About Gerda Warner
I learned to ride at the age of 6 years on a retired Hanoverian show-jumper and got my first horse when I was 12 years old, an Anglo-Arab/Holstein stallion.
At the age of 15 years I was put forward for special training. I trained – in my spare time, as riding was not my profession – with Josef Neckermann in dressage and competed during this period successfully on my Hanoverian.
The theoretical part of my training consisted of lessons in horse management, horse husbandry and horse psychology.
As part of an exchange program I was invited to spend time at the Government Stud of Radihazi/Babolna in Hungary. There I was able to observe and take part in all aspects of horse breeding, breaking and training the Hungarian way as well as learning to drive a sulky. The stud produced mainly thoroughbred horses for sulky racing (trot racing) in Radihazi and Arabs in Babolna.
On my return to Germany I continued to compete on my own horse, as well as others, for a further 4 years and on several occasions for the team in places such as Munich, Hamburg, Aachen, Vienna and Strassbourg.
I held improvers classes and clinics in riding clubs and riding schools.
Then I left Germany to work for 4 years in Nigeria. During this period I learned to play polo and consequently played for 2 years in the Kaduna Police Polo team.
During my time in Nigeria I spend 4 weeks with a group of nomads where I gained insight into African horsemanship and horse management from the Tuareg, a nomadic people north of Nigeria in the Sahara Desserts.
I then moved to Suffolk into an old farm house, where I raised my family and kept my own horses for 18 years and trained Polo ponies for players in clubs like Colchester, Carver Barracks and Rutland.
I had my own Arab Stallion for 29 years and bred several very nice youngsters.
As I always wondered what it would be like to race a thoroughbred I made contact with a racing yard in Newmarket and consequently rode for several months for a Newmarket race horse trainer in morning workout on the heath.
I was instrumental in bringing 5 Tarpan horses (4 mares 1 stallion) from the forest in Bialowieza in Poland to Redgrave and Lopham Fen in Suffolk, for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust. After a successful breading program in which I was involved a well established heard is now grazing the fen.
I enjoy teaching riders and training horses and when the opportunity presented itself, I decided to set up my own yard In June 2007 – Water Farm Dressage Centre.