International student Momi Motohashi has succeeded in dressage events after deciding to keep her passion for horses alive when she moved to New Zealand.
Momi won in two categories at the Horowhenua Dressage Competition at the beginning of the year and was the champion of the Level 1 category at the Horowhenua Winter Dressage Series in August.
Momi started riding in Japan when she was 10 years old. While in New Zealand the Year 11 student rode at Wellington Indoor Riding School and borrowed a horse and pony for her competitive events.
She says her favourite thing about competing in dressage is making the effort to get to know the different horses she rides.
“I can’t win a competition by myself; I have to work with the horse. It doesn’t matter if I have great skills if the horse and I don’t work well together,” she says.
To train for events Momi spends time walking with her horse as well as practising with them for their events.
“Once we have trained together I feel a sense of unity with the horse and that makes competing enjoyable for me,” Momi says.
Momi says she enjoys riding in New Zealand and hopes to compete in more events to build her skills as a rider.
She has recently returned to Japan and plans to start competing at a national level.
“I usually only compete in regional competitions but now that I have started winning events in New Zealand, I would like to compete nationally in Japan.”