The Country Show

When I was little I think from age 4 – 8 or 9 all I wanted for Christmas was a pony. Then when I was 9 it switched to knee-high boots, although I didn’t actually want knee high ones, I wanted ones like Julia Roberts had in Pretty Woman. Pretty sure I shouldn’t have been watching Pretty Woman when I was 9 or 10 but whatever, I turned out ok didn’t I?!

My Dad lives near(ish) to us and owns 2 ponies who live in his back garden, Dobbin and Petal. They are full on awesome, and I love them, but I love Dobbin a bit more because I got to name him!

Its so cool to see our kids who grew up in the manicured naturalness of Surrey and whose closest experience to animals came through visitor farms, get to be around real working animals all the time. Luis gets in the field with Dobbs and Petal and feeds them and is so confident with them, as is Maxi, who now wants to be a jockey.

Are the photos of Amelie on the pony annoying yet? I cant help it, I love her!!

Amelie has got to be the most confident one though, she just marches in “I ride on petal, I ride on Dobbin” and she sits on Petals back and round she goes holding onto her mane!!

Amelie is my little pony girl. I hope one day her and Vivi will enter in proper pony shows.

We went to one this past weekend up in Mayo and the confidence and self belief that these little kids have is amazing. They are so comfortable in their bodies and their ability to control an animal 10 times their size, its so great to watch. I seriously loved seeing all the cute little girls riding around. I hope Amelie and Vivi can do this one day (although the mega competitive streak came out when I proclaimed they could be like the Williams Sisters, only in pony shows, not tennis. my motto = go big or go home) They had an agricultural show there too, with cows and sheep. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. Like ever. Even the Dorking country show isnt really ‘country’ compared to this. These guys are SERIOUS about their cattle and farming.

This big fat heifer (think thats the correct term, who knew there are multiple words for ‘cow’) was basically tied to that silver gate, which wasn’t dug in to the ground or anything. Im pretty sure that if he or she wanted to he/she could have just yanked it right over and ran off leaving a path of destruction in his/her wake. I decided after walking through pens and pens of cattle and big bulls and baby cows that I like my cows one way only and thats cooked medium-rare, with a nice sauce and a big glass of vino (sorry veggies, sorry katie)

I preferred these guys, there were pens of them too. All kinds of different sheep. Mr Clev was at one point saying ‘we should buy a farm and raise kids and animals’. I thought kids and animals are basically the same anyways but hey-ho!

Lessons learned from this past weekend;

1) Pony riding competitively is expensive.
2) never attend anything called ‘spring show/agricultural show/summer show’ without wearing Wellies and waterproof trousers, and having loads of spare clothes in the car.
3) with the amount of milk we drink here, it would actually be cheaper to own a ‘house cow’ in the garden. Even with feed costs for the cow.
4) it would be considerably cheaper to give ice creams to 4 children if a ’99’ was still 99p instead of nearly 3 euros!
5) Ireland is likely the only country where one minute its hot enough to want ice cream, and the next you need hats and gloves on.

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