PM Holme Grove Devaux by Holme Park Krug out of Holme Grove Donauwoge born 2000

Holme Park First Class by Holme Grove Prokofiev out of Holme Park Fantine

These two beautiful mares have been purchased by Sandra and Steve Wilkes, Dallas, Texas USA - October 2009

From: Sandra Wilkes
Sent: 17 May 2010 22:00
To: Susan Attew; Paul Attew;

Subject: Dallas Dressage Club Spring I - Holme Grove Devaux
 

HIGHLIGHTS
:
 

Saturday Training Level 1 59.595% : Training Level 4 61.2%
Sunday Training Level 1 eliminated (Sandra had a huge brain Fart; I got the two tests confused even though I had a caller!) : Training Level 4 62%
 
On Friday, the day we took the horses to the show, we had a weather day from hell, there were electrical storms and torrential rain fall, apparently we had 6" in one hour.  Devaux loaded the horse box without a hitch but I seriously think the most scary part of the entire weekend was to be unloaded from the box backward completely blind as to where she was putting her feet.  That really was a leap of faith and trust in her handlers; this freaked me out too!
 
Once Devaux got into her box along with her fellow horses a naughty mare behind her kicked violently against the partitioning which shocked the daylights out of her, she froze and I really thought she was contemplating jumping clean over the door to make her exit, I can still see the look on her face!  However, we talked to her and calmed her and she quickly realized that the banging was a silly mare next door behaving badly.  After that she was totally at home and really loved having people around making a fuss of her and giving her treats.
 
Fortunately Saturday and Sunday turned into dry and then very hot and humid days with plenty of sunshine, I walked Devaux around early Saturday morning so that she could take in her surroundings, she did her usual of either walking around or stepping over puddles because she has a real thing about where she puts her feet.  Apart from that she was awesome, the warm up arena was packed when we went in but she did not flinch we really did have to have our whit's about us and leg yielding came in very handy to avoid head on collisions.  She was calm and focused the entire time and looked after me beautifully.
 
At the time of the test she was focused, listened to me and did the best she could with a novice and very nervous rider on her back.  Jennifer advised me to take it slow on Saturday and she took my spurs away!  This paid off though, we executed both tests very well and got some really great scores for our first turn out together.
 
Sunday morning we rode Test level 1 and I made a complete mess of it, I think I was so focused on correcting some of the comments from the day before I got my tests mixed up and failed to transition from a canter to a trot from X to B on my 20m circle, the judge rang her bell, then I just lost my flow and so I retired.  However, everyone said that Devaux looked great and she really did do all that I was asking of her accept it was not correct for the test! 
 
Anyway, I brushed that off and studied test 4 for the remainder of the day, then we were moved from the out-door arena where not too many people were watching and where we had become comfortable, to the inside where there were two arena's laid side-by-side very close, plus the audience was much larger (they had to move one of the outside arena's inside because it was so wet).  Yikes there are so many external factors when you do these shows, outside of remembering your test and making your horse look good, I have a whole list of things that freaked me out and took me off guard but it would make this too long if I mentioned them all).
 
The exciting news is that because we got two scores 60 or above apparently we qualify to go to Sectionals in November which will be held in Houston.
 
The most fantastic news though is how awesome Devaux behaved through this whole experience, we were not really sure how much showing she had done although we knew she was well travelled.  She really seemed to raise to the occasion and enjoy being around all the other horses. Now we know we can take her out and not worry about how she will behave.  Although as Jennifer will always remind me, you should never be completely complacent with your horse and this is very true.
 
There will be pictures that I will send separately once we have them, I was flying the Trakehner flag on our saddle pads and my little pin on my tie (thank you Sue).
 
The other factor that should not go without mention is how well our trainer Jennifer Jones of Half Pass Training (
www.halfpasstx.com) looked after us and prepared us for this weekend, under Jennifer's guidance I have achieved so much with both Devaux and First Class, more than I could have dreamt of since starting to work with her just last November, thank you Jennifer!!
 
Finally, Paul, Sue I know I am bias but you really do raise some wonderful horses and your choices of equine companion for me were spot on!
 
I hope all of your new babies are doing well.
 
Love to you all
 
Sandra
 

Message also received from Jennifer her trainer

Hi Susan,

I was so thrilled with Devaux this past weekend.  She took care of Sandra so well.  The warm-up ring on Friday was a nightmare and truley dangerous.  Devaux didn't flinch and inch with it all.  I was almost run over several times while coaching by wild horses.  :o)  Anyway, the first time out for the two of them and we'll continue on to bring up her scores.  Hopefully soon we'll have First Class out there to represent you all! 

Cheers,

Jennifer Jones

 


 

From: Sandra Wilkes
Sent: 27 February 2010 14:29
To: Susan Attew; Paul Attew
Subject: A LOVELY WEEK WITH THE GIRLS

Hey

Thought I would give you a mini update, I have had a great week with First Class and Devaux it's so fun getting to know their personalities and winning them over.  First Class wears her heart on her sleeve and loves everyone, nevertheless, she is very playful and will try a few tricks here and there.  However, she is quick to realize who is boss and gets back to work, I expect this is the Trakhener in her testing her owner!  We changed things up for her this past week, we have had such bad weather, turn out has been limited and no time in the paddock.  She was definitely getting tired of the same routine in and out of the Arena so we gave her an extra day off, and longed her in the round pen alongside Devaux just for a change.  As a result she has been wonderful these past two days and I have had a real breakthrough with keeping her collected and forward she is very light in the bit, her strength and stamina is building although she does sometimes for get to breath while she is working out, I can see some real muscle development in both girls; they look great and still very shiny!!!!

Devaux is such a pleasure; I was not sure if she would warm to me or I her actually since she seemed so detached and tall!!  Recently however, she is so much more relaxed around Jennifer and I and, I imagine has learned to trust us, she presents her head very well for the bridle and even lowers her nose for a cuddle these days.  Again I have had a couple of great days with her, Jennifer said I rode a perfect serpentine with her yesterday which would be part of a level one test, this success was a combination of Devaux, light bulb moment for me and my new saddle which helps so much with correct sitting position and, I am sure, feels so much better for the girls under saddle.  We had another cold and wet day today (Friday), we should get some sunshine over the weekend but then more wet weather next week, this is really unusual for Texas and I am getting really tired of it!!!

We have our clinic next weekend and I am going to ride both days with Devaux, we are no longer having Dr Ritter instead we have a Reinhard Dorsch coming, it will be interesting I am sure, each rider gets 45 mins with the expert per day.

I will send pictures soon.

Love to you both

Sandra

From: Sandra Wilkes
Sent: 11 February 2010 14:26
To: Susan Attew; Paul Attew
Subject: DEVAUX AND FIRST CLASS UPDATE

Hey Sue

Here is our update riding is cancelled today we are snowed in and more to come throughout the day!!!!

Firstly I wanted you to see what Jennifer wrote in an email to me when sending her update:-

"I just sent to you an email with info about the girls progress and yours.  I hope it is ok?  Just let me know if I have left some things out that your sister-in-law would like to know more of.  I want to make sure that she feels good about their care and training.   She has done a fantastic job with them!"

Below is an update from Jennifer's perspective I will just add that I feel as though I have fallen on my feet with both horses, trainer and boarding barn.  Devaux and First Class are so confident with Jennifer which is testimony to her patient, kind yet firm handling of them both and, of course, years of being around horses and understanding them so well.  You simply cannot help love both of these girls even though they are very different in character; Devaux is really coming around and I am beginning to feel a close connection with her.  First Class loves everyone and is easy to adore also, she is a little more playful which, I am sure, is partly her age but mostly her character. I told Jennifer that my goal is to work toward showing the girls at some point and I really hope that we will achieve that goal sometime this year.  The weather has not been our friend this winter, just like the rest of the world, we have not seen extended cold and rain and sometimes snow and ice for quite some time here in Texas, certainly not in the ten years I have lived here, so training has been somewhat interrupted for some weeks.  I know I could be considered bias! but Sue you and Paul do an amazing job with these horses your methods and philosophy together with thorough understanding of the breed certainly reflects in the end product.

Jennifer Jones, Half Pass Training, Celina, Texas

Since Sandra's beginning of full training she and both horses have made huge progress!!!!  I have been working on Sandra's seat; along with and including her effectiveness of the aides.  I found out quickly that First Class is very sensitive and requests :-) to be ridden from back to front and with a supple relaxed hand.  I had to go straight into the rein aids with Sandra to help both of them along.   I have also incorporated a lot on lateral work with leg yields and shoulder-in and out and a ton of bending lines leading into transitions to put more weight on the hind legs and develop more self carriage and impulsion.  I usually warm up First Class and demonstrate to Sandra the work and then put Sandra on so that she can both practice and feel.   It has been wonderful for both Sandra and I to see the changes in First Class' gaits with the work, along with increased top line development.   First Class has a playful and cheerful personality and, therefore, I try to keep the work playful for her.  We do incorporate lunging as a warm-up when necessary to give her time to play and get her mind on work. 

 

Devaux is truly a schoolmaster for both Sandra and Stephen!  She is a sensitive mare who seems to ask to be treated with respect.  That we have given her and, therefore, we are earning her trust.  She has let us know lately that we are doing a good job!  :o)  Giggling!  By that she is so willing and kind with her new owners and seems to want to show them the world of dressage.  I have worked on her suppleness too and working toward a more thorough half-halt so that she can move in a more uphill manner.  Especially in the canter work!   For Sandra, we are really doing the same work as we are with First Class.  However, on Devaux she can ask for more especially in the lateral work.  Devaux is really teaching Sandra a lot in that she can feel the results so well on her.  Stephen has been taking seat lessons on Devaux who so willingly is able to adapt to the change in routine and rider.  It amazes me and I love it!!!!!!

 

Both horses are extremely kind with the most beautiful eyes!!!!!!   They are both worker bee's,  always willing to work and very ride-able.  They are perfect mounts for Sandra which I know isn't easy to achieve first time around.  Matching horse and rider is an art and most people do not get it right on first attempt.  I am so happy and lucky to have a great matched pair to work with................all four of them!  :0)

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Jones

 

19th - 27th November 2009 Jesse and I (Susan) flew to Dallas for a week to stay with my sister-in-law Sandra to help her with Devaux and First Class as they have now arrived at Legacy Equestrian in Celina, Texas.  Both mares are already relaxed and happy in thier new home.  We met Jennifer and Randy who run the yard and will be helping Sandra and Steve with the girls.  Jennifer is a dressage trainer and she rode both mares and got on well with them. Click on the link below to see a slide show of photos taken on our visit.  Jesse and I had a fabulous time in Texas and are very happy that Sandra will get on well with her first Trakehner horses!

 

28th October 2009 - The mares have arrived safely in USA.  They spent 3 days government quarantine in New York and have now arrived at Rigbie Farm Quarantine facility where they will stay for their 14 day CEM quarantine.  www.rigbiefarm.com

21st October 2009 Devaux and First Class start their journey to Dallas USA to live with Paul's Sister, Sandra!

They will go by road to Amsterdam and then fly from Amsterdam to New York on Friday.  They will then travel to a quarantine facility where they will stay for 3 weeks before moving to their new home at www.legacyequestriancenter.com Sandra and Steve are looking to buy a Ranch so that they can have the mares at home and hope to start breeding Trakehners in USA in the near future.

Jessica Goetting (Stud Manager, Holme Park Stud) and I (Susan Attew) will visit Sandra in Dallas in November once the horses have arrived at Legacy Equestrian Center to make sure they settle in OK.