Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Musings And The “Art” Of Dressage.

I don’t often get to luxuriate in something creative these days between running from horse to horse or to and from the gym but last week I received the most astonishing email. The well known Irish artist Roddy Moynihan sent me an email about possibly being the muse and stimulus for his next piece of work. He spotted pictures of me and my horses and thoughts of French nobility or equestrian statues jumped to his mind, now I can’t say I judge myself to be particularly noble or French looking but who am I to stand in the way of a man and his creation, especially if it makes me look like a piece of art.

Working in mostly acrylics and oils, his paintings remind me of something Celtic or bronze age, buckets of life and fluidity. He will be coming down to watch me ride this week and photograph some of the horses, working later from the chosen photograph. I think it’s going to be a great collaboration, although that implies I’ll be doing more than ponce around he arena trying to look inspiring!

RIBBF Irish Nationals

Last Saturday saw me getting up at the crack of dawn as usual, but with the dark mornings I seem to only dive further into my coffee addiction. Seven o clock saw me grabbing a lift with friends to Limerick, about three and a half hours away to travel to the Irish RIBBF (Republic of Ireland Bodybuilding Federation)They were staffing a stand for NPC active wear and I was there to help out and hang out. NPC is a great new venture of friends Will and Hans Vogul, Hans is a competitive bodybuilder and trainer and has been helping me with advice for a couple of months now. Saturday found him away from the clothing stand and on stage in the super heavy weight category of the competition. He was barely pipped for first place in the class but was more than credible runner up.

At the stand next to us, Ronnie Coleman or Mr “O” as he’s often called was signing autographs and T-shirts. Ronnie holds the title of winning eight Mr Olympia competitions, that makes him the Anky Van Grunsven of the bodybuilding world! The man is absolutely monstrous but couldn’t have been more friendly, he had just flown in, was guest posing at the competition and was driving up north to do a seminar in the morning. He didn’t bat an eyelid at the queues around the block for his stand. He signed a photograph for me and graciously wished me luck with the fitness career and the equine career. A true inspiration once you get over the fact that his bicep is the size of my entire upper leg!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Promo Shoot

Last week found me back in the studio on a promotional shoot in Shutterbug Studios. Organised by the beautiful and talented Blanaid Hennessey for my new core class that starts at The Ormonde Leisure Club
Photographs by Ciuin Treacy, a pleasure to work with, easy going and a great eye, even I had a second look at the pictures. Other samples of her work can be found here. Now I'm working with graphic design artist Rhona Nolan to put the final image for the poster together, Rhona has some super stuff on Rose Tinted Uncertainty Really looking forward to seeing the finished images.
Details of the class can be found here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Theory Thursdays

Come in from the cold this winter and improve your horsemanship and dressage skills with theory classes every Thursday. Have an opportunity to address all those little issues your horse has but never had the opportunity to fix!
Every Thursday at 8pm
Contact irish.dressage@yahoo.com or 087 292 9951 to book your place!

Corefit Classes

New classes beginning next week, in The Ormonde Leisure club, Kilkenny. Core classes aimed specifically at the equestrian athlete, strengthen your core and position and be more effective in the saddle. Get you "abs" in gear for the winter and hit the new year running strong!
Classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7pm
Contact irish.dressage@yahoo.com or 087 292 9951 to book your place

San Doncisco at the 2010 Oldenburg Fall Elite Auction

Saturday, October 2, 2010


Rex at Nationals
I think the Apocalypse has struck, there's people running everywhere, traffic jams, screaming babies, "well" not screaming babies. It's the beginning of winter. It's absolutely bucketing down here in Kilkenny. Bloody torrential rain washing down making it absolutely impossible to even take a peek at a horse without being soaked to the skin. But you'd imagine that here in Ireland we'd be able to deal with some rain but not so, people seem top believe that they are made of sugar and might melt at any moment if they behave like grown up adults while outside. Why is it that every Irish woman clutching an umbrella seems to be level with the side of the head, I've had more pokes in the temple than I care to mention.
On the way to Picasso yesterday, I stopped to pick up a bedraggled hitchhiker and I know it's totally dangerous but she looked smaller than me and it was pelting rain, I've been in that situation too many times to pass her. She was completely washed out but had a huge smile on her face and proceeded to tell me how moving to Ireland was a dream come true for her, she believes that the all the rain we have in fact helps to cleanse us and helps us Irish folk maintain our "fresh" outlook. I have my doubts!
At Home in Raheen on a break.
But I have to say Picasso was particularly wonderful this week, with Rex on a mini holiday to recover after National Championships back at Raheen Na Gun Stud, I had a bit more time to devote Picasso. His show season kicks off next month with some unaffiliated shows and maybe some young horse classes with Dressage Ireland, all going to plan. Woodend Flicka joined us in the arena today for a training session with visiting German rider Lisa (It's awful, I can't spell her last name!), it also gave us an opportunity to introduce Picasso to other horses in the warm up. He did look a lot but didn't deviate from his work at all which was great. His canter is just so divine to sit to and his trot work is really coming along, much more push and looseness.
I have to wish good luck to everyone in tomorrows final one day event in the Association of Irish Riding Clubs, Hoofprints Horse Trials League. Lets hope the rain clears up in time for that cross country ride!