“You and Anton are kindred spirits.” My coach Belinda Trussell said this to me on a day she had been riding her Grand Prix mount Anton.
“Is that because we are both ‘elders’?” I asked.
“It’s because you both have so much energy! And because you are both older.” Belinda replied.
WHO IS ANTON?
Belinda hoped to take Anton to the Olympics in London 2012. But fate had other plans. Anton sustained an injury that was rare and difficult to fix. After all avenues of veterinary treatment had been explored the decision was made that he could not go to London and even worse……he would be retired. But again fate had other plans. Paul Wood, the equine massage therapist who worked on Belinda’s horses, gave Anton a treatment once a month. After several months in ‘retirement’ Paul told Belinda he thought Anton was depressed without a job and asked her to get on him and just take him for a walk. Then, behind the scenes, veterinarian Usha Knabe, in cahoots with Belinda’s assistant Lynsey Rowan, started to work some magic on Anton with chiropractic and acupuncture. In order not to disappoint Belinda this was kept a secret.
But…… Anton came back. He came back and once he was brought back up to peak fitness he went to the World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France in 2014. In 2015 he competed at the Pan American Games in Toronto
Then in 2016 Belinda rode him in the Rio Olympics.
Now Anton has a new job. He is teaching Abbey Simbrow how to ride a Grand Prix horse. Just FYI you can have a Grand Prix horse but it does not mean you an just get on and ride and compete in Grand Prix dressage. Getting the knowledge required for that level takes time; the rider must make a connection with the horse as well as learning all the Grand Prix movements. A schoolmaster like Anton can help and that is what he is doing now with Abbey.
Anton is now 19 years old. This does not mean he is geriatric. Far from it. If Anton is not ridden for two days…..look out! His energy will be through the roof. I think that sometimes Abbey might be tempted to say: “Anton, act your age!” It was on one of those high energy days, when Belinda had been riding him recently, she made the comment about us being “kindred spirits.”
How are we kindred spirits?
I have also come through some health hiccups. There have been times when it was not clear how it was going to turn out. But I’m still here and still riding and still competing . Thanks to Biasini I love the training, the competing and also just the riding of a wonderful horse. Do I have a lot of energy? Sometimes after one of Belinda’s lessons I feel I could do with a bit more but over all I feel like I have enough energy to go to the gym and to ride on a daily basis.But I do take weekends off.
So I am happy to be a kindred spirit with Anton. He is a wonderful horse and I am happy to be linked with him.