Hello, my name is Jaybee and this is my webpage, that tells you all about me and what I get up to. I was born in 2010 in Ireland (for those of you who know some of my mates this is the same country that Rafferty is from). And just like Rafferty I made the journey to England when I was 5 years old. I came over on the ferry and to start with my home was in Norfolk. I spent a few months doing a little bit of jumping and having some fun in the field with lots of other horses. Then one day Anne, Sally and Clare came to visit me and thought I looked a good sort for RDA and decided to buy me. A week or so later I made the journey to Essex to start my life at Barrow Farm. Now the name in my passport is Jimmy’s Boy which was a bit of mouthful, so the girls on the yard decided to use my initials instead hence Jaybee.
You can find out more about my training and other things I have got up to by following the links below. But in brief, I am now a hard working RDA horse. I take lots of different sorts of riders but my speciality is off-lead work. I am also the go to horse is one of the riders is ready to learn how to canter.
My initial training
Now as you may already know it takes a while to train a really good RDA horse, so to start off with I was ridden by the girls. I had to get used to working in both the indoor school and the menage. I had to learn to go walk to the mounting block, to stop in the right place and to not turn around. Now when I arrived I was a little nervous as everything seemed so new but before long I started to get more confident especially if I had Sally with me. I started to get used to the props and working in the school with lots of noise and by spring 2016 I was ready to have a go at RDA. I started just doing 2 or 3 sessions a week this has gradually built up over the time and by spring 2017 I was regularly doing 10-12 sessions a week.
Learning to be a canter horse and a lesson with Sir Lee Pearson
One of the things I had to learn to do was become an off-lead horse. I managed to do this fairly quickly and I soon regularly went off lead with a number of my riders. Most of the time this was just in walk but I also do off-lead trotting too. They told me one of the things that they would like me to do was let some of the more able riders have a canter. I started by practicing this with Lucy and they told me I was a very good boy. Lucy had initially learnt to canter on Fergus so it was a while before I could call myself an expert but as I said training an RDA horse takes a long time! In 2017 Lucy and I also had some expert help as we were lucky enough to have a lesson with Paralympic Gold Medalist Sir Lee Pearson, no less.
Training to be a competition horse
The other thing they tell me is that I will need to start doing RDA competitions at some stage. It starts off easy and in 2017 I did my first Dressage Anywhere class (where you get videoed at home) with William and scored an impressive 69.17%. We qualified for the Championships and so we had to be videoed all over again. Unfortunately although I am very brave in the riding school I am not so good away from home. In preparation for going out to do RDA competitions it is important that I go out and see lots of different places.
My update from 2020
I spent the summer living in the field with Rafferty enjoying being looked after and exercised by the staff. Even though I will be 11 in 2021 a horse’s training never ends and during lockdown Equestrian Manager, Sally, seemed to think that I needed to do some extra training in the school. Once restrictions eased, myself and all the other horses and ponies, had to get used to seeing people in masks, to the smell of hand sanitiser (I didn’t think it was anything special but Tawny didn’t seem to like it) and we also needed a refresher to get back in to the swing of RDA work after 4 months off during lockdown. Also, as the goal is that I can take some of his riders to RDA competitions, once events started to take place again, I went out to do some dressage and training sessions.
As I have said one of my strengths is working off-lead and the girls tell me I have been a superstar since we re-opened as I had to do a lot of off-lead work due to social distancing. I had to work with parents helping their children to mount and I tried my hardest to be a good boy on the lessons. I am not always the most energetic and sometimes get told I am going at snail’s pace (how rude) anyway, I would much rather follow Rafferty (and then they tell me I am going too fast – you just can’t win).
Once riders had started to return and got used to riding after the 4 month break, I returned to my role as a canter horse. My job is to help people when they are learning to canter for the first time. Apparently, I do this really well because I am very obedient when they ask me to canter, I am very comfortable and I stop when asked to, returning to a nice comfy trot too.
During my downtime I like to play with the other horses, my particular friends are Rafferty and Louie. During the winter when there is less grass to eat, that means more time to play and whether we are in the field or in the manage I will either play with Louie or Rafferty for hours and hours.
If you would like to sponsor me please go the Sponsor A Pony page.