Suprise! I’ve moved to the UK! | An Eventful Life

Suprise! I’ve moved to the UK!

       Life through a different pair of ears on a very different landscape

 

Suprise! I’ve moved to the UK!

After spending my entire 23 years on this earth in Australia and the last 5+ of those years travelling around with 1, 2 or 3 horses in tow (and usually a friend and their own equine companion as well) I decided it was finally time to go global. To the fabulous United Kingdom to be exact

Plans had been in motion since around April last year when some lovely family friends came over for a holiday and offered me a place to stay in England until I got on my feet. It took some firm encouragement from my mother (or a bit of a firm shove in the right direction to be exact) but, by end of September, I was on a plane with my life’s posessions in a suitcase and a whole lot of terror in my heart contemplating what I’d undertaken.

Young 'horse people' don’t have the luxuries that others in their early 20’s have; we are saddled (pun most definitely intended) with the responsibilities of looking after a very large animal or three. We can't just drop them off at a friend’s house to look after while we are away, nor can we easily put them in a pet carrier and bring them along with us. It was an issue I took very seriously and I spent many nights awake, wondering at 3am if this was really the right decision.

The reason I considered this trip even in the realm of possibility was that I'd been presented with a set of circumstances that were simultaneously liberating and devastating. My two top horses (Mighty William and Berragoon Sizzle) had both retired from high level competition in 2017-2018 which left me with only CT Aurenda, aka Smashy, who was just establishing himself at 1* (now 2*) level and some 2-year-old babies in the paddock. I was devastated that this happened but it did give me an opportunity that I had never had before, which was to actually have a chance to travel

 

       A bit of culture in Madrid

 

I am never really one to half do something, so I decided to get myself a five year ancestral visa and make the move semi-permanent... Bonkers? Probably. But here I am and so far I have absolutely no regrets. I managed to secure myself a job working in a lovely little cafe / art gallery in Tisbury, Wiltshire, via Bill and Caroline (the lovely people who took me in) and am now their Front of House manager. Not to mention my lovely UK family took me along on their family holiday to Madrid in November which was just the most wonderful experience for little uncultured me!!

I also was incredibly lucky enough to be given the ride on two beautiful hunters in November, so I have been hunting Toby and Basil nearly every Tuesday since. It was more than I could have hoped for and I will be eternally grateful to Sophie for giving me the chance to get back in the saddle and have a barrow load of fun at the same time! Hunting was definitely high on my bucket list of 'Things to do in the UK' as I had hunted quite a bit as a child on my naughty little pony 'Sherbet'. We also have a long family history of hunting - my great grandfather George Hirst started up his own Hunt Club - so I was easily persuaded to have a go.

 

 

 

I have had some wonderful days out over the last couple of months, the most memorable being Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day! It's an incredible feeling to properly gallop across stunning English countryside on the back of a brave as brass hunter that you know will have a damn good crack at whatever you set him at! Not to mention the 20, 50 or even 100 riders also setting off with you!

It’s hair-raising at times, especially when a rider in front crashes or stops. However, what you have to watch out for is when the field master jumps that big hedge and doesn’t appear again on the other side... and if he does and you also have a go at the same hedge, you get a nasty surprise of how big it was or worse yet... how big the ditch is on the other side!! See the photo to understand what I mean!

 

 

Being an eventing rider, I rather like to have my ditches on the side I can see them and better yet... walk them on foot first!! I can safely say that a couple of times I have got to the base of a hedge and thought to myself 'Oops sorry Baz! This is a big one!!'. But Basil and Toby are exceptional little characters and just pop over without a worry in the world to gallop on at the rate of knots, eyeing off the next promising looking hedge, tiger trap, rail or gate.

But of course, moving over here was never going to be that simple... there was always going to be the question of what I would do with Smashy. I was loathe to sell him and I couldn’t leave him in the paddock for any big length of time so Carmen and I have decided to try and bring him over and see if we can have a crack at the big leagues. It is most definitely a work in progress with a lot of fundraising to do to get him here and there also the issue of where to keep him. Things are looking promising though so watch this space in the next few months

Now I am a bit more settled, I plan to make my blogs a bit more regular again... however they will no longer be about a Tassie rider's mainland Australian adventures, but a blog about how that little Tassie rider went abroad! I am so excited about the direction my life has taken and with more exciting news on the horizon, I can barely contain my glee!

So until next time,

Alice