19 September 2019
We had a chat recently with Emily about what she puts her Breath4CF towards each year. Emily lives and breathes dressage, and she’s pretty good at it too!
What do you use your B4CF for?
I have used B4CF for training lessons, saddle repairs and, most recently, entry fees for dressage competitions. Competitive horse riding is an expensive sport and any financial support is a great help.
How long have you been doing Dressage?
I originally started riding when I was 8 years old (20 years ago) doing all the pony club things including being part of the Bay of Plenty Eventing Champs teams held in Nelson and Taranaki which were always great trips away!
After pony club I continued with my eventing career (dressage, show jumping, cross country) competing up to 3 Star Level. I found it increasingly harder to breathe as the distances became much longer on the cross country at the higher levels, so I decided to change disciplines and took up show jumping for a few years until my horse unfortunately passed away.
We had already bought a lovely young dressage horse who showed great potential. I decided to change disciplines again and took up dressage. I had previously worked for a dressage stable for five years so it was a logical progression for me.
So, you've done some competitions... How did they go?
It has been a challenging road to success with my young horse but we have had some great achievements together including:
I am excited to see how far I can take this horse in the dressage world as she is maturing into a lovely horse with great potential to progress through the levels.
Having her gives me the incentive I need to keep myself well and motivated. Cystic Fibrosis is a challenge but horse riding and the hard, physical work that goes with owning and training horses has always been a really good way of keeping fit.
What do you love about dressage?
I really enjoy the challenge of training horses, and I love how amazing it feels when all the movements come together making the hard work worthwhile.
Would you encourage other people with CF to give dressage a go?
I have always found riding of any sort to be beneficial for my health and fitness and especially with dressage riding you need to maintain a strong upper body position which helps with posture.
What motivates you to exercise?
Having animals that are dependent on you is a great motivation to get out of bed each day and keep fit. I am a very competitive person and you have to put the work in to achieve results.