It’s been a while since my last blog, mainly because I couldn’t seem to come up with anything besides complaining about the weather. It wasa long winter, but one way I avoided the winter blues was by traveling as much as possible.
I’ve always wanted to ride like the Germans. As a kid I remember watching the 1996 Olympics and wondering why I didn’t sit on the horse like Ludger Beerbaum or Isabell Werth. It really looked like they had their spines replaced by steel with perfectly square shoulders.
I rationalized that this was a professional rider thing and that normal riders would never really get there. Then I showed up in Germany and realized that ALL German riders have this same posture. Seriously.
After 10 years, I finally found my way back into the show ring. For my debut, we started at the show my barn hosts, which was a great “training wheels” re-entry into showing. I have been trying to find a way to write this blog to best explain the experience, but I keep getting too excited and it works out to be about six pages—so here goes: a list of things that were awesome in hopes of keeping this brief and readable.
I’ve taken a lot of language classes over the years, and in most of them you adopt a new name to help you identify with the culture and immerse you in the language. In Spanish I was “Maria.” In Russian I was “Tanya.” In French I was “Sophie.” And in Arabic…well I didn’t make it long enough in Arabic to even get a name. I never took German classes, but if I did I have a pretty good idea what my name would be: “MEHR FORWARDS...”
…or at least that’s what my trainer Susi would rename me.
Hey everyone! I’m Kristin Alexander, your newest COTH blogger. I’ll be chronicling my adventures (and language challenges!) riding and showing in Germany. So how does a regular, office-working, adult amateur end up in the Mecca of dressage? My husband is in the military and we moved here two years ago.The first year I lived the “normal” life; one where I worked, took vacations, and I was generally clean (no helmet hair) and didn’t have mud on any of my shoes. It was a great time, but as much as I loved seeing the sights, I really wanted to be viewing it all from the back of a horse.