Bio on Alice Edmonds:
My name is Alice Edmonds and I am a 15 year old dressage rider. Before taking up dressage I previously used to show jump and I was very lucky to have an amazing 148 JA and with him I experienced jumping up to 1.20cm level. However in September 2012 I acquired my 18hh, 18 year old chestnut dressage gelding, Broadstone Jackanory
(Jack), and I instantly fell in love with him and dressage.
I started competing Jack at elementary level in February 2013 and in May we competed at our first premier league. Throughout the summer we then competed at many premier leagues and in August we were very lucky to compete at the Hickstead Internationhal for Great Britain.
Jack and I were then put on the British Progress Squad in October and we participated in many of the training sessions which took place. I found them incredibly beneficial for Jack and I and the feedback we got from the International Judges was very valuable to us. Whilst taking part in these Squad sessions, Jack and I were busy cementing our partnership at Prix St George which definitely paid off as we gained 71.97% at our last competition.
Currently we are preparing and training for the Spring Tour in Barcelona. We are competing out there both weekends and I really can’t wait as it is my first over seas Internation.
My aim for this season is to be selected for the Junior European Team on Jack whilst at the same time training our six year old, Donaldson, and educating our two year old Totilas colt, Trendsetter.
Our Interview with Alice:
3. Who was your first trainer and who are you currently training with?
My first trainer was Nicky Barrett and it is who I train with now. She found Jack for me and used to train my eldest sister as well. My mum also helps me when I can’t train with Nicky which is incredibly helpful.
4. What training advice has been the most influential in your riding and why?
Whenever I have difficult days my mum always tells me to put myself in the horse’s position and to try and work through things patiently instead of getting frustrated. Doing this has really helped build up trust between me and my horses and it makes them want to work for you.
5. Tell us how you warm-up your horse before you ride and your cool down after you ride?
When warming up I ride quite forward with the horse round to loosen them up. I then start riding through all the movements like leg yield, travers, half pass, in rising trot to let them swing through the back and finally lots and lots of transitions!!! I continue to do this until I feel my horse is ready to do some of the more advanced work, if they are at all!
6. Do you follow the Pyramid of Training scale in your daily riding?
Yes definitely! I find it a very helpful when schooling by myself, to keep reminding myself how my horse should be going. Before starting movements I run through them in my mind in order to prepare for the movement ahead.
7. How often do you include rest breaks in your training sessions?
Anything between every 2 minutes to every 10 minutes depending on what I’m doing. Regular breaks really benefit my horses and rewarding them really enhances their attitude to work.
8. How often do you clean your tack and what is your favorite cleaner/conditioner you use?
I try clean my tack after every time I ride and give it a thorough clean before every competition. I don’t have a particular brand of soap I use but I much prefer using sprays and conditioners than bars of tack soap.
9. How often do you show?
I don’t compete Jack very often as he is a very experienced horse and we tend to only compete at the bigger shows now we have got to know each other. It can vary between once or twice a month to every few months. However I think it’s good for the younger horses to get out more to become familiar with the different things at shows.
10. Do you braid your own horse’s mane?
No my mum does it for me (she likes to feel needed!) even though I can braid. I can always rely on her to do beautiful plaits though.
11. Who grooms for you at your shows?
My mum always drives me and helps me at shows. However, I do like to do a lot of the stuff myself so I know it’s exactly like it is at home.
12. Are your parents you’re “Grooms” at the shows for you?
Yes. My mum is very helpful in time keeping and makes sure that I’m ready and on in time, and she is especially helpful when I leave something important back at the lorry!
13. Do you trail ride and how often?
Yes I do, I think it’s a massively important part in training a horse. I hack between once a week to three times a week dependant on what’s going on and I think it is a really good time to get to know each other and build up a good bond.
14. What are your goals for you and your horse?
This year I would love to be selected for the Junior European team on Jack and start competing at Inter one. I want to slowly produce my youngster and educate my two year old in the daily things that go on in the yard.
15. What is your favorite Dressage music freestyle performed?
I think Charlotte Dujardin’s gold medal winning Olympic freestyle was phenomenal and it is what inspired me to take up dressage.
16. Who is your favorite horse and rider?
There are many top riders that I really admire but I love Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill, I think that they are a fantastic partnership to watch. I also think that Adelinde Cornelissen is very inspirational in how focused she is on not just her horses well being and training, but also her own.
17. What can you tell other junior riders about reaching their goals in dressage?
I think it’s really important to set yourself achievable goals and to stay focused on what you’re aiming for. Make sure that you control everything you can control, for example how you ride a test, and not worry about other horses and riders and what they’re doing.
18. What is your horse’s personality like and what is the funniest thing he/she does?
Jack has an incredibly loving personality and despite his size he definitely is a gentle giant. Whenever he thinks I have treats for him, he wraps his neck around me and doesn’t let me go until I give him one! He also absolutely loves undoing the zips on people’s jackets and even if his stable door is wide open, he won’t go out until we tell him he can.
19. Please tell us who you would like to Thank for being your best supporters:
Definitely my mum. I don’t know what id do without her as she is a huge help and is always optimistic about what I do. She helps me to reach my goals and to stay focused on what I want to achieve. I really value the help I get from my trainer as well.
20. What is your favorite quote that you love and want to share with others?
‘Train like you’ve never won; compete like you’ve never lost’