In this blog series, I take inspiration from one of the day’s Olympic events. Today: equestrianism.
A bit of a cop-out today, in that I haven’t actually done any of the events. I really had to prioritise my own training! I desperately wanted to “do equestrianism” as part of this blog series, though, and had every intention of going to a local stable and hiring a horse for a hack. However, I ran out of time. Our equestrian team won silver today in the team event (and our incredible six-time-Olympian Mary King came fifth in the individual).
So, today’s post is a trip down memory lane. I used to have a horse. Well, I say a horse. More of a fat little pony, really. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a beautiful part of the Kent countryside, and we had access to a great big field. My pony just lived in the field, no stable (not even a shelter, although I did splash out and buy him a rug!) He wasn’t a posh kind of a pony. He ate grass and hay and I only bought any other kind of food in the coldest bits of Winter. We kind of grew up together, muddled through, and taught each other a lot.
We certainly couldn’t have done eventing: I wouldn’t have known how to do dressage and I’m certain he wouldn’t have had the first clue. We did love cross-country, though, and did a bit of show-jumping (usually knocking things down). I even used to enter him in “best in show” kind of things at local gymkhanas, full of misplaced pride. We always came dead last, but I didn’t care because to me he was the best horse in the world.
Here are some pics, with bonus evidence of me looking like a boy. This was before straighteners were invented, and I have very curly hair.
Sad times – these two were taken on the day he had to go… I had to sell him when I went off to University because we weren’t a horsey family and I couldn’t have asked anyone to look after him for me whilst I was away. My heart broke that day, and then it broke again the day I found out he’d “passed on”. He was a very old man by then mind you!
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.