Enter at A: Emmy!

Meet the new queen of the Parbery stables... Emmy.

Brett's Lateral Work Cheat Sheet

Quick tips for every lateral movement through the levels

Get the cheat sheet
Sponsored by
by Brett in Performance Horses
April 17, 2018
Brett Parbery new horse Emmy

When I first saw Emmy late last year in Germany, I didn’t think much except that she looked plain and I’d have to put her in the back stable!

As I watched her work though, I started to break down what I was seeing. I worked through the criteria in my mind, and I found all the boxes were being ticked.

When I hopped on, I loved the feeling I got right away, it was a combination of a big engine, a strong back, and sensitivity without being hot.

I’ve always wanted an E-line horse (which features the famous stallions Estobar and Escolar), they’re popular in Europe but for some reason, haven’t seemed to take off to the same extent here in Australia. Emmy is a 2014 foal, Equitaris x Florestan.

Brett Parbery Emmy trot

I find that the best Grand Prix horses are not the obvious standout young horses, in fact they can be a bit plain, just like I thought Emmy was at first.

I wasn’t looking for a horse that the rest of the world would look at and say ‘wow’! I wanted a horse that would suit me, and let me say it’s taken me a while to figure out exactly what does suit me!

Brett Parbery Emmy profile

When I look at a horse, I first try to block out everything except the hind legs. I like to see hind legs that move very regularly, and with purpose. Each stride should be the same. The hind legs might not be the quickest, but I want to see the horse stepping under and the hips tilting down. You can see this even in young foals.

Another thing I look for is that the horse’s back doesn’t tend to hollow. You don’t want to work against a hollow back the whole time. Even if the horse’s head and neck is up, you don’t want the back down.

I also like to see a horse that looks lighter in front than behind, with nice light shoulders. I believe the impression a dressage horse creates is important, and they have to present a very pleasing picture.

All horses will sway a little one way or the other, but I do like to see great natural balance, both left/right and forward/back. With Emmy, I loved her balance through all the paces.

For me, a horse’s trot is relatively insignificant, as an expressive trot it will come later through the training. In a Grand Prix horse, the rider ‘owns’ every step of the trot, it is a rider-made trot.

With the big flash trots you see, they can be quite one-dimensional, and lack the potential to be closed and opened enough for the Grand Prix movements.

You can see in Emmy, her trot isn’t very extravagant. It’s highly functional and balanced, with a very regular hind leg.

Brett Parbery Emmy trot 2

The canter, on the other hand, is more important, you want a fantastic natural canter, and without a doubt, Emmy has a wonderful canter with an outstanding hind leg.

Our partner Terry Snow (Willinga Park) purchased Emmy and we’ve now had her home for around 6 weeks. Each time I work with her at home, I love her more and more. Her mind is wonderful and she loves people, plus she has a great retention and memory.

She also reminds me of Sam (Victory Salute), and it’s wonderful to have that feeling again.

Going forward with Emmy, my job is to take things slowly. She’s only just turned four and she’s so capable, it would be easy to over-do it.

I’m looking forward to sharing Emmy’s progress and developments over the coming months.

Brett Parbery with Emmy

What do you think of the new queen of the Parbery stables? Leave a comment on Facebook and let me know!

Brett's Lateral Work Cheat Sheet

Quick tips for every lateral movement through the levels

Get the cheat sheet