My journey to BroomRaker
I was 7 yrs old when I started riding and I was that archetypal pony-mad little girl. I helped at the local riding school doing jobs to get rides as my parents couldn’t afford to buy me a pony of my own.
At 16 I went to work for a racing stables and did two seasons of hard work. It involved a lot of cold, early mornings with my fingers frozen to the reins and living in front of a 2 bar electric fire in the wing of a very, very cold mansion house with no heating.
Strangely I don’t remember the warm days! It was a tough job with little pay being a stable girl, but it was also a lot of fun. There was little money to be earned in those days in the equestrian world and no opportunities for girls however horse-mad and keen you were.
I therefore decided to stop working with horses altogether. Disillusioned with the horse world I took a completely different path and went into catering. But once you have had horses in your life the passion never really leaves. I went to Switzerland for two seasons as a chalet girl and learnt to ski in between cooking in pubs in the UK during the summer months.
I then got married in my early twenties and left the UK to live in Germany to be with my Army husband. We have two girls Jess and Poppy and when they were old enough to sit on a pony the passion returned. I started riding with the military equestrian centre and I was hooked once again.
Even though I followed my husband around with the Army, I usually managed to find a horse to ride somewhere. I didn’t actually own my own horse until I was 38yrs old! I had always exercised horses for other people, but until then had never owned my own. When we moved back to the UK I was lucky enough to be able to have stables at home and I have never looked back.
Over the years we have had numerous ponies and horses. The hardest thing for me has always been letting outgrown ponies and horses go. It is just as well I do not have the land to keep any more. It would most definitely resemble more of an equine rescue centre if I did.
At the moment we have two homebred horses (my babies) Flossie aged 6yrs who I have backed and ridden on myself (so her attitude I can only blame myself for!) and Valentine 8 months who I plan NOT to spoil quite so much. We also have my husband’s horse Chester and the lovely broodmare Diva. Our 3 dogs are: Arthur the Labradoodle (giant) Tallulah the Labrador (his mother) and Buzz the Parsons x Jackrussel (the usual big dog in a small dog’s body) they are all a little bit bonkers like the rest of us. We also have 2 rabbits Dylan and Delilah courtesy of my eldest daughter, who by the way, is not a child anymore and lives in London! They reside in their own rabbit palace and live like a king and Queen, thanks Jess.