This week I’m chatting with amazing and entrepreneurial Uruguay based dressage rider Carolin Mallmann F. Facht. Carolin splits her time between Uruguay and the USA and trains full time in both countries in readiness for the forthcoming Pan-American Games and the South American games. Carolin has a wealth of horse experience and has put this to brilliant commercial use offering training camps, riding tours and many other horse based experiences and adventures for like-minded people.
Tell us a little about you
I was born in Germany, but I grew up in Uruguay. I always had a passion for horses inherited by my father and needed to be near them, especially when we went on vacation to our farm in Argentina. But it was not until I was around 30 that I built my own farm (harasgodiva.com), and finally had daily contact with horses. I had all kinds of breeds and interests, Arabian shows, racing, playing polo, a little jumping, taking tourists on riding tours to the beach, etc. One day Paulina and Mauricio Delucchi arrived at my farm and I learned about dressage. Once I started training with them, I got bitten by the Dressage-bug and never stopped.
How did your horses come into your life?
I trained dressage with Lusitanos and Argentinian warmbloods, and then I met Don Romeo (my 13-year Oldenburger) who I rode in Aachen 2018 when I was taking riding lessons at Dressurstall Rueben with Dagmar (his Trainer) and Hans Rueben. I finally bought him, and he flew directly to Uruguay.
Godot SSF (my 9 years old KWPN) I purchased this season in Wellington. I was looking for a GP horse. He was trained by Eiren Crawford and sold by Chris von Martels.
Delagronge (my 13-year Oldenburger) also trained by Dagmar and Johannes Rueben, I bought in 2019 and he flew to Argentina, where I lived at that time.
How long have you been riding?
For ever, but intensively since 2013 in Dressage.
When and where do you ride?
I am based from March until November in Uruguay at Haras Godiva www.harasgodiva.com where I train with Mauricio Delucchi and from November until March in Wellington, FL, USA at PMG Stables with Paula Matute Guimon.
How did you start riding?
I have memories on a horse since I was 3 years old, we rode mainly at our farm in Argentina, when we got together the cattle. The rides where never less than 8 hours per day with a lot of stops and asados (BBQ) in between… I had a small horse called “Mordiscon” (translation: Biter, yes, he bit everyone).
What you and your horses currently working on?
We are training Dressage preparing for the ODESUR (South American Games in Paraguay 2022) and PANAMS (Pan American Games in Chile 2023) in Small Tour (Don Romeo) and Big Tour (Godot SSF and Delagronge).
What do you love about riding?
Riding is the best feeling in the universe. I also love everything involved, the grooming, the barn, the smell, the competition, the time spent with them.
I need to have a lot of contact with my horses, touch them, cuddle them and I like to be around people who love horses as much as I do.
What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I hope to ride for many more years and transmit to others what I have learned over the years. My goal is to ride a beautiful Grand Prix with my horses and represent Uruguay.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding and how do you deal with them?
During competition time I have my routine which helps me not to get nervous. First, I check the day before if the horses outfit is ready and clean, the trailer organized, the groom knows the competition time, etc. Then I always prepare my stuff at last 2 hours before the show, knowing that outfit, spurs, boots, helmet, whip, etc is clean and ready gives me a sense of calmness 😉 if I don’t do that in time, I can get really nervous. Once I am on my horse, I don’t feel nervous. We just want to show, and we have a lot of fun doing so. The good think about riding is the “two hearts”, you are not alone… You really feel you have a partner! And we give each other motivation and encouragement.
Your Top Tip
Train yourself physically and mentally as an athlete, don’t expect the horse to do it all.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
That is a difficult question, it’s not like a car, I have dream cars I would like to drive, with horses, it is different, I need to feel and have a “connection” and then I get the need to want to ride them… I only have that with my horse.
Who is your equestrian hero?
Jessica von Bredow Werndl, perfect riding in harmony.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Jessica, Carl Hester (fun!), Juan Matute Sr., Isabel Werth, and my husband!
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event
CHIO Aachen and Adequan Global Dressage Fest Wellington
Io amo amo (I love love) Italian food
Favourite way to relax
Drinking my MATE, seeing the horses graze on the field overlooking the ocean.