Welcome to my very first blog post!
I thought it’d be a good start to introduce myself, my trusty side kick and explain a little bit about where we are and why we’ve started this blog.
I’ve ridden since I was 9 years old, and started in much the same way a lot of people do, at a local riding school. I’d pestered my parents for weeks, probably months to ride ponies and eventually they relented and my dad took my off for my very 1st lesson.
Things progressed from there really, I wasnt exactly ‘sporty’ or ‘athletic’ and I imagine they thought I’d give it all up in a month or so. I took to riding like a duck to water, and eventually after a year of lessons we bought my 1st pony. He came from the riding school, and in hindsight, wasnt the most ideal 1st pony. He had a tendancy to nap, rear and leave me behind when we were hacking – most of my years with him were spent in A&E with concussion and various other injuries! Quickly, I developed a bit of a passion for showjumping which he deemed to be far too much effort and promptly shared this opinion by taking every chance he got to deposit me and run off. Such a charming chap!
Mum decided enough was enough, at 13.2 I’d started to outgrow him and realistically he was holding me back so he was advertised and the hunt for his successor began! We sold him to a riding school where I’d moved my lessons to, who used him for hacking and in the school before selling him to a young lad to do a bit of everything with. I’ve lost track of him now sadly…
We bought Duchess (aka Diddles) as a 6 year old, Irish bred Connemara fresh over from Ireland and in a dealers yard to be sold when I was 13/14. She was fairly green, as was I and we set about learning together. We had many years together contesting local showjumping and working hunter classes – she took me from ‘beginnters’ 50cm cross pole jumping to 3ft 3 pony opens in a season and was my little superstar. I came off ponies, and she was far too special, talented and had too much to teach a new rider to be left without a job so the difficut decision was made to sell her to a little boy in our riding club to have fun jumping with. I had by this time already bught my 1st horse to hopefully take over.
It didnt really happen for my new horse, we didnt really click and eventually we worked out he’d been a rachorse which explained an awful lot about him and his attitude/behaviour. I’m pretty small at 5ft, and he was 17hh so an awful lot of me to contend with. When I was 18, he was sold to a lady on my yard and I believe he is now on permanent loan through the Thoroughbred Rehabillitation Society.
I was now horseless, with a lot of time on my hands and life generally took over.. we learned that Duchess had changed homes which was sad as I really thought she had a home for life with the family we’d sold her to. I started to have a few lessons at a local riding school just to keep riding and rode a friends ponies from time to time.
After some time, the new owners of Duchess (her 3rd set since me!) got in touch to ask me to sign her passport forms to say they owned her. I did, we kept in touch and 12 months later bought her back at the age of 15. I was delighted to have her home!
She’s now a happy part of my little family, and is spoilt through and through. We’ve spent a long time establishing some basics and reinstating her manners. The only blip on our horizon is her recent diagnosis with OsteoArthritis or Bone Spavin in her hocks. Its been sucessfully treated with injections and she’ll have a course of Tildren later this month. However, we’re absolutely on track with everything we want to do – low level jumping and dressage.
I’m currently training with Fiona Lace and seeing some improvements in her dressage/flat work which is translating to her jumping- and I’ll be keeping you updated with videos of exercises, lessons, schooling sessions and competing.
Hopefully, that gives you a little window into us and where we are currently at…
Over the course of the blog, I’m hoping to share with you all of the ups and downs we have through entries and blogs, videos and tips..