I am Poppy, a 26 year old blogging as ‘Young Hip & Horsey’. I wasn’t allowed to ride after I was diagnosed with a hip condition called Perthes disease at the age of 7 and only started again at 21. A few months later I started riding a little cob called Pea and two years after that I made her mine! We muddle through life together and have recently had to deal with me having a hip replacement. It has been challenging but it is all onwards and upwards from here!
Cob Lover Or Convert?
When I was a little girl, longing to be able to ride, I dreamed of a chestnut thoroughbred/arab type. My favourite book was called ‘Jodie’ in the Riding School series by Samantha Alexander about a girl with a bad leg (mirroring my own childhood) who returned to riding and tamed a wild chestnut arab and I just wanted to be Jodie! My return to riding (albeit as a young adult) also started with riding big chestnuts but I was converted to cobs after one of the aforementioned chestnuts took off with me down a hill and I ended up on my head with concussion, whiplash and utter fear of riding out again. It took the gentle plod of a cob called Whiskey to cure me and a certain skewbald little cob to get me back on track. I am now a cob convert for life!
Their Favourite Discipline
My favourite discipline is dressage. This wasn’t always the case, in the past all I wanted was to progress with jumping – achieve clear rounds, jump higher and compete at hunter trials. At my yard jumping was a rare occurrence and that probably made it seem all the more desirable. I did improve, at one point I was confident enough to jump over 1.15m in a ‘Chase Me Charlie’, I jumped what I thought was a massive log on a fun ride and did in fact enter a hunter trial (though I was crippled with nerves and ultimately fell off half way round!) I can’t quite pinpoint when I decided dressage was more up my street. Possibly when I admitted to myself that I am a massive wimp and had just about mastered controlling my nerves at riding club dressage competitions. I’ve never been into speed or adrenaline but I do like to dance and who better to dance with than a pony! Since I made my focus dressage I have been a fierce advocate that riders (and particularly the children I have worked with) don’t have to want to jump or event just because that is popular and that you can follow your own path be that endurance, vaulting, dressage or anything else.
Goals For Poppy & Pea
My overall goal is to achieve a good score at Prelim dressage at ‘away’ competitions by this time next year. This may seem like an easy goal to some people but it is all about context. Pea’s riding education has been largely from kids and me (who only started riding six months before I started riding her) so it isn’t exactly correct and well rounded and I am only just returning to riding after my hip replacement in June. Although we started competing at prelim a couple of years ago, I don’t think we ever completed a canter movement without breaking and all the dressage competitions we have done have been adjacent to the yard. Being away from home means my confidence creeps away and the nerves kick in. Overcoming that, along with the physical issues with my leg AND our general lack of skills are all going to be challenges we will have to overcome to get to this goal.
Best Achievement Together/Proudest Moment
I cannot possibly chose one moment of note so here are a few;
-Winning our intro dressage class and riding our first prelim (August 2015)
-THAT fun ride log (December 2015)
-Moving home and yards together and not completely having a breakdown (August 2017)
-Our first away from home dressage lesson (January 2018)