April 11, 2011

First Deutsch Horseshow

New white jodhpurs.  Check.
New leather boots.......(last pair ever...).  Check.
New green show jacket from Amazon.  Check.
Velvet helmet.  Check.
Worries of whether Dad's Mercedes sedan can pull a double trailer.  Check.
Clean, shiny tack.  Check.
Clean, shiny horses. Check.

Breathtaking backdrop behind the practice arena.

Major hurdle jumped today.  Along with the jumps on the parcours.  The oldest competed with Deutsch nationals in her first show here.  And the parental units beamed with pride.

Let me back up a bit.  When we downsized our lives to come to Europe, we sold a 1-ton Ford diesel pickup and a Chevy Suburban, you know, big machines made to tow anything.......Not exactly welcome rides on the twisty-windy, tiny German village roads.  We arrived across the pond and found that people still tow things over here, just with wee-little cars. Europeans (who pay around $8 or so for a gallon of gas) don't do big cars.  Somehow, though, sedans pulling big horse trailers is extremely comical.  We joined their ranks today with Dad's Mercedes dragging along 2 horses.  Can't resist the irony.

The Biologist's nerves had been exposed and raw for a week.  Could she compete?  I counted around 30 or so other competitors on the board above.  They were crossed off as they took their turns, so the others in the practice ring could keep tabs on when their turns came up.  Also, the riders themselves weren't given numbers (unlike the U.S.)  Instead, the horses were numbered.

She did great!  Shows are judged differently than U.S. shows.  They seem to be looking intensely at the "in-between the jumps" precision.  (If you speak jumping or dressage-ese, I 'm talking leads and lead changes here.)  I think she was more worried about remembering to 'salute' to the judges and the order of the course.

The show itself was held at a Reiterpension (hotel and stable where your horse can stay as well) about an hour away. The breathtaking drive as the sun rose over the horizon made up for rising at dark-thirty.  Apparently these are big operations over here.  This one even had a restaurant and bar overlooking the arena.  My favorite European contraption was this huge sun lamp, I'm assuming to warm up the equine competitors during the winter months.

It has been amazing to watch this last year and a half, this girl take her passion to another country, learn the new Deutsch words and customs for her sport. She has worked and worked, and now she is up to competition level again.

 Mama is proud! What a great day!


  1. Congratulations on her determination and joy!

  2. You know, TheHighCalling.org is inviting people to link up posts on the theme of "crossing cultures" to our community writing project, hosted by Dena Dyer.


    You probably have dozens of posts that would fit even better, but this is a nice comparison of your daughter's Stateside experience with horse shows and her first German show.

    I invite and encourage you to link up--you have such a unique perspective to offer. Your stories of crossing cultures would be so fascinating to share. Feel free to dip into your archives and link up something you've already written.

    Here is the explanation at the THC.org site:



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