I guess we’re all more than a little fed up with the rain and the Noah’s Arks jokes so a little bit of sunshine yesterday was a welcome relief and I remembered I promised you a ‘Laugh at Myself’ story from earlier in the spring when the sun was shining for a couple of days……..
The semi retired horse loves to feel spring sun on his back, I think it reminds him of getting ready for the event season despite being out of it for 5 years! Looking at the cheeky glint in his eye and feeling pretty good myself I grabbed an old pair of reins I’d found hanging up in the lorry when I was doing a bit of spring cleaning (well they’d already got rubber stops on for the martingale and I was in a bit of a hurry) and headed off to do a spot of canter work on the sand tracks on the common. Just for some fun and to blow the cobwebs away!
Oh what a laugh we had, ha ha! He was feeling very well and, I think you’ll find this is a completely acceptable technical description for what happened, he pissed off. Well, I’d half expected it, we’ve been together 12 years and know each other pretty well. So I stood up in the stirrups to do a sharp half halt with a bit of body weight behind it and found myself hanging on to just the one rein as the other had broken at the billet!
What fun… galloping with just the one rein! It was about now I remembered why the reins had been hanging up in the lorry in the first place! Anyway, I thought positively, how fit could a 19 year old semi retired horse be? I found out, he was feeling pretty fit, his adrenalin was up and he had no intention of slowing down!
We left the sand tracks at full gallop and headed up into the woods at some speed with me ducking branches and trees. ‘Woah’ and ‘steady’ seemed to have no effect. We came out of the woods, missed running over a dog and did a strong hand canter along the lane. My attempts at steadying were now becoming more urgent. I thought about jumping off but was worried I might lose him. Was it safer with him or without him? Fortunately he knew his highway code and stopped at the T Junction. I jumped off before he could look left and right and head off again! I tied the broken rein to the bit and headed home.
Fortunately neither of us were hurt. But the point of the story, check your tack and if there is something wrong with it fix it or throw it away, don’t store it just in case! The upside for me is I have now awarded myself some of our lovely ThinLine reins and am enjoying the very soft feel they give me. The boy is very pleased with himself too, particularly the attention his legs got post his work out!
Finding the perfect partner to represent a brand can be tough but having travelled the country with our ‘pop-up-shop’, we discovered one rider in particular who showed dedication to the sport, an approachable attitude and a genuine passion for our innovative collection of products!
“We are very proud to announce our support of international show jumper, Mark Bunting,” says Charlotte Emery. “Mark is well respected, clearly has exceptional talent and represents all of the values we have at Performance Rider. He uses our products because he genuinely feels they are the best, and he is fully prepared to communicate that. As a growing company, it is vital that we work with someone who understands the importance of getting our messages across, and we feel Mark is in the perfect position to do this. He has already confirmed our belief in him having won the hotly contested Blue Chip Grand Prix at the Winter Show Jumping Championships while representing Performance Rider, and we are looking forward to helping continue his success.”
Warwickshire based Mark began his career at the age of 8 years old and over the years he has established a firm foothold on the show jumping circuit. With many successes at junior, young rider and senior level, Mark has competed at international shows across the globe and has a string of talented horses, which he has high hopes for.
Mark understands that to perform at the top level, all aspects of his horses’ management need to be considered, which is why he has 100% commitment to Performance Rider and our ethos. “Having used EquiFit boots for several months now I can honestly say they have made a difference,” he says. “When jumping at top level horses need to be fully supported, using EquiFit boots gives me peace of mind and I believe the horses actually jump better when wearing them.”
“As a competitive rider I want to use products that genuinely work and this is why I believe Performance Rider stands out,” Mark goes on to say. “All of the products have been carefully chosen because they do an excellent job. I am very pleased to have the company’s backing, it means I can focus on riding, knowing that the equipment I use is genuinely working for me and my horses.”
Many competitors are now turning to Performance Rider as their first port of call for equestrian essentials, including exclusive EquiFit horse boots and AGSilver horse care, GPA and Manfredi clothing, Cavalor and Horse First supplements and other must-haves such as the revolutionary ThinLine Reins and Heritage Gloves.