In Search of the Fantastic Athlete, a Dressage Horse


He wanted to uncover a best athlete who demonstrated concentrate. 1 who maintained their physique and avoided injury. 1 who had the mental makeup to not only deal with thousands of hours of practice, but also the anxiety of competitors. 1 who would thrive beneath stress.

Vera Koo The Most Unlikely Champion is the story of a petite Chinese-American woman, wife, mother and grandmother and her run to the top as a world title holder in the sport of Action Pistol Shooting.

Carlos went to Denmark in search of a dressage horse, but as he thought of the qualities he sought for a prime dressage horse, he realized these traits mirrored these of a prime Bianchi Cup shooter. 

“It’s like they’re coaching Bianchi shooters out there,” Carlos stated just after he returned house from Blue Hors farm in Denmark.

The comparison goes beyond Bianchi Cup shooters. The qualities Carlos sought in a horse are present in prime athletes in any sport. 

Perfect Athlete dressage horse

Carlos started riding a horse about age 12 although he lived with his mom in Brazil. They had a horse, and he rode everyday. For the duration of the summer time, he spent practically complete days on the horse. We each took equestrian electives although we had been living in an apartment on the Stanford campus, exactly where he was pursuing his graduate degrees. Even so, Carlos’ equestrian course was at a a lot a lot more sophisticated level.

I never ever caught up to Carlos’ level. Right after I was thrown from a horse although riding in Singapore’s Rotary Club and fractured my spine, Carlos asked, “Why didn’t you do an acrobatic dismount?” Simple for him to say. Like I would know how to do that!

As Carlos sophisticated into his 70s, he recommitted to horseback riding. Whilst I was off coaching for competitions, Carlos would busy himself with riding. Carlos’ background was in English style riding and jumping, but he decided to take up dressage just not too long ago and has worked with a coach to study the ropes of the sport.

Dressage is a type of horseback riding in which the rider and horse carry out a series of predetermined movements. It is an sophisticated type of horseback riding that is practically like art.

When Carlos’ dressage coach stated she was traveling to her native Denmark to acquire a horse for a further client, I recommended that Carlos travel with her and see if he could uncover a horse that he would be interested in acquiring. If absolutely nothing else, I thought of it a superb finding out chance.

Perfect Athlete dressage horse

Carlos and his coach visited 7 farms and decided on acquiring from Blue Hors farm, which only breeds dressage horses. This farm has about 350 horses that they breed and raise. 

For the initially handful of years of the horses’ lives, they roam in fields. When the horses are about four years old, they are assigned to a trainer. All the trainers are elite riders, and medal winners.  Each and every trainer is assigned a steady of about 10 horses, and a pair of groomers function with every single trainer.

Horses train for 1 to two hours each day, six days a week. The prime choice of horses are all possible Olympic champions.

Trainers appear for horses that demonstrate a willingness to be educated and practice, love becoming ridden, are alert and are anxious to carry out. To be a prime horse, 1 will have to be prepared to repeat the identical routine more than and more than with focused power.

The stables at Blue Hors farm are like a 5-star hotel for horses. The horses have private treadmills. 

Dressage horses have thin legs that are effortlessly injured, so they will have to be cared for closely. They acquire ice baths and normal baths to help in their recovery and cleaning. Steady boys maintain the quarters in prime situation. The employees treats the horses like royalty.

Despite the fact that particular qualities appear to be necessary of any prime athlete, like horses, that is not to say all athletes are made equal. The capabilities necessary to shoot Bianchi Cup are not a replica of what you require to be a Super Bowl winning quarterback or an all-star basketball player. Component of our skills and regardless of whether we are effectively suited for a particular sport boils down to biology. Even inside the shooting discipline, it requires a unique kind of skillset to excel in 1 competitors versus a further. 

Early in my profession, I competed in Steel Challenge and IPSC (USPSA), but I realized I did not have the speed or athleticism necessary to carry out at an elite level in these disciplines. So, I shifted my concentrate to Bianchi Cup, a competitors exactly where I could take benefit of my accuracy. I knew I had the mental fortitude and drive to place in the lengthy hours of practice I would require to sharpen my accuracy to a prime level.

Perfect Athlete dressage horse

Carlos bought a six-year-old horse named Impression Texel. He is a excellent horse who demonstrates the qualities that trainers seek in elite dressage horses. He’s friendly, alert, attentive to commands and eager to function and practice. Even so, Texel’s biology did not enable him to come to be a gold medal winning horse. He just did not develop tall sufficient. That tends to make him best for Carlos, even though, due to the fact Carlos is not extremely tall. Impression Texel’s physical make meshes completely with Carlos’ height. Hence, Carlos is fortunate to have located him.

Nanna Skodborg Merrald is a female trainer who has won quite a few prime level competitions, and she has expressed the possibility of traveling to the United States to assistance set up coaching for Impression Texel just after Carlos bought him. Ms. Merrald has been the trainer for Impression Texel for the previous two years prior to Carlos’ obtain.

Carlos plans to ride Texel for a handful of years and enter him in competitions. In undertaking so, Carlos will be enjoying a horse that has all the qualities you would uncover in any prime competitor.

  • About Vera Koo

    Vera Koo is an eight-time National Action Pistol Lady Champion who holds two Globe person titles. Her most current win was a Gold for Group Females (two-particular person group) at the NRA Globe Action Pistol Championship in Germany in September 2012. Vera is proud to be aspect of the United States Action Pistol Shooting Group because 1999.&#13
    She is passionate about sharing her appreciate of the shooting sport and the pressures of becoming a competitive athlete although difficult cultural expectations.
    View all posts by Vera Koo



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