Author Archives: AJ Dyer - aka Visionaire

Follow these six tips to become your farrier’s favourite client

  I am fortunate enough to have the services of an excellent farrier in central Florida. He has a long list of clients, and I was only able to squeeze my little barn into his schedule because I know (was recommended by) a good farrier friend of his in Kentucky. Finding a good farrier can be a tough challenge, and the best ones are worth their weight in gold. The saying “no hoof, no horse,” is undoubtedly true. One time after Scott was done with my horses, I asked him what would make his job easier; what he wished his…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

My miracle bit story – What’s your magic bit?

  Some horses are easy: they wear the same tack for dressage, cross-country, and show jumping. It makes for an uncluttered tackroom, less leather to clean, and simplicity. And then there are the others – fire-breathing dragons on cross-country, heavy lugs who pull, root, or fling their head in your face as you desperately try to maintain some semblance of control. You pull up (eventually) after the finish flags, and cross another bit off your list. French link snaffle Slow twist Waterford Pelham Bigger pelham Gag 3-ring 3-ring with curb strap Myler D port with hooks It seems the quest…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

Build confidence with this simple trotting jump exercise

  Do you hate trotting fences? Me too. At least on most horses. It’s so much easier to be in sync with the horse over a fence when you canter on approach, as a jump is nothing more than an exaggerated canter stride. However, trotting fences is an important skill that should be practiced by everyone, even Advanced horses and riders. For beginning riders and green horses, trotting in slows things down, allowing more time to process the obstacle and organize all body parts to negotiate the jump successfully. A spooky horse may feel more confident approaching from the trot,…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

All Aboard the train to heaven — Angels must need four star horses, too.

  Yesterday was the hardest day of my life. I had to say goodbye to my friend, my partner, my joy, my horse of a lifetime, Ranger. And it happened in the way we all fear: a catastrophic, unavoidable incident while competing on cross-country. Horses are such fragile creatures, and we all know that the “possibility” of cardiac or pulmonary failure exists, the truth is, you never think it could happen TO YOU. But it did happen to me, to my beloved horse who had so much life left ahead of him. He was just scratching the surface of his…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

Five steps to successfully sell a horse – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster

  MD Barnmaster is the leader in custom designed barns, horse housing, professional equestrian facilities, horse stalls, modular buildings and barn accessories. Build A Better Barn. Contact MD Barnmaster today.   Ok, I’m no big-time horse dealer.  Heck, I’ve only sold a handful of horses in my life, but that number is increasing.  I’m starting to develop some confidence in my eye: to successfully pick out a nice, raw young horse, develop it a little into what I envision, and then send it on for someone else to enjoy.  There are times I wish I could keep them all…but part…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

How venturing outside of arenas will make you and your horse BETTER

  My farm is nothing fancy, but it is functional. I have big, safe stalls for my horses, a nice wide aisle with good ventilation, and two awesome grooming stalls right near the tack room. Turnout space is adequate, with good board fencing. My husband generously made me a couple dozen schooling jumps with 10′ oak poles to match. However, I have no manicured riding arena with delicate chain fencing and dressage letters. Instead, I ride in an open grass field. This is no new thing for me– I’ve been “arena-less” for possibly half of my riding career. When I…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

Powerful advice on keeping your horse’s hooves healthy – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster

  MD Barnmaster is the leader in custom designed barns, horse housing,  professional equestrian facilities, horse stalls, modular buildings and barn accessories. Build A Better Barn. Contact MD Barnmaster today.   With a barnful of Thoroughbreds, I’ve seen my share of less-than-ideal feet. And the old saying is true: “No hoof, no horse.” Through a combination of an EXCELLENT farrier and proper management, I’ve been able to improve some horses’ feet and help them stay sound to do their jobs. Your Farrier First of all, I cannot stress enough that an educated, experienced, quality farrier is a must– someone who knows how to…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

Friday’s Five – Pony Club rules that are slightly too impractical

  I’m a proud Pony Club alumnus. For horsemanship and riding instruction, Pony Club can’t be beat. It’s the gold standard of horse safety, and if a kid has come through the ratings, you know they have met certain requirements for knowledge and skill. I didn’t make it to my A rating– I came to a cross-roads in life where it was either go for the national ratings, or go to a CCI*– and I chose the three day. Don’t regret it for a moment, but I also am very thankful to the rock-solid foundation Pony Club gave to me….

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

What will galloping Thoroughbreds teach you? These valuable lessons…- Sponsored by Back on Track

  Great for muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. Products for horses, dogs and people. Visit www.backontrackproducts.com   You may have noticed I’ve been absent from writing this winter. (Oh, you haven’t noticed? Well don’t I feel loved…!) Instead of writing, I’ve been riding– riding a LOT. I picked up a side job galloping race horses in the mornings, and while it isn’t easy, I would STRONGLY encourage any serious event rider to spend a month (or more) riding in the fast lane. Is it dangerous? Sure, as are most things we do with horses, particularly riding cross-country. However, finding the…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

What happens if you lose your horse’s confidence? Quit being stubborn

  Training horses is not some smooth linear or exponential equation, where each day is a consistent progression of the last. If it were expressed on a graph, it would look like an unpredictable jagged line, like a mountain range…hopefully with an overall upward trend, but certainly dotted with “down” days. There is no easy mathematical answer to producing a well-trained horse– you have to take it day by day and ride the horse you have at any given moment. I was helping a friend recently; she has an extremely talented six-year-old, but they’re going through a rough patch. It’s…

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect