Category Archives: Riders

A balancing act – Competing vs. enjoying a holiday

My brother, Josh, and I enjoy a fun Thanksgiving ride in the snow.

The adrenaline of our sport can pull eventers into an unerring rhythm of competing, particularly in my own Area II, where there are often two events running every weekend. While it is fantastic to have so many opportunities to compete in such close proximity, a break from these fun but often stressful shows benefits horses and riders alike. I rarely event more than twice a month. In the hot and dry summer months, the amount of pounding on the horses’ legs, particularly at the upper levels, can jeopardize their soundness. Instead of going to an event, about once a month…

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Friday’s Five – Pony Club rules not followed

Bringing in four horses at a time. NOT Pony Club approved.

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. That…

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Kyle Carter clinic report and official guide to a successful clinic – TBT

Kyle Carter coaches rain or shine.

Welcome to our new feature ‘Throwback Thursday” (TBT), where we feature stories and articles that may not have happened recently but they are too awesome to not rehash! In the fall of 2012 Kyle Carter made the trip to Powassan, Ontario allowing me to put on the best clinic the world has ever seen. This clinic has yet to be outdone so it is only fitting that we rehash what made it so great because it is ‘Throwback Thursday’ and everyone should strive to host clinics this awesome.  The term “Clinic”: I just want to point out that we really need…

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#TodaysKidsWillNeverKnow – Eventing edition


#TodaysKidsWillNeverKnow I saw this trending last Tuesday on Twitter and it was good for a few smiles… today’s kids will never know the thrill of going to Blockbuster Video as a Friday night treat; or the excitement of seeing a TV and VCR wheeled into the classroom (MOVIE DAY!).  Remember how annoying it was when the spiral cord of the wall phone had a backwards coil in it, or how you used to fix a cassette tape with a pencil? Here are 10 Eventing-related things that #TodaysKidsWillNeverKnow: 1.  Schooling in full leather chaps. Maybe this is more of a hunter-jumper thing, but…

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Chronicling Pony Club: Part 1 – Catching the horse bug

What I had hoped would be a common sight in my backyard...

Ema shares her story about how she caught the “horse bug”. You also have a story about how this life time obsession got you…If you want to share your story, email us. In 2007, my family moved to Nairobi. The novelty excited me. I dreamt of monkeys swinging from trees in our backyard, of elephants shuffling through the streets. As it turned out, my fantasies of wild animals did not manifest themselves in our very backyard. We had to drive a few hours outside the city to the plains to find the monkeys and elephants and giraffes. However, there was…

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Buying an OTTB: Looking beyond the ribs and lack of topline

A swan emerging: 7-year-old OTTB after 90 days.

Buying an off the track Thoroughbred (OTTB) fresh off the track can be an excellent bargain, but it takes some imagination to see what “could be” when faced with a scrawny three-year-old. Many riders, accustomed to seeing well-fleshed animals, find it difficult to see beyond the ribby skeleton and improper muscling that is common in a race-fit Thoroughbred.  “His neck looks awkward. His back seems weak. He’s so narrow!” is a typical response from inexperienced buyers studying CANTER photos.     Judging a race-fit horse isn’t all that bad, really: the basic skeletal network is plain to see, and it’s that frame…

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Adventures of a well-travelled barn cat

Tonic the cat lounging in one of his favourite locations.

If you have any tales about an interesting barn cat please email them to us.  After buying our farm in 2011, my family decided to search for barn cats to keep the mice under control. We saw an ad in our local Maryland horse magazine and called the number. Within a couple of days, we had two cats. In the spirit of humour, we named them Gin and Tonic. This cocktail has been quite effective: we have seldom seen a mouse since they arrived. Tonic, ginger-coloured and boasting personality, turned out to have a knack for not only hunting but…

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Find your balance, let go, pop fences – Clayton Fredericks clinic report

Clayton coaching on Show Jumping day.

Canadian, Robyn Zimmer, shares what she learned at the Clayton Fredericks clinic aboard her horse, Krazy Koffee, a Canadian bred, big-winning OTTB, that joined her life when she needed him most. OTTB Krazy Koffee brings gift of sanity – Part 1, Part 2   First of all, I would like Chelan Kozak for organizing the Clayton Fredericks clinic in British Coloumbia, which took place June 27th-28th. Clayton Fredericks (AUS) is the Canadian Team coach and also an Olympic medalist, four-star winner, WEG medalist, World Champion and overall a very experienced and accomplished eventer. It was a wonderful opportunity to have Clayton come to British Columbia for the weekend…

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How well do you know the NAJYRC riders? – Shelby Brost

Shelby and Crimson after dressage at NAJYRC. Photo via Shelby Brost on Facebook.

In Canada teams are split by province and in the United States teams are split by ‘Area’, and each area may include multiple states. Junior riders (ages 14-18) compete at the CCI1* level and Young riders (ages 16-21) compete at the CCI2* level. Many eventers never even make it to the CCI1* level, competing at these levels is no small accomplishment for riders so young. Many of today’s top riders in North America once competed at NAJYRC, including Waylon Roberts (CAN), Jennie Brannigan (USA) and Karen O’Connor (USA). This week, the NAJYRC is once again taking place at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park, in Lexington, KY. The competition kicked off…

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Shandiss McDonald is pursuing her and Jordan’s dreams solo

Cam and Cindy (Jordan's parents), Shandiss, Peggy (Shandiss's mom) Photos courtesy of Shandiss.

It has been just 13 months since Shandiss McDonald lost her beloved husband Jordan, in a cross-country accident in the UK. For the past year, to help cope with this devastating loss, Shandiss has been riding horses. She has been working on her dressage and show-jumping with a plan to return to Eventing and make a bid for the 2016 Olympics. She graciously took some time to talk to us and give all of her and Jordan’s fans an update. New farm After being based in the UK for the last two years, Shandiss has decided to move back to…

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