Welcome to our feature, 10 minutes in the tackroom. This is a regular feature where we ask riders, businesses and charities 12 questions and they have a maximum of 10 minutes to answer them.
Tell us about your horse!
Knabbhall Moon Dancer (Dan for short) is a dark bay, 16.2hh Trakehner x gelding. He's now classed as a veteran horse at the grand old age of 20! I have owned him for 4 years, but ridden him for a lot longer – I used to help his previous owner keep him fit, and eventually she asked me if I wanted to buy him. I've known him since he was a baby, and even knew his dam and sire as he was bred at the yard I learnt to ride at.
We are having to slow down a little bit now due to his age (and the various issues that come with this) but we are still competing at Elementary level dressage and hacking out. We mainly compete in online dressage as we do not have transport, but occasionally get out and about thanks to very kind friends.
Last year we managed to achieve our goal of competing at Medium level, although the level of collection required probably means this is out of our reach now as Dan had a hindleg injury last year.
Tell us a horse joke!
What kind of cheese do you use to hide a horse?.......Mascarpone!
(it’s cheese AND horse related... what's not to like?!)
What do you do when you aren’t with your horse?
I work full time as an Assistant Digital Trading Manager, which basically means I look after a French and German website for my company. I enjoy spending time with my husband Tom and Annabel the dog, exploring the countryside we live in – fortunately for me I live in the beautiful county of Derbyshire.
What do you love about the horsey community?
I love how everyone can pull together in times of need – we ended up with strangles at my previous yard, and we managed to keep it all contained as everyone pulled together and supported each other. There is a real community and it's so great to have support, whether through hard times, celebrating competition successes or just having a chat about all things horsey.
What do you dislike about the horsey community?
Sometimes the closeness of the community can be its downfall – it can create quite small groups with different interests who then end up clashing. I think it's because people are so passionate about how they do things, so sometimes having a different approach can clash. I've been very lucky with the two livery yards I've been on, as we are all great friends, but I know many people have livery yard woes!
Do your family share your passion of horses?
Not in the slightest! My poor Dad is even very allergic. I have no idea why I ever wanted to ride, I just always have done. Eventually my parents gave in and I started having lessons when I was 10. My family have, however, been really supportive with my riding.
Tell us your funniest horse related story!
There are too many to think of! A classic one from when I was younger, me and a few others were chatting to Dan's previous owner, who was stood in the stable with him. For some reason Dan swung round and knocked her over as he turned – right into his water bucket!
Who is your favourite famous horse rider?
Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin are obvious choices for a dressage diva, but I went to a BD Northern demo hosted by Gareth Hughes and was blown away by his approach to training, so I'll say him to be different!
You can read more about Gareth Hughes here.
Who is your favourite famous horse?
Again, Valegro is the obvious choice (and I have been fortunate enough to meet him!). I have to say though, the first one that really gave me goosebumps to watch was Blue Hors Matine – the lovely grey mare that did the first really interesting Freestyle.
You can read more about Blue Hors Matine here
How many times have you fallen off?
Too many! Plenty when I was younger, falling off ponies that would just randomly stop and drop their shoulders. I have twice face planted falling off one of Dan's siblings, who had a lovely bronking habit! Fortunately in the 11 years I've been riding Dan, I've never fallen off him... touch wood!
What horsey product can’t you live without?
At the moment I'd have to say my fly rug! The horse flies absolutely love Dan and my rug is the only thing that keeps him happy over summer.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself!
I am fluent in 3 languages and attempting to learn 2 more!
Well done Nicola you have completed the 10 minutes in the tackroom challenge. If you would like to take part in the challenge, email firstname.lastname@example.org.