How It all started
I started riding at the age of three. My mother would let me ride her 16.2hh Danish warmblood Oscar in from the field after she had ridden. It wasn't until the Christmas that I was five that my very own pony arrived. Santa delivered him and after some help from my Father he was named Chips after my favourite food. Chips and I joined Pony Club and had many fun and hair raising times together, but the time soon came where I needed a pony that could further my riding education. Chips went to a local riding school and I have since seen him with other little girls at Pony Club.
Corrin was the next of my influential rides. A 12hh section A mare who gave me so much experience. I remained a keen member of pony club, competing in one day events and dressage. I did my first ever dressage test on my seventh birthday on Corrin but at the time it was working hunter pony classes that we were concentrating on. I had a great time at Ponies UK and BSPS every summer.
At the age of nine I had out grown Corrin and she carried on her WHP career with great success. Tilstone Jacana ( Little Jack) arrived a 13hh severn year old gelding who was some what speedy. He was a challenge but he gave me many experiences, we qualified for the RIHS in WHP and attended BYRDS for the first time. This was the point at which I became aware of what a pony could do. I remember watching the European Pony squad training with the German Pony Team trainer at Addington, and saying to my Mum, I want to be able to do that. I worked hard with Little Jack to be as good as I could, and in 2000 I became BSPS under sixteen rider of the year.
Dressage From Now On!
After Little Jack I decided I would move away from the showing scene, and that I would like the chance to have a dressage pony. This is when Mealor Midora aka Doris arrived, we leased her from Joanna Lloyd of Mealor equestrian centre and at the time she was a little unfit and over weight as all she had to do was see food and she expanded! We started competing at British Dressage shows at Novice level and to be honest exceeded our wildest dreams, Doris and I were unstoppable. After 12 months together we were working at medium level and had been selected for the British Pony Squad, that I had dreamt of being on only a few years before. In the February of 2002 Doris and I were selected to represent Great Britain at an international show in Belgium. Doris and I were always in the top few ponies in Britain but never quite made it to the Europeans.
After a long and hard think at the age of fifteen I was so tall I was getting to big for Doris. My trainers advised me to begin to look for a horse, so I could build a strong partnership ready for Juniors. Doris went back to Joanna and was later ridden by her daughter Annie who also had great success at pony level.
Moving onto Horses!
After talking to some trainers, it turned out that my trainer at the time had a young horse in to sell. This horses name was O'Donner aka Oscar which of course was my Mothers horses name, so he had extra points before we even got to view him. He didn't tick any boxes of what we wanted, he was young, grey (after Corrin we decided never again, too many stains!) and he wasn't advanced enough to teach me everything..... But he was lovely and we were a perfect match. Within the first year of having Oscy I had qualified for the nationals, coming 3rd to my trainer who was 1st and 2nd at the regional finals and won the Pony Club Championships with marks up to 79% gaining 9's for my riding!! From here I was selected onto the World Class start programme and was lucky enough to gain from their support and expertise for 12months. Oscy took a long time to teach changes because he was soooo laid back about everything, and after a bad fall that left me with a broken shoulder I was unable to keep my place on the squad.
I trained Oscar to PSG Level and decided that I needed a young talented horse and that somebody else could learn so much from Oscar as I had. Oscar is still out competing to a high level with the people I sold him to, which is lovely to see.
The Horse a Girl Dreams of
After selling Oscar, I bought a young stallion with the biggest personality I have ever seen in a horse and after a trip to Holland to buy a young horse to sell on, I stumbled across the horse of my dreams. Goldavo was the last horse I saw before I got back on the train to go home, he was in the middle of a field with his friend the Shetland pony. I have never tried a horse like this in my life, but we walked up to him rubbed the dirt off his back, threw the tack on and I got on. I had 10 mins on him before we had to leave and cried from the moment I got off for an embarrassingly long time, because I didn't think I would be able to afford him. But after a few weeks that felt like years Goldavo (aka spliffy) arrived and my amazing journey with him began.
We went from strength to strength very quickly, first winning our first show together, then selection for squads, then off to France for an international, where after a spooky first test we made it into the final. After an amazing season I got the phone call from the selectors saying that we had been selected after only 8 months together for the Junior European Dressage Team, where we were the best Brit individually!
After an amazing 2006 with Spliffy, I went off to uni to study Marketing and Sports Development. This meant I could not compete as much as I wanted to. In the summer of 2007 I was a working pupil in Holland for Spliffy's breeder, I had the most amazing few months and learnt so so much. I had a hard decision to make as to whether to stay and work and train in Holland or to finish my degree. I came home to finish my degree.
In 2008 I had a fall from a friends horse which ended my dream of returning to Holland with a bang. I injured my back and spent some time regaining the feeling in my left leg. Although after 10 months I felt I was able to ride again the pain was too much and I have battled with this ever since.
The Mission !
So now I aim to be able to ride again with no pain, as my passion lies with training horses. My fall has given me the chance to teach more and I have found that I really enjoy teaching and helping people. I have taken a course in NLP and have found it has helped me and the people I coach no end.
I want to help every body who wants to improve and over come their boundaries, to achieve their goals no matter how big or small.
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