Zara Tindall has spoken about the joys of motherhood and explained how becoming a parent has enriched her sporting career. The Olympic equestrian welcomed her daughter Mia nearly two years ago and following her maternity leave, Zara is well and truly back in the saddle.
The 34-year-old is training for a place in Rio, and while some may say it's harder to return to competitive sport after giving birth, Zara thinks otherwise.
On the contrary, the Queen's granddaughter is more determined than ever and says her performance has improved because she's more relaxed.
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"There's definitely more highs being a mother than being in sport," said Zara Tindall
"Everyone is so different in how they get through competition," Zara told The Telegraph. "But I think what everyone has in common is that you perform better if you can relax. Having Mia has definitely enabled me to relax more.
"There's definitely more highs being a mother than being in sport. One thing I do know, I make better decisions now. Before I'd have got on any old horse. Now I'm more selective. And when I see a steep slope, I go round it. Mind, I don't know if that's a product of motherhood or just being older."
The Queen's granddaughter admitted she was "more determined" to get back into competitive sport
Not for a moment did Zara consider giving up riding after her baby was born. The royal grew up in a horse-loving family; her grandmother the Queen first learnt how to ride when she was just three.
"I've found when people say 'well now you've had a baby you won't be able to do what you used to,' that makes me even more determined," said Zara.
Speaking about her own daughter Mia, Zara, who was visiting a stable complex in Germany, added: "Whatever she wants to do in life we'll encourage her. If that's riding, amazing. Saying that makes me wonder what she's up to right now. Only been gone a day, and I kind of miss having her around."