Thursday, 25 August 2016

8 reasons Heartland wins again and again

I'm a grown woman, I'm married, and I pay taxes. I have grey in my hair.

And I lurrrrve Heartland. 

No apologies #notsorry

Like millions of pony mad tweens across the world, I am a devotee of the Canadian Tv series and now seems as good a time as any to have a massive love fest all over my blog and outline just why it is such a treat. If you're a fan too, maybe you'll agree, or share your own reasons for loving Heartland, and if you haven't seen it yet, maybe this will encourage you to get on it asap.

SPOILER ALERT: References up to the end of Season 8. If you don't want to know, look away now and come back when you're caught up!

The views

Set in Alberta, with the Rockies as a backdrop, Heartland is the Mother lode when it comes to stunning scenery. It also pays gorgeous tribute to the farm and country lifestyle. The cattle, harvest season and fence mending all creep into the background and the story.

The clothes

My fixation with bodywarmers has only been fuelled by Amy's adorable wardrobe, which also leans heavily on jeans, boots and heavy-knit cardigans. She is my wardrobe soulmate, except much more stylish (and clean) obvs.

The music

Modern Woman by Matthew Barber, Dreamer by Jenn Grant, and Eyes Wide Open by M'Girl are just a few of the best. If you heard something you loved, here is a great list of the soundtrack so you can find it. 

The weddings

Amy and Ty, Ashleigh and Caleb, Lisa and Jack, Lou and Peter - there is no shortage of beautiful, romantic weddings at Heartland, all with their own little touches. Amy wearing her cowboy boots under her dress and arriving on Spartan, Lou and Peter's sleigh horses, Ashleigh's short dress (typical rebel) and Lisa and Jack's tying the knot at dusk.

The horses

Of course! Copper, Spartan, Ghost, Pal, Shorty, Sugarfoot, Harley and Phoenix to name a few. And the nicest thing is that they stick around. Characters are loyal to their horses and don't change them like underwear. The riding scenes are really good too. Big efforts have been made to show decent horsemanship.

The weather

Snow storms, fall leaves and blazing sunshine bring the seasons to life on the series and make us long for hot chocolate in winter, crisp rides in autumn and galloping around the fields in summer. 

The Jack

He's grumpy, sarcastic and he tells it like it is. Grandpa Jack keeps everyone on the right track. 

The message

Your mum gets killed in a tragic accident, your boyfriend brings another girl home, a client tries to sue you - what do you do? You go ride your horse. Cowgirls don't cry. 

The end. If you love Heartland like I love Heartland - come join the fun on my Facebook page.

* I don't own these pictures or pretend to. If you see something here that belongs to you, let me know asap and I will apologise and remove promptly. 

Monday, 8 August 2016

Wind, wind, blow away

It is windy today. It was yesterday. It has been for a few days.

I don't like it. I don't really hate the wind but I definitely don't like it much. Or, I don't like it much when it's mixed with horses.

Reading a book inside on a windy day is really quite nice, and I even don't mind walking Nancy in it, especially when the grass is rippling and the clouds are racing past.

But with horses...I'm not keen. It just seems to add another dimension of potential danger. It makes my stomach lurch.

Today I planned to ride.

When I got to the yard I found they're resurfacing the ground outside my stable and you have to do a little obstacle course to get to it. The yard felt busy. There was a lesson in the indoor, harrowing in the field we normally come through, just plenty going on and all fairly noisy. Nothing unusual but plenty of reasons not to ride: where would I put him to feed and groom? Would the arena be free? Would my dislike of the weather feed into the session and make things go wrong?

So I walked down to the field, gave Zed a banana, checked him over and left him to it. 

I'm not very proud of this choice, since I'm sure we could have done something, but some days it's just too much, and I don't even want to get into it. 

I'm going to add this to my list of things to work on and think about. I need to find out where I stand on this. Either it's okay to miss a day because of the weather because that feels like a sensible choice for me ... or it isn't, and I have to work out a plan to get myself to do it.

I think the seed of the issue is this. I'm still a bit wary of riding Zed. I enjoy it, I ride him a lot, but we haven't yet built that bond where I always look forward to it. 

He is generally sensitive but sensible for a young, green horse yet we've just had a couple of moments in the past that have blotted the trust a little. Nothing awful, just enough to make me a little more cautious.

Because of that, I'm hyper-vigilant about missing a ride, because the policewoman in my head says: "This is the slippery slope! You're losing your nerve! And if you're not going to ride then why have you got a horse!" 

Maybe the policewoman needs to calm down a bit. I'll give her views some thought ;)

After our first ride out two weeks ago. He was very good and I was very happy

What about you? Do you make yourself ride even when you don't want to? Or are you more relaxed about the whole thing? Please do share any thoughts or advice on our Facebook page. I would love to know I'm not the only wind wimp!