After the whole drama period it was time for me to have some uncomplicated years at the Danish Studfarm Alfarvad!
Alfarvad has a long history of breeding and it is owned and manage by Susanne Hansen, that took over the Stud farm from her father! Susanne and her family :
On Alfarvad it is strictly forbidden to prepair the horses with ofseths and other cruel things, if you buy a Alfarvad Horse you can be sure the horse has not been tricked in any way!
We had weekends off, even the grooms! Susanne had other weekend workers coming to help out! When we ware at the shows in the weekend we had Monday off instead!
I must say that I was very grateful for this, and if I was not finished working the horses like I wanted I stay longer until I felt the job was well done, no matter the time.
In the beginning I was 2 second rider of the great Lone Kroman! I think Lone was 59 years old when I started to work there! She was still riding 8-10 horses a day, not just older safe horses, but also 4 year olds!
Lone rode the Olympic Games in Barcelona and she won the Danish Championship many many times!
She has so much experience with all kinds of horses, she is still the most winning rider the big Stud Farm Ask ever had working for them in Danmark. I am sure you all know Rolf Göran Bengtsson horse Casall Ask.
She was the first rider for Ask before she came to Alfarvad!
How to jump in the young horses in the best way, to make them brave, concentrated, non spooky horses, and also doing everything possible to make sure the rider did not fall of in the process!
Lone was the one who thought me how to get the horses to jump water, and how to work with the horses that are afraid of water.
We would lead them over, at first I thought she must have had a stoke or something, because everybody else told me that you should never let the horse touch the water at the risk that he would learn to not respect it and jump inside it.
So the other people’s solutions ware to gallop after a horse that would jump, hoping the scared or young horse would follow, and if that did not help, you should hit the horse a lot.
To be honest I did not find these methods so effective, because if you have to hit the horse a lot to get him to jump the water, he will most likely be so tense that he would run in panic and then have faults on other jumps.
And I don’t like to hit horses!!
So her method was to lead the horses over the water, first alone and then with the rider!
Then the rider and horse would walk over alone, then trott, and last canter/gallop.
She told me a un careful horse will at one point start to put a foot in the water, and a careful will always jump over anyway!
At least this way the horse will do it relaxed, and most likely be clear on the jumps after the water also!
I remember when we would go to Skårupgaard the whole weekend while driving back and forward! The show would start at 16.00 on Friday, and finish at 21.30, we had ca 2,5 hours to drive home. On sarturday we could start the first horse at 08.00 and start the last at 20.00 in the evening, meaning we would be home at 00.00 on Friday, needing 45 min to put the horse back and clean the tack. Then we had to be at least one hour before the first class Saturday morning, so for being there at 07.00 we had to go from home 05.30, and the grooms had to start to prepare the horses and feed them at least one hour before, if you do the math you can count nobody got a lot of sleep. But we had so much fun, and the horses ware great!
At that time Lone was he only one driving the truck, and at Sunday she would be so tired she could almost fall a sleep behind the wheel, we took turns talking to her, but she could snooze of in the middle of a sentence, like if we ware visiting her in the evening at home, and she was telling us something, suddenly her head fell down and she was sleeping just like that. Luckily she never did that while driving the truck😅
Lone driving to the show
Team building at Fårup Sommerland:
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