Equestrian Anja Fee stops by on Close-Up Culture to talk about her love of horses, her advice for potential horse owners, the challenges she faces, and much more.
What are your early memories of riding and falling in love with horses?
I developed a love for horses and riding as a very young child – however, my family didn’t have the financial means to allow me to have my own horse or lessons. Then I started playing tennis as a competitive sport and always dreamed of being able to go horseback riding.
For Christmas I got some riding lessons as a present. But I didn’t feel comfortable there – I couldn’t build a relationship with a special horse, everything was very technical and anonymous. My mother then found a way for me to take care of a friend’s horse and also ride it. That was the beginning of my intense relationship with horses.
Why do you feel you were drawn to horses and the equestrian lifestyle?
Horses have an incredibly great charisma – they are calm, careful and sensitive, but also big, strong, powerful and have their own character. The feeling of riding is a mixture of joy and freedom. But I also love to work together with horses and to achieve sportive goals.
Can you tell us something about your horses, their personalities and how to take care of them?
I have two very different horses. My Haflinger, Sam, is 12 years old and he has been with me for almost 5 years and is my soul horse. I know him really well. He is very cuddly and friendly – we have been through a lot together.
For 4 weeks I have owned a second horse – a 4 year old gelding named Disney. I want to reach my sportive dreams with him, but we are just getting to know each other. He is very curious and playful – it is a lot of fun to work with him.
What is the most challenging thing about what you do?
When working with animals, not everything can always be planned and not everything runs smoothly. I want to share my life with my followers as much as possible and I like to share my experiences. However, especially when dealing with animals, there are many different opinions and also ways to work with animals. Therefore, it is the biggest challenge for me not to be influenced or unsettled by too many opinions and to go my own way.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
The most rewarding thing about my work is feeling the satisfaction of my horses. Spending time together with them and developing ourselves.
What would your advice be to someone who is thinking about owning and caring for horses?
Unfortunately, the money factor is very important when owning and caring for horses. You have to reckon with the fact that due to illness and/or injury there will be high expenses. Furthermore, horses are not cuddly animals and one must always remember that they are flight animals that are controlled by instincts. I have an incredible relationship with my horses – but they are and remain animals that want to play with their conspecifics, love free movement and also take up a lot of time.
You have a wonderful presence on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. How do you find the experience of creating content for your socials?
I often don’t really notice this content creation anymore. My mother accompanies me to the barn every day and usually films my daily routine. I then edit my stories from the footage. Of course, I prepare intensively for photo shoots, and that gives me a lot of pleasure.
What are your plans and ambitions for the future?
I hope to be able to start a little more intensively in competition sport (dressage) with my new horse Disney. In addition, I would like to continue to experience adventures together with my Haflinger Sam, do photo shoots and develop personally.
I am happy when I can share my life with other people on social media.
Title image by Natascha Poller