I have many short comings but lack of ambition isn’t one of them! I knew I was ambitious from an early age -if I was going to do the Nativity, then I wanted to be Mary. And in horses it was no different, from the moment I sat on one, I was planning my show for the Supreme in the main ring at Hickstead.
The last few years have been tough and knocked me back, hard, from the ultra determined person I once was, however, the ambition really hasn’t changed.
My pony club experience was not the best; I will never knock the pony club as a whole, I just didn’t have the most positive time there. I was 12 when I started to ride and this didn’t really work within my pony club as I was put in a group with under 10s as I was “new and inexperienced”. This didn’t sit very well with me to start with – I think it bought back horrific memories of being forced to stand with the class 4 years below me for the school photo as I was freakishly small and looked odd next to my age group!
I remember at one rally we were all asked what our riding ambitions were. There were lots of responses relating to passing their D test or jumping the open 2″6 at camp etc. I responded “Well, short term I am thinking winning at Windsor and then longer term Hickstead.” The instructor looked baffled and honestly, a little pitiful. It was then decided that I may not be the best fit for the pony club…
3 years later, the instructor was in the audience when I won Windsor for the first time. A moment I will always remember. I have learnt a personal lesson, I imagine my family worked it out early on, tell me I can’t do something and that simply drives my ambition to do it!
So, my horsey ambitions are still there – ride in the main ring at Hickstead, jump in the main ring at HOYS, win Windsor, Kent and Cheshire again, jump a Foxhunter class. Plus, after last week’s Ascot visit, ride at Ascot may have sneaked on my list. And professionally, I want to be JK Rowling crossed with Clare Balding and a pinch of Mike Tucker, with a best selling children’s book and reporting for the BBC….. No lack of ambition.
The issue comes with confidence, determination, consistency, persistence….but I am working on those and the mojo is slowly coming back so Clare better watch her back!