Tuesday January 18, 2022
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Members Profile

Member Profile

Alayna Khan has written this on what inspires her and who her role models are. It was written for Cool Ridings, a club focussed on encouraging diversity in equestrianism.
Well done Alayna you should be very proud.

”Alayna explains what inspires her, who her role models are, and more importantly, tells us how Stan is getting on and what the future holds for the partnership.
How long have you been riding for?
I have been riding since I was about 3 years old. My older sister had a pony called William and I learned to ride on him. He was very cheeky but taught me a lot, mostly how to stay on!
Where did your passion for horses and ponies come from?
With my older sister riding, we spent most of our time at the yard. There were lots of kids on the yard and we were all pony mad. If we weren’t riding a pony, we were taking the lead ropes and pretending to be ponies! If the older girls had left a course up, we would pretend to ride around it. It was always an Olympia Horse show in our heads and we were jumping Grand Prix courses! We still do it now, but only if no one is watching. On rainy days we would sit and draw our dream yards and horseboxes and name all the amazing
horses we would have!
What’s your favourite discipline and why?
I tried lots of disciplines with my old pony, Wally. I’ve always liked to try different things and find the discipline that my ponies and I both enjoy. From pony racing, mounted games, show jumping, hunting, polocrosse to horse ball. Stan is obviously too big for some of those disciplines so we have been working on his strengths. We have enjoyed jumping and flatwork, so we are now going to focus on show jumping and eventing.
Where or whom do you take your inspiration from?
I’ve been a member of Pony Club since I was about 7 and it’s given me lots of inspiration. My amazing instructors have helped to push me and keep me motivated. I’ve made some really good friends and they have been very supportive. Watching my older sister, her friends and my mum’s friends competing at places such as Addington Manor, Bury Farm, Hickstead and Rockingham International has inspired me in so many ways. These places can be a bit scary but I remember the fun we’ve had there and it makes me want to compete there as well! Our annual trip to Badminton has always made me want to event, I love cross country day.
What is it like being a member of the Cool Ridings Community? It looks like a really great club
Its early days and we are still getting to know each other but everyone has been so kind and welcoming. Being on the same team with people that have achieved so much already is amazing. I like that we are all so different but we support and encourage each other. I am really excited about our future together as a team and supporting each other as individuals.
What are your goals with Stan?
Stan has very low mileage for his age so we are taking it slowly. We are getting him out as much as possible to training sessions and PC rallies. He has attended his first Horse ball session and loved it. Although I can’t compete with him because of his height until I’m 16, I will keep up the training. So, we will focus on Eventing and maybe some Show jumping. I’d really love to take him to the Cotswold Cup event next year and represent our PC Branch.
If you could choose a professional equestrian relationship to strive towards, who would it be?
I really respect the relationship professional riders such as; Nick Skelton, John Whitaker, Mary King, Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin have with their horses. Whenever I’ve heard them talk about their horses, I admire the way they treat them and how they’re not just tools of the sport. I also have a lot of respect for people like Emma Massingale who works at Liberty with her beautiful herd. There’s something very special about a horse that wants to do what you ask, when it has the freedom to just walk away.