No advice, no lessons – just honesty

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Most of my blogs are designed to be informative or to teach something or are just hoping to make people smile or think. This one however, is just from the heart and honest. I have gone through a pretty tough time of late, as my first ever blog explained but even since then things haven’t been great. I have been very lost, confused and unhappy.  So, Jack came along, a beautiful, kind, talented horse and the Mother bought him. I know she missed having a horse but I also know she was looking to make me smile again. Seeing your […]

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The FEI has let us down at Rio

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Over the last few weeks, we have seen the top athletes in the World competing in Rio. So many moments to make everyone proud. But watching the showjumping the other day – my favourite event – I was left angry and disappointed. Not by Team GB – they did not have luck on their side but John Whitaker’s first round was pure class and I will most certainly be cheering on Nick Skelton and Ben Maher tomorrow. But the abuse of horses that was seen and the reaction of the FEI has left me in shock. Riding is so much […]

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Making a tough decision, putting your horse first

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The headlines read “Rider Adelinde Cornelisse quits Rio 2016 after horse falls ill” , “Dutch dressage rider quits Rio Olympics to save sick horse.” With a silver at London 2012, she was certainly more than just a contender, she was one of the favourites but then an infected insect bite stopped her Olympic gold hopes. The papers all played the dramatic card but I like her report. The facts of what happened, ending with this:  “When I entered I already felt he was giving his utmost and being the fighter he is, he never gives up… But in order to […]

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Not good enough

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A few years ago, I had someone call about a pony I had for sale. We chatted for a while and then she said “He sounds amazing but he is too good for me.” I was confused by this. Was he too much money? Was he unsafe? No, she just didn’t think she could do him justice. At the time, I was confused and just didn’t get it. So if you can afford an Aston Martin – why don’t you buy one? New boy Jack is something really special –  his breeding suggests he could jump around Badminton and he […]

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Right horse, wrong time

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In April last year, I went to a show at Addington. Purely for a day out as I missed riding, my old pony friends and general show-ness. I remember it being a fun day – I ended up helping at the gate for the workers, the Mother bought a yummy picnic including pimms, I saw some friends I hadn’t seen for ages and I also saw Jack. Now, I didn’t know his name was Jack at the time, he was just a stunning chestnut beast looking across the showground like he owned the place.  It was like Darcy looking at […]

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Marks system – good or bad?

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I am normally a fan of Simon Reynolds’ column – saying it how it is, not scared to be a bit controversial, bringing up current topics. But this week, discussing the marks system in showing and I have to object.I agree with him when it comes to “the same old rumblings” – it does seem to be a continual debate, seemingly as endless as the EU referendum. But I disagree that marks are a bad idea. Simon says (excuse the pun!) “Putting marks on paper leaves judges open to scrutiny” – Yes it does. When you stand in a ring […]

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A Side Saddle taster

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At the age of 12, I had only ridden a very small amount of times but I went for a lesson with Betty Skelton because I loved the idea of riding side saddle. I did not know Mrs S so had no warning of what I had in store. I should have guessed from the fact she was in her 80s, carried water buckets around and drove at a million miles an hour that I was in for an experience. In my lesson, I was walking, trotting and cantering (quite something for a nervous newbie), she then threw my mum […]

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Proud to be British

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I am a proud Brit; I hang my union jack flag at any opportunity, I will cheer for Team GB in basically any sport going and over the last few weeks the horse world has just made me even prouder. Just over two weeks ago, we took our annual pilgrimage to Badminton Horse Trials. I make no secret that I am not the biggest eventing fan but Badminton has definitely become a not to be missed event in our calendar. This year, we had to bow down to the Germans (not something I enjoy doing or approve of!) but superstar […]

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If at first you don’t succeed 

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A few weeks ago, I read about a very exciting new competition – the Blue Chip All Star Academy in association with Horse and Country TV. They were looking for a normal riders, good with social media, happy in front of a camera, with interesting stories for regular video blogs (vlogs!). Well, I thought, this is my chance! I don’t cook well enough for Masterchef, I don’t sing well enough for The Voice, I occasionally “think I can dance” but only after one two many glasses of fizz and although I am not a bad cake maker, I could never […]

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A reason to smile

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Today was just one of those days! The days where nothing quite goes to plan, you feel unappreciated and as if everything is a losing battle. So, I came home ready to curl in a ball, take a large pot of Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer, make a duvet fort to live in forever and then I saw this article – “Use of Spurs, nosebands, bits and draw reins in competition called into question.” Well done Horse and Hound, you saved me from a life in a duvet fort! A Finish organisation catchily named Operantit Ratsastajat Ry, who are dedicated […]

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