We've been very flattered with how many outstanding riders have asked us if they could be Arch & Alex ambassadors. For a business as new as us, the support and enthusiasm is humbling. We're suckers for people that absolutely love our stuff, and two very loyal Arch & Alex fans stood out so much recently that we couldn't ignore them. So we've decided to support them in their endeavours this year in return for them flying the A&A flag as our Brand Ambassadors. You may remember aspiring Victorian dressage rider Katie Gray from our previous blog, whom we unofficially appointed as Brand Ambassador in November. Well, consider her official. Katie is joined by another Victorian, showjumping star Robyn Todd (the face behind Snaffle It Horse Supplies).
By way of intro, we asked Katie to tell us about the most important member of her team, her horse Kokomo Bravo (or "BK" as he is affectionately known, short for "Bob the Knob"). Here is BK's story...
So my very trendy and cool sponsors have asked for a blog article on the wonderful BK, the suave and sensitive dressage horse that I completely adore and the recipient of a tack room full of ribbons in the last 12 months.
Well the story of BK dates back almost 10 years now to when I went to look at a racehorse off the track, He had raced a handful of times and had memorably finished without a jockey on a number of those occasions. He was crazy yet kind and despite tearing off back to the stables, demonstrating, a fear of ‘things’ in the distance and an incredible rear, he had a lovely jump and a friendly face so I decided to buy him. He quickly became a decent eventer with amazing scope who occasionally snatched the bit and headed for Mars yet progressed quickly through the grades and was especially good at showjumping, rarely touching a pole.
Unfortunately after a number of years together we had a mishap at a water jump and Isaac broke his leg. While waiting for my own bones to heal I took to Google and found Isaac’s mother had been used as a broodmare at a stud with a warmblod stallion in the ACT. They had bred two horses from her before she died and I was lucky enough to persuade them to sell one of them to me. That one was BK.
He was trucked down from the ACT and despite spending his youth in a 100 acre paddock, adapted quickly to Yarra Valley life, hard feed, rugs, mud, kids in prams, adult riding and traffic. He hadn’t been ridden since he was broken in years earlier but was more than happy to have a devoted human friend. For the last four years, with an injury break due to BK putting is rug over his head and running through a fence and a slight interruption due to my son and daughter being born, we have had a ball.
BK is NOT up for pony rides and flat out refuses to have anyone else on him. His complete hatred of trail riding and going over obstacles he has not had a really thorough look at (as well as a grave concern over things in the distance) has meant that he has not (yet) become the eventer that I had in mind! Fortunately, he has quite accidentally become a fun and competitive dressage horse.
He is an kind and friendly soul who loves a pat and who the kids can lead around. He kicks his bath when it gets low, stands near the house and looks at us when he wants food. Getting a whip or spurs from the stables is a complete waste of time for a horse that always gives his best. He gets by on a handful of rides a week amongst work and family commitments and always makes us look good. In our many lessons he tends to cotton on to the exercise before I do. He is (handily) the colour of dirt and is blessed with a seriously good tail. His breeder still has his half sister who I periodically try to convince her to breed from as part of my succession plan... she doesn’t seem keen, but I have years to wear her down!
Next year BK and I are planning on staying sound, not falling off, getting more ribbons, wearing cool clothes from A&A, slobbering on children and having new houses built. BK’s house is being built over the Christmas New Year period and is palatial in order to also fit in his brutish TB paddock mate Henry and eternally youthful minnie-shetty cross paddock mate Chad. His house is far closer to completion than my own, though I have high hopes of moving out of our tiny cottage and into our sufficiently sized home sometime before my husband and I die of old age.