I have been riding since the age of thirteen when I had my first riding lesson at the old Foxley Riding Stables in Glasgow on a big iron bay horse named Bruno. This was the start of a lifelong obsession and my enduring love of horses.
Some years later, after I was married, I was given the opportunity to exercise a little Arab stallion named Baguerra. Baguerra belonged to a local farmer and was no longer used for stud. I was given free use of him and spent many hours hacking out and riding in local fields. This was a wonderful opportunity for me to develop my riding ability and horse knowledge and I will always remember that little horse with great fondness and gratitude for the things he taught me.
In 1996 I bought my first horse, Ryan, a 15.3Hh, bright bay, thoroughbred gelding. Ryan is now 22 years old and has been retired for the last few years due to arthritis in his hocks. In 2003 I purchased a 14.2Hh dark bay, Welsh cob x mare, named Bonnie. Although I backed and brought Bonnie on myself in the English style I began to develop an interest in Western riding. I bought a Western saddle but continued to ride English for some time. Then in 2010 I met my friend Rody who has been riding Western for the last fifteen years with his horse, an Appaloosa called Dancer.
Rody kindly offered to help me get started with Western riding and began to give me occasional lessons. Retraining Bonnie, at the same time as I am trying to learn to how to ride Western, is a challenge but one that I am thoroughly enjoying. We are making progress but have a long way to go.
I am looking forward to the coming programme of events at Blackford Glen and my hope is that Bonnie and I will be ready to take part in the WES show next year.