GOLDEN EAGLE MEADOWS was established in the summer of 2015, and is located in the far northeast corner of Oregon nestled right below the pristine Eagle Cap Mountains at Highview Angus Ranch.
Angelika has been part of the family operated ranch since 2009, and decided to finally fulfill her dream of raising and training producing versatile, dependable, gentle, powerful athletes with big hearts and lots of style ~ .
Here is her story:
I started riding horses on a regular basis at the age of 13. As a child I would beg my parents to sit me on anything that looked like a horse at fairs, and donkeys while vacationing in Greece and Sicily. I was infected with “equineitis” from the day I was born.
Growing up in the middle class, my parents didn’t have an infinite amount of money to get me started at an exclusive stable, so one day shy of my 13th birthday, I joined a friend who went riding at a pony stable just outside of Nuernberg, Germany.
For the next three years, Fjord horses, Shetland Ponies, Arabians, and many other horse breeds became a part of my early riding experience. Nevertheless, regardless of what I chose for my riding partners going forward, Fjords were always closest to my heart.
But not everything was milk and cookies. At 16, I ended up in a serious riding accident while jumping a young inexperienced horse and broke my back. Even though my orthopedic surgeon had little faith that I would ever ride again, I “tortured” myself through rehab and was back in the saddle just over one year later. There was no way I was “not going to ride again,” no matter what the specialists had to say.
After this serious intermission, my family decided that I should further my horsemanship and riding skills at a licensed riding and jumping school. For the rest of my time in Germany, Reit- und Springschule Tattersall-Noris, in Nuernberg, Germany, became my new home six days a week. Frankly, I spent more time at the stable than I did at home.
After “trying out” on a privately owned show horse to evaluate my riding skills, my future mentor, coach, and stable owner Ria Schmieder-Tresper decided I had to start from ZERO up. Life at the pony stable was fun, but it had not given me the strict and disciplined setting that it takes to succeed at a German Equestrian Federation (FN) licensed stable.
Having taken enough lessons on excellent schooling horses (many of which at the upper level were retired Grand Prix horses), I was commended to ride privately owned horses who needed more exercise and schooling horses that needed the “bugs” ridden out of them.
In the meantime, I drove my family insane with my addiction to horses. Every penny I could earn would go straight back into riding lessons.
I volunteered to ride any and every horse regardless of [issues] and/or whose owner did not have enough time to ride themselves just to get enough hours and experience in the saddle to qualify for a spot at fox hunting events. I had no need for boyfriends, just horse friends, and enough black and blue bruises to brag about as “battle wounds”.
Riding at a stable where horses were stalled more than 21 hours a day was different than life on the range. Occasional “blow ups” and bucking like a rodeo bronc was nothing out of the ordinary when equine tempers flared and two peculiar minds collided.
Ria Tresper has had a life long impact not only in horsemanship, but also on my personal life. “Quitting” was never an option under her guidance. Correcting a horse in anger was a NO GO!!! Talking back under the assumption that “I know better” was a futile mistake, but then again, taught us lessons that went beyond life in the English saddle.
Discipline, as much as love and devotion became a part of my daily life. My involvement and participation in dressage, jumping, and fox hunting events would guide and assist me with what was to come.
I left Germany in 1983 when I moved to Fort Knox, Kentucky, as a dependent of the United States Army. My daughter Tina was born in January of 84, yet we returned to Germany in the fall of 1984 under orders of the Army. There was no question in my mind to continue to improve my horsemanship and riding skills at Tattersall Noris, where I once again was mentored by Ria Tresper until 1988 when I returned to the United States for good.
I consider myself very lucky and immensely grateful to have learned and earned many of my riding skills (including my first spurs) from a woman who was ‘considered’ to ride on the Olympic show jumping team in the 1950’s, but was never picked due to her gender- Ria Tresper.
Oregon has become my home since 1988. In 1991, I enrolled in college to study nursing, psychology and writing. Unfortunately, horses had to be put on the back burner for the next few years. Raising my daughter, working, and going to college full time simply left no time for horses. 1992-94 were spent in Alamosa, Colorado, where I worked in Obstetrics and trained horses one a part time basis. After returning to Oregon in 1994, I went back to college and horses once again had to remain on the back burner.
I finally returned to riding and training horses in 2000. In addition to horses, I started to ride and train mules. I learned very quickly that I had to set aside most of what had I learned about horse training. Mules are much more aware of their environment especially in regards to their personal safety. If they refuse to complete a task, there is always a reason.
Not having renowned mule trainers available in the immediate area in Northeast Oregon at the time, Meredith Hodges‘ books and DVDs became the closest I had to a mentor who would utilize what I cherished so much through another far away source in Germany: Klaus Balkenhol. His philosophy “Let the horse be a horse, and act accordingly” went in concert with Hodges’ approach to mules.
Even though worlds apart, both believe in the same principle that cultivates the understanding of the equine psyche first, before any successful training can be achieved.
In 2008, I won the Wallowa County High Point Award at Hells Canyon Mule Days, on Kelly, an Appaloosa mule, who I trained for many years.
In addition, the time I spent reading and learning from watching Balkenhol and Hodges, I was also deeply influenced by Grand Prix Dressage rider Dr. Rainer Klimke, Olympic Show Jumping Gold Medalist Gail Greenough, and of course the classical writings of Alois Podhasky, Charles de Knuffy, Brigadier General Kurt Albrecht, and Kurd Albrecht von Ziegner, all of which has allowed me to refine my knowledge into the equine mind and to stay humble.
Today, I live in the beautiful and pristine alpine country of Wallowa County, Oregon, at Highview Angus Ranch, where I have returned to my equestrian roots.
While Wallowa County is the heart to cattle country, western riding and rodeos (Chief Joseph Days Rodeo) it is also embraced by English riding enthusiasts including dressage and hunter/jumpers.
I relish and adore my family here and abroad who utterly support this renewed adventure. Without them, this predestined undertaking would not be possible.
So, let’s see what’s out there…
“I believe in classical horsemanship in dressage, western, hunters and jumpers, that when followed with discipline and devotion leads to versatile, gentle, dependable, powerful athletes with big hearts and lots of style.” ~ Angelika
“Let the horse be a horse, and act accordingly” ~ Klaus Balkenhol
On a side note: Balkenhol went on to win individual bronze and team gold on his active duty horse Goldstern at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. Besides dressage, Goldstern’s training also included his “day job” of daily two-hour patrols on the pedestrian and bridle paths in the Dusseldorf woods, as well as occasional crowd-control duty at packed soccer stadiums. Hodges continues to train wonderful mules and donkey at Lucky Three Ranch, in Colorado.