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Happy Hacker to Dressage Superstar

At the age of 14, Mischief (Cliffhollins Mystry) came into our lives! In her past life she has had several owners, being a broodmare and a happy hacker.

When we first bought Mischief her history was unknown, at the time we were based in a riding school and she was on working livery, which meant she was used in some lessons each week.

However, due to her mischievous nature, she could only be ridden by advanced riders as she was very green and liked to throw people off! Even cantering a circle was unusual for her as she was used to just cantering around a field or in straight lines, aged 13 myself, we had many lessons where we would get halfway around a circle at X and then race down to the other end of the arena.

My mum was often the nervous spectator of these lessons and constantly questioned "what did I buy?!" As she watched her 13-year-old daughter galloping uncontrollably around the arena!

After many lessons, we entered our first unaffiliated at our riding school dressage competition and made it through the test! We won our class, yes, her head was in the air throughout the test but this gave me the drive to keep practising and work hard.

When we bought our first trailer this gave us the freedom to enjoy farm rides, The Pony Club and competitions. Pony club opened our horizons to show jumping and eventing and made Mischief and I a well-rounded pair but also confirmed the love of dressage I had.

2016 saw our first National Dressage Championships with The Pony Club, this led to more dressage focused training with BD Youth and Affiliated competitions.

Competing without a typical 'dressage horse' has always thrown a range of different opinions in the dressage ring and many double takes in the warm up arena but it has also been a pleasure. This made me want to prove to everyone that natives can do everything the typical dressage horse can do, this drive helped us to achieve regional champions and qualifications to summer and winter nationals. At the end of the day enjoying training and experiencing new experiences is the main part of owning a horse.

Thank you for reading and I hope this blog has been interesting!

Suzannah @ missy.hollins equestrian xx

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