Blog Archives

A Hipflask Recipe With a Twist – Fancy Skittle Vodka

Drink The Rainbow!

Drink The Rainbow!

Old skool skittle vodka was made by chucking all but the green ones into a naggin of vodka overnight in the freezer and then drinking whatever it ended up looking like. This is a slightly more sophisticated recipe than the original!

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Side Saddle Makeup Unveiled

When some of the side saddle ladies including Ciara my side saddle friend and mentor recently declared that lipstick for side saddle showing should not be red, I was relieved. I have nothing against red lipstick but it simply doesn’t suit me. I either end up looking like a child in their parents make up or a lady that should be on a street corner somewhere. I won’t profess to know a whole lot about side saddle but thanks to being a complete makeup junkie I know a bit more about make up. After a chat with Ciara on what make up we should be wearing while riding aside I was able to pick out what exactly I need from my makeup stash.

The good:

Neutral shades, matte textures, weatherproof and smudge proof make up.

The bad:

Frost/shimmery eye shadows, bright red lipstick, orange foundation or bronzer, clown blusher

The ugly:

Bright shades of eye shadow, glitter (let’s be clear, no one 100 years ago had glitter on their face while on a horse), tide lines, panda eyes.

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Paddys Day At Abbeyfield

Maegen and I at Abbeyfield Farm

Maegen and I at Abbeyfield Farm

It was Paddys Day, it was not p*ssing rain, I was off work. There was only one thing for it, road trip time. Given the proximity of Abbeyfield Farm to the yard it was the perfect place to go for some cross country schooling. I’d been at the yard before but only while hunting so had no idea what the course looks like when you are not going full tilt in a group. I contacted Abbeyfield Farm a few days beforehand and arranged to go over for a spin.

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Things Only Equestrian Women Will Understand

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How make up is never really ‘stay all day’ or ‘budge proof’ unless it doesn’t rub off your forehead after wearing a hat and can withstand twelve hours of mud, wind and lashing rain. Extra marks if it stays on after you get a branch to the face on a hunt.

Having no sympathy for someone who broke a nail or got a paper cut. Sure that’s nothing compared to landing head first into a pole or ditch or being lifted off the ground by an animal several times your size. Suck it up.

Being reasonably sober after many generous slugs of god knows what from several hip flasks yet absolutely hammered after one bottle of beer.

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A Ladies Guide to Preparing To Hunt Side Saddle in Ireland

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The first step is to prepare to ride side saddle in general and you can find a guide to this here. Once you have mastered the bar stool and ridden side saddle on an actual horse without face planting it is time to start preparation for hunting side saddle in Ireland. Once Autumn hits everyone will start talking about hounds, meets and hip flasks so if you plan to participate, get some practice in.  Read the rest of this entry

The Big Orange Train Rides Again and Other Stories

 

"Ah I don't know if I will jump much!"

“Ah I don’t know if I will jump much!”

So about a week and a half ago the orange train and I headed off on another side saddle adventure, one I had been looking forward to for weeks. Ciara O’Connell (this lady: http://sidesaddleciara.wordpress.com/) had organised for a group of us to travel back to Ballyduff House near Thomastown in Kilkenny to avail of lessons with side saddle instructor Jennifer Torrance before staying over and heading to Mount Juliet the following day to hack out.

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Hunting In Ireland – Phrases & Terms

Photo: Lorna Keogh

Photo: Lorna Keogh

 “Irish Hunting Cob” = comfortable square shaped horse with a short thick neck and a big shoulder. Usually feels like a couch, moves like a tank and jumps whatever is in front of it. May be hogged (mane shaved off) so a ‘Jesus strap’ may be needed

 “Jesus Strap” = neck strap of a running or hunting martingale or a separate neck strap on a horse with no martingale. Used during those moments of unbalance where you think ‘oh Jesus’ and need to hold on tight. Particularly useful on horses that are hogged

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A Ladies Guide to Preparing to Ride Side Saddle

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I was asked earlier today by a rider if there were any exercises she could to prepare for riding in a side saddle lesson. Having only recently converted to the sideways side I thought it was only fair to share my experience and what I learned in those valuable first few weeks.

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These Are a Few of my Favourite Things

"That feeling you get from a hug off your horse"

“That feeling you get from a hug off your horse”

To the tune of the song of the same name!

Being greeted by neighing and pricked ears each day
The smell of creosote, molassed chaff and hay
Dark brown supple leather with subtle bits of bling
These are a few of my favourite things

 Horses that don’t lean when you’re putting their  studs in
A tailored show jacket that makes your thighs look thin
Short legged leather boots at a price that won’t sting
These are a few of my favourite things.

Competing ponies that are not white so I’m not up washing all night
Riding side saddle and getting new things right
When a horse pricks its ears when the show jumping bell rings
These are a few of my favourite things.

When I fall off
When it goes wrong
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

"The first sunny day to go hacking in Spring"

“The first sunny day to go hacking in Spring”

Antique old saddles and the smell of a tack shop
Managing to stay on jumping down off a big drop
When you jump a fence and the horse seems to grow wings
These are a few of my favourite things

That feeling you get from a hug off your horse
Remembering your way round a complicated course
When you get a fence so wrong but an honest horse still pings
These are a few of my favourite things.

Brown and wine accessories everything matching
Managing to ride well when people are watching
Riding a horse who feels like it’s on springs
These are a few of my favourite things

When I fall off
When it goes wrong
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

"Pristine horses and riders with immaculate turn out"

“Pristine horses and riders with immaculate turn out”

 When vanish can manage to get awful jodhpur stains out
When a handsome horse stands very still while you mount
The first sunny day to go hacking in Spring
These are a few of my favourite things

Pristine horses and riders with immaculate turn out
Sewn in even plaits and a tail fully brushed out
Riders in top hats and veils in the rings
These are a few of my favourite things

The sound of horses hooves as they hack on the road
The cry of the hounds as they hunt through the cold
Old school traditions and the memories they bring
These are a few of my favourite things
When I fall off
When it goes wrong
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

 

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