It has been narrowed down to 11 finalists.
- Austin Skeens, VA
- Ally McGlynn, CA
- Lauren Yeagy, Elizabeth Henry and Emma Sloan, IN
- Mia Braundel, NC
- Jane Cook, TX
- Hannah Herrig, FL
- Alexandra Tett, PA
- Grace Gaynor, MD
- Carter McInnis, SC
- Magdalena Valenti, TN
- Tosca Holmes-Smith, BC
Tune into www.eventingconnect.today as these 11 finalists continue to strut their sponsorship worthiness with blogs and vlogs over the next few weeks. We encourage you to provide feedback and share your favourite blogs and vlogs on social media as these young riders vie to be Bit of Britain’s Next Top Rider! Voting for the Bit of Britain’s Next Top Rider begins on December 1st.
Be sure to use the hashtag #BofBNextTopRider
What makes it all worth it
by Ally McGlynn
I love Eventing. I love the sport, the horses, and the people. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the feeling of finally overcoming something you’ve been working on for a long time! There’s always something to be working towards, or improving on, and when you finally get that “something”, it’s a feeling like no other. I’ve learned there will be several lows and several highs, but the process and results make it all worth it!
When I first started riding, I wasn’t the bravest kid. Let me tell you, it took me a lot to even canter for the first time. This was only about four years ago, crazy right? I remember taking my little POA pony in a walk trot ground rail class, him jumping over the first ground rail at a trot, and it resulting in me screaming and jumping off during the course. I used to be so fearful of riding that I would get sick before my lessons. People didn’t really understand why I rode, but I knew I wanted this. If you would have told me four years later, I would be running training level in eventing, I would have thought you were crazy.
From the little kid moments to where I am now, there have been lots of lows and lots of highs. This sport is so rewarding, and it gives you self-determination to keep wanting more! Most of the horses I have had the privilege to ride have had their little quirks and gave me some tough challenges. Even though it may have brought me down sometimes, and made me frustrated, I would never change the past without a doubt. One of my first horses would literally jump off a down bank, and fall with me because he couldn’t get his footing on the landing. His confidence started to drop, when landing from any jump! As a kid, who just started eventing, this was a lot to overcome at the time. It was quite scary, but I am glad to have completed the events I did with that horse. Let me tell you, those events were surely rewarding! He was one of the first horses to teach me a whole lot in such little time!
My last horse that I owned, he was a once in a lifetime horse, but still faced me with some tougher challenges. Mikey would sometimes stop at spooky fences, and sometimes I would predict which fences he would stop at. I would get after him to make him know we are going, and he would still stop. My trainer noticed a pattern that before something would happen, I would get after him. I had to learn to wait to catch the reaction as it was happening. If I got after him before he would stop, he would stop regardless. I was making the problem worse, and even caused us to get eliminated in stadium jumping! We went home and experimented, to the point where I even got dumped at a ground rail! We laugh at the past now, but I am so thankful we had worked past that and figured him out.
What makes it all worth it, is when things come together and you put pieces together with a horse! It is the best feeling to then go out and accomplish something great after. Now with being a working student, and developing connections with people, I get endless opportunities to ride a variety of horses! I get to experience riding green horses, baby horses, eventers, show jumpers, and even seasoned event horses. Thanks to the horses in my past and the tough challenges I faced, I am now able to put together puzzles with other horses! I love the mystery of each horse I get to ride, and really trying to figure out the way they want to be ridden. What makes it all worth it, is knowing I can accomplish something on a green horse, or knowing I taught a young horse a new thing! What makes it all worth it, is when I can go out on the four-year-old I backed myself, and run him around his first beginner novice! Then what makes it ALL worth it is just being able to compete in an event and just have fun. The challenging horses, makes the easy-going horses feel like a walk in the park. It makes it all worth it, knowing I am becoming the event rider I want to be more and more each day.
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