Muddy Mayhem gets Honest
Following our recent collaboration on the 'G'waaaaaan' t-shirt, we chatted to the lovely Karla from blog 'Muddy Mayhem' to see what makes her tick...
The first bit of Muddy Mayhem we ever saw was a sketch you did about dressage riders. It struck such a chord and was one of those bits of content on Facebook that you just instantly want to share. What is it about your sketches that you think people love?
Honestly I just think it’s because they are a bit rubbish. There’s nothing highbrow or clever about them, just daft, childish humour (with a few sweary words thrown in). Also people see themselves in them a bit.
Why did you start Muddy Mayhem?
I entered a brand ambassador competition that required the winner to blog for the competition., as part of the application you had to send a sample blog but I wasn’t successful. They told me that they didn’t think my writing would connect with the reader. I sat on my floor crying my eyes out. Then I realized that they were 100% right, I was writing in the style of other things I’d read and it totally wasn’t ‘me’. So I opened Facebook and started the page. I decided that if I was going to do it I had to be completely and utterly honest and truthful. That’s why I started with the drawings just in case everyone hated it (and me!)
How did the name come about? It's brilliant, by the way...
It was winter and we are on bottomless clay. Currently we are building a house so
living in a mobile home, there’s no path to my stables, my children were feral and
Vince kept jumping out of his field for a laugh….everything was mayhem and it was muddy as hell! The name was just an apt description of my life.
What do you love most about blogging?
One time a mum told me that my honesty about things had really helped her daughter who had been struggling with feeling inadequate. I’ve been told by people that they love it and my posts brighten their day…I cannot express how wonderful that feels. To be honest the readers also help me so much, every like, share and comment means the absolute world and that’s what I love.
What do you like least about it?
Because I choose to solely blog through FB people copy and pasting instead of
sharing can be a real problem. Whilst it is flattering that people want to use my
writing because I’m so honest and write from my heart it really hurts to see someone else take my words. I’m lucky that I have such a distinctive style that people will often recognise and ask people to credit me. It was sad last year when someone copy and pasted ‘The Eventer’ then their post went viral including being shared by lots of top eventers. I don’t take sponsorship from MM so the success of the posts is my only reward.
We’re all loving your TikTok’s at the moment, how do you come up with the ideas?
I LOVE TikTok! I only downloaded it because my eldest had it and I wanted to keep an eye on what he was up to! Often I’ll just hear a piece of the audio and think ‘oooh that’s like the soundtrack to when X happens’
I’m constantly driving my family mad saying ‘I’ve just had an idea for a new TikTok’ they all just roll their eyes at me now.
I think one of the reasons people find you so relatable is your eventing antics with the gorgeous Vince. How long have you been eventing and how did you get into it?
I didn’t have horsey parents so was the pony mad but pony less child that hung
around at shows. I was taken to an international event when I was a kid and I was
absolutely hooked! As soon as I could afford my first horse (an ex-racer called
Chance who still lives here with us now) I started trying to event. I *think* my first
intro (the old name for BE90) was in 2003, there’s been some times away for having the childerbeasts and a monumental loss of nerve but ever since then eventing has been my absolute passion.
Tell us a bit about Vince. How long have you had him?
Vince came from my trainer 6 years ago. I’d just found out, Solo, my horse at the
time, who is also still living here (are you spotting a theme!) was not going to come back from an injury to event. Vince was a bit of a yard favourite and they wanted him to go to someone who was going to love him to bits…obviously I do. The whole family adore him (even my horse hating husband) and he is a massive character. His favourite trick is to jump out of the field and come and see what we’re doing at the house. My husband jokes that if he could, he’d probably let himself in and make a brew as well…I’m inclined to agree!
What’s your eventing goal?
Ever since I was 9 years old, and I was taken to that international event, I’ve dreamt of trotting down a centre line in a tailcoat at an FEI event.
Proudest eventing moment?
At the end of 2017 I was in a real slump. We’d stepped up to novice and just couldn’t seem to get our act together. I knew Vince could do it but I felt like I was making so many mistakes and holding us both back. I was so close to throwing in the towel. I had one event at Oasby, I very nearly didn’t go but thought I had nothing to lose with one last go. We got our first novice XC clear. Overjoyed doesn’t even come close! I was punching the air when I crossed the line like I’d won Badminton or something!
What is Vince up to at the moment, during the Corona Virus outbreak.. Are you keeping him in work?
Vince is mostly just chilling in the field. He’s doing a bit of hacking but whilst he’s
happy having a bit of down time, I’ll let him relax.
What do you miss most about not being able to event this season?
All of it. Every single second. Even the plaiting up (which I normally whinge like hell about!)
You work for the NHS as a Radiographer, which must be really tough at the moment. How have the last 6 weeks been for you?
Exhausting. Every Covid patient has a chest X-ray and we are also imaging those
infected that are needing further tests. To give you some idea we’ve gone from doing around 100 mobile chest x-rays a month to 730 last month – and ours is a pretty small hospital. We’ve also got all our other patients starting to come back in now as well.
We’ve had to completely change our working pattern to be able to cover everything. There’s a lot of anxiety and stress as well, although the team I work in are brilliant and we keep each other sane.
Has it been tough balancing work with riding and your boys? Any tips for others out there trying to juggle their work/horses/kids?
It’s the toughest job in the world, it’s so easy to compare yourself to everyone else and think that you are failing at everything. The best tip is to lower your standards and stop giving a shit what others think. I remember a couple of years ago, my husband being on call, so having to take both childerbeasts and both dogs to an event really far away. We had all sleep over in my very ancient and very basic horse box - Vernon the Volkswagen. When I say basic I really do mean basic, no living, no heating, nothing.
I was racked with guilt and felt like the worse mother ever. A few months later I was a parent/teacher evening at CB2’s school and in one of his books under the title of ‘The best day of my holiday’ was a clear description of us camping out in the lorry (including them peeing in a bucket)!
I remember first meeting you at Your Horse Live back in November 2019. Was that the first time you’d come across Honest Riders?
I’d seen your clothes before and admired them. You use some brilliant Brand
Ambassadors whose social media I really enjoy plus the Honest Riders Social Media often makes me smile.
We chatted about potentially collaborating at that first meeting, what was it about Honest Riders that made you want to work with us?
As soon as I saw the Honest Riders clothes for real I knew that it was something that I would be proud to work with. The quality and ethos behind the brand is totally unique. I bought my first sweatshirt from you that day and I still wear it constantly because it goes with everything! Plus as soon as I met you, I liked you. You were so friendly and welcoming. I felt like I’d met a new friend after only a short chat.
How did you come up with the design?
Well it had to have ‘G’waaaaaan!’ on it and so it was just playing around with how I wanted that to sit! I like the fact its not necessarily ‘horsey’ and can be applied to pretty much anything in life.
We know you’ve been raising money for the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund for some time now and have donated large portions of profit to them from the products you sell on your website. What is it about this charity that you love and why did you choose to support them?
The MDIRF is a smaller charity without the slick campaigns that many others have. They also help such a wide variety of people from livery yard owners with a broken wrist right through to professional riders who have catastrophic injuries, they really do try and help everyone they can. They are a small operation who were hit awfully a couple of years ago when their mobile home, stand and all their stock were stolen on the way to Burghley horse trials, absolutely devastating them. But they’ve picked themselves up and keep trying to help others. I have nothing but the utmost admiration for them.
We're so proud of the collaboration Karla, huge thanks to you and your honest approach, we love it! G’waaaaaan!!
If you'd like to check out our collaboration, head over to the product page here.