This week I’m thrilled to be chatting with the lovely German international dressage rider Senta Kirchoff. In addition to competing, Senta and her husband Henri Ruoste train and market top-class dressage horses from their fabulous riding and training facility Gut Bertingloh in Germany. Read on to discover more about this very talented lady, her horses and her top tips for success.
Tell us about you and your horses
My Name is Senta Kirchhoff, I’m 35 years old and live together with my husband and our 3-year-old son in Menden, Germany. We have our own competition and sales stables – Gut Bertingloh. This is our dream come true and as a typical horse girl I enjoy every day working together with my horses! I’m part of the German dressage squad with my little superstar and best friend L’Arbuste who I won the Louisdor Preis 2019 (series for developing GP horses from 8-10) with. He is really special to me and I always say he is more like a dog because he is so attached to humans and super intelligent.
How did your horses come into your life?
We found L’Arbuste aka Mini when he was 4 years old in Denmark by coincidence when we originally were looking at another horse. My husband directly said he thinks Mini would be a match…
How long have you been riding?
I started riding when I was six years old and got my first own pony when I was twelve.
When and where do you ride?
I ride every day at our own yard together with my husband.
How did you start riding?
Me and my sister caught the horse virus when our parents sent us to a holiday riding camp while they went on a weekend trip themselves and didn’t have anybody else to take care of us.
What you and your horses currently working on?
I have some young horses which are working on the basics. When they are young I really take care that they directly learn everything really correctly…it helps in the long run. With L’Arbuste I’m working on his strength and power and to improve the small details. I have a really talented 7-year-old. He is working to learn the one tempis…and he is a clever little eager beaver.
What do you love about riding?
I love being with my horses! I love the feeling when the horses really understand you and when it gets so easy that it’s not horse and rider anymore but one becomes one unit! To work with animals is a challenge and can be really hard sometimes but to me they give so much back that I just love to even look in their eyes and see how much fun they have themselves!
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I just want my family and friends to stay healthy and happy!! Of course, I have goals but I try not to dream about them too much, not to make too much pressure on myself. But of course, I would love to ride in the German team one day!
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
I actually still often do! And they often stood in my way.
How do you deal with them?
I try to just focus on the next movement. Be in the here and now and try to not think about anything else. One can anyways just give ones best and then see what happens. As much as one wants the success it doesn’t changes one’s life. Before I ride into the test I always try to remember that and then I take a deep breath and breath out heavily and image that I shake all my nerves away. That really helps me and when I ride down the centreline I’m full-on focus.
Your Top Tip
Stay humble, work hard, love what you do!
Riding is not always easy and it really teaches you to get up when you fall and to not fly too high when you are taking off.
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Phew I don’t really know… I think I would like to sit once on Edward Gals Total US.
Who is your equestrian hero?
I admire a lot of riders, but for sure Charlotte Dujardin is a magician in the saddle!
If you could have five people to dinner who would they be?
Not so easy question… Michael Schumacher has always been an inspiring person and sportsman for me. I would also like to discuss with Barack Obama about a couple of political things and I think Elon Musk I would also like to get to know with all his ideas and futuristic view of things. Michael Phelps I would also invite. Unbelievable what he has achieved! The last one on my invitation list would be Kevin Hart…somebody has to make all of them laugh!
Favourite colour horse?
I can only say that I never had a match with a chestnut 😉
Favourite horse event
Horses and Dreams in Hagen a.t.W Germany is my favourite show. It’s so well organized for the horses and the riders and to me it has a special atmosphere.
I could eat everyday Spaghetti.
Favourite way to relax
When I play with my son I forget everything around me!
If you enjoyed meeting Senta you might like to view more chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Senta’s progress and check out her instagram page here