It's been a while since I wrote last. I've been really busy with nothing much.
It's summer and I'm sitting by the heat pump with slippers and puffa jacket on. Today is not raining but it has rained more than usual this summer with lot's of flooding in the South Island. We were glad to be staying in a unit on the rainy days of our Golden Bay holiday, it would have been pretty miserable in tents. We got some good climbing in around the rain. I tried Burly But Sensitive (22) and had a lot of fun mucking around on it. I re-climbed one of my favourites twice (Beautiful Day (18)). I went on a horse trek on an Icelandic horse. They are quite different to the horses I'm used to riding: they are small pony sized and they have slightly different gates. Here is a photo of me galloping on the beach:
I left the holiday early to fly home for horse camps and Nui Wai. I flew in a little six seater plane and we had to circle around Wellington three times before landing because our flight was low priority and others were allowed to land first. I stayed with my aunt and uncle for the nights in between the two horse camps.
On the first camp I got Rocky as my horse. Rocky is a horse who is a challenge to ride because he is really strong in the mouth and also really spooky. Part of the reason he is spooky is because he was abused when he was younger, before he came to Nui Wai. I was really excited that they thought I was good enought to ride him. I mostly worked with him bareback because we were trying a more gentle style of riding with the horses. His trot is really bouncy so it was hard for me to sit to and I spent most of the week just trying to keep my balance, it was an achievement to trot the whole way round the ring without having to stop him because I was losing my balance. On the last day I rode him with a saddle and that was so much easier: I could trot and canter comfortably. He loves to move forward so he had more fun too. We were doing jumping that day, but because I had Rocky I couldn't jump the proper stuff on him. I put a little jump that was only about 20cm in the ring and walked him over it. He found it really scary and kept trying to walk around it so my arms got a real workout steering him into it. He took me by surprise one time and jumped when I didn't think he was going to. Because I wasn't ready he got his mouth yanked by the reins and that freaked him out. I had to work really hard to get him to go over it one last time. When he finally went over it he went over well and I didn't pull on his mouth. I then got to ride one of the other horses to jump some bigger jumps, up to about 70cm (I think). One of my favourite parts of the camp was my solo ride on Hobbs. I hadn't gone on a ride by myself before.
On the weekend between camps I stayed with my aunt and uncle. We did lots of gardening except when it was raining. My aunt and I went into town one day and we went to Te Papa to see the exhibition on wedding dresses in the past. It was really cool but neither of us saw a single wedding dress that we would have wanted to wear.
I got Rocky again for the second camp which I was really happy about because I had been hoping to work with him. The weather wasn't as sunny as the first camp. We walked up the west ridge with the horses almost every morning and that was a lot of fun, though very tiring. It was still warm enough to swim two of the days. The first one I took Rocky and went with LK who was on Huck. Rocky spooked at the reeds in the water and bolted out of the water. I fell off and he snapped the reins and ran home. I hurt my finger and got a few grazes on my knee but wasn't really hurt. The next time I shared Tara with S. Then we went swimming without the horses and some of the girls jumped of the cliff into the water. We did more jumping on the last two days which was fun. Also went out on rides in pairs (I didn't take Rocky). I went on a really fun one with L. We had races up to the camp and just fooled around a bit. At one point I had to get off the clear some small trees off the path which had been blown over by the wind.
At the end of the two weeks I was missing my family and I was really happy to see them when they came to pick me up.
Below are some photos from camp: the first two are me on Ray, then it's Rocky grazing then me standing with Rocky. The last one is from the second camp and it's me jumping Hobbs.
My latest non horse-related obsession is Doctor Who. I have watch the first four series and I'm racing through the books. I don't have to worry about running out soon though because there is just so much of it. I have watch a couple of episodes from the original series.