Places to Visit, Visits

My Visit to The National Stud of Vendée

This is the second stud that I visited on my summer travels this year in France. It is situated in the centre of La Roche Sur Yon, roughly an hour away from La Rochelle.

Built in 1665 by Napoleon to breed horses for the military, Le Haras de la Vendée is now used for cultural and tourist purposes.

We explored the grounds when we were there and there is a lot to see. We were able to see the stables and grounds and see the ‘ exposition de voitures et hippomobiles’ which are the old cars and carts. You can see them displayed with information about when and why each one was used. My hubby liked this part!

The grounds were pretty and you would never think you were in the middle of the city. There were pony rides available all day for children (some in costumes) . Guided tours are available 3 times a day, which I would have liked to go on. You can also go on a pony & cart ride. There were also many educational talks and tours available on specific days including an old photo exhibition, how to tack up a horse , working sessions with commentary, question and answer sessions and a saddlery workshop. How very educational!

In the summer there is a ‘Grande Spectacle’ each day at 17.00. With a multitude of scenes in costumes, to music telling the stories of horses through out the times. The horses pirouette and jump and the reviews I have read say it’s brilliant. There is also Cachou the circus horse, which is a funny show aimed for kids.

If you get a chance to visit one of the National studs in France I would recommend it. There are 22 National studs around France, which make up along with the National riding school the Institut Français du Cheval et de L’ Equitation. It’s certainly something I will try to continue to do as I luckily stumbled across the studs in Tarbes & & Vendée and enjoyed both visits. Both I have visited have been very informative and interesting but good fun too. I would say the stud in Vendée is not as grand as the stud in Tarbes, but both have a lot to offer. Both centres are used for tourism but also for research in the continuation of breeding and for shows, competitions and education. Both were really child friendly too. Entry was €5 for the whole day which included everything I mentioned above including entry to the spectacle. It’s really good value!

Do you know of any horsey places or events I should visit in France? If you have stumbled across any gems whilst on holiday etc let me know as I am always looking for new horsey places to visit. Please let me know in the comments if you do.

Also don’t forget the In Due Horse Christmas party is going on at the moment on Facebook and Instagram. Send your Christmassy pictures in to feature on the page. Just remember to tag @induehorse & use the hashtag #induehorseparty.

Bonne Weekend everyone! 💕

Lifestyle

7 Celebrities you didn’t know could ride!

Ok so my one of my guilty pleasures is reading celebrity gossip magazines. I just love reading about the lives of the rich & famous and if they have horses it’s even better! Here are 10 celebrities you may not know can ride…

1) Madonna. When Madonna was living in the U.K whilst married to Guy Ritchie she took up horse riding. She actually took a nasty fall that made the papers at the time as she fell from a horse she was riding that she didn’t know and reportedly broke 8 bones!

Photo- Coleman Rayner

2) Jamie Foxx. He apparently rode his own horse when he starred in Django Unchained. He reported called Quentin Tarantino and asked for the part and said he can ride and has a horse they can use in the film & they did! The horse’s real name is Cheetah but in the film his name is Tony.

Photo credit – FEI

3) Lady Gaga. Lady Gaga was given a horse named Arabella by her record company one Christmas (alright for some eh, I’m yet to receive a horse from my employer). She didn’t know how to ride and it was reported she said she just “grabbed her by the mane and rode her bareback”. She later bought a stallion named Trigger to keep Arabella company and has since bought two miniature ponies. Oh how whimsical!

4) Bella Hadid. When Bella Hadid is not strutting her stuff on the catwalk she is horse riding. She has been riding since she could walk and her mother Yolanda is also a keen horsewoman. Bella has also said that that she rides as a form of stress relief and to relax away from her busy modelling career.

5) Kaley Cuoco. AKA Penny from the Big Bang Theory is an amateur show jumper. She has a whole yard of her own show jumpers and even has some miniature ponies too. Smooshy, her first miniature even has her own Instagram account @lifewithsmooshy! I really enjoy following Kaley’s Instagram account, she seems really nice and seems to be a true animal lover and let’s not forget she has lots of gorgeous horses and dogs and a yard to die for! #lifegoals #iwanttobeyourbestieplease.

6) Johnny Depp. He learnt to ride when he filmed Sleepy Hollow. He had to ride a one eyed horse that he ended up adopting as it was going to be put down after filming. He has since ridden in many other films including ‘Dead Man’, ‘The man who cried’ and ‘Lone Ranger’. In many of his films it is him actually riding and not a stunt man. He actually fell from a cantering horse whilst filming ‘Lone Ranger’ as his saddle slipped. Yikes!

7) Patrick Swayze. I think everyone has fond memories of the now deceased Patrick Swayze from Dirty Dancing. But I bet not many people know that he was a successful Arab horse breeder. Patrick and his wife were described as ‘ horse mad’ and even got their own pilots licences so they could fly back to show their horses more easily when they were away filming.

Photo credit – arabhorse.com

So there you have it. Did you know all these celebrities can ride? Are there any other surprising celeb riders you have heard of? Let me know in the comments if there are.

Click on the links below to shop Amazon.com & you and your horse can feel like celebs yourselves!

Check out my other lists here.

16 Facts You Didn’t know about The Horses in Game of Thrones

My 5 Favourite Disney Horses

10 Facts About The Queen and Her Horses

Did you know Amazon stocks some really cool horse stuff? Click Here to shop!

**Putting it out there – This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and purchase something I will receive a tiny bit of commission. ***

Copyright 2019 http://www.induehorse.com

News, Reviews

In Due Horse November Round up: A horsey photo shoot, a very wet one day event & a momentous cross pole!

Well, I have had a fun filled November! A couple of weeks ago Mya & I were lucky enough to have our very first photo shoot with Genie from ezhphotos, who is also based here in Toulouse.

Photo credit: EZH.Photos

I met Eugenie a few months ago at a friends wedding. She was the photographer but also a guest at the wedding & we got along really well. She later contacted me to say that she had always wanted to do a photo shoot with a horse & would I be interested in doing one with her. I jumped at the chance! Genie wanted to do the shoot in the autumn so she could capture the autumn colours in the background, and I am so glad we did as the colours are incredible! I am so pleased with the photos that I have seen so far. I really just wanted to take the time to recommend her. She is so nice and had loads of ideas of what she wanted us to do, which was great for me as I am a photo shoot novice! She was also very attentive of Mya, as bearing in mind she has never photographed a horse before I was really impressed with her patience and understanding if Mya moved suddenly or wouldn’t stand still. That being said Mya was really good. I was so impressed with her as I honestly thought she may make it quite difficult for us but she was a superstar! The whole experience was very enjoyable. So those of you in Toulouse if you are ever in need of a photographer – do not hesitate to contact Genie at http://ezh.photos/.

In other exciting news, I went to my first one day event in France today. Although it was only as a spectator! I was dead chuffed when Trudi, someone I had met through a friend invited me to go see her at a local one day event she was competing at today. It great to spend time with Trudi & her horse Violine, but also to see what competing is like here in France.

I think Violine was trying to hide from the camera in this pic!

To be able to compete in France you must pass your Gallop 5 exam. Which from what I gather are kind of like the BHS stage exams (but they do not correlate, unfortunately as I have done a few BHS exams). So you have to show competence in horse care and stable management and in your riding ability. This is something I will need to get before I could consider competing and perhaps a good goal for me next year. I am hoping me & Katie (Mya’s owner) could do this together next year.

Overall the event was really very similar to an event in the U.K. although perhaps slightly more relaxed. Trudi did really well, I didn’t get there in time to see her dressage test but she was pleased with it, she went clear with some time penalties in the cross country, which I thought was understandable as it was very wet today. Then was unlucky and had two poles down in the showjumping. Not placed today but we both had good fun & that’s what is all about really isn’t it?! I’m looking forward to going to watch her compete again and it’s really got me wanting to do it myself…. Although I haven’t competed in over 10 years!!

That being said I did jump Mya for the first time ever this week. We only did a tiny little cross pole as I wasn’t certain if she knew how to jump! But she definitely can & seems to love it.

Mya had a serious leg injury a few years ago & has never really returned to full work since, because Katie understandably was worried it could happen again. So Mya has not really jumped in many years. That combined with me who only returned to riding in May after a break of many years (I had the odd lesson in that time but didn’t really jump). So watch this space! I feel my jumping mojo may have returned. Just need to remember how to be brave!

But in all seriousness all of this has really got me thinking about what Mya & I could be working towards and it’s really exciting! Trudi – you totally inspired me!

News

Go Team Hobby!

***Incase you missed it! This was my first post on the blog. I recently sent it to Emily King & she responded saying it was a lovely article!! I was so chuffed! ***

So a new modern era has begun in eventing in the form of crowdfunding. This is a modern way of funding your rides whilst making the sport more accessible to the greater public. However it has been met with more than its fair share of criticism in the equestrian world.

Emily King (daughter of Mary – every Brit’s fav event rider because she is just so lovely) launched a campaign on her Instagram account asking if any of her followers would be interested in contributing via crowdfunding to secure her ride on ‘Langford Take the Biscuit’ AKA Hobby. The campaign was successful and she secured the ride via crowdfunding within a matter of days. It was reported that there are 556 people in the ‘Your Horse & Country Magazine HobNob Syndicate’. Emily has also stated that because of the way she raised the money to buy Hobby she will donate all of their future winnings to charities including World Horse Welfare of which she is a patron. Sounds cool right?

I thought so I contributed a whole £20 to become a member of the syndicate. Since then I have had a letter welcoming me to the syndicate, a copy of Hobby’s competition schedule, dates of organised course walks and yard visits (which by the way for the critics are run on a first come first served registration basis with numerous dates so the opportunities will be open to many syndicate members but not all 556 people at once) and regular updates on how Hobby gets on in his competitions. I have been impressed with the organisation and really enjoy hearing how Emily and Hobby get on.

Emily King was not the first eventer to raise money to keep their horses via crowdfunding. In 2017 Irish Eventer Jonty Evans raised £500,000 to secure his ride on Cooley Rookes Draft or Art to his friends. However it seems it is only Emily that has received criticism and man there is A LOT of it online. This is not a dig at Jonty who seems like a very likeable chap. But the only differences I can see in between the two campaigns is that Jonty was at a higher level of competition at the time as he crowdfunded to secure his ride on the horse he had ridden at the Rio Olympics. Emily is competing at BE novice level on Hobby at the moment. The other difference there seems is that Cooley Rookes Draft had an offer made on him to be purchased and Jonty campaigned asking for donations to match that amount. Emily needed to raise £40,000 which was a way lower figure and also the figure she needed to buy Hobby, however non supportive members of the horsey community seemed to have a problem with this amount stating it seemed a lot for a horse competing at that level – but hey this is the sort of thing you need to have an opinion on when you decide if you want to contribute right? Although perhaps not all over the internet in a negative trolling manner.

Perhaps people are not familiar with crowdfunding? Crowdfunding is a form of alternative finance asking a large number of people to contribute to a project or venture online. Crowdfunding is a modern massively growing market that is becoming more and more popular. In 2015 $34 billion was raised through crowdfunding – that is a lot of money! It has been used for a wide range of reasons including artistic and creative projects, medical expenses, travel and community projects. Websites for crowdfunding you may have heard of include Kickstarter, Just Giving and Go Fund Me. The principal is that there is a project instigator that proposes an idea to be funded, individuals that support the idea, and a platform that normally is a website that brings the groups together to launch the idea. What you get from contributing depends entirely on each particular project. There are reward based projects, projects that provide you with equity/shares of a project or donation based crowdfunding just to name a few examples. Emily King offered the chance to be part of a large syndicate called ‘Team HobNob’ as a reward to contributing to her cause, I would like to add that she never said the contribuer would own any tiny piece of Hobby.

Syndicates are no way a new thing in the horse industry with it being common practice in the racing world. With there being more and more larger (and cheaper) syndicates that your everyday Joe or Josephine can join without owning any percentage of a horse. Which I personally feel as a self proclaimed average Josephine is a good thing for the equestrian industry. As the equine industry has been historically elitist with only the super rich being able to be involved in high level competition. Surely expanding our sport to the greater public is a good thing? So my thoughts are, perhaps a syndicate like this is not something to invest in to make money. It is an interest you can follow whilst having the feeling of being part of something you ordinarily could not be.

Hobby and Emily won the BE Novice at Cholmondely Castle, came 2nd at Homme House, 3rd at Bold Heath, 2nd at West Wilts & finished the season doing their first CCI in 6th place to name a few of their results. So look out for them next season and give them a cheer of encouragement!

As part of the HobNob syndicate I am updated on which events Hobby will entering and how he gets on. I am invited to visit the yard and to walk a course with Emily and other fellow syndicate members which I hope to do soon and will of course write about it on here to show you all!

Follow Emily on instagram @emilykingofficial or on Facebook -Facebook.com/emilykingofficial.

Photos used were taken from Emily’s Facebook page.

Fashion, Fun Ideas

The In Due Horse Christmas Gift Guide

Or AKA Louise’s wish list!

With Christmas rapidly approaching, here are the list of things that have caught my eye as presents that I think any equestrian would like. Since entering the world of equestrian blogging I have discovered so many new companies that just seem to be offering really cool stuff. Here is my present wish list, which I hope will introduce you to these companies if you don’t know them already.

1) Dreamers & Schemers boot socks

(Photo taken from Dreamers & Schemers instagram page)

Boot socks but not your average boot socks, with designs such as Avocado Fam Jam, Sushi Love and Pony Ninja to name a few. These socks are totally unique & very funny. They even have booby socks & ones with cat butts on! I personally have my eye on Goat PJ Party ones. What a great stocking filler & I would say you wouldn’t even need to be a rider to like these. Go to http://www.dreamersnschemers.com/ to order.

2) Diary of a Wimpy Eventer book series.

(Photo taken from Wimpy Eventer instagram page)

Now since entering the wonderful world of equestrian blogging it quickly became apparent that I should read Victoria Brant aka The Wimpy Eventer’s books. I cannot count the amount of people I have seen on social media recommending them. I started following the Wimpy Eventer on social media a few months ago & I can honestly say that I find her to be funny, relatable and very inspiring. So I cannot wait to read her books. Available online at http://www.wimpyeventer.com/shop

3) Ariat riding boots

(Photo taken Ariateurope instagram page)

My riding boots broke recently and luckily for me Katie keeps her boots at the yard. I knew she wouldn’t mind if I borrowed her boots as she is great like that. So I rode in her Ariat Grasmere boots and wow I was so impressed! They are warm, comfortable and I could actually feel Mya’s sides when I rode (which I didn’t realise I couldn’t in my old boots until then). I was so impressed that they have ruined all other boots for me & I feel that I now need some Ariat country boots in my life! P.S. Confession – I haven’t just ridden in Katie’s boots once as I loved them so much!

To see the full range visit http://www.ariat.com.

4) Black Heart Equestrian Breeches.

(Photo taken from Black Heart Equestrian instagram page)

Now I am a major fan of this new brand of riding clothes. I have a hoody & a pair of their flex riding leggings already and would love a pair of their breeches. To be honest I would wear all of their clothes as they all look great. I have previously written a review of the flex riding leggings on the blog so if the breeches are as comfy and practical as the leggings, as I am sure they are then they would look & feel great.

To check out all of their awesome clothes go to http://www.blackheartequestrian.com.

5) Gray & Co Horses & day drinking tee.

(Photo taken from http://www.graycodesigns.com)

Funny and it looks good. This tee from Gray & Co is on my list as well it’s just a bit of fun! I also have my eye on their baddest bay on the block saddle pad too for Mya. This company just seems to have cool fun stuff which I really like the look of. Check out their website for more fun clothes and accessories http://www.graycodesigns.com.

I hope you have been inspired for some present ideas now or perhaps have more things to add to your own Christmas list. Either way I hope you have a great Christmas (I know it’s a bit early but we all need a bit of time to start shopping don’t we?!) Be sure to come back to check out more festive themed blogs on In Due Horse a bit closer to chrimbo.

Fun Ideas

10 Facts About The Queen and Her Horses

After seeing that the Queen is still riding at the age of 92, I thought I would write about her and her horses this week and once I started researching I found out all sorts of interesting things that I feel like I should share with everyone!

1) Queen Elizabeth II has been riding since she was 4 years old, when her father King George VI gave her a Shetland pony named Peggy.

2) Actually if you think about it the Royals are quite a horsey bunch. The Queen Mother was an avid National Hunt Racing fan, Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Phillips both became top event riders and the Princes William and Harry both play polo.

3) All the horses that you see in the royal parades are kept at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, “one of the finest working stables in existence.” The Queen names each horse that lives there.

4) The Royal Mews is where they keep all the carriages, coaches and cars used by the Queen. It is also where the palace staff and their families live. However you will only find only 2 types of horse there, Windsor Greys and Cleveland Bays, the Windsor Greys draw the carriages for the Queen and the royal family and are called Windsor Greys because in Victorian times they were kept at Windsor. The Cleveland Bays are used to pick up high commissioners and ambassadors visiting the Queen.

Picture- Horse and Hound

5) The Queen is famous for always riding without a helmet. Not something I would ever recommend by the way. Apparently the staff at Windsor Castle joke that “the only thing that comes between the Queen and her heir is her Hermes scarf”.

6) The Queen owns many racehorses, having initially inherited the breeding and racing stock from her father King George VI.

Picture credit: ITV

7) As of 2013, horses owned by the Queen have won over 1600 races. She has had winners in all of the British Classics except the Epsom Derby.

8) USA Today reported that the Queen has actually made $9.3 million from her race winnings.

9) Monty Roberts AKA The Horse Whisperer has trained the Queens horses since 1989. He has been honoured by the Queen and is a honorary member of the Royal Victorian Order. They have shared a close friendship since he began training her horses. She even named a Corgi after him.

10) The Queen breeds Throughbreds, fell ponies, Shetland ponies and Highland ponies.

Do you know any other facts about the Queen and her horses I haven’t mentioned? Get in touch if you do!

Just click on the links below to get shopping on Amazon.com

Check out my other lists here.

16 Facts You Didn’t know about The Horses in Game of Thrones

My 5 Favourite Disney Horses

7 Celebrities you didn’t know could ride!

Did you know that Amazon stocks really cool horse stuff?

Click here to shop for your horse!

***Putting it out there – This post contains affiliate links. At no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase I will make a tiny bit of commission. ***

 

Copyright 2018 http://www.induehorse.com

Equestrian Events, Reviews

Cross-country Day at Pau

Pau proved to be last but certainly not least, as the final CCI **** event of the season took place in the South of France last weekend. There were a strong contingent of British riders that stepped up to represent but it was a young French rider Thibault Fournier, who took the title. Competing at his first event at this level, Fournier did a fantastic cross country round that was clear and within the 11.06 allowed for the challenging twisty course. I was lucky enough to attend the cross country last weekend and it certainly proved to be a very exciting day of riding.

(Pictured is Gemma Tattersall)

When I say it was exciting I am not exaggerating. 3 top riders were eliminated on course due to falling off. William Fox- Pitt , Tim Price and the overnight leader Oliver Townend. Which accounted for part of the reason the leader board changed quite dramatically after the cross country. The course was praised for being the most challenging ever at Pau. It was full of twists and turns and the jumps themselves were imaginative and challenging, with many very narrow jumps that really tested both the horse & rider.

Pictured: Some of the challenging obstacles & William Fox-Pitt before his fall.

The day finished with Thibault Fournier (France) climbing into first position, ahead of Gemma Tattersall (GB) and Izzy Taylor (GB), with Ros Canter (GB) in 5th position. If Ros could finish in the top 3 it would mean she would become the world number 1, a position not held by a woman since Mary King in 2011. Unfortunately it didn’t happen, but she is still World Champion, so not a bad season for her!

Final Results after Showjumping :

1) Thibault Fournier & Siniani de Lathus (France)

2) Gemma Tattersall & Pamero 4 (GB)

3) Clara Loiseau & Won’t Wait (France)

Pictured is Ros Canter

I had a total fan girl moment when I was waiting for James to buy me a burger. I was stood holding my dog Ziggy and William Fox-Pitt walked straight past me!!! He just strolled through the French crowd and no one else seemed to notice. Apart from me. But did I say something? Did I ask for a selfie? No. I just silently went “oh my god oh my god oh my god it’s William Fox- Pitt” as he continued to stroll past me out of sight. Damn it! I really wish I had spoken to him.

Another highlight for me was going to the start box and watching Oliver Townend and Ros Canter start. I was so impressed at how calm both horse and rider looked at the start of this really big and challenging course. I think I would have been petrified!

Pictured: Oliver Townend

The event is held in the Domaine de Sers, and it didn’t disappoint. It was easy to follow the cross country course on foot, I think we saw every fence actually. There was also bars placed around the course, so you could get a beer and watch the action easily with a drink in hand. There was a small but good shopping village which had mainly French brands, my personal favourite being Padd, as they have a good selection of things for horse and rider for good prices and they also had a few British brands like Fairfax & Favor and Hi Ho Silver. There was also a good selection of food, which I must admit I’ve come to expect living in France! You could have anything from oysters to pasta, a burger or a crepe.

The eventing season has now come to a close and what an exciting finish it was! Pau was a brilliant place to see a few new riders step up to CCI **** for the first time including its winner, so I am very excited for next season as I’m sure we will see many of our old riding favourites return but I’m sure we will have some new favourites soon with many exciting new horses and riders making their debut to this top level of competition.

Lifestyle

My Horsey Adventure So Far…

The subject for Blogtober today is What was your first horse experience? Well, I am from a non horsey family and started riding when I was 5 years old. When I started riding once a week at a local riding school. From the beginning I think it’s fair to say I was obsessed! As a child horses were everything to me and I really did everything else in order to just to be able to go riding after!

Since then horses have always been a part of my life. I have worked at yards, I have owned my own horses, shared horses and ridden for other people. I started doing my BHS exams and got up to my stage 2 certificate as I always intended on being a riding instructor, but then life just ended up taking me another way. I also attended the British Racing School in Newmarket for a whole week, before leaving my horse racing apprenticeship because I just didn’t like it and wanted to come back to spend time with James (my now husband) and my horse Stanley. It’s just funny how things work out sometimes.

There have been times in my that I haven’t ridden at all for various reasons, so I will take you on my horsey adventure full of highs and lows and in particular introduce you to the most important horses in my life….

MONTY

The first pony that stole my heart was Monty. Monty was the first pony I got to know and he was a very naughty riding school pony. He was very cheeky and I remember getting frustrated that I rode Monty week after week until I became fond of him! I have fond memories riding him in my weekly lessons.

CASSIE

At age 12 I got my first pony Cassie, who I bought from my riding school with money that my Gramps had given me in a post office account. Cassie it’s fair to say was very bad tempered and often tried to kick & bite me or anyone else that was near her. That being said we had a pretty successful showjumping career at local shows, went to pony camps and even entered a couple of one day events. I always said we would stand a good chance of winning if Cassie was in the right mood! We actually entered one showjumping class (a weekly event that we had won the previous week) and she did not jump a single jump. We had to leave the ring eliminated at the first fence! Oh chestnut mares eh?!

STANLEY

My second horse was Stanley the horsey love of my life! I bought Stanley when I was 15 years old, he was a thoroughbred that had been trained as a back up horse for a local eventer up to intermediate level. He was 15.1hh but at that time felt enormous and very forward going! He was the sweetest horse you could ever want. He whinnied every day when I arrived at the stables. He was a jumping machine, I would just point him at something and he would jump it. Any height, any width it didn’t matter! Slowing him down enough to aim at the right fence whilst showjumping was a new trick I had to learn. Most photos of me jumping him see my leg swinging backwards as his jump was so big. If he couldn’t feel the stride he would just take off a stride early. He also had a knack for losing shoes! So the farrier was a regular visitor for Stanley!

Unfortunately Stanley died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in 2003. I was absolutely devastated. It was like a nightmare. The worst possible thing had happened completely out of the blue. The loss was immense. I didn’t ride for a year as I just couldn’t bear the thought. At that point I had planned to go and been accepted at Warwickshire College to do a degree in Equine Studies but I didn’t go as I didn’t want to ride anymore if I couldn’t ride Stanley. I actually ended up buying a house with James at that time instead and getting a job at South Glos Council which where I met Sue….

BERT

Now after meeting Sue at work she asked if I wanted to ride her horse Bert as she had two horses and wanted a hand exercising Bert, while she trained for BE on her other horse Spud. It had been about 2 years since my beloved Stanley had died and I had only restarted riding again to do my BHS stage 1 and 2 exams. At that point riding wasn’t fun like it used to be, I needed a purpose to get out and do it again and riding strange horses at a strange riding centre alone was not that fun. But Bert changed all that. Bert got my mojo back! And for that I will always thank him. Bert made me realise there are other horses out there like Stanley. I didn’t need to replace Stanley but riding other horses could be fun. Bert was another jumping machine – I’m now realising I have a type! Bert was just like Stanley point him at a jump and he will jump it, no hesitation no questions asked! Sue had signed me up to Berkeley and District Riding Club so we could go to rallies and competitions together. The first jumping lesson on Bert was fantastic! I jumped 3ft 6 on him the first time I rode him. I remembered that this is what I love to do. Bert and I had a lot of fun together doing rallies, camps and competitions. Bert was a handful on the ground though, I remember him dragging me through the yard on many occasions despite handling him in a chifney bit at all times!

TRIGGER

I shared Trigger with his owner Kaz next as I had started nursing and had moved to another part of Bristol, where I could no longer reach Bert easily.

Trigger was lovely. I enjoyed riding him around the vast amount of fields they had there with my dog Ziggy following us. Trigger had a gorgeous temperament and we just pottered around the farm being content at that point to being happy hackers and doing a few riding club rallies.

I stopped sharing Trigger and concentrated on my nurse training and the only riding I did for the next few years for private lessons at Summerhouse Equitation Centre.

MYA

When I moved to Toulouse in March 2017, I thought that I would love to get back into riding. I am lucky enough to only work part time now and a year after I arrived I was introduced to Mya’s owner Katie by a mutual friend. I have not looked back, I was happy to exercise Mya for Katie as she had explained that she had a serious injury a few years ago but had recovered and she wanted to get her back into proper work. I was pleasantly surprised at how amazing Mya is. Katie has trained her well! I’ve only been riding a Mya since May, but she is just fantastic. At the moment we are working on our flat work and hacking and I hope to start jumping her if Katie allows it!

Now I have never competed at any grand level or claim to know the most about anything horsey. However each of these horses feel like part of my family. Since I’ve started writing this blog I am finding myself going back out to horsey world and wondering why I ever left. I have done things in the last few months just so I can write about them that I should have been doing this entire time as I absolutely love it. I look forward to seeing what is next in my horsey adventure. Please continue to follow the blog and let’s see where we end up!

To check out some other amazing equestrian blogs please go to https://www.timidrider.com/get-ready-for-equestrian-blogtober/

Top Tips

My Top Tips For a New Horse Owner.

I remember the day I got my first pony was one of the happiest of my life. But then the sudden realisation hit me. I am completely responsible for this creature and I suddenly felt like I had no idea what I was doing! Don’t worry things fell into place pretty quickly but I learnt a lot of things along the way. Here are my top tips for new owners…

1) Never be afraid to ask for help.

I remember needing a lot of help when I got my first pony. I had just bought Cassie and she was very bad tempered. At first I had trouble with everything, I remember that she wouldn’t even let me pick out her feet at first but gradually after getting some reassurance from my friends and help from my instructors we quickly began to trust each other. I felt silly asking for help for such silly little things but sometimes you just need to.

2) Make sure you have a sense of humour.

You are going to need it! With horses things don’t always go the way you expect. You can plan all you want but something always seems to come up. It could be equipmemt breaking, lameness, bad weather or loosing a shoe, but you know what sometimes you just need to laugh or you might end up crying instead!

3) Find good professionals that suit you and are nice to your horse.

Following on from the last point. When I owned my thoroughbred Stanley he lost his shoes constantly and was never sound when I planned to compete. So for me my farrier had to be someone that I trusted and could rely on as I saw him a lot. I had tried many different farriers before I found the ‘one’. Some weren’t reliable and didn’t turn up when they said they would, which I could not tolerate, another was too aggressive and I didn’t like the way he treated my horse, another was really expensive. It took a while but I found a guy I could trust and he was nice to my horse. As it is so important that you trust the people that help you look after your horse.

4) Have a contingency fund.

You really can’t have enough money when you have a horse! But seriously it is really important to create a realistic budget to stick to and then if you can have some spare money just incase things don’t go to plan. Because as we have already discussed they rarely do.

5) Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

It takes quite a while for you and your new horse to bond and don’t under estimate that. Don’t put too pressure on yourself or your horse to perform perfectly straight away. Give yourself some time to get to know each other. When I bought Stanley it took him months to settle in at our yard. I wanted to get out and compete on him straight away but as I didn’t know him we struggled to do things I thought should be easy (like calmly canter around a showjumping course). In hindsight it would have been easier for me to take things a bit slower and let him settle in before asking him to compete straight away.

6) Remember all of this is meant to be fun!

Haha! After the meticulous planning, budget making and bonding that you have to do when your new fur baby arrives remember we all do this for fun! Try to relax and enjoy it!

Don’t forget to check out our Equestrian Blogtober blog hop for more cool equestrian blogs. Go to https://www.timidrider.com/get-ready-for-equestrian-blogtober/

Lifestyle

Female Horse Riders That Inspire Me.

It’s Monday again! But fear not as I am here to motivate you! For Blogtober today it’s our challenge to write something inspiring or motivational to others. So I have chosen to write about the women in the horse world that inspire me. Because Beyoncé said it best – Who run the world? Girls!

Simone Blum

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Simone has been recently crowned as Showjumping World Champion at the World Equestrian Games in September. This is a big deal because she is has sprung up the rankings very quickly making her victory a fantastic surprise to most people. Simone was German Ladies Champion in 2016, She only made her Nations Cup debut in 2017 and became German champion that same year and now World champion in 2018! Wow! If that’s not inspiring I don’t know what is!

It is also a big deal because she is a woman. In a sport where men and women compete against each other as equals. Simone became the first female ever to win the individual showjumping title at the World Equestrian Games. And what I particularly enjoy is that her horse DSP Alice is a mare too! Yes!! Oh and let’s not forget Simone is only 29 years old. That’s a lot to have achieved before your 30th birthday.

Lucinda Green

Photo credit: http://www.countrylife.co.uk

If you follow Eventing Lucinda Green needs little introduction. But just for fun I will remind everyone how awesome she is. A mega inspiration of mine growing up, Lucinda won Badminton Horse Trials a record six times on six different horses. However that is just one of her achievements she has also won Burgley twice, an Olympic silver medal, been world champion twice and European champion five times!! A true queen of the sport.

Charlotte Dujardin

Photo credit: http://www.charlottedujardin.co.uk

Dressage superstar Charlotte ‘The girl on the dancing horse’ started her career as a groom for Carl Hester but he quickly spotted her riding talent.

Charlotte was a triple gold medalist in London 2012 Olympic Games on Valegro. She also went on to win another gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games making her the first British woman to retain an Olympic gold medal title.

Charlotte talked publicly about her mental health struggles following her victories in the London Olympic Games, talking about the price she had paid in her personal life for the victories she had won in her professional life, which made me respect her even more. Top athletes make winning look easy. As most of us know it’s not, but I found Charlotte to be very inspiring being so open about the harsh reality of what it takes to be a professional athlete.

So let’s just stop and think that all these women had to start somewhere. To get to where they ended up they worked hard. That is something we can all do. If you set yourself a goal – go for it! Sometimes things feel completely unachievable & out of reach but they may not be!

I bet Lucinda Green fell off many times before she became a winner at Badminton. I read that Simone Blum likes to plait her horse herself when she competes. Charlotte Dujardin bought her first horse with money she inherited from her grandmother. They are just people too, and hey if they can do we can do it too right? Well obviously a bit of money and a lot of dedication would help too!

So, look at the success of these women and let it spur you on (pardon the horsey pun). We have got this girls! And remember -Who run the world? GIRLS!

Remember to check out other amazing equestrian bloggers on our Equestrian Blogtober blog hop here: https://www.timidrider.com/get-ready-for-equestrian-blogtober/