I’m very lucky to have two gorgeous girls and a tolerant, supportive husband! Adrian has been with me for the whole journey with Indi. We brought her together as a project six years ago. He’s a famers son and not particularly horsey, so I was pretty impressed when we he didn’t squeal when I put him on to my 16.2hh ex-racehorse bareback without warning, when we first met. I think he was trying to impress me, and it worked! We were married in 2014. He’s stood in the wind, rain and cold for six years watching and supporting me. He records all my lessons so I can watch them back and he used to be out every day watching me school, but it’s not possible now with the kids. He’s also chief lorry driver, groom, number collector, show jump putter upper, nanny, shoulder to cry on and voice of reason when it doesn’t quite go to plan. I couldn’t do any of it without him.
We had Rosie, our first child in 2015, right in the middle of the eventing season. However, I was back on and competing after four weeks and she is now absolutely pony mad! To be honest when I look at her lifestyle I’m not surprised, everywhere you look there’s something horse related! We brought her first pony before she was two. Penny the wonder pony is a legend and has taught Rosie to walk, trot, canter and jump safely. Penny will show Flossie the ropes next year. Floss was born in May 2017 and it’s actually her first birthday at Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials this year, so we will have to find a birthday cake from somewhere!
I’m not sure how much of a life outside horses I actually have, we have a small holding which keeps us busy all year. Adrian has a small flock of pedigree Texel sheep and some commercial ewes. To be honest with work, kids, the horses and the sheep we rarely have much time to relax. If there’s any spare time left, we are out in the workshop building show jumps and mounting blocks for our small hobby business, Tweedside Equestrian. You’d think I would have a full set of lovely jumps to use, well no I don’t, I seem to have all the failed prototypes. It even took 12 months for Adrian to build me my own mounting block because he kept selling them from under my feet!
My day usually starts about 5am. Adrian will go out and check the sheep and feed the horses (yes ladies, he’s wonderful!). I work four days a week as an Agricultural Officer for the Scottish Government and also help run the events at The Ian Stark Equestrian Centre. I normally sit down at the computer with a cup of tea and start going through emails and setting up events. I’m fairly new to this job so I’m just finding my feet, but I absolutely love it! It works well around the kids as I can do it at home. I work on a flexi system so I can work anytime between 7am and 7pm. I can start work at 7am and finish by 3pm which gives me time to ride. It also means I can bank time for the farrier and lessons. Of course in an ideal work I’d play with horses all day!