Every fairy tale has a ending, being judged and knowing when to draw the line.

So I’m back and not with good news…
Pull up a chair, get a cup of something and maybe even a tissue because this blog is as heart felt a blog as I have ever written..

I’m sure everyone reading this blog will be aware that 2 weeks ago we lost Jimmy Shoo, a accident XC schooling cruelly cut Jimmy’s life short.. Whilst we had our moments together he still was a very capable horse horse with tons of ability and he leaves a massive hole in the yard. We went XC schooling to give Jimmy a pop in to water before Hartpury CIC3*, we jumped a drop in to water that me and Jimmy have jumped many times.
We were on a great stride and he jumped in brilliantly, then it happened, he just didn’t put his landing gear out.. Something Jimmy has never ever done before, being a horse who is always looking after himself it’s a mistake I never ever dreamed he would make.. But he did and there was nothing I could do to help him to stand up on landing.. His owner was standing at the fence watching and was fantastic, I felt and still feel so guilty.. Could I or should I have done something/anything differently but she reassured me what in my heart I already knew.. It was one of those one in a million things that happen, it was a freak accident.

As soon as he got up off me I knew it wasn’t great and I ran to him so I could get his tack off and make him more comfortable..
The vets came to him at the course to make him more comfortable and after a trip to the vets they found fractures in a knee.

Heart breaking.

Not just because a horse of his ability is hard to replace but secretly I was very fond of him and having been in our yard for 10 years it seems a very odd place without him..
Jimmy had his own ideas on life but I shared some fantastic days with him, not just eventing but also hunting and team chasing.
I am more heart broken for his very loyal wonderful owner who doesn’t deserve the bad luck she has had..

But life has to go on does it???

But this does leave me short of a top horse..

As soon as I got the news about Jimmy I decided this would be my last season eventing..
The fairy tale of Phoebe Buckleys eventing career had come to a end..
So I prepared myself to tell my owners, not anyone else as it really wasn’t anyone else’s business, but then I decided to hang on till the end of this season.. Why upset the apple cart you are still pushing? I wanted to ride at the last few events of the season so it seemed silly to say anything to them with less than a month to go till the end of the season..
I have always said that if I didn’t have a horse to wear a navy coat on eventing I wouldn’t carry on, I love riding and producing young horses but I still have ambition, I still want to ride at top level and haven’t lost my bottle or that will to win that some people do as they get older etc..

Is my mentality spoilt? childish? defeatist? Maybe.. Maybe not.. But it’s my mentality and I won’t pretend to be anything that I’m not..

I spent 4/5 days pretending I was fine, but the last week I have been quite open with my close friends that I’m not ok about it at all.
But look I’m also a realist.. Jimmy was a wonderful horse but he was a horse not a person, no one died and he had a fantastic life and even in the end he received top class care and was in as little pain as possible..
Speaking to Jimmy’s owners husband about it all brought me to the reality of it all.

He said this – Phoebe it is heart breaking but from my point of view you weren’t hurt in the fall, last April there was a moment when we thought the coloured horse had killed you and an even longer moment when we thought you were very seriously injured.
When you compete horses as much and to the level you guys do it’s the risk you take and no one did anything wrong, it just wasn’t ment to be.

This weekend I was ment to be going to Blair to spend the weekend with my amazing Scottish family (they are more than friends)..
Sadly I haven’t been able to go as one of my horses has injured himself, nothing major but I can’t be 8 hours from home with him injured..
But honestly a little part of me was pleased I couldn’t go, I mean watching people compete at the level I want and never will ever compete at again would have killed me.
I believe in fate and him getting a minor injury that stops me from going is gods way of saying ‘yep I think it’s best you sit this one out’

But I managed to do loads of jobs at home like pressure washing and painting..
Whilst doing these boring jobs something hit me – I can’t face going to Blair because eventing still matters to me, I hated having a big yard of eventers and don’t miss that at all but the idea of not eventing at the top level and having to watch others do it bothers me so much I feel sick and angry at the thought..

So why the hell am I about to walk away from it?

When I teach I am the most positive, anyone can achieve there dreams type of person you will ever find, I honestly think in my lessons I could convince people to believe there horse could fly!!
But I am not and have never been thought like that about myself.
A girl from my back ground was never ment to achieve anything, other than being a good wife and mother, not that that is a bad thing..
But it’s how my family think or I should say what they thought..

Then I came along!!

I remember them calling me the ‘horsey girl’
I was almost a joke, kids are cruel and some of my community’s kids where very cruel to me..

But I just plugged along ‘doing my thing’ I remember hearing people whisper about my back ground right from pony club even until I got to Badminton..
Look I’m not feeling sorry for myself, 90% of people were amazing and frankly didn’t give two hoots about my back ground but I guess I have never escaped that 10%

I remember a top event riders dogs going missing and her owner approached me at an event and asked if I could ask people in my family if they had stolen the dogs and if they had could they return them!!!
I was dumb struck.. This is what people I spent most week and weekends with thought of me..

I’d like to add the 2 dogs had just run off and safely made there way home once they had no doubt finished chasing a rabbit.

Then there was to 2010/2011 when I received loads of press attention, not that I am complaining but it was unwanted and I hated the fact my back ground was a big deal..
I’m neither ashamed or proud of my back ground.. It just is what I am!
What I am massively proud of is the way my parents have brought me up and how they have adapted there life style to fit in with mine..
To start with coming to events was a difficult experience for my patents, they just felt out of place.. But as my friends and owners got to know them they saw them for what they were.. Not gypsies but just great, soul to the earth, lovely people..

With the unbelievable press attention came (no jokes!!) the offer of a book deal, some presenting work and even a film deal..
I turned it all down because I was reading all the bad things the press attention brought me.
On one very well known forum I read one girl saying she would be locking her lorry up tight now she knew the ‘type of people’ that were competing and coming to support at Badminton.

So there it is… That is the reason I have never thrown my heart, body and soul in to eventing or anything really..

Because of the 10% of people I will never be good enough for or fit in with..

Why bother? People are waiting for me to f**k up and if I don’t really try, if I just ride my luck doing my little thing then there is less to judge me on isn’t there?
It has taken the idea of giving up my career to admit why I just drip along not taking myself or my riding seriously.

But eventing and being the best I can be is what I want..
I’m not ready to just ride at the lower levels or not event at all.
This last 2 weeks there isn’t a day I haven’t thought about not eventing anymore.. That speaks volumes..

So there it is – Miss Buckley is making a proper comeback in 2016.

No big yard but a small select team of nice horses to go to war with, there is no place I’m more confident than when I’m on a horse so why the hell have I let narrow minded people stop me from doing what I do best and make me feel like this for nearly 15 years??

My best might not be good enough but I feel I’ve held my own eventing without applying myself 110% in the fear of failing and being judged for trying and failing even more than I am being judged just for who I am…

So there it is.. A couple of months to lick my wounds over losing dear Jimmy then I am going to find a select few horses to kick start my career again..

Time waits for no man and I’ve wasted far to much of it already…

Remember your fairy tale only ends when you decided..

To Jimmy.. Rest in peace, as much as I called you a few names I equally respected you for challenging me and my ability to out think you.. Life without you over the last 10 years would have been a damn sight more boring and that double clear at Barbury was you at your very best..

Over and out all..
P Xx

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Not being welcome and it’s all a mind set….

So I’m back!

It’s been a while since my last blog and if I’m honest not much has happened!! But I have managed to find something to bore you all with.

So here goes……

Over the last couple of months I have had young girl come stay with me, everyone will know who she is but she will still remain nameless!!
Now she came to me as she had been struggling with her horse XC for a while.
Now I wasn’t sure we could totally turn her horse around in just the 8 weeks she was with me, you see the big aim was a CIC1* at the end of this summer but she had been struggling to get him round novices for the last year or so.
But as always I’m up for a challenge and my god what willing partners I had in this kid and her horse..
I’m sure she won’t mind me saying she came to me with her confidence shot to bits, you see she had been having major problems XC at all types of different fences and when her horse said no he ment it!

Now her time with me was far from totally smooth!! But not with her horse.. The poor kid got a few bollockings and had to learn the hard way a couple of times that I take no prisoners and when I say no I mean it!!
But I can hand on heart say I loved having her around and even when I was bollocking her (which I hated) I knew in my heart it was all for the greater good.
And my god what a turn around in form she had whilst here!! 6 runs in 8 weeks and not a single XC penalty!!
From the word go she just got it, every thing I told her to do on her horse she did to the very best of her ability..
As you all know I’m not shy about saying if I have to square a horse up but apart from one square up on the flat because he napped when we first went XC schooling and two sessions at home over skinnys (which were hardly a sort out, just the usual skinny education) we didn’t have one what I call proper sort out over a actual XC fence.

At every run her and her little horse have looked class, the XC has looked easy and they haven’t once taken a long route. Go hard or go home.
She had fallen off him a few times when he stopped with her XC before she came to stay with me, I told her before she came she full stop was not allowed to fall off in England and she didn’t let me down.
Every XC round she rode brilliantly and rode like she ment it and her little horse responded to her every time.

They made the CIC1* look easy and I was honestly welling up because I was so proud of them both after there round..

I was asked by someone what miracles I’d worked to get such a turn around in there form.. It got me thinking.

I came to this …

I hadn’t done anything other than give this kid her confidence back – equally I’d not soft soaped anything or filled her full of hot air.
She did good she got told.. She did bad and she got told..

One thing I made damn sure she knew from day one was her horse was letting her down, not the other way round.
85% of the time she was here she did everything right whilst riding him so he should not have questioned going, 14% of the she did enough right that he should have helped her out and gone anyways and the 1% of the time she totally cocked it up I made sure she patted her little horse and that she knew he wasn’t a machine but equally we all get in wrong from time to time and it wasn’t a big deal.. But and it’s a massive but – at all times she had to feel like he was helping her out when she needed him to and when he could.

That after all is his job isn’t it?

Her job is to look after him, make sure he wants for nothing, to ride him to the best of her ability, to try not to interfere to much and leave him to do his job.
And she did all of the above and more if I’m honest.
If he didn’t want to play ball then she had to do this thing to him that I’d done to her – this thing was called tough love!!

I’m pleased to say neither of them needed much tough love!

I truly believe we make to many excuses for horses and peoples bad behaviour..
Lots of people use horses being in pain as a reason for bad behaviour, this I feel is sometimes a excuse that is over used..

Simple as this, my back kills every morning but I get up and go about my job. Simple.

Now I totally agree some horses have physical problems that stop them doing there job but there are lots of horses that have aches and pains just like lots of us humans do and still go about there job happily.

My horse Colin is a perfect case subject, for years he has been a little ‘wonky’ but I make sure his fitness work is done to suit him.
I.e he does her little trot work, he moves much better in canter and loves his canter work so after plenty of walking to warm him up and a small amount of trotting we start cantering, very slowly to stat with but he’s much happier doing it like that and who am I to argue?! Everyone knows Colin as the coolest gate jumper known to man so who am I to tell him his little aches and pains should stop him from doing what he loves??

But back to this kid, the massive change in her form was all to her confidence and her mind set, instead of riding like an apology trying not to f**k up in the hope her horse would go for her she rode him like she fully expected him to go because he should and anything less was not acceptable.. And my gosh didn’t he go.. As he should because she rides and looks after him well and it’s job to repay her. End of.

Change of tack now..
Whilst we where away this weekend I bumped in to someone I’d had words with at a three day event party (not my finest hour) when I was just 19.. This person was quite a bit older than me and didn’t like me, at that point we honestly hadn’t had any crossed words..
But he was at the bar slagging me off to everyone that would listen and I am ashamed to say I bit.
In our slightly heated exchange he said something that has lived with me every single event since..

‘You and your type aren’t wanted or liked in these circles’

I’ve never ever told anyone what he said or how much it actually got under my skin but for years I let it affect me, I purposely kept my self to myself..
Alienating myself for sure, I’ve always been aware I’m different and I don’t mean that in odd feeling for myself way or a up my own backside way either.
But I’m very blunt and honest to a fault and rather than brew on something I would always pick up the phone or have it out and I guess I haven’t met many people like that. Lots of people don’t like that.. But my hearts in the right place.. Well I think so!

For years I never felt welcome or like I fitted in, well other than a very small group of friends.. I would go as far to say I played up to being the ‘no one likes her girl’ Sad or what? But I felt rather that than here those words again..

Then I met this amazing group of Scottish people. Who happened to be at the event this weekend, now they seem to love my bluntness and honest to a fault happy to bollock but equally happy to praise way of being and it suddenly hit me how stupid I’ve been to allow one comment from one person ruin my confidence for so many years..

I always tell my clients to screw what other people say and not to let it affect them..
‘Are they paying for your horse or your entries? If they aren’t there opinion is void’ I often say..

This weekend was a stark reminder for me how easy confidence can be
broken and how important it is to remove any negative people from your life, if people can’t make you feel good even when things are going peat tong ask yourself why are they in your life??
Life truly is to short to have horses or people around you that don’t make you smile even thou tears.
That’s what I pride myself in with my teaching and as a friend – you might not like what I’m saying at the time but I always have a positive in every negative and I will always make you smile even at the end of a bollocking..

After all we all have jumped the same fence twice during a SJ round or made a mistake during a dressage test haven’t we? But no one died whilst you did it did they??

Keep kicking guys and remember if they don’t have and use the ability to make you smile thou the tears are they really worth it?

Over and out till next time..

P xx

Taking your own advice and not being happy with anything less than you deserve..

So I’m back..

Straight to business, I’ve had a few emails from people pulling me up on my bad grammar and spelling mistakes in my blogs..

As I have said before, yes I know my spelling isn’t great but that’s me!! And I actually like the fact I make mistakes, we are all human aren’t we?!?! For me the mistakes prove theses blogs are me and all me.

So if you don’t like me, my blogs, warts and all you can kindly shut the door as you leave.. Right anyways..

On to why I’m writing this blog – Jimmy Shoo.. As I told you in my last blog, Jimmy was fab round Burnham Market Advanced.. The dream of Burghley was alive again!! But fast forward a week after Burnham Market and Jimmy had finally beaten me………

After Burnham Market we were all so excited, Jimmy was clearly starting to be more on side – or so I stupidly thought!!
Off we went to Withington advanced, after a pretty good dressage and a great SJ round I was full of confidence for the XC, Jimmy was going great guns until the water fence two thirds of the way round when having jumped in well he decide to not jump out even thou he was on a good stride to a fairly straight forward brush fence..

I tried again to get him over but there was no hope – after all when Jimmy says no he means it.. I honest thought walking back to the lorry ‘I can’t do this anymore’
You see I was doubting myself, questioning my riding and my decisions whilst riding him..

I mean I just couldn’t understand what I was doing to make him suddenly stop going. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am probably the most positive and decisive rider a cross country you will find..
This is not me singing my own praises, I have never believed I am a good rider but I know I’m a brilliant passenger and an even better positive and decisive cross country rider..
I’m always thinking and kicking forwards – or I always used to be I should say.. It’s what riding fantastic cross country horses early on in your riding career does for you, same with jockeys.. It makes you believe, makes you ride every horse like it will come up off any stride, ride like every horse is a star and as I always say ‘you believe and they will too’

The other thing I often say when I’m teaching is ‘don’t be so grateful’ I hate seeing people being so grateful for every nice thing there horse does for them.. Frankly if you look after, love and make sure your horse has a great life then he/she should bloody try his/her hardest for you!! It’s nothing less than you deserve and should expect from them..

So back to Jimmy – I was a little at a loss at how to feel after Withington, but I knew something had to give and give quickly.. We were entered for his first CIC3* at Houghton just 3 weeks after Withington. Last Saturday (2 weeks after Withington) we took Tigger (a son of the wonderful Little Tiger, more about him next time!) cross country schooling.. Jimmy and Tiggers owner came along riding Jimmy to save her legs following us around on foot around the cross country course..
Tigger is very much his mothers son and was a super star. After we had finished with him I took Jimmy for a canter and decided to pop a 3ft log on the way back to the lorry after cantering. Well blow me down if he didn’t throw the towel in and stop at the log!!!!
Now Jimmy has never ever shown this side at home or schooling and at an event the 3 allowed slaps just aren’t enough to get him going.
So I knew this was my chance – time for a square up, I mean not even I am stupid enough to think he can’t jump a 3ft log with his eyes closed!!! Although I am ashamed to say the first thing that flashed thou my mind when he stopped was ‘maybe I didn’t set him up properly!’

Needless to say I soon got a hold of myself!! I mean come on – an advanced horse with his scope doesn’t need to be set up for a 3ft log. So I set about him, I could soft soap this and tell you I gave him a couple of hard smacks and he backed down and off we went happy as larry – well he didn’t and we didn’t..
He kept coming back for more.. He was basically saying – I know you’ll run out slaps in a minute and give in. So I got as serious with him as I needed too, jumping a 3ft log wasn’t much to ask was it?
Anyways after a battle I won and we jumped loads of stuff and he was mega, so on to the water we went – now Jimmy has never ever had a problem or had a bad experience jumping in to water but guess what? Yep you guessed it!! He didn’t fancy getting his feet wet!!
So I set about him again but this time he wasn’t up for as much of a fight – he jumped in and out really well but I was being doubly strong, I was making him believe that him jumping every fence I put infront of him was a given not a choice, he is superbly looked after and I try to ride him to the best of my ability so it’s no less then we deserve is it? That he tries?

I would never ask a horse to jump something they aren’t capable of but that is not and has never been what I’ve asked of Jimmy.

I am a great believer that not all horses need a slap, I would be the first person to take my time with a horse that had a genuine problem and that needed a pat and to be given a chance..

I came away from that cross country session like a new woman.. Or more I should say like the old me.. The penny dropped there and then – I have been allowing Jimmy to creep round courses in the hope that if I danced to his tune he would jump round.. I was being grateful for him getting round even if it was in a creepy fashion when deep down I knew he was better than to just ‘get round’
My horses have never and should never just get round cross country courses.. I inspire them to be bold, brave, flashy and to take chances cross country because I believe and ride them like they are stars in such a way that makes them believe they are too.. Simple fact was I had lost my way..

I had let Jimmy change my way of riding and that was the thing that had to give and it had to give at Houghton!!

So on to Houghton – the dressage was a bit blah!!! Showjumping was actually pretty good, 2 very unlucky poles down but I rode him very forwards daring him the whole way round.. Setting the trend for the cross country.. When walked the course I wasn’t sure if we would get further the the first combination.. That was fence 4ab & 5!! As we walked on I decided I was going to having to be at my best (which isn’t very good!!) to get him round clear..

There were some serious questions as well as a very strong water. But the old me cross country has that slight dumb attitude that everything will go if I kick hard and believe enough.. So that was my plan.. I was going to make him believe, Jimmy was going to go clear XC because that is what my horses do. Simple.

I came out the start box full of it.. I was riding a star so why wouldn’t I be full of it? Having jumped 3 fences he started to drop off me, I could feel him saying ‘nah not for me today’ Before I’d have given him a pat, tried to kid him along.. Today was different, he got two hard slaps down the shoulder and told to get the f**k along.. We had a cross country course to be jumping clear round and I wouldn’t be having any of his crap. So just around the corner was the dreaded ‘4ab & 5’ I gave him another slap down the shoulder just before and attacked the combination and he honestly made it feel like a simple 3ft grid work exercise..

But no resting on my loral’s, he after all is a proper thinker so every time I thought he even so much as wavered off the job in hand he got a smack and told to cop on. If he jumped a fence well he got a well deserved pat but he also got a kick that said ‘yep good job at that fence but the job isn’t done, head down and keep trying’ and I can honestly say he made every fence feel so easy it was untrue..
Again I’m cross at myself for allowing him to creep round places like Burnham Market when I should have been driving him in to every fence giving him confidence in his own ability even if the only way to do that is to be forceful with him. Some horses need a pat and to be kidded along to get the best out of them – Jimmy is not one of those horses and I should have coped on and done a better job with him.. I have basically made a bit of a rod for my own back..

4 fences from home Jimmy had to stretch and work a little to get to a second corner in a double of corners.. It wasn’t even a bad jump or a bad stride it was just a slightly awkward jump in a round that until then had been foot perfect.. Guess what he did at the fence that followed? A simple, straight forward and very small log (the smallest fence on the course for sure) Yep you guessed it he stopped.. Not even my kicking and my slap down the shoulder worked..
He said NO.
When Jimmy said no he means it doesn’t he? Well this time it was different.. I mean how dare he? Who the hell was he to let me and his loyal loving owner down? Because that’s what he was doing, he was letting us down..

So rather than half heartedly trying to get him over it I made him dame well aware of just how disappointed in him I was..
He is a class horse and that is just not cricket and I wouldn’t be having it – I ride horses that are stars and that show everyone just what stars they are..
I don’t ride horses that want to show everyone that they aren’t stars.. And to my amazement he went second time..

I promise you all that this really is the first time he has ever gone after stopping.. I cant remember him having any penalties XC since he was a 5/6 year old, he either goes or doesn’t. But blow me down if he didn’t think about pulling himself up at the very next fence, 2 simple steps up!!!
But this time I just pulled my stick thou and he was gone!!! He flew up the steps from a walk making nothing of them or the fence just 2 strides after the steps then we went straight on to a massive open ditch to a skinny combination..
I really thought he might try and pull himself up, I mean if he’d tried it at a tiny log and then at some steps up there was no way he was going to jump a wacking big open ditch was there?!?!

But I was wrong.. He jumped it like the star he is.. Just total and utter class.. Then he stormed off with me to the last and came up out my hands winging it like a super star that is full of confidence..
He landed and as he galloped thou the finish I said to myself ‘he’s starting to believe’

So after today our 4* dreams are genuinely back on track.. Barbury and Hartpury CIC3* are next on the agenda and I will be making sure we are a dame sight closer to the leaders after the first two phases..

Never again will I be grateful for anything less than I deserve..
Never again will I doubt myself on a horse I’m riding cross country..

Remember if someone’s so called best isn’t good enough give them a option, they shape up or ship out because life is to short to be around anything or anyone that gives you less than you deserve or makes you doubt yourself..

Putting the gun to there head and telling them to cop on will either make them raise there game to your level and if it doesn’t do you really want things and people in your life that aren’t stars? I know I don’t..

Life is to short for Vanilla..

Over and out…

Grass isn’t always greener..

‘I know you are unhappy, you are working far to hard and not playing anywhere near harder enough for everything to be ok’

So above are the wise words of my mum.. Mums know everything don’t they?

Seeing as those words are still ringing in my ears I thought there is no better way to get the monkey off my back as to how and why my mum came to say such a thing to me.. Sit tight because this might be an uncomfortable ride!!!

The simplest answer is this – I am unhappy..

I miss eventing..

I had the pleasure of riding a 13.2hh pony in its first ODE in a 80T at Burgie Horse Trials in the most unbelievable snow at the weekend, to some people it would have felt like a waste of a Sunday – I mean I was HC and will more than likely never ride the pony again but Sunday reminded me just how much I miss riding horses at competitions, it’s as simple as this – I like myself when I am on horse..
The pony I rode didn’t (very sensibly!!) see the point in going on the bit much in the dressage warm up but she buckled down and produced a lovely test for a mark of 33, I did my best not to annoy her in the warm up and let her see we could meet at a middle ground.. Which we did and I was honestly proud of her and the fact she had worked with me.
So on to the showjumping – By this point it was snowing so much it was really hard to see where we were going!
My pony hated every second of the snow covered ground yet every time I kicked on a stride she pricked her cute little ears and came up for me.. Not once did I stop kicking, trying to give her every little bit of the confidence I had in her to her..

You see if people believe in you you achieve.. Simply as that..

By the time we were going XC I couldn’t quite believe they hadn’t pulled the plug on the whole event!! But hey ho.. Off we went anyways! My super cool pony grew in confidence with every jump she jumped, that was until the coffin..
I took a pull just before the ditch to let her have a look at it, she duly slowed herself to have a look only to slip on the wet ground and scare herself..
I tried twice to get her over it but I knew the damage was done. So I put my hand up and asked the fence judge if I could play around the fence till the next horse came, I was fully expecting him to say no – but to my amazement he said yes!!

Fantastic I thought.. So I trotted around to the landing side of the ditch so she could see it was safe to jump to the landing side of scary hole in the ground, a couple of turns and boom she popped over it. In a green way but in that spilt second I knew she had learnt far more than if I’d stood there trying to force her over.. She was genuinely worried..
I gave her a pat and walked home a happy rider, I had given her a great experience..
Maybe on paper it won’t look like a great result but I know in my head and hers it was.
There is always another day and I know on that ‘another day’ she will be totally on side.

On my flight home I couldn’t stop thinking about the odd feeling I had felt all day watching others riding just the day before.

But I hadn’t landed and I was getting my kit ready for an event with the flying cow.. The flying cow has been called her fair share of names since she did her very best to kill me last April..
I’m sure you will have all seen the fall, basically she made a mistake – a pretty epic mistake but still it was just a mistake, just one of those things.
She is one of the best and guttiest jumpers I have ever ridden.. Yes she is limited scope wise but she lacks nothing in heart and guts..
She honestly gave me an amazing ride XC, just as brave and as bold as you would want, at every big one I asked her up on she came up.

And then that feeling came again..

It was jealousy.

I struggled watching other people ride horses I wanted to be riding..
I want to be riding 5 lovely horses at an event every weekend..

But and this is a big but.. Am I unhappy enough with my life to totally change it all for what I want deep down in my heart?
The answer is no – I have a wonderful life, I love my job and work with great people.. Same goes for my teaching.. I love it, love meeting new people and trying to help them with there horses.

Away from horses I don’t like myself much – I mean what do I have going for me? Not much but it is fine, I do after all spend nearly 12 hours a day every day on horse back. So not much time to dis like myself really!!
This is no ‘poor little me’ cry out for someone to pat me on the back or massage my ego.
I’m just being honest.

But back to me being unhappy – yes I’m not as happy as I would be if I had a yard with 15 eventers and point to pointers in it and it was ticking a long nicely and I didn’t have to worry about the bills being paid – but I don’t have a yard with 15 eventers and point to pointers in it ticking along nicely.. Also I have been there, done it and got the T -shirt and whilst I whole heartedly believe life is what you make it, it however is not and will never be a fairy tale..

So I took a deep breath today and shook myself down – I asked myself this..

Are you happy enough to settle with what you have not what you want OR are you unhappy enough to go after what you want and not settle for what you have?

Truth is even if I feel a prang of jealously every now and again I still love my life, I truly believe I have the best of both worlds and I am not prepared to give that all up..
So I not only refuse but have no reason to be bitter.

But as always I shall make the most of what I have because a little of what you have is often so much better than a lot of what you don’t have.. Simply the grass isn’t always greener..

Remember thou – there is a massive difference between not being unhappy enough to give up what you have to go after what you want and being too afraid to give up what you have and grab what you need..

I am off to ride my last horse of the day then I have to pack my top and tails in the lorry for Withington Advanced at the weekend with Jimmy Shoo.. I might not have what I want but I have far more than I need..

Remember – be better not bitter and don’t complain about something you can but either don’t want to or don’t have the heart to change..
What you have might not be everything you want but there will be someone out there dreaming of having half of what you have so be grateful or change it.. Either way make the most of it as nothing lasts or is around forever..

Over and out till next time.

P xx

The captain always goes down with his ship..

So I’m back.. Are you all ready? I hope so!!
This blog had been sitting in my drafts waiting to be posted for a week or two now but the time just hasn’t felt right.. Until now that is..

Jimmy Shoo is 3 events in to his event season but in his last run he faced his biggest chanellenge, a very strong advanced at Burnham Market… His previous 2 runs had been at events that are well and truly in his comfort zone course and ground wise.
So going to Burnham Market knowing that not only that the course would be the toughest he had faced to date but that he would hate the tacky ground, if I’m honest didn’t hold out much hope of getting round!!

In the dressage Jimmy was wild but he has always been a horse that has never had even the tiniest bit of sparkle in the dressage and he is always such hard work.. So the fact he is now a little full of himself is great!!

I mean I have spent forever trying to get him more off my leg so I can’t be cross that he is now to much off my leg can I?!?! Instead I tell him what a good boy he is, trying to keep him jolly and enjoying the dressage and hopefully that will spill out in the other 2 phases..
In the showjumping the ground was terribly tacky, holding and dead, as I have said many times before – Jimmy has so much ability but only puts it in when it suits and he doesn’t like to try to hard.. Having ridden him like a total idiot to the first fence and landed him on the back rail I got hold of myself and up’d the canter to help him get out of the ground and I have to give credit where credit is due! Jimmy busted a gut round the rest of the course
That is something I have never ever felt Jimmy do!! Try!!

I was still feeling pretty confident he wouldn’t jump round the cross country, I know you may think that’s a bad mind set to have and maybe it is but it is how Jimmy has made me feel but and this is a massive but for all my slightly negative feelings I still have full confidence in his ability and rode him out the start box like a good thing and you know what – he jumped like a good thing..
Don’t get me wrong he hated every second of the ground but I tried to ride with my head..
I kept him on the best of the ground in-between fences and made a huge fuss of him after every fence, I mean we all need a little pat on the back from our boss when we are doing our best for them don’t we?
At the more difficult fences I could honestly feel Jimmy almost looking to me to help him..

No ‘f**k this I’m finding it hard so I won’t bother trying’

I did what I do best, I kept positive and just kept my head down and kicked forwards and I have to say I loved the feeling that we had worked together to jump a clear round.

Jimmy had tried his hardest for me on ground he hated and I tried my hardest for him by not getting in the way and keeping him straight and keeping his engine running when he was unsure.

It was such a great feeling pulling up, that feeling that a horse has genuinely tried there best for you, after all that’s all we want isn’t it? For our horses to try there best for us?
I really am not sure if Jimmy’s mind set has truly changed but I’m ever the optimist and love a dream so here’s to kicking on to Bramham and hopefully Burghley..

So on to what else I have planned – pointing..

Yep that’s right – I must be mad but I miss training pointer to pointers and have decided to get two horses to train and run this coming season.. I mean I still have a certain Foxhunters at Aintree to jump round!! So anyone with any nice racehorses looking for a new home or change of scenery get in touch..

Part of the reason for me getting the pointers is because I still want to live the dream and still chase the dragon.. I’m not ready to grow up and do what all my friends have done – get real jobs, get married and have kids..
One of my friends and the last of my not growing up friends has just got a proper job aboard..

It hit me so hard if I’m honest, I felt a bit lost.. I mean I’m the last one still playing at life or as my friend put it – the captain always goes down with his ship.

But you know what my ship is pretty fun one to be on even if I’m on it alone most of the time.

It doesn’t stop me feeling I’ve underachieved in my life thou, I have had so many chances to do amazing things and for one reason or another I haven’t always taken those chances but I’m still here, I’m still happy and I’m still chasing the dragon and looking for the next kick.
That’s what life is all about thou isn’t it?

So I’m sitting here thinking about the wonderful weekend I have planned in Aberdeen and how I think the time may just have come to have another pop at eventing properly again.. Maybe set up a yard again… But SHHHHH thou that’s top secret…
But more than anything I’m going to make good on some of those opportunities and friendships I have let pass me by.
In life I have learnt it is never to late to say sorry, sort what you should have sorted and make good on what you should have made good on before..

If you try and can’t then it never was truly ment to be sorted or to be made good.

If you want to try at or to do something – do.. It’s your ship and no one else’s..

So it’s onwards and upwards for now but just remember that you are the captain of your ship and you should go down with it as there’s no fun in being the one that bailed..

P Xx

Class is a thing not a given…

Hey guys..
So I’m back with another blog that hopefully won’t bore you all senseless!!

Truth be known (and we all know I’m honest to a fault!) I must have re written this blog 3/4 times , each time I wrote the blog it just didn’t sit right with me.. Anyways.. I got there in the end so grab a coffee , pull up a chair and be prepared to be bored!

In my previous blogs I have spoken about my love for riding ‘class’ horses.. Class is something you can’t give or make a horse have and for me it isn’t always something I can put my finger.. It’s just a ‘something’ some are born with others are not..
Although having thought long and hard about it I do believe class starts with being genuine , having that ‘want’ or ‘will’ to please or win..
How many super talented horses do we see that either don’t try 100% or there hearts just aren’t in it despite there clear talent? Un-genuine is what we call them..
Yet you get a horse half as talented but full of heart and want and you will find yourself far more likely to call that horse a ‘class’ act.. Because it has something you can’t give or teach.. It has that something you just can’t put your finger on..

So now on to where I’m going with all this!!

My winter has been full of playing hard but working even harder!!
But working hard for 2 of the most amazing people I am lucky enough to call friends..
In amongst all the playing hard and working even harder I got offered the chance to go and teach in Aberdeen , I love meeting new people and experiencing new things.
I love the chance to learn new things and it really is amazing what you can learn about yourself or others on trips like my trip to Aberdeen..
The thing I learnt more than anything on that trip to Aberdeen is people are like horses.. Some just have that touch of class , that touch of something special you can’t give or teach..
From the second I was picked up from the airport I was blown away by the openness and genuine heart felt kindness shown towards me , nothing was to much trouble.. But not in a bow down to me way (not that anyone ever should!!) I hope you get what I mean thou?!? Just in a totally ‘genuine class’ way I can’t explain or put my finger on..
My god – the fun I had too.. I will never look at a gin bottle ever the same again!!

Also I taught the most fantastic and interesting bunch of people I have ever taught..
Right from a lovely lady who had lost her confidence and wasn’t sure she even wanted to canter (We got her cantering because cantering isn’t a big deal is it?!) to a cracking Irish Draught doing his ‘class thing’ really successfully round novices with his wonderful owner.
I taught solidly for 2 very long days but I loved every second of it , I loved seeing people and horses grow in confidence and do and try things they didn’t think they could or would..
Because you know what – I have been that person who at many points has lost there confidence , didn’t think they wanted to jump big or solid fences again , I know how it feels to be unsure..
I am lucky that have always been able to pull myself together and go again but I get that I’m not that normal!! Some people just need a nudge in the right direction and just someone to say – why can’t you do it? Not – do you think you can?
There is a very small but yet massive difference in those two statements..

A couple of the people I taught said things like this that make me blood run cold

‘I don’t think I can do my horse justice , what if I’m not good enough for him and other people say I shouldn’t do this or that with my horse’

When I was given the ride on the The Busker I remember very clearly the pressure put on me.. At the beginning of my first proper season with him someone asked me what my plans for him were and when I said hopefully Bramham and the Europeans they honestly said me to this – Well if you don’t win Bramham it will be your fault and as for the Europeans , surely there a given if you don’t cock him up.

I went home and stewed on it so much , I mean was I a wet behind the ears 19 year old really up to riding such a class horse? Should I even be riding him?

Then I came to this thinking ..

I do things in my life to please me , not other people.. It’s how and what life should be about.. Is worrying about what other people think going to make your life anymore enjoyable? No of course it isn’t..
And as for not being good enough for a horse , horses are animals and animals think very simply.. All they really want is to be well fed , watered and kept warm.. Yep some like affection and human company but I do not believe for one second they have any idea how good or not they are at something or that they believe they are missing out on anything by not being ridden by a so called ‘better rider’

So with just a few days before my first event I am very much looking forward to enjoying eventing with my horses again – win lose or draw enjoying it for myself not others..

Remember your life is about pleasing you not pleasing others..
If it makes you happy do it , if it doesn’t don’t and if you are going to fail it’s always better to fail trying than to fail because you didn’t try at all…

Never allow your self to say what if? If you find yourself saying ‘what if’ you more than likely haven’t done or lived your life as you wanted and that’s not what life is about..

Over and out for now and keep kicking..

Phoebe

Starting again…

Hey everyone..

So I’m writing my first blog of 2015 , I hoped it would be one full of joy and great hopes for 2015!! Sadly it isn’t.. Pull up a chair and settle in if you are intending on reading this one as it’s a long boring one!!!

So I sadly have to report that the run away Moose will be ridden by someone else this coming season..
I want to stress there has been no fall out at all between me and the Moose’s owner..
She is a wonderful lady with a heart of gold but sadly things change and I have lost the ride , but I truly wish the run away Moose , her new rider and her owner all the very best.. Although I’d rather I didn’t have to watch her being ridden by someone else!!

You see..

It was only a few weeks ago I was thinking how for the first time in a very long time I was really looking forward to eventing this coming season with a small but select bunch of class horse that I love riding..

Then I got the news that the run away Moose was to be ridden by someone else and I felt like throwing my hands up and walking away from it all..
Childish of me? Most probably!
But you have to understand I don’t event because I love eventing , I enjoy it sure but I event because I love riding class horses for good people and the class horses I happen to ride at the moment are event horses for good owners that want them to continue eventing , so losing the run away Moose and her owner was a massive kick in the guts.. The Moose is a class horse and has a owner I love..

It’s like jockeys , would they just want to ride 100-1 outsiders in selling hurdles? Of course they wouldn’t! It’s about riding class horses that give you that word I use so often the ‘butterfly’ feeling.
Anyone competitive wants to ride winners in whatever sphere they ride in , a horseman understands they can’t all be winners that win all the time but it’s a mental balancing act that I like to think I have right..
But you know what? The last couple of weeks I’ve been miserable , dripping round work wondering what the point is.. I mean I finally start to get my s**t together and I bloody lose my nicest event horse.
Last weekend I decided – sod it , I’m jacking the eventing , everything in.. Unbeknown to everyone this summer I walked away from the chance of a amazing job aboard because in my heart of hearts I wasn’t ready to walk away from eventing and my horses here , I have so much unfinished business here and I still have so much I still want to achieve that I feel I should of achieved by now..

The reason I haven’t is totally my own fault , you see over the last 5 years I’ve lost a few class career changing horses at crucial points in my career – never thou any sort of fall out with there owners I’d like to add.. Some how it made it a harder more bitter pill to swallow!! I mean people fall out with people all the time – that’s life , so if that happened you’d expect to lose there horses.. But when you lose 3 class horses because the owners daughter wants to ride them herself it is some how even more heart breaking , the owners and daughter in question were fantastically wonderful fair people who I adored riding for but to be honest if I owned 3 class horses my daughter wanted to ride of course I’d give her the chance as they did and whilst I didn’t begrudge and I totally understood there discussion it still crushed me..
F**k this I thought at the time , I’m not doing this all again.. You see I am a little duck hearted when it comes to my horses , I love them.. I love plotting and planning with them , it’s what makes me tick.. It gives me the butterflies I so badly need..

But I half heartily picked myself up again only to then to sell my wonderful advanced horse Flash Gordon soon after , time that with Little Tiger retiring in amongst it all , I was feeling so sorry for myself I thought giving up and running away to the welsh hills was a really good idea!! And we all know just how badly that ended!!!

I have always admitted I am the worlds best at feeling sorry for myself but equally as good as I am at wallowing in self pity , when I need to pull myself together I do.. I do ‘coping/not coping on my own’ really well but I personally need to give myself that time to simply feel sorry for myself time and lick my wounds.. Then I pick myself up and go again , for me it’s healthily.. I can’t solider on like everything us ok!!
I don’t inflicted it on anyone else thou.. I just disappear , go quite..

Then 10 days or so ago I was asked to hunt a horse for for the first by a great friend of mine , now this horse is a class racehorse and don’t get me wrong whilst I was looking forward to hunting him I was still feeling a little out of love with life..

Hunting a horse especially a racehorse for the first time can be painful!! They are often keen , have no impatience and mis behave as they understandably just want to gallop fast usually infront!!
I have such a wonderful mannerly hunter in Colin I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy doing the whole hunting someone else’s horse for the first time!! But off I went!!

I have ridden some amazing horses in my time – some talented , some out and out triers , some winners , some just wonderful sit ons and some just classy.. I’ve been luckily enough to have ridden 3 horses that were all of the things I have listed..

I was still feeling sorry for myself as I started cantering across the first field on that racehorse who I was hunting for the first time , then I suddenly remembered why I ride horses for a living – it’s to get the chance to put my leg over horses like him..
He just gave me the most amazing feel , like he was floating – he was keen but totally polite..
He was a little unsure to start about what the hell was going on!! But a couple of well timed pats from me reassured him when he needed it and even when we came to the first set of rails we had to jump and he wasn’t totally sure how to jump them he still jumped them really cleanly and well..
I couldn’t stop smiling..
Then it came back to me , I ride horses to ride class horses not just to ride one class horse..

So I lost the ride on the Moose – of course I’m gutted but there is always another class horse , another good owner and another day to make you smile none stop.. That is if you want there to be..

So I’m done with feeling sorry for myself..

I’ve reliesed that allowing yourself to feel sorry for yourself is often healthily but you should remember it’s a feeling and you only have feelings for something you care about..
If I didn’t want to ride or event anymore I wouldn’t have cared that I lost the ride on the Moose would I? If I didn’t care I wouldn’t have been feeling sorry for myself but equally the horse I rode on Monday , out hunting for the first wouldn’t have made me smile from ear to ear all day because of the feeling of total and utter class he gave me..

So on I go with the plotting and planning of how I’m going to achieve all those things I should have achieved by now.. I need the butterflies back..

Remember – if you feel something good or bad about losing something or someone in your life be greatful for that feeling.. As it means you have lost something you care about and if you are lucky enough to be in the position to do something about that something or someone you lost then get up , get moving and stop feeling sorry for yourself as not everyone can do something about that someone or something they have lost..

Feelings are butterflies and butterflies and feelings are what make life exciting and meaningful and meaningful and exciting is what makes life worth living..

Over and out all..

P xx

Goodbyes…. Hellos….

Hey…

Guys , this isn’t so much a blog – it’s more of a brief thank you..

So I wanted to write this quick thank you to everyone who has supported and took time out of there day to read my blog..
I know my blog isn’t the usual type of blog thingy but I’ve had amazing fun writing it and long may you guys keep reading it and may it last!!

2014 has been a funny old time – I started it in a fairly low , sad and slightly odd place in my life , my god I’ve made some cock ups and mistakes this least year but you know what? I’ve made all those cock ups and mistakes getting myself back to me.. I think I’m ending it in a pretty good place and am every much looking forward to 2015 and what exciting things it will bring..

Now I’m off to bring in 2015 – it’ll be me on my own doing my own little thing in my own little way somewhere very fun..

But do one last thing for me – take a look around you , are you where you should be? Are you with the people you should be? And most importantly are you happy or just pleasing others?
Only you can change all the above , tomorrow is the start of a shiny new year and new beginnings but time waits for no man and life really is to short..

A massive heart felt thank you to one person in particular , to say we have been thou some odd , fun , drunkun and deep times together would be a understatement.. You will know who you are even if no one else does , just do one thing for me.. Keep kicking as your far to good not too…

Enjoy tonight but stay safe..
Over and out everyone…
Phoebe Xx

Owning up , it all coming to a end and being a thinker….

So I’m back…

Writing this blog has had me in a real two and eight , I’ve recived some shocking abuse and more importantly lost 2 great friends over the subject I write about in this blog but hey ho.. You all know me well enough by now to know I write from the heart and not always from the head!

When I started writing this blog I knew I was putting myself out there to be shot at , mainly because of the way I am and the way I write – honest to a fault…
It’s a bit like my Facebook and Twitter accounts , I put stuff on them that some people wouldn’t and I get some amazing feed back and sometimes some not so great feed back.. But I try to never winge or moan.. After all it’s my choice to put myself out there and you know what? I love a good debate , love to make people think..
I’m known for putting lots of quotes on my twitter account , it’s never to get reaction – it’s just to make people stop and think.. Hopefully in the same way those quotes made me stop for half a second and think..

Now – on to the main reason I wrote this blog (other than to bore you all!)

Last week a video of a publicly adored horse surfaced on the internet and a debate started!!
Now I won’t go in to what horse it was or what was said as I’m sure you will all work it out for your selfs!! But I was asked on twitter my opinion , so I gave it..
My opinion that is – on that horse , on that video , on that night.. Nothing more , nothing less…

Well my god – little did I know what I’d done!

I got DM’s calling me a bitter old has been , even a wa*ker etc..
Quite a few of my followers took a right pop at me , most without tagging me in directly of course I’d like to add!!!
If you don’t like what I say why follow me?
Now I did not once ‘bash’ the rider like so many people did , because that is not and will never be my style – then a couple of my friends had ago at me about it all and if I’m honest that broke my heart a little and because of that I started over thinking what I’d written and let myself down by coming out fighting because I’d been in my eyes attacked by people I cared about and thought were my friends – when normally I’d have smiled and waved to everyone as I am allowed my opinion..
Was joining the debate my finest hour? Most probably not.. And I have now lost two great friends.. But I did at least stay true to myself..

One of my followers called me ‘the most opinionated old has been ever’
Well rather be called that than a ‘yellow bellied no body’ I guess!!
Its all done and dusted now , but I stand by the fact that you take on a horse loved by the public as much as that horse is and then parade it so publicly and you will come against people that don’t like you , it or what the horse is doing..
But you have to suck it up! Take the good press with the bad and move along..

Some people may forget just how loved by the public Frosty (Little Tiger) was , the sudden pressure I felt at the start at Badminton one year when a lovely couple of people came over and said they came to Badminton just to watch her warm up for the XC was massive! During that round I could hear people shouting her name at every fence and riders will tell you that you hardly hear anything whilst riding – that was the moment I released just how many people loved her , she made people believe anything was possible and that yes your little 14.2hh white pony might just get you to Badminton if you dream enough.. From that point on I always made sure I took time out to let people pat her and have photos taken with her etc as she wasn’t just mine and the owners wonder pony.. She was the publics wonder pony too!!

When we retired her the decision was made because of the things below and in that order..

1. Frosty did not deserve to be flogged round one more 4* because of our greed.
2. Her public wouldn’t want to see her at anything other than her very best.
3. We loved and owed her to much to ever let either of the above happen.

I wrote a post about her on the Horse & Hound forum after we retired her – google ‘Little Tiger retires by Phoebe Buckley , Horse and Hound’ I did when I was getting abuse a few days ago.. Choked me up , even nearly 4 years on..

I may just be a opinionated old has been but I will always be the has been that can have a opinion because she’s been there and done it and got the t-shirt on the one pony everyone wanted to have a spin on but didn’t get the chance because I was the lucky devil who did..

On Christmas Eve I was given the amazing gift of a days hunting with a famous pack I’ve never hunted with from the people I work for.. Then I found Colin with what looked on first sight his leg nearly cut off , god knows what he did it on as our fields have nothing other than a water bucket in them and post and rail fencing round them.. As he limped in from the field and I started cleaning him up I could see it wasn’t as bad as I first thought and he was just being a bit soft!! Horses!!
Anyways today I rode him out and led Custard off him.. Mid way thou our ride Custard attacked Colin!! Not that Colin cared , he’s the big boss man of The Oaks you see , I pushed Custard off Colin and we carried on with our ride.. Me smiling away to myself..

I was smiling as my plan to make Custard think he is top dog is working , when Custard came he was shy , quite and had no bite about him and wasn’t the greatest race horse I would imange because all of what I’ve just listed..
Colin is the sort of horse that demands respect – he will honestly eye ball you so to stand up to Colin takes some guts , guts that Custard is slowly getting!!
When custard first came I gave him a 11hh pony as a companion , it took him 2 weeks to be brave enough to boss the pony!! He now has Donna the donkey as companion as she is tougher than the pony and will give Custard what for.. But he can still be top dog so to speak!!
The dream with Custard is pointing and the Aintree Foxhunters – Custard had ability as a racehorse he just didn’t show it that often , but as always with me it’s all about a dream and via hunting , team chasing and eventing where he can be the bees knees without being told he must jump and gallop faster I hope to give him the confidence to shine a little more pointing than he did as a race horse under rules.
Most people will think I’m mad and doubt it’ll ever happen but you know what? Where there doubt there’s hope and where there’s hope there’s a chance and where there’s a chance there’s a will and I have will I just got to get Custard to have that same will as me and we are sorted..

So as 2014 ends and I go in to 2015 I have to face the fact I’ve lost great people but gained some people even greater.. Have had dreams shattered but have had new and even more exciting dreams begin..

More than anything one way or another I’ve kept the butterflies alive because life is nothing without great people , dreams and most importantly butterflies..

Stay safe people..
But remember – if it doesn’t make you nervous or give you butterflies your doing it wrong..
Over and out..

P xx

My mind set…

So it’s not very often I write two blogs so close together..
But in my attempt to finally bore you all to death I thought I’d go all out and write another…

All jokes a side now – I only write when I have something to say , I looked at loads of blogs before I agreed to start writing mine.. Most of the blogs didn’t feel heart felt to me , they read – to me anyway! Just like people writing to fill a space or writing what they thought people wanted to hear..

So I started mine and promised I’d never write anything because I thought I should nor would I set a time scale to stick to in between blogs , now I really struggle with writing , I really suffered as a kid with being dyslexic..
But the more I’ve written the more I have discovered how much I love writing.
I know I make quite a few spelling mistakes but I leave any in that I don’t see on my final read thou before putting the blog live as I like the fact the blog is totally ‘me’..

Mistakes and all..

On to what the blog is called – My mind set..

The subject of being brave on a horse was brought up yesterday – someone said to me ‘Phoebe I said you would ride it as you don’t care what you ride bad jumper or not’
It seems to me some people think I’m this crazy with no sense brave person on a horse.. Nothing could be further from the truth..
People would be amazed at how windy I can be on a horse at times , with me it’s all about reading a horse , I’m known for getting naughty ones going and riding anything and everything – again this simply isn’t true! With me everything on a horse is measured , With a naughty one I never start a fight I don’t truly believe I can win , I have often found the ones that really want a fight are the ones to work around because they know how to win. Being naughty is often just a bad habit if ignored will go away , ignoring means you can’t be frighted thou! You have to be able to be totally relaxed on them – no reaction… That’s what we all kick off and try and start a fight or argument for isn’t it? A reaction.. Why would a horse be different? It’s a living breathing being with a brain..
Equally I’ve had some horses that need a argument , they need that sort out.. For me that starts on the ground , if a horse doesn’t respect you totally on the ground how can you expect them to respect you once your on top?
For me everything with horses is about out thinking them , not just knocking them around or being stupid brave.. The first thing I do after going toe to toe with a horse is give them a pat , I want them to know I like them.. That I want to work with them not against them.. As long as they play the game life with me is great..

After the run away Moose (Freda Curtis) was injured at her three day event in the spring I lost my way , even thou I had other event horses to ride she was the horse I got out of bed in the mornings most looking forward to ride.. I wasn’t much fussed about eventing the others – you can call me spoilt , childish or even selfish! But it’s how I honestly felt , The Moose always gave me 110% and I loved her for that.. She in some respects reminds me of Little Tiger – although there will never be another like her!!!
I have always said if I didn’t have a horse to wear a navy coat on eventing (that’s intermediates and above) I would give up.. Again I may sound spoilt and brattish but please understand I only say this because I have been blessed enough to ride round some of the best events in the world on some of the best horses/ponies in the world at the time.. Why would I want to only canter round at small events? Again I’m sure I sound a right one! But I’m just being honest.. Find me a Gold Cup/Grand National winning jockey who would get the same kicks out of just riding in selling hurdles for the rest of there riding career..

In my own funny way I try to be a achiever , I can’t think of anything worse than riding at low levels being bitter about the fact I want to ride at the high level I used too.. Producing horses well is a skill , a art form even.. A rider can make or break a young horse and whilst I love doing the young horses , it’s always because I expect them to be competing at the highest level at some point with me or not at all..

This is why I choose to work pre training race horses rather than go be a second jockey at a big event yard (which has been suggested to me this year)
The idea of getting horses going for another event rider fills me with horror!!
With the pre training I get to be involved with getting horses going (which I love) but for a sport I have no interest in doing (flat racing)

I’m not a world class rider , I don’t even class myself as a good rider , I’m a rider who has struck it lucky more than once by being at the right place at the right time and therefore met the right people who own the right horses..

Over the last couple of months I’ve been feeling sorry for myself , I’d even say a bit down!! I’ve tried not to take it out on others.. Although I know I’ve put one close friend thou it a bit – but as I said in my last blog – I have tried to keep my head down and just let myself feel sorry for myself.. There was no real reason for how I was feeling , I just was..
Then 2 weeks ago I just seemed to start look forward to riding proper horses again , then just at the right time and thanks to a great friend of mine I am now the proud owner a pretty cool Ginger horse that I am now plotting to run in point to points..
I had a pretty shocking 2014 luck wise with horses.. But I feel like 2015 is going to be exciting and if it isn’t then I’m going to make it exciting.. The Moose is back , Jimmy Shoo is having the kick up the backside he needs and I have some very smart new young horses including Little Tigers super smart son to run along side my horses that enable me to carry on wearing wear my navy coat..

Anyways , I’m done boring you all for now – sure I will be back soon thou!

Just remember .. Don’t judge till you know , don’t start something you can’t see thou till the bitter end , don’t inflict on others what you wouldn’t want inflicted on you and be proud of your mistakes as they are what make you you and you are the very thing you should be most proud of.. If you aren’t then you are doing it wrong..

Have a lovely Sunday people.. Over and out..
P xx