When Zara Tindall and Mike Tindall traded vows in front of 400 guests at Canongate Kirk in Edinburgh, Scotland, it was a memorable day for everyone in attendance and royal wedding fans alike. One of the details from the big day wasn’t ingrained in the former rugby player’s mind: his wedding date. During the first episode of his new horse-focused YouTube series, Mike Drop, which aired on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, Mike welcomes his wife as his first guest. The couple kicks off the conversation by referring to one another as “my love” before diving into a discussion about Zara’s love of horses and her career as a professional equestrian.
The couple then shifts gears, broaching the topic of their personal lives and relationship together. “In 2012, you married a legend,” Mike says in the episode. Zara quickly interjects by asking, “Who said that? Didn’t we get married in 2011?” Mike is quick to patch up the mishap. “Sorry, yes, we did,” he apologizes. Zara can’t help but burst out laughing. After meeting in 2003 and getting engaged in 2010, the couple tied the knot the following summer on July 30, 2011. Since then, they’ve raised three children: Mia, Lena, and Lucas.
After mixing up his wedding date, Mike saves face by asking his wife about the influence of motherhood on her passion for riding horses. “How much did being a mum change how you thought about riding, and how much did you then immediately want to get back on a horse and get back into it after having [Mia]?” he poses. Queen Elizabeth II’s granddaughter shares that she always made time for her favorite pastime, despite the life change. “After having Mia, I was like, ‘Right, this is my goal. I need to get back,’” she recalls. “I had a good horse to come back to, which is great for your confidence. I wanted to get back for him as well.”
Even though the new mom prioritized riding after her pregnancy, she admits that picking up the hobby again was difficult. “It was hard getting your body back when you’ve been riding for 25 years, and your body is just completely not doing that,” she reveals. “Your muscles, doing nothing and stretching and creating an amazing thing, but it’s completely different. Trying to get your body back to where it was, I found, was hard work.” Zara continues, noting that balancing riding with parenting was a much easier task when she was a mother of one. Regardless, she notes that she always felt at fault for choosing to ride when raising children, even if it brought her joy. “I found it hard, getting yourself back to it, but mentally, you feel guilty as a mother, leaving your child to go and do something else,” she discloses. Mike jokes, “Is that because you didn’t trust Dad?” Zara laughs at the comment and says, “You do feel guilty. I felt guilty all the time—even going to go and ride. I just thought, ’That’s an aspect of my life now,’” she reflects.
Her husband then asks if she felt like she lived up to her potential during her riding career, despite the starts and stops. “There’s probably times I would look back on and shouldn’t have gone to certain places, but I think I was lucky,” she says. “I’d had Toytown and High Kingdom, and I’d been to an Olympics and got a silver medal, been to world championships and won, been to European championships and won. The stuff I missed was down to another great chapter in my life, and I’m very lucky that I could run them alongside each other. I’m lucky that with our sport, I could do both and still be able to ride at the top. It's been a massive drive for me, and I'm hoping that it makes me a better mother because they can experience it with us and with me, and all those characteristics about competitive life, they can hopefully enjoy it as well.”
To finish off the conversation, Zara shares her current goal as an athlete. “I mean, I’d love to win Olympic gold, so that’s probably driving me at the moment,” she states. “I’d love to go to another Olympics.” During the 2012 Olympics, Zara won a silver medal for Team Great Britain, and Princess Anne had the honor of presenting the award.