Around this time of year, we get some amazing morning and night skies. Sometimes the sky is awash with apricot, mauve and orange flushes.

I rushed out to get you a photo of a recent early morning sky. How glorious is this!! This photo is straight out of the camera – I haven’t done a thing to it.

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I’m spending heaps of time with Saffy these days. She is a wonderful, placid mare. A tad bossy at times but then her mum is Karma. Saffy is now three and I’ve started her schooling. She willingly accepts the saddle and, a young girl who rides Karma, has put her weight on Saffy’s back and sat on her.

Nothing has fazed this mare. When the girl was sitting on her and we walked a few steps, Saffy’s shadow was on the arena surface. That could be a scary moment for some horses who spook at their own shadow. Not Miss Saffy. She looked down at the shadow, looked back up and kept going.

Saffy is remarkably like Karma actually. Same placid, willing nature with an undertone of stubbornness. As long as you understand the stubborn part, it’s all good.

She is also spending far less time with her mum, preferring to hang around the big horse, Miss Rosie who does not hesitate to discipline her. Both Karma and Saffy have a very healthy respect for Rosie LOL.

Up until recently, I’ve been riding Rosie but am now out with a hip condition. Yeah great. Apparently, my fall in Rome in 2012 (where I had my ankle strapped up for three months) caused me to walk slightly differently. This put pressure on my right hip, along with the muscles and nerves in the thigh area. All of this resulted in a degree of pain and the occasional limp. Physio did nothing but chiropractic treatment has made it at least 60% better. Hopefully, within a couple of months, it will be back to normal.

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Saddled up and ready to start schooling.

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Saffy’s selfie.

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Saffy is the world’s best foal. No longer a foal of course as she’s now three years old; but let’s not tell her that.

We spend a lot of time together as I am starting (or backing) her. Just getting her used to having a saddle on, walking around the arena with the saddle on and getting used to the weight of a human on her back (in this case, a young local girl).

She LOVES to be groomed in the sun. Far more than Miss Rosie or Karma. I really like this photo of her with my hand on her muzzle. She was snoozing in the sunshine and enjoying time with her human. We have a very close bond and you get that with a horse if you do things with them other than riding. Sure, ride your horse but also spend time just chilling out in the paddock together or grooming. Saffy loves to mutually groom and I have to hang on to my hair when she gets the desire to groom me LOL.

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We had a visit from Barney the other day. He’s a rather stunning full Clydesdale and is rising three. Miss Rosie was VERY taken with him and so was Saffy. I expected a lot of mare squealing when Barney met Rosie and Saffy; but the mares were stunned into silence by Barney’s good looks.

Miss Rosie was too busy sniffing and Saffy was just too stunned by the size of Barney to do anything other than stare. Alas, Saffy didn’t look too presentable. She LOVES spending time in the gorse bush. We don’t have much gorse; just a patch around the stream area. When you can’t find Saffy, that’s where she is – in amongst the gorse. So she had twigs and dirt in her mane when she met Barney.

Oh well, hopefully he’ll drop by again and I’ll have the girls spruced up to meet him. Karma sort of missed out as she was up in the stables having her hooves trimmed (by me). She did spot him from a distance but preferred to nod off as I was giving her a pedicure. That’s my Karma for you.

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Barney is all his glory. Stunning three year-old Clydesdale.

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Barney meets Saffy. All she could do was stare at him and hope he didn’t notice the messy mane.

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Miss Rosie sniffs Barney – not sure if he was impressed with this or not.

Zeph’s sons and daughters were born on Friday, March 13. Complete surprise to everyone, including the mother, as they weren’t due until around March 19 or so. There were five pups: two boys and three girls. Unfortunately, one girl was stillborn and another girl only lived for five days. However, there are two very healthy boys and a lovely little girl pup.

They came for a visit the other day. The pup’s eyes aren’t open yet but I can already tell you that one is exactly like Zeph when he was a tiny puppy. The girl, who is black and white, is very lively and actually had an eye open when I snapped some photos with my iPhone.

Really difficult to get good shots when your subject is wriggling, squirming puppies. I did get my Nikon out over the weekend and took some photos, which I’ve yet to review.

Meanwhile, Zeph would like to show off his progeny. He thinks you’ll agree with him that he has three bonny pups.

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This pup looks exactly like Zeph when he was born. Same light liver and white colouring.

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This boy is a darker chocolate (or liver and white) colour and is quite the dominant one.

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Here’s the wee girl. Black and white like her mum. You can just see one eye is open.

Zeph has coined a new term: “delfie” or dog selfie. Maybe someone else has come up with this term already but, since he’s a dog, he doesn’t know. Here’s his latest delfie and he is looking very proud due to the birth of his latest progeny.

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I’m a handsome devil eh?!

Zeph has also been on bed rest for a few days. Last week, he caught his paw up in one of the holes in the ground that the cows have left in the paddocks. Uneven holes left by heavy stock is called pugging and we have to wait for a bit more rain to make the ground soft enough to roll and flatten.

I rushed Zeph off to the vet because he was crying and the vet prescribed anti-inflammatories and to try and keep him quiet. What?? Keep an English Pointer quiet? But Zeph seemed to know his leg was affecting his movement. He spent a couple of days chilling and sleeping.

Meanwhile, Zsa Zsa has been very active and chasing rabbits. The photo of her below I really like. She was chasing a fluffy critter and it just looks like she’s running wild and free – well, guess she is!

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Zsa Zsa runs wild, runs free.

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When a Pointer is on bed rest, it means on the bed, resting!

 

Yeehah people! I’m FINALLY getting around to doing what I’ve been intending to do for years – making my own soaps and skincare. We moved to NZ nearly five years ago (where has time gone???) and I promptly went off to work in Italy for awhile and then Bhutan. I’ve also been busy raising Zeph and Zsa Zsa from wee pups and collecting horses along the way.

This year looks as though it will be quieter, although I’m in line for two consulting jobs in the United States and Hong Kong. We’ll see where that leads.

Meanwhile, I attended a soap-making course and am now whipping up my own recipes. Below you’ll see a photo of my Honey Bee soap, my lemongrass toner and facial oils (with Roman Chamomile, Geranium and Lavender essential oils and sweet almond as a carrier oil).

The lemongrass toner is spectacular if I do say so! Whilst working in Bhutan, I bought some lemongrass soap at a local market. I loved it so much that I tracked down the supplier of the lemongrass essential oil – a farmer’s cooperative. Last year, I went into agreement with them to supply me (or my new company I should say) with the soaps and bottles of lemongrass essential oil.

So I used the oil to whip up my toner and wow. Just wow. I’m now working on the website and hope to have this ready sometime in April. The name of the company? I’ll let you know that (and the story behind it) when I launch the website.

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These Honey Bee soaps will cure for at least 12 weeks. I need to bevel the edges. Next batch will be Coconut and Lime soaps.

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I’ve yet to design the product labels but…I made up lemongrass toners for me and El Hubs, plus two facial oils. Basically, we are doing the product testing along with friends. No testing on animals thanks.

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