I live on a farm in West Wales with my partner and our two little boys George who has just turned 6 and Arthur who is 1.5.
I own a chestnut Section D named Red he’s 13 I’ve owned him for 10 years. I also have a 2-year-old Section D named Tom Jones, and two Shetland ponies called Desmond and Lottie which are the boys’ ponies.
Tell us about Gallop Horse Transport
I met my partner 10 years ago who was a horse dealer, I worked for a bank which I hated so I ended up working alongside him. I had done my degree in Equine behaviour and training at uni so always wanted to work using that. Last year we started a new venture with our Horse Transport Company. Gallop Horse Transport which is easier to run with small children. We still have a small number of horses in to sell, once both boys are in school, we will pick this up again.
How long have you been riding?
I started riding when I was 5, my family are not at all horsey, so I manly just had riding lessons. Until I met my partner and brought my first horse Red who I still have today from him.
When and where do you ride?
We don’t have great riding where we live, it’s manly road hacking on a day to day basis, but we are lucky we are a short drive from the beach, woodland and a sand school so we often box up and go somewhere when time permits.
I try to ride 3-4 times a week but having a toddler this can sometimes prove difficult.
How did you start riding?
My dad brought me some riding lessons as a Christmas present when I was about 5. My parents don’t ride in fact my mum is scared of horses. I think they were hoping it would be a phase and I’d soon get bored, but it never happened, and they ended up being a weekly thing.
What you are currently doing in your riding
Red has had quite a lot of time off since I had my little boy, time constraints meant he always got pushed to the back whilst I rode horses we had in for sale. This year though I have decided it’s the year me and him go out and do stuff, so in in January I sent him off to be brought back into work, I felt I didn’t have the time to be consistent with him. He has just come back so I’m going to start having regular lessons on him, with the aim to do some local shows this summer then hunt him next season.
What do you love about riding?
I love going on a long hack where you can just forget the stresses of everyday life and just take in the views around you. I also love when we buy in a horse with problems and we work through them, it’s a real sense of achievement.
What you would you like to be doing in the future with your horses and do you any goals?
My aims for this year are to go out hunting with Red, I also would like to do a dressage test on him or a show jumping class.
I plan to take the Shetlands to some local shows this summer and do some fun classes with the boys.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Yes quite often when you buy horses to sell on, often you have never seen them ride; You’re just going on someone’s word that they ride well. Being the person who has to get on them first can be quite nerve racking, especially after having children as you have in the back of your mind who would look after them if your hurt.
How do you deal with nerves?
I found I would always think of the worst possible outcome, the horse would be nuts and buck me off in the road and I would break something. I now try and give the horse the benefit of the doubt, I picture a horse I used to ride as a teenager who I loved and had so much fun on, I imagine its him I’m about to ride. I try to think of the best possible outcome, that the horse will ride lovely and we’ll have no issues. I also try and keep calm and literally shake any nerves I do have away before I get on, so the horse doesn’t pick up on them.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
A Friesian, they are just simply stunning in my eyes.
Who is your equestrian hero?
I don’t really have a hero but have always followed Tony McCoy
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Karl Pilkington (he’s hilarious)
Stephen Mulhern (again hilarious),
The Duchess of Cambridge
My two best friends Vanessa and Ellie who I don’t get to see often as we don’t live close anymore.
Favourite colour horse?
Palomino or Black but somehow ended up with 3 chestnuts.
Favourite horse event
Badminton! Me and my best friend went for the first-time last year, we have tickets again for this year and I can’t wait for a catch up with her whilst watching the dressage.
Smoked salmon or pasta
Favourite way to relax
In bed with my electric blanket on, a cup of tea and either a book and Netflix or a walk round our land with my dogs.