A Tradition with Warmbloods

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Chrissa F. Hoffmann

"Not to say I am an anti-Warmblood person,” Chrissa is quick to point out. "Actually Warmbloods are all that I have ever personally owned. My job is fun, because each day I ride 7-8 horses, training from Warmbloods, to Saddlebreds and Morgans.” Chrissa believes she has become a much better rider, and a more sensitive trainer as a result of working with this variation of breeds.

In 1997 she and Barbara imported Chiral, as a five-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Amiral x Challot x Ceylon) and Chrissa has developed him from Training Level to Grand Prix. Since the death of her trainer and mentor Barbara Silverman in 2000, Chrissa began doing most of her own training, aside from a stint in training with Robert Dover and Tina Konyot, and clinics.

“The only help I got was an occasional clinic here and there,” commented Chrissa. “This was very hard for me, because I was so used to having Barbara's instruction and help on a regular basis. After her death, I had to learn my own style of riding and technique, and how to problem solve on my own.”

Still, after the loss of Barbara, Chrissa did her best to work with top trainers such as; Robert Dover, Tina Konyot, Uwe Steiner and Cesar Parra, making a point to clinic with each of them whenever the opportunity arose. “All of these trainers are very different in technique,” comments Chrissa, “but I learned something form each of them; Robert is a master of putting a horse "on the aids", Uwe is an exercise wizard, Cesar taught me forward and through, and Tina is the most beautiful rider in America and one to emulate if you can!”

In 2004, she was introduced to Alex Gerding, a German Pferdewirtshaftmeister who had recently moved from Germany to Virginia. Working with Alex for the past two years, Chrissa now finally has someone there for her. “He has helped me with all of my horses, and I have such a rapport with him.” Chrissa remarked. “Because he is a judge, he teaches me the technical aspect of riding, and helps me always reiterate the basics.”

2005 Was a Gold Medal Year for Chrissa Hoffman