Me and my horse
PUBLISHED: 18:21 19 December 2015 | UPDATED: 12:18 08 January 2016
Manu Palomeque 07977074797
Gravesend girl Vikki Moore, who has ridden horses since she was seven, tells us about the special bond she has with her own horse Shannon
Name: Vikki Moore
Where do you live: Gravesend
Tell us a bit about you
I am an Account Manager for Kent on Sunday newspaper, based in Ashford. I was seven years old when I had my first riding lesson, I put the idea to my mum and that’s where it started. The whole family thought it would be a nice idea to give horse riding a try so we all went off together, my mum, my dad, my sister and I. Family is a big part of my life and other than horses, I would say I enjoy spending time with them and with my friends most of all.
Tell us a bit about your horse
Shannon is five, she’s 16 hands and I’ve had her for five years. We got her in Birmingham. My first horse, Strom, was bought for me when I was 11; having been riding for 11 years and constantly asking for my own horse, my mum and dad finally gave in!
Why she is special to you?
Shannon is blind in her left eye so trust is a major factor in our relationship; she will look at me for guidance and confidence. The partnership Shannon and I have is amazing. Before I got her I never used to show jump, however this is one of Shannon’s strongest disciplines and she taught me to trust her and my confidence grew. Three years after I had Shannon I went through a big change in my life and spending time with Shannon helped me through this, going for long country rides and spending time grooming her helped me grow and find myself again.
Describe a typical day
I get to the stables between 6-6.30am to do my daily jobs, which include mucking out, changing her water and making her hay nets for that evening. I will ride Shannon six times a week and this will vary between hacking out and schooling her. I buy my horse feed and supplies from Speedgate Equestrian centre. After work my yard owner and manager brings Shannon in from the field and puts her in her stable for the night.
When do you get time to ride?
At the weekends I try and have a riding lesson, either in dressage or show jumping, with my instructor Mark Boxell. I have lessons as much as I can to improve my ability and move up to a higher level when I compete. We also try and go out at least once a month to cross country training. I enjoy riding with my friends from the stables around the local farms, where the grass stretches for miles and we can have a nice gallop.
Do you compete?
I am competing in one-day events and in 2015 did my second British Eventing 80 class. I will try and compete in dressage, show jumping and cross country throughout the year.
How do you get her ready?
When I am getting Shannon ready for a show she will have a full wash where I shampoo her all over to make her coat nice and shiny, she will have her mane and tail plaited and I use a coat shine to keep the shine throughout the day. On the morning of the show she will have her hoofs painted so they are black and glossy.
Any advice on buying a pony?
Horses are a massive commitment and need care 365 days a year, but they are also very rewarding and will give you lots of love. If you are thinking of buying, look at the financial commitment – and be aware that horses can live for a very long time!
Is it very expensive?
I always say if I didn’t have Shannon I would be rich, but very bored! She has a better wardrobe than me and the best in everything.
What do you buy her as a treat?
Shannon is spoilt and gets lots of treats all the time. She loves her carrots and Polo mints, but if I was to give Shannon a special treat she would have a Likit roller in her stable every night, as she just loves them!
Do you live in Kent and have a pet you’d like to show off to the readers of Kent Life? Email email@example.com with a recent picture of your pet, what makes them special and where you live. We’ll do the rest.