Author Archives: Ema Klugman

Three critical things to remember during No-Stirrup November

  As we delve into the month of November, lots of riders are taking on the challenge to drop their stirrups for the month. Some go so far as to taking their stirrups off of their saddles altogether. Riding sans stirrups is integral to developing a good seat, correct feel, and instinct for what to do when things go wrong. I think jumping small fences without stirrups really shows you where your balance is in the air, and how you tend to lean left or right. You also never know when a tack malfunction could leave you stirrup-less on course,…

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Friday’s Five – Tips for a better cross-country warm-up

  I was talking to a friend the other day about how funny it is to discuss our sport with non-horse people. She said that her friends couldn’t understand why she was still taking lessons. “Don’t you already know how to ride?” they asked. “Well, yes,” she said. “But I’m always trying to get better.” Competing in this sport successfully means you at least know the basics and can perform them well the majority of the time. But as we all know, beyond the basics there are so many intricacies on the path to success. Each time you move up…

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Making good memories – How to develop any horse’s confidence

  Mark Twain wrote that “If a cat sits on a hot stove, that cat won’t sit on a hot stove again. That cat won’t sit on a cold stove either. That cat just won’t like stoves.” The logic behind his wisdom makes perfect sense: if a cat associates a stove with getting burned, he will avoid stoves at all costs. The same can be said of horses—and humans, for that matter. Our job as riders and trainers is to never put our horses or students in a “hot stove” situation. The heat on the stove is analogous to the…

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Tackle your ‘bogey’ fence with these four tips

  Whether we admit it or not, most of us have a bogey fence. Course designers have a broad range of fence types from which to choose (in both the show jumping and cross country phases). The most common candidates for bogey fences are probably trakheners and ditches-and-walls, but every rider is different. For one person it may be up-banks on cross country, while for another it might be triple-bars in the show jumping arena. Riders often express fear or doubt about these particular types of fences, which can negatively affect their riding and their horses. Here are the steps…

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Do rule changes change the way we ride?

  Do rule changes change the way we ride? I’ve been intrigued by the work of Equiratings, a company that not only analyzes data in our sport but also sparks discussions about the future of eventing in general. Their work has gotten me thinking about how the rules of our sport—what I’ll call the “rules of the game” in this article—impact the way we ride. An obvious example would be speeds on cross country: if speeds increased, riders would try to go faster to catch the optimum time and minimize their time faults. Another one (which actually happened) is the…

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Friday’s Five – Simple steps to find the ideal bit for your horse

  The perfect bit: is it out there? Where is it hiding? No matter your level, you want to find an appropriate bit for your horse that both maximizes the quality of his performance and permits you to have enough control to train and compete safely. Follow these steps in your bit search:  1)    Know what your end goal is. An appropriate bit will encourage the horse to connect to both reins evenly. It will also provide the rider with enough influence to turn and slow down in a safe manner. If you have a particular problem that you want your bitting choice to…

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One simple trick to kick your cross-country riding up a gear – Racecar turns

  Most riders I know are not physicists or mathematicians. In fact, most riders I know wanted to get as far away as possible from those difficult subjects in school. (I’m guilty as charged). But given that we play a sport that involves steering 1200 pounds of horseflesh around arenas and cross-country courses, physics and math matter a lot. I was listening to some old episodes of the very well-done Eventing Radio Show a few days ago. Back in the summer, they had 2018 Event Rider Masters champion Chris Burton on the show, just after he had sealed his victory…

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Five perfectly original ideas to thank your coach for another great year

  It’s nearly the holiday season, as Americans like to say, and the festivities are starting to begin. Families are getting together, friends are spending time with one another, and people are reflecting on their year. Though not everyone exchanges presents at this time of year, it can be a nice gesture to show your appreciation for your trainer if you feel inclined to. After all, your trainer probably helped you improve this year. She might have helped you move up a level, or given your horse valuable education. She probably watched you jump some great rounds, and probably sighed…

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What was the original Eventing Olympic format? Flashback to 1912

  I was reading an informative USEA article about the new FEI star system, which included some historical background on the sport, when I realized that I am Eventing in the wrong era. As the article explains, Eventing first appeared at the Olympics in 1912. At those Stockholm Games, the competition was held over five days, in this order: endurance, rest, steeplechase, show jumping, AND THEN dressage. I couldn’t really believe what I was reading. Dressage was last?! After three days of grueling tests?! I knew how the long format Eventing competitions used to work because the shift to the…

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Three critical things you must remember during No-Stirrup November – 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]   As we delve into the month of November, lots of riders are taking on the challenge to drop their stirrups for the month. Some go so far as to taking their stirrups off of their saddles altogether. Riding sans stirrups is…

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