Maddie Maclaren – horse rider


Hi everyone! 


My name is Maddie and I own a very sassy and opinionated 14.2 pony named Zaffi! It’s been my dream to event for a very long time however having a pony like Zaf means that everyday is different and there’s not a lot of consistency in her behaviour. This can result in quite a few confidence knocks but we keep going anyway. 


I reached out to the George Crawford legacy Trust for some support to help pursue my eventing dreams and to help gain our confidence and trust in each other again. Cameron Crawford couldn’t have been nicer, and after meeting him at Osburton Horse Trials he agreed to support us throughout our journey. 


I’ve began to have lessons with 5* eventer Emma Hyslop- and had my first one last Friday. We turned up quite early with Zaffi very excited and raring to go as she hasn’t been out for 2 months. We unloaded her off our old 3.5 tonne horse box rather in awe, as we were surrounded by huge classy event horses and professional lorries. 


Before Emma joined me in the indoor ménage, I was incredibly nervous. New place, new instructor and a massive step up to anything I’ve done before. However Emma couldn’t have been nicer (even if she worked me insanely hard) and got to know me and the pony on a flat session before we start jumping in 2 weeks time. We did lots of little exercises to not only improve the pony but my position as well, this included leg yielding on and off circles, working on gripping less with my knees and stretching down. I definitely still ache – three days later! She gave me tonnes of things to practice and think about and I can’t wait to have a go jumping with her although I think I need to get fitter 🙂


I am very overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve had from the trust and from Emma and had a little cry on the way home in the lorry with a very sweaty Zaffi in the back. I’m really hoping it gives us the experience and push we need to achieve our dreams as I do adore my crazy white pony.


Thanks for reading!



Maddie and Zaffi 

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