What about things you have learned from science?
“We use heart-rate monitoring, we measure lactate. The veterinary side is very scientific. I like to learn what we know about how horses are in nature, living in a herd. That can help us know what horses like and keep them happy and healthy. But I am not a person to change the basics, from what I learned from my father.
Isaac Newton said: “If I have seen further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”. You have stood on the shoulders of giants; your father was a giant in the sport. If he was here, what do you think you have learned that he would be interested in?
“He grew up in a different time when women were not allowed to do things. For example, they thought that women could not do cross country, that they were not tough enough. The sport has changed so much. I think he would laugh about how much the women have taken over. He was a typical man, a strong man and a leader of men, the ruler of the family. When he was here there was one voice, one boss.
“If he was alive it would take him some time to understand how we do things in our team, but then he would admire how we do things. There is much more a team approach. Everyone can contribute. (This was an unexpected and heartfelt answer, an answer about leadership style and relationship.)
“He always said, ‘It is not Ingrid that loves the animals, it is the animals who love Ingrid’. He saw that connection. He would be interested to see how my relationship with the horses has developed.
“I try to help my daughters (Phillipa, 10, and Greta, 17) to appreciate what we have, to leave the stress of school and all the things they do away from the horses. Since I became a parent, I have become even more thankful for my wonderful life. We can do things together. I can keep my horses. We don’t have to sell them because of the way we have built the business, with competition horses (Ingrid retains a majority share of her competition horses), and with books and clinics. I am so grateful for what we have all together built up. Ten years ago I wasn’t sure that it would work out. I love what I do. Everyone contributes.”
(Ingrid’s marketing manager Anna, who also came to Australia, comments that everyone in the team, and the business partners, are all grateful for Ingrid’s leadership. “We are so lucky that we have Ingrid, it’s joyful work,” Anna says with obvious feeling.)
What makes a podium rider a top 3 rider as opposed to a ‘normal’ elite top 8-10?
“I think you must have a lot of energy to be able to give it your all. There is a lot of power in wanting to win and wanting to be on the podium. If you want to reach something that others don’t reach then you have to do more than others. You have to do more and do it better. You have to step back and think, ‘what can I do better?’ not just look at the others and think that they have something better.”
Ingrid certainly impressed everyone at the masterclass with her indefatigable energy. She did the masterclasses, signed books and had barely a moment to herself. She was so generous with her time. I had missed my appointment with her due to rain and traffic, but she was so kind to agree to meet with me the day after the masterclass. She impressed me as a truly outstanding person. It was a real privilege to meet her. No doubt she will continue to be a driving force inspiring people with her teaching and her training to build those great relationships, to foster the enduring principles of classical training.
Watch EQ Life’s video recap from Ingrid Klimke’s masterclasses here.