Each week I interview the people behind some of the most interesting and popular equestrian accounts on Instagram. This week I’m chatting with the talented Rebecca Swain. British dressage rider based in Surrey Read on to learn more about the talented young lady behind the amazing @rebeccaswain_dressage Instagram account.
Tell us a little about you and your horses
I’m 20 years old and studying Economics and Finance at The University of Surrey whilst continuing to ride and compete my horses.
I own 5 horses which range in ages from 3 years old to my top competition horse Bon Jovi, who is 14 years old. Both of the youngest horses are bred by Glamourdale.
Due to limited time whilst studying I have an experienced rider called Jenny who rides the younger horses for me (George and Henry). I also have two Hanoverians, one of which is called Fury is Back (Loui) and he is by Furstenball. The other is called Despacito W (Solomon) and he is by Londonderry. I am planning to compete both youngsters next year, provided competitions are running with Covid.
Leaving the best to last is Bon Jovi. He is a 16.2 hand KWPN by Krack C x UB40. We are currently competing at Young Riders and have aims to move up to the higher levels.
How did your horses come into your life?
Both my mother and sister ride, so horses have always been a part of our family, and as a little girl I was inspired watching them ride and compete. Since then I haven’t looked back.
How long have you been riding?
I have been riding since I was 7 so 13 years now!
When and where do you ride?
I am fortunate that my parents own an equestrian centre near where I live. Due to most of my time being dedicated to my degree, I only have time to ride twice in the week and at weekends.
How did you start riding?
I learnt to ride at a riding school, where I was incredibly lucky to ride an 11hh pony called Bubbles.
What you and your horses currently working on?
With both Solomon and Loui, I am currently working on the contact and trying to gain a truer connection. The same applies to Bobby, and we are also focussing a lot on suppleness and rhythm.
What do you love about riding?
I love the connection you make. Over time, it’s incredible to see the relationship you can build with an animal based solely on trust. Also, the way in which we can position our bodies to influence how they can move. There’s nothing quite like it!
What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
The aim with all my horses is to reach Grand Prix but as for the future, who knows where it will take us. I just like to take every day as it comes and see where we go from there.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Yes, I used to get extremely nervous when I was younger as I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to do well.
How do you deal with them?
It did come to a point where my nerves stopped my enjoyment of competing. After every test I would get so upset that I had been a ‘passenger’ and not ridden effectively or as well as I could have. My mum once said to me, what is the point in competing if you don’t enjoy it. I found that I used to take it far too seriously. For me now, when I go out, I just enjoy the luxury of being about to ride my horse in front of a judge and gain feedback. It’s all about a learning experience for me so that I can try and improve in the future. Having changed my mindset around the way I look at competing, I don’t feel very nervous anymore.
As cliché as it sounds, I now realise how grateful I am to be spending my time with my horses.
Your Top Tip
Enjoy every second.
The Final Furlong
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?
Martin Luther King, Princess Diana, Franklin Roosevelt, Alan Turing, Micheal Mcintyre
Favourite colour horse?
Always a chestnut
Favourite horse event
The Olympics where you can see the best of the best!