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the arena. Once all the horses arrived, they were ridden in front of the vet for a final inspection.



PREPARING THE HORSES

The next couple of days as the horses became acquainted with their new setting, we had a chance to get to know each of them under saddle. There was 18 days to ride and prepare them for the auction. On Friday we teamed up in groups of three to five for our first training session with our coach, Jörg Schröder. His role was to polish the overall picture so that we presented the horses to the best of their ability. With only five dressage riders and nearly 18 dressage auction horses we ended up having a few group lessons that afternoon. Only three of the four jumper riders were available to ride in the weeks prior to the auction so we found ourselves riding the jumpers as well. One of my favorite memories was an afternoon ride on

Pondus, a five year old gelding by Power Pilot x Larome. Wolfgang Arnold, the head jumper rider, set up a grid for us to jump through. As he continued building the grid, he managed to squeeze in an oxer at the end that was nearing four feet in height! It was quite the entertainment for anyone watching us “dressage riders” riding over the fences. My background is in three-day eventing, and I still jump the young dressage horses at home on a weekly basis for fun, but it has been awhile since I remember cantering down to such a big oxer. Plus normally I wouldn’t jump horses while wearing my tall stiff König dressage boots with such short stirrups. The blisters behind my knees were all the proof that we needed to show what fun we had that afternoon!

FIRST PRESENTATION

Our first presentation of the horses to the public was held on Sunday evening (13 days before the auction) at the indoor

“What normally takes days, months or even years to find that special horse could potentially happen in a matter of hours at one of these auctions.”



arena, which was located about a quarter of a mile from the training arena and stables. Believe it or not, we would hack these young horses on the sidewalk in the dark across railroad tracks with cars and buses passing us to get to the auction indoor! These young horses had great minds and had been exposed to so much already that they handled it superbly. I was amazed at how sensible they were! For the presentation, two or three horses would be in the main arena at the same time with the commentator giving us

instruction in German. The warm-up arena was the place to be though! A 20 x 40 meter indoor arena adjacent to the big indoor arena was used for warming up the horses. At any given moment, there would be eight or more horses in the warm-up with a jump in the middle and multiple people to dodge. Each group of horses was presented in the main arena to the public for about five minutes, so there were owners and grooms constantly bringing new horses into

The mare Francesca ridden and presented by Kim at the auction. Photo by Olav Krenz

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