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EQ Life tours Aachen: Day three

 Michael Klimke and one of his horses

Michael Klimke.

 

 

 

Day three and yet another fantastic day – what more can we see in such a short time! 

 

The morning was drizzly and grey, but on arriving at Michael Klimke’s property, ten minutes from the centre of Münster, the rain ceased and despite it being cool we had a memorable 90 minutes with the famous man. He is the son of the world famous Reiner Klimke and has a super star sister, Ingrid, who is competing in the Grand Prix dressage, the eventing and also the showjumping at Aachen. What a super talented rider, let alone her fitness and mental stability to be able to do the three disciplines and at the top level! 

 

 

Virbac Aachen Equimax small

 

 

Michael is known to Australians, as he came to Australia as the guest at Dressage With The Stars one year and was fabulous and had a great time.

 

On arriving, you realise the enormity of the skill of Yuri, our Russian driver who speaks little English (and less German) and Google maps Russian style does some interesting roads and we have sometimes had to reverse down lanes where cars wouldn't venture!

 

We made it to Michael Klimke's stables, which happen to be on Reiner Klimke Road!!! He was very welcoming and the tour started by taking a look at the house that was the original dwelling in the area and is over 1200 years old. Quite an amazing building, with a wooden box off the side of the house where the excrement fell to the pavement from above as the ground floor was for the animals so the toilet was on the top floor!

 

 

Michael Klimke's courtyard

 

 

Michael showed us around the barn starting at the indoor that again had the synthetic surface. The walls on the walkway along the indoor were adorned with framed ribbons that were won by his father and dated back to 1962. Michael spoke about his thoughts on competing and he doesn't take any horses on to train for others and he doesn't always have to sell his own horses. He agrees that unfortunately he has to sell some, as he explains there are feed bills and a family that are needing as well as the horses. Michael has two sons and they are both more interested in tractors and motorbikes, explained Michael with a wry grin. 

 

There was a great discussion about judging in dressage and the changes that have happened over the years. There was very healthy and logical discussion on the hyper-flexion and the differing frames used in training. He discussed the bringing on of young horses and the way that often they are not given enough time and pushed far too quickly. He gave us his opinion in which direction the sport was again moving, and the horses and riders that pave the way for the future…

 

What goes on tour stays on tour! You needed to be here!

 

Michael’s horses were all big and beautiful as Michael is a very tall man himself. He isn't one who takes a huge amount of notice of the breeding, but more so the character and the athleticism. He explained about horses getting to Grand Prix too soon, and then in the stables pointed out two horses of his one at six that can do all the Grand Prix already and then another two years older and barely at Small Tour. It was easy for him to explain that some can just take longer and you have to sometimes simply be patient and wait and listen to your horse. It’s all about always listening to your horse and realising the strength that is required to make the exercises and make certain that the horse is not only physical song and confident, but just as importantly yet often overlooked the mental stability with the training.

 

Michael was an absolute delight and down to earth. He is also wise in that he takes a few months in January to March and heads to Wellington in Florida, where he can compete in 7 CDI competitions. He takes between 5 and 8 horses and he believes it is so amazing to just get competition after competition to get the experience. Some of his horses that he is excited about are Harmony’s Seranoa (Bordeaux x Sandro Hit) and then Harmony’s Diablo (Desperados x Rousseau

 

Wallach) and the 5 year old Soprano.

 

It was an absolutely fantastic morning of corrective positivity. Michael was extremely open and so obviously in tune with his horses, the sport and his family life. It was refreshing to see someone like this high profile rider, who is a serious competitor and manages to run a very successful business and partakes the sport for the love of it.

 

It was a short trip to the wonderful township of Münster, where there is the Münster Show in a week’s time. This town is steeped in history and the walk around was relaxing, as you could not even think of spending money as not one shop was open and you can’t imagine how disappointed we all were that there was no retail therapy. So it was a beer and some more pork and kartofflen!

 

 

Lyndal Oatley's indoor and yards

 

 

It was then a very interesting trip to visit Lyndal and Patrik’s property, even though we did wonder if we would ever get there as every street was of the same name! Can you believe there are three properties that share the same written address but in different locations?

 

Well with a lot of help from FaceTime, we finally found Lyndal pushing baby Ems in a stroller and her dog Charlie who were walking up to the road. We stopped and loaded the Aussie family and said dog into the bus and headed off. The drive and wait was worth it all!

 

 

 

Lyndal Oatley's stable and house

 

 

Having seen Eilhof one year ago when it resembled a property of magnificent potential but run down and totally in renovation mode, I was totally gob-smacked at the transformation. The property is now simply stunning and the gardens and lawns beautiful. Where do you start to explode adjectives about this seriously stunning equestrian property!!

I think the photos are the truth of the story as words are not enough. I think the highlight was the indoor arena with the highest magnificently panelled ceiling I have seen. The surface was amazing and in immaculate condition, as was the outdoor arena and for that fact the entire place!!

Lyndal and Patrik have done the most fantastic job putting this property back in tip-top shape. Can you imagine having new beautiful daughter Chloe and a stable full of fabulous international horses at Small and Big Tour and competing at so many shows, as well as keeping clients’ horses in work and clients with buying and selling horses and then on top of all that… coaching so many outstanding riders that rely on Patrik’s quiet and confident attitude. How do you do all that and guess what they DO!

The property is simply outstanding and it’s obvious that the input to the detail comes from such a disciplined eye, a couple who pay attention to detail and that are passionate about making a property around horses that make both horse and rider and groom comfortable. Anyone who has an eye for detail will see that there is no stone left unturned when it comes to detail. Above all, the feeling exudes friendliness and empathy. The most important thing that you see is that the horse comes first, in the stable, in the wash bays and solarium, o the walker, in the paddocks and in that exceptionally awesome open and airy indoor that demands attention and a feeling of freedom and non-confinement!

It is truly horse heaven.

Just look at the fabulous friend of Patrik’s in Scandic and you have the answer. You have never seen a more important stallion in your life and his retirement paddock is huge and grass filled.

Words really can’t express the wonder of this property and the attention to detail… extraordinary. Eilhof is special! It’s way more than the name suggests… an Owl House.

Speak soon,

 

Roger and the EQL Team

 

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