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That Special Bond – with Mel Jobst: “Funky Fred constantly waits to go to shows”

Tuesday, 26 October 2021
That Special Bond

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ “Funky Fred constantly waits to go to shows,” Mel tells. “When I pack the truck, he does his best to get my attention so he can come with." Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

 

Text © World of Showjumping

 


 

We continue our popular series ‘That Special Bond’ with Mel Jobst, who has been Marcus Ehning’s groom for the last five years. As we chat with Mel, we discover that she actually knew many of the horses she ended up grooming from the time before they arrived at Ehning’s stable.

The Special One

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ "In one way, Pret was the easiest but in other ways he could behave quite silly," Mel tells about Pret a Tout. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“It is difficult to say which one is the special one, since I have been taking care of so many horses. They are all lovely, and each of them have their good sides. Some horses I spend more time with as I have them with me when I travel, but we also have some really special youngsters,” Mel says.

“However, if I focus on the older horses that I take care of, I would probably mention my two chestnuts – Funky Fred as well as Pret a Tout, who is now retired.”

“I knew Pret a Tout already before he came to Marcus. He was in Otto Becker’s stable back when I was working for Bliss Heers, who was based there, and Kaya Lüthi rode him. In one way, Pret was the easiest, but in other ways he could behave quite silly. When we went for longer trips with a stop-over he could decide that he was sick of travelling, and he didn't go on the truck anymore. On the other hand, you could give him to anyone to hand-walk, leave him with an open box and he was easy in whatever else you did with him. While he followed you like a dog, he would at the same time try to bite you in the back and play with you – and sometimes when you hand-walked, he just stopped and stood there.”

“Funky Fred constantly waits to go to shows,” Mel continues. “When I pack the truck, he does his best to get my attention so he can come with. He is a really easy stallion to deal with – you can leave him in the middle of the ring and walk away, and he will stand there waiting for you even with other horses being ridden around him. At the shows, you can have a mare stabled on the opposite side and it doesn’t bother him – except if it is Calanda, since he considers her “his” mare”.

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. “Comme Il Faut is also a special horse that I got to know when he was five,” Mel tells. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“Funky is the slowest walker in the world and it takes forever to get somewhere. When it comes to riding, he is really easy outside the ring and he is one of the horses I get to jump now and then for fun. Inside the ring he can get a bit strong and is on fire.”

“Comme Il Faut – who recently was retired – is also a special horse that I got to know when he was five,” Mel tells. “A friend of mine was grooming him, as well as Pret A Tout, Cornado and Firth of Lorne when she worked for Peppi Dahlmann, Andreas Kreuzer and Kaya Lüthi in Otto Becker’s stable. In that way I got to know all these horses before I had the luck to take care of them myself.”

“Comi was constantly talking. On the truck, where we have the stallions next to each other, he would be screaming – but in a nice way. You thought you had problems back there, but it was just Comi screaming – nothing else.”

Missing the Most

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ "Gin Chin is a really lovely horse, and I was happy to be able to see him at shows sometimes after he left us," Mel tells. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“That is Gin Chin van het Lindenhof. Luckily most of the horses stay with us, but Gin Chin got sold to Bertram Allen in 2017. Gin Chin is a really lovely horse, and I was happy to be able to see him at shows sometimes after he left us.

I didn’t take care of Firth of Lorne for that long, be he was also a very nice company –  always behaving. Even if you had the feeling he didn’t care about what you were doing, he still wanted some attention. He is now in France, focusing on breeding.”

Hardest to Get to Know

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WOSJ "Cristy was like a diva. She wanted attention, but wanted to choose when," Mel tells. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

“That is a difficult question. Maybe it is the mares – or Cornado. It took me a bit of time to understand how Cornado acted at shows and how to deal with him there. When he was at a show, he mostly just laid down, slept in his box, while outside he acted more fresh, so hand-walking him was a bit like a marathon. Cornado was like the perfect big boss that gave so much back,” Mel says.

“Marcus' two mares Cristy – who is now retired – and Calanda are both a bit special. Cristy was like a diva; she wanted attention, but also wanted to choose when. And sometimes she clearly told you with the ears back that this was not her day, but she would never bite though.”

“Calanda will in one moment be following you like a dog and the next moment she is spooky. And you will never know what she will spook at. At home Karina – Marcus’ sister – takes care of her and does everything with her. Karina knows Calanda much better than me at home, and I know her better at the shows.” 

 

 

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