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Equestrian Advice & Guides Beginners Advice
As this is my first entry, I guess it is customary to run a quick introduction to me and my life!
My name is Helen, and I am 36 years old. I have a lovely horse called Lucy, a 5-year-old cob, who I keep on full livery in East Sussex.
I have been riding since I was about 10, but had a bad fall in my teens, so stopped riding until I was in my mid-twenties. I bought my first horse, Mickey, in 2009, at the age of 27! Sadly I lost him far too soon at the age of 8 to cancer, and then had a few horses that weren’t really suited to me, until I found Lucy just over a year ago. My confidence has always been massively up and down, and it’s amazing how it can be a 4-year-old cob who can start to bring it back, and make me believe in myself again. I never got to do Pony Club or compete as a child, but since having my own horse I have loved going out most weekends, and have tried my hand at everything from unaff eventing to sidesaddle and Trec. I have the aim to event Lucy, so we have stuck to unaff dressage, jumping and xc so far.
In addition to riding (or trying to!), I also compete in the sport of powerlifting, and train anywhere between 5 and 10 hours a week. I also work in London 3 days a week, which involves a 40-minute commute. Luckily I can work the other 2 days from home.
And that’s Lucy and I. She’s awesome. Oh and I have a matchy matchy addiction. I mean….seriously…it’s a problem.
As far as riding aims for this year go, I have recently reached the heady heights of starting to jump 80cm (things are getting serious!). This year I would like to get out eventing at 80. In the next few weeks I am off showjumping (not at 80….yet….) and have a few clinics in the diary. Maybe I should be a Wobbleberry this year? I’m certainly wobbly…..
Powerlifting-wise, I have a competition on 28 April. I am dropping a weight category, so need to lose 4kg. Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but I like food! Currently, my PBs are 115kg squat, 55kg bench and 140kg deadlift. I would like to PB all 3 of these in April. And this year I would like to get a qualifying total to compete at the British Nationals next year.
Thankfully the weather hasn’t been too bad yet this year. I have managed to keep getting out and about most weekends, to dressage and showjumping.
Last weekend we went to a local venue to jump a round at 70. I felt a little out of practice at course riding, which is something I find really difficult. I definitely need to get out and ride round a course as often as possible. My instructor always says riding a course is like joined-up writing, which is more difficult for the horse and the rider.
I do things like forget where the next fence is, so forget to turn….which is what happened this weekend….twice!
So while we didn’t knock any poles, I had 4 faults for a circle. Can’t fault Lucy though, she got over everything clear. What more can you ask?
I have an arena eventing clinic this weekend, which is at my yard (added luxury of more time in bed, and no towing), so look out for an update on this next week.
Thanks for reading (if indeed you still are!)