A Day in the Life of Sophie Wells
Here we catch up with sponsored para dressage rider, Sophie Wells MBE, as we take a sneak peek into her hectic daily schedule to find out what it takes to make your way to the top.
At the age of 23, she is reigning World and European Champion at Para Dressage Grade IV, with eleven Championship Gold Medals between her two top horses, Pinocchio and Valerius. She has also ridden as an able-bodied athlete at the Young Rider European Dressage Championships and the Young Rider World Cup, and now rides at Grand Prix.
I am based in Nottingham with trainer Angela Weiss, who is the Squad Coach to the World Class Development and Excel Squads, she is an international Grand Prix rider and also the Director of Para Dressage for British Dressage.
I am very lucky to have access to such wonderful facilities that are available at Angela’s, to help train my horses to the very highest level.
My day begins between 6am and 7am when I arrive on the yard along with Cheryl and Becca to feed the 22 horses that are based there. It is very hectic at feeding time making sure the horses all get their correct breakfasts.
I usually begin exercising the horses between 8am and 9am and have around eight horses to ride each day which takes me through until lunchtime. I ride all my horses in the Black Country Vinici dressage saddle which helps me feel closer to the horses, and also allows my legs to hang longer around them greatly helping my nerve problems too!
My para horse Reece is now showing great talent for tempi changes and Noki had a fantastic season last year in which we made our Grand Prix debut. Alongside my own horses, I also ride training liveries and work closely with Emma Sheardown who is also a para dressage rider.
At 3pm it is finally time for a break and some lunch followed by catching up on paperwork. I then often go for a session at the gym or to a physiotherapy appointment which might be for me or my horses or all of us! It is very important for me to make sure I’m moving freely and keeping up a strict, strengthening training regime, helping me to improve my position to get the best from the horses.
As early evening draws in around 5pm, the arena is harrowed and the horses are checked over and hand-walked if they have been in during the day. This is always a lovely, quiet time of the day to unwind and enjoy some time with the horses without the stresses of training.
The evening begins at 7.30pm with a nice hot bath to unwind in before dinner and some time to relax.
For more information about Sophie Wells MBE please visit www.sophiewells.com