A Canadian in Europe, the story of Tatiana Dzavik

A Canadian in Europe, the story of Tatiana Dzavik
Tatiana Dzavik is a 24 years old Canadian Equestrian Athlete.  Aboard Delphine DH, a Belgian Warmbred she bought from Tal Milstein Stables, she made her way to the top. Ambitious and Driven this girl out of Toronto lives and breaths for horses and her sport. One day she will be the face of the Canadian Equestrian team... in short: she is an upcoming talent, time for Equnews to have a chat...

When did you start riding horses? Was it always a dream to be a professional rider?

‚ÄčI rode a horse for the first time at¬†age five when¬†my¬†family visited a western ranch in¬†Alberta,¬†Canada.¬†¬†My¬†formal hunter/equitation career began at age eight, and by age eleven¬†I¬†was competing successfully throughout the Province of Ontario, and at the celebrated Royal Winter Fair.¬†‚ÄčFrom that point forward¬†I¬†was hooked and continued to pursue the sport.¬†It has always been my dream to become a professional rider and I have worked my entire life to arrive there.

How did you end up in Europe?

DzavikIn 2008, After finishing my junior career as a working student for Missy Clark in the US I was given the opportunity to be a rider for Stephex Stables in Wolvertem, Belgium. It had always been a dream for me to ride and compete in Europe so I took the chance and jumped at the opportunity. I spent 2 and a half years learning and acquiring as much mileage and education as possible riding for dealers in Belgium. In September of 2010 I returned to Canada/USA where I continued to ride while studying on the side. 

In January 2014, to better pursue ¬†my¬†‚Äč
goals, myself and my sponsors made the decision to relocate to Europe, a move that would open up a new world of opportunities as well as expand the options to compete at a number of international competitions. This is the first year I have had the chance to really focus on the sport with a group of horses I can keep for a longer time period. I feel truly blessed to have the chance to what I do.

What is your goal for this season?

‚ÄčTo continue to develop¬†my¬†string ‚Äčof young horses, sale prospects and grand prix mounts¬†with the focus on moving up in the world ranking list. As my riding and my horses improve and develop I hope to reach a higher level of competition by next year.

How do you see your future? In Belgium as a rider or as a trainer in Canada?

‚ÄčRepresent Canada in Nations Cup and international competitions.‚Äč Be competitive internationally.¬†¬†I plan to stay in Europe indefinitely but you never know what life has in store for the future! I am very happy living in Europe and I hope to build my life and career here as a rider.

If you could be trained by one rider who would it be and why?

There are so many riders I admire and I find it difficult to narrow it down to one.. but if I had the chance to train with Ludger Beerbaum it would be a dream come true. He has been at the top of the sport for decades while training and managing countless other riders, bringing them into the top sport. His system and horsemanship is something to aspire to as well as his focus and dedication to his horses and riders. The Germans are always at the top of the sport and it is a goal of mine to learn this system of riding and horse management. 

Tatiana Dzavik
If you could choose any top horse to ride, which one would it be and why?

‚ÄčMy favorite horse of all time is Shutterfly. This horse was a fighter and winner until the age of 18. He was light and quick and every jump was an explosion off the ground. This is the type of horse that most suits my style of riding and Meredith Micheals Beerbaum has been my idol since I can remember.

For the readers; any chance you would give us some advice in preparing a horse for a competition?

I find that each horse has it's own characteristics. My training and preparation varies depending on the personality, strengths and weaknesses of the horse. The best way to prepare is to 'feel' what your horse needs and give them the confidence and training to perform at their best.  That includes management in the stable, the appropriate flat work, conditioning, vet work, jumping exercises and most importantly that the horses are happy and feeling good.
I like to ride horses with a lot of natural quality that don't require extensive amounts of training at home. This keeps the horses healthier for longer and fresh for competition.