What Horses Taught Dressage Rider Anna Ross

Anna Ross, British equestrian dressage rider, knows a thing or two about horses. She is so natural around horses you’d think she grew up on a farm, grooming horses for as long as she can remember. But she’s actually a city girl, born and raised in London.


When speaking to “Horse & Hound” magazine, she said she is the only one in her family with the horsey touch. Even though she started competing pretty late (at 23 years old!), her hard work paid off and she has no intention of slowing down. She encourages other aspiring riders to do the same. According to her, when people see you working hard for yourself, they join in and want to help you. When starting out, Ross juggled many jobs to support herself as a dressage rider: tending bars, making and selling sandwiches, teaching horseback riding, and more. When people saw her dedication, they wanted to join in and support her efforts.

Any advice?

When bestowing her wisdom on younger aspiring riders, Ross’s advice is to listen and learn instead of rushing toward fleeting trends. She also says humility is important. In her career, she’s met riders that were richer, fancier, and flashier, but they weren’t necessarily the most skilled riders around. To her, thinking about how you can improve will take you a much longer way then complaining about the difficult parts.

Learning with Liebling

Anna represented her country at the championship level with her challenging horse, Liebling II. The two go way back and she knows him from his days a naughty young horse. It took some time to discipline him and Ross recalls spending an equal amount of time riding him as well as running after him. Obviously, training him was a teaching experience. Now the two are inseparable and competing in the championship team.

The next generation

Liebling is not the only horse in Ross’s life. She also breeds the future generation of dressage horses. She makes sure to breed horses with desired qualities such as calm temper and good conformation.  “I’m determined to give myself an easy life by breeding purpose-bred, calm, sensible, well-rounded young horses,” she told H&H magazine.