This week I’m chatting with dressage rider and stud manager Liv Sealy. Based at Kington Langley Stud in Chippenham, Liv is involved with breeding, producing and competing top quality dressage and showjumping horses. Read on to learn more about Liv, her ambitions, and top tips for success
Tell us about you and your horses
I am a twenty-four-year-old dressage rider and stud manager at Kington Langley Stud. After A levels I went to Cirencester University and since 2020 have been involved full time at Kington Langley. Being part of the stud business, we have a number of homebreds for both dressage and showjumping, but the ones I ride are predominantly dressage bred with my top horse a grey stallion called KL Mac who is 12, Monet a 6yo stallion owned by a client, and I have a couple of Macs progeny starting their careers under saddle, Minty who is 4 and Uno who is 5. The rest are enjoying the sun in their fields and growing up!
How did horses come into your life?
My mum is horsey and living on a dairy farm growing up I was lucky enough to have a couple of stables and a paddock to have a pony from a young age.
When and where do you ride?
I ride at Kington Langley Stud, and train with Sara Gallop at Prestige Equestrian. So mainly at home, either in the school training, or taking the horses out round the village for a hack. Sometimes I go training at our clients indoor, which is very appreciated particularly during the winter.
How did you start riding?
I started with one of my mum’s friends pony a Shetland called McDuff. He was very hairy but great fun. Our farming neighbours also had a Shetland called James, who I remember falling off a lot and trotting at great speeds. We had him on loan for a bit until I outgrew him.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Mac, who is my top horse, is training at Grand Prix, I plan to compete him at Inter 1 over the summer with the aim of attempting an Inter 2 soon. Monet is working on his lateral work and changes, showing lots of talent, but as with any young horse, I am letting him strengthen and mature so no pressure for any young ones. Uno the 5yo will do a few small outings to see the wide world and Minty is having a break in the fields whilst I am busy with the mares in breeding season.
What do you love about riding?
I love time in the saddle where the one focus is the horse I am riding and nothing else to bother me. Unless the phone goes for people ordering semen deliveries. If I’ve had a long day, nothing is better than tacking up and going for a hack round the byway, usually the horse snacking their way round, with nothing to worry about. Unless a pigeon flies out of the tree!
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I would like to compete at International Grand Prix, with the vision to produce our homebreds to the highest level.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Riding young horses and stallions always brings a bit of nerves particularly in show environments where it might be busy in the warm up. With Mac being older he’s pretty well behaved so I tend to put more pressure on myself at riding the test.
How do you deal with them?
Lots of test riding and a having a good routine when preparing and going to the show. This year I have added half an hour to the time I would usually arrive at a show, so I have plenty of time to tack up, get ready and really think about how I’m going to ride through the test. And its proving to decrease the stress.
Your Top Tip
We ride for enjoyment and a good relationship with our horses. If its not fun, change something!
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Who is your equestrian hero?
If you could have 5 people to dinner, who would they be?
Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin, Cathrine Dufour, Anne Van Olst, Isabelle Werth
Favourite colour horse?
I love a clean grey, but Bay is definitely easier to manage
Favourite horse event?
London International Horse show at Christmas
Favourite way to relax?
Netflix and Chill
I’m a bit of a Harry Potter Fan
If you enjoyed meeting Liv you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here You can keep up with Liv’s progress and check out her instagram page here