Tuesday, 31 December 2019

The end of the decade

I saw a quote early in the year "Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats" - my singing is dire so I mostly sing in the car, alone, but I also said yes more and it paid off again and again (though brilliantly surreally never actually how I expected it to!)  So I have a new job I absolutely love and a life / work balance that is fantastic.

So has 2019 been a walk in the park...?  Well, the highs have been incredible and the two crashing lows absolute belters.  So here's the elephant in the room, I missed having the one person who really knew me.  When you reach out and say "shit this is bloody tough" and everyone says "you'll be OK, you are always OK" it's pretty bloody lonely.  Am I OK?  Of course, I'm always OK.

I travelled more, five countries visited and a WAY (Widowed and Young) trip to Dubrovnik that was an absolute tonic at the most perfect time.

Highlights horse wise?  Well the Pony Club Polo Championships where Kahlua and Bombero (one by each stallion!) proved they are what they were bred to be, talented AND kind.  The next batch of polo ponies are coming up behind them with Almendra, Estrella, Chaco, Perdita and Osito all playing chukkas and very much looking the business.  Then there is Chamfron Colorado, how lucky am I to get such incredible photos of him, living his best life up in Fort William? 

With the youngest of the Chamfrons now three we are starting to see the last of them come out under saddle.  The older horses have mostly reached a happy level, not generally limited by their own talent but like dear Spidey, by their owners ambitions, enthusiasm and time.  And so the blog will keep evolving, I look back at the early years and there is an awareness that the world has moved on, things I simply wouldn't say or do now, but then we were never particularly politically correct anyway.  If it becomes nothing but my diary thats just fine.

Arrayan has moved onto a new home, he won't stand at stud again, I'm good with that, really good, Criollos aren't for everyone and his stock were too special to see them in the wrong homes.  He will see out his years happily hacking and being hugged.  I think when you are involved with a rare breed you have to be passionate about them, you market them hard, your life revolves around sharing this amazing thing you've found.  I'd say we made a success of it but it wasn't always easy.

2019 has been a fabulous year for me, I had to row bloody hard at times but the lifeboat came ashore in a really good place!

Sunday, 29 December 2019


Spot of pony abuse, two Christmas dinners, neither of which I cooked and then a trip to Liverpool with Sonya to the once Iconic Adelphi hotel.  Hmmm, more accurately described as notorious now but somehow Sonya had missed the hysterically funny reviews which included highlights like "at one point we saw a homeless man refuse a night in here" and several that commented "it's like something out of The Shining!"  All the furniture was literally falling apart and the ceiling had an alarming crack / damp problem but it was clean and we didn't get the Brucie Bonus of some used sharps in our room like some people did so we headed out for dinner.  An excellent Mexican and some Mojitos later we returned to the hotel that just keeps giving, in no particular order we were able to meet and greet with a varied and vast array of the Liverpool emergency services, a half naked wrestler and a rather large gathering of Masons.  Lets just say we did a firm recce of the fire escape before bed!

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Festive jumping

Rebecca and Chamfron Firefly out having a pop at Howe today, even won best festive dress!

Winter Solstice

Constantly changing light on the hills above Gala this week, I think I am very lucky to have a job where I see so much daylight even in the depths of winter.  I saw this lovely Brambly Hedge quote on Instagram “When the days are the shortest, the nights are the coldest... The frost is the sharpest, the year is the oldest... The sun is the weakest, the wind is the hardest... The snow is the deepest, the skies are the darkest... Then polish your whiskers and tidy your nest, and dress in your richest and finest and best... For Winter has brought you the worst it can bring, and now it will give you the promise of Spring!!” - Today is the winter solstice, my nest (and oh my god, the car) definitely need a good tidy and the less said about my whiskers the better but as of tomorrow the days start getting longer.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Quick grab the tinsel...

Rebecca making the most of the snow to get her festive Chamfron shots!

Peas in a pod

Arrayan has gone to join his son Ombu, these Criollos seem to descend on Dartmoor in wild weather but he has settled in well.  Don't they make a rather smart his and hers matched pair?

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Monday, 9 December 2019

Christmas Tree Festival

Worcester Cathedral have a Christmas Tree festival in December, this year there are eighty nine trees (less than normal due to building work) including one for WAY organised by Ruth.  My bauble is a little more abstract than most...!

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Flashing fairy lights

Bellini has come a long way from her days with the Bah humbug hat!

Monday, 2 December 2019

Sunday, 1 December 2019

A Tilting Sioux

Lovely photos taken by Georgina Hogg of Kayreen Jones's Sioux (Exbury Ghost ex Dales mare) Tilting and pony club games at the STRC Christmas competition where she was joint winner of the Novice section.

A Christmassy Chamfron Colorado

Dunbar Bear

Went to see the latest Andy Scott (the man behind The Kelpies) sculpture last night, an 18ft bear.  It is a tribute to John Muir who was born in Dunbar and later paid a key role in the development of America's National Parks.