Sunday, December 26, 2010

Animals in my life!

It was really lovely to have a local farmers herefords eating down my paddocks. Years ago I worked in Ontario, Canada with horses and polled herefords. I helped show the cattle. My job was to wash and blow dry their bodies and then titivate the bottom of their tails into the latest showing fashion. At the time they had to be in big white pompoms which entailed lots of back-combing. Showing was great fun and I used to lead a quiet bull (they were much easier to lead than the heifers) in the progeny classes. Whoever won the male and female Championships used to supply fried chicken and beer to all the hereford breeders.

At first Thomas was very diligent about his lifeguard job on Christmas day but then he became bored.

These alpacas were very interested in the Boxing Day party.

Lady Louise feeding the peacocks.

This young peahen is rearing 5 babies.

The two visible babies' camouflage is so good that they are hard to see. This was taken last week and I now hear that they can all fly and roost at night in the trees away from the foxes.

Published 11.15 p.m. 26 December

Friday, December 10, 2010

Neerim Show

It's only on arrival home that one realises how windy is was at the Neerim show. How quiet it is inside. It did not rain but at times it was cold. Sadly for the orginisers the entries were down but those that went enjoyed the excellent footing for their horses. Instead of the whole January agricultural show being on one day in a fairly restricted area they ran the show horse sections a month earlier than usual.

Showing should be all about having fun as well as competing well. It surprises me that so many riders confuse speed with impulsion. There were a lot of horses, galloways and ponies with nice movement that were running along rather than moving with elegance. As for the quality of the walks - most of them were abysmal! Part of showing is the 'bling', part is conformation and a huge part is the horse's way of going.This includes the quality of the paces.

 Fancy Dress winner - Puss in Boots.

 This lady was certainy having fun with her beautiful pony.

I was very fortunate to have a 'showy' pupil stewarding for me. She knows all the rules and the judges' etiquettes. I have not judged at shows for some time but little has changed. There is a little too much horse make-up being used. It tends to look ridiculous. Since when have white horses had black knees and hocks? It's a funny thing to draw attention to horse's knees. It actually makes their legs look short and the movement optically changes. Hopefully these 'showies' will video 'the look' and see for themselves.

These two children were having a wnderful time with their father.

Saturday 6.20 p.m.

Lady Louise's geese are growing up

The three babies, including one with a grey head, are still kept in the middle of the gaggle, but they have survived.

Gardening seems to be endless weeding. However, it is very satisfying to see a weed-free flowerbed.
Clearing up piles of weeds is not my favourite job.

There has been so much rain that the weeds and lawn need constant attention - very therapeutic!

I do not spend many Christmases in Australia so I am looking forward to this year in Jindivick.

Making a wreath is not quite so easy as it looks. On a dressage scale of marks my attempt is worth a 6 - rather mediocre but adequate. If the holly wilts I can easily replace it as my garden has a lovely big holly tree with green berries.

Last Sunday I judged at the friendly dressage competition at Warragul Equestrian Centre. A good
opportunity for novice riders and young horses.

Tomorrow I judge hacks, galloways, ponies and riding classes at Neerim show. One of my pupils
is going to steward for me as she cannot ride in my ring. At least she will keep me on track as there seem to be an aweful lot of classes to be judged!