Tell us about yourself and your horses
I’m a 27-year-old student living in Wiltshire with my 2 horses Fly and Barney and my little Jack Russell Bugsy.
Fly is my established Eventer who is now 11, competing at intermediate and looking at progressing to advanced (at some point!) if my brave pants arrive in time! I bought him as a 5-year-old, having never evented before and dived straight in at be100 despite not having done a dressage test or cross country course since I was 11! Looking back on it, I couldn’t have been less prepared! He’s my everything, having got me through a very tough time in my life and he will always have his home with me. Fly is super independent and a bit sassy- he has very human characteristics and I treat him far too much like a person!
Barney is rising 5 years old, becoming part of the family last October. What a gorgeous boy he is! So so loving and cuddly, gentle and willing. Barney competed successfully at the young horse championships at Osberton last season so we will aim for the 5-year olds this year. He is the most ‘just do it’ horse I have ever come across- he really should be sponsored by Nike! We are incredibly excited to see where he goes!
How did your horses come into your life?
Growing up, my mother was the DC of our local pony club, so horses were a huge part of my life as a child. We had lots of very naughty ponies and spent most of our time doing Prince Philip cup and unaffiliated showjumping, so flatwork has been challenging to get my head around! Horses came back into my life as an adult after I had been through a difficult battle with my mental health. I made the decision to postpone the degree I had been taking and go and work for Harry Meade- where I met Fly and the rest is history!
How long have you been riding?
I rode all the time as a child but when my pony was sold at the age of 11, I went for over 10 years without riding. I think once it’s been part of your life, it’s incredibly difficult not to be drawn into riding again!
When and where do you ride?
I ride Fly 6 times a week and Barney 5-6 times a week- so everyday really. Depending on what shifts I have at work, I usually get them ridden in the morning so they can spend the day munching in the field. I’m lucky enough to keep them with my parent’s horses at their house in Oaksey and so predominantly they are ridden there, but both go out around twice a week to compete or for training.
How did you start riding?
I think my mother just plonked me on as a baby!
What are you and your horses currently working on?
Fly is working towards the intermediate championships at Gatcombe. It’s a BIG ask of us as it’s over a strong advanced course, so we have a lot of training and fitness to do before August! With Barney we are just working on learning new things, doing slightly bigger courses and getting to know each other.
What do you love about riding?
I love the purpose riding gives me. When I’m on board, I feel at home.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
Next year I’ll be taking a Masters Degree in Rural Estate Management with the aim to get into heritage conservation. I’d love to be part of the preservation of the beautiful estates that host many events- and of course I’d love to keep eventing alongside it!
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
All the time. Every single competition!
How do you deal with nerves?
I used to find it incredibly hard- and panic attacks were very common for me on the way to events. Now I’ve become more confident in my abilities, my horses and also- it’s not the end of the world if things don’t go to plan. I used to be so concerned about what people thought, but now I realise that people don’t mind if you don’t do well, and the people that might feel good if you don’t do well aren’t worth your concern anyway!
Your Top Tip
Keep it fun for yourself and your horse. Try to avoid hammering flat work in the school all the time, spice it up with canter and trot poles, gymnastic work and hacking.
The Final Furlong – Eight Quick Questions
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
I think it would have to be Toledo De Kerser who is ridden by Tom McEwen- what a horse!
Who is your equestrian hero?
I’d give this one to Harry Meade who is unquestionably brilliant at riding but also overcame awful injuries to compete at the top again. Harry is also incredibly supportive and helpful!
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
My late grandmother, Regina Jonas (the first female Rabbi), Shakespeare, Tom Hanks and Stephen Fry