All about Lydia

Published : 05/11/2023 10:00:00
Categories : Latest News

All about Lydia

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.

Lydia, please tell us a bit about yourself, what do you do, where are you from and where we can find you online?
I’m based in Cheltenham and have a real love for The Cotswolds. Eventing has been my focus since 2012 and we have wonderful events locally like Cornbury and Gatcombe, both of which I have special memories of competing at. Gatcombe 2016 best regional rider in Corinthian Cup & Cornbury 2nd place in the 2* representing Jamaica riding my 7 year old. You can find me at Instagram @lydiaheywood or 
Can you tell us about Cool Ridings Equestrian and what inspired you to start this? 

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. 

You have been eventing for a few years now, how did you get into riding? 
Aged 11 on Saturdays my Mum would take me to a riding school and she went above and beyond to help me fulfil my goals of being a competitive rider. So many memories of learning together in the sport and arriving at prestigious venues all excited will always make me smile. There was an opportunity to import Irish horses as a teenager which I revelled in and when a wobbly, sharp 3yo with ability called Billy came along we held on to him for 10 years and reached international level together in Eventing. 
What do you do in your spare time when you’re not eventing horses? 

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 

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