15 September 2014
I’m a relative newcomer to endurance and in fact to riding in general having only started 5 years ago at the grand old age of 30!
My horse is called Fifi le Bon and she is a 15 year old TB x Connemara and I have had her for coming up to 3 years. She was previously a BSJA horse on the junior circuit in the North of England.
I quickly developed a love of hacking and after a couple of treks around the Lake District I took part in a World Horse Welfare Challenge Ride around Transylvania in Romania in August 2009. It was there that I bumped into 2 members of the Borders branch of SERC who were very happy to tell me all about their chosen discipline of endurance riding. On return to the UK I quickly looked at the SERC website and by January 2010 I was all signed up… a bona fide member!
I haven’t really looked back since then. I didn’t do many rides in 2010 due to being in quarantine at a large livery yard where Fifi used to be kept courtesy of ‘strangles’. My Novice year was 2011 and I never dreamed we would even be half as successful as we were. I attained my BTQs and BTF, while also being awarded a ‘Best Condition’ in the latter. For other 30km rides I managed to achieve GOLD awards including at SC1 and SC2. At the AGM this year I obtained my 150, 250 and 500km mileage awards, best Novice Rosette and the Hutton Trophy for most improved horse/rider combination having never attempted a ride over 50km. I was also lucky enough to be chosen to represent Scotland in Wales in the Celtic Challenge competition. This didn’t quite go to plan as I was vetted out by the infamous ‘three card trick’ before I even got to ride! However, the whole trip was a steep learning curve and one I’m pleased I did. Driving your horse to Wales and back, with 5 days camping and corralling (including taking Luna my Jack Russell) on your own, was not easy but did give a great sense of achievement.
My goals for the forthcoming season…? I would like to get my STQs and complete some 2 day rides on the endurance front. Otherwise, I have decided that I need to overcome my lack of confidence jumping and have indeed just had my first successful lesson! Long may it continue…?
I now appear to be a committee member in charge of press and publicity… I’m not sure quite how that happened! I hope to get more involved with promoting SERC Grampian by providing more regular news for EGB and Scottish and Northern Equestrian. Other ideas include getting the FB group up and running a bit more, and producing more promotional leaflets about our rides. If anyone has any ideas please feel free to contact me via the email address on the website and also if you feel like contributing a short news report about a ride. Your input, as always, would be much appreciated.
I wish you all a happy and safe 2012 endurance season.