21 May, 2012

Training at Southwell Racecourse with Beccy Broughton

Well I haven't blogged for a while because I have been extremely busy settling back into the UK.

Last week I went on a hunt ride with the Atherstone Hunt with my mum riding Elsa and me riding Arco. It was lots of fun and the ponies did very well barefoot after there introduction to lots of English grass!

The highlight of my return to the UK has to be the training afternoon with GB Endurance rider Beccy Broughton at Southwell racecourse organised by Sport Endurance. Beccy gave me loads of useful tips for training Elsa and Arco and I was very pleased that she seemed to really like them and was interested to know that they were Hispano-Arabe. Hopefully I can put what Beccy told me into practice and qualify Elsa through the lower levels this year. It will be interesting to see how their feet do hold up now they are on a UK diet. I can't wait to go on Beccy's Endurance Summer Camp in August!

24 April, 2012

Holistic or Natural Horse-Keeping?

I have changed the title of my Horse-Keeping page from 'Natural' to 'Holistic'. This is since I have been reading some articles by a NZ guy named Andy Beck. Although Andy does with his horse what most people would refer to as 'natural' he states that nothing we do with horses is natural purely because we have taken them out of the wild and domesticated them and we usually expect to ride them!

After analysing my own intentions with horses I came to the conclusion that what I am trying to do is actually keep my horses holistically ie. a whole horse approach. Since I keep my horses barefoot this is crucial to the well being of my horses as anything that is wrong will often be shown in the feet first eg. poor diet, stress etc.

As you know from my other blog posts I am currently on my way to the UK with 2 of my Spanish horses so I will keep you updated as to how they cope being on a livery yard and kept of grass. I suspect it will be very interesting and a steep learning curve!

3 Star Hotel courtesy of Asda Breakdown!

Well its been a while since I blogged mainly because we've done practically nothing since my last blog! Gaz returned to London First Class with Air France courtesy of Asda Breakdown and I stayed in Font with the dogs and the horses while waiting for the van to be repaired. Basically I've just spent the last week getting rained on and amusing myself on the internet with my Orange dongle (money well spent). At least I've made a start on my Equine Sciences Academy Barefoot course which is impressively good!

Mr VW on his 3rd recovery truck in 3 weeks!
You may wonder why I've posted a pic of Mr VW on the recovery truck?....

This morning I was pretty sure I wasn't going to make the ferry before the doggy Pet Pasports had to be re-done for tapeworm but I picked up the van at 11am and just thought 'Oh well, never mind, at least I'll get to the UK tomorrow'. So I drove to the field and collect the dogs to go back to the vets for a second dose of tablets. I went to start the van with dogs on board (thankfully not horses!) and it made the horrendous hedgestrimmer noise again. 'F...ing Great!' is what I thought! After that it wouldn't start again hence why he is back on another recovery truck!!!!!!!

So I have spent the day swaying between the thoughts of 'Oh my God, I'm lost for words, I can't F...ing believe it' and ' Oh well lets just try to be jolly and think of all the much worse things that can happen in life'. I think I may be completely doing Gaz's head in cos my bad moods last about the few minutes that I'm actually ranting but then I can talk myself out of them pretty fast. He doesn't like to hear it when he's P....ed off and and I'm saying it doesn't really matter and are lives aren't exactly terrible!

I've definately come to the conclusion from all this that I have a pretty good positive attitude in life but it is pretty hard sometimes! Anyway it seems that although I posted this morning on Facebook that I was starting to struggle with turning negatives into positives it seems that this negative has managed it after all....

Happy doggies on their own personal 3 star bed!
Ted, Mog and I are now in a very nice 3 star hotel in Nemours courtsey of Asda Breakdown via IMA! We're definately pretty happy right now and have got ourselves nicely settled in for the night. So now I'm feeling sorry for Gaz who's having to do all the work to pay for my seemingly expensive hobby!

14 April, 2012

Rock Star

Its not often that you get the chance to have your photo taken with a real 'Rock Star' - This little Frenchman was very happy to meet the real 'Gaz Parry'!

JP Bouvier and Gaz Parry at Rocher Canon
Gaz was having a rest day today so I thought it would be good to work on easy blocs that actually aren't. Another frenchman with 40yrs experience took me under his wing when he saw me struggling on a red. He told me its all about technique and these new 'Rock Stars' are all about the compression. After having my feet literally moved to the right holds and my arse spotted closely I decided to whip my top off, pull out the guns and flash one. He said I was a star pupil!

13 April, 2012

My best life so far.... Living in Fontainebleau

Well I have no idea what day it is and have had no idea of time at all over the past few days, all I know is that we seem to have done alot! I have always had a strange little concept that we don't live one life, we live many lives throughout our lifetime and that we aren't the same person we started out as. Sounds a bit strange but anyway, the past couple of weeks may just have been my best life so far, which is saying alot seen as so many things seem to have gone wrong! So here is a photo blog of the past few days since my last post...

Ponies and our little hire car outside our new home - 'La Maison Lapin'

We're currently living in an ex rabbit hut on the field we found to rent in Larchant. The horses are loving it and Arco is haviong lots of fun just randomly galloping around the field (hence also laying down alot to rest his baby legs!) They're both loving cantering round the forest on rides too!

Ted and Gaz in 'La Maison Lapin'
We're now fully back online with Orange 'Lets Go Pass' PAYG internet, just buy a sim for 8 euros with 100mb and then we topped up 25 euros for 1 month/ 2GB. So we're all sorted in our little hut with double bed for us (Metolious mat), single bed for the dogs (DMM mat), kitchen area and office!

'We love Mountains' and Boulders!
After their great hospitality last week, 'We Love Mountains' paid us a visit in Larchant. We'd love a van like this! We Love VW's!

Gaz the Happy Europcar Driver
Since our horsebox broke down we have been running around in a little hire car courtesy of our Asda European Breakdown cover. (The garage here quoted just under 2k to repair a burnt out clutch and starter motor so the van is going to be repatriated to the UK next week to be repaired at MOT Dover for 820!) Unforunately the little car decided to go a bit haywire, randomly not starting 'Anomalie Electronique' and the lights and windscreen wipers going on and off of their own accord. So we spent a whole afternoon in Europcar Nemours before having to drive to Melun to pick up the smallest hire car in the world! Suprisingly the diddy Renault Twingo can fit 2 people, 2 giant dogs, a giant Metolious mat, a DMM mat and our bag of climbing gear in it, all without having to take the seats out!

Weather in Fontainebleau
The weather has been pretty perfect the whole time we've been here. We've had the odd shower and one day we got hit by a hailstorm at Bas Cuvier but it didn't last long and this beautiful rainbow came out within 10mins. Conditions on the rock are brill with near perfect friction without it being too cold.

Kate on random 7a+ at Drei Zinnen
After living in Spain for 3yrs doing no bouldering whatsover I told Gaz that I'd be psyched to do a 7a while we're in Font. That very day I did a 7a+ at Canche aux Merciers within a couple of goes only for Gaz to downgrade it to 6c+ even though it took him about 10 goes (no exageration!). So today I did a 7a at Buthiers which felt much harder that Gaz thought was easy 7a but easier than the 7a+ (/6c+) that I did the other day. I hope you're less confused by that than me!

Gaz watching 'Hotline' beta on Vimeo
With our new 'Orange' technology we can now even watch beta on Vimeo while at the crag!

Gaz trying 'Hotline' at Petit Reine
Gaz has been trying a few hard classics while we've been here - Surplomb de la Mee, Hotline and Partage. As with me he hasn't bouldered properly for 3yrs so he's just enjoying flashing some easier problems at the mo and working the moves on the harder blocs. Hopefully he'll be able to give something hard a good go before we have to leave.