Beautiful Arena!!!

November 30, 2009

This is one of the most beautiful arenas I’ve seen. I just love the efficient roof!

This is the outside of the arena lined with lovely trees and hanging baskets. Even in the fall in The Netherlands it looks pretty!

Autographs From Anky van Grunsven

November 24, 2009

I was pondering last night, if I should feel guilty or not and after talking with several folks about it the answer is definitely not.

You see, even before I left the states to train in Holland with Anky van Grunsven I had parents, kids and businesses asking me to bring them back this or that autographed by Anky. My first reaction was sure that’s something neat I could do for people but then I realized it’s fair to ask her for a max of two autographs so then how would I decide who would get it and under what conditions were the most needy, deserving and was that even for me to decide? I even had a couple of parents email me requesting autographs for their children as Christmas presents. Then there was the online horse website which wanted me to get an autograph they could raffle to their members. Wow! Now on the kids and Christmas, well, that would be a great Christmas present for sure but I contemplated was it my place to provide this Christmas present for these parents? I liked the idea of getting an really nice autographed photo, framing it an auctioning it off giving the money to a not for profit organization like I did with my boots and the Wounded Warrior Project.

I guess the long and the short of it is I decided not to get anything except I asked Anky to autograph my dress boots since I’d ridden in them many hours with her and it just seemed fitting.

So my thought was there has to be an autograph session at WEG with Anky and perhaps we could focus on that? Another thought was hey, just ask her directly as she’s quite approachable regardless of what you might hear. Maybe email the website and inquire if you were to send a photo with postage paid both ways could they ask Anky to autograph it?

So I’m sorry to all the folks that requested but figuring out who, which and why just doesn’t seem fair and I hope everyone understands. It would definitely be an honor to have Anky’s autograph but I think the real honor would be in asking her directly and watching her actually sign it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and I’ve completely proven that with my training here abroad!

Happy day to you all!

Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet Arrived To The Netherlands

November 23, 2009

So Santa Claus isn’t super big here and they celebrate on the 6th of December instead of the 25th meaning Christmas prep events happen much eariler. This past week Sinterklaas (a man dressed like a bishop and riding a white horse) arrived to The Netherlands and was featured in many parades across the country. I hear he finds time to visit even the smallest of villages taking with him his helpers Zwarte Piet (translation is black pete) along to bring candy and treats to the children. I understand Sinterklaas is more closely related to the church than Santa Claus and Zwarte Piet to be much like elves. I’ve heard the Zwarte Piet is from Moorish decent who the bishop saved and they became helpers to other stories that Zwarte Piet is so dark because they go down the chimney to look for the treats for Sinerklaas and his horse which the children place in their shoes by the fireplace. Whatever it is, it’s very sweet and the kids in town were loving it. Here’s a couple of videos from the TV coverage of his arrival.

[flashvideo file= /]

[flashvideo file= /]

Dinner In Essen With Johan & Penny Rockx

November 22, 2009

I absolutely adore Johan and Penny Rockx!! I met them through a friend here in The Netherlands and they are not only world class dressage riders and trainers but they are world class humans that are just so positive and too much fun to be around. They invited me down for a dinner in Essen and I had the great chance to again visit with the Hulsebos’ (yes, of Hulsebos Saddlery) and a wonderful “S” judge from Texas and her partner. The evening was a true delight. The conversation was ever flowing and inventive and I really enjoyed the uniqueness of getting to chat with two other native Texan girls in Belgium! What joy! Outside the restaurant there’s a wagon museum and we were able to walk through and see a few of the wagons used for daily work in Essen. Here’s a few pictures:

Johan and Sue check out a cover placed in what appeared to be a storage moving type wagon.

I thought this was just a beautiful antique wagon wheel.

This was on the side of a fire wagon which simply states it was in service in Essen until 1939!

This was a really long wagon we were assuming was made to maybe transport logs? The one behind it is even more interesting and so long I couldn’t get all of it in the picture.

Here Sue is inspecting a very kewl looking plow we’re guessing was used to turn over fields after harvest.

Cute Potty Humor In The Potty At The Theater

November 21, 2009

I went to see Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” (a very nice show and I was sooooo happy to see how positively they depicted him!) and stopped by the potty on the way past the ticket counter. I don’t know what it says but it’s just too cute the image of the mobile phone and the toilet and I must say I know several people who have experience this issue! Quite a cute reminder that you should not try to use the potty when you mobile phone is in your back pocket! LOL!


How To Exercise Picollo

November 20, 2009

Picollo’s not a huge athlete but it’s quite fun to watch his, oh so cute, bouncing run as he gets exercise around a tiny apartment.

[flashvideo file= /]

Plastic Gloves At The Petrol Station

November 19, 2009

Although I have yet to see anyone actually use them and while their presence is not the best idea for the environment, it’s still an interesting concept to offer customers disposable plastic gloves to use while filling up your vehicle!


Super Cute Stable Sign

November 18, 2009

I thought this sign at an amazingly beautiful and well organized stable in Leende was just too cute! I love it’s little roof!


A Pleasant Drive To Erp

November 17, 2009

Here’s a couple videos of the drive to and through Erp arriving at Anky’s stable. Regardless of the weather, it’s definitely a pleasant drive through the trees and on the country roads. Oh and if you think these streets are narrow well then you have another thing coming. These are the WIDE streets! I was driving to a competition at a stable in Uden recently and went down a street about the width (FOR BOTH CARS MIND YOU) of a narrow driveway. What do you do when another car comes head on? Well, you just drive into the grass on the side. Haha!

[flashvideo file= /]

[flashvideo file= /]

Go Fast Energy Drink

November 16, 2009

Ex thought the adverts for the Go Fast Energy Drinks were so interesting he decided he must try one to see if it would make his lips red while the rest of him where in black and white. Definitely a fun advert of a dark women with a huge afro reminisent of the late 70s all in black and white less the red on the Go Fast can and her bountiful red lips.

I tried a sip and it wasn’t much like Red Bull so I’ll take a pass.