This story is from August 2019 Horse Deals magazine.
Rose and Daddy Moon at the Future Champions, Hagen.
Some riders just ‘have it’ and when Horse Deals saw a video of Kristy Oatley’s daughter Rose and pony Daddy Moon, we knew she was a natural in the saddle. We got the rundown from Rose herself on her dressage filled life in Germany.
Rose, how old are you and how long have you been riding?
I am 12 years old and I have been riding ever since I learnt to walk.
Is Mum your coach or do you receive other instruction?
My mum is my coach and sometimes when my mum’s coach, Ton de Ridder, teaches her I get some lessons from him too. Sometimes I get trained from the National Ponies Coach Connie Endres.
What’s your relationship with Mum like when it comes to your riding?
Mum and I always get along good together, we don’t ever really fight when we ride or when she teaches me. Mum tells me what to do and what I can do better. Mum says I don’t have any other option.
What was Daddy Moon’s background prior to being a part of the Oatley family?
He was at the breeders and the breeders had him in training, he was six years old when we got him. He won the German Championships for young horses as a six year old.
How did Daddy Moon come into your life?
We were looking for a new pony and we found him when Mum and I looked through the ponies at the German Championships. We looked at all of the ponies that started there. Moony and I have come along really good, over the past few years we have come closer and closer together.
What pony did you ride before Daddy Moon and how did the step up to Moon change your riding?
Before Daddy Moon, I had been ridding two 12 hand ponies. The one, Golden Pinguin, I have had since I was five. The other one, Doolittle, belonged to the pony school where I had been riding. The transition was pretty smooth because I have been riding the bigger horses from mother since I started riding.
How long do you spend in the saddle each week?
It changes depending on school and if I have tests. I ride five or six days a week, sometimes I ride before school and sometimes after. On Saturdays I ride four or five, warm up a couple for Mum and then ride the two ponies.
What has been the biggest challenge of stepping up to FEI Pony tests and how did you overcome it?
I started off at normal competitions and then we decided to do a higher level. At the beginning of the year I started riding FEI. My first FEI test wasn’t really a competition, it was an observation round to see if I was ready to go to the next level.
What’s your proudest achievement so far?
That I won the three tests at the International in Hungary and that I won the individual test at Hagen, at the Future Champions.
Congratulations on a clean sweep at your first international event in Budapest, Hungary, winning the Pony Individual, Teams as well as your first Freestyle (78.83%). What was the process of putting together your Freestyle?
I wanted to have a nice Freestyle that showed the best of Moonie and get good music that fits to him. We took a video of me riding the test at home and then sent it to the man that made Mum’s Freestyle music. We wanted something light and music that I like. We chose music with some lyrics to help me remember where I was up to in the test. We got the music two days before my test so I didn’t get to ride through the test with the music, I just watched the video many times.
Video of Rose and Moony’s freestyle
What movement do you enjoy the most and why?
The extended canter and the extended trot because you ride really fast.
You can sit trot better than most of us here in the office, what’s your secret?
I just sit calm and in the rhythm. Always have your body still and try to feel how the horse or pony goes.
School vs horses - how do you balance both?
I always balance it so that if I have homework, I first do my homework and then I can go to the stables. The teachers at my school are always really nice and if I have a competition they set me work in advance so I can go to competitions. When I come back from competitions, the teachers then always ask how the competition went.
How often do you get to ride Mum’s horses? Which is your favourite to ride and why?
In the middle of the week I don’t have that much time to ride Mum’s horses. On Saturdays I come to the stables early in the morning with Mum and then I ride four or five horses for Mum. I really like Qualia and then there is one horse called the same as I, it is called Rosie. That horse I just warm up for Mum, she is really nice to ride.
How did you and your Mum go getting organised together, with you both riding in Hungary?
Mum was going to take three horses but she ended up just taking Du Soleil. My Grandmother MiMi was there to help and take care of me when Mum was busy. We also had Mum’s groom to help and I always help Mum too. It was a good experience to ride together with Mum at the same show.
Lukasz Kowalski Photography
What do you think it takes to make it to the Olympics?
A lot of training and work, and always try to do some new stuff and have a good relationship with the horses.
Do you want to walk in the shoes of your mum?
Yes I want to pursue horses and I always want to help my mum at the stables.