Exciting Plans, And One Drama
Showing rider, riding centre owner and Harry Hall Ambassador Jenna Tyldesley has been breaking a new horse to her side saddle, putting rescue theory into practice and more
Last year’s showing season finished with some highs and lows. I had qualified Billy (Tudor Minstral) for the ladies side saddle at Horse of the Year Show (HOYS).
This was Billy’s 7th year competing at this show but would also be his last. I had already decided to retire him from competing at county level qualifying shows for HOYS, and the Royal International qualifiers. Riding him in the international arena was such an honour. Consistent as ever, he gave me a fabulous ride, and was pulled in by the judges in the top 10. I had managed to keep my emotions under control until our number was called out in 9th place. I was over the moon that we had been placed and were going home with a rosette.
A new horse for my side saddle
Knowing I was retiring Billy I also knew that I did not have another horse ready to compete at side saddle, which I enjoy doing. After I returned from the Royal International I decided that Harley (Rehy Horizen) was ready to carry the side saddle for the first time. He took to it like a duck to water. All we needed to work on was getting him to sit up and carry himself correctly. I always find that horses that are straight, well balanced and well schooled when riding astride are often just as good when carrying the side saddle. After riding him for ten minutes a day, building him up gradually, I decided to enter him in the Ladies Hunter at Ashbourne Show. I was a little nervous before entering the ring but I didn’t need to be. Harley won the class qualifying for RIHS 2017. Though he won, I knew that we had a lot of practising to do over the winter months for us to build a good partnership.
Marley’s close shave
Previously I have talked about the Glossop branch of the fire brigade coming to our equestrian centre for a training day alongside the Matlock Rescue Team. One Friday in October we put this training to the test. One of our liveries rang me early in the morning to say that she had found her horse, Marley, lying down and stuck in his hay net. Marley would not get up even after being freed from his net. The vet was called but we needed some man power. He was exhausted from the thrashing around he had done in an attempt to free himself, and the side he was lying on had become numb. The Fire Brigade and Matlock Rescue Team were soon on the scene. Roof sheets were removed, specialised lifting equipment was put in place and after a very tense few hours Marley was eventually lifted safely to his feet. We all breathed a sigh of relief when we realised that he had walked from his stable with only a few minor cuts and grazes.
An alternative engagement
After the busy show season all of my horses go on holiday in the field which gives me the opportunity to have a holiday myself. In November I went back to my parents’ house in Antigua with my boyfriend Ewan. It was lovely to relax and enjoy the sunshine as when Im at home, even my days off are often taken up by work. One afternoon we decided to go for a walk up to Shirley Heights to watch the sunset. To my surprise Ewan asked me a very special question – “Will you marry me?” I was in complete shock as I had not expected it at all, but of course I said yes! Shirley Heights is a place that is close to my heart and it has a beautiful view looking out over the harbour so he really couldn’t have chosen a more perfect spot to propose. I am now looking forward to planning the wedding around the horses. He knows they come first!
A solution for my chilblains
During the winter months I have been wearing Harry Hall’s base layers to keep me warm. Over the past few winters I have really suffered with chilblains on my thighs which can be very sore. This winter I have been wearing the Aughton Technical Leggings under my jodhpurs and to my relief they have not returned; these leggings are good! The Cubek women’s jacket has also been a great coat to wear. It is warm, smart, waterproof and the hood is brilliant as you can easily untuck it when a sudden down pour occurs — and let’s be honest, that is quite often in this country!
THE HARRY HALL 2017 YARD VISIT PROGRAMME HAS NOW BEGUN. Involving FREE exclusive tours to top competition yards they win rave reviews. Come and see, learn, ask, and go home with a goody bag. Follow Harry Hall on FB and Twitter to find out about others as they are planned..