As I sit here looking back over my first month at Oakside Stud there has been so much going on here in such a short time.
Two weeks after arriving at Oakside it was my nineteenth birthday and I was lucky enough to have my parents drive over to visit me. Arriving on Saturday afternoon after driving all day with a boot full of things I’d managed to leave behind, Mum, Dad and the dogs were very happy to pile out of the car and have a look around the property. After meeting some of the horses here and a tour of the house and grounds , we headed off to explore historical Hahndorf.
I hadn’t spent a lot of time in the actual village of Hahndorf so it was great to have some time to get to know my new home town. Streets lined with historical European-style stone buildings and a range of (mostly tourist-oriented) shops including bakeries, restaurants, German pubs, organic skin care parlours and handbag shops made for a very interesting place and we went back on the Sunday for another look, as well as going into Adelaide. While Dad was here I made the most of his handyman skills and my room was updated with more shelves for clothes storage, fairy lights (as every teenage girl’s room requires) and a light in my wardrobe – thanks Dad!
On the Monday it was back to work for me but Mum watched me ride four of the horses here – Sandro Black Ice, Alfredo II, Anton K and Danson Bellissima. Naturally she fell in love with all of them as I have and it was really exciting to share with her what I’m doing over here. Now when I talk to her about my rides she can picture the horses and put names to the faces. I was very sad to say goodbye to Mum, Dad and the dogs (especially Sausage) after having such a lovely couple of days with them but I was so grateful for the huge effort they made to come and see me and help me settle in here even more – I am a very lucky girl to have such supportive, generous parents!
As I have settled into more of a rhythm here I have started riding a few more horses:
Southern Pryde is a seven year old show jumper belonging to Anthony. I have been bringing him back into work after an accident which left him blind in one eye and have been riding him for just over a week now. ‘Prydey’ is adjusting really well to accommodate for his loss of vision and has been very sensible and soft to ride. He has a huge, scopey canter so I can’t wait to put him over some fences!
Macarthur Scotland is a four year old Swarovski gelding who is definitely one of the favourites. ‘Trumpet’ is a very classy young horse and, although green, has such rideable paces it is impossible not to love him! The more I work him, the more he begins to understand his job and I’m excited for the horse he is becoming.
I was also lucky enough to have a ride of Levitation NZPH and Southern Warlock – two horses who need no introduction! I must admit I was nervous to get on these two very athletic, tuned horses after they’d been out for a spell and in such cold, windy weather but I was pleasantly surprised -they are two of the sweetest, most genuine horses I have ever ridden and I had a lot of fun on them!
Oakside is a very happening place at the moment with new horses arriving every few days. From young horses coming in from spells to horses arriving for training and new agistees, there is never a dull moment and we are quickly becoming very busy! For me the most exciting new arrival was my darling Danson Wolkenaction who arrived on the 13th July. A huge thanks to Goldners who transported him so expertly – he arrived looking fit, healthy, relaxed and happy! I would recommend them any day. A few tears of joy were shed at having Action with me again and he settled in like he’s lived here all his life. He loves his huge, rubber lined stable and has fallen in love with the horse paddocked next to him. Much of Action’s calmness has to be credited to our AMAZING stable hand Georgi Ker who has looked after him expertly and made sure his move was easy. Georgi is an absolute wonder woman and we are so lucky to have her here!! Action has come back into work after his little break better than ever and I’m excited to start training him under Heather once the weather fines up a little and we can get some real work done – look out Action Man!
This week I was lucky enough to groom for Heather at a Rodger Fitzhardinge clinic which she attended with Danson Donnerking and Don Duchovny. Rodger was very insightful and it was great to see how he went about tweaking the way the horses were going – now to apply this to my own riding! A sharp reaction off the leg, forward laterals, straightness and keeping the horse really round and through were key points Rodger made to a number of riders and it clearly improved the horses’ ways of going.
I have learned so much already in the short time I have been here and the experience of riding a number of different types of dressage and jumping horses, as well as being surrounded by coaching of the level of Rodger, Anthony and Heather has been invaluable. Whilst the weather has been less than ideal (this morning I rode in rain so heavy I couldn’t see and when I went inside my skin was purple) the experience has been wonderful and I must say I do love my job!
I promised photos of the horses but unfortunately I don’t have enough internet to upload them right now so I will try and get them through ASAP!
There are more new arrivals coming in the near future and I will be making my South Australian competition debut this weekend so watch this space!! Exciting things to come!