13th August 2015
A month ago I was lucky enough to join the deVOL team, and I thought it was time I introduced myself. In my role here as receptionist I welcome all customers and assist them when needed, ensure the showroom is stocked with all the lovely gifts and antiques we sell and help kitchen designers by sending out paint and worktop samples to customers. I also work closely alongside Helen, the Creative Director, helping to arrange new displays and choosing other beautiful items to stock. I have to say I am loving it, The Mill is such a beautiful place to work and I love getting to see the amazing wildlife around the grounds everyday!
Anyway a bit about me, basically the big love in my life (except for my boyfriend) is my horse Archie. I will try not to blab on for days about him, which I can easily do, ask any of my friends or family.
I got Archie 3 years ago, 2 months after I had moved back to England from Australia. I had been searching for my perfect horse for around a month. One day I just happened to look on a different website and there I saw his cute little face being advertised. He was at the top end of my budget and had only just turned 5 years old, but he was based in Nottinghamshire so it would have been silly for me not to go and see him. Well from the moment I drove onto the property and saw him lying down in his field, I fell in love. I got all the history on him he was born in Holland and had only been in England 8 months, he is a Holsteiner (a German warmblood breed) bred for show jumping, perfect! I only rode him for 10 minutes as this was all I could manage at the time, due to the fact I had broken my ankle falling off a horse in Australia and I had only come off crutches 3 weeks before going to see Archie. Ten minutes was all I needed though, as soon as we got in the car to drive home I had informed my mum he was my dream horse and I had to get him. I was already picking a name for him as he didn’t have one and after much debate with options including Milo, Albert and Elvis, I settled with Archie and it just fits him perfectly.
Once I was back home I booked him in for a vetting, a week later he passed with flying colours, and the week after he arrived at the stables in Swithland and Archie was mine.
(Pictures from our first day)
From that first day I have loved every single minute of owning Archie, admittedly not always right at that point in time but he has taught me so much! Within the first 2 months of owning him Archie managed to get me off 3 times in one week. My mum was not impressed when I came home to show her an impressive bruise that stopped about 5cm above the scar from my operation for my broken ankle….. I have had to learn everything about how to school a young horse, to staying on a broncking horse cantering across a field.
During our time together, Archie and I have had a bit of a tour round England. When I first got him he was at Swithland stables however shortly after this I moved down to Writtle, Essex, to study my MSc Applied Equine Science. Of course this meant a move for young Archie as well! We stayed down there for 9 months before moving to a yard near Colchester where I worked as a horse groom for 10 months. It was great having my horse right on my doorstep everyday it meant lunch time visits along with the evening rides. There was a big field with a full course of show jumps set up and a gallop track, both were mine and Archies’ fav!
We both moved back to Leicestershire in February last year and after a 3 and a half hour trip towing Archie we rocked up at our new home, a stable yard in Kirby Muxloe. We stayed at Kirby Muxloe for 7 months before I moved him closer to home, and back to where our partnership started Hall Farm, Swithland and this is where we still are.
Archie is now 8 years old although he still acts like the 5 year old I bought. He is the most loving horse with the biggest character. He will often offer kisses after he has eaten his food, resulting in me getting covered in horse feed…….You cannot leave him tied up alone near anything he could grab as he has been seen to swing brooms around by his mouth, my mum says it is like looking after a toddler.
Archie gets ridden between 4-5 times a week no less exceptions otherwise he gets naughty. He loves to jump but hates going out on the road by himself, meaning we always require company. The next step in our journey is to get a 4×4 and a trailer so we can get out and about competing.
I know some people will think he is just a horse, but to me he isn’t. He is so much more and I cannot imagine not seeing his little face every day!