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Tell us about you and your horses

Meet the lovely Martha Lily
  I have three horses/ponies. Kitty who was my first purchased pony, she is 12.2 and aged 20 We got her when I was 13. I’m very small! We bought her with my life savings of which my parents and my nan had been putting in and mum put in the rest.

  Then two years later came Zoph (pronounced like zoff) Short for Zophia. Nan owns half of her and mum the rest. She is a 14.1 bay arab x welsh. Very opinionated and very pretty. She has taught me a lot. Mum competes her up to elementary now. Then after Elsa, a pony to sell, who ended up staying for two years because I had so much fun. I bought Lola.

Lola is now 8. She is a Connie x tb 15.1 After a long box rest journey and some exciting kite like movements she has been amazing. She likes tea as much as me and loves any type of work I throw at her. She loves dressage, show jumping and cross country.

How did your horses come into your life?

  My mum started riding at the slightly later age of 30 and from then on I was regularly around them or the hobby horse.

 

How long have you been riding?

  Forever! Probably from the age of 4.

When and where do you ride?

We keep the horses at home in Shropshire. We moved here in 2018 and we love it. We ride in our arena and hack around the country lanes.
Martha with Kitty, Zoph and Lola.
Photo courtesy of Sophie Callaghan
We have recently been allowed on some fields too which is just magical. I don’t ride nearly enough. I ride first thing or the day gets away from me. If it’s a nice evening we will ride then when it’s cooler.

 

How did you start riding?

  Through my mum. Mum had me when she was 28 and started learning to ride at 30. Like most little girls I was pony mad. Unfortunately I’m allergic but I cope much better now than I used to.

What you and your horses currently working on?

  Having fun and strengthening work. We jumped the other day for first time since way before lockdown and she was great.

What do you love about riding?

Being with the horses is great. Horses also take your mind off the every day.

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

 
Lola loves to drink tea
Photo courtesy of Sophie Callaghan
I would like to do a few things with Lola. I’d love to get to do elementary dressage with her and perform a good test over 65% one day. We completed our goal of doing an 80cm show jumping round, so probably that again but better. I’d like to do a small hunter trial If I ever have a weekend off to do that.

 

Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding? 

  Oh definitely!  I bought Lola with the thought of doing British Eventing BE80 but I won’t do it for nerves, and time too I guess.

How do you deal with them?

  I take things one step at a time and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t panic about every single thing I have to do that day. I can cope with two dressage tests in a day now and learn them on the spot which is good.

Your Top Tip

  If you’re doing two dressage tests, look through them both but really learn the first one and then look at the second one after you’ve ridden your first test. Remember you ride for fun, don’t put the pressure on you or the horse.

     

The Final Furlong

 

Who would be your dream horse to ride?

  Valegro! Not sure I’d be able to hold him or ride him very well at all though haha.

 

Who is your equestrian hero?

  I think Abi Lyle is incredible, I’d love to have her seat. I think Olivia Towers’ mentality is incredible and a force to be reckoned with. I admire any professional eventer to be honest. The confidence they have is insane. Oliver Townsend, Mark Todd, Ros Canter. Ros is amazing on the huge All Star B

 

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

  Probably the above!

Favourite colour horse?

  Dark grey

Favourite horse event

  Badminton and Llanymynech horse trials

Favourite food

Cheese burger!

Favourite way to relax   Cwtched up in my bed with the cat, a cuppa and some crap on the tv or netflix whilst scrolling through insta.

 

Favourite film

  Hmmm I used to always say chitty chitty bang bang, it’s an old classic. I’m not really sure I have one unless I stick with that answer.  
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Sharon Howe

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