Our life in Germany

Joined
18 July 2018
Messages
8
Hello everybody,

I am just new here and I live in Germany, so feel free to correct me if my writing ist terrible ;)

I startet here, because I am not very happy with the way riding is developing in my country so I wanted to have a look at how you do it :)

I ride a 10 year old warmblood gelding, he is born at our stable, so I know him from ist very first day on. We mainly do showjumping, but I also love dressage, but that is something we only do for training and no competitions any more.

We are competing in classes up to 125 and we could start in dressage tests on "S" Level, I don´t know how the system works out in britain, but we are working on things like pirouettes and stuff like that, he is really the best horse you could wish for, everything is possible with him!



 

Ambers Echo

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13 October 2017
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5,026
Hi welcome to the forum. Your horse looks lovely. I don't know much (anything) about how riding is developing in Germany but I love the way Michael Jung rides. I believe he rode the Badminton XC course in a snaffle bit?
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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31,991
Welcome! It would be great if you started a thread about how riding is going in Germany that you aren't happy with, so that we can compare it with what is happening here.

I think it's becoming very diverse here, with a lot of new and more relaxed disciplines, like Trec and riding club level western. And a lot more diverse views on how to achieve what you want at established disciplines like dressage. And also a big move toward more kindness and benefit of the doubt to the horse.
 

alainax

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21 April 2010
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4,503
Location
Lanarkshire
Welcome! My hubby is german, we visit often and your tack shops are amazing! Seems every village has an arena and herd of warmbloods lol.
 

Bernster

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14 August 2011
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6,306
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London
Welcome and lovely pictures. It would be great to learn more about riding in Germany.

And I’m sorry but I have to say it as it’s the first thing I thought when I saw your pictures - HAT! Of course it’s your personal choice and I have no control over what you choose to do, but it doesn’t set a good example. Signed, a grouchy old woman...
 

ycbm

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30 January 2015
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31,991
Bumblebees please don't think the post above means this forum expects pale to set an example. It's a fun forum.

I rode one of my horses without a hat on this morning and one in a vented cross country bike helmet.

It's nobody's business but yours what you wear to ride.
 

AandK

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24 July 2007
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3,218
Location
West Sussex
Beautiful horse OP, always nice to hear about equestrians in other countries! And ignore the remark about the hat, or lack thereof. Your head, your choice!
 
Joined
18 July 2018
Messages
8
First of all: thank you all for the nice welcoming here!

and yes, we have a lot of horses here ;) I know some villages where more horses than humans live ;) My family also breeds westphalians, but in the end all the german warmbloods are more or less the same or very mixed up ;) Also the infrastructure is very good, normally I can choose which competition I join at the weekend, there are enough not far away and still they all have a lot of members =)

What I actually don´t like here is that knowledge seems to be less important for many people and even judges can´t see whether they see a horse that is working over the topline, is confident and swinging, or if it just looks spectacular because there is so much tension in the whole horse. And just at that point it comes to extremes, many judges want to see al lot of tension, satisfied horses seem "boring" for them and all the poor ones ridden with a lot of power get good marks. On the other hand there are the ones that try to do the other extreme, they want to see the horses going very slow, in germany you say "fallen apart" and every bit of swinging is bad for them. But both goups don´t want to see the "normal" way, the right way, that ist the reason for me to compete only in showjumping, even though I love dressage and my horse really does his best.

And then we have a very big group of people without any ambitions for competitions and most of them want wo create their own way of riding, very often something baroque with hands very high, no leg and most important: very slow and playing with the reins a lot. Nothing in the back of the horse or the hind legs is moving, they look very ill when they move.

Of course we also have very good riders here like Michael Jung, but sadly those are exception, of course these talent is very rare, but most people don´t even try! Their goal is not to get as good as they can, they want to get good results at competitions, so they don´t form their horses themselfes, they buy them and if it doesn´t work they just change the horse.

This all is totally not my way and I´m being loughed at for trying to learn, for wanting my horse to be happy and enjoying training, to keep him healthy and for ensuring that he can spend his whole day together with his herd outside. People say "look at me, I don´t need all that **** and I´m successful".

My saddles both come from britain and so my saddler told me that I would fit there way better, because everything is much more traditional, here we often have trends that seem to change every week, perople try everything, except for lessons to improfe themselfes.

(Wow, this was very hard, I know excactly what I want to say but I have no idea how to say it in another language :D )
 

Orangehorse

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25 November 2005
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11,217
Welcome. Your English is excellent by the way.

I think in the UK we are being set a very good example by Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin.

I had heard that western riding is very popular in Germany, almost as an opposite reaction to dressage.

Also, I must ask - I met some German riders on a riding holiday in Italy and they said that they mostly went hunting in Germany, but my German/their English wasn't good enough to go into detail about where and what they were hunting.

Although they also went to Ireland once a year for hunting.
 

daffy44

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12 August 2011
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717
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Warwickshire
Hi Bumblebee, I love your horse, you both look a very happy partnership.

Your English is excellent, even though your description of the riding/training makes me sad, I think what you are describing is unfortunately very widespread through most competitive countries. However there are outstanding riders too, like Micheal Jung, Carl Hester etc, I did think things were starting to turn in the right direction, but some of the pictures from Aachen have made me doubt this.
 
Joined
18 July 2018
Messages
8
Some training with Carl Hester- would make a dream come true! Yes, there are some wonderful horsepeople and I really think it is great when they continue to show how ist CAN work out, how a happy horse looks like, and how it looks like when rider and horse become one :) But sadly all the other people have success and I think it would change a lot if they wouldn´t get these high marks for disharmony and preassure.

Also in Showjumping you see terrible pictures- because it works! In my oppinion every horse needs a very good base in dressage so that they are able to do the course in a good way. And when I see the bits they use...I always try to keep it as simple as possible, I don´t think that harder bits are a bad thing, but for me they should just be used for a short time for correktion with the goal to get back to something normal.

Orangehorse: Hunting, let me think.... we have something like fox hunting (translated literally), there you have something like cross country in a big group (you can choose a way without impediments) and in the front there is a group of dogs hunting a artificially fox trace. Very old fashioned, got very rare, I think the last time in our area is 15 years ago, but I think in Ireland there are many hunts like that. Also many people do "wander ride", just sitting on their poor horse for several days, sleeping in a different stable every day.
 

greybadger_19

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Joined
6 January 2013
Messages
35
I used to love in Germany and loved the access to the horse scene. I lived just down the road from Verden, always a good week when the elite sales are on! I did trial ride one horse there, which then happened to go for the largest price that evening - €150,000!!

You do have some excellent riders - Ingrid Klimke is a particular favourite of mine.
 

Ambers Echo

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13 October 2017
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I do share your concerns about success coming to horses regardless of how relaxed they are. In the UK obese horses can do well in showing because somehow 'show condition' (which means FAT!!) is desirable.

I am not sure I understand the objection to 'wander rides'. They sound lovely! I have several friends who do long distance trail riding. They have a wonderful relationship with their horses and the horses seem very happy to spend life exploring the great outdoors.
 
Joined
18 July 2018
Messages
8
Yes, we have good riders, but exspecially in "normal" competitions they don´t want to see that way of riding and there are always the same people with good marks, no matter what they do that day. And that is really frustrating if you try to do it the right way and then they want so see something wrong. Yesterday I watched some freestyle at CHIO in Aachen and it was terrible, only tension and nealy no horse was on beat and then 80-90%? Can´t be the right way...

Ambers Echo: I sadly only see people doing that that are not able to do anything else and train their horse in a sensible way. For horses it is very hard to carry weight and using the topline when you are riding in walk and then (too heavy...) riders are going on with untrained horses and think they are doing something great...
 

Mule

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Joined
27 October 2016
Messages
6,710
First of all: thank you all for the nice welcoming here!

and yes, we have a lot of horses here ;) I know some villages where more horses than humans live ;) My family also breeds westphalians, but in the end all the german warmbloods are more or less the same or very mixed up ;) Also the infrastructure is very good, normally I can choose which competition I join at the weekend, there are enough not far away and still they all have a lot of members =)

What I actually don´t like here is that knowledge seems to be less important for many people and even judges can´t see whether they see a horse that is working over the topline, is confident and swinging, or if it just looks spectacular because there is so much tension in the whole horse. And just at that point it comes to extremes, many judges want to see al lot of tension, satisfied horses seem "boring" for them and all the poor ones ridden with a lot of power get good marks. On the other hand there are the ones that try to do the other extreme, they want to see the horses going very slow, in germany you say "fallen apart" and every bit of swinging is bad for them. But both goups don´t want to see the "normal" way, the right way, that ist the reason for me to compete only in showjumping, even though I love dressage and my horse really does his best.

And then we have a very big group of people without any ambitions for competitions and most of them want wo create their own way of riding, very often something baroque with hands very high, no leg and most important: very slow and playing with the reins a lot. Nothing in the back of the horse or the hind legs is moving, they look very ill when they move.

Of course we also have very good riders here like Michael Jung, but sadly those are exception, of course these talent is very rare, but most people don´t even try! Their goal is not to get as good as they can, they want to get good results at competitions, so they don´t form their horses themselfes, they buy them and if it doesn´t work they just change the horse.

This all is totally not my way and I´m being loughed at for trying to learn, for wanting my horse to be happy and enjoying training, to keep him healthy and for ensuring that he can spend his whole day together with his herd outside. People say "look at me, I don´t need all that **** and I´m successful".

My saddles both come from britain and so my saddler told me that I would fit there way better, because everything is much more traditional, here we often have trends that seem to change every week, perople try everything, except for lessons to improfe themselfes.

(Wow, this was very hard, I know excactly what I want to say but I have no idea how to say it in another language :D )
Are most horses in Germany warmbloods/ sport horse types or are traditional breeds also popular for riding ?
 

Ambers Echo

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13 October 2017
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5,026
Ambers Echo: I sadly only see people doing that that are not able to do anything else and train their horse in a sensible way. For horses it is very hard to carry weight and using the topline when you are riding in walk and then (too heavy...) riders are going on with untrained horses and think they are doing something great...
I don't agree that people who mostly ride trails are 'not able to do anything else'. Some people have no interest in competing and hacking/trail riding is not 2nd best to 'proper' riding. And how do you know trail riders think they are doing something great? There are arrogant riders and humble riders in ALL disciplines. I can't see why trail riders are being singled out for thinking they are 'great'.

As for topline/ training, all riders should (in my view) seek to be balanced and to ride in ways that aid the horse's way of going. And all horses should be trained for the job they are expected to do. But in my view no horse ever needs to be collected which is what you need for dressage. Collection makes the horse more manoevrable and athletic for higher level performance. Is that good for horses? Probably not. Jumping probably isn't either. Or ballet for people! There is beauty, elegance and athleticism in it but it is hard on the body.

Carrying a rider is hard on horses. All we can do really is try to ride in ways that minimise the harm we cause. I think 'correct' riding is riding in which we are balanced ourselves (ie have an independent seat) and in which we train the horse to be balanced too despite our weight but higher levels of training for dressage are no longer about what is best for the horse but what is necessary for the discipline of dressage. I don't criticise dressage riders for that. I think dressage is beautiful. But I would never argue that piaffe is good for horses, any more than Puissance is.
 

Keith_Beef

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8 December 2017
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5,548
Location
Seine et Oise, France
I don't agree that people who mostly ride trails are 'not able to do anything else'. Some people have no interest in competing and hacking/trail riding is not 2nd best to 'proper' riding. And how do you know trail riders think they are doing something great? There are arrogant riders and humble riders in ALL disciplines. I can't see why trail riders are being singled out for thinking they are 'great'.
I'm not particularly interested in competitions. I think I'll do a bit of club showjumping next year or the year after, but only as a way of measuring my own progress.

Everything I do in lessons is to improve my technique for going out on trails, over fields and through rivers. Jumping is for getting over ditches, streams, fallen trees and one day (maybe) over hedges.

But when I take out a horse like that, it's a horse that has been prepared for the work it will be doing; the owner of the horse, or the manager of the yard where it is stabled, picks out a horse that can carry my weight for the length of time we'll be out, whether it's for one hour, a whole day, or three days of Wanderritt.
 

Ambers Echo

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13 October 2017
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5,026
I can imagine some riders pitch up for a 3 day ride on untrained, unfit horses. But some people pitch up to an ODE on untrained, unfit horses too. And plenty of heavy riders on show ponies..... The attitudes of the rider is the problem not the choice of activity.
 
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