DressageDirect berichtet über Wolfram Wittigs Training mit Jan Ebeling (englisch)
Training Wittig helps Jan Ebeling
The paths to WEG Selection are varied indeed. Some US riders are planning trips to Europe—Adrienne Lyle and Guenter Seidel to work with Klaus Balkenhol . Also Tina Konyot plans to compete in European shows this summer. Jan Ebeling instead asked his coach, Wolfram Wittig, to come to the U.S., and they have just finished an intense week of work.
Wittig, husband of FEI rider Brigitte Wittig and coach now for the past 8 years of dressage legend Isabell Werth, pronounced himself happy with the improvement in all the horses, from Ebeling’s WEG hopefuls Rafalca and Sandrina, through young ones just starting. “I like to watch horses from the earliest days” says Wittig. “To breed them, to watch them grow, to train and then show or watch others compete – they are showing our breeding and training. Nothing better!”
Asked if his ideas on breeding have changed at all, he immediately responds, “For sure not! It is always about the balance. The construction of the horse. It is best if a horse is made in such a way that it can carry itself AND carry the rider with no change, no effort. Then—there is really no resistance and the training is easy.”
The Wittig foundation stallion, Breitling W (Bismarck x Maat I) is retired from the show ring, but the arenas are full of his successful progeny. Right now, in the fiercely competitive German Young Grand Prix Horse championships, called Medien Cup, sons Bertoli W and Biagiotti W are both at the top listings. “ And Brioni W and Blind Date? Are right behind them.”
As for Germany’s own WEG team prospects, the self-styled “Bavarian farmer” shrugs and says that he and Isabell will “see how all the horses develop through the year—and go with the one that gets scores from the judges.” Asked about Germany’s new position—ie, not custodian of all the gold medals—he says simply, “I think we are on the right path now, going back to our roots, focusing on the training. We have to make sure we look for the new horses and not just count on the older ones because old equals history equals looking back at the past.”
Jan Ebeling says that working with Wolfram “is easy, because he has such a classical background—and also pays attention to the same details I care about.” Ebeling spent his formative years in Germany, working for the incomparable Herbert Rehbein, ‘trainer of trainers’. Jan continues, “I am a stickler on the basics, and think that when those are correct—the rest is easy. Wolfram really believes in riding the correct tempo and making sure of all the transitions so that the movements come naturally out of that, whether it is half pass or piaffe or pirouette. Really—that’s it: getting the details of the basics right.”
Jan and his wife Amy, who together run The Acres, their home base horse farm, have decided on a ‘competition calendar’ which includes small peaks at various California shows , bigger peaking for the WEG Selection Trials later this summer, and of course the hope to be on the WEG Team and peak during those important days!
“I think my chances are really good,” says Jan, “so long as I ride my horses the way I know how to and stay focused. Rafalca (Argentinus x Rubinstein) is the more experienced and I fully count on her now, she has been so consistent in shows and at home. Sandrina (by Sandro Hit) is still green but each show, she brings excitement and improvement.” He grins. “I am a lucky rider in my horses!”
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