So here we are again, you guys are about to read a read a blog I’ve written (badly) whilst I wait with bated breath for feed back from you all… I always worry how you guys will reacte to my blogs, I am very aware my blogs are not the ‘usual’ type of blog. Also, I worry my blogs are to much like me! to honest, to close to the bone and to to the point.. But this blog is different, not only will it be my last ever blog. But I know this blog is to honest, I know it is to close to the bone and I know it is to to the point! But sod it, I may as well go out with a bang hadn’t I?! So pull up a chair guys, because this will be a very long read……………
Over the last couple of years two of close friends have a) unfairly lost the ride on a horse or have b) unfairly lost their job which included all rides on horses that came with it. Just like that, boom.. Carpet pulled from our underneath them, both friends privately turned to me, at the time I didn’t really understand why. But now I think I know why, because they knew I would be a 100% honest with them. If they had deserved it I would have said as much.. I remember one conversation that went a long the lines of ‘Phoebe, did I deserve to lose that horse? Me – No you didn’t, don’t get me wrong you can be a t**t but the owner is a c**t and you don’t want to work or ride for people like that. The end, now move on’
Recently a friend went thou a similar thing and it brought memories back of having to watch people you care about being treated badly and just how mistrustful it can make people.. But worse than that, it brought back memories of how badly I felt I was treated by someone right at the start of my career and how without a shadow of a doubt that experience changed and the path I took with my career.
I will never ever forget being a keen 19yr old event rider and being told I would get to ride one of the best event horses on the circut. Excited doesn’t even cover it, you see despite what I say.. I used to LOVE eventing, I remember at the tender age of 15 planning how I was going to Badminton event by event! So imanage my delight when I was offered a horse that had been 8th at Burghley. Yes, he had had 2 years off with leg problems but I didn’t care.. I know just how lucky I was and I adored the bear bones of the horse.. Our first season went fantastically well and we aimed at a Autumn 3 day with the plan of really giving the young rider team a proper go the following season. So can you imanage how I felt when I found out that at our Autumn 3 day that whilst watching me trot up someone heavily involved with the young rider system was slagging me and my wonderful horse off! He was helped in the bitch fest by a groom of one of the other people who would be aiming at the young rider team the following season. And my crime that meant I deserved this public hanging? It was is just because I had been given the ride on this horse, it destroyed me.. I didn’t poach the ride, I didn’t go ringing up the owner trying to nick the ride in anyway. He had been in the field with leg problems, my owner had been asked by his owner if she knew of a young rider who might like the ride and thankfully my wonderfully loyal owner jumped at the chance to have him and she ran him as her own horse for me to ride. And because of that I was being ripped to pieces, from that moment on I promised myself I would never ever get involved on a friendship level with anyone from eventing, if the powers that be felt it was acceptable to stand and rip me to pieces in public they were not the sort of people I wanted to be involved with.. And I’m worse than an elephant.. I never ever forget..
However time heals wounds and by the following season I had mallowed out about it all, my dream horse was on fire that season. We won first time out and kept up our fantastic form all season.. However midway thou that season it happened again, I over heard a ‘power that be’ slagging me and my wonderful horse off. This happened just before Bramham, I went to Bramham crushed but also so angry. Needless to say I went there with a point to prove and a massive chip developing on my shoulder! That week I did a masterful job of steering my wonderful horse vaguely in the right direction in each phase and he did an even more masterful job of not only putting up with my crap steering but of also some how looking after me and also managing to win. In the moment following the prize giving I was happy to draw a line thou my dream of being on the young rider team.
I loved the idea of eventing to the highest level and representing my country but I didn’t like the reality of having to deal with and be nice to people who such horrid narrow minded views. And people I frankly thought were ar*ses..
Everyone who knows me will know I did in fact go to the young rider European Championship.. We won gold and my wonderful horse was the best British horse, I went to the championships with a awful outlook.. I went there for my owner and my horse. Not because I wanted to be on a team.. I just wanted to make sure my horse and I got to be the best British combination. We did that, I had an ok time and I just hope I did my horse, my owner and my mum (who came to watch) proud.
Anyone that knows me will tell you I’m all about everyone one else, I adore helping and encouraging others… I would have loved nothing more than to have felt I could have truly been part of my team, but how could I when I had to sit across a table from a groom and a person in a position of power that had not only slagged me off but also had openly joked about me being a dirty pikey! So I did what I do best… Get angry then just shut myself off from the world..
Fast forward a few years and…..
Not so long ago I lost the ride on a horse I felt I shouldn’t have, it was all a genuine mix up I was told.. Then soon after that the same owner bought the rider they had given my ride to a super smart horse to ride, that was some bitter pill to swallow! But I have (hopefully) not complained about it to much for several reasons..
I love the idea of having a big, busy event yard with loads of horses and going back to being that 19yr old with dreams far bigger than her actual talent.. But I don’t like the reality of that in order to have that big busy yard I will have to deal with people that aren’t loyal and think it’s ok to take horses away from you when they shouldn’t and to have to put up with people talking about you because they have decided you are beneath them and that someone who rides as badly as you shouldn’t have rides on nice horses. Don’t get me wrong these people are a minority not a majority.. But still, eventing is in my experience dog eat dog and as the old saying goes – if you can’t stand the heat get out the kitchen. I never liked cooking that much anyways…
I took a step back from eventing about 3 years ago and I have to say I’m happier than ever..
I love the reality of my life.. And I like the idea of changing it.. Until that balance changes I shall stay as I am – a random blonde girl who talks to much, laughs at her own jokes, has a couple of event horses that she adores riding, has a million fantastic people she loves teaching more than words can say, has a few select friends she misses more than she’d ever tell them when they arent around to either try and force feed me gin or let me drive over speed dumps at a million miles an hour and one very loyal owner that never ever makes her question if she will lose the ride on any of her horses…
Life is so very short…
Love your reality more than you like the idea you don’t have, don’t complain about something you don’t have but aren’t prepared to do what needs doing to have it and remember sometimes being a majority is better than being the minority..
Stay safe, be lucky and if you can’t do those two then just make sure you are having fun whilst you are being unlucky and unsafe and there is a positive in every negative if you look hard enough..
Over and out all……
Phoebe, Champ and Custard Xx