Nadine Schwartsman Steps It Up With Sonnenberg’s Kain

Sunday, August 8, 2021
Posted by Mary Phelps



As soon as travel to Europe opened in 2021 Nadine Schwartsman was finally able to plan a trip in search of her dream horse. The German-born Dressage rider, a US citizen since 2015, Nadine owns and operates her own world-class show stable Les Bois Dressage in Eagle, ID where she lives with husband Roman and son Nikolai.

She has raised and trained many US-Bred horses, earning her USDF Gold Medal and multiple wins over the years in the National Dressage and Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships. She is a focussed and talented rider and trainer, with many young horses coming up through the levels.

Building her business, she has been riding for clients, helping her students, mostly Amateur riders and their horses, with much success. Now it was time for her own horse, and she was on a mission.

Nadine has her eye on the prize, to represent the USA on a Team and she has been seeking the horse to do it with. So she planned a trip to Germany and began her search online. But it turned out, she did not have to go far. Nadine hooked her truck and trailer and took the 7-hour-drive to  Sonnenberg Farm where she met her match.

Sonnenberg’s Kain, a 6-year-old KWPN gelding by El Capone x Carlton Hill x Flemmingh was purchased by Sonnenberg Farm in Holland at 3 months old from breeder Alice Klimstra. 

From Foal to Four-Year-Old Champion in 2019

Sonnenger's Kain with Michele Bondy 2019 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Champion
Sonnenger's Kain with Michele Bondy 2019 Markel/USEF National Young Horse Champion ©susanjstickle.com

“He was an incredible foal," recalls Gina Ruediger, owner of Sonnenberg Farm. "We could see his uphill movement, with great use of his back. He was so supple and with great joint articulation. He did not disappoint.”

Together with Sonnenberg's rider Michele Bondy, and the meticulous guidance from her coach, Christophe Theallet, and the USEF Young Horse Coach and Director, Christine Traurig, Kain competed successfully through the levels, showing all the talent for the Grand Prix.

Raising Kain

Sonnenberg's Kain launched his career in 2019 winning the Markel USEF 4-year- old National Young Horse Dressage Champion in Chicago. It was there Nadine Schwartsman, who was competing there for clients, first laid eyes on the impressive youngster who had been carefully nurtured in the Sonnenberg program. "I fell in love with Kain the first time I saw him as a four-year-old, " said Nadine, and have loved him from afar ever since."

In 2020 he placed 3rd in a strong field of 5-year-old and in 2021 was placed on the USEF Young Horse/Developing Horse program for future US/International US Team horses.

"His piaffe and passage will be world-class," said Dan Ruediger. "He shows much talent for collection in his pirouettes. We’ve seen some of his incredible tempi changes. Michele has done a great job developing him for FEI. Now that we see all this Grand Prix talent, it was time to match him with a super rider and good friend, Nadine Schwartsman."

Matching Horse and Rider is Sonnenberg Farm's Goal

"Nadine has developed multiple horses to Grand Prix - and now it’s time for her to have a potential team horse. Kain fits this bill exactly for Nadine, " adds Gina Ruediger. "Nadine is a beautiful and correct rider. Even though he’s younger than Nadine wanted, with her talent and ability she's the perfect match to introduce him to the FEI levels. 

"It’s tough to sell such an incredible dressage horse like Kain," adds Dan Ruediger,  "but our pipeline for talented young horses at Sonnenberg Farm is very strong. This has been our goal all along at Sonnenberg Farm, finding the right match for our boy, was an important goal."

A Horse of Her Own

I would see him every year where I was also competing in the Young Horse classes," Nadine recalls. "I just never thought it would be possible to purchase such an amazing horse. I don’t have a sponsor (yet) and a big farm to take care of. But years of working 16 hour days and saving every penny it was finally possible for me to have my dream horse. I’m so grateful to the Ruedigers for the opportunity and can’t wait to start my journey with Kain."

And that journey began in August 2021, when Nadine hooked her trailer and drove from Idaho to Oregon. Not the European trip she first planned but heading toward a dream horse in the USA she had been watching and dreaming of for the last three years.