Life lessons: Show pony specialist Sarah Newbould *H&H Plus*

The show pony specialist on lessons from the classroom, switching it on for the show ring and why she always trusts her instincts

Sarah (née Emmerson) heads up the Emmerson show team from their base in North Yorkshire. She produces a range of plaited and native ponies for the show ring. The team has won multiple titles at both the Royal International and Horse of the Year Show.

I’ve ridden ponies since I was two years old, and while I always thought I’d have a career in horses, my parents told me to go to university, get a job and then if I wanted to come back to it later on I could. I’m so grateful they said that. I’ve now always got something to fall back on; I could fall off one day and not be able to ride or lead again.

I’m a schoolteacher, so when things aren’t as busy on the show team I will go back to the classroom, and when it picks back up again I’ll go back to the yard full time. Showing can be hard; going to bed at 7pm to get up at 1am for a show, week in, week out is tough. Teaching has also helped me forge new friendships and have a part of life away from the horse industry.