In the 1980s my daughter, Tina, started working for Bob Mayhew at the Avenue Riding Centre. After watching Bob working with his first horse, Tulip, my whole family became engrossed with the way the horses moved – the calm, quiet, demeanour about the whole concept of riding.
In 1985 I worked alongside Bob in putting together a presentation for the formation of a new horse-riding society – THE WESTERN EQUESTRIAN SOCIETY. Using the rulebook of the largest Western riding organisation in America, we adapted it to incorporate all horse breeds to the Western way.
Our aim, along with other like-minded friends, was to promote the teaching of Western riding to its highest level, with the aim of it being fully accepted in the UK. This, I believe, we, as a Society, have achieved, even to the point that it is great to find so many English dressage trainers using some of the Western methods of training.
Having edited the early magazines of the Society and being directly involved on council as membership secretary, I am now not so active in organising events, but I still follow the journey whenever I can.
Since 1961 I have been involved in the production and teaching side of printing from the hot metal days of newspapers to the transition to computerisation. Retiring in 2007 I still try to stay involved in the trade, if only to keep my mind active.
Never has a journey been more worthwhile than the experience of Western equitation.