Definitely a life for a teen girl to envy. Enviously thin young ladies with ponytails (it must be a requirement!) who spend their days doting over the expensive beasts their dads are all too happy to purchase (because the love of a horse means boys are nary a thought).  What we like about the sport of English riding is that it is equal–males and females compete against one another according to their abilities. What Anna Grace likes about the sport is that she has horse love and a rigorous workout every week. Whatever the reason, we were happy to indulge her on Saturday for a day outing to the Vienna Masters.
Equestriennes can not live by plain and boring accessories alone, and neither can their horses.

Italian handmade boots to covet. The four digit price tag? Not so much.

One of Anna Grace’s AIS schoolmates competed in the 130cm Division. He fared well, but did not place.

 The equestrian equivalent of a Zamboni.

Why, yes, that is Athina Onassis competing in the 145cm Division. She also fared well, but did not ribbon.

On Sunday I indulged my big engineer and my little engineer-in-training with a pedal-powered Draisine 13km outing across the Weinviertel. Get it? “Engineers” operating a “train?”

The crossings at the occasional Austrian country road were manual, and Anna Grace was happy to step in as a Switchman.

 “Look, Mom!  No Hands!”

 Passing by a beautiful old village cemetery.

 Pausing for apple snacks along the way.

 A kellergasse along our route, my new photography obsession.

The rolling hills of our European home. Similar to the rolling hills of our American home.

 Just in time for the Halloween season, black and forlorn sunflowers and ghostlike thistle.

The summit, 298 meters above Austria. 
 
Woohoo!  It’s all downhill from here!

 Zipping past early autumn colors to our destination, Asparn an der Zaya and its Bahnhof Fest.

‘Twas a Schönes Wochenende!