Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pony Club and Rally 2014 at MREC

Alora and Striker
So, I'm having coffee, early in the morning, and I see out of my kitchen window this big truck and horse trailer pulling up to my little townhouse. A big burly cowboy type, bounds out of his truck, opens up the back of his trailer and guides this 16.3hh (hand high), thoroughbred out of the trailer. I quickly put on a sweater (I'm still in my Jammie's) and run outside to question, "What the heck are you doing? This isn't a barn!" He hands me the reins and says, "Delivery for Alora de la Court."
"WHAT!" My heart beats like a wild fire out of control, "You are very mistaken sir," panic rises and I feel dizzy as I try to give the reins back to him. He walks away and jumps up into the driver's seat of the metalic grey Ford pick-up and says to me, "My job is done here. He's your problem now Ma'am." Then Mr. Cowboy drives away leaving me standing in my little front yard with a very big horse who was chowing down on the little grass I had left under the cherry tree I have out front.
Apparently, Alora ordered him online from a horse farm in Alberta... "Strata will not like this." I remember thinking.  
Alora and Striker

Then I woke up. 
The first thing I did when I woke up, was to thank God it was only a dream. I know Alora is a good girl and would never do anything like that to her mother (she is presently smirking beside me as she reads this).  Perhaps, this dream was to prepare me for things to come?

Alora has loved horses since she was eight years old. She used to love dolphins, right up until I signed her up at Evergreen Stables for a summer horse camp after being told by a fellow Mom that it would cure her of her fear of dogs. 
Eight year old Alora and Max
Well, it did that and more, and I thank Pam and Jen at Evergreen for guiding and mentoring my daughter to becoming a more confident person around animals. I must admit I have wondered if I should have put her in dolphin camp. It might have been less expensive? Perhaps, I wouldn't be having nightmares of cowboys dropping off horses at my house? LOL!

As of 2010 she has been a member of the Alouette Pony Club located at Forever Green Stables in Pitt Meadows and it's been a great experience for her. This past weekend was the first time the kids at Alouette went to a yearly Pony Club Rally at MREC. A pretty amazing experience for all the kids involved. 
They are designated into teams with a Captain, Riders, and Grooms, and they have to do everything from stable management, feeding, and care, to riding, jumping, and cooling down horses. Points were deducted if parents intervened and told them what they forgot or needed to do. So, it was quite relaxing for us parents back at camp. The only time we could talk to them was back at camp, and there couldn't be any horse related themes in our conversations. 
Friday, they prepared for a dressage testing, and Saturday was for the cross country jumping...
Walking the course before the event.
Alora and Striker
Alora was riding a 19 year old thoroughbred called Strike the music (AKA - Striker - an old race horse), and after he finished the course he seemed like he wanted to go again (he did not look like he was a geriatric horse at all!). He and Alora were doing what they loved and they looked really good together.

...and Sunday was show jumping.
Alora and Striker 
The kids learned a lot last weekend, and I as a mom, was very impressed. The only trouble I had was when I was judging the cross country jumping, and I had to eliminate one of our kids and horse for refusing a jump more than 3 times. She wasn't allowed to finish the course, and I felt bad for her. I was going to look the other way and let her continue, but there were other judges yelling out that she had to leave the course. I guess they were watching, so I had to mark it down.
My suggestion would be to just let the kids finish, even if they are eliminated. They put so much effort, time and money into being there, only to be yanked off in mid-course. Mind you, this was my first year at Rally and maybe the rules are in place for a reason... I just don't know them yet.

Thank-you to Pam, at Forever Green Stables, for the use of your horses, and your leadership and guiding these kids so far in their journey with horses. And to Jen for your teaching and knowledge, and to Helen for your support and trailering the horses to these events, and to Melanie for encouraging these kids and supporting them... and the use of your tack. 

Thank-you to Marta and the team at Campbell Valley Pony Club for guiding Alora on her first Rally.

We as the parents really appreciate it. Love you guys!

Here's a few shots of the Alouette kids at Rally:
Kyla and Joe
Laura and Cindy
Will and Bailey
The crew

Thanks Again!

PS: There were about 500 photos taken over the weekend, so if you would like to see them all just give me a key and I will download them for you.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Costa Rica and The Netherlands

So... What can I say really? It was a hard game to watch as my family will concur... I'm sure. But, what an adventure!

My daughter Kalina couldn't sit still to watch, she meandered in and out of the room uneasily. Opa, my dad, couldn't sit still and paced back and forth from the living room to the BBQ for most part of the second half. Oma, my mom, half way through went and changed her orange shirt for a blue one, then changed it back to orange just before the penalty kicks and the win (perhaps she foresaw something we did not?). As for me, I was very glad that I was in charge of the food and could move back and forth from the kitchen to the living room. Movement seems to be my family's way of dealing with chaotic and nervous situations and I'm okay with that.
Our family only wanted to eat Dutch food while we watched the game, so I spent the night before making tompouse, which is one of my favourite dutch desserts, and I also made sate and pinda sauce. Oma and Opa made bitterballen and croquetes and Tante Bina and Uncle Jeff bought bokkepootjes. We did eat well!

What I loved the most about this game, was that it got our family together. We ate together, we yelled together, we cried together and we paced back and forth together and that's what was so special about this game...

Well... and Krul.

Good luck with Argentina boys. I know you will do well. Besides... you have a cousin of ours on that team of yours, Kuyt is my great grandmother's maiden name. She married a de la Court. So we're practically family! You've got lots of support!

We wish you well!
Love from B.C. Canada

Angel's Blog (the dogs blog):
Here I am making sure no one steals our shirts
Hallo Family Pack!
I was a little nervous yesterday. I know, I whine when I get nervous. My pack knows it, but they love me anyway. I just wanted to show you my shirt. It's a great shirt!

Angel's shirt
Each of us got to chose what name to put on the back.  

Ari chose Memphis, because he is her favourite player in Fifa... it was Ronaldo in the beginning, but she changed her mind.

Nina chose Van Persie because she likes flying dutchman.

Alora chose Cillessen, I don't know why, maybe she thinks he's cute? She is a teenager now you know.

I chose Robben, because I love him. He is like my pack leader dad.
Me and pack leader dad t-shirts

Robben and I are kindred spirits. He runs fast, just like me, and he loves to chase balls, just like me.

Except, I don't fall down... Maybe, it's because I have four legs and he only has two? I would love to talk to him about that.

Anyway, Robben, if you do read this before the next game, I just wanted to tell you that if you are feeling nervous about the next game, just give your pack a big group hug. I find that always makes me feel better...

that... and cowboy steak. Maybe we can share some one day?

Good Luck Holland Family Pack! I know you can do it!

Love from Angel