Germany- June 11, 2015 – My first week in Europe has been quite an adventure. Sjapoer arrived with a little piece missing: his tail! I guess he must have rubbed it on something, which was new for him. It makes me want to cry as he always has had the most beautiful tail. I am seriously considering a weave. Haha.
When I arrived in Dusseldorf there was a mix-up on the rental car so I had to adjust my plan on the fly. I grabbed a train into Dorsten and then a taxi to my hotel. The hotel is a little B & B style place with a very nice lady running it. She is taking great care of us and the food is good. I think we are all gaining weight with all the rich foods. We do some shopping at the grocery store. Between Genay [Vaughn] and I together, our German is OK for shopping.
Jessica [Hainsworth], Genay and I have been staying together and we basically have the entire top floor to ourselves. There is a little spiral staircase out to a small widow’s walk with an amazing view. The first day we were all so excited because you can see the big church from the window and it is a breathtaking view. At 5 a.m. when the bells ring every morning the view doesn’t seem quite so important! The city is a typical little German village. Gut Hohenkamp, where we are staying, is a beautiful facility.
[USEF Dressage Youth Coach] George Williams has been coming over every day for lessons, and Sjapoer has been doing well. The cool weather here has really perked him up a bit. I think he feels five years younger. He has been a little frisky.
We have been getting out a little to do some sightseeing after riding. One day we went strawberry picking. The berries tasted really sweet and we had them for dinner on Sunday when EVERYTHING was closed. One afternoon we stepped inside the church – it was so beautiful.
Another afternoon we went for ice cream and we have been to the tack and feed stores a few times. The tack stores here are amazing. I bought bell boots for 14 Euros! It is unbelievable how much variety they keep in stock. Henrik Brinkmann took us to see the foals. Talk about heaven – nothing could be closer to an equestrian’s idea of heaven than baby horses.
I am starting to get excited and ready for Hagen next week. Genay will be headed to Rotterdam. Jessica is doing her usual amazing job being “mom” for everyone. I can’t imagine ever being on a team without her.
I have to again say thanks to everyone that made this amazing adventure possible. I am learning every day and the memories I take from here will be with me forever. I can’t wait to see everyone coming over next week for the CDI. I am grateful for such supportive family, friends and sponsors.