Para dressage horse Lemony's Loverboy ridden by bronze medalist Melanie Wienand

September 7. 2023

"He's just in love with people"

Para dressage horse Lemony's Loverboy ridden by bronze medalist Melanie Wienand


Four years after her first start at German Championships, para-dressage rider Melanie Wienand (Grade III) competed for the first time at FEI European Dressage and Para-Dressage Championships - and immediately won the bronze medal. She achieved this success with her horse Lemony's Loverboy, a horse with which she has a very special history.


First of all, one has to look back into the past: Before her riding accident at an auction in 2011, Melanie Wienand was busy as an auction rider and was allowed to climb into the saddle of a very special horse there: Lemony's Nicket, the sire of Wienand's European Championship horse Lemony's Loverboy. Lemony's Nicket advanced to the top price at the later auction with a hammer price of 900,000 Euros. A few weeks later, an auction horse owned by Melanie Wienand spooked and she fell heavily. After this accident, the rider was in a coma for four weeks. After that, she had to relearn every movement in everyday life. But that didn't stop her from getting back on her horse. While still in rehab for nine months, she found her way back into the saddle and the desire to have her own horse grew. She knew, "If anything, I want it to be a descendant of Lemony's Nicket."


Her birthday ten years ago then became a lucky day. She was visiting a colt by Lemony's Nicket that day, who had come to her attention on a social network. "At that point, Loverboy had broken his jaw after being kicked by his mother, which also required surgery." Still, it was love at first sight, and today Melanie Wienand is certain that Lemony's Loverboy's treatment of his broken jaw is what made him so permanently drawn to people. "He is simply fond of people," the 43-year-old says of her "Flauschi," as Lemony's Loverboy is affectionately known. And he looks out for his people, "He would never knock you down." In addition, Lemony's Loverboy brings a great composure and overview from home, tells Melanie Wienand. Two attributes that were essential for the passionate rider to find her way into para-sport. "He always wants to please me. I've ridden a lot of horses, but I've never experienced anything like this," Wienand said. As a result, she was able to handle Lemony's Loverboy, who was already broken in by then, on her own after castration and a time out of the pasture - despite her physical limitations. "At four years old, I was already loading him on my own, able to take him somewhere else for training all by myself." Wienand also took over the Hanoverian's riding training on her own from then on.


In order to maintain Lemony's Loverboy's well-balanced nature, Wienand attached great importance to species-appropriate husbandry with plenty of time in the pasture right from the start. Today she knows that her gelding is a very introverted type. When he is stressed, he takes it out on himself and gives his all for his rider. But then, when a strenuous day at the show is behind him, he also needs his rest sometimes. "The conditions here in Riesenbeck are ideal for that. When there is quiet in the stable - fortunately there is a dedicated stable quiet here - he lies down immediately and can then really switch off." So there is also the sensitive side to the now ten-year-old gelding. Neither with physical, nor with psychological pressure can Melanie Wienand evoke the desired reaction in her horse. "Sometimes I still trust him too little, want to control too much myself. Letting go of that even more internally and keeping my muscle tone low is my big task, because otherwise he also holds his breath a bit and then the movements are less fluid." If that succeeds, it might not stay with a medal for Melanie Wienand and Lemony's Loverboy at the FEI European Dressage and Para-Dressage Championships in Riesenbeck.