Days 1 – 15 of the Horse Riders Challenge

Days 1 – 15 of the Horse Riders Challenge

What is the Horse Riders Challenge?

The Horse riders challenge is a 31 day photo based challenge for yup you guessed it – horse riders. It was started by Becca Hart (aka @the_farriers_wife) in response to other photo challenges she had seen and enjoyed following.

When my friend Lindsey of Alta Mira Horsemanship nominated me, I was excited but unsrue if it would be a good idea for me to participate. I’ve tried to do challenges before and lost momentum after a couple of days. However I am please to say that I have almost finished (insert happy dance), although I did skip one prompt later on in the challenge and didn’t quite manage to post every day, we got there in the end.

Day 1

The Horse Riders Challenge daily prompts


Day 2

View this post on Instagram

Day 2 of #thehorseriderschallenge is ‘Introduce yourself and your horse’. So I thought I would share some fun facts about Nonie and I. Nonie: 1. She was originally breed to be a show jumper but I’m not quite brave enough (see point 1 about me). 2. Nonie turns 13 this year 3. Nonie loves scratches especially on her withers. If you are giving her scratches and then stop and move away she’ll move towards you and reposition her shoulders near you. 4. Nonie is the sweetest horse to her humans but she is not particularly friendly towards other horses Me (Andrea): 1. When I was growing up I thought I wanted to be a show jumper, two pretty serious concussions later not so much. A few rides on schoolmasters and getting a glimpse of the higher level movements and I fell in love with dressage. 2. Although I now work as a clinical dietitian, I once thought I wanted to be an equine dentist. 3. I will only wear makeup that is crusty free. 4. I LOVE food especially anything sweet, coincidentally so does Nonie. This is probably why we are beat friends 😊. If you guys want to know more about me or Nonie let me know 🦄 #thesandarenaballerina #equestrianblogger #iamadietitian #noniepony #equestriangirl #dressagerider #dressagehorse #bredtobeashowjumper

A post shared by Andrea (@the_sand_arena_ballerina) on

Day 3

Day 3 of The Horse Riders Challenge - riders who inspire you

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Day 7

Success quote

The prompt for day 7 of the horse riders challenge was to share a quote that you love. ‘Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.’ I first heard this  quote from my wonderful coach Dani Keogh, and I instantly loved it. When it comes to horses consistency is everything.

Day 9

View this post on Instagram

Day 9 of #thehorseriderschallenge is ‘before and after’. Today I wanted to share the before and after if my confidence. When I first got Nonie she was jumpy and reactive to ride outside of the arena. A fall whilst riding out in the cane paddocks really knocked my confidence and so I retreated to the arena. A year or so later I would only ride out in a swing fender that gave me some sense of security. Fast forward a few years and I can now gallop down a beach and have even tried my hand at bridleless riding. What changed? I worked with coaches who pushed me outside of my comfort zone in the arena, I spent time getting to know Nonie and getting comfortable with how she would react to things and then I pushed my comfort zone outside of the arena. #thesandarenaballerina #equestrianblogger #dressagelife #confidence #growth #progressnotperfection #baymare #beachhorse

A post shared by Andrea (@the_sand_arena_ballerina) on

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

View this post on Instagram

There is no friendship quite as special as the one which is formed on the basis of a love of horses. You inherently understand each other’s passion, goals and dreams. You speak each other’s language. You know that pizza, a movie and cleaning tack make for the perfect night in. You understand the frustration that can be part and parcel of this sport and the heart break that can occur too. You understand elation that comes with nailing a new movement or skill. I am so lucky to have equestrian friends, but this one will always be my number one stirrup sister. #day12 #thehorseriderschallenge #thesandarenaballerina #equestrianblogger #bestiesforlife #eventersofinstagram #wizard #gusbus

A post shared by Andrea (@the_sand_arena_ballerina) on

Day 13

Day 13 of the Horse Riders Challenge - Top Tips

Riding is a tough sport, it’s physically demanding as well as mentally challenging. Particularly if you are facing a difficult period in your riding. I like to think of these difficult times as period of growth, no quote captures it better than this one from the lovely @al_capony_dressage “Sometimes what seems like a major speed bump is actually a much needed springboard to improvement”. So my top tip for day 13 of #thehorseriderschallenge is to pay attention to your mindset and focus and be sure that your not missing out on an opportunity to progress.

Day 14


Day 15


In the next few days I will have finished my The Horse Riders Challenge, stay tuned to see days 16-31.