German Olympian Ingrid Klimke is an incredible horsewoman and author, and we’ve long admired her ability to balance her equestrian career with her family, as well as her commitment to educate others, just as her esteemed father Reiner Klimke always did. TSB caught up with Ingrid last month and had a chance to ask her a few questions about her new book and the year ahead.
TSB: You recently wrote TRAINING HORSES THE INGRID KLIMKE WAY, which shares many details about your training philosophy and the horses in your stable. In it, readers can really see how much each individual horse means to you. What is one lesson one of your horses has taught you that you feel has changed you, your riding, or how you work with horses?
IK: Abraxxas (“Braxxi”) taught me one really important lesson in my life: Horses, just like human beings, have strengths and weaknesses, and you have to accept that! Braxxi was always mostly great in the dressage and cross-country…but then the show jumping was not always easy. I eventually found there was no other way forward than to accept this and live with it and find other ways to make him strong. His gift to me was only one rail down in his last run at the CCI**** Burghley 2013!
TSB: It’s a WEG year—what are your hopes for the competition in Tryon, personally and for the German team?
IK: For sure, GOLD for the team and for Bobby (Hale Bob)!
TSB: Anyone who has tried to balance a riding life and a family will look at you with great admiration, as you compete at the very top of the international scene while still managing to be “Mom.” How do you balance your riding and training career with your family? Do you have any tips for the rest of us?
IK: Good organization is the key. With the perfect team and supporters you have the chance to make everything possible. I must give many thanks to my mum Ruth, as she is always there for me. And my barn manager Carmen, as she knows all the horses—and me—better than anybody else! #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?
IK: I would choose a blood horse, and I would take the book Ahlerich, which was written by my father.
TSB: What’s in your refrigerator at all times?
IK: Cheese and fruit.
TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
IK: Perfect happiness for me is to gallop on the beach on a fast horse 🙂
TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.
IK: When I was two years old my mum put me on the back of a horse in the stable…
TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.
IK: …that same time with my mum…I fell off on the concrete!
TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?
IK: I like a sense of humor. A good friend also needs to be tolerant so that we can be like we are and stay like we are.
TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?
IK: I like ambitious horses with personality 🙂 It’s great when they have a winning spirit. Its also very nice when they are good jumpers.
TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?
IK: I would love to ride across the Rocky Mountains.
TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?
IK: Salad and pasta.
TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?
IK: In my perfect holiday I would love to be out in nature with wild animals, on horseback, along with great people. My partner pferdesafari fulfills this dream perfectly!
TSB: If you could have a conversation with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?
IK: Nelson Mandele.
TSB: What is your motto?
IK: Love what you do and do what you love.
Ingrid’s new book TRAINING HORSES THE INGRID KLIMKE WAY is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.
CLICK HERE for more information or to order.
Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.