AlexCollageNov609.jpgThis past weekend I competed in the Swedish championships but not in the championship classes. Vitall was good the first day, I rode the PSG and he got a bit behind me in the trot work but the canter work was Ok. Jan and I thought we needed to get him into the ring again because he is still so green so we entered in the MA 1 test which is similar to a 4th level test 2/3. I had to have the test translated for me and that was a bit of a challenge but I managed. Vitall went better in the MA, the trot work was the best he had ever done.

The main thing I have learned showing at these national shows preparing for CDI’s is DETAILS. In Europe, the judges don’t care if it was a good shoulder in or halt, rein back it has to be error free! For example, in the test I had to do a canter, halt, rein back, the rein back itself would have been a 9 if Vitall hadn’t put his foot back when we halted, so instead of the 9 we got a 6. It really shows you how every little thing counts and how prepared you have to be.

I am glad I have taken the time to do these national shows to see where the holes are for the winter so when I enter a CDI the details will be cleaned up. Next week I am going to sit down with Jan and come up with a training plan for the winter. I want to test ride once a week including riding my freestyles so they become second nature.

After the show my mom and I got a good nights rest before we headed out on our driving tour. We started touring the country side in Denmark, then caught the ferry over to northern Germany. We stopped in  Oldenburg and Hannover. Pia Fortmullar is training with Leoni Bramal just outside of Hannover so we took a drive to her place for a surprise visit. It was nice to catch up and see another big training barn.

Oldenburg was the most exciting part for me. We stopped in at one of the oldest Oldenburg stud farms, Ludwig Kappmans. I came across two gems there, one a 5 y.o. Florencio stallion and a 4 y.o. gelding by Sir Donnerhall. They are both out of this world and I fell in love. 

We saw over 50 foals and yearlings (see pictures) 30 2 1/2 y.o. and the same number of 3 y.o. Each one all hand picked as a foal to go to the Oldenburg Stallion approvals. The stallion station is one of the oldest around and has amazing history. It’s worth reading the history of how this family was so influential in creating our modern Oldenburg Sport horse. Link:

I also stopped in at Catherine Haddad’s stable, the american rider, which was just around the corner from the Kathmann’s. She has a very nice place.

The photos are: Me on the ferry heading to Northern Germany. The foals and Yearlings and Pia and I at Leoni’s. 

This past week has been a horse lovers dream!