Woolwich & Wellesley Township's Local Community Newspaper | Elmira, Ontario, Canada
Help
Follow

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send you promotional messages.
Please read our privacy policy.

She’s not horsing around

Horses are in Ute Busse’s blood. There is not a day that goes by without Busse strapping a saddle to one of the 25 horses at her Sonnenhof Stables to go for a ride. She is dedicated and exacting in her skills as a dressage rider, which means she develops, through training, a horse’s natural athletic ability and willingness to perform, and increases its potential as a riding horse. At the height of a dressage horse’s development, the animal will respond smoothly to a skilled rider’s minimal directions. It has been called ballet on a horse and to the spectator it should appear as if the rider sits effortlessly on the horse as it performs intricate movements all on its own.

For more than 52 years Busse has surrounded herself with horses and for the last 20 years she has been training both horses and riders in dressage discipline, teaching the correct aids precisely.

“All my life I have been on the back of a horse,” she noted.

UP ON TOP Ute Busse will receive the OEF Coach of the Year award on Nov. 26 in Toronto. She has been coaching dressage to riders at her Sonnenhof Stables for 20 years. (Below) Busse rides her champion horse Lindor’s Finest and hopes to compete for team Canada at the summer Olympics in 2012.

Starting at the age of five in Germany with the help of her father, a riding coach, she entered the sport early on, competing in eventing and jumping. In 1982 Busse immigrated to Canada and started coaching horseback riding as a way of dealing with the stress of being a mother of two.

“I just wanted to get out of the house and do other things rather than focusing on the children all the time, so I accepted a job as a coach at a hunter jumper stable. I never could stay away from the horses,” she said.

She purchased her farm, located at 300 St. Charles St. W. between Maryhill and Bloomingdale, in 1991 and converted the sheep farm into a riding stable and expanded to include 25 stalls, an indoor arena and outdoor riding ring. That same year her horse, Dillon, became a champion in dressage.

“He helped build me my name and after him I continued to get good horses,” she said. “He was an amazing horse and we trained him over the flat not over fences, it is a really good base for all horses that need to be trained, either to walk, trot, or canter. At the stables we take it further and go into the more fancy movements – some people refer to it as horse dancing.”

To say that Busse has a great talent in working with horses is an understatement. No matter the age, breed or level of training she can transform the ordinary horse into an extraordinary one. Which is why she’ll be in Toronto Saturday to receive an award as the 2011 Ontario Equestrian Federation coach of the year.

“She is amazing at what she does and has accomplished so much this year,” said Nadine Koppeser, who nominated Busse for the honour and whose daughter Brooke trains at Sonnenhof Stables. “(Busse) keeps producing great horses and riders year after year and I am glad she is finally receiving the acknowledgement she deserves.”

Not only is Busse receiving the coach of the year award but she is also the only coach in Canada to have four family members competing in the grand prix at the international level: Busse, her two daughters Sarah Turner and Tina Irwin and her son-in-law Jaimey Irwin.

Daughter Tina is also a member of the 2011 Pan-American dressage team. She was not only taught to ride by her mother but has become a coach as well, which makes her the third generation horse coach in the Busse family.

Busse’s current horse, named Lindor’s Finest, has produced a few winning shows over the season and is part of Busse’s declaration to become a member of the Canadian Olympic team in 2012 in London, England.

The road to the Olympics will not be an easy one, even for the coach of the year, as she will be travelling across North America over the next few months competing in shows and earning points.

“I am willing and capable to compete for Canada at the Olympics but I still have to prove that I can really do it,” said Busse. “I have to produce results and only the top three will be able to go to the Games. The road to the Olympics is not paved with sugar cubes.”

Age is not a factor for equestrian riders. In fact, once a rider has learned the skills they operate on technique, and age can help as it means more experience and better technique.

“At the age of 57, I can outdo a lot of our young riders, and I can do this for many more years to come, I am very fit on the inside and out. It is all a mental thing: you are only as old as you think you are.”

For all her endeavours this year, Busse is the most proud of her student’s accomplishments. She trained four riders who made it to the young and junior rider teams.

“OEF coach of the year is a great accomplishment, I understand that, but for me the bigger accomplishment is having four junior riders reach the highest standards of the sport and two of them reached the finals in Kentucky. For me that is the best accomplishment to have. That I have so many great riders in my home base, that is what I am proud of, their accomplishments.”

Becoming a champion rider is not something everyone can do. A rider needs compassion and feel when it comes to connecting with a horse.

“They need to be able to feel themselves into the horse,” said Busse. “It isn’t about muscling a horse because these animals on average weigh 1,200 pounds; if they don’t want to work for us, they are not going to, so we have to convince them that they do want to work for us. We have to build a partnership with the horse.”

That partnership takes a great deal of effort on the part of both horse and rider.

“It takes a lot to become a champion both physically, mentally and you must have deep pockets. It is not a cheap sport to be a part of. It is, after all, the sport of kings.”

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

Enter your email to subscribe. Unsubscribe anytime. We may send you promotional messages.
Please read our privacy policy.

Total
0
Shares



Related Posts
Read the full story

Putting time in a bottle

Fred Ball has been using his metal detector to find treasure or old artifacts for more than 30…
Read the full story

It’s hot apple pie writ large

The sweet smell of cinnamon and apples filled the building as volunteers placed homemade pies into white boxes,…
Total
0
Share