Wow is the first word that springs to mind writing about my day with Tim Stockdale. What a lovely genuine guy. First of all my thanks go out to Equimat for organising and giving me this amazing opportunity. 
Becci and_Tom
With Tim only returning from HOYS the previous night I was expecting that I would immediately prepare for my lesson, so as fit in with Tim's very busy schedule. Unfortunately we arrived at mid day a little later then planned due to the traffic; we need not have worried as we were greeted by Equimat, followed close behind by the man himself, Tim. 
My mum was rushing around trying to get Candy ready with me in the back getting changed. Tim soon stopped us offering a guided tour around his yard first, allowing us to breathe and relax! 
What an amazing environment, his yard is totally set up horses competing at top level, my ideal yard and it was love at first sight especially with me having no facilities at home to train and only two very temporary stables!! It is quite obvious everything has been planned to a tee. The top yard was a U shape allowing the horses to see each other at all times, with lots of light in each stable accompanied with a mirror on the wall and of course lovely green Equimats on the floor each one.  Tim gave me a personal tour around the stables, introducing me to every horse with a tale and explaining their personality. 
Becci in_Toms_yardThe tack room was amazing and one of my favourites with all of Tim's memorable plaques from competing all over the world. There were specific rooms for rugs and washing the horses off which had lovely heat lamps. The feed room was very organised with a system anyone could use to feed the horses. We passed more stables down the bottom of the yard in a long line which led onto the paddocks.

Tim had a gallop track at the top and each field which were fenced beautifully into sections with more strip grazing down the bottom which was a long thin line. This made it easy for him to mow and keep short with options to make the sections smaller for further reduced grazing. Next to the paddocks was my dream jumping field, a mini 'Hickstead'. I just wanted to go grab Candy and have a jump round. It had the' Hickstead' bank, wall, devils dyke, water fence‚Äö√Ѭ∂. It was unbelievable. The winner of Hickstead has been round Tim's 'homemade' track for the past few years and I can see why. We then passed a lovely outdoor school were Tim's two grooms were schooling the horses; Tim offered advice and listened to what they had to say as we were passing. 

There was also a beautiful indoor school which Tim said they don't tend to use very often only when the weather forces them to. 

After the fabulous tour and quizzing Tim on many things it was finally time to get Candy ready for my lesson. It was not rushed in anyway and actually lasted nearly one and a half hours! It was by far the most entertaining and informative lesson I have ever had. Tim shared lots of his tips with me and all importantly how to see a stride every single time, something most of us struggle with especially at shows when nerves kick in. He quickly worked out that I could see a stride 4/5 stride away from the fence and was able to alter this further back each time to ensure I met the fence perfectly. Just for the record Tim can see a stride over 7 strides away- no wonder they can gallop to whopping fences and not take a pull with that bionic skill!! 

The lesson got more and more interesting with Candy, and the feedback was very positive. He loved her way of going, her canter and most importantly her technique over a fence. Tim thought she was a lovely genuine mare. It has made me much more confident to take our show jumping more seriously next year with it definitely being her forte. 

Becci and_bookThe day didn't finish there; we headed out to a lovely local pub for dinner with the Equimat Team, Tim, his wife and my mum. It was nice to sit down and speak to Tim about his family, and his upcoming sons. As well as taking about his ambitions for next year, owners and future horses in the pipeline. It was soon 5pm and as we got ready to go Tim provided me with a signed copy of his book with a lovely message inside. I had such a fantastic day from start to finish; it really opened my eyes to the professional world of making a living through Horses. 
Tim's Top Tips
> There is no such word as can't
> Before you say a negative comment say 2 positive
>Believe and achieve 

Follow Becci's blog and stay up to date - Read more