Real Riders Q&A – Danielle Magner

Real Riders Q&A – Danielle Magner

Introducing our FOMO Real Riders for 2024. First up we have Danielle Magner who is a 23yo Irish Event Rider who is based at Hillcrest Sport Horses in County Limerick where she also learned to ride as a young child.

Danielle will be competing several of the Hillcrest horses this year from 4yo to 3*! So we had some quick fire questions for Danielle to get to know her a bit better…

What’s your go-to pre or post-comp snack? 
Post-comp has to be some form of chocolate bar as I have such a sweet tooth!
 Describe your perfect horsey day
My perfect horsey day is probably just a day at the yard with nice weather! I enjoy the variety that comes with a day on the yard as I get to ride a range of horses from breakers, to young ones learning their jobs, to the older more experienced ones. I love working on the dressage side of things so a perfect day would definitely involve plenty of dressage training as well as some grid work for the older horses and a cross country school for the babies!
If your horse could talk, what would it say about you?
My horses would definitely tell everyone I had a bottomless supply of polo mints in my pockets!!! I think they would also say that I am quite a sympathetic and patient partner to them as these are two qualities that I try very hard to incorporate into my riding. They would also say I am the biggest softie going as I am constantly giving them treats and cuddles!
What’s the most memorable place you’ve ever ridden? 
When I was based in Germany I had the opportunity to ride at the Hannoveraner Verband in Verden. This was one of the most incredible facilities and I received coaching from the incredible Christoff Hess while I was there. Definitely a pinch me moment!
Name one riding gear item you can’t live without (besides your body protector!).
Has to be thermal breeches in the winter – I am such a cold creature!
What’s your horse’s funniest habit?
Greg will always be caught napping in the morning! He takes quite a bit of convincing to get out of bed too, it can be very entertaining but normally he can be bribed with Polos!!!
If you could ride any horse from history or fiction, who would it be? 
It would have to be either Mark Todd’s back to back Olympic gold medal winner from 1984 & 1988 Charisma or in more recent history, Michael Jung’s Sam. Both could be considered fairly unremarkable looking in comparison to their peers but they were absolute triers and had hearts of gold which is something that I think is so important! And of course they were both piloted by legends.
What’s the best piece of riding advice you’ve ever received?

I think one of the best pieces of advice that I received was during my time in Germany. As a perfectionist, I struggled with criticism and took it to heart. My boss at the time told me that one of the key attributes to gaining success is to always be ready to receive criticism. This really resonated with me and from then on I have been able to take criticism and turn it into an opportunity to learn from it and improve rather than taking it to heart and being upset by it.

How do you stay motivated during tough training sessions?
This is a tough one and as someone who considers themselves a perfectionist I find it quite difficult not to be incredibly hard on myself if something doesn’t go to plan in training! I think over the years I have become better at not taking everything so seriously and if a little mistake happens, of course learn from it but if you do something silly you need to be able to laugh it off also. This helps me a lot and also I try to look at the bigger picture – one bad session does not define you or your horse!
Who’s your equestrian hero and why?
My equestrian hero for as long as I can remember has been Michael Jung. I think the way he rides and trains his horses is simply incredible and he is a true horseman and master of the game. He has shown that he can do it all as he competes in all 3 disciplines at the highest level. He truely can get the best out of any horse he is on regardless of whether they are the most impressive horse in the field or not.
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