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Riding high

Riding high

Anna Hickman joined GTL earlier this year as Junior Design Engineer, having undertaken an engineering apprenticeship. She's currently working on helping with jigs and assembly fixtures for the new range of TSC screwdrivers which you can read about elsewhere in this newsletter. Most of her spare time though is spent on horseback.

Anna started riding 12 years ago when she was given riding lessons for her tenth birthday which carried on for the next 8 or 9 years until she started working and then began paying for them herself!

She has been riding Aquila, a 20 year old 14.2 hh pure bred Arab horse, for six months, and manages to fit in riding around three to five times a week in an arrangement with Aquila's owner. Aquila is kept at a livery stable and Anna rides with a mixture of training, schooling and hacking. She does dressage, cross-country and showjumping, although she is focussing on work on the flat at the moment. Her favourite discipline is showjumping, although she says dressage is actually more rewarding in that you can see improvements more noticeably.

She usually rides one evening midweek after work while it's still light enough to do so, and then spends Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday at the stables, riding and undertaking stable management. She has also recently started to ride an Irish Draught horse also kept by Aquila's owner, so she is very busy at the yard.

At the end of July Anna and Aquila competed in their first show together, and achieved a first in the Prettiest Mare class, a second in the Ridden Veteran class, two thirds in Ridden Arab and In Hand Arab, and a fourth in In Hand Veteran, so it was a very successful outing! The picture shows Anna and Aquila with the rosettes and prizes. More recently they have entered further competitions and competed in both dressage and showing classes, where the horse and rider perform a series of set paces and the judges consider the quality of the horse and the way it moves. At the most recent show, Anna and Aquila achieved a clear round in the showjumping, as well as two seconds, a third and a fourth in classes - in spite of a little bit of bucking from Aquila!

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