Short films, or vlogs, are becoming increasingly popular. Presented by your favourite rider, vlogs not only provide an insight into their daily lives, but often riders offer training tips and practical advice on tack and equipment. Watching an elite rider and how they do things can be quite motivational and inspiring.
It’s easy to log onto YouTube via your lap-top or smart phone and watch approximately eight to twelve minutes of infotainment from some of the world’s top equestrians. The vlogs provide us with behind-the-scenes access and because by their nature a vlog is an informal medium, they feel intimate and inclusive.
Here’s just three vlogs on YouTube, we like to enjoy.
Edwina Tops Alexander.
Edwina is an Australian born international show jumper who lives in Europe with her husband Jan Tops and daughter Chloe. Edwina was the first rider to win more than one million euros in prize money. Through her vlogs we see into her professional life; how she balances her horses and her family. Edwina offers wise words on how success can be defined by sometimes achieving what you set out to do that day, not just by winning.
As well as getting to know her string of top class show jumpers, she imparts her knowledge on tack and how to fit it. Looking through the window of someone at the height of their sport is not only fascinating, but also a learning experience.
Joe is an up-and-coming British show jumper who certainly appeals to a younger market. His vlogs offer a variety of content; they show what he gets up to at home when he’s training his horses and follow him behind the scenes at shows. In addition there are interviews with his top groom Charlotte and her routines and he answers questions from his, (mainly female teenage) fan base.
Joe is part of a new generation of show jumpers who sees the value in connecting with fans. It’s hard not to be charmed by his easy-going manner and the self-effacing way he shows his talent and affinity with his happy looking horses.
The Madden Method.
The Madden Method YouTube channel is richly entertaining viewing. Beezie Madden is based in the United States with her husband John Madden. Beezie is a legend in the sport; she is an Olympic gold medallist and world cup champion along with numerous team Olympic and world championship medals. The content she and her team offer is broad ranging. As a viewer you get a complete 360-degree tour of how the Maddens operate.
There are so many subjects covered, you can watch Beezie give a flat work lesson, concentrating on rider leg position, or you can watch her demonstrate a gymnastic session on one of her many prize-winning equine athletes. There’s lots of stable management advice from head groom Becky, not only is she interesting, it gives you the viewer a chance to take a peek at their set up, how they manage the horses care and well-being.
The most enjoyable videos are those from Madden Mountain, where their herd of retired former stars live out their lives in natural luxury. It is pure lockdown escapism.