It’s Like Window Shopping at Tiffany’s

When you stroll along New York City’s Fifth Avenue it is hard to go past Tiffany’s without just taking a look . Isn’t it?  Well it is for me.  On Tuesday I had the horse equivalent of going to Tiffany’s; a chance to watch a parade of beautiful horse “jewels”and have one of the top riders and trainers in the dressage world, Andreas Helgstrand. tell us about the history and training of these ‘jewels”.

We arrived early as I wanted to get a good seat at the arena to take photos. The entrance is impressive.

helgstrand-1461

Once inside we went through the stable and out toward the covered arena.

helgstrand-1463

On the way I took a peek at the stalls. Nice!

helgstrand-1465

When we got to the arena, Andreas Helgstrand was there dusting off the seats for the audience.  You can just see him on the left.

helgstrand-1466

Soon the seats were filled and it was standing room only with spectators standing at the back and sides of the arena.  I had a chance to speak with the other Helgstrand  Dressage presenter  Dr. Ulf Moller . He told me that the  Wellington farm has 36 horses and 21 of those horses have been brought from Denmark where Helgstrand Dressage has its’ home base.  The purpose of the evening was to show us their horses and to talk about their training. This is the first winter season that Helgstrand Dressage has been in Wellington and Ulf told me they have horses for sale but also they want to bring education of the European ways of training.

“We don’t  keep secrets to ourselves,” he told me. ” We want to pass on our knowledge, especially about the young horses. We may not have all the answers in the demonstrations but there will be the opportunity for people to ask us any questions. ”

helgstrand-1470
Andreas Helgstrand on the left  and Dr. Ulf Moller on the right.

Andreas welcomed us and told us we would be seeing nine horses, starting with a Grand Prix horse and working  our way through to the young horses of five years of age. The first horse was a schoolmaster horse he had bought for his son so that his son could learn and move up to the Junior and Young Rider levels. But he told his son that if he had this horse he would have to sell one of his ponies. It seems his son did not want to sell any of the ponies just yet.  So the Schoolmaster came to America. This horse is 14 years old and his sire is Bellissimo, who is also the sire of my horse Biasini. So they are half brothers! The rider is Simone who along with Hannes rode all of the horses we saw.

helgstrand-1472

Like Biasini he has a talent for the pirouettes.helgstrand-1491

The second horse was a ten year old Danish Warmblood horse. Andreas told us this horse has all of the  Grand Prix movements but he added: “We still have work to do to finish the horse. This horse has strong  hind legs and this can result in him trying to pull you down. So for him it is better to make him loose in an “up” frame.”helgstrand-1505

The third horse , ten years old, has both Jazz and Sandro Hit in his breeding.  These two stallions have a reputation for having  offspring that are fiery “hot”!  But I have had a Jazz horse and he was the most laid back horse I have ever owned so the mare has a lot to do with the outcome as well!

helgstrand-1521

The fourth horse was a beautiful mare by Bolero. She is a State Premium Mare for breeding  but she has also been very successful as a sport horse.  At seven years old she has her flying  changes and is starting to work on the “tempi” changes. Many people think a mare , especially a chestnut “redhead” mare can be temperamental and difficult. But Andreas told us that this mare had a very nice attitude. The truth is if you get a mare that has a good attitude and who will work for you they can be the best horses to ride. This mare was my idea of a beautiful mover with nice movement of the knees and hocks.  Andreas also said he liked horses that move with their knees and not just straight legs from the shoulder. She was my favorite so I’m putting in two photos of her!

helgstrand-1532

helgstrand-1550

Horse number five was a seven year old, a big horse with a strong hind end. Andreas pointed out to us that he has a “great walk” as well as trot and canter. “Horses today can have no weakness.”he told us. “The basic walk , trot and canter must be very good quality.”helgstrand-1558

Number six was a horse with a talent for Piaffe and Passage as he is a quick mover in the trot.helgstrand-1565

This horse was a bit nervous so Andreas decided that it would be best not to do so much with him and just let him walk and relax. A member of the audience came forward to offer him a treat to help him feel more trusting of the audience of some 275 people.

helgstrand-1568

Andreas’ decision to not push the horse to perform for us showed he cares about the horse and the long term development of a younger horse.  A younger horse comes into his normal arena , where he schools everyday, and lo and behold there are all these people, sitting on chairs and standing all around  the arena. This can be very unsettling for the horse and it shows Andreas is a true horseman in deciding it was more important to give this horse a chance to look around and settle than it was to force him to work while he was so nervous. This gives the horse a chance to have a good experience.

Number seven was a black seven year old horse with a great talent to piaffe and passage. “With this horse you have to be careful he stays forward.” Dr. Moller told us.

helgstrand-1570

 

The eighth horse, also black, was a five year old ridden by Hannes. Andreas mentioned ;  “We do have black horses and we know they are very popular.”  This fad in dressage for black horses is something that saddens me personally, as I am afraid that more and more horses are being bred to be black.  I’m a fan of chestnuts myself and will be sorry to see that color disappear from the Warmbloods. Anyway…..Here is the young black horse ….another star in the making.

helgstrand-1594

The final horse of the evening was a five year old by Zonic. The dressage world has been awed by Zonic ,who was purchased for Dutch rider Edward Gal and is seen as a rising superstar.  The horse we saw is a double of Zonic, black, beautiful and a stunning mover. Sadly the light had faded and taking photos of a black horse against a black sky meant I did not get the best photos of this beautiful horse ridden by Simone.

helgstrand-1611

After this feast of beautiful horses we were invited to adjourn to the stable area for a prosecco or a beer.  Triple Crown Feeds were sponsoring the event and my friend Craig Bernstein ,the Florida Regional Sales Manager for Triple Crown, was pouring the prosecco.    It was a wonderful evening and such a treat to see so many beautiful horses and learn about Andreas’ training of these horses.

I went to sleep  with visions of these horse “jewels” dancing in my head!

 

*WordPress photo challenge “variations on a theme”.*

 

 

29 Comments Add yours

  1. Do you think the horses love what they does? I mean – the shows 🙂 do they feel like a models some way, haha?
    Beautiful entrance…almost like a fairytale 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I think they do like their work. If they don’t it soon becomes clear. Some horses love to show; they love to be in the spotlight. Not all horses are cut out for dressage. I had one that did not like it but she loved to jump and was very successful when I sold her to a jumper rider.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So they are all with a character:)) I knew that ✌️🤓☕️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. shiarrael says:

    Who needs Tiffany’s, give me horses! My kingdom for that mare! ❤

    Stunning pictures, Anne! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      YES! I could not agree more! Thank you for this wonderously enthusiastic comment! It is the first thing i read this morning and it brought a huge smile to my face!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I immediately saw Biasini in the first horse! I actually thought it was him at first glance! Those stalls! That barn! That arena!! And don’t get me started on the horses!! Lol! SO GORGEOUS I don’t have any words! It must be so much fun to watch and learn to by so many great people! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes it was a great evening! Thanks so much for your enthusiastic comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Avery says:

    Wowza. I heard of his new Wellington place. I am not sure if you shared it or I saw it shared by someone else. I feel the same way about mares! You know me. I am glad you liked what you saw and that he allowed that horse to just be a horse when he needed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a night! Wonderful, Well bred, athletes!

    My barn owner’s daughter is supposedly working student at this barn. What a place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Well that would be a good experience with lts of work and discipline expected i think. But fabulous!

      Like

  6. Beautiful creatures 🌹 great photos Anne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you so much! The photos are always a challenge with moving subjects!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. lucky you! was that Simone Pearce riding??? what a treat to see her live as well…was she as brilliant as always?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Yes and yes! So interesting to see these two riders on nine different horses.

      Like

  8. Robyn says:

    Sounds (and looks) like it was a wonderful event! The horses are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your world!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      My pleasure Robyn!

      Like

  9. happyface313 says:

    🙂 Excellent variations.
    Have a very HAPPY day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. sandyjwhite says:

    What a wonderful event, Anne. These horses are drop dead beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      They were and stunning movers as well. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. sandyjwhite says:

        My pleasure.
        Your posts are always informative and enjoyable to read, even for those of us in the ‘non horse people’ group.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anne leueen says:

        Thank you Sandy I really appreciate hearing that from you.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Jeff Rab says:

    Beautiful place! Gorgeous pictures!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      thank you Jeff. It is a beautiful place and it was fun to take the photos!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Laleh Chini says:

    I believe they’re such amazing creatures. I personally love them.😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I love them too. It was such a treat to see so many beautiful horses. Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Laleh Chini says:

        My pleasure 🌺

        Liked by 1 person

I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s