Ben Ebeling is still getting to know Indeed under saddle this season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, but the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Hofrat—Gorklintgards Indeera, De Niro) came to his family’s barn six years ago to be ridden by his father, Jan Ebeling.
The 22-year-old rider from California is now based in Wellington, Florida, for much of the year. He’s kept busy riding his top Grand Prix horse, Illuster van de Kampert, but when Jan asked him to take the ride on Indeed this season, Ben couldn’t say no.
The pair won two CDI classes in January and February before picking up two wins this weekend in Wellington in the CDIO3* Nations Cup Grand Prix Special (72.14%) and the Grand Prix freestyle (78.41%). They also helped the U.S. team to silver in the Nations Cup.
Owned by Vantage Equestrian Group II, LLC, Indeed had a successful career in the CDI ring with the elder Ebeling, and Ben is enjoying having his father’s guidance as he’s getting to know her.
“It’s kind of nice for both of us to have two [Grand Prix horses], and we can continue to work together,” Ben said. “I think it’s super special that he’s the one who trained the horse to Grand Prix. He knows everything about the horse, so I’m definitely lucky for that.”
We caught up with Ben and Indeed at Ben’s Wellington farm.
• She’s very sweet on the ground and loves to handwalk.
“She enjoys being around people, but I think she enjoys having one person,” Ben said. “I tend to do the grooming on her, and I always handwalk my horses in the afternoon and graze them and do some stretching. I think she really is a horse that thrives on connection. I think that’s really helped in these early Grand Prix [classes] we’ve done.”
• She can be a bit of a mare.
“In the stall, she’ll come out and pin her ears back like a total mare, like, ‘What are you doing in my stall?’ Then you walk away, and she’ll perk her ears like, ‘But don’t go away.’ She’s got a really funny character,” Ben said. “She gets very jealous when I come here and park a horse here and undo all the tack. She gets very jealous of the other horses.”
• She loves German Horse Muffins but has to watch her sugar intake.
“We did some tests because my dad thought she wasn’t being so active, and it would be the same time of year every single time,” Ben said. “Turns out she’s a little bit insulin resistant, so we ended up using Haygain with straight alfalfa, and she’s never felt better. That’s really made a big difference. She loves her steamed hay.”
• She likes things how she likes things and wants attention.
“If you leave her in the cross ties alone for two or three minutes, she’ll start pawing, like, ‘Come pay attention to me. I’m supposed to be the star here,’ ” Ben said.
• Indeed had a foal before the Ebeling’s found her, and Ben said they may consider an embryo transfer in the future after her competition career is over.
• She’s fun under saddle.
“She’s very focused and very receptive,” he said. “She’s the type of horse where you only need to correct things once. You only need to do it right one time, then once she gets the feeling, it’s like she has it forever. The one-tempis was one thing I struggled with early on her for two months to get a line of 15, but as soon as I got that line of 15, I haven’t made a mistake since. Once she’s in sync with you, for her it makes sense.”