Maya Delorez' ambassador
Meet Johanna Lassnack
Johanna Lassnack is a rider, entrepreneur, public speaker, mental coach and also Maya Delorez’ ambassador since two years. At the age of seven, Johanna got on a horse for the first time and immediately fell in love with the sense of freedom it gave her. Besides competing in show jumping, she helps young riders with mental coaching and gives lectures that are appreciated by people all over the Nordic countries.
In this interview, Johanna talks about how she prepares the day before competition, her collaboration with Maya Delorez and tips for young riders who might doubt themselves!
- Name: Johanna Lassnack
- Age: 32 years
- Lives in: Ängelholm, Sweden
- Occupation: Rider, entrepreneur, public speaker and mental coach
- Instagram: johannalassnack
HOW DID IT ALL START?
Let’s go back to where it all started. How is it that riding became such a big part of your life?
“For me, it started out of sheer curiosity when I was 7 years old. A classmate of mine had horses at home and one day I tagged along and watched her ride. From that day forward my parents had to listen to me begging all the time about how much I wanted to start riding! What fascinated me was being able to sit on an animal that had a life of its own. An animal under you with a life of its own, but who still chose to listen to you.”
“When I was young, I was quite shy. So it was perfect to be able to communicate through body language while riding.”
Do you remember the first time you sat on a horse?
“At first I was quite nervous and I remember that I should just ride at walk in the beginning. I wasn’t very interested in that, so instead I begged about wanting to trot right away. And they actually let me! Already after the first riding lesson, I knew that I wanted to experience this sense of freedom many more times.”
Would you like to tell us a little bit more about the horses you ride today?
“There’s one horse that I’m riding at the moment. He’s called Casallco, also known as Calle Cool and I bought him about a year ago in Germany. Calle has been a bit behind in his training and needed some extra time, but I see a lot of potential and capacity in him. Then I have my older mare Saphira who I’ve had now for almost four years. She will hopefully become a mom soon, so a few months ago it was time for her to retire. Slowly but surely I would like to invest in some younger horses!”
Today you compete in show jumping, has it always been obvious that this is the discipline you would focus on?
“Oh definitely, 100%! The speed and adrenaline that jumping gives me was something I was drawn to from the very beginning. There was just something about lifting off the ground, and the patience that you need for dressage just wasn’t really for me. When jumping, I need to make very quick decisions and be fully present from start to finish.
Whenever I was watching show jumping on TV and Swedish rider Malin Baryard was on, I couldn’t help but dream myself away. At that time, I hadn’t even jumped 70 cm!”
Johanna’s tips for young riders who doubt themselves
- You are never alone – We have all at some point compared ourselves to others and doubted ourselves.
- Learn from your mistakes – If you never fail, you never learn.
- Don’t judge others – A smile can go a long way.
- Get help from someone with more experience – No one knows everything. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
- Create your own opportunities – Don’t wait for someone else to create them for you.
- Create routines – That way you will feel confident in what you are doing.
- Be patient – Whether it’s a new business you’re starting or you’re striving to become the best rider, it won’t happen overnight. Doing a little every day will eventually get you where you want to be!
JOHANNA X MAYA DELOREZ
You’ve been with us almost from the start, can you tell us a bit about how you first got in touch with us?
“It all really started when a friend of mine was walking around with a beanie that had the ‘Maya Delorez’ logo on it. At the time, there weren’t a lot of products, but I liked the beanie right away! When I got in touch with Madde, it was clear that I would try out the products.
There was this new approach to riding clothes and they were not like anything I had ever tried before. They were just beautiful and functional and you could tell there was a lot of passion behind the products. This was the start of a great collaboration that is still going strong!”
What is important to you when you choose to collaborate with a company?
“For me, it’s so much more than just the clothes that matters. It’s the whole brand and what the company stands for. It is important that the company has good values and is genuine through and through. I place a lot of value on realness, on being genuine and authentic. So the company I work with needs to be the same. They shouldn’t be putting up a facade. Maya Delorez is real from the inside out.”
You started ryttarinspiration (‘equestrian inspiration’) in 2013 and have since become a highly regarded public speaker and motivator, would you like to tell us a bit about how you got into mental coaching?
“Initially it was for my own sake that my interest in working with psychology grew. I devoured all the knowledge I could get my hands on through lectures, podcasts and Youtube. The more knowledge I gained, the more I realised how helpful it was even on horseback. In everything from battling nervousness to focusing and performing at one’s best.
After some years I wanted to share what I had learned with other equestrians. Today I have the great opportunity to travel and speak about the topic and even coach young riders on an individual level. Besides that, I have also started the podcast “A mental half-halt” for horse lovers who want to develop mentally.”
“Many riders spend an enormous amount of time and money on horse equipment, good training, competitions and feed, but completely forget to take care of themselves. With ‘Ryttarinspiration’ I want to change that.”
You primarily focus on young riders, do you see the need for mental coaching in equestrian sports?
“There’s really not that much that’s been done in that aspect! Being a young person today is very much about comparing yourself to others and wanting to fit in. We see what our competitors are doing, we constantly see updates on social media and the comparison can make it difficult to deal with setbacks and failures, which are natural and will always happen whether it’s in sport or in everyday life.
I find that the deepest feelings are often kept to oneself, that makes people feel very lonely. Many times guidance is needed on how to think when the difficult emotions take over. That’s where I want to be able to help.”
One more question to wrap it up: Imagine your busy schedule suddenly gets cancelled completely and you have no plans at all for the day, what do you do?
“What an interesting question! Then I’d take the opportunity to go to bed early… Or maybe do a few more hours in the stable!”
5 QUICK QUESTIONS WITH JOHANNA
Your favorite emoji?
🤗 – The hugging emoji!
Podcasts or Youtube?
Morning person or night owl?
Hmm… Morning person!
Indoor or outdoor arena?
Favorite riding season?
That would be spring!