Thursday, 1 March 2012

Time for an update!

Ellie's Treasures, the blog, isn't just about what's happening on the shop front, or in the craft world, but also about family life in general.  It seems to have been a while since I updated you on what's been going on here.

Katie's horse, Jay, continues to dominate our lives more than anything else at the moment.  As one thing gets sorted it seems another comes to the fore!  I've been told this will continue throughout our horsey lives, so I should really start to get use to it.  We've been at the new livery yard for a month now (where does time go?) and am happy to say we've all settled in extremely quickly.  Jay seems far more relaxed in his new surroundings, and because of this, Katie and I also feel good (although we couldn't say we didn't feel happy at our previous place - our old yard owner, like our new one, was lovely and welcoming (as I've said before)). 
20th Feb 2012
The first few times Katie got back in the saddle was quite interesting.  She'd forgotten how uncomfortable Jay's trot was and it was looking very bumpy.  It didn't take long for the pair of them to get into a routine and with each day of work, they seem to be progress further and are starting to become a lovely horse and rider team.  Jay's mini-bucks are generally kept for the cooling down part of each session, but Katie won't let him get away with it!  She'll push him back into trot or canter to get home that he really can't behave like that! Sessions are still relatively short (she's now working him for about 30 mins), to build up his stamina and muscles - and he's pretty sweaty after this short time, so obviously needs the exercise!  Being in an enclosed arena has made Katie far more confident and able to concentrate more on what she needs to do with Jay, rather than worrying he may shoot off across the field at any moment.

We had the saddle fitter out at the beginning of the week.  This is the (hopefully, but probably not) the final thing we wanted to check with regard to his bucking.  It seems his saddle is too long for his back, and is sitting past his last rib (therefore with little support and putting a strain on his back ligaments and muscles).  I had my suspicions from the start, but, once again, ignorance of these things lead to making a costly mistake.  At the time it was suggested we buy a larger saddle, as they are apparently easier to sell second hand when needed, but it seems we really needed one slightly shorter.  Ho hum, we live and learn!  The saddler has given us an excellent price to our 4 month old saddle and we're going to either replace with another the same (but new size) or choose a good second hand one.  I'm hoping we can go for the latter as forking out another £300 odd isn't my idea of fun!  He did say he'd throw in the re-fit visit for free though - bless him!

Away from horses - both cars are seriously needing attention too - and draining our bank account at the same time.  First the radiator has bust on our Landie and I'm wondering if our -14 cold spell had something to do it.  To save on labour costs, Paul has bought all the bits and tools himself to fix it.  I think he's looking forward to the challenge - just hope he doesn't take too long!  Our other family car has got mega power-steering problems.  It's been going on a while now and has got worse and worse as time has gone on.  We had a couple of drives where it reverted back to normal (pure bliss), but other than that we may as well say it doesn't possess power-steering at all, and makes driving tiresome and probably a little dangerous at times.  I've decided that tomorrow's trip to jujitsu, being around 100 miles journey in total, is not going to happen, it's just far too much hard work.  The car's going in to the garage on Monday for a new power-steering pump.  I really hope that'll fix it and there's no more expense.

Ben's next jujistu grading is fast approaching.  The weeks go by so quickly, it doesn't seem five minutes since he got his current belt.  He's loving the classes and the weapons too - so we decided to buy him his own Bo (long stick) and will eventually get him a Jo too (although we've been told a broom stick will do).  Being left handed, with most strenuous moves using the right hand, using a proper weighted Bo will be a bit of a challenge at first I think - but he's up for it!

Katie's working hard on her IGCSE English and will be taking this at a local secondary school at the end of May.  She's far more confident about this exam than the maths last year and her written English has come along in leaps and bounds since starting the course.  Ben is keen to do Interior Design, although at the mo we haven't looked further than the internet and a few books from the library.  He seems to have an eye for colour and room design and enjoyed building homes and furnishing rooms on The Sims until our computer died and we lost it!  He's now found something a little similar online which he's using, as well as putting together mood boards on my Pinterest account.
Tilly, Feb 2012
All our pets are well at the moment, although we had to say goodbye to Billy the rabbit a couple of weeks ago.  Again I think it was the terrible cold spell that pushed him over the edge and it seems his snotty nose (that he's always had and couldn't really cure) turned to pneumonia and he stopped eating and drinking and seemed quite down.  He would have been 8 this Spring which is a good age for a rabbit.  Tilly is off to the vet next week for, what the vet called, a "snip and chip".  They're running a scheme to neuter cats and kittens for a cut price so was pleased to take up that offer.  She's a typical kitten - into everything - jumping up your legs (ouch), scooting across the floor chasing after things and many bouts of serious play-fighting with the other cats (mainly Pepper).  She loves Poppy and follows her around outside; they've even been known to snuggle up together which is very cute.  Mrs. Tiggs, one of our hens, has started laying eggs again.  A sure sign the days are getting longer.  Paul is talking, again, of getting perhaps a couple more hens to increase our egg quota - although once Mrs. Tiggs gets into daily egg laying, we usually find that's enough for our cake making needs.

Think that's it on the update front.  Sewing continues (I'll post again about new things) - life continues - Spring is well and truly on its way - warmer days certainly make me feel more cheerful, it almost means the return of frequent cups of tea outside in the sunshine! Roll on Summer!

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