I've been blogging now for quite some time but I realised I never really told you how this all started! I've actually been riding since I was 6 and it all started with a cheeky chap called Solo, a 12.2hh, Heinz 57 variety! They say you need to fall off 10 times in order to be classed as a good rider ... I should've been doing the Olympics at 10!
My confidence was very low when I was little. I was definitely not one of those children that you would see cantering up and down the show field! I quite often would be found crying and absolutely petrified! It's quite funny when I look back! My mum would always say, 'you don't have to ride horses if you're scared' but I would argue and say I wanted to do it! She must've thought me bonkers! I honestly can't explain it, horse riding to me is like breathing, a necessity in my life. I knew this, even at 6! Even when I was scared out of my wits, I would still clamber on and think 'I'm going to crack this!'. Solo was a character and really excelled at mounted games, he was super fast and even at the grand old age of 26 he could put most ponies to shame! I regularly competed in the local Pony Club and, looking back, I couldn't have asked for a better first pony!
Solo (My first pony - he was the first steep learning curve!)
After flying out of the saddle with Solo, more times than I care to count, I then tried my luck with Pandora, a 13.2hh Welsh, Section B, Show Pony! Yes, she really did live up to her name! Quirky, unpredictable and extremely talented. She taught me so much about respecting the animal you're riding! She was an amazing working hunter and show jumper but I was never really cut out for that, preferring to keep all four feet on the ground! Not much has changed!
Pandora (I didn't get long with her as I grew too tall - but she was definitely a 'character')
I didn't get to spend long with Pandora as before I knew it my legs had grown and I missed out on a 14.2hh pony! I was straight onto horses and the problems they then served! I had a couple of horses on loan, whom I competed successfully in Dressage and Equitation. I found my passion for Dressage grew and I knew it was what I wanted to do!
I got to a point in my life where I was considering college and I knew I wanted to train to be a vet nurse. As it came to my final year exams I found myself without a horse. It was better to stay horseless at this point as the vet world took over and I needed the time to study. Once my final exams where completed I started to look around for my next 4 legged friend. More passionate then ever I ventured down to Addingtons Elite Auction with my family. To be honest it feels like yesterday that a 5 month old Crunchie was trotting round the arena! He was so beautiful and before we knew it, we had bought him!
Crunchie (as a foal and at our first Petplan Qualifier!)
Fast forward a few months, after realising waiting for Crunchie to grow up was going to be a long wait, I tottled off to a local dealer and locked eyes on Erik. It was love at first sight, he was stunning and stood with such presence! To this day I have no idea how I rode him for the first time, in an outdoor arena with a active building site right next door! I had some serious balls, as I wouldn't do it now!! Before I knew it I was handing over my hard earned cash and being given Erik's lead rope! We took him home the next day!
Erik (my first sit on when I went to buy him and at a BYRDS competition)
It's certainly been an adventure with the herd! I have learned something different with each horse and the one thing I love is getting to know each of their characters! Each one is quirky and I have a different relationship with each of them. I've found it is all based on trust and with some it takes longer than others. I could not imagine my life without them and after a little break over Christmas I am ready to start my weekly vlogging again! So if you fancy an insight into the herd and a laugh at me feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel, which you can find if you CLICK HERE!
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