We had a chat with our Swedish team rider and top 10 dressage rider in the world, Therese Nilshagen. How did her passion for horses begin, and how did she make it to the very top?


"Let's begin at the start of your equestrian journey. Could you share with us your first memorable encounter with horses?"

Therese Nilshagen: "Of course. I grew up in Stockholm, and one day, when I was five years old, my sister and I visited 'Skansen' with our grandmother. Skansen is this wonderful outdoor museum that showcases Sweden's culture, nature, and wildlife. During our visit, we went for a few rounds of pony riding, and from the moment I sat on the horseback, I fell in love with it."

"Did your passion for riding grow from there?"

Therese Nilshagen: "Absolutely. My older sister started riding at a riding club shortly after, and as the younger sibling, I wanted to follow in her footsteps. When I was around nine years old, I began riding at the same place, and it became a significant part of my life."

"When did the enjoyment you found at the riding school transition into the idea of pursuing a career with horses?"

Therese Nilshagen: "My parents couldn’t afford to buy me a pony of my own, so I continued riding at the riding club until I finished high school. After graduating, I started working at Hogsta Riding School, where I met someone who would change the course of my career. A friend of a friend knew of a job opportunity in Germany, and after a brief conversation, I decided to give it a try. Less than two months later, I found myself in Germany, starting a new chapter in life.”

"You still live in Germany, what was it that made you stay?"

Therese Nilshagen: "Initially, I started as a groom and gradually worked my way up. Eventually, I landed at Lodbergen, where I've been for eleven years now. It's been an incredible journey, and I feel privileged to be living my dream every day."

"Your accomplishments speak for themselves, with notable achievements at the European Championships, World Championships, and being top 10 on the world ranking. What are your goals for the future?"

Therese Nilshagen: "My main goal is the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. Beyond that, I strive to continue developing my horses and honing my skills as a rider. There's always room for growth and improvement."

"Lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring riders?"

Therese Nilshagen: "Absolutely! Spend as much time as possible around horses, not just in the saddle, but learning all about them. Surround yourself with experienced people who understand horsemanship. It's essential to soak up knowledge from every angle."