I’ve been home from the Falsterbo CDI5* (Sweden) for almost six days now. I hit the ground running after driving home from the show late on Friday night, and I finally found a minute to sit down and write.
W and I are off to Falsterbo! Falsterbo is a small resort community at the southern tip of Sweden, and this small village hosts an international dressage and jumping show every year. The U.S. Jumping Team will be there, and I will compete for the U.S. in the CDI5*.
The trip to Falsterbo is also an exciting one. I will drive to the north of Germany, put the truck on a ferry, cross to southern Denmark, drive to Copenhagen and then cross the bridge toward Malmo in Sweden. Falsterbo is a stone’s throw from Malmo.
It’s not very often that I dedicate three whole blogs to one horse show, but I could write a whole book about the show at Fritzens! A more beautiful setting for a show does not exist. I thought I was transported to the set of The Sound of Music.
You would not believe that amount of work that goes into this stable/farm/Hof to prepare for the CDI4*. The Haim-Swarovski family has been busy for many days.
A new two-track of paving stones was laid where the horse lorries are expected to drive around the buildings. Footing has been dragged, raked and combed into perfection.
An extra 60 temporary stables have been erected in a building normally used to store hay and straw. These boxes combined with another 20 permanent boxes will house all the horses arriving for the show.
There are moments in life when one considers oneself very lucky indeed. Rather than make the long drive back to Vechta, Germany, from Achleiten, Austria, last week, I asked Evelyn Haim-Swarovski if I could drive over to her stable, Schindlhof, in the Tyrolian Alps. Winyamaro’s next show—Fritzens CDI****—takes place at Schindlhof, June 25-27.
My first months riding at the Schultheis stable were of course without stirrups. I had already developed an elastic, rhythmical seat, but Mr. Schultheis wanted me to take it a step further and learn how to use my seat to create contact as opposed to simply following the horse’s motion.
Whenever a serious student comes to me for training, this is also the first step I require of them. After I see improvement in the seat, we talk about contact.
Winyamaro gives me many reasons every day to celebrate life, but most of them are not obvious to the public eye. Today he was really, really good in the Grand Prix at Achleiten, and we had witnesses. Still a long way to go, much to improve, but I think we are on the right path.
Austria is not normally on my showing tour, but I seem drawn to it this summer! We drove through the Austrian Alps to get to Lipica two weeks ago, and this weekend finds all of us (Danielle, myself, Gizmo and W) back on the road. This time we landed at Schloss Achleiten, the home of Victoria Max-Theurer in Austria.
I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun at a horse show! Good times with good people and a bit of success as frosting on the cake!
Winyamaro was wunderbar in the Grand Prix. I was able to ride him with a much better frame and more self-carriage throughout the test this weekend even though I know we still have a long way to go. Be patient, W fans, he is only 10 years old!
Lipica is a wonderful horse show. I have heard a lot about this place over the years, and I always wanted to show at the home of the Lipizzaner Stud in Slovenia. This year I was able to check it off my list of “Shows to Do.” It took two days to drive the 750 miles to Slovenia, which is bordered by Austria, Italy, Hungary, Croatia and the Adriatic Sea.