My story goes like this...
1998: My first riding lesson in a prison in Hungary. No riding schools would take me because of my young age, so my dad's friend who was a leader in a prison convinced their horse trainer to give me lessons. I often times had prisoners help me get the horses ready.
2001: After 2 summers riding in the prison, I moved on to riding schools.
2007: My introduction to Western riding. I never wanted to do anything else since.
2010: Started teaching at my trainer's place next to high school, still living in Hungary.
2012: Graduated high school with top results and a lot of possibilities to start my university studies. My choice was Aarhus, Denmark and I made the big move and left my beloved family and (horse-)friends behind.
2013: After 6 month of searching and nobody answering or wanting to help, I found 1 horse facility that would allow me to help out around the horses while studying. It was 1,5 hours by train each way, but I made the trip to Blue Hills every chance I had.
2014: Moved to Frankfurt, Germany to finish the Internship part of my Bachelor degree. Continued to train the horses in Denmark by flying over at the weekends 1-2 times a month.
2015: Successfully graduated from university with A+ and jumped right back to the horses the day after. Took 2 trips to the US to work as an assistant trainer in California and Texas. I spent about half of the year in the US and the other half in Denmark, learned a lot and gained a lot of experience. I also started showing in the States and back in Denmark with the horses I had been training the past 2 years.
2016: My first year as a full time horse trainer and my international debut at the APHA shows. We came home with several gold medals from both the Danish, German and the European Championships with the first horse I ever trained from scratched. His name is What a Brilliant Son or "Lillebabs" and he is still my most successful show horse.
2019: After a few years with 12-16 hour work days, almost no holidays and less and less time for family and friends... I knew something had to change. I made one promise to myself in the very beginning: I'd only work with horses if I could keep it fun and I could keep loving the animal as much as I did when I was a small child. I knew that it must be possible to still be a horse trainer but structure my life differently. Covid hit and it gave me the time I needed to figure out what I really wanted.
2020: In the middle of the lockdown I saw an ad for a Mental Trainer & Performance Coach education taught by Rasmus Bagger, who is a very well-known profile in the Equestrian World and helps Olympic Riders get ready for their competitions. I didn't really know what I was getting into, but I felt like it was the right place to learn more about myself and how to be better at helping my clients. It was the best decision and investment I've ever made.
2021: I graduated from Master of Mental Training and right away re-organized my business to be half-time teaching & horse training and half time coaching and mental training. I'm extremely grateful for being able to work with my purpose and help Equestrians achieve their goals while becoming a better version of themselves.
Let's dig a little deeper...
If you can dream it - you can do it!
Sounds like a cliché - right? I would have agreed a few years ago. But clichés exist for a reason and my own journey is the living proof that you are capable of doing anything you dream of.
I'm Dora Gocze, 29 years old, born and raised in Hungary and have been living in Denmark since 2012. I live with my boyfriend Bryan, our 3 dogs and 2 horses in the heart of Jutland, Brande. I own Dora Gocze Equestrians and have been living from my passion of helping horses and riders full time for 6 years.
It hasn't always looked that bright: getting started in the horse business was a really rough ride and being a foreigner in a new country didn't make things easier. After the initial excitement from the equestrian community, I experienced harsh bullying, harassment and even blackmail. I questioned myself on a daily basis, I was stressed and burned out from being in this environment.
And then one day it was just enough. Yet another day I came home completely stressed out after over 12 hours working in the barn, teaching clients and training horses. I was supposed to be living my dream life, enjoying my success, but I never felt more alone and broken. I had 2 options: either I give up and leave the ring or I change my approach, buckle up and create the life that makes me happy, even though it might be different from how other riders and trainers operate.
And I did. Today I live a balanced life, where there is time for both my family and my passion. I enjoy going to horse shows and I do have the capacity to both focus on performing and being social. I learned to focus on what I can control. All of a sudden all those mean voices disappeared... And most importantly: the only person I'm competing with is the person I was yesterday.
It was quite a journey to get here and it's far from over! Working with Mental Training and my personal development changed my life and I'm passionate for helping others achieve the same! Learning to be your own biggest cheerleader and firm believer takes time and a lot of effort, but take my word for it: IT IS POSSIBLE!
Mental Trainer & Performance Coach (Rasmus Bagger)
NLP Fast Track Coach
First Mind Practitioner
APHA Professional Horsewoman
AQHA & APHA & NSBA Judging seminar 2018, 2020
Equine Genetics Course, University of Florida
Bachelor in Chemistry & Biotechnology
European, German, Danish and Hungarian Champion in 6 different Western Disciplines (Trail, Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle, Reining, In Hand Trail, Longe Line)
2x World nr 1 (Honor Roll Champion)
Leading APHA Trainer in Scandinavia 6 years in a row
Trainer for the Danish Youth Team, APHA Youth World Games, Fort Worth, TX, 2018. The Team won the 'Best Spirit' award and came home with Individual 1st and Team 5th placing
Our sport can feel like a tough business. It can be challenging at times to navigate all the pressure and expectations and in the same time doing well by your horse and yourself. My mission is to help riders and equine professionals succeed and reach their dreams while growing and enjoying the journey. It doesn't have to be tough to be part of the equestrian community and there's definitely a place for everyone. I'm fascinated by our differences and I really enjoy helping people find out how they can use their own unique combination of talents to succeed, instead of trying to fit in a box.
With focusing on 3 key elements when I work with Equestrians, I make it simple and fun to work for their goals. Mindset for a mentally strong rider, Horsemanship for understanding and treating our equine partner well and Technique for getting the right training program and exercises in place. The same applies to my business clients, but we change up the three words to create a solid foundation that will lead you to success. You can read more about my offer for Equine Business owners here.
NO LIFE LIKE SHOWLIFE POCAST
How can mental training help your riding?
Enjoy this episode, that I created together with The Showlife. It's available free of charge on Spotify & Apple Podcast! Feel free to tag me on Instagram and Facebook when you're listening to it and share your experiences and takeaways from the episode. I'd love to hear from you!
Listen to it here: