We’ve reached the end of this round’s “5 Questions for…” and this time we asked Cathrine some of our questions!
1. What do you do to keep your horses in best possible shape?
In relation to keeping my horses in best possible shape, there are a lot of different aspects of this. The management of a horse, is of course number one: to train them. They need quality in the training, not being pushed too hard, but they still need sufficient training to make sure that they learn new tricks. That is the top priority.
When you train your horses well, then it usually pays off at competitions. Then there are a lot of layers under that. It’s about planning how to train; not too much, not too little and developing the correct strategy when your horse needs to learn a new trick. Make sure to learn new stuff and then the break is also super important.
The next layer is the team around you; do you need a vet, a smith, how is the timing when it needs a massage, chiropractor, and getting the right equipment. I think the training is at the top, but it’s the whole team and the planning that goes on in the background that ensures the success at competitions.
When I’m planning the training of the horses, I make sure that they only train difficult stuff 1-2 days in a row. That means if I need to do a lot of exercises and train programmes, a bit more specific training, then I will do that on eg. Monday and Tuesday and then the horse will have an easy day on Wednesday. So I’ll never do a hard training session for more than two days in a row. That’s because it’s hard for the horse to take it all in, it needs to learn new things, but it needs the body to respond too.
I think my eyes have opened up a bit since I started training fitness myself. After a hard training session, your legs can be really really sore, or other muscles can be aching.
So I’m really taking that into consideration with my horses too. If we’ve been training something new, or something hard, then they’ll get a break afterwards to make sure that their body recovers before I start working them harder again.
2. How do you motivate your team?
In relation to my team, I see them as just important as Cassidy or myself. It’s very much about my trainer, mum and dad, groom or the other important people around me. I think that the motivation and energy comes from communicating with each other. I don’t necessarily think that it needs to be about something concrete, but more that you keep the communication open, make a plan, create goals, because just as I need a goal in order to train well leading up to a tournament, so does my smith, mum and dad, my trainer, groom, girlfriend, whatever, family and friends, also need to know where we are going now. Why are you training so much? But as soon as you create some target or goals, then it is much easier to motivate the whole team.
And of course it is also about having a nice time together, talk in the riding arena, joke around, have fun and also just relaxing sometimes. Also seeing each other outside of the horse environment, because it’s very intense when you’re away with the horse and when we’re training a lot and having a busy everyday life. So it’s important to see each other outside of the sport, and then creating some goals so there’s something to work towards.
3. How do you find the time for spare time?
In relation to how I make time for “spare time” outside of the sport, then I have become a lot better the past couple of years. I have made more time along the competition periods. Before I didn’t really have such a thing as spare time. At that time, I was working or at school pretty much 24/7. But after the Olympics, I have calmed down a bit more and understand now that I need time off as well. I also need to see my family, girlfriend and to relax and hang out outside the sport.
The only thing that kept me up earlier was my friends, that would drag me into town and drink an Aperol or do something completely different than looking at horses. So it is important to make time for other things, but you need to have the energy to make time for it. That, I have had a diffecult time with back then, as I was feeling that it would disturb my training which has made me think: “no, then I won’t be able to perform so well tomorrow”. But I have found that often I almost train even better, because I get a break to see some “non-horse” people and completely disconnect. It is all about prioritising that spare time.
4. What has been your biggest experience in relation to your work?
When speaking of the biggest experiences I have had with my work, then it is simply to ride and of course the tournaments. I have been really lucky to experience some super cool moments. The first thing that comes to mind is the European Championship medal last year in Sweden with Cassidy - that was pretty wild! The silver team medal was insane because of the unique team spirit and feeling, and the team I was there with was just a lot of fun!
We had the new national team coach there, who is someone I really support - Nathalie is amazing I think, and also our old team leader Kimmie. The whole team made it a stand out experience for me. Of course the Olympics was also huge! That’s a bit further back in time now, but it is definitely a tick on the list. Buuut, the European Championship last year was a lot of fun!
5. What is your biggest goal?
My biggest goal… Well, I want to win Olympic gold. Definitely. I am dreaming about becoming number one on the FEI worldranking list and win Olympic gold but also the World Campionship and the European Championship. Right now I still feel that I am quite new in the game, but my dreams a huge and why shouldn’t it be possible to win one day? I am super ready to work for it day in and day out and of course I need to find the right horses, but the main dream is to win the Olympics!