Have Dreams, Set Goals, Achieve

Jessica Blackmore

By Jessica Blackmore

As seen in the Gloucestershire Echo (Monday, 21st January, 2013).

Last year was a fantastic year to be a sportsman or woman, with the public more interested in sport than I can ever remember. As a professional dressage rider, and also a student studying her A Levels, I would like, more than anything, for people to sustain this curiosity and enthusiasm, and to appreciate the importance of setting oneself goals and aiming to achieve them.

I compete internationally in dressage, representing Australia, and balancing this with a busy school life can be difficult and so requires organisation and a lot of planning. I ride before school at 5am every morning and spend my evenings doing school work and revision. As well as this, I follow a strict fitness and strength regime. I firmly believe that you can find time to do anything at all, so long as you enjoy it, are passionate about it, and have aims and goals to give yourself something to work towards.

The hardest thing with horses is that things rarely go to plan. One of my horses had to have a year off in 2011, due to a torn suspensory ligament, and so 2012 was all about building up his strength and fitness again to prepare for competitions in 2013. It is difficult to put months or years of work into a horse and then for it to suddenly sustain an injury and be unable to work. You so often feel like you are unable to progress with them. But equally, the most rewarding thing about riding is that when you do see the horse improve and progress, all the work finally pays off.

My aims for 2013, in addition to continuing to compete in International Junior and Young Rider Dressage championships, are to complete my British Horse Society Stage 2 and 3 Exams, as well as to pass my German Silver Performance Medal. These all require both jumping and dressage, on top of a lot of revision on riding theory and stable management.

Photography: All rights reserved by Jessica Blackmore.

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