October Plans

October 3, 2018

Lauren and David’s wedding Avoid eating meat at home 3 Lessons with David Gatherer Read a book Date night with Frankie

Top of the list: Lauren and David´s wedding: I´m SO excited it´s ridiculous… I have bought a new dress from across the pond and have my fingers and toes crossed it gets here in time. We are flying down to Colchester after work next Thursday and can´t wait to spend some time with Howie´s family and friends. My aim is to last the whole night and to not be carried to bed at 10 o´clock….

Avoid eating meat at home: This one will be easy if I plan ahead and know what to have for dinner every night, and always have snack food available. Avoiding meat does not mean just eating carbs and cheese, but to to eat as much fresh food from nature as possible. Loads of fruit, vegetables, rice, spices, smoothies, soups, curries and so on. It will be great!

3 Lessons with David Gatherer: What was I thinking… being a better rider equals an empty wallet. But they are just too good to miss.

Read a book: Funny, but this will be the most difficult one. I can read non-stop on a holiday but there is just not enough time during the day in my normal routine. So I aim to read as much as possible on the not very long flight from Glasgow to Stansted…..

Date night with Frankie: The date and location is set – bring on Lido´s new menu 😀


And then there was a party

October 2, 2018

After dinner the band started playing at 8, and were planning on doing a Scottish Ceilidh at some point during the night. The evening guests started arriving and people slowly but steadily moved to the dance floor. And I think I will be lying if I said they left. The dance floor was full from start to finish and I have never seen anything like it. At one point the band played “All Sit Down” by James, and everyone did just that. We ALL sat down, including me in my wedding dress. Then Howie and I got forced by the lead singer to sing a song I had NEVER heard off. And gaaaad, that was the worst part of the night I think. I didn’t know the lyrics but knew perfectly well someone who did – Marit. I grabbed her by both hands, forcing her to help me out, which she did. That girl sang her heart out, and completely took the band by surprise because she was so good. Then Ola, her husband, got his keyboard back out and together I think we just created the best band ever. Marit sang for another 3 songs, and I remember thinking I will never forget this for as long as I am alive. It was amazing, so amazing in fact that Howie’s friends wanted to book her for their wedding in Colchester. That’s my girl ❤

Then Howie’s dad crowd surfed, people had to get sent home and we had an after party at the house. It was a morning, a day and a night I will never forget ❤


Life with Rebel

Giving British Showjumping a go

October 1, 2018

First things first – I wrote this post yesterday using my new phone, but the WordPress app didn’t save the post or any of the images. I got so annoyed and could not be asked to write it all again until late last night. I am hoping to write something every single day as the stats are going up slowly but steady… Imagine if I can get back to where I was when living in Glasgow – that was my prime blogging period. Before I had a horse and a dog and all that jazz…

Anyway, yesterday I decided to jump a class at Morris Equestrian Centre. It was BS Cat 1 on their schedule, so Stephanie and I left the yard around 10 in the morning. They were just about to walk the British Novice (90 cm) when we arrived so I decided to join them, entering my class while walking the course. Multitasking. We tacket him up in no time and I was ready to jump in less then 30 minutes. He was FANTASTIC warming up. So calm and relaxed, and took his time over the jumps.

However, the story change when we jump a full course of jumps. He is great the first 5 and then he just wants to run as fast as he can. I need to control myself not to take him back too much, as he just get stronger. It’

s such a fine line and I know he won’t stop but I need him relaxed as well. I’m hoping more jumping will solve this ‘problem’, although I absolutely adore his attitude. Rebel is happiest when jumping and people pay a lot of money for that.


This week we have nothing on the agenda. I will give myself a few minutes to look over the days and decide when we are doing what. A nice quiet week with lots of training and improvements.

Life with Rebel

Troon beach at sunset

September 29, 2018


I love living in Troon on days like these. The sun is shining, it’s a little cold but so beautiful. We took both pets to the beach a few days ago and got some great photos. Howie is really getting the hang of the camera which makes blogging ten times more fun. As long as I have good photos (and a few minutes to spare) I can always keep you updated. I really enjoy writing and sharing my life and photos so blogging is kind of an easy fix for me.

I had the best news yesterday. The vet came out to Rebel to check if he needed more steroids for his arthritis. She didn’t think it was necessary at the moment which was the best news ever!! That´s us nearly a year without any treatments and the longer we wait the better it is! If someone told me this last year I would never believed it – it all looked so bad. To the point where we didn’t know if he could ever come back to work. And here we are: A sound horse and a happy owner.


Our Wedding Breakfast

September 28, 2018

After our photos were taken, we went into the marquee, where Marshali was playing the Saxophone. Her live performance was so good, we loved her choice of contemporary songs which she played the saxophone over the top of. It created such a good atmosphere for people to mingle and listen. Although she didn’t get the chance to play in the garden due to the weather, being inside gave it a more intimate feel.

Once we had got inside after taking our photos, Howie and I looked at each other at this point and said – see you at the table later. That made me giggle, and off he went to mingle with his friends and family and I finally got time to speak to mine. These few hours were really surreal for me and I can’t remember much from it. I tried to talk to as many people as possible and think I did a good job. It was nice that other people ‘grabbed’ me for a photo. I said before hand I wanted people to treat me as a guest, and not be too scared to talk to me. Thumbs up to all of you who pretended I was not a bride – thank you!

Our guests were supposed to be seated for 4pm. Howie and I were holding hands, all ready to be introduced as Mr and Mrs Shelley when we spot Jane (Howie’s mum) talking to someone far away from the top table, where she was meant to be seated. Howie tried calling out to her to go sit down but she was in her own world talking away. Andrea decided to take action and kindly asked the Mother of the Groom to sit down. Haha, that was hilarious when she realised she was the only one standing up talking at that point and she finally found her seat, and we could walk in.

We decided very early not to have many speeches, and not to give anyone options to say a few words. Some people may think this was weird, as Norwegian weddings usually have speeches running from before the starter and throughout the entire meal. Sometimes they don’t finish until 11 pm which we didn’t want. We did this for 3 very good reasons

1. We wanted everyone to enjoy their meal, including those who were holding a speech.

2. It was all in English and not everyone is fluent.

3. It was fair on everyone. No one felt they had to say ‘a few words’

Sarah was an unofficial ‘toast master’, who opened and closed the speeches. She introduced my brother Martin, followed by me, my maid of Honor Ida, Howie and his best men Nick and David. Sarah finished off by introducing a few Norwegian wedding rules/traditions.

1. If the bride leaves the table during the meal, all the women have to get up, go to the top table and kiss the groom on the cheek. And vice versa all the men get up and kiss the bride if the groom leaves the table for any reason.

2. If you ‘clink clink’ your wine glass the couple has to stand on their seats and kiss.

3. If you stamp your feet the couple has to hide under the table and kiss.

Fair to say we had to kiss a fair few times but it was just so funny. I think everyone enjoyed them selves and the atmosphere was very relaxed during the meal. Between the speeches and before the starter we had a few people playing cricket in the garden… That´s when you know it´s an English wedding apparently…

Hillhouse Country House | Unbridaled Boutique | Georgina Harrison Photography | Elizabeth Wallace Bridal | Jay McLoughlan Make-Up Artist | Rootz Hair Salon | Paper White Floral Design |

Life with Rebel

What happens next?

September 27, 2018

It’s always such a downer when the events are over and the season is finished. I normally plan one week ahead, knowing what to do every single day. If I compete on a Saturday the week would usually look like this:

Saturday – Competition.
Sunday – Off, leave him out in the field for as long as possible.
Monday – Lunging using a bungy. Make him stretch and go forward.
Tuesday – Grid work.
Wednesday – Hack or a trip to the beach.
Thursday – Flatwork.
Friday – Off or light forward work.

I’m trying not to ride in the arena, doing the same thing, two days in a row. Every day is different and every week includes days off, lunging, flatwork, grid work, and a hack or a beach trip. I very rarely jump a course at home, and never ever to the height I’m competing at. I think I did that only once since April. I much prefer grid work with bounces, raised trotting poles or just canter poles. Rebel needs to respect the poles a little bit more, and I feel this is very helpful for us, as he is looking where he’s going and can now canter over poles without having a complete meltdown. There are endless exercises out there for both trot and canter. Most horses know how to jump, but it’s our job to make the ‘in between’ work. When they are mid-air it’s just too late.

Rebel has, since I bought him, always lost his head when jumping. He would never listen to me, we would just run to the jump and hope for the best. He rarely stops, and I trust him with all my heart, but he needs to relax more. So small jumps and pole work is just what he needs. Every single week. Just to normalize the jumps and make it less exciting.

My previous plan for the winter was to affiliate him in show jumping, but I’ve changed my mind. I will save that £138 and put it towards lessons instead. Meaning I will compete less and learn more. I currently have 5 flatwork instructors I love, however, with more chefs comes more mess, so I have decided to stick with just two, both equally great but who teach very differently.

However, I do need to find a good jumping instructor, which is so difficult. I don’t want to jump at home, but I don’t want to travel far either. So looking for someone near me, who is available in the evenings or weekends, with a great arena and jumps, who most importantly: wants us to do well. I need someone who can push me, shout at me in between jumps and tell me when I ride rotten. How else can I get any better? And I want to be really really good.



September 26, 2018

What a week
What a holiday
What a wedding

We are so lucky to know someone who wanted to get married in Santorini. I have never been before, and it´s been years since I was in Greece. I have missed the food, weather and its beauty. I was not disappointed with this breathtaking small island. Every hotel, house and resort has been built into or onto cliffs, offering the most amazing views. They say this is a place you need to see, and I second that.

We stayed at Ampelonas Apartment in Imerovigli. From there it was only a 30 minute walk to the Capital Fira, and a two hour walk to Oia – both places are a must see. Fira is so vibrant and colourful while Oia is very high end. We walked to Oia twice, the second time during sunset, and it was just so beautiful.

But let´s not get carried away with these photos. The reason for us all being there was of course the wedding of Lauren and Jacob, who must have put their heart and soul into this very special wedding day. The ceremony was held at a vineyard, on a cliff top, with the most amazing panorama’s, whilst the reception/party was at a secluded private beach bar. It was all so very very cool.

I was dancing until the bus driver literally had to pick me up from the dance floor. Any song – no rhythm kind of night. I just never wanted it to end and thought I was God’s gift to dancing. I woke up the next day with a very sore head and a bit of regret for all my moves. But dancing queen over here just can´t sit still…

Life with Rebel

Alnwick Ford Event

September 24, 2018

It was so exciting (and so sad )to finish our last event for the season. We have been fortunate with a lot of runs, since the weather has been dry. We decided to finish on a high and traveled all the way to Northumberland on Friday after work. We arrived at the barn very late, and tucked the horses in for the night. With their pyjamas on, and hay and dinner on the menu, they were both happy and settled for the night. Vicky, super groom Leah and myself checked in to a B&B, ordered two pizzas and passed out. We had to be well rested for the big day.

Vicky has moved up to Novice (approx 110 cm) while I´m still at 100 cm.

My aim was to move up a level this year but with a never improving dressage, and always a pole down in the show jumping, I decided to wait.

I think we are both ready to tackle the cross country but eventing is more than just wooden obstacles. I want to move up when I know we are ready – which did not happen as soon as I hoped for.

I warmed up for 40 minutes before the dressage and was happy with Rebel. I have learned one very important thing about eventing (and competitions in general) and that is to NEVER look at other people warm up. It´s heart breaking as there are so many amazing riders there and I always think I look like a fud. Concentrate about myself and my horse – nothing else. During the test he still felt great, and semi relaxed. We did our second canter on the left rein and I was so pleased with how he was going, until I panicked, thinking I have been cantering for too long. I took him down to trot for a split second, only to realise I should still be cantering. Very expensive, and I was given a 5 for that canter. What an utter shame. The rest of the test was great until he cantered in a corner while I was meant to trot and I was given another 5.

Apart from those two mistakes we got 3 seven´s on in our test, with some nice comments on the sheet and a total score of 67% – giving us 37 penalties. I have not been under 40 since last year so was over the moon with that result.

We jumped a lovely clear round in both the show jumping and in the cross country. With no faults to be added we finished on our dressage score of 37 and climbed up the leader board. It was a very successful day for both me and Vicky. Now we just have to get over this winter depressions before it even start, and work even harder over the winter for a better result next year. Who knows, maybe I will do a novice class next year?

Life with Rebel

An evening at the yard

September 7, 2018

Kayleigh was riding Jordan yesterday and although I was so tempted to give Rebel a day off, I was persuaded into thinking riding was a good idea. I’ve been doing flatwork for days now so agreed to ride in the field with her and Jordan. We wanted them to stretch their legs, while we chatted about important things in life – such as fitness. However, Mr. R had other plans… I honestly think that this horse is cross country damaged and everything grass related means full speed and jumps. Lord, he wanted to have fun that horse, and our relaxed little “hack” went out of the window. He was going sideways, snorting like a stallion and really ready to go. It wasn’t very safe so we took them back in the stable to calm him down. I have said this before, but if I ever was to sell that horse, I would have problems. He’s too much to handle for a beginner, and too small for an adult. Ideally he would suit a teenager, but I don’t think it would be easy to find the right match, hence why I don’t think I will ever sell him. Also, I love him to the bones and don’t think I could ever let him go, even though I want to pull out my teeth now and then.

Look at our glamourous lifestyle here at Castleview. The downside with having this massive field has to be the poo-picking. To make it more interesting we have a competition on to see who can collect the most, and I think I may be in the lead with the most barrow loads! All for a chance of winning a bottle of wine :p