Doing it for you and turning worlds..

So I am back.. You all know how this works, pull up a chair, make a cup of tea and prepare to be bored!!

Sorry it’s been so long since my last blog, truth is that not much has happened in my boring life!! Hopefully my life will get a little more exciting now the event season is about to start so when I write the next blog you lot will be more entertained!

Anyways… All I seem to be have been doing the last few months is working to pay legal bills. Now I won’t bore you all with my parents case but it is going well and their  next (and hopefully final) trial is in the beginning of April so fingers crossed for then please!

A few months ago whilst with friends my parents case came up and one friend said how in the 8/9 months he had known me he had seen a real change in me with the pressure of it all. His comments actually hit a nerve, he wasn’t being nasty.. But he was right, I had felt the difference in myself other the summer. I could feel I wasn’t as happy go lucky, as funny or simply me. Because I’m saving as much money as I can I haven’t been able to afford to do the things that make me Phoebe. I have a lovely horse called Custard who I wanted to get eventing but I just couldn’t justify spending the money. Same with Colin, he has had a winter out because I have no time to hunt him because I am working as much as I can, do I begrudge it? Hell no! My parents come first every time and we are winning. We will get there. But one thing I did have this winter that I could afford was my point to pointer, he kept me sane.. With all this hard work I had to have something for me, God knows having him made my life even harder, I’m sure lots of you have seen the getting up at 4am galloping in the dark videos!! But I loved it.. Then just before Christmas and a week off a run I lost him.. I don’t mind saying it crushed me, I was working so hard for nothing.. So I had to take a breather from it all, even the council stuff, only a couple of weeks mind! Whilst I needed to clear my head I didn’t want the council thinking I had given up!!!!

and I’m back with a bang..

You see I’m selfish.. Very selfish, hence being single! The idea of having to think of someone else before I do something is crazyness to me! But anyone who knows me will tell you that although I am selfish I will do anything to help anyone if I possibly can. In the month or so that I’ve restocked I have made a plan – I bloody love plans!! Whether it’s with the horses, for myself or for people I help.. I love plan, a aim, a goal.. Realistic or not it makes no odds!! It makes my world turn and my world turning is all that matters!! Because when my world is turning I am excited and when I’m excited I’m fun.. And fun and exciting is what life is about isn’t it?

So here’s my plan!

Over the summer I will be knocking down and re building my yard at home, I have just got permission for a walker and school and I am re fencing paddocks as I write. I won’t be having a big yard at home as l love doing horses totally myself and I also love ve how things are and don’t want to change much, especially doing my teaching etc and it’s very important to me I can still keep my trips to Scotland up as I have made life long friends there. But I would love to have say 7/8 horses at home. At the end of this year I also hope to buy a really smart young horse and maybe syndicate him or her out! In the winter I want to continue my job breaking in yearlings as I love that side and learn so much. But I will also have a couple of pointer to pointers again- one will be my ladies horse, there’s unfinished business there! How will I afford all this? Well when we win against the council I will get all my costs back! 😝 That will be a nice starting pot for me.. Will I get all this done in the next 9/10 months? Who knows.. But I do know I have to have a dream, a plan.. It’s 2017 going to be some year?! Phoebe Buckley eventing domination? Where are the olypics in 2020?

You see life is about dreams, whether that dream is building a yard, jumping round badminton or even jumping a filler you never thought you could..

Don’t ever become me over the last few months, treading water.. Whatever you are doing in life have a goal, a aim and that aim and goal should be to do something total for you.. Be selfish – you want to do something? Go do it.. Because even just getting off your backside and trying to do it will make your world turn a little quicker and trust me, quicker equals more excitement.

Im off to go pull up some fence posts, boring? Nah.. It’s making my world turn quicker and my world turning quicker can only mean my dream, my aim, my goal will happen sooner..

Sorry for the slightly boring blog… But it should get more exciting from here on in…

Over and out…

P xx

 

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Turning pages and stepping sideways but never back……..

So I’m back.. You all know the drill.. Pull up a chair and I shall try my very best not to bore you all too much..

A couple of weeks ago I got asked how I started riding and how I kept relavent.. It got me thinking.. Am I really relevant?

Lots of people won’t know that I didn’t actually start riding till very late, infact I didn’t have my first lesson until I was in my early teens, being from my background we always had ponies around and I used to ride them bareback but I always wanted to ride ‘properly’ dispite that going against everything I was brought up to do and be. You see I just couldn’t let this fascination with riding horses go, my parents thought I’d out grow the ‘riding ponies phase’ but I never did and I left school at a very young age to ride/work with horses..

Leaving school was partly because I was really badly bullied, I was not and won’t be the first or only kid to be bullied at school. Kids are the cruelest things in the world.. I guess looking back right from that point my ‘tough’ skin was forming.. You see in my teenage years the thing I struggled with the most was I didn’t fit in anywhere, everyone knows about my background and it’s nothing new but I was brought up to not mix or talk with the ‘normal folk’ and here I was not only mixing with them because of the horses but I was also enjoying there company.. There were a few years in my mid to late  teens were I mixed 50/50 with the gypsy community and the non gypsy community.. I would go to a gypsy party or wedding and my own people wouldn’t try very hard to hide the fact I didn’t don’t fit it. Same with normal folk, some were great but some not so much.

The overwhelming feeling I have felt all my life is that I in some way or shape am letting someone down or not fitting it, either I am not speaking correctly, am too outspoken or am being to honest. This isn’t a case of poor little Phoebe feeling sorry for herself, it’s how I feel. You see I am not a massively confident person but I am a very assured person. I know when I have messed up, ridden well or said something I shouldn’t have and I’m happy to throw my hands up and be honest to everything I do or say… Good or bad..

I spent my early early to mid 20’s dating someone totally toxic for me. He wasn’t a bad person and I won’t slag him off as I’m not that type of person but he was ashamed of my background and he would drum that fact in to me. Was he a bad person? No.. Was he a bad person for me? Without doubt.. Am I the first girl to be with the wrong type of bloke? Of course I’m not!! But he did rip my confidence to pieces, I remember him saying he was pleased I had a fall at one major event because I was getting to ‘big headed’

I started to question everything I said and how I behaved.. I had always thought that I was a fairly level headed down to earth person but here the person I loved was telling me I wasn’t…. So there it began – the beginning of Phoebe Buckley trying to be everything she wasn’t and everything she thought everyone else wanted her to be.. For years I watched my P’s and Q’s in fear of not fitting in even more than I already didn’t.. Then I went even further the other way, I used to pretend I was happy and didn’t mind the fact that people didn’t like me, that I didn’t fit in or that I didn’t have any friends.. When infact I hated it, I hated that I had forgotten how to just be me.. Some days I’d just cry because I hated not being comfortable in being me.. Everything suffered and I truly believe I have not achieved half of what I would have achieved had I just been in a more settled place..

But hey ho, I wasn’t and I didn’t.. Sadly that ship has sailed… For now…

A couple of years I started to find my feet, I was getting back to me..

Then something happened.. I started my trips to Scotland and wow.. I was given a shiny new start, I went there knowing that no one from Scotland had ever met me before.. I promised myself on the first flight up that I was going to be 100% me.. 100% Phoebe Buckley.. If they didn’t want me to come back so be it, but to my amazement they all seemed to love me!!  My Scottish friends will never be able to understand the confidence they have and are giving me.. I don’t soft soap any of them in my lessons, they fall off, I shout at them, I push them and above all I tell them when they gave done a great job.. So far they all seem to quite like the  real ‘Phoebe Buckley’

Am I totally back to me? Nope.. Not yet..

I still have wobbles when people say things, but when I do have those wobbles I try to remember to take a deep breath and I remind myself that those wobbles are the very reason I am relevant..

Because im human – I’ve had shit boyfriends, I’ve said things I shouldn’t, I’ve posted things on Facebook I wished I hadn’t, I’ve enjoyed success, I’ve ridden badly, I’ve ridden well,  I’ve cried when things have gone wrong or when I’ve lost horses.. I’m honest to a fault and I want people to know that the toughest of people still care what people think..

I have learnt the very hard way that worrying what people think isn’t the problem, it’s worrying what the wrong people think is were the damage is done..

So from this day onwards if someone says or does something that upsets you just turn the page on them, never see any mistake you make as a step backwards.. It’s a step sideways at worst, if you learn something from it then it’s still a step forwards, even if it’s only a small one..

I want to dedicate this blog to anyone who has cried when they shouldn’t.. Wipe your tears, because if the person who caused those tears isn’t wiping them for you then your tears are wasted on them..

Have a great Christmas everyone and I hope 2016 brings you all everything you wish for.. Over and out…

P xx

Filling in the gaps…

Hey everyone..

So after the last blog lots of people have been asking questions about mine and my parents treatment by the council.
I think I cover my parents treatment fairly well (without boring everyone senseless!!) in the last blog but I thought I give you all a few details of my dealings with the council.

So pull up a comfy chair, maybe even get some popcorn and get yourself prepared as this will be a long one!!

As I said before all this started after I asked for copies of all my parents planning applications etc.
All I received were a few documents from my parents appeal, in these documents there was a copy of a email titled ‘Easton & Cook’ now the content of this email is what really got me going..
In this email written by a councillor who I’d like to add is not only on our parish council but is also the leader of our district council, he talked about the gypsy community’s greater educational and medical needs being a drain etc..
So not to bore you all to much below is just 1 page of the 3 page ‘Easton & Cook’ email..

image

This email was given to another councillor on the morning of my parents appeal, he was told to read it out on behalf of and as part of the council, he said he was so disgusted at the content he wouldn’t read it as he feared that if he read it out aloud the appeal officer would think he agreed with its content.
So he handed the email, even thou on the email it said ‘these notes are confidential and should not be given away if they ask for the speech!’ he told the appeal officer he wouldn’t read it as he didn’t agree with the content.

As soon as I got my hands on it and read it thou I was shocked to say the least, so I went to the next public parish council meeting that was just a few days later.. With me came my cousin, she was born and raised in the village and now has 2 children at the local school.
She wanted to come as she was concerned that her children were being bullied at the school and she was worried they weren’t being treated like the other children because they weren’t wanted at the school.
I had printed off a copy of that years Ofsted school report that basically dis agreed with every claim the council made.

When it was my 3 mins to talk I stood up and started handing each councillor a copy of the Easton & Cook email..
Guess what happened next?

Once I got to the councillor who had written it and he saw what I was handing out he stood up and told us we had to leave, he even stood there shouting at us to stop handing it out..
I stood my ground, why should we leave? Or why should I stop handing out copies of an email written by a councillor on behalf of the council who’s meeting I was attending..
When we wouldn’t leave the chairman decided to close the whole meeting rather than give me my 3 mins to talk.
My cousin was horrified and couldn’t believe the way they reacted at just being given back there own email.

And in the minutes of that meeting guess who got the blame for disrupting the meeting and causing it to end? Yep it was me!!!

So I decided I was going to struggle to do this alone and contacted a local organisation that helped ethnic groups that felt they were suffering from discrimination.
The guy who was given the job as acting as my advocate was fantastic, he even came to meetings with me and helped me draw up (we all know how terrible my grammar and spelling is!!) a list of questions I wanted answering regrading the content of the Easton & Cook email.
So we sent the questions in to the council, I awaited there response with batted breath and guess what response I got?
It just said that answering my questions wasn’t a good use of there time!!!

My advocate was not taking that lying down!! He stood my ground for me and said they had a duty to responded fully to my questions..
After months of pushing the council for answers he received a email from the councillor who wrote the Easton and Cook email (don’t forget this councillor is also the leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council) saying if we didn’t back off he was going to sue me for slander and deformation of character.
The councillor claimed I had made accusations about him at a meeting 18months before and he felt he had no choice but to now take action.
My advocate rang me straight away and informed me of what was going on, he asked me if I had said what I was being accused of saying.
I said of course I hadn’t and if I had why had the councillor left it 18months to do anything about it?!
So he in a fancy way just basically emailed the councillor back saying he had spoken to me and I had said I was happy for the councillor to kick on and sue me.
We must have had 4/5 more emails saying he was going to go ahead and do it.. Although nearly 2 years on his solicitors don’t seem to have got round to doing it..
But in one of those emails the councillor asked my advocate if his organisation received any funding from the council.
My advocate confirmed they did..

Not long after my advocate stopped replying to my emails and stopped getting in touch and I haven’t heard from them/him since.

Make of that what you will…..

18 months after I first sent those questions in I finally got them answered, well when I say answered I mean the council pretty much either worked around my questions not answering them or just told me they no longer held the information I had asked for.

I asked for weeks and weeks for copies of some documents I knew the council had but I believed were withholding from me.. The response they sent to me was that all copies of those documents had been deleted from EVERY council and each councillors computers so they no longer had any copies of the documents but guess what happened then..

I managed together my hands of copies of the ‘deleted’ documents..

I informed the council that I’d managed to get copies of the deleted documents and they shouldn’t worry about trying to find them for me anymore and within a matter of days they contacted me to say that low and behold they had managed to ‘find’ copies too!!!

Then I did a FOI and Subject Assess request and found out lots of wonderful things were being emailed around about me between Councillors..

Like the leader of South Cambs District Council email the gypsy liaison officer telling her I was causing trouble and to not speak to me and that he had a winnable court case against me but I had no money is there was no point in suing me!!
Then there was the councillor who emailed saying I was using lies, slander and was harassing the parish council and Councillors to get my own way.
I emailed asking those Councillors to prove what they were writing about he, guess what???
Yep you guessed it – they have just ignored me and my emails..

At a public meeting a couple of months ago the leader of South Cambs District Council followed me out of the meeting whilst I was on my own and said he nor the council would ever help me because of how badly I had treated the council!!!!!!!!!
I went back in to the meeting and complained to the clerk at being followed out on such a threatening manner.
I emailed a complaint about it a few days later and guess what?
Yep.. It was totally ignored too..

The latest email I got from the council justified what has been written about me because my many visits to the council offices, meetings and phone calls to parish office are causing the Councillors stress.. What about me? What about my sleepless nights? All the days I’ve been so miserable and tired I’ve just cried to myself?
I don’t have thousands of tax payers money to send on solicitors nor do I have people to talk to about this.
I did point out to them that maybe if they hadn’t ignored me for pretty much the first 18 months maybe I wouldn’t  have kept emailing, visiting the offices or calling them.
What was I meant to do? Just give up and disappear?
Sorry but if they thought that was going to happen they were greatly mistaken!!

The council have even printed stuff about my community in our local Cambridgeshire news paper.. Including things like that we cause so much trouble in the village it’s spills out on to the streets of our village..
I asked them for police reports etc supporting that article..
Guess what? Yep they haven’t supplied them either.

I have re read thou a load of my emails from the beginning and I sometimes cringe at how angry I come across in them but then again I was angry!!
Not once am I threatening and I stand by each and every email I have written. Bad grammar and all!!!
I do believe the council and Councillors are discriminating against gypsies.. No where can I find were the council have used any other ethic groups educational or medical needs as a reason to either stop them from moving in to the village, from having a extension on there house etc.. I have asked the council if they have but they ‘don’t hold that information’

This blog only touches on a quarter of what I have been out thou or have had said about me..
All this because I just want proof of what they have said about us, is that to much to ask?

I fight like mad to make my community trust and respect non gypsies more but gypsies live by one tradition more than any other – you treat people how you want to be treated and can I say hand on heart the gypsies from my village have been treated with respect?

NO is the answer..

Everything I have talked about in this blog I have in black and white and am happy to share with anyone.

So my battle continues…
I won’t give up but it’s been a long hard battle till now and it doesn’t look like getting any easier…

The last paragraph in the the latest letter from the council said this
‘they did not feel they had to responded to any further correspondents from me because what’s done is done’

Good job I’m a fighter hey???

Telling a story, opening a tin of worms and not liking myself..

So I’m back. And I’m going to tell you all a story, so go make a cup of tea, pull up a chair and get comfy. This blog does have a point to it and if you keep reading I will get to it at the end!!

‘There was a family who lived very happily in a village for 25 years, after 15 years of living there the father of this family decided to sell their small modest home and buy a piece of land…
You see his daughter was pony mad and he wanted to buy somewhere bigger enough so that she could fulfill her dream of having ponies and competing them.
So he bought some land and with the full go ahead given by the council he invested his life savings into building them a home and some stables for his daughter’s ponies.
For years they lived on the land very happily, then out of nowhere the council came round saying they had changed their mind and didn’t want his family to live on the piece of land he owned anymore.
The council told the family they would have to rip down their home and be on their way.

Can you imagine that?

I can… How? Because it is what is happening to my family right now…

I know what you are all thinking… There must be reasons…

And yep there are – reasons like…
The council have decided they don’t want buildings on the side of the road that my parents have built their log cabin, although they don’t seem to be worried about the pig farm or wind turbine that is just behind and next to us.
Then there is that my father is greedy.  Yep… The council, or I should say one very powerful councillor, reckons my dad was greedy for selling his small home in order to buy a bigger home and trying to better himself.
Then there is the main killer reason…
My family’s greater educational and medical needs!!
The council says that their educational and medical needs are so great that the village isn’t coping.
Oh and then they also wrote that we have no idea about the doctors’ appointment systems and we just turn up at the doctors expecting to be pushed in.
Pretty much the same goes for the school, kids are so behind they are draining the school and the ‘other’ parents are angry and don’t understand why our kids are allowed there.

So these reasons were given in order to aid the council in their battle to remove my parents from their home.
And they won… At my parents’ appeal 3 years ago the council won..
My parents lost and were told they were to be evicted from their home pretty much based on those reasons…

And then I got involved.

Whilst all this was going on I was working away and my parents didn’t want to trouble me with their problems!!
It was only when a friend of my parents’ rang me and said she thought I should go home and see my parents that I got wind of all of this.

You see with gypsies it’s often normal to give gypsies a temporary permission to live on a piece of land in case they are trouble. Then when the temporary permission runs out they could be moved on if they were.
My parents had a permanent permission on the small piece of land they sold and were happy having a temporary permission on their new land to start with as they knew they would be no trouble so they were certain they’d be given a permanent permission when they reapplied.
How very wrong were they!! They were given several repeat temporary permissions then the council decided to just remove all permissions, my parents have only built on their land what the council told them they could. Equally there has not been a single complaint made against my family ever, so how does it seem fair that the council can play God with people’s homes and lives?

The first thing I did was ask my parents for all their paperwork for the last 10 years and I was dumbstruck when I was given just a couple of emails from the appeal.
‘Where are all the copies of previous planning applications etc?’  I asked, thinking maybe there was some kind of clause on my parents permission…

Do you know what my parents told me? They told me that the council had filled out all their planning applications and had never once given them a copy of anything!!!
You see, my parents can’t read and write, and the council knew this.
Hence the council filling in all paperwork for my parents, but to never give them a copy of anything?!?!
My poor parents didn’t know they should have had a copy of it, in their words they said ‘we trusted the council’.

It all seemed so dodgy to me that I started to dig…
Oh, and what a tin of worms I opened!!!

First I went to the school, I wanted to know if what the council had written about the gypsy community’s children was true…
Guess what? The head mistress denied ever speaking to the council and said the views expressed by the council were not from or in any way the views of the school.
So on I went to the doctors, guess what? The same response… They said they had never spoken to the council and they were there to serve everyone equally from any ethnic or social background.
They also said they would never speak about peoples’ medical history etc as it would be a breach of patient confidentiality…
The school and doctors said they were happy to have a meeting with the council and me as they would like to get to the bottom of it as well, but when I asked the council they emailed saying they refused to attend a meeting and when I asked their reasons for not wanting to attend a meeting they emailed me saying that they had had a council meeting and had voted to not give me a reason as to why they wouldn’t attend a meeting with the school and doctors!! You couldn’t make it up could you?!

Anyway, I went to the council armed with my findings and letters from the school and doctors denying ever speaking with the council…
I said I wanted to know where and how they had got their information from.. after all, it had helped to make a decision to remove my family from their home…

Nearly 3 years on and I have been threatened with legal action many times (they haven’t as yet despite me saying I was happy for them to carry on and do so), I have been reported to the police, had Councillors try to make me leave meetings, have been followed out of meetings by a Councillor and threatened and have been called a liar in emails (in emails between Councillors I gained through an FOI request, I asked the Councillors to prove I was a liar as it could be seen as libel but they have totally ignored my request!!)
All this is because I won’t drop it, I won’t be fobbed off…
I’m standing up for what I believe in… Oh and in the last 2 months the councils accounts show that getting solicitors to reply to my emails has cost the tax payer just shy of £5000… But they still aren’t able to provide any actual proof ; they have made their claims up. I don’t understand why if they have done nothing wrong why their solicitors need to be so heavily involved??

Everything I have talked about above I have in writing and emails etc as proof.

The gypsy community aren’t a community that are liked, but there are good and bad in all walks of life and my family are good eggs.
But with Councillors going round printing stuff (with, it seems, no actual proof) like they have done about my family and the gypsies in my village it isn’t helping our cause is it?

My cousin said this to me –
They dont treat us like they do everyone else do they? They write what they like about us knowing we can’t read and write and also knowing we can’t do anything and even if we tried to do something who would believe us? Think of what would happen if a male gypsy followed a female councillor out of a meeting threatening her like the councillor did with you.

How could I disagree with him? He is right…

Imagine if an Asian or black family were told by the council they couldn’t remain in their home because their ‘greater educational and medical needs’ were a drain on there local school and doctors?
There would be uproar!!

I was told a long time I’d never win against the council and do you know why I was told I’d never win? It was because I don’t have enough money to fight them…
Is that what it all boils down to?
Not right and wrong…
It’s about who has more money.
But you know what? 3 years on I’m still here and I’m still fighting. My parents’ case goes to a public enquiry in mid Jan, my parents couldn’t really afford it but it was this or lose their home. So I’ve stepped in and I’m paying the bill. Can I afford it? Not really, but I won’t let the council win just because they have more money. Right is right and wrong is wrong…
I have taken some ‘normal people’ to meetings with me and they have been disgusted and shocked at how I’m spoken to by some Councillors.
Am I? Nope… I’m used to it. It’s how they treat us. Gypsies that is… Espically gypsies that ask questions and aren’t frighted to stand their ground no matter how bad they will be painted for doing so.

Do I like the person all this has turned me in to? Not in the least, it has made me mistrusting of ‘normal folk’ and bitter.
I’m forever over-tired and upset from working hard to pay legal bills or writing emails to Councillors but sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in and I believe in right winning over wrong.

So, the next time you see or hear of caravans pulled into a car park or football pitch remember me and my family because it could well be us soon.
Maybe don’t get angry with those gypsy families; after all, you know they may well have had a home they were happy in and were no trouble to anyone and then along came their local council and are now homeless.

The above is a VERY shortened version of what has happened and gone on, but I would be writing for a week if I tried to write it all down!!

Maybe reread this and think how you would feel if this was your family/parents. Maybe you can understand how I feel. Also, what my poor parents are going through, near retirement age and under threat at being made homeless just because the council have decided their face doesn’t fit anymore. Crazy hey??

But I shall keep fighting as I have let my wonderful parents down so badly by letting them be taken advantage of the way they have been.
Everyone likes a underdog don’t they? But you can’t really be a underdog if you are in the right can you?

Anyways I’ve always liked the name David and the name Goliath is a stupid one I wouldn’t want anyway.

A little saying that I love and which always make think about how the bad guys don’t always look like what you think he will…

“The Devil is real.
And he’s not a red man with horns and a tail.
He can be beautiful.
Because he’s a fallen angel
And he used to be God’s favourite”

Over and out from a maybe soon to be homeless Buckley.

P xx

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

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