Evie & Sam
I am a 24 year old event rider and coach based in Bucks. I have been riding since the age of 2, I grew up being taught by my Granny and Aunt at their riding school. At the age of 8 I got my first pony at home. I have always had a passion for schooling and bringing on young ponies from an early age. I didn’t fall in love with eventing until I was about 16 when I was lucky enough to take my pony to Stonar to go to Sixth Form. It was an incredible experience to be taught by world class coaches while I was there along side my A-Levels. February 2013, I broke my collar bone meaning I had about 4 months off riding. After this we were searching for a nice safe pony for me to ride and build my strength back up. Just down the road was a little coloured mare that couldn’t even canter a circle let alone jump a fence, but me and mum decided this was the pony for us. After 12 months of hard work, working on both the pony and myself we went to our first event and never looked back. I evented her for 4 years from BE80 to BE100 and eventually taking on the Badminton Grass Roots where we had the most amazing time ever. It was time for her to move on to teach someone else the love of eventing.
Then enters Sam into my life, a little 3yo Connie from Ireland. After Mum buying me the most beautiful 16h Warmblood cross for my 21st and having to put her down after only a few months of owning her due to a serious field injury. Mum was bored on Facebook due to having a broken shoulder (not horse related) saw this cute little face and decided that was it. I have never been very good at buying horses for myself as I can always see the potential in every horse I sit on. The buying has always been Mum choice even though she has never ridden she has always seemed to have a good eye for a pony. Sam was backed 2 weeks before he came over so still very green. He has the most awesome attitude and always tries his best. He was an easy youngster to have, taking everything in his stride and we have got a bond going. He is now 6yrs old and no longer a small little Connie pony, he is now a big well muscled horse that keeps growing a changing shape constantly. This is when Katie came into our journey.
At the start of this year 2020, I was struggling with his flat work. He holds all his tension in his neck and top of his shoulders. I had been trying for about 6 months to get a test ready medium trot and it wasn’t even getting close. One of my clients was using Katie and I rode the pony regularly and could feel the difference. The one issue I have always had with people who have done my horses in the past is they tell you where your horse is right and why and that’s it. They give you no advice, slightly make you feel terrible then say they will be back in 6 weeks and you don’t ever feel like you are making progress. I met Katie, gave her Sam and didn’t really tell her anything - I wanted to see what she could pick up. And sure enough she said he was very tight in his neck and she spent the first 2 sessions with him in his neck. I could feel the difference when I starting to introduce new lateral movements that he was starting to relax his neck and engage more from behind. Then we managed to actually get a proper medium trot. My coach was really impressed with the improvements he was making in his schooling. Katie has not only helped me but also many clients' ponies that I coach and ride to keep them performing at their best. She is a positive influence on any equine she treats.
Whenever Katie comes to treat Sam or one of the horses I have in on schooling she is always coming up with ways to help each horse and how to change their routine so each horse is working at their optimum. It always feels like you are progressing. Any horse that is on my yard is treated like an athlete. They work hard for me and I expect 110% from each horse, whether it is a youngster learning to trot over a pole to Sam who is working towards novice eventing. She is a valued member of my team. She's always on the end of the phone discussing what the horses are doing and bouncing ideas between us. I definitely won’t be with out her.