Born: November 17th 1996 ~ Sport: Showjumping ~ Nationality: Norwegian (NO) ~ Based: Bergen, Hordaland, Norway ~
Continue to the bottom to read my "full story".
I have always had a big passion for horses and riding, and started in a riding school when I was 9 years old. I got my first own pony summer 2008, when I was 11. Since that, I've had multiple project/problem horses, before I earned enough money through training horses to buy one of my previous horse, my first proper showjumper. I sold him summer 2013 to move on, and have since then imported several jumpers from abroad. I am a dedicated and ambitious young rider, who aims to be a top show jumper in the future. I started out on a £500 pony that I rode in my backyard, and I'm now (per August 2016) showing at 1.20-25m level nationally and internationally on my 2 horses.
From 2012-2015 I went to a horse- related school whom I graduated from in both a equine course and general academics in 2015. As mentioned above, I also took a top athletics showjumping course through college where I trained with the Danish elite instructor Morten Holm twice a week.
After that, I got a job at Stall Luther in Germany where I worked for/with the Luther-team, a very well known and well accomplished equestrian family in 2015. I worked there for 6 months untill I had to take a break and go home to Norway due to my health.
Despite that I have never had the best assumptions to become a showjumper; until I started college in August 2012 I kept my horses at home, with no training facilities. The closest arena/training yard was an 1 hour drive from where I lived, and luckily enough my parents were (are) dedicated enough so they tried their best to drive me to trainings once a week, but mostly I only rode for an instructor/in an arena 2-3 times a month. In addition to that I never had "ready-made" or "good" ponies, I trained them all myself.
This has resulted in me having to work even harder to keep up with the people around me, many of them with much more mileage in the show ring than I had. But where they had mileage and more experience, I kept up with working hard and being as dedicated as humanly possible.
Back then parents took me to shows/competitions, and time after time I got eliminated. I never really had any good results and I never got a rosette; but I kept training and showing even though the odds were against me. Eventually after years of hardships, I started to get placed at shows, and got rewarded for my hard work and dedication. Though these times truly taught me to ride different kinds of horses with various issues, and made me a better rider.
When I in 2012 bought my first showjumper horse and started to train more frequently I quickly went from competing in 80 cm/2'6 to 1.10m/3'6, and since then I have gotten the opportunities to develop my technical skills through a lot of hard lessons with various instructors on various horses over the past years.
The hard times didn't stop there though- from 2014-2015 I went through some of the toughest times when me and my young horse lost complete trust in eachother, and I fell off more times than I can remember. This really affected my conficence, and I felt like there would be no way back after I got terrified of jumping.
Despite all of that, I just couldn't give up my dreams, goals and my passion so I kept pushing on and throughout 2016 it finally paid off. 2016 has so far been the only successful year for me riding wise since I started back in 2005, and I can hardly believe that I've come this far when I look back at where I came from
As the consequences of this, I am very grateful to have learnt early that there are no shortcuts, no easy way, that failure cannot be avoided but in order to succeed you are reliant on learning to fall down and get back up again. I also know very well that the road towards my goals will not be easy and can only happen through sheer work and passion, which I believe are qualities I contain.
My riding journey; this video is from April 2016 and since then it's only gone uphill (see more videos at my youtube channel.)
I feel like I've said it over and over, but if there's just one person out there reading this post that can be inspired to go for their dreams and to not give up and to keep going for a little while longer that would mean the world to me.
In 2007 (age 11) I started riding in a riding school once a week, after flopping around on some ponies with no clue on how to do anything but kick and pull and sit on a horse. I developed quickly and learned the basics, and started jumping cavalettis and thought it was really fun. I had never really caught interest for anything else, the other kids played soccer, did musical activities and other sports/hobbies but it just wasn’t something for me as a quiet kid and “the odd one out”. When the horses came into my life I just loved it right from the start.
In 2008 (age 12) I really wanted my own horse, and talked to my parents about it but they didn’t fully agree… At the same time mom told me there was a equestrian event on TV and I watched every hour of the Bejing Olympics. At that time I jumped 50cm and just enjoyed horses, but the games awakened my love and interest for showjumping. Since that time I knew I wanted to ride there, I wanted to be like them. I didn’t know what I signed up for, how much it would change me.. Later that year, I got my first pony. I think my parents just saw the love and passion I had for horses when I never really had any interest for anything else. But as inexperienced horse people we ended up with a very green 6yo ex ridingschool pony.
In 2009 (age 13) after struggling quite a bit with my pony who was inexperienced and enjoyed stopping more than jumping, she got injured and we handwalked her for 18 months. That would take a toll on every child and I found it extremely sad not to ride or jump, but somehow I just didn’t want to quit. My instructor kindly let me have a ride on some of the school ponies, so I got to “stay in the game” despite my own bad luck.
In 2010 (age 14) we made the decision to put down the pony. We had lots of expensive vet bills so we could only get a very cheap, also difficult pony which I kept in my backyard cause that was cheaper. I got a second pony for company, and figured the thing I could do to aim for my showjumping dreams would be to buy cheap ponies and sell them on so I could afford a showjumper one day. I jumped over chairs on a road outside my house, and even though my parents couldn't really afford it, we went to a few shows where I did 50-80cm and got eliminated 90% of the time, the other 10% I had half of the course down. My ponies stopped and I fell off a lot, so I was very anxious and scared of jumping but still loved it, so..
In 2011 (age 15) I had lots of different ponies that I sold for a profit to earn money, and kept going to shows and failing every time but I still wanted to go and refused to give up. The horses meant everything to me. I still kept them in my backyard with no arena or facilities, but took a few jumping lessons here and there as far as we could afford. I was applying to highschool/college for autumn 2012…
In 2012 (age 16) I got an amazing opportunity to move away and go to a top athletics school where I got a scholarship to pay for an apartment and board, and free lessons, so I left home at 15 and bought my first showjumping horse for money I earned by buying and selling cheap ponies. He was safe and made me confident for the first time. I also finally had an arena to ride In and a trainer!
In 2013 (age 17) I flopped around in the 1m-1.10's with my very kind schoolmaster, and couldn't really ride at all but we usually got through without too many faults and I was thrilled. I didn’t feel fully comfortable with the lessons and the riding program at my school, and I struggled a lot with my life outside of horses and had no motivation for anything. I had been getting a lot of negative comments from people online and in real life about my lack of talent and how my dreams and goals would never come true. But I still wanted to become a good rider and showjumper, and that’s what kept me going.
In 2013 I also figured I was good enough (I wasn't) to buy a youngster so I headed to the UK and bought a 6yo that I imagined to be my future GP horse, that went well the first few months until she started stopping as a result of my inexperience...
In 2014 (age 18) I set my hopes high, this was going to be my year where I started making my dreams come true. But no, I fell off every show, every lesson, I usually fell off at the first fence at shows and my record was 6 times in one lesson. I was totally terrified and dying inside, I had no confidence at all and neither did the horse. After over 14 months with failing, trying and failing again where I had no confidence at all and started thinking about quitting after so many horrible experiences and things going wrong, I made the hard choice to sell my “dream horse” and try to find a new one.
In 2015 (age 19) I did the same “stupid mistake” again and bought a troubled horse from the UK that used to jump big but didn't anymore as she was the best I could afford. I’ve always had a thing for those underdogs, because they remind me of myself. I wanted to help her, but with my own confidence issues that was a difficult thing. She was terrified of everything both on the ground and under saddle, and basically stopped as much as the previous one every time it got above 1m (I only showed her in 80-90cm cause I was scared but I had so much more fun and confidence riding her and had high hopes for us, despite being difficult I enjoyed working with her and to watch her progress.)
In 2015 I graduated from school, and I got an amazing opportunity to work as a groom/rider at a top stable in Germany, I made another brave decision to move abroad alone and for the first time I felt like I really started learning how to ride. They quickly realized my horse was a bad one after she stopped time after time on tiny fences and my confidence when jumping went lower and lower. At that point I made the choice to quit showjumping when I was done working there. After 2-3 years in a row of being terrified, failing at every show, falling in every lesson, having anxiety attacks every time I rode.. I wondered how I kept going for those 2-3 years with nothing but life being against me after I already fought through it with the ponies years before, and thought maybe it was time to throw in the towel.
In 2015 after seeing how it affected me and how much I wanted to be a good rider, my amazing trainer said he’d help me sell my horse and found me a big black horse that I jumped a 1.40m fence with for the first time in a few years- something I never thought I would do after those years of being terrified. When I heard his price my heart dropped once again, because I wouldn’t even ask my parents to pay for him after they supported me for so many years with no results other than tears and pain.
In 2015 around my birthday I got an acute illness, I was admitted to hospital for a week and almost died at a point. I was in so much pain and I thought I would die from whatever hit me, it was terrifying. Eventually I felt a little better and was discharged from the hospital, but I couldn’t do anything as I felt ill and weak on so many levels, drenched in pain. I made the hard decision to move home because of my health, giving up one of the best opportunities I ever had, but thankfully my parents bought black beauty aka Santo for me in November’15. When I moved back I didn’t ride for 2 months as I could barely get out of bed and felt like everything was wasted including my new horse.
In 2016 I prayed for a better year, but didn’t really believe it would happen. I was sick, I was unconfident, I boarded at a barn with no arena, I had no trainer, no money and no motivation. Somehow I managed to push myself to try again, and thanks to Santo I did my first show in almost a year in January, jumping 1m and 1.10m classes which I hadn’t done since 2014.
In 2016 Santo have been my motivation for everything. He made me confident. I found a way to work him despite our non existent riding facilities, and got to train a few times a month to get ready for shows and he never let me down. We didn’t do great (but good) at our first shows, but I didn’t care as I was finally becoming a confident rider with him.
In 2016 I got an amazing opportunity to get a second horse, Cara, which is one of the cheapest but also most difficult horses I’ve ever had. A very inexperienced 7yo leaping and rearing more than she trotted. Thanks to Santo, I had the confidence to ride and work with her. We clicked from day one, and with two horses who couldn’t have been more different I learned and had more fun than ever before.
In 2016, I have had my first successful show year (so far) since I started riding and showing almost 10 years ago. In 2016, I have moved up to 1.20 and 1.25m internationally with great results, from doing two shows in 2015 (70, 80 & 90cm classes) and falling off in every 1m-1.10m class in 2014.
In 2016, I have placed time after time, I have produced good rounds, I have been confident. I realized that I probably had some kind of riding skills and knowledge all the way, but my anxiety and lack of confidence swept it all away. After such a long struggle, I saw the light in the end of the tunnel.
In 2016 I have taken my new “crazy” mare (Cara) from doing a few shows and 4 1.10m classes before I got her with bad results- to placing nationally and internationally up to 1.20m. One thing is jumping 1.25m on a experienced horse (Santo- not a pushbutton or a schoolmaster, but a horse that’s already done the “bigger” classes) but another thing is doing it on a young horse “you’ve produced yourself”.
In 2016 I have built a foundation and a starting point for what I dreamed of in 2008, for what I aimed for since 2009, but was knocked down every time I tried to get back up. 7 years of eliminations, falls, accidents, no talent, no skills, where no one believed in me and I hardly believed in myself sometimes… I managed to keep going. I managed to not give up. 7 years is a long time, every day of those years riding and horses was the only thing that mattered to me. But no matter how much you love it, going through 7 years of darkness only filled with a few rays of sunshine is a long time. Despite all odds, I’m still here, still trying, still aiming for my dreams. The little girl with no money, talent or odds for success that jumped chairs in her backyard and said she wanted to be a showjumper. The little girl who fell down time after time. The little girl who never gave up hope and her love for horses. I ride for that little girl. No matter what happened in the past or will happen in the future, I am proud.
And to be honest, if I can do it (no skills, no talent, no clue) I think everyone can. Believe in yourself, even when no one else does, and when you look back you’ll realize you’ve climbed a mountain (or 8).