Clara de Vos about Vitaly, Makka and Oyun Shaels


Hello Leonid,
Yesterday I spent the whole morning at the stables. First I watched Inge giving vitally a lesson on Makka. It is very clear how much improvement has been made – Makka but especially Vitaly. His aids are more subtle, his seat more relaxed and as a result Makka is also more relaxed, looks taller and longer in the neck. Super to see such progress! I took many pictures and also filmed part of the lesson (with Inge’s voice) and I shall send this to you as soon as I have it sorted.
I spoke to both Inge and Rien, they are very pleased with the big effort Vitaly is putting into his lessons. His English has also improved which makes it much easier to communicate. They said it was such a pleasure to have Vitally around, they have become fond of him and feel he is a real friend; helpful, kind and very dedicated.
They feel that Makka’s progress is now such that they have applied for a guest starting license and soon he can start practice competitions at Prix st. Georges level Makka is ready for Intermediaire 1 but he needs some experience in actual competitions so that he will be relaxed. All that noise, other horses, flowers, flags etc. it needs to become routine. Makka is much more Mr. Stallion than he was when he first started coming to Holland.
Oyun is also progressing well and has filled out since I saw him last. He is in no way the lesser of Makka and will be able to achieve as much. Personally I feel he is being pushed too hard for his age. It is understandable that he should try to learn as much as possible while he is in Holland but I can see that some exercises are simply too hard for him. Not because of lack of talent, or willingness to learn but because his muscles are simply not up to doing what is required. Inge agrees with me, says that many horses are “broken” by the time they are 10 because the riders are in too much of a hurry. She says that Oyyun can well manage the work he does in Holland provided that when he is at home, he gets rest and work that is restricted to the basics and to building up his muscles.rides in the woods, long gallops would also be good for him. He is a great horse.
Pity I can’t smuggle a few mares into Rien’s stables for a romantic interlude with those two stallions! The only chance I have of getting Shael blood is by using Gumbet Shael. He won the senior stallion class at the championships in Luxemburg 2009, lovely colour and he is now working in endudrance; but he is really small, even though size is not everything. His owner got one of her mares covered by one of our stallions so I can use Gumbet once if I want to. Do you remember him?
I have invited Vitaly to come to our place and I hope he finds the time before he leaves. Rien also wanted to come to see our horses. As soon as I know when Makka is going to compete I shall try to go and watch. In the meantime I shall get the pictures ready and send them to you.
You perhaps heard that I did not get my visa for the conference in Ashgabat. Very frustrating but I gather from those who went that this time the organization was a disaster. So apparently I didn’t miss much! I’ve been there a number of times because my husband was also accredited as ambassador to TM but I wanted to go so I could meet with a lot of breeders I don’t usually see in Moscow.
All the best,

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