Author Archives: Christa Dillon

Understanding the stereotypical crazies in the horse world – A quick guide

  WARNING: Uncensored language. But all in fun.   Horses as a species are a paradox in the extreme. For those of us who love the world’s most improbable mammal – and insist on attaching ourselves to it mentally, physically and worse, emotionally – it is simultaneously the greatest waste of time and money imaginable, and yet also our very favourite thing to do. As berserk as the horses are, though, the people who frequent the industry are doubly questionable. I doubt there is any other sporting activity that brings out quite so many different types and kinds of humanity….

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Horses confront their Halloween horrors – An equestrian’s poem

  The horses were fed and out went the lights, But there was something unusual about this very night. The horses felt nervous-some started to weave- For they had heard round the yard it was All Hallows’ Eve. They slipped out of their stables and joined up in a huddle, Talk of phantoms and demons had them all in a muddle! The lead horse stepped forward and started to speak- But he was interrupted by a blood-curdling shriek. The horses shot forward and rushed into the field, Looked for their leader, but over he’d keeled! For right there in the…

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“They thought I was mad” – Five-star eventer, Phoebe Buckley

  They say that every good horse has a good story, and the same is surely true of riders also. Phoebe Buckley is a veteran of many 5* events, and her career achievements make for impressive reading. An excellent trainer of both horses and riders, Phoebe has a unique ability to instill belief in those who lack it, and to turn the improbable into the achievable. Phoebe lives in Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. She is a Romany gypsy. Phoebe’s parents Susan and Tom settled when their daughter was four years old in order to provide stability, and to allow…

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The future of Eventing, questionable FEI decisions, rioting and cyborg horses

  Spring has sprung! May is here, and we are full steam ahead for the 2019 season. Land Rover Kentucky (still referred to as ‘Rolex’ by absolutely everyone) has been and gone, and now so has Badminton. It’s an exciting yet strange time-this is the first year that the new FEI guidelines have been brought in to play. As always, the FEI seek to make the simplest of things as confusing as humanly possible. Upgrading the starring system has done two things-firstly, everyone in the sport is still talking in ‘old money’, which means we all have to keep asking…

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Not saying no, circling the plughole and hidden gems

  I am a die hard Tommy Tiernan fan (Irish comedian) and in one of his early sketches, Tommy talks about his father-who sometimes likes to ‘try to remember something that he has never remembered before’. And thus it was that last week, this bizarre and somewhat questionable mental exercise was called into practice by yours truly. Sometimes, the things we go through in life are so crazy, or dangerous, or just so downright unfathomable, that our subconscious mind files that bag of psychotic nonsense away into the box marked ‘D’-for ‘DON’T OPEN THIS FUCKING BOX, EVER A-FUCKING-GAIN. FORGETTTTTTT THIS…

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Young event horse classes, terror, humiliation and future stars… Maybe?

  Ireland is a nation of young horse producers, and in order to showcase our top products, we have a series of young horse classes that provide us with an education system and a shop window. The Showjumping system is pretty good-by and large, once a horse is comfortable jumping around a track, the variables he will experience in his competitive life are not that extreme. The young event horses however, obviously have a lot more to cope with-especially if they are produced through the age classes. Whilst these contests are big business in Ireland-and vital if you are to…

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What are you even doing? Walking with a limp, and hunting for cowboys

  WARNING: Uncensored language. But all in fun.   Life is a funny old thing, especially with horses. One minute you’re up, and the next you are really very down indeed. Accident, illness, injury and plain old fashioned rotten bad luck are never far away when you are working hard to achieve any objective. 2018 was-in hindsight-a defining year for me in many ways. There were many wonderful people and horses tangled up in the casserole of madness that is my life, but there were some stark lessons in the mix too. It all started well enough. The downhill slalom…

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From throwing in the towel to soaring over hedges – An Eventing Christmas story

  “I think it might be time to give up.” Jenny stared sadly into her now cold cup of coffee. It was Christmas Eve, and she had made the trip to the far side of the village to her best friend Anna’s house, to deliver gifts. Jenny and Anna had been inseparable since their pony club days, and had risen up through the Junior and Young Rider eventing ranks. Now both established senior riders, the 2018 season had been amazing for Anna. Jenny, however, had had an awful year. Jenny’s top horse ‘Jack Of All Trades’ had made a rare…

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Seeing a stride – A reality check for all riders

  WARNING: Uncensored language. But all in fun.   SEEING A STRIDE. Never has another phrase struck fear into the hearts of equestrians quite like that one. We look on at the professionals making distances look easy, and we wonder HOW?? Our own experiences are often a weird combination of sheer blind luck, and one long rendition of ‘Jesus Take The Wheel’. It seems impossible to bridge the gap from needing a white stick and a guide dog, to being a polished Olympic prospect-but it can be done! I’m here to debunk some of the myths……. The subject of distances…

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Understanding the stereotypical crazies in the horse world – A brief guide

  WARNING: Uncensored language. But all in fun.   Horses as a species are a paradox in the extreme. For those of us who love the world’s most improbable mammal – and insist on attaching ourselves to it mentally, physically and worse, emotionally – it is simultaneously the greatest waste of time and money imaginable, and yet also our very favourite thing to do. As berserk as the horses are, though, the people who frequent the industry are doubly questionable. I doubt there is any other sporting activity that brings out quite so many different types and kinds of humanity….

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