Hope Cooper in Germany: An Experience For The Books

January 27, 2022

Hope Cooper riding in EquiFit Dressage products.

Last summer, we introduced a New Dressage Line here at EquiFit. Being a Massachusetts-based company, we collaborated with Hope Cooper & Jane Karol of Bear Spot Farm in Concord, Massachusetts as we innovated the Essential® Dressage Square Pad, Essential Polo Wrap & Essential Dressage Schooling Girth.

Hope was not only excited to continue using the products after launch, but travel with them to Germany as she embarked on a three month externship. This blog series followed Hope & her horses along on their journey as they navigated abroad.


Hope Cooper in Germany: An Experience For The Books

My last blog post left off with getting to do my first senior Grand Prix. After that, Chocolate was able to do a lot of relaxing, galloping on the track and hacking around the property before we left Germany. He really loved this time and he definitely felt like he deserved it - because he did! Both Chocolate and Diamond got to have a few weeks of more relaxing work before we started to ramp it back up for our upcoming season in Wellington, Florida and now both horses are feeling their best to go down centerline in the CDI show ring. As we transition, I think this winter will be a year of learning in the Grand Prix and in general, but I’m feeling so grateful I have these two horses to grow & go through this experience with.

Chocolate chilling on the cross ties at Kasselmans. ©Hope Cooper

In the last week of being in Germany, something very exciting happened. We bought another horse named Flynn PCH. He is a sweet and fun to ride stallion who has been around the show ring for quite a while now, and I am very lucky to have him on my team. Flynn is 15 and ready to teach me lots in the Grand Prix work. I am really loving getting to know this horse. He spent a few more weeks over in Germany after I returned home and then flew directly to Wellington to stallion quarantine for one month. We are now into the new year and I am so excited to get him settled! We are staying at the absolute beautiful  Jewel Court Stud. USA and as always, we love it, I really think Flynn will be happy here too. 

Flynn’s arrival at Kasselmans. ©Kariel  Last Lesson on Flynn before Hope flew back to the US. © Kariel  Chocolate, Christoph & one of his youngsters exchanging words of wisdom. © Patricia Koschel

We flew home to the US in early November. Lucky for me, Kariel flew home with Chocolate, Diamond, Destar and Tripple. As you can imagine, the traveling process isn’t always stress freey, but having Kariel there gave me the confidence I needed that everything would go smoothly. Not to mention, The Dutta Corp and Guido Klatte always do a fantastic job transporting the horses.

Ponies & Kariel headed to the airport. ©Hope Cooper

Once we all arrived safely home, each of the horses got a much-deserved break. With that, we did lots of hacking, supplementing carrots and even catching up on massages from Sal Salvetti, our Equine Massage Therapist. The more relaxed time at home was awesome to get back into teaching students and riding their horses, and also just getting to know my youngsters a little better; spending a lot of quality time with them was essential. I feel like having that extra time really deepened our relationships. I also enjoyed lots of time with my family and my other four legged furry friends.

Hope standing in an arena with a horse tacked up, kissing his face.

Hope's boyfriend hugging Hope's three big dogs.

After a few weeks we started to increase the work a bit and then we all headed off to Wellington, Florida for the winter season!

Hope and her horse taking a selfie and smiling at the camera.

 Around the same time Flynn arrived in Wellington to begin his quarantine.

Flynn's first steps in the USA.

We finally arrived into Florida after a long drive where we didn’t stop. This was certainly a learning experience - but it was fun none the less. I am looking forward to get to showing and learning lots this season! This is the first time in a while that I have gone out at a new level with lots of new challenges presented after doing the U25 for almost four years of my dressage career. I am excited to see what the next few months holds for both the youngsters and of course, my three more experienced ones on the team! Here are a few photos of our arrival into Florida:

Hope sitting on a fence with her horse, smiling and petting his face.Outside view of a barn with horses' heads looking out the stalls in the sun.

Horse wearing a fly sheet, standing in a grass pasture while grazing.Flynn sticking his head out of the stall, looking to his right with his ears perked forward.Chocolate chilling on the cross ties at Kasselmans.

Thank you all for reading my blogs these past few months & following along this journey. I am so honored to be a part of the EquiFit family, and I hope reading about some of my adventures makes you want to go on some externships of your own (and bring all the EquiFit you can possibly pack in your suitcase). Below are two photos of the different sunsets: Florida & Hagen. This team of horses brought me to each sunset, and I feel both extremely grateful for that and excited to see what other sunsets are in store for us.

Orange sunset in Florida.Blue and soft pink or purple sunset with a rainbow in the sky in Germany.