Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Happy Holidays!

Christmas and the end of 2015 is nearly upon us.

I won't be sad to see this year pass as it has been a most awful year but I do hope that 2016 brings us something better, a little happiness and most of all, peace.

I have over a week to recharge my batteries and hopefully the weather will stay dry for a bit so I can ride my horses (unlikely, I know!). The weather has been so poor this winter, I've hardly ridden which has meant lively but unfit horses.

I really want to go for a Christmas beach ride and have a good blast to help blow 2015 well away!
I can't describe the exhilaration of galloping across an open beach with the wind blowing in your face. I often just laugh out loud because it makes me so happy! 
If you can't take a horse to the beach, I still highly recommend a bracing walk in the countryside. It's so refreshing and makes you feel so good.

Have a good Christmas.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Weather Woes

Will this wet weather ever cheer up?
Surely I can't be the only person to be totally fed up with the almost incessant rain and wind!

At this time of year, I can only ride the horses at weekends and it's always so miserable!
I did manage a day's hunting a couple of weeks ago in dry weather but then we got hammered with a terrific hailstorm! Typical Devon weather!
I rode back to the trailer through a beautiful private estate in the late afternoon sun and I was reminded just how lucky we are to live in this beautiful part of the world. When the sun shines, you just can't beat the Westcountry.

By the time I got back to the trailer the sky was black and I was frozen so I drove home in the pouring rain looking forward to a hot shower!!

I went to ride Brown Horse recently only to discover a hideous skin complaint under his thick winter coat so I had to clip all his hair off to get to the problem and treat it. This was caused by all the rain we have been having and it has caused a fungal/bacterial infection mostly on his back but he has it on his shoulders and neck as well.
Thankfully it is beginning to clear up but he really doesn't appreciate having to have a medicated bath when it's cold and miserable! I feel the same!

Last weekend there was a gap in the rain but it was very windy so I thought the best place to walk the dog would be a local site which is really exposed but has lovely views......
Unfortunately I couldn't see the views for the mist and almost got blown away by the wind!
The dog had a nice time though!

I'm dreaming of clear, sunny, crisp winter mornings when you have to wrap up really warm. They make me happy - especially if I'm out riding my horse! 

Are you dreaming of nice weather?

Monday, 16 November 2015

Back to Basics

I have been struggling with life recently....

I am currently living in a new house and there is no internet or TV. We are having to actually talk to each other and we can't remember where we put anything in the kitchen.

Thank goodness there is a bit of mobile phone signal so I can still contact my friends but the joys of living in the sticks... no 3G/4G so I'm having to go to places with free wifi or sit in Morrison's car park to catch up on Faceache and emails.

The weather has been atrocious as well so we've been cooped up in the house cleaning (it was filthy!) and not been out in the fresh air as much as usual.

I have missed my horses over the last couple of weeks because I've been so busy. I managed to fit a couple of short rides in at the weekend which cheered me up a lot.
I'm looking forward to a wintery ride on the beach soon though to really blow away the cobwebs - can we have some nice dry, crisp, sunny weather please?

Hopefully the internet will be up and running in a couple of days and I can feel connected to the outside world again!


Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Westcountry Walkies - The Moor!

We are so lucky to have Dartmoor not far from home to be able to visit. It is absolutely stunning, has amazing views, a varied landscape and can be enjoyed by all. It can also be bleak, cold and scary but it all adds to the mystery and appeal.

I have a few places I like to visit on the south side of the moor and they are really enjoyable walks.

The War Horse House is an easy walk of about a mile to the house where they filmed War Horse. Last time I went here I did a big loop of 3 or 4 miles which was a nice change and I'm keen to do it again soon.

There is a place with a lovely little brook bubbling through the bottom of a big dip. It is rocky and a bit boggy in places but it is always a nice walk and I particularly enjoy climbing on one of the stone piles and taking in the view.

Burrator Reservoir is not far from the War Horse House and we did this recently. There is plenty of parking and we did a little loop round some easy stone tracks, dibbled in the river and enjoyed a delicious ice cream from the van in the car park.

Ugborough Beacon is spectacular. It is a bit of a slog up to the top but the views are definitely worth it!
I have been up here a couple of times on my horse but went during the summer when I could take my DSLR.
I tried to set up the timer on the camera and run back to a rock without breaking my ankles and get the dogs in position for a photo before it took a picture but it was mostly unsuccessful but hilariously funny!
From the top, you can see the sea in Torquay direction and all the way round to Plymouth. 

I went to Haytor with Michelle but we didn't climb to the top so I shall definitely have to head back there soon to explore further.

The Avon Dam is also another good walk for those wanting a very easy mooch. There is a tarmac road all the way to the dam so it is easy but a little boring.

I have had several months off from Geocaching and there are so many caches on the moor, it gives me a great reason to get out with the dog and explore some new places.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Happy Owniversary Fern!

I've owned Princess Fern for 5 years today!

She has been the best accidental purchase ever! She's come on so much, especially in the last year and we have so much fun together.
To celebrate, we are going to go in the trailer to a friend's house and go for a lovely ride with her and her horse on this beautiful, sunny, autumnal day! 

Have a fabulous weekend! 

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Old Sarum Air Show

We recently ventured up to Wiltshire to the first Old Sarum Air Show for a day out.

Mother really wanted to see the Vulcan again before it is permanently grounded later this year so she bought us some tickets, checked we could take the dogs and off we went!

There is an awesome greasy spoon cafe in a big layby on the A303 (near a place called West Knoyle) so we had to stop there for a delicious breakfast. The doggies also had their breakfast and a leg stretch.

We arrived at the Airfield and I immediately noticed lots of men on their own (no wives/families) carrying big cameras and wearing anoraks ;-)

Thankfully the weather was dry and when the sun came out from behind the clouds it was very warm!

Little planes started arriving before the main show and Monty got a bit gobby because he's not seen a flying noisy thing up close before. He went and told them who was boss though so he settled down after that.

The doggies were so well behaved and lots of people commented on how good they were.

The displays put on were excellent and there was lots of variety and a packed schedule.
There were so many I can't remember them all but looking back through my photos, I have definitely missed out a few!

2 Spitfires did a display and I love that amazing noise from their Merlin engines. Fabulous!

There was also a little gyrocopter which is an interesting machine - there is no power to the rotors... I wouldn't fancy getting in one!

There was a team of 4 planes who did a "barnstorming" display. Barnstorming was what the pilots did between wars by flying to farms and flying their planes through the barns for the villager's entertainment. They were flying about 3 feet above the ground! For this display, they had cones and bunting forming a small gap to fly through and under.
Another thing they did was have someone on the ground release a balloon as they approached and they had to pop it using the plane's propellers. Amazingly skilful and very entertaining!

They had a young lady in a Pitts aerobatic plane throwing herself around in the sky - making me feel sick just watching her!!

The display before the Vulcan was due to arrive was a "Battle of Britain" flight with 8 different wartime planes including bi-planes and tri-planes.
What they hadn't told us was that they would be using bangs and gunfire so we were merrily chatting with some people next to us and Monty was (obviously) on his back waiting for belly rubs when all of a sudden there was explosions and gunfire. 
The doggies were terrified! Thankfully we had thought ahead and brought cotton wool with us to stuff in their ears for the Vulcan flight as it is very noisy so we were frantically jamming cotton wool in the dogs' ears and bandaging their heads to keep it in place. We managed to make some doggy ear defenders and they soon settled down and went back to sleep with their silly headwear on.

Disappointingly, we were told as we were waiting for the Vulcan's arrival, that it had got a split in the fuel tank en route to the show and had to turn around and head back to base. 
Everyone was absolutely gutted - particularly us as we had travelled so far to see it!
The Vulcan was going to display with the Sally B B-17 Bomber so we did at least get to see another beautiful old plane to round the day off.

Other than the disappointment of the Vulcan, we had a really lovely day out and have said we'd definitely go again or we'd go up for a couple of days and explore Old Sarum Castle which is right by the Airfield.