So Far So Good

I would’ve posted before…

But I’ve been crazy tired every evening. And kinda busy all day too. I’ve been in Ireland for a few days now, and while it didn’t take long to settle back into the swing of things, it’s taken this long for me to have the energy to sit and think of how to formulate sentences so I can write a blog for you.

My first official day of work was a barrage of teenagers asking if they could ride a certain horse and conveniently forgetting that I’d asked them to muck out a stable. Which is all good I guess. They’re alright, the campers at the moment. Yes they’re demanding and exhausting and have way too many questions about everything. But they’re alright kids.

Yesterday was beach day, however, which was a very long day indeed. Unfortunately the irish weather was not on our side for the day, so we threw 28 kids at a wet and windy beach. They seemed happy enough, exploring and paddling and throwing things at each other. Until, that is, Athos started cooking at which point they all gathered around him barely giving him enough space to breathe. They didn’t seem to understand the concept of letting him just cook and coming for the food when they were called. Little Blue is now full of sand thanks to communication errors when I asked some of the kids to brush off their feet BEFORE they got in the car. Nope, they did it WHEN they got in the car. And by then, it was too late.

Today has been a long day, but a fairly good one. I spent the best part of an hour chasing three arseholes of horses around the plot of land here, because they were refusing to come in. The rest herded in just fine and I put them all in their stables without a problem. I realised it was taking Amy and Georgia a while to come back up with the last three though, the new three, so I went back down to see how they were getting on. Not good, was the result.

Maggie, Cookie and Charlie decided to gallop off and wheel away from us the second we got close enough to direct them. We were so close several times, until they found the tiniest of gaps and charged off again. It got to the point where we all got pretty mad, so I suggested we quit before it became too much. Ginny had come down to find us by this point, and about half an hour later returned, also pretty mad. Little buggers.

We then had the last day of this weeks pony camp, which meant jumping for all the kids! The poor horses worked so hard and got jabbed in the mouth so much it was hard to watch at times. But their patience and good natures were evident even more than normal as they simply put up with it and did what was asked of them. Bless their hearts.

It rained all morning. We got soaked. That was mostly from trying to catch the bastard horses though, because the grass is super long so my legs were just saturated. Urgh. I didn’t mind the rain itself too much though really, as by this point I was so wet it barely even registered.

By the end of the day we were all shattered. I thought I was going to faceplant at any given moment. But when Ginny said she wanted us to school a few of the horses, I found my second wind and perked up. Yay for riding. And as I hadn’t ridden since I got here, I was really looking forward to getting back in the saddle. And, joy of all joys, I was able to bagsy the beautiful Cleo for my ride.

She’s such a lovely mare, although she has several annoying habits. Like chucking her head around, ignoring your aids because she doesn’t want to work, and flattening her ears when you pass another horse. I did manage to get some nice bits from her today though, moments where she felt really lovely and light. Ginny made me do some rising trot without stirrups to try and help my leg position and strength, particularly my feet. It was hard work, but I know it’s worth it. And Cleo eventually started to listen and gave me some nice steady trot and a good bit of leg yield. We also had a couple of lovely canters when I went into light seat, as getting off her back really seemed to help her when it came to her consistency and rhythm.

Amy, Georgia and I then walked our ponies down to the river to give them a cool off and splash around. By this point the sun had come out enough for it to feel like a nice summers day. Lovely stuff.

I also did a bit of lungeing on Wednesday, although it wasn’t for the horse’s benefit. It was so that some of the kids could have a go at vaulting. Monty may be absent, but we’re giving Buddy a chance to step back into the limelight. And he did brilliantly considering it’s been two years since he last did any. Clever boy.

And, of course, I am back with some of the most wonderful people in the world. It’s so great to be here again, with all these fantastic faces. I am happy, and really enjoying spending this time with my friends again. And making new friends in the people I haven’t met before. Being at Eclipse is, once again, proving to be a worthwhile experience.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to drink wine with Ginny. We’ve had a long day, and I think we deserve it. I have my day off tomorrow, so I’m looking forward to a lie in, a leisurely morning and a day doing whatever I want. Hurrah.

I am smiling. I hope you are too.

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