28th September, 2022: Hard Decisions and New Goals

Lots of changes have happened recently at Dockerty Equestrian. If you don’t follow our Instagram you probably would have missed a few big updates, including ANOTHER location change.

Dockerty Equestrian is now based out of Tamworth, with the main 2 kids agisted at Lilha Park, and with my mornings spent at Tamworth Racecourse working towards my jockey qualifications under local trainer, Sue Grills. I’m also spending a lot of time out at Currububula Pony Club coaching the local kids in showjumping and dressage.

With not a lot on the cards for the rest of the year in regards to competitions, the next few months will be focused on getting Cleo jumping and ready to head out in the 60-80cm next year, and Laurie consolidated at EvA80 and starting his Novice test movements. Hopefully I’ll be taking on a few client ponies and start with some more private lessons to start being a bit more full on with the horse industry, but it all takes time!

Cleo and I had our first dressage lesson since 2020 (I haven’t had a dressage lesson since Jazz!?) and we’ll definitely be booking ourselves in for some more, along with Laurie! See the above post for an edit of Cleo strutting her stuff.

For the last, I don’t know, 10 years. it’s been set in my mind, and the minds of my supporters, that my aim is the Olympics. Sure, it’d be great to get there, but recently I’ve discovered that while I love high-level competition, and gosh I’m missing it at the moment, I see myself working with young horses and OTTs, training and selling, more than I see myself campaigning for the Olympics! I’d love to dabble in some backing as well, I just need to find the right connections.

31st May, 2022: Working Hard & Living in Scone

It seems to me that all my recent posts – although can you really call them recent – have been updates! I’d love to just be able to give a little bit of insight into what I do, but it really hasn’t all started up properly, yet. I’m working/riding for a race trainer in Scone, and have been slowly ticking away with my own horses at home, as well as advertising for client horses and coaching opportunities. Speaking of, I got my first client horse! Well, pony, but it’s a start!

Laurie has been improving swimmingly, he’s just had a very busy week with clinics and protocol days (see my recent Instagram Posts for all the footage) and is entered in his first Dressage test this coming Sunday. His eventing debut is coming up shortly with entries to Denman Horse Trials having been processed and cleared, and I’ve got a few show jumping days in mind for him, I just need to do some more schooling with him before I fully decide whether I’ll enter him!

There has been a bit of interest in Laurie recently but, like I keep telling everyone, he won’t be for sale until the end of the year-early 2023. But keep those messages coming, I need to know who to send his ad to when he does eventually go on the market!

Cleo and Laurie had their first massages last week. Thank you Triple H Equine for coming out and seeing my protegees, they are very much looking forward to their next appointments!

Cleo is still out in the paddock looking after her baby and looking just about as wide as she was when she was 4 months ago, pre-baby! Hopefully, the ground will start drying up soon and I’ll be able to do some groundwork with her to start getting rid of that baby bump that just doesn’t seem to budge!

Speaking of babies, Pippa is so picture perfect and is coming along with her handling so quickly! She’s finally trusting me and has just about become my best friend. We got some pretty cute pictures that were posted on Keldan Park, and one has actually made it to the lock screen on my phone, which hasn’t been changed from Jazz’s first 1* with me! She’s the cutest little munchkin and is showing some awesome moves in the paddock, Olympics 2040?! Maybe it’ll be 2044, she’s pretty sassy!

Versali is in foal! We’ve got a Totality foal coming our way! With the Sandro Hit x Totalis breeding, we’re sure to get a winner, just maybe not for me with the dressage breeding. Miss ‘Sali, as I like to call her, is becoming a little bit hormonal, I think some catch-up lessons in ground manners may be in order.

Keep an eye out on our social media platforms, including our new TikTok account, to stay up to date with all the going-on’s of our up-and-coming business, and get in touch if you think I might be able to help you with something!

12th April, 2022: Update 2.0

Well, I’ve moved again! Hopefully, I won’t be doing any more big moves in the next year, and any future ones after that won’t affect my location!

I’ve moved back to the Scone area, and am hoping to base myself here, from a business point of view. Currently, I’m in the middle of a job search, and a horse search (more information coming!) but I will be offering limited lessons, and training sessions in the very near future! Due to a lack of space, I will be offering to travel to you and your horse.

Cleo will be coming back into work soon, and Pippa will start having some regular handling done. Our new broodmare, Bloomfield Versali (who finally has a spot on our website) has been inseminated and we’re currently waiting to do our 2 week scan to see if she is in foal!

March 2022: What’s going on at Dockerty Equestrian?!

Well, the heading says it all. What’s going on?! We’ve disappeared from a few different areas, including our regular posts on all social media platforms. Can I just say, we’ve been super busy? Cleo had her foal in January (there is a post introducing Pippa, and I’ve updated my ‘HORSES’ tab on our website), and we’ve bought a new broodmare! That hasn’t actually been announced yet, but it will be very soon, on our new Instagram page, Keldan Park (Linked into the website)! Keldan Park features the breeding side-hustle that we have going, based in Wingen, NSW. Our new broodmare is arriving – from Melbourne!! – in the next week. Once she’s arrived there will be an official announcement, so keep an eye out! Oh, did I mention I’ve started my coaching course? Next year, I’ll be offering proper coaching services, an update will be put out regarding that closer to the end of this year. Currently I’m offering small coaching services that are flexible around my work hours, but I don’t have any insurance so there isn’t a lot of availability, but still get in touch if you’re interested, I’m always happy to work something out 😉

An update on Cleo is probably needed too. Currently, she’s looking after her baby after a very successful, yet surprising labor. Hopefully, she’ll be ready to come back into work in June/July. I’m hoping to get her ready to start competing for next year’s competition season.

I think that’s enough of an update for this month. Stay tuned for next weekend when I’m competing Metallicat at Canberra Horse Trials, and next month I’m hoping to start a new project!!

Oct. 20, 2021: Moving Day

So, the start of my move probably didn’t go very well. I spent all week procrastinating packing up my things, so I spent all of Friday packing. Friday night definitely didn’t meet expectations. My room was too empty for my liking, and I couldn’t actually get to sleep. Or maybe that was because of the amount of energy drinks I consumed? Regardless, I didn’t get enough sleep for the seven-hour drive that was to happen the next day.

Initially, Dad was supposed to wake me up after he’d emptied out the car of his photography gear, but he slept in, and I woke up just after 5:30. After waiting HOURS waiting for Dad to wake, he finally stumbled out of bed at 9:43, and soon after emptied out the car. With the car empty, I started packing my entire life into the back of our 1996 Cherokee Jeep. In went the suitcases, in went the carpet bags, in went the bridles, and in went all the shopping bags filled with random belongings that I managed to discover spread all over our very small house. Very quickly, the jeep was packed, with no room to spare.

Before we left town, Dad and I went to visit my step-mum, so that I could say one last goodbye. It was a little bit emotional, but I promised I’d be back for Christmas! Finally, we set off.

Of course, I was driving. I think we made it about three hours down the road before we realised that we should probably stop to swap drivers. Also, both of us were busting for a loo! Dad and I found a little rest-stop with a long-drop where we relieved ourselves – believe me, those toilets were disgusting – and swapped so that dad was driving. I think we made it to Wellington before we swapped again.

In Wellington we stopped at the local Maccas and, honestly, had the worst meal – much too salty and greasy. I got in the driver’s seat, and we were off again. I’m not quite sure what we did to pass the time, but I do remember listening to some comedian that Dad is absolutely obsessed with. Oh, and we listened to a lot of Hollaback Girl.

At around 6.00pm, we finally arrived in Yass, to my new home. Very quickly, Dad was introduced to my boss’ partner, the car was unloaded, and Dad set off to make the very long trip home. Luckily, he used to be a truck driver so he was used to the long driving hours 😉 I received a message from him at around 2.00am saying he’d arrived home safely.

I’m sitting here, on my lunch break, over a week later typing this out. Unfortunately, I just haven’t had time to sit down and write my recount out, so I want to apologise for any details I may have missed out on. I’m absolutely loving it here, although I did take a spill off one of the horses the other day! Check my Instagram to find out which horse it was!

Oct. 6, 2021: The Importance of Taking a Mental Health Day

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mental health includes our ‘emotional, psychological, and social well-being.’ Our mental health dictates our daily lives, from the way we handle stress, to how we interact with others. Personally, it took me a very long time to recognise the importance of mental health, and the role it takes in my life. By the time I realised the importance, I had spiralled in a terrible way, and it took me moving out, and taking an eight-month hiatus from the equine community, to come out of my spiral. Now, I’m working on myself, for myself.

Over the last eight months I’ve had a lot of time to take a good look at myself. I broke off a relationship with a boy that I still love and had a lot of realisations in regard to my sexuality. I am still trying to figure out how exactly I can identify myself, but I had a relationship with a girl, let’s call her Adison. My relationship with Adison was based off a need to figure out who I am, and she was trying to prove that she was more than her ex-girlfriend’s ex. Not that that particular endeavour went very well, as after four months she cheated on me, with her ex-girlfriend. While I was with Adison, I wasn’t really focusing on myself, but rather trying to make the relationship work. During this time, I had a lot of breakdowns, and took time away from spending time with my loved ones to help her, and when it all came down to it, I wasn’t worth it in her opinion. In the end, it took breaking someone’s trust that I loved, and getting my heart broken by a girl that wasn’t worth it, to realise that I needed help. I needed to take a break. A break from relationships, a break from my social life, and get back to the one thing that I’ve always had going for me, my horses, and my career.

Mental health has been something that I’ve struggled with for a very long time. I went to my first counsellor at 9 years old. I went to my first psychologist at 11. At 12 years old I was diagnosed with depression, not as a result of a traumatic event, or series of traumatic events, but rather as the result of a chemical imbalance, and I was also diagnosed with severe anxiety, which comes mainly in social circles. I went to the same psychologist up until I was 16. I then moved on to a local psychologist so that I could have more regular treatment. It was then that I was told that I have borderline personality disorder (BPD). Through my research of BPD, I was sent in a very negative manic episode, which resulted in me sabotaging many relationships that I cared deeply about.

Through my life, I have never been the person to take a break, especially when it came to my horses. In 2019 I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever, which essentially is a virus that attacks the system in your body that helps you create and use your energy. My sister was also diagnosed with it. For three months, my sister took a step back from school, and took a step back from her horse-riding. At the other end of the spectrum, I took a step forward. I took on my sister’s horse, along with my two, and continued to go to school and try my hardest to get good grades. After three months, my sister was all better. She could take her horse on again and she went back to school. I got worse. My glandular fever developed to the point where I really should have been admitted into hospital, but rather I just put myself on bed rest for six weeks. Still, I have the side effects of glandular fever, but it taught me to not take things for granted, and that, sometimes, taking a break is okay.

These last 8 months have probably been the longest 8 months I have ever endured. Despite taking a break from my horses to better my mental health, it has also taken it’s toll on me. I’ve lost a lot of the condition I once had, I’m no longer up to the fitness I was at the beginning of 2020, and it will take me a while to get back to where I was. I don’t regret taking this break. It has done wonders for me. I have figured out how to step out of my comfort zone, I have a decent social circle now, and I seriously believe that I am going to find making friends at my new job much easier than I would have found it, had I not taken this break. I’ve made friends I will never forget, and hopefully I’ll be able to count them as good friends for many years to come.

Sept. 22, 2021: When to Make the Move

Relocating. Moving. It’s a difficult notion to understand. Why would you uproot your entire life, where you should be content, to start from scratch? Personally, I was unhappy. I was so incredibly unhappy. Initially, I was moving with my mother. We were moving to Newcastle to live with my grandparents. I think I lasted 3 months there. There were a lot of factors that went into the decision to move to Newcastle, including certain individuals’ health, and my horses.

For a while, my horses were based at my instructor’s, which was just under an hour away from where we moved. Not being able to independently transport myself meant that keeping them there was just unobtainable, and so we started looking for somewhere closer. Eventually, we found a little property just down the road from where we were living. A 10-minute bike ride. It was cute. I had a cute little stable block, an enclosed tack-room that I shared with the other agister, and access to two paddocks, one of which I was planning on using as an arena. It was good for a while. I had my jumps there, and my dressage arena letters, and my two gorgeous horses. Slowly, or maybe quickly, my grandma’s health declined, and, over the Christmas/New Year period, she was taken away in an ambulance three times. It broke my heart, and I just couldn’t cope with watching it happen over and over again.

At the end of January 2020, I made the decision to take a break from horses, and choose my mental health. I relocated, once again, this time to Tamworth. Jazz, my main competition horse, got sold through an old instructor, and Cleo was put in foal after a lot of deliberation and arguing over which stallion. It was decided that Cleo would be put in foal to TP Promises, who was a small local stallion, although he was chosen more for convenience than bloodlines.

For the past 5 months I’ve had a casual waitressing position, and I honestly thought I was focusing on my HSC studies, which evidently wasn’t going to happen! I’m now waiting on my next move, which is to Yass, on my own, for work.

Honestly, I don’t regret the last year. The experiences I have gained through some choices over the last 12 months have honestly given me so much more knowledge, and I can’t wait to start on my next adventure!

Follow my Instagram and Facebook for more updates, and to find out when I move!

Mid-2021 Update: I’m Relocating!

Whilst in lockdown, I thought it would be a good time to put up my first blog! If you follow my social media, you’ll know I took a break from competing at the beginning of the year and relocated to Tamworth, NSW. This decision was a long-time coming, and I don’t regret it for a moment. Taking my break really put my life into perspective for me, and helped me realise that school just isn’t for me. 

Obviously, my ‘competitive’ break didn’t mean I was going to take a break from horses completely! I had a little casual position for a few months on a show jumping yard at the beginning, working with breakers and keeping horses in work while the owners went away competing. This was great, but unfortunately it just couldn’t be a long-term job, and only last three months. After that, I worked my friends’ horses when I could, but really focused on my school studies (I’d just started my HSC studies!) and my waitressing position at the most gorgeous little Chinese restaurant in town. 

This lasted for a while, basically up until late-July when I got a phone call from a friend. She was asking for advice for what competition she should enter (I’d introduced her to eventing mid-2020!) and, at the end of the call, asked me when I would be competing again as she missed walking courses with me! This kind of made me realise just how much I missed my own horses, and made the decision to start looking for full-time employment. Initially, the full-time employment wasn’t meant to start until the beginning of 2022, so that I had my own transport and could fully support myself independently. I made a Facebook post asking if anyone had any job positions coming up in the New Year and put my phone number on the post, in hindsight, that probably wasn’t the best idea! The initial plan of waiting until 2022 kind of got kicked out the back door once I started getting job offers.

For two weeks, I took phone calls regarding places wanting me to start immediately, but all of these businesses were based in Victoria! Obviously, because of COVID-19, I basically just had to turn them down and keep looking because the borders were closed. After a while, I had a bit of a list of a few places to do interviews at, and possibly do some trials. For just over two months, I rotated through places for interviews, and did a few job trials. I went to Wallerawang, Sydney, Maitland, and Yass. I nearly went to Albury! It took a while to find the right place, at the time I was 16 and people were a little bit cautious about taking on someone that would need someone to accommodate to my transport. 

After living out of a suitcase – I didn’t quite pack that one right – and travelling all over the state, I made a decision on a job. My last trial was in Yass, at the Natalie Blundell Equestrian Centre. After working there for a week in the worst weather for the whole year, I was offered a working pupil position there, and I accepted. This will be one of the biggest moves I will have ever made, and it’s on my own!

I came back to Tamworth to finalise leaving the school, catching up and saying goodbye to some really important people in my life and pack up all my stuff. After being here for not even three whole days, everything kind of went haywire. I had to go into isolation as a casual contact, with then developed into being a close contact. My sister testing positive to COVID and everything kind of went a bit nuts. Through my sister’s sickness, the family had to endure cyber-bullying, my sister received numerous death threats, and more. 

The day we came out of isolation (I was so lucky to not test positive as my sister bunked in my bed with me while she was here!) the entire state’s lockdown was extended. For the last three (?!) weeks, I’ve been locked-down in a small suburban house, hoping and hoping that the lockdown won’t be extended again. Once the lockdown is lifted, I will be making the BIG move to Yass, to start a brand new chapter in my life, once again, and start pursuing my dreams of riding at the top of the sport.

Follow my Instagram and Facebook for more updates, and to find out when I move!