From the word go, my Mum said I thought I was on a horse. When she used to carry me round on her hip, she said I would try and steer her with my legs to the way I wanted to go. I grew up taking rides on anything I could get, from the naughty pony at the local riding stables or being a guinea pig jockey for the young un-started ponies.
My passion grew and grew and I finally saved up enough pennies, had a job and a car, and could buy my very first horse: Landgirl, aka Addy. I bought her as a just-started 5 year old, and we went on to compete at Intermediate Eventing. She was my dream horse.
When it was time for her to be semi-retired, I bought another youngster and despite him coming along well, we didn’thave a connection. I was out hacking him one winter’s afternoon and what I now know is that I mis-read him. I thought he wanted a jolly: when I asked him for a trot and he cantered, I went with it, but it quickly escalated and he was determined to get me off his back. He succeeded, hospitalising me for almost a week and resulting in a very serious operation on my face and head.
I’m very thankful to still be here. My accident taught me so much: that life is too short not to follow your dreams and to follow the path I am now on.
Once I could ride again, I started back on my ever faithful Addy, but I still had to face getting back on to the youngster, knowing that he hadn’t been touched for a month! Well, I managed it, but I had no trust in him and it wasn’t fair on either of us. I wasn’t enjoying it and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t either, so I thought it was best for both of us if he had a new owner and I had a different horse.
I phoned around a few dealers with part exchange in mind and many said “no” but two agreed to consider it. As I arrived at one of those yards, I saw a beautiful horse hiding away at the back of her stable, with such a sad expression. As we walked round the large yard of horses, her sad little face stuck in my mind; there was something special about her and I knew I wanted to take her home. My sister agreed and we asked to see her move and ridden. Despite the groom turning a shade of white and mumbling about her having not been ridden for a few days, I still hopped on board, fired her at a few fences, saw and felt her talent and decided she was coming home.
After we got Woo home, it was very apparent as to why the groom at the dealer’s yard had dreaded riding her so much. Not only was she “crazy” to ride, she was just as dangerous on the ground, both when led and in her stable. All of my trainers at the time advised me to have her put down or to sell her (if I could!) because she was so dangerous, but something inside me knew that she was misunderstood. I could sense that she didn’t want to react in the way she did all the time.
I found a form of natural horsemanship that helped make her safer and more manageable, but I wanted more. After attending the Parelli Celebration in 2009, I haven’t looked back. Parelli was able to give me the direction and tools to build a meaningful relationship with my horse. And here I am today, with Woo, the best partner I could have ever dreamed of. She has gone from a horse that I was advised to put to sleep due to her being so dangerous, to a horse that happily carries my four year old nephew, and who I trust.
I'm now living my dream, I having spent the best part of a year a parelli campus's in the UK and almost half a year in Colorado on the Parelli Ranch, spending time with Pat, Linda and so many other high level instructors, doing a colt start in Texas , starting wild colts that haven't been handled by humans before in there life only to be branded and castrated in Texas - gaining my 2* Parelli Professional status in 2012 while out in colorado - im ready and eager to help horses and humans.
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