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 🙂

New York – day four

My last full day in New York! I had big plans, but didn’t actually end up doing a whole lot… Just a lot more wandering and exploring 🙂

I found a cute little winter marketplace where I bought a few gifts for people back home. I’ve been avoiding buying awful touristy things, so this stuff was a nice alternative. I spent some time in the NY pubic library – I’m becoming so obsessed with all the beautiful architecture here!! I was just as impressed with Grand Central. The buildings are all just amazing. The New Yorkers I’ve chatted with don’t seem to get why it’s exciting… I guess it wouldn’t be all that interesting if it’s what you’ve grown up with. It’s always good to see things through a fresh set of eyes though!

I was tossing up whether to go out and have a big night, or to head home and have an early dinner and get myself organised to leave… And with my feet aching from walking about 50 miles over the past few days, option B won. I had dinner at a gorgeous Mediterranean restaurant in Harlem – it was such a good find. Great food, live jazz, and amazing cocktails… I swear the alcohol is more potent here than back home!! Spent a couple of hours there just drinking and listening to music, then walked (stumbled?) back home.

I really love it here, there’s something new and interesting to see every time you turn a corner. I’ve noticed that the city has become busier with each day though, I guess all the tourists are turning up with the holidays season getting underway. I think I might have timed my trip relatively well.. Even though I’m disappointed that I didn’t see New York in the snow, Im glad to be getting away from the crowds that have begun to show up everywhere.

New York – day one

I’m finally here! After a fairly long trip – 15 hours to LA, 4 hours stopover, then 5 more to NY – I was so excited to just get to my hotel and have a shower and fall into bed. I’m staying in a really cute little place, it’s quite far uptown but was so much nicer than similar things further into the city at the same price, so I don’t mind the trade off in regards to distance.

My super cute little room – complete with home baked cookies and the world’s comfiest bed

For my first day, I decided to just have a wander around and get my bearings a bit. I ended up walking nearly 20km throughout the day! Made my first stop at Lululemon to stock up on winter clothes – they have an awesome range compared to what we’ve got back home. Then I wandered through Central Park a bit, and went through the Zoo. It wasn’t bad, much smaller than our zoos back home, but it was interesting to see a few different types of animals.

Central Park

Then I’d made it right down into the city – and it really is just like the movies. Everything is so pretty, the Christmas decorations are incredible. You could walk around for hours and not get bored, there’s so much to see even just in the window displays.

Beautiful Christmas decorations inside Tiffany & Co

Street view of Tiffany & Co

Eventually got to Times Square.. Yikes! It really is so touristy and overwhelming. Certainly worth checking out, but wouldn’t worry about going back for a second look. My next stop was the Rockefeller Centre for the Top of the Rock observation deck tour. i made it up just before sunset, so it was amazing to see the city come alive in the dark. It really is such a massive, beautiful city.

Skyline view from the Rockefeller Center

Then I was off to a cute little bar for dinner, whilst waiting to go and see Chicago on Broadway.  Had a few wines and got pretty tipsy… Is American wine stronger or something??  Eventually made it to Chicago, which was incredible. I’ve seen the movie a million times and know all the words to the songs, but seeing it live is an entirely different experience. i still haven’t really figured out the whole subway thing, so I decided to begin walking home and just catch a taxi when I got too tired. I ended up just walking the entire way home – amazingly enough it does feel really safe here, even after midnight. It helps that there are people and cops everywhere all the time. i was paying for all my walking a bit by the time I got home though.. very sore and crampy, found it really hard to fall asleep. I think I might have a more relaxed day tomorrow and just check out museum mile, and try to plan for more exciting stuff on Wednesday and Thursday before I head down to Pennsylvania.

Berrima Spring ODE – My last Australian Event

Being my last weekend in Australia, I was relieved of volunteer duties at Berrima so I could get myself organised for my big trip. Of course, that meant socialising all day,and waiting til midnight before panicking and packing my suitcase.

The weather was absolutely beautiful and I got to catch up with lots of good friends – the perfect way to spend my last day here.

A few happy snaps from yesterday –

Being a backseat dressage judge with a couple of good friends

Showjumping about to get underway

Our recently renovated water jump ready for action

Freddy’s Fence – dressed and ready for its debut in the 1*

I just want to say a big thank you to all those who have supported me over the past 12 months. It’s been a bit of a rough year, but I’m so excited for the things to come.

I board my plane to LA in just over 6 hours – and on that note, I had better finish packing!

x

The Final Countdown!

Apologies for the complete lack of updates lately – life has just been soo busy.

I’ve finished uni for the year, made it through exams, and have been flat out packing and planning for my USA trip. I’ve also been doing as much riding as possible on a few lovely horses belonging to friends.. I’m a bit rusty after so much time out of the saddle!

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Riding my friend’s lovely WB gelding, Luke

 

I fly to LA this Sunday, and then onto New York, where I’m planning on spending a few touristy days before heading down to True Prospect Farm in PA. After the beautiful early summer weather we’ve been having, the snow is going to come as a bit of a shock! Looking forward to doing some serious shopping in NYC, it’s been pretty tricky trying to find decent winter clothes here.

 

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The packing begins!

 

The rest of this week will be spent trying to catch up with as many friends as possible before I leave. It’s all getting very exciting!

Making plans!

 

 

There are now only 65 days, 23 hours and 38 minutes until I leave on my big USA adventure.. not that I’m counting or anything 😉 For those who don’t yet know, I’m going to be spending my uni holidays in the States with Phillip Dutton. I’ve spent this week booking and paying for boring things like travel insurance, flights and hotels. It’s depressing watching those thousands of dollars disappearing from my bank account when I’d rather be spending it on all the beautiful winter riding clothes I’ll be needing over there. It’s also taking a lot of self-restraint to stay on top of my uni work when I’d rather be looking up all the must-sees and must-dos which I’m hoping to squeeze in on my way to Phillip’s!

I’m heading there via New York, and returning home via LA, with about 5 days in each place on the way. So if I have any American followers, or anyone else who has travelled through these areas, I’d love to hear your suggestions!

I’m currently on my mid-semester break and have soo much to try to fit into this week.. it’s Thursday already and I’ve barely ticked off a third of the list! The best news is that my lovely old dog, Willow, went in for surgery yesterday which we were all a bit worried about, but she pulled through fine and is now home and recovering well.

 

Pre-surgery cuddles.. she’s not quite as pretty post-surgery, but I’m very happy to have her home in one piece!

I’m feeling terribly over-committed to so many things in the next couple of months. I made a lot of plans for October and November before I made the decision to head to the US, and nearly every weekend is packed out with events and other commitments between now and December. I’m also trying to fit in as much riding as possible between now and then, so I don’t humiliate myself when I arrive! So it will be challenging trying to stay on top of it all and do well in my exams in the weeks before I leave… I don’t think I’ll have a spare moment to relax until I get on that first plane!

An Introduction

A blog has always been one of those things I thought I should eventually get around to doing, and now an upcoming overseas trip has given me the perfect excuse to finally start one!

Follow my adventures as I cross the globe to experience the American eventing scene firsthand. Expect equestrian news from Australia, the USA and beyond, with more than a little emphasis on equine fashion and style.