Get to know ambassador Olivia Rhau
My name is Olivia Rhau, I am a 13-year-old Queensland equestrian competing in show jumping with my horse Johnno.
After many of my mother’s attempts to drive me away from the sport I finally started lessons when I was about 5 years old. I always dreamed of having my own horse but living in the city with parents who weren’t as sold on the idea it seemed impossible. After changing riding schools for several years, we finally decided it was time for Johnno!
Initially my plan was to compete in our first complete season together but when that failed it was time for plan B. I thought if I can’t put my skills to the test in competitions, I would just have to work on improving them completely so we could become better than ever.
At the moment Johnno and I are training lots with our coaches to make sure we’re improving. For show jumping our main focus is on adjustability and finding good distances. I find the best way to do this is through lots of pole work to improve my eye. Poles laid out 3 strides apart and attempting to get 3 to 5 strides in them helps both the horse’s adjustability in his tempo and for the rider to find the best distance to the poles.
Training is important but so is bonding with your horse on the ground to create a stronger connection between you both. Johnno has responded well to groundwork I have recently introduced, including liberty and teaching him new tricks.
I am very excited to be working with Hampton and Harlow Equestrian and can’t wait to see everyone when competitions start up again!