Category Archives: Riders

The secret behind every excellent coach

In her excellent article on the importance of thanking teachers, AJ Dyer posits, “the great teachers have a library of word images, novel ideas that help the student grasp a concept or approach the problem from a different direction.” She elucidates that the very best teachers can expound any concept to their students—regardless of learning style—in multiple ways. They draw upon their creative libraries of terms and images and are forever adding to them. They are teachers of students; at the same time, they are students of the sport. In our quest to improve ourselves and our horses, our communication—between…

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Be careful what you wish for

Training young horses is an addiction of mine. I have always maintained that I have gypsy blood in me somewhere, such is the lure of buying a wild horse and making it good-preferably in exchange for pots of cash. There is no greater kick than finding your raw product, knowing-KNOWING-in your bones that this one is a right one and then being proven correct. It is all the sweeter when only you can spot it, and when the horse is cheap to buy. I am 35-years-old. I have been riding since before I could walk. I haven’t amounted to much…

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Dressage judge comments scribes did write: Part 12

People from all over the world read, Tuesday’s Top 10 – Dressage judge comments scribes were NOT allowed to write. Many of our readers shared comments that HAVE actually made it onto dressage tests. There have been so many colourful dressage judge comments, we have enough gems for a series. The dressage judges who let their scribes write these comments, certainly were not sugarcoating anything. Thank-you to all the riders who shared these hilarious, real life comments. Despite what a  judge writes on your test, this phase of Eventing remains interesting when the unexpected happens. Thank you to all the good sports who are…

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You can get owners regardless of your level

As a struggling aspiring rider, it’s easy to look up to the world’s greatest riders and see all their advantages.  They have immense experience, skill, talented horses, and most importantly, supportive funding.  Face it, you can work hard, have the right equine partner, but unless you can afford this expensive sport, it’s nearly impossible to reach your goals. Owner culture in North America VS Europe Places in Europe, such as Great Britain and Germany, are blessed with a dedicated “Owner Culture” among their horse-loving population.  It is considered prestigious and rewarding to own sport horses there and pay someone else…

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Assessing whether an OTTB will make a good Eventing prospect: Old Mac Donald

This series examines off-track Thoroughbreds by evaluating their sport potential from pedigree and conformation.  This week’s OTTB is Old Mac Donald, a 2007 bay gelding by Dupont. Thanks to his owner Laura Paschini for sharing him with us! Pedigree Old Mac Donald has quite an international pedigree. He is South African bred, and the first four generations of his pedigree include horses from the USA, GB, IRE, CAN, and ITY along with SAF. I’m most familiar with American bloodlines, so I’ll concentrate mostly on what I recognize, though I’m sure there are other important influences. Old Mac Donald is by Dupont (GB) out of Star Ruby (SAF), by…

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Ireland announces current Rio squad

Only 10 riders and 14 horses have made the cut for the Irish Rio Olympic squad. Four of the riders on the squad have been listed with two horses; Austin O’Connor, Joseph Murphy, Aofie Clark and Michael Ryan. Out of the 14 horses named to the squad, 12 of these horses are Irish Sport Horses. Talk about a testament of a good national breeding program. Everyone in North America will be seething with jealousy over this statistic. Unsurprisingly, there is a Fernhill horse on the squad – Fernhill Adventure ridden by Aofie Clark. I am fairly sure that virtually every nation’s Eventing Olympic squad features a Fernhill horse…

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Tuesday’s Top 10 – Horse thoughts about Northern winters

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.”   After record breaking cold temperatures this past weekend in North America, North Eastern horses have been having sharing some shocking concerns about surviving winter. After combing through thousands of emails from complaining horses, these ten really stood out… Tuesday’s Top 10 – Horse thoughts about Northern winters 10….

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Why I jump at the chance to let professionals catch-ride my horses

A few weeks ago, I saw a Tweet from Joe Meyer (NZL) that said his friend, Dan Jocelyn (NZL), was looking for a horse to ride at the Wellington Eventing Showcase. I immediately thought that my horse Devil Munchkin (aka Kermit) would be suitable and within a few minutes I gave Joe a call. I told Joe that Kermit was only 8-years-old but he had two CCI2* completions on his record and Joe told me that he would come out the following morning to test ride Kermit. The test ride went smoothly – Kermit’s flying changes were clean and his…

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Assessing whether an OTTB will make a good Eventing prospect: Sam Finell

This series examines off-track Thoroughbreds by evaluating their sport potential from pedigree and conformation.  This week’s OTTB is Sam Finell, a 2010 bay gelding by Postponed. Thanks to his owner Olivia Dalrymple for sharing him with us! Pedigree Sam Finell is a 2010 New Zealand Thoroughbred gelding, by Postponed (USA) out of Hot Like Me (AUS). When I first saw “NZL” I thought, “Uh Oh, I may be in deep water…!” but looking at the pedigree there are quite a few familiar names– again, showing that today’s TB breeding is quite a global melting pot. The pedigree gets more intriguing the farther you get into it. Sam…

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A new kind of bravery

Eventers are brave. We jump massive fences, leap down steep drops, and have so much trust in our horses. While on safari a few weeks ago I encountered a new kind of bravery. The fearlessness of the horses around animals dumbfounded me. They walked quietly up to lions, buffalo, and giraffe alike. Getting within ten metres of the game was not unordinary. Many of these horses had been taking tourists out on safari for several years; others were new to the ‘sport’ but caught up quickly, following the professional examples of their more experienced counterparts. The Maasai Mara, the most…

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