Where it all began....
16th March 2006
I remember as plain as day the phone call I got. So I am sat in R.E at school in Miss Anderson's class when my mobile rang (yes naughty I know!) but my friend Rachel answered it.
The phone call to confirm that as from that day Harvey was mine, I was to take care of every need he had. My dad and grandad had paid for him.....I was 16 at the time and he was a rising 3 year old STALLION! What the hell was I thinking? The absolute BEST thing that ever happened to me hands down.
It was 6 days before Harvey's 3rd Birthday (DOB 22/03/2003).
What would I do with a stallion never mind a 3 year old!!!
I started his ridden work when he was a three year old, for the first 18 months ALL we did was hack out and have fun (he was still entire!!). He was gelded as a 5 year old, he was NOT happy about this, broke away from me and dragged me across the yard went galloping up the fields to his mates and I had to go and drag him back in for his plums off!!!
In 2007 we moved to our current home (Aldham Mill) when Harvey was a 5 year old and this is where he started his proper ridden work and his first time in an arena!
I won't lie this has been THE hardest thing I’ve ever done. It has been blood, sweat, tears, tantrums, and more money than I ever want to think of but it has been worth EVERY penny. He is by no means the easiest, or most behaved horse but he is MINE. I have worked my absolute hardest so he has everything he needs and so that we can achieve what we set out to do.
When people tell me I am lucky for having him, whilst I agree, I have also worked bloody hard to achieve what we have done!
I took Harvey to his first EVER show when he was just 5. We entered the in hand coloured and in hand cob classes and he won both! The judges loved him and couldn't believe how well he behaved for his first time out and him still being a baby! We hacked back and bless him he had waited ALL day to pee and the pee heavens opened the minute he stood on the concrete back at the stables!!
We have done everything together (some quite successfully too!) from in hand and ridden showing, unaffiliated show jumping, cross country, show cross, hunting (at break neck speed usually!!), unaffiliated dressage and affiliated dressage.
Qualifying for Trailblazers Finals in Showing and Dressage over the last few years, although we never went to the finals!
We trained with Diane Smeaton until 2016 when she emigrated to France :(. She has played a MASSIVE role in both mine and Harvey's life, taught us the most invaluable lessons not only with horses but in life too! When Diane left she recommended I try a trainer called Gill Liggins. We started to train with Gill in June 2016. Within MONTHS of training with Gill Harvey was again a different horse all together, his way of going and his acceptance to work was so different.
We qualified for Pet Plan Area Festivals in October 2016 placing mid table in the Prelim section! Not bad for a little cob hey!
We started training with Caroline Saynor alongside Gill Liggins in November 2017. Caroline has again had a massive impact on my riding and Harvey's way of going. She also bred both my dogs! Frank and Muggley!
In April 2016 we were lucky enough to be selected to become a Brand Ambassador for LME Bridlework. We have been spoilt rotten with the most amazing bridles and brow bands (and polos for Harvey of course!). I cannot recommend this company enough, the leather work is stunning, soft, supple and extremely affordable!
Most recently I received the most beautiful double bridle through the post which is Harvey's show bridle!
In December 2016 we applied to a competition that was being run by Blue Chip Feeds to win a year sponsorship deal, a year’s worth of feed and supplement of my choosing and a lesson, plus full kit for me and Harvey!). Never in a million bazillion years did I ever imagine we would win this. And what a bloody year it has been!!!!!!!! Harvey has been featured in SO many magazines (Horse and Rider, Your Horse, Equestrian Life and British Dressage just to name a few! I'm sad and have kept a copy of them all!).
In January 2017 one of my best friends surprised me with a sponsorship package and a boat load of gifts! This included our cross country gear, branded clothing and saddle pads! She also provides the most beautiful photographs and cherished memories I could wish for! Not only is she my photographer she is a very close dear friend who has stuck by us since day 1.
Since July 2017 I have been reviewing products for The Comfy Horse Company. These have included Franklin Balls! VIP , Thin line seat saver, Kerri’s Ice-fil tights and Kerrits cool top. I am currently reviewing the MDC stirrup irons! These are pretty amazing if I do say so! The best irons I’ve ever ridden in, not giving too much away you'll have to wait for that review.
This year I am AIMING to compete Harvey in some affiliated showing classes, this will include Ridden coloured and Ridden Cob. I have sent off his passport to be over stamped by CHAPS!!!! We can hopefully do our sponsors proud. By March 2018 I am aiming to compete in at least one Elementary Dressage test!
We have a huge team of supporters behind us which I am eternally grateful for! Now just need to secure a Horse box sponsorship that would be amazing right ;) A girl can dream!!!
Lots of Love,
Laura & Harvey
x x x