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Category: News

Remembering Walter Zettl (1929-2018)

The guardian angel of dressage horses

From the moment you saw Walter Zettl teaching, you knew there was something truly special about this man—his passion for horses, his loving and giving way of teaching. What he taught was way beyond dressage lessons. He communicated a philosophy and exemplified the kind of calmness and patience that horses and riders adore in their teachers.

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West Point Blog

In my last blog I wrote about solving contact problems through Zero Brace with Lauren’s magnificent Hannoverian, West Point.  Well, during the Performance Summit at our Pagosa campus this past weekend, Lauren offered him to me.  She decided that focusing him on an international dressage career was not the right thing for him, that his baggage was too great.  Even though West Point has come so far these past eighteen months, she just did not feel good that he would be in the ring “because” of her rather than “with” her, as her two mares Maille (Gold medal) and Peanut are.  What a great example she sets of putting the horse first.  I can’t begin to tell you how honored and thrilled I am with the opportunity! 

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Zero Brace

Gosh time flies.  There’s so much going on that it’s hard to know what to tell you about!  We have the Performance Summit starting on Friday with an exciting program in store, and right now Walter Zettl is here so I’ve got lessons every day… and this time with two horses.  No, not Allure… yet!  I have the privilege of riding West Point, the magnificent chestnut Hannoverian that Lauren Barwick bought a couple of years ago when looking for her next superstar. He had some pretty big baggage from stressful training: he hated the dressage arena, would rear up and escape to the left when he felt worried, and he’d stick his tongue out when he felt pressure from the bit.

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Back home!

Wow, it’s been three weeks since we left, crisscrossing the country before flying to Spain and then the UK.  I’m busy playing ‘catch up’ because that’s a long time to be away, so I’ll take more time this weekend and tell you more about my time with Luis Lucio in Spain, I learned some wonderful things concerning Principle #7 “Horses Teach Riders” because Luis had me ride five of his horses in training and as always, our conversations are rabid!

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How interesting…

Hi there,

Apologies for the big gap between blogs, lots going on – travel, writing, big things afoot.  Ok, enough excuses.

I feel compelled to write about this given recent “events” and scuttle butt on the internet.

Before I write my blog, I reacquaint myself with the last thing I wrote to you about and, seeing it was around Fran’s update with her horse Crest, it made me want to tell you how I feel about some of the negative and virulent accusations sometimes made about us. 

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What if your horse was right?

Have you ever complained about your horse?  I remember when I used to, many years ago (like the 1980s!), but that stopped abruptly the day Pat said to me “Why are you complaining?  Remember you bought him”.

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Natural in the Normal World

Sometimes it’s really hard.  It’s hard to watch horses being smacked and jerked around, being pulled in the mouth.  It’s hard to witness their emotional confusion, stress and pain. It’s hard not to blame the human, to refrain from saying “they are wrong!”

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Love Your Problems

I’m here at WEG, and West Point is my horse-buddy for the sixteen days.  Remmer and Allure are here at WinStar farm enjoying a nice vacation in a lovely pasture. For the first days Westy was really worried about the environment.  All that emotional baggage from his competition days was back to haunt him and I started to experience the things Lauren told me about: pumping adrenaline, terrible frights and spooking, wheeling violently to the left and a dripping full body sweat in sixty seconds.   Poor guy.

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