Welcome to my blog about horsey life in the North East - the good bits, bad bits, endless coffees and plenty of mud!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


It's been pretty hairy in the North East for the past couple of days but thankfully things seem to be settling down today.

I hope everyone and their horses are Ok, some parts of the country have been decimated. 

I think my low point was wading through a lake to reach the field which was just that little bit higher than my wellies. 

Needless to say, as long as the horses are safe, I don't mind a soaking.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Five tips for handling Christmas as a horse owner

1. Take stock of your feed room supplies and make sure you have enough to tide you over until after the New Year. Ditto for hay/haylage and bedding. There's enough to do without worrying about when the feed shop opens again. 

2. Being a horse owner on Christmas day is one of the times when you get your reward. When you're sick of food and relatives you can sneak off to give them a cuddle and take any frustration out on the muck heap. It's also a good opportunity to divide and conquer - if gran usually gets sidelines by noisy children, wrap her up and take her with you to the yard where you can both get some peace and catch up properly.

3. Prioritise. Horses don't care if their browband is diamante, so if money's tight, the best present you can give them is to make sure they have all the essentials, food, water, a careful check over every day, shoes etc. 

4. Make hay while the sun shines. Soon you will be surrounded by people telling you they'd really like to lose weight after too much Christmas indulgence. Get ready to smile, place a pitchfork in their hands and cheerily shove them in the direction of the stables. Their weight loss is your labour gain.

5. Ask for practical gifts. There's always someone who doesn't know what to get you so perhaps you could signpost them towards certain unsexy items that make life bearable. Think waterproof trousers, decent torches and heavy duty gloves. A scented candle won't keep you warm in bleakest January.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Ten mins of horsey magic

Saw this vid by horse trainer Emma Massingale a couple of weeks ago and have been meaning to post it ever since. She is fast becoming one of my favourites and I'm hoping she'll be booked for next year's Your Horse Live. Fingers, toes and hooves crossed!

Click the link below and enjoy.

A day in the life 

Monday, 19 November 2012

Your Horse Live 2012

For me, this is the event of the year. It's an injection of inspiration and ideas just as the nights turn pitch black and you have to remember how to tack up by feel alone.

God (left) Gold medal Goddess (right)

The best bits were too many to mention. A week on and the demos that have stuck with me the most were by Richard Maxwell and Jason Webb, who both dispensed a lot of common sense that I'm now learning to use with Rodney and Cady.

Sylvia hops on Indiano to piaffe

It was so exciting to see Carl and Charlotte in the same year they won the gold - I'm so happy to say I've seen them ride in the flesh.

Jason Webb and Queen Bee get underway with some spook busting

A week later and I was in Birmingham to see the Spanish Riding School and our dressage Olympians. Lee Pearson was incredible. He said: "“We’re only here once so if there’s something you want to do, do it. Working behind a desk drove me mad. People told me I wasn’t good enough and it was like a red rag to a bull.”

As easy as One...



I'll be keeping his words, and the words of all my horsey heroes, in my mind for the future.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Your Horse Live 2012

Just back from a great weekend at my favourite event of the year - Your Horse Live.

I took loads of pictures and plan a big update towards the end of this week, but for now I'd just like to share something from the brilliant Carl Hester.

"It's hard if you have one horse. 

"If it goes badly it ruins your day, your week, your month...and eventually your marriage. 
"Charlotte and I are very fortunate, we ride several horses in a day.

"If it goes badly with the four-year-old then you might ride the six-year-old next and it goes better.

"If that goes badly too....well, we save Valegro and Uthopia for late morning."

Monday, 5 November 2012

Meet Rodney

New boy Rodney arrived a week ago. He's an eight-year-old chestnut Welshy who I bought from my friend.

As far as buying horses goes, it was stress free. I'd ridden him before and was made fully aware of his 'funnyisms', which are thankfully very minor.

He's settled in really well and we've already been for a few rides here and there - he is very dreamy - sweet and smart, and I have an extremely soft spot for him already.

Cady is neither sold nor forgotten, but recovering from an injury to her heel. She'll probably have a quiet winter and we'll hopefully bounce back into training in the spring.

I find myself not minding the dark nights too much this year. The frosts have been beautiful and it's not so bad if you're wrapped up warm and have a decent torch.

Next week I'll be at Your Horse Live and the week after I'll be seeing the Spanish Riding School. Both trips were planned months ago, I can't believe how quickly they've come round.