Young riders Izzy Palmer and Grace Wallace share their top tips and riding stories

Both Izzy, 15 and Grace, 16 started riding from a very young age. Grace was six when she joined a local riding club and Izzy was just two-years-old. The two say they were both inspired to ride when they used to watch international riders compete. Izzy is currently part of the World Class Podium Potential Squad and Grace is focusing on show jumping.

Here, we wanted to get to know the riders a little closer

CDM Izzy

Izzy Palmer

Izzy, what tips would you give to people who want to take up riding?
If your family isn’t in to horses, find a good local approved riding school and have a few lessons to see how you enjoy it. Everyone is different and some people just enjoy being a leisure rider, while others love the thrill of competing. Most of all, just love what you do; being around horses is a wonderful thing!

Izzy how is the World Class Podium Potential Squad preparation going?
The programme provides help and expertise to help athletes prepare on their pathway to the podium. For me, it has been a fantastic opportunity to learn and grow within my chosen sport of para dressage and is going really well. It was amazing to be given a place on the squad and I was really delighted to meet the criteria and be chosen I’m the youngest rider across all disciplines and feel very privileged.

Izzy how would you feel if you got selected for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo?
Obviously there are many talented riders out there also aiming for Tokyo. By then I’ll be 19-years-old and, if I have the horsepower and have met the criteria when the time comes, it would be like a dream come true to be actually chosen to ride there.

Grace what’s the most important thing about riding for you?
To put it simply- I love horses! Although competition is thrilling and exciting, I do just enjoy spending quality time with them and training them at home. There is nothing more rewarding than getting a good result from a hard-working, happy horse.

Show jumping has always been my favourite discipline as everything has to be so perfectly executed and you have to have that trust and bond with your horse to be able to guide them round.

Grace what are your riding career goals?
I’d like to compete internationally and, one day, represent my country.

Izzy, how did you first hear about Carr & Day & Martin?
Carr & Day & Martin products were always in my grooming kit as I grew up so, to me, they were a household name, something that everyone with horses used!

CDM Grace

Grace Wallace

Grace, what do you like most about Carr & Day & Martin?
It is a recognised brand worldwide and I like the fact that all the products do what they say on the bottle. Their quality is second-to-none and I swear by their products to keep my horses looking and feeling great.

Grace, what is your favourite Carr & Day & Martin product?
It has to be the Ice Blue Leg Cooler Gel. I love this product because the benefits are endless. I tend to use this on my horse’s legs after every competition and hard work out. In show jumping particularly, the horse’s legs take so much impact and strain, so it is important to soothe tired legs to avoid injuries in the future. It is also quick and easy to use, so is convenient for when I travel to shows as well as meaning that I don’t have to bandage their legs after strenuous exercise.

Izzy, how important is it to have the right products?
It is essential for me I have a very busy schedule and a structured routine and the horse care and grooming is the first thing on the list of importance. Knowing I have products of consistent high quality that I can rely on to provide results time and time again is very important to me.

Izzy how important is grooming?
Very important. For me, apart from the obvious reasons of being clean enough to put tack on, and to be made comfortable having being ridden, and to look smart, daily grooming allows me to check on my horses’ health and wellbeing, noticing lumps, bumps and any injuries/cuts that may have occurred. Picking out feet regularly helps prevent thrush and means you can keep an eye on the horse’s shoes etc. I also think it helps form a bond with your horse.

And finally Grace what makes a happy horse?
Trust is essential in any discipline and both horse and rider have to enjoy their job. You have to understand each other as well as allow your horse time to relax, providing them with a happy life-work balance. Love and kisses seem to be the key to a happy horse and rider- lots of treats help too!