Author Archives: Ema Klugman

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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Make your Olympic dreams a reality with this stunning gelding – Check out the Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale

  Goresbridge Go For Sold Sale: [Website] [Catalogue] [Performance footage] The Goresbridge Go For Gold Select Sale of Eventers is only days away, taking place Monday through Wednesday on November 12th-13th. The writers at www.eventingconnect.today have been sharing their wishlists from this world-class auction. There are some very interesting prospects and we invite you to check out the catalogue and share what you look for in a new horse. Which of these mounts would you want in your barn? Email me your choice and explain why? This 3-year-old gelding is long, lanky, and gorgeous—just like a jaguar. Lot 048 – Jaguar seems to have too…

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Start winning events with this flashy mare – Check out the Goresbridge Go For Gold Sale

  Goresbridge Go For Sold Sale: [Website] [Catalogue] [Performance footage] The Goresbridge Go For Gold Select Sale of Eventers is only days away, taking place Monday through Wednesday on November 12th-13th. The writers at www.eventingconnect.today have been sharing their wishlists from this world-class auction. There are some very interesting prospects and we invite you to check out the catalogue and share what you look for in a new horse. Which of these mounts would you want in your barn? Email me your choice and explain why? The only drawback to this special filly, Lot 033, is that she doesn’t have a name. Perhaps you could…

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A touchy subject – Body image in equestrian sports

  Equestrian sports are unique in that they involve two athletes working as a team. However, let’s be clear: the horse is the one doing the heavy lifting. The horse is the one running, jumping, dancing, and breathing like a freight train at the end of a cross-country course. The rider has to be athletic as well—to stay in balance and to be strong enough to control the horse. That said, the rider expends most of his energy directing the horse’s energy. She’s like the conductor for an orchestra; she uses body language and cues to guide the rhythm and…

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How should riders and trainers avoid speed faults? – Sponsored by Back on Track

  Great for muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. Products for horses, dogs and people. Visit www.backontrackproducts.com   At a local event a few weeks ago, I saw something that got me thinking. A young rider competing at Novice or Training level brought her horse from canter to walk about 200 meters from the last fence on the cross-country course. She proceeded to take her time to walk a large circle, looked at her watch, and then picked up a sluggish canter to approach the last fence. As you might imagine, she had no rhythm or impulsion and the horse was…

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The art of cross-country schooling – Making your horse feel like Superman

Phillip Dutton, Mark Todd, Andrew Nicholson, Ingrid Klimke. These riders have seen a lot. Riding successfully around cross-country courses at the four-star level for 30 years or more means that they have studied, experienced, and reflected on thousands of different questions that course designers have posed. When I rode with Phillip for the first time, it was clear that decades of competing at the highest level had made him think like a course designer. His creative, challenging exercises — with angles, narrows, turns, and variable striding—taught horses and riders alike how to think in the moment. Asking a question on…

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How the ‘dog-paddle’ mentality will make you a better horse trainer

  In my last article, I described how the “dog-paddle” mentality can help us succeed at new tasks. Rather than adopting the extreme of “hope I float” on the one hand or “perfection only” on the other, we can take the middle-road approach and aim for completion. Dog-paddling means you can stay afloat, and staying afloat means that you can learn a more elegant, faster stroke in time. Applying this thinking to training horses, especially inexperienced ones, can help us produce willing, confident partners. Horses have astonishing memories. They can recall experiences they’ve had, feelings they’ve felt, and even things…

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