Best Christmas Outfit

17/12/16 – Edited to add:

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

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Photo number 10

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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! 🙂

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Partners

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:

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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 😀

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Inspired by the Weekly Photo Challenge: Partners

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…

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

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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!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Scale

Scale

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

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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

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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 🙂

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

Pony Love

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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.

Flying

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 🙂

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Like Flying

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This is my daughter at a Show Jumping competition at the weekend. As you’d imagine, I took a LOT of photos, and after sifting through them all, I think this is the best one. It’s well-focused (unlike many of the photos!) and I like how my daughter’s face is showing how much she is concentrating, but also having a great time. She says that jumping on a horse is like flying! And below you can see that when she’s finished concentrating hard, she is just so happy to be on a horse. I’ve never ridden a horse in my life, and am never likely to, but I can see how happy it makes her, and that makes me happy too 🙂

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Edited to add one more photo, as my daughter complained that I didn’t put one of her actually in the action of jumping (flying)! So here she is in the air:

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Lonely Horse

IMG_8516I was out for a walk on Saturday and this horse was making a lot of noise, neighing and whinnying and galloping up and down. It seemed to be calling out to a friend as occasionally there was a distant reply. I think the horse was feeling a bit lonely – perhaps it normally has a friend in the same field.