Podcast Episode 39: Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu | Breaking Records

In this podcast, we speak with Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu. Brittany is a successful Canadian Grand Prix rider and has competed at the the Pan American Games, World Equestrian Games, and is shortlisted for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Brittany has had a passion for horses from a young age and quickly developed through the ranks. Brittany spend many years overseas furthering her training, however now resides in Canada to establish her business.

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Full Transcript Expand to full transcript

Natasha (00:00):
Welcome to this Your Riding Success podcast episode with Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu. Inspired by a love of horses at a very young age, Brittany began her career in dressage and quickly rose through the ranks. Brittany and her gelding All In have helped lead the Canadian team to a silver metal finish at the 2015 pan American games, wowed Carl Hester during a Toronto masterclass and was the highest-scoring Canadian combination at the 2018 World Equestrian Games climbing the rankings to number one grand Prix dressage rider in Canada for two consecutive years. In 2017, she made the decision to relocate back to Canada, to establish her business and to give back what she has learned to the sport she loves so much. With her sights still looking to compete at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Brittany has so much to share with her experiences. I'm so excited to bring you this amazing episode with Brittany.

Natasha (00:50):
Welcome to the Your Riding Success Podcast. My name is Natasha Althoff and I'm a Grand Prix dressage rider 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 obsessed with helping riders to be all. Each week I'm going to 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 your riding to the next level and be the rider you dream to be. So let's get into today's episode.

Brittany (01:25):
All right. So thank you so much for joining us today. I'm super pumped to chat.

Brittany (01:30):
Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

Natasha (01:33):
Awesome. Sorry, why don't we start at the start? What did you want to be when you grew up? Like where did you have a pony in a very young age? How did you get involved with horses?

Brittany (01:45):
Well, I always loved horses from a very young age. I have a picture of my dad holding me on a Western horse when I could barely sit up, um, as a very young child. So my dad was into horses. Um, his wife at the time ha um, also had a riding school. So I was always involved in, you know, we always had many, a kids and western programs at our, at our stable. I had a pony, well, I had several ponies, but, um, yeah, it was, it was, I tried jumping. I did dressage. Um, I definitely fell in love with the dressage part of it. Jumping I was a little bit nervous I would say, but, um, I always wanted to be in the barn. Of course I never wanted to go to school. I wouldn't want to be in the, you know, typical girl pony, but it was so fun because I had all of, like, I met so many friends to ride thing, lifetime friends. Um, it was like the place that you go and you hang out 10, you know, and just enjoy horses. So, and I don't think today that happens as much as it did when I was younger. So I was,

Natasha (03:03):
And did you grow up reading like a saddle club books where you Like, yeah.

Natasha (03:10):
Yeah. It's, we're just living in the book. We're just living the dream.

Brittany (03:16):
I am the show too. They made a, they made a TV show.

Natasha (03:22):
I didn't have that. I didn't have to deal with my imagination.

Brittany (03:29):
Even there was even, there was computer games where you could, you know, be a jockey or pretend to jump for yeah, I know. Right.

Natasha (03:39):
So your horsey horse, when did you have a moment where you went, like when I asked, would ask you when you're like eight or nine, what are you going to be when you grow up? Would you have said a horse rider?

Brittany (03:52):
Yes, I think so. I would have for sure, my head that, well, my parents supported me, um, for sure they supported me. Um, but I always had in my head, well, the right thing is to go to school, to go to university and, um, you know, cause that's what you're supposed to do.

Brittany (04:16):
And, uh, I did, but I decided, you know, halfway through that, it wasn't for me. And I worked so hard. Um, you know, in barns, working students, mucking, stalls, everything I could to, you know, get to where I am now. And my dad always said, well, if you work hard, then you know, I will, I will back you. So I was, I was fortunate for that for sure. Um, but we were in, I was in so many great programs as, um, as a junior opponent, pony, junior and young rider. Um, that always kept me motivated. And when, when I got a taste of, um, being on a team or being, you know, involved in a, you know, a big CDI, I, I thrived on that and I realized from then on that, you know, I wanted to be a team rider. I think in 2001, I had leased a pony from my, one of my trainers, client clients.

Brittany (05:28):
I couldn't even get it on the bit now that I look back and in Montreal they did. Oh yes. And they did, um, they were having the, for where they introduced the FEI pony in CDI in 2001. And I'm like, well, I have to do that. I was leasing this pony. I couldn't get it on the bit, but I'm like, whatever, I'm going to go for it. And, and um, you know, when I think back of those days, and we also did some, uh, invitationals and Mexico city where we went on, we went as a team and we borrowed horses that again, we could barely get through the movements, but when I look back at all of these incredible opportunities that I had it just each time I, I lived that I wanted more. So I knew that I, there was nothing else I wanted to do.

Brittany (06:32):
And you know, like we all talk about, you know, there's disappointments, of course there's more disappointments really then, then fame for sure. And success, especially when you're learning and going up the levels. Sometimes I feel like, you know, the kids and the young riders and, you know, they all see everybody at the end, the end result when they go down centre line. And of course it looks polished, but the hours and, you know, sometimes the frustration and the tears and the, that you have to go through that to get that finished project finished, uh, product is, is not always easy.

Natasha (07:14):
Absolutely. So you've decided you, you went to uni, you went, no, no, no, this is not for me. I'm going to become a dressage rider and if kinda sometimes sounds it would have been easier to stay at uni. Like when you say you become a working student and mucking horses stalls.,

Brittany (07:28):
That's it. I had two jobs, I had two horses. I was, I was mucking, I don't know, mucking 30 stalls, riding, grooming everything. So exhausting. Like, why did I do this? But, but in the freezing cold, it was in Ottawa. It was so cold in the winter, like minus 30, but that's what you do when you love horses.

Natasha (07:54):
I can't even comprehend those temperatures. Okay. Now do all of that because you, you would definite I'm going to go to the Olympics or was it, I just want to be the best rider I can be or what was your dream propelling, all that work to happen?

Brittany (08:07):
No, the Olympics was for sure. My, yeah, my, the Olympics was for sure. My dream. Um, I knew one day I was going to try what I could to, to get there. I didn't know how it was ever going to happen, you know, how any of it was going to happen and probably most people don't. Um, but I knew I was going to try my best.

Natasha (08:30):

Brittany (08:31):
To get there.

Natasha (08:32):
Okay. So what kind of unfolded in those years, did you get some opportunities? Did you get all your own horse up to FEI or Grand Prix or what was?

Brittany (08:41):
Yes. So I trained with Ruth caution, Alrick Hidaman and for many years of my life. And they were like the, you know, the juniors and riders that stage of my life. Um, I had a horse, um, you know, that I was on the team for young riders and things like that. And Ruth retired, I still train with Alrick a little bit and then I got an opportunity to train with Ashley Holzer. About eight years ago, I started training with, or Ashley gave me an opportunity to train with her. Um, and the horse that I have now All In, um, was some six or seven.

Natasha (09:22):
I love that name by the way.

Brittany (09:23):
The, the auction, I didn't name them. The auction that I bought in from Vegas. I can't take credit for that, but, um, I, she gave me the opportunity to go train with her. So I packed my bags and I went to New York. And, um, I think a couple of weeks after I started training with her, I went and showed him Devin with all-in and fourth level and it went really well. And I started to see like really his talent and things, you know, the training just kept getting better and he kept getting stronger and she taught me how with a lot of her help, how to train a horse from basically walk, trot, canter, a flying change one way to a Grand Prix horse.

Natasha (10:10):
I love it. And what, how old were you when you did the move?

Brittany (10:17):
22. Yeah.

Natasha (10:19):
So was that hard, had you done much traveling from your home prior to that?

Brittany (10:26):
Yes I did. I was traveling since high school, so I grew up in Nova Scotia. Um, and I was living in Ottawa for, for a long time. Um, so I was always traveling, but you know, when I, when I got the opportunity to train with Ashley, I just met my husband. Um, so, you know, when you're younger, you're like, okay, well, yes. And he went to school to be an engineer. So he also had big goals for himself and I had big goals for myself. So it worked. Yeah. Not going to say it was easy, but it works.

Brittany (11:11):
Um, so yeah, it was an incredible experience that I had in New York with Ashley. It was, you know, just her training program. Um, what I learned watching, I would sit there and watch her teach, you know, to amateurs, to professionals, um, seeing her ride young horses, to Grand Prix horses, you know, just seeing the different tactics that she used for different horses. It was, it was like me going to school. Yeah. You know, that was my stuff with my schooling. Yeah. Um, that was a really an incredible opportunity. I received a grant, um, in like when I was training with Ashley to go to Europe and train with a trainer in Europe for three months. So I went here and I trained with Patrick Kittel, which was also an incredible experience. So All, All In and I packed her bags and went to Germany and we spent three months there. Amazing people. So fun. Learned so much would do it all over again. Yeah.

Natasha (12:23):
Yeah. Okay. So you were, what year did All In go Grand Prix?

Brittany (12:34):
Okay. I did, um, the Pan Am's in 2015 and in 2015, I did my first national Grand Prix.

Brittany (12:46):
Cool. All right. I'm quite like I'm on track for 16?

Brittany (12:54):
I knew he was green and I knew I was green for Rio, but I was, I try to give it a go, um, uh, Canada didn't send a team. They only send two individuals. So I knew that it was going to be very, very tough. Um, but for my first year Grand Prix, you know, I, I was so proud of him that he, you know, that he stepped up to the plate and just, uh, you know, in 2013 I was, I did one national grand Prix. And then I did the Pan AM's. I wasn't even focusing on the Grand Prix then. So, and he's a huge horse. It's a lot to put together from start to finish for the test and just strength wise. Like you think you're ready, but you go in down centre line and it's like, Oh gosh. I mean, I need to practice more. Um, so I did give it a go and I was close, but I was, was much more prepared for this year.

Natasha (14:01):
Yes. So were you, um, did you, is it still with All In you were prepared for this year? Yeah. Cause how old this year?

Brittany (14:09):
So, so all in this year is 15. Oh, I had an, yeah. I had an incredible winter season in Florida. The best I've ever had many personal bests going up into Tokyo. So it was, it was sad for me that Tokyo, but you know, there's other, there's other issues in the world right now. So

Natasha (14:36):
How did you find the momentum? Like I know it's next year, but that's still, maybe even uncertain. Did you give yourself an hour, a day away? How much part along the floor did you do before you really reset, stepped up and went okay. Now what I working on? So

Brittany (14:52):
After we came back from Florida, this, um, end of March, we came back and I just finished on such a high. At the end, I won a bronze medal in the freestyle. I had, you know, we won to a team medal. It was, it was an amazing show. So all in and I came back to Montreal, we were all pumped, but in the back of my head, I was saying to myself, like prepare yourself because with what is happening, Tokyo probably will not be happening. And when I was like, I don't know, I think it was like 10:30 at night. And I look on my phone and I get an email saying Canada is not sending teams to Tokyo. I was, I was for sure sad and disappointed, but I knew that this was coming. Yes. So this summer, I, I did give All In a break because I thought, you know, he's, he's 15.

Brittany (15:49):
He has done so many shows in his life and I want them to be, I didn't want to put extra miles on his legs for no reason because everything was so uncertain. You know, when were we going to the next horse show? We had no idea when, you know, we didn't know when can we travel to the US, we don't know. So I gave him a very, very, very light summer. The last couple of months, I started to, um, amp them up again. And we will be going to Florida. We are leaving on November 10th.

Natasha (16:25):
So the borders are open. You can do that?

Brittany (16:28):
So as of now, um, if you have a letter stating that you are trying for the Olympics, um, you cannot, uh, people can't quote me because I'm not a hundred percent sure I haven't tried it myself, but, um, apparently you still cannot drive. You have to fly, but the commercial trucks can ship the horses down. Yep, yep. Yep. So that is the plan as of today that, um,

Natasha (16:57):
Hard to make plans.

Brittany (16:59):
Very hard. I've been, I've changed my plans. I'm telling my students like, just bare with me. I don't really know what I'm doing, but, but it's the same for my students, you know, with, they all want to go, but you know, we can't families can't travel back and forth because of quarantine. It's very, very difficult.

Natasha (17:21):
Mm, absolutely. But

Brittany (17:24):
I made plans to go Florida. Um, seen that they're gonna go so I want to get back with, Ashlee and get into a strict program and kind of start off where I left off last season.

Natasha (17:39):
Yeah, absolutely. And did she help you with like some online lessons or have you been alone, like doing your own thing until you come back to Florida?

Brittany (17:48):
Um, we started, we started, well, once I came back from Florida, like, I really gave all in some, like, I think I gave him like a month in the paddock and I, I rode him, but just like long and low and really, I barely picked him up. And just the last couple months I started to do Pixeo with her online. It's been really great. Really great.

Natasha (18:12):
So you've had some and now you're just like I cant to compete.

Brittany (18:15):
Yes, that's it. Okay. Let's go.

Natasha (18:22):

Natasha (18:25):
In the craziness of the crazy you've you seem to be doing really amazingly amazing to be able to go, well, these are the plans and the competition season should probably start. At least I'll be with my coach physically, and then I'm doing my best chance to be in the best situation I can be for Tokyo.

Brittany (18:48):
Yeah. That's what I'm hoping for.

Natasha (18:51):
Okay. So do you have also other things to consider? You said you've got, you had a husband, like he obviously wasn't your husband then, but he's your husband now?

Brittany (18:59):
Yes. And I have a baby. My baby is six months, 16 months, baby boy.

Natasha (19:13):
Oh my God. Oh my God. How do you just get you and your horse to Florida? Tell me, what are you doing with your baby boy and your husband and everything else?

Brittany (19:20):
So that's the complicated part. Um, it's still very up in the air, but my son, um, after Christmas will come with me to Florida, um, along with my mother, cause she will help me. Um, and she will look after him and everything like that. And my husband usually comes to Florida like back and forth. Um, and he has some time off during Christmas and new year's. So usually the after Christmas we go to Florida for, he comes to Florida for two weeks. This year, everything is really up in the air. So I can't make any, we don't know he has been working from home. I said, can you work from home in Florida? He tells me that's not realistic. So I, I don't know yet that part of it is complicated. I'm sad that the, you know, quarantine is still in place. So we will, we will see

Natasha (20:24):
Thank you so much for sharing because people might just, you know, they turn on the TV in 2021 and they see you win a gold medal at the Olympics and they go how nice for Brittany, how nice would it be for Brittany? But the thing's sacrificed and the struggles you've had, and no one sees that, but, they're hard.

Brittany (20:45):
And I'm going to go to Florida like a few days after my horse and I'm going to, was going to stay there for three or four weeks to get some serious training and maybe do one competition in December. And my husband and I were just talking about it tonight, like, okay, well, I haven't got to go, but Theo is probably going to stay home and I'm thinking, Oh my gosh, how am I going to go two weeks without seeing him? You know? But that's the reality sometimes and the sacrifices that you have to make. And I'm so happy that my husband is supportive in all this because you know, the lifestyle sometimes is not reality and it's tough to juggle family life and this sport. There's no question it's very tough, but I always knew that I wanted that along with, I love my sport and I'm totally dedicated, but I also knew that I wanted an outside life. And I tell my students that that is very important also in life to, um, to have an outside life. So it's just how you juggle.

Natasha (21:52):
Absolutely. No have you only got the one horse or have you got like three or four other young horses coming up that you also have to think about?

Brittany (22:01):
I have, I, I own just one horse. Um, I ha um, one of my very good friends and teammates Jill Irving and her husband had purchased a young horse for me to ride this, um, this summer. So he is with me, he's four years old, um, bought him off an auction online. Um, so that was, um, that was really an amazing, um, an amazing opportunity for me. And, um, we're still in the process too, of maybe looking for another young horse. Um, I have some things and

Natasha (22:40):
Can we go back to, we bought them online. Did you try him or you literally just buy now button, please tell us everyone at home. Cause I'm just like

Brittany (22:54):
All of my clients and students know I'm totally against buying off video. Um, but, um, the guys that I work with in Hollins, um, I really trust and one of them is my good friend. The other guy, um, was All In's previous owner as a young horse. They've been looking out for, you know, a reasonably priced young horse for me, um, to take up the levels. And they said, you know, I think you should give this horse a try. And I was like, Oh my gosh, we can actually do this by the fourth. But I did. And I will say his temperament is a hundred percent. And for me that's very important.

Natasha (23:47):
Absolutely. And that's, again, we're going to see you in 10 years when another Olympic gold medal with this four year old that will probably be 14 and people go again, how nice for Brittany? How much luck did Brittany have. She had to take this. There is risk. There is, there is, Oh my God, I can't breathe. I have to do something. That's out of my comfort zone that I've never done before in order to get the rewards. So thank you again for sharing that story by now, but you go. Yeah.

Brittany (24:16):
And when you're on a young horse, you know, it's like with all in you walk, talk in or around a couple of times, you're like, okay, this is a nice feeling, but you know, you don't know what road you're going to go down. So you, you hope for the best. And you know, it's like a dream that your young horse is going to take you to the Olympics. Yes. You know, that's a dream and I know every young horse might not, but I'm going to try it again.

Natasha (24:45):
And then, sorry you were going onto another young horse or something. I just had a few

Brittany (24:50):
We are looking for another, um, young horse, um, to, to, to purchase. But I, like I said, I wanted to wait until things open up so I could go over and try some horses in Europe. I don't want to buy too many off video because, you know, I lucked out with, but you just, you just don't know. And I'm going to be totally honest. You know, I'm a new mother, your body takes a long time to get back to where it was before, when you're not used to riding four year olds. You know, I want to be sure that the four year old I'm on is not going to kill me. You know, you want to, I want to be a team rider. And so, you know, the young horses that I choose, I wanted, I want to really choose. Right.

Natasha (25:43):
Yes. So when you go to Florida, will the young horse come with you or will that stay out of coming to you?

Brittany (25:50):
Yes, he's coming. Yeah. Okay.

Natasha (25:53):
So is that also in the back of your mind, you don't want to have an army of 10 horses cause how would you logistically figure it out? Yeah,

Brittany (26:00):
That's it. And I was going to get a couple of sale horses as well, but I thought, you know what, between the horns I have, my family, I have very ambitious students that I want to be there for them. And I want to give them the best I can. They're all a great bunch of young girls who want to make this their career. Um, and it's so exciting for Canada that we have that. So I want to give them as much as I can on myself. So I have, I have enough right now, more than enough.

Natasha (26:36):
Cool. Um, so do you want to talk about your training methods that you use when your, when sitting on your horses, whether it's a four year old or whether it's all in, um, what are you thinking about as you ride them around, like is forward what you're thinking about or is balance what you're thinking about or engage? Like what, what is the things that you're thinking about that your must do's, like your checklist of, I can't proceed to the flying changes or the piaffe until I've got this.

Brittany (27:07):
Well, straightness and balance are for sure um, two key components that I always every single day pick apart the straightness of the horse, the balance of the horse, the control speed control is also a huge factor in both young and older trained horses. Um, with All In, you know, I've known him for so long and I have such a, you know, such a, like a marriage partnership really. Um, but every day I ride him and, you know, I wanna, you know, get him straight. I want also laterally, supple him, um, is something that I think is very important. Um, you know, bringing them back into a smaller trot so that the balance stays really underneath my seat, I find is also very important. Those are for sure. Checklists. Um, I think, yeah, like I said, speed control is a big one in every gate, walk, trot, canter, um, making sure that you know, that you have full control of what you're asking for.

Brittany (28:16):
And I think Ashley really, um, emphasized that and taught me that especially, you know, it's not just enter, also pssage, you know, and how to, you know, make the passage bigger, make the passage smaller, having a complete control in every, every single stride. Because when you go through Grand Prix tests, you realize how fast things can unravel very quickly. And if you don't have tools in your toolbox to fix it, it can get very overwhelming. And I try to make things very straightforward in my riding and not try not to complicate two things, you know, like when you have half-halt, okay, you have to come back when I put my leg on, you have to go. Um, and for the young horses, I like to, um, you know, obviously change up their, their, you know, weekly schedule, not do the same thing all the time, you know, take them well, even all in too.

Brittany (29:18):
But for the young horses, I think it's very important also, including cavalettes and, and poles, um, and some hill training and of course, some hack days. And, um, we have a big, um, outdoor jumper ring at the barn that I'm boarding at and, you know, just to go out and have a big gallop and let the horse really open up their stride is also very important, not just riding inside and in a smaller arena where the horse can actually really, you know, open themselves up and really let go. Yeah. Um, so those, and also some lunging too, you know, over, over cavalettes that they can find their own balance themselves, not always with a rider, looking for, you know, even contact and all the things that you know, and what I, when I was training all in as a young horse, I didn't obviously know what I know now. So my, the new young horse that I'm riding, I'm thinking way more about, you know, the end result, what I'm looking for, not just okay, I'm going to do a 20 meters.

Natasha (30:26):
Yeah. I'm just going to circle. That's what I'm. And was that, do you remember having a bit of a shock when you first went to Ashley, like, did you just go, w w what, what, like straightness is important? Um, balance.

Brittany (30:42):
Well, I, I, I knew all of, like, because I had great trainers before too, so I, I knew all of this, but I, I guess when you act, when you start to do more of the Grand Prix stuff, you see how, why, why it's so important, you know, like not just when you do your 20 meter circle. So, and I was used to riding so many young horses and when I was younger and not such, you know, highly trained horses, I had Prix St George horses, but that was it. Yeah. So I wasn't, so Ashley just really opened my eyes up for the Grand Prix and really taught me, you know, how to train a horse from start to finish, which is, and, you know, of course each horse is different. Um, but all of her horses are so correctly trained and easy to ride. So I, you know, her system works and it's, it's, it's simple too. And I think that's, what's also important is to try to keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. So it's also easy to teach and that it doesn't confuse people.

Natasha (32:03):
Yeah. That's huge. Awesome. Okay. You were awarded the, I'm not, I'm just going to say it. I'm going to say the wrong word, Brosda Olympic bursary for the second time. Tell us about this grant. And, um, what was it like to win it for a second time? That's awesome.

Brittany (32:23):
Well, this grant and was very special to me because Elizabeth, um, the girl that got killed in a car accident, I had actually taught a few times, um, she was a very young motivated girl that her dream was to go to the Olympics and she had so much motivation and I didn't know her well, but I did teach her a few times. Yeah. So when I was awarded and I wanted to, you know, really try to, you know, use it in the sense where I used it for my training, so I could get better so that I could go to the Olympics and try to, you know, really, really put the, put the money to very good use. Um, so winning it for a second time was very, very special to me. Um,

Natasha (33:19):
So the first time when you used it with Patrick?

Brittany (33:23):
No, that was another, um, that was, that was something else. Yeah, that, that was only a one time thing. The training in Europe, um, the Brosda, uh, bursary is every year. Oh, wow.

Natasha (33:40):
Okay. Yep. All right. So, um, you talked about some of the highs. Um, you obviously had an amazing show season, uh, in, in does, does it start December, January, February, and then ends in March, doesn't it? So you've had some amazing highs. What's your favorite? Like, I know we haven't got to the favorite favorite yet because that's coming so far.

Brittany (34:04):
Well, I will, I, my favorite was, and at the Pan Am's in Toronto, I will never forget that moment just being on home turf, the crowd just erupted when I finished and it still gives me goosebumps. That was, I mean, I can't even describe the feeling. It was just so cool. And to have personal bests, there was also, you know, even better, we almost beat the Americans, which, so it was that, that to me was my all time high, of course, competing at the World Equestrian games was, uh, was another high. Um, but a different one. Yeah.

Natasha (34:53):
Yeah. Okay. So let me just even go back. Do you remember your first Grand Priz? Like it was your first Grand Prix on that horse on a horse, you trained, but it was your first Grand Prix in your life anyway, like, was that a, I would've cried after that.

Brittany (35:08):
Well, it didn't go as well as I thought is was going to go.

Natasha (35:12):
Well, my next follow question was going to be I hope it what was a pretty bad score cause if you came out with of,

Brittany (35:20):
I should say. Well, I should say then no, that's a lie. That's my first national show that I did Grand Prix went very well. I was, I couldn't go. He was awesome. Like, is this actually how it's going to go? And then I did my CDI. Yes. I think I scored like 70 in the national and like, Oh my gosh, this is so amazing. Then I went into the CDI and got 64.

Natasha (35:47):
Naw, still not a bad score but ok. Now expecting a seventy.

Brittany (35:55):
Well, I was maybe expecting to do a little bit better, but you know, like I said before, you don't realize, you know, how, how much strength the horses need to get through a test. Yeah. And, and just the accuracy and how much they have to be on the aides. And the time that, you know, like I always tell my students, you know, you learn how to ride your horse at home, and then you need to learn how to go into the ring and ride your horse because it's sometimes two different animals. Um, you know, he's, he has a heart of gold and he tries every single day to, to do what I asked, but he, he was pretty hot. So he, it's a lot of horse. He's almost 18 hands and I'm not very big. So it's a lot of horse to manage, especially when they start to fatigue and get, and get tired. So I took my horse and it took us a couple of years to really get into the Grand Prix groove I should say, you know, and to get the experience and, you know, once you think you fix one thing, then you lose something else. And this year I finally felt that everything was coming together in a, in an incredible way. So

Natasha (37:27):
That's amazing. And did you want to talk about the WEG experience.How was that?

Brittany (37:32):
Oh, it was very cool. Um, that was always a dream in mind to be to go to a world championship. And, um, you know, I think the WED it was a little bit disappointing in the sense that the hurricane that was coming in, it really kind of disrupted the whole vibe of everybody because everybody was just kind of focused on, are we leaving? Is the show going to happen? And it feels so bad for the people that couldn't do their freestyles. That's just real. That's very upsetting for them. Um, you know, I had two unfortunate mistakes that I never have at WEG. Little things, but costly things. So I was, you know, that little disappointed in,

Natasha (38:19):
Can you share what I feel everyone can be like, I don't do that.

Brittany (38:25):
So I, in the zigzag and the cancer zigzag, um, and like, I think the last flying change, he kind of went back when I aided so it was not on the count.

Natasha (38:38):
Not on the sixth.

Brittany (38:39):
So, so when you have that, it's a five. Yeah, when you have a mistake.

Natasha (38:45):
Isn't it so hard because you've done so many half passes and changes and it was just one of them.

Brittany (38:54):
Change one change. And I don't know if he was like, kind of looking at the camera.

Natasha (38:59):
Yeah. Yeah.

Brittany (39:00):
Because he did this too at the Pan Am when, on the second day and the last change, on the canter zigzag, he kind of went back, like he kind of startled. So, and then I did a great first canter pirouette and I changed at X and he changed back. So he did like a one tempi at X. So I had to change back. I was like, Oh my gosh. So again, very, very costly. And then the test was great. Yeah.

Natasha (39:39):
So have you thought about that, Tempi? Was it, you were thinking ahead of the second piro and not paying enough attention?

Brittany (39:46):
Probably moved my leg and I probably ate it in, but you know, sometimes when I changed to the right at X, he can get a little crooked. So if I had to take in the left rein too much and he changed back, wow. I'm like, you know, when you just be like, Oh, can I just have a redo?

Natasha (40:12):
It's just a warm up and I'll see you soon. I'll come back.

Brittany (40:16):
But you know, to be in my first world championship and have 70%. I led Canada. So again, I was very happy. I was very, if I didn't have those mistakes, I would have been going through to the special. So, you know, but I say you learn from your mistakes and you just keep going,

Natasha (40:38):
That's it, that's it all right. For everyone that's listening to this going well, I haven't had my, like, that's great with all your success. I've had, I've just competed on the weekend and I just got eliminated or I just kinda lost, or my horse does totally had a hissy. Can you share with us. Have you had a bad moment?

Brittany (40:59):
Oh, yes. I've had many, many. Which I think all top riders would probably say the same, but, um, yeah, many shows where I'll remember my young rider horse just stopped and wouldn't go mid canter pirouette. I'm like kicking and nothing's happening. And you know, you just go out of there and be like, okay, try it again. But at one point so disappointing or, you know, I, one time when I was trying to qualify for the young rider championships, I missed my score by 0.02 to go on the last day. And it was raining so much and I was riding in so much mud. I thought I just have to be nice. Nice to meet today. Just give me the score. But no, and I missed the championship. I couldn't go. Wow. By 0.02. Yeah. Yeah. That's so again, that was really disappointing. I bought, um, an incredible Prix St George horse in Europe, I sold two horses, my two horses to get him six months later, he had a terrible, terrible suspensory and had to go to rehab was off for like two years. So it was also very challenging. Um, very sad.

Natasha (42:33):
And then what happened, did he eventually come good?

Brittany (42:35):
He did, he came back. I leased him to one of my very good friends. Now she did the junior championships because I knew, I wasn't sure if you would come back to do Prix St George at the level that I wanted him and I wanted him just to stay sound and, you know, having an easier workload. So at leased him to her, to her, and she did very, very well. And I took him back and I did a few, a few Prix St George, but I could see things starting to unravel again a little bit. So I, I put him in a field. He came, yeah, it is. It is. He came back for maybe a year and a half, two years at the most. Um, so that was really upsetting. Um, Oh, well, no I've had, when I was younger, my gosh, my horses, you know, couldn't get them on a bit. They would try to lead the rein, all the ups and downs that you go through and you learn from your mistakes. Or I remember this other horse that I had, I was doing a junior test and then doing an extended trot down centre line and he spooked and he stopped and reared rated G and I'm like, why are you doing this? You know, you just want to be like why.

Brittany (44:16):
Yeah. But yes, there is like, I tell most people there is no, you know, there's sometimes a lot more, you know, hardships then yes, then goods. But when the good comes, it feels good. And it just gives you that drive to, you know, want to do it again,

Natasha (44:37):
To go through all the rest of the bad that's coming together.

Brittany (44:40):

Natasha (44:44):
Uh, awesome. Um, do you have a piece of advice that you live by, or a quote or a motto that you're like, this is what I do when things get tough or?

Brittany (44:56):
Um, my coach and my dad always said, you know, never give up and work hard and it's a simple thing to live by, but it's so true. Even when things geat tough, you just keep on pulling through and there is light at the end of the tunnel. And if you work hard and you really, um, really dream it and want it, you will get it. Yeah.

Natasha (45:26):
And I think, um, you mentioned it earlier as well. Like that is so simple. It's very simple to understand. We can all understand it just because something's inputted. It doesn't mean that it's easy to do. It's actually quite hard to work is very hard that you mentioned to your father. If you work hard, I'll do everything I can to support you. It wasn't just all do everything. You've got a dream. I'll do everything to support you. If you have a dream, I'll help you.

Brittany (45:53):
Oh yeah. He always liked, there was if I wasn't working, he was in, I needed to really, um, and you know, I didn't expect anything for free either. You know, his sport costs a lot of money, like everybody knows and you know, it's, he needed to see that I was working for it. And you know, every time I, I, you know, my trainer like, Oh, she needs another horse. Or he said, okay, well, even if I was attached, I had to sell it to get another one. And it was it as a young person. It was, it was tough. It was really tough because I had such a connection with that horse. And I thought, I'm like, you know, I did it, but it also makes you a stronger person too. It does to be as strong. It, it does. And you have to be a strong person to be in this industry and to deal with all of the, you know, the stress of competitions and horses and you have to be very strong. Yeah.

Natasha (47:04):
Awesome. I love it. If any of our Canadian listeners want to get in touch for lessons or full training, are you open to them contacting you?

Brittany (47:14):
Yes. Um, people can contact me through social media, Facebook, Instagram. I also have a website for www.fbequestrian.com.

Natasha (47:21):
And do you have any sponsors you'd like to mention?

Brittany (47:32):
Yes, I have. Um, I have amazing sponsors. Um, of course, you know, I want to thank them for everything that they do and I'll obviously make All In look amazing. But CF construction, Samshield, Eco Gold, Back On Track, Alexia Fairchild, um, load air Shannon. Those are just dressage, um, sport boots. Those are a few. Excellent.

Natasha (48:03):
You can put that in the show notes. Um, excellent. Anything else you'd like to share before we end today?

Brittany (48:09):
I think that's everything. Thank you so much for having me.

Natasha (48:13):
It's my absolute pleasure thank you.

Brittany (48:13):
To stay up to date with the latest content. Don't forget to hit subscribe to this podcast. Go on, hit subscribe. I'd love if you would also love to leave us a review to help us how we could do better or make this even more amazing for you. And remember to follow us on Instagram at Your Riding Success and Natasha.Altoff.