Let's face it, horses are the kindest animals on the planet. Not just because they will tirelessly carry us for hours through fields on a fox hunt, and not just because they keep jumping around cross-country courses despite our countless mistakes, but mostly because they put up with us bringing them into our own ridiculous and insane lives. This is perhaps never more apparent than when people dress their horses up in Halloween costumes and parade them around. Here are some of the best (and worst) Halloween horse costumes you will ever see. Remember folks--don't try this at home.
Halloween with the Hollings at Chattahoochee Hills: (from left to right) Lexi Scovil (as Hannah Montana), Jenn Holling, Caiden Holling (as Chewbacca), Jon Holling (as an eventing rider/coach from Ocala, Florida with a strange penchant for combining shiny belt buckles and sneakers), Megan Johnston (also as Hannah Montana), and Riley Carter (as Secretariat).
Of course, I should say happy Halloween Eventing Nation! Today we get to dress up in costumes and eat as much candy as is humanly possible in celebration of a holiday that was long forgotten by most Halloween participants. There is perhaps no holiday more US American than that, although Halloween is also celebrated in Ireland and the UK. And now you know the rest of the story.
That video is of Rodrigo Pesoa show jumping at the Washington International Horse Show this weekend, as filmed by the amazing Buzzterbrown. Buzzterbrown explains that this round was in the Gambler's Choice Class: "In this class you jump as many fences as you can in any order within the time limit. Each jump is assigned a number from 20 to 170 (more or less on the degree of difficulty) and you are awarded those points for each one you clear. Knocking down a rail means you don't get any points for that fence, but no penalty either. At the end, you have the option to do a high skinny vertical worth 200 points. But if you knock it down, 200 is deducted from your score." As always, thanks for the brilliant videos Buzzterbrown. Go eventing.
Description: Simone is a sweet and honest horse with a good work eithic. Brave and bold to the fences but is the type of horse you can also take to the beach and hit the trails with. She is a cute mover and a very fun horse. She is sensitive but honest, honest, honest. She would be great for pony club, eventing, or the low jumpers. She competed in the jumpers at HITS Saugerties this year and was fantastic. She loves cross country and is ready to bring a rider along. She has schooled all XC elements and dressage judges love her. Wonderful ground manners, sound and UTD.
I feel like in every person's life there are 20 to 30 moments that either go one way and your life changes forever or they go another way and things stay the same. Eventers might have 40 of these moments in a lifetime. This week my family faced one of those moments and fortunately got away from it better than ever. It reminds me about how Karen is always telling her students "don't miss that moment."
Thanks to everyone for the many comments and emails of support over the past couple of days. My Mom went home from the hospital today and, pending a few additional tests on Monday, things have fully improved. After I recover from 12 hours of sleep in the last 4 days--all in hospital chairs--Eventing Nation should return to normalcy on Sunday.
In news from Georgia, the CCI2* cross-country course at Chattahoochee Hills rode really well. 10 out of 17 starters had double-clears and 6 of the remaining riders only added time penalties. Elizabeth Barron and The Graduate lead Becky Holder with Call Me Ollie and Clark Montgomery and Cyrano Z by 0.6 points going into the show jumping. The CIC* rode differently, with 3 of 5 starters having a stop on course. Jonathan Holling leads that division by 16 points.
At the Virginia Horse Trials, Phillip Dutton leads the open intermediate by 6 points over a good friend of Eventing Nation's. Connor Rollins leads the intermediate rider aboard Bonnie Mosser's former 4* horse Merloch.
In other news from the Virginia Horse Trials, if you want a free kitten, go see Kim at stall 71 in the Southern States barn. They are looking for a good home and adopting a cat is scientifically proven to improve your show jumping score by at least a rail. Go eventing.
Today we have a very special view from a horse submission. This photo was taken by Boyd's super-groom and assistant rider, Caitlin Silliman, as she was hacking Remington in Chantilly, France earlier today. Remi will receive 20 liters of fluids later this evening and will board a truck first thing Sunday morning to make the 12 hour drive to the Pau CCI4*, where he will meet with Boyd. Thanks to Caitlin and Boyd for keeping us updated.
The Pau website seems to rival the WEG site in terms of obscurity and difficulty to understand, but I have included a link to the site and draw list below. There are just under 40 entries to Pau and Boyd is the second to the last competitor.
Description: Havasu Canyon is a talented 12yo 16.3h bay Thoroughbred gelding that is competitive at Intermediate with scope for Advanced. He recently placed 7th at the 2010 Bromont CCI**. He is regularly in the Top 3 after dressage. HC is uncomplicated and kind, going in a snaffle for all three phases. He's ready and willing to take a rider from Beginner Novice through Intermediate. More photos and videos available on www.csquarefarm.com
Adjectives: Experienced, Kind, Trustworthy
Price: Category E($50,000+)
Location: Nottingham, PA
Contact: Courtney Cooper, firstname.lastname@example.org, 610.932.5832
We bring you part four of Jenny's adventure as a working student and EN guest blogger. Jenny has ambitiously decided to spend the next year as a working student in Lexington, Kentucky. And yes, I promise Jenny explains the picture in the blog. Thanks for writing this Jenny and thank you for reading.
I am a huge scatterbrain and went one week longer than usual to write my next post because life has been so incredibly hectic these past three weeks! My last post was right after the eventing at WEG, and every second after I pressed the send button to John has been packed with excitement!
I'll start off with a silly story that ended with me sporting the pirate- look for a few days... Since we were going to be at Fair Hill for a whole week, I decided that on my last day off before we left that I would ride Molson so that he wouldn't get too fat while I was gone. This particular day happened to be rather windy and within .02 seconds of entering the ring, a large sandstorm erupted and decided to invade my eye. Now as a rider I know this happens all the time, and with other things too, like fly spray, horsehair, hay, etc. However, this sand decided to scratch up my cornea so that I couldn't even open my eye, not even after Andrea and I went inside and tried flushing it out. The next step was to try to get to an eye doctor, however being out of state made it impossible for me to go anywhere except an ER to be covered by my insurance. Thus, the wonderful Andrea drove me to the ER to get looked at, and I came home with lots of goodies, including a sweet eye patch!
Luckily, my eye healed before we left for Fair Hill, and so the adventure began. The trip up to Maryland went quite smoothly and we arrived only to find out we were encroaching on the largest stinkbug territory known to man. Now I don't mean just a few here and there, I mean a full infestation. When we tried to bring down the blue tarps on the side of the stabling area, it was like Armageddon only with millions of stinkbugs! We had nightly examinations of all of our sleeping bags to make sure we weren't sharing our sleeping quarters with any unwanted creatures. Fortunately I was able to concentrate on a few other things besides the unusually large population of stink bugs, such as watching some of the best riders in the country compete on some very talented horses. I was in complete awe while watching Clark Montgomery warm up his horses, and I'm still drooling over how quiet his hands are... ah, envy... I also watched in amazement as Megan competed her two polar-opposite upper level horses, making the challenging XC course look easy as pie on both of them! I was also lucky to go on the course walk with Megan and Bonnie Mosser and learned how to attack a 2* course. Needless to say, I learned copious amounts during our week in Maryland, and truly enjoyed every moment of it. All of the volunteers were super nice, and I even made friends with one of the ring stewards during dressage, as Megan spent some extra time in the ring due to her ring blowing away (literally) in the middle of her test! After a great week, our ride home was far from easy. With only a few more hours left to go, the truck decided it was going to break down and we had to pull into a gas station for a few hours until Megan's father and one of her loyal boarders came out to rescue us! Thank goodness for friends and family at 3am!
Last week was one giant blur, as my stress level increased tenfold when I came home to a lame horse. With the drought and hard ground, it seems Molson has a big crack in his hind heel, and after calling in a billion favors from our vet and farrier, we made him perfectly comfortable. After a few more days of soaking and packing his foot, he should be just fine! While I would never wish lameness on my horse or any horse for that matter, this does seem to be perfect timing since I am fortunate enough to have developed carpal tunnel syndrome in both of my wrists. The culprit? My loving horse's large head that I have to hold while riding. The answer? More dressage lessons to make him lighter! (The chiropractor suggested no more riding, I responded with laughter) Megan rode him a few weeks ago and joked that it was her bicep workout to prepare for Fair Hill... however now I am realizing that it is becoming a problem and must work harder to make my horse carry his own darn head!
I am running out of time and energy now, but I must explain the picture. Basically, I was lucky to catch a ride on one of Megan's clients' horses for Midsouth Team Challenge since Moo was out, and went XC in a full lion costume. After the past few weeks, it was exactly what I needed to just have some fun and let loose a little! Personally, I think costumes should be required for XC, it's way more entertaining!
I don't know about you, but one thing I have really missed lately on Eventing Nation is my weekly dose of Visionaire. Vis is unquestionably one of Eventing Nation's most talented writers and I am always helplessly jealous of her posts. Unfortunately for all of us, a new major promotion and marriage have taken up most of Visionaire's time lately so she forwarded along a rider profile for me to post on her behalf. Thanks for submitting this Catie and thank you for reading.
Your Name: Catie
Location: Burlington, MA, but I ride in Hollis, NH with my trainer
Age, breed, pertinent info: 7 year old chestnut thoroughbred mare that I just recently partnered with as a 'project'. She's been out of work for a couple years while she had a lovely colt, so she's rediscovering having a job. Grinds her teeth during dressage, but she's all ears when it comes to jumping.
Level currently competing: I did beginner novice this summer with my previous partner, but now I have Fiona and competition is on the back burner until next year when she's fit and ready to go.
Short term goals this spring/summer: Get her out to some shows and start getting her some experience. Cross rail division, here we come.
Year-end goals: Get Fiona going comfortably with her dressage tests, and get me fit enough to be comfortable with riding my project six days a week. This means more mountain biking when I'm not at the barn.
Overall goals? A training three-day. I've always wanted to try the long format.
What's the best thing you've learned recently? That sometimes a horse can be a wonderful, wonderful horse, but they are just not the right horse for you. And when that happens? It's not fun for anyone involved. My previous partner was a wonderful saint of a horse, but our personalities clashed. He needed to be pushed to everything, and I got frustrated that I was always kicking. Now I have a TB that needs her brakes reinstalled. She's no packer, but I'm having a lot of fun.
Also, do not jump a ditch like it's a liverpool. Your trainer will explode. I know this first hand.
Favorite eventing moment/story? I was visiting my trainer in Aiken and we were schooling cross country. She set up a full course for us that looped all around the property we were schooling at. I had just converted from hunter/jumpers recently, and as I was cantering briskly along, sizing up the cordwood that was next on course, it suddenly dawned on me. My trainer couldn't see me. It was just me and the horse powering along. We cleared the cordwood and went galloping up the hill and I just started giggling. It was such a rush. In the h/j world, I always had someone right there, especially if I was jumping. Even showing, there were hisses from the rail.
It was probably the first time I had jumped something without a trainer in my twenty plus years of riding.
As I mentioned yesterday, I have been dealing with a family situation at the hospital for the last 32 hours. My wonderful Mom was admitted to the UVa hospital early Thursday morning, but, while any trip to the hospital is serious, it seems like things are looking up and we should be able to go home soon. As always, I'd like to give a huge thanks to the EN Team for stepping up and providing some great posts that we have published and will publish over the next couple of days.
--Meanwhile, the CCI2* and horse trials at Chattahoochee Hills start today. Clark Montgomery has a chance to make it two CCI2* wins in a row between Fair Hill and Chattahoochee with his ride Cyrano Z. Clark works out of Chattahoochee Hills so he will be defending his home turf. Jonathan Holling has two horses entered in the CCI2*. There are 17 horses starting the CCI2* dressage today.
--These last few horse trials of the autumn season are often a good chance for the professionals to ride their younger horses and the pressure is on everyone to have a good experience going into the winter break. The Virginia Horse Trials and Team Challenge is being hosted this weekend at the beautiful Virginia Horse Center. There are some interesting entries in the VHT intermediate. Kelli Temple is taking Axel Rose out for another event after he was very naughty at Fair Hill. Phillip has two horses in the division and his vet, Kevin Keane is riding Fernhill Flutter in the same division.Ahsley Adams is running her Rolex horse Vaunted also in the intermediate.
--The ESDCTA Horse Trials is running at the Horse Park of New Jersey this weekend and is running training through starter levels. Link: ESDCTA scores. The only other USEA sanctioned event of the weekend is the Briar Fox HT in Kansas.
--In other news, I am pleased to report that Remington arrived in Chantilly, France last night. Remington will spend two days recovering from his flight in Chantilly and will be grazed and ridden by his groom Caitlin. Boyd will fly into France on Sunday.
--Finally, 60 Minutes will be running a feature on the super mare Zenyatta on Sunday evening. They will be featuring Zenyatta's preparation for the $5,000,000 Breeders Cup Classic race in early November--Zenyatta will be the favorite in that race. Check out hidden camera footage of her training:
John will resume EN's regularly schedule broadcasting at lunchtime, but, until then, when you find yourself investing wasting time at work browsing Eventing Nation, don't forget to click the tab to Sport Horse Nation and check out all the beautiful horses for sale. Even if you aren't in the market for a horse, watch a few videos, scope out who's selling who, and do a little wishful thinking. If you're thinking about advertising your horse on SHN, don't hesitate to contact us at Classifieds@EventingNation.com if you have any questions. We accept and encourage ads for horses in every price range and level of experience. So far we have heard of several successful sales, including finding one free filly a good home. Tom recently sold the grey gelding, Duckie, and wrote him this farewell in the place of his ad.
Congrats, good buddy, upon your aquisition of a new eventing partner, Jeanie Clarke. You ARE a lucky duck ! Instead of staying here with me freezing your a** off fox hunting this Winter, after a while in the Northeast at your new home, you get to, as all ducks should, "fly South" for the Winter with Jeanie to Ocala. When I dropped you off last night in Lexington to catch a ride back East with Peter Atkins and Henny, I was sad 'cause I love ya , buddy, and will miss you. But I'm thrilled you're going onward and upward to bigger and better things with Jeanie. Good luck, give her your best, and always go double clear !
Letting go of a horse is hard, but SHN is here to help find your horse a new partner to take him onward and upward. Submitting an ad is easy.
-Price of the horse or a price range in alignment with a, b, c, d, or e price categories in the sidebar
-Youtube video (optional)
2. Submit $15 for the posting
See the sidebar on SportHorseNation.com for more information and payment options.
Because the ads are posted in blog format, an ad will eventually be pushed off the front page but remain accessible through searches and category options (So provide as much of the information above as possible!). But that's not the only way we get your ad noticed. We also post a link to each classified on the Facebook fan page, and it posts to the SHNTwitter page. Ads also gets featured in a Sport Horse Nation recap, like this one, on Eventing Nation. So without further adeiu, I present to you some horses.
Big Solid Ready To Go: 16.1+ 6yr TB G "Hold What You Got" Beautifully broke on the flat and well started over fences. Has had plenty of XC experience plus he has been hound walking and did Cub-Hunt.
Fancy Upper Level Prospect: 16.3h 2004 dark bay unraced Thoroughbred gelding. Won his last event at Novice with a 24.8% in dressage. Verreaux moved up to Training at Seneca Valley Pony Club HT and finished in 6th place with a double clean XC!
Safe Novice Packer: 9 yo,15.3 Registered American Warmblood: Oldenburg/TB Mare, sired by Rubenz. Great horse for kid moving up from pony, into competition or an amateur adult confidence builder.
Ohhh Riley! Novice/Training Level Packer: 10 yr old, 16hh TB X with a wonderful personality. He's a cute mover and a big, bold jumper who knows his job and is a pro at banks, ditches and water. Completed a season of foxhunting as a 4 yr old in Virginia.
Super Beautiful and Talented Prospect: 4 yr old 15.2+ hh TB mare by Digamist. Competing Beginner Novice, Schooling Novice. Goes easily through water and over ditches. Buttercup is sweet and easy to handle.
Talented Event Prospect: Dos Partners, AKA "Henry", a 5 yr 16.3 hh TB is a super special prospect. Green yet incredibly talented. Henry thinks that life is just grand and has a super personality.
Lovely Young Event Horse For Sale: Eros is a four year old TB gelding by Pleasant Tap. At 16 hh, he is a gorgeous horse with well balanced gaits. Brave to the fences and clean over them, he's one to look at for the future.