Maya Torres became a show jumper following her dad’s footsteps

Maya Torres was born into an equestrian family and has never really considered doing anything other than something horse related with her life. That journey has taken her from her homeland in Spain to the Netherlands, where she is currently doing a bit of everything with horses from riding to shows and sales videos. And she is also a part of the Equestrain team, which we are very excited about.

Equestrian lifestyle goes way back with Maya’s family as her great grandfather worked with horses in the military. Her grandfather is “a crazy horse person” according to Maya, and her dad was a show jumper, as are two of his brothers. Maya’s sister and mother are also involved in the equestrian world. So it’s a family thing through and through.

“I wanted to be like him. It is something I’ve known for as long as I can remember”, she says. “During all of my free time I was riding. I was in the stable running behind my dad and feeding the horses.”

Maya grew up watching her dad compete in show jumping, and even though both of her parents were sort of hoping for a different career path for her, Maya had made up her mind early on.

“I wanted to be like him. It is something I’ve known for as long as I can remember”, she says. “During all of my free time I was riding. I was in the stable running behind my dad and feeding the horses.”

She describes having been a bit of a barn rat, playing with ponies, running around and riding all the time. There’s warmth in the way she describes her childhood and how her dad affected her relationship to horses.

“I think he recognized some of himself in the way that I liked to be in the stable and around the horses”, she says about her dad, and adds: “It’s something that brought us a lot of joy as a family to share that.”

The barn rat turned into a professional rider, who wants to keep learning. Maya is interested in different aspects of equestrian business, such as marketing and finances. She finds it important to have curiosity to learn more about horses and business around them.

“I think the horses have been my biggest teachers in life because I’ve spent so much time with them growing up”, she says. She started competing when she was around six years old, and later her dad made sure she always had a horse to ride and compete with, even if they didn’t always have the means to buy the most expensive horses.


“That horse really opened up the world for me.”

Maya has spent a fair amount of time learning from various types of horses. One horse Maya loves to talk about is Under Pressure, who was already 16 years old when their paths crossed.

“We didn’t think much of him”, is how Maya describes the beginning with Under Pressure, but that eventually changed.

Maya’s dad sadly passed away in 2018 and Maya started to train more with her uncles. A while later something just clicked and Under Pressure stepped up, jumping higher classes

than ever before. Maya ended up entering a four star class at a show that also held a memorial for her dad. That was very emotional for Maya, but she pulled through.

Under Pressure helped Maya through a very hard time, but their story was far from over. Maya got to jump five star classes with him and those shows landed her a job in the Netherlands.

“That horse really opened up the world for me.”

In 2019 Maya competed in the Spanish championships, riding Under Pressure again. She was riding in the final, when after the first jump her rein broke. Snapped. And what did Maya do? Rode the whole course with one rein.

“He just jumped the whole course with me. I feel like if I tried to do that on purpose, I don’t think I could”, she says with nothing but pride and adoration for that horse.

Under Pressure is now happily retired, but Maya still visits him regularly. “He is my best friend. He likes to sleep with his head on my lap in the box.”

Maya may have learned a lot from horses, but her horse crazy family has been a massive asset as well. She has become even closer with her uncles after her dad’s passing, and sends them videos of her shows all the time – because if she doesn’t, they will give her a call asking about it.

“They will always tell me the truth, no matter how hard it might be”, she explains. “And that is something that I can always count on. I think I’ve had the toughest conversations of my life with my uncle. He will tell you the unfiltered truth. But that’s what can push your life forward the most.”

How to push through hard times is one of the things Maya has learned from her tight-knit family.

“Not letting other people determine your worth as a rider or a person. That is something you determine through your own actions and choices. We are not defined by our mistakes”, she adds as something her uncle has taught her.

“They’re in another country, but I don’t feel like they’re far away.”

You can tell from her story that she has been through some challenges and has had to adapt, learn and grow through all of that. For young riders like herself looking for opportunities to become professionals, Maya has some words of wisdom.

“You need to go where people believe in you, which is not always the places you expect. You need to be brave”, she says and repeats pretty much what her uncles told her: “Maybe you made a mistake, that doesn’t matter. That does not define you.”

“Keep on going, keep on pushing – and things actually do really happen”, she says convincingly.

She would know.

You can follow Maya Torres and her journey on her Instagram