Birth year: 2013
I was privileged to grow up around horses. My parents had a hunter livery and dealing yard and my mother and I ran a little pony dealing business. I have always loved producing young horses and ponies, and have produced all my horses from unbroken three or four year olds. The journey with the horses brings me as much satisfaction as competing. I evented for 30 years before concentrating on show jumping, and was a successful working pony rider and so my riding education has been broad and correct and the horses get a very thorough education and a variety of work. We are lucky to have beautiful hacking where we live. With a small yard I am lucky enough to be able to spend a lot of time with the horses, working out the best approach for each individual. When training others I like to continue this ethos, working hard to find the best way for each combination to progress. I have been lucky to ride some lovely horses, and was successful in eventing up to CCI3* level and have jumped up to CSI2* 1.45 level since turning to show jumping. While I was eventing I also competed successfully up to Elementary level in dressage.
April has worked for me for almost three years, starting part-time, and now working full-time. Having started her career in racing April is an excellent rider and her grooming skills and attention to detail are second to none. April's quietness and confidence with the horses, and endless patience and sense of humour with me make her a fantastic show groom, making me relaxed and confident to get on with my job.
We went for a return trip to Parwood last Tuesday. The day didn't start too well with the M25 and the A3 being closed, luckily we started off early as a 1.25 hour journey took close to three hours. Askeaton got the day off to a good start with double clears in the Discovery and the Newcomers and 6th place in the Newcomers. We probably should have gone home right then! Khalissy felt very sharp in the warm up and I promptly fell off her. I dusted myself off, and the rest of the warm up, with helpful verbal encouragement from Pippa Funnell, went well. She started her round well, but got progressively more buzzy and strong, until I fell off her again after another misunderstanding. Not ideal, but she is currently being treated for ulcers, and in retrospect maybe I should have left her at home until she is all sorted out - hindsight is a marvelous thing. I can't say I was my bravest when I clambered aboard Arietta, but as always she saved the day. One circle when I was a bit disorganised, but basically a another very good round in the Foxhunter/1.20. It was lovely to see Pippa Funnell there, and feel that she is pleased with Arietta's progress. I got home to find my new airbag vest from Helite had arrived - a little bit late but hey-ho it's here now.
On Thursday BS Area 46 organised a clinic with Duncan Inglis at Golden Cross. I took Askeaton and Arietta, and this was a really beneficial morning. Duncan was very quick to see that I'm not sitting up enough, either before or immediately after the fence, (probably part of the reason I'm plopping off so easily) and this helped me so much with getting better distances down lines with both horses. They are both very long striding (which is great) but I need to be quicker to re-balance in related distances. I gave the Helite Airbag a good try-out - it's incredibly comfortable and very neat looking - and if I'm taking up falling off in my dotage it's a very good idea.
Preparations continue for the Sunshine Tour. The paperwork is unbelievable!! Thank you Brexit; but we seem to be jogging the right way. The first lot of blood tests for the horses have come back all good. By the time the lorry has had a check, and a few things done in the living, the horses have had an MOT and I've done enough physio and fitness work to get back to full speed the 26th February is going to come round very quickly.