Best Christmas Outfit

17/12/16 – Edited to add:

The vote is now closed! Thank you for voting. The winner is number 10! Congratulations 🙂

Photo number 10


At the weekend I was at the Christmas Show Jumping competition at Rheidol Riding Centre. While rosettes were awarded for the various rounds, there wasn’t an award for the best dressed rider on the day. So I thought, for a bit of fun, since I photographed everyone, maybe we could have a vote to see who we think was the best dressed rider.

Here are all the riders who dressed up (click on a photo to see it larger, and you can then scroll through them to see them all):

Each photo has a number so you can vote for your favourite in the poll here:

To thank the riders for their efforts which added lots of fun to my photography, I’ll give the winner a prize of some sort … maybe a free digital download of themselves in action? Or maybe chocolates? Anyway, let’s just see who the winner is … get voting! 🙂



I was looking through recent photos thinking about what would be suitable for this week’s photo challenge and it was going to be all about insects but then I realised I had some perfect examples of partnership in photos of my daughter, Abi, riding. The partnership between the rider and the horse is essential to get from A to B or to get the horse to jump the jump, or follow the instructions in a Dressage test. Abi doesn’t have her own horse (much to her sadness, but my purse is not large enough!) but she partners with every horse she rides at her fabulous riding school and they work together as one.

Having a bareback cuddle with the lovely Napoleon just before riding him bareback out to the field after a lesson:


Serious concentration during a Dressage test on Herbi – the partnership is really important here or your horse is not going to go in the right direction or use the right gait.


Of course, nothing is ever perfect, and occasionally your horse decides that this is a bit boring and throws in a little buck to liven things up a little!


But calm concentration usually wins the day and he’s back to behaving himself again 🙂


The Dressage shots are from a One Day Event Abi competed in last weekend. Here she is getting ready for the next part of the day by doing a practice jump prior to the Show Jumping.


And finally, the last part of the One Day Event was Cross Country and by this point it was pouring with rain. I sat in my camping chair in the middle of the field with an umbrella over my head and carried on taking pictures of all the riders going past! It sounds horrible but it was actually really fun apart from my rather damp knees (they poked out between the shelter of my umbrella and the cover of my wellies)!

So here’s Abi keeping up a good partnership with Herbi despite the rain. She went on to win the trophy for the Junior One Day Event novice champion 😀


Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

Big and small boundaries

Ok, so where do we go with boundaries?

How about this fence which is quite literally the boundary of the field, stopping me from getting in and the cows from getting out.


There are many boundaries in this photo. My daughter is riding along the boundary fence in the show-jumping area of the field. There are also distant hedges, fences and that cliff-like part is the far side of the river which is also lurking down there. The river is a natural boundary, unless you have built a bridge over it.


In this one she’s jumping another fence – another boundary. In reality of course you could just ride around this one, but for the purposes of show-jumping it is a boundary you need to get across in order to proceed.


As you may have noticed I have a bit of a scientific, biological interest in small things and I couldn’t avoid thinking on the small scale. I started to think about how water droplets form with a boundary with the air. It’s all about surface tension. The molecules of water on the edge (the boundary molecules) are more attracted to the other water molecules (i.e. more attracted inwards) than they are to the air (outwards). So they pull inwards into a droplet shape. And apart from the cool science, they look pretty too 🙂





In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Boundaries.”

Beach Riding

So, yesterday, I spent quite a large amount of time getting ridiculously windswept and covered in sea spray! But it was for a good cause. My daughter asked for a beach ride for her birthday, so I had arranged for her, her friend and her friend’s mum to go to Nolton Stables in Pembrokeshire and get the beach ride she dreamed of 🙂 It was very exciting for everyone and I was happy to get some good photos of the occasion. As you can imagine, there were many, many more photos than this, but here’s a few of my daughter and the lovely beach we were on. It was quite a cloudy day and the wind was very strong, but it didn’t seem to matter as we all had a great time 🙂

Cross Country Splash

Yesterday my daughter was having a Cross Country riding lesson with friends. They are preparing for a Cross Country event at the end of the month. As usual I took a lot of photos all around the course, but this jump was definitely my favourite. It was great fun getting shots of the riders enveloped in spray from the splashing of the ponies’ hooves in the water!

First they went the easy way – in and out via sloping banks…




Then the harder way – out of the water up a step …




In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Enveloped.”

Happiness is…

Following on from yesterday’s post when I showed a photo of my daughter riding … we had another competition today and I was doing my usual job of taking photos to record the occasion. My daughter hired her favourite pony from the stables as usual and in the wintry sunshine while getting started with the warm-up it was plain to see how happy riding makes her and how fond of this pony she is.

So I just wanted to share this photo which sums it up for my daughter:

Happiness is …

being on horseback!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale


I usually post photos
on a very small scale
like tiny moss forests
or miniature droplets…



but …

my daughter loves to jump

to me
large jumps
worryingly large
to her they’re small
not high enough
let’s go higher!

sense of scale
depending on perspective
a difference between the flier
and the mother on the ground

and I capture
the moments
in mid-air


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Scale.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Descent

I was thinking about what photos I had that fit with the photo challenge this week (descent). One of the things I take quite a lot of photos of is my daughter riding, and while she’s jumping over many jumps I try to capture the moment when the pony takes off and lands on the other side. Sometimes I’m more successful than others, but here’s a couple where I caught the moment of descent as they landed safely 🙂

Descent after flying over a cross-country jump
Synchronised descent in cross-country pairs

Pony Love


As you know, if you have been reading for a while, my daughter is horse-mad. I spend many weekends watching her ride in lessons and competitions. It’s her ‘thing’. This is her in the middle of a competition at the weekend, between rounds. She looks like she’s communicating telepathically with the pony! I decided to have a play with this photo so it ended up black & white. I think my daughter’s horseyness is rubbing off on me as I caught myself wondering if I should give it a go … I’ve never so much as sat upon a horse, and I used to be quite scared of them! I’m not sure, but I am becoming rather fond of these horses and ponies.

I’m back

I haven’t ventured out much with the camera for a while as I haven’t been feeling well. I’ve been feeling quite sorry for myself. Last weekend I had to drag myself out as my daughter was taking part in a Cross Country competition. I took a lot of photos of her riding, and one crazy close-up of the pony she was riding (which made me laugh):

And a photo of one of the resident kittens:

I was so exhausted after that day out! Thankfully I’m feeling better now and hopefully I may get a few photos this weekend.

Riding Happy

When I’m not at work, I seem to be spending a lot of time watching my daughter riding. Sometimes I feel a bit tired of this, as horses are not really my thing, and standing around in fields is not good for my back, and I’m sure there could be something else I could be doing which I would enjoy more …

But then I look at her face 🙂

My daughter’s the one on the left, and on the right is her friend who she often rides with. The ponies are Carrots (on the left) and Dotty (on the right) – 2 of the Rheidol Riding Centre ponies. They were both doing a showjumping competition last weekend.


I was taking photos of my daughter and her friend having a showjumping lesson today, and I was pretty pleased with managing to catch some shots of my daughter in mid-air. She says jumping is like flying and I can see why 🙂