Since late June I have two training horses from Hanneke Knibbe under my care. Both horses provide several new insights and learning moments. I would like to share some of these with you in next news updates. Let’s start with introducing you to the two horses:
Tulipa is a Lusitano mare with a special bloodline. Her grandfather is Novilheiro: the legendary jumping horse belonging to John Whitaker. Her father is a famous bullfighters stallion. Tulipa herself was born on the banks of the Tagus and was brought to the Netherlands at a young age. In the end Hanneke bought her from someone who couldn’t keep Tulipa any longer due to personal circumstances. Tulipa took a big hit from this transfer. She needed some time to come back out of her shell. She shows a lot of classic Veiga blood and can be tempered, stubborn and impatient. However she is also eager to learn, fanatic and a lot of fun. She has had two foals at Hanneke’s place and is now carring another foal of Trovador. Previously she has been trained according to the English dressage methods, but due to Hanneke’s current situation she is untrained and stiff with a lack of muscles.
Silla (in full Hermosilla VII) is a PRE mare. She was also born wild, but then in Ibiza. When she was 5 years old she was brought to a wholesale in the Netherlands. This transition did not go well: she had completely lost it, was very confused and couldn’t get used to standing in a stable. She was not approachable and showed behavioral problems. In the end she was sold to someone who trained her under the saddle. Sadly it all had to be done very quick, because she was meant to be sold again. And so, against the advice of others, Hanneke decided to buy her. The rehabilitation has taken a long time, but with a lot of patience and going outside with other horses, she is doing fine now. She is a sweet, but sensitive mare that is doing fine now, but little needs to happen to get her stressed out again. She responses to very small signals and mirrors you a lot. She also has not been trained for a long time and has, in contrast to Tulipa, almost no experience with the saddle.
I have been training these horses for almost two months now and we take things really slow. I took the time to get to know and trust eachother. In the beginning seperating them from the group and taking them to the riding arena was already a big problem. Everything was scary and they kept neighing to eachother. In the meantime this is going a lot better. From day one Tulipa was interested in playing/working with me. Soon she started to trust me and because she already understands the aids, we were able to start training groundwork and handwork. However when she doesn’t understand what I mean she gets insecure, nervous and tempered. Luckily she is able to let the stress go again as soon as we take a break or go back to the easier exercises.
In the beginning Silla was not interested in me at all. She would ignored me when I would walk into her stable. She would inflate some kind of bubble around her and would just keep staring out the window. That is why her training started in her stable. Waiting until she would look at me and rewarding her when she showed some interest has made her realize that it is actually kinda interesting if I walk into her stable. After all, showing interest in the trainer and her brushes might yield a reward! She is also starting to be more and more at ease in the riding arena. Eventhough she still regularly gets scared, it becomes more easy for her to let it go and be relaxt again. Now I can slowly start teaching the aids and prepare her for some handwork.