Me and Monty… The Story of a Dressage Team
'I got him for a very fair price as the two previous folks that tried him out, fell off.'
Eric Lange recently attended the 3 day dressage clinic at Las Campanas led by Clinician Volker Brommann. Eric has been a part time FEI dressage coach and trainer over the years (having also ridden a total of 35 years). Lange says, "I finally got a chance to do my own thing when I picked Monty up in Wellington, Florida. Eric said, “I got him for a very fair price as the two previous folks that tried him out, fell off.” People tell Eric that he and Monty are a good match for each other.
Monty is a very quick-witted and forward horse, not really an amateur's horse. He is a really talented 8 year old Hanoverian "Super freak". Monty loves the tempi-changes but he is also like Swiss cheese in terms of the holes he has in him, so considerable time is needed to fill in those foundational missing holes and at the same time advance his training.
The main goal is to build a good foundation for FEI work to get him nicely through 4th level and squarely to PSG. But at the same time, Eric needs to put him into third level tests as he has a few issues that need to be ironed out. The current focus of training has involved re-building his movement for more collected work and to work at slower more cadenced strides to build his carrying power. Eric also needs to re-balance the horse for more advanced work and become lighter in the hand.
Volker has been brilliant at helping with this. Eric said, “It's nice that after three days with Volker I can ride the horse with invisible aids and focus on a nice and quiet position and the horse learns his job better.” Monty is normally very difficult to sit. Eric said, “So Volker has given me back a horse that is much easier to ride. I have my homework assignments for the next few months.” Eric has known Volker for 2 years.
Eric’s goal is to see that a significant improvement is presented at the next session. Volker has a good memory and immediately sees the improvements advances and work that has been made. He works to further advance the horse and rider's capabilities. With Volker, you are always moving forward being challenged to reach for better and better things. He gives each student the specific tools to do that. Eric said, “Allen and the Las Campanas staff have been brilliant at making these clinics a real success. A team effort I think. I am very grateful for Allen and Las Campanas staff for making Volker available to a wider group of riders.”
Eric said, “Las Campanas has me seriously considering moving my horse to Las Campanas to train on a permanent basis... It's a great environment to do REAL things.” Volker has expressed how much he loves coming to New Mexico. So that's a win win for New Mexico.
About Volker through Eric’s eyes:
I think Volker is one of the best clinicians in the country if not THE best. He is the only coach I have seen that can deliver dressage theory "real-time" in a meaningful way while you are riding attending to the small details. He has a very "sage like" quality and yet is very personable.
Volker really is a trainer's trainer and you feel that you want to work really hard for this guy and close the gaps. Each day the rides are videoed, Eric said,”I make sure I watch the day's previous clinic session twice to come up with a game plan for the next day.”
Volker can really see the rider's thinking and gets into the mind of the horse. As a consequence a real and permanent difference is made in just three days. Volker is an expert horseman and I learn just as much if not more from him when he is in the saddle working through tricky problems on a tricky horse; whatever he does it always looks beautiful.