So how does she do it? She’s a student-athlete, a media influencer, content creator and has stayed so humble. I get to find out below!
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Julia, and I am an 18 year old showjumper from Germany, currently studying at Hartpury University. Prior to coming to Hartpury, I had lived in Abu Dhabi since I was 6 years old, where I learnt to speak English and also how to ride.
Now in England, I am studying an Equine Science with Therapy (Bsc Hons) degree with hopes to do my masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy. Riding wise, I am currently competing at 1.10/1.15m level with my horse Calazios’ Cleck, who we purchased from Germany last summer.
Can you tell us an interesting fact that not many people would know about you?
I speak German and English fluently, French almost fluently and can get by speaking Arabic.
You amazingly moved overseas by yourself to study and compete, can you tell us why you chose to become a student-athlete?
I don’t really have any other interests outside of horses, and I knew I had to get a degree.
So, I searched for a way to do horses and study, and Hartpury was the best place I could do that. My parents didn’t really approve at first and wanted me to stay in Germany, but we made it work!
Why did you choose to complete University education, when so many rider’s in the sport go straight into the industry?
For me, I needed to have a backup.
Being a rider, there’s always a chance things can go wrong. You can never have a guarantee that you won’t be injured. With my course I have so many other avenues, I can go into science or nutrition but stay in horses, just in case things don’t work out.
What are your future riding goals?
In the near future, I would love to do my first 1.20m and International, but my 'future future' goal would definitely be to turn my passion for Showjumping into my full-time job in some capacity. I’m not sure how yet, but I have a few more years to figure it out!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Horses don’t wake up each day specifically thinking ‘I am going to be naughty and misbehave today.’
Someone said that to me a while ago and it just got me thinking, it’s so true! They act up when they are confused or don’t understand. I always think about that quote when my horse annoys me…
You’re definitely classified as an Instagram pro now, with over 60k followers. What has having a large social media account taught you?
Definitely to block out the haters.
I’m quite lucky that my account is positive and I have a great community on there, but even I occasionally get a mean DM. I have realised I just need to post what I want to post and not necessarily worry about what people may want to see.
What does a typical ‘day in the life’ of a student-athlete look like?
I love having a routine with my horse, so I have a weekly plan for Cleck and myself. I’m very OCD and organised in that regard. I hate not knowing when I’m going to do something so I always plan my day the day before!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned this year, it could be horse-related or not?
My old horse had to be extensively rehabbed, so I was out of the sport for a year. It was definitely difficult to watch while my friends were progressing and moving up the levels, but I had to stay patient and knew another opportunity would come. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I wouldn’t have Cleck without that injury happening.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your 13 year old self?
Oh, this is a tough one!
Definitely to start youtube earlier! I was always too shy and thought people would judge, I didn’t have a lot of friends at school you see. People made fun of me for my instagram, so I thought starting a youtube would give them a reason to make fun of me more!
Which leads to my second point actually, and that’s to not worry about what people think of you. I wanted everyone to always like me, I can still be a bit like that sometimes, but I am learning now that I can have my own perspectives and opinions. I don’t have to worry about what others think.
Best result/memory related with horses?
Actually, my favourite memory was getting 2nd place in the College and University 6 bar here! Which sounds strange, but he felt so fantastic that day and it was an amazing feeling to keep progressing up the heights as people were ‘knocked out’. My first 1.15m also felt incredible, even if the results on paper weren’t that great!
Who inspires you the most?
Definitely my parents, my dad works so hard to support my dreams and riding. Most of what he earns goes to the horses and our study, so it’s all possible thanks to him. He always puts his family first!
Riding wise though, definitely Ingrid Klimke. She’s German of course and just so inspiring! I love how she trains and the way she always puts her horses first. Her youtube is great.
What are your favourite exercises as a rider to complete in the gym?
I actually prefer working on my arms and legs!
Lat pulldowns are the best, I just love being able to add weights and see improvement over time. Deadlifts as well! They’re so fun.
What keeps you motivated in the offseason/ lockdown?
Definitely just keeping my horse happy.
My goal for the lockdown is making sure Cleck is as happy as he can be, so he has lots of field time. He just gets to tune down and be a horse. Right now he’s in a little herd in the field actually, I love watching them play. There’s lots of hacking and bonding happening at the moment, it’s so nice to settle as opposed to competition season.
Favourite Lumiere product?
Definitely the Anastasia, I love the browband. Sparkly browbands are my addiction, bling is good!
Julia would like to thank her long time sponsors for their continued support, Dapple Equestrian, Aztec Diamond, American Equus, Uniqhorse and her coach, Gregory Hill.
Instagram, Tik Tok and Youtube: @Ride_Every_Stride
So amazing! Congrats for everything. It was such an inspirational article to read. And thank you for the little insight of the Uni’s life!