I’m Jade, I’m 22 years old, based in Lincolnshire and have the pleasure of having two exceptional horses in my life.
Finley is an 18hh, 6-year-old Irish Sports Horse whom I’ve had since he was 6 months old and Bliss is a 15hh, 12-year-old Part Bred Arab I’ve been riding for nearly 2 years. I’ve dipped in and out of working with horses but decided I much preferred to keep them as a hobby, I’m a full time care worker and sometimes find juggling work life, social life and horses difficult, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take on!
How did your horses come into your life?
Finley came into my life when I was selling my competition mare, I wasn’t even looking for a new horse but the gentleman who bought my mare asked if I wanted to see the foals (Who would refuse that?!) all these foals were bouncing round like baby bunnies and then this beautiful bay with the biggest ears and kindest eyes came over so calmly and introduced himself to me, and that was that, I knew I needed to have him!
A dear friend and mentor of mine, Thay, took Bliss on loan as she’d got quite bored of life and being a 3* FEI endurance horse. I wasn’t even that interested in her when she arrived, I had a mindset of ‘I don’t click with mares’ but after a very small period of time she became very precious to me, she’s taken me to places I’d never have dreamed of, and now I couldn’t be without her.
How long have you been riding?
I have been riding since I was 4 years old. I got my first loan pony at 13 and shortly after bought a wild foal off the new forest.
When and where do you ride?
Thay and I rent a little private yard in Lincoln where all our horses live happily as a herd.
How did you start riding?
I first sat on a pony on holiday at the Isle of Wright at 2 and was obsessed from then forward.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we haven’t really been working on very much. However, I’ve been using this time to build up strength, impulsion, suppleness, and all things that will greatly benefit our future rides!
What do you love about riding?
What I love about riding. What a question! Riding and horses are my escape from my own mind, the stress of work, the stress of life at times! They help me relax and find my peace, they give me an adrenaline rush and even on the worst days I find myself in awe of how lucky I am to have such beautiful animals in my life.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I’d love to be able to ride my first 120km and qualify to compete FEI with Bliss and get her to some dressage and eventing competitions to prove just how versatile and special she is!
I’d also like to finally get Finley going consistently and show off the great horse I know he is.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I have always had little nervous wobbles riding and suffer from social anxiety so don’t usually like groups of people watching me ride. But in December 2018 I had a fall on the road due to a careless lorry driver and was air lifted to hospital, that completely shattered my confidence but I’m heading in the right direction now.
How do you deal with them?
I found dealing with my nerves very difficult at first, the only thing in the world that gave me complete peace and confidence was now the cause of crippling anxiety and I struggled with the conflict of emotions in my mind. But I slowly built myself up, reached out for help and assistance from friends and professionals and remembered my love for my horses was far greater than my nerves. I allowed myself time to heal, and I allow myself to still have occasional wobbles and don’t punish myself for it. I still struggle with the idea of riding in front of groups of people but I’m getting there by believing in both my own and my horses’ abilities.
Your Top Tip
My top tip would be to allow yourself and your horses to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect, you are going to have bad days, your horse might wake up one day and just not be feeling it 100%, but that’s ok, days like that happen. You might be disappointed in yourself after a ride, but that’s ok, think of how you can improve and avoid that in the future. It’s not about being perfect straight away it’s about being flexible and understanding enough to adapt and listen to your horse and how you can both improve and work together. You’re a team, allow for mistakes, don’t be hard on yourselves, we do this because we love it, remember that.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
It’s honestly not something I’ve really thought about! I have my dream horses, so I’ve always just been content with that! But I’d probably say Valegro, not that I have the ability to ride him.
Who is your equestrian hero?
My equestrian hero is definitely my friend and mentor Thay, she introduced me and let me ride one of the greatest horses I’ve met, taken me across the country competing, been my shoulder to cry on, my biggest fan and she’s one of the best horsewomen I’ve ever known.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
My mum, Seth Rogan, Elvis Presley, Carl Hester and Zac Efron!
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event
HOYS or Your Horse Live
Mushroom risotto or macaroni cheese
Favourite way to relax
Spending time with my furry children!
I honestly don’t have a favourite film; I wouldn’t be able to choose one!