The trouble with accents

I really didn’t expect my accent to be such a challenge over here, especially considering the high concentration of Australian ex-pats in the West Grove area. Apparently I sound pretty funny though, especially when I try to introduce myself… Everyone seems to pick up on an AR sound instead of an O in Cobie, so a number of people now think my name is Carby. It must have been so bad when I first arrived, that my first visit to Starbucks in NYC resulted in this:

It’s pretty funny though, and I do give people a good laugh when I say weird Australian words. I think I might have to become one of those annoying people who develops an American accent after a short visit, just so people can understand me.

I’ve had a really quiet day for my first day off. I stayed in bed most of the morning reading Dover saddlery catalogues.. I am sooo excited to go on a shopping trip! Then I spent about 4 hours cleaning the bathroom and kitchen in our living area… While the barn is really organised and spotless, the living area seems a bit neglected, so my obsessive compulsive tendencies kicked in a bit. If I’m going to be here for 3 months, I want to use real appliances and cookware.. And not live on microwave pizza served on paper plates with disposable forks!

I’m not sure whether I’m going to come home skinny from all the physical work, or fat from all the ridiculous food here… Hopefully all the stall mucking will outweigh my new addiction to pop tarts 😉

Snow day!!

So I knew that snow was forecast for this weekend – but today certainly surpassed expectations! It began to snow at about 10:30 this morning, and it’s still falling now. While I’ve been to ski fields, and seen the occasional snow flurry at home on rare occasions, I haven’t seen snow fall this like before – everything looks like something off a postcard. I’ve been wandering around in awe all day, while everyone else is groaning… I’m sure I’ll be sick of having to work in the snow soon enough, but for now I’m just going to enjoy it!

We had a mad dash to bring in the morning turnout horses, and most of them were barn-bound for the rest of the day. I was surprised that we still turned out a few horses overnight – I guess they breed them a lot tougher over here! Everyone went out in a couple of extra rugs… argh, blankets, I’ll get it right one day… and they all seemed pretty happy to be out, with a couple dropping and rolling as soon as we let them go.

Amongst all the excitement, I had three horses to ride today. Definitely no jogging on the outside track in this weather, so we stuck to just trot schooling in the indoor. My favourite of the day was a gorgeous WB gelding named Bones – not only is he a big smoochy teddy bear, but seriously nice to ride. I’m currently plotting how to sneak him back home without anyone noticing.

Bones says nope… definitely not going out there!

I’ve actually noticed that in just two days of riding in front of mirrors, my position has already improved. It’s amazing what you can pick up on when you’re able to constantly monitor and adjust what you’re doing. A set of arena mirrors is definitely on the shopping list for when I get home!!

I met Phillip today, after he’d returned from the USEA convention. He is lovely and polite, and I’m so excited to be learning from him. He saw me ride, and didn’t drag me off the horse and send me back to the airport, so that’s positive.

We had planned on going out for dinner and drinks tonight, but even though the roads had been ploughed, we didn’t really have a suitable car available for getting off the farm and driving into town. There’s always another night – and secretly I didn’t mind just heading inside to warm up and let my poor muscles relax a bit. They’re not quite used to this kind of workload anymore! I’ll definitely need to get myself to a tack store to buy some more suitable winter work boots.. I ended up on my butt after slipping down a snowy ramp today. But a few good old-fashioned shopping trips have been planned ever since the day I decided to head over here 😉

I’m starting to get to know the barn routine a bit better now, it certainly helps that the place is so well organised. While most things are pretty similar to back home, there are always the subtle differences that are required in any barn. It’ll take a while to learn the preferred ways of doing things – but hey, learning is what I’m here for! Tomorrow is my day off for this week, and I’m looking forward to having the chance to just sit and watch some of the horses being ridden… Hopefully some of those good riding skills will rub off on me 🙂