In the first of our series of interviews designed to introduce BHS Isle of Wight members to their local committee, we meet Louise Watson, the committee secretary…
Name: Louise Watson
Age (a ballpark, please!): Early 30s
Family: No thanks! Only horses and cats!
Occupation: Having spent 10 years in fundraising, I recently changed jobs to become a Customer Service Manager.
Tell us about… your first pony: I still have him - Rupert, a grey, pure bred Arabian gelding who is now 20 years old. I bought him when he was six and he's been there, done it and got the t-shirt. He's my dream horse who I owe everything to for teaching me so much. He's now retired as his legs are worn out!
… the first fall you can remember: A horrid Shetland pony dumped me in a hedge on the downs - I had to get back on and ride it home while everyone else carried on with the ride!
… the first rosette you remember winning: It was at an American ranch on a trip to the USA with the Girl Scouts (a long story!)
… your horsey highlight: Being in the winning South East region dressage team at the Arab National Show at Malvern twice, ten years apart with my two different horses. Oh, and making a costume out of a pair of curtains from the charity shop - see photo!
… your most embarrassing horsey moment: I can't remember anything specifically, but I'm sure there have been loads.
… your current horse(s): Two pure bred Arabians. Rupert, who I've already described, and my ginger ninja Dassa, who is a distant cousin of Rupert. I bought him as a yearling, broke him in myself, and he's now 10.
Do you compete? What is your preferred discipline? I do dressage, preferring to keep all four feet on the ground when possible.
What’s your favourite horsey activity? Just normal horsey stuff - hacking, schooling, competing...
What’s your equine ambition? Just to have fun!
Share your yard secrets, please… what are your best time saving tips? Get up early and do all your jobs in the morning. Fill enough haynets on a Sunday to last the week.
What about money saving tips? Erm, you're asking the wrong person... I'm not very good at that!
Tell us about your involvement with the BHS… what is your role on the committee? I am Secretary so my job is to do the agendas and take the minutes for committee meetings, and deal with any correspondence.
How long have you been on the committee, and how long in this role? Five years.
How did you get involved with the BHS? I'm not quite sure - I went along to an Annual Meeting and got voted in to the role before I could object!
What’s your favourite part of the role? Being with like-minded people.
Thanks, Louise! Next time, we meet Andrea Durham, who is a Welfare Officer.