Horse Shopping With Reesink Horses
Caitlin Ben-Dror, a 16-year-old working student from America, showed us her "favorite", a fancy light bay 5-year-old KWPN gelding Prinz Charming D by Jet Set D. Spending the summer at the Reesink's has been an enriching learning experience for the the young horsewoman, whose mother Margaret Hawkins, teaches and trains at Whispering Spring Farm, in southern Pennsylvania. Their trainer, Steve Wolgemuth is a steady customer of the Reesink's having purchased several horses for his clients, and Caitlin's Mom. It was through this connection Caitlin had the opportunity to work at the busy facility, and increase her experiences working with young horses.
"The biggest difference in working here is having so many quality horses to ride and work with each day." explained the High School Junior." Sharing the barn duties are several young Dutch students, all happily buzzing about the barn, rolling bandages, braiding horses to show, cleaning tack, and keeping the indoor area immaculate. "I have been learning how to work with the basics, and how to ride young horses."
Certified by the Dutch Government as a School for Horse Breeding and Sport, there is a steady source of students to work with, providing room and board, and a small salary. In Europe, young riders have more opportunities to develop their horsemanship skills into a career, as the horse business is a true industry here.
"Dutch students are used to a daily life with horses that includes group lessons, and hard work on the farm including every aspect of the care and training of young horses." said Eugene Reesink. "We have found young Americans to be enthusiastic and excited about the working experience here, as they increase their awareness of bloodlines, and our daily training routine, gaining invaluable experience working with so many horses. My wife Anna Beth, is an excellent trainer and teacher, and we feel our program teaches important skills they may otherwise not be exposed to."
This experience also provides an excellent opportunity for a person to make a selection on a prospect for themselves. Caitlin is dreaming of taking home her Prinz Charming D, and just like the glass slipper in the fairy tale, Cinderella, he seems to be the perfect fit. "It could work out," Caitlin told us as she was busy braiding the next horse to be ridden. "I just heard from home, and someone has offered to buy my older thoroughbred I have competed to 4th level. I wasn't even considering selling him, so perhaps this is a sign something could work!
By the twinkle in Eugene Reesink's eye, as he told Caitlin she could ride her Prinz Charming for the photo session, we surmised he thought so too. The price on the paperwork was surprisingly reasonable, and our guess is that Reesink would work with Caitlin to make such a dream possible.
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