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