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 Andrea Parker. Andrea is better known as The Sand Arena Ballerina, and you can follow her progress on her website Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Tell us about your horse!

My horse Nonie (aka Mon Ami) is a 12yo warmblood x thoroughbred is currently training medium/advanced. I’ve had her for over seven years which has enabled me to learn her many quirks and develop a really strong relationship with her.

The Sand Arena Ballerina 

Tell us a horse joke!

What did the mare say to her foal?

It’s pasture bed time.

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

When I am not riding Nonie, maintaining her paddock or cleaning gear, I’m either working as a dietitian or indulging in my other favourite pastime - blogging.

What do you love about the horsey community?

I love the never ending capacity to learn in this sport. I don’t think there are any good riders who would ever claim to know it all. Fortunately, unlike many other sports we also have the potential for a long riding career.

What do you dislike about the horsey community?

I dislike the nastiness that can be present in the equestrian world.  One of the challenging aspects of this sport is that there will always be someone with more than you. More talent as a rider, more talented horses, more access to training and competitions. I think that this can sometimes bring out the worst in people.

Do your family share your passion of horses?

My mum is an incredibly passionate horsewoman, it’s thanks to her that I started riding. We often joke that the horsey obsession must be genetic. My father on the other hand prefers boats to horses, but has always been exceptionally supportive of me pursing my passion.

Tell us your funniest horse related story!

One day whilst staying with my cousin we decided to take her horses for a swim in the dam. We jumped on bareback and made our way down to the dam. We had been riding around playing in the water for a while and I for some reason had ridden out of the water. I went to go back in but my horse started backing up and I just couldn’t get him to go forward. He kept backing up until he finally hit the electric fence of the nearby paddock which pretty quickly got him going forward again. Best of all we caught it all on camera!

Who is your favourite famous horse rider?

I am a huge fan of Laura Graves. Her ability to make riding such a massive and big moving horse look effortless is a tribute to her skill.

Read more about Laura Graves here

Who is your favourite famous horse?

That is such a tough question to answer as there are so many incredible animals in this sport. Of course I love Valegro and Verdades.

Read more about Valegro here

Read more about Verdades here

How many times have you fallen off?

More than I can remember these days. Some of them have been pretty serious resulting in nasty concussions, while others have been harmless and even funny.  I recall once leaning over the side of my horse to try and pick something up, losing my balance and landing on my butt.

What horsey product can’t you live without?

My favourite equestrian product that I couldn’t be without is definitely my helmet. Safety is so important to me.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself!

No answer given

Well done Andrea you have completed the 10 minutes in the tackroom challenge. If you would like to take part in the challenge, email info@equissimo.co.uk.

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