From dressage to western riding
Created: 08/09/2022, 1:00 p.m
By: Bernd Heinzinger
On the long reins: Theresia Eiglsperger, here with her mare Wallas Wonderwoman.
© CORRIE FUHR/Art & Light
With her great passion, 37-year-old Theresia Eiglsperger from Aich near Taufkirchen has recently achieved great success.
Aich – In western riding, which is still little known in this country, she won two Bavarian championship titles at Gut Matheshof in Kreuth, and recently she won the silver medal in the top-class Golden Series at the same place.
Eigelsperger has been enthusiastic about horses since childhood and started riding at the tender age of six.
At first her main discipline was classical dressage, but that changed after a trip to the USA.
The graduate biologist worked near New Orleans for some time in 2009 and then went to visit relatives in Canada.
There she met a trainer in western riding, and he instilled in her an enthusiasm for this type of equestrian sport.
"I immediately liked the fact that it's not as strict as dressage," emphasizes Eiglsperger.
Dealing with the horses is more relaxed, riding is much "cooler".
In addition, the mood at the competitions would be completely different: “Western riding involves cheering, cheering and shouting.
There is always a lot going on there.”
The discipline, originally from the United States, is similar to dressage.
However, a lot is different, as the 37-year-old explains: “It starts with different equipment and continues with the riding style.
In western riding, we lead the horses with long, sagging reins.
This means they can decide more for themselves.” There is also greater power and speed.
In addition to the high costs, Theresia Eiglsperger also accepts a great deal of time for her great passion.
In normal weeks she drives five times from Aich to her seven-year-old mare Wallas Wonderwoman at the equestrian center in Vaterstetten, which is made available to her there by owner Sophie Raml.
Training with the mare lasts 30 to 60 minutes on these days.
Rehearsing the latest choreographies and step sequences simply takes time, emphasizes the 37-year-old: "But riding is my attitude to life and my great passion.
That's why I'm very happy to accept that."
The fact that the effort is worth it was initially shown at the Bavarian championships.
In the beginner class, Eiglsperger had no problems with her competition, and one level higher, in the amateur class, she was unbeatable this weekend.
She left 70 opponents behind.
Two weeks later there was the grand finale of the Golden Series.
The western rider from Aich had qualified for this with good results in the preliminary competitions and started with great ambitions against the national and even international competition.
In the end, the strong second place jumped out.
However, Eiglsperger was not completely satisfied: “Of course this is a good result.
But the second is also the first loser.” A riding mistake cost her the jump to the top of the podium, she later regretted.
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Competing with others is also on the 37-year-old's agenda for the future.
She is already registered again for the Golden Series 2023 and also wants to start at the "Breeders Derby" in Kreuth.
Participants from all over Europe meet at this major tournament, emphasizes Eiglsperger: “The level of performance is therefore quite high there.”
But she loves a challenge and therefore regularly attends tournaments in Austria and Italy.
Whether there will be a competition in the home country of western riding, the USA, the Aicherin doesn't know yet: "Of course I'd like to go there one day.
However, there is currently no direct planning for this.”
Theresia Eiglsperger has long since turned her love of horses into a career.
Instead of working as a biologist in laboratories, she opened her own idyllic horse farm in Aich in 2017.
There, sport horses can find their deserved relaxation on lush paddocks after strenuous competitions.