Horses: Interview With Marion Schulze

After you shared the interview with KCM Vaultinghorses many times, I tried to contact more horse trainers & got answers from Marion Schulze who says about herself that “Principally I am the wrong person to ask if you want to know special thing about horses”. Hm, from the outside I don’t think so. She sold horses like Don de la Mar to Kristina Boe, Celebration to Mainz Ebersheim, Keep Cool to Lütisburg & 6 horses including Giovanni who was at the WEG 2010 to the USA. So, I say, let’s ask Marion, who started a vaulting division in her club in 1992 and started to test horses later, some questions:

What is the right keeping for sport horses?

The more suitable for the horse, the better. Meaning: in groups with a huge pasturage and run for the horses, horse suitable feeding, enough raw fiber the whole day, oat, hay, straw, minerals. That’s all. We don’t use bandages or horse boots for practice.

Which horses do you choose for vaulting, what is the ideal age and what should they bring?

I don’t drive from stable to stable & search for horses. People come to me, tell me about their horses & I try them out when they were brought to Krumke. Age, breed and size don’t play a part. The price in relation to the quality of the horse must be right, the canter & the character are the most important  to me.

The first step is often to get the horse used to the lunge and the circle. How often do you practice this with which equipment? What else do the horses except vaulting?

When the horses arrive in Krumke I already got a surface impression of the nature of the horse. First, I send them out to the field. Then I lunge them. If it is OK so far I get my “vaulting dummies”. Most times I have the same vaulters who I put onto the horses. They know what to do and it works very well. First I walk the horses with the vaulter who performs the basic seat, pets the animal or moves into the kneeling position. If the horse is OK with this I slowly lunge him to the outside. Depending on how they walk we might kneel in canter. On the other days they work normal, which means riding and vaulting like our own horses who have two time vaulting a week and three times riding,  riding school.  On weekends they have free time or competition. The equipment is really normal. I don’t use special reins. For the preparation lungeing I use triangle reins & if necessary helping reins.

horses_coming_in

With which vaulters do you train the horses?

I have my testing pilots who know what I want. Most times we edge the new horses in the normal training, the whole thing does not take longer than 15 minutes including the horses warm up. If it went well we stop for the day. How long the the whole training of the horse takes is very different. The horses that are sold are just tested, the new owner take care of the horses training. I had horses once that I took to a competition after 8 weeks & for example I have San Zero for 4 years now. Only in the last season he started to become good, that is always a matter of the stage of training so far. Weekdays we have 3 – 4 hours training. In this time I can edge 3 – 4 new horses.

Which exercises are the easiest for the horse and which should come later?

Basic seat, kneeling, mill, swings…  maybe forward sitting on the neck, pairs exercises mostly very late and if we do them instantly in canter (one is sitting and the other is mounting into kneeling behind him). I am doing this by instinct and there were never problems.

How long does it take from offering a horse online until it is sold?

That depends how good the horse is, how expensive, how good the MOT-certificate… If the MOT is ok, this can happen rather quick. But it is very interesting how different the rating of the x-ray pictures is. Often we have sold horses with a bad MOT but never failed, I also have never heard such a thing from others. Most times horses with a good MOT become out of action because of illness.

The percentage of the horse score was increased some years ago. Have yo seen changes after this decision and do you think the lungers understand the opinion of the judges?

Overall the quality of the horses has improved steadily. Especially internationally and at bigger competitions. Basically I like the horse score, it is very helpful. Considering the high weighing of the score, the competence of some judges should be questioned. Maybe dressage judges would be better for this job. It is not enough, when a judge has no experience in riding or has never worked with horses at all, just gets a lecture how a horse should walk. You have to feel these things and then you can see it. You can’t press a horse into a mold to evaluate it. One have to see the equine conformation & then one can value how the horse walks or could walk. There are many horses which do a very good vaulting job but their equine conformation doesn’t look like a well-built M or S dressage horse.

For me they are horses and I really try to treat them like that. I try to make a suitable horse life possible. That affects the keeping, the feeding and a proper handling.

That sounds very nice. If you are looking for a tested horse but could do the training yourself, you can be sure that Marion Schulze finds the suitable horse. All offers can be found at www.krumker-voltis.com .

Adele Feuerstein

I am Adele Feuerstein the founder of the blog. I used to vault & train teams in Germany. Now I am only an observer & love to share my knowledge about international vaulting with you.