David Taylor
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David Taylor

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About David Taylor

I am the facility manager at Sunset Hill at McCuan Farms in Woodbine MD. I consider myself an up and coming adult amateur with the goals of a teenager that has sights set on Rolex. At the ripe age of 30, what better time then now to dive head first in the world of eventing and all it has to offer.

Eventing Background

USEA Rider Profile Click to view profile
Area 2
Highest Level Competed Training
Farm Name Sunset Hill at McCuan Farms
Trainer Kristin Bachman (Jump), Britta Johnston (Dressage), Domenique Carson (Dressage),

Latest Articles Written

Product Review: Boy O Boy Bridleworks Custom Ribbon Belt and Grosgrain Browband

Welcome to EN's Product Review Just for Men's Series! There has been a gap in the world of equine fashion, and that gap is great apparel products for the guys. As an equestrian myself, I love giving new gear a try, especially when its just for men. Follow along as I search for and try out the featured products in a personal quest for great apparel. In this series I will make no recommendations, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about my journey and personal experiences as I try new products that can only be found in the men's section.

The Boy O Boy line of custom products allows you to incorporate your personality into your riding in a very tasteful way. Photo by Dave Taylor . The Boy O Boy line of custom products allows you to incorporate your personality into your riding in a very tasteful way. Photo by Dave Taylor .

I am constantly trying to find unique items for me and my horse — something that will set us apart from the crowd but tie the two of us together as a team. The members of sports teams all wear the same uniform so you can tell they are all part of that team, so why not have something that says you and your horse are members of a team?

The issue I find in my quest for the “team” apparel is as a guy most things tend to be very girly. And yes, on occasion I have acquired things that are considered girly and justify it because my horse is a mare. But I must say the struggle is real in finding that special something that sets us apart.

That was until I stumbled across the Boy O Boy Bridleworks line of amazing custom ribbon products. It was the first time I found I could take my cross country colors (red, white and black) and have myself and my horse tastefully and in a masculine way show we were part of an amazing team.

The Custom Grosgrain Brow Band holds up against horses that tend to be rough on their tack.

The Custom Grosgrain Browband holds up against horses that tend to be rough on their tack. Photo by Dave Taylor.

The first thing I noticed on the Grosgrain Browband was the quality of the leather that supports the ribbon. The browband is made from a high quality American bridle leather that is extremely supple and durable. My thought is the browband will stand the test of time in a barn without trouble.

There are five patterns that the ribbon can be arranged in, including the “Dealbreaker,” which is shown in this review. Each pattern uses between two and four ribbon colors, giving you literally thousands of custom options that will make your browband extremely unique.

The weave of the ribbon is very tight; even though it is not permanently affixed to the leather it does not budge. Even after many rides, the ribbon is still in place (naughty pony head rubs put this to the test).

The Ribbon Belt is where as a man I am more than thrilled. First like the browband, the belt is fully customizable with the same thousands of options in ribbon arrangement and colors, giving me seemingly endless ways to express my unique individuality.

My issue I have come across is that normally belts like these are designed towards the taste of women over men. And I get it, as men we represent a smaller percentage of the equine clothing and fashion industry. But that doesn’t mean we want to be forgotten when it comes to amazing products that cross the gender gap.

This belt can easily be feminine or masculine, which is the most amazing thing about it. The quality, much like the browband, is top notch. The basis of the belt is a quality web material, which the ribbon is then woven around and stitched to.

The Custom Ribbon Belt can be manly enough for him, or pretty enough for her. Photo by Dave Taylor

The Custom Ribbon Belt can be manly enough for him, or pretty enough for her. Photo by Dave Taylor.

The leather that holds the buckle is the same high quality American bridle leather that makes up the browband. Knowing this, I am beyond positive this belt will also stand the test of time.

I have put this belt to the extreme test, as I have worn it not only for riding but also working around the farm. Even after the extreme punishment that I have put this belt though, it has come out unscathed and as amazing as ever.

Boy O Boy is located in Northern Virginia but ships nationwide. If you’re part of a barn, riding club or have way to many horses, Boy O Boy offers volume discounts as well.

The Custom Ribbon Belt retails for $110 and is available in endless color combination options. It is available in sizes child small to extra large as well as adult extra small to extra large.

The Custom Grosgrain Browband retails for $75 and is available in black or havana leather, as well as the endless ribbon color options. The sizes available are small pony, pony, cob, full and oversize.

If you’re looking for that little something extra that will identify you as part of a team with your horse, check out Boy O Boy.

Go Being a Team with Your Horse. Go Boy O Boy. Go Eventing

Product Review: USG Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest

Welcome to EN's Product Review Just for Men's Series! There has been a gap in the world of equine fashion, and that gap is great apparel products for the guys. As an equestrian myself, I love giving new gear a try, especially when its just for men. Follow along as I search for and try out the featured products in a personal quest for great apparel. In this series I will make no recommendations, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about my journey and personal experiences as I try new products that can only be found in the men's section.

The USG Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest offers you the ability to move in your body and arms. photo by Lorraine Peachey . The USG Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest offers you the ability to move in your body and arms. photo by Lorraine Peachey .

Safety is a priority when it comes to eventing. That is one thing I take very seriously. I always … always … always wear my helmet. I try to remove any unnecessary risk when riding, and when I’m schooling a young horse over fences or taking any horse cross country, I will always wear a body protector.

When it comes to body protectors, it seems that most riders find one that works for them and stick with that vest until the end of time. Each vest has its own unique benefits and features, and some body protectors will fit one person completely differently than another.

Still, the single most important aspect to these safety devices is that they do their absolute best to keep us as safe as possible in the event we should fall from our mounts.

I bought my first body protector years ago and then replaced it a year ago with the same model in the updated version. For some reason I did not go try any others on. I felt at home in my body protector, so why mess with a good thing? I assumed it was like most other things in life: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

So when KL Select gave me the opportunity to try the USG Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest, I was unsure about trying something new but as walso anxious to see what USG had to offer in regards to my safety.

From the moment I first tried it on, I knew right away this was going to be my new jumping vest. Putting on the body protector for the first time, I was amazed by how much I could move in this vest. My previous vest felt more like a flak jacket worn by the military while in combat.

While wearing it, my arm movement was not hindered at all, giving me the ability to reach for anything in my trailer above my head or on the ground. I could also easily stud my horse up while wearing the vest (not something I normally do, but I forgot to put the studs in first that day). I could twist and turn in any direction with little resistance from the body protector.

This Body Protector is easily cleaned and is made from dirt repellent polyester. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

This body protector is easily cleaned and is made from dirt repellent polyester. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The foam that makes up the vest is thick but is broken up into a block structure system that allows freedom of movement as well as a perfect fit. There are two velcro adjusting points at the shoulders and the sides, which allow for quick and easy adjustment.

The USG Body Protector has a zip-up front closure with a single block of foam that attaches with Velcro over the zipper, adding more protection. This closure system also allows the vest to be taken off easily without sacrificing its ability to protect.

The outer shell is made from dirt-repellent polyester that is washable as well. So in the event you do take a tumble, the dirt comes right off. The body protector is certified according to EN 13158-2009 level 3, and BETA label level 3, which is the highest rating available in Europe. This along with this vest being extremely light weight makes it stand out from the crowd.

I found that the Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest by USG filled in some unknown gaps my previous vest left open in terms of comfort and adjustability. That along with a sense of feeling completely safe while wearing this vest is a great feeling to have while jumping some really scary stuff.

The USG Flexi-Back Body Protector Vest is available in small through extra large and retails for $254. You can find the sizing chart to make sure you get the correct fit here and can pick them up through KL Select here.

Go Safety. Go USG from KL Select. Go Eventing.

Product Review: Malte Full Seat Breech by USG

Welcome to EN's Product Review Just for Men's Series! There has been a gap in the world of equine fashion, and that gap is great apparel products for the guys. As an equestrian myself, I love giving new gear a try, especially when its just for men. Follow along as I search for and try out the featured products in a personal quest for great apparel. In this series I will make no recommendations, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about my journey and personal experiences as I try new products that can only be found in the men's section.

These breeches combine great style with amazing function. Photo by Lorraine Peachey. These breeches combine great style with amazing function. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Its hard to say I have a true preference when it comes to breeches. As any male rider knows, finding more than a few different choices is often a very hard task. As I continue on this crusade to unearth the unknown, I find myself starting to have a type, a favorite style and features I naturally gravitate towards.

I have come to learn that I have a choice when it comes to the breeches I decide to wear. I have also leaned that what works in regards to women’s clothing often has no place in the men’s world of clothing. Men’s clothing does not include terms like whimsical, sparkle or bling. The men’s line does not have fun designs, patterns or pictures.

This lack of whimsy can often lead to dull and bland, which normally spans the three color men’s breech spectrum of black, white and beige. So when I see a company is offering a choice of more than those three colors and style that steps out of the ordinary box, my attention is what you have.

Enter the Malte Full Seat Breech by USG, which is far and away from the typical men’s breech. Color beyond the normal three is the catalyst of my new infatuation with these breeches. Their fit and finish is what continues to keep these breeches in my riding apparel rotation.

When you first pick up the Malte, you know you have picked up something that is true quality. The material, composed of 70% cotton 25% microfiber and 5% spandex, has a great feel to it with the right amount of stretch that wont hinder movement of an active rider.

Pockets! Yes, it is worth celebrating a thing that seem so small, but pockets are awesome on a men’s breech. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

These breeches feature something that is a must have for me: pockets. But USG did no leave it at one or two, but designed the Malte with four pockets both front and back.  On the front are two slanting zippered pockets that ensure the contents do not leave unless you want them to. On the back are two snap closure hip pockets that can hold the average man’s wallet.

When I first put on the breech, I was overcome with a feeling of quality as the breech fit wonderfully. It moved in all the right places and did not pull in all the wrong ones. This movement allowed me to be able to ride in a jump saddle as well as my dressage saddle without any issue or binding.

The full seat is made up of a synthetic Clarino material that offers great durability and super grip in the saddle. USG also designed the breeches to be longer on the leg, making sure the cuff of the breech did not bind or cause any discomfort while in the boot.

The Malte Full Seat Breech by USG is available in the USA from KL Select in sizes 32-42R, as well as 32-42L. The breech is available in two color choices: Brown and Camel (pictured) and Anthrazit. This awesome breech retails for $170 and can be found here.

Go Great Options for Men. Go USG from KL Select. Go Eventing.

Product Review: eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots

The eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots offer a patented quick release tab making removal of the boots super fast and easy. Photo by Dave Taylor The eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots offer a patented quick release tab making removal of the boots super fast and easy. Photo by Dave Taylor

My safety is paramount and that goes with out saying. I wear a helmet and body protector and try to be as educated as possible about what I am going to be doing. The one thing that comes before my safety is that of my horse.

Our horses play an equal, if not the more important, part in this amazing sport of ours. I will stop at nothing to make sure my partner is as protected as I am when we head out on course. That being said, I am always on the look out for something better, something safer, something that I feel holds my horses’ safety as highly as I do.

Since the moment I saw the eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots, I have been obsessed with them. When I say obsessed, I’m being honest. These boots stand far apart from any other cross country boot I have seen and it’s not just because they are black and orange. Let’s get down to what makes them so special.

The eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots are made from a composite carbon fiber and Kevlar material. Photo by Dave Taylor

The eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots are made from a composite carbon fiber and Kevlar material. Photo by Dave Taylor

The first thing I noticed about these boots when they arrived is their weight. When I picked them up, my hands nearly hit my face with the thought that these would be much heavier. The boots weigh in at an astonishing 5.8 ounces making them one of the lightest cross country boots on the market.

After getting over their lack of weight, I began to wonder if the lack of weight would take away from their ability to protect my horses legs. Then I looked closer at what these boots were made of. A composite carbon fiber and Kevlar (the same material used in bullet proof vests) encase the leg for maximum protection but also are designed for flexibility.

I decided to take these for a test run on my mare while cross country schooling and learned another valuable lesson about their composition. After schooling the water, I headed for the trailer to un-tack and head home. I went to take off the eVenting Cross Country Boots and realized they were the same weight as when I started.

That is because eQuick has designed these boots to be non-water absorbing. So by the time I removed them 10 minutes after schooling the water, the boots were completely dry inside and out. Speaking of removing these boots, that is where they stand apart from any other boots hands down.

Now imagine you walk into the vet box, your horse is still jazzed from coming off of cross country and prancing around. Time is of the essence to strip that horse down of all its tack. Removing the eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots is insanely fast with the “Quick Release” technology. One must simply pull the patented “Quick Release” tab and boom … the boot comes off.

One other thing I noticed it that my horses’ legs are cooler after working out wearing these boots. This is because eQuick has incorporated a perforated high impact HCL foam that aids in protection but offers breath ability at the same time which helps to keep the leg cool when the competition heats up.

So I’m fairly certain my enthusiasm over these boots has been adequately conveyed at this point. But when I find something I fall in love with that has my horses safety at the top of their priority list, I’m all in and I must spread the word.

The eQuick eVenting Cross Country Boots are made entirely in Italy and are sold in pairs. They come front or hind in small, medium, and large. They retail for $179.00 a set and you can check them out here.

Go Ultimate Cross Country Boots. Go eQuick. Go eVenting.

Product Review: Noble Outfitters Men’s Performance Quarter Zip Mock

Welcome to EN's Product Review Just for Men's Series! There has been a gap in the world of equine fashion, and that gap is great apparel products for the guys. As an equestrian myself, I love giving new gear a try, especially when its just for men. Follow along as I search for and try out the featured products in a personal quest for great apparel. In this series I will make no recommendations, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about my journey and personal experiences as I try new products that can only be found in the men's section.

The Quarter Zip Mock from Noble Outfitters has made its way into my cold weather gear on a regular basis. Photo By Lorraine Peachey The Quarter Zip Mock from Noble Outfitters has made its way into my cold weather gear on a regular basis. Photo By Lorraine Peachey

Not only do I ride, but I manage and work on a farm as well, and I often find myself taking a break during the day to make sure my horses get worked. That being said, I need clothing that can often do double duty for both working and riding.

I like clothing that is durable enough to handle the hard work of an active farm but has a great appearance to it so I can look my best in the saddle, too. This is much easier to do in summer, but the cold of winter often calls for layering and makes the task a bit harder.

I usually wear a long sleeve technical sport shirt as a base layer, followed by a polo or short sleeve shirt to keep the bulk down in my arms. The next layer is to me the most important: a sweatshirt that is again low on bulk but is the layer most responsible for my warmth, and Noble Outfitters is my go-to for this all important layer.

The Quarter Zip Mock has become a constant in my cold weather clothing, not to mention that it is as functional as it is stylish. When I first picked up the Quarter Zip Mock, my first thought was “will this actually keep me warm?” due to its lightweight feel. But after wearing it for the first time on a cold morning in the barn, my fear of being a bit chilly was hushed by the warmth this shirt provides.

The back of this piece offers a locker loop that is secured with rivets featuring the Noble Outfitters Logo. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The back of this piece offers a locker loop that is secured with rivets featuring the Noble Outfitters Logo. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The Soft Grid Fleece offers something I have not experienced with other shirts I’ve worn before. It makes this performance piece extremely soft to the touch and is kind of like wearing a teddy bear hug all around your upper body, minus the extra bulk and added weight of actually wearing teddy bears all around your upper body.

One thing I’ve come to expect is when I’m working in the barn mucking stalls, I am bound to get warm enough that I start removing layers. The quarter zip makes this piece super easy to pull over your head.

When you get too warm and remove a layer, you also have the ability to hang up the Quarter Zip Mock on a hook outside a stall thanks to the locker loop on the back. This locker loop is secured with rivets, which helps prevent the loop from being easily ripped off. When you have to run to catch a horse and snatch the shirt off of the hook in the process, it’s nice to know the loop will still be there when you go to hang it up again.

The left chest pocket is big enough for a pair of sunglasses or a large phone. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

The left chest pocket is big enough for a pair of sunglasses or a large phone. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Another feature that makes the Quarter Zip Mock even more functional is the left front chest pocket. This pocket is what makes this piece stand apart from the rest. It is big enough for a large cell phone or pair of sunglasses but is perfect to hold your horse’s favorite treats as well.

The Noble Outfitters Quarter Zip Mock now plays an integral part in my cold weather gear. The lack of bulk makes it easy to work in and wear, but doesn’t stop it from providing the warmth that is needed from a piece like this.

The Men’s Performance Quarter Zip Mock retails for $79.95 and can be purchased here. The sizes range from Small through 2XL and are available in three great colors: Charcoal (pictured), True Navy and Woods Heather.

Go Cold Weather Layering. Go Noble Outfitters. Go Eventing.

Tuesday News and Notes From Cavalor

Morgan McCue and Casandra Wallskog participating in the Eventing 18 Developing Rider Training Session at Meredyth Farm and Red Trail Ridge South. Photo by Victoria McCue Morgan McCue and Casandra Wallskog participating in the Eventing 18 Developing Rider Training Session at Meredyth Farm and Red Trail Ridge South. Photo by Victoria McCue

Here in Maryland the four letter S word has finally made its way into our weather forecasts, with indications of a decent accumulation for this weekend. High temperatures this week will barely break the freezing mark, and the lows are about the same as my shoe size — not really a great combination.

Meanwhile in Ocala at Meredyth Farm and Red Tail Ridge South, the Eventing 18 Developing Rider Training Sessions are just heating up. The seven riders attending the East Coast session will be spending the week working with Leslie Law on all three phases of eventing. They will also join in daily discussions and seminars to further their development as event riders.

Events Opening Today: Rocking Horse Winter III H.T. (FL, A-3),  Twin Rivers Winter H.T. (CA, A-6),  Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials II (SC, A-3),  Full Gallop Farm March I H.T. (SC, A-3)

Events Closing This Week:  Sporting Day Farm Horse Trials I (SC, A-3),  Stable View Winter Horse Trials I (SC, A-3),  Poplar Place Farm February H.T. (GA, A-3),  Pine Top Intermediate Horse Trials (GA, A-3),  Galway Downs Winter H.T.(CA, A-6)

Tuesday News and Notes:

Attention all breeders! We’ve just added a new Stallions category on Sport Horse Nation, where you can advertise your stallion for $15 for a basic listing and $45 for a premium listing. Click here to add your classified ad. (Thank you to Wendy Webster for inspiring this new category!) [Sport Horse Nation]

Gulch Dies at 32 Years Old: The oldest living Breeders’ Cup Champion, Gulch, was euthanized this past Sunday at the ripe age of 32. Gulch retired after 13 wins with career earnings of more than $3,000,000. Gulch then went on to sire 72 stakes-placed runners before fully retiring from breeding in 2009. [Popular Race Sire Gulch Dies at 32]

Are you a Showing Maniac? Some are enthusiastic about showing, some don’t seem to care either way, but then there are those that may actually be a certified competition junkie. See how many of these 12 signs you can check off to determine how horse show crazy you really are. [12 Signs You’re a Competition Junkie]

Maryland Clinic with Bill Levett: Head on over to EventClinics.com and register to ride with Australian four-star event rider, Bill Levett. The clinic will be held at Woods Lane Farm in Mt. Airy, Maryland. [Bill Levett Clinic]

What Happens If? With owning chickens becoming more and more popular, what happens if your horse should break into the chicken feed? The result of such an incident could be deadly and should be acted on quickly. Read up on the importance of why you should make it a priority to keep your equine safe from the wrong feed. [Help, My Horse Ate Chicken Feed, What Should I do?]

Tuesday Video:

Since this past weekend was Lesley Grant-Law’s birthday, here is a quick video of her jumping around the Prelim course at Three Lakes:

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Jamie Jennings riding her Mustang, The Mighty Thor, at Carefree Farms' mock One-Day Horse Trials in Phoenix Arizona. Photo by Karen Bjorn Jamie Jennings riding her Mustang, The Mighty Thor, at Carefree Farms' mock One-Day Horse Trials in Phoenix Arizona. Photo by Karen Bjorn

I did it, I broke down and bought $20 worth of Powerball lotto tickets last night. I’ve caught myself drifting off into a vivid daydream while working around the farm since the missed jackpot drawing Saturday. I find myself planning for all the things I would buy, the people and horses I would help, and the places I would go if I won the jackpot.

The only issue is this is the first time I’ve bought a ticket even though I’ve been daydreaming for years. I guess the realization of “you have to play to win” sunk in. So in the event that I do win, the next Fab Freebie will be incredible!

Events Opening Today: Pine Top Advanced, CIC3*,CIC2*, CIC1* & H.T. (GA, A-3),  Three Lakes February Horse Trials at Caudle Ranch (FL, A-3)

Events Closing This Week: Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test (CA, A-6),  Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. (FL, A-3), Full Gallop Farm January H.T (SC, A-3)

Tuesday News and Notes: 

Tack Sale for OTTBs: We all need more tack. OK, well maybe “need” isn’t the whole truth, but we all want more tack. It’s a win to find this tack gently loved for a good price and even better when the proceeds help out a great organization. Sleeping Fox Farm Thoroughbred Rescue is having an online used tack sale that benefits its rescued Thoroughbreds. Take a look, buy a few things and help a horse. [Sleeping Fox Farm Thoroughbred Rescue Tack Sale]

Riding a Prelim Combination: Brittany Kart is the latest pro featured on Between the Flags. She walks us through a preliminary combination featured at Horse Park of New Jersey II Horse Trials. Ride along as Brittany describes how she would ride the same combination several ways depending on terrain and horse. [Between the Flags]

New Eventing Organizer at GMHA: The Green Mountain Horse Association welcomes to its team Shelley Spielman of Aiken, South Carolina, as Eventing Organizer. Shelley will take the reins and lead the teams working on the three sanctioned horse trials that GMHA hosts. Shelley brings with her 26 years of valued experience organizing some of the top events on the east coast. [Green Mountain Horse Association Hires New Eventing Organizer]

Safety for Rent: Are you headed to Ocala? Did you forget your air vest, or do you want to try a Point Two? You’re in luck as Point Two is offering Black Pro Airs for rent for an affordable daily rate. [Point Two Black Pro Air for Rent]

Tuesday Video: SmartPak is back with another instant classic.

Product Review: Custom Riding Apparel Men’s Fusion Breech

Welcome to EN's Product Review Just for Men's Series! There has been a gap in the world of equine fashion, and that gap is great apparel products for the guys. As an equestrian myself, I love giving new gear a try, especially when its just for men. Follow along as I search for and try out the featured products in a personal quest for great apparel. In this series I will make no recommendations, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about my journey and personal experiences as I try new products that can only be found in the men's section.

The Fusion Breech combines a classic look with modern stretch and feel making it not only comfortable but stylish as well.  Photo by Lorraine Peachey The Fusion Breech combines a classic look with modern stretch and feel making it not only comfortable but stylish as well. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

When it comes to breeches for guys, our pool of products to pick from is kind of like the kiddie pool. Unlike the women’s section being an ocean of choices, the men’s isn’t very deep or vast.

It has become normal to find a breech at the tack shop that does the job and buy them out of stock in my size just to make sure I have more than one pair to wear. The lack of options in men’s breeches makes it hard to have an opinion on what is good or bad, because all of the choices are usually the same, with the main difference being what brand is on the waist line.

The other sad development I realized when going through my breeches is it seems the norm for a men’s breech color spectrum is three colors deep: white, beige and black. I know our sport is steeped in tradition, but it seems our color palette is leftover from the days of the military telling eventers what to wear.

So when I was given the chance to try out a pair of Men’s Fusion Breeches from Custom Riding Apparel, being excited was an understatement. Lets add to this that they were coming to me in a color to which I never knew existed in a men’s breech: French Blue.

I have not had any experience with Custom Riding Apparel prior to this; for that matter I didn’t know that there were more than three companies making a men’s breech. Immediately after their arrival, I felt the need to rip open the bag and take them for a spin.

The slant front pockets are deep enough to fit the largest of phones, Photo by Dave Taylor

The slant front pockets are deep enough to fit the largest of phones, Photo by Dave Taylor

My first impression of the Men’s Fusion Breech was that I truly enjoyed the fit and feel. Unlike most breeches I’ve owned, the Fusion Breech has a very nice stretch to the High-Tech Comfort Ride Fabric, making them extremely easy to pull on. This fabric also allows movement in all the right place; even being a full seat breech I was not constricted in anyway.

And while the fabric is nice and stretchy, I also got the impression that it is durable enough to stand up to wear around the barn as well as in the saddle. Another feature that I noticed was the Clarino full seat and adjustable ankle closure.

The next thing I noticed was that Custom Riding Apparel placed two masculine flap pockets on the back of the breech, as well as two slash pockets on the front. This alone would be a great feature, but both sets of pockets are deep enough for phones and wallets. Additionally, all four pockets have snap closures, so there is no fear of items falling out while riding.

The Men’s Fusion Breech features a front zip as well as a regular rise, which gives them a nice classic and professional look. Since I’m a typical guy and I’m generally not very good at separating out my wash, it’s nice to know that Custom Riding Apparel has me covered — the Fusion breech is machine washable.

The color choices mixed with a classic and stylish look set these apart from the crowd. Photo by Dave Taylor

The color choices mixed with a classic and stylish look set these apart from the crowd. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

The thing that stands out the most about the Men’s Fusion Breech is they are made in the USA.  This gives me a sense of pride — that just north of me in Pennsylvania there is company manufacturing top quality breeches what will likely have a home in my closet from now on.

The Men’s Fusion Breech from Custom Riding Apparel are available in beige, navy, grey, brown, rust and french blue (pictured). They have a retail price of $150 and can be found here

Go Giving the Men’s Section Some Depth, Go Custom Riding Apparel, Go Eventing

Product Review: Noble Outfitters CoolFlo Polo

Welcome to EN's Product Review Just for Men's Series! There has been a gap in the world of equine fashion, and that gap is great apparel products for the guys. As an equestrian myself, I love giving new gear a try especially when its just for men. Follow along as I search for and try out the featured products in a personal quest for great apparel. In this series I will make no recommendations, but I do hope you will enjoy reading about my journey and personal experiences as I try new products that can only be found in the Men's section.

I found that the CoolFlo Polo was durable enough for farm work, but nice enough to wear to a meeting. Photo by Lorraine Peachey I found that the CoolFlo Polo was durable enough for farm work, but nice enough to wear to a meeting. Photo by Lorraine Peachey

If you open up any man’s closet, you’ll find clothing staples like suits, sweaters, formal dress shirts and slacks, and maybe a favorite sports team’s jersey. Next to the tie rack and belts sits a section for more everyday wear.

This section of my closet holds my button down shirts and my awesomely extensive collection of polo shirts. When it comes to polo shirts, there are hundreds of options — designer shirts that cost a mere fortune to purchase, the ones that are designed to mimic a legitimate polo team’s shirts, the simple one color cotton ones, and the ever trendy golf style polos.

The downside about most polos is they are unable to make the crossover to equestrian wear. Lets face it — most companies that make polo shirts probably don’t know that polo is played on a horse. These polos I like to refer to as “fashion polos,” as they end up being the polos worn to go out on the town.

One polo that seems to stand out in my collection is the Noble Outfitters CoolFlo Polo. This seemingly simple polo has much more to offer than meets the eye, especially when it comes to spending time in the saddle.

Noble Polo1

The collar has a woven inside to prevent snagging and is also vented in the back to aid in cooling. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Another polo faux pas is that the vast majority of polos are made from the great fabric of the earth — cotton. Don’t get me wrong, I love the touch and feel of the fabric of my life, but cotton is lacking when it comes to dealing with sweat. Cotton has an ability to act more like a sponge and holds moisture for hours.

The CoolFlo is made with Noble’s Opti-Dry Technology, which wicks moisture away quickly and dries even faster. For a nice added bonus, the fabric has a antimicrobial finish, which helps keep the man smell at bay.

One thing I really find annoying when it comes to any shirt is bending over and having the back of the shirt come untucked. It seems I spend half my time making sure my shirts are back in place after doing my normal duties around the farm. With a longer cut, the CoolFlo does not suffer from this age old problem.

Anyone who has a typical polo made from tech fabric knows they have a unique ability to snag on everything. Pick up a bale of hay … snag. Climb over a fence … snag. Walk into tall grass … snag. Farm dog jumps up to say hello … eight snags all down the front of your shirt. Thankfully, this is an affliction the CoolFlo does not suffer from. After over a month of wearing this shirt at the farm, it still has a right-off-the-rack look to it.

It seems as though Noble Outfitters has really put some real world farm time into this shirt. In an effort to keep you cooler, the collar is vented; it also has a woven inside collar to keep the uncomfortable hair snags to a minimum.

Being around horses, you need a shirt that is able to move with you as you go about your day. With a running underarm gusset, the CoolFlo is right there with you and comfortable to wear.

polo

The snag resistant material mixed with Opti-Dry technology makes this polo a workhorse. Photo by Lorraine Peachey.

Seeing as I spend a fair amount of time in the saddle, I like to appear professional when I ride, and this shirt has the look to be taken seriously but the functionality to be an everyday shirt. The CoolFlo has become the shirt I will wear to ride in at a clinic and, at the same time, the shirt I can wear repairing fence at the farm.

The CoolFlo Polo is available from Noble Outfitters in White, Asphalt (Grey), Black, and Deep Water Blue. All the colors retail for $44.99 each, and you can pick up yours here.

Go a Polo for all Occasions, Go Noble Outfitters, Go Eventing.

A Winning Ride on Share Option

Sharon Decker on Share Option and Skyler Decker on Inoui Van Bost out for a post lesson hack. Photo by Dave Taylor. Sharon Decker on Share Option and Skyler Decker on Inoui Van Bost out for a post lesson hack. Photo by Dave Taylor.

Would you bid to win a lesson on a four-star horse? Sharon Decker knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity last fall during a fundraising dinner to send Lillian Heard and her four-star partner Share Option to France for Les Etoiles de Pau CCI4*.

Many of Lillian’s sponsors donated exciting items to be auctioned off to help them make the trip, but the marquee item on the auction block was a lesson on Share Option, her 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding, once they returned home from France.

When Sharon heard that this once-in-a-lifetime experience would be up for grabs, she wasn’t going to let anything get in her way. “I was bidding on it, and I was winning it,” Sharon said. “There was another supporter of Lillian’s there that was giving me a run for my money, so I bid as high as I could to make it happen.”

Sharon is the mother of Skyler Decker, who was a member of the Area II team that won a gold medal in the CH-J* at the 2015 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. As Skyler’s biggest fan, Sharon is always supporting her daughter as a successful young event rider. But this time, it was Sharon’s turn to have the ride of her life.

Sharon Getting Whitey Ready for His Lesson. Photo by Dave Taylor

Sharon Getting Whitey Ready for His Lesson. Photo by Dave Taylor

Share Option, better known as “Whitey” successfully completed Rolex CCI4* for the past two years. Though Lillian ultimately retired him on course at Pau due to a minor breathing issue, Whitey was back to his old self after a month of rest.

He came back into work in early December, and Sharon started the new year off right last Sunday when she got her chance to spend some quality saddle time on a four-star horse at Bascule Farm in Poolesville, Maryland.

“It’s been about 10 years since I was last on a horse,” Sharon explains. “Back then I did a little walk, some trot, and I accidently cantered.”

The lesson began as any other would: grooming, tacking and getting squared away on the horse. As Sharon climbed onto Whitey, a smile appeared that you wouldn’t see leave her face for the rest of the day.

Lillian instructed Sharon and Whitey through the walk, and then the trot, and this time a canter that Sharon actually asked for. The lesson lasted just about 45 minutes as Lillian helped Sharon work through the years of rust, and by the end Sharon had a real grasp for the horse that Share Option truly is.

“I knew Whitey would be really good at a lesson like that because he is so laid back,” Lillian said. “Watching Sharon ride him like that brought me as much joy as it did her. I never get the chance to see my horse go, but to have him be so good and go so well for an adult amateur made me incredibly happy.”

After the lesson, Sharon got to do something that was priceless in her book. With Sharon still on Whitey and Skyler riding her own horse, Inoui Von Bost, they went for a mother-daughter hack around Bascule Farm on a gorgeous January day.

“This whole experience was amazing; the fact that I could ride a four-star horse was really cool,” Sharon said. “The fact that I got to be on a horse that has competed at some of the biggest events in the world combined with enjoying an afternoon hack with my daughter was something I will never forget.”

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Karen and Steve Fulton and Dave Taylor at the Maryland Horse Trials Cross Derby. Photo by Carolyn Mackintosh. Karen and Steve Fulton and Dave Taylor at the Maryland Horse Trials Cross Derby. Photo by Carolyn Mackintosh.

I cannot think of a better way to start off 2016 than enjoying an afternoon of beautiful weather, amazing equine partners and some good old fashioned competition. This past Saturday we loaded up the OTTBs and headed to Maryland Horse Trials for their first cross derby of 2016. The course contained about 20 jumping efforts with a mix of stadium and cross country jumps spanning all three arenas.

Maryland Horse Trials used this opportunity to show off a bunch of their newly built cross country jumps, the expanded lower arena and the new bank complex connecting two of the arenas. This only leaves me even more excited for the 2016 competition season, which might have me making sure this event is on the “must go to” list again.

Events Opening Today:  Fresno County Horse Park CIC & H.T. (CA, A-6),  Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. (FL, A-3),  Paradise Farm H.T. (SC, A-3)

Events Closing this Week:  Poplar Place Farm January H.T. (GA, A-3)

Tuesday News and Notes:

Bill Levett is Coming to Maryland: For riders staying north this winter in Area II, you are the lucky ones. Bill Levett will be in Mt. Airy, Maryland, at Woods Lane Farm on January 30-31. This will be a two-day clinic focusing on gymnastics and show jumping course work. For more information contact Barbra Cohen King at 410-703-7168. [Bill Levett Clinic Flyer]

Retired Racehorse Project Seeks 500 Trainers for $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover: Yesterday marked the first day of the 2016 Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover. Until Jan. 31, applications from trainers will be accepted and reviewed for the Thoroughbred Makeover. The Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium will be held the last weekend in October at the Kentucky Horse Park. [Thoroughbred Makeover Application]

Ian Stark to Visit Carolina International: As preparations are well underway for the 2016 Cloud Eleven ~ Gavilan North, LLC Carolina International, Ian stark has scheduled a visit. Between Feb. 1-3, Ian Stark will be on site to continue to develop the upper level tracks that will be taking new routes as well as asking new questions of riders. The track for 2016 will also utilize the new water complex featured in the horse park’s bank field. [Carolina International Course Designer Ian Stark to Visit the Park in February]

And The Winner Is: The winner of the USEA Facebook Auction to support the Collapsible Fence Study is Sunset Hill at McCuan Farms! The auction ended at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, with a last-minute battle between two bidders. McCuan Farms will be working with several recognized events in Area II to have this cross country jump featured out on course. [USEA Facebook Auction to Support the Collapsible Fence Study]

Two Show Jumpers Killed in Wellington Car Accident: International Show Jumper Andres Rodriguez and adult amateur Sophie Walker were both tragically killed after a single car accident early Monday Morning. The accident occurred inside the gate of the Palm Beach Polo and Country Club after the car struck a concrete pillar. Our most heartfelt condolences go out to the families of both of these riders. [Andres Rodriguez Killed in Fatal Car Accident]

Tuesday’s Video:

One of our favorite drone pilots, Jamie Rees, was back at it again this past weekend. Check out the video that he put together from Maryland Horse Trials Cross Derby:

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Photo via EquiRatings

Photo via EquiRatings

Voting is now open for EquiRatings Horse of the Year, and we’re excited to have two U.S. horses nominated! Loughan Glen and RF Scandalous are two of the 10 horses vying for the honor, along with Horseware Hale Bob, fischerTakinou, Leonidas II, Persimmon, La Biosthetique Sam FBW, Piaf B’Neville, CP Qualified and FRH Escada JS.

Check out details on all the contenders at this link, and then vote by liking, commenting, sharing and using the #ERHOTY hashtag. The first round of voting is underway now, and a second round of voting will open soon for the final four horses. Go Loughan Glen and RF Scandalous! Follow @EquiRatings on Twitter for more on #ERHOTY.

Events Opening Today:  Ocala Horse Properties Winter II H.T. (FL, A-3),  Pine Top Intermediate Horse Trials (GA, A-3).  Full Gallop Farm February H.T. (SC, A-3)

Events Closing this Week:  Three Lakes January Horse Trials at Caudle Ranch (FL, A-3)

Tuesday News and Notes:

Lost a bit of MOJO? Get it back with this week’s Fab Freebie! MOJO is giving away a prize pack containing both wristbands and halter patches, and we think you will really enjoy using them! Enter by midnight on Friday for your chance to win. [Fab Freebie: MOJO]

Bidding For Safety: Bidding for the cross country jump built by Eric Bull is nearing an end. With all proceeds going to the USEA Collapsible/Deformable Fence Study, bidding is still below the value for this amazing jump. Head on over to Facebook and place your bid before the auction closes on Dec. 31. [USEA Facebook Auction to Support Collapsible Fence Study]

Hall of Fame Gala Rewind: The room was sold out with not a chair to spare and all attendees excited for the reason we all had gathered. The Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., was the place for eventers to be on Dec. 5 as nine worthy inductees were welcomed into the USEA Hall of Fame. But if you were not there, the USEA has you covered with videos of each induction. [2015 Hall of Fame Inductions Ceremony]

SmartPak Wants to Know What You Want to Know: SmartPak starting an “Ask The Vet” video Q&A series and wants to hear from you. What do you want to ask Dr. Lydia Gray? The first topic will be Winter Horse Care. Find out how to get involved by visiting Askthevet.smartpak.com [Ask The Vet]

Robert “Bob” Smith Remembered: On Dec. 19, Robert Smith of Cedar Grove Farm, Berryville, Virginia, passed away suddenly. Bob was the founder of Smith-Garrity Ltd., an importer of equestrian products owned y L’Apogee saddlery in France. Celebrations of life will be planned in Virginia and New Hampshire. Email condolences may be sent to [email protected] [Robert Smith]

Setting Your GPS for the New Year: Daniel Stewart knows that at the beginning of each year everyone sets new goals for themselves. Much like setting a GPS in a car gets you from point A to B physically, Daniel discusses the athletic acronym for concepts like Goal, Problem, Solution so you can be on the way to meeting your goals for 2016. [Daniel Stewart’s Tip of the Month]

Cavalor Giveaway: Cavalor is giving away one month of Cavalor feed to two lucky winners to help start the New Year right. Just tell them how Cavalor has changed your horse’s life for the better, or share with them why you want to make the switch to Cavalor for your chance to win. The contest ends at midnight on Jan. 1, 2016. [Cavalor Contest]

Tuesday’s Video:

So as my collection of horses grows at an exponential rate, I’m in dire need of some new wheels for my string of horses. I’m really wishing a horse van like this one made by Kevin Parker Horseboxes was available here in Maryland. I could see it tucked in nicely next to the barn.

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

A very cute corgi hanging out waiting for Christmas. Photo by Dave Taylor. A very cute corgi hanging out waiting for Christmas. Photo by Dave Taylor.

How is it Christmas week already? Last I remember it was Thanksgiving and there was turkey and all the trimmings, and now it’s three days from Christmas. Luckily Amazon is here at my fingertips, making holiday shopping oh so easy and way less crowded than the mall. The weather has also made it hard to get into the holiday spirit. Here in Maryland, temps are forecasted to be in the mid-70s on Christmas, wiping any possibility of a Bing Crosby White Christmas off the table.

But alas, the barn’s radio is blaring the season’s finest holiday music, hoof stockings are hung from the stalls with care, and wrapping paper scraps are spread around my office like Christmas confetti. The joy of the season is hard to ignore when Santa hats and reindeer antlers are common attire of the barn’s bipeds, which often leads to the horses wearing them as well. So I say to all of you, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Events Opening Today:  Sporting Day Farm Horse Trials I (SC, A-3),  Galway Downs Winter H.T. (CA, A-6),  Poplar Place Farm February H.T. (GA, A-3),  Pine Top Intermediate Horse Trials (GA, A-3),  Stable View Winter Horse Trials I(SC, A-3)

Events Closing this Week:  Ocala Horse Properties Winter I H.T. (FL, A-3)

Tuesday News and Notes: 

Let the Bidding Begin: In a effort to raise money to renew the 2009-2010 Frangible Fence Study, the USEA is auctioning off a cross country fence built by Eric Bull. The fence being auctioned has a value of $900 to $1,000 and was used this past fall at the Young Event Horse East Coast Championships at Fair Hill. Bidding takes place on Facebook in the comments section of the post. To get the ball rolling, I have placed the starting bid at $550; will you outbid me for safety? The Auction ends December 31st, so bid no bid often. [Auction to Benefit Collapsible Fence Study]

Horse Hubby Christmas Ideas: Usable and practical items top this list of last-minute gift ideas for Christmas. For those guys that procrastinate to the very last minute, listed are some ways to get out of horse husband jail before you find yourself giving her another pair of horse-themed socks. But don’t get carried away and go all in; you need to know the dont’s of holiday shopping for horse girls as well. [Last Minute Christmas Ideas for Horse Girls]

Tis the Season for Treats: Your horse may be gifted bags of starlight mints, boxes of candy canes and fancy German sugar cubes this holiday season. So before you bring all the loot to the barn, take into consideration your equine’s well being prior to pumping them full of holiday sugary goodness. [Sugars and Peppermints: Not Safe for All Horses]

Writing to Yourself in the Past: If you could sit down and write a letter to yourself and have it delivered one year ago from now, what would it say? When Jennie Brannigan puts pen to paper, she has so much to tell herself. Amazing advances in her eventing career, having to watching stadium from the ground on a Sunday, and the amazing support from friends are some of the things she writes to herself. [A letter to Myself]

No Go for Trump Invitational: Due to unprecedented rain, Equestrian Sport Productions has been forced to cancel the popular Trump Invitational at the Mar-a-Largo Club in Florida. The rain fall has made the grass arena on the back lawn unfit for competition. Donald Trump has set his eyes on bringing the competition back in 2017, hoping to have the grounds back in top notch shape by then. [Bad weather forces cancellation of Trump Invitational showjumping]

Take a Ride Back in Time: Aiken is a great place for eventers and all horse lovers alike. For a limited time, you can reserve a carriage ride on the streets of downtown Aiken. From now through Dec. 31 (including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), you can be driven around in true style while Al Capone leads the way. [Horse & Carriage Rides Bring Holiday Cheer to Aiken]

Cavalor Giveaway: Cavalor is giving away one month of Cavalor feed to two lucky winners to help start the New Year right. Just tell them how Cavalor has changed your horse’s life for the better, or share with them why you want to make the switch to Cavalor for your chance to win. The contest ends at midnight on Jan. 1, 2016. [Cavalor Contest]

Tuesday’s Video:

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Tis the season for awesome horsey holiday decorations. Photo via Dale Clabaugh. Tis the season for awesome horsey holiday decorations. Photo via Dale Clabaugh.

Horse wreaths seems to be all the rage this year when it comes to holiday decorations. Many local pony clubs and games teams are using this simple yet stunning decoration to raise funds for rallies and competitions. I myself have purchased four of these wreaths for my house, the barn and any other random door I can find that may need some extra holiday cheer.

When I saw this wreath, made by the lovely volunteer extraordinaire Dale Clabaugh, it made me smile. It is one of the more unique ones I’ve seen this year that shows off a great amount of creativity that I just don’t possess. What makes this particular wreath even more special is that it was inspired by Dale’s new Fjord pony. A Christmas wreath has never brought horse people so much cheer. Happy Holidays.

Events Opening Today:  Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. (FL, A-3),  Full Gallop Farm January H.T (SC, A-3),  Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test (CA, A-6)

Events Closing This Week: None

Tuesday News and Notes:

Congratulations to EN reader Malcolm Dilley on winning yesterday’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaway! Malcolm will receive a beautiful, limited edition Rambo Duo Turnout Rug — we know Malcolm’s horse will be very appreciative! [12 Days of Christmas: Horseware Ireland]

AP Snubbed for Sports Illustrated Top Honor: Despite running away with the online vote, American Pharoah will not be Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. Instead SI has chosen Serena Williams to hold the title. It seems the voting public is outraged and making their voice heard loud and clear on social media. [American Pharoah Fans Irate]

Fair Hill Offers a Great Christmas Gift: Are you lost on what to get that horse person in your life? If you’re shopping for eventers in Area II, we’re sure they would love a schooling pass to Fair Hill. For a limited time, Fair Hill is offering schooling passes for 2016 at a special reduced rate of only $35. [FHI 2016 Schooling Pass]

Prelim Coffin with Laine: Ever wonder how a four-star event rider would approach a coffin combination like the one from the 2015 American Eventing Championships? Laine explains how she would approach, ride and conquer this sometimes sticky complex. [Ride Between the Flags]

The Equiery Celebrates 25 Years: Twenty-five years ago, a little local Maryland marketing publication known as the Equiery made its debut. Now this not so little anymore publication is distributed in hundreds of locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Washington D.C., Kentucky and even California. The Equiery is still a free publication that reports on all things equine and is a corner stone of the horse community in Maryland. [The Equiery Turns 25]

Cavalor Giveaway: Cavalor is giving away one month of Cavalor feed to two lucky winners to help start the New Year right. Just tell them how Cavalor has changed your horse’s life for the better, or share with them why you want to make the switch to Cavalor for your chance to win. The contest ends at midnight on Jan. 1, 2016. [Cavalor Contest]

Tuesday Video:

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Colleen Rutledge thanks Ms. Jacqueline Mars for her competition grant. Photo by Brian Rutledge. Colleen Rutledge thanks Ms. Jacqueline Mars for her competition grant. Photo by Brian Rutledge.

The USEA Convention gave all that attended the ability to meet our upper-level riders, as well as the biggest supporters of our sport. Back in June, Colleen Rutledge was awarded the Jacqueline B. Mars Competition Grant for Burghley. The Convention offered Colleen the unique ability to meet and thank Jacqueline personally for her incredible support. This was one of many touching moments throughout the weekend.

This seemed to be a constant theme I saw during convention. Riders thanking supporters, organizers thanking members, members thanking sponsors. It was incredibly apparent that everyone who attended loves this sport and is thankful for all those that make it possible.

Events Opening this Week:  Poplar Place Farm January H.T. (GA, A-3)

Events Closing this Week: None

Tuesday News and Notes:

Congratulations to Allison Wilson, our 12 Days of Christmas winner from yesterday! Allison is now the proud new owner of a One K Defender Air — we’re jealous! [12 Day’s of Christmas: One K Helmets]

Want to go for a Trail Ride at Great Meadow? Everyone enjoys a good long hack on your favorite four-legged friend. Now imagine going on a hack around the ground of the new 2016 Nations Cup as well as the famous Virginia Gold Cup track. Rob Banner, president of the Great Meadow Foundation, invites all Area II Adult Riders and Young Riders to join him Dec. 27 for an amazing day filled with fun. [An Afternoon Trail Ride at Great Meadows]

Clipping Tips: Some of you will be clipping your horse for the first time, others like me will be on your second clip job of the season. Cecily Clark gives you a run down of how to make this chore go as smoothly as possible, from choosing the correct clippers for the job to choosing the proper clip pattern that will work best for you and your equine. [Tips and Tricks of the Trade]

Experts Day at Waredaca: Winter is clinic time, and Waredaca has a great line up of their Waredaca Experts Day clinics coming up throughout the cold months. Head over to EventClinics.com to sign up to ride with Stephen Bradley or Jimmy Wofford, as both clinics are still accepting riders and auditors. [EventClinics.com]

Big Boost to Frangible Fence Study: Jacqueline Mars has made a statement that safety is a priority when it comes to eventing. She has challenged the USEA to raise $25,000 in the next six weeks to renew the Frangible Fence Study. Ms. Mars has made the offer that if the USEA can raise the funds within that timeline, she will match it. To donate to this study, head to the USEA Website and click “Donate.” [Restart Frangible Fence Study]

Cavalor Giveaway: Cavalor is giving away one month of Cavalor feed to two lucky winners to help start the New Year right. Just tell them how Cavalor has changed your horse’s life for the better, or share with them why you want to make the switch to Cavalor for your chance to win. The contest ends at midnight on Jan. 1, 2016. [Cavalor Contest]

Tuesday Video:

Get your heart jumping with this awesome little video:

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Sparky is all ready for the holidays. Photo from Kate Chadderton. Sparky is all ready for the holidays. Photo from Kate Chadderton.

There is one thing I’ve learned from being part of this farm. Our in-house Aussie loves everything Christmas. We’ve had to hide all radios on the farm until after Thanksgiving to avoid the pre-season holiday music that is played well into the New Year. Today I arrived at the farm to a sight that I’ve come to welcome every year.

There is a life-sized horse statue that sits at the entrance of Sunset Hill at McCuan Farms that we affectionately refer to as Sparky. It seems that sometime over this past weekend Ms. Chadderton took the time to adorn him with his proper festive wear. Thank you, Kate, for bringing joy to everyone that drives by.

Events Opening Today:  Three Lakes January Horse Trials at Caudle Ranch (FL, A-3)

Events Closing This Week: None

Tuesday News and Notes: 

USEA Convention is upon us: The USEA Convention starts tomorrow in Washington, D.C., and things really kick into high gear until Thursday. Check out seminars, meetings, open forums, discussions and even a trade fair all at the Omni Shoreham Hotel and Resort in Washington, D.C. [USEA Convention Schedule]

Bid on a Champion’s Shoe: Are you at a loss for that perfect gift for the horse person in you life? Then we’ve found a very unique gift that will be a conversation starter for years. Up for auction is a shoe from Valegro’s championship ride in Las Vegas from this past year. To warm your heart, all proceeds benefit The Dressage Foundation, and you get a nicely framed shoe from Valegro himself, a Certificate of Authenticity from Carl Hester, and a photo of Valegro autographed by Charlotte Dujardin. Bidding starts today and ends Dec. 11. [Valegro Shoe Auction]

HRN Holiday Radiothon Mission Complete: Did you miss out on the 12 hours of fun had by the crew at Horse Radio Network for their Holiday Radiothon? Did you not hang on for the shenanigans had by Jenni, Leslie, Dom, Jimmie, Boyd and Lainey at the end of the day? Well you’re in luck, HRN is posting the recorded version of all 12 hours to Horse Radio Network site in hopes they’ll break the internet again. [HRN Holiday Radiothon]

Winter Camp with Sinead Halpin and Tik Maynard: Looking for something to do between Christmas and the New Year? Why not head to The Fork and hone your eventing skillz for the upcoming season. The camp is three days long and includes three horsemanship sessions, six riding sessions, three demos, and three guest speakers, including Will Faudree and Bobby Costello. Head over to Event Clinics to register. [2015 Winter Camp]

Tuesday Video:

Wednesday News and Notes from SmartPak

Serendipity enjoying some down time in the warmth of the sun at Sunset Hill at McCuan Farms. Photo by Kaitlyn Goodman Serendipity enjoying some down time in the warmth of the sun at Sunset Hill at McCuan Farms. Photo by Kaitlyn Goodman

There are very few things that will warm you heart more than getting a picture from a friend of your horse enjoying their life. Knowing she is hanging in the field, enjoying her down time and looking content hits me right in the feels. This picture of Serendipity (aka Beans) couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as I had just put in a full day at the farm and was looking for motivation to tack up and ride.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Wednesday News and Notes:

Youth Council Formed: The USEA has announced the formation of a youth council that will represent the youth in the sport of Eventing. Jenny Caras, Jacob Fletcher, Caroline Martin, and Lizzie Snow make up the current council. There will be a meet and greet at the USEA Convention on Friday, December 4th from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. hosted by the Youth Council and all are encouraged to stop in and learn more about the new council. [USEA Announces Formation of Youth Council]

New Website for Unwanted Horse Coalition: The UHC has launched a new website which has a mix of old and many new features. The new site, like the old one, will have links to additional resources including feed and hay banks, gelding and health care voucher programs, and organizations that offer grants.  Educational brochures and handbooks will be available for download from the site as well as links to books for sale with proceeds benefiting Operation Gelding. [Unwanted Horse Coalition]

Horse Radio Network Radiothon: The 12 Hour Live HRN Holiday Radiothon is Nov. 30, 2015 (Cyber Monday) from 9am-9pm Eastern. Holiday fun, prizes and special guests including American Pharoah’s trainer Bob Baffert and singing legend Charlie Daniels. [HRN Holiday Radiothon]

Hunkapi is Looking for Help: Hunkapi is a therapeutic riding and equine assisted psychotherapy program located in Scottsdale Arizona. Despite moving to their current farm less than a year ago, Hunkapi Farm has hit a road block with their neighbors as well as zoning issues. These issues are causing Hunkapi to look elsewhere for a new farm to call home. They are asking for any and all support especially in these tough times. [Hunkapi Farms]

The Queen Turns 90 In Royal Fashion: The queen will be turning 90 next May with festivities lasting 4 nights. 25,000 tickets have been made available for this prestigious event slated to take place on the private grounds of Home Park Private, Windsor Castle. Each night 1500 participants from around the world and more than 900 horses will tell the story of the queens life from birth to Coronation and her subsequent royal rein. There will be special mention to the Queens horses, ponies and dogs. [900 horses for Queen’s 90th Birthday]

SmartPak Product of the Day: I don’t know about you, but my mare has already grown in what seems like another full coat of winter fuzz making another clip job on the to do list. With horse hair battle 2.0 on the cusp of fruition, a new pair of Oster Clipmaster clipper blades from SmartPak is a true must. [SmartPak]

Wednesday Video Break: 

Taking a trip down memory lane, here is a video of Theodore O’Connor and Karen O’Connor at the 2007 Rolex Three Day Event.

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Winter is coming, like it or not. Photo from Janet Foy's Facebook Page Winter is coming, like it or not. Photo from Janet Foy's Facebook Page

Whether you like it or not, Old Man Winter is knocking at our doors. This morning was our first time here in central Maryland that the water troughs have had a nice layer of ice on top of the water after a night in the mid 20s. I have had to send out the email to the farm reminding everyone of the typical cold weather protocol. Things like draining water from the hoses and making sure the heat is on in the tack rooms to keep pipes from freezing. We are on the cusp of the time of year when everything is about to get 10 times harder while wearing 10 times more clothing. Are you ready?

Events Opening Today: Ocala Horse Properties Winter I H.T. (FL, A-3)

Events Closing this Week: None

Tuesday News and Notes:

The Horse Radio Network Holiday Radiothon is coming up on Cyber Monday, Nov. 30! Today Glenn The Geek, Jamie Jennings and Leslie Wylie announced who the guest lineup will be for the Eventing Nation/Horse Nation segment of the Holiday Radiothon hosted by Jenni Autry and Leslie Wylie. Tune in at 8 p.m. Nov. 30 for the guest lineup of Dom and Jimmie Schramm, Boyd Martin, and Laine Ashker, and don’t forget to record a holiday voicemail for the show for the chance to win swag! [HRN Holiday Radiothon]

PRO Honors Award Recipients at USEA Convention: Nina and Tim Gardner, Shannon Kinsley, Bodgie Read and Dale Clabaugh will be the recipients of PRO’s awards given during the USEA Convention next week on Dec. 4 at 6:15 p.m. PRO also plans to honor the late Seema Sonnad. [PRO To Honor Owner, Groom and Event Personnel Award Recipients at USEA Convention]

Elisa Wallace Vlogs Away: Elisa is back with another vlog titled “My Broken Foot.” Hwin seems to have a knack for eventing with big plans for next year, and Elisa’s foots is broken in two places — bad luck. But it will take a lot more than a little foot pain to slow down Elisa, as horses do not take days off. [My Broken Foot]

Waredaca Brewing Company Sets Opening Date: After a longer than expected inspection period, Waredaca Brewing Co. has set Dec. 11 as the first day the brewery will be open to the public. After that, the tasting room will be open four days a week serving beer brewed on site at Waredaca. [Waredaca Brewing Company]

Tuesday Video Break: 

Our favorite duo, Sara and Sarah, are back for another episode of If Horses Were People.

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

A beautiful morning for an event at Full Moon Farm. Photo from Karen Fulton's Facebook Page A beautiful morning for an event at Full Moon Farm. Photo from Karen Fulton's Facebook Page

If you build it, will they come? In the case of Full Moon Farm’s second recognized horse trials, the answer is YES! After last years very successful inaugural horse trials, the Fultons wanted to keep the momentum going strong as they headed into the final recognized event of 2015 in Area II. They accomplished this with style and ease as the parking area was beyond full with horses and rigs. It is great to see farms and families just like the Fultons have success not once but twice. Kudos to Full Moon Farm on ending 2015 with a bang.

Events Opening Today: ….None….

Events Closing This Week: ….None….

Tuesday News and Notes:

Cross Country Safety Conference Canceled: Despite many last minute supporters of this First Independent International Cross Country Safety Conference, the goal was not met. David Morton announced on his Facebook Page yesterday morning that “Due to a lack of funding, the Cross Country Safety Conference was canceled”. An impressive €11,595 was crowd funded but fell well short of the €25,000 goal. [Cross Country Safety Conference]

HRN’s Holiday Radiothon: The Horse Radio Network Holiday Radiothon is coming up on Cyber Monday, Nov. 30! Featuring 20 hosts, celebrity guests and over $2,500 in prizes, you don’t want to miss this epic 12-hour long party. EN’s own Jenni Autry and Leslie Wylie are hosting the final hour, and we need YOU to call in so we can show the world eventers are awesome. [HRN Holiday Radiothon]

And the Results Are In: The votes have been counted and the results of the first annual Horse Hubby Calendar Contest are in. 12 very lucky horse hubbies will be immortalized in the 2016 Horse Hubby calendar which will be available for pre-order here. [Horse Hubby Calendar Contest]

UMD has an Eventing Team: A total of 22 members make up the newly formed University of Maryland Eventing Team that will compete as individuals and as a team with the USEA. Although the university already has an IHSA team and an Equestrian Club, there was a void for eventers. Currently weekly lessons take place at Waredaca where members that do not own a horse can lease one to ride and compete. [New Eventing Team Overcomes Equestrian Opportunity Hurdles]

Tuesday Video Break:

Take a moment to watch Mclain Ward and HH Azur put in an awesome jump round and jump off to win the $75,000 Big Ben International Challenge at the Royal.

 

 

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

The Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for the 2015 U.S. Dressage Finals. Photo by Dave Taylor. The Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park for the 2015 U.S. Dressage Finals. Photo by Dave Taylor.

This past weekend I hung out at the Kentucky Horse Park being a groom for my wife as she competed in the U.S. Dressage Finals. I spent half my time pining for Rolex this coming spring as I walked around the cross country course and the other half more nervous than ever. In fact I am way more nervous as Nicki prepares for her dressage tests than when I’m getting ready to go out on cross country.

Nicki put in an amazing test on her and her mother’s homebred Oldenburg DeLiza to end up reserve champion in the open 4th Level Musical Freestyle Championship. Our collective show season has now officially come to an end, which leaves me counting the days until we head out to our first show of 2016. I guess you could say I’m a glutton for punishment.

Events Opening Today: None

Events Closing this Week:  Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T. (GA, A-3)

Tuesday News and Notes:

Missing Event Horse in Texas: Rio Paisano’s Shutterbug, owned by Bethany Quine, was taken from his stall between Sunday (11/8/2015) night and Monday (11/9/2015) morning from Buckbranch Farm in Wilmer, Texas. Rio is a 17hh chestnut gelding with flaxen mane and tail, blaze, and two hind socks as well as a North American Oldenburg brand. If you have any info regarding his whereabouts please contact Bethany at (214) 641-5656

Eventer Holds Her Own at US Dressage Finals: Intermediate level eventer, Selena Pape, spend the weekend dancing around the white fencing at the US Dressage Finals in Lexington, Kentucky. Riding her mare Vanity, a 10 year old Holsteiner, she competed in the AA Fourth Level Championshp as well as the AA Prix St. Georges Championship. Selena and Vanity finished 8th in the Fourth Level AA Championship and 11th in the Prix St. Georges Championship. [Eventing Champions Selena Pape and Vanity Excel in Dressage Arena]

Mojo Power Patches Deal: Now through November 15th, Mojo Power Patches is offering EN readers a special 20% discount on all Mojo products. Enter the code EN115 at checkout to get this amazing deal from our good friends at Mojo. [Mojo Wrist Bands]

Cosmopolitan II put Down: William Fox-Pitt’s first Olympic mount, Cosmopolitan II, was put down on October 31 due to old age. After 28 years, Cosmopolitan II, had been retired since 2000 after a career that took him to many eventing highs. He spent his retirement with William’s former head girl, Alison Quinlan, who said “He was my horse of a lifetime”. [William Fox-Pitt’s First Olympic Ride Put Down]

Getting Your Geezer Ready for the Freeze: Winter is coming, whether you like it or not, so why not take this time to make sure your older horse is ready for the challenges ahead.  Making sure his weight is where is it suppose to be, getting his teeth looked at, giving him proper clothing, make sure he moves every day, and that his immune system is top notch are simple steps to take to make winter easier on your more seasoned horses. [Preparing Your Senior Horse for Winter]

Tuesday Video Break:

I love seeing a good save, especially when its caught on slow-mo. Check out this little video from Virginia Horse Trials

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Sunrise over the Virginia Horse Center. Photo by Dave Taylor. Sunrise over the Virginia Horse Center. Photo by Dave Taylor.

This weekend was my first time competing at Prelim with my little mare Serendipity — in fact it was a first for both of us. While most had their focus on Galway Downs, I spent my weekend at the Virginia Horse Center for my last event of 2015. At the conclusion of my Prelim run, the adrenaline still pumping has me champing at the bit for some time down in Aiken to hone in the necessary scores to continue my move up in this sport.

It was great seeing everyone one last time before winter settles in for a few months stay. As the coming events dwindle on the calendar, I have more fuel than ever to hit the ground running in 2016. A huge thanks goes out to Andy Bowles, and the rest of the VAHT team, for putting on a great event that without hesitation I will be returning to next year.

Events Opening Today: None

Events Closing This Week:  MeadowCreek Park H.T – The Fall Social Event (TX, A-5)

Tuesday News and Notes:

Who Will be Mr. November?: HorseHubby.com is having their first Horse Hubby calendar contest. Photos of Hubby’s have been submitted and voting is now open. Take a look at all the soon to be famous horse hubby’s and vote for your favorite. The twelve hubby’s with most votes will be featured in the 2016 Horse Hubby calendar. [2016 Horse Hubby Calendar]

Point Two Special Offer: Point Two is at it again with another awesome offer. Now until December 31, canisters are 1/2 off when you send in your vest for service. Purchase additional canisters for 1/2 off as well. [Point Two Special Offer]

Days get Shorter, Coats get Longer: The time of year has come to make the decision to clip or not to clip. The USEA is here to help you if you decided to clip with some helpful hints. Clean horse, sharp blades, and choosing the right clippers for the job all can make this tedious job much easier. [Tips and Tricks of the Trade: Clipping]

AP’s New Digs: American Pharaoh was given a police escort to his new home at  Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky. He will take up residence in the old stall of Grand Slam, a top stallion of Ashford’s that died in 2012. Helping AP settle into his new routine of calm turn-out will be the 1995 Derby and Belmont winner, Thunder Gulch. A retirement ceremony for this amazing colt is in the works for later this year. [Retired American Pharaoh Arrives to Much Fanfare at Ashford]

Tuesday Video Break:

With Galway Downs over and done with, I’m holding on the the last bit of the eventing year and watching this over and over again.

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Collection Pass looks on as riders breeze by on the track at Galway Downs. Photo by Kate Chadderton Collection Pass looks on as riders breeze by on the track at Galway Downs. Photo by Kate Chadderton

Ever wonder what an ex-race horse would say to a horse currently racing and residing at the track? Would OTTB’s like Collection Pass and Buckharo offer words of wisdom and guidance of what lies ahead when their racing career is over? Especially after this past weekend, where hundreds of retired race horses congregated to show off their new skill sets, my answer is yes. OTTB’s have shown in grand fashion that life beyond the track is amazing and can lead in hundreds of directions. I think that Bucky and Cole would explain to this current crop of race horses that their job’s are just beginning and life after the track is something to be celebrated.

Events Opening Today:  None

Events Closing this Week:  Fresno County Horse Park Horse Trials (CA, A-6),  River Glen Fall H.T. (TN, A-3),  Ocala Horse Properties Fall Event (FL, A-3),  Full Moon Farms H.T. (MD, A-2)

Tuesday News and Notes:

Win a Day With Boyd and Silva: We have all dreamed of being able to spend a day with a top rider in our sport. What about being able to spend it with a top dressage rider as well? What if it all happened at the same time with up to 9 of your friends? Well our good friends at Practical Horseman and Dressage Today along with help from Purina are giving you that chance. [Win A Day with Boyd & Silva]

Pumpkins For Pony?: So if your like me, Halloween and all things fall really make this season truly special. My trips to the pumpkin patch often end up with way more pumpkins that I can even think about carving. So why not offer some of this amazing fall treat to your horse. But before you do get some pumpkin education and know what your feeding. [Can Horses Eat Pumpkin]

Steel Horse at Kentucky Horse Park: What is 10 feed long, has 30 feet of chain, and is pure equine artistry in motion? Answer: a brand new piece of equine artwork on display at the Kentucky Horse Park. With the push of a small button, guests can make this metal sculpture come to life. Sculptor, Adrian Landon, took two years designing and machining the metal that will be onsite until next October.[Artistry In Motion]

An Orange a Day Keeps the Hunters Away: Last weekend marked the beginning of hunting season here in Maryland. Cannon fire echoed through the hills and woods as many weekend warriors headed into the woods to do what it is they do. We can never practice too much safety this time of year no matter where you hack. Make sure you take the extra time to not look like a prize winning deer that hunter wants so badly. [Hunting Season Safety Guide]

Tuesday Video Break:

Next week I will be at the Kentucky Horse Park, and you can bet I will be like a little kid pressing the green button over and over again.

 

 

Tuesday News and Notes from Cavalor

Sara Moore and Polaris over fence 6 in the 2* at Fair Hill. Photo by Maggie Deatrick Sara Moore and Polaris over fence 6 in the 2* at Fair Hill. Photo by Maggie Deatrick

Like many of you I was looking at my phone all weekend long watching the updates from Fair Hill. I refreshed my phone until it died, and that was just Thursday. Pictures, posts and videos flooded my news feeds as rider after rider completed the cross country course. Joy was all that was felt the moment I learned that Tamie Smith and her very special Black Stallion finished in 1st place. With her continuing to conquer these formidable foes, I have no doubt Tamra and Lexus will become a house hold eventing team.

Events Opening Today: …… NONE …….

Events Closing this Week:  Texas Rose Horse Park Fall H.T. (TX, A-5),  Full Gallop Farm Fall H.T. (SC, A-3),  Poplar Place Farm November H.T. (GA, A-3)

Tuesday News and Notes:

William Fox-Pitt Condition Update: British Eventing reports that “William’s condition remains the same with no change overnight. Alice Fox-Pitt and all of the family thank everyone for their good wishes and support, it means a huge amount.” [20/10/15 update regarding William Fox-Pitt]

Divit Makes a Mark: This past weekend the BLM along with the Northern Nevada Correctional Center held a mustang auction. This auction auctions off Mustangs that have been trained by inmates of the NNCC. Divit, one of 11 horses auctioned off this past weekend, was bought for an astounding $15,000, which helped to raise a total of $37,900 that goes back into the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program. [BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program]

Waredaca 3-day is Upon Us: 12 years and running, Waredaca’s Classic Novice/Training 3-day is fast approaching. This year Irish Olympian Eric Smiley will be the lead clinician assisting competitors through the entire event. If you volunteer at this event you are welcome to join all seminars, course walks and talks during the four days of competition, so there is even more incentive to come out and help. The classic 3-day will take place October 22-25 and volunteers are greatly needed. [Waredaca Novice/Training 3-Day]

Chicken, Fox, Pig: We should be able to let go and have fun with our horse’s fashion. With help from Creative Seahorse, you have more than 10 different bonnets to choose from. Chickens, pigs, foxes, minions among several others will offer a bit of levity to your daily ride and make them a must have. [10 Ear Bonnets for the ‘Special’ Horses in Your LIfe]

That’s a Wrap: Whether you’re wrapping a horse’s leg for a wound, tendon injury, shipping, confinement or performance there is a right way and a wrong way. Demystify the bandage by learning proper technique, the proper materials and the proper application for the case at hand. [Bandaging Fundamentals]

Friendship is Magic: Come one, come all Bronies to Tokyo, Japan, where a new My Little Pony themed cafe has opened up. You read correctly, pony-themed menu items, a cappuccino that will leave you asking your local barista for the same pony art on top, and pancakes that take the pony cake. [My Little Pony Cafe Pops Up In Downtown Tokyo]

Tuesday Video Break:

With Pau getting ready to start in just a few days, why not get ourselves in the mood with a preview of Pau 2015: