Mentors, Trainers, And Heroes

Anne Gribbons

Col. Ljungquist trained Anne for eight years, and then unexpectedly, in 1979, he passed away. "I was lost at sea for several years," said Anne. "I didn't know what to do because I thought for sure he was going to live forever and always be available."

Anne continued to ride on her own and four years later in a clinic in Canada , she met two-time Olympic competitor, Harry Boldt of Germany , a man she calls one of her heroes. "He liked my horse, certainly better than he liked me," she said with amusement. She was riding a Swedish Warmblood named Stockholm who had a lovely trot, piaffe and passage. Boldt agreed to take the horse and Anne in training, and she spent four months in Germany riding with him every day. "That was a great inspiration and a very good education."

Unlike today, when riders are continually seeking long-term training in Europe, in the 1980s it was not common practice for a rider to stay and train overseas. Instead, at Boldt's stable, riders came 'by invitation' and certainly not every day to ride their own horse. Anne, however, turned up at the barn every day to ride, which confused Boldt at first, but by the third day, he acknowledged her, "Oh, you're back again!" and she assured him that she would be there daily.

"Then he really got with the program and lit into me, which was great. He did my riding a lot of good and my ego no good at all. There were many times when I thought I surely should take up another sport," said Anne wryly. "I didn't realize until I got back home how beneficial the training was and how much I had learned."

A couple of years later, Anne went back to Germany to work with Herbert Rehbein for four months. Aboard Kristall and under Mr Rehbein's genius tutelage, Anne fulfilled the desire to show in Germany. "In Hamburg, when we came out of the ring, Herbert said, "Well, he couldn't really have gone better." I will think of that as one of the greatest compliments anybody could receive," Anne reminisced.

Anne also calls Dr. Moritz a friend as well as a mentor. Anne described her experience with Dr. Moritz 10 years ago when she had three horses in Germany that he helped her train. Dr. Moritz, who is not only a world-renowned judge, but also at that time was a director at a huge company called Mannesmann, came every day after work to coach her. He also brought her to dozens of shows he judged. She was allowed to sit with him and listen to him judge while watching the best horses in the world perform. "That has done 'globs' for my judging and has been the most wonderful experience."