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Author: Lisa McKendry

Hey lovely FOMO followers, thank you so much for coming to learn a little bit more about who we are at DVR Equestrian Sport! My name is Danielle, and I am the owner of DVR. As the founder of a small business, as much as I would like to think of my main role as being designer, I spend far more time running the rest of the business! From marketing, to accounts, to customer service and packing your orders, 90% of the time it’s all me, although I do have rather lovely people that I call upon for specific jobs or when things are getting busy! We are a UK based, up-and-coming, luxury equestrian sport and lifestyle brand.  Wow that was a mouthful! We are known best for our efforts to be as eco-friendly as possible throughout all aspects of the business, with most of our products being made from recycled materials. This is something I as an individual have always been passionate about. I’ve always been brought up to look after things, fix things, never throw away food, re-use plastic bags and bottles etc etc, we’ve always lived in a very eco-friendly way. Coming into the fashion industry and realising the extent to the waste that is produced and the volume of cheap clothing that we make in this world really threw me, even to the point where I had to consider if I wanted to do a brand at all because I (still do) feel that we already have too many clothes in this world. But, to inspire the change you want to see, you have to get yourself onto a big enough platform to do so. If we can do something positive like be taking ghost nets out of the sea to produce our clothing, and inspiring other brands to think, then we will hopefully help in encouraging this new revolution of producing clothing that is kinder to the environment. We strive to be a leader for sustainable change within the equestrian-wear industry, opening both business’ and consumers’ eyes to the damage the fashion industry and our daily lifestyles have on our world, encouraging and helping everyone to do what they can to help and change. Some of our sustainability initiatives include using recycled and organic fabrics wherever possible, using sustainable fabric mills, offering a complimentary repairs service, and using biodegradable and re-usable packaging. Our main goal through design is to challenge current ways of thinking, with reason and purpose, and to consistently broaden people’s imaginations of what equestrian-wear can be. Aiming always to deliver designs clever in both style and function, and to excite people. We offer men’s and women’s designs as well as a small range of horse-wear and accessories. We are also known for our STYLE VIS range, which was our debut range when we launched the brand. This range is designed and marketed to redefine views of visibility-wear and offer sportswear designs incorporating fluorescent materials and reflective, idea for runners and cyclists alike. If you’d like to learn more, or to take a look at our products, you can find us at www.dvrequestrian.com Thank you so much to the FOMO team for letting me share a little bit about our own brand. We are wishing FOMO a bright and successful future!    ...

Tannoch Stables was established in 1989 with one acre, no livery and no arena. Roll on 30 years they have 4 outdoor arenas, 2 indoors 50 horses at full livery, 20 riding school horses and 100 acres of land. We caught up with owner Dawn Harrison to find out more… To reach our current stage was very hard and the company was started on the 40 a week government scheme.  I didn’t even start to compete until I was 30 as I couldn’t afford to. I now love to event, compete at medium level dressage. I also just bought a 3-year-old to take on that should be arriving within the next week or so. Dawn placed 2nd overall in Scotland in 2019 BE80 with horse Bratton Tourmaline (Rain) Based in Cumbernauld, Central Scotland, we are a friendly, extensive equestrian centre offering horse riding lessons and horse livery with top class facilities and instructors. The numerous paths throughout the Palacerigg Country park nearby also provide excellent hacking facilities for both the novice and the more experienced rider. A full complement of cross-country fences and show jumps are also available. Tannoch is set in the heart of the Lanarkshire countryside and is 5 minutes from the A80 and 15 minutes from Glasgow. My fondest memories of owning Tannoch is bringing Sprout who was only 6 months old to her new home.   No stables, no land and uninhabitable house with no windows. Absolutely loved it. Sprout was a well loved and will be sorely missed member of the team Most difficult time was having so many ideas and no money but soon realized if I wanted something, I had to save to get the pennies as the banks thought I was too high a risk. Currently, I have the best team of staff and Instructors I have ever had.  The liveries are a great strength and supportive.  We are all on the same page. I am confident that whatever is ahead good or bad we will get through it. I’m personally enjoying my horses and love to compete at every level. I thrive on teaching people to have a passion as strong as I have for horse riding. Onwards and upwards. Dawn x...

A few of you will know me as @the.retrained.racehorse on Instagram and as my user says I have an ex racehorse. I purchased my horse Poppy, nearly two years ago from a friend, for “peanuts” compared to a lot of horses on the market.  If you’ve seen my post on Instagram about her story, you’ll probably know her viewing showed a lot of red flags. Once I had my first ride on her, I knew there was a lot of retraining and “trust” work to do before she would be happy.  We now know she had been through around 7 or 8 homes since a foal. With a lot of racehorses and in general it’s a case of starting from the ground up and gaining their trust. I put up a question box on my Instagram to see what people really wanted to know and these were the main questions asked:  Do they try to race off? Personally, I’ve never had that problem with any of the RoR horses I’ve ridden but the more you fight them the stronger they get tends to be the case, as when racing they’re usually let go instead of being held back so it’s force of habit.  Are they strong? A lot of them look very strong but there are so many retrained in a snaffle, or bits with snaffle, mouthpieces because they have very sensitive mouths. I personally jump Poppy in a Waterford loose ring and school her on the flat in an eggbutt happy mouth bit.  This is because she often grabs the bit when jumping so having the same bit isn’t really an option which again tends to be a running theme with them. Biggest struggle? I’d personally have to say gaining their trust, they are so used to being passed around and not staying anywhere for long that they don’t feel the need to “connect” with anyone as such. Since we have gone into lockdown I have actually given Poppy two weeks off to allow her to take in most of the work we’ve done recently, including learning some novice movements and really testing her to see what she’d make of eventually competing in some dressage but now it’s a case of encouraging her to settle down whilst also trying a few other saddles as she’s so difficult to fit which has all now been solved. If anyone has any questions feel free to dm me if it hasn’t been answered here. Thanks, Jess...

Hello my name is Ellie Cooper and I am a 14-year-old looking to show-jump up to 90 by the end of the year ️ I would also like to event my 15-hand horse, Chilli, who is a Welsh section d cross cob. But very unlike a cob as he is forward going and adores jumping and cross country. Currently we are competing at 75 cm and hoping to go far in the future We brought Chilli a few months ago and he is still a baby so it’s often quite hard on the flat, however we are definitely getting there and improving every day. During this very stressful time, I am allowed to go and see him and can also go for a ride. Down our yard, we have time slots so me and my mum will go do the yard at lunch time to do our jobs. This is working very nicely for us. The other people at our yard also have time slots so will often finish off for us so we’re not all down there at once which is great! I often wake up around 9am to do school work for about 1hr and 30 minutes in the morning then, we go to the yard. Once we are back, I also do a couple of hours more to keep on top of my school work.  I am currently year 9 and think I am very lucky not to be in year 11, as the GCSEs got cancelled due to the corona virus. I get set a lot of homework to complete, sometimes too much which can be very stressful.  However, I am just sticking to my school time table and the work I don’t complete, I will do it another time. Thank you for reading and I hope everyone is coping okay during this sticky situation my dms are always open. Ellie...

It’s been a while since I've updated our blog so here's a little news on what’s been happening lately at Team Shieldhill. Usually by now we are well into our competition season but like most of you we are spending our 7th week ( I think ) in lockdown! To pass the time we have been building some xc jumps on our driveway, which for someone who competes in dressage and showing, has been an exciting change for both me and the horses! The lovely weather we have had recently has meant that the horses have all had some well deserved down time. With the added company of Mr Blue (our naughty little goat!). Its hard not to dwell on the season that we have lost but we are already looking on to next year. Now being a family of 3 and having little Freddie to think about too we will definitely need to make some tweeks to how we plan our season, when it comes to roughing it at weekend shows in the back of our trailer for example . But for now we will continue to enjoy our time as a family, we will allow our horses to enjoy some down time and we will look forward to being able to catch up with Friends and Family when we are out the other side of this pandemic! Stay Safe and Stay Home Everyone. Jodie...

Kim Williams, the editor of community and lifestyle magazine, Local Life, writes about the positive side of lockdown. COVID-19 brings with it loss, but also the chance to build new relationships and memories. Since making Scotland my home, some 20-odd years ago, I have found the Scots to be an independent, life-loving bunch. Yet it’s been difficult to watch my family, friends, and colleagues wrestle with the fear that has come with the rapid spread of COVID-19. Nearly two months after the Prime Minister announced the country was to enter lock-down, many of us are still struggling to understand how this pandemic will affect us and our loved ones, our communities, the country, and the world at large. As a working-mum of two teenage boys who both ride, we pretty much had our lives mapped out for the summer of 2020, before COVID-19 became the biggest story in recent memory. After a successful eventing season in 2019, my eldest son decided to hang up his riding boots and concentrate on his final year of school which meant the heart-breaking decision to sell his horse, who is far too good to sit in a field and not compete. Which of course would mean free weekends as not every weekend would be spent driving around the country to compete at various BE competitions. Time, therefore, to spend with my youngest son, who wanted to step up a notch and starting competing at various pony club one-day events. However, it very soon became apparent that our plans would be out of step with the times. We watched as schools closed, exams were cancelled, people were asked to stand two metres apart from one another, workplaces and shops shut their doors, British Eventing, quickly followed by The Pony Club, cancelled all events for the foreseeable future. We watched as our summer’s plans fell by the wayside – this year’s primary and secondary school leavers would not leave as they had planned, they simply stopped going to school. Those young riders who had qualified for British Eventing or Show Jumping finals would not get their moment of glory. Those who were in the process of buying or selling horses were halted. There would be no pony club competitions, events, rallies or camps.  There were even questions asked about whether we would be able to continue to ride. Over the following weeks we found we had to deal with loss – the loss of the way we once lived.  We need to re-plan, readjust and grieve for the summer and competitions which were not to be. But owning horses is a great leveller, a constant. And without really realising it, we stumbled into a routine.  With more time on our hands, we had time to just be with our horses – care for them, ride them and re-experience the joy of simply being around our equine friends. My youngest son and I now ride every morning before breakfast and before our days of working and schooling from home begin.  Without school-runs, commuting, weekends spent competing, we’re no longer in a constant rush.  We cycle to the stables in the evening, to bring the horses in, and we spend time with them, rather than hurriedly throwing on stable rugs and tossing buckets of feeds in their stables, before racing  home. I am loving watching my sons’ bond with their horses in a new way, sitting in the stable, chatting to them, just simply being around their best friends. So, in years to come when I’m asked what the year 2020 was like, how did we cope with the biggest story in recent memory? I’ll remember it as summer of acceptance, of sunny morning hacks, of special relationships built between both horse and rider. I’ll remember it as a summer of joy. Kim Williams, editor of Local Life...

Catherine Margree I am lucky enough that my yard still lets me come and ride Drum as she's used to being ridden every day but now, we are only allowed to come down three times a week.  She does still get ridden but it's a lot more relaxed so we are doing lots of hacking and exploring around and she is loving life in the field with her buddy Rosie, who is also very excited to have a break for a while. While this pandemic is going on, I've been focusing on getting her to work in the correct frame and carrying her head in the correct way. We have also been doing lots of bare back and liberty work which we use to de-stress and to bond. My day to day life has not changed much except I now don't go to school. I work from home which I like more as I finish earlier which means I can go to the yard earlier. At my yard we now have a rota and at the moment, we go on Monday, Friday and Sunday which is nice because it's evenly spread out. To start with Drum was a bit confused but she soon settled into the swing of things. It's been nice these last few weeks because we can work outside in just a T-shirt which is very unusual for us in the UK. Sometimes I forget that this will not be forever, that's it’s only temporary and it’s for the best.  Without it we would all be at a serious health risk and that's one of the most important things to remember.  If you are total stuck inside remember it'll all be over soon and you'll be back doing what you love before long.  People are being so generous and it's so nice to see that when things get tough, people pull together to support each other. I'm already getting excited about the warmer weather and being able to work outside in T-shirt and shorts and to get out to a couple of local shows, maybe if they don't get cancelled. Focus on the positives and the good things to come and don't drag yourself down about the situation right now because it'll end and everything will go back to normal. Keep your head up and keep going. Morgan Brand  My name’s Morgan, I’m an 18 year old show jumper from south east England. I currently have competition blues but at least lockdown gives us plenty of time to get ourselves on top form for when our season (eventually) starts. I’m really lucky to be on a friends yard, so it’s all family run, chilled out and fun but with some restrictions in place; no hacking, no sharing tack and wearing of gloves when using mucking out tools.  We are lucky that we haven’t had our routines altered too much. My day usually starts by searching for shoes she decides she doesn’t want and stitching rugs that aren’t fashionable enough to be wearing in the field! The stables are still it’s usual busy crazy yard, where we are all still getting our ponies fit, perfecting our flatwork and working on our jump off turns which is all coming in very handy. We’re still training ready to come back into shows on top form.  This situation has given us lots of free time to get some photo shoots done too. We usually pick a day where it’s going to be sunny and we choose a nice matchy set.  Most of the time we do it in the jump field but once lockdown is over, we’re going to head to our local beach and get some sunset shots.  We also spend quite a lot of time making tiktoks with the ponies which is always good fun We have slightly decreased our work “expectations” for our ponies and are letting them chill out a bit more, allowing them to have a bit more fun but still keeping them fit. I usually spend quite a bit of time on Instagram, and have almost 3 thousand followers, I love seeing people reviewing things they’ve been sent, people’s daily yard routines, jump exercises and especially numnah collections.  It’s so easy to get disheartened when things go wrong, but with there being no shows, there’s lots of time to practise and with no pressure. I’ve only had Daisy since the second of week of January this year so really, as bad as it is, the pandemic couldn’t have come at a better time as I’m building a bond with her and getting her muscle and fitness up which all takes time. My plans are to one day event her, she was very green when I got her (and nothing like what her advert said) so slow and steady this year I think.   She has taken a real liking to show jumping and cross country and we usually build log piles and go through our local stream and she loves it. She’s so brave and I’m thankful for that. Fingers crossed for lockdown to soon be over so we can all get back to normality and can see some of you out competing!...

Bernadette Petrie Is The Souls Life coach and Author of Permission to Shine. Love is what we are born with, fear is what we learn here. It was a beautiful September day, and I was in my final year at Nottingham Trent University (or Trent Poly as we called it then). I was re-united with my close friends after many months, one of whom was called Nigel who was from a family of Northern Irish Show jumpers, competing in the big leagues. Nigel, keen to keep up his horse contact whilst away from home had recently connected with fellow horsey friends from the nearby Nottingham Forest. About 12 of us took up his invitation to head out on their horses for “a bit of craic” and with a devilish grin, he led us off into the woods, each of us on the back of a new 4-legged friend. Some people had never been on a horse before this point, and whilst I had risen a few times during my childhood, I was far from experienced. My horse was a beautiful bay, and fairly young at that. All was going fairly well; how hard could it be right? Nigel and another experienced rider friend, decided to take off for a bit of a gallop and the rest of us ambled along, all feeling varying levels of nervousness. Waiting for Nigel and Vix to return, the horses possibly sensing our inexperience and the sudden lack of a leader - we found ourselves stopping collectively by the edge of a field. The only problem was, that in the middle of the field was a stationary tractor, whose engine chose to backfire at that moment. This sent my lovely Bay into blind panic. She rose up on her hind legs and she galloped off with me on top, back into the woods.  I remember thinking 'Oh my god I’m going to die- this is it.” I had never galloped before and so after about 20 seconds, I came flying off, landing flat on my back- miraculously, into a pile of soft moss and bracken. I quickly realised I could move, and although shaken, I was definitely absolutely alive and well, but as I lay there, I had visions of walking back to the stables, horseless - I was sure I wouldn’t see her again. Suddenly, I heard the sound of hooves and I looked up to find her standing right in front of me. “Are you kidding”? I thought, “I’m not getting back on you not ever”- but then I felt it - I felt her fear, and as she stood shaking in front of me, blowing air from her nostrils, it felt like her eyes told me this - “I’m sorry , I was scared, I couldn’t help it, I ran. I never expected you to fall off, so I’m back - are you okay? I think, I’m okay - so what’s the plan?” Something inside me shifted, and I realised, that’s what fear can do- it can make you run for the hills, and yet despite her fear she chose to stop running and come back. The realisation that she had come back for me, to get us both back home safely, even though she might still be a bit afraid - changed everything. It activated some, courage cells deep inside me and taking a deep breath, I got back on the saddle and led us back in the direction of the group.  Finally all re -united, and after a few more comedy moments of people sliding off horses and general bad riding, we all made our way back to the yard, or in my case right back into her stable, only then would she stop, home was always the destination. Yes, that was embarrassing! However, the lessons she was trying to teach me, which would take many years to sink in, is this. If we are willing to be vulnerable and show our fear to the people we need to, we will all get back home safely- and in my world - home is where the heart is.  We are also more courageous than our minds would have us believe. It is deep within us and can be activated by compassion and change everything. So, if we are willing to tune into our hearts, not our heads in any difficult or scary situations and be vulnerable and show our fear to the right people, our heart is always guiding us home.  ...

I am very lucky to have my horses at home with me during this challenging time. Their routines have changed slightly; we have reduced their fitness program instead of increasing gallop work, and our team at home have been doing lots of hacking and making time at home fun.  This is not only for us as riders but the horses too, and going on little adventures to pass the time, allowing the horses to relax and chill out a little bit is a big change from the pressures of competing. I’m using this time at home to train more than ever as ‘practice makes perfect’!  As our yard is very much family oriented, we are trying to replicate, as best we can, some of the experiences the horses would gain when out competing.  We are very fortunate to have a grass dressage and show jumping arena and at the moment this is coming in very useful.  We have been able to practice ‘mock’ dressage tests and ride around a show jump track treating it like we were out on the circuit which helps to make sure our training programme is paying off. Although this time is challenging in so many aspects, it is giving me time to make the transition from ponies to horse’s smoother, as it is proving much tougher than I ever imagined. ‘It’s a whole new world riding horses,’ not only is it a big jump in size but also I’m finding the thought process of a horse completely different to that of a pony.  This time is allowing me to build a partnership with my new horses during both ridden work and on the ground with them. I have personally been trying to make things perfect, but a few little hic ups along the way have made me realise that things won’t always go to plan and making mistakes is allowed.  You just have to pick yourself up and keep going, determination is key. I’ve also found it hard not to watch others and get caught up in what they’re doing but instead focus on what I’m wanting to improve on. Making small improvements at home can sometimes be better than a win out competing! My aims for the near future if we are able to get back out eventing this year, will be to keep progressing on my young horse, Fable, and aim to step him up to novice/ 2* by the end of the year with the thought of under 18 teams next year, if all goes to plan! Not forgetting about school studies completely, I still have to concentrate on my A levels as I am only in my first year of sixth form, studying biology, chemistry and geography.  I have been getting up in the morning and doing the work set by teachers online, trying to stay ahead with my studies.  This gives me as much time as possible to spend with the horses, and while we have theses warmer days, I’m trying to take advantage of the sun. During this uncertain time I think it’s important to think about the positives and keep your chin up, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the drama and not look on the bright side.  This gives you the time to take a step back and relax. Freya Partridge...

Well unprecedented times have hit us and I am currently coping with working during lockdown as well as trying to figure out what to do with my horse! Due to the fact there are going to be no competitions for a while, Trusty has been given a bit of a break. He's still doing little bits of work here and there but only short hacks, lunging and loose jumping to keep his brain active. It's been a good time to start one of my yard owner's youngsters due to having a bit more time on my hands and she's doing really well.  She's 4 years old this year so it's perfect timing and with doing it at home we can take all the time we need with her to make sure we are doing it as safely as possible. I've just started getting on her and am ensuring I have a decent hat on my head and a body protector just in case. So far so good though! Life has not really changed for me in other respects, work has carried on and other than that it's actually been quite nice to spend more time indoors. We have been tasked on the police horses to keep patrolling the rural areas and encourage people to follow the guidelines set out by the government. On the whole, this has gone really well and we've been really pleased with how people have responded. Typically, British weather has not been helping out with an unexpected heat wave going through - very unusual with it being a bank holiday as well! It's certainly made things easier at work with being able to go out in a t-shirt instead of loads of layers but I can understand people's frustrations about not being able to make the most of the weather. The important thing to remember is that this will not be forever, it is a short-term limitation that we must endure to make life better for the future. It is a situation that needs to be taken seriously and the more we abide by the guidelines, the quicker we will come out the other side. It has been amazing to see how kind and generous the public can be towards us - we've loved seeing rainbow pictures in the windows of residences as we've patrolled, I've been given a queue jump at a supermarket for being a police officer and I've even had my own personal round of applause on a Thursday night when leaving my car in a car park to walk home! Looking towards the summer, I will take what I can get this year competition wise. Obviously, a lot of the shows, we were looking forward to and planning for, have been cancelled so I am now just waiting to see when everything reopens and I will make a plan then. I'm still hoping to at least move up to BE100 by the end of the year, if it all opens up again by August, but as they say, there is always next year. The important thing is to stay healthy and safe. Jenna Hastings...