Pro rider interview: Louisa Milne Home
We find out more about event rider Louisa Milne Home
Louisa is one of Scotland's top event riders. She has been running her competition yard based in Central Scotland, since graduating with a BSc Hons from the Royal Agricultural College in 2001.
In this time she has produced six horses to Advanced level, three of them from four-year-olds. Alongside producing her own horses, Louisa has produced and sold horses to young riders so that they can get started in the sport of eventing.
What has been your career highlight or most memorable moment to date?
Every time I have been to and completed a 4* competition is a massive highlight. I have been lucky enough to go to Luhmuhlen in Germany once, Badminton twice and Burghley four times. I also had a fab result last year with a 1st and 2nd in the Advanced at Eglington which was a special day.
Who has been your horse of a lifetime and why?
King Eider has been amazing, we bought him as a four year old and have had such a lot of fun and achieved so many ambitions. I bought him very locally to us from the Gatherums and they always had a lot of faith in him, it is nice that I still train with them so they have seen us from the gangly baby stage right up to smart 4 star eventer. I think Alistair is still a little envious not to have him as a Grand Prix Show Jumper!
What are your future aims and aspirations?
It would be amazing to go to the European championships in 2015, which are being held at Blair Castle, so a nice local event! I also want to keep finding good horses and producing them to the very top.
What is the best part about your job?
The horses, having nice horses to ride and deal with is what makes it fun and then seeing how far they can go, occasionally you have a horse in which you just don’t enjoy riding and then it is best to find them a home that will suit them better.
And the worst part of your job?
It is seven days a week, 365 days of the year, so you have to enjoy it. The travelling is the real downside of living in Scotland and just recently we have lost a lot of very good higher level events, which I think is short sighted of British Eventing and is going to really effect the level of competitor that will come up through the ranks in Scotland.
How do you cope with competition nerves?
I like to be prepared for any competition I have entered, if I am confident in the grounding the horse has had then it should be ready for the competition. They would normally be working at a higher level at home or comfortably the same level. If I am finding it easy in training it should be fine in competition!!!
What is your "must have" piece of equipment?
There are lots of handy things but I do like a martingale on fresh horses! And the walker has been a really handy addition to the yard to help warm up horses. Also, I never leave home without my Robinson Animal Healthcare First Aid Kit on the lorry.
What do you look for when buying a horse?
Attitude, paces, scope, conformation. I nearly always look for geldings although the last horse I bought was a mare with a great attitude!
What would be your top tip when it comes to selling a horse?
Really evaluate your horse, know who it will suit so that you match the horse to the correct type of rider. Should you be aiming it at small lady riders and teenagers or tall ladies and men. It isn’t just the ride side of the horse that you should think of it is also how it is to handle on the ground.
One piece of advice for Horse Deal riders
Check the horse’s record sometimes people can gloss over things! Find out the reasons for any problems and whether they were a genuine green error or something that is likely to re-occur especially with a less experienced rider, or are there gaps in its record due to injuries. A lot of it is gut instinct - did you like the horse and feel safe on it and around it, would you happily take it into an open field. If you are less experienced take a trusted friend to give you a second opinion.
Quick Fire Round
Sports car or 4x4?
Beer or wine?
Crazy night out or cosy night in?
Cosy night in
Facebook or Twitter?
Skiing or beach?
Both would be nice