This week I’m chatting with the hugely successful Spanish international Grand Prix dressage rider, Beatriz Ferrer-Salat. Based at Gualba, near Barcelona, Beatriz has represented her country at the highest level for many years, competing at European, World Championships and many Olympic Games, including winning individual silver and helping Spain win the team bronze medals at Athens. Read on to discover more about Beatriz, her ambitions, and top tips for success
Tell us about you
I am an animal lover and that´s why I started riding, to be able to take care of the horse. That´s why I later became vegan as well.
I have been in several Olympic Games, first time in Atlanta, then Sydney, Athens (where I won two medals with my amazing Beauvalais), Rio and Tokyo.
I have wonderful horses. I buy young (3-4 years old, or even as a foal) and train them to Grand Prix. I love competing, and even more riding them every day and seeing how they grow and develop. I care deeply about their physical and mental health, that´s why we do a very varied training every week: schooling, hacking, exercising in the canter track, lungeing, Equiband, one day of natural horsemanship and lots of paddock.
How long have you been riding?
I started riding in summer when I was ten, but I had my first riding lesson with fifteen.
When and where do you ride?
I ride every day from Monday to Saturday from 7:00am to 2:00pm in Villa Equus, the beautiful facilities we have in Gualba, near Barcelona.
How did you start riding?
At the Costa Brava, in Girona, where I used to spend the months of July and August in our summer house with my parents. We could rent a horse to go hacking with a group, and that´s what I did every time I could.
What you and your horses currently working on?
I am riding different horses and each on a different level, so with each of them I am working on teaching them the new exercises or improving the ones they already know.
What do you love about riding?
The connection with the horse, spending time with them, and the challenge to teach them all the exercises.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
Always ride although I won´t be competing forever. We are starting a Foundation to rescue neglected and abandoned horses, as well as other farm animals, with a museum and a library, all about horses and the protection of the environment.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I am usually quite cool and can concentrate very good and control the nerves at big competitions.
How do you deal with them?
I sit with my horse at the stables and talk to him and tell him how nice it is going to be, how much I trust him and how well we are going to perform.
Your Top Tip
For me, one of the most important things is your seat and the use of the aids. And always look forward!
Down The Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Beauvalais was my dream horse to ride, because he gave me everything and was so full of life and energy.
Who is your equestrian hero?
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, because she rides beautifully and she is the only other vegan rider on the circuit, and for me that shows the great love and respect she has for animals.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Ingrid Newkirk, founder and president of PETA
Manolo García, my favourite Spanish singer
Le Petit Prince
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event?
CDI Schindlhof (Fritzens)
Favourite way to relax?
Fried Green Tomatoes
If you enjoyed meeting Beatrizig you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here You can keep up with Beatriz’s progress and check out her instagram page here