Sunday, June 29, 2008; 1:27 AM
There's something about keeping horses in stables that I don't quite approve of.

I mean, it's not that I have anything against it - and once I have my own horse I'd fancy having a loose box or two to keep it in on cold nights or during thunderstorms, but there's something about accomodating horses in stables permanently that I don't quite like.

Horses are wild animals, they belong in the fields. They need space to run, to graze, to interact with fellow herd members - to be horses! Some people - like the equestrian center in KL, Malaysia - use the excuse that they don't have that much open space to keep over 200 horses out in pasture. Well, fair enough but there's nothing wrong with some well scheduled turn-out for each horse every day. And then there's the competitive athletes with their twenty-thousand dollar horses, saying that if they keep their horses out in paddocks they might get injured. Oh, what if another horse kicks him?! Oh, what if he runs into the fence?! Oh, what if he slips and falls?! Oh, what if he gets dirty?! God forbid!!!

There's something not quite right about the sight of a horse confined to a box day in, day out, all its life. It only comes out to be exercised, or if lucky, a light hand grazing for 20 minutes or so. With the halter on, nevertheless! I love the sight of horses happily roaming free over grasslands, grazing in content, frolicking around, lying down, kicking their heels to the wind.
It seems that horses who live outdoors are a whole lot happier than their stablekept counterparts. They don't develop bad habits like windsucking or pacing, which usually manifest in horses who live in stables, due to extreme boredom. They seem good natured, alert, content and willing. It made me extremely sad when I rode in KL to see all the horses confined to stalls, looking bored and 'empty', and occasionally pinning their ears and dangerously snapping out at anyone who happens to walk past the stall. It's just not healthy.

I'm thankful that Blinkbonnie keeps all it's horses out in pasture, 24/7. We do have three wooden indoor stalls which serves as stables when the weather is too rough. It's filled with the warm scent of hay and copra - and there's no doors to the individual stores, which lessens claustrophobia in the horses, and the large entrances are left open so it's light and airy and the horses can see all that's going on. The two stables that have doors are turned into the feed room and blanket storage room. And there's 7 loose sheltered open stalls too, constructed with sturdy wooden poles - cleverly designed to avoid kicking. But the horses are only brought in when necessary and most of their time is spent outdoors, running through the grass.

I love our happy, healthy horses. It's the same at Rednifhtap Park in Queensland - 40 acres of freedom for the horses and they come running from 40 acres away when we stand at the gate, waving their halters and yelling their names. It's incredible! There's no snappiness, no lunging forward to bite with ears pinned, no tantrums. I'm a strong believer of keeping horses at grass and I would never ride again at a barn which didn't.

Once I get my horse - which hopefully won't be too long now - I'll probably keep it at Blinkbonnie until I get my own place. And when I do, it will be at least 2 or 3 acres for the horse and a paddockmate (maybe I can convince McCool to ride too, then he can have a pony? :D) and a couple of light, airy looseboxes - preferably made out of wood. It will be lovely!

Sometimes people forget that horses are horses and they are not some pet to be ridden when felt like it, and left in stables when not. Horses should be allowed to be horses, and rightly so.

I don't know where that long essay came from... there was a post in equestrian about this and I just felt like rambling... especially since I haven't updated in forever! Heh. I've watched McCool play MGS4 so many times now that if I hear Otacon yell "SNAAAKKKEE!!" one more time, I'm gonna have to choke a bitch.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008; 9:50 PM
A neat quote from equestrian :

"Jumping is like ballroom dancing; the rider is the woman, and the horse is the man. The woman picks where they're going, when they're going, when they're leaving, what they're going to wear, whether they're going to eat before or after, what they're going to eat, what music they want to dance to, and what dances they're going to do. But when they get on the floor, the man leads."


As for the random LOL of today :
a bit NSFW (click for full size)


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Monday, June 9, 2008; 6:52 PM
On the dark horse

Yesterday McCool woke up a grumpy me at 7.30 am, after a day of hard work at the barn. I was blurry eyed and sleepy and not very happy at the early start on a Sunday, but it was for good reason : The Melbourne 3-day Event - Final Olympic Selection, and Sunday was cross country day and this male was amazing enough to offer to take me all the way to Werribee for the event!

Armed with his technologically advanced camera, we ate a sleepy McDonald's breakfast as we caught the early morning train in the morning mist, transit to the city and then change trains all the way out to the countryside suburb of Werribee: home to Melbourne's National Equestrian Center, Werribee Park and Mansion.

It was a delightful train journey, travelling out by the ocean, full of quirky little sights and beautiful scenery. We were both cheerful and in good spirits, despite being groggy and sleepy headed.

When we finally got to the Equestrian Center, I was completely astounded by how many people had turned up for the competition! The driveway was packed with cars queueing up to go in and horses were everywhere - being ridden, being exercised, whinnying and neighing and snorting. The air was heavy with adrenaline and hoofbeats. It was spectacular!

Bill Chrisanis was competing in the two star event - he is the husband of Linda Williams, who is my riding instructor at Blinkbonnie, so I was very proud and excited to cheer him on! McCool was generously cheerful and eagerly volunteered to be cameraman of the day, so we set out to explore the course.

Werribee National Equestrian Center was huge!!! It had four outdoor sand arenas, two huge indoor arenas, showjumping areas, and acres after acres of stunningly beautiful cross country landscape, as well as polo fields and grand old stables. It was breathtaking! I wished Blinkbonnie was as grand. There were beautiful horses everywhere! Even the very non-horsey McCool wondered in awe over their sleek, shiny coats.

some of the outdoor sand arenas

a horse being hotwalked after completing it's course

Then we decided to explore the grand Werribee Mansion - McCool smiled at me and said we might as well make the most of this rare trip out to country, so we had a blast wandering around the gardens as he obsessively took photos of almost anything!

me at the entrance to Werribee Park

beautiful backdrops for jumps

each horse had a huge number of grooms to fuss over it

the interior of Werribee Mansion. Dinner, anyone?

It was a long day, but so very brilliant. I had an awesome time watching all the top competitors and their amazing horses, and McCool enjoyed himself too, which is a good omen for future horse competitions to come. We were exhausted by the time we got home, but in good spirits and I fell asleep the moment my head touched the pillow, much to the amusement of McCool who tried to wake me up multiple times.

When I watched the riders begin their course, seeing the horses whirl around in excitement, chomping their bits, stomping their hooves, snorting the air - all the adrenaline washed over me and all I wanted was to be in the saddle at that moment, eager to begin my lap - jumping the great fences and galloping at great speed towards the finish line. What a dream to be able to compete at such a level someday. I only hope that I can attain it in the future. Pleasure riding is one thing, but there is something in the air about a competition that gives me this urge to be a part of it.

Bill Chrisanis jumping on Qualim. He's my instructor's husband.

Cassia Montgomery on Arkie going through the lake

Edith Kane on ESB Irish Justice. What a cute jumper!

Lucinda James on ESB Irish Denial. The crowd was cheering for her and look at that smile!

The magnificent wagon jump

Shane Rose, OMG!! In the flesh! Jumping on Cleddau Bobby Dazzler. I was completely starstruck. I *heart* McCool for this amazing photo!

Megan Jones on Kirby Park Allofasudden. askdhasjdh Megan Jones!!!!

I'm looking to the future with bright hopes. I hope someday I will be able to own my own horses whom I can compete with, cantering through a lake, splashing water that filters the sunlight behind our thunderous hoofbeats as onlookers cheer me on, smiling, and photographers kneel by the fence with shooting cameras. After all, there is no other place for me than on the back of a horse.

I will be uploading more photos on my Facebook page too. :) Link is to the right.

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Friday, June 6, 2008; 1:13 AM
NARNIA >>>>> Sex & Teh Citee
So my [incredible] McCool decided to be [wonderful] and took me to watch The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian today - and I didn't even have to whine about it for him to take me.

Anyways, just, OMGGGGGG. *head explodes*

William Moseley / Ben Barnes = I'd tap that. MULTIPLE TIMES.

Oh man, I cannot stop raving about the darn film. Much win, would watch again. Also we sat beside a crazy dude who wouldn't stop giving a running commentary throughout the entire movie. Omg NARNIAAAAA.

I always cry during the endings, stupid endings, stupid Regina Spektor song making me bawl my eyes out in the movie theater, aaaaaaaaahhhh Narniaaaaaaaaa.

OMFG. that is all.


Thursday, June 5, 2008; 11:56 AM
for it was a flower, sir
Just a drabble:

and it was always the one name on their breaths, on the mind: over and over, always and always. Gold and silver merged, two names became one. It never fades, it is intangible; no matter how hard fingers are stretched: it is never seen, never felt.

gold and silver; oh, they happen only once an eternal lifetime, and what price for the two.
i will never forget.


Monday, June 2, 2008; 2:53 AM
I am content.

For a while now, I am content. Sitting in McCool's lap at 1 am, watching Studio Ghibli movies and sipping cola; feeling the occasional brush of lips on my neck: I am content.
I am at peace.

art by Keramago