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A week in the life…

By: Amanda Ross
It’s a happening Thursday night for Team Ross eventing… trapped in the hairdresser’s chair, & finally lamenting to the admin side of life… the side I mostly run from with my fingers in my ears yelling ‘lalalalalalaaaa’!! It is known fact that riders are good at… riding! And texting… but by the time you finally sit down anywhere near a computer, its 9:45pm, & the mojo of admin enthusiasm has well & truly vanished!
Life has been full of exciting little morsels… this week has been a wildlife exposé at Southerly (home)! On Tuesday whilst teaching, I received a call from Clair (who lives at/owns Southerly), asking what she should do about the snake that just slithered into the feedroom? ‘Umm, GET OUT!’ was my first response, followed by ‘Call the Snake man/rangers?!’ So Clair managed to call the local Snake catcher/wrangler, who found not one, but TWO massive mating tiger snakes partaking in some romantic reptilian action amidst the feedbins!! Holy Mother of Jesus!! All captured on video by Mrs Snake Wrangler, & uploaded to Facebook for the whole world to watch in fascinated horror!!
The second wildlife episode was a far less dramatic discovery, yet still particularly intrusive… a huntsman in the pod catcher of my Nespresso machine! NOT IN THE COFFEE, DO NOT GET IN THE WAY OF MY MORNING MACCHIATO!! Needless to say, spider met thong, thong won. 
Sunday evening…
Home from Ballarat Hickstead, & fighting for couch space with the staffies. This morning was a rather rude reminder of Ballarat’s cold weather… combined with the 7am sunrise & 8am first test on Forest, I was given the royal slap into gear/welcome back to Autumn competitions. Cold, dark & early… Jesus Ross, have a whinge!
Forest isn’t suited to early tests, & doesn’t settle until he’s sure there aren’t any tigers lurking. William however, is completely happy when fed (anything), & is a far cruisier ride. The Hickstead jumping track is a super warm up for the start of the season, with seven showjumps followed by eight cross country fences. The choice of tack is interesting… showjumping in XC attire is just…weird! However, both boys jumped clear showjumping & XC rounds, so maybe I should use XC boots for the SJ?! I also used my new exploding air vest, & am waiting for the day I dismount without unplugging… William will gallop off at the same rate as the vest explodes, if it’s on him!
The most exciting part was William happily jumping under a high framed roof! We have been doing a lot of practice in order to defeat his arch nemesis the keyhole, & today was a good start! Willy won & Forest came 3rd, so a bit of sash rash for the start of the season!
These training competitions are always a great way to work out what you’ve forgotten/needs replacing. I’d forgotten how to go fast enough XC/need to replace the nanna with an F1! One of the worst items you can forget is the little scoop used to fill the iceboots with ice. No-one enjoys using their bare hands to scoop ice into 3 pairs of iceboots in the depths of winter!! Spare headcollars, leads, the hobbles, & remembering to shut the overhead float vents before a rain storm are all high up on the priority list!
Again, fighting for couch space, this time book-ended by the staffies. Also trying to discourage my obsession with Tamari almonds, especially whist sitting writing blogs.. so moreish! Weekend’s washing done, more Sard required, & an impressive job by the new Vanish Wonder Stick stain remover! 
Boxing last night, a run this morning, followed by dressage on Willy, Foz & Riddick, then coaching till 7:30pm. 
Wednesday will be run/showjump - keyholes/coach. 
Thursday will be gym/XC & fitness work/coach.
Friday looks like run/flatwork - learn & practice tests/prepare & pack/coach/leave for Wandin. 
Amanda Ross keyhole home job
Creating a keyhole to practice with at home © Amanda Ross
Southerly wildlife extravaganza episode 3 - As I sit here typing, a bat has just flown across the ceiling! No kidding, its not a bird… birds don’t stick to walls! Bear Grills would have a field day here! 
Things an outdoorsy horse chick notices come Autumn:
  1. Snakes, bats, spiders & roos can all be negotiated with.
  2. It’s still dark in the morning, & even the dog doesn’t wake up early.
  3. William will always need 3 clips & be the first to emulate a Welsh pony.
  4. The car needs to contain at least 3 different warmth jackets, caps, gloves, even needing waterproof boots.
  5. God bless the treadmill (I don’t run in storms!).
  6. The dust we are whinging about will soon turn to mud… so we can whinge about that instead!
  7. I really want an indoor arena.
  8. I really, really want an indoor arena. Really.
OK, bed time. Staffies asleep, bat vanished, who knows where the spiders & snakes are? Such a friendly community here!
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