In the Spotlight: Niki Clarke, FEI Dressage Rider

Sterling Essentials Niki Clarke Dressage Unlimited IMG_5387.JPG

Meet Niki Clarke!

Member of Team Sterling Essentials and acclaimed FEI dressage rider!

Discipline: Grand Prix Dressage, USDF USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals (with an amazing past in Eventing, too!)

Home Base: Dressage Unlimited - located at Peridot Equestrian, San Marcos, CA

When did you start riding, and was it love at first sight?

It was definitely love at first sight, horses were my first word! I really started riding and taking lessons when I was 8, but I was born on a cattle ranch.

It always looks like you bring a lot of fun to your training sessions. What’s your motto or philosophy for how you work with your horses?

I always think its really important to keep the training fresh and incorporate play, so I use different techniques like the giant ball and cavalettis to help the horses use their bodies in different ways while having fun.

Photo Credit Sheryl Ross

Photo Credit Sheryl Ross

Which horse in the barn do you think has the most quirky personality or goofy habits?

Scoobi (Coral Reef ScoobiDooh) is the quirkiest because he is particular in who handles him and how he is handled. When anyone new approaches him he snorts at them. He has to approve his people before they can be in his inner circle and for him to trust them. He won't even take sugar cubes from anyone that he doesn't trust!

What are the best and worst things about the dressage world?

The best thing about the dressage world is watching great partnerships build between horses and riders and what can be done when a horse and rider believe in each other.

The worst part would be the constant criticism which tends to shift the focus more towards the negatives rather than the positives.

Photo Credit US Equestrian

Photo Credit US Equestrian

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Is there anything you still want to accomplish?

My greatest accomplishment is my son Colton, but in terms of horses the work that I have done with Coral Reef ScoobiDooh. Yes, I still have much more that I want to accomplish including being on the US team. That's one thing I love about this sport is that each horse brings new challenges and new goals and a new opportunity to learn.

Do you have any other hobbies?

My other hobbies are spending time with my family and anything that involves adrenaline rushes.

What is your favorite Sterling Essentials fragrance?

Eucalyptus and Floral Citrus.

Keep up with all of Niki’s latest happenings by following at:

Niki Clarke is sponsored by Sterling Essentials.