Having wanted to learn to ride for as long as I can remember I was finally allowed to go & help at my best friend’s trekking centre when I turned 8. I learnt to ride on some ponies which seemed huge to me then & I had my first canter sitting in front of my friend’s mum! We would do all the jobs & get filthy whilst having a great time. I spent my weekends & holidays with horses, walking miles giving lead rein lessons, mucking out, cleaning tack etc to get the odd free ride. We would ride the ponies in from the fields in halters with no hats & I was dunked in water troughs and rolled in muck heaps every birthday.
When I was 15 I loaned Tilly, known as Bomber, who eventually became mine through luck & a deal with my parents that I would work in the local shop & do a paper round every day to pay for him to live in a field at the local pig farm.
After spending part of my gap year working at a trail riding centre in Wisconsin I spent 3 years studying in Newcastle & moved to Sunderland. I worked at Penshaw Equestrian Centre for a while & I loaned a little 13.1hh cob. When she went back to her owner I began the search for a horse of my own. I saw an ad. for a red & white mare in the paper & when I saw April through a gap in an allotment fence I knew she was for me. After backing her we had lots of fun, interrupted by her breaking her leg which thankfully healed.
In 2008 I saw an article advertising the new Parelli campus in the UK. I requested a free dvd & saw my now friend Rachael Morland galloping along the beach looking totally different from what I was used to seeing with horses. Decision made I borrowed a car & a tent, hitched a trailer up for the first time & drove April & I down to the Midlands to participate in the first ever UK Parelli Campus course; Horsenality.
Since then I have made many new friends & have explored many different approaches to being with horses both with different trainers & through my own encounters. Many horses have come into my life, some have stayed & some have gone & all have helped me to discover more about myself as well as the fantastic nature of these animals.
Through necessity to help issues my horses have had, & out of interest I continually build on my knowledge; I do not believe anyone can ‘know it all’. I have studied equine nutrition, horse physiology & the use of, & results with, different equipment. I put this learning into practice every day.
My passion for horses has led me on a fantastic journey & through Black Dog Barn I can share what I have learnt, helping people find, or rediscover their dream with their horse whilst putting the horse at the centre of the picture. It doesn’t matter if the dream is small or huge what matters is that it is their dream & their time with the horse who is in their life.