Gemma Owen Q & A At Naylors Equestrian Chester Store

Gemma Owen at GO Outdoors Chester

International dressage rider Gemma Owen joined us at our new Naylors Chester store last week. Whilst she had a browse around the store, picking up all her favourite horsey bits, we were able to catch up with her, to ask her a few of our burning questions and those we thought that you our equestrian community would be super interested to know the answers to as well! What we admire about Gemma is that although her lifestyle may seem extremely busy, she still makes time to care for and ride her horses, keeping them a priority.

We’ve teamed up with Gemma for a huge prize giveaway including £1000 Naylors gift card, a signed Gemma saddle pad and £100 to spend on your choice of NAF products, continue reading to the bottom of the blog for details on how to enter and for your chance to win! We asked Gemma seven questions, here’s what she had to say....

How did your interest in horses and riding start?

“Both my mum and dad are into horses, my mum used to ride, and my dad has a horse racing stables, so my family have always been involved with horses. I got my first pony when I was 3 years old, a little miniature Shetland called Sasha, she was lovely. I’ve ridden forever really. As a kid I did a little bit of everything, including some jumping, then I started to focus mainly on my dressage at eight years old. I was selected for the squad at 11, competing for Great Britain, and I’ve been competing at Internationals and National level ever since.”

How many horses do you currently have? What’s their names and personalities? Tell us a little bit about them.

"At the moment, I have Faye who’s my main horse that I’m riding, she’s eight years old, she’s an Oldenburg mare by Furstenball, she’s so different to any other horse I’ve ridden before, she’s so fiery she’s a little pocket rocket and I’m really enjoying getting to know her, she’s quite sassy, it’s nice. We’ve also got a few older, retired ponies that we have at the yard, they’re just out in the field having the best time.”

What do you think makes a happy and healthy horse?

“Having a good variation in their routine makes a happy horse, I think especially with dressage the training can get a bit repetitive, doing different things like a jump or poles day or going for a hack switches it up, so there’s always something a bit different. I’m really set on the horses going out every day for a long period of time, I think as much as they are competition horses it’s really good for their mind and body to be out in the field, so I think that’s what makes a happy and healthy horse.”

What is your biggest achievement with your horses so far? And what are your future ambitions?

“My biggest achievement so far has been the European Championships, I think anyone that has gone through the British youth teams, that’s their ultimate goal. I was really lucky to compete at the European Championships in Spain a couple years ago, I must admit it wasn’t my best performance, but just getting there and riding in that environment with some of the best, was a dream come true. For future goals, I’m just taking my time getting to know my new horse Faye, I’d love to get out to some competitions at the back end of the year, but I’m going to take each day as it comes and see how we get on."

Gemma Owen Basket Naylors

Who’s your biggest inspiration within the equestrian world?

“There are a few riders that I look up to and appreciate their riding in the equestrian world. Obviously, the young up and coming Lottie Fry is an inspiration to many people in dressage, I think her riding is amazing. My trainer as well, she inspires me and I look up to her and how she trains and develops her horses, I can learn a lot from her.”

If you could give one piece of advice to a younger equestrian, what would it be?

“I think a good piece of advice is perseverance, with horses along with many other things in life, there is a lot of highs and lows that come with it, probably more lows, but just keep persevering and good things will come if you’re training hard and you’re putting everything into it. You’ll have to make a few sacrifices along the way to get where you want to, but it’ll all be worth it in the end, so stick with it!”

If you were given an endless amount to spend in our Naylors store, what are 5 things you would buy?

“Matching yard accessories, like brushes, forks, buckets and hay nets, to keep the yard tidy and clean, preferably in black or grey. I’d go for loads of NAF treats for our horses, they love treats and my sister loves feeding them treats, we go through bags of them. I’d also pick up the Charles Owen new kylo hats they’re gorgeous, one in every colour, I love the style and wide peak. Then, a massage pad for the horses for a relaxing treat before and after training and a fun printed fly rug, essential right now.”

We’re excited to see more from Gemma and Faye out as a team in the future and we wish her the very best with her new horse on their journey. Our favourite answer from Gemma comes from the question of “If you could give one piece of advice to a younger equestrian, what would it be?”. We absolutely love Gemma’s words of wisdom and completely agree, sometimes with horses the unexpected is right around the corner, not every training session or competition is the same, neither is every hack, we must take each day as it comes. Like Gemma said, all the hard work we put in will absolutely be worth it in the end.

Gemma Owen Shopping Naylors

A huge thank you to Gemma for her inspiration and sharing her thoughts with us. To celebrate the opening of our new Chester store we’ve teamed up with Gemma to giveaway a £1000 Naylors gift card, signed Gemma saddle pad and £100 to spend on your choice of NAF products. For your chance to WIN these prizes, head over to @naylorsonline or @gemowendressage_ on Instagram and enter today. The lucky winner will be drawn and announced 12th June 2023. Good luck everyone!

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