Name: Catrina Croland
From: Fagersta, Sweden
Currently living: Upland, CA
Horse’s Name: Valente do Retiro
Horse’s Breed: Lusitano
Horse’s Age: 17 years old
Horse Present Competition Level: 1st
What or who inspired you to ride Dressage?
I’m not sure. I have always had a passion for dressage since an early age. Started riding at Håbo Ridskola in Sweden. We learned several different disciplines of riding jumping, dressage and cross country to name a few. Dressage was what I enjoy the most.
What is so special about dressage is the special bond you get when you become one with your horses. It’s a feeling that can’t be put into words but you know it when you experience it. As I’m sure many of us have done. And what sport out there where we can compete equally to any one no matter the age or sex !
What is your occupation that allows you to ride?
Dental Assistant and a great husband’s support.
What have been your best riding moments?
My best riding moments is every time I get to ride my horse! He is just amazing. Truly, I never feel like I have never had a bad ride. The only question is how good of a ride from a competition standard. What helped a great deal, was that I was fortunate to ride a FEI school master . It is well worth experience that everyone should try. It gives you a “feel” of what is correct.
What have been you aha moments in training?
It was when I finally figured out the posting trot. It made a huge difference in my riding. It was Ulf Wadeborn (Holmberg & Wadeborn Dressage) who gave me my aha moment. He explained to me that I did not rise all the way and what I learned was to make sure I pushed my hips all the way through to my hands. It was so much easier after that
What is the most difficult thing and riding dressage?
That you are never done learning. When you loose your belief in yourself.
Which trainer(s) have you worked who have made the most differences to you and your horse(s)?
The one trainer that has brought me back is Shirin Amier. (StoryTeller Farms) I can’t say enough about her. She helped me find my way back when i had lost all of my believe in myself. She gave me the tools use to use, when the self-doubt moments arise.
Your Other Interests?
I love photography and travel.
Do you own other pets?
Yes I do own a fur child, a cat.
What advice can you give other amateurs based on your experiences?
To find a horse and trainer that suits your skills, needs and desires. It is so important! Not every trainer works for every horse or rider.