My trip has been mostly spent with family seeing all the places my mum grew up in, so my time with horses has been limited although I did get to a Bitless Dressage day in Holland – you can see the album here.
Most of the riders were clients of the school owner – Charlotte, including herself on a beautiful big bay Dutch Warmblood gelding she bred: Two outside entries also competed, and in September the Bitless Championship will also be held at this location. The Bitless Association has made good progress in getting bitless bridles allowed at the lower levels for a trail period and will continue to push for acceptance all round. After all, its not the head gear that’s important – it’s the education of the horse and rider, and that is evident whether you have a bit or a no bit. Of course no bit provides more comfort for the horse!
I had a wonderful time at the Wildlife Park in Sababurg, Gemany – its the longest running park in the world since 1571! I was impressed with the large enclosures and happy looking animals, although the horses all had too much spring grass and horrible feet. I suggested to the park management they put more rock around the feeders (so the hooves would at least chip and break off) and they said they were in the process of doing that which was heartening to hear. I could have watched the family herds for hours – stallions guarding their mares and foals while the new babies were playing games. It bought home the importance of family ties within herds – it was a lovely opportunity to see a happy horse society close up.