Area Festivals: Michelle Alford

With Henry renewing her passion for Dressage, the pair have taken to the dance floor at the Petplan Equine Area Festivals. 

Picking back up the reins four years ago after purchasing Henry, Michelle has always loved riding, "I have been riding since I was a child but since owning him, I have learnt a lot. We have had our ups and downs but found that dressage is the best thing for us." The 14.2hh piebald Cob, who is now fourteen started his dressage career with Saracen Horse Feeds Team Quest with 'Team Mindful' for two years before heading out to their first Petplan Equine Area Festival last year. Michelle tells us about their journey, "We loved doing Quest but wanted to try something new so last year I started to do the Petplan Equine Area Festivals but had a set back and had to go back to basic Clare and Sam worked together and helped me rehab him and we managed to get Henry to his first Area Festival."

Training with Clare Ashley twice a week, the pair value their support, "she has been training us for 16 months and was recommended by SGB Human & Equine soft tissue therapist Sam Gifford Brown. Being a BD judge she has loads of knowledge about dressage and helps me with my position."

Having a passion for freestyle to music Michelle has always wanted to give it a go and got the chance when her trainer offered to help, "Clare put my floor plan together and she got someone to do my music. We have managed to go out and do our first Dressage to Music show in April and got 66.11%! I was so happy as it was our first time." 

Also competing her yard managers showing mare Cameron at the same Area Festival, both horses have qualified for the Prelim Summer Area Festivals later in the year, with Henry still hoping to gain those all important qualification scores for Dressage to Music. 

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