onsdag 30. mai 2012

Photoreport Aachen 2011

Better late than never...

 1 car, 1 tent, 3 horsemad girls, 3 packets of cookies and 1 pharmalogical book (why does the uni schedule our exams so close to important shows???). Aachen here we come!

When all cheap hotels are full, there's always Holland and it's fields where you can rent a spot for your tent next to the milk cows. 

Finally reached the showgrounds....

....nice weather...

The first big dressage class, the CDI Grand Prix was in the evening.

Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén / Don Aurellio (SWE)

Isabell Werth/ Warum Nicht FRH (GER)

"....here there be dragons....!"

The next day, the CDIO Grand Prix Special!

Where would the riders be without their support team?!

Jeroen Devroe / Apollo van het Vijverhof (BEL)

Valentina Truppa / Eremo del Castegno (ITA)
Charlotte Dujardin / Fernandez (GBR)

Edward Gal / Sisther du Jeu (NED)

 Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz / Fuego de Cardenas (ESP)

Christoph Koschel / Donnperignon (GER)
(this horse was later sold to a Danish young rider)

Steffen Peters / Ravel (USA)

Adelinde Cornelissen / Jerich Parzival

...who scored almost 78 %...

...even when this was how the contact with the bit looked, the whole test through.

You don't mess with this lady!

Isabell Werth / El Santo NRW (GER)

Winners of the class:

Matthias Alexander Rath / Totilas (GER)
with 83 %

Laura Bechtolsheimer / Mistral Höjris (GBR)

And don't forget to shop!

Jessica Süss and the Friesian Zorro 184, who sadly died earlier this year. 

Auf wiedersehen Aachen!!

lørdag 26. mai 2012


I'm lucky enough to be able to keep riding even with Donna on holiday in the pasture - the last couple of years I've been helping out at my stable (where Fonti was stabled) and I've moved with my trainers when they moved their horses. They let me ride some of their horses, for which I'm very grateful.

Today I struggled with a 5-year-old Oldenburger, let's call him Blackie, who just wouldn't canter on the left lead. I tried all the obvious solutions; giving the aid on the circle coming to the wall, giving the aid in the corner, saying "canter" in my lunging voice, being careful to let my inside hand forward as to not block his inside hind leg, .... And Blackie just kept answering with a canter on the outside lead, pretty annoyed at this incessant nagging - after all, he was cantering, wasn't he!? We took a break, worked on some transitions, tried again. But no.

So I let it be, feeling pretty stupid and thinking that I shouldn't press on since I obviously wasn't capable of getting what I needed, and I didn't want the problem to escalate without having a solution ready. Then S suddenly stood in the corner. I halted and explained my problem. She nodded and told me to trot left on the circle. Rising trot, bend him slightly to the outside, inside leg on, bend him slightly to the inside, sit the trot, canter aid. And oh wonder, we had left lead canter.
"See, it's easy", said S with a grin and left.

onsdag 23. mai 2012

New beginnings?

Back in business after a good 10 months break....

....and introducing Dessaja TK, aka Donna, a dark chestnut Hanovarian mare by Donnerhall-Hitchcock-Tannenberg-Pikoer.

After Fontis death last year my amazingly supportive parents agreed to help me buy a new horse. The plan was to look for a young, inexpensive horse that I could develop with the help of my trainers. I went and looked at some youngsters, some a bit older, all of them nice horses but none of them "my" horse. At the same time I got the chance to ride a mare at my stable that had come from Frankfurt a few weeks earlier to be sold. She was already 11 years old, would do almost anything you asked of her but she had a few quite big gaps in her education - she would get stressed, get short in the neck and drop her back, trying to fulfill her riders wishes but not working correctly. She wasn't really what I was looking for, and she was too expensive. I liked her from the start.

 Donna in September 2011

She was also carrying some holiday weight....The most impressive thing about Donna is her mentality. She's a real striver, she tries so hard to do everything right, even if her previous training has caused the already described basic faults. My plan was to take a few steps back, get her to loosen up and round her back with the help of lunging her (since she gets slightly stressed with a rider on her back) and put no pressure on her until she would be able to work in an anatomically correct and relaxed way.

She had already gone through a vet check in Frankfurt, but I had my vet look as her and the x-rays as well. And as is, unfortunately, too often the case, the seller's vet had failed to notice/ had left out that Donna also had OCD, or chips, in some joints. Long story short: The seller had the chips removed, Donna recovered well from the surgery and I bought her some time after that in the fall of 2011. After many weeks of walk and then some trot (and many pounds lost) Donna started to trot uneven. In Febuary this year, after different post-OP joint treatments, the diagnosis was found: As it turns out, she has a defect in her left hind suspensory ligament and needs roughly a year off.


 Donna in March 2012.

So here she is now, in the field with her mare companions. The huge disappointment of the injury did however open another door: breeding. Donna has a very good, interesting genetic background, with the dressage matador Donnerhall as a father and a Thouroghbred great-grandfather on the mothers side. Her breeder obviously also had a breeding career in mind for her as Donna as a 3-year-old completed her "Stutenleistungsprüfung" which got her registered in the Hanovarian mare book and so she's all set to become a mother of a registered Hanovarian foal!

The lucky, albeit unknowing, father is Londontime (-Londonderry-Walt Disney I-Trapper), a stallion bought by the Celle State Stud for a record 520.000 Euro at the Hanovarian auction in Verden in 2005.

Photo: Landgestüt Celle 

 Photo: Schwöbel
(Londontime competing at Donnas former stable - little did we know then...!)

He hasn't been used that much as a stallion yet, as he didn't stand at stud some years but was educated in dressage instead. But I have seen some very good young horses, and from very different mothers, which is important to me as there's no way of knowing how Donna will influence her foal - if she gets pregnant that is! As of today she is not in foal, so we'll have to try again.

So that's where I'm at - fingers crossed the luck will turn and Donna will produce a lovely little foal next year!