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German international dressage rider Emma Caecilia Lienert currently represents her country at U25 level and is ranked number 10 at the FEI Young Riders World Ranking. Based at her mother’s stud farm in Germany, Emma has enjoyed many successes including recently winning the Young Riders Prix St Georges at Mariakalnok in Hungary and the short Grand Prix at U25 CDI Grote Brogel in Belgium. The hugely talented Emma has some very exciting horses at home and is certainly a name that we will hear much more of on the international dressage circuit for years to come.

Tell us about you and your horses

Emma Caecilia Lienert winning the Aachen Dressage Youngstars with Express
Emma looking incredibly happy after winning the Aachen Dressage Youngstars with Express
Hi, my name is Emma Caecilia Lienert and I‘m a twenty-one year old U25 dressage rider from Germany. At the moment I have five horses. Currently I‘m number 10 at the FEI Young Riders World Ranking with my heart-horse Express and we’re part of the German national team. With Express I also won the Rheinische Meisterschaften, the Aachen Dressage Youngstars and several international and national competitions. He really made dreams come true and is a super sweet boy you can cuddle with all day. My second Young Rider horse is FS Las Vegas, who is a real clown. We had so many ups and down’s together but that combined with his funny character makes him something special to me. There is not one situation I can recall, where he did not lighten up my mood. I also ride Intendro at Young Riders level and even though we didn’t click immediately three years ago, I now really enjoy riding him. We might have had a bit of a rough start, but we are slowly getting there and already celebrated our first international win last year.

I love horses that have a special and strong character, where you really have to find your way through and build up trust because once you have them on your side, they are really trying their heart out.
Emma with her forner juniors horse Westrades Barack Obama
Dutchman is my U25 horse. He has a lot of experience and teaches me a lot of the difficult stuff, which I am grateful for. He also is super, super cute and fun to work with. With him I already won U25 GP as well. They all differ greatly but that teaches me as a rider a lot and makes each and every one of them special. We also own the 7 year old PRE crossbred Ferrero Kiss, but the special thing is that his dam-sire is my mom‘s PRE stallion Hosco de la Luz, who has been the star of her breeding business for years. Ferrero Kiss already shows great potential so we hope that he will continue to develop as he does currently with his still very young age.

How did your horse come into your life?

My mother has her own stud where she is breeding Spanish horses, so I’ve always been connected to horses and therefore I’ve grown up around horses. I loved spending time in the stable. However, I never had any real ambitions to ride. One day, when I was about eleven years old, a small grey pony moved in, which I fell head over heels in love with. Since that day I caught the horse virus. I am really grateful to have met this very special pony.

When and where do you ride?

Emma Caecilia Lienert and her horse Express celebrating their first international win together at the CDI Mariakalnok
Emma and Express celebrating their first international win together at the CDI Mariakalnok
I’m very lucky that our horses are at home, and I just have to go outside to be with them. Therefore, I spend all my time at the stable, basically riding every day.

Who do you train with?

I train with German Jochen Bender who supports me very much. He is at our yard several times a week and we have known each other for almost eight years. He knows me very well. Nevertheless, I was able to learn an incredible amount from various trainers in Germany and the Netherlands. I think it’s important and helpful to get a lot of different feedback, ideas, and tips. At home my mom also supports me when needed. That’s also helpful because she has a lot of horse experience as well, so I also benefit from her knowledge.

What are you and your horses currently working on?

Emma Caecilia Lienert Greman international dressage rider
Emma and the very exciting Express at the Gestüt Schafhof in Kronberg
Honestly most of the time we‘re just working on the suppleness. For me it’s most important that the horses are happy and healthy. I don‘t like to train the exercises much, because they don‘t need to learn anything. They should simply have fun! In a few weeks I have some shows, including the first European championship selection Preis der Besten, coming up so of course I have to practice the tests sometimes but in general I’d say they all have a pretty relaxed training schedule.


What do you love about riding?

I love to be around horses in general. It‘s important for me to have a strong bond to them and I just love coming to the stables in the morning and every horse already waits for you. There’s also always something new to learn, whether it’s mastering a new skill or deepening your understanding of the horse’s behaviour and needs. Riding is about passion and getting one with the horse. They teach you so much about yourself and that‘s something only an equestrian can relate to.

What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

Emma and FS Las Vegas who she describes affectionately as “a real clown”
I hope that I can still improve my skills and continue to compete at nice shows. Nevertheless, the most important thing is to have fun with my horses.

It takes a team to do dressage, who is in your support team?

My trainer, friends, my family, and my horses. Without them nothing would be possible.  

Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?

I think everyone has dealt with them in their riding career. Sometimes when a bigger event comes up, you see the master list or maybe you try a higher class. Dealing with your nerves is a common challenge I can relate to but in the end, it’s about doing your best and overcoming those obstacles.

How do you deal with them?

I had some lessons with a sports psychologist. One strategy is to focus on deep breathing techniques to calm your body and mind. Visualising success and positive outcomes can also help build confidence. In the end I just try to focus on my horse and myself.

Do you have any rituals before competing?

Not really, but I always plait my horse’s hair and talk to them about the upcoming test. I do have a lot of strange lucky charms like an old riding glove inside my pocket or a special hair tie. I also try to always wear the same outfit. I’m very superstitious.  

Your Top Tip

Focus on the good and the good gets better and always appreciate what you have.


What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?

Oh, I have had lots of good advice. I think most important is to believe in your horse and yourself because that’s everything that matters. Start supporting yourself, instead of going against yourself. It’s impossible to win if you’re not even on your own team. Also don’t rush yourself with anything and always ask yourself what you could do to help the horse to understand what you want them to do.


Down the Centre Line


Who would be your dream horse to ride?

If I would have the chance, I would love to ride my former juniors horse Barack Obama once again who sadly passed 3 years ago. To name a more famous horse, who would not love to ride Valegro?

Who is your equestrian hero?

I’d say Isabell Werth

If you could have five people to dinner, who would they be?

I think it could be very interesting to have a dressage related dinner with Charlotte Dujardin, Isabell Werth, Cathrine Dufour, Charlotte Fry and Carl Hester because I think I could still learn a lot from their experience.

Favourite colour horse?

Black with 4 white legs

Favourite horse event?

I just love the events at the Gestüt Schafhof because the organisers put a lot of effort into it and there is so much attention to detail. The horses have great conditions, and it is a very stress-free environment. So, it’s nice not only for the riders but also for the horses.

Favourite food?

Pasta all the way

Favourite way to relax?

In the stable, maybe even hand-grazing, sitting quietly in their stalls, or going for a walk together!.I also love to enjoy good food honestly.

Favourite film?

I love all kind of movies but 007: ‘No time to die’ was really a good one.

Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Emma you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here .  You can keep up with Emma’s progress and check out her instagram page here        

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

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