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Riders have become Better at Creative Thinking in Their Training

By Tina Bjerre Nielsen. Photo: Private.

The former international dressage rider, Anke ter Beek, once participated in as many competitions as possible. But not anymore. She is still, of course, a very good rider – perhaps even better than before. But today you will mostly see her doing hacks and training with poles on her beautiful horse Furioso. She is however still very detailed in her dressage training, some might even describe her as a bit of a nerd. Her riding mainly takes place at home in nature and not so much at competitions anymore. Variation and change being the keywords in the development of a long-lasting and durable dressage horse that is not necessarily a top-class horse. This is the story about Anke, and about time, trust and variation. And about the fact that riders have become better and better at thinking creatively about their training. They just need a bit of inspiration.

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Anke ter Beek:

The first thing we asked Anke is how she would describe herself as a rider. The answer came right away. She is the investigative and curious type with a need for a common thread in her work connected to her classical education as a professional rider back in her home country Holland. We´ll come back to this later. The most important thing for Anke is that the riding brings something positive to herself and her horse. 

“Most of all it´s supposed to create happiness,” Anke explains.
“Not just riding but also the togetherness with the horses, the stable-life and all the other practical things. It might seem simple – and it is. Of course, I also have days where everything is not great, but then tomorrow is another day. Earlier I have been in situations where I was too slow to change the things that did not work, and I have learned from these experiences."

Riding is meant to create happiness 

The most important ingrediencies in Anke’s riding are not about expecting unrealistic goals from oneself and the horse. It is about patience and motivation. Or as she describes it: Time, trust and variation. 

"It takes time to build up a horse both mentally and physically. It takes time to get to know a horse and find out its needs and to put together a functional plan. Without trust there is no opportunity for corporation.”
Therefore, you often see Anke training her horse in the woods both with and without dressage exercises. Furthermore, she is also creative and often uses umbrellas, tarpaulins and other challenging stuff to develop the horse in the arena – just like she is famous for working with poles. So creativity is also high on her list when she teaches other riders. Anke is, in other words, a role model when it comes to showing the world that a dressage rider should be able to do a lot more than just sit on her horse and show off exercises.  

Time, trust and variation

A 50/50 competition and stay-home rider

Meeting Anke and her horse in the woods or watching her use so many different props in the arena, is a relatively new thing. About 10 years ago Anke decided to become self-employed, and that changed her training a great deal.

“It was most of all a time in my life where I chose to redefine myself and figure out what kind of rider, I wanted to be. At first, I thought I had to know and be able to do everything; ride competitions, sell horses, train young horses etc. This point of view created a lot of frustration because I was not able to do everything. Breaking in a horse or selling horses are not my specialties, but I really admire riders who can do that. I found out that my passion, besides riding, lays in communication. I love to teach. This would have been nice to know from the beginning, but as the saying goes; adversity creates development.” 


And adversity and development really do describe Anke ter Beek very well. In her younger years it was mostly about competitions and the training preparing for the next competition.
“My perception has changed quite a lot. In the beginning of my career, I had a great need to show off at competitions. At that point I was employed at a Dutch dressage stable and rode both young stallions and other horses who was able to do a descent small tour. I arrived in Denmark in 2003 and had a great time at York Stutteri (York Stud). At that time, I was what I call a 50/50 rider, meaning I would spend 50 % of my time at competitions and the other 50 % on the training at home – and I enjoyed both equally much.”

Back when Anke was an active competition-rider, she used the judges’ comments and the points to find out how she was as a rider. This is not the case any longer.  

"I wanted clear results to measure my own riding skills. This has changed over the last couple of years after I decided to pull away from all the competitions,” she explains and continues: “Perhaps I will return one day, but for now the training at home is really something I enjoy. I still have the same goals; I just don´t accomplish them at competitions.”

Alternative training and time for the horse

Eventhough Anke has changed she still uses a lot of her experience from the past. 

“My experience gives me some clues into my riding and teaching. But at the same time, I am very inspired by other riders like Alizée Froment, Anna Blomgren and trainers like Tristan Tucker and Will Rogers. They are all capable of something out of the ordinary in their communication with the horse. I find that very inspiring.” 

As a younger rider it was very much about choices and through her training, Anke has become very disciplined and had the opportunity to watch the best riders. She had an internship in some of the top stables and this provided her with a huge amount of knowledge and insight. 

When she was employed at York Stutteri in Denmark, she learned how important it is to create a unique teamwork with the horse.

“I experienced how important time is, and that is something I will always prioritize in my training with the horse. It´s working on this special collaboration that I enjoy and what keeps me going. You can easily educate a horse very quickly, but to become an equipage it takes much more than that.”

You don´t need a top-quality horse to be a good rider

As a former top rider at competitions it can seem contradictory that Anke does not believe that you need a top-quality horse to be a good rider. She thinks it is possible to achieve some of your goals without having an extremely expensive horse. 

“You do not need a lot of money to persue your dream. I borrowed all kinds of horses I could train. Some more fitted for the game than others, but with diligence, help from others and faith, you can come along way,” she says.

Often a less expensive horse can also do the trick, because a good rider can bring out the best in all horses. An also, being a good rider is not always the same as riding in the arena day in and day out and going to competitions.

“Sometimes you think everything has to be perfect. When I find myself with this thought I remember what I was told by my trainer in Holland. His advice was that I should try to aim for medium scores in all exercises with a specific horse at a competition. It was not because we did not want higher scores but at the time, this goal would be enough. We were well on our way and to strive for more would be unfair to the horse and myself. To be able to say to yourself; it is good enough right now, is so important.”

Since Anke had her children the desire to go back to competitions has not really been there. That´s why she prioritizes teaching others, and that the training should be as different and motivating as possible. 

At the end of the interview, we asked Anke what she thinks about Danish dressage riders’ view on training.

“It is my experience that some riders practice a lot in the arena until it´s really no fun anymore. I am convinced that horses learn more and easier through versatile work, and the horses become stronger this way. Loosening up, conditioning and mental training are great things to work on outside the arena. 

“In general, I see more willingness towards creative training, sometimes riders just need inspiration and ideas. I would really like to help with this process.”

The training should never be an annoyance 

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Annonce

The former international dressage rider, Anke ter Beek, once participated in as many competitions as possible. But not anymore. She is still, of course, a very good rider – perhaps even better than before. But today you will mostly see her doing hacks and training with poles on her beautiful horse Furioso. She is however still very detailed in her dressage training, some might even describe her as a bit of a nerd. Her riding mainly takes place at home in nature and not so much at competitions anymore. Variation and change being the keywords in the development of a long-lasting and durable dressage horse that is not necessarily a top-class horse. This is the story about Anke, and about time, trust and variation. And about the fact that riders have become better and better at thinking creatively about their training. They just need a bit of inspiration.

Riders have become Better at Creative Thinking in Their Training

By Tina Bjerre Nielsen. Photo: Private.

Annonce

Annonce

Anke ter Beek:

Riding is meant to create happiness 

The first thing we asked Anke is how she would describe herself as a rider. The answer came right away. She is the investigative and curious type with a need for a common thread in her work connected to her classical education as a professional rider back in her home country Holland. We´ll come back to this later. The most important thing for Anke is that the riding brings something positive to herself and her horse. 

“Most of all it´s supposed to create happiness,” Anke explains.
“Not just riding but also the togetherness with the horses, the stable-life and all the other practical things. It might seem simple – and it is. Of course, I also have days where everything is not great, but then tomorrow is another day. Earlier I have been in situations where I was too slow to change the things that did not work, and I have learned from these experiences."

anke-12.jpg
gradient-anke2.png (Copy)

Time, trust and variation

The most important ingrediencies in Anke’s riding are not about expecting unrealistic goals from oneself and the horse. It is about patience and motivation. Or as she describes it: Time, trust and variation. 

"It takes time to build up a horse both mentally and physically. It takes time to get to know a horse and find out its needs and to put together a functional plan. Without trust there is no opportunity for corporation.”
Therefore, you often see Anke training her horse in the woods both with and without dressage exercises. Furthermore, she is also creative and often uses umbrellas, tarpaulins and other challenging stuff to develop the horse in the arena – just like she is famous for working with poles. So creativity is also high on her list when she teaches other riders. Anke is, in other words, a role model when it comes to showing the world that a dressage rider should be able to do a lot more than just sit on her horse and show off exercises.  

A 50/50 competition and stay-home rider

Meeting Anke and her horse in the woods or watching her use so many different props in the arena, is a relatively new thing. About 10 years ago Anke decided to become self-employed, and that changed her training a great deal.

“It was most of all a time in my life where I chose to redefine myself and figure out what kind of rider, I wanted to be. At first, I thought I had to know and be able to do everything; ride competitions, sell horses, train young horses etc. This point of view created a lot of frustration because I was not able to do everything. Breaking in a horse or selling horses are not my specialties, but I really admire riders who can do that. I found out that my passion, besides riding, lays in communication. I love to teach. This would have been nice to know from the beginning, but as the saying goes; adversity creates development.” 


And adversity and development really do describe Anke ter Beek very well. In her younger years it was mostly about competitions and the training preparing for the next competition.
“My perception has changed quite a lot. In the beginning of my career, I had a great need to show off at competitions. At that point I was employed at a Dutch dressage stable and rode both young stallions and other horses who was able to do a descent small tour. I arrived in Denmark in 2003 and had a great time at York Stutteri (York Stud). At that time, I was what I call a 50/50 rider, meaning I would spend 50 % of my time at competitions and the other 50 % on the training at home – and I enjoyed both equally much.”

Back when Anke was an active competition-rider, she used the judges’ comments and the points to find out how she was as a rider. This is not the case any longer.  

"I wanted clear results to measure my own riding skills. This has changed over the last couple of years after I decided to pull away from all the competitions,” she explains and continues: “Perhaps I will return one day, but for now the training at home is really something I enjoy. I still have the same goals; I just don´t accomplish them at competitions.”

anke-11.jpg

Alternative training and time for the horse

Eventhough Anke has changed she still uses a lot of her experience from the past. 

“My experience gives me some clues into my riding and teaching. But at the same time, I am very inspired by other riders like Alizée Froment, Anna Blomgren and trainers like Tristan Tucker and Will Rogers. They are all capable of something out of the ordinary in their communication with the horse. I find that very inspiring.” 

As a younger rider it was very much about choices and through her training, Anke has become very disciplined and had the opportunity to watch the best riders. She had an internship in some of the top stables and this provided her with a huge amount of knowledge and insight. 

When she was employed at York Stutteri in Denmark, she learned how important it is to create a unique teamwork with the horse.

“I experienced how important time is, and that is something I will always prioritize in my training with the horse. It´s working on this special collaboration that I enjoy and what keeps me going. You can easily educate a horse very quickly, but to become an equipage it takes much more than that.”

anke-2_red.jpg
gradient-anke2.png

You don´t need a top-quality horse to be a good rider

As a former top rider at competitions it can seem contradictory that Anke does not believe that you need a top-quality horse to be a good rider. She thinks it is possible to achieve some of your goals without having an extremely expensive horse. 

“You do not need a lot of money to persue your dream. I borrowed all kinds of horses I could train. Some more fitted for the game than others, but with diligence, help from others and faith, you can come along way,” she says.

Often a less expensive horse can also do the trick, because a good rider can bring out the best in all horses. An also, being a good rider is not always the same as riding in the arena day in and day out and going to competitions.

“Sometimes you think everything has to be perfect. When I find myself with this thought I remember what I was told by my trainer in Holland. His advice was that I should try to aim for medium scores in all exercises with a specific horse at a competition. It was not because we did not want higher scores but at the time, this goal would be enough. We were well on our way and to strive for more would be unfair to the horse and myself. To be able to say to yourself; it is good enough right now, is so important.”

Since Anke had her children the desire to go back to competitions has not really been there. That´s why she prioritizes teaching others, and that the training should be as different and motivating as possible. 

anke-8_red.jpg

At the end of the interview, we asked Anke what she thinks about Danish dressage riders’ view on training.

“It is my experience that some riders practice a lot in the arena until it´s really no fun anymore. I am convinced that horses learn more and easier through versatile work, and the horses become stronger this way. Loosening up, conditioning and mental training are great things to work on outside the arena. 

“In general, I see more willingness towards creative training, sometimes riders just need inspiration and ideas. I would really like to help with this process.”

The training should never be an annoyance 

anke.jpg

Follow Anke Ter Beek

Instagram

Facebook

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