5-minute minds: Quick reads on people's perspectives with Adrienne Speidel (European Western rider - Reining Horses)

5-minute minds: Quick reads on people's perspectives with Adrienne Speidel (European Western rider - Reining Horses)


Adrienne Speidel is a top class Reiner in the Western style of riding. Adrienne competes regularly in the NRHA European Derby with many wins and reserves over the years.

Adrienne was also fourth in the 2019 FEI rankings for Senior Riders and the top female in the ranking. The FEI removed Reining as a discipline in 2021 and thus the 2019 ranking still stands.       ‌

1). In a few words describe yourself and what you do:

I am Adrienne Speidel. I’m 40 years old living in Switzerland. We have a barn with boarding horses but from April on we will only have our own horses (still 17 horses). I ride and show Reining Horses all over Europe.

2). Briefly - How did you get started in equestrian life?

My parents both rode and had the barn since I was born. I grew up with the horses. Started to ride as a three-year-old. Started showing as a six-year-old.

3). What has been the most rewarding equine moment of your career so far?

Hard to say. For sure the silver medal at the FEI European Championship 2019. But also, a lot of other victories. I had a very good 2021 and 2022. Can’t wait to continue this year.

4). And your proudest non-equine achievement?

There are many personal achievements in my life. Many years ago, I traveled with a VW-Bus from Argentina to Alaska. But right now, for sure my investment into myself for my future.

5). In your opinion what is the biggest challenge being a female in the Equine industry and how did you/how can this be overcome?

I don’t really compare myself with others. Whether they are men or woman.

For sure I do look up to another successful woman. I study them. Try to find out how they became so good.

As a woman I think it is very important to trust our intuition. If you found out how to work with that, you are going to be unbeatable.

6). How do you balance your passion for equestrian life and other responsibilities?

Took me many years to find the balance and I’m still working on it. I love horses and love to be around them. But I do want to continue loving them, so it’s very important to find the balance. I go to the mountains once a month. I have a massage once a month. I do Pilates once a week. I meet my friends and family.

I care that I sleep enough and eat healthy (as far as I can).

7). How do you maintain a positive relationship with your horses in and out of the competition field?

That’s a very important thing, if not THE most important one. I would say if the relationship is good day in and day out, the part in the show pen is good too. You must be conscious about what you do with your horse.

I love to take care of my horses. Clean the stalls, feed them, put them on the pasture, groom them. As a result, I know in what shape they are and how the develop. I love to take every horse's personality and get the best out of them. That’s why I love to compete.

Respect the horse. Listen to them and trust your intuition. It’s a nonverbal communication.

8). How do you stay motivated and focused during training and competitions?

I am already very motivated by having such great horses to train. I love to get them ready for the shows. I don’t have to motivate me. They do! Lucky me!

9). Any advice to young or not so young female equestrians looking to get into the competition world?

Be open. Listen to the ones that have been in there a long time. Take advise. Work on yourself. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!

10). If you could change one thing in the Equine industry what would it be?

Absolute zero tolerance all over the world about doping. Way better animal welfare.

That the horse people are more aware about what they do with the horses. For me a horse is still a horse, so you must treat them as a horse, but you don’t have to harm them.

Thank you very much to Adrienne to take the time to answer my questions and provide some valuable information.

Adrienne can be followed on instagram using the handle adrienne_speidel or the link below; and more information on the yard can be foud on the website www.hotwiel.com.


This is the first instance that we have touched on anti-doping..... and it is absolutely vital. If you would like to have an article on the anti-doping basics drop me a DM - click below!!

Emily Fletcher

Emily Fletcher

30+years experience with horses. I now have a smallholding breeding sport horses as a hobby in Ireland. Much experience in purchasing & export of horses. You can find us at Virtuoso Sport Horses!