We sat down with Anne-Sophie Milette, a Ksana Ambassador and 27 year old professional Canadian horseback rider, currently living in Belgium.
Anne-Sophie has always had a passion for horses but took an unconventional route into becoming a professional rider. As Anne-Sophie came from a none horse riding family, she needed to prove to them and herself that taking her passion professional was a good career decision. At College she undertook a software programming degree but continued to ride and train horses, before deciding at 24 to focus on horses full time. Anne-Sophie now rides top horses for private owners and is developing her own horse trading business in Belgium.
How did you get into horse-riding professionally?
I was lucky that my parents supported me through my sport. I owe a lot of where I am now to my mom who was always ready to help. She saw what horses meant to me and decided to go all in to help me reach for my dream. I have never taken anything for granted, in order to be able to compete in Florida’s winter circuit I started as a teenager riding in professional barns in exchange for coaching. I rode and worked for a lot of top riders, trainers and feel that so much of who I am today as a rider is an accumulation of all those people that crossed my path.
What do you love about working with horses?
There is something really mysterious and untangeable about riding. We communicate with animals in a way that even we don’t quite understand. After so many hours with a horse, riding and competing, a unique, wordless understanding is created. A bond that can not be describe, that makes all the efforts and sacrifices worth everything.
A lot of times I asked myself why I pass all my time training and working in the barn, for the 90 seconds of glory in the ring. But I could never stay away from it. When I broke my arm in 2009, my neck in 2017 or my hand in 2019, I was forced to stop and every second I craved to be back in the saddle. Therein lies the answer to my questions, horses are just a part of who I am now.
What are the biggest challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
I work in a competitive industry where any mistakes are a threat to your job, the pressure is always on. I have learned over the years to deal with stress, but it always shows up here and then. I am also working hard on combining my goals as a competitive pro rider and businesswomen, focusing on trading show jumping horses. Maintaining balance, a strong work ethic while still performing in the show ring is my daily challenge. I am not afraid of challenges though and believe they are there to keep us on our toes while keeping us down to earth.
I consider myself as a focused person when I have set myself goals and I think that is key. In some parts of my life where I was just working without any objectives that is where I was drifting. I do have white boards with lists of things to do, goals and aspirations. Let me tell you that writing everything down was a really helpful exercise!
To keep me motivated I listen to a lot of podcasts like the Gary Vee Show or The Pitch. They change the pace of a daily routine and you hear other people striving for happiness and success.
what made you want to work with Ksana as a brand?
In my personal life, I try to live in the most earth friendly way I can, including being conscious about my consumer purchases. I came across Ksana through my social media feed. The colorful, chic design cut my eye. After reading about them I fell in love with their culture and vision for their line of watches. I do believe that a splash of color can bring out joy in myself and others that see it. I ride my Ksana watch without any fear that it might scratch or break. The watch adds a touch of elegance to my style and people stop me to ask me what brand it is. My emerald wrist band with rose gold fits with every outfit I can possibly wear!
What are your aspirations for the future?
Building my name in the sport is for sure my top priority and being recognised for my qualities as a rider and horse broker. Making a reputation is a long process that involves a lot of P.R and achieving good results at competitions. Of course, I would like to one day be part of team Canada for a Nation’s Cup or Olympics. The dream is there and will come when the time is right.
I compete year-round in Holland and Belgium and in September my new website will come out and have all the information on how to follow me on my journey.