Team KA Blog – Audrey
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My name is Audrey McGregor Williams and this is my beautiful five year old traditional cob Springtime Breche.
I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to buy Breche when she was a three years old, through riding her mum, so I already knew that she was the type of horse for me and that her temperament was the same as her mother’s, but as an older rider and first time horse owner with limited riding experience, I was already apprehensive and wanted to ensure that she had the best possible start regarding her education, so I brought her to be backed and schooled properly by Karen with the help of Abbie Pearson here at KA equestrian.
This was a very positive experience for both Breche and myself, as I felt confident and assured that the process had been carried out in a professional and sympathetic manner with lots of opportunity to pop along and visit throughout her four weeks at Karen’s.On returning to the livery yard we were at, I then started to have a couple of lessons a week on her from a lovely lady who had experience with youngsters. I also had a very competent young rider schooling her once a week and all was going well. We returned to Karen’s the year later to have a lesson and run through a wee dressage test. I was feeling really pleased with our progress.
Things started to change and Breche developed a resistance to even approach the mounting block never mind standing at it. This led to me falling off at the block and fracturing my coccyx which followed on to a huge anxiety issue for us both.
On investigating further and taking more advice as to why Breche was resisting at just getting the saddle on now and didn’t want to be ridden became apparent, she had a sore back. We then followed on with what seemed like a very long process of saddle fittings and lunging.
It was at this point a livery place became available at KA Equestrian and although we were very happy where we were, it seemed too good a chance to miss out on and I contacted Karen and we moved within a couple of weeks.
Since coming to Karen’s we have had the lovely equine osteopath Emily Cuthill to look at her. Emily then advised that we should only lunge Breche for 6 weeks to build up her back muscle which we did. We then had another dentist visit along with another saddle and bit fitting.
After the process of elimination was complete Breche was still unhappy at the mounting block and had now associated it with pain. At this stage my confidence was at it’s lowers ever and I radiated fear and worry which didn’t help the situation. I knew that I had to have help with this and it was now about me and my actions to overcome my thoughts.
Team KA is a group of young riders based at KA equestrian and is generously sponsored by the lovely Jane Brindley from “Horse Riding With Confidence” and although I am no longer young lol …. I was encouraged by the work that Jane did with the group and wanted to be included, so after attending my first session with Jane, Karen and the rest of the fab young riders I found inspiration in the fact that we all had different goals and challenges of equal importance, where we needed to also look at our achievements and what we needed to work on. Feeling part of this has given me new focus and determination.
I realised that what Jane was saying was exactly what I needed to do. I needed to look at exactly what my anxiety was about and where I wanted to be next year. Identifying my goals and talking about them openly with others really made a difference, and putting a time on this too, which I think has been the most helpful way of thinking for me.
As a direct result of my session, I felt I was more aware of what my anxiety was around and challenged this at the mounting block with some invaluable initial support from Abbie, I have now managed to get on my beautiful pony without any issues. In only one month I have taken Breche to our first showing clinic and taking part in the riding sessions with Team KA.We have definitely made huge progress in only a few weeks with a decreased level of anxiety which had allowed me to now concentrate on improving my riding and enjoying my relationship with Breche.
I will continue to meet with Team KA once a month and benefit from the team spirit and inspiration that comes with it. I also plan to have a weekly lesson with Karen when possible as this is also encouraging and motivating. We have another showing clinic booked with Brian Williams an Hilltops Equestrian at the end of March….I never expected to be moving on so quickly and I feel amazing!