Daniel Deusser: humility and determination, the key to reach the top level
“When your training is successful at home, there’s no reason to be stressed in competition.”
Daniel DEUSSER is one of these top 10 riders in the world who define themselves as ordinary and who only attribute their success to the results of their hard work. However, once the discussion begins, we quickly understand that humility outweighs the incredible mental strength he has developed over the years.
To the question, “do you have moments of doubt?”, he answers quite serenely “no”. An athlete’s mentality, an unfailing confidence in his horses and assiduous training explain the confidence he shows and that you can feel in each of his rides.
“When I started riding a little bit, I was always dreaming of doing it as a professional”
Riding is for Daniel Deusser a true vocation. As a child, he came into contact with horses thanks to his family and more particularly his father who introduced him to competition. Since then, becoming a professional in the equestrian world seemed obvious to him: “I was this child, sitting in front of the television and watching all these international riders, jumping the best competitions in the world and it was like a dream.”
A few years later, his hard work and perseverance allowed him to reach his goals and see his dreams come true. It is undoubtedly his meeting with Franke Sloothaak and then Stephan Conter that will mark a major turning point in his career: much more than a training place, these personalities of the equestrian world allowed him to develop his athlete’s mentality and to acquire a rigor and a line of conduct that he still follows today.
As a top 10 rider in the world, Daniel Deusser has now reached his dreams and is doing everything to pursue them. Rider but above all athlete, setting limits does not correspond to his state of mind has won many victories, but as for any athlete, some of them will remain forever in his memory: the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Lyon in 2014 with his horse Cornet d’Amour or the Rolex Grand Prix in Aix-la-chapelle with Killer Queen VDM. Two dreams come true.
This athlete with a steely mind seems unwavering. Yet he remains a humble rider, who strives to follow his own path while being inspired by the riders around him to continue his outstanding career.
“Dedication, discretion and motivation, that is what brings you up to the top-level”
Daniel Deusser has now reached his dreams and does everything to pursue them. As a top-level rider but above all as an athlete, setting limits does not correspond to his state of mind. Always looking for something to improve, he never forgets his mantra: “dedication, discretion and motivation, that is what brings you up to the top-level”.
Physically, Daniel tries to stay in shape to control his balance and ensure his discretion in the saddle and the comfort of his horses. As an athlete, he likes to play tennis, swim or golf whenever he has the opportunity. No rituals or superstitions. He has a clear and precise vision of his objectives and the path to follow, but there is no room for nervousness or doubt. Daniel does not focus on failures and tries to keep positive thoughts, which is essential when facing potential mistakes in competition.
When he trains his horses, the process is simple: he analyzes his mistakes and the course, practices at home on those specific points and then goes back to the show to apply what he has worked on. At home, he keeps things simple and focuses on getting to know his horses so that he can adapt to them. As he explains, it’s up to the rider to change the training system to suit each horse.
“It’s a challenge every week to try to find how to improve your horse”
For Daniel Deusser has now reached his dreams and is doing everything to pursue them. Rider but above all athlete, setting limits does not correspond to his state of mind, riding is a challenging sport in which there are no limits. “There is always something to work on. It’s not necessarily about jumping higher, but for example, making the communication so good that you can ride and jump off a couple of parts of a second faster at the end.”
Daniel’s greatest challenge is knowing and communicating with his horse. As he explains, he can’t really communicate with his horses to know what they like and don’t like to do or what they can and cannot do. “It’s a challenge every week to try to find how to improve your horse.”
As an athlete, questioning is an essential part of his quest for performance. He listens to his horses and looks for ways to adapt to them: “There are so many different ways to deal with the horse and try to get them better, that it’s a challenge and you absolutely have to change your way of thinking sometimes.”
“If you know a little bit how to communicate with them, it’s just a fantastic situation”
As a humble rider inspired by his sport, he gets up every morning and goes to the stables motivated by the desire to push his limits and pursue his dreams, but also by the love for his horses. The training and the knowledge of his horses help him every day to reach a goal that seems unreal: to communicate with an animal that does not speak. This is why he practices this sport, for this unique bond that exists between a horse and its rider.
“You actually communicate with them, but you cannot really talk to each other and together, you are trying to achieve something. They are loving animals that are very sensitive and if you know a little bit how to communicate with them, it’s a fantastic situation.”
And you, why do you ride ?
Photo credit: Stéphane Candé for Horse Pilot
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