Hindsight is a wonderful thing — which is why we have asked some of our top riders what they wish they could have told their 15-year-old-self, from listening to their parents to getting their head down at school
“If you want it enough it will happen”. I think if you’re dedicated and hardworking anything is possible. You don’t have to have a lot of money or to come from a really horsey background to be successful in the sport.
Oliver Hood, showing producer
Try to relax and enjoy it more. When you’re young, you’re so determined to do well. But it’s a whole lot easier if you’re just having fun.
Sam Roberts, showing producer
Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m ridiculous — I take everything so seriously. I could tell you about four things I could have done better when I took the supreme native championship title for the third time at Olympia in 2014 with Moelview Prince Consort for example.
I would say “there’s always another day”. You have to think like that. They are horses, we are human and mistakes happen. I used to get so worked up, thinking it was my only chance, but now I’m more mature and positive, and the results have started to come.
Ryan Mania, huntsman and former jockey
Stay at school longer and get a qualification. Believe it or not, I was quite intelligent but just didn’t want to be at school so got out as soon as I could, however it would be great to have something to fall back on.
Ben Way, eventer
Give up race riding sooner. I tried to do it at the same time as eventing when I was younger. It didn’t work.
Follow your dream, however ambitious. I wouldn’t say it’s been easy, but with help and support, especially from long-term owner Sue Davies, I’ve managed to follow mine — even if it did seem over the top at the time.
Michael Eilberg, dressage rider
Learn German. I was doing German at school and dad spoke it at home, but I couldn’t be bothered and now I wish I was bilingual.
Sophie Wells, para dressage rider
Enjoy the journey — you are always striving to be better and it’s easy to move on to the next thing and not appreciate small milestones.
Cian O’Connor, showjumper
I’d say keep your head down and be less cocky than I was back then!
Peter Charles, showjumper
Give up the football, you’re useless at it, and concentrate on riding.
Lissa Green, eventer
It doesn’t matter what people think, it’s your own journey. Coincidently it is exactly what my mum has been saying for years — I should have listened.
Danielle Heath, showing producer
Think before you speak! I’m still not very good at that — I say the first thing that comes into my head.
Laura Collett, eventer
Always take the positives out of a situation and don’t dwell on the past.
Alfie Bradstock, showjumper
Don’t be such a bum at school, I wish I’d concentrated a bit more than I did.
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Georgie Spence, eventer
Stay positive and self-confident, learn from your mistakes but listen to your parents.
Jock Paget, eventer
I would do what I’ve done all over again, I have no regrets. But if I was giving advice to someone else I’d say “do what you want to do, work hard at it and you can achieve it”.
Stuart Hollings, showing producer and judge
Situations are not always black and white. There are many grey areas in life, of varying shades. And I don’t mean 50!
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