Erasmus+ Program ‘Enhancing European Cooperation on the basis of the Olympic Ideal’ An Afternoon at Reitstall Lindenhof in Niedernberg

After we had spent around two hours in the City Galerie for a little ‚tour‘, Emily’s mother picked up Sioned, me, Abelene, her exchange partner and of course Emily and Emma, ready to drive us to Reitstall Lindenhof, where our next official part of our program for this week would take place. We didn’t drive straight through though but took a short stop at my house, where everyone changed into more appropriate clothes.
This didn’t take too much time, so 10 minutes later we all sat in the car again, driving to Niedernberg and listening and singing really loud to Ed Sheeran, someone we found out we all really liked.

During the drive, the rain got heavier, and even though the mood in the car was good (mostly thanks to Ed Sheeran), nobody was really excited to spend two whole hours in the mud.
When Emily’s mother pulled up in the parking lot, we were kind of bewildered that, even though we were almost five minutes late due to the bad traffic, only Sarah waited for us in the pouring rain.

But she led us to the next shelter, where the rest of the group already waited, admittedly freezing, but at least somewhat dry.
When we arrived, the program soon started with Johanna, our ‚leader‘ for this afternoon, explaining how to properly walk a horse. Since this is very important for avoiding serious harm for both horse and rider and most parts of the group never did this before and were actually kind of scared, Johanna let us train this with an adorable pony named Willy.

Some of the Scots were really motivated, for example, Alex, who volunteered to try first, and also Ms. Connon, one of the Scottish teachers.
After five or six people tried to walk Willy, we all moved on to a hall where four horses were already waiting for us, and also two small parkours.

Since our overall motto for the week was the ‚Olympic idea‘, Johanna prepared some games and we would compete against each other in two teams, which we were allowed to form by ourselves.
The first game was basically a version of the well-known game ‚Eierlauf‘ but on horses, and with a piece of bread instead of an egg. In pairs of two (one on the horse with the spoon and the bread, one walking the horse through the parkour) everyone had much fun completing the task of keeping the bread on the spoon, even while getting off the horse and running a part of the parkour before getting back to the start.

And even though this game and the next one, (which was the same parkour, but this time we had to move a whip from one cone to another, all while sitting on the horse) were initially meant as a competition between the two groups, it was everything but that.

Many of us requested to complete the parcours more than once, just because we had so much fun doing it, and in my personal opinion, it helped to make the bond between the Scots and the Germans even tighter than it was from the days we had already spent together.

Two additional games we played were for one the whole group running two laps to see if the fastest one of us would be able to beat the time of one of the horses galloping three laps around the hall (just for the record: we were faster) and secondly a ‚game‘ (if you can call it that) to see who would be faster at eating an apple – one of us, or a horse. Sophie Black, one of the Scottish girls, happily volunteered and almost managed to beat the horse which had to eat two apples, just to make it a little bit fairer.

This afternoon was definitely a great part of an even better week we all enjoyed so much and wished it would have last longer than just these seven – way too short – days.

Lisa Eisert, Friedrich-Dessauer-Gymnasium Aschaffenburg

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