This blog is for the recreational rider as well as dressage riders and show jumpers that like to compete but also have a harmonious relationship with their horses. I do not believe in Western vs. English either, it’s just new commandos and slightly different aids.
This is Wesley, my 25 year-old Hannoveranian. After a long and successful athletic career as a show jumping horse, he’s now an “active pensioner” and my greatest teacher.
Wesley has been with my family for almost 20 years now, he’s a gentle, balanced and truly confident horse – and his favourite pastime is going for walkies with me.
Now about me
I’m Jenny, born 1988 in Starnberg, Germany. I’m half English, half German.
I’m a startup entrepreneur and a professional sales woman, but my true passion is working with horses and how to train them.
I give riding lessons to adults and children, beginners an advanced riders, and often train my student’s horses under saddle myself.
I try to teach people how to “speak” with their horses, understand them better and improve their seat and aids – I really work for their horses, though.
My background is in classic equestrian sports, competition show jumping to be precise. Since I was 7 years old I have been trained in modern dressage and parcours riding, having had the great fortune of sharing this sport with my mother.
So, until I was 18 my life revolved around the sport: Tuesday through Friday would be training every day, every weekend we’d be at another tournament competing – and often winning! That’s how I grew up…
In 2006, a broken leg in a traffic accident abruptly ended my tournament career – one summer too early to compete at the highest level. In autumn of the same year, I left home to study languages in Munich and for a long while I couldn’t even watch equestrian sports on TV, the loss of this part of my life was too great.
Long story short, of course, I eventually took up riding again. Once a horse girl, always a horse girl!
One of my old tournament companions, my mum’s price-winning Hannoveranian had just spend two years on a pensioner’s meadow, enjoying life with his herd buddies.
We decided to bring him out of retirement to spend the golden years of his life as an “active pensioner”.
Wesley and I go trail riding, on good days we practice dressage in hand or under saddle, we work a lot a liberty and enjoy our walks together through the woods.
Working with an old and wise horse whose age and physical constitution I often have to take into consideration when training together has fundamentally changed my view of how to work with horses.
I no longer believe that a horse has to “function” like you are taught when training for classic equestrian sports. It’s much more a matter of being a true, fair and reliable partner to your horse – and when a horse then decides to be with you at liberty or go with your request of doing a difficult dressage move of its own free will, it’s the most gratifying experience you can wish for.
“Proceed so that the horse finds himself willingly into the exercise, and not by force.”
– Nuno Oliveira
Even though I had the great fortune of learning from fantastic trainers in my youth, such as Tobias Bachl and Hans-Peter Konle (show jumping) or Hermann de Reuver (as he used to call it “dressage for show jumpers”), the greatest teacher has been my old boy, Wesley.
I’m still as excited to spent time with horses as I was when I first started at 7 years old, but today I try to listen to them better and continue to learn from each horse I have the pleasure of working with.
*Credit for the amazing header picture goes to my friend David, see more of his photography work at www.DavidPricco.com