Ellen's World

By: Horse Deals

Ellen's World
Ellen's World

Hello everyone.

I’m writing to you this month from Arezzo in Italy, where I’m competing for three weeks. It might sound glamorous, but it’s my job and we have to work hard looking after the horses and try to win to pay the bills! Next month will be my last Pony World for a while, so if you have anything to ask me, send it to me at Horse Deals as soon as you can.


...is Holly Thwaites. She’s 24 and only lives 5min away, so we’re always up to something. She’s a hairdresser, which can be quite handy. I see a lot of her when I’m at home. We go out to dinner and have mad shopping sprees. She’s just got engaged, so that’s hot news at the moment.


My make-up bag’s full of Chanel cosmetics. At the moment I use Chanel tinted moisturiser, Mac finishing powder, YSL mascara, Dior eyeliner and Estee Lauder lipgloss. If I go for a bit more of the natural look, I just use some Mac SPF mineral powder and the lipgloss.


There’s nothing more relaxing than a hot bubble bath and some music, and sometimes a glass of wine. I’ve never been to a spa, but I think it’s long overdue. I occasionally have a pedicure when I find time, because constantly wearing riding boots wrecks my feet.


Ladina’s known as Dina in the stable and at 18hh she’s massive. She’s a bit moody and pulls faces and hates being hassled. She likes you to do what you have to — muck out, groom, etc — as quickly and with as little fuss as possible. Because she’s so huge, Dina has three feeds a day and an awful lot of hay. She uses so much energy when she’s ridden that it’s hard to keep weight on her. Because of her size, she lives in the new block down the side of the indoor school because those are bigger stables. Dina’s sharp to ride at a show or at home. She’s also sensitive, temperamental and can be mareish. It’s a fine line with her. If you’re too soft, she can take advantage and try to get away with things, but you can’t boss her about either. She needs quite a lot of work to keep her fit, but she’s a great believer in herself and there isn’t a fence she can’t jump. She’s very gutsy.


Last month, I gave you some advice about what to do if your pony gets too strong and you feel out of control and many readers have asked for more. I’d still always recommend flatwork. Ride lots of circles and weave in and out of fences, wings and trotting poles. This makes your pony concentrate and also helps to stop him anticipating. He’ll hopefully wait for you to tell him if you’re going to jump a fence instead of choosing one himself! Changing bits is another route you can take, but this doesn’t mean you can then leave out the flatwork. If you do change your pony’s bit from a snaffle, don’t go from one extreme to the other. Make the change gradually, one step at a time until you find the perfect solution. For example, try swapping your snaffle to a bit that’s just a little bit stronger, like a Dr Bristol. If this still doesn’t work, perhaps you could try a twisted snaffle. And remember, always try a new bit for a few days and in different situations before moving on to the next. Eventually, you should find one that suits you both.


You’ve sent me some more great pictures of ponies and horses this month. My favourite is this fab pink spotted horse by Emma Anderson from Salisbury in Wiltshire. He looks really fiery, but maybe he could do with some flatwork! Send your pictures to Ellen Whitaker’s Pony World, Horse Deals, PO Box 43, Tadcaster, LS24 9YJ and the one I like best will win a prize.


Went to Shrewsbury Flower Show, which is held in a lovely park with loads of spectators. Joe and Kool Kaiser won the area trial and I was fifth in the grand prix on Ocolado (Oli). Was hoping to escape early to go to a party in London, so I took my car to the show and Joe drove the lorry. Sadly, the grand prix ran late and I ran out of time. I have a new ride, Pepper, a mare I’m riding for Arena UK owner Norman Oley, and I took her to the Equifest Festival at Peterborough. We weren’t placed but we’re still at the "getting to know you stage". Finished at a better time and nearer London, too, so managed to get to town and meet some friends. Ate in a trendy restaurant, stayed for a few drinks and went to a club. Went to the Europeans at Windsor, where I was second in a jump-off class on day one with Oli. We then supported the British team riders. Paid a flying visit to the Scope Festival at Stafford to see my boyfriend, Tim, as we’ll be apart for the next three weeks while I’m in Italy. The classes are fast in Arezzo and though Oli and CS On Line jump double clears, they’re down the line. We got out act together in the grand prix jump-off, though. Joe and Kool Kaiser took the lead, but I followed them in and just managed to beat them. Oli and I won and Joe eventually finished third. The next show doesn’t start until Friday, so I’ve just exercised the horses and chilled at a couple of barbecues and with a spot of sunbathing. We had a good night when we went into Arezzo town with a group of Dutch riders. That’s all for this month. Speak to you after HOYS.