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.

This week in the saddle we have Sophia, you can follow Sophia on Twitter and Instagram.

Tell us about your horse!

Charlie (Earl of Tully) is a 12 year old Connemara, who I bought out of cattle truck in Ireland straight from his breeder as the ugliest foal you’ve ever seen! They put a headcollar on him for the first time and he just followed me around. I knew then, after owning his full brother, he had the temperament I wanted, even if he didn’t quite have the looks! I broke him myself, and since then, we’ve managed to do a little bit of everything, with showing and now M&M WHP being our recent target

Mountain and Moorland working hunter connemaraMountainandmoorland connemara working hunter

Tell us a horse joke!

I’m awful at jokes! Why couldn’t the pony sing? Because he was a little hoarse!

What do you do when you aren’t with your horse?

I’m a Veterinary Surgeon, I just work with small animals now, as it allowed me to have a better work life balance than 3am colicking equines!

What do you love about the horsey community?

When you find the right people and places (and i’m lucky that I have) there is a real sense of fun and support. There is always someone to cheer you up or lend a hand. I have to do a lot of shows on my own during the summer, and it’s nice that there is always someone who is willing to just devote a few minutes of their time to help leg you back on in the ring, or hold your horse while you walk the course.

What do you dislike about the horsey community?

Dealing with those that have lost the initial reason we all started to do this - for the love of it and seek to undermine rather than support those around them. Unsportsmanlike behaviour is a real pet hate of mine.

Do your family share your passion of horses?

Yes, I started riding at 2, and as a family my parents always had horses since I was 6 until recent years when work and dodgy joints have taken over, My sister also rode for a number of years, and now i’ve even got my partner riding. Next stop is to get my niece riding!

Tell us your funniest horse related story!

I had a particularly naughty native coloured called Buster. He decided he’d had enough of our hack one day, rodeo’d me into the dust and despite it being acres of open field, I watched him gallop off following the edge of the field, all the way back to the road, where he crossed in the correct place, and stayed to the gutter on the correct side all the way down the edge of the road to home, watched by a not very helpful but bemused passer by. My mum found him stood in this stable eating his hay. Not at all amusing at the time, but afterwards, the fact he’d followed his horsey highway code was!

Who is your favourite famous horse rider?

John Whitaker. He’s never let the sport go to  his head, and even after huge setbacks, he’s found a way to fight back.

Read more about John Whitaker here

Who is your favourite famous horse?

Milton. He was always on my wall as a child, even though I never had any aspirations to jump even a quarter of the height he did, he was an amazing talent.

Read more about Milton here

How many times have you fallen off?

I haven’t for about 5 years (touch wood!) but before that… well i’ve been riding for 28 years so more than a few times! My last one was off my old hunter, and we were just walking on a loose rein in the field - he spooked after nearly standing on a pheasant and I just dropped out the side door. I think he was as confused as me as to why i was sat on the floor!

What horsey product can’t you live without?

My stain removing shampoo (and lemon fairy liquid) - Owning a grey... 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself!

I’m a vet who is terrified of needles, rats and fish!

Well done Sophia you have completed the 10 minutes in the tackroom challenge. If you would like to take part in the challenge, email info@equissimo.co.uk.

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