With her entertaining and informative video series, 17 year old Esme Higgs has become a YouTube star. In fact “This Esme” has become the world’s largest equestrian YouTube channel with 3.5 million views monthly. Ellie Kelly caught up with her ahead of the TheraPlateUK Liverpool International Horse Show, where she will be coming along to enjoy the show and meet her fans.
Do you remember your first time on a pony?
Yes, at a friend’s 5th birthday party, I was 4 at the time. I remember feeling so high up and the pony seemed massive, however looking back on it the pony was probably only 12hh.
What is it about riding and the lifestyle that you love?
So many things! Being outside, sharing my life with animals, developing a bond, trust and partnership with my horse.
How do you juggle going to college with your horses?
For me, looking after the horses is a pleasure and a real break from school work and studying. It has just become part of my everyday routine. I try and manage my time well to fit in as much as I can.
Do you ride every day?
I’d love to, but at the moment with winter and my A-levels around the corner, it’s hard. However next year when my studies are done I have lots of riding planned, both in the UK and around the world.
Why did you decide to start making videos?
I started making small videos on my phone to track my progress with my pony Casper, so I could look back and see how much I’d improved. Quickly, and to my surprise, views and subscribers increased and I now post a video at least weekly and get over 3 million views a month from people all over the world.
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Work hard, play hard
Have you ever had anything nasty written about you on social media or to your face?
I’ve met lots of people face to face who watch my videos and every one of them has been really friendly and positive. I also get lots of mail sent for “Mail time with Mickey” videos and again people are all so lovely. However, I do occasionally get a negative comment- it seems to be inevitable that if you put yourself out there you will get some criticism as understandably everyone has different opinions on things.
What advice would you give to people who might have suffered that?
Whilst its easier said than done, I try and ignore it, and would advise others to do the same. Don’t reply or give them any attention, and remember that the negative comments are far outweighed by all the positive feedback. Also, you don’t know what’s happening in the life of the person who has left the negative message.
What do you want to be when you finish school?
Once I finish school, I’m going to spend a year doing YouTube full time and see how that goes. During that year, I’ve got plans to travel and visit, amongst other places, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Ireland and Japan. I’m hoping to have more equestrian experiences and film them in the process. Following this I’d like to go to University and ultimately work with horses.
What couldn’t you live without and why?
Apart from horses? Coffee
Which horse would you most love to ride?
A big event horse like Ballaghmor Class
What makes you laugh?
Mickey, he’s just the funniest pony
What makes you cry?
At the moment….Thermodynamics in Chemistry
Where are you happiest?
Outside- whatever the weather!
The Harry Potter series as they got me into reading when I was younger.
Anything Sci Fi
Italian, can’t go wrong with pizza or pasta
Casper’s favourite treat?
You’re coming to Liverpool- what will you be doing there?
I’ll be making a film for YouTube as well as being part of the signing zone and meeting my viewers. I’ll also no doubt enjoy the shopping and the show!
What is on your Christmas list?
What is on Casper’s Christmas list?
Lots of treats….
New Year’s Resolutions
To keep coming up with new ideas to try and make my YouTube content better and better.
You can meet Esme at the Liverpool and see a host of other equestrian stars at the TheraPlate UK Liverpool International Horse Show, which runs from 28th-31st December. Tickets still available www.liverpoolhorseshow.com