REHEARSAL IN SLOW MOTION

One mind, one fence, one eye. This film is a poetic study of the teamwork between show jumper Malin Baryard-Johnsson and stallion Tornesch as they are getting ready for the World Championships.

”The perfect jump is when you and your horse become one. You strive for that feeling, when you and your horse share one mind, one body. It’s the most amazing thing. 

I met this [four-time Olympic winner] cross-country skier, and told him about what I do. He was shocked about the fact that riders put all their trust, all their faith and hopes, in the hands of another living creature. And a creature that you can’t talk to! Because you can’t really talk to horses. You can’t be sure they understand. They might not feel the importance of winning that Grand Prix. But that’s also what makes that perfect round, when you get your horse to understand how important this particular round is. Therein lies the challenge. 

Tornesch and I have known each other for a long time. He is 14 years old, and I have had him since he was seven. He is the most amazing individual. 

He hurt his right eye when he was very young, and he’s had impaired vision ever since. A little over a year ago, he hurt his eye again, and this time it had to be removed. 

His trust in me is extraordinary. Sometimes he can’t see the fence until the last second, but he jumps anyway. I have to cherish that trust. I can’t put us in situations where he feels uncomfortable or scared. 

There are competitions where I stick to the game plan, but then the horse doesn’t. Then it’s still my mistake. 

I always strive for the perfect show jumping round. The biggest events, the highest stakes, when everything just comes together. You can’t leave anything to chance. Every elite athlete has that focus: It is all about hard work, nothing else.

I was born with that strength.”

 

3 WAYS TO BE A BETTER RIDER, BY MALIN BARYARD-JOHNSSON: 

1. Practice! Not everyone has a stable full of horses, but take every chance you get to ride.
2. Get good help. Having a good coach is very important.
3. Have fun! Sometimes, in tough times, I remind myself that I am living my dream. There is nothing better than this.  

 

With one Olympic silver medal and ten World Cup finals, show jumping star Malin Baryard-Johnsson is one of the best riders of her generation. 
The FEI World Equestrian Games begin 23 August in Normandy, France. Malin Baryard-Johnsson and H&M Tornesch 1042 will enter the competition on 2 September. 

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