As Usual, It's Non-stop and On-the-go in Germany!By Kc2610
As well as riding Chad and Seb I have also been able to ride a few young ones, 3 and 4 year olds. I love riding the babies because you can apply what system you are trying to develop in it's rawest form. It is a lot harder to apply the system to a horse like Seb who has his own system happening in his head already. With the babies you really have to lead them in the right direction, but to do that you need to know really clearly which direction (system) that is!
Yesterday evening was the soccer match of Germany against Spain in that Euroleague championship, and I was supposed to go to the public viewing in Hannover with my friends from the barn and a couple of others we know from outside the barn. However during the day Leonie mentioned she was taking the superstar pony to a German pony team training clinic late in the afternoon with the pony's little rider. Obviously I jumped at the chance to go with her, even though I would only get back at 8.30pm that night and would miss some of the football, if I even made it into the city in time. Though going anywhere with Leonie is the most valuable experience I could ever ask for. Like my post about the only very small show, where I learnt so much.
So we went to the training clinic which was about an hour and a half away, and I learnt that team politics are exactly the same whether it is in Germany, England or Australia. Though I'd say they are worse in Germany to be truthful. It was still good to see though, and you meet awfully interesting people when you go to things like these. Hell, I was talking to the only French dressage rider in the Olympics this year!
By the time we got back, I estimated I could pick up my friend to go catch the train with at 9pm. Though when I texted her she told me she wasn't going anymore. There was no way I was going to catch a train into the city and wait at the main station for my friends alone on Euroleague football night. I also thought it would be a bit scary to be out in Hannover on a night like that, where Germany lost and there were many angry Germans around = fights! So I texted my other friends and said I couldn't make it, it was too late. Instead, I helped leonie put the pony away and give late night hay, and we went off for dinner at a nice home-style Italian restaurant between my hotel and her house. We had some amazing pasta and witnessed a whole Italian family have what seemed to be the most exciting time of their lives, winning the soccer game.
After a good, much appreciated rest last night, today was full on. I rode Chad and Seb this morning and nearly died, we worked so hard! Chad was getting prepared for his competition tomorrow (yes, he is competing! But I can't ride him, as my application to be a rider in the German Federation hasn't gone through yet :( so Martin is riding him, which is still great!) so we did a lot of work and some really nice lengthened trots which I have never done on him before! I put one of Leonie's saddles on Seb, one with a different flocking (softer and more wide-spread) and gave him more room to move underneath. After three attempts of trying to make it sit right on him with finally 3 wither-pads to lift it up in front, I could finally ride him in it, just!
The interesting thing is though, when I started riding in it I thought "this is horrible I am definitely not riding in this saddle again", but Leonie said just hold on to the monkey-grip and hold myself in and ride, because what I'm feeling is the discomfort of him not engaging and using himself properly. And yep, sure enough by the end of a hard, sweaty session, I was sitting in and his hind legs were working right underneath him and his head and neck were in the best self-carriage he has ever had. So kudos to the different saddle, and I'm going to get the Prestige fitter Carsten to come out and fix seb's up, so I can really feel what he is doing underneath me so I'm not just sitting on top with a saddle in between me and his movement.
After the riding I had to wash a couple of the horses for the competition tomorrow, clean and Brasso all the bridles for the horses that were going, clean all the saddles, and plait five young horses. Oh my god is it hard to plait 3 and 4 year olds. They have no concept of standing still, though the flies didn't help the situation bless them. I got it all done though just on time!
Straight after I left the barn at a quarter to five, I had to go take my friend who used to work at the barn to Ikea to get some boxes so he can move to his new job tomorrow. We stopped at Mcdonalds and I earnt back all those calories burnt in that different saddle with a big fat burger!! :D
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