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Being a professional equestrian with Sailub Lertratanachai

“Catch your dreams, don’t give up on your passions.”

In the world of horse riding, being a professional equestrian takes a lot of time and dedication, like many other sports. But the difference with this field is that your partner is an animal who can’t communicate. Thereby the only way to understand one another is through a strong bond. Meet Sailub Lertratanachai, a part of Thailand’s National Equestrian Team, known for her showjumping competitions. 

Sailub Lertratanachai: 

How it all began

Despite being a professional swimmer initially due to her petite physique, her dreams of becoming an equestrian started when she first rode a horse. “When I was 9 to 10, my father took me to ride a pony. I’m an animal lover anyways. But, for some reason, something sparked in me when I touched it. As my body grew, I switched to riding bigger horses and knew it was the right path.”

If you’re not into this sport, finding the appeal may be difficult, but for Sailub, it’s her happiest moment. “When I’m on the horse’s back, everything shuts down. It’s just me and the horse.” She also told us that the charm is how her competitors and partners are animals. Since they are living non-verbal things, she has to try to understand them. And that’s what makes being an equestrian so special. “It’s the bond. In this sport, we have this equation 1+1 = 2. One is me, and the other is the horse. We have to work together to fill the equation— to succeed. That’s why you have to take care of your horse well. I even talk to my horses.”

On being a professional equestrian 

Like every professional athlete, practice is vital, but what’s an equestrian schedule like because the horse needs training too? When we asked Sailub this, she told us it’s a weekly plan and depends on an upcoming competition, if there’s any. “If I have a match that week, the schedule would be according to that match. For example, if it’s showjumping, we’ll focus on showjumping more. But usually, it’s like going to the gym. One day you’ll focus on cardio, the other strength.” 

However, it’s all about caring for yourself and the horses too. To succeed, brushing, washing, feeding, and bonding with the horses is necessary. The same goes for one’s body. “I’m an outdoor girl. Besides horse riding, I like to swim and recently crossfit. If the two are healthy, we’re more ready for the competition.”

Nevertheless, how does one know what their horse is feeling or their needs? “The most challenging part of being an equestrian is guessing and feeling their (horse) vibe to fix the problem. That comes more naturally when the bond is stronger. Also, regardless of how often u practice, whether one year or every day, anything can happen in this sport. It’s important to have lots of patience, practice, and to always be determined.”

Being a professional equestrian with Sailub Lertratanachai

Drinking is best during the day, especially when at brunch. If she's not working, catch her at the gym or socializing with friends. An introvert extrovert at heart. She's a Capricorn.

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