11 things you (probably) didn’t know about Woodlander Farouche

  • From having her teeth brushed every other day to making soup every day in her stable, we find out more about this world class dressage horse

    1. She is multi-talented

    Michael Eilberg, Farouche’s rider,  jumps most of his young horses and says that Farouche has a decent jump in her. “The talent’s there and I still jump her now. I’ve jumped her about 1m – it would be silly to do too much, but she enjoys it,” he says.

    “It helps with the enthusiasm and freshness; you’ve just got to be careful because the horses are not used to jumping on a regular basis. You don’t want to load their joints in a way they’re not used to.”

    2. There are two sides to her personality

    “She’s a little queen,” says Michael. “Put it this way, if you can’t reach to stroke her over her stable door, even with a treat, she won’t come to you. She’ll make you open the door and come right in to her.

    “She has got a very cuddly, sweet side, but she’ll also make it clear when she wants to be left alone. She is similar to ride – one minute she’ll be very quiet and at ease, the next she’s a firecracker.”

    Michael EILBERG riding WOODLANDER FAVOCHE; winner of Dressage Competition at Bolesworth CSI **** International, at Bolesworth Castle, Tattenhall, near Chester on the 18th June 2015

    3. She makes “soup” in her stable

    Both Farouche and her mother, Woodlander Dornroschen (Rosie), have a dunking bucket in their stables, for their hay.

    “Rouchy takes it a step further and dunks her feed as well as her hay – she makes a right mess,” says Michael.

    4. Her teeth are cleaned every two days

    “The dentist said she has quite a lot of decay in her teeth so we tried brushing them with a toothbrush but she didn’t like it,” says Michael. “So now she has a mouthwash syringe — she wears a mouth brace and has a slosh on each side. She loves it and it’s done wonders for her teeth.

    best of british Farouche

    5. She’s not quite such a queen when she sleeps

    “Rouchy always sleeps with her nose in the straw, and she snores – quite loudly! I’ve got a video of it,” says Michael.

    6. She loves to be clipped

    “She likes the itching. It’s hard to clip her neckline actually, because she always rubs the wall with her nose so her head and neck wobbles.”

    7. She takes after her mum

    “They’re very similar, especially in the way they can switch from lamb to lioness very quickly,” says Michael. “But Rouchy has more confidence and independence than her mother – Rosie is more vulnerable and needy, and takes confidence from me.”


    8. Passage hasn’t come easily to her

    “The concept of passage was tricky for her, which I didn’t expect,” says Michael. “She picked up piaffe in a week but when it came to passage she didn’t understand the concept. When I said passage she thought I meant piaffe, and I couldn’t tell her off for that because piaffe is good. In the end, I had to avoid piaffe for a year.”

    9. She doesn’t like puddles

    “We struggle to get her through a puddle. She’ll go into water with enough persuasion, but out hacking she would rather go in the ditch then through the puddle.”

    10. She has presence for a reason

    Michael Eilberg - Woodlander Farouche

    Farouche stands at a lofty 17.2hh. “She always seems bigger at shows at well,” says Michael.

    11. Michael has never fallen off her – yet!

    Don’t miss our Horse Hero feature in the 15 October 2015 issue of Horse & Hound magazine, where we take a closer look at her conformation to find out what makes her so impressive

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