Today I interviewed of fabulous Chief Operations Officer.
Part of our drive behind Perfect Ponies is to create a friendly community of cheerleaders!
“In a world where you can be anything…Be Kind”
We can’t wait to launch our series of blogs and interview and super excited for our little community to grow. If you have anything exciting to share or discuss, do get in touch.
Where else best to start that getting to know the faces behind Perfect Ponies HQ…
Today I interviewed the Wonderful Organiser behind the company our very talented Chief Operations Officer (who also happens to be my best friend and Sister, Ella.)
Ella being the elder sister & middle child of the three of us, she is definitely the matriarch of the family and the steady force that also seems to have fallen into the role as the rock of the family.
Even though most of these memories were shared events I thought I knew the answer too, I was so touched by the personal memories that I viewed so differently.
What was your earliest memory of being around horses?
“I can’t remember not loving horses!
I learnt to ride at Mrs. Headley’s riding school when I was about 7 years old. She was a very good teacher but also very strict! I have a few memories of riders jumping off and leaving the school after a few heated words!
Every Sunday morning, me and my mum would queue up in her office waiting to see which horse she had selected for us. I used to dread that bit! As always I had Siskin, he was a little strawberry roan with a big attitude problem! I hated riding him and she knew I did.
She told me once I wont get to ride any other pony until I love him. In the end I did and looking back he learnt me so much especially how to stick on. Once I ended up landing on his head after a little jump, and she made me get back in my saddle without touching the floor, I was dangling under his neck for a while before giving up! I was scared she would make me do the whole thing again and yes she did! Luckily, I stayed on the second run!!
We then started to ride at Heaton Park every Saturday morning, I rode Suzie, she was a beautiful bay mare. We rode there for years and I mucked out ponies for rides on different yards.”
Who was your first horse?
“A little piebald pony called Blue on loan. I loved him to bits and he took me to my first show.
My first season I turned up in a nylon black second hand show jacket faded on the collar, but I thought I look fabulous. Looking back at pictures makes me laugh now but we had lots of fun. I didn’t have transport to get to the shows so I had to hack down to the show ground it took me about an hour. I was always in tack and turnout which was the first class in, so we had an early start! Me and Blue met my mum and sister at the show ground with the car full of essentials and a hay net tied to the roof rack. We averaged 3rds and 4ths, we were ecstatic to get yellow, green and the occasional ‘special’ pink ones.”
Do you have a horse of a lifetime?
“Yes! Tilly or Spirea Ulmaria – her show name meaning – Queen of the Meadow!
After a few years showing our ponies and riding for other people I got a full time job working at the hospital and it was time to buy my forever horse. We travelled around England every weekend viewing horses, we must of spent thousands on petrol. As soon as a new advert was published in the farmer guardian we booked a viewing. One weekend we came to a point where we didn’t have anything left to view except one advert! It was a tiny advert in the loot for a chestnut mare priced at £1700. I didn’t even want to go and see her but my mum said come on we have nothing else to view and its 15 mins away.
Off we went and I instantly fell in love with another chestnut mare! I said I would never get another one. Tilly 15.2 beautiful, show horse potential, stabled on her own, hacked perfectly across a very busy road on her own, green in the school but we had the best foundations to work with. We got her home and she became best friends with our other chestnut mare, they became inseparable they couldn’t go anywhere without each other. It became a massive problem at times.
Tilly’s first show was eventful! She had a strict routine, rode almost every day, and on a good diet. She must of felt amazing with all this new energy and she let everyone know! I had to lunge her for half an hour before I could do anything with her, so more early starts on a show day. Her first season we just did in hand with her because she was still so green and slightly crazy, she did really well and won many reds!
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to the second season as she had a serious accident. Whilst being lunged in the school she stepped on a 5 inch coach bolt, It went right in the sole of her hoof at the side of her frog.
She ended up in Leahurst for months, it was very touch and go for her. I remember the vet ringing me preparing me for the worst, on her MR scan it showed the bolt had burst the navicular bursa! It was the news we didn’t want to hear. They pulled the bolt out cleaned the hole and packed it with anti-bacterial beads and we hoped for the best. She pulled through with no complications even the vets were amazed that she survived. She became my happy hacker after her accident as we didn’t want to keep her in hard work because we didn’t want to agitate any problems in her foot.
She’s now 24!! Last year she lost her best friend Honey after being inseparable for 18 years, she found it so hard without her and became depressed. We had to get her some goats to keep her company and she’s much happier now. She’s Looking fabulous and fluffy and loving her retirement and touch wood amazingly never been lame on that foot!”