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Tell us about yourself and your horses

Meet Elinor with Mac who she bought as a yearling
Hello! I’m Elinor, I’m 32 and I live in Monmouthshire South Wales. I work full time for Network Rail, I’ve been doing my job for almost 5 years now and love it, although the 12 hour day & night shifts can be exhausting especially with horses in the mix. I have two horses, Addy, a 14.3hh bay Section D – typical Welsh cob full of attitude & always up to something. He absolutely loves hacking and jumping, especially fun rides! Due to an on going pollen allergy unfortunately he’s only in work from around October to March, the rest of the time he’s a very handsome field ornament but still manages to keep me on my toes. He’s on DIY livery about 20 minutes up the road. Mac is a buckskin warmblood rising 3 and around an hour from home on youngstock livery in a little herd. He was expected to make 16hh but he’s around 16.1hh already so I’m hoping theres not much more to go! He’s a lovely boy and very easy compared to Addy which I find rather strange, but I’m not complaining. I’m absolutely animal obsessed! As well as the horses I have Pippa who’s a Sprocker spaniel, Meg and Pedro the Chihuahua’s and a Leopard Gecko called Elmo. If the garden was big enough I’d have chickens and ducks again, but that’s another thing!

How did your horses come into your life?

Addy is Elinor’s 14.3hh bay Section D typical Welsh cob full of attitude
When I got my first job waitressing at 16 in a local pub, that was my first opportunity to save up myself, so I did the most sensible thing I could with that money and bought a 7 month old colt from a stud – Addy! He’ll be 16 this year which I really can’t believe, it’s flown by! Due to his respiratory issue, I’ve never really been able to get out competing or to have a go at eventing which has always been one of my ultimate goals. So after years of various failed sales and loans picking up other people’s broken horses, I decided the only thing to do was to do what I did with Addy, buy a youngster and go from scratch. I’d been keeping an eye on youngsters for sale from a certain stallion for a while and saw Mac up for sale at weaning. I watched his adverts for over a year when I eventually read that he’d been gelded, at which point I went to view him with my Dad. Needless to say, I bought him!

How long have you been riding?

I went for my first riding lesson at 5 years old and never looked back – so that makes it 27 years now! That’s a bit scary.

Where do you ride?

The view from on board with Addy
I’m extremely lucky that where I keep Addy literally backs on to miles and miles off forestry and off road hacking in all directions, so we enjoy finding new routes and exploring the local area. Over winter when Addy’s breathing is fine we’ll go out hacking whenever possible, but during summer we just go out for the odd walk every few weeks to give him a change of scenery out of the field if he’s having a good day. I have a trailer and if I can get Addy to load (dont ask!) we have been to the odd lesson and to the beach when we can which we enjoy.

How did you start riding?

I went to a local riding school for years and progressed through the various classes and levels. I spent days on end at pony weeks etc and learnt most of what I know now along the way. None of my family are ‘horsey’ so I really don’t know where I got it from!

What are you currently working on?

I was aiming to bring Mac back to the yard I keep Addy at over summer (he’s currently away from home at a stud on youngstock livery) to work on his general handling, ground work and also get him out in hand to a few local shows. Obviously now with the Corona virus situation none of this will happen so I’m just concentrating of creating some kind of track system to keep the weight off Addy whilst he’s out of work over summer.

What do you love about riding?

I love just being able to escape! Tack up and wander off hacking for hours on end with not a care in the world. I also love all the really good friends I’ve made over the years through riding.

What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

My (very) long term goal is to event Mac, but meanwhile I’d love to get more involved with my local riding club both with lessons and competing. Obviously a long way off but something to aim for.
Elinor wants to go eventing with Mac when he gets a bit older. Addy, as you can see, loves to jump

Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding? 

Very much so! To cut a long story short I was mis-sold a horse a few years ago who had habit of rearing at the drop of a hat, and through sheer bad luck also had it happen with a few other horses in quick succession which really knocked my confidence.

How did you deal with them?

It’s really taken just more time that anything to deal with. A combination of riding Addy – sticking to what I know despite him being rather challenging at times, good support from friends and watching/reading vlogs & books. Victoria Brants ‘Wimpy eventer’ books have helped no end and also watching Tina and Emily’s ‘Life on he left rein’ vlogs. They definitely keep me motivated.

Your Top Tip

Never give up – doesn’t matter how many bad days you have or how bad things seem, keep working at it and it’ll all come together.  

 

The Final Furlong

Who would be your dream horse to ride?

Ben Hobday’s Mulry’s Error – the super cob!

Who is your equestrian hero?

If I really had to choose, Mary King !

If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?

John Wayne, Will Smith, Geoff Billington, Ben Fogle & David Attenborough

Favourite colour horse?

Oooh tough! I love every colour but markings I think are my thing, love some nice face markings & socks – I can never get enough of a pink nose!

Favourite horse event

Badminton horse trials

Favourite food

Pizza or lasagne

Favourite way to relax

Sitting in the field with the horses – silence

Favourite film

Secretariat

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Sharon Howe

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