Brand Ambassador - Laura Smith
Laura has been riding since the age of eight and is an accomplished dressage rider, trainer and all round equestrian enthusiast.
What do you like to be called? What is your nickname?!
What got you in to riding?
My Gran bought me a riding lesson for my 8th birthday at Swingletree Stables on a lovely pony called minuette and I was hooked!
Do you remember the first event you entered? What / where was it?
It was a local riding club dressage competition at Geldeston Hall in Norfolk, I rode two Prelimary Tests on a friend’s 18.3hh Irish hunter.
Can you tell us a funny story from when you’ve been competing?
At my first international competition in Belgium, I was competing in the freestyle to music, the music was so loud Almansor got faster and faster resulting in me panicking forgetting my test and really “freestyling” it until the music stopped, I managed to skid into halt and saluted, then looked
Why have you chosen your particular discipline?
After having some dressage lessons bought for me at a Classical Dressage School, I got such a buzz from it and never looked back, it was also where I fell in love with the “Lusitano” horse.
Who is your favourite horse and why does he/she stand out to you?
My favourite horse has to be Almansor, he has taken me from unaffiliated level to competing internationally, he was very tricky when he was younger, but I had a feeling he was going to be very special, it took us a while to gel but now we have the most amazing bond! He has a cheeky character and is admired where ever he goes.
What’s your most memorable win (with that horse)?
It’s not a win but getting a team silver medal at the MCI European Dressage Championships in Paris, a day I will never forget!
What goes through your mind before, during - and after - a competition?
Before a competition I make sure my horses are fit and feeling well, making sure I have learnt my test, during I try and stay relaxed and focused, after I make sure my horse is walked off and cooled down properly.
What’s the best advice you have been given to help you prepare before an event?
Learn your test! There’s nothing worse than going the wrong way and throwing marks away!
What daily routine do you follow to ensure your horse is in always on top form?
All the horses are fed at 7am, then put on the horse walker or turned out whilst being mucked out, then I ride and teach throughout the day, in the evening they are groomed, skipped out, hayed and fed. They also have regular visits from the Farrier, Vet, Dentist, Physio to keep them in tip top condition.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to compete in your discipline?
It’s a tough sport but if you work hard and are determined you will succeed!
Why did you choose to be a Bed-Down brand ambassador?
I have been using Bed-Down for years before becoming a Bed-Down Ambassador and found it was the most absorbent of all the other brands I had used in the past, I also love the smell through the yard and in the back of my lorry, the handy bales are fantastic at competitions as most of the time the stabling is nowhere near the lorry so they are much easier to carry. The team at Bed-Down are lovely and I love being an ambassador for a product I 100% believe is the best!
What positive changes have you noticed in your horse since you started using Bed-Down products?
Anyone who knows Almansor will know how much he loves to lay down and sleep, since using Bed-Down he spends most of his time flat out asleep on his lovely big bed of shavings! He is also prone to coughing if there is even the smallest amount of dust and since using Bed-Down I have never heard him cough once due to the dust extraction Bed-Down use.
Do you use handy bales, classic bales or both and why?!
I use both the classic bales and the handy bales, I use classic bales at home unless I just need to top up a bed then I use a handy bale and at competitions I use the handy bales as they stack easier in my lorry and are easier to carry to the stabling at the venues. For Almansor I use a mixture of Rapasorb, Lavander and Absorb, he is very wet and messy, so I find putting Absorb on the bottom of the bed helps soak up the wet and a mixture of Rapasorb and Lavender gives him a comfy, absorbent, and lovely smelling bed.
Meet the Bed-Down Horse Bedding Range
A range of equine bedding products crafted using the very finest ingredients for you and your horse.
Bed-Down Excel bedding is a soft blend of chopped golden Norfolk wheat straw and softwood shavings that guarantees an absorbent, comfortable and durable horses bed.
Excel plus is specifically for performance horses or those that suffer from respiratory conditions - Microcote™ helps reduce airborne dust particles in the stable.
Bed-Down Rapasorb is the most absorbent bedding in our range. Rapasorb is made from quality rape straw is perfect for wet-stables and horses which are on a restricted diet.
Bed-Down Lavender Shavings is the original lavender scented equine bedding loved by horses and their owners alike. Lavender Shavings is made from top quality softwood shavings.
Pure Shavings offers a highly absorbent dust free cushioning base crafted from timber into the finest quality softwood flakes to create a supportive bed for joint and hoof health.
Want to know more about Bed-Down?
Contact us today for an informal chat about your bedding requirements today!