Role models - blog by Grace Wallace

Do you have someone who you look up to? Someone you aspire to ride like? In this months blog, i'm going to be talking about role models and how they can influence your riding.


From a very young age, I have always watched showjumping on the television, online and at my favourite shows. There are so many amazing riders and horsemen out there competing, and what you may not realise is that you can learn so much simply by watching them. They have put years of practice into perfecting how they ride, the exercises they do with their horses to prepare them for shows, as well as the care and understanding they give them. You can immediately tell a talented rider with the way they compose themselves not just in the ring, but in the warmup, at home and in person too.


I have many top riders whom I aspire to be like, simply because they are good at what they do and we have a common interest- a love for horses. I have picked up on many little things they do to try on my own horses at home. This is sometimes exercises, advice from clinics or particular ways of riding that I think could benefit both me and my horse. Any advice they may give is important to take on board, but you must also remember that every horse and rider is different, so what works for them may not necessarily work for you. Having a role model is a great way to motivate yourself to achieve a goal. This may be something they have achieved, or may be a starting point to get you going to achieve your ultimate aim. For me, this is to compete at the Horse of the Year show and to represent my country in showjumping. This may be difficult with so many talented riders around, but this is something that is achievable in the long run if I keep working hard and taking on important advice.


Your role model does not even necessarily need to be a famous rider. You may look up to someone you know, someone who offers you advice or even your instructor, as they will have invaluable advice suited to you and they will have worked hard to get the qualifications needed to teach you in the first place. They will only want the best for you and may just help you kickstart that ambition that you have always wanted, not matter how big. This may just be to have the confidence to start jumping, hacking out or could simply be handling you horse on the ground. You may be into natural horsemanship, polo, dressage, jumping- the list goes on! No matter what your discipline, there will always be someone to look up to and aim to be like, and if there isn't, you can aim to be the one who others look up to in the long run by working hard for it.


Role models are there to inspire you and show you what can be achieved through a little ambition and hard work. They will not have gotten to that point without a few bumps in the road, so if you and your horses are having problems now, you will get through it and the outcome will be much better, as they say, 'onward and upwards!'. So next time you see a rider who you would like to be like, just observe what they do, the way they rider and the methods of training they use. Given that these are positive, there is no reason that you can not be like them, if not better, in the future.


I hope you enjoyed this blog post, it was certainly something a little different! \

See you all next month,


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