I’ve been wanting to look out some old pictures for a while, and I still haven’t found the one I’m after, but I came across some good ones. A few are of me, a few involve people and ponies I know – it’s mainly a catalogue of retro hairstyles and equestrian gear, enjoy!
This first picture was taken when I was six – I’d been riding for two years and won these rosettes at a gymkhana my riding school held (Americans: blue is sadly for second place over here, first place takes home a red ribbon).
The next picture is of my sister jumping her loaned pony at a show – I competed in the same class on my loaned pony, but the photos of me are terrible! I love this photo of my sister – the pony’s totally motorbiking the jump, but I think that’s because she’s actually doing well and looking ahead! She was nine when this photo was taken.
I’m in this one! That’s me in the middle, wearing long boots and waiting to receive my rosette. My pony looks smartly turned out for a change – it’s the final show of the summer season and I can’t remember what the class was, it’s either the Veteran showing class (my pony was over 40!) or a small jumping one.
This was taken at a Christmas indoor show. My sister on the left, me on the right and our friend in the middle. This was the last time I competed on my pony – I switched to the ex-racehorse around the time of this show. My sister’s pony was heavily favoured at our yard, which is why he’s plaited up and the others aren’t!
Taken later that day, this is my pony (Horse Hour people – this is the one whose tail I accidentally dyed pink earlier in that year) and me all geared up for the fancy dress class. He was so placid that we attached traces to the surcingle and had him pull a sledge. As you can see, I rode bareback and, if you look closely you’ll spot that we covered his nose in lipstick and on his quarters I used coloured hairspray and a stencil to put a starry design on his backside. Despite the aerosol near his behind, he didn’t flinch once. Such a good pony!
This is the famous ex-racer, doing his classic giraffe impression. And I’m modelling a classic 90s jockey skull (I was so pleased when more attractive vented helmets came on the market!)
This one is from the “don’t try this at home” category. My sister is climbing from pony to pony – our instructors taught us a game of moving them further apart and leaping from one to the other! This was a very tame gap to have to negotiate. Her loaned pony is the one on the left. The grey mare is the pony who has won me my solitary red rosette (I’m behind the camera!)
This is my sister competing aged ten – I’m sorry (not sorry) to do this to her, but I love how ahead of the pony she was. Was the stride right but the fence was in the wrong place, Emma? I can only assume that they survived the fence and went on to complete a glorious clear round…
Another Christmas, another fancy dress class. This one was at the end of 1999, so the theme was the Millennium. Apparently, hours of work went into this costume. By the looks of him, hours of work had gone into honing the pony’s round belly that winter too…
And finally: this is my former loan pony competing in the fancy dress class without me – I assume he was dressed up as the Millennium Dome? Either way, I don’t know many ponies who would consent to being ridden with an opened parasol.