Safri has had a good year. He trotted out just slightly off in the spring, so a summer project started: resocialization after a year of hanging out! I handwalked him for a month or two, and when he showed no signs of soreness we moved on to the next step. Our friend PJ took over, working with him starting on the ground three times a week. He fairly quickly remembered all his manners and really enjoyed going farther and farther afield. Finally, on went a saddle and they progressed to short hacks at the walk by the time the summer was done. He certainly hasn't gotten smaller, and PJ isn't tall (but she's mighty!).
No ill effects, so back to rest and relaxation for the winter. He's enjoying periodic walks - and very prepared, as you can see. This is December 2012.
We'll keep walking!
Thank you, Gunnar & Birgit.....
The beginning of the journey.
I met Gunnar and Birgit Ostergaard when they travelled to Windswept for Gunnar to give a clinic. Tee and I found ourselves encouraged and impressed, and we travelled back and forth to Chester to work with them - Tee even got to be a Deerwood Farm horse for a month or two when finances permitted (they were good sports). In 2006 they imported Safri, a 4 yo DeNiro X Ibikus Danish warmblood and I was hooked. We worked out a training package, and he became part of the family in August of 2006 - a big step, but so much fun.
I learned a tremendous amount in the time I spent with them both in Vermont and in Florida. Both are excellent instructors; between that and working on basics with Tee & Mike at home my riding really improved; there is nothing like being able to ride a horse that is correctly trained when you are an amateur rider, and nothing like being able to watch upper level lessons again and again and just absorb the information. It was like going to school - perfect for me, and a great escape from the pressures of work, too. Also got to meet GREAT people - like Roseanna DeMaria. Check out Roseanna's account of her experience under publications ("Training with the Ostergaards") at http://www.demariagroup.com/inthenews.html; also, check out her writing on leadership while you are there!