On Saturday, the group moved to the beautiful DevonWood facility, for a day of demonstrations. Maren and Stefan were charming and humorous while sharing with the audience. Maren did a mini-clinic on how to show a horse in-hand from correct use of the reins - she shared a few new techniques - to running and whip handling. With Stefan as the 'student', there were some funny moments when he did things wrong and Maren would correct him. She teased him often. The audience had questions and one lady offered to be a second 'student' taking her turn around the triangle. Everyone learned some new techniques and had fun.
Next Stefan worked with a couple of jumping horses - one inexperienced and one lower level Grand Prix horse. The first horse was Wooster, owned by Jessica Wisdom, and bred by my good friend Maggie Clark. Wooster is a high energy, black gelding who belies his pedigree. By Wolkenstein II o/o Miroirs by Maurice (Matcho AA), Wooster should have been a dressage horse. But no, he prefers jumping and shows power and a lovely bascule. Several people laughingly commented, after seeing him, that they would like to see his DNA results! Stefan worked with the rider to start slow and low, establishing balance and cadence before and following the fence. As the horse gained more confidence, Stefan asked for a small vertical and then oxer. The horse was mostly worked on curves, rather than in long straight lines, to the fences. One this day, not every technique was successful with Wooster; however, the schooling lessons should provide good basics over time. The second horse Landha is well-known on the local jumper circuit. She is owned and ridden by Alexandra Holmes. Landha is by Lanthan o/o Falkenbraut by Falkland (Wanderer). Although Lanthan is usually thought of as a dressage sire, he has sired many jumpers; and Falkland/Wanderer are known equally well for producing both dressage and jumping horses. This pair knows each other so well and has lots of experience so that Stefan did not have to do much but raise the fences. Landha was a delight to watch.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
On Friday, Maren Schlender of the Hanoverain Verband gave a talk on their Young Breeder Clubs and competitions. This appears to be similar to pony club or 4-H but the training and competing is from the breeders perspective. They learn all the basics of good horsemanship, in addition to bloodlines, showing sporthorses in hand and taking many quizzes. They have local, regional and in Europe an international competition for the kids that qualify complete with a breed shows, and a 'know down'. What a great way to introduce kids to breeding and horses. Most of the kids go on to compete as amateurs and/or breed one or two mares.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Returned home from the AHS annual meeting late on Sunday. Mary and I had organized a training session for the Mare & Stallion Committee judges. It was held at Deborah and Marvin Hausman's wonderful facility Quailhurst. Deborah went over the top to make this session a success providing many of her wonderful horses for demonstrations and ending the day with a tasting of Quailhurst wines. Dr. Christmann from the Hanoverian Verband in Germany was the clinician with the help of top German trainer Stefan Blanken and Maren Schlender, who coordinates the Young Breeders organization. Our mare Chatarina (Contendro I/Fabriano/Lemon Park) was used as a demo horse for freejumping, finishing with a fence 1.5 m high and nearly 2 m wide! No problem. Our young Escudo I/First Gotthard/Pik Solo) jumped well but was not up to form. He'd had a BIG week with his first body clip, first trailer ride, and first trip away from the farm - he was not as confident as usual. Good training for him. After the jumping, the judges reviewed a riding test using Chatarina, ridden by Morgan Barrows, and La Jolla (Linaro/Pik Solo/Windy Sands xx) ridden by Blair Niemcziek. The girls rode well, showing the horses to their best advantage. The judges were most appreciative. More news on the annual meeting soon.