Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Birthday Girl

It has been a week for birthdays in our family this week. Happy birthday to my darling sister Meg, and my dear, sweet niece, Lucy, who is very excited about starting school next week. Wow five years old! I remember the excitement of waiting to be an auntie for the first time. I'm not a mother (well, not a person mother), which does have advantages. But I have also missed out on so much not having my own wee people to nurture. I've got plenty of children in my life with work, and I do have my furry children to love. I do find the three children of my siblings fascinating, and I love to hear what they are up to. 

This was an especially big week for my biggest furry friend. Zanny turned the grand old age of 20! She is looking a bit like it in these photos, as she was rather lethargic standing in the yard before our ride. She's got her full winter woollies on, but has started shedding already. It was quite warm, so I was hoping she was just sleepy standing in the sun. Thoroughbred horses in New Zealand have their official birthday on the 1st of August, so I celebrated today. I did ask Zanny if she had a hangover after a fantastic birthday party last night, but she wasn't telling! 
 Our lovely friend Heather made Zanny a birthday cake, which she was extremely excited about. If you want to make your big best equine friend a present, molasses, rolled oats, carrots and apples make a very delicious cake for a horse. Heather had arranged carrot sticks on the top like candles, and it looked amazing, but Mrs Zanny wasn't holding back and I didn't get a photo of the masterpiece. Here it goes after she had a good go at it. She also gave some to her friends Tee and George, who thought it was a great treat.
 Obviously it is hard work being 20. Once we got going she perked up a lot as the wind was blowing and she had to keep an eye out for spooky things. My balance is getting much better and I feel so much more confident than a few months ago. I think I'll ask Emily for another lesson because I have questions.
 I decided that I wanted to get Zanny a leather halter for her birthday, so went to The Saddlery Warehouse. Sale time! Wooo hooo. I found a well priced halter (see top photo - I haven't oiled it yet, so it looks a bit stiff), and also got a black saddle blanket and a "monkey" strap, which is a leather strap that you buckle onto the front of your saddle for extra security should you need it. Handy in a spook, but I like using one to hold onto when I am hacking with long reins. Another bargain find was a pair of lovely black leather boots in my perfect size. My old boots are really shabby now, but I'll still wear them on wet days because they are waterproof.

Mouse approved of the boot box.
 Here are my boots, with black half chaps. They are really smart and I am convinced I rode better with them on! Yes, they have laces like paddock boots, but a zip up the back for access.
 It was lovely and warm today. We have had a good week with the weather. I enjoyed feeling like spring is on the way. Look- snowdrops in the school garden.
I am back to more regular 'cello lessons this term. I missed my 'cello playing so much and I have reached an interesting level of ability, so it is a waste not to keep working at it. I'm currently playing Bloch's A Jewish Life which you can see being performed here. I can now say I specialize in playing pieces composed from the late Romantic and early Modern music periods - the moodier the better! My little finger is giving me a bit of trouble, and curses to that. Left little fingers are essential for 'cello playing, and lots of other things, I've discovered. 

I hope the weather is good again tomorrow because Zanny has leftover birthday cake to finish off, and it would be fun to go for a road ride as we worked in the arena today. Now the evenings are getting lighter I am determined to have a ride during the week. It would be good for both of us. 


Meg said...

Happy Birthday Zanny!! Dear old girl, I think she looks great.
I love your new boots...are they long or ankle length? Lovely...very smart.

Love you,
Meg xx

Poppy Black said...

Ankle length - I want some long ones but am not sure if I'd find any to fit my shanks. I have Clydesdale legs.

Meg said...

Nothing wrong with Clydesdale legs...I have them myself...good sturdy shanks will last us for years :-)

Anonymous said...

Lovely blog, dear Zanny, she is a sweety. Hope your weather picks up today. I like the boots too, they would be nice with jeans xxxx