I recently read an article by Ingrid Klimke, Germany’s Olympic eventing gold medalist. She is the daughter of the late Dr. Reiner Klimke, who himself is a six-time Olympic gold medalist and a two-time bronze medalist. The article served as a good reminder to all of us equestrians, no matter what discipline we are riding or training, that we are the responsible party for the horse. Ingrid did such a good job putting words together, I am going to quote her:
Speaking of her dad’s training technics she says “…his training was always based on three principles:
- Keep variety in the training
- Take small steps
- Foster the horse’s personality
We must not forget that whatever we do and whatever we ask our horses in daily training, it is our responsibility. We are responsible for the horse’s well-being.”
I don’t know how many times, in several disciplines, I have set goals and schedules to reach the goals, for certain horses. Not always, but sometimes, injuries, training glitches or just simply the inability to be ready by the time allotted, happens. I really appreciate Ingrid’s statement “that in the end, it is the horse that sets the schedule.” I completely agree, especially if we are willing to listen to them.
She also says “A horse that is never asked too much at once and is given time to really learn and understand is a horse that feels loved by his rider and this subsequently increases his self-confidence.” I really appreciate the owners who send in a horse and say “take the time he needs”. Unfortunately this is rare. If only owners understood how differently each horse is. Those who lack confidence REALLY need it and it takes more time for them to gain it, than one who is already self-assured. Ingrid goes on to say “What we want as riders are self-confident horses that are reliable and attentive, but also ones that love to show off in a positive way.” This to me, goes full circle to Taking Small Steps.
At In Motion Sport Horses, it is always MY goal, to meet the needs of the individual horse first.