- Marta can you introduce yourself, what you did in Spain, where you were born, your mother and the horses, your results in competition, why you left Spain, how ? Your studies in Houston, how you created Woodlands, who had the idea ?
My name is Marta Renilla and I am a professional Dressage Grand Prix trainer. I was born in Leon, Spain, 29 years ago and studied a Business Degree in Madrid while sharing my life with this wonderful sport. I lived my mother’s passion for horses all my childhood and together we moved from jumping to Dressage thanks to our Swedish trainer Lena Örtendahl. She adviced us on a Dressage horse, and that’s when we met our dear Isenbrant, the Hannoverian that would take me to the European Championships and Grand Prix levels. My mother and I trained him together and she let me the competing activities. (2000-2004). Spanish Team as Junior & Young Rider; * National Spanish Championships (2000-2004). Gold and Silver medal as Junior and Young Rider * Madrid Championships (2000-2004). Gold Meal as Junior & Young Rider. From 2004 to 2009 my passion became my profession and I started to train clients’ horses and compete Isenbrant professionally in Grand Prix in Spain and later in the US.
Woodlands Equestrian Club surged from a dream…. My mother had been training Dressage in Mexico and US while I continued my competitions and studies in Spain. But in 2006 she passed away on a horse. This horrible tragedy made me move to US to be close to my father and after a couple of years my father, sister and I started developing the idea of creating a Dressage training facility , focusing on the Pure Spanish Breed, despite my Isenbrant is Hannoverian, due to their gentle personality and skills for Dressage. And since we’re from Spain, it made sense to focus on PRE ;s than in any other breed.
2. You were one of the best young riders in Spain.And you left fort he States. Any regret? How is your life there? Absoluetely not. I’m the happiest girl of the world. I have dozens of horses to train, 3 gorgeous dogs and I live with my fiance Anartz, who happens to be an amateur rider. I didn’t plan to be here, but now that it happened, I couldn’t ask life for more!
3. Describe one of your daily life I start riding my first horse at 8. We have a great staff that helps tacking and untacking horses which makes my training much more productive. I normally start with Presumido. He is the main stallion of a local stud farm that I’ve been training since he was 6 all the up to Gran Prix. He and I have obtained ythe Grand Prix Champions’s title for the region 9 for two years in a row (5 states of the South). I then continue with Mistico, our 6 year old that I’m planning to take to Grand Prix. He has so much talent, he’s already competing in 4th level!
I have Dressage assistants and students that normally ride at the same time, so I can supervise their work. Around 1 I finish riding, take a quick bite and a shower and I start teaching from the ground to our boarders. I use a long distance radio system that makes extremelly easy teaching for hours. When I have a gapp, I join my sister Ana at the club’s office and answer her invoicing questions, we talk about projects, the operation, horses for sale, etc.
4. Now you train, teach and compete. What can you say about competing in USA ? Is it different from Spain, the level ? It is different. US is so large you don’t have national championships but they’re distributed in 5 states each. I miss competing in the same show with riders from every corner of Spain. The recognized shows are not comparable with European standards.have much higher level, only the CDI’s (international) you can feel the outstanding high levels
5. You are promoting PRE horses in Texas. Is it easy to convince American riders to buy ?
The US buyers who know the breed, really appreciate them and the training we develop here at WEC. Since I carefully select those horses to have future among buyers, I have found a warm welcome in Houston and US in general. In addition, there are several large organizations that promote the breed here in the US, so you couldn’t say the breed is completely unknown, it’s only less common in the Dressage competition arenas, and that’s my goal.
6. What do they like and dislike in PRE horses ?
As I mentioned, the breed is knowns, but motly for their beauty and gentleness. It is interesting, observe the surprise of many of my students, who are long term dressage riders on one-bloods, when they try one of my horses and discover their unique movements
7. What do your clients do with the PRE horses they ride and buy? Dressage, jumping ?
Dressage mostly. Of course, I jump all of them as part of their training, but never competitively.
8. Where do you buy the horses you take to Texas ? What are your criteria ?
We don’t normally buy. Breeders send their horses over, sot hey can be exposed to potential clients. I look for the good movers and potential horses that my clients will like. I’m not concerned about the looks but about a horse that has the natural balance, extensions and will that will make him
become either a champion or an intermediate Dressage level horse, who will be the perfect companion for amateur riders, the majority of my clients.
We have some contacts with several breeders in Spain that has sent us several horses already for sale. Mexico, California and Texan stud farms are most of our breeders.
9. You left Spain a few years ago, when you w
ere a successfull rider with a German horse. And now, I can only see you riding PREs on your website. What does it mean ? I have had the luck to compete PRE’s along my career. Their personality and ability for Dressage are just amazing. I love one-bloods, I actually have 2 young Hannoverians who are my FEI prospects ! but since this business is a nich, we have focused on the breed that has the natural gaits so needed in Dressage and that comes from our home country.
10. What is you next challenge ? for 2013 and over ? My Dream would be to make it to the World Equestrian Games some day. As of now, I´m already competing CDI 3*. Once I have plenty of experience with them and my Grand Prix horse is more mature, I would like to think WEG as a possibility.
Isenbrant went with you there ? Did you compete with him ? Yes, I competed him in recognized shows in Grand Prix. He actually made me Gold Medal by the USDF (United States Dressage Federation). He’s almost 21 now and retired.