Product Review – Mountain Horse Alicia Coat

I buy a lot so when I say something is my new favourite thing, bear in mind its competed with a fair amount of things to get there.

After Christmas a friend and I had gone shopping and we had planned or ages to save up and head to TRI equestrian between Christmas and new year. In an effort to stop me buying random things I don’t need we had both come up with lists of what we actually needed. Top of my list was a long, warm and properly waterproof jacket for teaching in to replace an existing jacket that was no longer waterproof.

|The mountain horse Alicia coat caught my eye and to be honest at just over five feet tall I was tempted to write it off as a coat “for taller people who can pull off that sort of thing”. once I tried it on I was sold though as its incredibly warm and was like wearing a duvet. I checked the tags as I am tired of falling in love with things that are not actually waterproof – top tip, for something to be fully waterproof you are looking to see that it has listed taped seams as one of its benefits. Also check the waterproof rating – waterproof to 5000mm and to 10000mm and above are different.

This coat has a gorgeous snake print lining, I am raging that I didn’t buy the recent PS of Sweden Black Mamba as it would have been a perfect match! The lining flashes through really well on the vents on the underside of the coat when you open the poppers at the back to allow you to ride in it.

Its waterproof, its warm, its wonderfully long ( I look like a hobbit witch but I don’t care) and it has subtle reflective stitching (presumably so no one runs over a hobbit witch in the dark).

I was dubious about riding in it as its years since I’ve ridden in a long coat. This has vents at the back that can be opened by poppers, a two way zip and elasticated leg straps inside which is really important as it secures the coat to your leg so it doesn’t flap in the wind.

I started off riding my friends horse Leo in this coat as he is so tolerant of everything. I then tried it on Oisin and Sammy – Sammy hates things to suddenly touch him so I am careful about things like this but both horses were fine – I think the fact that the fabric is light and there are no heavy fixings really helps. This for me is great as it means I can transition from riding to coaching with the same coat.

My only critique of this coat is the neck which I find very high and tight especially if you want to wear something around your neck. I usually just leave the top open as I like to wear a neck snood – I wouldn’t have the most elegant neck so if you are more swanlike you may not have this issue!

My main job for this coat is for coaching and observing and its a winner. If I am coaching it keeps me warm from mid calf upwards and if I am sitting and watching anything my thighs are lovely and warm!

Horse adverts – phrases and terms

“Not at all mareish”

If you’re having mare problems

I feel bad for ya son

This horse has 99 problems

But being a b*tch ain’t one

“Has hunted”

Just because it has, doesn’t mean you should

“Good and quiet to hack”

Has failed at every other challenge and discipline bar ambling slowly up the road and back

“Hacks out”

Less nappy going up the road than into the arena



“Would make a great all-rounder”

Currently a barely average all rounder

“Price on Application”

Have you got mortgage approval?

“Relisted due to time wasters / tyre kickers”

Someone else bought it and sent it back / it has already failed at least one vetting

“Has a recent vet cert”

Here’s hoping you are thick enough to buy it without vetting it

“Forward / onward going / keen”

Speed of a Maserati, breaks don’t work.


Equine sociopath

“Would make a great show pony / dressage prospect”

Can’t jump a stick

“Lightly backed and turned away”

We tried to break it, it tried to kill us, we survived unscathed and now hopeful that someone else wants to go there next

“Worth considering for breeding”

Lame mare

“Potential eventer”

Can’t leave a pole up

“Very Quiet “


“Will make someone a lovely prospect”

Just not me., I don’t want it

“Still some growing to do”

Its at that poxy too big for a pony not big enough to make a horse stride height and looks like a spider baby as its head doesn’t ft its limbs- so yeah, here’s hoping it grows into itself.

“Very pretty”

Thank god, as its not a mover and has the personality of a wasp.


Over jumps everything, bring parachute

All work produced on this site is my own original content. please share but please don’t reproduce in any format without my prior permission thanks

The Whole Tooth


Of all the things that happened in 2020 if you would have told me that a tooth would be the biggest impact on my life I would have called you a liar. Unfortunately it was true. If you know me, you will know  I am not a dentist fan. It’s a perfectly rational fear – an unfriendly dentist in the past, a needle right into a nerve and a dry socket will do it to you. I had a tooth that was giving me issues that I was warned to be careful of years ago as the nerve was wrapped around the tooth roota. This got an infection a few years back which cleared up and I needed a root canal or extraction which I was dreading. My physio even suggested I talk to a psychotherapist but actually I felt I just needed to cop the f*ck on and man up – which I did. I headed to a friendly dentist who is the dad of a friend who did a temporary fix on the tooth to give him time to do some fillings on other teeth first and because I was heading away for a few days in January and there was a worry about another dry socket happening when I was away if they extracted beforehand.

Continue reading “The Whole Tooth”

Product Review – The VIP Pad

The VIP Pad in Gold

The VIP Pad was one of those products I had heard a lot of good reviews about but was still cautious about purchasing simply due to the price tag. At £130 the Very Important Pad isn’t cheap so it was an investment. The appeal of the pad for me is very simple – while the other horses I ride wear a sheepskin half pad between their saddle and saddle pad – Sammy cant. Sammy has very wide shoulders and is more narrow through his barrel so my half pad causes the back of the saddle to pivot which is really not a good idea when you are jumping! In my first lesson with Sarah Ennis she told me to take it right off and she was dead right we are more secure without it!

Continue reading “Product Review – The VIP Pad”

Thoughts Horse People have when watching Tiger King


  • $2000 for a tiger, That sounds… very reasonable. Are we talking about getting a good tiger for that price or more like a ‘project’ tiger that is more likely to try and kill you?
  • Look at these crazy people involved with big strong animals who can or will try to kill you. That sounds pretty familiar – its just we are dumb enough to also try to ride ours.
  • Carole Baskin. Crazy – yes. Crazier than some people I have met at horse shows – No.
  • How exactly are they training these animals to do all this because a few years in mines just about managing a circle
  • Carole needs to run an online course so I can learn how to get someone to volunteer to groom for me for free seven days a week while raving about how amazing I am
  • Joe has several husbands – I can barely get my mare not to hate me. There is a glitch in the matrix.
  • Don Lewis – The human version of Shergar
  • Joe’s hair is literally a human blanket clip
  • John – human version of that horse that just hates wearing a rug.
  • Is it just me or would Joe just blend right in at a western show?
  • Joe has a couple of shirts that would make a nice saddle pad.
  • I’d be more enthused about first aid refresher training if I got one of those bad ass EMS jackets at the end.
  • We all have a Carole Baskins in our lives – instead of “that b*tch Carole Baskins” its “that b*tch who cut me up in the warm up” or “that b*tch who said my horse was fat”


All content produced on my site is my own original content – please like and share if you enjoy it but please dont reproduce in any format without my prior permission thank you 

Product review – Greenfields Saddle pad from TRI Equestrian


No filter! 🐴Ok, I think I have found the saddle pad version of the Penney’s Pippa OConnor dress. 😳

true story – look at this saddle pad – it’s nice and thick, it’s got a contrasting trim, it’s got binding to match and it fits well – clearance at the withers and the binding is not underneath the back of the saddle (one of my pet hates!!).

Here’s the thing – I saw this saddle pad on a friends horse and had to have it. As I was walking around the shop with it before I brought it to the till a friend bumped into me and saw it and she had to have one too! 😂 Is it a new expensive saddle pad brand? No, that’s the surprising part – it’s a Greenfields Saddle pad €23.95 from TRI Equestrian! Functional, well designed and very nice looking for about a third of what some of the brands go for – I’m very happy with this especially as Sammy can be hard to get jumping saddle pads to fit due to his big shoulders – others have slipped back or leaned on the withers or the loop for the girth straps are too far back but I’ve found the Turfmasters quilted pads don’t and neither does this 👍👌😃.

This comes in a few different colours. If the one you want is not on display try asking staff – I’d grabbed the last in this colour but they happily got my friend one from the stock room!



Things I learned at Jumping Amsterdam


Last weekend was a bit of a dream come true for me. After a very hectic Christmas with long days working in the yard and then a rollercoaster return to the day job I was grateful to have a few days off booked to get away from everything, to learn and to plan. While I was looking forward to heading to Jumping Amsterdam for the World Cup Dressage and Show jumping I honestly wasn’t expecting half of what I saw and what I learned. The finale of the dressage was something I will never forget – to see three dressage greats – Isabel Werth, Charlotte Dujardin and Edward Gal celebrate their results passaging side by side to a very excited crowd was emotional to say the least. (And no I wasn’t smoking the naughty stuff and feeling high – it was genuine emotion!).


So what did I learn?


Its not too expensive to go and see your idols in real life up close – our world cup tickets didn’t cost much at all so if you are on the fence about going to a show like this – get online and book it – you only live once. I will be heading to another as soon as I can!


Firstly that no matter what budget you head to a show like this with, its never going to be enough to buy half the things you decide you “need” when you see them. Quite a bit of time was spent practically licking the incredible lorries on sale. Jesus H if I win the lotto I know who to ring!


The camera really does alter perspective and size – Dorothee Schneider’s Sammy Davis Jr is much taller in real life than he appears on the tv! Edward Gal was shorter than I expected (still nearly a foot taller than me mind you!). Charlotte Dujardin’s mount has the nicest ears and the kindest expression she’s a picture to watch and just looks willing to please every step of the way.


The qualification test for the Grand Prix Freestyle  is so worth watching. Seeing horse and riders completing a set test rather than their own designed freestyle really highlighted what each partnership excel at and find difficult. Even more interesting was watching which movements seemed universally challenging – notably passage to left canter at E and the canter half pass zig zag.


I’ve never witnessed riders physically work so hard in my life. For the qualification test we were lucky enough to have seats very close to ringside and could see every detail from the muscling on the horses to the riders aids. Glocks Zonik seemed quite hot in the qualification test and the physical strength of Edward Gal honestly shocked me – when that stallion needed him Edward picked him up and put him where he needed to be, every time. You could see the exertion on his face but every step of the way he helped that horse to go through. It was an eye opener and woke me up a lot. It made me realise – do you want to be an athlete, even an amateur athlete? Right, then start acting like one. Watching these riders made me realise its simple – to get better you need to push though, to work harder and to gain a little bit by bit over time.


The music in the arenas is fantastic – while you can hear it on TV the crowd and acoustics live were at a different level. The music choices are so varied but I found I absolutely loved Charlotte Frys higher love / diamonds mix up as it was so punchy and I don’t think I have ever seen a horse so in time to music as her trot work was.


If it kills me I want to learn to ride like a German before I die. I am an Isabel Werth fan and seeing her live with the bonus of her winning both days left me speechless. I am 5’2” and I have thighs so while I admire many riders, I simply cant identify physically with someone over six foot with long slim legs as unfortunately mine will never look or work in that way. Isabel Werth has thighs and my god does she know how to use them. Her half pass change of hand is like a boat gliding on water. Being honest at times she rode so off the seat and leg that the reins seemed like an inconvenience. The confidence that the German riders had in building their marks through steady impulsion, throughness and pure accuracy without relying on flamboyancy was a huge learning curve.


The best riders won. Sitting to watch every test in the qualification test and the freestyle showed that in both cases the riders that ended up at the top did not make mistakes in their tests. Their changes were correct, they at times had to work hard to get something but at all times they delivered the movement in question. This was valuable – its easy to ride a test that might have ‘felt’ good but I know when I’ve gotten bad marks I’ve had to honestly ask myself – was it accurate, did you ride the movement that was asked for where it was asked for and often times the answer was no.


The turnout. I love turnout. I always feel that turning your horse out well is something everyone across the board can afford. Forget the glitzy saddle pads and tack for a minute – the turnout of these horses is pristine. Immaculate clips, gleaming coats, perfect plaits. Embarrassingly while I’ve turned out many other horses well, my own and those I groom need and are getting a makeover very soon! Sammy likes to poo down his tail classy devil that he is – currently he has a poo and shavings tail and unruly feathers that my backman David has told me to clip so that ‘the poor fecker might actually have warm dry legs for five minutes’. Samuels mane could give Tina Turner a run for her money with Oisins not far behind it and Setantas tail is like Rapunzel.


I enjoyed the show jumping much more than I expected. The atmosphere was so electric and the riders were such good sport and the music and compere just gets the whole crowd going.


Tack wise, for show jumping, anything goes! I tried out of curiosity to find consistencies in the tack or brands but nope – everything from Marcus Ehning in a simple snaffle to riders in combination bits that I’d need an instruction manual for. The only thing consistent was the goal – keep the horse forward and in control to the fences. So if your horse goes best in a happy mouth straight bar or a combination hackamore – feck it – you do you – whatever gets you both safely to the otherwise of the jump!


Sometimes lets be honest when jumping we have all had a whinge about a line being ‘too tight’ or an arena ‘too small’. To be blunt, we all need to STFU. These lads are jumping a 1.60m course in an arena smaller than my outdoor – the minimum FEI guidelines for indoor is 25 * 50m. There is no let up or breathing room on the course – every fence affects the line to the next its incredibly testing.


The jump off was nail biting. There’s a special kind of brave required to hit a long one at that height – it must feel like throwing your heart in the air and hoping the rest follows.


How many sports do you know where people have to retire by a certain age? I know a lot. I often wish I was in love with a sport that required inexpensive equipment that wasn’t alive. However our sport is one of few where men and woman compete equally on a level playing field and often into their later years. It’s a sport where riders of all ages can excel and you can be still doing it aged sixty with all your life experience behind you. In 1991 Isabel Werth won team and individual medals – 29 years later shes STILL making history! Marcus Ehning won team gold at the 1993 european young riders. 27 years later he is still competing at the very top. He rode a horse last Sunday and in just a simple snaffle when Marcus said sit and wait – oh it did! So while horses are an expensive life choice, at least if we survive the stress of it we can be doing it for years to come!


If you are lucky enough to have friends, family and / or a partner who enjoys horses with you – celebrate them. It’s a wonderful sport to enjoy and its even better to enjoy with others.








Making a Balls of It!

Sammy doing his first in hand session 

Well last week was full of ups and downs! On Wednesday I learned to play with balls while riding and it was not as erotic as that sounds!! 😃 . I will be the first to admit that when I first heard of Franklin Balls – rubber air filled balls that look like some kind of deformed sex toy I was sceptical. That said when you are wonky as a donkey you will give anything a try so I ended up cantering along with one of these giving me what felt like a Brazillian bum lift in the saddle. I was laughing so much I was afraid I would fall off. Sammy seemed quite happy with me in this position which was very interesting. I didn’t feel the effects until I removed the ball – apparently that’s what is meant to happen – you suddenly feel like you are sitting really really deep down in your saddle. I had physio on Tuesday and could feel the muscles that the physio stimulated (The multifidus on my left side) working when I used these so that’s piqued my interest. I rode briefly with a ball under each arm pit and the difference this made … was weird. I suffer from contraction of the muscle under my right armpit in particular and this is often worked on in osteo treatment – I also struggle to keep my right shoulder back. I swear these balls did something to get my brain to pay more attention and as I rode further on in the week I was more aware of how to open my shoulders and work my elbows. Its very odd but worth saving up for a set for myself I think.


I had a few people asking where to buy the balls – they are available on Amazon:

Full rider set –


Ball pictures above that goes between the rider and the saddle –

Set of two balls that go under the riders arms –

The balls can all be used off the horse also in core strength and pilates training


On Friday Hugo and I had a dressage lesson with Sorrell (without the Franklin balls as he is 17.2hh which is high enough without lifting me!) which was brilliant as we really got him swinging along and I was a lot less shocking at sitting into his canter. I am actually enjoying riding him in sitting trot which is something I never ever thought I would say about riding any horse in it!
Sammy and I then had our first in hand lesson. Rather predictably he made a liar out of me. His phobia of things touching his leg doesn’t apply to people he likes and he decided Sorrell was his new favourite person and was doing shoulder in and leg yield in hand and picking up his hind legs on command. He took the p*ss out of me when I had a go but we realised that he was taking advantage of my shorter height and getting his nose past my elbow so I have a few tricks to practice now. I have never really done in hand work before and wanted to try it as I think its great bonding with the horse as well as training. It also was very beneficial for me to watch him being worked on the ground as there are a number of behaviours under saddle that present on the ground too.



Saturday we headed to Spruce Lodge. Hugo was very excited to be out and about after a break and piaffed his way to the warm up where I had to trot for a while to chill him out enough o walk and relax. I started warming up and he felt fantastic which was all great except we hit the pinnacle of adrenaline versus fitness at this point and it didn’t last until our test. In that test Hugo decided to show the judge his great his canter is – in the trot work. As the judge said … what a pity. I also forgot I had a right shoulder let alone how to use it so I rode like a bag of spanners. Our second test went a lot better. We placed third but missed out on our last score for Cavan by ….. ONE MARK. Oh yes how close can you get to 64% and not get it? 63.75% that’s how close. Seriously how do I do this? I got 63.86 last year it’s a skill at this stage. On the plus side everyone except me qualified so rather than having a whinge I want to say congrats to Clara, Genna and Niamh! I have a last shot next Saturday at Marlton so lets hope luck is on my side.

Hugo all dressed up 

Sammy loved Saturday as Emma forgot he wasn’t coming to spruce lodge and gave him an early breakfast so he was fed early and didn’t have to do dressage which was a win in his eyes. Sammy got to go to Redhills for a well needed show jumping lesson yesterday. When it comes to show jumping you cant beat Tom Walsh. He makes it simple, has a system that works and isn’t afraid to tell me to shut up and jump and put manners on my animal. Before I got lessons with Tom I didn’t really have one system I embraced for riding or teaching jumping – I do now as what he teaches just works and doesn’t get over technical. Last time I went to Redhills I saw a duff stride and hit the deck while my confused horse jumped over me so I am pleased to report that yesterday I managed to keep my bum in the saddle and despite a few ropey strides we jumped a track that was bigger than what I jumped in a while. Chica was horrified that I had gone to Spruce lodge with Lottie Emma’s jack Russell and spent yesterday evening following me around the yard, stealing coarse mix and demanding her own adventure so myself and Kia brought her for a stroll on the Curragh!

Sammy at Redhills

The most insignificant achievement of the week was a big one for me – I went for my first solo hack on Chanel. Chanel and I have a history that’s a bit special that ill explain another time but sometimes a horse is just meant to be your horse. I rode Chanel back in April and had to stop when my back seized up. She had a break while I recovered and while we sold Merlot. Rory got her started again for me and has been amazing training me how to ride her not that I am capable of producing anything like that work he does on her yet. I had hacked her once before in company but yesterday tacked up, mounted up and had a lovely spin around the gallops and woods. Im looking forwards to really getting to know her.


Speaking of Merlot, if it was fate that brought myself and Chanel together it was the same for Merlot and her new owner who saw a video of her jumping and contacted me saying ‘that’s the horse for me’. She was right and they jumped their first double clear at BSJA this weekend!

Eventing Adventures – Torrential Tattersalls!


So this weekend was really one of ups and downs. On Friday Merlot 🍷🐴left for her new home in the UK. Thanks to everyone who asked if I was ok – I am as sometimes you have to make tough decisions but when its for the right reason it’s the right decision. She has gone to a wonderful person and a great home and I wish them the very best success together.

Continue reading “Eventing Adventures – Torrential Tattersalls!”

More Things I learned While Eventing

Photo by Equus Pix

Last week, after a two year break I did two events in four days on my unicorn moving up a level since our last time out in 2017. It was great fun but as usual we learned a few things along the way….

  • If you are going to drive 3 + hours each way to an event bring a friend.


  • If you still like someone after six or more hours together in a car, you are definitely friends


  • When adding your route to a maps app make sure ‘avoid motorways’ is unticked


  • It doesn’t matter how many lists you make you will always forget something


  • However many studs you think you need, buy twice that many


  • It is not just horses who need electrolytes and water – drink water if you don’t want to look like a raisin the next day


  • never underestimate how terrifying it can be if a flower almost touches your horses leg in a dressage test


  • The camera adds ten pounds to the rider and takes at least 10cm off the height of a fence. The giant wooden chasm you had to jump over in real life will always look up to your knee in photos.


  • if you ask if you should bring a waterproof rug and your friends says ‘No, it wont rain’ – it will definitely rain. It will rain a lot


  • The only thing more of a pain in the swiss than returning from XC soaked to your knickers is trying to wrangle studs out of the feet of a horse who is determined to eat grass in torrential rain


  • The flimsier your footwear the more times a horse will try and stand on you with studs in


  • When packing spare clothes include socks and underwear unless you like driving home with a wet ass.


  • Nothing feels as good as a warm and dry change of clothes after getting soaked.


  • When changing in your horsebox make sure your horse cant nip your bum.


  • Riders going through adrenaline crash who have not eaten in about six hours do not make healthy food choices.


  • When it comes to travelling horses while noise is a concern, silence is suspicious.


  • It doesn’t matter how neat and organised your jeep was on the way there, on the way home it will be a chaotic mess of mud / sweat / hair covered stuff that no longer even fits


  • Nothing that leaves home white comes home white


  • It doesn’t matter how many times you swear you will, no one is every fresh enough after getting home to clear out the horsebox or jeep the same evening when they get home


  • It doesn’t matter how many times you swear you will clean out the horsebox and jeep the next day, it will be at least three days later.


All content on my site is my own original content, please share if you enjoy it but please don’t reproduce without my prior permission thanks