Texting with: Daniel Bachmann Andersen

This 28 year old Dane is a true family-man and one of the world’s best dressage riders. With a humble approach to the sport, he feels that the ability to understand horses is the most important skill for all riders.

By: the Editors
Published: 01.02.2019


This interview is also available in Norwegian here.

Hey Daniel! How are you?

I’m very good, thank you!

Looks like it! And we know you are a part of Blue Hors in Denmark. What’s your role there?

I ride, teach and compete there. On the list you’ll find both stallions for breeding and sports horses.

What’s a typical day in your life like?

My day starts in the stable around 07:30, riding the first horse for the day. I ride until a break at lunchtime and then continue into the afternoon. In addition to the riding I have some meetings during the day. And on Tuesdays, I start off with an hour in the gym before getting up on the first horse.


You are married to a Norwegian! We need to talk a bit about that. What’s your favourite place in Norway?

In the mountains skiing on a sunny day! I love cross-country skiing and we try to go on a skiing vacation in Norway each year. It’s not always possible with our schedule, but as often as possible we do Kvikk Lunsj (Norwegian chocolate) and skiing! 

What’s the weirdest Norwegian word or phrase you know?

“Kødder du!” (slang for “are you kidding!”).

Haha, good answer! But enough of that and back to horses! You have four amazing Grand-Prix horses. Can you tell us a little about them?

For me they are all extremely special. Zach because he’s had a lot of other riders before me, and in that way was a bit difficult to get close to. Zepter, the son of Zach, has the loveliest personality I have ever experienced. Don Olymbrio is a perfect mix of sweet and rude. It’s amazing to work with him, he’s a little ball of energy and power. And finally, Veneziano is unique for me in the way that he is the first horse I have been able to train all the way from being 3 years old to Grand Prix level. He has a positive mind, and there is never a no from him.


Zach is currently ranked 9 in the world. Amazing! Can you describe him with three words?

Unique, and with a fantastic radiance and attitude! 

One thing is great horses, but the riders needs to keep up as well. What’s your best tip to young riders out there?

Work hard. And when you feel you’ve given it your all – work harder!

Can you describe yourself with three words? 

Humble, hard-working and targeted. 

Within the sport you are sometimes described as the world-class rider who just «appeared». Can you tell us about your journey getting to where you are today?

I guess it started when I began riding for Morten Thomsen at the age of ten. A year before that I attended a clinic where he brought his Olympic horses. I was a shy little boy and asked him if his horses could do piaffe and passage. I think that caught his interest, and from there on it has been all about dressage for me. I was invited to visit his stable, and for the next five years I came back almost every day. When I turned fifteen, Morten called Rudolf Zeilinger, and a short visit to Germany evolved into a six year stay as a “bereiter” at his.


You also met your wife in Germany?

Yes. Tiril and I met when she came down there to train. After one year she was pregnant with Filippa and we moved to Denmark in 2012. With our busy schedules and lifestyle, it was important to have grandparents nearby. And you know, I have always felt very Danish :)


How do you keep your motivation up?

By always seeking to become a better rider. I am constantly searching for more knowledge so that I can evolve, both as a rider and as a person.

What’s your goal for 2019?

The European Championships in Rotterdam in August.

Tell us the three things you can’t go without?

My wife Tiril and my kids Filippa and Fredrik ❤️

In your opinion, what’s the most important skill of a dressage rider? 

To have a good understanding of your horse. Personally, I try to be humble in my riding and to always put the needs of my horse first. 


What’s the secret behind the training of a young horse? 

“To hurry slowly”, as in not pushing the progress too quickly.

Do you have any tips for those who are looking to improve their position?

Use small kneepads on the saddle, and ride without stirrups!

What was the last movie you watched?

“How To Train Your Dragon”.

If you could choose two kür-songs freely, which would you pick?

Without giving too much away, I am currently putting together a new kür for Zepter. We are mixing some great classics and I can’t wait to show it off! I am also very pleased with the kür we made for Don Olymbrio last year, it was built on the song Ashes by Celine Dion, with the Spiderman movie Deadpool 2 as a theme. 

Thank you so much for your time, Daniel! We are looking forward to seeing you and Zepter in the ring soon!


Want to get to know more top profiles?
Read our conversations with Italian showjumper Michael Cristofoletti and Nicola Philippaerts’ groom Marta Masocco.