Dressage star Mary Hanna chats all things horses and Haygain
Written by: Arabella CleggWhat are your competition highlights so far this year?
I started the year with Calanta winning the Pacific League final of the World Cup. This was a significant win as it meant coming to Europe to compete at the final. I also decided to bring my Olympic mount Boogie Woogie over as well, to help with my campaign to making selection for the World Equestrian Games.
Unfortunately Calanta was injured before the World Cup final, so while she was recuperating I have been concentrating on Boogie Woogie. Our best performance so far this year was at the Aachen CDI, he did a super test with over 70% to finish second in the Grand Prix and then fourth in the Special. NB: Mary and Boogie Woogie have now been selected to represent Australia at the World Equestrian Games 2018- Congratulations! Do you have any exciting young horses coming through?
As well as my two Grand Prix horses, I have a lovely seven year old, Gerion. He represented Australia at the World Championships for young horses in August last year; he showed a lot of promise by finishing fourth in the first round. I believe he is looking at being my next horse at Grand Prix level. He has a real talent for piaffe and passage, as well as all the collected movements. What is your favourite/most used Haygain product? And how these have benefited you and your horse.
How as a rider do you keep yourself fit?
My favorite Haygain product is undoubtedly the Hay steamer. All three horses
have their hay steamed every day. This is important with the humidity in Northern Germany to keep the hay free of spores, and healthy for the horses’ lungs also. It’s a great product and easy to use allowing us to take it to all our shows too. How did you get in to dressage? If you hadn't gone in to dressage what path might you have taken?
I was originally an event rider, however I became fascinated with Dressage and really enjoyed it, and of course still do. I love training the horses through all the levels to Grand Prix. Every horse has different challenges, and it is a very rewarding and interesting journey with every horse. If you could have or ride any horse from any discipline who would it be and why?
If i was to ride another horse, I think I would have loved to sit on Valegro. He had such lovely expression and relaxation, even in the most difficult movements.
To keep fit I do lots of walking with my Border Terrier, Benji. Wherever possible I like to swim, and do a bit of yoga and pilates when I can.