The leaves are now beginning to turn lovely shades of gold, orange and red as we head further into Autumn. We have now had two weeks of solid rain, but finally it looks to be clearing. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the rain, but you do get over it. It is very beautiful here this time of year, and the shops are now beginning to display Christmas decorations. There is just something about the cold weather that makes it all the more festive!
Training has been going very well. Lotus is growing into her personality, and now she is comfortable with us, she is letting her cheeky side show. Each day we practice our Volte’s, simple changes and our halts as this is where we have a bit of trouble. Briana jokes I am too much of an eventer; always wanting to go fast! Lotus and I both have to learn to ‘Sitzen!’ or sit on our butts. Each day I am learning to sit more on my seat bones and balance through my body rather than on my hands, but boy is my core getting a work out. Maybe one day I will actually get that six-pack?
We have our first competition on Thursday at Ankum where we have entered the L class; equivalent to elementary/medium at home. Trying to learn the test is an experience, as my Dressage book here is naturally all in German. I am a little nervous about it, but excited at the same time. It will really be a fantastic experience. We have discovered that Lotus’ favourite treat is a little biscuit-like thing called ‘mint-snackies’ and she goes CRAZY for them! I am making almost daily commutes to the tack shop to keep her supply stocked up.
Lotus' favourite treats!
This week Mum and I took a drive to Düsseldorf Flughafen to collect Briana’s new groom, Ian. The three hour trip home was hilarious as three crazy Aussie’s were set loose on the Autobahn, and we got lost, ended up on the wrong side of the road works barrier and missed the turn off to Münster because we were so busy laughing. We delivered him safely to the stables but Ian has his work cut out for him here with the move to the new stables looming.
In the spare time we have been having during the mornings, Mum and I have been taking advantage of the weather and going for a bike ride through the forest. Perhaps this was not the brightest idea, as on our first ride I stacked it majorly on the concrete. I have since learnt that when one pulls the front brake, the bike will stop suddenly and the rider will be propelled off the front of the bike! I don’t fall off bikes are gracefully as I fall from horses and I turned up to training that afternoon sporting my war-wounds and a grapefruit-sized bruise. Apparently I am now banned from doing anything other than riding Lotus.
We have settled in here very well and I am finding I am less dependent on the GPS to get around, although I have to say it wasn’t really so good at helping in the first place. Sunday’s are rest days here, and absolutely everything is closed! We learnt this the hard way last weekend when we tried to find a supermarket open to by dinner. We failed, and I can’t even remember what we had for dinner but I don’t think it was much.
We are on the hunt for a little car to get around as I really underestimated how cold it would get here so quickly. I am not so keen to ride a pushbike around in the snow. With the new stables moving 30mins away, it is also a bit far to ride twice a day. I want something really old-school German but apparently I don’t need to look like I am trying to take over the world!
My Dressage test above - for those of you who can read German!