It takes a very special horse to be a para-dressage horse and the requirements are different for each para rider. My MS means that I have problems with core stability and balance. Frequent muscle spasms, particularly in my legs, mean that I need a horse with a very calm temperament. Not too big and not too strong. I really prefer the smaller horses around 16 hands.
In 2009, due to financial reasons, the decision was made to sell my young horse, Ocean DonJon, who was primarily aimed at 2012. He showed much talent giving me my first able bodied victory at the winter national championships. This was and is a decision I regret, as now I realise that to compete at a top level I need two horses. As time goes by and Ocean Diamond is not getting any younger, and after having six months dogged with minor aliments, this has become even more apparent. So, I have therefore started to look for a second horse. I am looking for either a loan horse or someone to purchase a leg in a potential 2012 horse. If you can help me, please write to me here
Ocean Diamond or Derek to his friends!
After a ‘wanted’ ad on the internet a man from Holland rang to say that he’d got just the horse. John and I flew over to see him but after flight delays and traffic jams I only had half an hr to try him before we had to leave for the return flight home. So it was a very brief first meeting and a bit of a gamble but it paid off. We purchased him in November 2005. Derek is a 16 hh gelding by Rubestein, black in colour and aged fourteen. Derek has settled very well into his new life as a para horse and has been doing an excellent job.
My Trainer Henriette Andersen
Henriette, well I have been with Henriette since 2006, almost the entire time I have been competing for the Paras, and needless to say I owe her a huge amount. During that time I have seen a huge change not only in myself but to the yard. In 2008 Henriette and Ulrik her partner of some twenty years decided to go for it in a big way, the old yard was pulled down and in its place a fantastic new block with everything we could possibly need to gain the best out of our horses, the added bonus that the yard is attached to the indoor, so even when we had all the snow it was work as usual. Its a fantastic place to be perfectly placed for easy access to lots of venues. The girls are friendly and very helpful, which is a great bonus.
Henriette is a great trainer always positive, without making you feel like an idiot, which in my case cant be easy. Even though I have problems she never treats me any different, which is what I need. Last to say I would not be doing what I am now, without her would be an understatement.
I think anyone who is interested in dressage is aware of Henriettes achievements in the tough world of dressage, from young horses to Grand Prix the list is endless.