I bought an American Quarter Horse foal, and decided I better learn how to ride Western before he needed backing!
I am very lucky to be able to keep my horses at home, while juggling a full-time job and 3 horses certainly makes life easier from a travel and accessibility point of view, although I can’t lie – I do wonder if paying someone a monthly fee to help with the maintenance isn’t in fact a brilliant idea!
All 3 of my horses are relatively new to me, both Ben and Mister I have had for 3 years and Mister for 1 year. Ben is now retired and didn’t finish his racing life until the grand age of 15! He was certainly a challenge to reschool after 13 years of knowing no other way of life. He did ‘settle’ well into an arena, but taking him on grass, unless you intended to race was always an uphill battle, as I don’t think his hooves ever did walk on grass! He sadly retired this year due to his deteriorating eyesight, but still physically sound.
Django I have owned since he was 6 months old, and over that period I have been taking regular Western lessons, ready to start backing him in Western. Mister came to be off the track 12 months ago, as the polar opposite to Ben, a horse who just didn’t have a racing brain, and was far too laid back, but he’s turning into a dressage diva already and beginning to work at Novice level.
Breed: American Quarter Horse
Height: 14.2hh at his wither at 15.1hh at his bum!
What age did you start riding?
I persuaded my parents to let me have weekly lessons aged 7, by age 10, I would have 1 weekday lesson and help at the yard on a Saturday to earn a 2nd lesson, finally by age 15 I had my own horse.
Which disciplines do you take part in?
Dressage is what I have done for most of my ridden life, and as well as this I have taken up western riding over the last 3 years.
What is your favourite aspect of horse ownership?
Just being around them! Even now the fondness to just be around them has never changed, it isn’t always about the riding, just sitting and watching them grazing is enough.
What is your least favourite aspect of horse ownership?
Mud! There is nothing worse or more frustrating as a horse owner than mud!