This week I’m chatting with a very exciting young Danish talent. Karoline Ravnsbo is a 17 year-old international dressage rider who has already achieved many sucesses in national and international competitions at Junior level and is certainly one to keep an eye on. Read on to discover more about this hugely talented young lady, her horses, ambitions, and her top tip for success.
Tell us a little about you and your horses
Hi! I am Karoline Mathilde Ravnsbo, I am seventeen years old and a dressage rider from Denmark competing at Junior level. I ride on my horses Gørklintgårds Torrero, Atterupgaards Kawasaki, Fleurie and Dorado.
Torrero is a ten-year-old gelding, I have had him for a year and a half. Our biggest competition has been The Nordic Baltic Championships in Finland, where we won Team Gold; and we have achieved placings at some national- and international competitions through the year. Teo is quite a big boy, and his heart is just as big.
Kawasaki is such a special horse to me, he just totally won my heart from day one. I have had him for about 1 ½ years too, and we have competed at national- and international competitions with over 70% and with our highest score being 75%. We had some high hopes for this upcoming season, but unfortunately, he had to undergo surgery January the 1st, so we hope to come back strong next year as a young rider equipage.
Fleurie moved in, in October, so our journey is quite new, but she is a lovely talented little lady. And since Kawasaki and I are only brushing and walking right now, I have been so lucky that Dorado just moved in, he seems like such a sweetheart.
I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to ride such an amazing horse, and hope that he can be my future star. He is a fourteen-year-old stallion from the Netherlands, and he has competed at the World Championship for Young Horses and won bronze in Verden. Dorado and Kawasaki have both competed in international small tours with former riders.
How did horses come into your life?
I rode together with my parents, I sat in front of them on my mother’s horse before I was one year old, so horses have always been a part of my life.
How long have you been riding?
I have been around horses my whole life, I sat on a horse before I could even walk. So, I do not remember a time without horses.
When and where do you ride?
I have my horses at home, which I am so grateful for, it makes my everyday life so much easier. I ride them when I am home from school, and sometimes I also ride one of them before school, to have time for homework and assignments in the evenings too.
How did you start riding?
I had some problems with my knees when I was younger, and the psychotherapist told my parents, that I could benefit from horseback riding, so I started taking some classes at our local riding school. I became quite fond of it and later got half-share on a small pony, but back then I liked riding in the forest with my parents way more than dressage. We walked for several hours in all kinds of weather, and I loved it. When the pony was sold, my parents bought me my own little pony, and slowly I started to become more and more interested in dressage, and my love for horses just kept on growing.
What you and your horses currently working on?
Torrero and I are training hard for the competition season! We are slowly working on getting a bit more expression in the trot, while still working on him being subtle and loose in his body, right now I am also in the progress of making us a new freestyle. Fleurie and I are working on relaxation in the canter. Kawasaki and I focused on the flow between the exercises, so that the last details could be spot on! Doroda and I are still getting to know each other, since it is all still so new, but it feels like we are on just the right track!
What do you love about riding?
I love the bond and connection you achieve together with your partner, it feels incredible when everything just works, and you dance together as one. I think that is one of the most special things about riding.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I would like to keep on riding and have a good horse beside my study/work that I can ride on and compete. My goal right now must be Future Championships in Hagen, I think, it could be such and awesome experience!
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Definitely! At the big competitions I think most can feel it, but I forget as soon, as I get in the competition arena, since there is so much else to focus on. You really have to make everything count and use every second wisely.
How do you deal with them?
I actually talk with my horse, I feel like it calms me down, we are doing it together, so it feels just right to go through the plan with them and cheer on them. I also have some phrases, that I say to Kawasaki every single time, when the bell rings, and it helps me to focus and believe in us, before we start the test.
Your Top Tip
It is important to remember the long and loose work in the daily work, it is definitely key! It is important to keep the horses supple and relaxed in their bodies. And it is important that, you mix up the training, for example with hacks in the forest or pole work, to keep the horses happy. I have found that to be quite necessary with my horses. I also train beside riding, so that I am physically able to work with and help my horses, as good as I can.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
There are so many wonderful horses out there! But actually, I feel like I have my dream horses right in my own stable. Nothing beats a trot on Kawasaki or Dorado and flying changes on Torrero truly feels like flying!
Who is your equestrian hero?
I think, that Charlotte Dujardin is a really skilled rider, but I also really look up to my horses former owners, since I think, that they have done an amazing job with them.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Maybe a bit unimaginative, but I think the coziest and best dinner for me, would be together with some of my equestrian friends, since they are such a great company to spend time with. Some good food and an amazing evening is guaranteed.
Favourite colour horse?
I think that darker horses are so beautiful. But an amazing horse looks great no matter the colour! Fleurie is a really beautiful and elegant dark horse, whereas Dorado is shining red, and I think, that they both look amazing in their own ways.
Favourite horse event
For me, it has been The Nordic Baltic Championship, there was a fantastic atmosphere, and it was such a fun week in Ypäjä Finland. It was also a huge experience to be part of a team with such sweet and talented girls.
I am a big fan of seafood and I have always loved carbonara.
Favourite way to relax
I love a cozy ride in the forest, reading a book or watching a movie (especially horror) and spending time with my friends and my dachshund Milo. (He is just the sweetest funniest little dog).
I am actually way more into series. I love Game of Thrones I have watched it like six times, and The Handmaids Tale is also great!
If you enjoyed meeting Karoline you might like to view more chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Karoline’s progress and check out her instagram page here