January 18 2014
I thought I would share how I came up with the idea of a business like Alice Reins.
I was always being asked about Alice and her hand and was always being told how well Alice rides and that you would never know about her hand! What a compliment for Alice who is now quite an established rider and I am so proud of her! People have often asked about Alices’ reins too over the years but I never really gave it much thought. I just designed and had them made so that Alice was able to ride like any other child. I recently got to thinking that maybe the reins could help other children who are similar to Alice.
A short time ago I made a short video of Alice riding Poppy on a very cold winters day. The video showed Alices’ reins and I explained how they worked and also showed how Alice went about hooking her left hand in each loop.
I decided one day to put this video on just one horse group page on Facebook and to my astonishment, within 2 hours I had over 350 likes and about 170 enquiries!! I was totally shocked at this response and very flattered and proud at some of the comments that had been made about Alice and indeed her reins!!
It was then that I was asked for adaptations of Alices’ reins by people who had lesser grip i.e. arthritic or people who had suffered a stroke. I was also asked for driving reins in the same design. I was approached by 2 RDA centres with regard to Alices’ reins. People enquired as to whether Alices’ reins could be used for novice riders to teach them correct hand position in walk trot and canter.
So I have now decided to set up a brand new business which is called “Alice Reins”, I hope to be able to help other children or adults in a similar situation. I also want to help children or adults who need tailor made reins just for them. I hope I can 🙂
January 4 2014
Hello there, I thought it would be nice to share a little more about Alice’s progress. No matter how much we would like to keep our children small they do inevitably grow! It got to the stage where Alice outgrew her 11.2hh pony Toffee and so it was time to move onto her next pony who was a sweet bay gelding called Kit and he was 12.2hh. Alice seemed like a little pea sat on his back at first but he was gorgeous and for the next two years Alice and Kit moved up through the ranks as it were and started to jump bigger jumps and little cross country courses!
It was wonderful, Alice just adjusted her reins to fit Kit and away they went. They did everything together. I remember watching her and her friend Courtney and her pony race across a field at full speed laughing their heads off while me and Courtneys’ Mum were stood in silence looking on in horror hoping and praying that the ponies would eventually stop! Kit tested Alice at the very beginning as she was so small but she was able to use her reins just like any other child would to control her pony and it gave her so much confidence. The pair entered lots of little shows and were very successful coming a close second in her first show on Kit at Ingoldsby where Alice had to negotiate Kit around a set of show jumps then make a few short cuts in the jump off. It was at that show that we discovered Alice was suffering hay fever and could hardly see! Bless her.
After a wonderful and successful 2 years with little Kit it was time again for Alice to move up to our 13hh pony called Perrie. So sad to change but Alice kept growing! Perrie is a wonderful little liver chestnut mare who is very forward going but 150% safe. Again Alice adjusted her reins to fit Perrie and this pair had a very special bond between them. I remember when we first tried Perrie up in West Yorkshire and we watched her being ridden by the little girl who had her then. Perrie was extremely quick and Alice and I both thought that she would be too hard for her to handle…how wrong we were! Perrie pony pie (as I fondly referred to her) was fantastic and gave Alice tremendous confidence which grew and grew.
Alice and Perrie won most events together which included junior hunter trials at Pickworth and a senior hunter trial (see video) at Burghley Park which she also was awarded best Burghley member. They also were part of our Burghley team which competed at the Fitz show jumping competition at the East of England showground in Peterborough and won, Alice and Perrie were awarded the best Burghley for the quickest individual pair that went clear in their round which was a wonderful surprise as there were about 10 teams of 4 competing for this!! The pair also won an intro jumpcross event at Wittering Grange which consisted of lots of knock down fences, through water fences, drops and higher fences called jokers (for more points), all over a cross country course which was fantastic! Alice and Perrie also went hunting for the first time which they loved, jumping fences across the countryside with about 60 other horses! There was no stopping this duo!
It was very sad a little later after having so much fun and success with Perrie, that Perrie went lame and had to have alot of time off resting in her field for at least a year. Perrie was 18 years old and Alice was still growing, so we decided to rest Perrie for as long as needed. Alice was still growing and so we made the decision to move up to a bigger pony whilst Perrie was convalescing. We then found Poppy, Poppy is a 14.2hh Connemara very pretty bay pony with impeccable manners which I felt was really important for Alice as moving onto a 14.2 pony is quite a big move.
Alice once again just adjusted her reins to fit Poppy and they too have had alot of success so far, winning a show jumping event at Laughton Manor, coming 4th in a One Day Event involving dressage, showjumping and cross country all on the same day and also coming a well deserved 5th at Aston-Le-Walls unaffiliated BE80 One Day Event which was amazing to watch and both Alice and Poppy both thoroughly enjoyed!
Present day Poppy has sustained an injury and is also resting over the winter with Perrie!! The trials of having ponies!! We hope to bring them both back into work in the spring but in the meantime Alice has been able to ride my nieces’ brilliant eventer Apache Breeze (Pocahontas) which is very exciting for Alice as Apache Breeze and her owner Rebecca Woolley (my niece), have qualified for the junior event at Badminton Horse Trials in May! Alice also has ridden Rebeccas’ up and coming youngster Roxy Grey and my sisters’ hunter Chatsworth!! All with the same pair of reins which adjust to each pony or horse!! Amazing.
Looking forward for the Spring and a whole new chapter for Alice and her ponies!!