Category Archives: Missed it?

Why good turnout is more than just clean tack and nice braids

  The night before an event, most riders (or their grooms) are meticulously shining their boots, making sure their horse’s braids are picture perfect, bleaching the grey horse’s tail one more time, etc. These are all part of the beauty rituals riders put themselves and their horses through so they gleam when they trot down the centerline, hopefully impressing the judge. This is what horse people call “good turnout”. Many riders pride themselves on their turnout and strive to win the best turnout award at the event (yes some events actually have judges and award a prize). Why is turnout…

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All equestrians need to take this 7-day spring cleaning challenge: Day 6

  Spring has sprung so it is time for you to get your rear in gear for the 2019 season. Some riders have already begun their competition seasons, others are just preparing to start and some are relocating from their Southern winter bases to their Northern homes. Regardless of whether or not you even compete your horse, spring is the perfect time for cleaning and organizing. Spring cleaning can be a little daunting for equestrians because we tend to have heaps of stuff spread out over various locations. From your tack room to horse trailer to garage – there are…

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Seven deadly sins: Equestrian edition

  You have probably heard of the ‘seven deadly sins’. These sins are mentioned in various bibles and religions around the world. It recently occurred to me what big sinners there are in the equestrian world. I have witnessed all seven sins going down on horse show grounds and at numerous barns. Not all equestrians are sinners but they definitely walk amongst us. The seven deadly sins plaguing the horse world include: 1) Lust: This sin is often observed in barns where there is a reasonably attractive male trainer on site. The barn girls drool while he trots by. They…

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Five questions you need to ask yourself in every show jump warm-up

  When it comes to jumping warmups, I’ve always been a minimalist. Maybe I’ve just been lucky to have good horses, but over the years I’ve been successful with a “less-is-more” approach. If you sit at the edge of warmup, you’ll notice many riders jumping-jumping-jumping for 10-20 minutes before they enter the arena. They canter the vertical, then the oxer, then bigger, then again, and again, and bigger, and again…yes that was good, one more time…and I wonder, is all that really necessary? I rarely ever have help on the ground, so I’m at the mercy of someone else’s jump…

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Horses are therapy

  I’M BACK! For the readers who may have wondered what happened to my articles… They say life is a journey and that you should embrace the roads travels. Well, last March my life was turned upside-down when I suddenly lost my Husband Mark of 25 years. Taken so young at only 59. Besides a comfortable life here in New England, my husband and I bred and showed our Standard Poodles for years together, creating a unique lifestyle. He endured my intense horse life with all its ups and downs, because he knew it made me happy. The shock and…

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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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Tuesday’s Top 10 – Reasons equestrians make the ultimate parents

  WARNING: Only read if you have a sense of humour Check in every Tuesday for our Top 10 list that could feature just about anyone or anything related to Eventing. No rider, owner, coach, or nation is off limits. Remember: “Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.”   Tuesday’s Top 10 – Reasons equestrians make the coolest parents 10. Mucking stalls instills a serious work ethic. 9. You teach your kid how to drive a tractor before it can walk. 8. Your kid knows how to call an ambulance. You taught them for when they supervise…

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All equestrians need to take this 7-day spring cleaning challenge: Day 1

  Spring has sprung so it is time for you to get your rear in gear for the 2019 season. Some riders have already begun their competition seasons, others are just preparing to start and some are relocating from their Southern winter bases to their Northern homes. Regardless of whether or not you even compete your horse, spring is the perfect time for cleaning and organizing. Spring cleaning can be a little daunting for equestrians because we tend to have heaps of stuff spread out over various locations. From your tack room to horse trailer to garage – there are…

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Wayward thoughts on cross-country: A timeline

  Eventers love cross-country. If we didn’t, we’d save ourselves a little grief and a lot of money and stick to the jumpers. Yet there are times where our relationship with the gallopy phase can be a love/hate one, depending on A. whose ears you’re looking through, B. your experience/comfort level, and C. the specific circle of hell the course designer is shooting for in the afterlife. Out on cross-country, there’s no ringside assistance. No helpful hints along the way. It’s just you, your horse, and the wind in your ears. That’s freedom, baby. There’s also plenty to stay busy…

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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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