Meet The Latest Member Of Our Content Team, Lily Chandler!
Hello! My name is Lily Chandler and I’m an 18 year old equestrian from the South East of England.
Unlike a lot of people I know, I didn’t grow up around horses, nor have a horsey family. My mother put me and my sister in riding lessons when I was 5 and she was 16; she hated it, I loved it. I started in a local riding school, cried when I had my first fall, got back on, fell off again, got back on again. That pattern hasn’t yet changed, now 13 years down the line.
At age 7 I got my first pony. We didn’t really know enough to make an educated decision when buying ponies beyond the realms of ‘that one’s cute’, so we bought him. At 7 years old my first pony was a rising 5 year old. Yeah, not the greatest idea. I got promptly bucked off pretty much every single day, but I kept getting back on again, and learnt to love the naughty little thing inside and out.
When I was 11 I bought my own pony for the first time by myself with my own money. That pony is the ‘insta-famous’ Crystal. Over the years, she has grown a huge fan base of supporters who love her personality, talent and cheeky antics. Most well known for our bareback jumping and her rearing, she definitely stands out. You know what else stands out? Poo stains on her. Because she’s a grey (NEVER GET A GREY).
I take part in a mixture of affiliated eventing and showjumping (BE & BS), and I absolutely adore competing. I have a naturally competitive nature, but more so I like to challenge and push myself to my limits. When I make mistakes I want to go again and get it right. I can be hard on myself at times, as I hold myself to a higher standard than I am at, always striving to improve and achieve more. It's that drive that has got me where I am, as not coming from a wealthy financial background or equestrian family, I haven’t been able to access opportunities without fighting to grab them.
Over the years of being on social media I’ve learnt so much and developed a great deal, not just as a rider, but as a person. Being in the limelight from a young age and thrown into this strange world similar to that of a ‘celebrity’ can be overwhelming and terrifying. Your mistakes are broadcasted to the world and you open yourself up to the opinions of others, which aren’t all positive. It has taught me to have a thick skin, to be compassionate, to be articulate and to think carefully and strategically about everything I do. There have been negative impacts of course, but I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it.
Thank you for reading!