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Your Horse Live 2019
Early in the morning of Sunday 10th December 2019 we headed off to Your Horse Live.  I had never been before so didn’t quite know what to expect, however was really looking forward to it, as I knew I would be seeing Charlotte DuJardin and Valegro. I was concerned about the parking situation, having received a text the night before from a friend whose friend had been stuck in the car park and needed towing out due to the soft ground, however we were directed to a car park with hardstanding, so no headache there. As we had assigned seats for the morning demonstration sessions in the main arena, the plan was to watch those, take a break for lunch, followed by shopping and we had a few stands that we had already earmarked for a visit and then whatever else we could fit in.
At Cathy’s Chocolates Stand. And Yes, the chocolates are amazing
  We had a short period of free time before the morning session, so decided to browse a few stands, and very quickly came upon one that was on my list of must visit, Cathy’s Chocolates. There was absolutely no intention of me going home without a chocolate horseshoe, so with record breaking speed the first purchase of the day was made within about three minutes.  I haven’t yet allowed myself to eat it as it is lined up for a photoshoot with one of the pieces from our  Mulberry Tree at Home Equestrian Horseshoe Collection. We then headed off to the main arena for the first of the demonstrations, which was Jay Halim.  He was both knowledgeable and thoroughly entertaining, with a few quips from Geoff Billington.  As Charlotte is unlikely to let me have Valegro, I have put Tigger the gorgeous horse ridden by Jay on my Christmas Wish List instead. After Jay’s amazing demonstration had finished, there was a short interval to quickly stretch the legs before heading back for the session with Charlotte Du Jardin.  As it was remembrance Sunday I was pleased that we had a minutes silence, and also shown a very moving video to remember the day. Charlotte had bought along one of her pupils, and so under Charlotte’s instruction started the demonstration. It was reassuring to see that no matter what level you are at, the reminders can be the same. When I had my next horse riding lesson Tuesday, I pointed that out to my instructor. Afterwards Charlotte then gave a demonstration of her riding, and all I can say is,  “riding goals right there”.  I am just wondering how many horse riding lesson Tuesdays it’s going to take. After the demonstration, Valegro was brought in and Charlotte took him round to say hello to everyone.  Unfortunately I was sat at the back and wasn’t quick enough in heading forward to find a space so never got the opportunity to pat him, however it was a dream come true just to see him. The last session of the morning was Jonty Evans and Padraig McCarthy, with Jonty riding Art and Padraig providing the instruction.  It was lovely to see Jonty riding again after his accident, and Hovis dropped by to say hello, although we were all disappointed to learn that his tack had been stolen the night before.
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Me with Amanda Marshall owner of 3 Donkeys
  Before we knew it the morning sessions were over so it was a whistle stop break for lunch, a peruse of the programme to work out what other demonstrations we would like to see.  We decided on two others, however only made it to one as we were side tracked by shopping and visiting our friends who were exhibiting, Amanda at 3 Donkeys, Emma at Hooves and Love and Zoe at Honest Riders.  I also wanted to visit the Harry Hall stand to meet Georgie Starkey, who not only cheers me on every week for horse riding lesson Tuesday, but also who I worked with for my feature in the Harry Hall One Club Magazine.  
Me with Georgie Starkey at the Harry Hall stand
  We also couldn’t resist the opportunity to say hello to the horses in the Rescue Village, and it was difficult to tear myself away from the shetland’s, and the very famous Teddy, and not to mention another chance to say hello to Hovis. Then it was a quick dash to the country & stable arena to see Alison Kenward’s dressage to music demo, which was brilliant, and something I long to do. Before we knew it the day was over, so we grabbed a hot chocolate to keep ourselves warm on the walk back to the car. So will we be returning next year?  Absolutely!
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Sharon Howe

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