And so the journey begins......
So, here we are. The birth of a new venture with #21stCenturyRider. I am writing this blog for you all to get to know us. After all, someone probably quite famous came up with the quote 'people buy from people' so hence I'd like to flesh out who we are, so you can get to know us better. :-)
Please let me introduce myself. I'm Vicki Wise and I started the company at the beginning of 2017. More about why I did a little later....
Just to give you a little bit about me. I've had a love of horses since I was old enough to walk and could hang over the lower rail of a horse paddock out on my travels with my parents. My Mum always said wherever we went, I had the ability to sense out and find a horse or pony!
So a question to all your horse people out there, have you done these things? Have you sat on a train pretending to be riding a horse, galloping and jumping all the fences out of the window? Or as a child been given a coveted and well worn copy of Horse and Hound Magazine and scrutinised in great detail every horse for sale, ringing round each one you liked in your favourite felt tip pen? (Or the up to date version of when you are meant to be working/studying - but secretly scrolling through #Horsequest online looking at horses and horseboxes?!)
There was also the time I shredded my school books to make bedding for my toy horses, but that's best left a bit unspoken as I'm not sure if my parents know even after 30 years......... ;-)
Well that's me in a nutshell. Horse mad, avid horse book reader, working every weekend for free rides, pretending to be horses 'galloping' around in the riding school menage (very Miranda Hart I know for anyone who has seen her shows) with my equally horse mad friends! Then being picked up by my long suffering parents (most usually my amazing Mum) to go home grinning from ear to ear, usually covered in mud, hay and on occasions a bruise or two where you'd parted company with the riding school's naughtiest pony? !
Meet my beautiful horse Grace. She is an absolute star in so many ways and is definitely my one in million horse! She is so chilled and has an air of confidence about her which I love. (Photo courtesy of Kim Nye).
She's a central part of #21stCenturyRider and is regularly being my guinea pig for product testing! Yes, she's very patient! She's also given me loads of fun and we even completed at our first ever BE One Day Event at Chilham Castle in April 2017 as part of the Willberry Wonder Pony Wobbleberries Charity that I am so proud of being a part of.
I also have an amazing bunch of friends around me who along with my family are incredibly supportive and want me and the business to do well. I am forever indebted to them for their kindness and helping me to start this venture. The livery yard where Grace and I are stabled is awesome and we couldn't wish for a nicer place or people to be with.
So, to the bit about why I started #21stCenturyRider. As you may have read from the About Us page on the website, I've always been close to technology given my upbringing, (we were probably the first to have a computer on our street! #showingmyage!). My Dad was always the 'man who can fix it' for anything electrical or electronic, so inevitably it had had an effect on me. My favourite subject at school (as horses were not on the curriculum sadly) was Science. Luckily for me, physics classes meant I had plenty of electronic components to bring to show and tell day! Also, if I was stuck with something I didn't understand, Dad was always on hand (and still is to this present day) to help to explain, and probably go way beyond my learning capacity at that time - At the age of ten, I asked him how a car engine works, and was even shown how to do the formula to calculate the CC of the engine...yes you guessed it, I was left quite puzzled....!
Ironically, my worst subject at school was Maths and I've been working in Finance since my early twenties, becoming a fully qualified Chartered Certified Accountant in my early thirties.....
Luckily for me, a lot of being an accountant is based upon logical thinking, which I can do, but don't ask me to add up in my head without my calculator as I will give you a 'rabbit in the headlights' kind of look!
I don't profess to be the market's first or the leading company to get modern ways of thinking/gadgets out there for the equine world, as there are plenty of us out there now with a similar view, but what I do promise is that I will never sell anything I don't believe in and haven't tried myself, and that this is not just about electronic 'gadgets'. It is about creating a holistic view of the research, products, practices, ways of training that are available out there, and not just for the top or Lottery funded riders. It is also to help demystify some of the science out there and make it accessible and understandable to everyone, so people can make up their own minds and informed choices.
I want to make #21stCenturyRider and this blog the place to come to for objective, honest, authentic views on all of the modern thinking in the equine world so we can all improve our understanding, welfare and ultimately enrich the amazing and spellbinding relationships we have with our horses. I am also a great believer in using common sense and that there are methods that are just effective as they were many years ago, but we also need to be open to new scientifically proven thinking.
We will never find all of the answers, for that we are all sure, as we never stop learning all of our lives and especially with horses. After all, even despite our logical, common sense brains, the relationship you can build with the horse - a muscular flight being with its own brain that has inspired royalty, been quoted in Shakespeare plays, helped write our history, has got to be the most ethereal, heart warming, unexplainable feeling that a person can experience. Whether it be tackling a gruelling cross country course together, getting the correct 'feel' of the dressage move you have been practicing, or getting that warm fuzzy feeling just spending time with these wonderful creatures, they give us so much and the least we can do is find ways to improve the lifestyle we have imposed upon them.
I'm also going to blog about our continuing Wobbleberry journey, now that Grace and I have 'Graduated' and will share our ups and downs as we embark on our first 'official' BE season! Our Facebook page for this and all our blogs is at #vickiandgrace21stcenturyrider.
Stay tuned also for some very exciting guest bloggers coming up !....
Thanks for reading!
Vicki, Grace & friends xx