Team Tate Student Danielle Vitosh at Hannoveraner Verband Blog6

We are down to our last two weeks here in Germany. Whoa.

This week I want to talk about connections within our equestrian community. Both types: the human and the horses.

Danielle & Emily on duty during the Hannoveraner Körung

It was stallion licensing week here at the Verband and I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed learning about the process. It is quite detailed, time consuming, and expensive to go through the whole shebang! I’m not sure I will ever feel the need to license or stand a stallion, but it does give you a whole new respect for the breeders who do it EVERY year. I also learned that if the choice ever arose, if I wanted to find a resale or new prospect horse in Germany I would come to the Hengst (stallion in German) market and try biding on one that didn’t license. You have good odds that this is a nice moving horse, has passed a vetting, and has a good temperament. For many reasons they choose not to license some stallions, making them less valuable in the auction, BUT that doesn’t mean these guys won’t make really, super geldings. They are also not really evaluating these youngsters as sport horses, maybe slightly, but it is more of a breeding value evaluation. So maybe one youngster doesn’t have value as a stallion, but has tremendous value as a sport horse! It is now on the list of things to do and now that I have all these new connections within the Verband, I would love to be able to support their cause also. It is all about connections and helping one another. The Verband has dedicated time into me and the best way I can give back (but not abandon my effort to enhance USA breeding) would be to still funnel some youngsters into the US. Besides, bringing lines into the US that may help our sport is also enhancing our program.

Rotspon (Rubinstein – Argentan) Hannoveraner Stallion of the year!

Human connection. I was SUPER lucky to have JJ’s husband, Richard, join us for the licensing week. How nice it was to see a familiar face from home. Poor guy probably got hugged a little too tight the day he arrived, but he was saved from my tears that would have come had JJ come herself. They are back again THIS week towards the end to horse shop with a client in Holland and parts of Germany. He said not to get my hopes up that they will have time to see me, BUT I’m hoping so. I also connected Emily with Richard, which will ultimately connect with JJ and I think Emily is a fantastic addition to our Team Tate team. I mean, as I’ve said this whole trip, Emily is a younger me, with less relationship issues, which in a way makes her a better model. haha.

Human connection. Emily and I met breeders from all over the world through the Breeders Orientation Course the Verband let us attend. I hope these are new paths for them and for us to keep well bred sport horses in the limelight with hungry, talented, riders to promote them!

Human connection. While I was in Florida working we had many German working students come do a similar task as to what I’m doing here. We always had a blast together and have stayed friends on Facebook, but I never really assumed I would ever see them again. One of them made a HUGE effort (ok, ok, we happened to be only an hour apart, not 8, but still) to come hang out for the stallion auction. It was so great to see her again and she got along splendid with Emily too, which made it a great night.

Danielle Riding her grey mare in Verden

Horse connections. Horses and my first love have taught me two things. I know what that real connection is. Right away. I will always go back to that first horse that I sat on and it felt like I’d plugged into a socket. It was this instantaneous relationship and I knew it right away. His name was Siep and in a way he was a very different heartbreak. He was a sale horse in my bosses barn and when I left he didn’t go with me. I just didn’t have the need or the spare cash for another horse. So he stayed and part of my heart stayed with him. He was goofy and a bit different (dutch) and I just felt like I understood his soul. That moment taught me exactly how I wanted to feel when I went on my next horse search and I found it. I sat on Jaeger for 5 minutes and I knew, this was my horse. I LOVE finding that click. It is beyond addicting. To know from the get go that this horse and you communicate on a special level. Rachael and I are like a good paired, married couple. I wouldn’t say it is that innocent, undying, first love, relationship, but we do meld well together through understanding and compromise. There is noting wrong with this type of relationship. We all know I hail the mare to the ends of this Earth, but she is no Jaeger. Jia is my second follow up and that one is funny because we connected from the ground. She was two when I bought her and obviously not ready to be backed, but that horse stares straight through me and I hear her every thought. Where am I going with this? Del Magica H. Now the funny part of this story is my Mom looked at the Elite horses and saw the one grey mare she mentioned her. Opps. Danielle’s weakness? She said I hope you get that mare, now we learned it isn’t that simple, however, as the Elite horses slowly dwindle to their new homes, our numbers have become manageable to ride and Magica has stayed. When I first saw Magica when she arrived for the auction I took one look at her and said, “She’s not really that pretty.” Figured I’d give her a gander still when I saw her move. Still again, not over impressed. So, I cast it off to the side. When she wound up on our list for giggles I said I wanted her. Although I have surprised myself at how much I have stepped up my riding with the Elite horses, Magica was that magic, haha, moment. That two-second connection that I knew she understood me and I understood her. This horse’s work ethic is amazing and she is just dying for a special connection. I can’t help but personally invest in this one. She is the light to my day and the one ride where it perks me up. It is going to be another sad day when she leaves or when I leave because that is one special mare. I am however, privileged and grateful to have her in my life these last few weeks. She makes the Verband feel more like a home and I am every excited to see her every day. I truly hope she has been purchased by caring, considerate, and kind people, because it would truly be a waste to see it any other way.

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Team Tate Student Danielle Vitosh at Hannoveraner Verband Blog5

So it’s been a blogging hiatus, but things have gotten so crazy fast and really moving that it’s just been work, so a good blog topic hasn’t really struck my fancy.

Weltmeyer

This Friday however, Emily and I started the breeders tour program that the Verband puts on and it inspired me!

Today we did conformation judging and a history on the major lines that have contributed to the Hanoverian.

In my own way, to judge my eye versus our instructor, I premapped out my number choices on our list and then made side changes if he saw something different. My notation on my thoughts versus his was that I was much harder on the dressage horses versus the jumping horses. He also judged the gaits on the same level for dressage and jumping prospects, while I want to look at them via their job. The whole point was to inspect for breeding standards, but I found that hard as a rider, I think because I care more about functionality than purely looks. While I think we should all keep up on education of conformation, I find myself constantly keeping in mind that sometimes a big fault in conformation may not hinder in performance. I hope to take up a hobby breeding, maybe a foal or two in my life, I will NEVER do it as a business or a business hobby, so I am intrigued at trying to view it from a strictly breeding stand point, however I will always look at a breeding prospect probably based on more performance than faults in the conformation. Hey I’m not conformationally perfect myself, but I do my job and that rings number one for me!

We then spent the afternoon hearing the history of the lines. For hours. He had me for the first 2, but after that the charts of, he sired this one and this one, got a bit dull if it wasn’t a line I couldn’t personally connect to, like some of the jumper lines, but life bashed me in the head this very evening because as I watched a video from the Verband I recognized a line I hadn’t before and felt much more educated. Thanks life. Noted.

My highlights was seeing Espri, Essex’s dad and the mention of ET FRH, those lines were my first familiar bloodlines. Always will hold a spot in my heart. Not necessarily a line I’d seek out. ☺ Then he briefly mentioned Tessa’s dad, Quaterback, but I was sad that line didn’t have more of a spotlight. Rachael’s dad, Sandro Hit, stole a big part of the lecture and that was at the end, so that rejuvenated me. JJ had recommended only picking a D line for my S line mare, which our instructor mentioned too. I quickly texted her telling her she was the bomb and is always right. ☺ Her pick of Don Noblesse was on one of the slides of the D line, which was also exciting. He however, will only sell semen until the end of the year and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to jump on that in that time frame.

I always love looking at horse breeding in comparison to human. It probably sounds harsh, but really the process is or should in my opinion be taken in the same seriousness. If we paired humans, in the same emphasis we paired horses our human population would be improving. I also always relate to the mares. I think they’ve always gotten shafted performance wise because well they are supposed to have babies! If you get a breeder who happens to sell or invest in showing the mare she is probably too old at the end to be bred. It’s a sad line, but I can’t help, but look at myself the same way. I will probably have a career over kids because the timing in which kids would be easy for me is too small of a window. Ie like the next 2 years? While my girls are babies and can have time off? I’m also not exactly in the blank canvas relationship I expected either, so his timing and my timing really probably won’t match.

We’ve made leaps with our sport horse mares because now so many do embryo transfer, BUT as I feel about myself considering a surrogate….. Why would I want someone else carrying and raising my child(any foals I create will be referred to as children ☺) part of the reason I want to breed Rachael is that she would instill fantastic life habits and boundaries on a foal. Am I really going to be that crazy that I spend however many months screening transfer mares to say, yes your life habits are those that I want on my foals? Same crazy thoughts for myself looking at a surrogate. Interesting debate and thought. For now…. I’d rather retire Rachael, as she has nothing left to do in the show ring really, and let her raise a foal I’d be proud to have and let her enjoy motherhood, than keep competing her and let another mare have her foal. I feel like that is completely ripping my amazing mare off, she absolutely deserves to enjoy motherhood! We will be real here too. I am ALL about what is best for Rachael and giving her what she deserves. Don’t diss my mare. Rowdy momma, Danielle, will get you! ☺

As this relates to myself? I’m not quite as strict. Why? Because I’d probably choose to continue to compete than “retire” for kids and I’m a control freak, so relinquishing that to a surrogate? Ha, I’d feel bad for that poor woman! So, I know my time line and if that doesn’t line up, I guess I’m SOL and someone better start buying me more horses to be a mom too. ☺

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