Chit Chat with Bella Giles-Smith – How she and horse Rudy found each other

When Derby House asked me to write a blog, I felt very honoured, and then the fear set in. OMG, what do I have to say that will interest people, then, oh no, I can’t do it, then, OK, let’s give this a go.

My name is Bella Giles-Smith, a very young 55yrs old LOL and by profession I work full-time in the Marketing Department at Honda (UK). I recently received my 15-year Long Service award, which was fantastic.  Outside of work, I am 100% horse mad and always have been, driving everyone mad in the office with horsey talk.  For many years I rode for horse owners competing in ridden showing, winning many Championships and appearing in Horse and Hound on a few occasions, extremely proud moments.

Bella and Rudy competing - photo by Brian Findlay Photography

Bella and Rudy competing – photo by Brian Findlay Photography

Let’s fast forward a few years to when I started riding a rather handsome 16.2hh black Hanoverian gelding called Rudy owned by Stuart Boyle, he was around 5 or 6 at the time and rather a handful. I was actually terrified of him, I am only 5’3 ½” (must not forget the half ha ha) and he is a very big boy. Rudy had a bit of a bad reputation for being very naughty, (some would say dangerous) which stopped me going near him for 3yrs. To cut a long story short, circumstances came about when after only riding him for about an hour and half over a couple of days before hand, I rode him in a Prelim Dressage competition. It was pouring with rain; I was pooping my pants and shaking like a leaf. Needless to say we didn’t do very well, I was rather proud we did it though. So that’s how I started to get to know Rudy, I spent more and more time with him. I realised he wasn’t nasty, he was just being a baby and testing me, after that I felt less nervous of him. That was about 4 years ago now, since then we have been through a lot of ups and downs, many tears and bruises and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Going through all the challenges has helped us get to know each other and build a great relationship. Last year a dream came true, Stuart gifted Rudy to me so now I am his Mummy and I love him like you wouldn’t believe. He really is my world and keeps me sane.

Bella and Rudy - Photo by Horse Photographer UK

Bella and Rudy – Photo by Horse Photographer UK

I had always dreamed Derby House would sponsor Rudy and me, well another amazing thing happened last year. I couldn’t believe it, in July 2017 Derby House started sponsoring Rudy and me. It was a very proud day in deed and one I will remember forever. I have always loved the quality and especially the great prices of their horse supplies and I have purchased many products over the years from Derby House.  I love talking about Rudy’s awesome rugs; my absolute favourite for wintertime is his All in One Turnout rug.

It was black; it is now a lovely shade of mud as Rudy loves to roll.  The All in One rug keeps him cosy and dry, even in the worst weather, cold wind, snow, hale and torrential rain. As let’s face it, we have had all sorts of weather for quite a while. Because the neck has elastic at the top, it doesn’t fall down so keeps his neck clean and dry as well as the belly flap keeping his girth area clean and dry. This saves me time grooming Rudy before I can ride when I get to the yard late after work.

Rudy recently received a beautiful Wedgewood blue rain sheet with a neck for the Spring time to keep him clean and dry and he does look rather gorgeous in it, if I do say so myself. He also has the brilliant Fly/Rain sheet for Summer time, which is great for keeping the flies at bay and keeping his saddle area dry if it rains.

Derby House have spoilt me too, I have the Dublin Adda Jacket to keep me toasty and dry, and it is so lovely and warm and has big pockets for all my bits and bobs and a pocket for my phone. I feel the bee’s knees in my gorgeous white show breeches and super comfortable long leather riding boots when we are out competing. It was fabulous not having to spend time breaking in my leather riding boots, the leather is so soft and the clever sole keep my feet in position in the stirrups. Maybe I will tell you about all the other fabulous products I use from Derby House in another blog. I hope you have enjoyed reading a bit about how Rudy and I became a partnership and why I love Derby House products. Until next time, enjoy spending time with your horse or pony and good luck if you are out competing.

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