Each week I interview the people behind some of the most interesting and popular equestrian accounts on Instagram. This week I’m chatting with the amazingly talented Patricia Mannaerts, international Grand Prix dressage rider, and coach. Read on to learn more about the incredible woman behind the @patriciamannaerts Instagram account where she shares her days of training her own stunning horses (make sure you don’t miss out because her Frisian horses are beyond beautiful. My favourite is Otto!). She also shares coaching tips, videos and competition action.
Tell us a little about you and your horses
I’m Patricia Mannaerts from Beringen, Belgium. I have 4 Frisian stallions. From base level to Grand Prix. I have a nail studio to pay for all the ‘hobby’. Since 1 year I also teach and coach students in dressage riding. I rode from my 15 till my 31 with warmblood horses. One of my horses died and I wanted to go a different route. I focused on Frisian horses. Not that easy in the beginning but now I’m the only rider competing on National level with Frisians in Belgium. At first the judges weren’t keen on Frisians horses in the dressage competition. But I learnt to ride my horses more like a warmblood and show them what they wanted to see. Since a few years I’m more respected and I’m able to ride nice results. I’m also very proud that I own and schooled my horses all by myself.
How did your horses come into your life?
I wanted to ride horses since I was 5 years old. But horse riding in those days were only permitted from the age of 7 so I impatiently had to wait for 2 more years. In the mean while I could ride the donkey of my oncle ?
How long have you been riding?
I ride 33 years now. And 25 years in competition
When and where do you ride?
I have my own stables and arena. I ride every morning. In the afternoon I work in my nailstudio or teach
How did you start riding?
It was in a Manege nearby were I took my first lessons twice a week.
What you and your horses currently working on?
With Doeke (11) I’m fine-tuning his Grand Prix
Otto (8) I’m working to get to Intermediate level
Tanco (6) I’m working to get to Prix St Georges level
Dalton (3) working to compete young horses
What do you love about riding?
To see the progress the horses make. I also love to compete. Without competition I would immediately stop riding.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
To focus even more on my horses and try to stop with my nailstudio. My goals are to ride and score international. Also getting all my horses to the highest level (grand prix)
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Every time I compete because you always want to show the best of yourself
How do you deal with them?
Just try to keep calm and rely on our experience. Once I’m on the horse the nerves mostly dissappear
Your Top Tip
Just have faith in yourself and your horse and work for it every training.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
For me it’s my own Doeke. He’s so talented.
Who is your equestrian hero?
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
My mother, father and boyfriend and as special guests Patrick Kittel and Dorothy Schneider
Favourite colour horse?
Favourite horse event
Kerstjumping Mechelen. Why? It’s for us Belgian dressage riders a dream to ride there. In 2018 my dream came true. I competed with Doeke in small tour worldcup 5* and managed a to get a 2nd place in the small final as only Frisian between the warmbloods. Unforgettable!