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.
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.
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.
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.