Seeing as this trip to Israel will be the first time I have gone away for more than a night (and I haven’t done that in years), I decided to make a present to give Hoovy before I leave. Well if truth be told I have bought a few wee things for Daddy to give her while I am away but they are just little things and I wanted something special to say “I love you”.
With that in mind I set about turning a free pattern I downloded last year to make “Zeek the Zebra” into a horse. Now all the years I have been sewing, I have avoided making stuffed toys because I find the instructions to be indecipherable and the pieces too small with too many sharpish turns to make. But seeing as this is kind of a big thing (maybe even a milestone?) I decided to give it a go.
Using left over flannel sheet bits from when I made myself warmy pyjamas last year, I cut out the pieces and started trying to work out how the puzzle was meant to go together. Eventually, after sewing a few bits together, I worked out that 4 of the pattern pieces were supposed to be joined together in pairs BEFORE cutting out! Since I had used tiny stitches and it was flannel I stood no chance of unpicking the seams and making it work so had to cut them out the right way and start over. Luckily I still have a fairly big piece of the fabric left and those bits which couldn’t be rescued were cut up and used as some of the stuffing.
Before sewing this time, I remembered having some fluffy light pink wool (or yarn for the Yanks!) and dug that out. The instructions said to glue the mane on but I opted to stitch it into the seam instead as it will last longer that way (plus I hate using glue if I don’t have to).
I used part of an old pillow that I had washed and used for stuffing last year. The horse seemed to require loads but somehow still have 1/3 of the pillow left to pook out and use for other projects. Anyways, after stuffing and sticthing up the final bits, I realised why it took so much … this is one fat horsey! Fat but VERY cuddly and uber soft and will no doubt be loved to death. I have said elsewhere that if I was a bad Mummy, I would pack it in my suitcase, take it with me and keep him for myself. But I am not evil and instead am anxious to give it to her on Sunday!
So, without further ado, here he is … The Horse for Hoovy!
And the close up!
Okay I know he isn’t perfect but that is the point for me. See his little ears? I left the edges raw so they will fray over time 🙂
Okay so, yes, Hoovy actually started riding again 3 weeks ago but tough! This is the first chance I have had to make a proper post about it. Patience people I am a very busy woman 🙂
My little Olympic hopeful needed new kit before she could get back on a horse. For starters, a new helmet as these must always be replaced after an accident (well after a big accident that could have crushed the protective stuff inside the helmet). This time, Hoovy opted for a “skull cap” – a style of hat that doesn’t have a hard brim at the front. This appealed to her as she can get different “silks” to go on it thus changing it’s look. At the moment, she is sporting a black & hot pink silk as demonstrated in this photo …
Next, the body protector. Hoovy was delighted to find a black one in her size as her old one was navy blue and didn’t match her black boots and hat. Now just because riding can be mucky does NOT mean you have to be a fashion disaster! So brand new black body protector which when worn with the hot pink covers she already had alongside the new hat with it’s black and hot pink silk = one totally colour co-ordinated rider!
And here is the pic to prove it!
Oh yes and don’t forget the black gloves (which sadly cannot be seen in this snap). Now she (naturally) already had pink jodhpurs and various pink tops to wear along with the rest of her kit. Another thing you cannot see here is the Tshirt she has on underneath. This was a present for Valentine’s day and she absolutely loves that her sister Crystal embellished it for her. The t-shirt already had horsey hoof prints and what-not on it but Crystal lovingly added “I love Horses” to it. This little personal touch really makes it very special for Hoovy (she LOVES her big sister!). One final thing to mention … in this photo (taken today) she is wearing my pink university hoodie. This is only significant because when she came off a horse called Molly just before xmas, she was wearing her own pink uni hoodie that was exactly like mine (only 1 size smaller). Sadly, hers had to be cut off and I am surprised she even considered wearing mine as she did not like hers being cut. Who knows she might feel more secure in mine?
SO … all decked out and ready to ride! As mentioned today was her 3rd lesson since her return.
Riding a cute little white (actually called grey in the horsey world) horse called Pye, Hoovy is the star of this video captured my me 🙂 Please excuse the long boring bit at the start (Pye decided to have a poo and I haven’t a software program at the moment to cut that bit out!) … so here she is …
Hope you enjoyed the show!!!! Comments are MOST welcomed!!!!
Well today, Hoovy braved the doctors again & went to her Fracture Clinic appointment. We set off from home about quarter past 1.oo so as to allow for time to find parking (it’s about a 20 minute drive to hospital and her appointment was for 13.55). Anyways, we turned onto the road the hospital is on at 13.46 and had to stop. Traffic quequed up both ways trying to get into the dinky car park. Whilst I had taken money for parking, it was only in bills & no coins so I couldn’t turn around and park on an adjacent street 😦 We finally managed to inch our way up to the barriers and waitedly somewhat impatiently to get a ticket before parking at 14.13. In the meantime, I got Derek to call the clinic and let them know why we were late. There are two floors to the car park and I opted to try and get one on the ground floor – up one row and down the next then STOP! I spotted one & nearly drove right past it. Of course it was the most awkward place to try and get into but in these situations you just know if you don’t do it then you could be circling around for ages trying to find another empty spot. So with 3 reverses and adjustments, I squeezed past the concrete pillar on the left and just missed the stupidly oversized Lexus on the right (who by the way was nearly on the white line and obviously can’t tell where his arse is because he/she didn’t pull in far enough – and yes, of course, moron had to reverse into his/her spot with the car he/she cannot park properly). Anyways I got my car in there and off we went to the clinic.
We get there and discover we are not the only ones running late, the clinic is too. Cairistiona hates waiting and I’d forgotten to take anything to entertain (bad Mummy!!!). We saw a Nurse Practitioner and found out that not only has she broken her collarbone, she also managed a hairline fracture in her wrist. So she’s trussed up in a sling with a wrist guard (splint) on. She goes back for another check-up in 3 weeks (6th January). But, much to her pleasure has been told she can go to school if she feels up to it – especially as these last few days won’t exactly be hard work. So we have agreed she will go in tomorrow for just the afternoon for the class xmas party and then if that goes well she can go in Thursday and Friday as normal.
In the meantime, she has upped her fruit and vegetable intake and making sure she gets enough calcium as she is determined to get back on a horse asap. This is, naturally, great for her but I am knackered! So much for my well-deserved break – I’m running around like a headless chicken tending to Little Madame’s every need on very little sleep. She fidgets like mad in her sleeps! Last night, she was raising her legs up in the air grumbling “Get off” over and over. I asked what was wrong, she sadi “They’ll only take pictures of legs!”. Naturally I just went back to sleep unable to think of any response to that one!
Well this week’s biggest news has to be Hoovy’s competition day at the end of her riding holiday. She looked after Bold all week long and they certainly developed a great bond. They looked good riding around for their warm-up shown in this photo captured on a mobile phone.
The real surprise was when they began their round. I have never ever seen her ride so beautifully. Unfortunately they had a hiccup so only managed 4th place but her posture, confidence, fluidity and focus was amazing to watch.
Later in the showjumping round, they had another hiccup as Bold seemed determined to return to his fellow horse friends before he’d finished but again they rode so smoothly. I even heard other parents commenting on her style and how beautifully she sat.
This has lead us to begin discussions on where to go with her next. Her local stable is no longer what she needs to continue to develop her skills. We know there are many routes she could take but have to discuss it further amongst ourselves, with her and her instructors before making a decision.
This is a little girl who at the age of 3 first sat on on a horse and wanted the adults to let go of the reins and that she wanted to jump! And she was being very serious at the time. Over the past 6 years we have had the pleasure of watching her grow as a rider and her determination to be a very competitive rider is still there. As parents we always had a niggling concern that she would ‘go off’ horses but we are now convinced that she is one of the lucky people who know exactly what they want to do in life at a very early age.
Well today is the day she has been waiting all year for … the start of her week long residential riding holiday! She is so excited that she doesn’t know what to do with herself. Since school broke up 3 weeks ago, I have managed to keep her distracted by taking her to Apple Summer Camps (2 on the second week and 2 on this week just gone). They were great – 3 hours long, they taught the kids how to use Garage Band to make music, digital cameras and iPhoto to work with images, video cameras and iDVD to make movies and the final one was making a presentation. She enjoyed them so much that while she was still looking forward to her holiday starting, she was more immediately looking forward to attending the camp sessions.
However, since the last one finished on Thursday, she’s been stir crazy. The weather hasn’t helped as it’s been rainy and yucky. With nothing to distract her attention, she has been worrying about every little thing holiday-related. Starting with a full day and a half of “when are you getting my suitcase out” followed by a panic caused by me attending a sewing event yesterday (took me away from the more important task of packing her stuff). By a miracle, even though I was away yesterday, the suitcase is nearly packed, only a few shirts to add. Then we’re off to Tesco’s to stock her up on snacks and away we go!
Btw, D’s skipping today’s fun by going to a football match at Wembley. I’m not bothered because I wasn’t the one who had to leave the house at 7.30am!
Well, perhaps that should be “pony & rider”. Today was an Open Day the stables where my brilliant little rider goes for lessons and pony club meets. She was asked to give a demonstration and eagerly agreed. She was so excited! She got little notecards from the stable and gave one to everyone she knows to invite them to come along and watch her ride. She gave one to all her friends (at school & in the neighbourhood), her teacher, the Head Teacher, had them put one up in the staff room and took two to the school office so they could post them on the noticeboard displaying the front & back of the cards.
Needless to say she’s been anxiously awaiting the day. A minor scare happened on Thursday evening when she fell off her bike … scraping her right elbow and palm and bruising her left thumb. She complained so much we let her wear a sling for the right arm – even to school on Friday.
But this shouldn’t have been a worry. After all she would try and ride even if she’d chopped an arm off. Oh yeah, I haven’t previously mentioned just how horse mad my little rider is – she has it very bad! So in short nothing aside from unconsciousness or prison would stop her from riding.
And rode she did! Perfectly I might add without any bias. While she would have preferred to give the demo on jumping and is perfectly capable, she does have one small disadvantage – her height. She is too short due to her age to ride the horses in the right group for her skills. So she gave the demo on gymkhana – games to the non-horsey people out there! It is like a race between two groups of riders/horses that includes a few obstacles and challenges. For this display, she had to ride under one pole, trot over a flat pole, then jump the crossed fence, bear left, collect the flag (which Star is terrified of!), ride back down the arena, hop off the horse, lead it back to the start while stepping on some “stepping stones” and place the flag in the stand.
She was cool even though she hasn’t ridden such a small pony in ages. Even though Star spooks at the flags, she wouldn’t let the cheeky pony run away from it. In the end her team (of which there was herself and another girl) won vs. the other team of 2 riders. Yippee!
So I suppose it really was worth the week of excitement and anxiety followed by 6 hours this morning of “what time is it?” and “That means we have x hours and xx minutes to wait right?” Just as well I love her!