Hypno-riding

I am now a week overdue and waiting for my first child to decide to make a move. It has been 9 long months but the end is in sight – he better be worth the wait! So I sit, twiddling my thumbs and trying not to worry about giving birth. Getting anxious about it a couple of days ago my friend, Kelly, reassured me – “You’re going to be amazing! Horsey people can cope […]

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Sports Personality – what makes a winner?

What an incredible few days of sport with the World Athletics Championships, the FEI European Championships, the Belgium Grand Prix… I have been glued to the TV. It has been inspiring, humbling and at times weirdly stressful! But what I have been most intrigued by is the different characters in the sports – successful sports people come in all shapes and sizes but also with all kinds of personalities, how does that work? Let’s take […]

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The Hickstead Effect

I grew up with stories about Hickstead – my Mum and Aunt recounted endless tales about sinking in the mud and being stuck there for days, about seeing legends being made when they tackled the Derby bank, about trudging from the stable field down to ring 5 with a pony in each hand – even the tales of getting there before the M4 existed. It is a place of dreams and somewhere that has always […]

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Have you qualified yet?

“We won! Yey!” …… “Was it a qualifier?”….. “No, but he went so beautifully, I’m really pleased.”…. “Well, hopefully he will go beautifully again next week at the qualifier where it really matters.” This is a conversation I actually heard  What a downer! I walk along at shows and it is all I hear. Even little tots discussing how many they have qualified – I am not always convinced they even know what it means […]

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Burn all Scrunchies!

My eyes struggle to focus, I take a deep breath, my palms start to sweat, my breaths shorten – yes someone is wearing a scrunchie! People laugh at my ridiculous dislike for anything scrunchie related but they don’t understand that this is not just a mild issue – this is a marmite level of hate and something to be taken very seriously. Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City) famously declared that no woman of […]

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Role reversal – Mother takes centre stage

There is an American proverb which says “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” Well, today I walked in my Mother’s shoes (not literally as she has tiny feet!) and was groom for the day as she competed the wonderful American Pie. And I must say it was certainly enlightening. Pie loves to go out and about and I am not sure he is convinced by my excuse for restricting […]

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Walk the line – you can’t afford one negative thought.

At every show, as the class draws near, we get the call: “Competitors can now walk the course.” For some this is like turning a computer on, making a morning brew, tidying a desk – just a task to do before the work commences but for others it is a gut wrenching call that symbolises the competition drawing nearer and is the opportunity to see what you are going to have to face and the […]

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Badminton – Pol, pickles, pants and just a few ponies.

I will admit I am not normally a fan of eventing – I like my fences to fall down, when I make a mistake I like to hear faults being called out rather than my airbag back protector going off and an ambulance siren and when I canter through some beautiful woodland I just don’t need it to be preceded by whistles blowing! I would happily take part in a BE 90 (and have, thoroughly […]

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The plight of the Amateur show rider

Squeezing in a quick schooling session before a 9am meeting, trudging into a field wearing a suit with wellies, discussing financial profitability on the phone while applying a poultice – can an amateur ever truly compete against a professional? An amateur, by its dictionary definition, is someone who competes for the love of something rather than for an income – not necessarily an inferior. They may even be at an advantage over a professional in […]

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