Over the years I have been extremely privileged to have worked with and met, some of - who I would consider - the world's equestrian champions. When my son recently had a shot on his big sister's pony and announced, out of the blue, that he could be the next Mark Todd, I realised that … Continue reading Chapter Thirty-Two; A Star is Born
I would like to think that my children are fairly well behaved, based on feedback from other parents, teachers etc, I think they are doing ok. But how do you really know and what benchmark should we use for assessing this, for example if we were to follow the example set on the television, what … Continue reading Chapter Thirty One – How do you solve a problem…?
I've been a very bad blogger. It's not that I haven't written anything recently, it's just that none of it has gotten past the nightly 3am review, when I've found myself making plans, writing articles and doing half a days work, before the alarm even goes off. But you get spells like that and sometimes other … Continue reading Chapter Thirty – Life through a lens
My 'real' job, that helps pay for my ridiculously expensive 'hobby', is in marketing. So you would think that when it comes to advertising campaigns, I would be wise to the trickery that surrounds the promotion of products to make them more appealing to consumers. 'More volume shampoo, flawless concealer, false lash effect mascara', all … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Nine – Horsey Holidays
As the time comes around again to another landmark event in the horsey calendar – Dublin Horse Show – I really can’t believe that another year has passed, something I seem to say more often with every birthday. Preparation for Dublin Horse Show in 2018, will be no different than it was this time last … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Eight – Mini-break
Change. A word that can strike fear in many, as the prospect of dealing with unknown places, situations, people, threatens to upset the status quo in someone's life. Change can be very unsettling, upsetting and disruptive, particularly if children or animals are involved. But change in life is not inevitable, it is certain. My knowledge … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Seven – As good as a rest?
I do like a good chat, and have reached a stage in life where I am blessed to have a few very good friends, that I could say literally anything to (and regularly do!). Tag has also been privy to my ramblings and seems to move his ears at all the right times as I … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Six – Time to talk
This post has been a bit delayed as I've been off doing 'normal' family things, with not a horse in sight (bar the two who happened to be on the beach as we went on our seaside adventure, and I managed to refrain from cooing at them for too long 🤷♀️). We went camping. *sharp … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Five – And relax…
As I've mentioned, Tag has never been a big fan of his travel arrangements and I have spent many a fraught hour trying to persuade him to walk up that blasted ramp. I can safely say his stubbornness has pushed me to the limit many times. And those poor people who have tried to help me … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Four – Travel Sick
Even the most experienced and confident riders have moments of doubt. Have I done enough? Have I trained hard enough? Have I pushed myself far enough? Very often the best way to quieten the voices of doubt, is to get out there and see how you compare to your competitors, hopefully proving to yourself that … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Three – Ringside Judges
Happy birthday to me..... and Tag. That's right, today is Tag's 'official' birthday. He was born on my 30th birthday, what a present I got and didn't even know - probably just as well as I might of needed to choose between him and going to see Robbie Williams 😍🤣 I do find it very … Continue reading Chapter Twenty Two – Birthday Treat
With the call of the summer shows over, I wanted to start varying our training regime to include more jumping. I have often heard fellow equestrians saying how they don’t like the idea of ‘leaving the ground’, and I find it a bit ironic. To me, if you are willing to sit on a 17hh … Continue reading Chapter Twenty-One – Ground level
Tag has never relished the pimping and preening that comes with showing, and at our first show at Ballymoney his hindlegs fired out like missiles in quick succession. Things have calmed greatly since then but I don’t think he will ever be like those lovely cobs that stand and love all the attention of getting … Continue reading Chapter Twenty – Big fusspot
I’m a bit of a believer in fate, and I think that most horsey people carry some superstitions with them; lucky shirt, lucky jodphurs, lucky pants. But sometimes the desire to do things the same way can be restrictive and it is good to try and refresh your outlook from time to time. This happened … Continue reading Chapter Nineteen – Lady Luck
When you are in the roll of the summer shows it is difficult to press the stop button and life ultimately revolves around schooling, trimming, tack cleaning and a heck of a lot of work. The night before a show always fills me with dread as I mentally tick everything off as I pack it … Continue reading Chapter Eighteen – And The Living Is Easy
And so the showing challenge continued. Instead of taking our first show at Ballymoney as a slap in the face, I was now fired up and determined to prove to everyone what an amazing horse I had. I always think if judges could see a snapshot of what goes on at home they might relax … Continue reading Chapter Fifteen – Oh hindsight
After listening to the voicemail three times, I had established that the message was from Racehorse to Riding Horse Ireland, asking if I would like to take part in the ex-racers parade at Down Royal for their big autumn race meet. Well to say I was excited would be an understatement, to be asked was … Continue reading Chapter Sixteen – Raceday
Sometimes you don’t see why something has happened until after the event and Armagh Show in 2016 was a bit like that. It was a Dublin qualifier, and I wanted to use it as a benchmark, really just to see how we compared in our re-training schedule. I got so caught up in the fact … Continue reading Chapter Seventeen – Sense and Sensibility
We decided to start our showing career at Ballymoney Show in 2015, a year after I had started re-training Tag. They say every day is a school day, well that first show was some education and our presence at it will probably be remembered by many. There is no real replication for the atmosphere, movement … Continue reading Chapter Thirteen – Show time!
Cavan show in 2016 was our first big show and our first sleep over! In Australia the logistics of being on the show jumping circuit are not easy and often involved weeks away from the home yard. I always slept in the back of the horse box in a ‘swag’ and being so close to … Continue reading Chapter Fourteen – Roadtrip