Claire Taylor, Equo's north east brand ambassador, explains the highs and lows that come with horses in her November blog.
Hello and welcome to my first blog as Equo brand ambassador!
September was a great month for Team Taylor, as not only did we get the fab news that I had been chosen as an Equo brand ambassador, but we had a lovely and successful weekend away at the Senior Showing Championships with the patchy pony.
This was the first time that she had stayed away from home and the first time we had stayed in the lorry, as I only passed my lorry test earlier this year. We were placed third and fourth in the workers and received some helpful feedback from the judges. This gained us two tickets to the evening performance! She went beautifully in the Olympia qualifier but unfortunately jumped a pile of poo in her individual show… however, going better than ever she amazed us all by standing reserve supreme coloured champion! On day two she was very fresh and a little naughty but still gained two seconds and a reserve section champion! We all had a fabulous weekend and couldn’t be prouder of the old girl.
Unfortunately, since then things haven’t gone to plan. Patchy pony, who is prone to tying up (but hasn’t done so for many months now as we have her feed exactly right) tied up the week after the championships. It set her back a long way and she looked very poor very suddenly.
To make matters worse I took my lorry for a pre MOT inspection expecting a few minor repairs, however it turns out it needs a huge amount of work and subsequently will be off the road for some time. This was devastating and frustrating news and terrible timing to boot. Luckily for me I have some amazing friends and am now managing to beg, borrow and steal lifts and lorries!
More recently I entered my first event through Equo (and saved myself from standing in a very long queue to enter) with the patchy pony again – her first show since tying up as she is now looking much better. This time it was trailblazers showjumping at Moorhouse Equestrian. She had her jumping socks firmly on and went on to win with a great double clear… she is now back looking and feeling fantastic.
Last weekend I entered a local hunter trial at White House Farm through Equo. My good friend agreed to do the pairs class with me… we had to draw straws for who was going behind and consequently agreed to have their arms stretched! It was a great event and we came home with a pair of red rosettes!
Oakley is also going well at the moment and is improving very nicely. I have had four lessons with Philip Curtis at Stone Lodge Equestrian on him and can honestly say that he is a different horse. Oakley is home-bred and I was really struggling with his big, strong frame and *ahem* challenging attitude. I found it hard to admit that I was having so much trouble with an animal that I had bred, but Philip has been amazing and since trying techniques I hadn’t thought of, he has improved greatly. Oakley has just started jumping and doing baby grids. He is definitely ready for a low key party, we hope that will be for early November (hmm, now whose lorry can I steal?!)
The whole of Team Taylor took a trip down to HOYS, kindly invited by the Equo team. We had a fab day and it was great to meet everybody… it’s odd, I already feel like I’ve known the other brand ambassadors for ages! Watching the mounted police display left me feeling inspired, which is unfortunate for the ever tolerant patchy pony… let’s just say that taking the saddle of while cantering isn’t as easy as it looks and I had several attempts! I did manage to remove my jacket while jumping though!