A quick questions and answer with our sponsored rider Danielle Balsdon, a dressage rider from Exeter!

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself?
Hi I am Danielle Balsdon, I’m 22 years old and an amateur dressage rider based in Exeter. I have spent my time during covid retraining to be a book keeper and am looking forward to setting my career from there. I have been in the dressage world for the past 7 years having been converted from the showing world with my old welsh section C pony. I have also been selected to be apart of the BD Youth National Academy for the last three years as well as numerous successes at regionals, nationals and the BD Youth Home Internationals.

What discipline do you compete in and at what current levels?
I compete in dressage having been converted from the showing world. My current ride is training at Advanced Medium/PSG and we are competing at Medium/Advanced Medium having contested in one Advanced test to gain PSG qualification.

Tell us a bit about your horses/ponies?
My current ride is Lord Lennox, an 11 year old black German Warmblood who I have owned since he was a green 5 year old and have produced him up the levels myself. Lennox has a very gentle characteristic and is a joy to have on the yard and to ride. I have also just purchased a colt foal called Romanno Limited Edition who is a half relation to Lennox who will be joining the yard at the end of September when he is 6 months old. I am very much looking forward to developing a partnership with him and I am excited for what the future holds for this very special horse.
What are your aims for the future? 
My short term goals are to aim to get out at PSG soon with Lennox and gain some experience at this level. While doing a lot of easy ground work and ‘life experience’ work with Leo. My long term goals would be to aim for Small Tour with Lennox and to also break in & produce Leo up the levels.

How is this season going so far?
Our 2021 season has been a very quiet one having mainly only competed in the winter and summer regionals/petplan having a very successful time winning 3 out of the 4 regionals we contested in. We unfortunately didn’t make it to the Winter nationals however we will hopefully be able to rectify this with our next and the last big show of the season being the summer nationals at the end of September.
Who has helped you get where you are today?
Many people have helped us get to where we are today and to have achieved all the things that we have so far. From my parents backing me from the very beginning, Lyn our amazing physio who helps to keep Lennox in great form all year around, Tony Higgs our farrier, my trainers Hannah Biggs and Karen Lisk. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without all of their help and I greatly appreciate it.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given in the equestrian world?
Don’t push yourself out of your comfort zone and don’t rush up the levels if your not ready. Your time will come to move up and enjoy your journey there!
For a bit of fun, if you could have any horse in the world, who would you choose?
I absolutely adore Glamourdale!