With the decision to event in the Wobbleberry Challenge, the next move would be to find a horse. Required was a sensible horse that could provide eventing success. And just to be clear, eventing success means completion of all 3 phases still in saddle without self-ejecting from having a panic attack. Should be easy, right?
My wish list was pretty simple.
1. Must have evented before so they know what do to, especially since I don’t.
2. Be safe.
3. Be sound and be able to jump.
4. Be calm when my nerves aren’t.
5. Be safe.
6. Be willing to accept in no specific order; grooming, cuddles, talking in that weird pet owner way, selfies and excessive use of polos.
7. Be willing to deal with my mistakes, of which I will make plenty.
8. Did I mention safe?
I turned to a local Facebook group where I found an ad for a possible eventer. A 16.1hands, liver chestnut thoroughbred (a GINGER?!) who loves his job but wasn’t being used as the family had other horses in work. The owner was looking for someone to compete him at lower levels as he wasn’t enjoying the higher levels anymore. This sounded perfect for the Wobbleberry Challenge especially as I have no plans to compete at 1meter soon, or ever.
Right from the beginning the owner was forthright about the horse: a schoolmaster who has been there, done it (excellent), can be strong (eeks), not a great hack as he spots aliens in the bushes (oh jaysus) and he has his Jackel/Hyde moments, he is a ginger after all. I was eager to give it a go after all, haven’t you heard, Ginger is the new bay?!
Right from the first lesson I was hooked. The horse was a real gentleman who let me cuddle him at the word hello. *important quality when looking for a serious eventer, obviously I’m kidding but it is important to me. The owner who had evented him to Grassroots Championships knew her stuff; I got worked in my first lesson “LEG ON, WORK EVERY STRIDE” till I was both huffing and a puffing. My face was redder then someone who tries hot yoga for the first time. Either I’m completely out of shape, which I admit is a possibility or I don’t know how to ride, another possibility that is slightly defeating on the ol’ ego.
I realised that in my previous equestrian life, I’m quite good at directing a horse around an arena, but not so great at creating impulsion with seat and legs which is rather important when one wants to event. There were muscles in my legs that had never been engaged before, which from a yoga instructor is saying something.
A few more lessons and then not long after we are discussing terms of lease. My experience with DIY livery is non-existent however I knew it held part of the key to becoming an event rider. Not only did I have to re-learn how to ride effectively, I also had to learn how to care for a proper event horse.
So I’m pleased to announce Foxglen Jasper aka Frog as my new partnership for the Wobbleberry Challenge! Obviously I have fallen in love with him already; he is now my Ginger Wonder Horse because he is so damn wonderful. It’s both very exciting and quite overwhelming to consider the challenge ahead. My job as a yoga instructor is to remind people to breathe while putting them in uncomfortable positions (which is great fun!) and now I have to manage training for Frog (30mins a day), care and everything else associated with an eventer OF WHICH I HAVE NO IDEA. Added to this my own rider fitness, which I’m realising is lacking.
This however, is the point. I’m a wobbleberry. I’m doing this to raise money for the Willberry Wonder Pony and #rideforhannah, a young girl who braved great struggles and inspired us all as she battled cancer. This is about fulfilling a childhood dream and also supporting sick kids with their dreams. Join our wobbleberry party as we turn from yoga instructor to proper eventer!
The face says it all. Delighted with our clear round in our first time show-jumping; the Ginger is a super star. Can’t wait now for some actual eventing!! . . . #love #eventinglife #wobbleberrychallenge #rideforhannah #myequestrianlife #eventinghorse #eventingnotebook #workeverystride #instahorse #horselife #keysoe #equine #showjumper