Navigating the Junior Rider
A member of ArdMoor’s team tells us what it’s like being the mum of a keen rider, what she’s learned and the kit that she’s chosen for riding at home and at competitions.
Since she was 7 years old, my daughter has wanted to ride and be around horses. Now 14, her dream is to further her equestrian hobby and career by competing more, jumping higher and hacking further. This journey has taken time, experience, a lot of hitting the deck and her mother learning to drive a horse trailer.
Introducing Belle and Dotty
Two very special loan ponies have been sent to us to look after over the past couple of years. In 2015, BELLE an 18-year-old pretty Arab mare with a polo career in her past, taught Louisa to understand the aspects of horse care, how ‘not’ to go around a cross country course but most importantly of all, the joy and freedom of having your ‘own’ pony. Belle, at just 13hh, was soon outgrown and followed by 9-year-old DOTTY, a stunning grey 14’3 Connemara mare who has huge character, guts and charisma, adores to jump and loves her food.
This has been a fantastic learning curve over the past two years in terms of horse management, field and shelter care, riding, competitions, pony camps, fun, meeting new friends and discovering a huge amount about herself and the fabulous ponies that have kept her such good company.
Getting kitted out for riding
Safety has been paramount as it always should be. We have invested in an excellent body protector and have just changed riding hats as the last one she outgrew. With a huge range available, it is essential to go and have these items fitted properly by an expert and we are now getting to grips with the ‘fancy’ and the downright ‘necessary’.
For everyday wear, I chose several good quality pairs of jodhpurs that offer both warmth, comfort and protection in the saddle, numerous pairs of long riding socks (they either seem to grow legs and walk or go on holiday amongst the other washing so we buy lots), tough and comfortable riding boots with comfortable insoles and grippy outsoles and most importantly, a comfortable, roomy everyday wind and waterproof riding jacket.
My daughter was given the excellent Mountain Horse Team Event Jacket for her birthday, which has stood the test of the British weather, giving great waterproof protection and with the fleece liner, warmth on a cold Christmas day walk with Dotty in 50 mph gale. Oh and a Mark Todd Headwarmer band completed both look and practicality.
Going towards the Spring, there are several events coming up for the pair of them. Competing last year over cross country at Tyninghame and at Rockrose Equestrian Centre, East Linton, it was a chance to see the range of kit available for competition. Starting last May in a faintly old, yet smart, hacking jacket, she wore the new Cadence Event Jacket by Caldene for the East Lothian Pony Club competition at RockRose Equestrian Centre, East Linton on 18th February, competing as part of a team and individually over jumps. With plenty of stretch for full movement allowance as she rode, she found the jacket highly breathable, comfortable and beautifully stylish making her stand out from the crowd.
Next time will report on the competition and post pictures from March 12th, where they are taking part in the cross country competition at Duns Castle.
With the grass emerging triumphantly after the hardest part of the winter, fences that need to be re-erected and field shelters that need re-waterproofing, I’ll also have a look at some of the clothing products available best suited to wear when tackling these tasks in the paddock and field.
Find more of our equestrian advice in our blog, and if you have any questions relating to any of the products on our website, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team.
Shop the products in this Article
Mountain Horse Team Jacket
Perfect for riding in all weathers or for the yard
Windproof, waterproof and breathable
Masses of pockets
Harry Hall Zeus Body Protector
Fully adjustable body protector
Approved BETA level 3
Safety reflective piping to give great visibility in poor light