Sunday, October 21, 2007

Can you remember back to a time when Sunday was a day reserved for resting and family visits? That is what Sundays still are in Etteln. I just finished a wonderful Sunday dinner with the family that I live with. We had a beef roast with mushroom gravy, potatoes, and red cabbage. For dessert, we had kiwi fruit, pineapples and the most delicious vanilla joghurt. Hildegard, my mother thanks you for taking such good care of me! Sundays are a day off for the horses and unfortunately it is raining here this morning so no turn out, just hand walking. On the way to the barn I stop at the backeri and get fresh brotchen, my special Sunday treat. The horses are enjoying their 40 pound bag of carrots each week, and I am sure a quiet day is appreciated by them after such a busy week. Although this morning wasn't so quiet at the stable. There were 2 cows that got loose last night and were running around the barn area and Donneur found that quite stimulating. I was in cleaning his stall when the cows showed up and I had all the shavings pulled back to clean the wet spot when he decided to do 180's. Sparks were flying from his shoes on the concrete and I was impressed that he could stay on his feet in light of the fact that he was doing the splits behind. I was just trying to stay out of the way! Speaking of cows, a farmer had an interesting way of moving his cow. He had a corral on wheels that was just big enough to go around one cow and hook to his tractor. As the tractor moved along, so did the cow on foot inside the corral. The cow had no choice but to keep up with the tractor.

Yesterday when I came home for lunch, Josef asked if I wanted my car washed. Of course with the language barrier it took me a while to realize that he was offering to do it for me. His wife said,"My man always has to have the cars clean, a dirty car doesn't bother me so much" of course as she is washing the windows! After lunch, I was going back to clean my horses and my stalls so everyone was happy doing their favorite kind of cleaning.

The last couple of days were interesting for Donneur. We have been working on the one time changes with mixed success, some days ok and some days difficult and Hubertus hasn't been able to ride for the last week because he hurt his back. He suggested that his head bereiter, Hubsie, ride him and work on the ones. Hubertus said to me"99% of the time it is technique but sometimes it is just strength. Since Hubsie rides with his stirrups 5 holes longer than mine and he is probably 5 times more powerful than me, it is not so easy for Donneur to veto his suggestions. It is working beautifully, yesterday Hubsie did as many as 8 ones that were beautiful and straight. The great thing is, he is very judicious with his strength, makes a quick correction and then rides the horse normally. Even a small person can ride a horse with strength on every stride and cause a lot of damage to the horse's training. Dolly continues to excel in her half pass work and passage and is now doing better transitions from passage to piaffe and back to passage. Her ones are easier for me to work on because she doesn't get away from me as easily as Mighty Mouse does. We are on the count down now, 2 weeks until the show, things ought to get pretty interesting. I also had an opportunity to ride a really nice 3 year old they have here for training. Wonderful mind, good natural balance and easy in the hand. Nice ladies horse, perfect temperament for an amateur. Any takers?



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