Author Archives: AJ Dyer - aka Visionaire

Don’t underestimate this important part of selling horses

  Sometimes, selling a horse is less about marketing the animal, and more about marketing yourself and your program. Recently, a gentleman scheduled a visit to try one of my horses for sale. As usual, I went through a lot of effort making the horse look its best; I pulled his mane, braided it over the night before, gave him a bath, and had him neat and shiny, ready to go at the arranged time of 9am. 9am came and went; I sent a message asking if the man was running late, or perhaps lost. I heard nothing back. At…

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An important reminder for all equestrians – Did you thank your coach today?

  What makes a great teacher? Is it someone accomplished at a high level?  Someone who has won blue ribbons, Olympic medals, traveled the world, and has a barnful of expensive horses? Success is surely a plus, but not a guarantee that one individual can improve another. Of all the attributes a teacher can have, communication and dedication are probably the most important. Great riders have one thing in common: FEEL. They feel things. They sense things.  They have an innate sense of timing and natural instincts that are honed with hours of practice and use. Yet, those very attributes are perhaps the most difficult…

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Struggling to master the Monster – Latest update on this tough OTTB

  After introducing everyone to my giant OTTB “Monster,” I figured some of you may be interested in a little update. The big oaf went to his first baby schooling show last weekend, and I was thrilled with his performance. Sure, it was just a 2’6″ jumper round, and he pulled a rail, so it wasn’t like he set the world on fire. But for where he once was? I couldn’t be happier.     Monster was professional in the warmup, in fact he was more relaxed than at home. In the ring, he loped around like a hunter and…

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Extreme makeover Thoroughbred edition

  I love OTTBs– getting a new one is like getting a package under the Christmas tree. You’re filled with hope, excitement, and anticipation of what could be in that mystery box. Such is how I feel when turning over rocks, poking into corners, and stumbling upon what *could be* a future nice horse. Of course, when that new horse steps off the racetrack, there may be some doubts. The skinny, scrawny, awkward animal is a long way from the average image of a dream horse. You squint, close one eye (or both), to try to imagine what that rack…

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Friday’s Five – Tips to help riders of all levels find horse owners

  You do not need to have an Olympic appearance on your record to seek out ownership support. There are many individuals who would be interested in joining your team and supporting your riding journey even if you are not targeting a four-star in the near future. But when you head out looking for owners you need to forget the traditional model of ownership – a wealthy individual already steeped in Eventing culture – and broaden your horizons to bring new people into the sport. People who would get satisfaction and enjoyment from being part of a sports team and watching a…

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Struggling to master the Monster – Retraining a tough OTTB

  Meet the Monster Earlier this year, I began training a 6yo OTTB gelding who shows a lot of talent. As with most “fresh meat” off the track, he has a lot of habits to unlearn and develop a new way of going. However, he’s turned out to be one of my most challenging restarts… waist-deep into the process, I’m starting to see glimmers of hope; but there have definitely been days when I wonder if he will EVER get better! Standing 17.1 and weighing about 1400lbs, he is, as I call him, a “Monster.” He has huge bone, a…

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The story of Shezagreatgal – A calculated risk to breed top eventers

  As most of you loyal readers know, I’m a TB freak. I go to the sales for my own entertainment and data collection, trying to hone my eye and get a feel for what pedigrees look like in the flesh. Years of working and riding TBs, gathering information and dedicated study has led me to form some theories, and I’ve definitely zeroed in on “my type” of horse, and the bloodlines that might produce it. Still, it’s one thing to postulate, and another thing entirely to back it up with proof. It gives me a lot of satisfaction when…

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Do you have what it takes to compete through the winter without heading South?

  As the holiday season approaches, and with oncoming cold weather, the northern eventing population reaches a divide:  Those who go south, and those who stay north. Generally, it is the professionals and high-level competitors who pack up the barn and make the trip south seeking warmer weather and the early-bird show season.  If your goal is a spring CCI, it’s pretty much mandatory that you begin your preparation in February or March, with a choice of qualifying competitions ranging from South Carolina, to Georgia, to Florida.  Eventers with the time and financial ability base themselves out of Aiken or Ocala…

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Seven step guide to plan next year’s competition season like a pro – from Goresbridge Go For Gold

  The Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale of pre-selected event horses has been the success story of recent years. Now heading into its ninth renewal, the sale has truly achieved its aim of bringing together Ireland’s best young event horses to one venue for one sale. Goresbridge Go For Sold Sale (November 12-13th) : [Website] [Catalogue] [Performance footage]   For most of us in North America, the 2018 eventing season has wrapped up.  Our horses are enjoying a little down time– some longer than others, depending on your winter climate.  Still, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next season.  Since I’m…

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It’s time… Brace yourself for body clipping season – from Goresbridge Go For Gold

  The Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale of pre-selected event horses has been the success story of recent years. Now heading into its ninth renewal, the sale has truly achieved its aim of bringing together Ireland’s best young event horses to one venue for one sale. Goresbridge Go For Sold Sale (November 12-13th) : [Website] [Catalogue] [Performance footage]   It’s that time of year. Actually, it’s a little early for that time of year. Nonetheless, it has to be done. What am I talking about? The dreaded chore of body clipping. If you have a horse competing at fall events…

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