This week I’m delighted to be chatting with professional Canadian dressage rider Mathilde Blais.
Based in both Montreal and Florida, Mathilde spends her time training horses to GP, teaching clients and selling horses as well as competing. Read on to discover more about Mathilde, her ambitions, and her top tips for success.
Tell about you and your horses
I’m a professional Dressage rider from Montreal, Canada.
I don’t remember a time in my life where my dream was not to go to the Olympics so becoming a professional Dressage rider was always my goal.
I travelled around the world with my horses to compete and train but now I spend half of the year in Montreal, Canada and Wellington, Florida.
My business revolves around training horses to GP, teaching clients and selling horses!
At the moment I have 3 top horses, GP horse named Fedor (Johnson x Negro),5 yo mare named Moira Rose (Ironman x Krack C) and 6yo gelding name Lennon (Desperado x Pincus)
How did your horses come into your life?
Fedor came into my life when he was 6 years old. We found him in Europe and he was originally intended to be my little sisters horse that I would train for her whilst she would gain experience in the u25 classes with her horse Utah.
The two other horses are sales horses that I bought when they were young to either keep to be my up and coming horse or to resell because this is a big part of my business.
How long have you been riding?
I have been riding since I was about five years old.
When and where do you ride?
During the summer I ride 6 days a week on the south shore of Montreal and I travel a little bit to give clinics and to show
During the wintertime I ride 7 days a weeks in Wellington, Florida. I have been going for twelve years now.
How did you start riding?
I started riding with my mom. She used to take me to the pony club near our country house in the Eastern Townships. I used to ride a pony bareback in the fields and then started taking jumping lessons, but I was quickly drawn to Dressage.
What are you and your horses currently working on?
My top horse Fedor and I are working on getting stronger in the Grand Prix tests.
We are working on positive tension and elasticity in trot half pass and being more fluid in the canter zig zag.
What do you love about riding?
What I love the most about riding is the relationship you build with the horse. The feeling of being one with the animal when everything comes together. Feeling all that controlled power under you is quite special.
I love training them from baby to GP its very rewarding and every single one of them teaches you something different.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
My main sport goal is the Olympics and all the other major games in our sport, Wegs and Panams.
My personal career is to be able to build a strong enough horse selling business to allow me to go to Europe and compete in shows like Aachen and Rotterdam.
I was always drawn to building a business that is parallel to my sport. I have some ideas and hopefully one day it will come to life.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I was never a really nervous athlete before shows. I really get in my head after the show and in training trying to figure how to make it better and fix the mistakes I made. So, I have to be careful afterwards not to overthink everything.
How do you deal with them?
I listen to a lot of music before my classes to really get in the zone. I usually have the same routine, so it helps not to get nervous, and I know how much time it takes me to complete every task before I get on my horse. I feel like it makes everything run smoother.
Your Top Tip
I would say the people you surround yourself with for your journey is the most important thing. No time or energy should be wasted on people that don’t believe in you or your dreams. Life is too short.
Down the Centre Line
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Who is your equestrian hero?
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event?
Favourite way to relax?
Going to eat with some friends on a Sunday either early dinner or late lunch and sitting for hours.
If you enjoyed meeting Mathilde you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here You can keep up with Mathilde’s progress and check out her instagram page here