EQUESTRIAN MINDSET AMBASSADOR PROGRAMME - CHOSEN APPLICANT (Megan Pollitt)
We are pleased to announce Megan Pollitt as our first Ambassador. Megan will receive the following benefits over the May, June & July 2022:
- HH Unique clothing for both Megan and her horse with product(s) being despatched to every month for 3 months.
- Horzehoods will pay for Megan's confidence coaching call every 2 weeks for 3 months with Amy MacKinnon Coach
- Free Delivery for 12 months on any future purchases with us in the future
- Blog updates
Want to add your application to our next selection? we choose a new application every 3 months to try and help as many riders and customers we can. You can enter via our entry blog via the comments here.
Megan was happy for us to share her entry story. We thought it would be a positive write up to share with all our HH fans and followers as it is very relatable within the horse world and other riders reading that are experiencing similar emotions won't feel as alone. Megan's Instagram if you would like to follow her is @blues_and_hooves
''Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity, I still can't believe I was chosen! I have always shopped with Horzehoods and have always admired your business ethos.
I saw your post searching for mindset brand ambassador after just posting my first jump in about 10 years, a tiny cross pole at that but it was such a major deal for me, especially to then post it on social media so although a little nervous to apply I figured it was now or never and this opportunity would be too good to miss. After a not so good 2021 for a few reasons I am trying to make my outlook more positive and grab opportunities when they come my way.
I feel an equestrian mindset coach would be just what I need to gain confidence in and out of saddle. I have ridden since a child, I have never been the most naturally confident rider and mostly hacked until I was about 15 when I joined pony club and began to jump and learn flatwork on my 13hh little monster of a pony who had never previously jumped either! Although Pony Club allowed me to achieve goals I never thought was possible I feel it was also the start of my riding anxiety, I was never good enough or at the same ability for my age group who had mostly all joined from a much younger age.
I then had a fall XC injuring my back, a few month later took time out from horses to relocate to university and study to be a Paramedic and finally in 2019 had saved enough to buy my own horse. It was all meant to be fun and games, I had dreams of long hacks in the hills, dressage competitions maybe even jump again! Unfortunately after ticking all the checks teeth, physio, feed etc... there was something just not right. Ruby was showing signs of ulcers ,COVID came along and out of the field Ruby just wouldn't settle!
We then moved Yards to have more facilities to hopefully finally get going, the yard was like my dreams come true. Ruby settled well but just wasn't gaining topline, various physio visits and groundwork rehab later we still had no muscle and heat in her spine but no pain response. After vet x-rays kissing spines was diagnosed, she had injections and rehab started. We took it slow and steady, in hand walking before my 12 hour ambulance shifts, lots of step backs, her arthritic hocks began to play up but after 6 months I was back on board, terrified but back on! It felt so good, we did lots of hacking but my confidence was lacking.
Arena ridden work started and my anxiety kept rising, I refused to canter. A 25 year old woman refusing to canter her horse when all I ever wanted was to ride? After saving for a lesson, still refusing to canter but feeling slightly more confident after a few more sessions on my own I finally began to canter again. My fear of the previous bolting, broncs and bucking was starting to drift to the back of my mind. I still had the what ifs and negative thoughts but I could almost forgot about them for a few minutes in the arena. I finally thought we might actually be able to do this.
Unfortunately Ruby then went lame, we tried treatment with no luck , tried rest and other options but as my insurance would no longer cover most of her I couldn't afford any more big vet bills, the vets said with the KS, ulcers and arthritic history it would likely be not worth the costs to the outcome. So my wonderful Ruby, my best friend, my shoulder to cry on when work gets hard now lives her days retired with all the love, hay and pampering she could ask for , a real lady of leisure!
I thought my ridden life was well and truly over now, I couldn't afford two, I had my own cardiac problems making any exertion a struggle, I was embarrassed to go ride anyone's horses when asked incase i wasn't good enough, I couldn't physically do it or my nerves would creep back in.
A few month later an advert to loan a gelding was in the local tack shop, he sounded ideal and was only 5 minutes away. I almost didn't go try him, the fear setting in but I did. We are now a few month into our loan and he is just what I needed. I have gone from being worried to walk up a field to happily cantering, enjoying horses and riding again.
Duke is the horse I needed at just the right time and I am so grateful for being able to ride him. I feel the coaching would allow me to go from tiny cross poles, only riding in the arena when no one is around and maybe finally getting a dressage competition in. I would love to be able to finally progress my riding without the nerves kicking in!
I really want to share on socials that you don't have to always be confident, show the worries, share that you can be 25 years old and ridden most of your life and still be terrified of a 30cm jump!
Thank you again for the opportunity,
DIARY ENTRIES SO FAR
3rd May - Megan received her first batch of Horzehoods Equestrian wear
9th May - Megan had her first zoom call with equestrian coach Amy MacKinnon on 9th May, Amy checked in with us to say ''Megan who won the mindset sessions has had her first session today - it went really well. It will be so amazing for her! What an opportunity''
Megan's reply '''Thank you, yes I loved it, it was very useful to talk about the why and how our bodies react and what I can do to help. We have set a goal to work towards for out next session and look forward to it! Thank you so much!''
27th May - Megan had her second zoom call with equestrian coach Amy MacKinnon.
6th June - Megan received her second batch of Horzehoods Equestrian wear in the post.
14th June - Update from Megan
I'm about half way through the 3 month Horzehoods mindset ambassador programme and thought I would do a little update for everyone. I would 100% recommend anyone to apply! I was nervous to, I didn't want to share my confidence issues and story and much prefer to hide behind closed doors but I am so glad I did! It's also really nice to know brands aren't always looking for people with large followers, amazing riding abilities and top competition results to be part of their programmes too. In fact the whole ethos and includability is one of the amazing reasons why I have always admired Horzehoods, on top of their gorgeous clothing obviously!
So far, I have had 2 sessions with Amy from Amy MacKinnon Equestrian Mindset Coaching and they have been so valuable. It has definitely been guidance I never even knew I needed! Amy is super friendly and it just feels like a nice chat, having the amazing opportunity of so many sessions mean we have been able to take things a little slower and really look into everything.
Our first session we spoke about my story, what may have triggered my lack in confidence and what my feelings are. We then covered how our body works and that our anxiety response to things is actually normal and something we need to learn how to manage and control. It can be as simple as taking deep breaths and resetting yourself. I know I feel 'butterflies' sometimes especially before a jump which is completely normal but through using Amy's methods, I can now almost cover up that feeling and put it to the back of my mind. Which totally makes sense, if I'm on shift as a Paramedic and arrive at a challenging scene and feel the adrenaline, I automatically take a deep breath, reset and get on with the job at hand. I just need to learn to have that mindset with my riding!
A tip I found really good too was making sure I remember the positives parts of a ride before I dismount. The happiness and positive thoughts need to be done on the horse so being in the saddle is associated with the positivity. Myself and I'm sure many others are quick to remember and dwell on the not so good parts. I'm quick to reward and say my praises about Duke, but never have anything positive to say or think about myself.
A huge take away point from my second session was all about a story telling mindset. If I've got this right most of us are in the habit of negative story telling. We would come back to the yard, be asked how our ride was and probably mostly mention the 'bad' bits. Oh well he spooked at this or he ran off up this field with no breaks and not mention that the rest of the ride was all good. We then keep going over this with others, maybe share it on social media and Amy mentioned we also normally sometimes unknowingly make the story more exciting every time we tell it too! So ultimately our brains now have all this reoccurring negativity about something probably quite minor and probably quite exaggerated too! So, to stop this we need to basically just say the positive parts and block out the bad bits. We can learn from them and tell certain people such as instructors or people who can help but maybe the whole yard doesn't need to know! I've definitely done this in the past but since having Ruby retire and have the amazing opportunity of riding Duke I'm always super positive about him as he's such a sweetie but I'm always more of a 'but I rode rubbish' or he was fab but 'I couldn't do this'.
I feel much more positive in my riding. I have a plan before I ride, I have reachable but flexible goals to work on which are only simple currently like having control and feeling confident and comfortable round a course of poles. I know how to manage any anxious nervous feelings and feel more me focussed than thinking other people are watching and judging.
Before I share all of Amy's tips with you, I thought I'd add Amy explains them a lot better with so much more knowledge, so if you're thinking about even booking one session, I would recommend it! It's such a worthwhile investment and can be used in so many aspects of your life too not just riding!
We are also both looking great in our gorgeous gifted Horzehoods gear. The outfits definitely make you feel more confident and I still so overwhelmed with how generous this programme has been! I really need to get some photographs, Duke looks adorable!
Speak soon, Megan
15th June - Zoom call with equestrian coach Amy.
1st July - Zoom call with equestrian coach Amy.
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