All About Abi

Published : 25/02/2024 08:27:10
Categories : Latest News

All About Abi

Today we are chatting with Abi Boulton, a 5* event rider more usually known as Tic Toc Eventing.

She made her name for herself when she debuted at Burghley Horse Trials in 2015 aged just 20, where she was not only the youngest to complete the event that year, but also best-placed under 25.

Read more about Abi and what makes her tick!

Abi, tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do, where are you from, where we can find you online when you’re not on horseback?
My name is Abi Boulton, I am a 29 year old Event rider from Staffordshire and I am very lucky to have my yard based at my family home in Yoxall just outside Burton on Trent.  You can follow me on Instagram (@tictoceventing) and Facebook (Tic Toc Eventing) for day to day updates or if you wish to find more information my website has recently been updated by mum…
At what age did you begin riding and what started your passion for riding horses?

I have been surrounded by horses from a very young age as my mother’s side of the family were already heavily involved with horses and as soon as I was able I had my first pony ‘Noggin’.  As we all know, whether on an amateur or professional level, having horses is a lifestyle choice that you could only do if you had the passion and it’s very hard to shake!

What are your eventing aspirations for the 2024 season and how is the training going?
WELL! The off-season didn’t quite go to plan at the end of last year as I ended up having a fall schooling a youngster and fracturing my humerus (upper arm).  The horse is absolutely fine - I definitely came out worse! The clean break meant I needed surgery, so in November I had it operated on to be pinned and plated which ruled out any winter training for me. I was given 10-12 weeks recovery plus physio meaning the horses have had rather an extended holiday and it was only at the beginning of this February that I have been able to get back on board. I would like to take this moment to thank the girls that muck out some of the stables for me, Vicki and Christina for all of their help throughout this time, as well as my mum for holding the fort and the weather this Winter did not make it easy either!

Due to the slow and steady start this year, we are in no rush to be out competing at the earlier events of this season.  Instead, we are going to take our time bringing the horses back into work; focusing on areas such as groundwork, flatwork, pole work, exercises with cavalettis, small grids etc, really going back to basics, creating confidence, rideability and relaxation throughout.  

All being well we will be able to be out competing in the late Spring events at both ends of the scale with Akina Z (Pip) and Balham Mist (Misty) both making appearances at the higher levels whilst some of our homebreds will be making their eventing debuts as well!  Blenheim is on the radar towards the end of the season, we would really love to be able to go there as we have never been before. However, as we all know with horses you never know what could happen. We like to have a plan A, B, C, D and even sometimes E!
What is a typical day like for you, with the horses?
After the initial early routine of feeding, mucking out, turning out or going on the walker, I mainly aim to get the horses that I have on the yard worked in the mornings first, depending on what is planned for each individual horse that day. Although I have Vicky and Christina in the mornings to help with this, the rest of the day I am by myself so time management is key if I need to get plenty done!  For the remainder of the day I can either fit in some coaching or jump in my car to get some freelance riding in for local clients. Of course there are exceptions, when I’m having to go out training myself, hire a place for schooling or a trip to the gallops, so some days might slightly change.
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not eventing horses? 
I had started playing Netball again last year, joining a local club and even though I only managed to play a couple matches before I broke my arm, I really loved getting back into it.  I have always been a very sporty person and to be a part of a team game has been so much fun as well as aiding my fitness, so I am hoping to continue through the Summer too as much as I can.  
What is your go to Hiho trot up piece from the Hiho Silver collection and why? 
Gosh, there are so many pieces that I just wear daily, let alone when I really pile them on for trot ups! If I had to choose one it would be the Cherry Roller bracelet. 
I had actually won this bracelet at Bramham many years ago before being supported by Hiho and it is really special to me as it was when I was competing my now retired 5* horse Tilston Tic Toc, and to top it off it also includes blue beads which of course meant  it  had ‘Tic Toc Colours’.

And finally - what is the best piece of advice you have received when it comes to eventing?

Over ten years ago I was given this advice from Yogi Breisner on a youth training day that I was part of and it is something that I have never forgotten.  He asked “What is the most important thing when training?”  The answer … “discipline”. 
Discipline from the rider in training was the most important thing, everything from transitions, straightness, warming up/cooling down, having a routine, reading the horses and reacting as the rider on top to ensure correctness, clear instructions and reward, creating harmony and consistency.  I am still working on it myself, it’s a hell of a skill to master but something I have always carried with me in training. 

You can follow Abi on Instagram

Share this content