As some of you may know (but most probably not because I’m terrible at sharing information!) earlier this year I went out ‘on my own.’ I wish there were a better way to word it, because the phrase is really quite misleading. It makes it sound like I did something radical and different, when in reality I just led my horses across the road to their new digs. I ride in the same ring I have for the past three years, see the same people, and pretty much have kept the same daily schedule. Not so radical! ‘On my own’ also sounds like a solo venture, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. There have been so many people who have supported me, ‘on my own’ has meant anything but alone.
But I have to say the main reason I’ve been able to take this ‘on my own’ step is thanks to a lot of amazing horses both past and present. It hasn’t been a radical change, and I was incredibly supported along the way, but it was still a bit daunting to know that good, bad or indifferent, success or failure rested squarely on my shoulders at the end of the day. It took a special group of horses to make me feel like I could handle the responsibility! I’ve always heard a rider can only be as good or as brave as the horse they are sitting on. For me that started with ponies, who gave me the confidence to stop, steer and most importantly get back on. From there came a series of horses that got me through all of my firsts: first pony club rating, first event, first big mistake, first Advanced, first four star. They made me brave enough to try, and they were kind enough to teach me what I was capable of. And now its horses that make me brave enough to say things like ‘I am a professional who wants to compete at the top level’ and feel like I have horses that can back that statement up. So rather than spend these first few blogs telling you too much about myself (I’m a bit boring) or my goals (run fast, jump big, pretty much sums it up) I’d like to tell the stories of how some of these horses came into my life. Specifically the three that came around this past year. Without them I never would have been brave enough to take this step.