"Heidi says I'm going to find a-whole-nother world over there," she said
This is her first trip to Europe, but Krebs has studied French since sixth grade and has even taken a course in German. She will be going to an area where Swiss-German is spoken, but she'll be close to an area where the Swiss speak French.
"I can't learn the language in a classroom; I have to go there," she said.
And off she goes.
Schurtenberger is among the top 100 show jumping riders in the world. He competes on the Samsung Super League with FEI and is currently short-listed for the coming Olympics with his gray gelding, Cantus. The introduction to Schurtenberger came via Fran oise Zumkehr-Grandjean, of Interlaken, Switzerland, a top breeder of Selle Francais horses at her farm, Haras de Fuyssieux in Montcarra, France and long-time family friend of Helena's parents, Gene and Gail Krebs.
Helena had been applying for a working student position for the summer with professional riders in this country and even approached Beezie Madden in the P&C for an opportunity at an internship, but it was already late spring.
"She said they were all booked up."
Krebs has been a member of the U.S. Pony Club since she began riding at the age of nine. She has held working student and barn assistant positions previously at Cazenovia Equestrian Center, Black Ridge Farm in Middletown and New Hope Farms in Port Jervis. Her trainer has been Crystal Gaskell of Cazenovia, whose specialty is dressage.
"Other sports have struck my fancy, but this is what I feel natural doing," Krebs said.
Before leaving America for a year, Helena, or Hallie as some call her, wanted to thank Gaskell and Brian Enders of Cazenovia Equestrian Center and most of all, her family.
"I always knew that the Olympics was the best of the best," she said. "This is all I ever wanted to do. I just want to go."
Some people dream of riding, Helena Krebs is riding the dream.