Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2024

Blogger Barbra A. Reis

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A cloudy day greeted us on our fourth day riding with the great master Walter Zettl. Rain was forecast on and off throughout the day, but we were lucky to have a spacious indoor arena for our clinic.

First to ride was Bobbi J. and Amber, a 9-year-old German-bred Friesian mare that is currently showing second level. Bobbi has been a student of Walter's for many years and came to know him due to their mutual friend, Colonel Von Zeigner. Amber can be a tense horse at times, so Bobbi and Amber have been working on relaxation and exercises to get the horse to be less tense.

After riding Wildflower on Saturday afternoon, I was anxious to get to the hotel to email my blog. As I got into the truck, turned the key and waited for the glow plug light to go off, I had a sinking feeling that something wasn’t right with the truck. It took four times to get it to start while at the barn, and then when I tried to start it again at my trailer, it was dead. Click click click. That's all I heard.

After a good night's sleep in my handy dandy trailer with living quarters, I was ready for Day 2 with Walter Zettl.

Lisa G. was first with her horse Willie. Willie is a 17-year-old Anglo Trakehner gelding that Lisa has owned since he was 4 years old. Lisa is involved with natural horsemanship and was drawn to Walter because of his association with the Parellis as well as his vast knowledge of dressage and his philosophy of how horses should be treated. Walter worked with connection to the rein and tempo with Lisa.

The morning started bright and early as the sun peeked through the blinds of my trailer. By the time I walked out to the barn at 7 a.m., the horses had been grained and fed, thanks to John, head groom. I took advantage of the cool morning to walk the property with my camera.

The farm has about 30 head of horses, made up mostly of the horses Leslie and David Bockus have bred. The group of yearlings and 2-year-olds were busy munching on their round bale while many of the other horses were laying down in their pastures.

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My adventure wouldn't be complete without a quick bit of background on how I gained the opportunity to ride with Walter Zettl. I also need to briefly introduce the ladies that I am traveling with to Canada.

The big international adventure begins today. I have the privilege of riding with the legendary Walter Zettl for six days in Welland, Ontario, Canada.

I'm taking my Appendix Quarter Horse, Artful Ikon. "Ike" is a 10-year-old gelding that was an eventer and decided he wanted to become a dressage superstar.

We've been to three shows since May, and he's received reserve high point in first and second level at the first show and champion at first level at the second and third shows with scores in the 60s at second level.

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