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Today we are catching up with Cool Ridings Founder, Lydia Heywood, who has taken steps to demystify the sport by sharing knowledge and embracing equestrians from underrepresented backgrounds.
Lydia is an Event Rider that has experienced firsthand how important diversity is for underrepresented riders.
Find out more about Lydia and Cool Ridings Equestrian.
Cool Ridings was founded with a desire to celebrate and support diversity in equestrian sport. I was inspired by meeting passionate young riders at City Riding Schools where I would visit to coach since I began representing Jamaica in Eventing (2017). These riding schools had the most amazing sense of community. Ensuring underrepresented riders also have the chance to connect with a likeminded community is a vital part of Cool Ridings.
I’m employed by Howden in the equestrian insurance team which gives me the chance to help our community. Also, organising training days for Cool Ridings Members is a big focus of mine, it’s been a joy this year to train with The Howden Way in January and more recently at Rocky Lane Farm.
What is your ultimate Hiho love (favourite piece from the Hiho collection) and why?
The Hiho Silver Two Tone Sterling Silver Snaffle Bracelet will always be my favourite piece, I grew up seeing my Mum rocking it regularly and now have one of my own kindly gifted by Andrew on the Hiho stand at Blair Castle Horse Trials.
And finally - what is the best piece of advice you have received when it comes to riding?
Every day is a learning day, avoid comparing yourself to others and hone in on your craft with coaches that you connect well with.
You can find Lydia on Instagram and online