Summary of news from years before and including 2011

2003-1998

 

I began riding in 1998 at the age of 12 as a distraction because I came home from school talking about boys and make-up...claims my mum! Mum bought a 14.2hh 12 year old strawberry roan skewbald cob mare called Gypsy with the plan that I would ride her and join the local pony club, but if I failed to stay interested mum would be able to keep Gypsy as a happy hacker.

2000

 

The lady that owned our livery yard and was my main instructor bought a mare to sell on and we ended up buying her for me! She was a 14.2hh dark dapple grey called Bobbie, a 6 year old very green TBx mare. She was naturally about 15hh at her croup so was unavoidably bum-high! This meant that while she was never malicious she was very unbalanced and couldn't help bucking a lot. We gelled very quickly and she was such a talented mare with a phenomenal jump that I soon got the competition bug when she won most competitions we entered! Mum took over the primary riding of Gypsy and I concentrated on Bobbie.

 

2002

 

We decided in 2004 to buy a youngster for me to work on alongside competing Bobbie and ended buying Mocha (Alvescot Pure Honey) from Alvescot Stud - a 4yo, mahogany bay, 16hh Selle Francais mare. She was completely untouched when we got her but we broke her in ourselves with help from my instructor and livery yard owner. She was very naughty and nappy but very talented.

 

2003

 

In 2003  I took Bobbie to Hickstead for the Pony Club and School National Showjumping Championships where I represented my secondary school.  It was a long journey there but a great fun atmosphere.

I was also offered the ride of Legs (Legacy's Dream) by a girl who was in my pony club but about to leave for University. I was very flattered because he was a super powerful big boy who had a mega jump and therefore was by no means anyone's ride but when they asked instructors etc who should ride him they all suggested me :) Legs came to our yard and I rode him alongside Bobbie and Mocha while doing my exams at school!

 

2004 

 

In 2004, Bobbie went to Hickstead again with the School Showjumping team for the National Championships for the second time. This was her last big competition before I sold her.

I started my first season of BE horse trials with Legs, with an intro, pre-novice and then straight away Novice! He came second in his first event and continued to be highly placed in all his events. Unfortunately lameness problems halted our season and he was diagnosed with spavin and went back to his owner for gentle work and retirement.

At the end of 2004 I purchased a black 4 year old TB gelding from a friend of a friend in Ireland, called Cruiser. He was a 16.2hh boy who had been recently backed and was ready to go on. On arriving home we soon discovered he had previously had a broken sesamoid bone that would indicate a racing background as a baby and went a little way to explaining the panic attacks he suffered when being ridden. We spent a year with Cruiser doing groundwork with an Intelligent Worming associate in preparation for riding him again in a relaxed manner but it became apparent he would also suffer from these panics and found ridden work very stressful. To prevent this we decided to retire him from ridden work and he was rehomed to a lady who would carry on the Intelligent Horsemanship groundwork with him so he had a 'job' but wouldn't ride him. 

 

2005

 

As I was missing eventing and couldn't ride Cruiser I bought another horse to bring on - CJ (April Bloom Clover). He had never evented before but came from Ireland and was by the prolific sire Clover Hill. He won his second event and continued to do well at Pre-Novice level with top placings. I began studying at the University of Southampton and took CJ with me to a top competition livery yard near my halls so I could continue riding and competing while working on my degree.

 

2006 

 

During my christmas/new year holiday from Southampton University I began riding a horse called Maximus (Max) who was owned by a fellow livery near home. Max ('Luckhurst D. Maximus) was a 17.2hh, 4 year old GB warmblood who was homebred and for sale, however because of his size and his nature no-one was prepared to ride him for prospect purchasers so I began to ride him in preparation for sale! He was for sale for quite a lot of money and was vetted for a prospect purchaser and passed but due to bony lumps on his legs the vet suggested X-rays. The purchasers decided against X-rays and so he remained for sale. When the owner realised I was going back to uni and wouldn't be able to ride him she offered him to me for peanuts!

 So I returned to Uni in the New Year with CJ and the plan to sell him as he was hard work XC and wouldn't be a long term horse for me anyway. Max stayed home for a few months off while I sold CJ and then after the Easter holiday I took Max with me to Uni and began his education and competition career. I progressed up to Elementary with Max in his first year as a 5 year old and won a lot of classes and qualified for the regionals.

 

2007-8

 

I unfortunately lost Max in 2007 due to chronic lameness that caused him a lot of discomfort and after several veterinary treatments that failed to help he became aggressive and frustrated so we made the very difficult decision to have him put to sleep. It brought to light the comments from Max's initial vetting in 2005 where the vet wanted X-rays to investigate bony lumps on his legs...however I would never go back and miss the two years of owning and loving Max. 

To move onwards and upwards I went to the sales in Ireland and bought a rising 5yo steel grey gelding by King of Diamonds called Chancer to produce. I took him eventing later that year and got some good placings at intro and pre-novice level. Over the winter we then concentrated on BSJA shows and affiliated him BD. He was so successful in these two areas that we decided to give up eventing and concentrate on his dressage and show jumping.

 

2009-2010

 

After missing eventing for a year I went back to the Irish sales and bought two horses to bring on and possibly event. This included Moony (Stonehavens Cruising On), a 16.3hh, 5 year old, TB grey gelding by Clover Hill and Cruising. He had trained to race but never did due to his slightly insecure and 'alarming' nature so was brought on to event and I took him straight out eventing! He was very tizzy initially after some clearly 'interesting' riding in the past but soon settled and really learned to trust me, making an unbeatable partnership. He was a XC machine and had top placings in 2009 and 2010, including coming 8th at his first BE Novice. Unfortunately a few months later Moony was diagnosed with a neurological syndrome, Wobblers, which was so serious it left no choice but to retire him from riding work full-stop and he now lives out as a companion. This was a devastated time :(

 

2011

 

2011 was a bizarre year for me! At the start of the year I was offered a 12 year old KWPN gelding called Joey. He was a big 17.2hh chap who had been a bit naughty previously after a pressurised start to his dressage career and when I got him he had been living out unridden for a few years. I brought him back into work and immediately took him out competing at Medium! He has won almost every outing with good percentages and has really muscled up and come into his own. He is a stressy character but a real sweetheart and an absolute trier which makes working with him a joy :)

A month later I ended up buying another horse called Finn, who a friend was selling. He was a 9 year old ex-pointer who had come over from Ireland after a successful point-to-pointing career. He's a 16.2hh bay gelding who is such a sweetie and has really shaped up into a lovely boy! He will be brought on to event and has great potential. He is slowly progressing because he's not long been out of racing and is very weak but is now learning how to trot and how to show jump and is a very exciting prospect! Definitely the calmest and sweetest boy of the yard :)