Category Archives: Riders

Friday’s Five – Events you must attend in 2016

It is already February and some of the best events in North America are rapidly approaching. But don’t worry if you and your horse are not ready right now because these events are more fun to go as a spectator than a competitor. Going to events as a spectator not only makes for a great time but it is also educational. Mark these events on your 2016 calendar because there is no better way to spend a weekend than at a world-class event: 1) Red Hills International (March 10th to 13th in Tallahassee, Florida) – This event is a spectator’s…

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Say thanks to your good teachers

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 to…

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Five steps to help you deliver your best performance in the show ring

How long do you typically warm your horse up for each phase? Why do you warm your horse up for this length of time? Does the length of your warm-up change depending on the temperature? As a rider, it is your job to know how much warm-up your horse needs for every phase to perform its best. When I was younger, the lengths of my warm-ups were random. I would get on my horse whenever I felt too anxious to wait around any longer or if I was running late, as quickly as I could tack up. Often I would…

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Six tips to find the right coach

Not every coach is suited to every rider, just like not all horses are suitable for every rider. Some people make better coaches than others. Depending on your level and expectations as a rider, perhaps one coach that works wonders for someone may not be the ideal coach for you. As a rider you may not necessarily ‘outgrow’ your coach, but sometimes after a certain number of years riding with someone it may be wise to consider a change. A fresh perspective on your riding and being able to learn new ways of doing things, can help you grow as…

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Up your game – Compete in other disciplines besides Eventing

Boyd Martin won the Wellington Eventing Showcase for the second year in a row, but the story that was equally impressive this weekend, was Marilyn Little’s success in not only the Eventing Showcase but also the Grand Prix show jumping arena. On Saturday she competed at the Advanced level in Eventing, finishing seventh aboard RF Demeter in the Wellington Showcase, and on Sunday she stepped back into the Grand Prix CSI4* arena, posting two double-clears on Corona 93 for third place behind Eric Lamaze and Nick Skelton. To be at the very top of both of these Olympic sports is…

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What’s in a name? Check out the backstory on “Win The War”

There is an awesome tale behind every great horse name and I’m on a mission to uncover them all. If your horse’s name has an interesting backstory please email me with the details so I can share it with the Eventing world!  Win The War (aka Bug) is a 15-year-old OTTB, who is owned and ridden by Jessica Bortner-Harris (USA). Together Jessica and Bug have a successful three-star record; finishing 14th at the 2015 Jersey Fresh CCI3* and 36th at the 2015 Fair Hill CCI3*. Jessica also let Dan Jocelyn (NZL) compete Bug at the Wellington Eventing Showcase over the weekend, where they placed…

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Find out what was going on at the Ocala USEF Winter Training session

Yesterday, I spent a couple hours watching the USEF Winter Training Sessions at Meredyth South. Show jumping coach Silvio Mazzoni worked with Buck Davidson and Lynn Symansky. David O’Connor also took time to school Lauren Kieffer on cross-country, though I only had time to watch a brief bit with Veronica. It was extremely windy, so auditing was difficult. However, it appeared that Silvio was concentrating on making the horses supple, soft in the bridle, and lifting their backs to create the best shape over the jumps. Several horses warmed up over raised cavaletti rails prior to jumping. Silvio emphasized to…

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Assessing whether an OTTB will make a good Eventing prospect: Haulin Oats

This series examines off-track Thoroughbreds by evaluating their sport potential from pedigree and conformation.  This week’s OTTB is Haulin Oats, a 2012 bay gelding by Buzzards Bay. Thanks to his owner Jessa Hills for sharing him with us! Pedigree Haulin Oats (love that name!) is a 2012 bay gelding by Buzzards Bay out of Wanell. Buzzards Bay is by Marco Bay, a son of Copelan. When I see Copelan in a pedigree, it often results in some flashy white markings. Buzzards Bay entered stud in PA in 2009, so his oldest crop is six years old and I’m not yet familiar with them in the event world….

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Look mom no hands! – One simple exercise to improve your position over jumps

Are you tired of looking at your competition pictures only to feel disappointment because your position looks weak? Does your position interfere with your horse’s jumping ability, costing you the occasional rail? All riders strive to perfect their positions but it is difficult to work on your jumping position because it only takes your horse a fraction of a second to jump. Therefore, you have a small time frame to work on your position. Where as with dressage, you can ride circle after circle, continuously focusing on sitting better. I felt helpless about how I could improve my jumping position;…

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Assessing whether an OTTB will make a good Eventing prospect: Flyingwiththebeat

This series examines off-track Thoroughbreds by evaluating their sport potential from pedigree and conformation.  This week’s OTTB is Flyingwiththebeat, a 2007 bay gelding by High Fly. Thanks to his owner Avril for sharing him with us! Flyingwiththebeat is a 2007 gelding by High Fly out of Uhavethebeat. This is a pretty promising pedigree. High Fly earned over $900,000 at the track, but did not enjoy much success as a stallion. With a little over 50 foals on the ground, he was gelded in 2010 and is happily retired at his owner/breeder’s Live Oak Stud in FL. High Fly is by Atticus: a son of Nureyev (Northern Dancer)…

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