As a child I always used to say that I would run my own yard. I loved my model horses and created my own model horse livery yard in my bedroom complete with a haynets, feeds, a menage, stables and riding school!
I first fell in love with horses when I was 11 when I started riding at a local riding stables. As I learnt to ride my passion grew and I loaned my first pony, Maisy and started working as a Saturday girl. After Maisy we bought Petal, a 16hh Irish Sport Horse, and I was hooked.
Unfortunately at the yard where I was, it was common practice to smack and whip the horses, and the attitude was very much 'show the horse who's boss'. I agree that horses need to respect us but as a leader, and certainly not out of fear.
It wasn't until I grew older that I realised there was another way to be with horses, where they are happy in our company and trust and respect us as their partner. I discovered natural horsemanship and began to use various methods from different trainers that worked for the particular horse or situation I was working in. I feel it is extremely important to remember that whenever we are with our horses we are training them, whether we mean to be or not.
After a few twists and turns and during my study for a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare along came Buckthorn, an RSPCA rescue pony who has become my horse of a lifetime. He has taught me as much as I have taught him about patience, kindness and perseverance. He may not have had the best start in life but I was determined that this new start for him would result in his permanent forever home and he is my best friend.
Buckthorn was only two and a half when I rehomed him, and he taught me so much more than I could have ever imagined. I discovered how much I enjoy training young horses using a mixture of natural horsemanship and traditional methods, and after training and backing him myself I discovered that bonds with horses really do exist.
Since Buckthorn's arrival I have bought and worked with three different young horses, as well as helping to train friends' horses, all alongside working at a vets, working at an eventing yard and working on the farm and eventually, setting up my own yard!
Running my own natural livery has always been my dream, and I am very excited that it is now a reality, and I can share my dream with like-minded people and their horses!
Now 4 years into the livery, Buckthorn is now rising 10, and we enjoy many things from various styles of ground work, lots of long and fast hacking, and a bit of jumping, but our main passion is liberty work.. on the ground and ridden. Buckthorn has his own Facebook page for anyone wanting to find out more about our adventures! Buckthorn the Rescue Pony