For the first time in this blog I shall embark upon a character based post. I hope you’re ready for this.
Since coming back to Ireland in July, I have been surrounded by such a huge variety of faces (old and new) that it would be remiss of me not to tell you about some of the incredible people I have had and still have the good fortune of living and working with.
Yesterday was a sad day. At around 8am, the fantastic Ginny left us. We don’t know when she will return. Which is a hard pill to swallow, as she is a delight to have in ones life.
A savvy Canadian, Ginny possesses a great sense of fun and adventure. She’s always ready to try new things no matter how crazy they seem at first. In some cases this works out for the best, as we all learn from her and along with her. In other instances (broken pelvis anyone?) it doesn’t turn out so great for her. But no-one can say she doesn’t take life by the horns and live it day by day. Her humour and excitement is infectious, causing me to start laughing even in the blackest of moods. In fact, being around Ginny usually results in black moods disappearing as she pokes joy at you and threatens hugs until you can’t take it anymore.
She is a hard working woman, never considering a job to be beneath her and never quitting. She takes things on the chin rather than to heart making her a fierce businesswoman and desirably ally when it comes to a fight. Not that there ever are many as her polite Canadian roots take over more often than not and force her to apologise for being right.
As a teacher, she is one of the best. The amount I have learned from her is incredible. She is both inspirational and understanding, with the ability to invoke trust in her students no matter what she is asking them to do. The things I have done under her tuition! All that crazy stuff without stirrups and reins is thanks to Ginny. The vaulting, the cross country riding, the confidence in myself that I can do these things. These are things Ginny has taught me. I doubt she even realises how much she’s taught me to be honest. Because she’s also a wonderful friend with a good listening ear as well as a ready joke or witty comment for most situations. She’s easy to have a laugh with, and someone I treasure greatly.
Last year we had some great times. And this year did not disappoint either. Thanks to the weather being kind and hot, we were able to go river riding scoring whoops of excitement and shock from most of us. We had many a burn down the river bank, with Cleo and Buddy finishing off her last day on the yard beautifully. Buddy even threw in an exciteable buck to show us how fired up he was. We shared the teaching of the camp kids this year, taking it in turns to stand in either pouring rain and driving wind or baking heat shouting at kids who weren’t listening to anyone whatsoever because they were on a horsey. There were drinks aplenty, both in the house and out in Kenmare. Alcohol makes for loosened tongues so there were interesting and sometimes inappropriate conversations too! We even raced this year, on Bobby and Tonto.
And yet all these things are not enough. She had to go home to Canada, to her man, to her future, and I wish she hadn’t had to. Because now I miss her a great deal.
Also, she has left me in charge of the yard which is a terrifying responsibility to take on quite so suddenly. Luckily for me, I have the fabulous Adele to work with until November.
Who is Adele? Funny you should ask…
When I first met Adele I thought she couldn’t speak properly. Then I learned she was Australian and everything made sense. These days I understand most of what she says, although the odd Aussie slang word still escapes me. Along with everyone else, fortunately! Adele is a pretty awesome chick, despite her strange use of language. She has a good head on her shoulders and is, in the right situation, mature beyond her years. In other situations she is a complete kid, just like all of us, with laughs and silly jokes pouring out like nothing else. Lucky for all of us, the maturity comes out in the work place making her a trustworthy and reliable work-mate.
She’s also a pretty solid friend and someone you definitely don’t want to get on the wrong side of. I was happy to get to work with her for the summer as I really enjoyed her company and valued her contribution to working the yard, but I was thrilled to discover she’d be staying until November. Between the two of us, I reckon we’ll have it ticking over super smooth. The horses will get worked, the yard will stay well run and everything will be just grand. Because not only is Adele a hard worker and brilliant friend, she is also a cracking horsewoman with a good level of knowledge and understanding. She is natural with the horses, and always has a handful of good ideas about how we might solve a problem or change things up a bit.
How lucky am I to have got to work with those two gorgeous girls? I mean, seriously. This summer I really felt that the three of us made a good team. And I’m not just saying that to flatter myself and my friends, we really did. We rallied where necessary, pulled out all the stops to create the best camps ever, and succeeded in all things. The horses worked their socks off, but they stayed healthy and happy for the most part, and while we were totally shattered and falling over our own feet by the end of every day, we knew we’d achieved everything we needed to that day and more.
We succeeded, we beat the summer camps. We somehow found the strength to keep going through the countless onslaughts of children demanding this pony or that pony, through the weather (both hot and wet) and through the days where we just wished we’d never got out of bed. Thanks to constant flows of caffeine, large amounts of chocolate and the promise of alcohol when all was done, we finished every day with a smile on our faces. Just about.
Those girls are the best.