Horse Boarding

The Dead Pigeons in Round 1 time trials

The Dead Pigeons in Round 1 time trials

Unlike the title might suggest, Horse Boarding is NOT a form of torture.

It is an equestrian sport and it is tremendous fun!!

And what’s more, I can’t believe I have been in the dark about this fantastic sport for the 5 years since it was originated in the UK.

The Dedicated Drinkers

The Dedicated Drinkers

There is a horse boarding association.

They have a Facebook page.

There are national horse boarding championships.

Do or die

Do or die

There is membership, a magazine, courses and endless videos but I still didn’t know about it until yesterday!!

We went to Burghley Game and Country Fair which we have done for a couple of years now.  It is a good opportunity to stock up on all things country and country sports. There is more camo and green clothing than you can shake a stick at but there are also great fun demonstrations and competitions.

Kauldren

Kauldren

We always watch whatever is on in the main ring as we shop, we always check out the dog agility and terrier classes, the birds of prey and we always check out the food village.

We went a lot earlier today than normal and I think that may be why we caught the fly fishing demonstration, bought some (more) green clothing and most importantly managed to catch the Horse Boarding spectacle!!

Do or Die were flying in the time trials

Do or Die were flying in the time trials

I love horses and spent a lot of time around them as a kid. I wasn’t always involved in the proceedings but I was an enthusiastic spectator and helper. As a result of my close dealings with them, I love them, their smell and a lot of horsey sports are of interest to me. I don’t ride anymore, if I could do it all the time, I would take it up again (I really don’t fancy walking like a gun toting cowboy every few months because my thigh muscles have ‘forgotten’ what they are for between times!!) but I don’t have enough time for less demanding things so taking up horses again would be impossible right now.

Anyway, yesterday was soooo much fun to watch. One of the team horses is Lord Atterbury whoh is a retired race horse who was one of only 13 finishers about 4 years ago in the Grand National.

Ross of the Dead Pigeons uses a decoy for streamlining his helmet

Ross of the Dead Pigeons uses a decoy for streamlining his helmet

Apart from Burghley being just lovely as a venue, we already enjoy the horse trials in september and will continue to go for years to come, this country fair and the sandringham one are a great way to get close to the country sports that both JC and I have been involved with since we were kids.

We live in the city now but our weekend jaunts to the countryside allow us to dip into these lovely pass times every now and again.

Lord Atterbury doing his thing

Lord Atterbury doing his thing

We didn’t stay for the 3pm final as the sun had brought a lot of visitors out and it was getting very crowded by lunchtime but we will be looking out for it again and the teams that entertained us so well yesterday.

Good luck in the championships Do or Die, The Dead Pigeons, Kauldren & Designated Drinkers!

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Bug Hotel

comfort bug style

comfort bug style

I was reading the UK handmade magazine summer 2013 (which I would highly recommend – you can read the online magazine or you can buy the download pdf)

And as I came to the end and page 81 presented me with a lovely image of a bug hotel project for your garden, I suddenly realised that our recent DIY project (more to come about that) had unwittingly provided us with the building blocks of the bug house and we pretty much had everything we needed around and about.

bamboo, loo roll tubes, twigs, logs and cardboard

bamboo, loo roll tubes, twigs, logs and cardboard

After a riffle through the recycling, chopping some lengths of bamboo up, selecting some nice short logs from the log pile and steeling a length of waste pipe from the garage I was all set to assemble them along with the slate and bricks into our own recycled version.

tada!!

tada!!

It won’t pass the inspection of even the most laid back structural engineer and the hotel inspector would be aghast but as Bug Hotels go, I think it is pretty fantabulous.

I’m very pleased with it and have stuck it in a little corner that does’t have much happening in it but it has been earmarked as our wild corner so couldn’t be better sited.

Fingers crossed for some creepy crawly guests :o)


There’s Magic Everywhere

bunty and her baby

bunty and her baby

Spring has definitely sprung.

In the last couple of days, the world has changed and there is new life and wonderful stuff everywhere.

It fair lifts the soul.

genevieve and gabriel

genevieve and gabriel

We have seen so many different birds that seem to have been hiding until now; yellow hammers, hobbies, shelducks and lapwings to name but a few. The crops are visibly growing overnight and before too long the oil seed and beans will be waist height.

There are blooms and butterflies everywhere and I could not love this time of year more.

The loveliest thing we have seen though was the arrival of 2 foals on the nearby farm and both at the same time.

some of gabriel's first steps as he warms up in the morning sun

some of gabriel’s first steps as he warms up in the morning sun

They are simply gorgeous and it is such a privilege to catch them within hours of arriving in this world. This little colt and filly arrived in glorious sunshine on Monday and we have watched their gangly little legs get stronger by the day as they feed and get used to this strange & noisy place.

confidence comes with each step and each minute

confidence comes with each step and each minute

Imagine the challenge when all those inches of leg and neck have been folded tightly in a warm dark are suddenly sped into this bright frightening world.

The first day, the mares were a bit spaced out from the delivery and you could do just about anything you wanted with them and their offspring. But as they regain their strength and the bond between the dam and foal develops, the mare will more often than not put herself squarely between you and her precious little one.

gabriel sticks by mum's side

gabriel sticks by mum’s side

They are getting bold and confident even after just 2 days and when they aren’t gambling about between feeds they are laid out enjoying the warming sun.

what's that?

what’s that?

I could watch them all day and their smell is completely addictive (anyone who has spent time around our equine lovelies will know exactly what I mean).

24 hours later gabriel is already steadier on his feet

24 hours later gabriel is already steadier on his feet

 


a lusciously long legged lady

princess agnes

princess agnes

what can I say about Agnes?

chilling

chilling in what has become her favourite spot in our home

In fairness, the title does most of it for me.

chatting while chillaxing

chatting while chillaxing

She is a very lovely saluki cross lurcher from a rescue charity

chilling

chilling

she is about 2 years old

yes?

yes?

she loves chasing squirrels

snoozing happily

snoozing happily

she can jump higher than ANY dog I have ever seen

snuggly

snuggly

she is as fast as grease lightening

curled up into the tiniest ball

curled up into the tiniest ball

she is VERY, VERY gorgeous

want to hear a secret?

want to hear a secret?

Max adores her

yes

yes

and she is very well loved!!

She lives with and loves friends of ours who are local and she came to us for the day recently.  She and Max have great fun tearing about the place chasing one another until neither can keep their eyes open a moment longer!!

It’s like a whirlwind but they are a treat to watch and could not be more different to one another – agnes is fine and delicate, gliding over the face of this lovely earth like a whisper, whereas max is solid and makes the noise of a heard of small elephants when he is on the move (no matter what the pace and no matter what the surface!!)