Passionate International Dressage Grand Prix Rider
Uta Gräf, a highly successful dressage rider and trainer, emphasizes the importance of joy in dressage and prioritizes a fine, communicative relationship with her horses, with her career path taking an unexpected turn from studying Social Pedagogy to becoming a renowned figure in the dressage world.
The Joy of Dressage at the Center of her Philosophy
“It means a lot to me that riding is fun, not just for me but for my horses too. And riding is only fun when we can communicate with our horses using the lightest of aids. Communicating as finely as possible is my absolute priority when riding and educating horses. Naturally, as a competition rider one sets certain goals that you want to achieve but if and how fast we reach these goals is always set by the horse”
Everything Uta does revolve around the relationship with her horses and every horse is treated as an individual.
Her success reflects this. In 2004 she gained the attention of Germany, winning the bronze medal on Duvalier at the German Championships, just behind Hubertus Schmidt and Rudolf Zeilinger. More success at the National level followed with the Hanoverian stallion World Magic. And then came Le Noir. A stunning licensed Holsteiner stallion that Uta Gräf was extremely successful with internationally in the small tour as well as success at Grand Prix level at shows such as Wiesbaden and Aachen.
An Unexpected Career
Her riding talent was not inherited, growing up in a family that had nothing to do with horses. Despite this, she began riding when she was 7 and then when she was 12 had her first-ever horse. Whilst studying Social Pedagogy it never even occurred to Uta Gräf to turn her hobby into a job, this decision came a few years later. At the age of twenty-four, Uta started her riding apprenticeship, winning a scholarship from the Federal Association of Professional Riders and completing her training at Gut Neuhof in Hessen, under the watchful eye of the Dutch Olympic medallist Ellen Bontje and her trainer Conrad Schumacher. This was followed by the final examination, Uta Gräf being awarded the Stensbeck medal.
Her Daily Life as a Trainer
Today she lives with her partner Stefan Schneider on their farm Gut Rothenkircherhof, in Kirchheimbolanden in South-Western Germany, training dressage horses of all levels.
Together with co-author Friederike Heidenhof, Uta has produced numerous DVDs and books. Uta gives her strong support to “Partnership for Africa”, founded by Friederike, helping children and families in need in Tanzania.
Dressage with Enthusiasm: Stress-free Training for Horse and Rider
Dressage with Enthusiasm: It's Showtime!
One-Handed Riding: Test your Training
Prioritizing Training Objectives for Talented Youngsters
Exceeding Expectations with the Average Dressage Horse
Contact: Teaching the Horse to Reach for the Bit
Dressage with Enthusiasm: Keeping Your Horse Motivated
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