Horseland Sponsored Rider - Heath Ryan


Elite Event and Dressage rider, Heath Ryan has represented Australia in both disciplines a number of times and competed in the Australian Dressage Team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Visit the Ryan's Website for Heath's Latest News


Heath Ryan

(Photo courtesy of Berni Saunders,


Date of Birth: 2nd July 1958

Where do you live? Heatherbrae, NSW

When did you start riding? 1st pony at age 12

Why did you start riding? I was encouraged by my mum and dad who thought it was a healthy interest where kids were taught to think about their horses well being as opposed to just their own. Not sure it really worked.

Horse/s: I have a lot of horses in work, some I own however most are owned by a wonderful bunch of owners who are really my sponsors, my supporters and my friends.

Favourite Horse/s: Every horse is an individual character and I really, really enjoy every single one. Currently my top dressage horses is Regardez Moi, and I pinch myself every day when I get on him to make sure I am not dreaming. He is just magnificent. My top eventer is Mystery Whisper who is just so bright that I am always nervous that I'm not going to ride well enough to do him justice. He is a total genius and I feel like there is nothing in the world that he and I cannot achieve. I am very, very lucky.

Describe a typical day for you:
Start teaching at 6am. Lessons finish at 11am. Dive into the office and see if there is anything really, really desperate that I just have to think about. 11.30am start riding my Grand Prix dressage horses and work my way down to the greenest of my rides for the day. Riding around 18 horses a day at the moment. Usually jump the eventers 3 times a week so need to do this before it gets dark. The dressage horses and youngsters are usually still being ridden well into the dark hours, courtesy of the indoor school and lights. This day is punctuated by mares coming in that need to be covered, usually 3 or 4 a day during the breeding season (1st September till 31st March). My job normally is to lead the stallions in as we do live cover, however my staff are amazing and are also capable of carrying out these duties. My phone seems to go incessantly and sometimes when I'm trying to concentrate on difficult moves it almost drives me mad. That's just business and I tell myself its good for me. The worst thing is all my horses immediately stop the moment they hear the mobile which makes me wonder what will happen if I am in the middle of a competition and someone puts the phone on the PA system. By 9pm I have lost interest in going to the movies or going out to dinner, or going fishing or socializing. I just want to go to bed and tomorrow......I'll start all over again.

Highest achievement: I am working very hard for my highest achievements to still be in front of me. I am riding better than ever before, I have the best horses I have ever had, and I am feeling really, really lucky. My highest achievements are still to come!

Highlight of career so far: I have on 3 separate occasions been the Australian 3 Day Event Champion and am currently the reigning Australian Grand Prix Dressage Champion.

Who is the most influential person in your riding career? Without a doubt, my wife Rozzie.

Who or what inspires you: I am driven by the dreams of a little kid aching to ride for his country at the Olympics and to win Gold medals. I guess I just never grew up and every morning is precious because I'm going to work so hard that I'll be just that little bit closer to that little kids dream by the following morning.

What is your favourite competition accessory? I am a total convert to the Bates Innova saddle which I feel gives me remarkable advantages both on the advanced horses and the young horses. A quantum leap into the future.

What advice would you give to other riders? If you do what everyone else does then you'll turn out like everyone else. If you want to be a star, then you need to stay true to your heart, need to use your intellect and need to have courage.

What do you do outside of the Horse world? Mostly sleep.

SECRETS FOR SUCCESS: Being good is all about opportunity. A really good horse is opportunity. Working with other really good riders is opportunity. Having the courage to commit is opportunity. None of these factors necessarily cost huge amounts of money and definitely constitute a one way street to the Olympics.