British Olympic dressage gold medallist Laura Tomlinson is one of Haygain’s stable of sponsored riders with an incredible competition record and a stable full of beautiful future dressage stars. What’s more, her and her polo-playing husband Mark welcomed their third child into the world this January, so what better time to catch up with Laura and find out what she plans to do next and how Haygain products are helping her achieve her goals.
So, how has 2019 been for you so far? We hear there’s been an exciting new addition…
2019 has been great! We started the year by welcoming a new addition to our family and then moved all of the horses in to our new home in Shipton Moyne, Gloucestershire. So, while it has been pretty hectic it’s been good!
Wow, that really is a busy start to 2019. So, while you’ve been busy with babies and moving stables, what have you decided are your key ambitions for this season?
I want to get back into competing properly, it feels too long! I’m planning to get my top rides out to some shows and hopefully get them some solid experience at an International level.
Who are your top rides and what are you aiming them at this year?
I’ve got a few exciting rides at the moment including Duval’s Capri Sonne Jr (Cas), Rose of Bavaria (Betty) and Fallatijn Van Kairos (Felix). I am mainly aiming to get them all some good show experiences this season.
Have you got any up-and-coming horses that you are most excited about and that we should look out for?
Well, that would be telling! Honestly though, I’m excited about all of my current rides. I’m very lucky as they are all very talented and I’m hopeful that we will have some good results this season.
What are the challenges of riding, running a yard and competing with such a young family?
It can certainly be challenging juggling a family, running a yard and competing but I love every moment of it. It’s amazing that the kids get to spend time with the horses and the horses are all very patient with them – it’s lovely to watch.
When did you first come across Haygain’s products and how do they fit into your stable management routine?
We travel a lot with the horses and the Haygain hay steaming products work really well for us both for steaming hay on the go and at the yard. Before using the Haygain steamer, our horses would often need to cough to clear their airways after a long journey but now we can eliminate dust from their hay whilst still keeping the nutrients.
How did your association with Haygain come about and what is the one Haygain product you couldn’t live without?
We began using Haygain after chatting to the company about how the products would complement our horses’ lifestyles. We want our horses to have the best quality lifestyle and opportunity for success, and Haygain certainly plays a part in this. I couldn’t live without the Haygain HG One, because it is travel-sized we can steam our hay on the go. It’s brilliant for competitions to be able to go out and still steam your hay without big, heavy equipment.
Do you think your approach to training and developing horses differs from other riders and if so, how?
I definitely have my own style and I coach in my own style too, I focus very much on the rider, how the human body influences the horse either positively when asking correctly and in perfect balance, or negatively, when out of balance. My approach is that both horse and rider should enjoy themselves in training and be positively motivated.
Do you have a favourite event in the dressage calendar?
My favourite event to look forward to every year in the dressage calendar would have to be Olympia. The competition is amazing, and it never fails to get me in the Christmas spirit! It may be summer now, but it will roll around again quickly.
And finally, aside from dressage, what’s your secret indulgence to watch when you want to unwind?
I love watching a little bit of Grey’s Anatomy when all yard, horse and family jobs are done and dusted for the day. That’s true relaxation…!
For more information on the Haygain collection, please visit www.haygain.co.uk.