You are so passionate about vaulting that you are thinking about moving abroad to pursue your vaulting dream? We can all imagine how scary and challenging it can be to take this kind of vaulting adventure. Some vaulters already took the plunge to move abroad for their sport, such as Juan Martin Clavijo (COL) and Lambert Leclezio recently and we wanted to share one of these stories with you.

“Adventure is the best way to learn.”

Annebeth Kubbe (NED)

The reason why you want to move can be quite diverse: some ambitious people are looking for new possibilities for their vaulting trainings, some people would simply like to go on an adventure. Even if the reason behind can be very different, there is always one thing in common: it is a lot of organization and it could be hard to leave friends and family behind.

To give you a bit more insight into the process of moving abroad, we decided to talk to Annebeth Kubbe. Annebeth is a Dutch vaulter and she represented the Netherlands at the last four championships for Juniors. Annebeth and her horse moved to Denmark to work and vault at Thommysminde, where Lasse Kristensen is currently based. We asked her about her experience.

> Why going to Denmark?

“I decided to take a gap year after I passed my school exams. I wanted to put focus on the qualification for the FEI Vaulting European Championships for Juniors in Kaposvár in 2018. I bought my own horse Guinness and started to look for a place to work and vault. Suddenly, the chance to work and vault at Lasse’s place (Thommysminde) came on my way. I was really lucky and happy to have this opportunity. My answer was a “yes” without any doubt.”

> What is your job?

“My job is really diverse: I take care of all the horses at the club. There are also a lot of ponies which are used for therapy, and I have to prepare and saddle them. Then I do some stable work and clean the club house. I help Lasse to train new horses and I take care of the riding arena and its surface. An important part is to check the computer daily, as we use a feeding system. This means that the horses can feed themselves. The horses are wearing sensor on their halter and the computer registers what and how much they have eaten. So sometimes I will found out that some of them lost their sensor, then I should feed them myself. This is quite a big responsibility, I like my job and I am never bored.

After work day, I go to the gym for training. I can use the gym at Thommysminde so that ideal. We have vaulting sessions four to five times a week. Of course we use different horses during the week, and recently I also started training with the team. Oh, and beside training I started to coach some vaulters at the club. So as I said before, I am never bored.”

> About Lasse Kristensen

Most of us know Lasse as a trainer and lunger, but he also has his own equestrian center, so he is also an entrepreneur and businessman. We understand that Lasse is playing a lot a different roles in your life, how do you manage your relationship with him?

“He is a really good boss. Lasse is kind, clear and also works really hard himself. I am really happy that he knows that having a balance between work and training is really important to me. He always makes sure that I can train properly. In the beginning it was a bit hard for me: he is my boss, my coach and also my hosting family. For both of us it was a bit difficult at the beginning. But now we know each other really well, and we set work and training separated.

A funny fact about Lasse? Well, we all know that he travels a lot around the world by plane for vaulting. But what I didn’t know is that he is able to steal my frequent flyer points, so he can get the golden status now! ;)”

> What have been your challenges?

“Luckily, my hosting family is helping me a lot. For example I had to change my health insurance to a Danish one. And I also took my horse Guinness, so it was a lot of thinking about what kind of stuff I had to take and what I could leave behind. But actually this part was quite easy. I just took the horse, most of his stuff, my bike and all of my clothes! Then when you arrive at your new place, it is a bit hard to find out how everything is settled in another country. You start a new job, so that costs a lot of energy, too. You meet a lot of new people and you have to speak in another language. So I can say that it takes time to get used to your new life…

However, I never regretted the decision to move to Denmark. From the very first day my hosting family was taking me to family trips and they are really taking care of me. So I was used to the new situation very quick. Of course sometimes it is still a bit hard because I miss my own family and my Dutch friends. But on the other hand I have learned so much. I got to know myself more and what my goals are. And I am very happy that I could take my horse with me.”

Photo: Arjen van der Spek

> Any tips for vaulters who are willing to move?

“Go for it, such an adventure is the best way to learn! Work hard and be thankful for the opportunities you get!”

To conclude, moving abroad for vaulting is definitely a good way to feed your ambition, to simply discover a new face of the Vaulting World, or even to get to know yourself better. Nevertheless, you have to keep in mind that it is a real challenge and that you need to be surrounded by people who can support you with your project!

Have you travelled or moved abroad for vaulting? Share your experiences with us by tagging us in your vaulting travel pictures on Instagram!