View Full Version : Who has been overseas to gain riding experience? stories?

Apr. 5, 2011, 12:51 AM
I just find it very interesting and have always thought of going myself but have never taken the thought into serious consideration until now.
Who has went and ridden with a trainer overseas say in Europe?
Did it help your career in the long run?
Were you compensated enough to be able to cover bills, neccessities etc?
If so who did you ride with
Pvt messages are fine if you don't want to comment publicly
Warm regards

Apr. 5, 2011, 01:20 AM
I rode in Ireland for a summer and lived in Ecuador for awhile and rode/trained there as well. My trainer growing up had some great connections on the west coast of Ireland (Sligo area) so she hooked me up with a trainer there (his first name was Declan, couldn't tell you what his last name was) and I rode with him for a few months. I got to ride a number of different horses, learned how to sit up and really ride off my seat and how to manage a horse in situations I would've previously found unmanageable. I got to compete a few times and almost brought a horse back to the states with me, but she didn't pass vet.

When I was in Ecuador, we belonged to the Quito Tennis and Golf club and I leased 3 horses there. I rode with a man named Pepe who is no longer there and I probably gained the most from this experience as it was very focused and I was only riding my horses so I was able to accomplish a lot more in the time we had. I got a much more technical education about the jumpers, but my trainer didn't baby me at all and pushed me to the absolute edge of my limits. I lost a lot of my fear during the time I was there. I wish I'd been there when I was a little older (I was 12 and had barely come up off of ponies), but I feel extremely privileged that I had the experience at all.

Apr. 5, 2011, 09:39 AM
I personally havent but when I was going to school for my British Horse Society stages(which you can do all over the world) There is a fee to do the program but, We were also basically paid to learn, paid to work, lived for free. It was great. We also had some students from England and the Netherlands that were on working student programs as well. It was called somethings like C.E.P or CPA??
I learned alot I recommend BHS if you want to broaden your horizons and learn a bunch.

Apr. 5, 2011, 10:46 AM
I had the opportunity to ride for Olympican Tim Stockdalein England last year. It was hard work, but I learned a tremendous amount. I ended up becoming one of his head grooms as well as riders during the time I was there. I was able to ride absolutely everything on the yard from 3 year olds to stallions to his most seasoned mounts. We rode 5-8 a day, then used the afternoon to do work around the yard.

I was left on my own a lot of the time to ride and received little private instruction, perhaps tid bits as I was hacking with the other riders, but only a handful of one on one lessons.

I did however learn how to run a yard of that caliber and filled up an entire notebook full of tips and tricks from horse care to riding exercises and training techniques.

Apr. 5, 2011, 11:48 AM
I worked as a dressage rider for a well known dressage judge (head of Badminton ground jury a few years ago) and trainer in the UK some years ago. She also won Burghley herself back in the day. :)

I rode and competed young horses and she also gave me lessons on one of her advanced dressage horses as well as watching me on the youngsters whenever she was around. It was tough work, but I learned loads and really appreciate how much I took in during that time.

I also made the effort to watch whenever she was giving lessons to outside riders (often famous ones :) )if I was on a lunch break or something.

Apr. 7, 2011, 02:33 AM
I just returned from living in Germany for four years. While I went there for work, not with the express purpose of riding, I learned a ton.
I owned several horse in my time there (only one of whom I could afford to bring back with me, sadly) and buying there is definitely a different experience.
As a tried-and-true US hunter rider, the German options of Jumper or Dressage were kind of a rough adjustment. I ended up doing both (relatively low levels, but with some success). I still have 'nightmares' of being told "lean back, shorten your reins" over and over and over :)
Definitely a more aggressive style than my light "stay light and stay out of their way" training prepared me for. It was interesting to see that horses with no corrective shoeing, no supplements, and riders with no eye for distance were still competing and winning. I'm admittedly a weenie adult, and I learned a lot about how to "get it done, it doesn't matter if it's pretty" jumping and while some times it scared me, my overall confidence improved over bigger jumps, and the firm dressage lessons taught me a ton about how to balance and frame correctly.
One of the greatest things about living in Europe is that Equestrian sports are much more mainstream. Local show results are in newspapers, bigger completions are regularly televised, and the Berbaums and Marcus Ehning are practically household names. Every village has a riding stable or three, and there are fantastic networks of trails all over the country.
Fantastic experience and I would recommend it to anyone!

Give and Take
Apr. 8, 2011, 11:56 AM
I spent summer as a working student in Germany just before my year in Ireland at college and I learned more about riding in those 3 months than I had in the 10 years prior.

Feeding and cleaning stalls in the morning and then riding 6-8 horses/ day and then putting them all to bed.

I also rode a ton in Ireland. I definitely recommend it.