Hi! I’m Janine, otherwise known as Cornish Connemara on the socials.
I’m the wrong side of 30 and live in beautiful Cornwall!
I own two horses: Tom, a 14hh 27 year old Welsh X Hanoverian and Ruby, my 7 year old 15hh Connemara X KWPN.
How did your horses come into your life?
Tom I’ve had since he was rising 4 and I was 14. I was never given the impression I’d be allowed a pony of my own but a lesson a week turned into a shared pony, which turned into a loaned pony and then Tom was advertised as loan with view to buy. I loaned him for 6 months and then we bought him just before my 15th birthday! We’ve been best buds for 23 years.
Ruby is my saviour who got me back riding after a fall in 2018 saw me breaking my back.
She’s a sweet mare, bossy and sassy in the field and when she’s run out of patience (she knows she’s my princess) but well behaved under saddle and just the type of horse I needed to regain my confidence. We hope to have many years together 🙂
How long have you been riding?
I’ve been riding since my 13th Birthday.
I rode at a stables called Polgoda in Goonhavern, Cornwall and worked there all weekend and one evening in the week. Best childhood ever
When and where do you ride?
I keep my horses in a private set up with my sister’s horse, about 10 mins from my house. Currently a friend is riding my Sister’s mare, which has been nice as I’m usually on my own.
We ride around the local area and have a moor very close to us and country lanes. Apart from the moor there isn’t an abundance of off-road riding and so having passed my trailer test last year I sometimes get out and about and hack elsewhere.
I ride 4-5 times a week on average.
How did you start riding?
I’ve always loved horses. My sister used to look after some ponies in return for rides when I was a toddler and she would put me on her saddle (on our bunk bed!) with a riding hat on and I’d pretend I was riding! Since then it’s fair to say I’ve been pretty obsessed with horses and always wanted a black Shetland and so I suppose Tom was just a taller version.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Ruby and I are currently working on trailering out and about to new areas. She’s very good at travelling but I’m new to towing so I’m just gaining confidence in that area and she’s really helping me out, she’s an angel.
We’re about to start Dressage lessons after a year of just having fun hacking and getting to know each other.
With Tom I’ve been working on getting weight on him with the help of my nutritionist, Donna aka The Horse Feed Guru. He’s looking wonderful, I’m so pleased!
What do you love about riding?
Riding gives me something to focus on, goals, a need for patience and determination, a sense of achievement, a chance to constantly push myself out of my comfort zone and endless hours of fresh air, pony cuddles and endorphins. What’s not to love?
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I’d like to compete in British Dressage and get back jumping!
It will likely be a slow process with jumping but there’s no rush. Confidence is key for me.
My goal is to complete a ODE. Its been a while for me!!
I now feel ready to crack on with that side of things but again, as fast as it suits me. It’s my hobby not my career and there’s no point in stressing over where the horse “should be” at a certain age.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I have had to, and still am dealing with nerves whilst riding. The accident took some of my bravery away although I never was the most confident, just stubborn!
How do you deal with them?
I’ve taken things slowly, reminding myself that this is my journey and no one else’s. I’ve stuck to hacking for a while so I could get to know Ruby and I feel I’ve been able to get back to having fun again without the added pressure of competing.
Your Top Tip
“The best decisions are made through love not fear” is my mantra.
Never be tempted to do something because you’re worried of missing out/ worried what people might think of you if you don’t. Do it because you want to do it and for no other reason.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
I’d love to feel the power and knowledge that horse has whilst feeling incredibly safe! I think he’s one special boy!
Who is your equestrian hero?
I grew up watching her ride round the 4* tracks thinking how wonderful and brave she was and a great role model and inspiration for us girls.
I was lucky enough to have a lesson with her a couple of years ago on an old horse of mine and was relieved that I could hold it together enough to jump in front of her! It was a worry of mine, being so in awe of her!
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
There would have to be an eclectic mix to make it interesting so..
And Pete and Sophie from Gogglebox ?
Favourite colour horse?
Probably be a liver chestnut or a deep coloured dun. Something a little striking and different.
Favourite horse event
Would HAVE to be Badminton. I’ve only been once but I absolutely loved everything about it and plan to stay for the whole of 2021’s event rather than just the XC day.
Favourite food.. Chinese!! Since I was a baby and probably forever!
Favourite way to relax
Either an afternoon sat in the sun snuggling my Jack Russell Blue with a cup of tea or to get my brain to relax would be a walk with her in the woods or on the beach. I always find it clears the mind.
I’ve never been very into the soppy kind of movies but I’ve always thought it’s a real feel-good film and I love Christmas!