The weather hasn’t eased up here at all, and we have had rain, sleet and snow constantly for the last week. I am very, very grateful for the indoor arena and that I don’t have to walk outside at all once we are in the stables. Apparently it is very early in the season to be getting such cold weather, and the south of Germany has already had 15cm of snow. Although I have heard that back home it is getting very hot, so I think I prefer the cold. Just a little temperature difference!
Lotus has been going very well with her training and we are figuring out each other’s buttons as we go. I have now had five rides on her and each time it is getting better and more together. The biggest thing I have found is learning to sit to her extremely expressive trot! It has taken me a few rides to match her rhythm but now the feeling is so amazing I never want to get off! Sometimes I have to remind myself that Lotus is just 7, and she is still learning also.
The week has been fairly busy, with training each afternoon. The jet lag has really started to catch up and each night I am asleep before dinner, but then awake at 4am! We went to the most amazing horse store to buy a few things, and, well I ended up with a lot more than a few things! I needed another training saddlecloth, as I couldn’t fit them on the way over here. So, true to my OCD, once I had found a colour I liked, I just had to have the matching bandages, breeches, jacket and shirt to make the outfit complete!
I joined the local dressage club known as ‘Ankum Dressur’ and we took a drive to their competition grounds near Osnabrück. I will be competing there in 2 weeks with Lotus, and the quality of the riding and the horses are really unlike what you would see at home. The Intermediate II tests were scoring well into the 70% range. The facility is incredible. There are two indoor arenas connected by a walkway, and indoor stables with heat lamps and dryers in the wash bays. Below is their competition arena.
We have had a few interesting moments in our travels already. For example, yesterday morning, I decided to have some waffles for breakfast. I stuck them in the toaster and made the fatal mistake of turning away… next minute: BAM, waffles are on fire. Apparently the Germans are immune to burning things in the toaster because there was no cancel button to eject them from the furnace. I pulled the power plug out in a hurry and the smoke alarm was going crazy. We were then forced to open all the doors and windows to vent the smoke, and allow the snow to blow in to snuff out the flames. I apologise to the rest of the people in the apartments that I woke up with the screeching of the smoke alarm. Oops.
Although we have been to Germany several times before to visit family, it really does take a while to get used to the driving. Once you get past the wrong-side-of-the-road business (and we have only turned onto the wrong side once so far), you will learn that Mercedes drivers think they have the right of way. Anytime. Anywhere. Push bike riders really do have the right of way. Trucks will try and kill you on the Autobahn, and when entering a round-a-bout, think ‘give way to left’, just try to get there first so you don’t have to give way to anybody, and ignore the fact that you feel like you are going backwards around them!
Little Mäuschen is enjoying her solarium after our ride.
Sunday’s are the day off here for the horses from training, so later today I will be heading out to go and see Lotus. She will have a lunge and a bit of a play in the indoor and if the weather is alright (not looking good at the moment!) I will take her for a walk outside. The fields are now closed for the winter season, so we walk mainly around the stable complex. For the rest of the afternoon we will be shopping as all sorts of yummy goodies are now out for Christmas. I have strict orders from my Oma back home that at least one of my empty suitcases are to be filled with Christmas things just for her. We shall see Oma ...