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Trude Hestengen dressage rider
This week I’m chatting with Norwegian international Grand Prix dressage rider, Trude Hestengen. Based at her own yard in Denmark, Trude regularly represents her country at the highest level competing at European and World Championships as well as winning the Norwegian championship. Read on to discover more about Trude, her ambitions, and top tips for success

Tell us about you and your horses

Trude Hestengen dressage rider
Trude and Hot Boy at Falsterbo at a Horse Show in 2021
I am thirty nine years old and from Norway but have been living in Denmark the past 15 years. I have my own yard with horses in training and boarding and live at the yard with my boyfriend Allan. I participated at the World championship in Caen 2014 and the European championship in Aachen 2015 with the Norwegian warmblood stallion Tobajo Pik Disney, with whom I also won the Norwegian championship in 2013 and 2015. We achieved a 26th place in the Grand Prix special at the European championship.   Disney was sold after the Europeans in 2015 and I had to start over with young horses.

My current horses are:

  • Christianslund Fürstino. 10 year old DWB gelding by Fürstenball/Cape Town S. Tino is my number 1 horse in the barn and we participated at the World Championship in Herning last year. Unfortunately, Tino was a bit overwhelmed by the atmosphere at only 9 years old, and he pulled his tongue up over the bit in the middle of the test, so the result was not very good. But we came back and won silver at the Norwegian championship and a 3rd place in the freestyle at Oslo Horse Show.
  • Kick Pleasure. 8 year old KWPN gelding by Sezuan/Wynton. Kick is a very sensitive and highly strung horse with tremendous talent but not very easy to ride because of his temperament. He is very intelligent but has a tendency to over-think and do too much. I have competed him in international 6 and 7 year old classes and he has had success at national M-level.
  • Svalegårds Hot Boy. 6 year old DWB stallion by Hesselhøj Donkey Boy/Blue Hors Hotline. Hot Boy is a very nice young horse which I have high expectations for. He won his M-level debut in January and has achieved some good results in young horse classes, especially at Falsterbo Horse Show in Sweden where we finished 3rd in the 4-year old finals and 10th in the 5-year old finals.


How did your horses come into your life?

Trude Hestengen dressage rider
Fürstino, Trude and Allan at the World Championship
  I bought Tino as a foal directly from the breeder and Hot Boy was bought at the Danish warmblood elite foal auction. Kick was bought in Holland as a 3 year old stallion.  


How long have you been riding?

  I have been riding since I was five years old.


When and where do you ride?

  I ride from morning to mid afternoon at home.  


How did you start riding?

  My mum took me and my sister to the local riding school when I was five and I have been riding ever since.  

What are you and your horses currently working on?

Trude Hestengen and Fürstino at the World Championship 2022
Trude and Fürstino at the World Championship 2022
Tino is working on building strength and stamina to obtain higher points in the Grand Prix movements, he is a big boy and still young at 10 years of age, so we still have potential for improvement.

Kick is working on relaxation and the small tour exercises and also the Grand Prix movements, he has a big talent for the collected movements, but had very difficult to learn the flying changes when he was 5/6 and I doubted he would ever do tempi changes, but last week we managed to do 5 one-tempis, so my Grand Prix dreams with him was renewed.

Hot Boy on the other hand was very easy to teach flying changes and is already at 6 years of age doing some tempi changes and he also has a talent for piaffe and passage, so I am very much looking forward to the future with him. But he is a stallion and can be a bit cheeky and can get a bit tense and high in the neck, so he is working on getting through and over the back.  


What do you love about riding?

  I love the partnership with the horses and the feeling when something you have been working on and struggling with, finally succeeds.  

What would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?

Kick dressage horse
Kick at the CDI Troisdorf in Germany 2022
My goal for this year is the European championship in September with Tino and the long term goal for Kick and Hot Boy is to develop them to Grand Prix


Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?

  I get nervous at the big competitions, but not in a bad “paralysing” way, it just keeps me more focused.  

How do you deal with them?

  I haven’t done anything special to deal with nerves, just gotten older and more experienced.


Your Top Tip

  I usually warm up without bandages as the horse knows it’s almost time to enter the arena when they get taken off, so to prevent that anticipation I always warm up with my tailcoat on and bandages off.  



Down the Centre Line


Who would be your dream horse to ride?

  TSF Dalera BB. She looks so soft and nice in the contact  


Who is your equestrian hero?

  I admire Lottie Fry for her seat and position in the saddle and her killer mentality and also Jessica von Bredow-Werndl has a beautiful seat


If you could have 5 people to dinner, who would they be?

  I am an introvert so I would rather just have dinner with my boyfriend.


Favourite colour horse?

  None in particular


Favourite horse event?

  Falsterbo Horse Show in Sweden and the Herning stallion show in Denmark  


Favourite food?

  Sushi or a greasy burger


Favourite way to relax?

  Chill on the couch with a movie  


Favourite film?

  Marvel movies, I think Thor: Ragnarok is my favourite    

Want More?

If you enjoyed meeting Trude you might like to view more dressage rider “chatting with” interviews here    You can keep up with Trude’s progress and check out her instagram page here  

Sharon Howe

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Hi! I am Sharon Howe

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