glenatron: (Iris)
The girl I love had an anniversary to celebrate and as she hasn't visited the west country much and she is a big fun of crystals, fairies and new-age tat, there seemed an obvious place we could visit if we took a couple of days away:

Avalon Tower
This one - the Tor from the Avalon Orchard - feels like it's just a couple of filters away from being a Phil Rickman cover.
further illustrations )
glenatron: (Iris)
For my thirty*cough*th birthday, the mighty [livejournal.com profile] herecirm gave me a new camera, which I have been using quite a bit. My last camera didn't entirely stop working, but it has somewhat lost the ability to focus, which turns out to be a significant impediment to photography. So here are some photographs of things that have happened lately, which might also count as a general update on some of the things that are going on...
Illustrated Version )
glenatron: (Iris)
Just a few random pictures from the last few days that I am putting together as though they add up to a post:

Illustrated version )
glenatron: (Iris)
On Friday I went out on the kind of ride that is the reason we own horses.

A bright morning and a fine horse with long legs for running )

Today I finally persuaded [livejournal.com profile] herecirm to go for a ride on Iris and my mare was impeccably behaved throughout, very nearly.

A fan of winter sun )
glenatron: (Iris)
Another set of ride pictures for you today, taken by the consistently outstanding [livejournal.com profile] herecirm - some day I'll tire of showing you these, maybe.
An amble around the common )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
The weather forecast for today mostly related to gales, wind, blusterage with a side order of rain, but there was a small window in the morning where the met office had kindly drawn a nice shiny sun. Against my nature and all rationality I rose shortly after the sun and set about taking Iris out for a second trail ride of the weekend.
illustrated version- you may well have seen the same pictures with different ears in the past )
That means we've clocked up very nearly nine miles under saddle this weekend, which isn't much by the standards of the world, but is pretty good for a first few trail rides on a green mare. One thing I noticed that I was particularly impressed by is that the things that flustered her tomorrow were hardly a problem today. It seems that she learns as fast out on the trail as she does in the school.
glenatron: (Cash)
With [livejournal.com profile] herecirm away working with her shires today, Iris and I had to go out without our expedition photographer today. This was the first time we have been off the yard without Sari on foot ( although last time Iris was in such a hurry that the effect was quite similar ) and it was the first time we actually went beyond simply walking to the end of the road, making a very short loop and coming back, so in a way this was our first trail ride.

Iris did amazingly well- I am getting way better at riding her through tension and realising that I really need to just give her the rein as much as possible, relax and let her find her composure through me. She spent the first few hundred yards trying to break into a trot the whole time, but I just kept bringing her back to walk and she figured it out very quickly. She snorted at a man building a step and some bags of paving stones, in fact she was snorting most of the way down the road, but those two were snortiest. I am wondering whether she has some concerns about the building trade in general. Possibly she is worried about the potential for a second housing bubble.

We got to the path onto the common ( past very snort-at-able road works ) and out onto some pathways. Iris was a bit jumpy at first, but settled. The only slightly anxious moment was when I discovered that being a hand taller than Zorro an two hands taller than Cash, when I ride her, my head is significantly higher up than I am used to. We learned this with the help of an oak tree, which was quite twiggish around my face and resulted in a lot of branches rustling and waving around which Iris wasn't sure she liked.

We got onto the path along the side of the woods, where we followed a fox for a good few hundred yards- we were walking and he was walking, so he just stayed well ahead of us and seemed to be in no particular hurry.

We left the woods and stepped out onto the fire break where Iris thought I was definitely about to ask her to canter. After a few false starts she figured out that walking was sufficient and dropped her head so we could amble on.
Iris on the trail 1
The colours are beautiful there now- heather and gorse still in full flower and the birches just starting to show sparks of bright yellow among their leaves.

Iris on the trail 2
It really is quite inviting to just go, but I want to get the idea that we can just walk places as a foundation.

We climbed one of the long hills, which is a great place for a canter but again we restrained ourselves, then looped back towards home. As we wound through the woods I discovered that we could walk through muddy puddles but clear ones are apparently portals to the dimension of danger. Not entirely sure what the deal is with that, but when we were confronted on a narrow section of track by a puddle or a fallen tree lying under the branches of a still standing tree, I thought we should go through the water but Iris wasn't keen, while I was very conscious of my earlier tree related problems and didn't want to find us hopping over the tree trunk on the ground resulting in me ending up in the branches. In the end Iris kind of scrambled over the trunk ( which was only about six inches wide) somehow managing to put all four feet on it in turn while I sort of lay on her neck.

I was ever so pleased with her today- she was certainly silly in places but it was a proper trail ride on proper trails, which I haven't done in the last eighteen months at least. It turns out I have missed it so much.
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
Today we rode in the field for the second time and [livejournal.com profile] herecirm had a camera and so we posed by riding along a sunbeam.

illustrated version )
glenatron: (Cash)
I've taken Cash out for a few walks over the last few weeks, just leading him out in a halter. Today, in the absence of [livejournal.com profile] herecirm who is off playing shires, we went up the hill from the yard to our house.

Illustrated Edition )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
A couple of weeks ago, while she was on holiday in Austria, [livejournal.com profile] herecirm got a last minute request to ride the Shires over the bank holiday weekend in Romsey. They were really short of riders, to the point when she volunteered me as a person who could sit on a horse, I was accepted as a one-day member of the team. Consequently, last Sunday saw me riding big moustachiod Harvey in front of an audience.
Illustrated version )


glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
There is an endeavour towards selling the house where I've been living for a while, which has involved a lot of tidying up over the last few weeks. This lead up to an open day this weekend. The entirely wonderful [livejournal.com profile] herecirm came down a day early and won points with my mum by being awesomely helpful while I was at work.

The ponies have been quite happy in their new home. Cash is being hilariously adorable. Unfortunately Zorro is still lame and worse for having more space. He is booked in for an MRI next week, so I need to find transport to get us there and back. I have to accept that given his age and type, along with the ongoing nature of this lameness, I have probably ridden him for the last time.

On a brighter note, teaching remains fun and next weekend is studio time with The Patient Wild.
Illustrated Version )
glenatron: (Cash)
Yesterday the sun shone and Lou and I took Cash and Small out for a ride on the common together. It had been intensely cold and most places were frozen solid, but the sandy trails on the common are so dry that they remained sandy. This gave us an opportunity for a little canter up one of the nice cantering hills. This was the time that Cash remembered that he is actually three-quarters race horse and was determined to catch up with Small and ideally to overtake. We didn't really go that fast, but a bit like an old sports car, being small and close to the ground certainly gives an impression of speed.

As I got home it started snowing and I brought in a whole lot of firewood and settled in for an evening by the stove.

This morning there was a good 10cm of snow on the ground at home, a little less at the yard. I took a few photos...
Illustrated Version )

On Wednesday I start a new job, so I'll have to get myself back into early mornings. I'll miss all the pony time ( and I'm flipping glad I've had time to muck out while Zorro has been on box rest ) but it will be convenient to get paid...


glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
Today has involved a brief outing with some ponies.

We took Cash and Small out onto the Punchbowl, where little Cashbin has never been before and he was supergood and even opened a gate absolutely perfectly and stayed in the gateway to hold it open for Small.
Illustrated version )

It was also time to take Zorro's dressing off and give him some festive sprouts!
Illustrated Version )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
It's been a while since I last posted and I probably did some things in that time.

The major thing I've been doing is getting paid not to work. That is very awesome and gives me plenty of pony time, but as my notice ends with November I'm getting more of my job-seeker's head on now.

horses and pictures and whathaveyou )
tl:dr; life good, ponies cute, teaching fun, doing alright, need to find a job.
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
Gardening Leave is not so bad. It has allowed me some time to do some riding, some teaching and even to dog-sit a little bit. Also got to spend some [livejournal.com profile] herecirm time last weekend, which was - as always - an unmitigated pleasure.

Illustrated version )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
The weekend before last I went up to attend Great Gransden show in Cambridgeshire. It was quite a drive but the Shire display came highly recommended.

What was particularly nice about the day was that in addition to seeing my beloved [livejournal.com profile] herecirm I also got to meet the entirely charming [livejournal.com profile] fleefloodle which was a real pleasure.

Illustrated version )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
I've been quite busy lately so not updated as much as I would like to so I'm going to cover a few weekends in one update...
Illustrated versions )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
A little over a week ago, [livejournal.com profile] herecirm and I set out for a long weekend together on the Gower peninsula, an area I used to visit often when I was at university in Swansea and had been longing to revisit for years. It was a fantastic weekend and I took loads of pictures, which I will now offer you the freedom to ignore through the magic of the LJ Cut.
Illustrated Version )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
This weekend has been mostly around the ponies. I ramble on about those guys enough, but you might like the Illustrated Version )
glenatron: (Emo Zorro)
A few pictures from a walk around the Punchbowl on Saturday afternoon.
Illustrated version )

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