Josephine: “When a She Witch Stops Being So Witchy”

I know. The title is ridiculous. As if that could ever happen.

But my god it only has.

I think it’s now finally safe to say that I am the proud owner of a ten year old called Liberty.

It’s taken over four years.

Now, please bear in mind that I am no professional – One month is the equivalent to a year when you know what you’re doing and have a horse that isn’t smarter than you – neither of which apply to me.

This is a mare that has never bucked or reared with me, yet repeatedly gets the better of me in every which way. She is well known on my yard at having an uncanny ability to make me have a mental breakdown because I’ve spent 50 minutes trying to catch her and our lesson started 20 minutes ago.

This, ladies and gentlemen is a horse that cares not for Mother’s Finances. This is a well bred, sharp little Welsh D x Thoroughbred who couldn’t give two hoots about keeping Polly Williamson waiting.

This is a mare that couldn’t care less for food and will consistently kick her stable door for attention. Any attention is good attention – including the screeching at her, throwing water at her kind.

This is a mare who will joyfully jump over 1.05 at home, when no one is watching and yet will cheerfully send me flying at 80cm at said show when naturally, everyone is watching. (Photo as evidence of what she is like over a 30cm ditch – and yet she has happily evented)

She’s absolutely infuriating. WHY IS SHE SO CLEVER?! WHY DOES SHE DO THIS TO ME?!

And yet, its taken two broken vertebrae for me to finally realise how absolutely brilliant she is and just how close she is to finally being the mare that I originally bought her for.

So I have a new shiny Dressage trainer. In light of going ‘Affiliated’ aka ‘Where the Big Boys Go’ and fully aware that I will be swiftly squashing C-Dujardin into second place I thought I should get some professional help (yes, in more ways than one).

Enter Lorna George! Lorna regularly teaches at our yard, has trained her own horses up to Grand Prix and further more is the UK Sales Manager for Naf. Best of all – she loves The She Witch and clocked her straight away.

So with that, we headed to our first affiliated competition at Hunters to do our first Novice. I can confirm that Charlotte was there, luckily I had scared her into doing the Advanced Medium with her young horse, knowing that she would have no chance against the She Witch. Smart move. So we get there and blow me down she warms up like she actually knows what she’s doing. I mean, even with the little experience and knowledge that I have I’m seriously starting to think I could be in the 70’s. I am literally a dressage diva carrying out the salsa on my dancing horse. Where the chuff did this come from?!

The call comes through, we enter merrily, say hello to the judge exuberantly (because every little helps) and head off to the bottom ready to enter at A to then get there – and she froze. 

NOOOO!! She instantly turned into a spirit level. You know the feeling, backwards riding yet you apply the leg and they shoot forwards – Uber Sensitivity Activated. Lush.

So I nursed the precious little petal round. The medium trot was barely existent. It was encouraging hip thrusts more than anything with a sprinkle of flashing a smile hoping I’ll blind them with the sun sparkling off my teeth and the button of my jacket.

And you know what?

It only bloody worked. 2nd place with 65.83%. Even achieving an 8 with our free walk.

Judge must have really liked the buttons on my jacket.

My point that I’m trying to make is: Horses are not born ready made. They take time. They take patience. They take a lot of mistakes to get them right. So, sometimes life throws you curve balls and you have to take a different route to what you want to do. So put your whitey tightys on, stretch your smile out and for the love of god. Get a shiny jacket.

To read more from Josephine, visit:

Get Rid Of The Winter Blues

Featured Rider – Meet Josephine

Follow Josephine on Facebook and Instagram.

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