A big update from Emily!

14 Jul

Sunday July, 11th

The Practice of Waiting

So… after starting the trip on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, we finally arrived at Hof Kasselmann at 6:00 in the evening. It was quite the trip. WakeUp was a rockstar!  Our first stop was Kentucky. From there he got to stay in the layover barn of Brook Ledge. He was happy to stretch his legs in the Kentucky pastures and get a little R&R.  I waited. Friday afternoon Brook Ledge brought WakeUp, me and 5 other horses to New York. We dropped one horse off. That was quite a trick… letting the horse walk on a plank from one semi to the other! J I slept on the hay in front of WakeUp’s box stall for most of the trip… but it does get loud back there!  Finally we were in NYC at 5:30 on Saturday morning.  There the horses got to once again rest and I once again waited. J Paul from Mersant was extremely nice took me to get coffee and lunch.  I think I would have been so lost without him guiding me through the process. Thank you Paul! The vet came to check the horses and they then boarded another truck to take them to the cargo area at about 6:00pm.  I was so nervous to let him go alone. I had to check in, go through security and board as usual before I could visit him in the cargo area.  The staff of KLM was great.  The woman in charge of the horses was so kind and explained everything to me.  There were two horse crates on the plane which was half passenger and half cargo.  WakeUp had his own and then two mares with their foals had the other. All the horses did great on the flight. It was a bit hot at first, but I must say that once we got in the air it was super smooth and much easier than trailering I think. Take off and landing was interesting and I expected the horses to get very nervous but WakeUp was just thinking that somebody was driving rather poorly. J During the 7 hour flight, he ate hay that I dunked in water for him (any little moisture to help, right?) and drank a good bucket and a half of water!  We landed in Amsterdam at 11:05 on Sunday morning.  The entire crates were then taken to the Amsterdam holding barn.  Unfortunately, they could not leave the crates until the vet came and inspected them again.  This took a couple hours (of waiting). Then we had to make it through customs (another waiting hour). Luckily, everyone was super nice, WakeUp was falling asleep in his crate and I had plenty of coffee.   Finally, we were off on the last leg of the journey.  This four hour truck ride from Amsterdam into Germany was accented by pouring rain and ten minute naps.  As we arrived at Hof Kasselmann in Hagen, went through the gates and saw the famous ring with the stands and flags, I think it finally hit me. WakeUp and I were in Germany!!!

After getting WakeUp settled, Dr. Muller himself came and brought me to my hotel. It is such a cute room right besides a church. He then came and picked me up around 7:30 to join the Kasselmann’s barbeque and watch the World Cup!  It was wonderful to meet everyone although I don’t think I will remember all the names! I met a lovely family from Australia. A group of Asian riders is here to try to qualify for the Asian games.  It was such a beautiful home and wonderful meal! However, I think my three favorite parts of the evening were 1) getting to put WakeUp in a stall piled full of straw and telling him he could rest now 2) taking a real shower for the first time in way too long and 3) falling asleep in a bed!

Thanks everyone!


Monday July, 12th

So… why did I wake up at 5 am???  Guess I have to start this trip out right though?! So I wandered around the little town and went to a bakery of course!  Luckily, I still had some Euros from the last trip to Germany and got delicious raisin brotchen. Then off to the barn. Luckily, it is only a ten minute walk from the hotel.  WakeUp was up and munching on his hay.  The barn was already bustling at 6:30. I walked around and tried to get my bearings. This is no small job mind you… there are over 200 horses, 5 outdoor rings, 3 indoors, a walker and multiple other barns/houses/sheds.  The place is gorgeous with cobblestone walkways and flowers everywhere.  I finally found Dr. Muller in the smaller riding ring. He was on a 3 year old (I would have guessed a 5 yoJ) and wished him happy birthday. When I asked if he had gotten a cake yet, he replied that he hadn’t. This was his 5th horse of the morning, so he hadn’t had time. Mind you, it was about 7:30 am!  I was then invited to join the staff for breakfast. It was a fun group of about twenty all having breakfast after morning chores.

Dr. Muller suggested I go ahead and lightly ride WakeUp this morning. He said that it is often safer to be on their back and working a little than hand walking. So I did a short little ride on the Wakey and he was really good! I then took him out on the track, let him see the outside rings and get a feel of everything. He was so perfect! The only thing that startled him was the statue of a running foal. J

Well… I best get back to the barn to keep absorbing. Everyone is so talented and nice too boot. I think I am going to really enjoy this month!

Tonight I am invited to a German Barbeque for Dr. Muller’s birthday. So far the Germans are living up to their partying standards! J

Thanks to everyone that made this possible!


Tuesday July 13, 2010

It is the second day that I am here and I am trying to fill into a routine.  I am in charge of feeding the horses in WakeUp’s barn in the morning so that is a good start.  Then I went out to watch some of the riders in the outdoor rings.  They start riding at 6 am, so many were already on the third horse when I started watching at 7:00.  Frau Kasselmann was getting instruction from a lovely man who comes from Warendorff every Tuesday or Wednesday.  It is nice to see that Frau Kasselmann still rides and not only the easy ones.  She is obviously in charge and respected. J

WakeUp is definitely settling in. How do I know? He had to whinny to all the ladies in the pastures today whereas yesterday he hardly noticed them.  He has also decided that he can’t eat anymore.  He seems abnormal and only eats when he doesn’t feel comfortable??  Finally, he was a bit fresher today when I rode him.  Therefore, I have decided that I love race tracks! The footing is so perfect in all of the rings and the track around the outdoor rings is the same. You can just canter around, in and out of the woods, and not have to worry about corners!  It was great for WakeUp to get to stretch his legs and let off some energy without having to really work.

I am now going to meet with my grandfather for lunch and hopefully get a phone!  Toodles, EMILY

Wednesday July 14, 2010

First lesson with Ulf.

Today was the first time Ulf saw WakeUp and gave the two of us a lesson. He started out with just simple walk/trot/walk transitions, making sure the neck stayed rounder as a result of my legs being on.  He also was after promptness and bending in the corners without the neck falling. Interestingly, he told me to carry my hands higher and when WakeUp came against the bridle for a few steps, to look out the door or what have you, he told me to raise my hands to keep the connection with the bridle the same.  Dr. Muller did get on WakeUp for a bit just to “feel what we are working with”. WakeUp was very good and showed some amazing passage(y) steps when Dr. Muller played with him a bit. The verdict: good connection, nice in front of the leg, super walk and canter and just need to work on the power from the loin area in the trot.

He did ask if the horse was mine and for sale. My answer was no. J I am a lucky girl. J

The schedule here is very nice. The work starts at 5 am. Then there is a break for breakfast at 8 am.  More horses are then worked until 1 pm when a fantastic lunch is then provided for everyone.  There is then a break from one until 3:30 and finished around 5:30.  The earlier start and longer lunch break are due to the fact that it is so hot here. (By German standards… feels not so bad… maybe around 85?) I think it is wonderful that the Kasselmann’s provide meals for everyone and put such emphasis on taking a break and getting something healthy to eat.

I am learning more names each day and hope I get internet soon. I did watch my first entire movie in German yesterday and understood it enough to enjoy it! Small victories!

Happy Transitions!



7 Responses to “A big update from Emily!”

  1. Eurus Wagner July 14, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Nice read Emily. Sounds like all is going well keep the updates coming.

  2. Emily Fowler July 14, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    It all sounds so wonderful Emily. I’m glad you both got there safe and sound and are now settling into a routine. I am checking daily for updates. This is soooo great!!

  3. April Austin July 15, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Isn’t Hof Kasselmann’s beautiful! I was fortunate to make a short visit during a festival a few years ago. Absolutely eye candy for equestrians. Have a great time Emily and enjoy the German professional work ethic!

  4. Lisa Van Stratten July 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    Sounds outstanding!! Thanks so much for taking the time to give us all the details. You have a lot of followers back in the US! Keep updating us! We appreciate it. So glad to hear you and Wakeup are doing well.

  5. Emily Wagner July 16, 2010 at 7:37 am #

    Thanks everyone! Eurus… I am glad you are fulfilling your big brother role! 🙂

  6. Traci Jackson July 16, 2010 at 10:40 pm #

    Glad all is well! Sounds like such an amazing place! I can’t wait to hear more! Take care!

  7. pernille Andree July 18, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    Hi Emily,just letting you know that we are thinking of you back here while you are living your dream !!!! Amazing !

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