By Khaled Assem
Photo: © HT & Cymon Taylor
(No part of this article may be copied or reproduced in any form without the permission of HT)
LUCIANA DINIZ IS A VERY QUIET RIDER WHO WOULD RATHER SPEND TIME WITH HER HORSES THAN IN THE SPOTLIGHT. SHE HAS A VERY PEACEFUL DEMEANOUR, IS ALWAYS FOCUSED, AND NORMALLY CARRIES A GENTLE SMILE ON HER FACE. HER HORSES ARE ALWAYS IN GREAT SHAPE AND, CURRENTLY, THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HER AND THEM IS PRODUCING GREAT RESULTS. HT MET WITH DINIZ DURING CHI AL SHAQAB IN MARCH AND DISCUSSED HER PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE AND HER PROJECT ‘G.R.O.W.’; HERE IS WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY.
Tell us about G.R.O.W?
G.R.O.W. is an informal educational philosophy which I developed in Germany. Its definitive novelty is the transposition in our daily lives of important experiences and values, in order to educate and to become better individuals, therefore the name G.R.O.W. Everything began with my horses, my partners and faithful companions, and after more than twenty years on the international equestrian and competition scene, I decided to develop this project aiming to help people and society, thus sharing my life experience at a worldwide level. The mission of G.R.O.W. is to educate for the integral and sustained growth of human beings in five dimensions: (a) physical, (b) spiritual, (c) emotional, (d) ethical and (e) social, in three environments: (a) family, (b) work, and (c) society. To summarise the concept of G.R.O.W., it’s a space for reflection and for the development of inclusive and encompassing activities in the pursuit of a better and more fulfilled life. The letters stand for: Goal.Reality.Option.Work.
One of the categories of G.R.O.W. is ‘G.R.O.W. HORSES’ which is also driven by the same principles of help, quality improvement and personal support of the concept. Living in the world of the top international equestrian sport, I have a deep knowledge of all processes involved in the world of horses and my goal is to find solutions to shorten the path to achieving best results and overcoming difficulties, improving techniques and minimising difficulties. Having the right riders mount the right horses for them is my motto.
How do you manage your busy schedule?
I compete at a show nearly every weekend, three to four times a month. I try to do one to two weekends with my children at home. I have twins, eleven years old. They go to school in the morning and I go riding so my morning is for horses and my afternoon for them and G.R.O.W. I have divided the time I have in my life for things that give me power; my family, my horses, and my project.
Given the time you have made for all the things that make you happy, do you feel you have achieved in them?
Funny you ask! Actually, right now I’m reading a book about time organisation and how to divide time. I’m not only a rider, I’m a business woman and a mother. Sometimes it all becomes overwhelming. As such I also need to make room for meditation and my personal trainers who keep me in good shape and form, which needs time too! I think I have found some good balance now; even if nothing is achieved, I’m still working towards a good quality of life and that achievement.
Your performance shows that you are harvesting the rewards of your investment in putting things together the right way, and also in a way that works for you, wouldn't you agree?
Since I was young, I learned that “what we do we have to love”. My children, my horses, my family in Brazil; we were always united and close to each other. I give to all the people around me what I can, otherwise I won’t take anything. I know my horses love when I give them a banana and in return, they give me their best. My philosophy in life is to respect and to show gratitude, and if I can divide and share this with the things I love, then why not?
Have you thought about writing and publishing a book?
I've started to write. I’m writing my own philosophy. I believe life is a journey and I want to share it with everyone.
I saw you competing on a horse without a bridle. Who is that horse and please tell us about your connection with all your horses?
The horse is ‘As Taro’. Many riders can ride horses automatically because they are trained that way. I need a connection and I need to understand the horses. I have a horse whisperer lady that speaks to the horses; she comes every month for a visit. She tells me how they feel and what they need. I need this in order to be able to succeed with them. Given all this, I develop a relationship with them. I don’t have many horses, just five, but we are “together”. ‘As Taro’ was always a difficult horse and always shook his head, until we found out he had problems on the head and neck. What could we do, I asked myself? We thought, let’s try a new bridle! But he still shook his head! We then removed the bridle and he worked better. Unfortunately, he had another problem so we had to stop. Having said this, it was an experience and he gave what he could. Basically, I cannot ride without having a feeling of harmony and confidence. My horses are there for me and I’m there for them. I need to make them feel happy in the ring. Sometimes we have great rounds or not, but they need to feel happy. HT
By Khaled Assem