Written by: Kim Lundin

When Tinne gets those super rides and receives a standing ovation, I am transported back to what it felt like and for a few seconds I kind of miss it.’

Thumbnail for Where are they Now? Louise Nathhorst

Lotta Gyllenstal photo

She has been out of the ring for four years but has not left her beloved sport, not by far. Au contraire, Sweden’s Louise Nathhorst is fully occupied with bringing new talent to dressage.

“I chose to quit competing in 2009,” explains the 1998 World Cup winner. “After Isidor, my team horse for the Europeans that year, had a serious injury, I didn’t have another horse. It just came naturally to stop competing, it was not exactly planned but as it played out, it worked really well.”

Time out of the ring could be spent accompanying Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven more frequently. As her trainer, Louise said she had been doing double duty while competing herself. “It felt very refreshing to be able to put in 200 per cent into my role as trainer.”

Louise Nathhorst has always worked as a trainer. For as long as she has been a rider she has taught the art of dressage riding. Today she has around 30 students and the Swedish National Federation has made her responsible for training the up and coming riders who are just a level below the national squad. “Early on, the lessons made all the competing possible. It has been my main source of income.”

Asked whether or not she misses the buzz and limelight in the ring, she very firmly and promptly replies: “No!”

Louise Nathhorst In The Saddle and On The Sidelines

“Lussan”, as she is called by almost everyone, rides at least five horses per day. “I would never ever want to be without the riding and the daily routine with the horses,” she declares. She works closely together with her partner Lars Andersson, a rider, trainer and judge.

One of her current string is a descendant of her former ride, the approved stallion Guinness. Gordon is competed by Lussan’s stable manager Clara Espinosa. “I also have a very talented five-year-old by Don Schufro I want Clara to compete for me.” Is it difficult watching from the sidelines? “It’s nerve-wracking when they are in the ring and I simply cannot do anything to help them. It is really tough,” she concedes.

Louise is a hands-on trainer, often climbing aboard a student’s horse in order to solve an issue or just get a better understanding of what the perception is from the saddle. “When we tried out Don Auriello, (Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén’s mount) I also rode him a few times, just to get a feel for him.” Louise says it’s seldom necessary for her to ride Tinne’s horses since she is such a skilled rider herself but it sometimes helps “enhance our ability to discuss the training.”

Successful Career

Lussan has fond memories of her long and successful career, which included numerous stints on the national team at Olympics, World and European Championships. But best and brightest of them all is her World Cup victory in Gothenburg with Walk On Top. A win on home ground is a huge deal for any athlete. “There were many factors that made that victory special; the support of the audience and the ambience in Scandinavium, and to win it all and in such a good way is my best memory from the ring,” says Louise, the first and, to date, only Swedish rider to win a World Cup Final.

She admits that once in a while she misses the thrill of competition, but she gets just as much pleasure seeing her student, and best friend Tinne, shine in the ring. “When she gets those super rides and receives a standing ovation I am transported back to what it felt like, and for a few seconds I kind of miss it,” she admits.