HSI Active Accredited Coaches Blog Series – Sian Carson Ball

  • 1 September 2023, 09:56
HSI Level 2 Coach Sian Carson Ball features in part 8 of the HSI Active Accredited Coach Blog Series

Name: Sian Carson Ball

Location: Co. Carlow

Coach Level: HSI Level 2

Growing up in Co. Carlow, HSI Level 2 Coach Sian Carson Ball, has been involved in the industry from a very young age. Surrounded by horses her entire life, Sian grew up with her mum and aunt running a riding school – as she says herself, she was probably a horse long before she could even walk.

A former member of the Carlow Pony Club, Sian participated in all disciplines growing up, from tetrathlon to pure dressage. Progressing to medium level on ponies, Sian won a Silver Spurs Final on a 4-year-old pony she produced herself.

Sian made her European Championship debut at the age of 15, representing Ireland at the FEI Pony (under 16) European Eventing Championships. Her second championship appearance came aged 20, at the FEI European Young Rider (under 21) Eventing Championships.

Always knowing she wanted a career in the equine industry, Sian balances her coaching and riding career with her new business, Equipark. Based in Garryhill, Co. Carlow, Equipark is a cross country training facility open to the public each day for schooling, also running clinics onsite with international riders.

With the help of her daughters, Sian has plans to expand her business in the coming years and credits her coaching and riding experience as a natural progression and benefit to her equine business.

Where did your interest in equestrian coaching and the HSI Coaching Programme come from?

I think training and being coached to a high level myself as a rider by some amazing coaches over the years really began my interest in becoming a coach myself. Experiencing the direction and support that a good coach can provide to a rider first hand definitely has inspired me to want to help others in the same way.

Who has been an inspiration to you and why?

I am genuinely inspired by anyone who is so dedicated to this sport. I find it amazing the amount of people who work so hard to achieve their goals, from Grassroots to Olympians. It’s just an amazing sport to be involved in.

What do you love most about being a professional coach?

I love to help horses and riders achieve their goals, no matter what they may be. I’m really motivated by a positive attitude to learning and when a rider is willing to work with me to achieve a goal. I find watching and learning from other coaches and riders very motivating also.

What are the biggest challenges in your role as a coach?

There is a lot of multi-tasking!

Running Equipark, a breeding programme, my children’s riding and their other activities mixed with coaching can be a challenge at times. So, I suppose the biggest challenge for me is finding time!

Sian Carson Ball enjoys eventing and producing horses as well as running her business and coaching.
Photo: Louise O’Brien

What has your career with this sport taught you about life?

Horses are a great leveller! Dealing with the highs and lows of this sport can be a massive learning process but it’s all worth it in the end. I wouldn’t like to be doing anything else.

If you could ride any horse in the world, who would it be and why?

I would love a spin on Kilkenny or Valegro!

Do you believe attitude or motivation are the key factors for longevity in the sport and why?

A positive attitude is essential for success. Everyone, including your horse can be affected by your mindset, so a positive approach from the whole team is essential. That combined with the motivation to achieve your goals will set you in the right direction.

What is one piece of advice you would give to someone who would like to begin their career as a professional equestrian coach?

Always be open to learning. It’s amazing where you can pick up different tips that may help you with a client. Keep current and take every opportunity to learn.

To find a HSI Active Accredited Coach near you, please see our Active Accredited Coaches list.