Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Enchantment

WARNING
This is complete mindless wonder wandering so if you’re expecting something insightful or factual, log out now!

I’ve really been in a hazy daze these past few days... (see what I did there) Seriously I’ve have been meandering around in a sort of cloudy unclear bubble the last few weeks. It’s been a terribly long year and in some ways really terrible and in others an illustrious era, but of course we humans always endure, that’s exactly what we seem to do, endure. I have been wracking whats left of my brain examining this notion. Are we merely here to endure or is there any enchantment left for us?

My Moments of Enchantment





My Moments of Enchantment

Most Days, I’ve found my moments of enchantment with my horses, often more than glimpses of sheer and utter contentment, long pauses that trick me into a quietness that isn’t often enough afforded us. Just the soft serene noise of a horses hooves skimming the sod, breathe heavy in the cold air and a breeze that oh so gladly blows away the thoughts and troubles of everyday life. The feel of a horses muzzle snuffling through your hair as you stand lost in though by their side. The fantastic feeling of connection they allow us. Not to say that I haven’t a great connection with my fiance Shawn but those of you who know me know I can be a bit cantankerous and reactive so his job isn’t always the easiest one in the world, so I should thank him for that.



My Moments of Enchantment


Okay, back on point, this elusive enchantment, I’ve decided to buck the trend, again, much to the annoyance of most everyday sane people (May I mention here how little I like you sane people, I’ve been pretending!) I’m going to surround myself with only things that enchant me. Whether they are profitable, practical, pragmatic or normal isn’t going to affect my judgment one minuscule, microscopic bit. If It intrigues me, makes me muse, makes me smile, that is my one and only priority.


My Moments of Enchantment

Now, here’s the important bit, please take note. If you meet me out and about and I look like I’m having a swell time in my own world, please do me the courtesy of leaving me there and not mentioning, recessions, elections or lack of money. Perhaps, I might even be able to offer you some of my supply of enchantment for your own use or you might just be one of those “sane” people I actually dislike intensely and don’t want to have to tell you why so lets just smile and enjoy the sunshine for now, not living in doubt but just living in a little place of enchantment.


My Moments of Enchantment

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Spring Mayhem

Eleasalde (Hazel)

It’s mayhem and I know, generally if I’m involved there is always an inevitable degree of disturbance but this is real honest to God chaos. The W.I.T. Intervarsities 2011 are being held this weekend at Raheen Na Gun Stud. Over a hundred and fifty college students swarming around and a few show jumpers and dressage horses throw in. If not a recipe for disaster, it’s at least a recipe for more coffee. I rolled up at the crack of dawn this morning to get Eleasalde ready, all polished and plaited to be used for both the jumping and dressage phases and already the stables were mobbed with far too many fervent whippersnappers

Youths everywhere in sight!

At the same time, the weather has taken a turn for the better, not quite daffodils and snow drops yet but less of the howling wind and driving rain, with the competition season not quite so far away, some of the more devoted riders have already gotten stuck into preparation. I have the immense pleasure of coaching as part of the award winning Thomastown and District Riding Club Masterclass series. It’s four weeks of dressage training, first with me before next months jumping training. They are such an eager bunch of people and the evenings, despite some rain that would even shock Noah, have shown quality riding. Horses have made a clear improvement. It seems everyone is doing their best in between training sessions and it’s visible from week to week.


Snaffle Magazine

It’s great for me to be teaching such a diversity of riders and horses all at once as I’m now writing for the splendiferous SNAFFLE equestrian magazine. I’m their dressage correspondent, fitness expert and would you believe it, I’m their agony uncle as-well. That last column is unquestionably keeping me on my toes.

Speaking of fitness, the culmination of all the hard hours slogging in the gym resulted in not only me being extremely proud of my progress but also it meant being booked for a modeling gig by photographer Deirdre Marie O' Sullivan. She shoots amongst other things artistic nudes and with a new competition coming up that she wanted to enter, she decided to change tack and shoot with a male model instead of a female model. Now many of you will have seen some of the images already on my Facebook profile. Some of you may not, they are in their entirety on Deirdre's blog. I’m still shocked at peoples bashfulness so please don’t click the link and then be surprised and act all coy, if you find it too much to bear, just go make yourself a cup of tea and forget it ever happened. I’m posting “milder” versions here, if that is still too much, scroll further down the page really quickly,

NOW!


Deirdre O' Sullivan Shoot

In other less startling imagery, one of my dearest clients, Rose Shanahan has brightened up my life no end. Rose happens to also be the mother of the incredibly talented Kitty Shanahan who tends to all my horses backs. Rose’s horse Christy, is one of my all time, top of the list, head of the class favourite horses. After a stunning career as a show jumper with Kitty, he has heard the calling for dressage and I’m certain that he and Rose are going to not only have great sport this year but also kick up a storm. Christy has more character in his compact little body than most other horses I know put together. After a training session in their native Waterford turned into a tea drinking session, Rose let slip that she is an artist and has been designing a new range of pottery with an equestrian theme. Shortly after wards she presented me with a beautiful drawing of Rex and I that is now taking pride of place in our apartment. It cheers me up just gazing at it across the living room.


Rose and Christy

Rose's Drawing

Another creative collaboration has been with the mega talented graphic designer Rhona Nolan of the Rose Tinted Uncertainty blog
on an image for the core class I’m teaching. The class is a fitness class specifically designed for riders and the promotional poster merges the images from the Ciuin Treacy photo shoot and pictures of Rex. The image will be splashed across the county advertising the new classes and schedules.

CoreFit, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Rhona is an incredibly skillful student at A.I.T. and I’m lucky to be able to work with her on this. Rhona’s work shows an inspiration from old style photo’s and clean cut typefaces. Some of her other work displays her love of more sophisticated, less outlandish colours. She’s definitely one to keep an eye out for.


Rhona's work for Shutterbug Studios