18 May 2015

5 Minutes with Young Rider Abbie O'brien

5 Minutes with Young Rider Abbie O'brien

Abbie O'brien caught my eye, not only because of her achievements as a young rider, but because of the type of person she is; strong, hard working and independent. For a 21 year old climbing the dressage ranks as a serious competitor, many challenges are faced, these can be both physical and mental and Abbie seems to be taking every step & challenge gracefully in her stride.

With Abbie having worked with some of Australia's most prestigious trainers, breeders and equine professionals, the lessons this young rider continues to learn are invaluable, adding layers to her experiences every time Abbie enters the dressage ring. Originally from Tasmania, Boneo Park is now a place Abbie and her horses Rajah & Revelwood Fleur call home.

At PHS, those who capture our attention are not always those who win but those who work hard, who are eloquent on and off the horse and who inspire others to achieve.

Abbie does just that, the dance of dressage, for us; is not just a performance. It is a connection that we can see between the rider and the horse, the connection the person has with an audience and of course the connection which the saddle has (in this case the PH Liberty) to unite both horse and rider, all of which we value and like to support.

A big thanks to Abbie for an insight into her achievements, an inspiration to PHS, many young riders and myself.

THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT AS A YOUNG RIDER SO FAR...

Training my horse, Rajahs Rave from a preliminary/novice level 4yo to the successful small tour horse he is today. He is still only 9yo so we still have many years together yet. I had never ridden above novice level prior to buying Rajah so proud to have been able to train him to this stage.

THE RIDERS I LOOK UP TO ARE...

Heath and Rozzie Ryan and my coach Lone Joergensen. They have taught me that partnership with your horse is the most important aspect of dressage.

THE FUNNIEST THING MY HORSE RAJAH DOES...

At every show I need to do my homework. I give Rajah as much arena familiarisation time as possible. At each competition he lets me know that he has never seen arena letters, chairs and tables before! Totally ridiculous but that's just him!

MY GOALS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS ARE...

To get my 5yo mare, Revelwood Fleur into her first medium competition and to compete both her and Rajah at the National Dressage Championships in October

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT THE PH LIBERTY IS...

How well it fits my horse! As a young horse Rajah was very cold backed and prior to the PH Liberty I never risked getting on him before lunging him. He is very settled in his PH Liberty and the cold backed issues have disappeared.

APART FROM HORSES MY OTHER HOBBIES ARE.........

I don't have any other hobbies! When not riding I am either at work, doing jobs or hanging out with my dog Bailey. Rather boring for a 21 year old!