Rosie Simoes is a 20-year-old dressage rider and assistant trainer at Flying Dutchman Farm in Barrington Hills, Illinois. She is a USDF bronze, silver, and gold medalist, participant in Lendon Gray’s programs, and member of the USDF YPAS. She was selected as a participant in the Hannoveraner Verband’s Rider-Exchange Program and is spending the fall in Verden, Germany.

By Rosie Simoes

I have had the amazing opportunity to join the Hannoveraner Verband as a member of their pilot Rider Exchange Program for 2016. Through their selection process, four riders, Maren Reinbold, Caitlin Kincaid, Jessie Nemzoff and myself have joined in Verden, Germany as young assistant dressage and jumper riders to expand our knowledge of training, managing, and presenting young horses.

After week one working as an assistant rider at the Hannoveraner Verband, I feel that I am becoming a part of the Verband team. Good riding of these outstanding young horses, keeping the barns clean, and working to make upcoming auctions successful is in mind each day. However, what is most refreshing thus far to me as an American rider is the effectiveness of the stable’s operation and the closeness within the team.

Riders, grooms, and stable hands gather each morning at 7 to clean the barns… Together. After the horses are fed, straw is added to stalls, and barns are swept, we collectively go across the street to have breakfast and coffee together.

photo by Caitlin Kincaid

photo by Caitlin Kincaid

Each day at the Verband I am learning, but each day I am also appreciating the barn culture here. We are all working hard to do the best in every aspect, whether it is tidying up or riding the loveliest young horse. No one is too good to grab a broom and sweep, and no part of the horse management is more important than the next. Rather, great pride is taken in all aspects, producing well rounded horses and an efficient barn.

The young horses are being ridden or worked nearly every day in a forward thinking program that is creating equine partners that are brave, confident, and eager to please. All the horses work well in the arena with many other horses and are social because the riders instill in these youngsters that there is no need to worry. 3 year old stallions ride calmly in busy arenas with distractions at the Verband and so can any horse with the proper management and exposure.

So, although I have been here just a week, it is evident that the friendly atmosphere of the Hannoveraner Verband and their dedication to correct horsemanship is what creates their success worldwide… And the happy horses here think so too!