Wolffe Dressage
Athletic Fitness


This articles page is actually a newsletter of sorts.  I periodically change out what is here with ideas and questions that are born from work with my current horses and riders.  It may seem random but take a moment and have a look.  You never know, you may find yourself hidden here.

New Beginnings  August 2014

Today, a client’s horse died after a painful battle with laminitis. He was a great and brave little horse.  He was the second of her pre-Grand Prix horses that were so close to their goals but crushed by forces beyond control.  Her next GP prospect waits in the field, ready to be trained to saddle in the next year.  A bruised heart and no fantasy about the work that lies ahead (again), another dressage rider shows the persistence that goes into this sport.  Once again, she prepares for a new beginning.

A new beginning can sometimes eat people alive.  So many times change is forged by circumstances that we’d rather not have to deal with.  Other times, a new beginning can be a refreshing (albeit a little scary) change to a stagnant situation. Either way, change is inevitable.

I thought of all this today when I heard of the loss of Deco.  To me, training horses and their people is so personal, so from the heart.  Bonds between trainers, riders, and horses can run deep and strong.  So much is required of the training team…trust, respect, admiration, faith, commitment… and sometimes these things can be difficult, especially in times of change.

And so it happens that I am a recent transplant to Oregon, a new trainer for this area. I brought my best friend/student and her competition horse with me, along with a silly colt as my own competition horse died in Texas before we left.  As I hang my shingle with the rest of the local trainers, I think of the work that lies ahead (again).  Then I take a deep breath and I smile.  The handful of students that have come to me here already are interested, dedicated, and good workers.  My silly colt just turned three and has changed from a long eared mule into a stunning young man.  So…begin again?  Okay. 

Changing tides will always be…a new trainer, different horse, a new barn, different saddle.  It is the nature of our varied art work, our quest to transform beautiful into amazing.  The very essence of dressage is to enhance and modify the balance and movement of our horses…to change it.   What does this require from us?   It requires our attention, our empathy, a logical brain, a belief in what we are doing, and persistence.  For all our new beginnings, we should strive to live up to these same ideals and in so doing your new horse may be your next champion…your new trainer, a new friend…

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