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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

July 26, 2010

Winyamaro’s Great Transatlantic Adventure

Dear Rita,

Never promise a pony-trapped-in-a-horse-suit that he will get to the Big Apple if he boards a plane. Winyamaro took my promise to heart, and there was no holding him back on this trip!

Klatte International Horse Shipping Services picked us up at home: Gizmo with his handy travel crate, Casey, myself, our baggage, the tack trunk and last but not least, Winyamaro. Hummel, a mainstay of the Klatte company and long time acquaintance in our stable, was our driver for the day.

July 21, 2010

Logistics, Part 2

Dear Rita,

By the time this blog hits the Internet, I will be in the air with Winyamaro, Gizmo and my trusty right hand rider-assistant trainer-life manager, Casey Dornan-Nilsen. We are flying with KLM from Amsterdam to New York!

July 20, 2010

About the Saddle, Part 2: The Stübben Genesis Special

Dear Rita,

It’s not very often that I give out my number on the Internet, but just for you, here it is: Q282231. That is the serial number of my new saddle, specially designed together with Stübben of Switzerland. Yes, my friends, yours truly is finally putting her old Schultheis saddles to rest after 25 years of unbroken commitment.

July 16, 2010

Late News on Falsterbo!

Dear Rita,

I’ve been home from the Falsterbo CDI5* (Sweden) for almost six days now. I hit the ground running after driving home from the show late on Friday night, and I finally found a minute to sit down and write.

July 8, 2010

Driving to Falsterbo CDI5*

Dear Rita,

W and I are off to Falsterbo! Falsterbo is a small resort community at the southern tip of Sweden, and this small village hosts an international dressage and jumping show every year. The U.S. Jumping Team will be there, and I will compete for the U.S. in the CDI5*.

The trip to Falsterbo is also an exciting one. I will drive to the north of Germany, put the truck on a ferry, cross to southern Denmark, drive to Copenhagen and then cross the bridge toward Malmo in Sweden. Falsterbo is a stone’s throw from Malmo.

June 28, 2010

Schindlhof: It's All About The Music

Dear Rita,

It’s not very often that I dedicate three whole blogs to one horse show, but I could write a whole book about the show at Fritzens! A more beautiful setting for a show does not exist. I thought I was transported to the set of The Sound of Music.

June 28, 2010

Schindlhof: CDI4*Fritzens—Day 1

Dear Rita,

You would not believe that amount of work that goes into this stable/farm/Hof to prepare for the CDI4*. The Haim-Swarovski family has been busy for many days.

A new two-track of paving stones was laid where the horse lorries are expected to drive around the buildings. Footing has been dragged, raked and combed into perfection.

An extra 60 temporary stables have been erected in a building normally used to store hay and straw. These boxes combined with another 20 permanent boxes will house all the horses arriving for the show.

June 20, 2010

Schindlhof: Postcard from Swarovski in the Austrian Alps

Dear Rita,

There are moments in life when one considers oneself very lucky indeed. Rather than make the long drive back to Vechta, Germany, from Achleiten, Austria, last week, I asked Evelyn Haim-Swarovski if I could drive over to her stable, Schindlhof, in the Tyrolian Alps. Winyamaro’s next show—Fritzens CDI****—takes place at Schindlhof, June 25-27.

June 15, 2010

The Schultheis Chronicles, Part 6: Contact is the Fifth Leg of the Horse

Dear Rita,

My first months riding at the Schultheis stable were of course without stirrups. I had already developed an elastic, rhythmical seat, but Mr. Schultheis wanted me to take it a step further and learn how to use my seat to create contact as opposed to simply following the horse’s motion.

Whenever a serious student comes to me for training, this is also the first step I require of them. After I see improvement in the seat, we talk about contact.

June 13, 2010

Achleiten: Party at the Castle

Dear Rita,

Winyamaro gives me many reasons every day to celebrate life, but most of them are not obvious to the public eye. Today he was really, really good in the Grand Prix at Achleiten, and we had witnesses. Still a long way to go, much to improve, but I think we are on the right path.

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