My name is Sophie Ostler and I am a horsaholic. I have been horse mad for as long as I can remember.
I grew up in a tiny hamlet in Somerset, the sound of hooves on the road outside had me rushing to the window for a glimpse, car journeys were spent gazing out of the window at my imaginary horse jumping the hedges and fences. I set up jumps in the garden and even hung a haynet in the shed, in the hope that a pony might one day appear… some of my fondest memories are of a big retired dun horse called Leveret who lived on the farm near our cottage, he taught me so much.
I started riding lessons when I was 9 yrs old at North Perrott Riding School. I have memories of winter hacks, coming home and putting my frozen fingers on the storage heaters with tears streaming down my face because it was so painful. Rather strangely I don't remember the summer hacks so well!
At weekends I would hack out a friend's pony called Storm, he was in his twenties and every time I rode him, without fail -
There was no stopping him, once or twice I landed in a hedge and Storm would arrive home before me, clattering into the yard, with me later following behind, big grin on my face.
Oh, to be young again.
I assumed I would be a professional rider when I grew up, and in 1992 when I was 12 yrs old I decided my ambition was to ride at the Olympics, one of my favourite quotes..
“If your biggest dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”
After leaving school I worked in race yards, and equestrian centres, stud yards, dressage and show jumping yards.. always working for a groom's pittance!
In 1999 I travelled to America, training with the greatest horse whisperers of all time, it changed my life.. and fleeing from hurricane Floyd nearly ENDED my life, but that's another story! Upon returning to the UK it was a bit of an anti climax and I had several dead-
I met my husband Paul in 2001, he had finally had enough of hearing about my plans and told me to "stop dreaming, and start doing" so I quit my job and started helping people with their horses, with enormous success, it was so rewarding.
I had to wait until my twenties before I would finally own my own pony, a yearling filly named Karis. Unfortunately, we had to sell her to pay the mortgage arrears, we had to sell up everything and ended up living in a horsebox, hard times. I lost track of Karis's whereabouts.
In 2004 whilst working as an equine behaviourist, along came my second horse Jason, he was a client's horse, I liked him so much I bought him.
In 2006 my husband and I started a business from our cellar... Clear Plastic Supplies, what started as a pipedream is now more successful than we ever dreamed. As the business grew I spent more and more time in the office and less time helping people with their horses, until the business was demanding all of my time, including weekends. We did eventually move the business out of the cellar into our warehouse in Chesterfield, three times expanding into the neighbouring units.
So, zoom forward to present day, after years of helping others with their horses... followed by years of sitting in an office setting up and running our business, I have decided it is now or never, this is MY time, it's time to concentrate on my riding, my horses.. my ambition. Is it ever too late to take up competitive riding? can I become a successful athlete? a professional rider? achieve sponsorship deals? ...and all of this whilst working full time, and on a budget?
Our first show (albeit only a local in-
In 2012 I realised one of my life's dreams -
Jason and I have been training with Hannah Esberger, Jason is working really well and I can't wait to get out and about with him.
There have been many obstacles on this journey so far and I'm sure there will be many more to come but if I don't have a go at achieving my ambition I'll wonder... what if...?
So if you fancy having a laugh at my expense, follow us on our journey… wherever it may lead.
At the very least I will have many memories…
Here are some inspirational quotes, featuring my handsome boy Jason :-
Storm & Leveret
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