Rider Spotlight – Casey and Christoffer Nilsson

Casey, originally from the US, has been competing in dressage since 1997 when her career began in Germany, and has been riding for over 35 years. Christoffer, originally from Sweden, has competed in dressage since 2007, and prior to that had a very successful jumping career. Currently, they both continue to pursue their passion for riding and horses while residing in Germany, with the goal of continuing to produce and train top horses for the industry.


Up until this point, some of the major highlights in Casey’s career have been participating in Landes Turiner Rastede, Balve, and Weser Ems Championship. Not to mention, she’s also had many national placings throughout Germany all the way through Grand Prix. Some career highlights of Christoffer’s include jumping through S in Germany, as well as starting many young horses and placing them from Reitpferde classes to M dressage classes.


With so much experience between the two of them, they have a few opinions when it comes to horses, based on their wealth of experience and knowledge. When looking for their very first horses, they both agreed that the must-haves on their list were good feet, good walk and character, as well as paying special attention to the size and the overall character of the horse. They also wholeheartedly agree that the way to really know if a horse is your horse, is based on that feeling you get on the very first ride. That will truly show you whether you and that horse will be a great match. 


Once you’ve found your perfect match, it can take some time to get synchronized with them. Casey believes it really depends on the character of the horse, in combination with the patience of the rider. Christoffer is firm in his stance that regardless, it will definitely take some time to find your stride with your companion. For those just beginning their riding experience and looking to enter the dressage community, Casey has one piece of advice: patience. Good riding takes time, don’t rush it. Christoffer recommends that you make sure you and your horse are a good fit from the start. Don’t pick something that you can’t manage or ride, just because it’s flashy.


Throughout their careers, only a few special horses have been viewed as truly inspirational by Casey and Christoffer; 5 and 6 horses, respectively. With their current horses, Casey believes that what makes them stand out as a pair is their thoroughness and self carriage. Christoffer’s strong suit is the relaxation and harmony that he has with his horse. They are both looking forward to finishing the season with a few national horse shows in Germany, and will certainly be watching the European Championships in Hagen and Aachen 2021. In the meantime, they like to stay in shape by running, biking, practicing yoga, and of course, taking walks with the dogs.

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