“It is the sensitivity of dressage that I am compelled to and the sense of achievement mastering the highest exercises leaves you with. “
Photos Lena Saugen
Dressage rider Anna Katrine Lauring started her internship with us this summer, and has by far been an asset to our editorial team. As an international dressage rider, Anna keeps bringing us lots of ideas and inspiration from the dressage world.
It was quite random that I ended up doing dressage. As a kid I was an absolute adrenalin junkie and loved show jumping and galloping around without a saddle in the woods. When I was 11 years old I moved to Norway and relocated to Tanum riding centre which is one of the largest dressage yards in Norway. It was here the interest begun. Today, it is the sensitivity of dressage that I am compelled to and the sense of achievement mastering the highest exercises leaves you with. I feel like dressage teaches you to ride and understand horses on another level as it is a constant balance of different impulses that you have to react to.
Who’s your dressage role model?
I am usually inspired by the people around me when I am in the riding house. In my day-to-day training I am inspired by watching my close friends who compete on the same level as me. We usually discuss our training and support each other which works as a sort of inspiration. I love to observe and can easily spend hours just watching other people train. In terms of international role models, I love Edward Gal and Charlotte Dujardin.
Who is your role model as a Coach and why?
My own coach, Connie Lorentzen, is my role model. I have trained for her for 10 years and seeing as I don’t come from a horse family, she has supported me every step of the way and always believed in my talent. She has a very artistic approach to dressage and we are always testing out different methods. I truly admire her approach to life and in a way she works both as a life coach, mental coach as well as being my trainer. Other than that I have also trained regularly for Ulrik Sørensen for a long time. As a coach he has a more tough-love approach to his training, but he always makes me want to perform my absolute best and he forces you to block out any other distractions. The combination of the two works extremely well.
How is it to compete at such high level of dressage outside central Europe?
I think I am lucky to be competing at a time where there are so many talented young riders. The girls I compete against I have known for several years, so although it is competitive it is usually a very friendly environment. The only thing that is a bit unfortunate is that being in Norway we have to travel so far to get to the big international competitions.
Tell us about your horse…
Stall-K’s Roosenstein is an absolutely unique horse. He has the sort of personality where everyone at the yard knows who he is and how lovable he is. To me, he has the perfect combination of being extremely feisty when you ride him, but cuddly and friendly in the stable. I would say his greatest strength is that he always acts up a bit when we are riding around the arena, but as soon as the whistle blows he knows it’s time to focus. I used to struggle a lot with nerves before competitions, but over the past two years, because of the chemistry between the two of us, I rarely get nervous anymore.
How do you combine studying at university and riding?
Combining riding with my studies is something that I have done since I was very young. I went to an international school, which is known for being highly academically challenging. I had to learn early on to be extremely disciplined with myself and prioritize what’s most important. This past year I kept Rosie in Scotland whilst studying at Edinburgh. That was rather challenging as I didn’t have a coach and it wasn’t really a dressage environment. Somehow we made it work and I still managed to make the national team this year, which I am very proud of as it is quite uncommon to study abroad at university and still compete at such a high level. We have recently started training the Grand Prix exercises and Rosie is picking it up quickly- so I am super excited for what lies ahead.
Your best competition memory
This may sound silly, but my best competition memory was actually one of the smaller competitions we have done. It was our debut in Intermediare, and it was just one of those days where you leave the arena with that feeling that you are always searching for in dressage. Our best result would have to be being picked for the national team two years in a row.
Best thing about working in Equestrian Media?
It’s just really fun to work within a field that you are so passionate about. I love the aesthetic aspect of Equilife, it aims to portray the equestrian world with such elegance and is always filled with inspirational imagery. I think that is really important, to have something to aspire to and see all the opportunities in the horse world. In addition to this, Equilife represents the sport from every possible aspect, which creates a sort of unison amongst horse people.