The end is never the end and that’s the point…. Being a troll and mind.

Hey guys, so I’m back…. You know the drill…

Time to go make a cup of tea and get comfy, this blog is a long one!!! Also might be worth putting a seat belt on, as this could well be an explosive and uncomfortable read… For some..

So, as you all know my blogs are written (usually badly) about things I experience, that I think you lot can relate to, the one thing that has changed the most in my life in recent years is the amount of horses I ride and compete. Not so long ago I would of come under the ‘professional rider banner’ not anyone. Now I ride and compete just one horse, do I mind? Not one bit.. But it is a new experience that I’m just getting used to- if I cock up I don’t get another go at getting it right. Last week I went SJ’ing and to be brutally honest I rode badly… Nothing went right and I drove back to the yard feeling very deflated, I really wasn’t sure if I could be a ‘one horse rider’ .. That evening I went to the pub with a couple of friends and had a brilliant night and you know what? My mood lifted, because nothing last forever.. I left the pub feeling like a idiot for being so hard on myself, I’m human… I get to mess up now and again but there is always another day because nothing, good or bad last forever.

The next day I heard the dreadful news that a young trainer had taken his life, it made my ‘wallowing in self pity because I rode badly’ episode the previous day seem very very petty, by all accounts this young man was a top class bloke, with a loving family and a successful and busy business. What really hit a cord with me was reading his wife’s statement. The brutally honest words of a woman who had lost her soul mate, husband, best friend and father of her child to mental illness. Because I’ve been there and if we are all honest I’m sure many of us have been in a situation where ‘me not being here’ has, even if only for a split second looked a easier way out. Sadly some of us aren’t able to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, because nothing lasts forever and that’s the point. No matter how bad things are, there will always be a light. That light might be one person that loves you, a horse that excites you or even a pet that needs you to look after them. As someone who has experienced the darkest of times, I promise there is always light.. The easiest way to find it is to TALK. Alone is a very dark place and very few of us actually are, we just choose to be. Choose to be light, TALK to someone and be someone people can talk to. You never know, you might just change a life.

Whilst all that very sad news was filtering though a totally non related video went viral on social media, it was a video of a girl riding a dressage test. A video I’d like to add that hadn’t been shared (from what I could tell) by her. I was and still am astonished at the comments made on the video, talk about rip this poor girl apart limb by limb! Now, I’m not saying this girl was a Carl Hester in the making and yes it was slightly uncomfortable viewing. But what shocked me was the fact that in one breath people were saying more needs to be done to help people with depression and in the very next breath they were ripping in to this person who they had never me and had no idea or context as to how the video came about.. My first thoughts when I saw the video were these – why didn’t the judge stop her? I hope someone helps her improve and understand what is and isn’t acceptable and the fact that the horse looked well looked after, in great condition and that he looked more annoyed at her than scared. Again I’m not excusing what she was doing but to be honest- she looked very ineffective to me.

Now what I found even more astonishing was the amount of professional riders having their pound of flesh off this girl, I wanted to ask them how they would feel if someone videoed them having a ‘off’ day or ‘squaring’ a horse up and posted it on social media for everyone to put their pennies worth in.

Show me any rider, especially a professional one that tells you they haven’t been tough on a horse, lost their temper or gone too far with a horse and later regretted it and I’ll show you a lier.

I wonder how many takers I would get if I invited everyone that commented mean things on that video to come mid week jumping with me, I promise you that we will witness some horses being ridden in an over bent outline, with drawreins on, being pulled around and being jabbed with spurs. Then I want them to go say the same kind of things they wrote but to the riders in person… Wonder how many would?

Have I ever had to be tough on a horse, yes. Have I regretted it… In some cases yes, in some no – because in most cases it was the making of the horse. Brutal but true. Us professional riders and I’m sure a lot of amateur riders are fully aware of the riders that are tougher on their horses, why don’t we all go posting on their social media telling them how crap they are????? Or better still go up to them in person… You know why we don’t? Because it has nothing to do with us and trolls pick their victims, usually from behind a computer screen. Brutal but true.

My final point – imagine if the rider in that video took her life over the public humiliation she has been put though? If you commented on that video imagine if it was YOUR comment that pushed her over the edge. Would if be worth it? Worth you putting your 5p’s of unwanted and unhelpful criticism in for?

So remember – every action has a reaction. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw house bricks and be mindful because one day someone may just unload a video of you not at your best, for the grace of god go I.

Over and out..

P x

 

 

Advertisements

A canvas is never blank, being, being made and meaningful being meaningless.

So I am back with my final blog of 2017, you know guys know the drill! Make a cuppa and pull up a chair and prepare yourself for bad spelling and even worse grammar!!

So hopefully this blog won’t be to boring.. I have written it after thinking about what I have experienced over the last 12 months, you see this last year really has been an eye opener in so many ways. I have learnt so much about people, myself and so much more…….. So here goes.. Hope you are all ready for a long read!

I would say I have a reputation for very quickly working horses (and peoples) characters out, this isn’t a ego boost for me. It’s a fact, I really don’t have many strengths or talents but I am confident that I am, to put it crudely – very good at quickily accessing whether horses need a pat or a slap. Of course there is more to it than that, some horses need a slap then a pat. Some need to be bullied the entire time and some need a friend who is on their side even when they are acting or behaving like a idiot. I believe a lot of my skill to judge horses so quickly comes from the fact I have had such a varied career with horses. In my early 20’s in the space of less than 6 months I had shown section B’s in mountain and moorland worker classes, ridden under rules over hurdles and ridden round my first CCI3* and managed to win in one way or another in all 3!! That type of experience is invaluable, more recently a lot of my experience has come from my job breaking in yearlings over the winter. I am in my forth winter there and what continues to surprise me is just what personalitys they have. At the yard we get a fantastic mixture of sales, semi wild and feral yearlings. Most but not all, have never been rollared etc before. And what always stands out for me is that here we have this supposedly ‘blank canvas’ infront of us to train and mould – but you know what, they never are. They are never totally blank, simply because they are a living, breathing being that has an opinion. It never fails to amaze me that we can have this little wild, scared, untouched, hairy yearling that just wants to do their best to try and not be scared, to try and trust you and do the right thing. Then you’ll get a beautifully polished, well handled sales yearling that has a bad attitude and doesn’t want a bar of it.

What experience has taught me is not to take things that another living breathing being does to heart, even if they are being pig headed, difficult, won’t listen, unkind, ungenuine or mean. I just take a breath, keep doing my best by them and I always remember that it’s not personal, because they are what they are. Simple. If I really can’t get though to them I move on, it’s not admitting defeat. It’s actually admitting my time is precious and why should I waste it trying to prove a point?

This brings me on to being and being made…

So this year I did something very out of character, I dated men! 3 in total.. I would like to add not all at the same time!! All of them nice enough guys, nothing much came of it. I am basically a happier person single, but the experience opened my eyes to just how may people allow themselves to ‘be made’ instead of just ‘being’.. I have been a single pringle for so long now that I am so used to being happy or sad just because that’s how I make myself feel. So I was shocked how much dating opened my eyes to how many people allow people (not always partners, sometimes friends)  that made them feel a certain way to stay in their life. Now I’m not saying that it’s bad to allow someone in your life that makes you happy, of course it isn’t… But there is a small but significant difference between makes and being made, same with makes or being made sad. Make sure you know the difference. It may seem a small difference but it you experience it you’ll know the difference is there.

The last couple of weeks I’ve had a massive wobble about my life, all triggered by someone asking if I was happy with my meaningless life.. I promise this person was not having a dig at me! They just asked if I really didn’t mind being on my own, if I really didn’t want children and did I not mind not having a career as such… I have actually worried and over thought about it quite a bit the last couple of weeks, I mean am I really happy? Is this my lot? Then I was in the pub a couple of weeks ago and got chatting to two older gentlemen. They were both semi – retired from their very high flying, high earning jobs in the city, I found them so interesting and they in turn found what I did for a living really interesting. I mentioned my worries about being in my mid 30’s and seemingly having nothing to show for all my hard work. One of the older guys asked me what was meaningful to me, what did I really care about – I replied with – my family, having my freedom and having my horses. And there it was…. He smiled and said, meaningful is meaningless if it isn’t meaningful to you.

Some people might have replied to his question with the answer – money, big house, good career, nice car etc… But I didn’t, everything that is meaningful to me I currently have in my life. I may be leading a meaningless life to my friend but then again I might think there meaningful is meaningless. Who are we to judge or why should we worry what others think about out life’s? After all, someone’s meaningless  could well be your meaningful.

Happy Christmas and have a fantastic new year guys, stay safe…. Just remember…

2018 is yours to do as you wish with, time is precious so don’t take it personally, only worry about what is painted on your own canvas, just being isn’t a bad thing and meaningless is all about what is meaningful to you.

Over and out..

Lots of love. Xx

P

 

Percentages, chasing the dragon and radio silence…. 

So here I am… Back writing another one of my blogs, now normally I tell you guys to pull up a chair. However, tonight you guys might need a comfy sofa as this blog is a long one!

As always, please excuse the spelling and grammar mistakes, I get so annoyed I make them but someone once told me they were part of the charm of my blogs… Who am I to argue?!?!

Some of my loyal social media friends might have noticed that I recently deleted my social media pages, this was a interesting experience for me. Radio silence can actually be very inpowering sometimes. Now, I’m sure you are all very aware of just how active I am on them. I won’t go in to the reasons why I deleted my social media but it was a bit of an experiment….. Did I miss social media? Not as much as I thought I would. I bet you guys are thinking well why am I back on here if I didn’t miss it? Mainly because you guys seem to miss me and my ramblings. That probably seems really big headed, but I really don’t mean it to be…. So let me explain! Whilst my social media was deleted I took Colin jumping and bumped in to a lovely girl, whom I didn’t know from Adam! But she came over and asked if this was the famous Colin. I, of course proudly said yes. She went on to tell me all about how she follows us on social media and that she has just started riding and competing and how we give her confidence to give it ago because of how ‘real’ we are. Very publicly. Warts and all. I was genuinely taken aback.. But it’s not the first time I’ve been told that my social media cheers people up.. The reason I think I cheer people up is because not only am I but also my social media is so real. I mean, am undoubtedly one of the strongest, happiest and independent girls you’ll find. But even though most days I’m so unbelievably happy to be a single, strong, independent woman with Colin as my life partner. Even I on a (very) odd day face the fact that I’m in my mid 30’s, pretty chunky and the chances of any bloke actually wanting to take me out are slim to none. Sometimes I struggle with the feeling that I have achieved so little, other than to be lucky enough to drop on some amazing horses and pony that haven given me incredible experiences. But hey ho……

Anyone that tells you that are happy all the time is lying. Because no one is, that is real life. And that is what makes me laugh so much about social media, it seems to give people the need to show hundreds sometimes thousands of people they don’t even know and have never met just how amazing thier life is. When in reality they probably hate their husband but can’t afford to leave him, their kids annoy the f**k out of them and that £50k 5yr old they bought from that well known pro as the ideal horse to get them to Badminton is a gutless twat xc that won’t go within 200 yards of the water or a ditch.

I have been chasing the dragon of having a exciting, fun, boring, passionate, safe, sad and happy life style for years, I’m sure you are all thinking that it is all a contradiction of terms. But it really isn’t…. I believe life is about percentages and balance. If you aren’t sad sometimes how can you know what it feels like to be genuinely happy? Same with being bored, allowing yourself to be bored means being excited will feel oh so much more special. But and it’s a big but, I have learnt to make sure all the percentages tip in my favour. The good times have to out way the bad. This time of year my life is very boring. Pretty much all work, work and more work but I love my job. So there it is – my life is pretty boring at the moment but I’m happier than I am bored. I keep my life like that.. Always tipping in my favour even if sometimes it might not feel like things are quite going my way.

So remember, how can you appreciate being happy if you aren’t sad occasionally? It’s better to be born lucky than rich, don’t believe everything you read and sometimes silence says more than a thousand words.
Xx

Me, myself and I, appreciating what you don’t have and don’t reason with stupid…..

So here we are again.. You guys know the drill! Pull up a chair and excuse the bad grammar and spelling!!!!

This blog is a very personal one and if I’m not I am honest I was nervous about publishing it, I am going to share something with you all that very few people know about. But you know me, go big or go home… If I’m going to share a personal secret, why not share it with everyone that reads my blogs and the world of social media?!!!

Recently I have witnessed what I think some people may call ‘cyber bullying’

Now when I say witnessed what I really mean is I have sat back and read many very negative posts about someone by someone else on social media, the whole situation  intrigued me. The person that was being targeted never bit back but the need to paint this person in a negative light was pretty alarming. It really got me thinking, what makes a person want to go on social media and call someone out in such a way?? I mean, I’m not saying the person receiving the negative attention is a saint but what makes a grown adult want to sit in front of a screen and vent about someone they have nothing to do with to thousands of people they don’t know.. Odd hey? I had been thinking about it for months, well when I say thinking – I mean it would pop in to my head every now and again.. I just couldn’t see the point of it, why would you want to try and distroy someone so publicly? A couple of nights ago whilst sitting with my mum watching TV she asked what was on my mind (mums know everything!!) So I told her.. I explained in great detail what had happened, been said and the effect I could see it might have on someone not as strong minded as myself. My mum looked at me wisely and I was waiting for her ‘mum knows everything reply’ when she said this……….

Clearly they are stupid and mean, I shouldn’t lose any sleep over trying to work them out. You can’t reason with stupid and you never want to surround yourself with mean people. I came back with how this person must be unhappy, lonely or both.. Mum shots back with, Phoebe – we are all unhappy and lonely at times. Does that mean you take time out of your day to sit in from of a computer and rant about someone that’s actually doing no harm to you, to loads of people that don’t know you from Adam? No it doesn’t. The end.

Mums response got me thinking…

When I was 16 I lost my best friend, he had a heart defect and needed a transplant. Because I wasn’t family I wasn’t allowed to stay with him in hospital, so in my typical ‘you won’t stop me way’ I got a job cleaning there so I could stay close to him. I promised him if he got though the operation I would buy him his beloved Manchester United football shirts. He duly did and when he left critical care and moved on to intensive care off I went with the money I got from selling my first horse and bought his Man U shirts for him. The relief I felt when he left intensive care is like no relief I’ve ever felt before or since. He was making great strides so I went back to doing my horses, the first morning I didn’t clean at the hospital I got a phone call to say he had taken a sudden turn for the worse and died. Still to this day I haven’t got over the fact I let him down… I wasn’t there for him when I should have been.. For that I can never ever forgive myself.. I will never forget him saying to me before his operation that if he didn’t come though it he wanted me to promise to him that I would enjoy my life and to be kind.

It is because of him and his words that I am the loyalist friend you will ever find, I never want to feel the pain of not being there when I should have been ever again, I try my best to be kind and I enjoy myself to fullest whenever possible.

Yesterday I sat in the beautiful sunshine on my most beloved horse and all this ran though my mind…..

Some people think I’m a real loner, but that is far from the truth. I adore my friends, I just don’t have many of them.. I am very much single because I love my life as it is and I have honestly not found someone I think can or wants to add to my life enough to allow them to. No one makes me happier than me, myself and I. If I want to do dinner or to go dancing, I take myself and have met some amazing people whilst out and about on my own. I also have learnt to appreciate the things I don’t have, sometimes you really are better without than with.

Life really is to short to reason with stupid, surround yourself with mean and to not be happy..

Have a great weekend, until next time…….

Enjoy and be kind.

P xx

Wanting what you wouldn’t have even if you could, remembering it’s not you, it’s them and cutting the cord..

I’m back… You guys know the deal! Get a drink, pull up a chair and prepare your good selfs for my bad spelling, even worse grammar and ramblings!!

So…… A good few weeks have passed since my last blog but in that time I have had and witnessed a couple of life lessons. Sounds corny I know, but I’ve honestly sat up and learnt more about myself and me friends in the last couple of weeks than I have in a very long time.

This year I went to Burghley to support a very good and certainly the longest standing friend I have. Now this was a big deal for me, you see I haven’t attended Burghley or Badminton since I last rode there. Pure and simply because I have no interest in watching other people riding, I don’t even ‘love’ eventing so I have never felt any desire to go. However, I have felt very guilty at not going along to cheer my friend on more often. So this year I decided I’d stop being spoilt and I would go… And you know what, I really enjoyed it! I loved just being around for my friend, did I help in anyway? Of course not! But I was there, I loved watching him ride and felt hugely proud of just what my friend has achieved, he was always the far better and the more dedicated rider out of the two of us, he always deserved chances, nice horses and good owners. I’m delighted for him that he now has them. Whilst I was walking part of the course on Friday evening I bumped in to someone I’d not seen in a while and the first thing he asked me was if I missed eventing at top level. I without missing a beat firmly and honestly answered with the words ‘not at all’

Truth is this, when I drove though the Burghley gates on the Friday I really thought I’d be bitter and chippy about watching people doing something I used to do. But not at all, I loved it all, walking the course, watching him cantering over the finish line. All of it, not once did I feel a bit of envy. Would I like to have a ride at Burghley again? Of course.. But it would have to be on the right horse because I love riding proper horses. I don’t love eventing. And I’ve ridden proper horses round Burghley and Badminton… No feeling can replace the one I had at my first Burghley with The Busker – I didn’t walk a single long route on the XC, that’s how much confidence I had in him. He was all heart, class and if you looked the word genuine up in a dictionary The Buskers name would be under it. Same goes for the feeling of power, scope and speed Little Tiger gave me, I honestly think she would have galloped until her heart burst and she would have jumped a house. I can never understand how people who have ridden horses like my two can then go and ride lesser horses. That probably sounds very spoilt but for me it would be like driving a Bentley, crashing it and then getting a Skoda just so you could keep driving. I don’t like driving that much either. I think and hope I am eventing my next 4* horse. If he isn’t good enough I actually don’t care, he’s a nice horse and I like riding him. He is more Bentley less Skoda. Fact.

On to my next life lesson…

Wanting what you actually wouldn’t have even if you could have it……

We have all been there, right? The man, the horse, the friend that we have lost one way or another. Well, I am probably the worlds best person at dealing with this situation, when it’s done it’s done. I cut the cord and am outta there. Trust me, you can never go back.. You can never truly get it back to what it was. Once the trust or confidence is broken, its gone and its impossible to truly get it back. In the past I’ve had people say to me ‘you can get it back if you work hard at it’  But why should I have to? Life is hard enough without having to work hard to get something back that should never have been lost in the first place. If I’m wrong, I have no problem at all about apologising.. But if I am unfairly wronged, then please shut the door as you leave. It’s as simple as that.

I see it like this, if a horse goes badly for you, gives you a bad fall or knocks your confidence get rid. Same with people.. If that bloke doesn’t message you back or messes you around or if that friend treats you badly, get them gone.

Because it is them not you, not all jigsaw puzzle pieces fit together. You wouldnt spend hours, days, weeks maybe even months or years trying to fit the wrong jigsaw puzzle pieces together, would you? Nor would you then break pieces off the jigsaw puzzle pieces to try and make them fit together. What you would do is this – once you realised the jigsaw puzzle piece you were trying to fit to yours wasn’t the right match you would put it back, get a new piece and see it that one fitted better.

Remember this….

If you wouldn’t have it stop wanting it, don’t break pieces off yourself to fit with someone else and don’t expect someone else to break pieces off themselves to fit you. Cut the cord and enjoy finding that jigsaw puzzle piece that fits yours perfectly.

Over and out…

P xx

It’s all about learning to say nothing at all or something nice…

So I’m back…..

This whole ‘last ever blog’ thing isn’t going so well for me is it?!?!? But you guys seem to still be enjoying them so maybe I will keep writing them. For now anyways! You lot would not believe the amount of times I have read and re read this blog (and changed it!) and I’m still not totally happy with it, but hey ho. That’s life! Make no mistake this is not a great blog even by my standards! But please excuse the grammar and spelling mistakes. I really am very dyslexic so struggle like mad with this type of writing.

So guys, pull up a chair and prepare your good selfs for my usual ramblings…….

Recently I have been reminded just how hard it seems to be for some people to say the easiest things to say.. Like the word ‘no’

No, is one of the first words we learn to say as children, but as adults it is often the hardest word to say to someone. Odd isn’t it? Also saying nothing at all, why is it so hard to be quiet? And it’s usually when what you have to say shouldn’t be said at all!

Same with saying something nice, as children it is one of the first things our parents teach us. Be nice to other children.

I would be guilty of not saying no often enough, just as I would be guilty of not being quiet enough of the time! But and it’s a big but, me not saying no and also talking to much is always for the right reasons, it’s to be nice and helpful. However, I am learning, learning that if someone won’t appreciate the effort I put in I will say no, I was seriously burnt 2 summers again when I put in weeks and weeks of my time and effort in to someone who did not appreciate it one jot. They went home and all I got was grief over something they did whilst staying with me but without me, my blessing and away from the horses. It hurt me more than anyone would ever know. But life is about learning and that situation was a life lesson.

What I have also learnt is that not everyone wants or cares for your help, input or words.  Think long and hard about if you putting your pennies worth in is actually pennies that are wanted.

My parents taught me from a early age to only worry about the opinions of people that matter. To only worry about the opinions of people that bring more good in to your life and want you to succeed, if those people are critical of you and what you are doing then you listen. Mum always said if someone is more negative than they are positive about you and what you are doing with your life remove them. Life is hard enough as it is.

This brings me on to social media and how it seems to allow people to feel they have a god given right to criticise people that they usually don’t even know! I say to people that are struggling with negativity they are receiving on Facebook that unless the people doing the critising are paying the entry fees etc just ignore and move on. I always say this is MY social media page and I post what I like, if people don’t like it they know where the unfriend button is.

Publicly pulling strips off people is not cool. Not even god does it. End of.

So remember what I always say. Life is about balance. And you must keep the balance of your life tipping up.

Ask yourself does that person criticising you bring as much, if not more positivity to your life as as they do bring negativity? If not, why are they in your life? Has the person criticising what you are trying to achieve, achieved at the very least as much or ideally more than you have? If not why are you allowing their lesser educated opinions effect you?  Never feel bad about cutting these people out of your life, if the friendship doesn’t serve you why should you serve it?

And finally, remember you learn more about people when you remove them from your life than when they were part of it. That is the time that people show their true colours. And leopards never change their spots.

over and out until next time. Xx

P…

 

 

It’s all about balance..

So I am back………. No one panic, I am only back for a one off special!!! You guys know the drill, make a cup of tea, pull up a chair and prepare yourselves once again for my boring waffle, bad grammar and even worse spelling.

I am sure you are all wondering why the hell am I am back? Don’t worry you lot aren’t alone! I am asking myself the very same question as I sit hear headphones on, drinking coffee, trying to spell and grammar check as I write!!! Truth is I have missed writing. But that isn’t why I’m back… And this is very much a one off, I promise!!                                                                                                                                        It is very hard to believe I started writing blogs over 3 years ago and wrote my last blog nearly 7 months ago. The reaction my ramblings received from you amazing people blew my mind! From the blogs I have been offered work writing regular blogs and even articles for several magazines, crazy hey?!?!?

So, back to why I am writing this… At the weekend I got asked about my coaching and my thinking behind the way I coach. I waffled on about some crap because I wanted to get off the subject of me. Those that know me well will be able to tell you that whilst I can tell a good story, I actually hate talking about me. Mostly because I am very uninteresting.. But also because I’ve learnt you learn less from talking and more from listening, even if what you learn isn’t knowledge.

Sometimes what you learn about the person you are listening to talk is invaluable.

But having waffled on about some crap and swiftly getting off the subject of me I couldn’t stop thinking about the thinking behind my coaching.. What is it I do?             I know I have the reputation (please don’t think I am being arrogrant when I say this) of getting people and horses to achieve things they would never have believed was possible. But how? This is what I came up with and what I wished I had the courage to say at the weekend….

Its all about balance. In every sense of the word.

The first thing I look for when I meet new people or horses is confidence, how do they carry themselves? Do they sit or stand square and do they look me in the eye with confidence? That’s the first balance I have to tip….                                                               If the balance of confidence isn’t tipped towards the positive side you are fighting a losing battle. I often tell unconfident people I am coaching to look me in the eye whilst talking and to stop looking like an apology, you won’t get very far in any walk of life without confidence. Full stop.                                                                                          Then I look at how brave they are, this balance is (IMO) the most important. Bravery comes in all forms, I’m not talking about someone who is gun ho and happy to gallop flat out everywhere! I’m talking about if someone/a horse is brave enough to listen and push themselves out of their comfort zone if I tell them to. If they will grab the bull by the horns and have a go.                                                                                                    Then i move on to looking at their actual balance, you don’t have to be a great or even a good rider but if you have good balance and don’t interfere a horse can do its job. Some people naturally have it, some have to work at it.                                                                                Then I go on to attitude, a good attitude is invaluable. A bad attitude is easily got rid of.. Either the person/horse changes it or they leave. Simples.

So there it is.. My ground rules for not only coaching but LIFE.

Be confident, you’ll get nowhere in life not being confident. And if you aren’t confident, pretend you are and wing it. It’s what most people do.                                                                                             Be brave, you’ll regret the times you weren’t brave far more than the times you’ll regret being brave. Trust me I know, this weekend I was on a bad stride to the last  fence after a foot perfect round on the xc, every ounce of me screamed be brave, slip your reins and kick. I didn’t.. I wasn’t brave, I held on to nothing and hoped for the best.. And we fell.. Don’t be me, be brave.. Don’t fall and if you do fall, fall trying.                                                         Have balance, life is about balance.. Sometimes it isn’t easy to manage, but practice makes perfect. Play as much as you work, it’s more important than you will believe.       Keep a check of your attitude and the attitude of people around you. If it isn’t good, change it or get rid. Nothing good came from having a bad attitude. Fact.

So remember life is to short to not be confident, not be brave, not have balance in your life or a good attitude… Oh and also bad sex, coffee, men and horses…

Over and out all, until next time. Take care XX

P

 

 

 

 

Being the majority not the minority, loving the idea but liking the reality….

Evening all..

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

 

Sticking together, a reality check and a Custard teaching me to cope…

Hello..

So I’m back, it’s been a while. But it is that time again! So put the kettle on, pull up a chair and get ready to be bored!!!

I actually sat down to write a blog about 4 weeks ago, but truth be known when I started writing I didn’t have much interesting to say! Then about a week ago I came across a interesting post on a social media. It was a post about about horses and riders being allowed to run a levels they may not be ready to run at… Anyways.. Within that post some comments brought up a ride a pro rider had given a horse at a fence at a major event. I won’t bore you all with the ins and outs of it but basically the horse ended up jumping in the ditch in front of the fence and fired the poor rider over its head. Now, what got me most interested was the fact that some other pro riders were commenting about it and they were being pretty harsh about the way the rider in question rode the fence. Being nosey, I was about to try and find the fall/UR in question. That was until someone kindly posted the video!

When I clicked on the video I was half wincing as to what horrific riding I was about to see, but then came the shock.. I didn’t see horrific riding, in fact I didn’t even see bad riding. So I watched the video over and over, truth be told I couldn’t see one thing the rider did wrong. So I did what I do, I said as much on the post! The rider in question is one of the best riders in the world, he was riding a very experienced but difficult horse that has been known to ’empty out’ towards the end of courses. But the horse and rider combination have been very successful together, they had done a leading dressage mark and SJ’d clear. The rider was kicking on to a big open ditch/brush fence and was on (from what I saw) a perfectly decent stride when the horse just jumped in to the ditch. The horse didn’t faulter, didn’t check its self looking unsure of the stride it was on. It simply took off and instead of jumping over the ditch and fence it jumped in to the ditch instead.

I wasn’t at all shocked by people on social media being mean about the rider, hell I’ve seen riders ripped apart on social media for less! But what did shock me was the people that were having their ten pence worth. They were pro riders, who I’m sure at some point have ridden a fence badly or ridden a fence really well only for their horse for unknown reasons put in a shocking jump. As pro riders we have to be very careful about pubically calling out other riders for mistakes they make (not that I believe the rider in question made a mistake) because it leaves us very open. I asked if any of the riders commenting had ever made a mistake? Or had a horse let them down? None of them responded to me, I asked the question because I know dame well they have, because I’ve seen the mistakes with my own eyes.. I am the first to say if I feel someone, pro rider or not has ridden well or badly. I am very open about the mistakes I make, mainly because I want people that follow me to know that even us so called pro’s f*ck it up every now and again, I am also very open when for whatever my horses don’t go well. Sometimes horses just don’t play ball – doesnt mean you haven’t done your home work or put in the right amount of effort. But what I try to not and hope I don’t do is pubically judge them, because I am very aware of the saying for the grace of God go I. So pro riders, how about us sticking together? No bull shit needed but no public hanging either, that is of course unless you are perfect? And can say you’ve never got it wrong?

It’s just I hear replacing glass in green houses is expensive……

So, that brings me nicely on to my next subject!   RIO.. Having got my love for eventing back I watched Rio closely, after all I have 2 horses that will be ready to win gold in 4 years time so I wanted to find out what I was in for!

Having watched from the get go I had one overwhelming feeling.. That feeling was disappointment…. Half of our team were off the pace in the dressage and scored well below what they had been producing here, then we (barring 1 rider) looked out of our depth on the xc. Yes we show jumped well, but so we should have..

I then watched while social meda went in to melt down on the day of xc, again what interested me was just how negative and plain rude people were being about the riders.. Let’s be frank now – it’s simple, we did under achieve. But do people honestly think that those rider out in Rio didn’t try their best?! Of course they did.. But for what ever reason we aren’t consistently hitting the mark at championship level. Can anyone honestly say the funding programme is working? We have world class riders and horses so why aren’t they performing at world class level when we really need them to? We have to face the fact that we have not and do not perform consistently on the same high level as the other ‘top’ eventing nations when it comes to the championships, despite the fact we are the hub for eventing, riders come to this country to be based, for training and that’s not bringing in to account our lottery funding program. Hopefully this is the reality check we need so the powers that be can get us back to being the country others fear and when the xc gets tough we shine, not fall apart. But please don’t pull apart our riders, they were out there in RIO doing their best, their best ‘should’ be good enough. It’s down to team GB to change the ‘should’ in to ‘is’

Whilst we are talking of Olypmics..

I have my 2 horses all lined up, one is the son of a Little Tiger by Jaguar Mail. The other is a funny little narrow bright chestnut with 4 white socks, blaze and belly called Custard.

Custard was given to me by my best friend, she is a racing manager for an amazing lady and when their horses have finished their racing career they make sure they get good and permanent homes. Custard is a very odd character! He struggles with life slightly but there has always been something about him I loved. This summer I have finally had time to start his eventing career, from the second he left the ground I simply thought wow! For all Custard can’t cope with lots of aspects of every day life, my good he is classy… For Custard flat work, jumping and being brave xc comes very naturally to him, what doesn’t come naturally to him is believing in himself. That is were my job has come in, I have spent the last 6 weeks building him up and showing him just how great he is and my gosh he is seriously finding his feet! Custard has made me remember that I have a knack with horses that need a friend, also that seeing the obvious talent isn’t hard. It’s seeing and working with talent that’s buried away that is a whole lot harder. Do I think Custard will honestly get to Toyko? Hand on heart – yes I do. Am I mad? Stupid? Delusional? Probably all of those things.. But if I don’t believe in him he certainly won’t believe in himself!

My little chestnut ex race horse is going to Toyko. Simple. I have made our plan, we shall stick to it and we will look forward to you all saying – Phoebe told us so.. For me dreaming is what makes me tick, it’s what I live for. I live to do things other people wouldn’t do or don’t think I can do, because I’m that girl – the one who does things other people wouldn’t. Wether it’s jumping a pony round Badminton, jumping a gate one handed whilst videoing with the other hand or getting a scared of his own shadow little ex race horse to think he is the best event horse to have ever walked the land. But I do those things for myself, because what makes me tick is what’s important to me.. Not what others think of what makes me tick…

Recently someone said to me the power of the mind is an amazing thing. That same person also told me an amazing story about just how powerful the power of the mind can be, it reminded me of how I convince people I teach to jump fences they never thought they could. The reason I convince them is because I am convinced they can.

So do something for you, something that makes you tick.. If anyone questions you or tells you not to do something you want to.. Get rid of them, if people that are around you don’t believe in you it makes believing in yourself a whole lot harder. Just ask Custard…

Over and out.

P xx

Labels.

Hello..

If you Google my name, one of the first the first things that will pop up is an article written by the BBC about me, and my career and how I am ‘breaking away from my roots’. My ‘roots’ are those of a Romany Gypsy – I am a Romany Gypsy – and my career is riding and competing horses in the sport of eventing at which I have been very successful, representing the UK in Europe . I also train and keep thoroughbred horses at my stables.

“My father’s love and passion for his cobs rivals any love or passion that I have for the wonderful horses that carry me to success competing”

Now a love for horses has been in my family for generations, but of course I ride and compete a very different type of horse than my father, who has had hairy cobs for as long as I can remember. Of course the horses I compete are taller, finer in build and faster!! I live, breath and love my horses, but believe me when I say my father’s love and passion for his cobs rivals any love or passion that I have for the wonderful horses that carry me to success competing.
Because of my career and the non-Gypsy people I found myself mixing with, until very recently I had not encountered anyone who judged me because of my ‘roots.’ People liked me (or not!) for my straight-talking no-nonsense approach to life and respected me because they believed I could ride a horse well.
However a couple of years ago whilst living and working away I was made aware of my parents’ struggle with their local council. This was an issue my parents didn’t want to tell me about as they didn’t want to worry me, so you can image the shock I had when I found out that after 30 years of living very happily in our village, the council were trying to get my parents removed from their land. The reason? Because they are Gypsies. It’s as simple as that. My parents have been labelled as trouble and a drain on the local services because they are Gypsies and this is despite the fact my parents pay their taxes and have never ever had so much as a single complaint made against them by their neighbours in the village. Craziness!

Now that is a very long story I won’t bore you with and it isn’t the point of this blog, but because of the fight I am having on behalf of my parents with very influential councillors who I believe are at the bottom of all the trouble being caused to my parents, I have been made much more ‘aware’ of just how OK it is to publically label Gypsies or Travellers as thieves and/or trouble-makers when the people doing the labelling very rarely have any actual proof the Gypsies or Travellers have done anything wrong. Discrimination and prejudice because of people’s ethnic identity is both wrong and illegal – but his type of discrimination against Gypsy and Travellers is a seen as far more acceptable by far too many powerful people. That, trust me is a fact! Here are little examples for you to think about and compare:

“Over the last week or so I have watched two cases of cruelty to horses unravel on social media”

Over the last week or so I have watched two cases of cruelty to horses unravel on social media. It goes without saying that any cases of cruelty are hard to swallow, but because of my every day involvement with horses, I find cases involving horse mistreatment especially hard.
Example one involves an ex-racehorse that was photographed at a fun ride. This poor horse was so thin you could see every single bone in its body. I personally have never ever seen a living horse thinner than that poor horse, and to make matters worse, the girl riding the horse on the fun ride had put a rug on him to cover up most of his body whilst he was being ridden. This was of course to cover up the fact all his ribs and spine were clearly visible. However someone had managed to take a photo of the poor horse after his tack was taken off at the end of the ride, and that photo will haunt me forever. In many of the posts about this horse some people made rude and unnecessary comments about the rider’s weight, which were quite rightly removed. After all, what does this person’s weight have to do with the fact she has clearly mistreated her poor horse, a horse that depended on her to look after him? After all not all people of a certain weight starve their horses, do they?
Case two involves a weak, small, awful looking yearling who was photographed with a bit in his mouth and roller on him, he was in a very bare paddock with his ‘tack’ left on overnight and with no water or food in sight. The horse has just been seized by the RSPCA from a Traveller site near Bradford. To say that this little chap looked a mess would be an understatement and my heart broke for him. Just as in the social media posts about the ex-racehorse (both posts are on the same social media site), many people were attacking the people who inflicted the mistreatment to this poor little horse. But the reaction was very different and I did not see a single comment or post removed because of what was said about this person. This person just happened to be a Gypsy.

There were also some people standing up for people from the Gypsy community on this particular post and saying that not all Gypsies mistreat animals etc… Who knew?!? Such is the acceptable face of the prejudice against Gypsies that this has to be pointed out. It did not, however, stop the abuse against all Gypsies on the post.
Was I shocked by how much hate the entire Gypsy race was getting because of the actions of a few members of their community? No, not at all, because if you are a Gypsy you will get labelled. Fact. It is so acceptable to publicly slate Gypsies even an MP – Phillip Davies, the MP for Shipley – got involved and went on to repeat the racist generalisations in Parliament! Try and image this; if a MP were to get up in Parliament and say that all Black people deal drugs and the police can’t touch them because they are Black and will play the race card. There would be uproar and rightly so, BUT WITH Gypsies and Travellers it’s acceptable.

“I believe your roots or heritage or ‘race’ does not define how you treat people or animals, just as how you treat people or animals does not define your roots or heritage”

Here’s an idea. If people (MP’s, police and the RSPCA included) don’t want these ‘people’ to ‘play the race card’, how about not bringing up their ‘race’ in the first place? What has it got to do with anything? If you don’t use the fact they happen to be Gypsies against them, then they can’t use it against you, can they? I believe your roots or heritage or ‘race’ does not define how you treat people or animals, just as how you treat people or animals does not define your roots or heritage. You are either a good, decent or kind person, or you are not. The people involved in these two cases are not. Fact. These people’s weight, background, upbringing, ‘race’ or religion has not made them act cruel. They did that all on their own. Fact.
It took years for my father to get his head around why I would clip all my horses’ hair off to then rug them up, or why I would make my horses go out in paddocks on their own. My father would say ‘what about if they get an itch and can’t itch it because they are wearing all those rugs and have no horses to groom them? Your horses aren’t leading a natural life’. Can I disagree with my father? Of course not because he is right in his own way, but I am doing my best for my horses. Just as my father does for his. I may not agree with all the things he does with his ponies, but I have to admit they all look very well and are loved.
Last winter my father had a pony he was struggling to keep weight on, so I got the pony’s teeth done for my father and it made all the difference. Fact is lots of Gypsies have said to me that they would love to turn to non-Gypsy people to help them with either feeding or the fact they have too many horses etc, but they know if they do they will more than likely be judged. My community is very much in a chicken before egg dilemma, whatever they do is probably going to be seen as wrong, because they are being judged and labelled by actions of the ‘wrong-uns’.
Just think what might have happened, if my dad didn’t have me to sort his the pony’s teeth out. My dad genuinely didn’t know that a ponies teeth could cause such weight-loss or who to contact to get it sorted, my dad’s much loved pony would have been one of those light of condition coloured ponies people post about on social media as being neglected, when actually the pony may well be owned by a man who loves his animals, needs help, but is scared to get non-Gypsies involved in his animals welfare because he will be labelled, just as has been all his life. Even when he has done nothing wrong.

“The Gypsy community I know, love their animals and are open minded about how to do the best thing by them”

I remember years ago having a heated discussion with a member of my Gypsy community who raced trotters – the ponies that race flat-out in light weight carts. I started going on about the strain on their joints etc and he came back with the fact I am heavily involved with racing and that they race racehorses at just two years old. He asked me ‘what’s the difference?’ His ponies were all properly fit, were fully clipped out and looked a million dollars, they also raced on proper tracks and not illegally on roads. In that moment I realised I was ill-educated about my community and what they did with their animals and how they treated them, and that I was guilty of labelling my own community because of a video of horrid illegal road racing I had seen on social media! From that point I made myself listen, watch and learn from other Gypsies and Travellers because, although they do stuff I maybe wouldn’t do with my horses (just as lots of no-Gypsy people I compete with do), they are trying to do right by their horses and I have genuinely learnt stuff about the handling and welfare of horses and donkeys that I didn’t know before – as they have from me. I have been asked more than once to break ponies in or help get them going. This is because the Gypsy community I know, love their animals and are open minded about how to do the best thing by them.
In every walk of life there is good and bad, yet sadly when it comes to the Gypsies and Travellers it is deemed acceptable to judge a whole community of people because of the actions of a few bad-eggs.
So next time you go to judge or comment on something regarding any ethnic community before you know that person or a community beyond some ill-informed words or posts on social media, try and think about how you would you feel if because of some cruel actions of someone who lives in the same street or even town as you, has the same job as you, or even the same colour hair as you, had the world openly judging you without even knowing you?
It’s an old saying but a true one – treat people as you would want to be treated – It’s something I’ve learnt to do the hard way.
I promise I won’t judge you because of the racist and closed minded views of a few people from your community if you can promise not to judge me on the actions of a few people from mine.
Until next time.
P x