Join me in my rewilding adventure in the heart of Wales, surrounded by all things natural. Animals, life and times, mother nature and the wild Welsh weather feature in my story which is frequently challenging, often amusing and invariably insightful (to me, at any rate)! You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive notifications of videos as they are published, as not all videos appear on this page. Daily updates of my life and times are on Facebook.
No gain without pain!
All hacking from my yard goes dramatically uphill. But at 1200 feet, it’s undulating and Talisman can do some canter work with the added benefit that the views are outstanding. Working correctly all the way there and back, coupled with a session of cantering on top, it’s a fair old workout. Not a patch on Talismans’ fitness training when he was competing international level endurance but more than enough for now!
Work equals play
Talisman loves his jumping (actually, we both do) which is part of his all-round education after a first career in endurance. I had a little play recently with the GoPro to see if it’s possible to film his work from the saddle. I had the camera on my chest for part of the session and strapped to the fence for the rest. It’s not as good as I would have liked but I have spliced and diced the footage and here is the result….short and sweet but fun and you get to share the ride with me!
Training your instinct
We are born fully conscious of our instinct but for most of us, it’s lost through education which trains us to think logically. Yet, instinct is the best ‘sat nav’ we have in life. So how do we re-discover it and hear it over the noise of life and how do we train it to be a powerful guidance mechanism for us?
Fanny Adams was a beloved cat who is no longer but lives on in the current reincarnation who is Bryngwyn. She gave a lovely message to a friend of mine who could talk to animals which enhanced my relationship with her. I wrote this poem in her honour.
Narrating your life
Contrary to popular belief, you are not bonkers if you talk to yourself! I have been doing it for years. Narrating your experience helps you notice what you think about yourself, especially through your reaction to people and situations. And if you don’t like what you think, you can change it. Thought comes before belief, which comes before action!
The power of thought
I have learned that thought has energy, so it can be put to good use for each of us and the world around us. The flip-side is that we have to be mindful of all our thoughts including the ones which aren’t helpful in creating the life we would like. Like any new skill you want to develop, practise makes perfect and I explain how I have practised this over the years.
Muck heap meditation
Shovelling the muck up on the heap each morning is my least favourite yard job. So, I have changed how I think about it and turned it into a useful exercise which could even be called a ‘meditation’. You don’t have to be sitting down to meditate! In my view, life is a meditation.
Talking to your food
I’ve always thought carefully about food and nutrition, partly as a means to good health and partly because serious sport requires serious fuel. For me, communing with my food before eating is a way of amplifying the nutritional benefits in a quantum way. It’s conscious eating and here’s how I do it…
What is spirituality?
This is a very big question. For me, spirituality is on a spectrum from practical applications in every day life to full blown esoteric. I attempt to explain in under two minutes. Lots more bite-size videos to follow on how it works in my life and ways to incorporate it into yours.
Cycling to Nirvana
Cycling completes my trio of training sessions each week. I like to squeeze every last drop of fitness out of the session, plus some. Extra curricular benefits include developing my telepathic skills, contemplation and meditation. Could this be the road to Nirvana?
I am a big fan of skipping which is one of my core fitness sessions each week. It works the heart, lungs and muscles – especially the core which is great for riding. However, it requires a surprising amount of co-ordination and technique which I explain in this session. I had planned to do 1600 skips but due to a miscount (I never was very good at maths), I added another 300 just for good measure!
‘Madame La Piplette’ (Pip) has her freedom for the first time in 10 days due to arctic weather and makes the most of the white stuff in the turn out arena with some impressive acrobatics!
Interview with Ingrid Auer
I have never been one for convention! In this interview I talk about the things I hold dear in life, my guiding philosophies and spiritual perspective. Are you sitting down?
My turnout and riding arenas need regular harrowing but it’s not as easy as it sounds and taxes the grey matter as well as my muscle power!
Nooky and other cat mischief!
Cats on the yard are omnipresent, even during filming. Whilst making one video, house cat Bryngywn and his feral ‘wife’ Elizabeth made an unscheduled appearance and continued their love affair afterwards too!
Running in the rugged Welsh hills is no ordinary training experience. The weather is extreme and can change very quickly though the scenery is always stunning. On this particular day the sun was shining and I had a surreal sensation of melding with the scenery and the elements.
Rome wasn’t built in a day!
Talisman is six months into his re-training after a career in endurance. Fiona decides to re-focus on the basics to ensure his work is consistent. Having simplified his bitting arrangements too, the aim is for a consistent contact, good rhythm and correct transitions. Talisman’s excitable nature is a challenge but progress is made and ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’!
Landscape of the Soul
Living in the midst of exquisite landscape is like a meditation at times, prompting a profound connection with all that there is.
Tigger ‘Take 2’!
On an horrid day in sub zero temperatures and driving sleet, Fiona and Talisman continue jumping training in a bid to find another job for Talisman, after a career in endurance. Talisman is in his usual bouncy form but this time the emphasis is on fewer jumps and more height. Funny how the hardest bit is getting to that pesky pole!
Humans and horses alike have rituals…..
Bouncing like Tigger!
In a brief let-up during serial snowfalls in Wales, Fiona continues re-training ex-endurance horse Talisman, who is learning to jump. After working in, the pair negotiate a grid and bounce their way to happiness!
A bird in the hand…
Pesky pheasants cause havoc for me and the horses, so I hatched a plan to remove them from my land. Scary!
Altercation with the Field Shelter
I took the plunge and bought a field shelter with the idea of having the horses out 24/7 for a few months of the year and creating less work for me. It’s mobile (sort of) which means I can drag it around with the car. A great plan but why is it that few things in life as are as straightforward as they seem?
Bomb on a lunge!
Let me introduce you to the luscious Talisman El Nefous. I completely adore this horse. He’s the best athlete in any discipline I have ever owned (or ridden, for that matter) and my first ever grey horse! He’s intelligent, razor sharp (OK, he’s an arab!), has a GSOH and loves to buck! In this video, I planned to show you how well is working on the lunge now and some lunge-jumping BUT……………..that wasn’t what Talisman had in mind! Talisman is bred for endurance and we are aiming to represent GB – eventually!
Home Sweet Home!
I am convinced this property found me! I wasn’t looking in mid Wales, I didn’t know anyone in that neck of the woods and I had never been there! Nor was I looking for an ancient homestead as I had renovated one in the past and swore I would never do it again! But I fell in love with it and here I am. So, let me show you around…