Despite this hectic year, I had the chance to sit down with young rider Taylor Alexander, a showjumper hailing from the United States. She has been riding under the guidance of one of USA’s Olympic team members Laura Kraut. While most of their competition schedule has had them traveling across Europe, now they have settled back in the states due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Alexander’s string of horses includes Billy Nala and Ryanair de Riverland, top Grand Prix horses that have proven themselves in the ring. She talks fondly of her relationship with every horse and the opportunities they have given her. She explains, “I love competing and working with horses because there is always something to improve, continue to work on, or make better.”
Taylor Alexander in the show ring.
To stay motivated out of the ring, Alexander emphasized that working on the horses’ rideability was a priority. The horses were getting trained just as hard as Alexander was training herself. Working out and staying in shape were also on the list of priorities for Taylor. With riding, working out, and studying on getting her new MBA everything has kept her busy.
Even with lockdown, her team spent their time trying new exercises to train what has been looked over. Doing barn horse shows was one way to keep the competitive spirit alive.
Alexander notes that things have changed with the new way we have to live due to the pandemic, “Things have definitely changed. There is a sense of a new normal. However, I feel very thankful that we get to continue to do what we love and maintain a sense of normality in what has been a crazy year.” Like many of us, she has had to adapt and overcome the recent challenges. Many riders dream of being able to climb their way to the top and Alexander is no exception. She plans on working hard with her team and in the coming years to achieve more and more.