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Category: Clients Progress

  1. Introducing my Sponsored Rider...

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    Introducing my sponsored rider, Sam Giles…

    In June this year I was renewing my membership with Recommended Equestrians, while speaking with Diana, the founder of Recommended, she told me about their partner, LegUp For Talent, which is a sponsorship based programme for grassroots riders who have talent but not necessarily the backing they deserve.

    At first I was a bit sceptical as I have sponsored riders in the past but for various reasons it didn’t work out. However, Diana assured me that the benefits would be far more assured with this programme, so I delved further…

    You can read all about the programme here

    Diana went through the members who were seeking sponsorship and came across Sam, when her name was mentioned I had a distinct feeling it may be fate, I had actually worked with Sam many moons ago when I was working at a riding school nearby… spooky!!

    What had always struck me about Sam was not only her sense of humour, but her will to succeed despite being riddled with rheumatoid arthritis, which has affected her since the age of 4yrs old, being wheelchair bound for a long time, but Sam being Sam wasn’t going to be beaten and proved Doctors wrong and worked in racing, studs, riding schools, showjumping, eventing and livery yards!

    In the paragraph below, Sam introduces herself, with details of her current rides and how she feels about being sponsored:

    “Hi I'm Sam Giles and I am privileged to be Sharon Johnson's sponsored rider. I'm 30 (but if anyone asks please tell them I'm 29!) I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when I was 4 and it affects most of the joints in my body so i am in constant pain and can find some aspects of riding a bit of a challenge, I did however manage to work in the equine industry for a number of years before the arthritis got worse and have worked in racing, studs, riding schools, showjumping, eventing and livery yards. My current horse is amber a 5yo ex racehorse who I bought as a 2yo straight out of racing, she was working at novice level (dressage) and had just started jumping when she injured herself in the field so when Sharon signed me up as her rider I was unsure if I would ever be able to ride her again however I was riding a young Spanish horse that I was kindly given the ride on by a good friend, poor Sharon probably wondered what an earth she had got herself into as my horse was uncertain and then I discovered I will need more surgery soon so I will be out of action for a few months. Fortunately, sooty has made good progress and amber is back in light work and I have with Sharon's help relocated my core muscles so once my surgery is out of the way we can kick on and get back out to some competitions and hopefully get to the ROR championships! I cannot thank Sharon enough for this opportunity and with Sharon’s extensive knowledge of the equine and human body I'm sure myself and amber will be better than ever.”


    As you can see, she is one determined woman, who I felt deserved this opportunity.

    Since signing on the dotted line, we have had several sessions with sooty who is coming along nicely, and recently Amber (who is “affectionately” called Moo(!).)  has returned to work so while Sam is out of action I shall be taking up the reins – pardon the pun(!) – and helping with her return.

     Sam has a page on Facebook which she updates weekly with her goings on, visit it here, and don’t forget to hit the “Like” button on the following pages:

    Sam Giles: Facebook

    Leg up for talent

    Sharon Johnson Equestrian


    Below are a few pictures of Sooty and Amber aka Moo!



    Amber above.


     Sooty above, taken at his first ever competition.



  2. Client progress, from the riders point of view... Kelly and Missy

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    I bought my lovely Connemara mare back in July 2014, she had just turned 7 years old. Missy had been broken for a matter of months (broodmare for 1 foal), she had no clue how to canter without losing her mind, trot was only at break neck speeds, would fix her neck if you asked her to slow down, everything was scary, loved a tantrum and couldn’t possibly try anything different without making a huge drama of it – luckily she has a loving personality so you forgive the diva moments!


    By the time I found Sharon we’d come a long way but still had a really long way to go, her brakes where still tricky to find, being on the contact was a high hope and staying with me for the length of an entire dressage test seemed like a pipedream… but I’m stubborn and knew this little lady had potential, luckily Sharon agreed.


    Over the last year we’ve worked really hard in regular lessons with Missy’s way of going, how she dealt with what I asked of her and getting her not to blast off down the long side given half the chance! There were definitely times I felt defeated, definitely times she got the better of me but Sharon was there to give me a reality check and keep us focused on the end goal as well as what we’d achieved to date. Miss is by no means an easy pony to ride but once she gets something she’s a joy to ride. 


    Over the last year we’ve gone from low to mid 60%s in Prelims to regular 69%s and knocking on the door of 70%s, our Novice has gone a similar way and with every test we do she gets better and I’m loving every minute of the journey,we’re aiming for Elementary by the end of 2017 – we owe a lot to Sharon and her patience with Missy’s tantrums (and mine)… although sometimes when she makes us do difficult things I think my pony likes her less than I do ;-)