Remember the first time you heard about the sport dressage? Did you have to google it or are you reaching for your phone right now? You’re not alone! Even in a country where we are based - the UAE- and a region where equestrian traditions date back centuries, dressage (and we’ve just dropped a hint here), is only just growing in popularity.
So, what do you find when you google dressage? A captivating equestrian art form, a meticulously orchestrated dance that unfolds gracefully between rider and horse—a true synergy of kindred spirits.
In the UAE, dressage is experiencing a surge in popularity, marked by a remarkable 120% increase in rider registrations over the past year, with 20% of them being Emirati participants.
Today, we're joined by our guest, Natalie Lankester, an accomplished equestrian who proudly represented the UAE alongside her four-legged companion, Cash DXB, at the 19th Asian Games in September. Their performance took them all the way to the Freestyle Dressage qualifying round of the competition.
For Natalie, horse riding is a familial legacy, and upon moving to the UAE, dressage became everything from a competitive outlet to therapy. In this sport, where proficiency deepens with age and experience, Natalie shares insights into her profound connection with her horses and their welfare in sports, the collaborative training journey, the honour of representing the UAE internationally, her remarkable performance at the Asian Games, and the promising trajectory of dressage in the Emirates.
For cyclists accustomed to only grappling with bike "mechanicals," this conversation offered us a unique perspective in the delicate partnership in equestrian sports.
For more about equestrian sports in the UAE visit the UAE Equestrian and Racing Federation: https://uaeerf.ae/en/
Natalie is represented by @wearedarkhorse.co and thank you to Hannah and team for organizing this interview!
If you've been enjoying our content and finding value in our discussions, please take a quick moment to show your support. Just hit the subscribe button wherever you are listening to us so that you never miss an episode.
Please also leave a review - 5 ⭐ only - and follow @themettleset on Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. This really helps us in our commitment to bring you the best possible show and the most interesting guests.
We hope you enjoy the episode!