Barbara’s Second Home – Germany

Barbara Strawson - FEI Dressage Rider, Trainer, Instructor and Author

When Nicole Uphoff-Selke became pregnant, the doors opened for Barbara to step up to ride and show Nicole’s horses.  “It was one of those opportunities that you just don’t pass up.”

Barbara’s time in Germany under Nicole’s tutelage taught her much about herself and what she was capable of. “Being in Germany taught me how to focus and believe in myself.  Nicole is a great example of someone who is a champion through hard work. She is calm, friendly and even-tempered.  There is a lot to look up to.”

Barbara’s admiration for Nicole is a mutual feeling. “Barbara loves to work with horses and riders - she doesn’t see it as a job, she lives for it,” states Nicole Uphoff-Selke.  “She has a lot of patience with them, but with herself she is very tough.  Barbara is disciplined; she works and works until the result is satisfying to her.  Her students love her, because she makes them feel her ambition and discipline.”

Barbara credits her husband Brian and his support of her riding career. “Of course without my husband Brian’s support, I wouldn’t be here today.” Her trip to Germany was supposed to be a six month stint and transformed into three years.  Brian traveled back and forth to Germany to make sure they had enough time together.

Barbara can get around “well enough” in German.  “Nicole always wanted to teach me in English, so that she would get better at it.  In the process we learned each other’s language. That said, I couldn’t exactly have a conversation about politics in German. I asked my husband once if it sounded funny hearing me speak German, and he replied that it was ‘not as funny as it sounds to hear you speak English like a German person.’”

Photo: Barbara's Husband, Brian

It’s All in the Family