“I was wondering how to get into eventing. I am only 14 but I saw you do Burghley horse trials and I have set my mind since I was young that I wanted to do eventing. I am very lucky to have such a lovely little mare (ex racehorse) and we are learning together, but I want to start getting to more experienced levels. As a job I would like to do eventing and I was wondering how you started. My mum helps me loads but she can’t afford to have lots of professional training or enter me into the big events, but I’m willing to work really hard to make eventing my career.”
Oliver answers: I started on ponies, like anyone, and just slowly progressed through the grades, riding what ever I could. The best advice I can give you is to watch as much as you can, because even if you don’t have money for lessons you can learn a lot from watching top riders. Prepare to work really hard, as like any sport you have to work really hard and even more so with horses, because they never have a day off from needing to be checked and fed.
Try and finish school, so you always have options and as much education as you can get, and then if you don’t have the funds base yourself with,or try and work for, a top rider to learn as much as possible. Always keep learning, never get arrogant and never think you know everything, because that is an impossibility but always believe in yourself – even when others don’t.
Good luck with everything – and come and say hello at any events you see me at.