Saturday, 27 October 2007

Someone described me as quirky this week. I'm not sure if it was meant in a complimentary way or not, but I suspect it may have come from a silly habit I have of talking to inanimate objects. It's not that I'm completely insane (although that definitely runs in the family) or that I expect them to talk back. Rather that I like to find amusement in the most everyday things around me. Outlook is everything. For example, the thing that made me chuckle to myself the most this week was when a horse at the paddock got frightened and shied at the sound of its own fart! Ho Ho Ho, I'm still LMAO at that one...

Golden Days

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Kinda like Thelma & Louise, only we had a hot rod, slimey eels and rosy glow chocolate. Just back from a couple'o'days in Golden Bay with a mate. We managed to out-drink the locals and NOT get arrested - check out more pics.

Butter wouldn't melt

Sunday, 7 October 2007

...or so you might think. Charlie Brown chilling out in the morning sun over the weekend. Really, how could this wee pony be anything but sweet and docile?

Well rewinding back just a couple of weeks ago it was more like Crazy Charlie and Rodeo Bill. Only
Crazy Charlie was completely insane and Rodeo Bill was crying girlie tears of frustration. Spring grass is like a drug problem for a horse (well no, maybe just my horse!), it sends him fruit-loopy for a few weeks every year. But you have to let them eat it at some point eh. But up close it's not pretty and I was shitting bricks trying to deal with one uncontrollable, mad mother F of a horse.

Despite the fact that a horse weighs around half a tonne and has a hell of a lot of power (and so has the physical ability to do pretty much whatever he wants whenever he wants), getting a horse to do what you want really mostly comes down to him believing that you are the more powerful. Like so many things, it's pyschological. You can whip him into shape obviously, but my concern has always been that the relationship is then based purely on fear and not on trust. One day when the situation arises that the shit really hits the fan, the horse is gonna split and run for his own life without a second thought for me and my safety.

So I've been trying out some horse whispering techniques, aka Natural Horsemanship. Made famous by Pat Parelli (who has made a small fortune by now I'm sure), in a nutshell the approach is based on imitating horses' own behaviour in the herd situation to win the leader status, ie. the horse will look to me to make decisions and provide protection.

You start out playing with them from the ground using ropes and signals (because I don't have horse teeth, horse legs and hopefully not a horse face!), until pretty soon you can get your horse to do heaps of stuff just by using hand signals or some sort of physical or verbal cue. I still have a long way to go, but the results have been immediate and positive. After 15mins my horse had more respect for me - no more barging into my space; no more swinging his arse round at me when he didn't want me picking up his feet, no more rearing up on the end of the lead rope frightening me half to death. Now I can do things like remain standing still in one spot whilst send him walking backwards using a simple command. This now works whether he's attached to me by rope or not and we make use of obstacles like poles he has to walk backwards over or backwards through streams. We've started on sideways manoeuvres now and after that will come riding with no bridle and trying to get similar techniques to work when on his back. When I can get him walking up into a horsefloat on command I'll throw a party (horses are natural claustrophobics and Crazy Charlie had to be sedated to get him on the horse truck from Wellington to Nelson)!

So, it's cool and really exciting to see a different approach achieving results. Heaps big thanks to Tanja and Kim for supporting me when I was struggling and encouraging me to try something new. Hopefully I can capture some of our horseplay on film for the full effect.

Dear Santa...

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Predictably the Christmas retail craziness is starting again already - or maybe I just read too many magazines! Last year I came up with a barter-of-skills rather than presents theory, but no one really bought into that eh, so this year I've decided to jump on the consumerism bandwagon instead!

I'm skint so don't expect too much from me, but to make it easy for you all I've put a lot of thought into what I'd like to find gift wrapped under the tree for ME this year. I hardly ever get presents from anyone, so don't be shy about pushing the boat out! Yeah, I know I'm a cheeky bitch. However, if you're only 8 and get pretty paltry pocket money I've been thoughtful enough to include great gift ideas to suit all budgets.

Dear Santa Claus,

I've been a really good girl this year. I've only got drunk a handful of times, hardly touched any illegal drugs at all and indulged in very little inappropriate sex or otherwise. I have been kind to people and tried hard not to witch & moan too much when idiots have REALLY annoyed me. Bless. So translated, I reckon I deserve some really good stuff in my stocking this year. Here's my list, I"ll be sure to update it as other wants and desires come to mind.

  1. Most of all I'd like a horse float so me and my nag can cruise around and explore new places. I'd even be happy with good quality second-hand, but it must be a double!
  2. Perhaps something swanky to lie on in my lounge in the sun and on the patio. Blob beanbags are the coolest. BTW my decor is red, black and beige.
  3. Naturally return flights to practically anywhere are inspiring. Someone to go somewhere with would be an added bonus; do you have any plans for the new year Santa?
  4. I CRAVE Wagamama food. I'm drooling just thinking about it. They have opened some restaurants in Auckland now, but failing that, the Wagamama Cookbook would be good.
  5. Saw this in a magazine and thought it was a bloody good idea. I plan to drink lots of beer this summer.
  6. If you bought me a western saddle I might even consider sleeping with you (none of those cheap imitations mind!). I've already got the lasso to put on the side.
  7. A Wintec 2000 All Purpose saddle would also be tops. I've had my existing saddle for about 20 years and my posterior has grown a bit since then eh.
  8. I love the groovy little tins Vixen Condoms come in (excuse the pun). I'm sure they'd look real pretty in my purse eh. Would be even more fun using them.
  9. I am forever buying printer cartridges which drives me nuts. Not very exciting, but useful nonetheless - HP93 and HP98 is what I use. Thanks.
  10. Subscription to Wild Tomato, Simply You, Marie Claire or Inside Out would not be sniffed at. Would go well with the beanbag and the beer and the summer thing I reckon.
  11. I've been thinking of buying a crockpot. Im into self-cooking meals eh.
  12. I think I need to invest in some new tramping socks cos I've been getting blisters.
  13. Don't bother with flowers, I prefer plants. Succulents are my favourite cos they are practically impossible to kill and always provide a good patio background for drinking margaritas!
  14. For ages now I've been looking out for a really cool teapot in which to concoct refreshing brews. Unfortunately I'm yet to see one that calls to me "BE MINE!"
  15. As a woman naturally I am easily won over with trickets, lace and other trifles :P

Thanks Santa. You're da bomb. Lots of love from Thea xx