Dan the man

So, for my next update I thought I’d tell you a bit more about the story of the star of the show himself, Dan.

I’ve owned him now for about 18 months after buying him in installments! I was lucky enough to start riding him about 8 years ago when I used to help out at the local riding school/livery yard. His owner (the livery yard owner and trainer) needed some help to keep him fitter so that’s where I came in! I progressed from warming him up for her to riding him 3 days a week. A couple of years ago my trainer broke her foot and couldn’t ride, so I took on riding him full time. During this time my trainer decided she was going to buy herself something new, and did I want Dan? Unfortunately this came at a time when me and my now husband were planning our wedding and saving for a house (my life plan had always been to get a house first, then a horse!) but I couldn’t say no…

My trainer rides at PSG level and took Dan up to Medium – his changes have never been good enough to go further, but means I certainly feel the pressure to ride him well. He’s taught me more than any other horse I’ve ridden – how to navigate and collect up such a huge horse as well as ride the moves. He’s about 16.3hh but is ridiculously long, his back and neck seem to go on forever! He’s 18 now and is a Trakehner x. His dad was a Trakehner from Holme Park Stud (Holme Park Sigfried) and his mum a mare by Dutch Courage (I found a video of him here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3dJNc_TNoM). He was bred by my trainer and her sister so I’ve known him since a baby.

Dan's dad
Dan’s dad

I competed him at Novice Open level last year at the few competitions we got to and we were lucky enough to qualify for the Beaver Hall Affiliated Championships, where amazingly we won our class! I was really proud of him as the whole time I’ve known him he’s been on edge out competing yet last year I really felt he was super chilled. This year’s goal is to do some Elementary tests, and eventually a Medium (but that might be a bit hopeful!!).

Winners!
Winners!

Sadly I have no transport now, but I am pleased to say that I’ve discovered some online dressage I can do – via http://www.e-dressage.com . I am really excited about getting going and plan to do my first test this month, so check back soon for an update!

Nic & Dan x

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