Sam was "on the bit" and working for me for quite a bit of the lesson. So much better. Next week I will do some work on diagonals. "On the bit" means he has contact with the bit in his mouth and he has a lovely curved, but comfortable neck. He likes the bit contact and really seems to be listening and paying attention when everything comes together. I really tried hard to get everything right because Southern Ben was having a bit of exercise in the arena, and it is a privilege to be near to him as he has been to Badminton. Silly, I know, he doesn't care, but I feel like it is a honour to know him.
On other fronts, school is going really well, even if we are having a really challenging week. Tired students, emotions, hormones and bickering between them makes everything harder. I think the earthquake has had a bit of impact on the class. I haven't felt an aftershock for a few days, even though they are still going on. I don't know whether I will ever feel like I can trust what is below again, no matter where I am. Every time I drive or walk past a building I am conscious of the possibility of collapse. I'm handling it really well compared to a lot of people.
Highlights of the week:
- Peppermint chocolate marshmallow Easter eggs.
- Thai food at Mrs CT's house with friends.
- Riding (of course).
- Going to the ODE with Johnny and not having a job so I could explore and enjoy everything (except the portaloo- OMG that small cabinet was like the bowels of Hell- those poor people who are still using portaloos all over Christchurch- you can actually see and smell lots of other people's poo!!!!!!!)
- One of my boys did his best ever handwriting.
- Another young man did a huge fart when being read a story- picture the line "Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's ---- faaaart." I laughed until I cried- immature I know, but sometimes windy bottoms are absolutely hilarious.
On that note, goodnight.