The Warendorf Diaries Day 2 – chronicles of a 12 year old FEI Pony rider

Day 2:

When in doubt…Volte! I’m sure this is a word none of the students here will soon forget. The instructor today got very upset if she saw any student riding around the ring without doing numerous voltes. Of course there were many other exercises that were also required…but ”VOLTE!!!” is what was heard the most.

The riding school in Warendorf trains professionals only, so the instructors do NOT change their teaching style to cater to amateurs and certainly not to children either. We were not expecting them to do so, but nonetheless…it can be a bit harsh. One instructor (when particularly frustrated with a few of the students), has no problem whatsoever translating profanity into English!

It is very frigid here and although we arrived a few days late, the horses appear to still be quite fresh, especially in the early mornings. The classes are held in groups and there are multiple canter voltes happening simultaneously in the jumping ring. To this dressage mom it looks like complete chaos, but I keep reminding myself that we are privileged to be in the center of the horse universe, so I trust that all is well! (I may have inadvertently gasped at a couple of close calls). Apparently there were a number of falls in the first few days, and of course we witnessed a couple more today…with Annie being one of them! Her horse gave her an exuberant aftershock after landing one of the jumps. Thank goodness she’s just a little bruised. It was a respectable ways down for Annie based on the size of her horse (notice the photo…his girth is taller than she is!) One thing is for sure, there is no such thing as hunters here. These horses are most definitely jumpers!

After the rides and barn chores today, we took a walk to the charming town center and fully enjoyed the traditional Christmas market. It really was a magical setting for all the senses.