US international dressage rider Kendall Cox enjoys considerable success competing, training and producing equine stars of the future as assistant trainer for American Olympian Robert Dover in Wellington, Florida. Read on to learn more about the hugely talented Kendall, her ambitions, and top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horses
My name is Kendall Cox, and I am from St. Louis, Missouri. I started riding when I was five years old, and I always had a dream to ride in the big arenas. I work for Robert Dover and have been his assistant trainer for 3.5 years now. I live full time in Wellington, Florida. I ride, train, and compete all ages and levels of dressage horses.
How did your horses come into your life?
Horses came into my life when I was five years old. For my fifth birthday, I wanted to take a riding lesson and I instantly fell in love with the horses and the sport. I am twenty-five years old now and have never once looked back. I have been riding every day since then.
When and where do you ride?
I live in Wellington, Florida, and train six days a week.
What are you and your horses currently working on?
have a 9-year-old gelding now owned by my generous sponsor, Bruce Grivetti. We are schooling Grand Prix and plan to show our first adult Grand Prix this fall. I also have several other horses in training including a 6-year-old and a few other Grand Prix horses.
What do you love about riding?
I love everything about riding. I love how particular you have to be especially in the sport of Dressage. I also love that there is no limit to what you can learn. We can always learn something new. I also just love being around the horses and truly understanding them.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
My goals for the future are to train horses up to Grand Prix and eventually compete in the biggest arenas in the world.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I have been pretty lucky to never have dealt with a lot of nerves while riding or showing.
How do you deal with them?
If I ever do feel any nerves, I try to make sure that I am envisioning the result that I want rather than all of the “what ifs”.
Do you have any rituals before competing?
I don’t have any major rituals when showing other than wearing mismatching socks! Otherwise, I just make sure that I am very focused on the goal ahead of me.
Your Top Tip
My top tip is to never give up and to never forget the passion for horses that you had as a kid. This industry is very hard, but I constantly remind myself of my goals, why I am here, and how much I truly love the horses. Try not to get caught up in the drama. We are here for the horses, not for the drama.
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given?
The best piece of advice that I have ever been given was by my boss, coach, and mentor Robert Dover. He told me one day to remember that we are really just dancing on beautiful animals in a 20 by 60 metre sandbox. When you feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the sport both mentally and physically it is important to remember that we are very blessed to be doing what we are doing. When you hear this from a 6-time Olympian, it makes it ever clearer that despite how hard it may be, we must be grateful for what we are able to do every day.
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Valegro or Glamourdale would be my dream horses to ride!
Who is your equestrian hero?
Catherine Dufour and my mentor Robert Dover
If you could have 5 people to dinner, who would they be?
If I could have anyone to dinner, I would have my closest friends and family! They are my support team
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event?
Favourite way to relax?
Watch my favourite TV show or read a book
I don’t think I have a favourite film
If you enjoyed meeting Kendal you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here . You can keep up with Kendall’s progress and check out her instagram page here