White Line Curve

Emanuela Ivanova – Racing to New Heights

The “Mihaleva for Hope” Foundation aims to discover and encourage young talents to develop their potential. We are delighted to have the opportunity to help Emanuela, a promising and gifted equestrian contender who aspires to triumph, both in her athletic pursuits and her personal journey. Emanuela is an example of how perseverance and devotion can lead to achieving great heights. We believe that good examples should be shared, and Emanuela was kind enough to tell us about the sport and the dreams associated with it.

Hi Emanuela. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. Could you introduce yourself?
Hello, and thank you for this opportunity. My name is Emanuela, and I am 12 years old. My love for animals dates back to when I was a little girl. Most of all, I love horses, cats, and dogs.

You mentioned you like horses. How did you decide to do horse riding?
I remember as a little girl I loved being around horses and taking care of them. One of my first memories is being on a pony. Since then, I have always wanted to be on a horse. Later on, I gradually became interested in riding. Soon it will be two years since I started training professionally with my trainer Ivaylo Tsanev from the “Eclipse” riding club.

We know that horses are extremely smart. Do you have your way of talking to them?
In my dressage discipline, we are taught verbally and physically to give commands to the animals. This way, the horses get used to our voice and presence. So yes, I have a way to communicate with them.

What would you say to an admirer of the horses’ beauty?
To anyone who wants to experience the beauty of these animals, I would say that their presence can ease both the psyche and the body, especially for those on the autistic spectrum. These individuals become calmer and interact more with the horses.

Can you sense what your horse feels? When do you know you’ve become friends with a horse?
Yes, of course. Horses express their feelings through their ears, eyes, muzzle, and the way they sit. For example, if the horse has relaxed one leg and closed its eyes, then it is calm. If the animal comes to you and wants you to pet it, this is a sign that it enjoys being around you and seeks your attention.

We’ve all seen great-looking racehorses. Is it easy to take care of your horse?
Caring for a horse and preparing it for competition takes a lot of time and effort. When it’s rainy and muddy outside, the animals require more care because they must always be clean and tidy. I also do my best to calm my horse, make him confident, and ensure he is comfortable where he is. I strive to be by his side and always take care of him.

We know that you participated in the Sixth Equestrian Tournament in memory of Emil Bogdanov and the Balkan Dressage League. Could you elaborate on these two races?
Both races were extremely important to me. The tournament in memory of Emil Bogdanov took place at the equestrian grounds of the “Eclipse” riding club, which is why I was more relaxed there. At the Balkan League, the feeling and the level were different because there were referees from abroad who looked at every detail. In addition to these two competitions, I participated in another high-profile top-level contest. I was satisfied with my performance there. On the first day, I ranked fifth, which is a significant achievement considering I was the youngest in the category, and the competition was very strong. On the second day, I came in third, which was very exciting for me because I was competing with children who were a year or two older than me. The third day passed without significant success, but I was happy with my overall ranking.

What is next for you? Are there any other competitions you will be taking part in?
At the end of August, I will participate in the finals of the Balkan League, and in October, I am going to take part in a race from the home championship.

What are your biggest challenges in sports?
One of the significant challenges during training is being able to physically and mentally deal with difficulties, such as when the horse disobeys commands or gets startled by something. In my first race, I couldn’t control my horse Silverboy because it was raining, and horses really enjoy the rain as it makes them run fast.

Do you have a favorite athlete who inspires you?
Yes, there are two female riders that I admire. They are Charlotte Dujardin and Charlotte Fry. They are top-level riders, and I draw a lot of inspiration from watching them. Dujardin competes with Valegro, who, for me, is the best horse in the Dressage discipline, and Fry rides the magnificent and strong Glamourdale.

Outside of riding, what do you like to do? Do you have any hobbies?
When I’m not training, I try to spend my free time with my dog because I enjoy taking care of all kinds of animals.

Is it hard for you to balance riding and going to school?
It’s not easy, but I’m managing well. During the day, I go to school, and afterward, I go to training. When I’m not preparing for races, I ride three times a week. However, when I have a tournament coming up, I practice every day after school.

We heard that you are studying German. How did you choose this language?
I decided to learn German because equestrian sport is at a very high level in Germany, and knowing the language can be very helpful, especially if one aspires to develop as a professional rider. For this reason, I started taking lessons at the Friedrich Schiller Association, and I am very satisfied with it.

What are your dreams?
My dream is to become a professional equestrian and learn to ride without worrying about every movement or obstacle my horse has to overcome. Additionally, I dream of becoming a vet so I can help animals.

If you had to choose between horse riding and veterinary medicine, which would you choose?
This is a tough question because I want to combine both, as racing and animal care are very close to my heart.

You mentioned wanting to be a professional rider. Where would you like to compete? In Bulgaria or abroad?
I haven’t seriously thought about this yet. But I would like to try competing abroad because there I can compete with many different people and learn from them.

Thank you very much for this conversation. It was a real pleasure for us. Finally, would you like to send greetings to anyone?
I thank you as well. Yes, first of all, I would like to congratulate my family, who are always by my side and support me in every moment. A big thank you to my trainer Ivaylo Tsanev, to whom I owe all my successes and who has taught me a lot, both about the sport and about horses. Greetings to the girls of the club and all my friends. And, of course, a special mention to “Mihaleva for Hope,” which never stopped believing and supporting me.

We look forward to talking again when you have more good news to share. We wholeheartedly wish for you to go all the way to the Grand Prix, Emanuela!

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