This week I’m chatting with the exciting British dressage rider and groom Angharad Harries. Angharad works for Gareth and Rebecca Hughes at their dressage yard in Warwickshire and is gaining a wealth of incredible experience. With some notable competition successes already under her belt, she is certainly one to look out for. Read on to discover more about this extremely talented equestrian, her horse, her ambitions, and top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horse
I’m a 26yr old dressage rider. I work full time for international dressage riders Gareth and Rebecca Hughes. I started working for them as a working pupil 7years ago, I am now a rider and groom. I also freelance teach on my day off.
I own one horse of my own. She’s a 10 yr old Belgium warmblood. I have owned her since she was 3yrs old. In 2018 we were the novice silver champions at the winter national championships. She is currently off work due to an injury but hoping once she is fully fit again we will be competing PSG. I am also very lucky to ride many other horses from incredible young horses up to Grand Prix.
How did your horses come into your life?
Both my parents are horsey. My dad used to event and my mum was very successful showing Arab horses. I was lucky that there was always horses and ponies around that we had alongside the family sheep farm
How long have you been riding?
For as long as I can remember. I can’t remember ever not being around horses.
When and where do you ride?
I ride pretty much every day. I’m based in Warwickshire and ride around 4/5 horses a day.
How did you start riding?
As a child I did all pony club activities as well as low level competitions in all disciplines. I was around 14 when I realised that dressage was the route I wanted to go down. I had my fist proper dressage lesson when I was 16. Up until then I had mostly had lessons from my mum
What you and your horses currently working on?
With my own horse as she is on rehab work, we are just waking, but this is a perfect opportunity to practice the basics, working on the connection, suppleness and elasticity in the contact. Of course, it’s a good excuse to make sure every halt is square, and also that her reactions to my aids are quick enough. With the young horses it’s just slowly building up their strength, they don’t need to do hours in the arena, just a couple of short sessions a week. I have one horse who I am aiming to do our first GP with this year so with him it’s making sure he is really established in the advanced work.
What do you love about riding?
I love the detail. I love that every horse is different and you have to find your way around things that they might find harder. I love the reward when you teach a horse something new and the process of bringing on a young horse is truly special.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
In the future I would love to one day ride on a senior team. A competition that I would love to ride at would have to be the London international horse show. I would also really like to start teaching some clinics in the future.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding and if so, how do you deal with them?
I’m lucky that in the arena competing I don’t get nervous. The time I would get nervous is getting ready to go to a show, mostly I’m worried that I’ve forgotten something. Once I’m at the competition I have a routine that I stick to, I always like to get my horse ready myself, I feel if I didn’t do this then nervous might start to creep in.
Your Top Tip
My top tip is to have patience, nothing comes quickly or easily with horses. Doesn’t mean it won’t or can’t happen
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Every horse I’ve ridden has been a dream come true. But I would love to know what it’s like to ride Totilas with all the power that he had
Who is your equestrian hero?
Gareth and Rebecca Hughes (my bosses) and Carl Hester
If you could have five people to dinner, who would they be?
The Queen, Jessica Ennis Hill, Johnny Depp, Michael McIntyre, Olly Murs
Favourite colour horse?
Grey (controversial I know)
Favourite horse event
London International Show
Favourite way to relax
Gin and Netflix
If you enjoyed meeting Ahgharad you might like to view more chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Angharad’s progress and check out her instagram page here