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Talent Spotlight: Meet Elena, Equestrian and IB Student at RIS

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Talent Spotlight: Meet Elena, Equestrian and IB Student at RIS


In this week’s episode of student spotlight talents, I interviewed Elena A. a current Year 12 student who used to practise horse riding. Owing to a serious injury, she had to stop training and had to do different physiotherapies to regain strength. Elena, apart from taking part in competitive riding, has many other passions such as playing various instruments, singing, and acting. As she claims, “Music helped me a lot through the difficult and stressful times after my injury”.

Elena_A_horse riding


When did you get interested in your sport, and how did you start it?

I got interested in horse riding when I was four years old; being so little my mum helped me in the beginning by training with me. 

At what age did you start competing and what is the biggest achievement you have arrived at?

I started competing seriously when I was 14 years old, I participated in many competitions throughout the years but the best achievement was coming second at nationals. 

What is your daily routine like when you have to train? 

After my injury, I started training at the gym to regain my strength. I train four times a week after school and follow an exercise plan that my riding instructor made for me. 

What advice would you give to someone who inspires to start the sport?

I think that horse riding is a beautiful sport because it creates a strong bond between an individual and the animal. The most important advice that I would give to someone who inspires to start is to not be afraid of the horse and not be nervous because the horse feels every emotion so this can compromise someone's safety. 

Do you find more simple to ride your own horse? If yes, is it key to have a connection with the animal to be successful? 

Having a connection with the horse is one of the most important parts of the sport because they notice things about our emotional state and knowing a horse changes the results drastically. I don’t own a horse but I’ve always had the same horse for trust. If not riding competitively, it is best to ride different horses so that you can get to know the different characteristics of each one. 

What was the main difficulty you faced after the injury?

The main difficulty that I faced was the usage of time during the day. When I practised I used to train nearly every day so having a lot of free time to spend in other ways was difficult. 

How are you going to organize yourself when you will start horse riding while going through the last year of the IB Curriculum? 

The last year of the IB programme is very challenging because there are many deadlines for various subjects and training at the same time will be difficult. I aim to organise my time in a clever way by designing a schedule for every day, and I also think that I will train more at the weekends than on school days, in order to have more time to study. 


We know that one of your biggest passions is playing various instruments and singing, did these interests help you get through the challenging time after the injury?

Music helped me a lot through the difficult and stressful times after my injury. Playing the piano, harp and guitar calmed me a lot and also distracted me from the fact that the injury cost me to not practise for months. 

How being passionate and determined can be applied in other fields such as school life? Which skills are essential for both? 

When practising a sport at a high level, determination, perseverance and passion are the main skills that a person needs to be successful. These skills can be applied in music and other fields. I think that my different hobbies helped me pursue success academically and the skills that I apply in what I do and what I am passionate about, I also apply in school.

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