Hello I’m Jess Atkinson a 14 year old aspiring dressage rider who is now kindly sponsored by the lovely Saraste Photography!
When I was born I automatically had a love for horses. Due to my mum working with them and owning her own I spent a large majority of my time having fun with ponies! I was bought my first pony Peanut, an 8hh miniature Shetland who we still have to this day. He’s the most genuine kind pony you will meet and is definitely not your stereotypical Shetland!
After outgrowing Peanut I went to a local riding school however I didn’t start to enjoy riding so much so took a few years of the ridden side of things and tried some in hand showing with Peanut (which he was extremely successful in!)
Skipping on a few years I decide to start riding again. I went to a new riding school where I spent just under 3 years having lessons on a lot of different ponies, one of them being my own pony today Toffee! We had been searching for a pony for just over a year when my favourite riding school pony Toffee came up for sale. Although she was definitely not our ideal type (my mum having a strong dislike for mares and me avoiding cobbier types), It was definitely meant to be and the week after we put down an offer she was ours!
In the beginning she definitely wasn’t the easiest! She’d bolted off twice on the first weekend of owning her and after a few months was practically un rideable due to mine and hers inexperience. Skipping on to about a year and a half later of weekly lessons, 9 falls, bucks, spooks, failed jumping sessions, and schooling sessions with more napping then actually moving forward, she’s a completely transformed pony! She schools on a nice consistent outline, Is the most loving, attention seeking pony around, takes me into jumps and most importantly poses for Annukka with her ears locked forward! The journey has definitely not been easy, but it’s definitely been worth it and I’m so excited to see how far we can go once we start competing this summer!
Eventually, with the support of Saraste Photography I am aiming to affiliate in dressage and move up the levels and most importantly, have fun! I’m very excited for the future being supported by such a talented photographer!