Tell us a bit about you and the how the Story of a Wimpy Eventer came about
Sometimes I wonder this myself (laughs)! I was so confident growing up and rode anything, unbroken or otherwise, just to get ‘my leg over’ a horse. I wanted to go to Badminton. I rode for other people; training and bringing on young or difficult horses, I worked on several yards and always gave my all. I put so much time into learning the skill of riding, the feel you need and the ability to treat each horse as an individual. Until the day came to get my own. Cracks started appearing after a few unsuitable candidates. By the time I hit 30, I was absolutely terrified of getting on. I couldn’t see anything other than it ending in disaster. I knew something had to change. So I drew a line in the sand (and I have redrawn another one many times over) and started my ‘come back’!
You have two horses to compete this year, what are they like?
Pat is, and always will be my numero uno! He is a very quirky and sharp Master Imp gelding. I bought him almost 8 years ago and now, at 13, I thought maybe he might have chilled out a bit… but alas, he is still known to throw the odd shape in the dressage warm-ups! He is tremendously talented and if I can bring out even half of that talent, we usually have a very successful day. If I can’t, I’m usually left trembling in the back of my lorry avoiding getting back on!
Pea was a little thoroughbred mare that I had on loan when my confidence hit rock bottom back in 2004. She saved m from giving up back then, so when the opportunity arose for us to have her back (for good) late 2018, I jumped at the chance! She is amazing and we just get each other so well. It’s all about fun with her and I cannot wait to get her out eventing!
A lady of many talents you are now a self-published author. Tell us about your books and what inspired you to write them.
(blushes) Thank you! I never imagined I’d be here, 3 books down the line and 15,000 copies sold. It’s been the very best journey and one that I owe to the followers of my social media pages. Those wonderful humans that believed in me so early on. It was their idea, not mine and I owe all of it to the followers of my page. Inspiration is a funny thing, I write down what I need to hear to get me through the crap times and it turns out, that’s what a lot of other people need to hear too.
What do you do away from being the ‘Wimpy Eventer’?
I run a marketing consultancy from home. I’ll be honest though, DOWE has taken over my life. I have very little time for much else these days, what with the blog, the social channels, clothing range, book parcels and promotion. I have just started a serious of Wimpy Weekenders too, confidence camps with so much fun, hopefully, you won’t remember how scared you were!
What one piece of advice would you give a fellow rider struggling with confidence and getting out and about?
Never give up… cliché of the century, bear with me!
Always leave the door ajar for another day. Closing the chapter doesn’t mean you shut the book on it altogether, there will be days you feel like opening it again and those are the days you fight with everything you have. It’s ok to come back when your feeling better, when there’s less wind and more daylight, when you’ve lunged for an hour or when you’re in a better place in your head. That is perfectly okay. Throwing the towel in altogether… that one you’ll regret!
What are your aims for 2019 and beyond?
The main priority is to end the year smiling. Not disappointed, not frustrated, not unhappy… I’d be lying if I said that progress means nothing and I would love to have both horses placing at 100 (Pat) and 90 (Pea), but that truly is secondary to fun. I want to love competing because then you win every single time out regardless of the placing!
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