I am an English girl living in France. I have loved horses forever & started riding when I was 5 years old. I have had my own horses in the past and am currently sharing a gorgeous bay named Mya. Other than horses I love dogs (I have a Jack Russell named Ziggy). I also love wine and Cadbury’s dairy milk chocolate, Netflix documentaries and watch far too many baby goat videos.
Badminton is upon us! The most exciting weekend in the eventing calendar.
We are currently on the morning of cross country day. I will be heading out to the course today to watch the best horses & riders in the world compete for £100,000 prize they will receive and of course a lot of kudos if they are crowned the winner at Badminton.
I absolutely love the thrill of cross country. It makes me nervous just watching these horses and riders leap over the gigantically frightening jumps. Part of me thinks the riders must be mad and part of me wants to have a go myself!
I am very excited to see the top riders compete today. I am a frequent visitor to Badminton as I was lucky enough to grow up 20 mins down the road and I think Badminton is still my favourite weekend of the year as I love it more and more each year. I’ve missed the last few years, due to living in France now but enough was enough and I needed my Badminton fix!
Photo by William Carey for The Gaitpost
Currently in the lead and in second place is Oliver Townend. Now, I’m sorry but I am not a fan of his. Despite his very successful career I cannot get past his numerous tellings off from BE about the way he rides and treats his horses. To me he seems overly competitive to the point that he will risk his horses welfare to win. Simply put he is a great rider but I do not think he is a good horseman. I wish him not harm but would prefer it if someone else won! Although he has broken the record this year with the best dressage score in the history of Badminton, which does put him in a very strong position.
The riders I will be cheering on are…
Photo from Ben Hobday’s Instagram
For Great Britain, Ben Hobday. A popular choice, due to him being very charismatic and seemingly good guy who loves his horses and is a cancer survivor – what a hero! He is currently in 23rd position after the dressage. I will be cheering him on for sure!
Photo from Emily King’s Instagram
My other fav is Emily King, daughter of everyone’s heroine Mary. I just think the King’s are great riders and horse women. I am part of Emily’s Team Hobby syndicate and I wrote one of my first ever blogs about that. I plucked up the courage to send it to her and she emailed back saying thank you for writing a great blog! How nice is that?! She is currently 21st on Dargun.
I will also be cheering on Clara Loiseau of France (my home country these days) as I saw her compete at Pau last year, where she came 3rd. She is an upcoming rider that I think will do well. She is currently lying 41st on Wont Wait.
I hope everyone has a great weekend watching Badminton there or at home.
Who do you want to win? Let me know in the comments!
Hi everyone just a super quick post for April. As really there are too many clothes and shoes that I want to buy to list today!
The things that really stood out for me this month have been the leopard print (swoon) Ariat Cruise Sliders and the beautiful photos on instagram of the brand ambassadors riding on the beach showing off their Honest Riders slogan tees.
Ariat Cruise Sliders
These cool little daps are available in 3 colours Leopard print, brown or rose gold. I would wear all of them but I just absolutely adore the leopard print ones. Teamed with a black jean these would look amazing! Visit the Ariat website to find out more!
Honest Riders Slogan Tees.
These slogan tees are just the best. With slogans such as ‘Centre Line’ ‘Two Hearts’ and Drop it like its Trot’ they are just too cool! Available online on The Honest Riders website. They ship worldwide and are an ethical equine lifestyle brand what is not to like?!
Let me know what your favourite fashion picks are this month in the comments!
This weekend I was lucky enough to head down to Provence to meet up with Jennifer Sims aka The Styled Equestrian at Saint Cannat Polo Club near Aix en Provence. Jennifer and I ‘met’ online on instagram. I love following her stylish life through her photos. So when I saw that she was organising a polo boot camp a few hours from where I live in France I had to message her to find out more. My hubby James and I are always looking for new places to explore in France, so I suggested that we come to meet Jennifer at the polo club.
There was an Easter tournament being played on Sunday afternoon, so we headed down there so we could watch that. It was brilliant! Jennifer told me a bit about polo and what has been like learning to play (she has only been playing for the past year). To be honest it made me really want to give it a go! Everyone there was so friendly, we chatted and drank Rosè whilst watching the polo. Trying to learn more of the rules each chukka that was played.
There are lots of things that draw me to wanting to try playing polo. Firstly, it seems really social. Everyone at Saint Cannat was so friendly. We were made to feel very welcome by everyone there on Sunday, bearing in mind we knew no one! The players and their families were so nice, one of the teams competing had come over from Luxembourg and Graham, the father of one of the players was so friendly and generous with his rose! Lizzie one of the owners of the club came over to introduce herself and she was just so lovely and of course Jennifer and Melissa who were there doing their polo boot camp.
I have only watched one game of polo before at the Beaufort Polo Club. That was a fun day out but it was really quite posh and I didn’t feel like I could ever be part of that world. OK, the game we watched at Beaufort was at a higher level, but it just seemed more exclusive. A world reserved for only the super rich that wasn’t inviting for ‘normal’ people to join the sport. A sport I could spectate but never dream of playing. This couldn’t have been more different at Saint Cannat. I think 3 different people asked me if I was going to give polo a go and encouraged me to do so!
Another major pull for me is that you don’t need your own horse to train and compete on. From I what I understand you join your chosen polo club but can go to any polo club that you want to train and compete. You can hire horses to compete on, which is great as normally you need a horse per chukka and great for horsey people like me who love to travel and check out different clubs but don’t have their own horse.
Finally it just looks really fun and exciting! It’s fast and competitive and just looks really fun! The horses at Saint Cannat all looked so happy doing their job. They were all so calm waiting for their turn to play and then would gallop around happily.
So for anyone thinking of trying a new discipline, I would certainly look into polo. I am going to look for somewhere in Toulouse that I can go try it and keep you updated when I do. Its certainly been added to my equestrian bucket list! Also if anyone is ever in Provence I would throughly recommend Saint Cannat Polo Club. If I get the chance I will certainly go back there for a lesson for sure, as they spoke english, had happy horses and were really nice. What else do you need?!
Be sure to check out Jennifer’s equestrian travel company @eqglobetrotter on instagram. She organises equestrian holidays all around the world. This week she is playing polo in Provence. Next week it is cross country in Ireland! She may have also agreed to do an Inspo Interview too, so keeps your eyes peeled for that too!
Have you tried polo? If you have let me know how you got on in the comments!
All photos and words are copyright of Louise Dando & In Due Horse 2019.
For this month’s Inspo Interview I would like to introduce Poppy from Young Hip and Horsey. Poppy is an Equestrian blogger & I have been following Poppy’s blog for a few months now and find her very inspiring. Poppy had a total hip replacement in June 2018 at the age of 26 and her blog is about her recovery and return to riding after her operation.
1) What inspired you to start your blog Young Hip and Horsey?
Strangely it was my mum who first suggested I start a blog about my hip replacement recovery. We both thought that a record of the experience of having a hip replacement at such a young age with a view to getting back to an active hobby might be useful to other people who might face a similar situation. I also saw the potential for my blog to be of interest to other riders, perhaps those who, like me, only started riding as adults, enjoy coloured cobs or have dressage ambitions but are really starting from scratch! As soon as I started writing and creating images to use for my blog, I was hooked. I was already keen on photography and my personal Instagram and Facebook accounts were full of pictures of my beloved Pea. I had been keen on writing when I was younger, writing many many stories, but rediscovered my love for the written word when blogging gave me a purpose.
2) Who do you look to for inspiration and why?
When I decided that dressage was my chosen discipline I dived straight into the Youtube archive of Charlotte (Dujardin) and Valegro videos. I feel like you can’t NOT be inspired by her success, she has changed the face of dressage in this country forever and has achieved so much at such a young age. After reading her book I’ve been even more inspired by the journey she has been on to get to where she is today. Another young, female role model I look to for inspiration is Olivia Towers. She is a professional rider who creates very real videos, podcasts and social media content about the highs and lows of training her horses. She is passionate about having a positive mindset and encouraging others to improve and develop. I love that you can gain an insight into high level dressage through her content and she definitely offers tips and tricks that can be taken away even as a relative beginner in the riding and dressage world.
3) What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
This is a really tricky one for me as I feel like since my hip replacement (in June 2018) each month has brought a new ‘biggest achievement’ in terms of both my recovery and my riding. Ditching the crutches completely by 2 months post op and getting on Pea at 10 weeks post op were massive! My first lesson with my new hip in November (and each lesson since then) was also incredible. If I had to chose just one achievement it would have to be the competition we did in January. Even before my operation I had never been to a dressage competition away from home, I had never competed without people from my yard around and I had never competed in an indoor arena. In January, for my first competition post hip replacement, I did all of these things! I also did it relatively confidently and confidence has been a real issue for me in the past, particularly in terms of competing.
4) What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?
I’m quite keen on inspirational quotes because I think sometimes we all need a reminder to be positive and a catalyst to motivate ourselves. I post quotes on my Instagram every Monday so I have plenty of motivational messages and advice in my mental bank but I think the best piece of advice I could give right now is that ‘dreams don’t work unless you do’. If you are feeling uninspired just think about what it is you want to achieve, then you can work out what you need to do to reach that goal and do it! I think you always need something to work towards but equally, goals need to be achievable and measurable. Breaking overarching goals into smaller pieces make them more manageable and therefore you are more likely to achieve. Making goals is, of course, the first step and then the hard work starts!
5) What are your plans this year & what do you hope to achieve?
The equine flu scare has put a slight pause on my competing at the moment but this year I plan to compete regularly at prelim level. I would like to go to lots of different competition venues to broaden our competition experience so that we are both more confident in different environments. I hope to improve Pea’s suppleness and get her working from behind, over her back into a consistent contact as that is something that we really haven’t mastered yet! I want to be able to improve her canter which, due to the discomfort associated with my hip problems, has never been great. I want us both to be stronger and fitter and would really love to have more equal strength and flexibility between my left, historically bad side and my right, good side.
I absolutely love living in France. I love speaking French and learning about French culture. I love the lifestyle here and the food and you know what France has some pretty bad ass horses and riders too! Here are the French horse riders that you need to know about this season.
1) Thibault Fournier.
Thibault Fournier is an eventer, who won Pau 4* in October with Sinani de Lathus despite it being his first competition at that level. He is only 24 years old and is aiming towards the European Championships in August, 2019. I saw him at Pau and he seems to absolutely adore his horse. He is definitely someone to watch for the future.
Fun Fact: Thibault is training to be a physiotherapist along side his riding career!
2) Astier Nicholas
Despite only being 30 years old. Astier Nicolas has had a very successful eventing career already. He has competed successfully at all of the major events including Badminton, Burghley, Pau and Bramham, winning Pau in 2015. He is a double Olympic medalist after winning team gold with France and individual silver in Rio de Janerio in 2016.
Fun Fact: Astier has a degree in Equine Management from Hartpury College and lived in the UK for many years. He has now returned to France and is living in Normandy.
3) Thomas Carlisle
Thomas Carlisle is one to watch! He has been progressing very well over the last few years. Thomas’ BE results are impressive and consistent even though he only started to compete at high level competition a few years ago. Despite this, and his mount Upsilon being the youngest horse in the competition, they won the Event Masters in Bleinham CCI*** in 2016 and they have been doing well since with their last win being Barbury CIC*** in 2018.
Sadly though Tom posted on Facebook last week that their 2019 season has not started well. Upsilon has contracted a nasty virus which had left him fighting for his life. So we are sending good thoughts and really hoping Upsilon is making a speedy recovery.
Fun Fact – Thomas Carlisle was born and lives in France but has English parents. He went to school in Toulouse and a friend of mine knows him!
4) Penelope Levropost
Photo by thomasreiner.pro
Penelope is a successful French show jumper and has had a very successful career competing in numerous World and European championships, including winning a silver medal in the World Cup in Las Vegas in 2015 and winning olympic gold at Rio de Janerio in 2016 to name a couple of her achievements. She also has her own boutique Penelope-store.com that sells riding equipment for horse and rider and is a single mother to her daughter Eden.
Fun Fact: Penelope has become a bit of an internet sensation with a following of 142k on instagram!
5) Morgan Barbancon Mestre
Grand Prix Dressage rider Morgan was born in France but actually rode representing Spain until May 2018. Her father is French and her mother is Spanish but she actually lives in Switzerland. Morgan represented Spain at the 2012 Olympic Games, 2014 World Equestrian Games, 2015 World Cup Finals and 2015 European Championships on Painted Black, but has chosen to represent France to continue to compete at the higher levels of competition. That successfully started with Morgan winning the French Grand Prix Championship in 2018.
Fun Fact: Morgan was born in France, lived in Germany, Holland and now is hoping to develop dressage in the french speaking part of Switzerland. Talk about being European!
Remember to follow In Due Horse on Facebook & Instagram @induehorse
This week my look of the week goes to Dreamers and Schemers socks!
I received a pair as a Christmas gift and I love them! They are like long pop socks really, as they don’t have any seams. They are thin and comfortable and they have such cool patterns on. I picked this pastel pattern with unicorns and rainbows on, but there are all sorts of funny designs you can choose from avocados, goats and boobs just to name a few!
To grab yourself a pair head to the Dreamers & Schemers website you won’t regret it!
Let me know what design you choose if you do get a pair!
Equestrian fashion has come a long way since I was a kid. It’s something I absolutely love and each week I wish I had an unlimited budget to buy more and more boots, tops, jodhpurs and accessories to ride in that I have seen online. I am sure I am not the only one!
So I have decided to start ‘Louise’s Look Book’ so I can share my fashion inspiration with you all! Whether it be items I want to purchase or have purchased (none are paid or gifted – I would state that if this is the case). Also I thought it would be a cool way to find out about new brands or companies that you may not have heard of.
So to kick off this new feature I am going to start with 2 items that I absolutely love! Black Heart Equestrian Flex leggings and Ariat Grasmere H20 boots.
I have spoken about the Black Heart Flex leggings on the blog before – check out the review I did here. They are so comfortable and practical and come in plum (as pictured), black, burgundy, grey, royal blue, olive, teal and mauve. They are very flattering and they have a handy phone pocket on the side. They are available at blackheartequestrian for £40.
Ariat Grasmere H20 are THE most comfortable boots I have ridden in! I borrowed my friend’s as my boots broke one day and I am so glad I did! They are soft and you can really feel your horse’s side without the boots feeling thin. They have laces down the sides which are so pretty and are waterproof too. They are available at ariat for £270.
Also pictured my hat is by Just Togs and top by Zara.
We are in the year 2019. We live in a modern society where our differences can be celebrated and respected more and more. However when it comes to Equestrianism does anyone feel that our sport is a bit left behind? Don’t get me wrong, the sport is full of strong women competing against men as equals and that is something to be proud of. It’s just that I feel that it is still expected for everyone to think and dress a certain way. Until now…
I have recently discovered someone that everyone needs to know about ( I may be a bit late to the party but hey). The woman with feathers in her hair. The woman who is a professional show jumper but will be wearing yoga pants and a belly top walking the course and looking fricking cool doing it. The woman who Heels Down Magazine called ‘a rebel with a cause’. It’s Danielle Goldstein.
The articles that drew my attention to Danielle were articles focussing on her appearance. Sure, Danielle has a very unique look. Particularly for a show jumper. But her story is about so much more than that…
Danielle was born in America and grew up in a non horsey family in New York City. She only started riding when she was a child because her friend invited her to ride her horse. After that it was fair to say she dedicated herself to riding. Goldstein, decided on her first trip to Israel at age 12 for her Bat Mitzvah, that she wanted to represent Israel and went on a quest to start an Israeli Show Jumping team.
World of Showjumping reported that after moving to Israel for a short period in 2010 and having lots of friends of family there she applied for and successfully obtained Israeli citizenship. Riding for Israel is something Danielle had always wanted to do . Firstly because she felt that she had a deep connection to the country and secondly because she wanted to help a country that she felt did not get much positive attention in the global media.
Based in the Netherlands with her partner Alan Waldman, she actually trains half the year in Holland and half of the year at her yard in Florida. Her website Star Wyns Farm states that Danielle firmly believes that there is much to done in terms in impacting Israeli society through Equestrian sports. Danielle has started ‘The International Equestrian Education Series’ from her base from Florida, with a hope to starting a series in Israel too. As she feels young people can learn all sorts of transferable skills such as responsibility, attention to detail and the importance of hard work through her training to encourage a stronger equestrian culture in Israel.
Danielle’s dream is to be the first female Israeli olympic show jumper. Since gaining her Israeli citizenship it’s going well. Global Champions Tour reported that She lead the first Israeli show jumping team in the European Championships in 2013 and again in 2015 & 2017 and since then has competed in 2 world Equestrian Games in 2014 and 2018. She has had success on the Longines Global Champions Tour with her chestnut mare Lizzymary. Winning the Grand Prix class in Portugal in 2017. Danielle also served as the Chef d’equipe for the gold medal winning team in the Maccabiah Games dubbed ‘The Jewish Olympics’ in 2013.
However Danielle has had her fair share of criticism. Mainly about the way she looks. Noelle Floyd reported that people online accused her feathers of being a safety hazard and a insult to the traditions of showjumping. Danielle took to the internet herself to tackle these cyber bullies and had a strong message ” It’s good to be different – there is no reason we all have to look the same”.
I don’t know about you but I think we could do with more Danielle Goldstein’s in Equestrian sport! She is a fantastic role model and I absolutely love her feathers!
Danielle will be competing for the Scandinavian Vikings in the 2019 Global Champions Show jumping league. For more information head to Global Champions League teams
Welcome to the third ‘In Due Horse Inspo Interview’! I am SO excited to introduce to you this month’s inspiring Equestrian.
Heather Wallace or ‘The Timid Rider’ is an American blogger, author and pony owner. Heather is also an animal massage therapist and mother and all round excellent person! Heather is an incredibly inspiring equestrian. She uses her own struggle with confidence in the saddle, to help others with theirs. Encouraging other equestrians to be brave be bold & be honest!
From a personal note despite being over the other side of the Atlantic to me, Heather has been so encouraging and supportive of In Due Horse. We ‘met online’ back in October when I participated in Heather’s Blog Hop and Blogtober challenge and she has been so welcoming and supportive since and I am so pleased to be able to collaborate with her.
Photo Credit: Callie Heroux photography.
1) What inspired you to write your book ‘Confessions of a Timid Rider’?
Confessions of a Timid Rider was a book that I feel that I had inside me waiting to come out. I loved to write stories, but I was too afraid to share them with even my family. More, I loved horses but felt pressured (mostly by myself) to compete to be the best. I let the pressure of being perfect overwhelm me and cause anxiety. I stopped writing and I stopped riding horses for 17 years. I lied to myself for a long time.
After having my first child at the age of 31, I was determined that I needed horses back in my life. I craved something just for me, something that filled my soul. I still had doubt in my abilities and was quite nervous. I felt elated being on horseback again, even those it was much higher than I recalled. Maturity, experience and yes, stubbornness, got me back in the saddle and kept me there since. I still expect a lot from myself, but I realized that I was the only person I disappointed if things didn’t happen the way I wanted. I’ve never been much of a risk taker, but I have to ride horses to be truly happy. This really gave me a new perspective, and with it, confidence to share my story.
I am inspired by those around me who unapologetically live their lives and pursue their passions. When I started my blog, The Timid Rider I realized quickly from the responses that I wasn’t alone. Whether you are a returning adult equestrian, junior, amateur, or professional you have moments where you think, “I can’t do this.” But we are wrong. We CAN do it.
The trick is to be perfectly imperfect. Be bold and be true to ourselves. We all have something to learn, and horses are the best teachers, but it’s okay for us to go at our own pace. This book is my story and my experiences. In it, I hope that others find motivation and inspiration to keep moving forward and pursue their passion, whatever that may be…
Photo Credit: Callie Heroux photography
2) Who do you look to for inspiration and why?
I have been so grateful to have amazing female role models. My earliest inspiration in blogging was Susan Friedland-Smith of Saddle Seeks Horse. I first followed her on Instagram, and after engaging with her as a fan, she kindly helped direct me to organizations that would help me improve my writing and blogging skills. I had the absolute pleasure to meet her in 2018 at the American Horse Publications conference and even reciprocated with some feedback for her recently published book, Horses Adored and Men Endured. I am so happy to help others because I know that I wouldn’t be as successful without advice and support of others. I want to provide that in return.
I look to many women in the equestrian world as inspiration as I always believe that I will never stop learning. A significant person in my life is Camille Champagne, an FEI 3* endurance rider and founder of The Gobi Desert Cup. She took a chance on me as the 2018 Media Consultant for her event in Mongolia. I applied sight unseen to live in a nomadic camp with strangers for two weeks, with absolutely no camping experience or knowledge of endurance. Not only is Camille one boss babe, but she is extremely loyal and supportive. She tirelessly works to improve the lives of all the people she works with, not just me but also the Mongolian people, and she continues to give me opportunities, show her appreciation, and be a mentor in many ways. I am very grateful for her friendship. Sometimes I think she believes in me more than I do. She is going for the World Championships in Endurance and I have no doubt she will accomplish everything she dreams.
Photo Credit: Heather Wallace/ Gobi Desert Cup
3) What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
Wow, my most significant achievement is a tough one to answer. I honestly have so much to be grateful for in my life and am quite ambitious. I own two businesses (animal massage and small publishing company); I have written an award-winning and best-selling book and traveled to the depths of Mongolia to work with an endurance horse race that changed my life and my perspective. But what I am most proud of is raising three horse-crazy daughters who believe that women can do anything. They see me following my dreams and working my tail off to get there, but I do it in a way that lifts others instead of tearing them down. At the end of the day, to be a positive example for my family is the most meaningful.
Photo Credit: Heather Wallace.
4) What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment? 4) What would be the best piece of advice you could give someone who is feeling a bit uninspired at the moment?
We’ve all been there. Don’t believe everything you see on social media, we all have moments where we question our path, our expertise, or our progress. Life is not supposed to be easy. I have learned more from my mistakes both in the saddle and in life than I ever had with success.
However, it is essential to acknowledge the lack of inspiration and why. I often find that changing up my routine helps incredibly. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in this crazy world. So give yourself a break! Go on a quiet hack instead of exercises in the ring or decide on quality time hand grazing your horse. If you are feeling uninspired with work, plan a fun adventure on the weekend to have something to look forward to. The one thing you can always count on is change. You won’t remain uninspired for long if you get up and do something you love! Be bold, brave, and honest but always keep moving forward and pursue your passion.
5) What are the plans for this year and what do you hope to achieve?
I like to set a few achievable goals for myself, crush them, and repeat. Last year I met every goal I had set, and it did wonders for my self-esteem. This year, I have a few goals, but I may add more if I successfully accomplish them!
I plan on doing more speaking at events and conferences. Recently I’ve been massaging a llama with a right hind injury and anxiety/trust issues. The first time we worked together he wouldn’t look me in the eye until we were halfway through the session. Clemente’s owner kindly recommended me to the Greater Appalachian Llama and Alpaca conference, and now I’ll be a presenter and demonstrator there! I never anticipated working with llamas, but I have learned to go with the flow, and it has opened up many possibilities.
Complete another book for publication! I have three books I’m currently working on and bounce between them as inspiration strikes. They are all very different, and I’m very excited to share them when completed.
I plan on continuing to build my pony’s top line and work with him in a bitless bridle while gaining more time on trails and jumping to develop my own confidence. He loves to jump and is quite adorable!
I will be attending The Gobi Desert Cup again in August and helping to produce a documentary under the direction of Jamie Baldanza Claps of This Mustang Life. While there a few of us will also be spending a little time in the saddle with our Mongolian friends before the race begins. These men are born to the saddle and have so much to teach me about horsemanship and confidence.
More, I have some inspiring things in store for The Timid Rider in the next two years. Sadly it’s too early to tell you just yet. You’ll have to follow me on social media for the official announcement!
My name is Heather Wallace I stepped away from horses as a teen due to anxiety and regretted it ever since. Now I’m back but things are a little different now. I’m a mother, I’m less flexible, and I’m a lot more nervous. The biggest difference? I’m following my passion despite lacking confidence. Join me as I talk about all those things we think but don’t say out loud. timidrider.com/ social media @timidrider.
In case you missed last months Inspo Interview with Krystal Kelly you can click here to read it.