Brett, Doringcourt and I have now been based in Isernhagen, Germany for almost 6 weeks now. The time is flying by and it is so hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.
I thought I would give everyone a little update and insight to my training regime at Leonie and Volker’s stables.
The beautiful facility at Leonie and Volker’s.
At 6.30am the alarm goes off and we crawl out of bed. At the moment it is not becoming light until around 8am and the sun is setting again between 3 and 4pm. It has taken a few weeks for our body clocks to adjust to this and I have to wake up to a shot of Nespresso every morning to kick start my day! Hay is fed first in the morning and then the mucking out begins at 7am. The stables are all clean, swept and horses happily eating their breakfast by 8am. We then grab a quick bite to eat (sometimes that means a bakery run) and then into a day of training and helping out where needed.
The horses range from young babies being broken in right through to Advanced/Grand Prix horses. We are training in the arena together, sometimes 5-6 horses going at a time with Leonie keeping a close eye on us all and helping us get the horses more through their bodies and training their weaknesses to enable them to progress up the levels with much more quality. This is what I love about being at Leonie’s. You have the opportunity to ride so many different types of horses, some very good and some quite normal. The challenge is to turn them into something special and I believe this is what teaches you to ride well.
At the moment the stables have a great team of Riders and Grooms from Germany and England. It is such a nice environment to train in with a real international flair. Luckily for us everyone is speaking perfect english. However, our New Years resolution is to take up German lessons. It is a nice challenge for us to learn a new language and I feel it is the right thing to do. My Father always said to me “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It has become a ritual that every Monday night we take turns in cooking a meal for everyone at Leonie and Volker’s place. Last week we treated everyone to Roast Beef, it will be the first and last time we do that as meat is so expensive over here it nearly sent us broke!
The Bramall-Dusche Team at our Christmas Party. December 2013
Doringcourt is coming along in leaps and bounds. He is looking and feeling like a Grand Prix horse and comes out of the stable and into the arena every day with a little bit more confidence, energy, strength and power. I also am feeling so much more confident with the Grand Prix work and am getting my head around all the new movements and putting them together. The jump from Advanced to Grand Prix is huge!! The amount of detail that has to go into every movement is so precise and important for the rider to get right so you can get the most out of your horse. I am ever so grateful to Leonie for continuing to share with me her wealth of knowledge. I now realise at this point in our career how important it is to have help on the ground nearly every single day! Today we managed 16 one tempi’s and some wonderful passage. I am really excited to get back into the competition arena early next year and put it all together!
Doringcourt and I – November 2013.
I feel so lucky to have been introduced to some fantastic Practioneers to work alongside Doringcourt and I to keep us both healthy and in top shape. He has an amazing new Physio who is working with him every 4-6 weeks and I have a new Chiropractor who has also studied Chinese Medicine who has been very helpful for my riding and and making sure I stay sitting straight and balanced on the horses. Every Monday night at Leonie’s we have a rider fitness class taken by a Physiotherapist and Pilates teacher. She gives us many different stretches and exercises to do and also helps us with our core strength and stability.
All the horses are on a fantastic feeding programme which is so important for their performance and body development. They are getting fed hay 4 times a day alternating it twice with balege. They get hard fed three times a day and at lunch time get fresh carrots with their feed. They are all taken out of their stables every day to be worked, lunged, walked or just to go in the sand paddocks. This keeps all the horses so happy in their minds and allows them to have a good roll and buck. Even in the Winter they are turned out in the paddocks to get some fresh air. A week ago we experienced our first sprinkling of snow, it was so nice to watch the broodmares having a play around.
The first sprinkling of snow to fall in Isernhagen. December 2013
At the end of November Brett and I went and watched the Stallion Approval of the Oldenburg 3 year old Stallions. What a wonderful experience this was witnessing some beautiful young Stallions. The next day the De Niro x Rosario that was named Champion of the Oldenburg Stallion Licensing was sold for 910,000 Euros. See the link below for more information.
Oldenburg Stallion Approval. November 2013.
We also managed to sneak away to Berlin for a few days to catch up with some friends that are travelling around Europe. What an amazing city Berlin is, filled with so much history, beautiful buildings and interesting people. A place highly recommended on my list of places to visit.
Brett and I at the Brandenberg Gates, Berlin. November 2013.
On another note Brett and I will be heading home to New Zealand and Australia for one months visit early 2014. We have not set any exact dates as of yet but I will post them on my Website and Facebook page as soon as they are confirmed. We will both be teaching and holding clinics in both New Zealand and Australia, Brett will also be breaking in some horses at my home in Dairy Flat, Auckland. There will be limited spaces available for horses and clinics. If there is any expression of interest or you require more information please don’t hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Well as this year comes to a close I would like to wish all my Family, Friends, Sponsors and Supporters a very Merry Christmas and a safe, healthy and Happy New Year. Enjoy the festive season and I look forward to sharing with you what I hope will be a very successful 2014!!