Monday, 10 November 2008

Showman's Show

Well it was a couple of weeks ago now but Rebecca and I had great fun at the Showman's Show. We set ourselves up a little stand in Peter Johnson's big top tent and covered it with lots of costumes, posters and photos, set up our laptops playing our show reel and website - and then realised the whole thing closely resembled both our bedrooms!
We were very lucky in that our stand was situated between a Terrier racing man who had three gorgeous (if slightly smelly) Jack Russell puppies with him, and Dingle Fingle's fire engine - both of which served as brilliant attractions and allowed us to accost lots of unsuspecting would be passersby!

It was a lovely couple of days - we made lots of new friends, and caught up with some old ones we haven't seen for a while. We even learnt a new skill - riding a penny farthing! This isn't as easy as you might think and we have Felix and Felix (or Kim and Nik - sorry guys!) to thank for letting us persuade them to teach us!

We also met some brilliant balloon modelists who could literally make anything from balloons. My favourite was when they made a little boy into a helicopter - who then spent the whole afternoon 'flying' around the tent! They also made us a really sweet little Jive Pony balloon model!

There were lots of things to see and do at the show, including brilliant tribute acts to Madonna, Amy Winehouse and Kylie on the stage right next to our tent. There was also a spider web tower to try and climb, It's a Knockout with Keith Chegwin, fighting giants, some farm animals and a pink plane piloted by pirates to name a few! Click here to see the photos of everything.

In amongst all this Rebecca and I did manage to schmooze quite a few show organisers - so hopefully we'll be getting some work for next year. Having said that the bookings are already coming in, we've even got a few lined up for 2010!

So even though the shows have finished Becca and I have plenty to keep us busy over the winter. I've just completed a massage course so I'll be spending the next couple of months doing case studies before my exams in January, and Becca is looking to do a personal trainer course, so we're definitely keeping busy!

We'll also be working really hard on all our shows over the winter - we've got lots and lots of new ideas so it's going to be fun trying them all out and finding out what does and doesn't work! I'll keep you posted on our progress!

It just leaves me to say thankyou to everyone who has supported us this season - it's been our best one yet and we couldn't have done it on our own so THANKYOU! And we look forward to seeing everyone again in 2009!

Lots of love
Rosie xx

Monday, 20 October 2008

Avon Riding Centre Autumn Gala

Jive Pony's 2008 season is over! We finished it with a lovely show at the Avon Riding Centre for the Disabled in Bristol. Rebecca, Ronan, Tim and I went down for the day yesterday for a solo show. As it was just the one show we left Tinker at home to have a day off - I think he was just pleased he didn't have to have a bath!

The show went really well - the audience were definitely the most receptive we've had all year! They clapped and cheered and booed in all the right places - I felt really guilty when I had to call them rubbish (it's in the script - I couldn't avoid it!) and they booed me for it!!

They had some other interesting displays throughout the day including a police dog demonstration and a display by the paralympic dressage gold medal winner, both of which were really impressive. However, the highlight of the day was the finale, where everyone involved with the centre took part in a musical ride with 'Grease' for the theme. I counted twenty horses and riders taking part - all dressed up as either a T Bird or a Pink Lady! You can click here to read a full account of the day and here to see some of our photos.

Both Tinker and Ronan are going to have a well earned rest for a while now. They really have both been absolutely amazing this year, Rebecca and I owe absolutely everything to them. They have coped with everything from blistering heat to knee deep mud and flooding, on top of spending endless hours on the lorry being trekked around the country - whilst always being calm, patient and willing, and looking after us as best they could. We really couldn't ask for more. Boys - we love you.

Although the shows with the horses are now over Rebecca and I are spending Wednesday and Thursday at Newbury Showground for the Showman's Show. We're there with our new agent Peter Johnson, and we'll be setting up a little stand and spending the days trying to promote ourselves and sell our shows! I'll let you know how we get on...

Love Rosie xx

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

New Website!

Look at our lovely new website! The whole website has undergone a complete transformation and is now completely up to date, with loads of information about every aspect of Jive Pony - and lots of photos of course! It's all thanks to the wonderful Scott, who has built the entire site in his spare time after seeing us at a show back in May, and both Rebecca and I are eternally grateful to him! If anyone out there needs any sort of work like this doing I can't recommend him highly enough - just contact us through our website and we'll put you in touch with him. To have a look at the website just click on the link to the right of this post and it'll take you straight there - happy surfing!

Rosie x

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Miniature Horse of the Year Show

Last weekend it was giant vegetables and this weekend it was miniature horses - it's like Gulliver's Travels in the Jive Pony camp at the moment! Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I were up at Arena UK, Grantham, for a one day solo show for the Miniature Horse of the Year Show.

The first show at lunchtime went without a hitch, and it was really lovely to be vaulting on a proper surface, it definitely made things a lot easier. I think even Tinker appreciated it after all the different types of ground he's had to deal with this summer! The second show was in the evening and didn't go quite so smoothly to start with. I was busy opening the show when I walked under one of the overhead speakers and got really loud feedback from my microphone. So I hastily ran backwards to try and stop it... only to crash into one of our stands, fall flat on my back, drop the microphone with a really loud thud, knock down two other stands and detach a lot of our ring rope. All in one go. So, so embarrassing! (And now I'm laughing so hard at the memory I can barely type!!) I scrambled back up and tried to carry on commentating, but got completely lost as to where I was, and was also trying not to laugh too much. Unlike Becca, who practically fell off Ronan she was laughing so hard! Anyway...on with the show! Thankfully that was the only mishap and the rest of the show went brilliantly!

The miniature horses themselves were amazing - they were absolutely tiny! You could easily fit one of their hooves into the palm of your hand, and their legs were narrower than my wrist! They varied quite a bit in size but some of them were only knee high - and then there were the foals! The foals were so small, and my favourite was a little irish chap called Ralph. Although he didn't win his class he was definitely the best - he was the fluffiest little thing I've ever seen!

As well as the shows Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker and I had to parade in each class throughout the evening. It was really strange waiting in the collecting arena surrounded by miniature horses - Tinker and Ronan looked like behemoths in comparison! The boys were fascinated by them though, and kept trying to talk to them all! Aside from the showing they had classes for driving and riding, but also a fancy dress class and inhand showjumping! I wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it, but those little horses can jump! I'm not sure Tinker and I would have made it over some of the jumps they were clearing! The fancy dress class was also memorable, with costumes varying from fairies to unicorns, and little red riding hood to snow white and the seven dwarves, but the class was eventually won by a very impressive 101 dalmatians. We did manage to take quite a few photos, just click here to have a look.

We've got this weekend off, but next weekend we're off to Avon Riding Centre in Bristol for another one day solo show - lets hope I can stay on my feet this time!

Rosie xx

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Malvern Autumn Show

We've just had another cracking weekend, this time in Malvern for their Autumn Show. Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I arrived at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern for a two day solo show. Although we know the site well it was set up a bit differently, and our arena was in a completely different place to usual! It was a nice change though, and all our shows went really well, the boys were fantastic, the crowds were brilliant and once again the sun shone for the whole weekend!

We also managed to catch up with some friends we haven't seen for a while including Henry Ray (with Larry the Bedlington terrier, and selected ferrets) and Gus Dermody with his amazing sheepdogs (Tia's my favourite!) and Indian Runner ducks! It's been a bit of a month for sheepdogs and herding, but Gus is exceptional in the way he trains his dogs - they are so responsive and obviously absolutely love their work, they really are a joy to watch!

On Saturday evening we discovered the Harvest Pavilion which was home to the giant vegetable competition. And boy, were they GIANT! In fact, the biggest pumpkin in Europe was the star attraction, weighing in at an immense 1.3 tonnes! We had huge amounts of fun taking lots of pictures with all the veg - so much so that people kept laughing at us! But we didn't care - they made our weekend! There were lots of other things to see and do at the show, we were right next to a huge collection of steam driven engines and vintage tractors. The engines were doing all sorts of different jobs, some were powering light bulbs, some sawing logs, some pumping water, some pressing cider apples and one was even milking a plastic cow! Click here to see all the photos from the weekend...

We've not got any more outdoor shows now this season, but we're off up to Lincolnshire on Friday for a one day show on Saturday. It's an indoor display - so come rain or shine it doesn't matter! I'll tell you all about it next week...

Lots of love
Rosie xx

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Midland Gamefair

We've just had a super successful weekend - FINALLY!! Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I set off for Weston Park on Friday and arrived on site within two hours without any breakdowns! The ground was lovely and we were able to set up really close to the arena, which always makes everything a little bit easier! We were there for a two day duo show, and although we've still got quite a few shows left this season it was our final duo booking, so we wanted to make it a good one!

Both the shows went really well on Saturday, the audience was brilliant, the boys were fantastic, and the sun shone! In the evening Rebecca and I took the boys for a ride around the site. The show was far bigger than we thought so instead of riding around the park we spent an hour riding around the showground. The show was closed and everyone had gone home so we could canter up and down all the aisles past all the shops, it was loads of fun and the boys were loving it! We were out for longer than we meant to be and it got completely dark - it's a good job horses can see in the dark as Rebecca and I couldn't see a thing!

Sunday was another beautiful day, and both our shows again went very well. We have to thank Phoebe for taking hundreds of fantastic photos - click here to have a look at them - I couldn't choose between them all so there's loads up there! We also managed to watch Cyrill the Squirell and his terrier racing team, which was hilarious and also the Band of the Ghurkas who were very impressive, playing lots of tunes which got stuck in our heads all day long!

The lorry managed to make it home again with no problems, so it was a good weekend from start to finish! We're off to Malvern on Friday for a two day solo show, we know the showground well so all were hoping for is some more good weather! I'll let you know...

Love Rosie xx

Sunday, 14 September 2008

World Sheepdog Trials

We've just had a lovely few days in Wales - and the sun shone for the shows! Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I set off for Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire on Wednesday, but no sooner had we stopped at the first services on the M5 than the lorry broke down - AGAIN! So we rang the breakdown people ('we'll be with you in an hour') and sat and waited. The breakdown man diagnosed the problem to be the starter motor, bump started us and told us not to stop or stall for the rest of the five hour drive! So now we had a lorry that wouldn't start, and when it was started wouldn't stop unless it was stalled - brilliant! Everybody at home was really helpful and between us all we managed to arrange for a new started motor to be bought, brought over to us, and for some local mechanics to come out and fit it, and all before we'd even got to Wales - thankyou Andy, Katherin and Chris!

Thankfully we managed to reach the site with no further dramas, but the field was a sea of mud and the rain was incesant - perfect weather for setting up! Luckily this was the only rain we had, and the next four days were lovely and sunny. On Thursday evening Rebecca and I cycled up to the nearby ruined castle for a little bit of exploring, and from the top we could look down at the entire showground - our lorry and tent looked tiny!

On Friday our new started motor arrived with Rebecca's Mum and Dad, and shortly after two lovely mechanics, Anton and Mark, arrived to fit it. We were all in suspense when they'd finished and asked us to try and start the lorry, I turned the key and... CLICK! Nothing! By this point Rebecca and I were really starting to hate the lorry, but Mark and Anton knew what they were doing and managed to fix the problem in a matter of minutes. It turned out it wasn't the starter motor at all but just the terminal on the battery, so the breakdown man could have quite easily fixed it in the first place and saved us a lot of hassle and expense!

After all the stress Rebecca and I took the horses for a ride for a bit more exploring and also took them up to the castle. They really do love going off to different places and seeing different things, and although they're both quite well travelled I think it was the first time either of them had been in a castle!

Over the weekend we watched quite a bit of the trialling. It looks really difficult, and the skill with which the handlers controlled their dogs, who in turn controlled the sheep was really impressive - if only I could get Tinker to be so responsive! The title was eventually won by Aled Owen and Roy, so the home crowd were happy to have a welshman as world champion.

All our shows went really well, and although the ground was quite slippery from all the rain earlier in the week the boys really looked after us and took things steady. We managed to get lots of photos of various different things, click here to have a look at them. We're off to Weston Park on Friday for the Midland Gamefair, a two day duo show. The journey shouldn't be too long this time - providing we don't have any more breakdowns! I'll let you know how we get on...

Love Rosie


Monday, 8 September 2008

Wolsingham Agricultural Show and Private Party: The worst weekend in history!

We have officially just had the worst weekend in Jive Pony history, ever! Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Rachel, Tinker and I set off for Wolsingham Agricultural Show, Durham on Friday morning, an hour later than planned. The drive turned out to be slightly longer than we expected, mainly due to the fact that the rain was horrendous for the entire journey - we had the windscreen wipers on for the whole six hours! We arrived at the site via a tiny lane and had almost reached the gates when we met someone with a trailer who insisted he couldn't reverse the twenty feet necessary to let us past - so I ended up having to reverse the lorry about quarter of a mile instead! When we finally reached the entrance we once again had to be towed onto site and into position, not a good start! Next we had to set the tent up, and the rain was still relentless! We then realised that the rain had seeped into the the luton of the lorry and all our bedding and beds were wet - just what we needed! The rain still didn't let up overnight and Becca got up about four times in the night to push the collected water off the roof of the tent - if she hadn't it would have been resting on the horses' heads by the morning!

Come the morning we went and had a look at our arena, only to realise that the ground conditions were really treacherous so unfortunately it was decided that we couldn't perform. We were really disappointed as we all love doing the shows, but it was just too dangerous. Plus only about two people had come to the show so there wouldn't have been anyone watching anyway! So we packed everything back up again (still in the pouring rain) making sure we packed all our bedding into bin liners this time, and set of for Somerset. The only good thing was that we got to leave at midday - five hours ahead of schedule! As we drove down it became apparent just how bad the rain was, we passed many fields which were completely flooded - some even had large round bales of straw floating around in them!

We'd been driving for four hours when all of a sudden - BANG! The lorry had a blow out on one of the front tyres. I managed to pull over but there was no hard shoulder, so we were stranded on a really busy bit of dual carriageway, stuck halfway out into the inside lane. Having called the breakdown people ('we'll be with you in an hour') we called the police to let them know we were causing an obstruction. Within ten minutes of calling them we had two highway patrol vehicles, three officers and a large number of cones surrounding us! We then noticed that one of the headlight glasses had dropped out and smashed! But the nice tyre man managed to sort us out and we were off again two hours later - and still three hours ahead of schedule!

Three hours later we were happily trucking along, Becca driving now, when all of a sudden we lost all power. Becca managed to pull over but we were level with a slip road on the motorway so once again there was no hard shoulder! We called the breakdown people again ('we'll be with you in an hour') and sat and waited. When he finally arrived the recovery man insisted that we tilt the cab on the lorry so he could get a proper look at the engine. So we moved all our props, bedding, costumes, tack and everything else off the luton, dismantled the front to allow the tilt - only to find that the cab was just too heavy, even with five of us we couldn't lift it! He eventually found the problem (a broken stop solenoid) and fixed it. However, we weren't quite as good as new - now the only way to stop the engine was to stall it! But we were back on the road again - and still half an hour ahead of our original schedule! The recovery man followed us to the next services to check we'd be ok, and we were planning on filling up with diesel, but the services had had a power failure so were unable to serve fuel. We both felt like crying! Luckily the recovery man knew a sneaky back way to get to the service station on the other side of the motorway, but it took ages to get there and back, so by the time we were back on the road it was much later than it should have been. We then had to navigate our way around Bristol City Centre - not the easiest task in a big lorry when you've already been travelling for twelve hours! We finally arrived at our destination at 1am, settled the horses, sorted ourselves out and fell into bed at about 2am!

Morning came and the first thing Becca and I noticed was that it wasn't raining!! We went down to set out the arena and realised we were going to struggle as it was on quite a steep slope, and very very wet. We decided the going was officially soft to heavy! The show started off well, but after only five minutes the generator powering all the sound system failed and we were left with no music, no speakers and no microphones! After an agonisingly embarrassing wait they managed to get it working but the only CD the system would play was ABBA Gold (!) - so we ended up doing the rest of the show to random tracks by ABBA! It was all very strange...

The horses were trying their hardest but the ground was just getting worse and worse, and the sound system was still refusing to work properly, so it was decided (once again) that we couldn't perform any more. So instead Rebecca and Ronan did pony rides whilst I led around one of the donkeys (Daisy) in whose honour the party was being held!

There was live music in the form of the Mangled Wurzels who were absolutely brilliant! They sang all the songs fantastically and Becca and I danced and danced! At the end Becca requested 'Combine Harvester' and then got up on the stage to sing along with the band - the weekend was finally fun!

The journey home was thankfully uneventful, and the boys were more than happy to be turned out into the field - both promptly rolling and covering themselves in mud! I then got into my car and left for home, got about 100m down the road, and realised that I had a flat tyre! I couldn't believe it. Becca came and helped me change it but it was just the icing on the cake for the whole weekend! But despite having the absolutely worst weekend imaginable, every single person we met along the way was absolutely lovely. The organisers in Wolsingham, the rescue and recovery people, the highway officers, Susan whose party it was on Sunday and all her friends and family really made the whole weekend bearable. Everybody was so kind and generous so thankyou very much!

Anyway... onwards and upwards and on to the next show! We're off to Wales on Wednesday for a four day show, and hopefully we'll actually get to perform this time! I'll let you know...

Lots of love

Rosie xx

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Hainault Forest Country Show

We spent last weekend in Hainault Forest Country Park, surrounded by beautiful woodland, lakes and a farm park - and with a view of Canary Wharf! The park itself is inside the M25, so we spent ages trying to sneak in past the London Emission Zone - we didn't want to pay £200 for every day we were there, that would have been really expensive! We were there for a three day solo show for Oakleigh Fairs - our last one for them this season. Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I all had a really fun weekend, and for once we had lovely weather!

All the shows went really well with Tinker and I performing the morning show and Rebecca and Ronan doing the afternoon ones. On Saturday evening Rebecca and I took the boys exploring to see what we could see. It didn't start off too well as we got chased by a Landrover and told we weren't allowed to ride around there at all! But they soon gave in to us and off we went! We got hopelessly lost in the woods and were out for about an hour and a half but it was loads of fun - we found ditches to jump, tree stumps for the horses to stand on, tracks to canter up and little gaps to squeeze through! That evening there was music playing in the bar so we spent quite a bit of time in there, Becca didn't even make it to bed - preferring instead to sleep on the shop table in the tent with the horses! She did make it in eventually...

On Sunday evening we went for another lovely ride through the woods and managed not to get too lost this time, although we had to be very careful not to get caught by the Landrover again and did a lot of hiding behind hedges trying not to laugh too much! We had a little look around the farm park and found a little mini Tinker! We also met an adorable donkey called Herbie, who really stood out because his ears were completely floppy!

There was loads to see and do at the show, and on Monday we went all around the fairground. We went on the funhouse and attempted to recreate Grease (not very well!), and then on the cage where we screamed and screamed and screamed! We managed to take loads of photo's of the whole weekend, just click here to have a look at them.

We've got another free weekend now but on Friday we're off up to Durham for a duo show on Saturday, then driving down overnight to Somerset for a private party on the Sunday - not a journey we're looking forward to! I'll let you know how it all goes...

Love Rosie


Thursday, 7 August 2008

North Devon Show

Mud, mud, glorious mud! We've never seen anything quite like it! In another Jive Pony first we had to get towed ON to the site when we arrived on Tuesday! As you can see from the photos the whole place was just one big sea of mud, and the main road through the site was full of massive trenches dug out by the tractors' wheels - it looked like it had been ploughed. Having finally been towed into position, (after a very tight slippery turn where it felt like the whole lorry was going to tip over!) we then had a battle to get the tent up without getting it plastered in mud - quite tricky, especially as the whole thing is white!

Thankfully we all had our wellies with us, except for the horses whose lovely clean, white legs were soon filthy - Rebecca and I spent most of our time wondering why we bothered bathing them at all!

We were very lucky that our arena hadn't been driven on at all, so it was still safe for vaulting. However, it was on quite a slope so the horses ended up going quite fast down one side then slowing down up the hill on the other side! Despite this the shows both went really well, especially the second one when the crowd we pulled was massive, and really supported us with loads of clapping and cheering! It makes such a difference to the horses, they really do love a good audience (we do too of course!).

We've got a couple of weeks off now but we've got loads to do (including cleaning all the mud out of the lorry!). We're going to do some roman riding work to see if we can make it that little bit more special, as well as working on some other new ideas. I'm going to introduce Casper to the idea of vaulting - so fingers crossed I'll still be in one piece in a fortnights time!

Our next show is over the bank holiday weekend - Hainault Forest Summer Show in Essex. It's another show for Oakleigh Fairs, this time it's a three day solo show, so we won't have to work quite so hard!

See you soon

love Rosie xx

Monday, 4 August 2008

Oswestry Show and Halstead Country Show

Another mini tour completed! Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker, Tim and I set off for Oswestry on Friday for a one day duo show on Saturday. We were a bit nervous about this one as we had heard that the main ring was quite big and we weren't sure we would be able to fill it! So it was with trepidation that we went to mark it out, and then we realised that it was actually HUGE! It was definitely the biggest arena we have ever worked in, and I was especially worried about Tinker's tendency to treat the outside track as a race course at the end of the shows - there was plenty of room for him to get some serious speed up!!

Once we got in the arena though and started the show everything felt fine, the audiences were absolutely brilliant and really got behind us - so thankyou if you were there! And yes, Tinker did shift!

We also got to see the display by the Royal Artillery 'Flying Gunners' Motorcycle Display Team. They were brilliant with lots of ramp jumps, pyramid building, and balancing acts - and finishing off with a four car jump! Their show also included 'Cilla' the gorilla, some poor guy had to dress as a gorilla in a pink bikini with frilly knickers - at least we don't do that to our glamourous assistant!

After the second show it was a six hour trip to Halstead, meaning we arrived at midnight! It's a good job we're well practised with the tent and stables, we managed to get the whole lot set up in just forty-five minutes - in the dark with just our head torches! Halstead was another show for Oakleigh Fairs, and as it was a one day solo show the horses would be able to take it a bit easy and just do one show each. Tinker and I were due to do the first show but unfortunately there was a power cut about two minutes into the show meaning we had no mic or music, this really does seem to be a JP curse at the moment! So it was back to the tent for a few minutes... then take two! Everything was going really well until the vault off with Tim and Thunderhoof, when the heavens just opened. The rain was incredible - within a few seconds we were all absolutely drenched and by the end of the show we would have been drier had we gone swimming! Tinker was brilliant and carried on cantering regardless, he really did look after me! You can see from some of the photos just how wet we all were!

Thankfully the sun shone for the second show and Rebecca and Ronan did a blinder. The crowds stayed to cheer us on even though we were the final act of the day, so again - thankyou! We were also very well supported throughout the day by the 44th Essex Regiment of Foot - re-enactors who put on a brilliant display themselves, including lots of gunpowder firing muskets and a bayonet charge with volunteers from the audience (Tim included!).

We're off down to North Devon on Tuesday for a one day duo show, so fingers crossed for more sunshine!

Lots of love

Rosie xx

CLA Gamefair

Well it was an absolute scorcher at the gamefair last weekend, and we ended up doing ten shows in the three days we were there - phew!! Our new costumes may look brilliant but even after we've done the strip we're still wearing three layers (none of which are thin) so to say we got a little warm would be an understatement! The sunshine was glorious though, we wouldn't have it any other way.
The show was absolutely huge with so much to see and do, we wandered around and had a look at the fly fishing demonstration down at the lake, saw the clay pigeon shooting, all the beautiful Brewery Shires and their display, and not forgetting all the thousands of shops! Thankfully Rebecca and I had brought our bikes to the show, otherwise there's no way we'd have been able to see as much as we did! Our bikes also came in handy as we were parked quite a long way away from the arena, so we attached our mini trolley to the back of the bikes and towed all our props backwards and forwards!
All of our shows went really well, with the super duo in the main arena being so popular we were asked to do it twice on the Sunday! We managed to get loads of pictures of the shows this time, as well as lots of other things too, click here to have a look.
We were also very lucky to have lots of other help all weekend so as well as Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker, Tim and I the Jive Pony crew also had Katherin (Rebecca's Mother), Alice and Rachel. So it was quite a party we had on the Saturday night! We started on the Pimm's quite early, and as a result didn't even make it to the official exhibitors party we'd been invited to - very naughty!

Next up is another mini tour - up to Oswestry in Shropshire, then across to Halstead in Essex, and then home! I'll let you know how we get on...

Lots of love
Rosie xx

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Hartpury Festival of Dressage

Our Super-Duo has had it's first outing! It was on Saturday night for the Gala Evening of Hartpury College's Festival of Dressage, and everything went really well - none of us forgot anything! When we started the show the whole audience clapped along with us really loudly - the atmosphere was absolutely electric! Both Becca and I, and especially the horses, loved it - as you can see from the top picture Tinker found the whole thing very exciting!!
I'll try and find some more photos of the show, the two above were the only ones on the website but I'm sure I can track some more down at some point!
We're off to Blenheim Palace tomorrow for the CLA Gamefair. This is one of our most favourite shows so we're really looking forward to it, and hoping for some decent weather! We're doing three shows a day for all three days, a super-duo in the main arena in the morning and then the two solo shows in the afternoon - so although Becca and I have to vault three times a day the horses only have to do two shows a day each - lucky them!!
Hope to see you there!
Love Rosie xx

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Capel Manor

We spent last weekend at Capel Manor, North London, surounded by beautiful gardens - you wouldn't have thought the M25 was so close! We were doing another two day solo show for Oakleighs, so it was Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I for the weekend. Having just done the four day duo at the Royal, a two day solo semed like an absolute breeze! All the shows went really well apart from some slight technical hitchs with the music and mics - we seem to be cursed with this at the moment!

On Saturday night we were lucky enough to be entertained by Stevo. Normally a childrens entertainer at the shows he also does exceptional up close magic, with some amazing card tricks - no matter how closely we watched him we couldn't work out how he does it! We also had some lodgers in the tent for the weekend - Stevo's magic rabbits, Merlin and Mysti! The horses were quite bemused by them at first, especially when we started feeding them their carrots!

On the Sunday we went for a wander around all the beautiful gardens, and managed to get lost in the maze! We eventually found the middle but then had to try and work out how to get out again! We finally made it back to the showground in time to see the Wagtail Agility Group, those dogs can really shift! My favourite was Blaze whose best party trick is to catch eight hoops in one go!

We're off to Hartpury College on Saturday night for a Gala Dressage Evening, we're going to be performing our brand new Super-Duo. It's a combination of all the best bits of the two separate duo shows, so fingers crossed we don't get confused and everything runs smoothly!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Rosie xx

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Royal Show and Blenheim Palace Photoshoot

What a busy week we've had! Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker, Tim and I set off for the Royal Show on Wednesday for a four day duo show - our first four dayer ever! Thursday and Friday were a bit slow with only small audiences for the shows, but thankfully we were next to the forge so the farriers made up for it with lots of cheering and whistling! On Saturday we were looking forward to a good show as lots of our friends and family had come to watch. Unfortunately, we got five minutes in to the show when then music system and microphones completely failed - really embarrassing! There was nothing we could do so we just had to leave the arena and wait until it was fixed. So after about ten minutes we went back in and started again - only for exactly the same thing to happen at exactly the same point in the show - really really embarrassing! Thankfully it was fixed properly for the afternoon show, although by then most of our friends had left!

Both the shows went really well on Sunday - despite us all having slightly fuzzy heads and wobbly legs from the young farmers party the night before! We got a bit rained on in the first show, so all the tack, costumes and horses got soaking wet and covered in mud, but the sun shone for our very last show so we finished on a high! Even better, the organisers had asked us if we'd like to perform our final show in the main arena, but due to time constraints and lack of arena preparation we unfortunately had to say no. Maybe next year though...

After we'd packed up we managed to watch the Bolddog Motorbike Display Team in the main arena - some of the jumps they were doing were just amazing! We managed to get a few photos of them - unfortunately they were about the only thing we did take pictures of as we kept forgetting to get the camera out! Sorry!

We did a photo shoot at Blenheim Palace yesterday for the CLA Gamefair at the end of the month, and in between the showers it was great fun! We took the horses for photos on the bridge, in the main arena, and up the steps right in front of the palace! They were both fantastic and made us really proud! After the photos we went for a wander around the grounds and saw the Italian Garden, the Secret Garden and the Orangery. Both the boys were very generous with their gifts, Ronan leaving a huge pile in front of the palace and Tinker leaving one by the Temple of Health in the gardens!!

Click here to see (very few!) photos from the last week.

We're off to Capel Manor in North London on Friday for a two day solo show, so I'll let you know how it goes.
Lots of love

Rosie xx

Monday, 16 June 2008

Three Counties Show and Wedding Party

We had a lovely weekend at the Three Counties Show this weekend. This time it was Becca, Ronan, Simon, Tinker and I who set off on Thursday for Malvern for a three day duo show. The sun shone, the shows were fantastic and the audiences were brilliant! In a Jive Pony first we were welcomed into the ring with a fanfare, which certainly helped to gather the crowds! Saturday was an especially busy day though, as we were double booked to do a display at a society wedding in the evening!

So no sooner had we finished our second show we were off to the National Trust's Lodge Park and dancing away again! The wedding was amazing, with a vintage bus for the guests, a spit-fire fly past, circus performers and of course Jive Pony! It was quite different to anything else we have ever done before as the music we were vaulting to was provided by a live band! The boys were fantastic and didn't bat an eyelid, and Ronan's final job was to carry the bride and groom to the awaiting helicopter! Then it was back to Malvern and time for bed!

Sunday was another lovely day, and the shows went really well once again. Afterwards we went for a wander and watched some of the scurry ponies competing in the main arena - they can really shift! Click here to see some photos of them and other bits and pieces from the weekend!

We've got a couple of (very welcome!) weeks off now, with no shows until the first week in July when we're off to Stoneleigh for the Royal Show. This will be the first time we've done this show so keep your fingers crossed for us!

Hope to see you at a show soon,

lots of love

Rosie xx

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Shaftesbury and Gillingham Town and Country Fayre

On Saturday Becca, Ronan, Simon, Tinker and I set off for Dorset for the Shaftesbury and Gillingham Town and Country Fayre. It was a long drive with no motorway, and at one point we counted twenty roundabouts in twenty miles! The two shows went well on the Sunday, except in the second show when my microphone died and we had to cope with just one between the two of us! Luckily we had Simon to assist us (in his own glamourous way!) and he ran backwards and forwards passing the microphone between us!

The show was very full with lots of gorgeous vintage steam engines, wagons and fire trucks, lots of alpacas, donkeys, pigs (and piglets), poultry and guinea pigs (my favourites!). Unfortunately though, by the time we'd sorted ourselves out after the show everybody had pretty much packed up and gone home, so we only managed to get a very few photos. Although I did manage to get one of the naughty little pig that escaped, he managed to run amok for about ten minutes before being captured, much to everyone's amusement!

The journey home went well until about twenty-five miles from home when our faithful old lorry (Bloody Wacky Dipstick) completely gave up and broke down. Thankfully we managed to make it into a layby, but then we just had to sit and wait for the rescue people. We amused ourselves by playing with the Haribo pancake that had been accidentally created by leaving our tub of sweets in the sunshine all weekend, it was the weirdest looking thing ever, but still tasted the same!

We eventually all got home, but I'm not sure Bloody Wacky will be coming to any more shows with us, so if anyone knows of a (fairly cheap) HGV horsebox looking for a lovely new home please let us know!!

We're off to the Three Counties Show at Malvern on Thursday. This is one of our favourite shows so we're all really looking forward to it - hope to see you there!
Lots of love
Rosie xx

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Surrey Country Show and Suffolk Show

What a busy week we've just had! Last Friday Rebecca, Ronan, Tim, Tinker and I all set off to Epsom for the Surrey Country Show, another three day solo show for Oakleigh Fairs. Everything went really well for the first two days, we entertained ourselves on the Saturday night with games of bat and ball, attempting gymnastic feats, juggling and tree climbing! However, on the Sunday evening the rain started and just never stopped! Unfortunately the whole show had to be pulled on Monday, with everybody packing up and going home early. This was a huge disappointment to us and the first time in the history of Jive Pony that we have been unable to do any sort of performance on a show day.

Anyway, next stop Suffolk, but it was a very wet and bedraggled team that arrived at the Suffolk Show on Monday evening. Our first task was to find some shavings and hay for the horses, but the organisers had told us the only way we could do this was to 'borrow' some from the Metropolitan Police compound! So we set off to steal from the police... and managed it! (they had far too much anyway!). We had a nice relaxing day on Tuesday, just setting up the ring and having a bit of a rehearsal, a welcome shower and a nice early night! Wednesday was show day!! We were quite nervous as it was easily the biggest show we have ever done, and in the biggest arena. But everything went really well, Tinker and Ronan are proper professionals and didn't let us down at all! Wednesday was also Becca's birthday, so Tim and I decorated the lorry with balloons and bought her a big chocolate cake! I gave her a pair of 'moon shoes' (mini trampolines for your feet) so we spent ages bouncing around and doing ridiculous running. They were such fun, they make you feel really strange but very comfy! Everyone else on the show ground obviously thoght we were a bit strange, but that's nothing new!

Thursday was again show day and once again they both went really well with the rain managing to hold off for us. Unfortunately it then rained incessantly whilst we were packing down, so once again it was a very bedraggled team that set off for home! Good news though, Suffolk show have rebooked us again for 2009, so we must have done something right!!

We're off to Dorset on Saturday for a one day duo show, lets hope for some sunshine - it is June after all!

See you soon,

Rosie xx

Click here to see some photo's from the week!

Monday, 19 May 2008

Newbury Parade

Rebecca, Ronana and I spent yesterday in Newbury for the town's Spring Festival. We were taking part in a parade through the town centre, ending up on the Giffords Circus site. It was a lovely little parade with a brass band and lots of huge colourful tissue paper animals, we were a bit worried Ronan was going to have a 'Thunderhoof moment' but he was an absolute star and took everything in his stride!
When we stopped at the circus ground we snuck in to watch the performance, which was full of amazing acts and absolutely brilliant to watch. We had a really good time, and I think both Rebecca and Ronan were a little bit tempted to rejoin! (It was, after all, at Giffords that they met and fell in love!) But they managed to resist and Jive Pony will be back on the road on Friday. We're off to Epsom for a three day solo show, then a day off on Tuesday when we're driving up to Suffolk for a two day duo show. Phew, mini-tour! I'll let you know how we get on...
Lots of love,
Rosie xx

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Ayr County Show

We had a fantastic time in Ayr last weekend, and it was a lot easier to get to than we thought! Rebecca, Ronan, Tinker, Tim (our other new funny man) and I left early on Friday morning and arrived nine hours later at Ayr Racecourse. Both our shows went really well on Saturday, despite a very sudden and very heavy downpour five minutes from the end of the first show, causing me to slip and land smack on my bottom! However, the new duo went absolutely brilliantly! All our new costumes went down really well and looked amazing, and Tinker and Ronan were fantastic for the roman riding, completely dispelling all our worries. Everything went really well on Sunday too. In the morning we took the horses for a walk around the racecourse, the jumps are huge! We were cantering up to them and I'm sure Tink would have had a go at jumping one, I was really struggling to stop him at one point! The racecourse must have given him ideas for the rest of the day because he spent most of the two shows whizzing around at what felt like a hundred miles an hour! It was loads of fun though and eveyone really enjoyed themselves. Tim did very well in his first Jive Pony shows, we properly threw him in at the deep end with the duos! Have a look at some photos from the weekend by clicking here, theres lots of everything!

We're doing a parade in Newbury on Sunday, but just Rebecca, Ronan and I, so Tinker gets the weekend off. I'll let you know how it goes!

Lots of love,

Rosie xx

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Woodgreen Show

We've started the 2008 season! On Friday afternoon Rebecca, Ronan, Simon, Tinker and I all set off for Woodgreen Animal Shelter in Cambridgeshire, for a three day solo show. It was a lovely start to the season, with gorgeous weather all weekend - just the way we like it! Simon did brilliantly in his first shows for us, he definately is a funny man! Tinker and Ronan shared the shows so they didn't have to work too hard, and they both seemed really pleased to be out and about again. We also found some time to play on the enormous bouncy castle, click here to see the photos of that and more from the whole wekend.
We're off up to Ayr on Friday morning for a two day duo show, it's the first time we'll be performing our new duo show so keep your fingers crossed for us! I'll let you know how we get on...
Hope you're enjoying the sunshine,
lots of love Rosie xx

Magazine Photoshoot

Jive Pony is going to press again! We did a photoshoot a couple of weeks ago, and did a little bit of everything. The photos above are a bit of a taster, the full articles will be appearing in the August issue of PONY Magazine (out at the end of June) and hopefully in a future issue of Horse and Rider Magazine, so keep your eyes peeled for all of us! Casper will be appearing in the article alongside Ronan and Tinker for the first time, and also watch out for Thunderhoof!
Rosie xx
Click here to see lots more photos from the shoot!

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Funny Man!

Hooray! We've found a new glamourous asisstant! He's called Simon and he's very very funny! We had our first rehearsal with Simon and Ronan together this afternoon, and you'd never guess Simon's only been on a horse a couple of times, him and Ronan looked like they'd been together forever. He also rode Thunderhoof really well (not as easy as it looks) - as you can see from the picture!
Hopefully Simon will be with us for most of the summer, so make sure you look out for him in the shows. He's got quite a big part in the new duo show, so along with learning our other three shows he's got quite a bit of work to do! Click here to see some photo's of Simon's first rehearsal.
The countdown has begun and it's now less than four weeks until our first show, when Rebecca, Simon, Ronan, Tinker and I will be heading off to Woodgreen Animal Shelter in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire. If you're anywhere nearby make sure you come and see us, we're looking forward to seeing everybody again!
See you soon,
lots of love
Rosie xx

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Happy 2008!

Happy belated 2008!

Preparations are now well under way for our 2008 season, which kicks off in just six weeks! Rebecca and I have been very busy rehearsing our current shows, writing a new duo show, making new soundtracks, getting new costumes together, sorting out props, as well as getting ourselves and the horses fit!

Tinker and Ronan both had a nice relaxing winter, but are now both working really hard on their vaulting and their dances, hopefully we'll have a few more tricks to show you all this summer! Sonny is going well and should do a few shows this year to help ease the load on Ronan, and Casper's range of tricks means he should be able to perform a dance by the end of the season. Fingers crossed for both of them!!

Due to changes in circumstances Duncan won't be performing with us this year so we've been on the look out for a new glamarous assisstant - it's a tricky role to fill, Thunderhooves is not an easy horse to handle!! Watch this space to see how we get on...

We've got shows all over this year, from Ayr to Devon, Suffolk to Carmarthen, so we're bound to be near you at some point! Check out our calendar to see where we'll be, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Hope all of you and your horses and ponies are well and happy,

lots of love

Rosie x