This week I’m delighted to be chatting with British international dressage rider and coach Emily Coller. Read on to discover more about Emily, her horses, ambitions, and top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horses
I’m a twenty year old International Dressage Rider. I started my career by working abroad as a rider and groom, for the Hoffmanns in Denmark at sixteen years old and I’m currently competing at Prix St Georges level in the UK.
I have six horses which I currently ride daily, four which are owned by us and two which are owned by Gloria Smith.
The first dressage horse I ever bought is Toti, I bought her aged six and trained her from Novice to Prix St George level and we competed internationally at Juniors together. Her breeding is Gribladi x Jazz and she’s a very quirky character, but fantastic at her job!
I then bought Ashley, as a 5 year old, when I worked abroad. Together, we did the young horse classes and forum. She’s competed up to Advanced medium and is a real show off. Known as the golden girl, she’s a lovely chestnut with a fantastic temperament.
Pete joined our team last year for my younger sister but she didn’t have the time needed to bring him on with A-levels so I’ve ended up riding him. He’s a pocket rocket, with three great paces! I debuted him earlier this year at medium and advanced medium, where we scored just under 70% at medium and advanced Medium to take two overall wins.
Alina joined our team last year as Toti had been diagnosed with a career ending field injury, which she made a miraculous recovery from. She’s everything I dreamed of and more, I rode her grandfather abroad which attracted me to her. She’s a very elegant type and I’ve debuted her this year at young riders.
In 2021 I was feeling very lost after Toti had her career ending injury and saw Gloria’s horses on Facebook I currently ride Wizzie and Lizzy for her and cannot wait to debut them in a show!
How long have you been riding?
I’ve been riding since I was three years old.
When and where do you ride?
I ride six days a week and train at home in Norfolk and I train at Gloria’s base with her horses, which is one hour from my house- nothing is close in Norfolk!
How did you start riding?
I stared riding at a riding school then I got a little pony on loan.
What you and your horses currently working on?
I’m currently working on getting more power and keeping my position straighter in the flying changes. This is both on and off the horse with my PT Sophie Fairhurst.
What do you love about riding?
Short answer everything! I love that you never know what a horse is capable of, you just keep improving on little things and suddenly a dribble of a trot will turn into passage or extension!
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
Riding and competing internationally. As everyone would, I’d love to compete in the Olympics and at London International Horse show. Short term I’m hopefully about to set up a few more stables to have schooling liveries in so I’d love to ride for a few more owners and debut Alina internationally.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Yes, I’m still nervous competing now. Nerves are great they make us pay attention and react quickly so we can perform at our best.
How do you deal with them?
When I’m nervous I get a tight chest. To combat this, when I’m visualising my test in the run up to a competition, I imagine having a tight chest, so I get used to the feeling and it doesn’t distract me on the day, something my sports psychologist Steffi Dampney has taught me.
Your Top Tip
Practice makes perfect! Look after your horse and yourself like an athlete.
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
I don’t have one I’m incredibly lucky to ride the horses I have and I think you can make your own dream horse.
Who is your equestrian hero?
Cathrine Dufour, Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester, Jessica Von Bredow Werndl
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Never thought about this, I think Nick Grimshaw he sounds like a laugh and would ask all the right questions (I listen to way too much radio 1!), Zendaya, Cara Deligvene and Charlotte Dujardin for some interesting, inspiring women! Usain Bolt too would be really interesting too.
Favourite colour horse?
Any colour as long as they come with a good walk!
Favourite horse event?
London International Horse Show
Richmonds veggie sausages.
Favourite way to relax?
I like being active so skateboarding or swimming in the sea.
I don’t watch many films I do like a few series and reading.
If you enjoyed meeting Emily you might like to view more dressage rider chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Emily’s progress and check out her instagram page here