Thursday evening I went to try out a new riding stables after getting increasingly frustrated with Astley taking advantage of me and, quite frankly, taking the piss.

At Astley I had been put in a ride with beginners after the owner realised, after a few years in the most advanced class, I wouldn't be riding every week. In the beginners ride I ended up teaching some of the girls and being the instructor's (read: yard helper) aide and showing the rest of the class the right and wrong ways to do thing. Yes, they made me adapt things to make them wrong and over exaggerate them so it was obvious what I was doing. Okay, this would be fine if I wasn't paying £20 an hour, but having to pay to teach others and not learn anything myself? 

Okay, rant over! Now onto the good stuff.

I'd been looking for somewhere new for quite some time but work got in the way of visiting different stables and investigating, so when my father ended up being called out to a yard, I kept my fingers crossed. Small yard, nice owner, looked good and someone I used to ride with was there & she recommended it. The only problem, the price of the classes. Still, I couldn't not go and try it.

The place is a tad disorganised, but in a good way, that makes you feel relaxed. Was left to hang around in the pony club house while the others got horses ready etc. The owner's daughter (who was taking the class) lead into the arena the ex-race horse while the others brought in their own mounts. Safe to say I freaked a little. Ex-race horse is something I've not experienced before and wouldn't be a good combo with my butterflies. Luckily he was passed onto someone else, who obviously couldn't cope with him in the yard, and I was given the big bulky horse.

Jaffa is pretty much the same build as Bandit who I used to ride all the time, so I was more than happy. He's (Jaffa) an Appaloosa, is 15.1hh (or his back is 5'1" to those not in the know) and is only 5 or 6yrs old, which is a bit of a baby compared to riding school horses so he's still learning.

Start of the ride was walking around the arena to warm up. Instead of walking straight on, Jaffa decided he was heading for the door which had been left open. Now if you've ever tried a tug of war against a horse you'll know that it's impossible to win, but somehow managed to convince him that the new girl was in charge and she knew what she was doing. Didn't stop him trying to take the mickey every so often though. Just going around the arena as a ride he decided the horse infront was too slow and then decided he didn't like being at the front and would walk sideways into the wall instead. Luckily my long boots are a little to big so it wasn't my foot that kept colliding.

Next up, canter circles. Done those often. Very easy. Well, not with Jaffa. Anticlockwise circle? He'd fall out to the right and then head straight on. Into other horses. Missed the front of one by millimeters. I wasn't winning the tug of war again. Holding my whip against his shoulder as an added pressure did the trick, just before I got too dizzy to focus and my arms fell out.

After this the girl infront turned round and said I was doing really well as Jaffa is a pain to ride. Shed fallen off twice and refused to ride him again. Okay! Just what I wanted to hear! She was just trying to be nice though and luckily I had enough confidence to believe I wasn't out-horsed.

Onto riding square corners, again this is basic stuff that I've done a million times. With new horse, doable. Lets go straight in the deep end. Canter. Over poles. With everyone watching. (including everyone in the pony club room which doubles as the viewing area.) Jaffa's fast, I like fast, just not so much when it involves trying not to get my leg taken off by the wall or trying not to accidentally kick the pony club people who were so close they were getting whipped by tails. Was great fun despite this, and the loud thunk as the wall met my foot as we stopped. My father heard it from the other end of the building!

Others doing this exercise had much more difficulty than me, especially the girl on the ex-race horse. I think he was called Kiki or something similar. Anywho, as he cantered up to the first pole, which was laid on the ground, he took off. A very impressive jump and the girl managed to stay on but Kiki had spooked himself and kept charging round. Next time round he was on the wrong stride and jumped early to avoid landing on the pole. It was a huge jump, over a metre high and easily over 6 foot long (I'm estimating, using people lengths!). Horse still charging round even more spooked; girls hanging head first over his shoulder. Somehow she managed to stay on and calm him down, just. Many a rider would have come off and not sure how I'd have faired. Fingers crossed for when I get to ride him!

Something else I liked about the stables - I was trusted to go, untack and rug up Jaffa without anyone checking up on me (Dear Elf of Safety - I've been doing this for 17 years, you can assume I know what I'm doing), which made a nice change to Astley. I did notice a hoof pick on the floor in the middle of the yard, point up. I may have saved a lot of money by picking it up and moving it so you owe me plenty of good times, Saxton!

And on a lighter note, one of the best things about being on a yard are the cats there. I found a lovely fluffy grey thing that made me it's cushion while purring and doing happy paws. I may have to kidnap the fluffball next time!

*breathes* So yeah, that's longer than I expected but to sum it all up: Yay! new stables! Have booked another ride there and will be phoning Astley and telling them to stick it.
[Error: unknown template qotd]1. The only song I've sung at karaoke was 'The Cheeky Song'

2. In my first show jumping competition I fell off at the final jump.

3. I once shot an arrow though the centre of a clock.

As per usual my comments are italised.
Want my opinion/comments or the summary on any book listed then ask.

Ones I read before Feb 09 (mostly from sometime 2008). Will probably be updated with comments and other books - my stack of read books is too far away. *stretches* nope can't reach it.
Read more... )

Feb 2009:

Feb )

March 2009:
Out Of The Past by Sean Michael  
Doctor Who: The Stealer Of Dreams by Steve Lyons   REVIEW

April 2009:
Martha In The Mirror by Justin Richards

May 2009:
Son Of A Witch by Gregory Maguire
Pack Animals by Peter Anghelides
Into the Silence by Sarah Pinborough
Bay Of The Dead by Mark Morris
The House That Jack Built by Guy Adams

Currently Reading:

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer
The Murder Exchange by Simon Kernick
Let It Bleed by Ian Rankin
Necronomicon by H.P.Lovecraft

Stack of books waiting to be read
Future Reads )

allieandra: (Jack; looking moody! 2x11)
( May. 10th, 2009 12:51 am)
Yes I'm getting my twitter feed sent here. Apologises to anyone who finds it on their friends page before I get chance to lock it as private. I'm @Allieandra if anyone's interested. Feel free to add. My conversations tend to go off on tangents but they can be fun to jump on if you see something you wanna comment on.

Other than being a Twitter addict right now I've also realised nearly all my plans are Torchwood related.

My Plans:
11/05 - Tom Price in York
17/05 - British Touring Car Championship at Donington
22/05 - My Birthday
John Barrowman in Blackburn 
27/05 - John Barrowman in Harrogate
01/06 - John Barrowman in London
05/06 - Leeds Uni's Summer Ball
12/06 - Torchwood Preview screening in London
13/06 - Bramham Park Horse Trials (possibly)
14/06 - Bramham Park Horse Trials
20/10 - Franz Ferdinand in Leeds
23/10 - The Hub:3 in Birmingham
24/10 - The Hub:3
25/10 - The Hub:3
26/10 - The aftermath of the hub!
The continuation of my photos from the Cross-Country day. I'll add the links to the larger versions later.

More photographs... )
allieandra: (Default)
( Mar. 4th, 2009 06:44 pm)
  • Going to see Friday 13th tonight at 11.35pm. Late night horror flick at the cinema? Hell yeah!

  • Was reading Son Of A Witch yesterday whilst waiting for my Materials Lab. Finished page 186 (or there abouts), looked at next page to find out it was page 263. Brilliant. No pages had been ripped out. No gap in the spine. No missing pages elsewhere. Safe to say wasn't impressed. Did no one else who had read that copy notice? Will be having a trip to the library to complain/inform them. Thank god for eBooks. Albeit with different page numbers.

  • Dr Black was running said Materials lab and asked me to stay behind and speak to him. I was thinking 'oh fuck'. It obviously showed as he went on to explain he wanted to discuss mix designs for my dissertation. The new baby (Grace) is making it difficult for him to keep up with what everyone's doing and it's worrying him.
  • When discussing this he said to me 'Rachel spotted your nails'. Shit. Fuck. and all the words inbetween. I was trying to think up a way of politely saying 'if you're about to tell me to cut my nails I'm doing a different dissertation'. Luckily this speech was not needed. Apparently if I'm comfortable with working with long nails (why would they be long if I wasn't?!) then they would take special precautions so I could use the machinery. *pumps fist in air*

  • Still need to book hotel for Avenue Q. Someone remind me to do that later.

  • 8 and a bit days til my first con! Wooooo
  • Why is everything the same weekend? Leeds Unis summer ball. Collectormania. Utopia. probably Bramham Horse Trials.  I wanna go to Utopia as Gareth David Lloyd and James Moran are doing it. But with that being the saturday and london it wipes out pretty much everything else. Collectormania is the entire weekend and is in Milton Keynes. assuming spatch wants to do the entire weekend. There's no one I wanna see at that so far. Bramham Horse Trials is Thurs-Fri-Sat-Sun. Normally just do Sat/Sun unless is brilliant weather and then I burn badly on the Friday! Only made it to three years so far. Actually might be four as I think one year I just did the friday. That would still allow me to do the Summer Ball -assuming other people want to go. My final year at uni but most people are staying on for another year and Katy Perry isn't likely to make my friends want to go. Hmmm decisions, decisions.
Backing up all my photos online & posting them to lj to be able to find them all easier.

A lot of these aren't great, but for action shot with a poor quality camera I think they're pretty amazing. Click for bigger.

Bramham Park International Horse Trials

7/6/08 - Cross-Country day

Read more... )

there are more to come but livejournal doesn't seem to want to post anymore in this entry

allieandra: (Default)
( Nov. 3rd, 2008 03:36 pm)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
allieandra: (My clock - stopwatch styled)
( Aug. 10th, 2008 03:17 am)

Only planning on watching the equestrianism & turning nocturnal to do so!

Missed the first day of dressage as I had to get some sleep before I went riding. [Which my back is fucked from again. I blame not riding for over a month and then going straight into jumping in the pouring rain. Jodphurs are a bitch to get off whilst sodden.]
By looking at the dressage score it appears that both Daisy Dick & William Fox-Pitt had really bad tests and are about half way down the leader board. (Will is normally very near the top).

Today Mary King had a great test with only one low mark from a flying change and was in 9th with one competitor still to go. Mary is an amazing rider and is one of my heros. It's a shame Pippa didn't make it to these olympics.

I shall leave this post here as I'm pretty sure noone reading this will know what I'm on about!



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