Introducing Laura Barber

Our final Horslyx Ambassador of 2015 is Laura Barber. We can’t wait to hear more about her and Tally’s adventures this year! Read all about how they came to be a team …

“Hi everyone, my name is Laura, I’m 26 and based in Northampton. I work full time in Client Relationship to fund my hobby/lifestyle of eventing and generally all things equine!”

“My immediate support team is made up of a long suffering husband Ian, chief groom & Chef d’Equipe Mum, & ‘generally trying to keep his distance’ Dad. I’m also very lucky to have a fantastic group of close friends who can often be found walking courses, holding horses, risking their life moving show jumps in the warm up arena or kicking me out of the start box!”

“I have been riding for as long as I can remember, and it’s the only thing I’ve ever really been interested in doing. I grew up in riding schools which gave me a great grounding, before finally buying my first horse, ‘Caffrey’, when I was 14. He is your typical ISH – strong, sturdy and full of character! We did just about everything – Pony Club, Riding Club, BSJA & BE – he’s been to several national finals, won a decent amount of prize money, and is an absolute machine XC. Sadly he doesn’t have the temperament for dressage and could often be seen stomping around the arena just wanting to get out the start box! That being said we had the most fun during his competitive career, he makes everybody smile and he is now enjoying semi-retirement aged 20 (although he wouldn’t have you believe it!). He was even the surprise guest at my wedding and totally stole the show!”

laura 1

“My main competition horse is Skyhill Talisman (or ‘Tally’ for short). He is a 10 year old Dutch Warmblood x ISH. He was just rising five at the time so it was my first experience of a youngster to bring on. He’s rather giant, standing just over 17hh, and it took him a good few years to properly grow into himself – that combined with the fact he’s rather accident prone, we didn’t have a full season eventing until 2013. I wouldn’t change it though; as you have to have the lows with horses in order to appreciate the highs.”

“I keep Tally at a busy equestrian centre in Bucks, which is ideal as I have all the facilities required for developing an event horse, as well as livery services to help out when my job gets in the way. It also used to be a BE venue so it provided the perfect place to do our first BE80, 90 & 100, as well as a few unaffiliated 3 Day Events which were an amazing experience. Tally has the potential to be a brilliant all round eventer as he has fantastic paces, is careful over the poles and has no hang ups XC, so I’m really very excited about his future. That being said he is very much a typical Warmblood in the sense that he is incredibly spooky and not blessed with a brilliant turn of speed (his nickname is ‘Captain Slow’!!). With this in mind I invest a lot of time and effort into our training, making sure we go out to different venues and gain experiences doing new things all the time.”

laura 2

“Last year was a particular rollercoaster of a year as Tally managed to fracture his split bone in May, two weeks before I was diagnosed with Labyrinthitis, meaning we both had the entire summer off. Tally came back to full health after box rest & rehab, but I have been left with a permanent inner ear problem, meaning I am constantly off balance. Just getting back on a horse was a massive achievement, and I am grateful for every day that I feel well enough to ride. Our first event back in August was a BE90 Regional Final where, against the odds & total lack of preparation, we managed our biggest achievement yet and qualified for the Badminton Grassroots final by finishing on our 25.5 dressage. Crossing the finish line of the XC is a feeling I’ll never forget and blew the summer of frustration out of the water.”

laura 3

“To say we’re all excited about this season is an understatement, and to have the support of Horslyx in our journey makes it even more special. I have always used their products – ask anybody who’s seen me on farrier day – I can be found with mini Horslyx in hand! They’ve also helped me out whenever my horses have needed to stay in, and the nutritional benefits make them so much more than a just boredom buster. Now that Spring is around the corner I can’t wait to get out and about in our gear – if you see us at an event please do stop and say hi, and I hope you enjoy reading about our attempts at eventing success over the year!”