We caught up with horse enthusiast and National Equine Show event director, Liz
When did your love for horses start?
I can’t remember not loving horses! I did not come from a horsey family, but begged and begged to go for lessons and from the moment I breathed in that horsey smell from the shaggy coat of the little riding school pony I was hooked.
Tell us about your first ever horse
Technically the first horse I owned was a vicious ex riding school horse who I bought when I was in my 30s. He was known as Mr Q which was confusing given my other half is also known as Q! As a child I was so lucky that one of my best friends owned 4 ponies and I was lucky enough to get to ride and compete one of them. Honey was a 13.2 stocky little tank of a palomino welshX. She had no brakes and didn’t really like people and I adored her. I have the most wonderful memories of walking down the lane to the stables with my friend and her mum at 5am to plait and get ready for the shows.
How does horse riding impact your life?
Apart from wiping out my bank account? It really is a huge part of my life I can’t imagine being without. My current horse was a huge lanky foal when I impulse bought him. He is 6 years old now and is my first baby and big brother to my 5 year old son and 1 year old daughter. A real part of our family. Horse riding is a fantastic outdoor adventure for me. I love it for the fitness, for the discipline, for our education together and for the head space as we hack along the country lanes. Even when I don’t physically get to ride (which is all too often with two young children) I just love to be around the horses. To escape to the yard and just to smell that horsey smell is good for the soul.
Have you ever had any injuries and how was the journey back for you and your horse?
Like all equestrians I have had way too many. From the silly to the scary. Broken fingers, broken toes, a dislocated pelvis probably was the most impactful. But so so many silly things too! An unfortunate incident where a horse bit me in a tender area when attempting to bite another horse, a black eye from a treat ball which swung back and hit me in the face after I threw a bale of straw in the stable forgetting it was hanging in the door! In fact I fell off my horse for the first time ever on Christmas Eve after a sparrowhawk flew directly towards us in the arena. He spooked, I lost my seat, he spooked more and I thought it safest to depart so launched myself away from his panicking legs. He’s 18hh and I fell a good 7ft onto my derriere. A frosty morning meant the arena was extremely hard. Apparently I do not bounce anymore. But yet we still get back on right?
Do you have a favourite discipline?
I’m really an amateur allrounder. Before I had children I was competing my previous horse at Elementary dressage, but we did a little of everything for fun; Jumping, cross country and we loved hacking. I haven’t had an opportunity to compete my current horse yet but I do plan to take him out to some Dressage events this year and hopefully do a little more with his jumping education.
What’s the one thing you never go on a ride without?
I never go out on a ride without definitely my hat or my phone but also I personally cannot ride without gloves! I feel naked if I don’t have gloves on!
Why did you want to launch The National Equine Show?
The National Equine Show was a dream of mine. I like most horsey people am drawn like a magnet to the shopping villages at horse events! I imagined a show where the whole experience could be dedicated to that excitement.
Tell us how will it be different to other horse events?
The National Equine show will be solely dedicated to that premium retail experience. All the brands and all the time to shop until your hearts content.