A ride in the past

The Green Hell already is tight. But on this rainy Saturday anyone cut off a lot of bushes and trees and leave it on the narrow path. Certainly, the forester has preferred spotting for a dry place instead of clearing away meters of towering branches. Romy snorts indignantly. The young lady did not like to walk across the undergrowth. The proud horse normally walks safe, but she prefers the wide forest paths. “Then we will ride ‘obi’! ” Daniela Brandhofer directs her young mare downhill through the forest. As I am a girl from the north of Germany I first have to think about the meaning of the Bavarian word “obi”, but my mare Babette simply follow the colorful herd sure-footed through the ankle-deep mud away from the well-developed riding trail in Upper Bavaria.


“Without a decent ‘Gwand’ you cannot ride this time”, Daniela Brandhofer admits. So I learn another Bavarian expression, the ‘Gwand’ means clothes. The experienced trainer lives of horse breeding, horse riding and trail rides and has a large courtyard with more than 40 horses near the A8 motorway between Munich and Salzburg. So we ride in the rain, finally, there is no bad weather, only bad clothing.

Early in the morning we met on the horse farm in Irschenberg. I am glad to have invested some years ago in a rain-tight trail riding jacket and direct my mare Babette towards the forest. The group could not be more colorful: The little pony Marc with his mohawk, the blond Haflinger Charly, who constantly scuttling Norwegian Nemo and my mare follow the huge mare Romy through the lush meadows of Upper Bavaria.


Around noon, the sky opens. The sun dries the wavy manes of the horses, the raincoats can be stowed in the saddlebags. In the distance, the foothills of the Alps impale the remaining shreds of clouds. A last climb lies ahead of us and our tired ponies, a steep green meadow up to the quaint mountain hut, which Daniela Brandhofer has rented for this trip from her brother. We unsaddle our horses and they graze satisfied on the pasture around the hut.


We assemble the grill and enjoy the summer sun on simple wooden benches in front of the cottage. Now and then a pony looks over the fence, looking for some bread or treats and return to the long grass of the meadow. Daniela Kaspar’s husband takes out his zither and plucks numerous Bavarian folk songs. The farrier is a real musician and serves during the evening some self-burned schnapps.


Later at night Daniela heats the hut, because even in summer it gets very chilly here at night. There is no light, no electricity, no bathroom. But many candles, a large oven and a wooden tub, filled with cold spring water. As in the last century we disappear at nightfall in the dormitory.


The next morning a happy neighing wakes me up. The ponies are running around the hut, as they urge to leave. Daniela’s happy pug hops between the hooves back and forth. The unusually brisk dog gets some sausages for breakfast and flits excited from one to the next. “Today we will take a different route back, who knows if the Green Hell is free again.” That is Danielas decision and she directs her mare Romy carefully down the steep mountain pasture. At the rippling river the bridle path is in excellent condition and in a trot we ride in a wide arc around the Green Hell back to the farm.

Pferderegion Oberbayern-Tirol
Internet: www.pferdegenuss-grenzenlos.de
Ride in the past with Daniela Brandhofer:
Reitanlage Poschanger
Poschanger 1
83737 Irschenberg
Internet: www.reitanlage-poschanger.de
This text has been translated to the best of my knowledge into English.
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