Oscar is slowly but surely winding down for his winter break towards the end of August. We have a couple jumping lessons to go and will continue familiarising ourselves with the racetracks, but other than that we’re just working on smoothing things over as opposed to learning anything new and increasing fitness.
|OH HEY WINTER, LONG TIME NO SEE.|
2. What is the biggest obstacle/reason preventing you from becoming a professional or competing full time with ease?
The fact that I just don’t wish to become a professional/compete full time. I relate to Becks’ statement that you lose a lot of the passion when it comes to turning your passion into work. There’s suddenly a lot more to it than just loving the sport when it becomes the thing that has to put food on your table.
3. Do you think it will ever not be about the money?
|Money, money, money… I eat your money for breakfast.|
Nope, it’s always about the money for me. Horses are a hundred times more enjoyable when you have the cash to show every week and buy all of the tack that you covet… or even fix up your trailer so you can leave the property every once in a while.
Although with that being said, horse ownership in New Zealand is ten times more affordable than what I grew up accustomed to, so I guess time is actually the biggest thing these days.
4. Was there ever a horse that you loved and really wanted to have a connection with, but it just never panned out?
Absolutely – I really wish that I clicked with Smooch. She is always in the ribbons whenever she goes out, and is a super talented horse. I purchased her the day I saw her, I wanted her to work out for me that much. Sadly though, we just bring out the worst in each other. I have a super cold seat, I don’t know if that’s the correct term but whatever the opposite of a hot-seat is) and being a horse that has learnt how to say no, it’s really hard for me to get her forward and off my leg without a serious full on slog-match.
Five minutes of ribbon winning on this horse isn’t worth the hours upon hours of battling behind the scenes; and I’d rather just have a horse that I enjoy than a horse that will win me ribbons. I wish we clicked but sadly it’s not to be. She adores my sister and watching them win stuff together is awesome.
As a funny side note, my sister purchased Oscar straight away too and the two of them just don’t get on at all. It set us up for a perfect horse-swap.
5. What is one weakness in your riding that even your trainer doesn’t pick up on, only you?
I don’t know, I’m pretty transparent and share my weaknesses with anyone I lesson with. C knows Oscar and I pretty well and has identified plenty of weaknesses I didn’t even know we had, but I did have to let her know how collapsed I felt through my left ribcage. I am being punished heavily for it. #AllOfTheLeftReinExercises.
6. What is the biggest doubt/insecurity you ask or tell yourself in your head?
I’m a pretty positive thinker, and know I share the same capability as all the big name riders to do well if I work hard enough to foster the right mentality, dedication, passion to do well and was prepared to work my ass off to get there. I know all this and don’t have any “not-good-enough” issues.
My biggest insecurity then, and this translates across the board, is what other people think of me.
I remember the first time I rode at Pony Club – my parents took photos to share with my family in England, and a girl from the club that I hadn’t even met yet left comments on each of them ‘critiquing’ my position and referring to “my poor horse”. I was only tipping forward through my shoulder, the reins had loops in them and the horse really couldn’t have given a shit.
It has definitely made me a little insecure about what people are thinking, though I have learnt to avoid the toxic and catty riders as they’re mostly just insecure in their own capabilities.
7. There is a barn fire. You are the first person to discover it and see that the roof is collapsing in slowly, and you can tell that it is going to come down any time. Do you call people first, or head in straight to save the horses?
|Did someone say “barn fire”?!?! I’d better spray #nervouspoo all up my stable wall just in case!|
I’d do both, simultaneously. Probably yell out as I ran inside.
I don’t think I could physically pause and stop to make a call whilst animals were trapped in a life threatening situation.
8. What is one event in your riding career/horse/anything that you’re still not over, even though you might tell others that you are?
Hmmm, since breaking my hip on a bolting horse – I really dislike being aboard a bolting horse.
It’s not something I talk about though, so I don’t know that anyone knows about it/thinks I’m over it. It happened in Auckland so all of my riding friends now don’t actually know about it, ha.
9. If you could tell off one person you just don’t like, what would you say?
If you imply that you are above riding Thoroughbreds then you have an attitude that’s not likely to get you very far. Sitting on a warmblood doesn’t make you better than anyone else, despite what you might think.
10. Have you ever seen questionable riding or training practises, but let it go/ignored it? How do you feel about it in hindsight?
Totally. I can’t really be salty towards others who call people out on what they don’t agree with, if I do it myself. There comes a point when outside interference is necessary but I don’t think I’m qualified to ever play that interfering party. In saying that, I will share the odd post on my Facebook page that raises awareness around say.. leaving nylon halters on horses in the paddocks.