A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of having a Colour me Beautiful consult with Sarah. Sarah very kindly gifted me a colour consult which entailed fathoming which colours suited me. What do I mean by this? Well, colour has a huge impact on the way we look, feel and how others perceive us. Colour can immediately give you an instant boost making you look healthier, vibrant and younger, so it's important to get this right! A colour consult assesses your skin tone, eye and hair colour and from this you are given a range of colours that compliment your unique colouring.
I've never been particularly confident when it comes to daring, bright colours, preferring to always stay in the 'neutral' zone and stick to black, grey and white! I found the consult really useful, not only in terms of which colours suit me but Sarah also had some amazing tips for applying make up and how to wear clothing. She, very kindly, agreed to me vlogging some of this process as I thought it might be useful to some of my followers who perhaps struggle with confidence when it comes to styling, as this is a service that is available to anyone, all over the UK!
I didn't manage to record everything, but I think it's a really useful video and Sarah is great at explaining all about it, so I know this vlog is a little different, but I hope it's useful! I've also popped Sarah's details below encase anyone fancied finding out more info!
Spring is just around the corner - I promise it’s coming back after the ‘fake spring’ we experienced at the end of February! Who else was questioning whether they should wear a t-shirt or not? I certainly embraced it, I just didn’t go as far as wearing a pair of shorts!
And with the warmer weather & lighter evenings comes fun things, like country shows & events. Whether that be a county show like Bath & West, local hunt point-to-point or even one of the bigger horse trials such as Badminton – there’s so many events to look forward to.
Not only attending the events, dressing up for country events can be fun, especially choosing what to wear & also rather daunting. Lofthouse Country Boutique & me, Becky from Country Bumpkin Chic are here to help with some top ‘get the look’ fashion tips.
A few things to remember when picking your event outfit of choice:
Dress for you - & what will suit your personality. If you want to try something different, maybe change one item at a time, so it doesn’t feel too over whelming. If you’re not usually a hat wearer, go for that. Mackenzie & George have some great fedora’s which can be dressed up even more with a beautiful feather pin or keep it plain for the subtle country look.
British weather – as we all know the weather can be unpredictable at any time of the year. Make sure you do a quick weather app check before you head out the door & question whether your outfit is rain, sun or wind proof! You may need to pack two outfits, for a quick change of clothing if you get soaked or overheat.
Comfort – if you’re going to be at an event all day, either walking around shopping in the trade stands, walking the cross country or supporting friends competing. You’ll want to be comfortable, especially on the footwear front, or have a spare pair of comfy shoes/boots in the car for a midday swap.
Now, here’s the fun part! Lofthouse Country Boutique @loftycountrylife & I @becky_wren are big fans of Instagram for fashion inspiration & we’ve picked out a few outfits worn by some of our fave country girls. We’ll be showing you how to ‘get the look’ with items from Lofthouse Country Boutique & some of our fave British brands.
Get The Look – Country Classic
The Country Classic look is easily transferrable from a horse event, county show to G&Ts in the pub garden.
This look is inspired by @harriet_lily at Burghley Horse Trials. It’s easy to wear for walking around the tradestands doing a spot of shopping or walking over the undulated ground & still looks country chic for a drink with friends.
Re-create the Country Classic look at Lofthouse Country Boutique:
Shirt – start your outfit off with a flattering white shirt from Baleno Clothing (£59.95). The floral trimmings on the collar & cuffs give the look an extra touch of glamour.
Waistcoat – build on the white shirt with a fleece navy waistcoat from Baleno (£54.95), perfect for keeping you warm when walking around the event, but not too cosy for popping in & out of tradestands.
Belt – embrace true, country fashion with the brandy brown coloured Baleno pascal belt, with stretch material which means you’ll be super comfy all day & easy on the pocket at £14.95.
Jewellery – accessorise your décolletage with one of the beautiful cherry roller necklaces at £95 from HiHo Silver, which can be bought online or in store at Lofthouse Country Boutique. We love the two tone of the rose gold & silver, which means it’s versatile when it comes to accessorising outfits.
Re-create the Country Classic look with Lofthouse Country Boutique & Country Bumpkin Chic’s recommendations:
Jeans – team the outfit with a pair of stone wash jeans. We really like the India skinny jeans from New Look at £22.99, they have a huge range of jeans for all body types, all at budget friendly prices.
Boots – Dubarry have a great range of boots which were made for walking. The Dubarry Clare country boot is certainly very comfy for wearing all day & is a great investment at £349.
Hat – we’re a fan of Mackenzie & George’s fedora hats at £49.99 & the wine or navy felt fedora would help finish this outfit off. If you’re looking for an extra spot of panache, why not complement the fedora with a feather pin which start at £34.99 from Mackenzie & George.
Get The Look – Country Bold
The Country Bold outfit is a confident look & will help you stand out from the crowd of tweed.
This look is inspired by Tina Wallace from @life_on_the_left_rein who at the recent HiHo Silver instameet at Blackdown Shepherd Huts teamed a gorgeous eye popping coral blazer from Tommy Hilfiger with some staple white jeans from Next & fashion statement boots from Fairfax and Favor to create a country bold look. Photo taken by the lovely Danielle from @blacknovadesigns for Tina.
Re-create the Country Bold look at Lofthouse Country Boutique:
Jacket - your statement piece ‘needs’ to be this stunning tweed style Beauchamp blazer by Sporting Hares at £155, which will definitely help you stand out in a sea of blazers & tweed.
Belt – embrace your country fashion with this gorgeous belt from HKM Sports Equipment to finish off your outfit with flair. Plus, it’s in the sale for £9.95 – so be quick before it goes!
Accessories – every outfit needs a bit of bling, & we love the cherry roller bangle at £125, which you can pair with the cherry roller necklace at £125 for the ultimate equestrian style from our friends over at HiHo Silver which you can buy in store or online from Lofthouse Country Boutique.
Re-create the Country Bold look with Lofthouse Country Boutique & Country Bumpkin Chic’s recommendations:
White Jeans – we recommend taking a look at Next for some staple white skinny jeans & at purse pleasing prices. Note: white jeans are not for everyone & do need to be worn with caution & confidence – avoid any spillages or in my case horse dirt!
Boots – we think the Regina’s from our friends over at Fairfax and Favor in tan would really complement this look & make sure you’re ready for a top day out.
Get The Look – Country Elegant
The Country Elegant look has an air of whimsical romance to it & is a real country chic look.
Re-create the Country Elegant look at Lofthouse Country Boutique:
Poncho/Cape – everyone needs a poncho/cape in their wardrobe & this one from Baleno Shirley in moss green at £54.95 truly embraces classic country chic & will keep you warm for those cooler days. Tip: if it’s cold, layer a long sleeve sweater from Joules or short sleeve tee on warmer days.
Bag – the cross body bag in tan at £100 from Grays of Shenstone Haston will be super handy when you’re placing a bet at the point to point, making purchases in the tradestands or sipping on a G&T in the beer tent. We love the snaffle bit detail which gives a nod to classic equestrian heritage.
Jewellery – carry on the equestrian heritage theme by teaming the outfit with a snaffle ring at £25 & snaffle friendship bracelet at £35 in navy both from HiHo Silver.
Re-create the Country Elegant look with Lofthouse Country Boutique & Country Bumpkin Chic’s recommendations:
Jeans – as mentioned in the Country Classic look check out New Look jeans for some budget friendly prices denim in a variety of styles & washes.
Boots – we think the Imperial Explorer in mahogany from Fairfax & Favor would be perfect for finishing this outfit off. They also come with a water resistant membrane, ideal for all the British seasons.
We hope you’re now feeling inspired for an upcoming country event? There’s lots more gorgeous products available online or in store at the Lofthouse Country Boutique to inspire you.
A tailored ladies blazer is a must have for your wardrobe! Why? It's so versatile! Let's face it, a blazer can worn, any time of year, for any event. It all depends on how you style it! Of course, there are mountains of choices for you when it comes to picking the perfect womens blazer. However, as there are so many, you do find you can become lost in a sea full of plain blazers, and quite frankly, who wants that? Surely you want to stand out?
Sporting Hares Beauchamp Blazer in Deep Blue > Shop the style HERE
Established in 2011, Sporting Hares is a British Lifestyle brand which, is run from a farm in the Welsh countryside. With a taste for adventure and the preppy way of life, Sporting have a gorgeous range of country lifestyle must haves from their flagship sunglasses to their most recent launch of Willow fleece waistcoats. However, there is one product which is guaranteed to turn heads. Their Beauchamp Blazer.
Launched in 2015, Sporting Hares Beauchamp Blazer is a must-have for any preppy, country lover. Made by hand this beautiful blazer is perfect to complete your country outfit. Made with a luxurious wool blend and a taffeta silk lining the blazer features real opening cuffs and the signature velvet under collar giving the wearer multiple options to style. The tailored fit is extremely flattering and our favourite colour, to date, is the deep blue. A colour, which suits anything and anyone. Finally each blazer is adorned with wooden buttons finishing off a classic, elegant blazer, tailored to turn heads on and off the field.
So if you looking to buy a quality ladies blazer, look no further than Sporting Hares Beauchamp Blazer and shop the style HERE!
This was me. I was definitely not a morning person! We’ve all seen those images floating around on social media with the half asleep cat or the Polar bear sliding its way across the ice with its head on the floor – well that was me. Past tense. It’s taken a while to train myself to be a morning person, but now I am at my most productive first thing. ‘How?’ I hear you ask! Well let me explain….
Go to bed at a reasonable time
Make sure you allow yourself the amount of sleep that your body needs! You can’t burn the candle at both ends. I’m usually in bed for 9:30pm and I begin winding down. I can’t just fall asleep right away though. There are a few things I do in order to be sleep ready!
No caffeine before bed – I tend not to drink tea or coffee later on in the day.
Don’t eat your evening meal too late! If you are overly full, you will struggle to sleep.
Don’t be tempted to scroll the internet! The light from screens stimulate your brain and therefore keep you awake.
Stay away from social media! Don’t allow other people’s moods be the last thing you see before you sleep!
Read a book, listen to a relaxing playlist on your iPod or complete a Guided Meditation. There are loads of these on YouTube. It sounds silly, but I guarantee you’ll be falling asleep in a positive state of mind in no time.
Be organised the night before
I always make sure my daughters toys are packed away and her day bag ready to be put in the car first thing in the morning. I also make sure that my lunch is organised and breakfast is sorted – I’m following the Slimming World plan at the moment and organisation is key! I also plan my evening meals in advance – as much as possible, so that any morning prep can be done without thinking! Occasionally, I’ll be super organised and prep the following nights evening meal the night before!
Set your alarm earlier than you need to be up. I set mine for 5:45am on a weekday and I NEVER press the snooze button. Pressing snooze allows you to begin to fall asleep again and you will feel worse - not better! I used to fall into this trap and it doesn’t start your day off well.
Get moving as quick as possible
Get yourself out of bed as soon as you can manage. This will get easier I promise you. If you can’t bare the cold during winter, set your heating to come on early, then you’ll be nice and toasty! Once you’re out of bed, stretch! Again, this sounds crazy, but stretching improves circulation and increases the blood flow to the muscles and brain. It also sharpens concentration!
Develop a morning routine
5:45am – Get up! Sneak down stairs as to not wake my daughter (Laila) – my morning is my ‘me time’, (I’m currently writing this blog post at 6:30am) she doesn’t need to be up so early!
Cup of tea time! Start your day with whatever you need to get you going in a morning. For me, it’s a cup of tea.
Listen to a motivational speech/video to get you going! YouTube are full of these. DO NOT start your day by scrolling through Facebook or Instagram! Concentrate on YOU.
Write in my journal. I write about what I hope the day will bring and what happened the previous day. Focus on the positive or what you can do to change the negatives in to positives.
I also work on my business first thing in a morning too. I create motivational quotes and graphics and share them to my FB page, group and Instagram! I am often more inspired in a morning!
Prepare the evening meal. Ok so this isn’t for everyone, but I’m a busy woman and I need to be organised! My Slow Cooker is my life! I often make sure that I have a meal prepared and in my slow cooker. If not, I know what I plan to have for tea that evening at least.
Breakfast! Do not skip the first meal of the day. If you can’t eat early in the morning (I never used to be able to – it gets easier) then make sure you have something you can take with you. Breakfast gets your metabolism working therefore prevents weight gain. You also need fuel for that amazing brain to work well!
Shower, dress and make up! I try to put a little make up on each day - it really helps you to feel more confident. I don’t care what anyone says about being comfortable in your own skin, we all want to feel amazing and make up helps!
By this time, Laila is awake and we are getting ready to head out of the door! I’m very lucky that my mum looks after Laila at the moment and she makes sure she has had her breakfast and is dressed – I’m not super woman!!
So, I hope this has motivated you to become a morning person! It really is the best time of the day and it’s amazing what you can accomplish before 8am! It’s now 8:10am and I can hear movement from Laila’s room above me!
It's March and that means ... Mothers Day is making it's way to us! We all know that, sometimes, Mums can be tricky to buy for and as much as they say 'don't bother this year' .. we know that gift has to be better than last! So here's our top 5 picks for your Mum this Mothers Day and they're all £25 and under!
1. Ness Lambswool Tartan Scarf: These are so soft, comfy, warm and beautiful! We know Spring is on the way but there's still some cold nights ahead of us and a beautiful scarf is always a welcome gift no matter what time of year it is! Available in both red and purple check this will look lovely with any outfit and stave off the chill stylishly! > £12.99 < TAP HERE TO SHOP
2. Sophie Allport Bees Mug: We all know certain mugs make the best cuppas! Don't let your Mum settle for something sub-standard! She's earn't that cup of tea! These fine bone china cups from Sophie Allport not only make a lovely cuppa they look so beautiful! Adding a touch of outdoors to that country kitchen they make a lovely gift! Plus you can always add to your Mums collection, each year, with some matching pieces from the Sophie Allport range! Think Tea Towels, Oven Gloves, Storage tins, Aprons ... you get the picture! > £11.00 < TAP HERE TO SHOP
3. Hiho Silver Snaffle Ring: A piece of jewellery is always a lovely gift and this special piece is no exception. Why is this special, you ask? Any piece from Hiho is built to last, not only is it beautiful but it will also put up with whatever life throws at you. We all know Mums are busy people, so they really need a piece of jewellery that will look good, morning, day and night, whether they are mucking out stables, off to work or dining out that evening. Hiho lets this happen! > £25.00 < TAP HERE TO SHOP
4. Sporting Hares Preppy Long Socks: There is nothing better than some snuggly socks after a day on your feet! Warmth, comfort and style are what your feet crave .. your mum really should have the best shouldn't she? Enter Sporting Hares Long Socks, perfect for cosy nights in and days out in the field. Plus each purchase supports the fight against breast cancer! > £15.00 < TAP HERE TO SHOP
5. Ness Dunkeld Tweed Purse: Sometimes you can't help but stand out. So it might as well be for all the rights reasons? This stunning Ness purse ticks all the boxes when it comes to practicality, style and quality. A striking gift for your Mum this Mothers Day. Available in red or purple check. > £24.99 < TAP HERE TO SHOP
So there you have it, 5 gifts for your Mum this Mothers Day, all £25 or less! The real questions is, which one (or three) will you choose?
Country kitchens; No matter what your kitchen currently looks like there are some easy ways to make it much more shabby chic than shabby! For us it's all about your country kitchen accessories! So here's our top picks to make your kitchen more like a farmhouse and less like a barn!
1. Kitchen Storage Tins: An essential for your worktops, these beautiful, farm animal, storage tins with Chicken design are perfect for storage and add that element of shabby chic to your kitchen! The country kitchen tea, coffee, sugar canisters are a must have with their speckled Maran hen design!
2. Farm house spoon rest: Let's face it, cooking is messy! After styling your country kitchen you need an accessory that is going to keep things tidy! This neat spoon rest from Sophie Allport ensures your worktops stay mess free whilst your feeding the family!
3. Sophie Allport Oven Gloves: These are the best oven gloves when it comes to quality! Super thick, they will make sure your hands are protected when using the oven but also the gorgeous design means they look lovely hanging from your oven door! Grab a pair of these country style double oven gloves for your kitchen and turn it from plain to country chic!
4. Tea Towels:A necessity for the kitchen, there should always be a funky tea towel hanging somewhere! These tea towels from Sophie Allport are great quality and even come with a handy loop so they can be hung up. Plus with a huge range of farm animal designs you'd be hard pushed not to find one you like!
5. Novelty Door Stops: No kitchen is complete without a, farm animal, door stop! Sophie Allports range of door stops are heavy enough to stop that door banging shut but also adds that farmhouse feature to your kitchen! Plus it's also a great quirky gift to give that country friend!
So there you have it, 5 simple country kitchen accessories to make your kitchen look more country!
There is one thing we love at this time of year! That's finding out the latest Spring/Summer fashion trends. It doesn't feel like it but Spring is on it's way and as the night start getting lighter and warmer our Winter knits start to get pushed to the back of the wardrobe in favour of lighter blouses and gilets!
So what is in store for us this Spring/Summer when it comes to British Country Fashion? We'll here's our low down for 2019!
1. Colours: London Fashion Week 2019 is approaching and we are sure there will be allsorts of wonderful showcased, from beige to neon! One thing that always strikes us are how unrealistic these colours are in terms of us country lovers! We do not want to be in the middle of a muddy field in a full outfit of neon yellow! However, a mustard knitted jumper, teamed with a tweed skirt is another thing! Spring and Summer for us Brits means nautical colours so navy, deep red, mustard ... all practical, thankfully!
2. Patterns: Both a blessing and a curse patterns can either be flattering or a complete no go! Stripes seem to be a recurring theme along with classic check (so think shirts here!). Navy and white stripes are a good go-to and let's face it they go with pretty much anything! Animal prints are also a strong contender for this Spring, but don't overdo that too much. Subtly is key, maybe stick with accessories, for example an animal print belt, bag and shoes!
3. Accessories: Country style accessories are a must have! Whether your styling a country work outfit or off for a day shooting it's your accessories that compete any look to give it that British Country Style! Absolute essentials are scarves, usually with a nod to equestrian or country, so horse bit print, farm animal print, flowers etc. Belts are a must, either fabric or leather and can really finish off an outfit whilst also being practical and flattering. We would suggest a good quality one, belts are an essential item and a good quality one will last you a long time! Spring/Summer country hats are all about the straw hat and, of course, the classic felt fedora never goes out of style! Jewellery is also an essential, not only can it give a subtle nod toward the country look it can also make you feel unique. We highly recommend Hiho Silver. Not only is the range beautiful it's also made with the country and equestrian lover in mind, so you know it's sturdy and practical! Read our blog all about Hiho SilverHERE!
4. Handbags: We know, these are also classed as accessories but we feel they need a little paragraph all to themselves! This season we honestly think it will be about making a classic statement! Plus they also need to be practical! Tartan bags are currently on our radar along with classic styled leather pieces like the one below from Grays of Shentone. The important bit being practicality, handbags never look good if it's awkward for you to carry! Check out our blog all about Ness, if you're searching for a statement handbag, HERE!
5. Essentials: Country style is classic and let's face it, there's not a huge amount of change when it comes to certain pieces. Tweed is always a must have in the Country world, whether that's a tweed skirt, tweed handbag, tweed purse or tweed jacket you can't really go wrong. One thing you shouldn't do is wear it all in one outfit. Mix up a classic white shirt with a tweed skirt and a belt, hey presto, you're 'country chic' walking into that office! Wax jackets are always a good buy too! Just make sure it is a good quality one, so it will last you a long time and give a flattering look- that bit is a must! Not sure? Read our blog all about buy well, buy once HERE!
So that's our round up of this years 2019 Spring/Summer Country Fashion. The most important bit is to remain practical, functional and therefore you'll be comfortable. We all know, if you feel comfy, you'll look good, no matter what you're wearing!
Searching for Country Valentines Gifts? Whether for your girlfriend, your wife or you need to pass on some hints to your other half, here's our top 10 Valentines Gifts for her, which are super thoughtful and catered toward the country lover!
1. Kiltane of Scotland Lambswool Scarf: A basic essential in every women's wardrobe this beautiful scarf is part of Ness, Edinburgh new plaid Winter range. Choose from either Old Town Classic Check (purple) or Morningside Oversized Check (red) and know you've done a good job with the pressie! Plus they are only £12.99! > CLICK HERE
2. Mackenzie and George Scarf Ring: This is super handy and I love that it's vintage inspired! It gives you multiple ways of wearing a scarf and keeps it out of the way when wearing a scarf all day! Perfect for wearing at the office! You can choose a brass finish or a silver finish and it's only £24.99! >CLICK HERE
3. Sporting Hares Collection Hat: Show you care with this water repellent, suede baseball cap! Let's face it, we are sick of having wet hair whilst out in the middle of a field! This is perfect for your adventures! It's £20.00 ... a complete bargain! > CLICK HERE
4. Ness Dunkeld Tweed Purse: This gorgeous tweed style purse is super handy and is part of Ness's new Winter Collection! Big enough for all your cards, coins, cash and if you're anything like me, your receipts! It's not too bulky either, fitting into an everyday handbag nicely! the price you ask? £24.99! > CLICK HERE
5. Grays Haston Handbag: A classic bag for the busy lady! This equestrian inspired handbag from Grays is sturdy, stylish and I have yet to meet a person who doesn't like it! With a choice of two colours this leather bag is an essential and one that will last a very long time! Made from buffalo leather the bag is £100 and so worth it! > CLICK HERE
6. Sophie Allport On the Farm Mug: Tea or Coffee Lover? We all know a good mug makes a better brew! So this Sophie Allport Mug is perfect especially since it's farm inspired! The best bit? It's massive (425ml) and only £14.00! > CLICK HERE
7. Hiho Silver Cherry Roller Bracelet: It's difficult when your an outdoorsy person. You want to wear beautiful jewellery but you daren't encase it gets broken! That's were Hiho Silver come in! This gorgeous bracelet is classic Hiho through and through, plus you can wear it all day, every day and stay happy in the knowledge it's sturdy enough to put up with your lifestyle! £105. > CLICK HERE
8. Sporting Hares Preppy Long Socks: Perfect for when you're out all day or when you need a pair of toasty socks sat next to the fire! Cushioned soles, elasticated ankle support and Quik Dry technology means they keep you comfy every step of the way! £15.00. > CLICK HERE
9. 'Please leave your wellies at the door' Wall Plaque: A piece of home decor that's essential in every country household! Handcrafted using the pyrography technique this is a quirky gift and looks lovely on any wall! £5.50. > CLICK HERE
10. Hiho Silver Triple Cherry Roller Necklace: A statement piece of jewellery with a delicate sterling silver chain. Make your loved one's eye light up this Valentines Day! £95. > CLICK HERE
So there you have it! Our Top 10 Valentines Day Gift or the Country Lover! I hope everyone has a lovely Valentines Day!
I know, Christmas has only just gone but I'm shocked at how many people have asked me for Birthday present ideas! There must be so many birthdays in January! So I thought I do a little blog with some gift ideas for the horse owner! I've plenty of ideas so this is version 1.0!! Here we go!
1. Socks! Honestly you can never have too many socks and to be honest, I rarely buy my own, I wait til I get them for Christmas and Birthdays! These Noble Outfitters ones are mega comfy, plus easy to get long boots over the top of, with the ultra slim calf panels. Plus .. let's face it, they come in some funky designs! > CLICK HERE
2. A cap! Perfect for all year round these Sporting Hares Limited Edition caps are an essential item! Not only are they super stylish but they have a Durable Water Repellent Membrane coating applied at the last stage of manufacturing, meaning water just runs straight off them! #goals > CLICK HERE
3. Gloves. I always ride in gloves, they are essential to me after having a few burn injuries with naughty ponies! These Noble Outfitters gloves are super comfy, protective and come in a range of beautiful colours for everyday! > CLICK HERE
4. A belt! Adds class and style to any outfit and if you're like me, keeps those breeches up!! We stock a whole range of gorgeous belts to choose from and they make a lovely gift for any occasion! >CLICK HERE
5. Equestrian inspired jewellery. You cannot go wrong with a little bit of bling can you? These gorgeous friendship bracelets from Hiho Silver are a beautiful gift and the best bit? They are durable enough to be worn all day every day, from mucking out to an evening out! Who said jewellery can't be worn by equestrians? > CLICK HERE
I've been blogging now for quite some time but I realised I never really told you how this all started! I've actually been riding since I was 6 and it all started with a cheeky chap called Solo, a 12.2hh, Heinz 57 variety! They say you need to fall off 10 times in order to be classed as a good rider ... I should've been doing the Olympics at 10!
My confidence was very low when I was little. I was definitely not one of those children that you would see cantering up and down the show field! I quite often would be found crying and absolutely petrified! It's quite funny when I look back! My mum would always say, 'you don't have to ride horses if you're scared' but I would argue and say I wanted to do it! She must've thought me bonkers! I honestly can't explain it, horse riding to me is like breathing, a necessity in my life. I knew this, even at 6! Even when I was scared out of my wits, I would still clamber on and think 'I'm going to crack this!'. Solo was a character and really excelled at mounted games, he was super fast and even at the grand old age of 26 he could put most ponies to shame! I regularly competed in the local Pony Club and, looking back, I couldn't have asked for a better first pony!
Solo (My first pony - he was the first steep learning curve!)
After flying out of the saddle with Solo, more times than I care to count, I then tried my luck with Pandora, a 13.2hh Welsh, Section B, Show Pony! Yes, she really did live up to her name! Quirky, unpredictable and extremely talented. She taught me so much about respecting the animal you're riding! She was an amazing working hunter and show jumper but I was never really cut out for that, preferring to keep all four feet on the ground! Not much has changed!
Pandora (I didn't get long with her as I grew too tall - but she was definitely a 'character')
I didn't get to spend long with Pandora as before I knew it my legs had grown and I missed out on a 14.2hh pony! I was straight onto horses and the problems they then served! I had a couple of horses on loan, whom I competed successfully in Dressage and Equitation. I found my passion for Dressage grew and I knew it was what I wanted to do!
I got to a point in my life where I was considering college and I knew I wanted to train to be a vet nurse. As it came to my final year exams I found myself without a horse. It was better to stay horseless at this point as the vet world took over and I needed the time to study. Once my final exams where completed I started to look around for my next 4 legged friend. More passionate then ever I ventured down to Addingtons Elite Auction with my family. To be honest it feels like yesterday that a 5 month old Crunchie was trotting round the arena! He was so beautiful and before we knew it, we had bought him!
Crunchie (as a foal and at our first Petplan Qualifier!)
Fast forward a few months, after realising waiting for Crunchie to grow up was going to be a long wait, I tottled off to a local dealer and locked eyes on Erik. It was love at first sight, he was stunning and stood with such presence! To this day I have no idea how I rode him for the first time, in an outdoor arena with a active building site right next door! I had some serious balls, as I wouldn't do it now!! Before I knew it I was handing over my hard earned cash and being given Erik's lead rope! We took him home the next day!
Erik (my first sit on when I went to buy him and at a BYRDS competition)
It's certainly been an adventure with the herd! I have learned something different with each horse and the one thing I love is getting to know each of their characters! Each one is quirky and I have a different relationship with each of them. I've found it is all based on trust and with some it takes longer than others. I could not imagine my life without them and after a little break over Christmas I am ready to start my weekly vlogging again! So if you fancy an insight into the herd and a laugh at me feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel, which you can find if you CLICK HERE!