Equine Culture finds great inspiration in watching riders who display a genuine passion and dedication for their horses and the sport. It is for this reason that we have chosen Robyn as our featured rider of the month for the inaugural edition of our series.
Robyn is a remarkable rider who shines both in and out of the competition ring, and she is the proud owner of two horses - Driftwood LC (Woody) and Sandy Lane Codex (Cody).
When we spoke with Robyn during our interview, here is what she had to share with us:
1.How many years have you been riding horses?
I have been riding for about 10 years.
2.What is your favorite show venue?
My favorite show venue is Shongweni, there is always such a great vibe there and my horses always go really well there.
3.How do you manage to balance your career and show jumping full time?
Balancing it all is a challenge as I work full time in the financial industry and am finishing off my Bcom but I take my riding as my quiet time which helps me focus on my career so it all works well together.
4.Could you share your weekly training routine with us?
Hack- once a week
Flat- twice a week
Jump- twice a week
Lunge- once a week
I adjust the order in which I do the above or leave days out depending on shows.
5.What strategies do you employ to remain composed while competing?
I never used to be a calm person when competing but we have to remember we do this for fun so I always try have fun.
I always try to be as prepared as possible, watch a few in the class and get on early so I always feel in control.
6.As a show jumper, what are some of the most significant obstacles you've had to overcome, and how did you manage to do so?
About 4 years ago I had a very bad fall where I ended up with bleeding on my brain and was very sick because of it for a long time. When I got the all clear to start riding again, I took things very slowly and went straight back to basics.
The most recent obstacle has been Woodys colic surgery. Having him out of the ring has been very difficult on me but we’re taking it one day at a time and just focusing on his recovery.
7.What is the most memorable moment or achievement you've experienced thus far in your show jumping career?
Winning the 2022 1.20m SA Champs.
Winning three classes in a row including the championship class at Shongweni.
8.What steps do you take to prepare yourself and your horse for a competition, both mentally and physically?
When it comes to competing, I think it is 90% mental. So mentally I prepare myself a lot and set realistic goals for myself depending on how the horses are feeling. Sometimes just being in the ring is as important as winning. I keep my horses in consistent work all the time so not much changes in their work, most of the time I’ll just make sure I jump a track the week leading up to the show.
9.What are your goals for your horses in the future?
For now with Woody I am just focusing on his recovery.
I am super excited for Cody’s future and hope to be going around the 1m classes confidently by the end of the year. I find it more realistic to set short term goals with the younger horses.
10.What word of advice do you have for up coming riders?
Don’t try and be a professional, just enjoy it and have as much fun as possible.
Support everyone in the ring and always be kind to other riders.
11.Who is the rider that has inspired you the most?
Lisa Williams, I think she is phenomenal in every way having produced a lot of her horses and succeed hugely on them. She is a great example of how riders should act, and always carry’s herself with grace something that is very important to me.
12.Lastly, what is your favourite product in our collection, and what makes it stand out to you?
I absolutely love the Breeches, they are so comfortable and the sticky bum helps a lot with grip. I also love the zip pocket as it ensures I don’t loose anything while riding. They are a must have for every rider!!
Thank you, Robyn, for taking the time for this interview. We appreciate your insights and experiences.
Keep an eye out for our next featured rider of the month, as we continue to showcase inspiring stories of dedicated equestrians and their horses.
Follow Robyn on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/robz_equestrian/