I know its a bit late but better late than never.. So they say..
So yesterday, 18 July 2010, was marked as Mandela in celebration of the great legacy of Madiba AKA Nelson Mandelas’ 92nd birthday.
On this day South Africans were called to spend 67 minutes (a minute for each of the 67 years he spent fighting for South Africa) making a difference, doing their bit to make the world a better, brighter more beautiful place..
Ok so I havent seen much of my favourite filly the last two weeks… Not because I have not wanted to but because I have not had time – what with all the house sitting, towing, feed dogs, feeding cats (for Bonita), drupal meetups, CSS training and watching lots of TV with all the 2010 World Cup Action who has had time for anything else.. 🙂
But I have popping in to see her randomly and give her a BEEG hug and a few carrots… She is always happy to see me though but that is probably because I usually come bearing gifts in the form of carrots or her other favourite treat in the form of oatay..
Ok so its a Saturday and I have just come back from a really nice outride on Lonestar (thoroughbred and therapy horse) and my good friend Erina on her horse Tapsy. After untacking Lonestar and taking back to the paddock, I decided to introduce Amber to the concept of lunging..
So there is Mark and I in the tack looking for the right equipment.. Think it might help to have the right equipment to start with, don’t you? 🙂 lol.. We manage to find a lunging rope (good start).. a whip.. not that kind of whip.. a lunging whip and.. a vaulting pad a belt girth type thingy and we are good to go.. I still cant find a cavasson which would be better to teach lunging in, but we work out with the help of a groom that we can make do with a halter in the meantime..
So we (Mark, I, Amber and all the equipment) traipse from the stable, up to the dressage area. We put everything on where it is supposed to be, in other words, halter, lunge rein, vaulting pad secured (as tight as possible) and with no reaction from Amber, as yet, and we are good to go.
And so begins Amber’s first lunging experience… Ever!
First I need to lead her out so she gets used to walking with all her make shift contraptions.. Seems to handle it pretty well 🙂 Yay.. step one complete..
Moving on to step two… I stand a few metres away from her and we get her to walk on with the aid of the lunging whip which we later discover she is not in all phased by or scared of and it needs to be cracked before she puts any effort into moving forward..
Progress.. She is not scared of the whip but she will listen to it.. And she is moving forward at a nicely paced trot.. Great.. Just the circle is not quite a circle, more like a funny egg shape but its a start..
As its her first time we get her to do a few circles on either leg at a trot and canter and call it quits.. I don’t wanna do much on her first day and I also don’t want to hurt her as lunging can be strenuous.
I am very proud of this little filly and it always amazes me how she will come to me for affection and follow me and stand by my side.. I think we have a great bond and all this ground work is helping to make that bond even stronger, or at least I hope it is, so that when the time comes for me to climb on her back, she will trust me and we can work on becoming a great team, together 🙂
That is all! For now…
South Africa, July 2010, is the place to be.. Right here right now.. South Africa, officially known as the Republic of South Africa (RSA) that country at the bottom of Africa, that everyone in Europe thinks is still undeveloped – with lions and elephants roaming the streets.. If you are not here, you are seriously missing out!
The vibe is electric, the vuvuzelas are deafening.. but its more than just the 2010 Soccer World Cup that is making and has made South Africa great..
Ok so yes FIFA have helped create awareness of our country (as well as make themselves rich in the process) .. Other companies have also taken advantage of this and used the momentum to build on their brand..
Apple have exploded into the market in a big way, Google maps street view has just been launched.. and the Gautrain and Bus system is now up and running 🙂
For a third world country I would say that we have not done too badly.. This opportunity has created great opportunities for growth in terms of tourism and advertising for our country.. A lot of visitors were impressed with our level of service and the natural beauty of our country and will definitely come back again.. I also think it has helped to bring us together as a divided nation in more ways than we could have imagined..
A a soccer team Bafana Bafana played with dignity and great determination in the Final Group A match against France in which we defeated them 2-1.. I still maintain that we should all be wearing our Bafana Bafana shirts right til the Final and even after that to show our support and solidarity.
We definitely have a lot to learn and a lot to take away from the tournament (that is not over yet) but overall I reckon it has been a huge success so far and we have done ourselves and the whole of Africa proud…
Well done South Africa!! I am proud to be South African!
Wow.. this year has been incredibly busy.. I have hardly known my arse from my elbow, and if I do have a free moment to take a breather (even though they are few and far between I do still have rare moments when I find myself with nothing to do) I usually feel guilty for not doing anything in that moment. Funny that.. It is like I feel that I am wasting time if I do nothing and yet I do need a break at some point and need to learn to just enjoy those moments of quiet 🙂
Just to give you an idea of how busy I have been and thus not able to write the regular content for my scaffy.co.za blog that it naturally deserves I will name some o of the things that have been part of the occurrences of the past five months events. They are namely as follows : dogs, horses, moving houses, holidays, piercings, websites and freelance work, copy writing and articles, house sitting, networking, tow trucks, horse shows, dog shows, weddings… Tired yet? Thought so 🙂 and that is actually before you know how timorously involved each of those words have been.
This time, for this piece of content I think I’m going to talk about dogs, both mine and others that are and have been a part of my life, however brief….. 🙂
Dogs.. Canines.. Woofies..
I have two dogs – Skye and Benson. Skye we got last year around the time of my birthday from the SPCA in Randburg. Mark chose her. She definitely grew to be a lot bigger than I had hoped and although she is a pavement special of note (as we have no idea what breed she is of) I still love her 🙂 She loves tearing up things and will rip up everything she can, and it makes me soooo angry but I have yet to catch her in the act. She is also a really fast runner, which is why when I take her for walks I just let her go cos I could never keep up even if I tried.
Then there is my baby boy, Benson, my six month old cocker spaniel. We got him from Kitty and Puppy Haven in Wynburg where Mark helps with difficult rescues. He was rescued from a puppy farm along with the rest of his litter. It was love at first sight and as much as I never wanted a male dog (I repeat I never wanted a male dog for many reasons) this little man has stolen my heart. He is so cute and clever and brave and and and… I could go.. but I wont…
He has just recently became a sports model (as per the agreement of taking him from the Kitty and Puppy Haven) and I took him to my parents for the week for extra special treatment and attention while he recovered.
He really is my best “dog” friend and I think he might even be a gift from Zoey – the best ever dog in the universe that sadly was only a part of my life for a short time but was to leave the biggest impact any pet has ever made in my life.. and thats a story for another day..
The next piece of writing for my blog I plan on doing is about the holiday I had at the coast recently and all of the things (both good and bad) we experienced while down there.. Probably enough to fill up its own dedicated blog.. lol..
The last time I posted an article about Amber was last month and I was hoping I would have been able to post again before today. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control… Okay maybe not so not dramatic… but still…to be honest I just have not had the time.. A poor excuse, but never the less, the truth 🙂
The last time I wrote anything on mysaddlefund, Amber was moving from Caravelle Stud in Nest Park, Bapsfontein with my family friend Lynette to Shumbashaba stables in Mnandi. That was last month already. She has been at her new home at Shumbashaba since the 17th of April 2010. I went to collect her with my friend and riding instructor from Shumbashaba, Renea Erasmus in her bakkie and horse box. Mark sat in the front and the groom and I sat in the back 🙂 I was very nervous..
The actual collection was a bit of a nightmare and confrontational with Lynette and Martha being rude and in your face about us coming to fetch Amber in the first place. I was given back everything that I had left there of Amber’s and otherwise. I was also shouted at for not bringing a friend for Amber to travel with.
I also had to sign a waiver against any damage to Amber before and during transportation. Ren was great throughout the whole affair and handled it very well (thanks again Ren).
Amber boxed straight away and travelled very well on her own (first time alone and only third time ever in a horse box). We got a bit lost coming home (missed the off-ramp) but we got back to Shumbashaba safely. Amber was off-loaded and put into a smaller paddock. She settled in pretty much straight away. She was so happy to see grass (and long green grass at that) having only had mud and sand for the first six months of my owning her. She also almost immediately started flirting with the boys (geldings) next door. Running around with her tail high in the air (the Arab in her appearing quite prominent).
I went home for a few hours and came back to the stables to put Amber to bed in her new stable for her first night. She was very alert and aware and a bit confused. She also did not like the acorns falling on the tin roof of the barn and she jumped every time one fell. But other than, she seemed okay when I finally left her for the night, knowing she was safe in the hands of Sharon and Renae and the grooms at Shumbashaba 🙂
The next day she was put straight into the paddock with the other mares. She was kept away from the water and had to find her place within the herd but it happened really quickly and she didn’t come out of the whole introduction any worse for wear. In fact she had no bite marks or kick marks after the day or even the first week 🙂 I was very happy and very impressed. I spent some time with her in the paddock and then again when the grooms brought her in for the night, in her stable.
It was an amazing feeling! Knowing that my beautiful filly was just down the road and I can visit her every day, twice a day if I want and not need to plan a three hour road trip just to see her 🙂 It actually felt so unreal the first week or two. It was like I was living someone else’s dream, until I woke up and realized I was living my own dream!
In terms of my actual fund for her saddle, its coming along very slowly. I might actually need to rethink this whole approach of mine… but more about this another time 🙂 I think I have shared enough for now… and maybe you now have a bit of a better insight into this little but important part of my life…
On behalf on myself and Amber – since she cant talk – I would like to say a very BEEEG thank you to the following special people in my life for helping me so far with Amber:
– My mom and dad for helping me to pay for Amber – paying her last installment for me for my Christmas present last year 🙂
– Lynette Blackie for getting me involved in horse riding again and for introducing me to the concept of owning my own horse. Lynette found Amber for me and thought she would be a great first horse.. which I am hoping she will be 🙂 Lynette also gave me some riding lessons and introduced me to the event of showing which I participated in on her Welsh partbred Brackenwood About Time and her Section A stud stallion Caravelle Society’s Deboniare.
– Tipuana Stud – where I bought Amber. Digby and Lindi – the owners – arranged for me to be able to pay her off as I wasn’t able to pay for her in full upfront. They also dropped her off for me at her new home a week after arranging the sale 🙂
– Caravelle Stud: Thanks also goes to Caravelle Stud for looking after Amber from October 2009 to March 2010. She has really changed into a beautiful bay filly with the right amount of food and supplements as well as the love and attention.
– To ShumbaShaba – Sharon and Renae.. For their support and now for stabling Amber at ShumbaShaba in Mnandi 🙂 Renae has been giving me riding lessons for about two years.. and I always have a pony or horse to ride that needs exercise 🙂
– Erina Bouwer – my horsy friend and outride partner 🙂 Thank you for all your support and encouragement with regards to my riding.. and for letting me ride your horse Tapsy sometimes too 🙂 Thanks also for lending me your blue honey blanket for Amber to use this winter! I really appreciate it and so does Amber 🙂
– and then last but not least my boyfriend Mark Usher.. He supports my passion and is always there to watch me ride whenever he can.. He also sponsors most of the carrots for Amber 🙂
This is officially the first post of my blog.. and to be honest I am really not sure what to say..
So…. I’m going to tell you a little bit about myself – this is expanded upon on my “About Scaffy” page 🙂
My name is Megan..
Full name: Megan Natalie Trow
Nicknames: Meg, Megs and of course – Scaffy
I’m addicted to horses and social media (read Twitter, FaceBook etc) and chocolate!
I am 27 years old, although I dont feel it and I dont look it either – people often think I am a lot younger than I really am.. It has its pros and its cons.. lol..
I have an IT degree – studied at University of Pretoria (TUKS).
I work for a web design company in Rivonia. I have been there for four years and am currently working in the SEO department.
I have been writing articles in my free time for our clients for the past 5 months so I haven’t really had much free time.. This is one of the reasons why this blog is so empty… Another reason is laziness I guess and yet another reason was that I really really battled to find a WordPress template that I liked.. But I did find one eventually and even though I’ve edited it q bit, I’m happy with it.. for now 🙂
I am hoping to fill this blog with lots of interesting words and thoughts (and maybe some personal venting along the way).
….This site is dedicated to Tipuana Amber…..
Welcome to My Saddle Fund…
The object of this site to highlight the story of my filly Amber (Full name Tipuana Amber) and to raise funds for her for a saddle once she is fully grown and ready to be ridden competitively.
My name is Megan and I love horses 🙂 It has been a dream of mine to own my very own horse and this dream has finally come true!
With owning a horse comes a lot of responsibilities… Food.. Stabling.. Excercise.. Love and Carrots..
When she is old enough for me to start breaking her in, she will need a saddle.. This is an expensive exercise.. which is one of the reasons for this site..
I am hoping to encourage friends and family and eveyone who knows me to help me achieve this goal in their own small way..
For any birthday present or Christmas or just for an any time present I would appreciate it if you could make a deposit into My Saddle Fund savings account with your name as a reference so I can make a personal thank you to you 🙂
This bank account has been set up specifically for this purpose and will not be touched until I am able to buy a saddle for Amber when she has stopped growing..
Account Number: 01 485 168 7
There are also a number of people to thank for me being where I am today in terms on my riding and with regards to owning my own horse finally.. Details coming soon…
Amber is my first ever fully owned by me horse and thus she will always be special to me… This site is dedicated to her…