The Grayt Adventure - Holly Grayton's Blog

In my life I am all-consumed with horses: reading about them, watching videos, what exercises we are going to work on etc... but more and more I find myself growing and learning through my experiences with them. And so here it will be, my everyday meanderings about life through horses and sport.


You’re only as supported as the friends you keep

Having great friends, family or resources is a key to life. This seems to go without saying and yet we can still find ourselves feeling unsupported. To me, a good friend is someone that brings you up, not down. They try to see the good when all you can see is the bad. And if you ask for a minute of self-deprecating down speak, they only let you go there only for a short while and never pile on the load. In our sport tensions can get high; expectations can be unmet, and the kind of people we have around us can help determine our successful return the next day. Sometimes in conversation you might ask yourself if a person said something for you or for them. Example: you say, “Oh I had a terribl

“You don’t learn from experience… You learn from reflecting on experience.”

Do you ever re-watch your videos from last year before the new year starts? I did that this winter, and I think I came up with something fantastic. I watched all my videos… Ok, I didn’t keep the really awful ones, they are in the trash where they belong. But I watched all the rest: every horse, every show, and every round. And I took notes of what I noticed over the course of a whole year that needed addressing. Keep reins short – consistent contact Recover early – stay tall, don’t get tugged out of the tack. Being too forward makes the arrival at the next fence weak. Keep canter in check/in front of the leg. (Going fast doesn’t equal in front of leg) – Canter gets too big, that’s when you c

Can't lose if you don't quit!

It’s the beginning of show season and it’s about that time of year when I make myself a deal. No matter what, I’m going to keep showing and keep going until the end of this season. You see, my thing is that when I get down on myself I like to think I should just quit riding. So I make myself this deal that I can’t quit until the end of the season. This way the option of going down that dark and gloomy path is simply off the table for now. I was reminded that I forgot to make myself this deal when I went to my first show of the season already a couple weeks ago! I thought I had everything all squared away: I had a new bit, my horse was jumping great. Alas, no. I was basically run away with an

Being married to a trainer...

There are inherent pros and cons to being married to anybody with whom you share a passion. In my case it’s almost always a blessing, but there are some times where you come across issues you wouldn’t encounter in a ‘normal’ relationship. They understand when you spend all your time/energy and finances on your horse. But they too spend all their time at the stable, and that can mean missed dates and other ‘couple things’, because your partner has an all-consuming passion also. They understand the horses come first. But to them the horses also come first. Before you even. It turns out this is a two-way street. You can bounce your ideas off them because they have so much knowledge. But sometim

Not Good Enough To Be a Pro

As I look back at my history in the sport of show jumping I think I would have some advice for my younger self: “You don’t have to show everybody all that you think you know.” I have heard it is better to let everyone think you a fool than to open your mouth and prove it. When I was in my early 20’s I thought I would make a career out of teaching riding – beginning right away! Ha! Can you imagine all the things I didn’t even know that I needed to know back then? And still now going forward. What will I think of my 2018 self in 10+ years? There’s more to it than sport knowledge. It’s also knowing how to teach, it’s knowing when to push, it’s having experienced failure, it’s not being afraid o

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