This week I’m delighted to be chatting with German based, Norwegian dressage rider, trainer and coach Antonia Palma e Santos. Read on to discover more about Antonia, her horses, ambitions, and top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horses
My name is Antonia Palma e Santos, I am thirty five years old. I have grown up with horses and my mother taught me all about it. My focus though was on rhythmic gymnastics when I was young. I started riding more when I was 12. It had always been my hobby. I became a professional rider, when I decided to quit my job as a buyer for fashion retail after 5 years.
I have been lucky to have had a very successful grand prix horse Danny, which I competed at CDI4* and bigger nationals in Germany. He is now off duty. I have a wonderful 8 year old following his footsteps, and we are now training towards bigger goals.
I run a stable together with my husband near Hamburg, Germany. I train several horses, clients and we deal with horses as well.
We have 57 boxes for rent.
How did horses come into your life?
Through my mother. She always had horses and luckily taught me all about them and riding. I thank her every day for having given me this chance.
How long have you been riding?
I have always been with horses because of my mom, but honestly I only began riding regularly when around twelve.
When and where do you ride?
I ride 6 days a week all day, I have between 10-12 Horses to manage. I ride and give lesson.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Right now I have one very interesting 8 year old, that I ride on St. Georges Level for 7-9 year old horses and I am bringing him out now. I am always trying to work every horse depending on its talents, strengths and weaknesses.
I work a lot on the basics and suppleness/flexibility. When I have reached there, they learn more or less everything step by step.
I have horses in training from 5 years to 15 years, so it is a wide range.
What do you love about riding?
I love the bond that you need with your horses to be good. I love them as my partners, friends, to see how hard they try to please me and the best: the trust you can build up.
What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I have that dream to ride in the Olympics for Norway 2024 in Versailles, Paris. But at the moment, unfortunately, I have no horse schooling for the grand prix and to put pressure on my younger horses just doesn´t feel right.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
No. I think rhythmic gymnastics toughen me up. I am seldom nervous.
How do you deal with them?
If I head to a bigger event, I believe in doing a nice training with my horses. I never want to win. I just want to ride nice rounds, without major mistakes and to especially get that good feeling every dressage rider is aiming for.
Your Top Tip
If you have a bad day, try to make an easy ride. Don’t try to start fixing problems. Stroll around with your horse and do not have any expectations. Tomorrow will be a better day.
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
At the moment I would like to ride Vamos Amigos (Catherine Dufour) and Diaton 3(a 6 year old stallion from Kasselmann)
Who is your equestrian hero?
I love to see Catherine Dufour riding, Dorothe Schneider…
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Favourite Colour Horse
Chestnut with a lot of white (I have a brown one)
Favourite horse event?
Hamburger Derby because it is my hometown
Sushi and Pasta
Favourite way to relax?
Walking my poodle, cooking and just staying at home
Dead Poets Society
If you enjoyed meeting Antonia you might like to view more dressage rider chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Antonia’s progress and check out her instagram page here