It's been a really full week which is lovely. Gradually finding a routine involving horses, house, child, school, husband but it's all a bit haphazard and reliant on the lists and calendars app on the iPhone at the moment. Which by the way are absolutely brilliant and having them both has revolutionised - or should that be - organised my life no end.
To Newowner; having horses here at home in Canada is soooo much easier than on DIY livery at a yard back in the UK. Of course, the 'at home' part helps, but really now I am on a totally different regime of horses living out versus the relentless routine of driving to the yard as soon as school drop off was done, to turn out/muck out/ride. Yes I know that the winter will bring it's own challenges of cold and snow, but honestly the unremitting never-ending mud in England is jolly hard work.
I had the saddler here this week (thank you for the recommendation A) to adjust my saddle to Ukon. After sime discussion on how much he will change and muscle out, he went on to do a really nice job on the saddle, adjusting then changing the gullet, and steaming the flocking with his fancy-pants "I bought this in Italy, it's the only one in Canada" steamer thingy. He charged me an eye watering amount which I think reflects both his expertise and the distance he travels in the job. I reflected afterwards that after 12 years of riding English and experiencing well fitted saddles, and the problems caused by poorly fitted saddles, that getting a proper job done still remains on my non-negotiable list of priorities for horses. It looks great on Ukon, here is a totally unflattering picture of him after our first schooling session. He's not sleeping, he's squinting in the sun. http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/...ps22dff485.jpg
I haven't got a saddle for Riley yet. I want a Western saddle, about which I know NOTHING so I have been researching types, sizes, shops everything. I hope to get him something this week. However..... I have ridden bareback :) Three times now. This is something I have never done before, so I am very proud of myself. Until I have a saddle I am starting him moving bareback because he is the size of a house and can't be left to get fatter. He is built like a sofa, so a nice sort to start it on. Oh! And my mounting block is a tiny step from the hardware store and he is huge, so to get on him I had to do a Jump up to get my stomach on to his back, and then swing my legs over.
Both horses are lovely to work with, and though very different they both have the intelligent work-ethic head and physique that attracted me to the Canadian in the first place.
I've taken Ukon on to the road, and Riley just around the fields (not competent enough bareback for the road!) and I'm looking forward to taking them out on the roads and trails. I need a third horse - Ukon gets a bit antsy when Riley disappears. So my son's horse might need to be sourced earlier than I had thought.
Interestingly, without the company and audience of fellow liveries at a yard, I am calmer and more confident. Needs must I think, and there will be times when I sorely need company - but so far I am benefitting from being on my own.
Son is really enjoying school, and he's a very happy cooperative little person at the moment. I've enrolled him in boxing and taekwondo, and next week the (ice) skating lessons start. It's glorious hot days still here, but apparently yesterday was the last day of summer, and the Alberta seasons conform to their dictionary definitions I am told. Will all the leaves fall off the trees this weekend? It's been an amazingly hot few days so far this week, we're eating out on the deck every evening.
I went to the committee meeting of the school fundraising parents group earlier this week. It we fascinatingly all the same, but oh so different. The schools here are a lot more reliant on parent fundraising for sports equipment and stuff than in the UK and it's seems like more of a partnership. Anyway, they were talking about what sports equipment to buy and cross country skis were on the list. Plus a debate was had as to whether to upgrade the running track or the ice rink. The rink won because it will 'benefit more people for longer'. So different from old school where the head teacher, and the Council (local government) dictated what parent raised money was to spent on, and cross county sky's ha ha ha" Wellies perhaps :)
I am listening with fascination to the Union problems that are upsetting the ice hockey league of North America. To have an entire season of sport (and all the accompanying commercial ventures) grind to a halt because of failure to negotiate succesfully is mind boggling. Oops did I stray into politics there? Brits should stay out of North American politics...
We had a plumber in this week courtesy of that wonderful thing that is the Welcome Wagon. He was originally a pastry chef from Switzerland. He and I spent a long time talking about pig keeping... And pig slaughtering. They have no slaughter rules here if you are consuming yourself and not selling - so anything goes. Would you like to hear about his exploits with pigs and a .22 rifle?......
That's enough of me for now.