Alycia Burton Takes Horseback Riding to a Whole New Level of WOW

Burton’s rise to fame started with a Facebook photo of her jumping without a saddle or bridle.


If you haven’t seen Alycia Burton ride, prepare to be amazed. And then a little (or a lot) jealous. She started riding horses as a child in New Zealand, riding bareback to school with her mother, reports. Since then, she’s become a full-time horse trainer, rehabilitating horses that were deemed unsafe or dangerous as well as training Thoroughbreds that were no longer racing.

It’s a job that usually doesn’t come with much fame, but for Burton, a picture of her free jumping caused her fame to rise.

“Someone took a photo off my Facebook page and it went crazy around the world,” Burton told

The image showed Burton riding her horse Classic Goldrush without a saddle or bridle with her arms outstretched. When critics speculated that the image was photoshopped, she put up a video on YouTube. Her videos now get millions of views. Once you watch one, you’ll see why.

Burton named her company Free Riding NZ and the videos show her doing just that – through cross-country obstacles and over grand prix level show jumps. New Zealand residents got the chance to see the free rider in person when she rode publicly at the Friday Night Extravaganza at the Horse of the Year equestrian event in Hastings.

If you’re not in New Zealand, but want to see more of Burton riding, check out her YouTube page. Warning: you might end up wishing you could ride like her.


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Cari Jorgensen is a web content specialist who is also an adjunct professor of English at Santa Ana College.


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