Your Horse Writer
Although I’ve never had a horse of my own, I’ve been pony-mad since I can remember. Of the group of friends I first started riding with I was the only one to catch the bug, and to this day still ask for a horse for every Christmas and birthday! Growing up, I scrounged rides by hook or by crook, spending hours leading ponies at the local riding school in return for a lesson and hanging out with friends lucky enough to have their own ponies, graduating to working every weekend and school holiday at a large livery yard riding horses ranging from saints to crocks and those best described as mad, bad and dangerous to know.
Nowadays my riding is mainly hacking with the odd lesson thrown in when I can remember, and whenever I’m back in Yorkshire I devote myself to a friend’s horse, McGowan, who I was lucky enough to ride for six months when his owner went travelling.
My aim is to get my own horse (I’ve finally accepted Mac will never be for sale!) and get back into jumping and competition, but this remains a long way off, so while I’m saving up I’ll carry on asking my nearest and dearest for that elusive birthday horse. In the meantime am hoping to find a horse share to fill the gap between my weekends with Mac.
Let's find out a little more:
How long have you been riding?
What is your horse called?
McGowen, or Mac - he belongs to an old school friend who kindly lets me pretend he's mine on the weekends I do horse-sitting, and I have to mention his fieldmate and best buddy Dee, who is a true gentleman in equine form.
What do you do with your horse?
I love to go hacking round the Yorkshire countryside - Mac is kept near my childhood home so I've been doing these rides most of my life and I love them. I've also loved just hanging out with him, I find the yard a very peaceful place to be.
What is your favourite piece of kit?
My Hunter Wellies, I had my first pair for more than 10 years and only had to replace them becuase I wore all the tread off the sole! I also love my Musto jackets - I've had one since school and it's still as red and snug as it was when I first got it.
Who is your favourite rider?
I admire lots of people for many different reasons, but I think Mary King is great. I met her at Burghley when I was a child - my best friend's dad worked for Land Rover so we had 'backstage' access, and she was so lovely, taking the time to chat to two pony-mad kids while in the middle of such a big event!
If you could have any famous horse, which would it be?
Probably my childhood pin-up Milton, a fantastic talent and an honorary Yorkshireman to boot
What is your most embarrising horsey moment?There have been many, many embarrassing horsey moments, but my favourite is from when I was working at a trekking centre in Italy after uni – I got food poisoning from an undercooked lasagne while leading my first ride. After feeling awful all the way round, we were nearly home when I was suddenly violently sick while still in the saddle – I ended up sliding down the horse’s neck and landing in a heap because I felt too awful to get off, while the wife of the couple I’d taken out riding shouted at her husband in American-accented English to help me – I don’t know what she thought the poor chap could do! I eventually struggled back on and got us all back to the yard, where I found my colleagues similarly afflicted – not much got done that afternoon…
What is your favourite cheese?
You can't beat a nice piece of Davidstow cheddar!
My family, friends and long-suffering boyfriend Tom, the gorgeous Mac, my mad cat Dexie, rowing, reading, adventures and travel.
Condescension, cruelty to animals, and roadkill, it's heartbreaking to see a beautiful animal dead by the roadside, but I always have a look so I can pay a little tribute to them