Life outside of horses, is there one? I feel the horses are part of my family and just like my children they need attention, encouragement and general care.
Alongside doing the horses which is my so-called hobby, I help others with their horses and I help my children with their ponies, are you sensing a theme here? My husband really isn’t into horses, but I think he is warming to them.
This month I have started running a holiday let so this has taken up any free moments I had. Low Slakes is a four bedroomed smallholding which sleeps eight people and of course all pets are welcome. I’m not sure, however if this is a rather insane move, as the other day we had a dog shake in the brand-new, light coloured kitchen – yes, you’ve guessed it mud splattered everywhere!
My children are my world, I have to confess, they are the best children ever (okay, I may be a little biased). The elder two do go to nursery for the full day on Mondays and Tuesdays and have a half day on Wednesday. Whereas Georgia, the youngest, goes everywhere with me. When the eldest two are not at nursery they join in with Georgia and I.
Helping friends with their horses, my week normally goes like so… On a Monday I help my friend with her youngsters; long-reining, backing and producing, at this point my eldest two are in nursery and my little one has to sit in the corner of the arena. Tuesdays, I work another of my friends’ ponies in exchange for rug washes (very much needed when the ponies are out 24/7). Wednesday is the day I try to catch up on jobs, such as the paperwork for my husband’s business. Thursdays involve taking Gromit to Greenland’s arena to use the show jumps, taking the two eldest children to my parents for a sleepover. While I’m down at mums, 45 miles away, I also go and ride my good friend’s Fell pony (cracking little pony for the future) as she has had the wonderful news that she is expecting. Finally, Friday is here, which is much more of a relaxing day as my most important job that day is to work my horses (which are done the other days too but normally in the dark) and collect the children from granny’s.
The weekends are normally for competing. I also need to clean the holiday let in between guests. Last week I had three back to back bookings – I do think I’m finally going grey!
So where do I find time or money to do other activities? I hear you ask. When somebody has the answer to this please let me know. I finance the ponies myself, so any money I do have, really does go in to the horses, everything is done on a shoestring here. Currently I’m in need of a new pair of competition boots as my wonderful Sergio Grassio boots are feeling their age. The soles are coming off, even though I have tried to repair them and the leather is disintegrating on the inside of my calf. At this rate they may be held together with gaffer tape by the Mitsubishi Motors Cup. I have competed at HOYS with gaffer tape holding my boots together and came third. The horses are my saving grace in more than one way, I owe them everything. I still have the last horse I rode at the B90 Championships at Crackenthorp Formula One, he is now aged 27. My children and horses may not have all the up-to-date gear but they do have lots of love and care.