Introducing The Irish Horse Life Blog

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I recently reached out to some fellow equine bloggers and I am excited to bring you a new series introducing some of my fellow bloggers. Each week (until I run out of victims) I will be asking a different blogger the same 12 questions. I hope that some of these questions will be a bit different to what you usually see in blogger interviews so I am really looking forward to seeing what they all say!

This week we talk to the first blogger in the series, Ais from the Irish Horse Life blog.

When and how did you get into horses?

I’ve been into horses for as long as I can remember!! I grew up on a farm and my father bred horses, but we didn’t have any riding ones. Having said that there is a pic of me on a horse at 2yrs old!!

I pestered my mother for years and finally when I was 10 I got to go horse riding. Luckily for me a place had opened locally the year before, and I still ride there regularly (I won’t say how many years later

Do you have/have you had your own horse? Tell me about them.

I have two horses! Fred and Cu Chulainn. 7 years ago I had to put my mare down due to colic. I was devastated. I was yard manager in the yard where I kept her, and was used to seeing her every day. About a month later I was looking at a project pony, something not to get attached to. I met Fred. He was massive and stunning. I didn’t even ride him. I couldn’t afford 2 anyway.

I kept thinking about him. 3 weeks later I saw him re-advertised. I rang the next day. Went up to ride him the next day, and then by the third day I had him vetted and bought! Never be afraid to buy the first horse you see!!
Fred and I have done everything together. We started with a hunt run – that was a disaster!! Beach runs, cross country, hunter trials, eventing, showjumping, dressage, showing, TREC, swimming, you name it!!He’s taught me a lot. Mostly patience, lol. Unfortunately he has ringbone arthritis, so we’ve ended our jumping, but he’s still my Dressage King! With some showing thrown in 🙂

Cu Chulainn, or CC, was a project horse. Something to bring on and sell on, because I’d moved home and needed a project. 4 years later, he’s still here! I’m a disaster! I bought him unbroken from the field, off a neighbour. It turns out he bought him from another neighbour! So he’s moved within a 3km triangle since he was born!

I broke him in myself, it was going well until I fell off him, twice. So I sent him off to a professional because I didn’t want him to feel my nerves. Once I got over my nerves, we were flying. We did mostly flatwork for the first few months. Then we started a bit of jumping. The boy could jump!! I tried him with dressage, but his forte is definitely jumping! I don’t want to write off the dressage yet, but you have to play to your horses strength and make sure they enjoy their job.

What is your favourite part of the horse industry? Why do you stay involved?

God, I have no idea!! The horse industry has given me some of the bestest friends in the world. It has given me the best trainers and the best disciplines. But most importantly it’s given me my two amazing horses (ok I’m biased) and goals that have been fulfilled and more to work towards.

Do you have any horse related goals? Riding/competing etc

I have loads of horse related goals!! The more you know, the more you know you don’t know! I love learning and challenging myself, so I’m always striving to improve.

What do you do for work?

I’m a civil servant. Boring as f**k. I also work part time in a pub because horses = poverty.

How did you start blogging? Why do you keep blogging?

I started blogging because I became unemployed and had to move home. I needed something to do with my time in the evening. But I didn’t start properly blogging until a year after I set it up. I was temping in a really boring job ( a common thing in my life). I kept it up because I found it therapeutic, added bonus was my mother now knew what I was doing with my time so stopped hounding me. I really enjoy writing and feel it keeps my brain ticking over. I’ve been very slack of late, but that’s because I was flat out training and competing.

What makes your blog different to other equine blogs out there?

I don’t know that my blog is any different to other blogs. One thing I like to stress in mine, is the work that I put in. It’s not all rosettes and prizes. A serious amount of work goes in, and challenges. And then there are the bad days, as well all know. I write about them in detail too, what goes wrong, why (if I know!).

What is your favourite thing about blogging?

Like I said before, I really enjoy writing and taking pictures, so putting them all together is great!

Do you have any blogging goals?

Blogging goals, am…….not really. Maybe get back into it!!

Do you have a favourite blogger or one you are inspired by/use as a role model?

I enjoy Ginger Ninja and the Wild Atlantic Rider, but I confess, I’m not great at reading blogs, never mind writing them!! At the same time, I think everyone has slowed up on the writing at the minute. One thing I will say is I don’t feel that Vloggers are bloggers. I think there’s a lot more put in to a written blog and I for one enjoy them more.

What do you think is the future of equine blogging?

I hope that people keep writing. I know technology is ever changing, but books and diaries have been around for 100yrs of years!!

What advice do you have for anyone thinking about starting an equine blog?

Just do it!! And enjoy it. And be yourself!!

How to follow the Irish Horse Life

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