Although the cold, raw autumn weather was not exactly inviting for guests to attend such an event, the last morning work session of the year in fact attracted a record number of visitors. The Rosenhof team set up a beer-tent heating system in the indoor school which created a pleasant temperature there so that guests were able to enjoy the morning programme as well as the afternoon events in a good atmosphere.
The actual morning work session again consisted of a varied range of presentations from breaking in a young horse to high school movements. The P.R.E. stallion "Nadal", owned by the Anja Beran Foundation was presented for the first time under the saddle. Afterwards the Westphalian stallion "Blockbuster" under Vera Munderloh demonstrated important steps in a horse's basic training. Preparation of a young horse for piaffe or Spanish walk was also explained using "Blockbuster" as an example.
The P.R.E. stallion "Ofendido" under Anja Beran presented playful transitions from piaffe to passage and vice versa as well as the Spanish walk and first stages of the Spanish trot. The Westphalian gelding "Flamingo" captivated the audience with 2-tempi changes on the circle, attractive pirouettes and a light-footed passage. A particular focus of the somewhat crowd-shy Lipizzaner stallion "Favory Toscana" was on the development of the extended trot. Prepared by piaffe and passage transitions, he already showed powerful extended trotting steps.
To finish Anja Beran rode the popular Lusitano stallion "Pao". He playfully presented piaffe, passage, cantering on the spot, as well as pirouette performances.
After the lunch break, when guests had the opportunity to admire the colourful pictures of the artist Yvonne Gärtner, our guest of honour gave a talk on this morning work session: Dr. Jaromir Oulehla! As former director of the Spanish RIding School in Vienna, and Piber Stade Stud, he was able to give a very highly qualified insight into the history, the present state and also the future development of classical equestrianism.
The interactive talk on the subject of "The correct seat" with Vera Munderloh and Veronika Brod got everyone up from their seats and motivated them to participate in gymnastic exercises of the physiotherapist and dancing instructor.
Many visitors were so enthusiastic about this concept that they immediately asked about when it would be possible to experience a repeat performance: on 25 November at the Anja Beran Foundation Symposium in Circus Krone Veronika Brod will also be present and, together with Vera Munderloh, will give a talk about the rider's posture and will demonstrate some very good exercises and, of course, invite the audience to join in!
Three grey horses were trained in the arena whilst visitors were arriving for the September morning work session. The Lipizzaner stallion "Favory Toscana" under Vera Munderloh, the Lusitano stallion "Quilate" under Anna Jantscher and the P.R.E. stallion "Ofendido" under Anja Beran. Half-passes, flying changes, piaffes and passages gave visitors a foretaste of what was to come.
The morning work session then got underway with a demonstration of breaking in a young horse: Girasol, from the "Neuguet" Stud in Switzerland, demonstrated the first stages in the life of a young horse. The P.R.E. gelding is owned by the Anja Beran Foundation and, at a later stage, is intended to help train young pupils.
The Hanoverian gelding "For all Seasons" under Anna Jantscher continued the training series: Basic gaits, transitions and first lateral movements all featured in his repertoire.
The Lusitano stallion "Urpital" under Jasmin Gärtner already presented some higher school movements in a double bridle and bridoon bit. Furthermore, Anja Beran mentioned the necessity of a supple and independent seat.
The Oldenburger mare "San Remo" came to Gut Rosenhof for correction purposes. Meanwhile she has gained confidence and under Vera Munderloh shows half-passes, first piaffe steps, the beginning of the Spanish walk and first flying canter changes.
The P.R.E. stallion "Leviton" completed a very harmonious ride, showing piaffe, passage, extended trot and Spanish trot in playful interchange and without visible influence by his rider Vera Munderloh.
And Westphalian gelding "Flamingo" once again was an important part of the programme. On this particular day the sensitive chestnut horse was extremely relaxed so pirouettes and flying changes a 2 tempi on the circle succeeded extremely well.
The small Lusitano stallion "Novilunio" completed the morning with a performance reflecting excellent impulsion and even some single tempi changes.
As always, there were numerous questions from the visitors which Anja Beran was pleased to answer with her usual expertise.
In the lunch break there was an opportunity to admire the large, expressive pictures by the Berlin artist Maike Josupeit, before the programme continued in the afternoon with a talk by the vet Georg Rattenhuber on the subject of "first aid" for the horse.
This third morning work session in 2012 again provided the numerous guests with an interesting and varied programme:
The first stages in the life of a young horse as well as further training to the stage of changing from the snaffle to the double bridle were demonstrated and described in detail. This time also visitors had plenty of questions to ask as well as requesting tips about how to deal with problems with their own horse. The Lusitano stallion “Regedor” gave spectators a first taste of what to expect during the morning. Following the words of welcome by the host, Professor Nüssler, the Westphalian stallion “Blockbuster” came into the arena to demonstrate work with a remonte. This time the Friesian stallion “Gawain” was also present again. For “Gawain” classical dressage was not only gymnastics, on account of his orthopaedic problems it was also a kind of physiotherapy. Anja Beran - on horseback - then explained the phenomenon of natural crookedness. Riding P.R.E. stallion “Ofendido”, she demonstrated a variety of exercises and lateral movements which can help to straighten a horse.
Maintaining traditions is an important mission of the Anja Beran Foundation therefore this time Vera Munderloh rode the Lusitano stallion “Vinho” side saddle and was even able to present piaffe and passage, applying the aids with just one leg.
The work in hand extending to completely free communication with the horse, was presented by Anja Beran together with the Lusitano stallion “Olé”, who was only wearing a neck ring for this presentation.
High school movements such as piaffe, passage, Spanish trot, extended trot and canter changes from two tempi to single tempi were demonstrated by the stallions “Favory Toscana”, “Novilunio” and “Pao" under Vera Munderloh, fondation equestrian pupil Anna Jantscher and Anja Beran, who emphasised a number of times t hat, despite all the difficult movements, ultimately “légèrité" is what must always be in the foreground. Because without légèrité it is impossible for a horse to be in balance, and balance is ultimately the prime aim of dressage!
An art exhibition as well as an interactive lecture on the subject of body awareness and body control by rider Vera Munderloh and dancing instructress and physiotherapist Veronika Brod, made an attractive afternoon programme and invited guests to spend some time at Gut Rosenhof.
Despite the almost frosty weather conditions which prevailed on Mothers’ Day, numerous guests nevertheless attended the first Sunday Morning Work Session of the year. Before the event got underway, Anja Beran rode the impressive bay Lusitano stallion “Regedor”, as has almost become an established tradition at these events. "Regedor" was very relaxed and fully concentrated. Thus, for the first time, in addition to piaffes, passages, pirouettes and the Spanish walk, he was also able to do two tempi canter changes and ultimately also successful single tempi changes. As a reward he had the opportunity to roll freely afterwards in the indoor riding school, which he did with enormous pleasure and without the slightest regard for the numerous spectators present. This was a huge expression of trust on the part of this horse whose complicated character makes him somewhat unpredictable.
Anja Beran and her team, consisting of expert rider Vera Munderloh and pupil Anna Jantscher, together with the young Westphalian stallion “Blockbuster”, demonstrated how to break in a young, completely inexperienced horse. All the stages, from lunging with the cavesson to first tacking up and cautious backing on the lunge, were shown and explained. Although at the beginning the stallion was very excited by the large number of guests, after a few minutes he had been persuaded to concentrate on the task on hand and presented his elastic, ground-covering gaits.
Work with a remonte was presented by Anna Jantscher on the Leutstetten mare “Hovirac”. This very noble and refined mare, bred by Prince Luitpold of Bavaria, is one of the last of her type – the Leutstetten breed is threatened by extinction.
Hovirac was ridden in relaxed style and with subtle aids in the basic paces, wearing only a simple snaffle. Subsequently, with Anja Beran’s support, she demonstrated first attempts at lateral movements and the important exercise of stepping over on a volte. Her performance also included calm, neat standing and the beginnings of the Spanish walk.
Jasmin Gärtner and the Lusitano stallion “Urpital” were the next pair to enter the arena. Anja Beran explained the importance of the lateral movements in improving crooked or stiff horses. “Urpital” and Jasmin underlined the explanations by presenting lateral movements in all three basic paces.
The Lusitano “Olé” once again had an important role to play. The work in hand always seems light and playful with him and thus, this time also, spectators had the opportunity to admire lateral movements, piaffes, passages, indeed even canter in hand, the Spanish walk and the kneeling exercise. In order to be able to explain precisely to visitors how a horse can be taught how to “kneel”, Vera Munderloh brought the palomino-coloured Lusitano stallion “Campeao” into the arena. With the aid of a foot lunge and an ample supply of carrots, the exercise became something of a game.
The Lusitano stallion “Novilunio” under Anna Jantscher performed at an advanced level. Half passes at trot and canter, piaffes, trot extensions and canter changes to single tempi changes featured in the repertoire.
Subsequently Anja Beran rode the P.R.E. stallion “Ofendido” and commentated on her work from the saddle. This keen horse presented particularly impressive piaffes and passages and superb “playful” transitions between the highly collected movements. Without any visible leg aids the impressive stallion “glided” from one exercise into another, whereby Anja Beran pointed out the importance of an upright body and particularly the stomach muscles of the rider, because this is essential in riding without visible aids. Polka steps, the beginning of the Spanish trot as well as the Spanish walk were shown at the end of the ride throughout which “Ofendido” consistently tried to impress the public with great gestures. At the end he stood still and turned his head around to his rider to ask for his rewarding treat – much to the spectators’ delight!
Pao, the snow-white Lusitano stallion was the last horse in the Sunday programme. Here also Anja Beran commentated from the saddle. Lateral movements, cantering on the spot, pirouettes and of course the piaffe and passage were performed. A piaffe in the descente de main illustrated how independent this horse is from the rider’s hand and how well he is ridden on the seat aids.
Between the individual rides guests had the opportunity to ask questions to which Anja Beran gladly responded with information and useful tips. The lunch break, which most visitors made use of despite the cool temperatures, was followed by the second part of the programme.
For the first time expert rider Vera Munderloh gave a talk, in collaboration with the physiotherapist and dancing instructress Veronika Brod, on the importance of the seat, particularly an “upright upper body”. Together they pointed out the “problem zones” of the majority of riders before encouraging the spectators to join them in performing some gymnastic exercises. The spectators were so enthusiastic that virtually nobody remained seated (perhaps also on account of the very cold weather) and very soon the indoor riding school had become more like a gym. This was a wonderful opportunity for all present to consciously improve their coordination and body consciousness and at the same time to put it into practice. Vera Munderloh and Veronika Brod received a lot of positive feedback in connection with this activity!
On 3rd June the next Sunday morning work session will take place, hopefully with good summer weather and, once again, a slightly different programme. So you can look forward to a few surprises…
This time Anja Beran and her team presented almost exclusively warmblood horses and convincingly demonstrated how well these horses can also be ridden with very fine application of the aids.
The young Hanoverian Wallach “For all Seasons”, by the famous showjumper “For Pleasure” aroused great enthusiasm amongst spectators with his elegance and dynamic movement under Anna Jantscher riding impressively with extremely subtle aids.
The Oldenburg mare “San Remo” by Sandro Song originally came to Gut Rosenhof as a problem horse, and now he clearly proves that patience and empathy can lead to success in even the most difficult of cases. Half passes, first piaffes and passages and initial attempts at the Spanish walk were already quite successful.
The Westphalian “Flamingo” under Vera Munderloh was again an established part of the programme and presented increasing confidence and calmness in flying changes at canter. He demonstrated the development of the extended trot from the passage in exemplary style and it could be clearly recognised that a horse, introduced to the movements in such a way, does not lean on the reins.
P.R.E. stallion “Maestro” under Anna Jantscher gave an overview of the movements and, this time riding in a snaffle, presented the piaffe, passage, Spanish walk, canter change, extended trot and the initial stages of the Spanish trot.
Riding P.R.E. stallion “Ofendido”, Anja Beran explained how a horse learns to understand the transition from walk to piaffe, or to passage or to trot. “Ofendido” mastered the task correctly and in response to invisible aids.
The artist Eva Jaeckle from Switzerland made a special contribution of a different nature to the morning work session with her art exhibition comprising pictures of the Avenches and Marbach Studs.
In the afternoon Vera Munderloh and Veronika Brod gave a talk on the subject of the correct seat. They practised various gymnastic exercises and contortions together with the spectators in order to improve their body awareness and coordination. The spectators made full use of the opportunity and participated enthusiastically.
The second Sunday morning work session this year once again had a few highlights to offer – not only in the indoor riding school but also in the lunging hall which had been temporarily converted into a gallery. The artist Renate Blank presented her work there. Her sketches and paintings always describe the core of classical equestrianism and impress by their atmosphere and brilliance. The numerous visitors were very impressed and experienced great pleasure in looking at the pictures.
Whilst guests were arriving Anja Beran, in accordance with what has almost become tradition here, rode the impressive Lusitano stallion “Regedor”. Subsequently the programme began with a young Palomino stallion which was just having first experiences with a rider. Vera Munderloh lunged “Royal Color”, the large, powerful Oldenburg stallion which, incidentally, is a son of Rohdiamant. In the addle was Anna Jantscher who tried to familiarise the young horse with the forward-driving leg aids and collecting rein aids. Anja Beran commented on the important interplay between the lunger and rider in this early, sensitive phase of training.
The correct seat and effective influence were the theme of the next ride. Jasmin Gärtner on the black Spanish stallion “Hechicero” elegantly demonstrated how these can be combined. After the kneeling exercise with Hechicero the spectators wanted to know how a horse can learn that and therefore Vera Munderloh and Anja Beran demonstrated with the Lusitano stallion “Campeao” how a horse can best be taught to kneel.
The powerful Friesian stallion „Gawain“ under Anna Jantscher showed how a horse which used to be very lame can be straightened and become healthy again as a result of good gymnasticising. Thus the black horse ultimately showed piaffe and passage, Spanish walk and even flying canter changes, with only very subtle influence by the rider.
Vera Munderloh gave a very special performance for the surprised guests when she came into the arena riding the Lusitano stallion “Super” side saddle. With impressive lightness she presented various lateral movements, piaffes, passages, pirouettes, Spanish walk and Spanish trot and then did the kneeling movement before leaving the arena. Once again it was clearly demonstrated that old traditions are carefully preserved at Gut Rosenhof.
Work in hand with the Lusitano “Olé” is virtually a compulsory part of the programme. His light, dancing steps always delight the spectators and, however, also lead some of them to believe that his light, dance-like work in hand is very easily learned.
The Lipizzaner stallion “Favory Toscana” under Vera Munderloh was the next horse to enter the arena. Tempi changes in each gait as well as half-passes, piaffes, passages, counter-canter, first attempts at the pirouette as well as the polka, the Spanish walk and the Spanish trot were all included in the repertoire.
After every ride the guests were able to ask questions, an opportunity of which they made full use. “When do you start riding your horses in a double bridle?” – ”What do you think of hyperflexion?” - “Do you train horses first for the piaffe or the passage?” are just some examples of the questions which spectators asked Anja Beran. The competent and detailed answers meant that the event soon went into "overtime" but neither spectators nor active participants were consciously aware of this - they were so involved in the subject of classical dressage.
The small Lusitano stallion „Novilunio“ under Anna Jantscher finally demonstrated the progression from series changes to single tempi changes and concluded his performance with a spectacular extended trot.
The last horse of the morning was the P.R.E. stallion “Ofendido” under Anja Beran. She commentated on her ride from the saddle and concluded the morning work session with numerous completely effortless piaffe-passage transitions which the grey horse executed with enthusiasm as well as pride.
After the lunch break, with beautiful sunshine, the well-informed visitors were able to hear a talk about the structure of a saddle and the latest fitting methods. Robert Götzenberger of Kieffer saddlemakers had brought plenty of material with him for visitors to inspect and he engaged in informed discussions with interested riders.
The next morning work session will take place on 1st July. Anja Beran and her team will once again be presenting guests with a very pleasant as well as highly informative event!