This week, I am excited to be chatting with British international dressage rider Lara Edwards. The very talented and incredibly busy Lara runs her own private, family-run dressage yard in the Lincolnshire Wolds, combining training and competing dressage horses and ponies from Prelim to GP, along with breeding and being a mind coach. Read on to discover more about Lara, her life and family, and her hopes for the future as well as her top riding tip.
Tell us a little about you and your horses
I am Lara Edwards been riding before I could really walk, come through Pony Club, British eventing and finally taken by the dressage bug in 2009/2010. Since then, I’ve represented GB at numerous international competitions’ both in the UK and Europe.
I have currently got four of my own horses in work and ride a couple of horses for lovely owners, although always looking for more owners too. I have two home bred youngsters just under saddle by my old KWPN approved stallion, Bodyguard Moorland (Gribaldi x negro) who I sold in lock down. My top horse Felix is now competing at Inter2/ GP level owed and bred by Milner’s (from Huggate), I have another youngster (4 yr old) who’s by Guardian S (who is bodyguards approved son) and out of a jazz mare so for me is really special as he’s a mix of Bodyguard and Felix.
How did your horses come into your life?
My brother (who’s nine years older than me) had a donkey off Cleethorpes beach for the winter and the rest is history as they say as he got bought his first pony, Crystal who we then all had as our first pony. I was about three months old when I first started sitting in the basket saddle on her.
How long have you been riding?
I have been riding for 37 years! I got my first GB call up in 2015.
When and where do you ride?
I ride daily, I’m very lucky to have always had my horses based at my parents’ house and this year I am having a similar yard build at my own home so riding for me and my two girls will be so much easier before and after school for them too.
How did you start riding?
As mentioned above, my brother then my sister and I all had the same first pony who was called Crystal, 112 Welsh Section A, she was a star so well behaved and knew her job. I then got bought slightly tricky, it would be said, ponies and ones that “needed a bit of work” but according to dad could be amazing……. Certainly made me the rider I am now.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Currently working on the GP work with Felix and just getting the youngsters happily out hacking and seeing the world before a few trips in the lorry to local shows and then aim them towards winter regionals.
What do you love about riding?
Riding for me has always been my down time, my hobby but also my way of forgetting the world and everything going on that causes stress, when sitting on a horse it gives me time to work things out in my head and get off ready to take on my manic lifestyle again and I have always loved competing.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I would like to be competing successfully at GP level in the next 12 months and then gain a senior selection for GP on Felix, my goals for my youngsters are just to gain their confidence and slowly train them up to GP successfully with lots of nationals and internationals on the way up. My ultimate aim and goal would be a senior selection space on one of the European teams but one step at a time as they say but never say never.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
YES, I nearly gave up competing in eventing when nerves were something that destroyed my inner self and made me very argumentative (only whilst at a competition but still) with my parents and those around me. This is what changed my perception of getting help and just leaving it its normal.
How do you deal with them?
I got help from David Collins a mind coach and never looked back. He worked with me for a few months and eventually persuaded me that it would be a good idea to take a ILM level 7 qualification in coaching in order to then be able to help others who suffered the same as me.
Your Top Tip
Never give up and don’t believe others take on a person, make your own opinions. People can be very quick to judge without knowing the facts.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Kjento (Lottie Fry’s young stallion by Jazz, I have a really soft spot for a Jazz horse they are sharp and can be classed as quirky but when you get a jazz on side the nice way, they will do anything for you.
Who is your equestrian hero?
Mark Todd & Carl Hester
If you could have five people to dinner, who would they be?
Edwards Gal, my Daddy, Mark Todd, Alan Sugar, Ed Sheeran.
Favourite colour horse?
Always had a soft spot for a grey (although not keeping them clean with my OCD for cleanliness this can be a nightmare with greys)
Favourite horse event
Burghley and the BD Nationals
Steak & chocolate or sweets!!!!
Favourite way to relax
Spa day or wkends
If you enjoyed meeting Lara you might like to view more chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Lara’s progress and check out her instagram page here