Let’s hear it for the boys! I thought it was about time we have a boy on the blog. I am very pleased to introduce this month’s inspirational equestrian Jake Tarrant from Little Bentley eventing. You may have seen him on this years Omega All Star Academy. He is a riding instructor, eventer, blogger and all round good guy that retrains and competes on his rehabbed horses. I hope you agree that his interview does not disappoint!
1) What inspired you to start doing what you are doing?
From an early age I was always drawn to horses, but as a boy it was always about the speed and excitement of galloping across the countryside. As I approached my GCSE’s and had to decide on my route through life it became apparent that I could not compete academically with my twin brother, so I decided to abandon institutionalised education and gain a world recognised qualification with the BHS, my AI. As I progressed through my equestrian career, I worked in all the major disciplines to get as much experience of the industry as I could. It soon transpired that my particular affinity was with those animals that all others had given up on, those horses that had run out of hope, but how could i do something about it? The answer was simple, I gave up working with horses…………. took over my family business and gave it an equestrian theme, built my own yard, and started out on a new path of rehabilitating those horses that humans had failed. But as boys only get older, and never grow up, my love of the speed and power of flowing across the country stayed with me, and a love of eventing rehabbed horses was born.
The more I took these horses out, the more I did with them, the less people would understand…….. confused yet?? People simply couldn’t understand why I would be over the moon with a poor result on a horse that consistently kicked out show jumps, or did a dressage test that was half poetry and half pain; they didn’t understand that the success was just there in the partnership, in the completion, in the trust that is earned when these animals have no reason left to believe in us. This is the path that led us to audition for the Omega Equine Allstar Academy, the chance for one of these horses to prove to the world that every horse deserves a chance; a chance to rise above their past and to forgive what has been done to them. They do not judge us, they do not resent us; but if we deserve it, they can forgive us.
2) Who do you look to for inspiration & why?
As many of us have, I have been the victim of a mental health disorder, this makes being inspired both easier and harder. It’s easy to watch the great riders doing their thing and winning at Badders or Olympia and come home being galvanised into emulating them; but no, I love scrolling through facebook and seeing those people that have gone above themselves, challenged themselves, bounced back from trauma to prove that they can be a success, that have gone out of their way to be better than they were. It makes me want to believe in myself again.
3) What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?
My biggest achievement is probably the judges ride section of the Allstar Academy, when Charlie Hutton rode rehabbed 16hh Bay gelding Troy, which led to him not only winning the module, but also birthing the viral sensation that was the Cup of Tea challenge, proving that a rehabbed horse can be far more than just that.
4) What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?
Everyone has bad days, everyone hits walls in their riding that makes them question whether they are good enough, everyone feels judged by their peers and at that time are found wanting; But the thing is…….. EVERYONE does, you are not alone, it happens to the best of us; and like theirs, your story will be inspiring someone else.
5) What are your plans for this year & what do you hope to achieve?
I’d like to qualify my boys for the Grassroots at Badminton (in addition to the 5* obviously, but that is more of a long term goal), but this will only happen with a lot of training, so I will be pursuing any bursaries and scholarships that I come across to help fund the work I do.
But in reality, my plans for this year are simple; to every day be a slightly better version of myself than I was yesterday, to enable me to help take these horses further along the path of success, to wherever that may be.
Find Jake on facebook – Little Bentley Eventing
Copyright of Louise Dando and In Due Horse 2019.