Podcast Episode 35: Rebecca Bell | Combining Oxford and International Dressage

In this podcast, we speak with Rebecca Bell. Rebecca is a 20-year-old British dressage rider and highly successful young rider. Rebecca combines her International dressage riding career with study at Oxford University. In this episode, we chat with Rebecca about her journey into dressage, CDIP experience, Oxford University and juggling commitments.

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Natasha (00:00:00):

Welcome to this Your Riding Success episode with Rebecca Bell. Rebecca is a 20 year old British dressage rider and highly successful young rider. She is a European pony team, bronze and silver medalist and in 2015, she was part of the first British team in history to win a team gold medal at the Youtuh European dressage championships. Rebecca combines her international dressage career with study at Oxford University. Represented by Piaffe Sport, She had built quite an online presence on social media. Looking forward to our chat with Rebecca.

Welcome to the Your Riding Success podcast. My name is Natasha Althoff, grand Prix dressage from Australia, author of three books and a leading online trainer of riders all around the world, wanting to take their riding to the next level. I'm also a shopaholic mother of two amazing children, and it fits with helping riders to be all they can be. Each week I'm going to be bringing you stories of inspiration, ideas, and strategies of how to make real progress in your riding and give you actionable advice on overcoming riding fear and anxiety so you can take her riding to the next level and be the rider you dream to be. So let's get into today's episode.

Natasha (00:01:13):

Thank you so much for coming on board today, Rebecca,


Rebecca (00:01:16):

Thank you so much for inviting me. Really looking forward to it. Um, and yeah, just kind of like really flattered to be asked. So, looking forward to speaking to you


Natasha (00:01:24):

I can't wait. I can't wait for everyone to hear your story. I am a big fan of Oxford University. I went there for the not, not went there to study. We went there to like tourists and it was just an amazing place and all the people that have been there, it's like, well, this is a special place.


Rebecca (00:01:39):

Yeah. It was like that being there. I D I literally remember turning up in my first week and we were like, Oh my goodness. Am I actually studying? Yeah. So yeah, it's an amazing experience.


Natasha (00:01:24):

It is. So let's get into it first let's talk about dressage. How did you get into dressage? Were you born riding a horse? What, how did the horses unfold?

Rebecca (00:01:54):

So I was really lucky in that both of my parents, uh, had been horsey when they were younger. Um, my dad had actually showjumped fairly competitively when he was younger, although he likes to joke that really, it was just kind of for the kudos and his sisters did all the ponies and he'd just hop on and go very fast. Um, so it was kind of in the family, but, uh, I was given the a two-state riding lessons when I was young. And then when I'd kind of proven that, yeah, I was actually gonna get up in the morning and do it. I was pretty lucky and got, put a pony, um, who was probably the most unsuitable first pony anyone been given, who was amazing. He was very character building and he refused to jump. So I was like, well, there's one other route. I can take this. So that's how I started. Yeah.

Natasha (00:02:49):

Lots of people resonating. I love how you've put that character building. Um, and it is important. I think, you know, if it all goes to, well, when you're young and then suddenly that you get some hiccups, it's like, well, hang on. This, isn't how it's meant to go. But when it's bad rrom the start, we can only go up.

Rebecca (00:03:02):

You can only go up. Yeah. Although it's interesting, you say that cause like, and I'm sure we'll get into it. It's such a journey that like ponies, which obviously I did too, for a long time at a high level that is still feel how's that a little bit. And that went really well for me. So that was a big learning curve as part of my riding career and jumping off from that and going, Oh my goodness. There's actually, yeah. It's quite challenging.

Natasha (00:03:23):

Yes. Yeah. Well, let's talk about that. Cause I've got to hear that, um, you represented Great Britain in 2012 in a CDIP, which I'm guessing is like a normal CDI, but yeah, yeah, yeah. Which is huge. I mean, anytime, how old were you then?

Rebecca (00:03:40):

I was 12,

Natasha (00:03:43):

The responsibilities and my level of doing anything competently as well. I'm pretty impressed.

Rebecca (00:03:51):

Um, in general life. Yeah, that was exactly the same. It was just the five minutes I got on a pony that was like, okay, I've got to get this together. And then back to being a 12 year old, as soon as my foot was out of the stirrup.

Natasha (00:04:03):

Yeah. But I would say there's amazing life lessons that you do learn from being competitive, um, at such a young age and in a sport that not only is, you've got to be so disciplined and strict with this sport, but also on looking after the animal as well. It's not like you were in gymnastics or swimming and you turned up for training. There was also the feeding and the rugging and the brushing and all that other stuff.

Rebecca (00:04:23):

Yeah. And I've always been really fortunate in that my parents have kind of expected me to do a reasonable amount and to contribute and to work. But when I had education to balance as well, they've always been very, very supportive and I've been lucky enough to have a few people that have worked for us that have helped on the yard and basically manage the horses while I was at school or university. And then I would say do weekends or holidays, or just get up in the morning for school and feed them and poo pick them and then run for the bus smelling a bit horrible. But, um, yeah, it was, yeah, I think it was a really good learning curve because it's, and I'm sure any horse person would say this, it sort of, it just teaches you responsibility and you have to be responsible because you literally have animals relying on you. Um, and it's not quite the same level as for getting to do your homework. It's a, it's a bit more important. So not the homework isn't important for all those young people. That's not a message I want to be putting out there. Um, but, um, yeah, it's, it was a huge privilege to have them from a young age. Um, and I think what it taught me, it was incredibly valuable. So yeah, I was very lucky.

Natasha (00:05:32):

And from competing, like, let's go to that moment in 2012, when you're representing Great Britain at a CDIP, were you aware that this was important or this was quite high up or where you disliked me? I'm just riding my pony, same old, same old.

Rebecca (00:05:48):

Um, I knew it was quite a big thing because, um, I had kind of toyed whether I actually wanted to go to that one because it was my like leavers thing for primary school. Um, and that in my life that, you know, that was a really big thing. Oh, I'm going to miss the party where we all were leaving school, moving on, but I was like, no, this is, you know, this is my call up. I get to wear my GB kit. Like I didn't take them for weeks and then probably didn't prepare in the best way because I went down the center line and then turn the wrong way. I actually went really well overall, but I definitely showed my, my greenness. Um, and then a lot of big lessons, even in the space of three days of the competition is it was just a total different level of like watching the other riders and realizing wow, like that really, really good when they're 16 and on these big ponies everything. So it was good, but what was really nice is the pony that I did that first one on was the pony who went, um, on all the teams with me. So that was a nice journey to have with her.

Natasha (00:06:52):

Okay. So let me just take you back to that moment when you were watching everybody else. Um, what, what was the results that you achieved in that first year?

Rebecca (00:07:03):

Um, so at that first ever CDI, I think I got like, I'm sort of middle of the pack basically. Um, yeah,

Natasha (00:07:14):

So you're seeing all this other stuff. And did you get, are you a very competitive person? Did you got, right next year is my year or were you like, this is just all so fun. And were you just focused on the fun? I'm trying to think of an and were you nervous? Like, was it like I have to perform? I can't believe I had an error of course. Or was it like, Oh, well I'm just learning as I go. And we're having fun, like. Yeah. What's the mindset there?

Rebecca (00:07:40):

I think so I was always really competitive, but in a, like in a very positive way, it's interesting because I think it's definitely, it's something a lot of us have when we're young is that we're very like, come on, let's do it. And why shouldn't I do it? And then maybe it's even older than you get these sort of like, well, you might not be able to do it because of this. You might not be the worst. And I think I was blissfully free of them age 12, my first competition, because I was like, well, why shouldn't I beat this Dutch rider? Who's been doing it for five years and one man in reality, I didn't, but the thought was there. And I was like, Oh, well I've got freestyles still and all of this, but.

Natasha (00:08:24):

I love it. I love your optimism. It’s like I got the freestyle, everyone better watch their backs.


Rebecca (00:08:34):

I definitely started with like that level of optimism. It was something and always something that I try to keep a little bit off because I'm more aware of the importance of it. And we realized like the investment of time, I know time, money, energy. And we're like, Oh, this is really, this is significant now. And that’s, I think when we get all the little niggling doubts and stuff, but yeah, I, I was, well, I was gutted to turn wrong. Um, and I think my trainer was probably like, you've ridden this so many times. But it was good to get out of the way. Yeah. I think we get it out the way I'm at my first one. And I don't think I did that exact same mistake since, but, uh, we'll do it.

Natasha (00:09:15):

Oh yeah, totally. Okay. So then it sounds like, cause I don't know your journey at all, but you kind of alluded to it that it was kind of a dream run. You've got this pony, you do the whole, it's the same pony the whole time and you just get better and better and better that what happened or what have we got here?

Rebecca (00:09:33):

So yeah, so ponies is, was, it was pretty dreamlike actually. Um, I was really lucky that I had two ponies that we bought when they were young. Um, my trainer had kind of helped me start them. Um, I say start them that, you know, they were backed and they'd been to their first competitions and things, but, um, she sort of helped out the one that was a little bit, uh, sprightly to take her out to a few more. And so that I wasn't getting bounced off the walls. Um, but it was in that respect that wasn't, I think I wasn't quite prepared for how much pressure that was because I was coming in going my ponies on knowns. I'm an unknown, you know, nobody is expecting me to do that while I haven't bought a pony that's been and done it. So for that first year, that 2012, I'm actually the 2013 as well. I really was free of expectation, which is such a nice place to be, but obviously it's quite a rare place to be. Um, and when I got called up for 2013 for the Europeans, I was similarly, uh, it was unexpected cause really sadly I was called up as reserve. Um, because the team member couldn't go. So that was quite difficult to suddenly see like, Oh, that's what it means when it gets taken away. Um, and I sort of that's when it started creeping in, like, this is really significant. And after the first year Europeans, I had a bit of a, a bit of a crisis and it was like, how do I know right now that I have got an expectation and that I have got results and people maybe think that I would do well. Um, and that was actually the point, which is really quite young, I guess. But the point I started working with the sports psychologist. Because yeah, It was, it was a real turning point in my train of recommended him because she literally could return. And I'm sure she wouldn't mind saying she was like, I can't teach you. I worked with you for years. I'm I can't teach you. Yeah, just a total like flip of like I've ridden one way my whole life. And then now, and people might think you're doing the exact same thing, you know, but it wasn't me. It was just, it was like, it was in a different language because suddenly something so significant had changed. So yeah, that was a big, uh, turning point. And that took a lot of work to develop from and get past.

Natasha (00:11:43):

Yeah, yeah. Yep. Yep. Absolutely. Okay. So then what happens? You've done ponies, ponies, ponies, and like old 12 year olds you grew, I'm assuming.

Rebecca (00:11:54):

Yeah. So my final Europeans in 2015, I was near enough, five foot seven in a 16 inch pony saddle. And it was like, no cakes, like got to stay light as possible. It was, yeah, it was a whole new challenge, but actually I got the very best results that year. Cause I had long legs, so I could kind of scoot my pony up and do it for her a little bit. Yeah. But never across theory now, but yeah. And then there's the whole emotional thing of like selling them and have them for years and years. And that was really hard, but actually I've been super lucky that they've both gone on to do internationals again, they're both gone to European championships. Um, that's the night. Yeah. I've been like a proud mom, like watching them like, Oh. And especially when the said like the riders subsequent have developed them further and they, especially my second pony cause he kind of was in her sisters. They were brother and sister. Um, and his sister started a little bit, uh, cause I hadn't had the time necessarily to focus on him and then he's been given loads of love and attention and then people's number one and I've seen him really flourished and that’s so nice. So yeah. And then I, yeah, I continued only the FEI humps to whale of juniors and young writers. So kept on going with the, with the system really, um, and went straight into juniorss the following year.

Natasha (00:13:17):

Okay. And um, has that been, so it, it was a good transition. You found another horse and it was all kind of easy going or did we have some bumps?

Rebecca (00:13:28):

So this is the point in my life. Um, watch the 2013 was the point in my life that my hopeful horse and the horse, I actually ride now entered my life. And um, everything was really sweet for about a year. Um, and then we sort of came across a little, she was scoping written by the writer who had developed her from a young horse. Um, and that relationship broke down, which is, you know, it's hard, but it happens in the horse world and professional relationships are difficult and we'd always hope that he would keep the ride and then pass onto me, but it just didn't work out. Um, so she went to my trainer for a little bit cause I was still focusing on the ponies. And then we discovered that there were a few bits and bobs, physically that had obviously been going on for a little while and then come the vets and then comes the bone scanning and the, Oh my goodness, what is wrong with this horse? We have a brilliant vet. And he literally said, stick it out in the field.

Natasha (00:14:28):

Well it's expensive treatment plan is a field.

Rebecca (00:14:32):

Everything, but he so good. And he was like, this horse needs a break. Um, so she went out and field, um, but that left me at the end of 2015 going, I have no horse. So this is the first time I really then benefited from the generosity of people in the horse world because I went try something that was for sale that we couldn't afford. Um, and I basically said, I absolutely love him, but we can't buy him. Would you lease him? And they agreed. And I was really lucky because he then took me straight into juniors and straight onto another European championship. So he was like the perfect step up.

Natasha (00:15:09):

Stop it. You’re making this sound way too easy.

Rebecca (00:15:17):

I know, I know it's unrealistic, but like that was really good. I just had luck off the luck bear. And I think now actually, and I'll, we'll talk about it. I'm sure. I maybe think sometimes I'm paying back the balance a bit because I've had a bit of bad luck with horses and I think it always evens out, you know, and you have to remember that when you appreciate the good days, because there probably will be a slightly worse day or at least a run of really hard stuff that is going to lead that you sort of do to get there. So really appreciate it when it happens. And I did. And I love that. Yeah. With tango, he was called tango perfect dressage name. Um, and then at the end of the year, he, we agreed with his owners that he would be sold on. That was always their intention when I leased him and he found a lovely home. So it works out beautifully. Um, and then Una, who was in the field at this point? Just chilling. Yeah, No idea what awaited her. Yeah. Started to come back and that was maybe the biggest challenge of my career because she had a lot of mental expectation that things were going to hurt and was, she was, I'd gone from this really straightforward schoolmaster who albeit a little bit lazy, but would do anything for you if you asked right. And then I got on this horse that she was like, you've got to convince me because I'm not sure. And I don't know what to do. And like her reactions were quite explosive when she didn't know what to do, but yeah, building that relationship has been one of the most amazing parts of my life, so.

Natasha (00:16:43):

Oh, wow. Okay. So let me just take a step back for people that don't know when you're doing a pony CDI, what level test is that, is that like just walk canter transitions, has it got some flying changes?

Rebecca (00:16:58):

We it's kind of fusion between the British levels elementary and medium. So you have like shoulder in and half pass in trot, uh, you have extensions rein back, walk piroettes, you don't have any flying changes, but you do have lots of simple changes, which I think are the most like badly names movement in the entire world. Like just enough walk, not too much.

Natasha (00:17:24):

I’m Just like getting to medium, get the flying change.

Rebecca (00:17:29):

Yeah. Yeah. I've just finally done that with walk pirouettes. I just did my first Inter I and I'm like I’ve got past my first walk pirouettes.

Natasha (00:17:35):

I love it.

Rebecca (00:17:37):

But yeah. No canter half pass. Uh, but like extensions and canter. Yeah. So that's about where it was.

Natasha (00:17:42):

And then you said with tango, it was junior dressage.

Rebecca (00:17:50):

That advanced medium for yeah. For everything the same, but with canter half passes and a single change. Um, yeah,

Natasha (00:18:00):

I love it. Okay. So then with Una, um, were you thinking of also doing the junior stuff? So did she know a change, but it was just all explosive and there was just no harmonious partnership going on.

Rebecca (00:18:15):

She very vaguely remembered being taught a change, um, which was kind of the worst way to have her because she remembered the change being stressful, um, being a lot. And that was my biggest battle, um, because it would literally be when I, towards the end of 2016, I was getting good training sessions and then I would do one flying change and it would be like that like I had to walk and I just go in there. I just got hotcake because I'd be like, I can't continue from that. You're just not in a place I can't get through like your head

Natsaha (00:18:52):

And how old were you in 2016?

Rebecca (00:18:54):

I would have been 17 towards the end of the year when I was 16, the blind leading the blind. Um, which kind of, I think maybe lengthen the process a little bit. Cause I was like, I've never ridden a horse that does this. I wonder what I do. Um, but so I taught her changes in the field. Um, cause that seemed to be the only place that she was like, yeah, I can cope with this. Um, and then 2017, I was like, right, we're on it. We're going to go and smash this at Juniors. Um, so this is where the system is a little bit, it's quite prescriptive about what the qualifications you have to get to do the next step to the next step. And I missed the first step. Um, so I didn't get to go to the CDI. Didn't get scared of Europeans. And it was really gutting, because actually over the course of the year, she really took a step and developed and I went to a CDI right at the end of the year when I finally got my qualification score and we won two out of the three tests and I got like a massive personal best at the end of the week. And it was so like, well I loved my way out of every single test I did. I was like, Oh my God, like super emotional and the judges are like, this is like a routine CDI. Why are you crying? And I'm like this horse. Um, but that was so nice. Although I always am like, ah, maybe I could've got to the Europeans, but then my sensible head goes would have been too soon for her. And sometimes, you know, your horses development doesn't fit with the convenient competition calendar. And I'm sure a lot of people that were hoping to go to Tokyo this year are suddenly like, Oh my goodness, my horses development. It's just not, maybe the horse is getting on a little bit. They're going to have to maintain them another year. Um, yeah. So it's an unfortunate fact of it that horses do what they do. And it just didn't quite fit for that. Yeah. But it was still so rewarding to take her to that show. Not so much for the results of it, but the fact it was confirmation that all are muddling around in the field and all my work with my trainer and my trainer while I mentioned while I was at the end of ponies was riding her. And she was the one who really said, look, you need to listen to this horse. Something physically is going on. Um, and you need to help her out. So it was down to her that we even made the first step to fixing her. Um, and I was like, Oh, we all did the right thing. And that was really confirmation of that. So yeah.

Natasha (00:21:33):

And what's that amazing lessons, like I'm hearing what you've learned and what you've understood about how life works and how horses works out and how the whole thing. And you're so young. It's so awesome. Like compared to, but I guess that's what the system is. And that's what it does teach you from such a young age. You've got the pressure, you've got how to deal with that. You've got the disappointments, you've got the ups, you've got the downs and it's so much more, much less by the time you have 20 or something.

Rebecca (00:22:01):

I always, I'm doing like, uh, quite a few applications at the moment. And it's so funny because I'm like, how do I explain that I've gone on a like eight year course of just accelerated life development because I have horses. Like, it sounds bizarre to a lay person. I'm sure, but it really is true because you just have a bit of everything and you learn about, and although they're forgiving, you know, you, you do make mistakes and you're like, wow, I shouldn't have done that. And um, yeah, I would definitely recommend, you know, people go in, there's like personal development courses and stuff, like just get a horse and we'll teach you all of it. Um, and probably bankrupt you, but get a horse and it will teach you everything.

Natasha (00:22:45):

I love it. I love it. Awesome. Sorry. Um, where do you want to go to from here? What else do you need to tell me about the horses? What have I missed in your journey? So I know we got to, you were 17, nearly 18 and then what happened?

Rebecca (00:22:58):

So then I kind of reentered the stage that I was when I was 12. I had no expectations because I suddenly had this horse that, um, that my vet had basically had always been super honest with us. He'd gone. Right? I'm getting everything I can, but I will pretty much eat my heart. If you get the source too small, like PSG, like I've really unlikely. There's a, quite a lot of strain on her body. Um, you know, enjoy Hawaii. You've got her don't back off doing things, but just be aware. Um, so I went out into the world, like no expectation. Everything is a bonus. Every central line I go down brilliant. And that was such a nice place to be in. Um, we then had to encounter the monster of Tempi changes and everything came flooding back and she's like, I can't do five on the diagonal. Oh my goodness. Fade could not cope. And we went to our first, we got selected for the young rider, European championships. So that's PSG in 2019 and we didn't get any of our tempi changes. I was like, I've come all the way here. And I'm supposed to be one of the best in Europe and Nope.

Natasha (00:24:08):

For everyone who needs a line of tempi’s, have you missed a line of tempi’s representing your country?

Rebecca (00:24:18):

Yeah, it's better though. I did my first ever clean PSG on her this July, the first time. And we, it was such an, it was a beautiful sunny day. We just had locked down, which I think contributed, because locked down, I've kind of been like messing around in there, like a pony clubber and just going around the fields and stuff. And so we came and she was really fat to be totally honest. Like she didn't really look like a dressage horse and we like, well, we need to get back in the groove. And it was supposed to be the day that the Europeans would have happened in a heartbreak, but obviously rescheduled. I couldn't get to hungry all of that disappointment. And she was like, yeah, you know.

Natasha (00:25:02):

And what was the percentage you got at the bad Europeans without the tempi’s

Rebecca (00:25:07):

  1. So not too bad,

Natasha (00:25:09):

But for everyone that's done like gone into a test and not like not executed a movement. It's okay. You can go from a 66 to a 75 in 12 months? Yeah. Yeah. You've just got to keep going.

Speaker 2 (00:25:26):

Well, the benefit like ride it feel that it's happened and bin it, because otherwise we're talking to every other movement and yeah, that's what I had to learn as well. I also had to learn the opposite that if I got that first line of fours,

Natasha (00:25:38):

Oh, that didn't make it.

Rebecca (00:25:42):

My trainer’s like oh my goodness. Your legs come off, you go into Lala land.

Natasha (00:25:49):

I’m the same. I get all my tempis to the last one. Cause it's like, woo hoo.

Rebecca (00:25:54):

I can show them for going over the last fence, thinking that they've won and then it just comes down. I'm like, Oh no. So yeah. Stay in the moment.

Natasha (00:26:04):

Absafrigginlutely. I love it. Okay. So that's, that's the beautiful story we had nearly had to be in a field. Pretty much no chance of ever coming back in really crazy to ride. You didn't know what you're doing. Don't know if I'll ever get a change into this horse to eventually a change and then eventually a Prix St George for 75. Yeah.

Rebecca (00:26:24):

Yeah. And now she's like, Oh, two times the Inter I. That's fine. That's cool

Natasha (00:26:30):

I was about to say is this story does it have another ending with Grand Prix?


Rebecca (00:26:39):

I made the decision to go there. Um, I think, you know, to be she's now she'll be 14 year. So she's getting to the stage that even a normal horse would maybe give beef, getting a bit physically ropey. The fact that she's going really well. She's touch wood sound. She's happy. I'm like, I would be doing Grand Prix for myself, not her. So, uh, we're cool with,

Natasha (00:27:00):

I'm just like going, I'm talking to a 40 year old, like I'm talking mature and so wise, which normally usually comes with age and hat off to you.

Rebecca (00:27:12):

Thank you. Yeah, she's just, yeah. She's I love her and she's given me so much. I feel like I owe it to her to be like, you know, I listened to what you're saying and we'll have fun at small tour and yeah. So everyone has a nice grand Prix horse. I doubt I have about 50 for one, but yeah.

Natasha (00:27:33):

All right. So what is the plan? Do you have some young horses? Do you only ride her? What? What's a normal day. I know there's schooling stuff, but in terms of horses, how many horses have you gotten? Right.

Rebecca (00:27:44):

So I am currently riding two, um, I had a real unlucky break in 2016, where we purchased a super lovely horse with all the money that I'd sold the ponies for. Um, yeah. And he, he was the sweetest thing, but I just, just don't know what was going on in his head that there, we always joke that the wiring, somebody had wired him a bit wrong and it wasn't his fault. It was the electrician. He wired him up. Um, he, yeah, we just, we spent four years, three years really? Um, just trying everything. He just didn't, didn't like being a horse. If you like existing really well. He liked existing when he was in the field. Um, and other than that, he was like, no, I don't want to be tied up. I don't want to be in the stable. Don't want to be in the trailer. I'm gonna lose my mind. And then we'd have like three months of really good behavior. I got him up to PSG. We made 68% debut PSG. And I was like, Oh my goodness, we cracked it. And then it would be like the next day he loses his mind and his own stable and made the decision. You are not enjoying this at all. And he is currently a very beautiful field ornament. So yeah.

Natasha (00:28:59):

Thank you for sharing because I think people do do that. I mean, as you said that you said, and we'll get there talking about the investment of the time, the money and the, and the, and the, just the obsession that goes into it. And there's lots of people that have spent a time or money or both on horses and it doesn't have a happy ending. It is.

Speaker 2 (00:29:23):

It's important to like say it though and be upfront about it because, you know, you see on Instagram and stuff, these professional riders that are doing the string of horses, and I can guarantee that they've had one or two or three have not worked out. And these horses don't know that they bred for superstardom and may have been,

Natasha (00:29:45):

Or sold for this much money.

Speaker 2 (00:29:46):

They don't know that they've had a six figure price tag and all of that. Like, that's not important to them. What's important to them is do I feel safe? Do I feel okay? Am I enjoying this? Do I understand? And I just think may be less than just didn't understand. He was like, why do you want to put me in a moving box? I don't get it. Yeah, I got him. But, um, yeah, that was really hard.

Natasha (00:30:13):

Yeah. But thank you. I agree with you. The more people that can talk about these things that happen, the more and normalizes it going. Okay. I'm not the only person in the world that had this happen to.

Rebecca (00:30:25):

Yeah, no, definitely. Um, and I'm, I'm lucky in that I've been able to have other horses alongside that, but it was my big investment, big hope thought, but he didn't know that, and that is not down to him. It was just, that was really bad luck. And, and I feel like you should never give up on a horse, but equally there has to be a moment that you go, I think hopefully mercenary, like how much is too much, um, how many scans and x-rays, and is something wrong with this horse is too much. And also how much is too much for them, you know, how, who are you doing this for? Um, so

Natasha (00:31:01):

Yeah. And you said that a lot through this interview, and I think it's, it's so telling of, as I said, where your maturity is, and I think it's a big message for everyone. Who are you doing this for? What are you doing it for? The answer is you, you, you, if that more hang on.

Rebecca (00:31:15):

Yeah, no, that, that gives me, like, I I'm able to be at peace with it because I know that it was the right decision for him. And although it like guts me a bit, it's, you know, it was the only right decision. So yeah, but he's loving life. He's very hairy, very muddy, no cares in the world. Oh, look at you trot across the field beautifully. So yeah, I've got, sorry, I'd go on about him. I've got some very, a couple of very lovely horses. Um, one that we bought was a four year old from Germany who then who was my type of horse when I rode him through him through, and then he grew about a hand and a half. Um, suddenly the power that I quite liked was quite scary. And I would always be really honest. I'm not the bravest of riders. I'd always do better on a horse that I have to hold the hand and go, come on. We can do this together. The one that's going leaping from the ceiling and I have to be like, come in and listen. So he actually is where the professional rider at the moment, who's hopefully going to, um, have fun with him, develop him. I say professional she's, um, it's not said. So I can't say her name at the moment, but, um, she is similar in that she's come up through use levels, but she's always really done it off her own. She's made it work financially. She worked jobs alongside it and she's super deserving. So she's doing a fantastic job with him looking exciting. And that was really nice to be able to do that for another rider. Um, but my other boy is a recent addition that I actually is the first horse. I've, I've been lucky enough to buy with my dad. Um, and he's a nine year old, um, he's been taken super slow. That was really important to me because I've sort of ridden a horse that's gone a bit quick. Um, and yeah, we're just chilling at the moment. Everyone's like, when are you going to get out? And him, and I'm like, not till next year, because you know, when a new partnership I haven't. Yeah. Anyway wrote this year off. So we're having a lot of fun together. We're finding the time. So yeah, I love it.

Natasha (00:33:31):

Okay. So sounds like future's bright and you're clear on your goals. So now I want to talk about you. That's not all you do because if people are listening to this, it would sound like this is what you do. Um, but tell us, tell us about what else do you do and how you make it all work.

Rebecca (00:33:45):

So I, when I was younger, I was very aware of the fact that in order to do riding properly, um, it costs a lot of money and I'm in a very fortunate position that, you know, I can't go out and buy ready-made grand Prix, horse, or anything like that. And goodness, I respect people that do because you've got to drive a Ferrari and wow, wouldn't, we all do it if we could. Um, but I can't, but equally I've been in a position that I've been able to buy really nice younger horses and develop them. And I've been very aware that I want to be able to do that through my life. So I wanted to get a really good education and, um, hopefully find a job that alongside horses will support them. Um, so I can say this now because I'm graduated.

Natasha (00:34:34):


Rebecca (00:34:37):

In secondary school, I did a little, I looked at the map and I went what's universities commutable from home. Um, there is only one, unfortunately, uh, and I looked at it and I thought, Oh, that's quite a senior university. Um, I don't think I'm going to get in there by turning up at an interview and going, I want to ride ponies.

Natasha (00:34:55):

So close to my home. So please let me in.

Rebecca (00:35:02):

Put my finger on the academic side of things. Um, so it was always a bit of a, some to me that like good grades, hard work equals ponies. So yeah. Yeah. Um, that's what really motivated me. I mean, I do like, I enjoy academia. I really loved my degree. I did it in English language literature, and that was that I definitely wanted to do that as a subject cause I loved it. Um, you know, it doesn't feed in any particular, uh, career and I probably will have to take conversion course, cause I think I'd like to go into law. Um, but I was important to me that did it because I loved it because I knew it was going to be really hard and it was, um, but yeah, it was always okay. That homework will add up to good grades. A lot up to good university will add up to horses. So

Natasha (00:35:50):

Your parents have done an amazing job. Um, like I just feel they need to get so much to shape you and support you through all the learnings that you did as a young child and had give you that, um, like complex equivalents this plus this plus this equals this what a gift. It could be, you know, this plus this equals crappiness. So you'd be like, well, I'm not going to interested in plus my class, but the fact that they gave you really cool things to strive for, um, to equal your passion and your love.

Rebecca (00:36:22):

Yes, no, definitely. I was, I mean, I mean, I continue to be incredibly grateful to them because at the moment I'm on a gap year, basically doing horses and that's changed privilege to kind of have a forced holiday for a year. Um, but it was always that my dad would support me to the ends of the earth within his means as long as I was putting in the same. So, uh, not financially, but you know, in ethic. And he's. Always been that he'd rather that I said, if I needed help with something that I got my trainer to help me, that I was upfront, that I wasn't, you know, wasting people's time a little bit by being like, no, I'll do it all myself. And then imploding that. I was like, no, the most sensible way to do this is I'm going to need a hand. And I think that's really important as well because riding is quite a solitary sport when you're on the horse. But, um, when you're off, it might, I mean, you'll know it takes a village and it's really important that you use your village and you like surround yourself with people that are prepared to help you and you use them because they're there, they've put themselves there, they've sacrificed their own time in the effort and their commitment to help you and what a privilege. So yeah, absolutely make the most of it. And I've always been really lucky that I've had people that I can go like I need help. Um, the next step there.

Natasha (00:37:43):

That's huge. And let's talk about your trainer piece. Cause it sounds like this trainer has been really, um, useful and important in your journey. And I think that that is a huge thing as well. Like you said, at the end of the day, when we're in the competition ring, our traiern is not there. No one's there [inaudible]. Yeah. But to get into that ring, we, if you've never done it before, it's the same with anything. If you've never, you didn't do your English literature course without a tutor telling you what you should be doing. So in every area of our life, if we don't know how to do something, we get help and that person has to help us. But, um, with the trainer, there's so much elements to that because they have to help the homeless. They have to help you. They have to be psychologists. They have to be therapists need to be this whole gamut of thing. So yeah. Do you want to speak to a little bit more about how important that trying piece was?

Rebecca (00:38:41):

So I have trained for over 10 years now with the same trainer, Karen Roberts and, um, she was originally an event rider. Uh, she, now she does a lot of dressage coaching now. Um, and she runs a delivery OD where actually I've just recently moved my two horses. Um, so we're sort of where our journey together has developed a lot over the years. Um, and the generic is originally when I first had a lesson with her, my mum really had to convince her because she didn't really teach kids. And it was me on my little home bred jumping pony, um, like bombing around the arena with no, not a care in the world, probably the worst position

Rebeecca (00:39:24):


Rebecca (00:39:24):

Doing great. And you'd watch and be like,

Rebecca (00:39:31):

I had a, a couple of lessons to start with to then help me in finding an ex pony, which was a really fun process, which included bringing a pony back. It bolting around the arena with me and her going to my parents, puts it on the lorry and take it back. She's always been there for like those really classic development stages. Um, but then over the course of like doing my international journey, like, you know, she's not, not, you said they have to be everything and, but she's always been that she'll be everything. And she goes up the drive and she thinks even when she's at home about how she can help her clients. And she does this equally for everyone she teaches, but then goes right. Okay. That's not my area, but I know someone who will help you in that area. And she's not, there's no sort of territorialness or anything it's like this person will help you. So go to them. Um, and we've always, I mean, we've always checked with trainers that this is okay, but she's come along to sort of clinics with other trainers that maybe I've done through teams. And because he sees it as a learning opportunity for herself and I think to find someone who's so open-minded and amazing. It really was a rarity. And that's why I've stayed with her for so long. And yeah, it, it works.

Natasha (00:40:43):

She gets a rockstar metal as well. [inaudible] you understand that? That's so rare. She sounds, ego-less like to be able to go. All I see is I'm, I'm invested in you being the best and whether or not you see X, Y, Z let's get that to happen.

Rebecca (00:41:04):


Natasha (00:41:05):

And how many lessons do you have with her? Normally

Speaker 2 (00:41:08):

Really varies. So to be honest, um, if I have, so I haven't had a lesson on, in her in a while because we're kind of just sticking over, um, with my new boy, Leo, I'm having a little bit more, cause I need a bit more help. Uh, but it may be average out to like once a week maybe. Um, so it, basically, if I have a lesson on the Tuesday and there's like a little bit of unfinished business, we'll slot me in and I'll have another one on the Thursday, but then I might not have any for two weeks because she's giving me something, that's going to take a little time for me to work out. So it's very much as long as I can get in her diary. It's very much as in when I need it, which is already nice basis to have it on, which I know Maybe have to travel to a train or weekly or something.

Natasha (00:41:52):

It's intense. Yeah. What about when you were doing the ponies, um, with like the European championships, was it, and when you were really learning how to do dressage, did you need more lessons or you figured it out between us?

Rebecca (00:42:06):

No, definitely. And I had them weekly, um, because I had to fit round school. So I had both ponies. Um, we were really lucky. I'd get home from school maybe at five 30 and it would be dark. And, um, my dad got some floodlights, which was amazing lifesaving. I'd be handed the first one in with Karen and then swap see at the gate. I did sometimes joke. I could maybe get from one stirrup off onto the other pony, but that's probably the safest thing to do. Um, and then onto the next one, usually my school blouse under my coats and everything. Um, and then, yeah, so I finished up at like seven 30 and then do some homework and stuff. But she, yeah, the fact that she, you know, drove all that way to do evening lessons. Um, I think on a couple of occasions where I wasn't completely comatose, we did them before school. Um, that was really a fitting around mission for both of them.

Natasha (00:42:58):

Huge commitment for both of you. Yeah. Okay. So, um, uh, it says here that you've built quite a big following on social media and TikToK. Do you enjoy the social media or aspects? Sorry, teach me. I'm nearly 40. I don't understand that thing.

Rebecca (00:43:23):

Honestly. No, do I. I like Instagram because I'm like, so Facebook I'm like important information about my horse, you know, steps of my horse, Instagram or like pretty picture of my horse ticked off. I'm like what do you want. Video of my horse dancing. Oh, the ones that tend to go down really well, which always really cheers him up and he thinks he's great. Is there anything that my boyfriend has done with my horse. Oh yeah. Amazing. I mean, he's like, Oh, they really like me. And I'm like, yeah, Nope, it's fine. I do, I love the social media side of it because I have literally come into contact with other riders. I would never have spoken to, you know, like I, I would never be having this conversation with you, which is amazing. And I feel like you can learn so much from other riders is such a great resource, but like every good thing, my goodness does it have its payoffs as well. They are. They are vicious sometimes. Um, I don't even think I've had the half of what some other riders have come up against on it. Um, it's, I think it breeds a lot of jealousy. Um, and I think it gives this like false illusion of anonymity, uh, that makes people say things that they would never say to people's faces. Um, and yeah, especially with dressage, my goodness, like the moment you post a video and your horse comes in inch behind the vertical for one stride. Woo.

Natasha (00:45:00):

And I'd love that you said, you know, um, it's, it's jealousy and I go, it's jealousy on something. That's not real because what's projected is normally the perfect finished product. You don't post on Facebook when you retired your horse because you couldn't get it. Like you didn't do the whole story. Like we don't tend to go, Hey world, I'm having a really shitty day and things are going really bad. Here's a photo of my badness. So we tend to show and you know, I'm not judging that at all. I'm just saying that tends to be the nature of social media. So then it's, it's when people are going through the shit, they're like, there is that anger or that, that emotion that rises up in them because it's that. And so my big mantra is seek to understand, not be understood. And if people can come from that, as you said, okay, the horse went behind the vertical. Well, let's seek to understand that rather than to be understood that that's bad. Oh. And the other thing that really draws me hilarious is that when, um, if someone does a bad thing that equals they're a bad person, or if someone does a good thing there again, and I'm like, no, it's two different things, different things.

Rebecca  (00:46:13):

I always try that. Like you said about like, we don't post about the bad, obviously I don't post like, Oh, today you're in a red vertical in the corner of the school and I nearly got decks. But although maybe that would go down well, because it'd probably be quite funny to watch. Um, but I do try and post the realistic stuff. So I did actually say about Jimmy, um, and said that this, um, this is how it is. And I tried to do more

Natasha (00:46:43):


Rebecca (00:46:44):

Actually. That was one I had solidarity. I was so lucky. I had like a couple of like, Oh, well, you've pushed him to that point. And I'm like, I was like, honestly, anything you can say, I've already said to myself and I've already reconciled. So absolutely like three years of, no, I know that's not the case. I've not, I need to stop replying because I'm so like, Oh, I've got to prove myself to you. And I'm like, Nope, block leave. Don't even go there. That would be actually, that'd be my main piece of advice is just don't even engage because there's such a lock, like a bad person. And I really want to prove myself that I'm not, but I'm like, they're not going to take it so leave. Um, and yeah, the solidarity was amazing. And from riders, I really respect. And that's the main thing. Like, that's so nice when someone who I love the way they ride, I love the way they treat horses, thinks that you treat them was saying, that's like a little gold star, isn't it. And you're like, I'm doing nothing. And how validations while we will do it. And I would really encourage to people as well. Like sometimes I think we do this really passive engagement with social media. We'll be like all our friends posting things, but just occasionally being watching something. And we think, Oh, that's great in the score pass to me. Like it, you know, like comment that and say like, God, I love that station and your horse. And yeah. Like tell them because we're all really easy to jump on it and be like, ah, that's not fair. That's not great. You know, like tell them when it's great. Um, it's nice to hear. And we all

Natasha (00:48:22):

Dream in my perfect world. Like, um, I'm like, what if the world could transform too? We only say things when we want to champion. And when we see things that we go, all we disagree with that rile up an emotion or a feeling or an instinct within us, we just go, Hmm. I probably don't understand that enough. So I'm just going to either private message and ask for help, or I'm going to scroll past. And I go, Oh my God, what would that be like?

Rebecca (00:48:52):

It would be amazing. We have a lot less to talk about on social media, I guess.

Natasha (00:48:58):

Sorry, I'm you have this 12 year old child. That's like, I can win Europeans on my party squiggles that Terry, that doesn't even trot properly. I still have that stupid optimism in terms of the world could be that. And we could be that and all that kind of stuff.

Rebecca (00:49:17):

Yeah. I really don't see any reason, you know, it would only take everyone making a little change. That's amazing. Um, and also I would say like the add on to that, if you don't, you're either don't understand it or if you are, even if you think you really understand that commenting something horrible is not going to change it. So accept that it's beyond your control. You know, if, if it really is, you know, someone's posted something of some horrific abuse, then report it to the relevant authority or something that they comment. Yes.

Natasha (00:49:44):

It still doesn’t need your comment?

Rebecca (00:49:48):

Yeah. It's not going to change it. Um, I love it. If you see something happening that you think, Oh God, that's horrible and I can't change it, then go and spend 10 pounds donating to a charity that works to change it or something like there's so much better things you could do then make a comment. Um, that's snarky and horrible and everything. Because even if you think that all that person deserves it, like you don't know them at all, you've never met them.

Natasha (00:50:12):

Is that kind of culture that the shame or he must pay? Yeah. I just don't get that. Yeah.

Rebecca (00:50:21):

I think hope like there's not too much of it in the horse world, but it, when it comes about it's strong, um, we all need to be aware of it. Yeah.

Natasha (00:50:31):

Awesome. I love it. Um, so, uh, do you set goals, like, did you, as a little 12 year old, have a little list of goals up on your, um, bedroom wall? Do you have goals now or how do you go about achieving? Cause you've done amazing things. Did you always set out to achieve those things or how did it work?

Rebecca (00:50:49):

So when I had the really rigorous structure of like aiming for a Europeans, I did because it was so nice and prescriptive and I say nice and prescriptive. And you might think like, Ooh, but it was because yeah, I was like, okay, that's then. So I'd go, I'd look at my year in December with Karen, with Charlie, my school psychologist, with my parents. Um, and I would go that's then I need to go there and there to get there. I need to go there to get to those places. I having to start working on this to get to that, you know, silly things like, okay, um, horse needs a treatment. It'll have to go there. Horse needs is back doing it'll have to go there like Palm stuff back because your goal will not happen unless you have been doing this stuff from at least six weeks out and getting it all right. To give yourself the best chance to do it. So I've started doing quite a lot of, well, I say quite a lot. It's not that much, cause I'm not doing it full time, but it's really taken off actually. Um, I was so flattered together. I had a full clinic for the first time and I was like, Oh my God, you want to actually be taught by me. Um, but that's the same two people like, even in your training session, like give yourself the best chance for it to go, right? Like if you've set a goal, then go about how can you make this easy? Like it'll never be easy, but as easy as possible to achieve. So if you're about to account to transition, how can you make it as easy as possible to treat you for where you have to make sure your trot’s organized, you want to go to the Europeans to make it as easy as possible to achieve you can't control selection, but you've gotta be at your top level, like in June. So that was really important to me and really drilled into me by Charlie, actually that you only have a few things you can control to really make them on and make them right. Yeah.

Natasha (00:52:33):

And as you're saying that the goal to me, I, the goals and dreams, people go, they shouldn't be interchangeable. And I go Meh tomato, tomato, tomato, that they're both not going to be achieved unless the plan is in place. The magic, not the shiny thing.

Rebecca (00:52:51):

No, no, I, yeah. I think, you know, set that your goals as a little, well, a goal, one goal should be made up of like a hundred little ones. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Especially with horses because you know, the first step to the first step to you getting to your international competition on your freedom horses, hypothetical person might be getting him around the arena tomorrow without getting decked. And that's great Actually, or you might be injured and it might just be like getting back on and getting your confidence back. Yeah. They really the scale all the way back. And when you get to a stage that your goal is I need to get eight and nine extended trot. Pretty much that. So, yeah.

Natasha (00:53:41):

And that's the thing as well. The, the understanding of, I always say we're working on grand Prix, like putting your leg over a three-year-old if we're working on Grand Prix like if the goal is that everything we do, if I walk in for rehab or where it doesn't matter if he can get, cause that motivates me, like, it's like, why am I doing this? If I know why it's cool, but I got to know what this, what do these, like in a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle, what this piece is useful for part of the part of the grass or it's part of the hacks.

Rebecca (00:54:11):

And I also then the bit that I've always found hard is finding things to focus on in those periods that you maybe don't have a goal with a horse. Um, and I've read that they've come about a lot this year. Um, so when the Europeans got moved and realized I couldn't get to them logistically and stuff like that is, Oh my goodness. So I've had six years of aiming for stuff with this horse. Now, what do I aim for when I'm like Bo surely the goal, we all have a goal. Every time we get on a horse, which is to enjoy riding that horse, um, and you know, whatever we're doing with it, actually we, we, without realizing we will set ourselves that goal every time you ride. And that's why when we get off, when we've had a good ride where like buzzing and then we don't have such a good ride, we're a bit flat because we've not attained that little unspoken role of liking, like enjoying your ride. So I think, yeah, while we're all getting a bit, having the rug pulled out from under us and we don't really know what's going to happen competition wise. And that's a nice one as well as maybe set yourself training goals. But also if you're feeling a bit lost and a bit like unanchored by it all, then yeah. Every time you ride, you're actually starting a little goal. Um, yeah. That's to enjoy it, even if you go through.

Natasha (00:55:22):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's funny you bring up the fun piece. So I have a life mission and it's to have as much fun, love, joy and laughter in any possible moment. So it doesn't matter if I'm having, I'm having so much fucking fun right now, currently on working. I don't know. And then when I'm riding a horse, it's, it's, where's the fun, love, joy, excitement, and laughter. And it's actually in huge conflict. I talk about it with my mindset coach all the time, going okay, dressage, discipline, um, absolute ism, perfection, preciseness. And I'm like [inaudible] and I'm pretty much driven by these two parallels of, um, opposition really going well, we gotta find a way we gotta find a way to bring the fun into the discipline.

Rebecca (00:56:20):

That's why I love watching dressage prize givings so much because it's like, I know the control and there's a beers. And then that just bombing out the arena Olympia at a hundred miles an hour, like giving a good bronc or something. And I'm like, Oh yeah, that's what was driving us all really is the desire that drives, you know, your warmblood to go and have a good old buck. Like that's the feeling that you should be getting when you're riding. Is that like, Oh, I just love doing this. So

Natasha (00:56:47):

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. Brilliant. Okay. Um, do you have any advice for young riders, juggling uni writing and work commitments?

Rebecca (00:56:57):

I think you do have to be boring and you really have to meticulously plan, um, and get yourself a written diary. I didn't, I was never the aesthetic diary kind of person. Um, I've got them all up on the side actually here and they keep my old ones. Cause I love to look back at them and be like, Oh, remember like this day, three years ago I was doing this. Um, but you, yeah, I would say get yourself. I mean, don't in fairness you can, but I really struggled with my diary on my phone of writing, writing it. So I put appointments on my phone, but um, yeah. Have it in front of you because that's when you also start to see caches of things. What I call like pinch points, where it's not necessarily impossible, but it's going to be tricky and that's when you then three weeks in advance, phone someone up and go. So I've got this weekend, I've got to do X, Y, Z. Could you cover the yard for me? Um, and then you've

Rebecca (00:57:56):

I've reached that point like majorly at university as well. And I've been on the phone to Karen and she's like, why have you let yourself get to here? And I'm like, Oh, because that's all I could do. And it doesn't matter if it happens and just learn why it happened to be honest about why it happened. Um, it's very easy to get a little bit like, Oh, the world is against me and it's so hard and it is hard. But to be honest that maybe you bit off a little bit more than you could chew and go, okay, let's not do that next time because nobody likes being in tears at the end of the phone to their parents or their trainer. Um, yeah, just you've build that team and, and rely on them when you need them. And as long as you're putting in a hundred percent of what you can put in. So even if you aren't university, there were weeks. I only rode twice in the week and I just literally came home, schooled the horses and they were hacking and lunging everything other than that, because that was a hundred percent of what I could put in under the circumstances I was under. Um, and as long as you're doing that, that's all you can do and be open with other people. But why that, so you can do, because you've got X, Y, Z on, or you're just feeling a bit overwhelmed, you're a bit stressed and need to just Whoa for a minute. Um, people who always do their very best to help you, they can understand your motivations and they understand that you're putting in as much as you can as well.

Rebecca (00:59:16):

Especially in this industry, like they all understand how hard it is and they, they want to help. So let them help. Um, but make sure that you're putting in as much as you can too, because you it's like half that, you know, you get out what you put in and sometimes you don't, sometimes something goes wrong in the calculations and you put in loads and you don't quite get out as much as you were hoping, but you've got to put in loads in the first place to even get the opportunity that you might get out what you were hoping for.

Natasha (00:59:47):

So, yeah, and I always find in those crushingly disappointments, or just the horrible illness of horrible, shitty thing that could have happened when you look back, you're too young. But when you look back, as you get older, you go, God, because of that, she didn't, this thing hadn't happened. I wouldn't have done this, this and this that now 10 years later has led me to this. It, you can see that everything works out for a reason.

Rebecca (01:00:10):

Yeah, no, definitely. Yeah. And I think, yeah, hold on. Sign when you're ended up for it as well. Um, yeah. Yeah. It will work out eventually. Um, and even if it's, it might be, it'd be bit, bit short-term so terrible. Test learn something from it and then going at your personal best or small scale, or it might be really long-term and it might be that, you know, you have, you have a really bad fall of your horse say, which is, I think something that maybe doesn't happen as much in dressage, but it does happen. You hear about horror falls and things, and you're thinking of four years of recovery, et cetera, et cetera. And you look back and you think actually that sent me in a direction that I would never have gone in otherwise. And all that was a horrible way to get there. And goodness, wouldn't it be nice if the universe could have just given me a post-it note.

Natasha (01:00:56):

The last lesson of this really important thing with an ice cream.

Rebecca (01:01:01):

Exactly. Wouldn't that be nice? But yeah, the lesson is that to be, to be hard and, um, you know, it's, it's hard to see it when you're right in the midst of it and you can solve it and you're like, Oh, you wouldn't understand, but it's like, everyone has them as well to different scales. And everyone goes through the same thing differently. So even if you're looking at another rider and you're like, Oh, the worst thing that's ever happened to you is X, Y, Z. That's the worst thing that's ever happened to them. But listen to what you're saying, it is the worst thing that's ever happened to them. And it will have been felt accordingly. So understand that though, you might have battled a little bit harder in your opinion, it's not comparative, um,

Natasha (01:01:41):

Could put their problems in a pile and you came with yours, you would take your, your problem. And you're like,

Rebecca (01:01:47):

No, absolutely. Yeah, definitely.

Natasha (01:01:52):

Awesome. Good stuff too. All right. So, um, you said you've graduated, so you have finished university?

Rebecca (01:02:01):

Yeah. In very sort of non-conventional way

Natasha (01:02:04):

When we were in Oxford, they were doing the, like, they would literally just terrorizing each other with lots of different paints and squidgy things and

Rebecca (01:02:16):

Oh, see, you know, so that's called trashing. Um, and that happens after exams. So I missed that. I know that. Um, so I got it from my first year examinations, but I didn't get it my finals. Cause I took my finals from my childhood bedroom, which is the most bizarre experience. Um, literally like with my cuddly toys watching me like, um, so I missed my final term, which was really good thing. Um, I had a lot that I put off and been like, no, I've got to focus on work and I'll do that in the four weeks after my exams and then poof gone. But I think in the grand scheme of things this year, like that was a very minor sacrifice really. And actually I really feel for the freshers going back now because I think it's the hardest stage to miss. Um, so yeah, so yeah, I didn't get terrorized. I didn't get chucked in the tans. I got on my horse today after I finished my exams and had my stride and stuff. So that was, that was my sanity. I was so lucky to have that too.

Natasha (01:03:13):

And I, you now you mentioned something about law, so are you in a transition state? I don't know what I want to be when I grew up. What should I do?

Rebecca (01:03:18):

So I'm in the transition stage of, I know what I want to be, but why won't you give me a job? Um, so I would like to go into the city and do commercial law. Um, and I've been really fortunate that a lady who has done a similar career path to me, went to Cambridge, uh, has kind of taught me through a little bit how it works her and she's now bought her horse up to Grand PRix. She's still compete. She's juggled it incredibly. And it's so nice to see someone that's made it work.

Natasha (01:03:54):

What a great mentor, yeah,

Rebecca (01:03:56):

Well she's, she's so like she's super busy as well, but like about a year ago I had a phone call with her and she was like, they, that they're like, you know, I'm at the end of the phone. Um, and all though, I probably so, so at some point again, but even like one phone call and someone just giving up an hour of their time, I was like, okay, this is possible. I can do this. Um, it's not totally uncharted territory, but it's, it's tough. And I've submitted lots of them.

Natasha (01:04:22):

Well, at the another five years of study, will it be another five years of study?

Rebecca (01:04:27):

No, thank goodness. I can convert my existing degree. Luckily with a year of study. Well, nine months of study. Um, yeah, so I have a conversion course and then it's like, I've had a law degree and then I do the, uh, solicitor's kind of examination. All law graduates would have to do anyway. Uh, so I've just delayed myself by nine months kind of by doing a degree other than law, which is nice. Yes. Yeah. Well that was the thing. I didn't want to tie myself to it. But then as I was doing the English degree, I was doing these work experience things and I was like, Hmm, yeah, this is my jam. I'm like, I want to do this. Um, so yeah, it's application time now. And I've got two nice rejections, but already, but we keep going and I'll continue on. Got

Rebecca (01:05:23):

Mentioned of them. I've watched, um, American TV. Is it the bar? Everyone talks about the bar. Did you bar? Is that the one?

Rebecca (01:05:31):

So that's barrister’s. So that's the people that sign up in court and do all that really cool stuff. So I want to do the slightly less glam, but like really detail oriented.

Natasha (01:05:42):

Yes. It's not all this prep, for course in. Sorry. I was riding my horse at the internationals and I didn't really review them.

Rebecca (01:05:52):

I'm not sure that would get on too well if I was so, you know, I don't know if there's some important style with some terrible murderer and I got off if I was riding my handle that,

Natasha (01:06:02):

So I'm liking what you're thinking. I'm liking the solicitor stuff. Awesome.

Rebecca (01:06:05):

Yeah. So I'm definitely, I would make commercial solicitor because I see all the things that I've done with horses and I'm like, Hm, that would work that. And, Oh my goodness. So talking to someone and trying to get your point across in a way that they understand and get past problems. And that sounds like speaking to a horse that has no idea what you're going on about. And like, there's lots of things that I really think I could apply in it. And, um, yeah, I just really liked the idea of working with people, but on exciting stuff, big stuff, exciting stuff, like really significant deals and things and making it work. And I feel like all the stuff with horses is making it work. Isn't it, it's trying to make it work to the best of everyone's ability into the best outcome. And hopefully I can write that convincingly enough on a few applications and someone would make a punch, but yeah. So that's where I'm at at the moment. So I'm writing and applying and doing that of teaching and loving it, really enjoying it. Well, good luck.

Natasha (01:07:02):

Yeah. The good names. I'll say it on Facebook. So where can listeners find you on social media?

Rebecca (01:07:10):

Um, so on socials I have Facebook, which is Rebecca Bell, dressage, Instagram, which is Rebecca Bell eight because I have a common surname and somebody already had it. Um, and that takes okays the same. Uh tik-tok I would probably say viewer discretion is goodness knows what I'm supposed to do on it. Haven't done any dancing on it yet. And I probably won't be. Um, but there's usually, it's more like videos of the cute little ponies at home and stuff. So maybe more lighthearted one, if you want the competitions and the results and the training, that's probably Facebook and Instagram.

Natasha (01:07:47):

Yep. I love it. Thank you so much for your time today. Anything you want to add or, or say as a passing thought?

Rebecca (01:07:55):

Um, Oh, well, first of all, thank you so much for having me. Um, and it's always nice to have a, have a Napster and like, and also relive it all and talk through it all. Um, and yeah, sort of don't really have that much helpful things to say to people, but maybe that, you know, that where it's probably one of the most like unique sports and that the range of backgrounds people come from and the range of facilities that they have financially time support, et cetera, et cetera. But we are all doing this for the same reason. And don't forget that when you're on social media and things, and don't forget that when you're at a competition and you're the one having the bad day, because one day you'll be the one having a good day. So yeah,

Natasha (01:08:39):

Perfectly said I love it. Thank you so much. Yeah, you too. Thank you so much for having me.


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