When I first started this blog only a few weeks ago I had big ideas, I had written a list of blog posts I wanted to create, points I wanted to get across and a very ambitious list of ‘Guest Bloggers’ of people I would like to pick the brains of and feature on my little website, well already its taking me to places I wouldn’t have imagined I could go. So without anymore blabbering for me let me introduce you to my FIRST guest VITTORIA PANIZZON. Vittoria is a double olympic event rider who originally from Italy has lived in the UK since she was 17 years old.
Now if you follow my socials you will have seen that last weekend was hectic with over 700 miles travelled over three days ( I know we are mental) so after a late night Friday we got up nice and early to make the drive over to Gloucester to meet Louise and the team from HUSK at Vitts yard, the yard was truly a little bit of Italy hidden in the cotswolds, Italian style buildings, the flag flying and the odd horse taking a wander around at leisure helping himself to the muck heap and everyone was so welcoming. after watching Vittoria ride her beautiful horse Elvis and snapping some pictures and videos we got to sit down with a cuppa and a chat.
Leah: Vittoria, thanks for letting us come and spend some time with you, I have a few questions prepared and I’m super nervous but here goes, What is your favourite thing about horses and being around horses?
Vittoria: Umm you build a really good partnership around a horse you know well and you feel that they can read your mind which makes it easy to do fun stuff together.
Leah: Have your family always been supportive of your eventing career?
Vittoria: Yes, my mother rode when I was a child, I started riding because I saw her riding and automatically just wanted to ride myself, she helped a lot when I was a child but she doesn’t live near me anymore.
Leah: And did she event too?
Vittoria: she possibly did one or two small events. *Giggles*
Leah: Representing your country is every sports persons dream let alone to do this at two Olympics, how does it feel to have gone to the olympics and what are your hopes for Tokyo?
Vittoria: Ummm, hopeful, I picture it being a little similar to Beijing, compared to here the closest I’ve been this Beijing, its 90% humidity and 40 degrees so its going to be a very different situation to what we handle here. Thats what’s really particular about the olympics, it takes you to places you wouldn’t normally compete and I feel some anguish about how I’m going to cope, I hate sweating. It was actually only after I went to Beijing that I realised how much importance the Olympics carry, its an international currency that every person from every walk of life understand. People outside of England or horse see no importance in ‘Badminton’, yet with the Olympics its International and It has a special aura about it which I didn’t realise how special it was until I had done one.
Leah: And your home team, do you have a large home team and how important are they all in helping to keep this running?
Vittoria: If we include everyone then yes it becomes a very big team, because as well as the core team you need so much support around that, even if they are part time or occasional they still all have an important contribution. Our team at home is quite a new team this year, we are still getting everything to together for this season, its really important everyone can work well together and has the right character to be a good team member. if you have the right atmosphere then everyone can work well and be in the right frame of mind to perform well, plus we all live together so we can’t be irritated by each other.
Leah: And how many horses are there here at the moment?
Vittoria: 24 soon to be 26 this evening.
Leah: What item could you not live without horse related or not on a daily basis?
Vittoria: *lots of thinking and giggling later* FOOD and maybe Tea.
Leah: Mines Food
Louise: Mines my toothbrush
Vittoria: Its got to be good quality food, I am Italian.
Leah: Today we’ve talked a lot about warming up and cooling down and the importance of this for our horses as well as not over heating them (that’s where HUSK comes in handy) Do you have strict routine you follow?
Vittoria: It Varys a bit from horse to horse, depending a little bit on their physical characteristics and vary on what I plan on doing the day. A lot of the time they’re just hacking, so they will just warm up by marching forwards on a long low neck, I like them to march and not potter along. When I’m actually working them I like to work them long and low first, particularly Elvis as he’s prone to tie up so I need to make sure he’s warmed up really well. I do a bit of lateral work and transitions again all long and low and a it when I’ve picked them up before I start jumping. Depending on the horse they only school once or twice a week the rest of the time is spent hacking building fitness.
Leah: And when the weather is horrible, its cold and rainy, what motivates you?
Vittoria: That when at the end of all of that you get to go competing and that’s the end goal, as long as you’ve got your waterproofs on you are fine.
Leah: To finish off today is the start of the six nations, WALES vs ITALY what’s your prediction?
Vittoria: Well I haven’t got a prediction as such but i’d like to get the horses done so I can go watch it, I must of course support Italy.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, I loved getting to know Vittoria, Elvis and the team at the yard, its clear to see that Vittoria has a great relationship with her horses and LOVES the HUSK products, she has the biggest selection I’ve ever seen. Let me know what you think in our comments section.
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Insta @panizzonvittoria @Husktechnology @leahgrange__