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Mathilde Labat

About you and your horses

When did you first come in contact with horses? 

I was six years old when I started riding, but I think I was in contact with horses even earlier. When I started it was just like a holiday-camp and stuff like that.

In France, we have Equestrian Degrees from level one to seven. I started with level one which is very easy, moving on to level two and so on. After a few years we bought my first pony.

Tell me about your two horses Sligo and Khaleesi – What are their personalities like and what is the goal going forward?

I have had Sligo for ten years now. I bought him when I was ten and he was six. He is very nice and he listens to you when you are just walking with him, but… when you ride him, he can be crazy sometimes. When you go showjumping or cantering with him in the woods or in the field, you have to be brave. I love him, but it would have been easier with a more trained pony.

We have been at some competitions, but not at very high levels. Since he is in very good physical condition, I think I will compete with him again but right now the goal is to train for fun, keeping him in good shape and just enjoying our life.

Khaleesi is now three years old, and we bought her when she was two months old. As soon as I saw her I just said, “Yes it’s going to be her”.

I take my time with her. I have two years of studies left, but since she is only three years old, we have a lot of time. Right now, she is ridden 20 minutes once a week with focus on groundwork and the forest, so she gets used with bikes, cars, dogs etc. She is very brave and really interested in learning new things, so I think the work with her will be very good.

What is your best memory with your horses?

I think with Sligo it is every time we went cantering on the beach and with Khaleesi it was the first time I rode her. It was without a saddle and with someone lunging her. She was so interested in what was happening.

You have recently moved from France to the Netherlands – is there any specific reason to that decision?

I am an exchange student here in the Netherlands until December and then I think I will move back to France. My horses are still in France, and I go see them every month. At the start, I wanted to bring them with me, but I will just be here for a few months and time goes by fast. I know they are well taken care of, so it is fine.

But then in the future I don’t know where I want to live, I was in Spain last week and the weather was amazing, so maybe I will choose a country with nice weather.

How is the equestrian sport in France?

In France people are more into showjumping. In almost every other country it is more common to ride dressage, but I think it is changing in France right now because of social media. Very famous riders like Matt and Jesse are riding dressage and inspire French riders to also do dressage.

About the big events / competitions

You are often seen at big events and competitions together with top riders on social media – How did it all start?

It all started on YouTube five years ago when I started to interview riders at shows in France.

I love supporting teams and to interview riders to create memories at shows. In France we don’t have much coverage on social media of events. We have classic media like articles about the events, but it isn’t very popular among young people, so therefore I like to share this with people.

And I love watching shows, it is very inspirational. I think you learn how do ride better watching top-riders. When you ride dressage, you think you are Cathrine Dufour haha.

Is there any specific event you remember a bit extra?

I have two favorites. The first one is Chico Aachen. I have been there 2018, 2021, and 2022 and it is always amazing because so many people are there and there are so many different events. It is like big football games, 40 000 people watching the final – the feeling is truly amazing. The other one is Herning this year. It was my first time being there and it was amazing and a lot like Aachen.

About Mathilde and social media

How did your social media journey begin?

I started with YouTube, then Instagram and then Tik-Tok.

A weird thing I did as an equestrian was to contact a French rap-artist and said “Hi, I have a white pony if you need it in a video or something”.

I remember I had a presentation for graduation, and they called me up on that day and said “we need a white horse for a video in one week”. It was a featuring the French artist I had contacted and another artist from Belgium who is very famous.

Then I did some photoshoots in Paris and Amsterdam with my pony. It went from riding horses to rap-videos with my pony, to photoshoots and then back to riding horses as normal. The road was weird, but fun.

What is the best thing about social media?

I like to share tips and positivity. I think social media should be a positive place. It is nice to be able to talk to people and share opinions in a nice way. I would never have met some people if it wasn’t for social media. It is crazy that you can make friends on social media all over the world.

You have also released your own book. Tell me about it and how it all started. How was the response?

The editorial team contacted me one and a half years ago and they were interested in producing a book with me. I have always wanted to write a book about horse-riding, tips, and social media. I had everything I wanted to share already in my mind.

People liked the book. It was written in a way that would not offend people and with a friendly approach. You never know who is going to read the book, so you have to be careful with what you share.

About you and Equestrian Stockholm

What is important for you when you choose to work with a company?

I like to know the company and the products before a collaboration. It is important that the products are good quality and I like a good team and a great mindset in a company. I like innovation in clothes and new things on the market.

What do you like the most about Equestrian Stockholm?

I love the quality in the products, and the absolutely best thing are the saddle pads – I am a saddle pad person.

This or That

Grey horse / Brown Horse

Cleaning stalls / Pack hay bags

Ride outside / Ride on the arena

Dressage / Jumping

YouTube / Instagram

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