Welcome to our feature, 10 minutes in the tackroom. This is a regular feature where we ask riders, businesses and charities 12 questions and they have a maximum of 10 minutes to answer them.

This week in the saddle we have Squadron Leader Elise Kidd. Squadron Leader Kidd is part of the United Kingdom Armed Forces Equestrian Team (UKAFET). The UKAFET is made up from members from all our Armed Forces who carefully balance the challenge of serving the United Kingdom with pursuing their equestrian ambitions.

You can follow the UK Armed Forces Equestrian Team on Facebook and Instagram

Tell us about your horse

Villager (aka Bexxi) is owned by the lovely Jackie Rowland who kindly lets me ride him.  He is 16 now so certainly knows his job and looks after me very well.  He may not be the most talented/athletic horse on the RAF Equestrian Team but he certainly has the biggest heart and always tries his very hardest to keep the fences up!  He’s also very handsome!

Squadron Leader Elise Kidd UK Armed Forces Equestrian Team

Tell us a horse joke

How do you make a small fortune out of horses?  Start off with a large fortune!

What do you do when you aren't with your horse?

When not working as a Logistics Officer in the RAF I’m usually running around after my 2 young boys Jack (5) and Oliver (3) (often trying to stop World War 3!)

What do you love about the horsey community?

The horses!  And the passion that the people have for the horses.

What do you dislike about the horsey community?

I think that whatever community you involve yourself in there will be positives and negatives, ups and downs, but I am personally very lucky to have a lot of supportive people around me and the equine professionals that I use are excellent.

Squadron Leader Elise Kidd UK Armed Forces Equestrian Team

Do your family share your passion for horses?

I grew up on a riding centre in Shropshire which my parents ran so I guess horses were in my genes.  My sister still also rides and works with horses.  Now a Mum myself I try and get my boys riding when I can so hopefully they can share my passion; I’m not sure whether that will happen though – at the moment they seem much more interested in the tractors and quad bikes at the stables!

Tell us your funniest horse related story?

When I think back to my childhood bombing around the countryside on my ponies with my friends, it really was a fantastic way to grow up.  We were a little wild though I think now looking back!  We were always trying to make each other’s pony buck or daring each other to jump random gates, fences, hedges, round bales etc – whatever we came across that looked jump-able!  One occasion that particularly stands out was when I dared my sister Becky to jump a fence which didn’t have much room after it – her pony turned sharp left on landing and my sister went straight-on, landing in the biggest patch of nettles you’ve ever seen.  As kids, we of course thought it was hilarious that she was covered in nettle stings!  It’s a bit mean but still makes me chuckle now! Sisterly love!

Who is your favourite famous horse rider?

I’ve recently had some lessons with Geoff Billington and even in a short space of time I think he has made a real difference to my riding – I think he’s a fab instructor, and rider of course!

Read more about Geoff Billington here

Who is your favourite famous horse?

Growing up in the 80’s, it’s got to be Milton.

Read more about Milton here

How many times have you fallen off?

WAY WAY too many times to count!  When I was a kid I thought the ride was boring if it hadn’t caused at least one person to fall off!  Luckily none of my falls have been too serious although it does hurt a lot more these days!

What horsey product can't you live without?

I’m really love a dry rug which Villager has.  Being grey, he gets bathed A LOT!  He dries so quickly with this rug on and it keeps him nice and clean.  I also hate riding without a good pair of gloves. 

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself

I have been supersonic at low level in the back of a Tornado!

Squadron Leader Elise Kidd

Well done Squadron Leader Kidd you have completed the #10minutesinthetackroom challenge. If you would like to take part in the challenge please email info@equissimo.co.uk


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