Introducing Alexandra Phillips
My name is Alex Phillips, but I compete under my full name of Alexandra. I'm fifteen years old and live in Cumbria with my mum and dad. I'm lucky enough to live on a farm, so I have my horses right outside. I'm part of the Cumberland Farmers Hunt North Pony Club branch, or CFHN, which is just one big family. I've lived in England since 2009 after moving from Ontario, Canada, but my parents are originally from England. I've always been able to ride as my mum does it too, so horses really are my world.
My first horse is called DHI Johnny Cash, but as his name isn’t the shortest we just call him Cash. He is a dark bay and stands around 15.2hh. Cash is seven-years-old and we have had him for the past three years. We’ve had to put a large amount of work into him to bring him right after what we think must of been years of just being pointed and fired at fences. I have only started to ride him in the past nine months, but they have been amazing.
Cash's favourite activity has to be cross-country and he always loves going out hunting when he can. I mainly do showjumping with him – he really loves to compete, although he can get a little stressy from time to time, but that's all part of why I love him so much.
Bentea is my second horse – she is a beautiful 17hh dark bay Dutch Warmblood. She is ten years old and we have now had her for three years. When we got her, we had a lot of work to do as instead of going forwards, she only really went upwards! We now have her going happily forwards but she is still a bit of a stress-head, which doesn't always help at shows, but as long as you stay chilled it tends to keep her happy.
As with Cash, I mainly showjump Bentea, but I'm planning on doing more dressage on her as she has lovely paces. Although she can be difficult, she's one of a kind and we have come to the decision she doesn't know she's 17hh as everything seems to be out to get her sometimes, but that's just the way she is.
As it is only a few weeks until Cash and Bentea will be competing at the Area Finals of The Pony Club Dengie Winter League, we have been keeping on top of our training with plenty of flatwork because to us this is the most important part. We have also been out competing at lots of different places so the horses have the best chance of seeing new, scary things. I have also been taking part in Pony Club rallies, as these are also really helpful.
Both of my horses are very working hard and so need all the energy they can get. To ensure this, they are both fed Dengie Alfa-A Oil and I've found that this gives them a beautiful, healthy glow and really helps them to keep their energy up when working really hard. With this, they also get a scoop of Dengie Alfalfa Pellets - I feed these wet which just makes the feed easier for them to eat – and a little bit of Dengie Performance Vits & Mins. My best feeding tip would be to feed little and often – horses are grazing creatures, so just feeding one big feed won't be as natural for them as two or three throughout the day. I live by this and Cash and Bentea have never looked so good since I started them on Dengie feeds, so now I'm never going back!