He played a total of 272 caps for the Dutch national team, which makes him the seventh most capped Dutch player of all time. He scored 14 goals in his international career which lasted from 2004 until 2016. The defender was the captain of the national teams that finished fourth at the 2008 and 2016 Olympics and won a silver medal in 2012. He played club hockey for Oranje Zwart, Rotterdam and Oranje-Rood.
He played in the youth ranks of Oranje Zwart for two years before he got into the first team, in which he played for eight seasons. After those eight seasons, he joined HC Rotterdam. He wanted to leave Oranje Zwart after those eight seasons because he felt that he had so much responsibility for his team and club that it was at the expense of his own development as a hockey player. After three seasons with Rotterdam, he returned to Oranje Zwart. After Oranje Zwart merged in 2016 with EMHC he started playing for the newly formed club HC Oranje-Rood. In April 2019 van der Horst announced he would retire at the end of the season.
He made his debut for the Dutch national team during the 2004 Champions Trophy in Lahore. He was named the 2005 Young Player of the Year and the 2015 Player of the Year by the International Hockey Federation, which also placed him on the 2007 All-Star team. He was selected as player of the tournament at the 2007 EuroHockey Nations Championship. During his long international career, he played in three Summer Olympics, three World Cups and six EuroHockey Championships. In 2016, the head coach of the national team announced he would no longer be called up, so the 2016 Summer Olympics was his last tournament with the national team.
After van der Horst announced his retirement as a player it was announced that he would become the new head coach of his former club’s first men’s team Oranje-Rood.
He was born and raised in Eindhoven, where he currently still lives. He is married and has two children.