Your Horse Live 2019

This year’s Your Horse Live was my fourth consecutive year!  It has me going back each year to see the demos and peruse the extensive shopping stands.  This year I was lucky enough to get a complimentary ticket but Alex was keen to come (can you believe it!?) so I paid for him to come along too.

I was highly restrained when it came to the shopping (especially compared to Badminton) and although there were lots of beautiful things, I only came away with a trailer-tie bungee and a new competition whip.  I would have liked to walk away with the ponies from the Rescue Village too but that wasn’t to be!

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Alex was particularly keen on the 3.5 horseboxes and the Ifor Williams trailers but made do with a pork roll instead!

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Charlotte’s demo was what I really wanted to see.  It was interesting to see her coaching one of her riders.  She kept telling her to go more forward and really go for it, it was somewhat reminiscent of my lessons!  It was also a good reminder of the importance of transitions – I get too lazy when it comes to that but if Charlotte says I should.. I should!

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At the end she brought Valegro around for everyone to pat – is it sad for me to say it was amazing to be so close to him and to touch him?  I’m sure for a lot of people he is just a horse but I’d rather meet him than any A list celebrity!  The way she jumped on him bareback while the jumps were being set up and the arena was being harrowed just highlighted what a special guy he is.

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We stayed with the demos to watch a bit of Jonty Evans jumping with Padraig McCarthy.  Jonty’s big fall was just before my hip replacement and I’m in awe of how he spent 6 weeks in a coma, suffered a brain injury and is now back eventing.  What is really incredible is how effortless his riding looks considering how the injury has affected his thought process and speech.

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We left that demo early to go to Charlotte’s signing; I had taken my copy of “The Girl On The Dancing Horse” to get her to sign but unfortunately the queue was shut off just as we arrived.

We managed to catch some of Sharon Hunt’s cross country demo with Karla (from Muddy Mayhem) riding.  If you don’t already follow her, she is hilarious and the way she pinged round the tiny arena with tight skinnies was so brave!

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Our last watch was Ben Atkinson’s behind the scenes demo.  Last year we watched his proper demo – I was totally in awe of what they did then so it was really interesting to get more of an insight into how they train their horses to do that.  You clearly have to be very calm, brave and confident to do the kind of liberty work they do.  I would love to give it a go but I think I would need to do a course or something first.

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I had a thoroughly enjoyable and educational day (and Alex enjoyed his pork roll!)  I can’t wait to see the line up for next year – I’m already thinking about who I hope will be on their demo line up!

Your Horse Live 2018

Today was my third visit to Your Horse Live. It has become somewhat of a birthday tradition (as it always falls the weekend before my birthday). Last time my boyfriend enjoyed it so much I decided to take him this year as HIS birthday treat!

We kicked the day off by watching a jumping demo from Emily and Mary King. While I have no plans to jump possibly ever again, seeing Mary King takes me back to being a little girl with a bad leg who dreamed of riding while watching the big events on TV. At the end Mary brought out Hovis – if you’re not familiar with him, his blogs on Horse and Hound document his own medical issues – he has had worse luck than me!

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The next thing was the Grand Horse Parade with Arko III, Barber Shop, Big Star, Neptune Collonges and Zion. This was followed by the display of Melody Hame’s ‘War Horse’ clipped horse and the observance of the two minutes silence to mark Remembrance Sunday.

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We then hit the shops! There is no denying that Your Horse Live has an impressive number of shops though you tend to see the same coats and boots in about ten places! By the time you’ve had a little walk around, you know exactly what you want.

After that, we popped to the rescue village. It is awful to read about some of the horrible things that people do to ponies but lovely to see a stable block full of recovered ones (even if some of them do look a bit like they really don’t want to be there!)  I wanted to take most of them home!

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We also managed to catch a bit of Sir Lee Pearson’s interview in the Equine Learning Zone. I just feel like I can make NO complaints about my situation when I think about the challenges he faces!

Watching Ben Atkinson Action Horses was entertaining for both of us. The confidence and skill involved in training and riding the trick and stunt horses is immense. One of his horses decided it didn’t want to do what it was meant to at the end.. ie. leave the arena. It just shows that even if you can ride your horse through dressage movements tackless in a big arena it doesn’t mean it will always listen to you!  I have seen them before and each time I do, I go away wishing I was braver!

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We also caught Florian Bacher’s dressage demo of which the most interesting part was him pointing a stick at a horse’s back leg and it responding by doing a piaffe. AMAZING! I’m not sure Pea is quite ready for that!

At the end of the day we did a little bit of spending, I was treated to a new yard coat (Mark Todd) as an early birthday/Christmas present and I bought myself a base layer from Black Heart Equestrian. I had seen it earlier in the day and thought it would go well with my blush Le Mieux numnah but I wasn’t sure if I could justify getting myself a present! When I had decided I could, we went back and had a lovely chat with Erin (whose business it is) and her mum. Looking at what she has achieved at only 21 makes me feel really old!

47519122-0C72-43B9-9A52-71899FCDAD49All in all, a good day AND after all that walking, my bionic leg feels fine! As for the boyfriend.. he enjoyed a pork roll and a coffee!

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