Well, look what the cat dragged in... me! I have been so busy lately and I spend so much time on the computer as it is that any thoughts of updating this blog again have fallen by the wayside. Life back home is going a mile a minute. I successfully moved out to Kamloops, British Columbia in April, and ended up managing a guesthouse for the first six weeks while the owner was away (providing me with short-term accommodation while I figured out where I wanted to be longer term). I've stayed on at the guesthouse for a bit longer since the owner's return, but will be moving to a new place this Friday. My horses joined me out here in May. I absolutely love it out here so far! I've already been back to Alberta twice for photography work, however, and hope I continue to have the opportunity to return to my stomping grounds. If you'd like to see what kind of photography I've been up to, the best place to look is on my Facebook fan page, which I've been updating regularly. For now, I wanted to get the following post up on this blog because my friend Nita has been patiently waiting for these photos of her horses since... oh, January?
The story goes, one December day in Masterton, I was at the supermarket and came across a lady handing out samples of Christmas pudding. I accepted and the triple chocolate mousse was divine, prompting me to seriously think about purchasing a whole one. However, with my less active lifestyle in NZ, at least compared to the amount of exercise I usually did in Canada, I realized it probably wasn't the best idea to buy an 20,000 calorie chocolate pudding to consume entirely myself. I may have hiked a lot, but it's no real workout compared to riding every day! I was telling her that riding is how I usually get my exercise, and she said that she had horses too. We chatted for awhile and to my surprise, she offered for me to come out to ride sometime! I'm not sure how she knew that I wasn't a greenhorn who merely claimed to know how to ride, haha... maybe my legs are bowed? Anyway, it was nearly Christmas, so we decided to meet up after the busy holidays.
When I went out to Nita's place, I was greeted by a happy and healthy family of animals. Bart the black standard poodle came bounding up to me first, acting as the greeting committee. Nita's horses are Arabian-crosses: two mares, Milly and Maggie, a gelding, and a pony she keeps for her grandkids to ride. Milly is the horse Nita likes to ride, and I got to ride the lovely Maggie. I wasn't sure how she would go, as Nita's friend had ridden her the week before and had some trouble, but she was just perfect for me! She had the nicest long walk, smooth trot, and ground-covering canter. She was a bit spooky at a few things, but really nothing more than giving things the hairy eyeball or scooting a few steps.
Nita is an endurance rider, so thinks nothing of several-hour-long rides. Usually I'd have no problem with these, but having only done two short rides since November, my seatbones were protesting halfway through our ride! I wasn't complaining though, as I was just so happy to be on a horse again. :)
I didn't have my compact camera with me, so didn't take any photos of the ride, but I grabbed a few shots of the girls with my big camera when we got back.
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