Welcome to Part 4 of the mini series featuring some favourite hacks of horsey people around me. I’m hosting this series to connect with Brooke’s 2018 running of their hugely successful fundraising campaign #MyHackathon which I’ve been honoured to work on with them photographically. A super simple process where you ride 100 miles in 100 days and raise £100 for the charity. What better way for others to reap the rewards from your own relaxing exercise? You can keep up with all the news from this charity, and this particular campaign here.
Today I’m delighted to introduce Nicki Strong, an amateur eventer based in Hampshire. Nicki, who blogs about her eventing life, is a product testers for Horsehealth.co.uk, sponsored by Aubiose Horse Bedding, and supported by Protexin Equine.
Beyond all this she’s a flipping lovely lady who I regular see within my view finder as I freelance through the eventing season for event rider photography companies. Nicki always has a smile on her face, a game plan in her back pocket and a wealth of experience to share through her blogs. You’ll find her on Facebook at Headstrong Equestrian.
Time to discover more…
I’m Nicki Strong, and I’m an amateur eventer based in a little village in Hampshire. I work full time as a PR and Content Marketing Manager for a national charity and also do some freelance equestrian PR and journalism. After years of having my horses on DIY livery, I’m now lucky enough to have them at home since buying a house with some land – something I’ve always dreamed of! I love having them at home but the only downside is missing the yard facilities – an arena will be a permanent fixture on my Christmas list, I think!
Tell me a little about the horse/s in your life, what you do with them and if you have any specific aims (competitive or non-competitive) with them for 2018:
I have three horses, two of whom are now retired – Monty and Ruby.
Monty is an ex-racehorse, ex-eventer, ex-dressage diva now living out his older years being a fool in the field and pretending he’s still a youngster. Ruby is a sport horse who unfortunately had to be retired at a young age due to kissing spines which surgery didn’t help, so sadly could never fulfil her great potential and be the pocket rocket eventer I always wanted.
My main man is Blue (Pha Mai Blue) – another ex-racehorse. Following a successful racing career on the flat, he has now retrained to do a bit of everything; eventing is our first love, but we also take part in British Showjumping, RC team events, hunter trials, arena eventing, jumping and style, and the odd bit of dressage to show willing! We have competed up to BE Novice level and I hope that in 2018 we might achieve the one-star top hat and tails dream.
I’d love to hear about your favourite hack location. Where is it & what makes it such a great place?
Not having an arena to use at home means I do loads of hacking, which is a massive benefit for Blue’s fitness and conditioning. I’m very lucky in that where I live we have fabulous hacking country and are spoiled with hills in every direction- an eventer’s dream. My favourite hack is one makes full use of hills and off-road riding; a bit of road work to get there and you’re rewarded with the most wonderful bridleway which starts with good grassy ground underfoot, and a long steep hill stretching as far as your eye can see. When you get to the top the view is breathtaking; pass through a short bit of woodland and you’re rewarded with three more grassy field to canter through making it the ultimate ride for combining fast work and hills. It’s easily my favourite route (and Blue’s too!), and is like having your own public gallops…just don’t go up there when the estate has a shoot on or you might get more than you bargained for and give Frankel a run for his money! After you reach the end of the bridleway, you’re back onto the road and headed downhill, so a good long walk to cool down and usually a bit of jogging too after cantering fun.
Can we see a photo from this hack?
Yes, have a few! It’s beautiful isn’t it?
Do you have a message for anyone taking part in The Brooke #MyHackathon this year?
#MyHackathon is a brilliant idea; I’m a total hacking advocate and spend hours in the saddle exploring the countryside. Whether you hack for fitness and conditioning, or just for the love of happy hacking and exploring local countryside – anyone can take part and raise money to support Brook’s amazing work helping millions of donkeys and horses. And, since it’s all for a great cause, you totally have a legitimate excuse for disappearing to the yard for hours.
Bonus! Good Luck!
Huge thanks to Nicki for sharing the details on her favourite hack. Do you have a favourite hack you’d like to share? Please get in touch today and don’t forget to sign up to #MyHackathon too 🙂
Have a fabulous day!