Blog off……

Before you pull up a chair, please respect the fact that this blog is not social media. I have turned off commenting. I will not be sharing this on Social Media. I no longer have social media accounts because I am not taking part in the social media community. The purpose of this blog is to act as a diary entry. So here goes…

Dear Diary,

for the past 12 months I have been pretty quiet on the blogging front. The reason for this is because I have been struggling with anxiety and depression, caused by something I have been battling with for over a year.

I have thought long and hard about how to tell you this but I have never doubted that I needed to let you hear it. I bet that someone, somewhere is going through the same thing. Hell.

I will start off by saying that all of the following is true. Fact. Evidentially based. I have purposefully hidden names and details. The reason for doing that is not to protect the identity of those involved as they deserve no such privilege, but because I remain bound over to silence “just incase” I break a rule that is wholly open to interpretation in anyway in which the organisation sees fit.. Unfair ? Yep. But you havent heard the half of it.

So many years ago I had the ride on a horse which was sent to me because it was a difficult personality. It had lots of behavioural issues but it also had considerable talent. I loved the horse as if it was my own. I paid for its keep. I paid for its training. I paid its entries.

This isnt uncommon for me so please dont try to guess or assume that you know which horse I am referring to.

I worked hard to give the horse the time and space to learn its ropes and then worked it up the grades. The horses contacts then decided that they wanted to change the level at which I was riding and I returned the horse because I no longer felt that they were secure in the belief that I made the right decisions for both myself and the horse. The horse was thus returned in great condition. Fit and ready to go on with another rider.

I hoped I had done the right thing by everyone. But more importantly by the horse. I certainly didnt want to have anything on my mind when competing than what the horse was telling me. I and many other professionals thought the horse had more to learn but regardless, I knew that it could go on and do well for anyone who got the ride next.

I thought that I had done a great job and turned my attention to my other horses and clients. Only that wasnt the end.

The connections of that horse started a hate campaign against me. Using both Twitter and Facebook to try and shame me. Accusing me of being a bad horsewoman, returning a lame horse, saying I had ruined the horse, accusing me of injecting horses or riding them lame.

I blocked the people posting such rubbish and held my head high.

I then started to hear that not only was the connection of the horse posting things about me, but the next rider was also liking and retweeting the things that were being said. As were the riders family members.

I was then rung by a family member and threatened. I was told that they would be seeing me at my next event.

Things were being said that identified me as the (only) former rider of the horse and were calling me bitter, vile, a troll and a bell end.

It was at this point that I made a complaint to the parent organisation. I was immediately told that it was tit-for-tat and that I should remove the things I had said about them and they would remove what they had said about me.

I asked what I had said but got no response.

Ironically, whilst I had commented on each abusive tweet, tagging in the parent organisation, the other party had never once highlighted the things I was being accused of saying as being upsetting to them. Mostly because I had never said anything that could be upsetting to them. If I gave them a mention at all it was either to defend them or to talk about what was actually happening. I never resorted to name calling, or giggling, or making false claims, or phoning them.

All I had wanted was for the posts about me to be removed from the public domain. To be honest, I didnt really care if they didnt like me or if they gossiped about me. I just didnt want my livelihood attacked publically when I had done nothing to deserve it.

I complained that my case was not being treated correctly and 4 months later there was an independent review. Once again I was told that I needed to remove what I had said but I was still not told what that was. I complained that the remarks made that I had complained about were all still available publically. Another 4 months later I was interviewed again and shown 3 tweets posted by someone else who is not a connection of mine or a member of the parent organisation. I was told that these were what had been provided as mitigation for the abuse I had suffered. I explained that they were nothing to do with anyone connected to the horse or rider in question. I also pointed out that the original comments I had complained about where still online.

A month later I was told by the parent organisation that I had to remove the offensive tweets and facebook posts, agree to paying for mediation between myself and the other party, and write an apology that the organisation would want to see first.

I agreed and wrote as requested but still could not remove any tweets or posts as I did not own the 3 shown to me at the investigation and did not know what others they wanted removed.

I posted the best apology I could given that I didnt know what I was apologising for and then later that night I got a call from the manager of the organisation saying that if I did not remove my apology post, I would be sent to the panel and disciplined. I asked what I had said that broke and rules and was told that it was the tone I was using. As soon as I got a signal (I was away at an event), I made the post private.

3 days later I got a recorded delivery letter from another organisation telling me that because the first organisation had suspended me, they also had to suspend me. I had no idea the first organisation had suspended me. I had already booked clients for coaching that weekend and now I could not go to the venues as I had lost my member privildges.

I tried to appeal the un-notified suspension and this was refused by the same person who made the decision. They claimed that they HAD emailed me about the suspension themselves but they could not prove it and I certainly hadnt had anything.

I felt as if I had been set up so that if I attended a venue with my clients I would have been thrown off site as the suspension would have meant that I was not entitled to access the non-public areas at the venues. I was also denied sight of the record of the conversation that was made by telephone and was told that my version of events was false.

I served the suspension and made a further complaint about how I was being treated.

I asked for a list of the tweets and posts they wanted down along with a reason why each entry was being treated as breaking their rules.

I did not receive a response to these questions.

At the end of August this year I received a further judgement telling me that the other party had complied with their instructions, written an apology that had been accepted and was therefore not being disciplined.

However, they have made their Twitter account private and their relative was still proudly displaying the Tweets that I complained about on their account. So they hadnt actually distanced themselves from what was said about me at all.

The Disciplinary Panel decided that if I do not remove what I have said, I will be fined £1000 and, if I still do not remove them and pay the fine, I will be banned until I do.

At last a full list of tweets were attached. A couple of them were not mine. A couple of them were comments I made on the account of the person who was attacking me (who has now blocked me) that I cannot now remove, a couple of them were about an completely unrelated matter (suicide within the racing industry) and finally, a tweet saying “and there it is”…. None of them broke the rules as they stood. There was no justification as to why any of the tweets have been treated as mitigation for the bullying I endured a year ago. Yet I am the one who gets suspended. The one who is to be threatened by the parent organisation. The one who gets an unnotified suspension. The one who got the unrecorded out of hours call to misdirect me. The threat of a fine. The unreasonable requests to remove things I have no knowledge of. The ridicule time scales to comply with demands that are unjustified. Letters telling me my version of events is disingenuous, that I have not proven that I am being unfairly treated, that they are happy that the other party has done all that was required to avoid any suspicion of bullying.

I have complained that although I did not wish to know anything about the other parties medical records, the head of the organisation chose to tell me about an injury they sustained. A fact that I would not want disclosed if the boot was on the other foot. And surely a breach of that riders privacy.

I have done all I can to be fair and reasonable. Polite and professional. I have even taken my social media accounts off line as for now I do not know how talking about my life or liking tweets where my friends are talking about their lives, can possibly break such vague rules.

And the letter I sent in response to the head of the organisation asking again for clarification is returned without an explanation of just how I breached the rules.

I wonder how I am meant to be part of an organisation that is not fair or transparent. That can ban me without telling me how to rectify a situation without me taking down my accounts all together. The accounts that I use to offer support, keep in touch with clients, advertise clinics, diarise how my horses are going – good or bad – and share songs, quotes and silly little odds and sods that make me smile.

I still wait for clarification but I doubt that it will ever be forthcoming. On the 30th of October it will be a year since I asked for help.

But for now I guess that I will have to keep my title as the vile bitter troll because by all accounts, I deserve it.

Bell end out. #dropsmike

Being honest, timing, doing time and not embarrassing yourself….

Hello there, long time no speak…. Hopefully this blog finds you all well? I’m sure you all know the drill, get a cuppa and pull up a chair…… Because this one might ruffle some feathers and upset the masses!!!!!

So, it’s been a while.. Some of you might be wondering why I’ve decided to write this blog so long after my last one, truth is there is no reason other than timing.. After all everything comes down to time and timing does it? No matter what we do or don’t do, it’s all about timing or the time you do or don’t do it… Because time and timing can get you in or out of a world of pain..

I am sure all of you lovely people will be more than very aware of my back ground etc… What most of you will think you know but won’t be aware of is just how different ‘my’ community’s culture differs to yours. You see in my community honour and honesty is everything, standing up for what you believe (even if you are wrong) and being able to admit it if you are means everything. That along with not being a gossip and standing loyal by your friends and family is absolutely everything, as is not bringing embarrassment on your family. I know that anyone that knows me would tell you I’m fiercely loyal, honest and kind. I would do anything to help anyone, you see that’s another be thing in my community – your door is always open to anyone, at any time. Part of my fierceness comes down to the fact my parents don’t have a son and usually the son looks after the family.. My parents only have me, but I’m more than happy to be counted.

Recently something happened that had me totally torn between the person I was brought up to be (loyal, honest and to never back down when I am right) and the person I have become – someone who now thinks before she shots her smart, savarge but always honest mouth off.

You see I had to choose between what my community call ‘doing time’ this is a reference for a punishment you risk getting for standing up for what is right, that does reference anything from literally ‘doing time’ or simply just facing the consequences for standing tall and being counted. Now, I don’t want for one minute for you guys to think that my family or community are a bunch of lawless thugs. Because they aren’t, however they sort stuff face to face and running your mouth off about someone and not then speaking up would be seen as a massive embarrassment to your family. I promise you these type of morals lead for a much more peaceful life – because if you aren’t prepared to ‘do time’ for it, you keep your mouth firmly shut.

Few things are worth doing time for………. However, some are…. And when they are no one stands taller than me…..

So in this for instance I had to decide – was it worth doing time for…

I won’t ruin the surprise of what I did or didn’t do or what I have or haven’t done, but I learnt some very valuable lessons… Nothing means more to me than not embarrassing my family or losing my integrity, my friends have morals as big as mine and the extended family I thought had slightly turned their backs on me because of my life choices had my back in more ways than I could dream of and would always ‘do time’ for me if I needed them.

So whilst all this was going on the one thing that kept coming back to me was how much easier life would be if everyone took a little bit more of a leaf out of my community’s book…

Are you embarrassing yourself or your family? Would you say it to someone’s face? Would you do time for it? Would your family and friends do time to back up your actions?

If the answer to any of the above is no – how’s about you just don’t…

Because you may just come up against someone who’s family and friends will do time for them because they aren’t embarrassing them or themselves, someone who will say it to your face and someone who will do time for you.

Interestingly having just posted this blog I just noticed that it is pretty much a year to the day that I posted my last blog, spooky or what? See what I mean about timing? Something’s are meant to be, some not so much. Reading my last blog, I can tell you that the one doesn’t touch the sides of that one. But the major difference in that blog to this one is that then I was unhappy, now I am happy.. In that blog I’m sharing my unhappiness, in this one I’m just sharing my experiences, funny isn’t it? A year ago I was struggling and for no other reason than that. I was just struggling..

And now I’m not, just for the simple reason that things pass, haters will hate, true friends will be loyal, those that aren’t are no loss, partners will come and go, horses will disappoint, other horses won’t but the one thing you always have is you. So look after you, do right by you… Even if it means standing tall when others may not have, even if it means admitting you need a friend, even if it means admitting you are wrong. But above all behave in away that means you can look at yourself in the mirror with a clear consensus, because that consensus is the one you and only you have to live with.

Remember everyone can be brave until they have to be, are you brave or are you just brave until you have to be……… Everyone can be honest until they have to be, are you honest or just honest until you have to be… And everyone can stand tall until standing tall alone is all you have.

And in the wise words of my cousin…. Thank god she isn’t a boy..

 

Until next time, stay safe and be kind.

P x

 

 

 

Being happy to be unhappy, when it’s not all about you and caring enough to not care….

Hey guys,

So I’m back… This blog reaches you a bit sooner than I had anticipated, but lots of stuff has been happening so I was inspired to put finger tips to touch screen!! So pull up a chair guys, this one is a long but meaningful one….

My blogs are always written about experiences, but never just one.. They are always written about a combination of experiences that mean I feel I am able to form an opinion, because that’s how I work. I never form or voice my opinions about a person or subject without being well informed. And being well informed means seeing it from every side, then hopefully my opinion is balanced and I won’t make an arse of myself when voicing it. Because let’s face it, there is nothing worse than shouting your mouth off only to look a fool because you don’t have your ducks in a row..

I have had a few odd experiences recently with people and their behaviour – but I have never openly voiced an opinion because they or that situation is something I don’t care about….. Because that’s how I work, if I care about someone or a situation I will call it out for what I believe it is and call the person out for what I believe they are. I will own my opinions or if someone/something really mattered I’d do it FACE TO FACE. But if I do neither, odds are I don’t care for you, your opinions or about the situation. Simple as that. Please note this, not everything written by everyone is aimed at you…….

This brings me on to the fact I have found myself in an interesting place recently – an unhappy place.

It’s odd, because I’ve been unhappy for probably like 3/4 months and I’d honestly struggle to tell you why! I think part of it is because I feel like I haven’t been riding that well, I’ve actually really struggled with my shoulder injury and I’ve lost a really good friend this spring for no reason..

But I haven’t felt at any point like I’ve needed to shout about it because these are all my own issues, that only I can sort, also I am very happy being unhappy – because this feeling is my own doing. No one else is making me feel this way and sometimes you just have to work it out by yourself, god knows I’m a talker!! But these feelings are for me to sort and for me to sort alone….

When I left for Ballindenisk last week I was a little apprehensive of how I was going to feel. Was I going to be jealous of all the people with strings of horses, was I going to feel envious of all the amazing riders riding better than me or all the riders being happier than me…………… Basically was this trip going to make me feel even more lost…

But you know what, it really opened my eyes.

It really opened my eyes to the fact that’s it’s ok to not be the best rider, as long as you don’t pretend to be. It’s ok to not be the happiest person there, as long as you don’t pretend to be. And it’s ok to not be over the moon with the fact things aren’t going to plan, as long as you don’t pretend they are. Because when you start pretending things are better, shiner and more amazing than they clearly are you then have to justify to the world when a blind man can see they aren’t.

I justify myself to no one, ever. And you know why….. Because I don’t make myself out to be anything I’m not. If I’m not happy I don’t pretend I am – because I don’t need to. If I ride badly I don’t pretend I didn’t – because I don’t need to. If things don’t go to plan, I don’t pretend they did – because I don’t need to.

Because it is ok to not be happy, to not be the best or that things aren’t going totally to plan. Sometimes it’s no one else’s fault but your own. So how’s about we own are own failings and mistakes? How’s about we see that not being the happiest, the best or the most successful isn’t the end of the world and who cares if you aren’t? As long as you are happy not being happier, better or successful then don’t justify to others… Just justify to yourself, then if you wish to try to be happier, improve or be more successful, do – but only if you want. Not to prove something to others, especially others that actually don’t care.

Because to be frank what I’ve learnt this last week is that those that shout the loudest are doing so because they want the people to hear that aren’t listening.

Remember……

Care enough about yourself to not care about the things you shouldn’t care about, not everything is about you and that’s not a bad thing. Because when you make everything about you, you have to take the criticism along with the praise and to do that you have to have true backbone and grit………..

How much class you show when things get tough say more about you than how high that pedestal you built for yourself does.

I’m off to work damn hard over the winter to improve what I need to improve on to be happier, better and more successful next season. But that’s for me, not for anyone else…

Say classy guys, until next time – over and out…..

P x

Not being as good as you think and being better not bitter.

Hello there guys, it’s been a while!

Anyways, you know the drill……. Get a cup of tea, pull up a chair and settle in, hopefully I won’t bore you to much!!!!!

So this blog comes a long time after my last one, truth be known I had actually written one ages ago but I just wasn’t happy with it. So this morning I deleted it and re I wrote this one, is this one any better? Probably not!

Anyways……

Something that never fails to shock me is the way people use social media, very recently I saw two posts being incredibly rude about the backbone of our sport, other wise known as volunteers. These volunteers give up their weekends for free so our sport can run, without them make no mistake there would be no sport. The first thing I noticed was both people were blaming the fence judges for something THEIR horses did. I honestly wanted to shake them, because if your horse can’t go to an event without stopping and whipping round because someone blew a whistle – maybe they shouldn’t be out in public? Equally if you can’t fall off in public without blaming everyone apart from yourself or your horse maybe you shouldn’t be allowed out in public either? Or if you don’t like the fact that people will remember your horse had a rotational fall, maybe don’t run it in public.

Are my words harsh? Maybe…

But I genuinely think it’s the truth, we are becoming a world of snowflakes where it’s totally acceptable to blaming everyone other than taking a long hard look at ourselves.

Last week I rode a fence badly because I was desperate not to have a problem at it, in turn my poor horse had a bad jump at it. But we both survived, I’ve learnt a valuable lesson and have not once felt the need to blame the course builder, the course designer, the jump judge or even my lovely horse who did an amazing job of getting us out of trouble. Sometimes being honest with yourself is hard, but unless you are honest things don’t change or get better….. Having ridden this fence badly at the weekend one of the first things I did was to look up the results and see if anyone else had had problems at that fence. Of course it was a relief to see other people did – but that was not my get out of jail card ‘other people had problems so it’s ok that I did’

Because I know my strengths and weaknesses, I know I should not have ridden that fence that way and I can own it.. I’m not looking to pass the blame for my mistakes, because I can own them, can see my fault, will try my hardest to never do again what I did wrong and hopefully will go to Ballindenisk, ride like legend and me and my wonderful horse will win the CCI2* 😝

Making mistakes or getting things wrong is not the end of the world, but not admitting your flaws just means you’ll continue to do them for a lot longer.

Recently I have been helping someone with their slightly not quite straight forwards horse, now even though this horse isn’t the easiest he is nothing but a trier who desperately wants to please. And this season the horse has flown, literally!!! His dressage is loads better and he is jumping all but double clears every time out other than the unluckiest of 1 pole down. Now his improvement is no flook, it’s happened because his wonderful owners/rider have done totally as I’ve told them, they have worked so hard and are rightly reaping the rewards. Something I have noticed since their change of form is how some people have found it impossible to just genuinely say something nice. There is always a negative in their comments somewhere, again I think that’s down to not being able to admit their own flaws.

There really is no shame in not being as good as you want to be, no one is….

But please be kind to the people around you doing better because trust me, a life with horses is like a rollercoaster – when you are low the high point is just around the bend and the people that were above you a second ago will soon be waiting for the high point to return.

If you have done a good job and are reaping the rewards own and enjoy it. Don’t listen to the negative, listen to the positive and if you aren’t doing as well as you could be – please don’t publicly shame others for your mis givings…

In a world of snowflakes be better not bitter.

Over and out until next time…

P xx

Being unnecessarily mean, unkind and getting involved…

Hey people, so I’m back.. You know the drill! Pull up a chair and prepare your good selfs for my ramblings..

I try to write my blogs at a meaningful time, when the subject I am writing about is really fresh in my mind and still coursing though my veins. Of that isn’t always possible, hence why some of my blogs aren’t as good as others.. But this one is very much written in the moment! So hold on tight!! This could be a very uncomfortable read….. For many….

I am sure all of you know just how active I am on social media, I not only get lots of my teaching though social media but I also genuinely love sharing what I’m up to and love hearing about how my friends and clients are doing.

But recently I have witnessed and got myself involved with the bad side of social media.. From the rider who was publicly hung for the use of his whip at a recent event, to the rider and horse who pulled off not only the most epic save XC ever when they really should fallen (though IMO no fault of their own), but then managed to jump a fence they had no right to be able to jump. Neither of these riders (especially the second rider mentioned) asked for joe publics opinion but yet lots of the joe public had VERY negative views on them, that  they felt they just had to share publicly………

There are a couple of reasons why I find it nearly impossible to sit on my hands in situations like this, a) It’s the hypocrisy of most people commenting. b) The fact most people have either never ridden to the level they are commenting on, have never been in that situation they are commenting on, or couldn’t dream of riding as half as well as the person they are commenting on. It would be like me being really mean and publicly critical of some top F1 driver about the split second decisions he made in the final lap of some top level Grand Prix because I race go karts and watch F1 on the TV. And c) Because I know better than anyone what a bloody lonely place it is reading and living with all the unnecessarily mean things about you.

You see about 13 years ago I let someone in to my life who was to be the most toxic, life lesson I would ever come across..

I adored this person yet they would continually pull me apart, in every aspect of my life. From me as person, my looks, my body and especially my riding. I remember one year having a fall coming out the water at Bramham, it was a very soft unfortunate fall. To be honest the horse I was riding wasn’t really up to 3* and shortly after that we found him another job.. Anyways, at the time of the fall lots of people at the event said how unlucky I was and to keep my chin up. Because that’s what people that know how bloody hard our sport is do, they know that sometimes no matter how hard you work, what a brilliant rider you are things just go sh*t. And it’s so important to support each other, even if riders make cock ups – they don’t mean to and more often than not they will be being plenty hard enough on themselves. But my ‘friend’ rang to tell me they were pleased I’d had fall because I was getting to big for my boots… And the fall would help rein me in a bit…. I was devastated, I just wanted a bit of support from my friend… Then there were the times this person would tell me how people thought I rode badly, shouldn’t have the chances I was being given. Oh, and the time Frosty and I fell at Burghley, it was a totally freak fall and to this day I believe neither of us did a thing wrong. But this person found me at Burghley to tell me it was because I rode like a idiot and had no feel and how everyone was saying I should stop riding at 4* .. I’d like to add that ‘everyone’ were his friends that had never even evented, but it made no difference to me. I was heart broken, I just wanted to be left alone and I couldn’t understand why these people were being so unnecessarily mean.. I once let another of my friends listen to a voice mail this ‘friend’ had left me, after listening to it my (real) friend cried. I swear it – she actually cried… That’s how mean it was.

It took me several more years before I cut this person out my life.

I’ve been free for 7 years but the scar still runs deep.. Because words cut deep and are hard to forget..

Im sure that 99% of people that knew me at that time would have thought I was a happy go lucky, full of confidence and ballsy. Truth is a small part of me was, but a massive part wasn’t. I rarely went to party’s or balls because I didn’t want to see the ‘people’ that had been talking about me. Nor did I make or keep any friends, it was easier that way.. It meant people couldn’t say mean things to me, about me or my riding if I didn’t allow them in. And it’s the reason why I’m so good on my own, because I’ve had to be.. Sad isn’t it? Such a careing, fun loving, strong person as myself can be made to feel they needed to shut the world out because of people’s unnecessarily mean and unkind words… Thoughout it all I never told anyone about the extent of my hurt or pain and I would have given anything for anyone to have found out about it all and to have stood up for me, to have given me a hug and to tell me this person/persons were talking crap. But I didn’t and no one did. So I’ve learnt to be tough, but it’s been hard.. Really hard.. But I’m out the other side and it’s why I find it so easy to cut people loose, only recently I was sent screen shots from a ‘friend’ where another ‘friend’ was slagging me, my blogs and my riding off.. Both friends are gone from my life, no dramas.. No public hanging, I just deleted them and their comments because they were unnecessarily mean and hurtful and I need neither in my life.

And this is why I speak out so loudly when I feel someone is being bullied, either in public or on social media. Some might think using the wording bullying is harsh, but that is what it is….. Wrtiting something mean to someone or about someone that hasn’t asked for nor wants your opinion is nothing less than vile bullying..

Imanage if your kid had photos of them riding at their local pony club event on a show and tell display board at school and some other child/children wrote in permanent marker pen under it how s**t your child was at riding or how they should give up riding and never have a pony because they were awful at riding would you be ok about it? I suspect not..

Well, Facebook is an adults show and tell display board… You don’t like what they are posting? Remove yourself….

We hear all the time about children taking their own lives because of internet bullying.. I truly believe it’s only a matter of time before a adult does the same in the equestrian world. Does being a adult make internet bullying ok? Dame straight it doesn’t………

So here’s a idea, before you type ask yourself this… 1) has the opinion you are giving been asked for or wanted? 2) would I go up to this person at an event and say this to the their face? 3) am I being unnecessarily mean and unkind to someone I don’t don’t know? If the answer is yes to more than one of these how about you stop typing and go do something podtive with your day??????

Dont let your unkind, mean and hurtful comments put anyone else though what I went though… Because not everyone is a tough as me…

Just be a kind person.

 

P xx

Confidence.

So..  I’m back, again!!! This blog is very personal so I hope you enjoy it..

I was sitting at home a few weeks ago thinking about confidence and what it really means to me…….. My thoughts inspired me to write them in to a blog so here are my musings, get a cup of tea, enjoy and I hope they don’t bore you lot to much!!!

If I was to ask you to pick 3 things that you need to get on in life what would they be?   You’ll probably answer with at least one if not more of the below.

1) money 2) luck 3) talent

I can see the logic in that, I mean without money and luck you probably aren’t going to get far, same without talent.. If you aren’t good at anything you probably won’t achieve much, right?

Wrong.

I truly believe the greatest asset you can possess in life is confidence, no amount of money, talent or luck is going to help you if you can’t square your shoulders off, look someone in the eye and truly believe you deserve the high flying job, to be with that hot guy or to be competing on the amazing horse at that high level. I know so many people with all of ‘the 3 chosen things’ you probably think you need to get on in life and it just doesn’t happen for them, mainly because a large amount of them doubts themselves. I also know an equally large amount of people that charm their way in to lots of amazing opportunities, their confidence takes them places money, luck and talent can’t take you alone. However… Confidence rarely comes souly from within and confidence comes in 3 different flavours..

1) Genuine confidence 2) Fake confidence 3) Confidence from others

Neither is wrong but be very aware of what confidence flavour you are and adapt accordingly… I, for instance believe I have genuine confidence, of course I have wobbles but for the majority I’m very happy to stand on my own two feet. I know when I’ve done wrong and often seek advice from my friend Si but basically I am very happy with my flaws and not over thinking but still correcting my mistakes. In my humble opinion people with fake confidence tend to talk themselves up and others down. No matter how badly they have done they will make sure they find someone who has done worse! People who get confidence from others are (again in my experience) much more the norm and do the opposite as the people with fake confidence, they talk themselves and their achievements down and talk others up. Whichever flavour confidence you are make sure you have the correct people around you, if you get confidence from others make sure your circle see the good in the bad you do, not the bad in the good.

This will no doubt surprise people but most of my confidence has come from being around my dog Com’on… Bemused? Read on and I’ll explain!

When I was having a really tough time 5 years ago the one person who never left my side was Com’on, I really believe she knew I needed a mate to just be there. Not to tell me it was going to be ok and get other it. I needed to be sad and to be allowed to pity myself but not feel lonely and Com’on was the person who allowed that to happen. As I started to get back to myself and go out and about I was (and still am) taken aback at just how much confidence she has. We can be in a strange pub in the middle of no where with people she’s never ever met before yet she will walk in, work and own the room and everyone in it. She will get people to scratch her belly, feed her then simply move on when she’s done. On the VERY rare occasion she mets someone who doesn’t instantly fall at her feet she looks at them like they are weird and immediately moves on without a seconds backward glance or thought..

I remember once watching her almost in awe as she worked a room at a clients house, she was having a marvellous time getting just as she wanted from the people she met.. All the time I was thinking, why can’t I be more like Com’on?

Then it hit me – I can… Only I can stop myself from being like Com’on… The only ability I have that Com’on doesn’t (apart from the fact she’s super cute and I’m not) is I have the ability to over think..

Com’on doesn’t have the ability to over think so she only tolerates people that serve her well or that make her happy.. She never thinks why are they treating me badly or allows the fact they are to eat away at her. She only allows people in her life that treat her well and like a queen. If someone treats her badly, she has enough confidence gained from all the people that treat her well to simple turn her back on them and go back to someone who will treat her like the queen her quite confidence tells her she is.

My advice to people would to be more like Com’on when it comes to people and horses, if a horse isn’t looking to see the good in the bad you do and be on your side you have to take a long hard look at the partnership.

From watching Com’on I’ve decided life is all about confidence, enjoying the situation you are in and knowing your worth..

Remember – life is to short to not enjoy yourself, to not work the room or to not turn your back on those that don’t see the good in the bad you do.

So go square your shoulders off, look that someone in the eye and go get yourself the high flying job, that hot guy or get out competing the amazing horse at that high level.

Because you know what, you deserve it.

Over and out.

P and Com’on

Xx

Counting to 28, and morals maketh the friendship.

So I am back….. You all know the deal.. Get a cuppa, pull up a chair and prepare your good selfs for my ramblings…. One thing I promise you all this time is –  this blog (hopefully) won’t bore you!!!

This blog has actually sat in my draft box for around 3 weeks, I wasn’t sure if I dare publish it, I have been going back over and over it the last couple of weeks and I’ve finally decided that not publishing the original draft would be wrong. I pride myself in being straight down the line and why shouldn’t I publish it because it might upset a few people’s feelings who have shown very little consideration for others feelings??

So……

Very recently I have been reminded of how much I’ve grown up in the last few years, this is without a doubt because I have moved back to be close by my parents. The move was fuelled because of my parents planning struggles but I wasn’t at home long when I realised just how happy and settled they made me. Not only because I have everything I could ever want (my own living space and yard) but also because my parents go out of their way to look after me. Dad will always feed and check my horses if I’m away working or teaching and mum does my cooking, cleaning and washing….. But me being happy and settled here is mainly due to something else my parents have – their morals. You see my family are unbelievably peaceful, anyone that knows me will tell you that I have a sharp mind, even quicker mouth and whilst it takes a lot to make me lose my temper when I do – hell have no fury like me when my buttons are pushed. Something else I also admire greatly about my family is the way they conduct themselves – as I said, you’d struggle to find kinder more peaceful people but boy oh boy do they stand their ground. My family would never ever bitch or gossip about anyone, unless they were prepared to knock on their door and say it to their face. Same as if someone is saying mean things about them – it that situation they would go immediately and directly straight to the person and have it out. Face to face. Once sorted it would be forgotten about and everyone would move on. Also they are beyond loyal to friends. Without a doubt I get my loyalty to my friends from my family, anyone picks on or is mean to my friends or people I like and I’m savage.

Im sure everyone is aware of my heritage (traditional Romany Gypsy) and whilst I’m not saying it’s right, I still actually really admire that if a man has been speaking out of turn about another man, his wife or family – they would have a fair fist fight, shake hands at the end and that’s it done.  No bitching, gossiping or telling tales. I promise you my family’s way of living when it comes to this type of thing makes for a much happier, stress free way of living. Very few people gossip or are mean about others because gossiping is very rarely worth getting a punch on the nose for!!!!

My parents gentle souls have chilled me out no end in the last few years and last summer when I had someone being the usual ‘keyboard’ warrior on social media and saying very harsh and untrue things about me; lots of my friends couldn’t believe it when I did nothing and didn’t react at all. This is the reason I didn’t – because that persons opinion genuinely didn’t bother me and they weren’t worth my time of driving to their house and saying my peace to them in person so I wasn’t about to lower myself to their standards of posting stuff on social media for a loads of people to read, that frankly didn’t care anyway.

In situations were I feel myself wanting to react in away I might regret later (that quick mind and sharp mouth sometimes still get the better of me) I count to 28…… If it’s something silly I count to 28 seconds, something of some meaning, I leave it 28mins and something that really matters I leave it 28days..

I promise you that you will rarely regret not reacting in the heat of the moment, frankly most people are not worth reacting in the heat of the moment.

People act to get a reaction….. Think carefully about your reaction… You do not have to set yourself on fire to keep others warm..

And this is why when I found out recently that someone I classed as a good friend had been messaging the said above ‘keyboard’ warrior not only being mean about me, mocking me and my blogs but also happily spreading the ‘keyboard’ warriors gossip I didn’t react… I won’t lie, my blood was on fire – how could they stand in front of my face being nicer than nice then turn around and be messaging someone pulling me apart..

But you know what I did….. I counted to 28… minutes… And the fact was this, when I’d calmed down that person wasn’t worth the time or effort it would take to have it out with them, because frankly their morals aren’t like mine. I would die for my friends and certainly would never say anything behind their backs that I wouldn’t say to their face. I still see them and they are still nice as pie to my face (I could show them the screen shots and messages that prove keyboard warrior is nuts) but you know what, they don’t deserve it.. I shall let them continue to let make themselves look a idiot.

Sometimes I think their behaviour is because they are sad, lonely or both..

But then I remember that just as I won’t set myself on fire to keep people warm nor would I expect people to set themselves on fire to keep me warm.

Never lower yourself to other people’s standards, if people don’t have the same high morals as you…. Do as Elsa would – let it go…

Because morals maketh everything…………..

 

Until next time.

Xx

p.s .. Be warned, if you gossip to the gossiper they will more than likely gossip about you and what you gossiped maybe even the person you gossiped about.

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

 

 

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