Setting up on my own – the dawn of Mountford Sport Horses

When I left Andrew Nicholson’s yard to ‘set up on my own’, I was ready for hard graft, excited at the prospect of making my own decisions and was champing at the bit to ride as, when and how I felt was right at any one time.    It was, I thought, all about the riding – and as even Andrew had admitted I was ‘useful’ at that, what more did I need? 

It turns out, quite a lot… 

More than my own riding

Running a professional yard, I’ve discovered, is about a lot more than being able to ride well!  Things I’ve come to realise – and please don’t be too hard with the drrrr-hands-on-face response, sometimes you have to live things to learn them – especially if you’re young and energetic and determined to be independent …

  • You can’t do everything yourself. There’s a practical limit in the amount of hours in a day. Not to mention a mental limit in the amount of headspace it’s sensible to allocate to something not directly related to your main business focus, in my case, riding.   Delegation is scary but essential!
  • You can’t please everyone all of the time; and sometimes sh*te just happens.  I’ve learnt/am learning to take a deep breath, present a case, and step away.
  • Doing horses properly is properly expensive. And properly is the only way to do it.
  • The Team is ALL.


In case any of the above resonates – here’s some of the businesses/people who’ve helped me here over this last year and who I think are bloody marvellous.  A few are ‘sponsoring’, most are not, but they’re all in my opinion fab at their jobs, ‘get’ the pressures faced by young business-bods like myself, and do their best to proactively support.  The latter means a lot when you’re a minnow…

And of course, always, the amazing team here at the Old Rectory. And all those people without companies to @name but who have just been there ….


Now, back to the business of riding horses. Lucky me 😊

See you next month, thank you for reading this far!

Polly Mountford
Mountford Sport Horses

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