Sunshine Award

Allison from Adventures with a Horse nominated me for the Sunshine Award ages and ages ago.  Better late than never – here’s my Sunshine Award post.  Thank you so much, Allie!

“Here is what the sunshine award means, “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” Of course all awards have rules for awarding people. Rules below.”


1. First, the nominee must thank the blogger that nominated her and link to her blog.
Ok, done that
2. Then, she must answer a list of ten questions and post to her blog.
Here we go…


1. Do you prefer Mares or Geldings?
Geldings.  Fewer hormones is a good thing.


2. English or Western?
English but I still want to try Western.


3. Do you prefer “younger” or “older” horses?
Older, safer, sensibler.  Just like me.


4. Have you ever trained a horse from ground zero?
Yes.  A trio of cute ponies that I had bred, although my kids took over the riding once I had sat on them a couple of times.  The first one hated jumping although she had an incredible spring.  She went to a lovely pony club family and went on to become one of the top games ponies in Ireland.  I saw her in action at the Dublin Horse Show last year, she was 19 years old at the time and still going strong!  The second one turned out to have the attention span of a gnat and the brainpower of a turnip.  She was very pretty and athletic, though, and we sold her to a show-jumping family where she did well until the jumps hit the 1 metre mark and the courses became technical; then her poor little brain got fried.  I think she went showing after that.  The third one is the one I most regret selling.  The YD was totally focussed on jumping at the time and Rollo just wasn’t good enough for her although he was a smashing pony with lovely movement and a great temperament (See? Geldings!)  If we had discovered dressage at the time, who knows what he and the YD could have become… as it was, we sold him to a less ambitious child who had fun with him for a couple of years.  Then he went to a hunting family and sadly I don’t know what became of him after that.


There was one horse I bred who I took all the way to competing in riding club stuff.  She was very strange in that she was incredibly easy to break and super-well-behaved for the first couple of years, but the older she got, the more neurotic she became, in everyday horse life as well as while being ridden.  She was meant to be my Forever Horse, but when she was nine years old I realised that we were winding each other up more and more, and that she needed a braver, more fun, person than me.  She was sold to a local showjumper, who did a bit of dealing, and she promptly started weaving, leaving me looking like a liar – she had never weaved before in her life!!  She settled down in her new home eventually, stopped weaving and jumped well for him; I think she was sold on to someone in the UK eventually.


5. Do you prefer riding or ground work?
Has to be riding although there is a fascination with the Natural Horsemanship stuff when you really begin to see it work.  I had a great session with Flurry this week, he started off really cheeky and a bit mulish but I felt we got a good connection by the time we had finished.


6. Do you board your horse or keep it at home?
After 18 years of boarding other people’s horses I’m now a boarder!  Mwhahaha, I can be The Fusspot-Diva-Livery-From-Hell now… I know all the tricks!


7. Do you do all natural things or commercial stuff?
The older I get the more I am moving away from commercial stuff.  I suppose that’s partly because I used to view our horses as competition horses, so I wanted to be sure they were at peak fitness at the right times and that they were getting all the supplements they needed.  I also wanted them to have the very best gear available – I have some super-expensive protective boots tucked away in my gear-box that will probably never be used again!  Now with my two leisure horses, they have a mineral lick and a decent veterinary kit for any booboos, they have their hoof-boots to wear if I feel they need them, but that’s it.


8. All Tacked up or Bareback?
All tacked up.  Thanks, but I never liked sitting astride a razor blade very much. I’m happy to go bitless from time to time and the horses are barefoot – maybe that makes up for not wanting to ride bareback?


9. Equestrian model?
I’ve had many over the years, ranging from trainers I greatly respected to stars of whatever field I/we were into at the time.  Jennie Loriston-Clarke would have to be one of my all-time favourites, though.  The YD had a few lessons with her when I organised a couple of clinics with JLC for our dressage club.  I just loved her common-sense approach and her unassuming attitude towards the incredible depth of horse knowledge she has.
JLC : “Have you ever done half-pass?”
YD : “No.”
JLC : “Pick up canter and when you pass A start your half-pass after the corner.”
YD : “Um… ok…”
JLC : “Now, that wasn’t too bad, was it?  Next time just use a little more outside leg etc etc…”
She got the YD to try it first, saw what kind of attempt she & Aero made at it and then started helping her to improve it bit by bit rather than bombarding her with a whole lot of technical stuff straight off.  It worked!


10. What’s your, one, main goal while being in the horse world?
Hmm, I never had any amazing aspirations like “Olympic show-jumper” or “ride clear around Badminton.”  I suppose right now I would love to do another long ride, I look at the Via Domitia every so often and think about riding to Italy.  The Via Domitia was one of the oldest Roman routes in France, it connected Spain to Italy and ran right through Céreste.  The Wiki page is quite good if you are interested.


3. Next she must nominate ten bloggers for the award and let them know.
Oh this is hard…


I’ve picked a mix of blogs I’ve liked for a while and blogs that are new to me.   If I nominate you and you’ve done this recently, feel free to ignore my nomination.  Likewise if you’re not into blog awards – ignore away, I won’t be offended.



Hope you guys all have fun with this.  I tried to use it as an opportunity to say a little more about my background and my thoughts, but make of it what you will.


4. Finally, the Sunshine Award button must be posted on the blog
Well, that’s easy.  But I decided to make it hard because I’m supposed to be creative and inspiring so I made a new Sunshine Award Button.  I am going to proudly display it in the right hand column now.
Feel free to grab it.
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