NEXGEN Sets The Young Horse Standard For 2021
Hello! I'm Sophie, a thirty-something year old who lives in the Vale of Belvoir in the East Midlands with my husband and our two boys. I have two horses, a mare and a gelding, both of whom are thoroughbreds. As well as the horses, I love singing and musicals, and in the past I also used to do a bit of opera during my singing lessons. I find singing is such a great way to express your emotions and get out any trapped feelings. As much as I love the horses, if I could go back in time, I'd choose not to actually work with them but simply keep them for my personal enjoyment, as I would have loved to have gone down the theatre route!
Hollybrooke Grey Tiger, otherwise known as Lily is a fifteen hand, grey thoroughbred mare. She turned 25 years old on the 13th June. Don’t be fooled, she doesn’t act (or look) her age and every so often I pull her out of retirement, take her in the manège and hop on. She always seems to enjoy herself and I’m forever contemplating bringing her back into some gentle work. I’ve owned Lily since she was eight years old; she was named Tigger when I got her – very apt when you see the shapes that she can throw! We've been through a lot, including navigating the path of natural horsemanship together. Prior to Lily, I'd not really ventured down this route but it was so interesting and rewarding that I would highly recommend it to others. I’m sure I will tell you all about it in one of my posts!
Kissinger, otherwise known as Freddie, is a bright bay gelding. He turned 6 years old on the 16th January and currently stands at around the sixteen hand mark. He is an ex racehorse, though I use the term loosely as he only raced three times! When he arrived, the plan was to let him have a long spell relaxing (and playing like a lunatic!) with Lily in the field. This benefited him massively as he really needed that time to become a horse, as it were, and to learn how to interact with other horses. Lily was great with him, almost like a mum; she'd play with Freddie when he was having a mad five minutes, but would also tell him to leave her alone when she wasn’t in the mood! Freddie is now back in work. We've been in the arena, working over poles and doing some gentle walk and trot exercises. We recently moved yards and finally have some good hacking, so with any luck we'll be hitting the bridle paths soon. I'll confess that I'm not a massive fan of hacking but I am actually looking forward to taking Freddie out. He can be quite lazy at times so I'm hoping a change of scenery and a chance to get out and about might wake him up a bit!
Having ridden and been around horses since the age of 4, I'm not sure what I'd do if I didn’t have them in my life. I have definitely found it trickier to juggle them since having the boys – the time, the worry, the expense – but at the end of the day it works. The most important thing is that we have lots of fun; both horses and humans.
I'm looking forward to writing for Horsemart and creating posts for you all. I hope you enjoy the ride!