• #Riders4Riders Spotlight: Mackenzie Doyle

May 15, 2019

As part of our recent #Riders4Riders campaign to spread a positive message about supporting others in the equestrian community, we thought that we would create a special edition of The Unicorn Diaries. We are featuring Mackenzie Doyle, an inspiring Australian unicorn rider that is setting a great example in this space. She took part in our #Riders4Riders campaign, wearing odd riding socks to raise awareness about bullying in equestrian sports.

Tell us about yourself?

My name is Mackenzie - I am 19 years old and have been riding for over 10 years. I first fell in love with horses at age 6 when I would try to run alongside the horses at the racetrack and begged for riding lessons ever since. I got my heart horse, Pippa, for my 14th birthday. We had essentially rescued her from an abusive and negligent home. After years of physical and emotional rehab, we were bringing home blue ribbons from every event. Pippa is now retired and my current working horse, Ardimento, is an 8yo OTTB now starting his career with myself and his other co-owner.

Why did you support the #Riders4Riders campaign?

This sport is hard, very hard. But one thing that can make or break a rider is the attitude of those around them. On a rough day, just one snarky comment or giggle about your riding/horse/performance can make you want to give up and throw it all away. I’ve been on the receiving end of bullying and harassment in this sport before. I’m thankful that it’s over now (for the most part) but the long term effects of that experience still remain. That’s why I try to make it a point to make a difference, be encouraging, supportive, helpful and most importantly, kind. Kindness is free - sprinkle it everywhere!

What does being kind in the equestrian industry look like on an everyday basis?

It takes zero effort to congratulate your fellow competitors on a good round or give them a few nice words of encouragement after a rough ride (examples include “you handled it really well” or “you rode amazingly given the circumstances” or even “you were looking awesome until that little mishap, it happens to the best of us” etc.). Just one nice comment can completely change the course of someone’s day. Be the kind of person you would want to have around and karma will do its thing. And even on the worst of days, speak even if your voice shakes. 💙

#Riders4Riders Two White Socks

What about online?

Online, it can be as simple as leaving encouraging comments on posts, congratulating others on their achievements and sometimes even sending a friendly PM to someone who seems like they need a bit of light in their day. It’s easy to hide behind a screen and sometimes even the best of us can get carried away during heated moments. The best way to correct this is to admit your wrongdoings and try to reconcile with others. I’ve made many friends by owning up to my mistakes and apologising and opening my mind to other opinions.

We think that the equestrian industry needs more people in it like Mackenzie! Not only did she wear odd riding socks as part of our #Riders4Riders campaign in one of her recent rides, but she also sported her Dolly’s Dream wristband in support of anti-bullying.You can learn more about Dolly’s Dream here.

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