My Name is Aimee and I now considered myself to be too old to wish to mention my age. I have been obsessed with horses and riding competitively my entire life. For fun I used to dress up in a giant cardboard top hat and prance around the garden on my homemade hobby horse, pretending I was winning the dressage at the Olympics. My mum had always had a love of horses, although she was never able to own one herself. She did everything she could to make sure me and my brother and sister had every opportunity possible, on an absolute shoe string budget. We spent more on the horse feed each week, than the weekly shop at the supermarket! The result of tight finances was a string of absolute sh!t ponies! We literally had the ponies that no one else would touch with a barge pole. Frequently they’d get to shows and be eliminated at the first jump. I remember a pony club rally where all the other children huddled in the middle of the arena in fear, whilst I careered round the track, trying to get my pony to canter.

Training my first Grand Prix horse ‘Polly’ in my back garden aged six

We still adored everyone of those ponies! It taught me how to really stick on and also the determination to get inside a horses head. We couldn’t just go out and buy a better pony, we just had to work out how to ride them. I’m grateful to each and everyone of those naughty little ponies for everything they taught me, it certainly would have been easier to give up, but that thought never crossed my mind!

I’ve had some invaluable experience working on a variety of yards and learnt from so many knowledgeable people and some incredible horses. I was lucky enough to groom at the World Equestrian Games in 2014. Not only was it a hugely eye opening, steep learning curve, dealing with world class competition horses, the drama of the preparation, the nerves of the competition, but it was one which absolutely filled my belly with fire. I was very lucky to take part in the medal ceremony, in the main stadium. It was the most inspiring spine tingling, experience of my life.

Me with my little family, from L-R my son Angus, my dog Douglas, my Husband Matthew and Baloo the bear

In 2016 my life under went a seismic shift. After finding out I was pregnant with my son, Angus, I had to leave the world of equestrian employment at the start of the year. Whilst I still maintained my own small string of horses at home, it was a big life change and one that took some adjusting too. By May I had given birth and also lost my wonderful mum after a valiant battle against Leukaemia, in just a matter of days. It was a really rough year and it was probably the first time in my life it would have been easier to turn my back on the horses and give myself a break. But they where the best therapy and kept me going and putting a smile on my face at the darkest times.

The main lesson I learnt in 2016, was that life is far to precious and short not to grab every opportunity and chase my dreams. I’ve got big dreams and I’m going to do everything I can to achieve them. Most of all it is what my Mum would want me to do, in all the time I was lucky enough to spend with her, she never once told me ‘you can’t do it’

So mum, this is for you x

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