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Meet The Latest Member Of Our Content Team, Jess Colvin!

"This Is Me"

Hi everyone,

Firstly I thought that I would let you know a little bit about myself in general.

In case you haven’t guessed from the title of this, I like musicals, A LOT, but please don’t let that get in the way of your first perceptions of me. I won’t be breaking into song in my vlogs… too much. I am a 26 year old bubbly individual who lives in East Devon on my partner’s family run livery yard. I haven’t always lived here; having been born in Exeter I have also had the pleasure of living in London and Somerset for a good chunk of my childhood.

I have been incredibly lucky in my life with the rides that I have been offered and the competitions that I have been able to attend, including;

  • Area Festival Semi-Finals
  • Area Festival Finals
  • Summer Regionals
  • NAF Winter Championships
  • LeMieux National Dressage Championships

But before I get too carried away, I will take you back to the beginning, where it all started.

I ‘caught the horse bug’ very early on in my life, having a mother who rode horses and illustrated PONY magazine you would struggle to not find yourself gazing up thinking ‘’wow, I want to be up there’’. And so it began, I started my hopes big (as all children do) and decided that I wouldn’t start on ponies but instead I would start on Percherons….

After realising that they may not be quite the right size for me, at least in the short term, my mother found Snowy, my first pony, who stayed with us for his entire life and took me from lead rein to pony club rallies. The cutest little fluff-ball with a big personality; he certainly was the perfect first pony and I was smitten.

Between this and my teenage years I had the pleasure of having some incredible horses and ponies who taught me a huge amount.

But one sticks out the most, Zippy. He was a 15’3hh Arabian, who, after show jumping a lot as a child, was the first horse that peaked my interest in dressage. Sadly, he lost his battle to Kissing Spine in 2014 but he will always be remembered and held in my heart dearly.

Then along came Dreamer, the first horse that I officially bought myself. After the heartbreak of Zippy, I wanted to find a horse that I could have a bit of fun on and put some work into as a bit of a project. Little did I know how far we would go as a combination.

Early on into riding, Dreamer started to show real promise in her flatwork. In 2017 I signed us both up for BD and at the risk of sounding a bit corny... I never looked back. Dreamer walked away with first in both of her sections at our first affiliated competition, her winning streak continued into 2017 where we attended the Area Festival Finals at both prelim and novice. Placing 1st and 8th, she qualified for the finals and from there qualified for the NAF Winter Championships that we attended in 2019.

Unfortunately, whilst at the championships Dreamer wasn’t quite right. Placing a respectable joint 11th, we took her home and started looking into what this could be. After further x-rays were taken, we discovered that she too had Kissing Spine in a few recesses towards the lumbar part of her spine. I was heartbroken. Having had my previous horse put down due to this, I was unsure what to do moving forwards. Thankfully, my vets (St David’s Equine Veterinary Practice) were on hand to support me through the process. We decided to opt for injections rather than putting her through the operation and worked closely with my physio (Clare McDonald) to find a programme that we thought would suit Dreamer best.

Whilst this was going on, a friend of mine and local Event rider, Tim Cheffings, kindly offered me the ride on Memo, one of his event horses, to compete in BD. Of course, I jumped at the chance.

Dreamer’s rehab programme went smoothly and the time soon came around to look at getting back on her; she was foot perfect, in fact, I think she was happy to be back in work. I continued competing Memo, who was regularly placing in the top 3 at most of his competitions, whilst I started to bring Dreamer back into work more regularly. From then on, she went from strength to strength. This horse that we weren’t even sure would be able to do much more than hacking, soon started her affiliated career back up. She was not only placing but winning again and in some cases producing better scores than before, with a 76% test as our last score that we needed, she was qualified for the Summer Regionals.

Meanwhile, myself and memo attended the Area Festival Semi-Finals Championships where we won his first class. Shortly after this I agreed to buy him and to this day I have to pinch myself that I get to call him mine.

Soon the Summer Regionals came around. I wasn’t expecting much; after all I hadn’t been back on board Dreamer all that long and just being there felt like a big achievement. In true ‘Dreamer Style’ she pulled it out of the bag! I remember this complete feeling of going full circle as I trotted up the final centre line into my halt. A huge wave of emotion overcame me and couldn’t help myself; I started to cry. Looking up I spotted my trainer, my best friend and my mother all in floods of tears too. Then came the agonising wait, 30 minutes after completing my test they announced it... we had won! What an incredible feeling, one that I will never forget. She was the true definition of “don’t judge a book by its cover” and I hope that our story can inspire others that anything is possible with a bit of hard work and determination.

We had gone from what felt like the bottom of where we could be to the National Dressage Championships. This horse owed me nothing and with Memo now part of the team and progressing well, I decided to find Dreamer the perfect forever home. As I waved her off and she started her journey to her new home all the way up in Scotland, it was one of the hardest goodbyes but it was the right decision and her new owner loves and adores her just as much as we all did.

“It isn’t the end of our story, it’s just the end of a very special chapter.” I now start my new journey with Memo, one that I am very excited about. Who knows what the future may hold.

  • Will I turn the Event horse into a Dressage horse?


  • Will the Event horse make the Dressage rider swap to the dark side and start Eventing?

Follow us through our Horsemart blogs and on our social media pages to find out.


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Jessica Colvin
Horsemart Content Contributor
Published on 10-06-2020
Jess is a Devon based amateur dressage rider who juggles horse ownership with working part time as a photographer at a local estate agents. As well as competing her own horse ‘Memo’ in affiliated dressage (and hopefully some eventing in the future), in her spare time she helps with schooling others. She is proud to be sponsored by St Davids Equine Veterinary Practice and Milmo’s Equine Services, and hopes to offer an everyday horse owners take on everything “horsey” whether that is reviews on products or 'how to' videos showing a simpler way to tidy manes or remove stains. Jess is a friendly and bubbly individual, who when not on a horse, can be found helping her partner Sam on the farm.