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