Natalie Bramley

Where to start...about me I guess

I started out with a love of horses and riding from being able to walk,I was lucky enough to have family with horses but always sought for my own.I hit teenage years and my parents decided it was time for me to have the pleasure of owning one.I was so excited my parents had bought me an unbroken ,abused ,section D gelding that wouldn't allow you within 2 foot of him,but I was besotted I had the one thing I'd alwyas wanted what could possibly go wrong!!!

Let's just sy I had one hell of a bumpy emotional ride, with parents that woulddn't come near,I had to go it alone and step by step ,stage by stage to a horse that I had an incredible bond with.This I was yet to learn was where my learning curve started with horses and what valuable lessons it taught me for later on.

Fast forwarding to the present Im blessed to say I own an incredible 17hh,sports horse mare Irish Czech (Poppy).This horse has really taken me on a journey from being a stubborn,ruined ,extremely green baby to a confident (still stubborn)horse with a can do attitude that enjoys everyday and its challenges.We started at the back end of the season BE80 something I couldn't of imagined doing when I'd purchased her 2 years ago,walking out of the yard gates to go on a hack was a major drama let alone the thought of going it alone cross country.!!!

We have amazing trainers who deserve recognition Liz Mcann & Katie Stuart and also Micheal Owen.Whilst not having an arena at home does make life hard without a doubt,were still progressing all the time and  work our butts off extra hard to get results.She loves to get pampered in her down time visiting Fallows Farm for the Aqua treadmill ,vitafloor and solarium lights,regular visits also from the physio.

I'm extremely proud of how far she has come,through the blood ,sweat and tears and I'm so excited as to how much further she has to go.We are about to start our first BE80 of the season and hope to progress.!!

Im also very lucky to have a few other horses Diesel Boy (Diesel) whom I have owned for 3.5 years.I had a very lucky opportunity to work Blackpool promenade with him as a carriage horse and wow we have also had some experiences when starting out.....lets just say peoples front gardens aren't where your supposed to end up with a carriage.!!! This boy now has a fabulous life having fun,being ridden and driven by myself and a very good friend and getting pampered.! I can-not bring myself to part with him as he also has achieved so much and is so special to me he's a glorified pet I guess,who loves to wind my other mare up Hope.She's a section A and just as much part of the team ,she has brought my little one onto ride and she's just foot perfect with him on her back....With me lets just say she gives me the run around.!!

Thankfully for me with these animals at home,I also get the pleasure of working from home myself and my partner with our business Sherwood Carriages ..doing horse drawn weddings and funerals which is both exciting and sad.But I enjoy every single day and it's a pleasure from strat to finish.We have 5 friesians and 2 Lipizzaner's.They each have there own individual characters and well there just amazing to have the pleasure to work with these horses on a daily basis,really dispels rumours you hear of Friesians and carriage horses.They really do love to work.!!

Lastly the support network I have at home is amazing for each ,what I class as my work horses and my pleasure horses.

John my partner has been incredible and supports me in everything I do and is there 99% of the time cheering me and Poppy on and picking me up whem I'm down and well putting as much unrecognised time and effort in for me and the horses.Then there's Helen ,a fabulous friend and super groom,my on call vet and other shoulder to cry on.I wouldn't be without her and all the horses love her to.

As well as Helen and John theres Galloping Geldings who have supported me with not only my horses and mybusiness but has been amazing ,anything I ever need Sharon is on the end of the phone! But not only that she is also a fabulous friend to me and another person I can always turn too,she has the most amazing personality and will do her upmost for anyone and I cannot be thankfulenough for her support and I am proud to be associated.

Well I guess that sums me and my family up really...



Well my seasn didnt go as planned I  had entered and prepared for Eden Valley up in the lakes however due to the unfortunate weather it was abandoned which I was a little disappointed to say the least as I had ran there the last season so was hoping it would be a nice start for us both but it wasn't to be.

With a few weeks training and seeing what the weather would do we thought we would take a shot at going to Solihull.I couldn't wait,Poppy had never felt better and I couldn't wait to put my training into practice. We did a reasonable dressage test for where we both was and I was more than happy ,omn we went to the Showjumping where the warm up was chaotic to say the least,which resulted in a tense upset horse,which unfortunately resulted in elimination in the ring! I was upset to say the least as I have always been able to get Poppy to focus in the ring but from the bad start I just could not get her on my side.

Back to the drawing board as the bad result at Solihullhad presented me with jumping problem's,she just had lost all confidence in jumping and to spend a month building her back up starting with poles as even they became an issue.

Poppy was back after some training and meltdown moments ,she felt good and my next aim for Warwick Hall was just to get round all 3 phases!! We arrived at Warwick Hall and my main concern was my showjumping phase,as I knew this had let us down,we did a reasonable dressage test and on we went to the showjumping,where we got round we rolled a pole but we did!!.I was so proud of the course and we did incur time penalities but went round safely and no refusals so I was made up,she felt a bit green and I had to work but she was with me all the way and her heart was back in the game.

June / July

So I decided that both me and Poppy need to get ourselves some experience in at different atmospheres,different events etc and the more we could do the better so we both got a feel for what we was doing but also this being our first season and we was learning together as a partnership.I had told myself I wouldnt move up until what we was doing felt easier,so I didn't feel I was pedalling all the time and Poppy rose to the challenge.

We competed at 2 events in June and 3 in July ,I must admit the one I entered just after running Warwick Hall had to be the toughest cross country course I had done yet Ascott Under Wychwood,just because it was up ,down,windy and I had to really ride it as there was lots that she could stop and look at ,lots of unusal things for us both but she ran double clear and completed .I was so proud we was progressing further and developing our partnership.

We continued to run clear even with me with a few back problems YIKES!!. We was both having an amazing time we had one stop at 1 cross country fence up to here and that was due to us throwing a shoe,as I was convinced it just wasn't like my girl sure enough on returning to the trailer a missing shoe and next  to the fence she had stopped at was my shoe and stud! These few months I would say have taught us both alot and although we wasn't coming home with rosettes we was getting reasonably placed and getting our experience together something which was invaluable,things are getting easier and we were even meeting out time.It was time to book our first BE90 together for mid July!

August /September

A few bruises from Stafford were still there but I didn't care my second 90 was booked for the first week in August .We was out training and practiced over a few corners and sunken roads after our previous mistakes!.Poppy was feeling amazing and better  tahn ever and if our falls from the last month had taught us anything it had made our partnership stronger. Ready to take our next challenge and more than anything it really dawned on Poppy and myself that we don't give up and were not deteated!

I took Poppy to Somerford the week of the event just to brush up and everything I pointed her at we sailed over ,she felt amazing.However our session was cut shorter than expected as her eye was unnecessarily watering.I got her back, checked her eye and could see no apparent issue so we returned home and kept monitoring it.That evening I got the vet out who checked her eye,gave me drops and it should be fine in a few days.!A day passed and it was getting worse I knew my horse and she was becoming more miserable by the hour.I phoned the vets again at which point they came out and again could find no underlying obvious cause but they referred her to Leahurst Equine Hospital.She ended up staying a month with a drip in her eye !.I was devasted my baby was in hospital anyone who knows me understands how much my horses mean to me, to the point where I had to visit her for a few hours everyday!. So all of August for me was spent to and from Leahurst ,who were amazing as well as my own vets the care of the recieved was second to none.

Whilst there I had her scoped fpr ulcers and found she was also suffering with grade 4 severe ulcers in both parts of her stomach.i had suspected ulcers for a while,not to the severity that they was, as symptoms wasn't bad.I'd said that I would scope as soon as the season was over prior to this but there and then was the time and I'm glad it was!

Obviously I knew the event season was over ,I didn't care to be honest its only a competition ,how my horse felt was what mattered to me right now theres always another season.

Over the following month of September ,Poppy had lots of rest again letting everything fix and keep going for check ups with her stomach and her eye and she was looking at me sooo confused as to why we wasn't working!.I spent lots of time with her in her field and sat in her stable letting her know I was still here and its again made our relationship stronger than ever!!

However a certain super cob has recieved his lovely fitted saddle and its about time my fun pony came out and had some fun while his siter recovered ,so off we went just enjoying some blasts of hacks and jumping also whilst our little section A kept Miss poppy company!!