To keep things fresh I've decided to interview horse owners every now and again. Georgina Bird lives in Nottingham with her four horses. I've picked on her because her lovely neddies are a little bit tricky and I'm always keen to hear how people deal with their less straightforward horses - mainly so I can use their advice on Cady Monster! Anyway, here goes:
Can you tell us a little bit about your horses?
I'm extremely lucky to have four horses - we just love to collect! Neeve is a 13.1hh Connemara cross who I've had for nearly five years. She's always been a bit of a cow if I'm honest but she has taught me everything,as she was very naughty on both the ground and riding. I remember being at a pony club rally where I tried untacking her myself and she dragged me across a huge field in front of everyone. Sonnie is a Welsh cob cross who sadly didn't have the best start in life. Me and my mum were the first people he really trusted. Sonnie's the sort that tricks everyone by being a donkey on the ground but as soon as he feels one foot in the stirrup he acts like a 17.2hh stallion/racehorse/Grand Prix dressage horse. Sophie is the sweetest pony ever and a Connemara cross. We bought her as a four-year-old and ever since then shes shown an endless amount of talent.She is my main competition pony who I do everything on from showjumping to dressage to eventing.She's just like Sonnie though - acts like a donkey on the flat and as soon as there's a fence up she's tanking you all over the place! Finally my big brown beast Paddy! Paddy is a 16.3 KWPN.He was a showjumper who we brought to turn into a dressage horsey, but he'd rather stand on his back legs all the time! He's definitely a horse to watch now he's found that the lorry isn't so scary.
|Georgina with Sophie and Sonnie|
What's been the highlight of this year for you and them?
Like horsey people know, everything is up and down with them. Sadly its all downs for me! The only high for me this year was finally having my horses at home with our own school and stables!
Any low points or specific problems you've had to overcome? If so, how did you do it?
Oh dear, I would be here for days if I mentioned all of them! My problems have included bucking, napping, dragging, lack of trust, bolting, rearing, leaping and not wanting to load. The only answer is being patient and taking your time.
I try to ignore the bad and praise the good. A problem I constantly have is comparing myself with other riders, which means I sometimes forget how amazing and talented my horses are.
Lately it's really been making riding less enjoyable so I have decided just to block it out and focus on every little thing they do well. Then I try to remember that good things can become amazing.
What is your favourite part of the horsey routine? (I like checking them early in the morning before work when they're still a bit sleepy)
I enjoy waking up, looking out my window and seeing them graze in the fields or with their heads stuck over the stable door. I also love it when they walk over to say hello or neigh at me. It really puts a smile on my face.
What piece of horse sense has stuck in your head - who said it to you or where did you read it?
Everything Carl Hester says, he's the guy I really look up to. Richard Maxwell once told me a joke "How many show jumpers does it take to fix a light bulb? None, because they don't need one - the light shines from their arse!"