Whitney Taylor of Canada’s Greenhawk Equestrian sport, one of the largest equine retailers in the world, lives and breathes horses. We caught up with her to find out why she loves equestrianism.
Tell us about your riding passions!
I’ve ridden horses longer than I can remember. After university I moved all over the country for work in the field of engineering, and managed to find a great community to ride with everywhere that I travelled, but never a horse to call my own. It was so rewarding to work with a variety of horses and help them get to their next stage of training/competition along the way.
Finally, after 15 years, a series of happy coincidences allowed me to combine my business experience with my passion for horses! My new horse is my guilty pleasure. As a working amateur who’s always ridden whatever horse was available, I managed to get lucky with a fantastic equine partner. Fate (Covid!) disrupted sales and travel with my job, so we managed to arrange for him to be shipped to me, to try.
After the first ride, it was all over, I knew he was the one. (My coach Neil Badcock had assessed him on arrival, and recomended a Bombers bit that would be the right fit; he absolutely nailed it!). My horse and I are still getting to know each other but plan is to work towards the 1.40 amateur division in Canada.
How did you come to introduce Bombers Bits to Greenhawk?
I ride several horses for my coach, and have been part of the training program for over a decade. We are constantly working with “problem” horses, and trying to re-hab them into a new home. My coach Neil brought home a couple Bomber Bits from Wellington years ago, and the rest is history. We have worked with Claire Lund at Bombers closely on a variety of bitting challenges, from bone spurs, to extra teeth – figuring out the right balance for each horse on curb, poll, bar and tongue pressure. The results that I’ve seen (and ridden) have been undeniable – turning “unrideable” horses into something that an amateur can pilot around a course with ease (combined with proper equine dentist visits of course)!
What do you like about Bombers Bits as a rider, and what are your go-to bits?
The biggest “ah-ha” for me as a rider was the swivel mouthpiece. I’ve used both the Bomber Blue and the Happy Tongue, with great results. My previous horse was a big guy that I constantly struggled with to keep together, and on landing over big oxers, I felt like I was landing on a lawn dart! Then we tried him with a Bomber Blue Swivel Polo Pelham and things really changed. He was able to use his neck and shoulder well, but was soft and manageable on landing. The horses really love the tongue relief, but also that they can control where the port is at all times. My new horse loves the swivel mouth piece too – even after a “bit experiment” session when we went through 5 different bridle/bit setups in an hour, and came right back to the same swivel polo pelham!
Whitney is pictured here using a Bombers 3 ring, t-bar barry gag above, and a Bombers polo pelham swivel bomber blue, right. (With thanks to photographer Ben Radvanyi for the photos.)”Both horses jumped great that day; you can see that their expressions are soft and focused. Both came to the farm as “problem” horses, but once comfortable, transitioned into bright careers bringing amateurs up the ranks. We’re very proud of these two boys!”
What’s a typical ‘day in the life of Whitney Taylor’ like for you, at work?
Wow… typical – life is anything but! I wake up fairly early – usually 5:30 – to walk my dog. Then the two of us get ready for work; these days sometimes I’m working from home, but also in the office at least 1-2 days a week with samples and other product reviews required.
All products at Greenhawk are tested in the “real world” – so usually after lunch, I’ve got a trunk full of gear to be put through its paces at the stable. We’ve got an office setup at the barn, so I’m back and forth between conference calls and product fitting, before finally getting to start riding around 4pm. I usually ride 2-3 horses a day, so it makes for a late dinner after riding. Then I rinse and repeat the next day!
What are your top-selling Bombers Bits?
The Elliptical mouthpiece (above) has been a big hit for the North American dressage community! It’s also one of the original ones we listed. We’ve done waves of releases, introducing more styles over time.
The happy tongue is probably one of our most popular mouth pieces. In North America, with the hunter ring, we have a lot of interest in Dee ring bits. We’re working on the jumper world to show them the opportunities with the biting options, but the market isn’t as big yet in Canada.
SHOP GREENHAWK – https://greenhawk.com/en/
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