Kate Samuels
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Kate Samuels

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About Kate Samuels

Kate Samuels is an avid 3-Day Eventer who currently competes at the Advanced/3* level with her wonderful Selle Francais gelding, Nyls du Terroir. A rider since the tender age of three, she is a young professional in the sport learning as much as she can from various mentors, both equine and human. Kate has worked for Eventing Nation since 2011, and has enjoyed every minute of it. She brings a lifetime of experience with horses as well as a wealth of knowledge gained through competing at the top levels of the sport. When not riding through the boiling hot, freezing cold, rain or snow, Kate enjoys baking pies, photography, and finding ridiculous videos on the internet.

Eventing Background

USEA Rider Profile Click to view profile
Area Area II
Highest Level Competed Advanced/CIC3*

Latest Articles Written

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Because why not?? Photo courtesy of me stalking Michael Jung on his Facebook page late at night for no particular reason.

Stars!! They’re just like us!! (Really excited to meet a hippo).  Photo courtesy of me stalking Michael Jung on his Facebook page late at night for no particular reason.

I had a great jump lesson yesterday as part of my preparation for Millbrook next week, and it’s always nice to have good eyes on the ground to guide you through different parts of your education. After 11 years of partnership, and 6 years at the Advanced level, Nyls is finally somewhat rideable (and I’m actually finally a decent enough rider), which means that even now, our skills are evolving and changing. You never stagnate once you hit a high level, you just learn how many more things there are to improve upon. What is that saying, every day I learn something new and realize how much I have left to learn? That’s me right now.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

#NAJYRC2016: WebsiteScheduleDressage Order of GoIndividual ScoresTeam ScoresEN’s Coverage

USPC National Championship H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Horse Park of New Jersey II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Hunt Club Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe:

Just so we’re clear, you’re not doing anything next weekend, right? The only conceivable thing you can be doing is tuning in to the Olympics, EVEN if you’re competing. For goodness sake, get your schedule set! Jenni knows all the things about Rio, and how to watch it from home. She’ll be covering the event and risking the Zika for you. [How To Watch Olympic Eventing]

Summer is a big time to get young horses started, and have them going out and about. Making a young event horse is challenging stuff, and you have to make sure that you create a confident horse right from the beginning. This starts with your adventures outside the ring, when you’re ready. Courtney Cooper is a big advocate of hacking, and details the ways in which you can get your youngster confidently marching out away from the barn into the scary unknown. [Taking Your Young Event Horse Hacking]

What do you do when you have fear and anxiety about certain aspects of riding? Ask the EquiShrink, of course! One reader sent in a question regarding some equine related PTSD caused by years of riding a very reactive horse, and wants to know how to get over it with the new, calm horse. Seana Adamson, Ph.D, is a psychologist specializing in Sport Psychology for equestrians and also is a USDF Gold Medalist. She has advice columns that are great! Check it out. [Ask the EquiShrink]

Riding at the crack of dawn or well after dinner? You’re not alone. I’ve been getting spectacular sunrise photos, which kinda makes it worth it to get up at 5am….. However, these Horse Nation readers have also been on that train, and taking their photos seriously. [Horse Nation Photo Challenge]

Especially during the summer competition months, it’s really important to provide your horse with proper electrolyte support. Most of us feed electrolytes in our horsey meals, but as the ingredients in the supplements aren’t readily stored inside the horse’s body, this can be a problem. Competing in the summer is stressful enough, without worrying that your horse isn’t able to recover from his/her athletic endeavors, which is why SmartPak has a Smart Ship & Show Paste, which provides probiotics and prebiotics for digestive health, as well as electrolytes and antioxidants. This is an ideal tube for the stress and demands of travel as well as a comprehensive electrolyte balancer. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

 

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

Look at this fruit spread at Full Moon Farm!!! Photo courtesy of Natalie Hollis.

Look at this fruit spread at Full Moon Farm! Photo courtesy of Natalie Hollis.

Full Moon Farm recently hosted the Aloha Recognized Horse Trials at their farm in Finksburg, Maryland and what a success it was! Full Moon went above-and-beyond for competitors that came to compete in 100+ degree temperatures.

With cooling stations at every phase, exceptional volunteers and a competitor party complete with sangria and fresh fruit, Full Moon Farm guaranteed horses and riders a fun day without any added stress in the heat. Full Moon Farm’s next recognized horse trials will be held on Nov. 13, the last event in Area II for the year so be sure to mark your calendar for this seriously competitor-friendly event!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

#NAJYRC2016: WebsiteScheduleDressage Order of GoIndividual ScoresTeam ScoresEN’s Coverage

USPC National Championship H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

Horse Park of New Jersey II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Hunt Club Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe:

Making the NAJYRC CIC** team is an enormous accomplishment, so lets meet the teams competing in Colorado this weekend! We already met the CCI* teams, and there are three teams competing in the CIC**. Because of entries, the teams are composite areas, ten riders in total. Traveling across the country is no mean feat, and these kids are in for the week of a lifetime! [NAJYRC CIC2* Teams & Riders]

What’re you doing this weekend when you could be volunteering at the beautiful Colorado Horse Park! NAJYRC is short of volunteers and is asking for your help! If you’ve got a driver’s license, you could be whizzing around in a golf cart Wednesday through Sunday. Other disciplines need help in a variety of days, so there’s something for everyone! Contact Carol Jones at (720) 346-4478 or Viv Van Buren at (303) 883-6560 if you’d like to lend a hand.

Stable View Farm is excited to host their very first Advanced Horse Trial this October. Speaking as somebody who competes at that level, I’m delighted to find another option for the fall schedule, especially at such a fantastic facility! There will be several horsey and “non-horsey” things going on for this event including: Aiken Horsepower antique car show, Carolina Moon Distillery 2-hour Happy Hour, VIP tent for sponsors, advanced course walks with Boyd Martin and Captain Mark Phillips and more.  Running BN-P and Advanced, this event is gonna be great. [Stable View Oktoberfest]

Better late than never, five Russian riders have been cleared to compete in Rio. After the World Anti Doping Agency found evidence of state-sponsored doping for Russian athletes at both the London and Sochi Olympics, they considered a blanket ban on all competitors. However, the IOC decided that each global federation could make case-by-case decisions, and the FEI has allowed five equestrians to compete. None of the five have ever failed a doping test either nationally or internationally. [Russian Riders Heading to Rio]

#TBT: Mark Todd winning back to back gold medals in 1984 and 1988 on the small but mighty Charisma. Do you think Michael Jung can do it too? [Two for Todd,Todd for Two]

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Who's that familiar man on the left?? Photo courtesy of Hilda Donohue.

Who’s that familiar man on the left?? Photo courtesy of Hilda Donahue.

 That’s Denny Emerson in the hat judging the Young Event Horse classes at the Dublin Horse Show on Wednesday this week! Karen O’Connor is also judging some of the classes. The show was first held in 1864 and is much loved in Ireland. It’s official, EN staff has added Dublin Horse Show to our bucket list. 

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rebecca Farm: WebsiteScheduleRide Times & Live ScoresRide On Video Live StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterEN’s Instagram

Fitch’s Corner H.T. [Website]

Full Moon Farm H.T. [Website]

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. [Website]

News From Around the Globe:

Thirty-two year old Olympian Jock Paget has only been jumping for twelve years, and came from humble beginnings. Jock is amongst the few that did not ride as a kid, instead he was initially a bricklayer in New Zealand. After casually getting into horses, he started with riding bucking broncos at the rodeo, and somehow managed to get his way into Eventing through working for Kevin McNab. “I think he took me on because although I had never jumped a horse, he needed a retaining wall built”. However, it only took him two years to get to the three star level, and the rest is history. [From Bricklayer to Rio]

Help send Holly Payne and Never Outfoxed to Burghley CCI4*!! Fox has a special place in my heart, and I feel like he would be the perfect horse for Holly to tackle the massive Burghley on, and they’re beginning their efforts to make it happen. From Holly’s page: “After a bittersweet Rolex this Spring where Fox tried his heart out for the second year in a row, it’s time to take on a new 4 star. Fox may have been bred to race but he was born to be a 4 star horse and I would love to take him to Burghley CCI **** this fall. As many of you know it is very expensive to fly a horse over seas and back. We are looking for your help to make this dream come true for both of us.”. [Send Holly & Fox To Burghley]

Could Jousting become an Olympic sport? The charity English Heritage certainly thinks so. They’re asking the public to sign a petition to make the thousand-year-old sport official with the IOC. They’ve already made movements towards approaching both the FEI and the IOC about this issue, and hope that it will be added to the Olympic program. A similar campaign has been launched in the US, where Jousting is the official state sport of Maryland (who knew!?). [Jousting at the Olympics]

Best of Blogs: Horse Nation: More Than A Tack Room

Is there anything worse than getting halfway through a ride only to realize that both of you are too sweaty and the reins keep slipping? Ok, maybe worse than that is having hands that are in their own personal glove sauna in the middle of summer. That’s why you need these Roeckl Summer Chester Gloves, so you can escape both of these awful fates. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

 

 

 

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

EN's own Stephanie Nicora and her OTTB High in the Air ( EN's own Stephanie Nicora and her OTTB High in the Air ("Owen") are at Rebecca Farm this week contesting the Training Three Day. We're sending a big dose of EN karma your way, Stephanie and Owen! Photo by Cynthia Laurence.

On my bucket list is definitely go and compete at Rebecca Farm. Every year, I’m so incredibly jealous of the pictures of the amazing views, the cross country course, and the reviews of how perfect the event is. It’s just a leeeeettttle too far away from me, and as I don’t currently have my own horse plane, it’s still on the bucket list. I feel like at this point John should probably buy an EN plane (obviously with horse cargo area) so that we can all have private transport. Ahem. John. Are you there, John?

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rebecca Farm: WebsiteScheduleRide Times & Live ScoresRide On Video Live StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterEN’s Instagram

Fitch’s Corner H.T. [Website]

Full Moon Farm H.T. [Website]

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. [Website]

News From Around the Globe:

Blackfoot Mystery hits the press again as an exemplary OTTB heading to Rio. Born just a few miles down the road from the Kentucky Horse Park, “Big Red” is out of a mare who set a record at Colonial Downs going a mile, and by the stallion Out of Place, known for adding stamina to his babies. However, the lanky chestnut only raced three times as a 2-year-old at Hollywood Park, finishing at the back of the pack with a combined total of 44 lengths of losing. Luckily for him, his success trajectory went upwards from there. [An Olympic Milestone for OTTB Blackfoot Mystery]

All Russian athletes, including riders, risk being banned from next month’s Olympics due to doping concerns. Following a report from this Monday from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that revealed “unprecedented levels of doping and subversion” in Russia, the decision regarding the ban has been postponed while legal options are explored. Russia has two individual dressage riders, an eventing team, and three riders for the Paralympics entered in Rio. [Russia Possibly Banned from Rio]

Heading to Fitch’s Corner this weekend? Don’t miss the 23rd annual Blue Jean Ball on Saturday night! Themed “Rio Nights”, you should show up at 6 for cocktails, enjoy the Novice Master’s Challenge Jumping, and stay for dinner and dancing commencing at 7. Also, attire is Rio Carnival, so bring your party pants. Buy tickets ahead of time, or pay more at the door! [Fitch’s Corner Blue Jean Ball]

I guess that’s one way of deciding if you’re ready for this whole marriage thing. Engaged couple Daniel Reeds and Sarah Cooksey decided to really put their relationship to the test by embarking together on the longest and toughest horse race in the world, the Mongol Derby. Traversing about 100km across Mongolia, to say their journey was not without intrigue is to be more than a little polite. Combine endurance with semi-feral pony horses, the wilderness of Mongolia, and a relationship. [Horseback Adventure to the Extreme]

Buck & Kyle discuss Rebecca Farm and the upcoming AECs!

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

The struggle is real, you guys.

The struggle is real, you guys.

Ohhhh July, how I hate thee. The hottest month of the year, a time when Virginia leaves “It’s kinda hot outside” and enters “I can’t possibly be required to be outside right now.” It’s gotten so desperate that I now drink kale and coconut water smoothies every morning in an effort to stave off the dehydration headaches that accompany 95 degrees and 10000% humidity days. That is the most Whole Foods thing I’ve ever done (they’re delicious, but I’m ashamed to admit it) and it’s all because of this hot humid horrible weather!

#CHIOAachen: WebsiteOrder of GoLive ScoresTeam ScoresLive StreamEN’s Coverage

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Genesee Valley Hunt H.T. [Website] [Ride Times/Live Scores]

Riga Meadow H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

The Maryland HT and CIC at Loch Moy [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Champagne Run H.T. [Website] [Ride Times/Live Scores]

Aspen Ridge H.T. [Website] [Facebook]

Coconino Classic 3-Day Event & HT [Website] [Ride Times/Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

There is more trouble on the line with the possibility of the 2018 WEG at Bromont. Only a few months after five of the WEG board of directors resigned, Carla Qualtrough, the Canadian cabinet minister in charge of Sport Canada, declined to put forth funding to support the show, putting the status of the competition in jeopardy. The event costs an estimated $100 million, $20 million of which is the responsibility of the land owner, and $20 million is to be raised with ticketing and concessions. Of the $60 million remaining, only $10 million has been secured. [WEG 2018 Bromont: Unlikely]

Joanie Morris, what would we do without you? As part of her job as Ruler of All That Is Eventing, Joanie arranges transportation and accommodations for horses and riders all over the world, makes sure their entries arrive on time, organizes and coordinates vets and farriers, trains trainers, and knows every little detail in between that makes our team be able to perform to it’s best capacity. To top that off, she brings her show jumping expert husband Richard Picken along with her, who will be helping Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton in their quest for medals in Rio. [Local Couple Plays Big Part in Rio]

Sir Mark Todd is missing Aachen CHIO because of a delay in his visa renewal. While he originally planned for this to be his last run before Rio (his seventh Olympic round), he had to scratch just before the competition due to the fact that he was unable to get his visa renewed. Fellow team members Jonelle Price and Jock Paget will be riding Faerie Dianimo and Clifton Signature, respectively. [Mark Todd Missing Aachen]

Do you ever use treat training from the saddle? I personally thought it was a load of hoo-ey for a long time, but in the past few years changed my mind and realized that it can be a great bridge between groundwork and work under saddle, especially for troubled horses. When using positive reinforcement training on the ground, we often use treats to really amplify a job well done, but then a young horse can get frustrated when the principles of the training system change once they are under saddle. When well done, treats while riding can be really effective, and a good tool for your back pocket. [Treats Training Your Horse]

Hot on Horse Nation: Equestrian’s Guide to Coffee Consumption

What’s better than Prime Day? A sale at SmartPak, obviously! SmartPak is offering 30% off a huge range of products, from supplements to breeches to halters and blankets and all your little heart desires. Get it now while it’s hot! [SmartPak Sale 2016]

In all seriousness though, guys … this needs to stop:

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

Pokemon, anyone? Photo via Horse Network FB.

Pokemon, anyone? Photo via Horse Network FB.

Ok, it’s time to admit that even horse people have been bitten by the Pokemon Go bug. What’s Pokemon, you ask? Well, it used to be a game that you would slave over for hours on your gameboy (remember those!?) and now it’s suddenly available on your smartphone. It’s kinda like Pokemon and Google Maps had a baby, so it’s a combination of virtual reality and real life that is oddly addicting. You can catch little monster things on your phone while you walk around your town, or on your trot sets. What a world to live in, y’all.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Genesee Valley Hunt H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Live Scores]

Riga Meadow H.T. [Website]

The Maryland at Loch Moy H.T. & CIC [Website] [Entry Status]

Champagne Run H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Aspen Ridge H.T. [Website]

Coconino Summer II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

After his wire to wire win at Great Meadow International, it’s the Clark Montgomery show from here on out. NBC Olympics even picked up on his greatness, and had a little Q&A sit down with him. Turns out little Clark used to doodle Olympic rings on his papers in elementary school, and he’s a bit worried that he might lose fitness and get fat in the next few weeks with only one horse to ride! Side note: Clark is in the Middleburg area and looking for people to give lessons to and ride horses to keep him busy, so you should get on that. [Q&A With Clark Montgomery]

In honor of National Farrier Week, Horse Nation invited a lauded farrier to lend some tips and tricks from the trade. Not all kicks are created equal. Farrier Jeremiah Kemp of Eagle Ridge Equine Farrier Service points out the humorous differences from breed to breed. Number one horse likely to kick you across the barn aisle? The American Thoroughbred. Number two? Egyptian Arabians (because “their small dished heads compress their brains, making them prone to hallucinations.”). Get ready to laugh out loud. [Horse Kicks 101]

Would you get an animal communicator to chat with your horse after a bad experience? That’s just what COTH blogger Lindsey Long did with her horse Kingston. Turns out he had a lot to say, including that he considers himself to be strong and handsome and well trained, and in his opinion his rider could use a little bit more training. Oh my, a can of worms to be opened indeed! [Amateurs Like Us]

As riders are delving more into getting horses through auctions and rescues, they are often faced with a new horse with no history. While this is a problem that professionals deal with often, it can be a daunting task to begin physical and mental rehabilitation. Where to start? The Horse has lots of great suggestions to help you get going in the right direction with your new steed. [New Horse, No History]

Is it too early to relive this?

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Welcome Shadow and her groom, Sergio Reyes, hanging out in the barns at Morningside Training Farm during the prep for Great Meadow. Photo via USEF Eventing FB.

Welcome Shadow and her groom, Sergio Reyes, hanging out in the barns at Morningside Training Farm during the prep for Great Meadow. Photo via USEF Eventing FB.

Excitement is building for the very first Nations Cup in Northern America as the team riders and their horses were announced yesterday, and all the top pairs have been up near Middleburg this week training and working together. The event starts today, with the first horse inspection at 3 p.m., and then Morningside Bareback Puissance at 6:40 p.m.! I was invited to do that, but a) my horse has huge withers and b) I have a hard enough time staying on him with a saddle, so I’ll leave that to the professionals with flatter backed horses! Jenni is already bathing herself in sunscreen so that she can bring you live updates all weekend from the ground, and Samantha is also joining the party. Get ready!

#GMI2016: WebsiteScheduleLive ScoresLive StreamEN’s CoverageTwitterEN’s Instagram@samanthalclark

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Huntington Farm H.T. [Website]

Old Chatham H.T. [Website]

The Maryland at Loch Moy H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Great Meadow FEI Nations Cup CIC [Website] [Entry Status] [Schedule]

Chattahoochee Hills Summer II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Roebke’s Run H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

40th Annual Whidbey Island H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Round Top H.T. [Website]

Coconino Summer I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

There’s double excitement this weekend with the Event Riders Masters at The Saint James Place Barbury International Horse Trials, with a live stream available to everyone. Starting early on Saturday morning, ERM will be live streaming all forty combinations in the CIC3* championship in all three phases, so you can follow all your favorite top combinations the whole way through. [ERM at Barbury]

Heading to the AECs? Bring the family! The Tryon International Equestrian Center can basically make your AEC experience also sort of a vacation. With activities and parties every night for the horse people, there is also a golf course, fly fishing, hiking, restaurants and more! There is also an on-site hotel and lots of cabins for rent, so if you’re going to the AEC, book your room now! [AEC Fun Week]

Woah woah now, did you know that you can enter to win an EcoGold pad by just signing up for a weekly newsletter from KER full of goodness? Easiest sweepstakes ever! Not only do you get to enjoy weekly emails from Kentucky Equine Research, which is always on the tip top of science and discovery in the sport horse world, but you are entered to win an EcoGold pad worth $250! [Get It]

DISH NOGGIN. [Better Breed Names from Horse Nation]

Flies: The. Worst. Am I right? Nothing says summer like having to cover your horse in a varied layer of fly repellants before leaving the barn, only to find out that most of them stop working after 20 minutes in the woods and now your horse is covered in gnats, deer flies, and you have a bunch of green and black bombers zooming around you like kamikaze pilots. Stock up on the good stuff from SmartPak, and build your defense. [SmartPak Fly Repellant]

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

Yes, I made my horse a birthday carrot cake, why do you ask??

Yes, I made my horse a birthday carrot cake, why do you ask??

This past weekend was very important, and not just because everyone was having Independence Day fun in the sun. Mostly, the unicorn himself celebrated his fifteenth birthday with a cake (made of shredded carrots and oats and molasses) that he didn’t share with anybody (as per his request, obviously). Also, as tradition dictates, he also enjoys a photo shoot on his birthday to celebrate how handsome he is, because I’ve never seen a horse perk up in front of a camera like this one. Cheers to another year of partnership with a magical unicorn!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Huntington Farm H.T. [Website]

Old Chatham H.T. [Website]

The Maryland at Loch Moy H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Great Meadow FEI Nations Cup CIC [Website] [Entry Status] [Schedule]

Chattahoochee Hills Summer II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Roebke’s Run H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

40th Annual Whidbey Island H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Round Top H.T. [Website]

Coconino Summer I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Change in the sport of Eventing isn’t a new thing, and it’s definitely not far from Jim Wofford’s mind. With all the changes that he has seen our sport go through, mostly through outside forces like the IOC and the FEI, he’s got a lot to get philosophical with. I can’t even do it justice, but his newest blog for Practical Horseman about the possibility of a world without Olympic Eventing is worth a read. In short, might this be a good thing for our sport? [Jim Wofford & The Future of Eventing]

It’s no secret that we are delighted to see Eventing Jesus (aka, WFP) on the team for the Brits for Rio. After a really scary fall took him out of the saddle last season, nobody really knew if he would come back to the top level so quickly, even William himself. He’s been selected for the team for Rio, and is the only rider on the team with previous Olympic experience. He’s riding Chilli Morning, whom he says is his best “proper event horse” yet, and he has great hopes for him at the games. Click here to watch this video interview with him right after his selection. [The Gait Post]

Electrolytes: Hype or a Must? With the summer months firmly upon us, it’s important to know if you need to feed your horse electrolytes or not, and how to make sure he/she is getting the proper use of them as you administer them. Our friends at Cavalor took it upon themselves to do the research, and wrote a comprehensive guide to helping your horse navigate the hot sweaty months ahead.  [Jumper Nation]

Tik Maynard will be giving a clinic right after Great Meadow, right down the road! If you’re in the area for the event, or just happen to be nearby, you should definitely stop by Longview on Monday & Tuesday (July 11-12) of next week. The clinic will cover two days of ground work, flat work, show jumping and cross country exercises, and will be divided according to horse & rider experience. Tik will give an encore presentation of his USEA National Convention talk, “How Horses Learn – Preparing for the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover”, on Monday, July 11th. You can arrange for a private session with your horse, or just come to audit. [Tik Maynard Summer Clinic]

The Sort Of OK Show About Horses: Episode 13 (Olympic Team Selection USA & Canada)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Some snaps from the clinic at Bay Point Equestrian Center. Photos by Mary Pat Stone, shared by Emma Ford.

Some snaps from the clinic at Bay Point Equestrian Center. Photos by Mary Pat Stone, shared by Emma Ford.

Look at these photos of kids and adults alike learning all the skills from none other than Olympic Grooms Emma Ford and Cat Hill. Aren’t you jealous? World Class Grooming offers clinics like this all around the states all the time! If you haven’t even read their book yet, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life, and you should also probably sign up for a clinic. I can’t recommend their expertise more, and I read the book in a single night flat, something that is usually only reserved for Harry Potter books.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Horse Park of New Jersey I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

South Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

No, Mark Todd won’t be the oldest equestrian in Rio. Usually the “elder statesmen” of the group, at the age of 60 and heading into his eighth Olympic Games, he was just edged out by another New Zealander! Olympic newcomer Julie Brougham will be representing Team NZ in dressage. [Mark Todd No Longer the Oldest Man On Campus]

Young Riders up and down the country are busy raising money to get to Colorado for NAJYRC this year. Area III Team is competing this weekend at Chattahoochee Hills and they are having a fundraiser Mexican Fiesta tonight, if you’re able to attend and enjoy tacos (who doesn’t, seriously), go! Getting to Colorado is an extreme expense for each rider, so every little bit helps, and you can also help them by donating to their Go Fund Me. [Help Area III Young Riders]

Did you know that there is a Volunteer Incentive Program for Area II? I didn’t either, until I realized that MDHT #1 and #2 need volunteers, and clicked to sign up. You can volunteer for the FEH Jump Chute Clinic (very educational!), the FEH/YEH/NEH competition, and the two actual competitions which this year include a CIC* and CIC2*! If you volunteer you get a pass to XC on the competition courses, as well as breakfast lunch and dinner, MDHT gear, and a free lesson watching your favorite riders kick butt. You can also use this website to volunteer for other events throughout Area II as the season progresses! [Volunteer It Up, Y’all]

Let’s be real, having your whips all higgledy-piggledy around the tack room is a real pain. I once broke my favorite LUCKY cross country whip because I accidentally sat on it while it was mistakenly in the crook of a tack trunk. It was tragic, let me tell you. With this inexpensive and ingenious Whip Holder from SmartPak, you’ll never be rummaging around on the ground again for the whip you want. It keeps them tidy and safe! [SmartPak Product of the Day]

 

Future Olympian Blackfoot Mystery practices his SJ skillz a few days ago:

 

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

The proper way to do summer rides. Photo by Emily Rector.

The proper way to do summer rides. Photo by Emily Rector.

Olympic Fever is creeping in!! I don’t know how, but I’m most excited that my friend/coworker/coach Ali Brock made it onto the US Dressage team than anything else. There is nothing more gratifying than seeing somebody who has worked for so long and so hard and put every drop of sweat, tears and blood into this goal finally achieve it. Well, maybe achieving it yourself would feel better, but this is a close second!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Horse Park of New Jersey I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

South Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Chuck Borell, father of Maria Borell, has been charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty as of yesterday. Borell attempted to access the farm where he and his daughter had apparently abandoned over 40 Thoroughbreds and other horses; however, the farm gate was locked and he was shortly taken into custody. Last night a warrant was also issued for the arrest of Maria Borell, in what has been a long and twisted story of guilt and shame and neglect. [Update on Borell Neglect Case]

Workers in the veterinary profession is four times as likely to take their own lives, and the industry is just beginning to talk about it. With an emotionally, physically, and psychologically straining job, veterinarian suicide is twice that of human doctors, and four times that of the average population. Research shows that work overload is the most commonly cited cause of psychological distress, as well as work-life conflict, conflict with animal owners and staff management responsibilities. [Veterinarians High Risk For Suicide]

The equestrian community and people all over the world have been following the story of 18 yr old Hannah Francis, who has terminal bone cancer, and her mascot Willberry Wonder Pony.   Together Hannah and Willberry have inspired, amazed and brought tears to many eyes. We saw him ride around Badminton tucked into the back of Ben Hobday’s vest, and now Hannah has set up a charity to continue #kickingcancersbutt. There is an online auction featuring excellent prizes from top riders and companies, and great chances to get a good deal on some awesome stuff while benefitting a great cause. [Willberry Wonder Pony Online Auction]

The soundtrack from Forrest Gump seems to reduce stress in domestic horses. Well, classical music in general, but more specifically Forrest Gump. A team of researchers used in-ear musical devices for horses during travel and farriery and measured the signs of stress during the activity as well as the recovery time afterwards, and found that classical music does seem to regulate heart rate and reduce other signs of stress. [Classical Music Helps Reduce Stress]

McLain Ward started riding on two little ponies named Peter Pan I and Peter Pan II. That is all.

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Dear lord this #tbt wins everything. Photo courtesy of Sara Kozumplik Murphy.

Dear lord this #tbt wins everything. Photo courtesy of Sara Kozumplik Murphy.

Good God there is nothing better than a TBT from a professional upper level rider to let you know that we all came from the same barrel of horse crazy kids. This one comes from Sara Kozumplik Murphy, who kindly posted it to her Facebook wall with this note: “TBT to me torturing my pony, Mr. Marshall Mallow. God knows what this costume was supposed to be? My favorite bit is possibly the head collar with hearts on it that I thought was amazeballs. Brian says he can tell I had a lot of friends in school…… Of course? I mean look at me. ‪#‎winning‬“.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Groton House Farm H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Surefire H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Inavale Farm Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Arrowhead H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Honey Run H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Abbe Ranch H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Considering a mini vacay to Florida in December? Make sure you get to the USEA Convention in Fort Lauderdale on December 7-11th. The USEA strives to continue to organize a Convention that will be the best experience for our members. The educational opportunities in the week are limitless and have ranged from lectures with Cat Hill, co-author of the very popular, World Class Grooming for Horses, art lessons with Julie Lawther, breaking down Equine Behavior with Tik Maynard, to more hands on discussion like cross-country course building and frangible design implementation. The Association organizes these seminars each year to benefit our members, so we want to know: What topics do YOU want to learn at Convention? Who would YOU like to hear from?  They want to hear your suggestions! Please comment on the Facebook page with suggestions on topics, speakers or seminars that you would like to hear at Convention – or you can email Jennifer@useventing.com with your suggestions as well. [USEA Convention]

Working donkeys in Ethiopia are on their way to having their thirst satisfied as funds have been raised for the first of five permanent water troughs.The trough is part of Brooke USA’s “Buy a Donkey a Drink” fundraising campaign to provide access to water for 13,500 equines in the Shala Woreda district of Ethiopia. These 50-foot-long concrete troughs will be located in busy market areas where thousands of animals regularly gather. The troughs will allow as many as 340 horses, donkeys, and mules to quench their thirst with each filling, and will allow other livestock such as cattle and camels to drink as well. With a goal of $98,000, Brooke USA is looking to the next milestone of $50,000 by July 15. [No More Thirsty Donkeys]

COTH staff writer Lisa Slade recently scheduled herself a riding lesson on Dante Maximus, the equine simulator. Dante is a master at Grand Prix Dressage, Advanced Eventing, and Grand Prix Show Jumping. He tells you when you’re using too much leg, not enough left leg, too much right rein, and simulates the sizes of the fences appropriately so you get tossed up his neck when you get a bit over ambitious with the fence height. Read more about Lisa’s learning experience in her blog. [Bring Your Helmet]

Short girths for mono flap saddles are one of those things that seem to have gotten too expensive for their size. Luckily, SmartPak knows you need a reasonable solution for your everyday girth. I just ordered their SmartPak brand Dri-Lex Fleece Dressage Girth for my big guys for the summer, because I know that’s prime time for super-sweaty-chafing to happen, and I also hate cleaning a leather girth when it’s just soaked through with sweat. The fleece offers no more chafing, it’s quick drying, and I can just throw it in the wash and have it ready for the next day if I want. Also, it comes in at around $34 with my SmartPak VIP discount, so that’s pretty hard to beat. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Bit by Bit with Richard Spooner:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

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Leo LOVES cows and just wants to lick their faces!

Cows are one of those things that horses either don’t care at all about, or they are a little bit freaked out about their entire lives. I live in an area where it’s impossible to even hack out for five minutes without running into a field of cows, and I’m lucky to have horses that actively love cows, but that hasn’t always been the case. Back in my teenage days, I was riding this lovely OTTB who was a great jumper and a fun little package, and he hacked out fine, but the first time we came upon some cattle in a field, that horse froze, snorted, and then whipped around and bolted with me right into a lake. In the winter. He never really got over it, and I learned to introduce cattle with no hazards available.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Groton House Farm H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Surefire H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Fox River Valley Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Shepherd Ranch SYVPC H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Inavale Farm Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Arrowhead H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Midsouth Pony Club H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Honey Run H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Abbe Ranch H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Nicolas Hinze, who developed the CourseWalk App and the new Area II Volunteer Incentive Program website has just created a new app to display eventing results. This app was developed in response to a request by David O’Connor, who wanted to have U.S. scores presented in similar way as in Europe. Some of the new features that mirror the European scoring system include: displaying country flags, allowing user sorting and greater details on dressage scores. This new live scoring app also features scores per dressage movement and details as to which cross country fence was problematic. [New Live Scores App]

Horse & Hound leads the charge on Rio 2016 Olympic coverage. They’ve officially begun their six-week countdown with an entire section of the website and magazine devoted to everything Rio. Britain has already announced their list for the teams in Eventing and Show Jumping, but H&H also has a handy list of all confirmed riders for each sport for each country. Man, we better bring our A game to compete with this…[Horse & Hound Rio 2016]

Best of Blogs: The Princess Diaries: Just A Little Pony

Inspired by her fellow Eventer’s journey to the NAJYRC, Brooke’s Browbands has offered to donate 25% of sales to Chelsea Kolman and Dauntless Courage on their way to Kentucky. We learned about Chelsea and Dante earlier this month, in our article about the ironically named gelding and Chelsea’s ingenious way of curing his anxiety attacks, and Brooke loved the story. Reminded of her own “problem child”, she has offered to donate some of the proceeds of her custom beaded browbands now through July 16th to help Chelsea and Dante get to NAJYRC. [Brooke’s Browbands]

Eventing Nation Blogger Contest!! Eventing Nation Blogger Contest!!! Seriously you guys, Jenni won this damn thing in 2012 and we still can’t get rid of her, so if you want to get your foot in the door, here’s the way. [ENTER NOW!!!]

Just a lil throwback for you….

https://youtu.be/MJnhAVOcUhM

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Crackers enjoying some German sunshine! Photo by Avery Klunick.

Crackerjack (AKA “Crackers”) enjoying some German sunshine! Keep it locked on EN for all the latest news from Luhmuhlen. Photo by Avery Klunick.

Nyls gets a little mini summer vacation every year after the spring season quits, and then in June he starts coming back. By that I mean he spends about three weeks ballooning up like somebody put an air pump into his mouth, and then by June I just can’t take it anymore and I have to start doing trot sets on him.

When I begin trot setting and hacking, I tend to be lazy and use the hackamore, since I won’t be going any speeds where I can’t stop (theoretically), so he takes full advantage of the eating opportunities presented by this bridle. He recently decided that he would like to master the art of trotting AND grazing, only to find out that’s not conducive to looking where you’re going, and ran head first into a bunch of daisies and scared the crap out of himself. Big bad event horse.

Luhmühlen Links: WebsiteOrders of GoCCI4* Live ScoresCIC3* Live ScoresCourse PreviewFacebookTwitter

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Great Vista H.T. [Website]

Seneca Valley H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Bucks County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Full Gallop Farm June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Silverwood Farm Spring H.T. [Website]

Golden Spike H.T. [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Andrew Nicholson is contesting his first four-star competition since his fall at Gatcombe last August. He is competing this weekend at Luhmuhlen on Perfect Stranger, making his four-star debut, and Qwanza. After a win last weekend at Bramham International Horse Trials, Andrew his hoping to get a good result in Germany. [Nicholson Goes to Luhmühlen]

Speaking of Luhmühlen … did you miss the course preview? [Luhmühlen Video Course Preview]

We’re giving you a chance to win a brand new Tipperary Sportage 8500 helmet! All you have to do is share your summer selfies with us to be entered. Put on a Tipperary vest and/or helmet and snap a selfie with your horse. Post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with with the hashtag #ENsummerselfie, or email your photo to encontest@gmail.com. You’ll receive one entry for wearing a Tipperary helmet or vest and double entries if you wear both. [Tipperary Sportage 8500 Contest]

If you haven’t ridden in a Tush Cush, you haven’t lived. Even with a butter soft saddle, hours of riding in the summer can make your bottom feel a bit dead to the world. Going on a very long hack? Heading out on a 45 minute trot set from hell in the 90 degree weather? A Tush Cush can change your life, and make your bottom very happy. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Ingrid Klimke and her mare FRH Escada JS with helmet cam @ the CIC3 Luhmühlen 2013.

 

Product Review: Cavalor Electrolyte Balance

Cavalor Electrolyte Balance in my feed tub at home. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Cavalor Electrolyte Balance in my feed tub at home. Photo by Kate Samuels.

With the summer heat and stress of competition and training under duress, it’s important for us to consider how we help our equine athletes replenish their electrolytes so that they can perform at the top of their capabilities. Researching the different available electrolytes, understanding the ingredients that set them apart, and knowing how to help your horse properly absorb the nutrients are all parts of making the decision about which electrolyte supplement to use.

First off, why are electrolytes important, and why can’t we just provide a salt lick like the old days? Cavalor recently wrote a wonderful educational article discussing the significance of electrolyte mixtures in your horse’s diet.

Electrolytes are minerals that pass electrical impulses through the body. They have the ability to bind with other ions to form salt crystals. Electrolytes are especially important for fluid regulation, maintaining the pH balance in the body, and can be regarded as the driving force behind water transportation through the entire body. In addition, they have a big influence on muscle and nerve functions. The most important electrolytes are sodium, potassium and chloride.”

I’ve always fed electrolytes to my horses year-round, even in the winter when I know a lot of people taper off. I’ve had good drinkers, bad drinkers, sweat monsters and horses that wouldn’t break a sweat in the 90-degree heat on cross country. I want my horses to always stay as hydrated as possible, as I know how important hydration is to the function of the body and the organs from personal experience of dehydration.

My first concern when choosing an electrolyte is the ingredients, and I usually compare products as I go. Quite a few electrolytes only contain salt (sodium chloride), but lack potassium. Without potassium, the salt will not be absorbed as well. Cavalor Electrolyte Balance (and its liquid counterpart, Electroliq Balance) are fully balanced electrolyte mixtures containing all of the ingredients that a horse loses while sweating. This supplement also uses a form of fructose as a nutrient carrier that is proven to support the intake of electrolytes.

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Cavalor Electrolyte Balance passed the taste test. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I have one horse who is quite a picky eater, and is, of course, the heaviest sweating horse in the barn, which can make things troublesome. He loves his salt block, but ironically does not like it when his feed tastes salty. Cavalor Electrolyte Balance actually tastes different than any other electrolyte that I’ve tasted (and yes, I taste them) in that it’s smells sweet and has a pleasant flavor that does not offend even the pickiest eater. This is the first time that I can add the appropriate three scoops of electrolyte to his feed and he doesn’t protest.

While I was doing my research for this product review, I learned that a lot of us (myself included) have been feeding electrolytes incorrectly for maximum efficacy. I put the electrolytes in my horse’s morning feed along with all his other supplements, but Cavalor specifically recommends using electrolytes no more than two hours before exercise, because horses are unable to store electrolytes in their body, and the morning dose will be excreted through urine before an afternoon ride.

While giving a snack with powdered electrolyte isn’t always convenient, Cavalor Electroliq Balance offers a liquid version of the same product that can be tubed into the mouth at any time. This is also a handy solution for the horses that magically leave the powdered supplements at the bottom of their bucket at the end of feeding time.

Last but not least, Cavalor Electrolyte Balance is legal for FEI competitions, just like all other Cavalor products and supplements, which takes the worry out of feeding an upper-level horse during the competition season.

This summer, Cavalor is launching a promotion for all three of its supplement products containing electrolytes: Electrolyte Balance, Electroliq Balance and Energy Booster. They will be placing a big yellow peel-off sticker coupon on bags of Cavalor feed for $5 off any of the three products listed above.

The Electrolyte Balance powder comes in an 800g container (approximately an 18-day supply) and a 5kg container (approximately 111-day supply). The 800g container has a suggested retail price of $28.99 while the 5kg container has a suggested retail price of $106.99. Cavalor has a customized store locator map on their website for you to find your nearest retailer.

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

Meet Yeezy and Yoncé, twin chinchillas! Photo by Devon Olivier.

Meet Yeezy and Yoncé, twin chinchillas! Photo by Devon Olivier.

Exciting birth announcement! No, its not another professional rider, it’s the official UGA Eventing Team mascot, Fetty, who became a mother! A surprise mother, to be exact. Fetty turns out to be a girl, and this week she popped out twins, dubbed Yeezy and Yoncé. Congrats to the proud new mother and all her fans. If you’re not sure what the hell I’m talking about, be sure to check out our article on the UGA Eventing Team here, and also give them props for totally showing us up with taking ACTUAL CHINCHILLAS to events.

Luhmühlen Links: Website, Orders of Go, CCI4* Live Scores, CIC3* Live Scores, Course Preview, Facebook, Twitter

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Great Vista H.T. [Website]

Seneca Valley H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Bucks County Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Full Gallop Farm June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Silverwood Farm Spring H.T. [Website]

Golden Spike H.T. [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Andrew Nicholson is contesting his first four-star competition since his fall at Gatcombe last August. He is competing this weekend at Luhmuhlen on Perfect Stranger, making his four-star debut, and Qwanza. After a win last weekend at Bramham International Horse Trials, Andrew his hoping to get a good result in Germany. [Nicholson Goes to Luhmühlen]

Speaking of Luhmühlen … did you miss the course preview? [Luhmühlen Video Course Preview]

New research shows that the timing of food can greatly affect the performance of a horse when it comes to strenuous exercise. Dr. Gary Potter, a consulting nutritionist and professor of equine science at Texas A&M, has been studying the effects of food on racehorses and how the digestive system and the locomotive neuromuscular system interact. The key is, he says, to make sure that these two systems aren’t competing for blood supply by removing hay and grain three to four hours before a race, and only feeding hay after the horse has been fully cooled out. He also debunks the popular myth that horses should be refused water when they are hot directly after a workout. [Timing of Pre-Race Meals Has a Huge Impact]

We’re giving you a chance to win a brand new Tipperary Sportage 8500 helmet! All you have to do is share your summer selfies with us to be entered. Put on a Tipperary vest and/or helmet and snap a selfie with your horse. Post it on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with with the hashtag #ENsummerselfie, or email your photo to encontest@gmail.com. You’ll receive one entry for wearing a Tipperary helmet or vest and double entries if you wear both. [Tipperary Sportage 8500 Contest]

Elite Daily pulled a hilarious stunt at the Belmont Stakes by sending a short comedian roughly dressed as a jockey into the crowd of intoxicated non-horse people, and totally convinced them all that he was riding “Hillar-neigh Clinton” in a race. Insert eye rolling here. He seems to have been outfitted with a pair of rubber boots and a Troxel helmet, but they all bought it anyway. Check out the video over at Horse Nation. [Elite Daily Sends Fake Jockey to Belmont]

Listicle of the Day: 11 Reasons Your Horse Secretly Hates You

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Aloha fun! Photo courtesy of Karen Fulton.

Aloha fun! Photo courtesy of Karen Fulton.

With the sudden cancellation of Kelly’s Ford recognized horse trials for both July and November, the USEA was delighted to have Full Moon Farm immediately offer to fill that spot on the calendar for July. Usually, FMF offers an unrecognized “Aloha” event during that weekend, and they are really pulling out all the stops to make the new recognized competition just as much fun. While you won’t be allowed to wear a crazy outfit in dressage, you might still get lei’d after cross country!

Weekend Preview:

Bromont CCI: WebsiteEntriesScheduleDressage Ride TimesLive Scores,  EN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

Bramham: WebsiteLive ScoresRide TimesEvent Rider MastersERM Live Stream

Valinor Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Plantation Field June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

The Middleburg H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

River Glen June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Roebke’s Run CCI, CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Queeny Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Aspen Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Derbyshire Farms H.T. [Website]

News From Around the Globe: 

Catch up on the action from yesterday with the top dressage rides for Bromont. Leslie Threlkeld and Chinch are your boots on the ground for EN this weekend. Click here for the full CCI2* report with quotes from the leaders and here for the CCI* report. You can also take a virtual tour of the CCI3* course here and check out the jog gallery here. [Top Rides of Bromont Day One]

Meanwhile, across the pond at Bramham CCI3*, Jenny Caras is doing us proud by leading after dressage for the Under 25 division.  Nine of the 19 combinations in the Bishop Burton College Under 25 CCI3* division performed their dressage test yesterday. Under the guidance of USEF Eventing Developing Rider Coach Leslie Law, Jenny Caras had an excellent test with Fernhill Fortitude to sit atop the leaderboard with a score of 48.9 at the end of the first day of competition. Jenny is competing at Bramham as part of the Karen Stives European Developing Tour with the help of a Karen Stives Endowment Fund for High Performance Eventing Grant. [Caras Leads After Day One at Bramham]

The second leg of the inaugural Event Rider Masters (ERM) is set to take place at this weekend’s EQUI-TREK Bramham International Horse Trials in Yorkshire. With a total of £50,000 up for grabs this weekend, there is everything to play for. Forty horse and rider pairs representing eleven nations feature in an incredible line up of Olympians and Olympic hopefuls alike. Clark Montgomery is a favorite to win, having proven that he can finish a CIC3* with a score in the 30′s with Loughan Glen. [ERM Championship at Bramham] [Live Stream]

Here’s the deal on the Belmont tomorrow. Do you need to read up on all your stats of the competitors? New York Times has you covered for the mile-and-a-half top class race featuring some of the best three-year-olds in the country. [Here’s Who We Think Will Win]

Why should the horses get all the fun with thermal therapy? Spoil your pooch with a Back On Track Mesh Dog Blanket! The BOT signature ceramic fabric reflects your dog’s own body heat to create soothing relief for sore muscles and joints, and the mesh is very breathable so they don’t overheat. This blanket comes in many different sizes for all the differently shaped mutts in your barn. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

My favorites….look at that tail!!

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

Louie is very excited to be accepted in the CCI3* at Bromine! Photo via Sharon White.

Louie is very excited to be accepted in the CCI3* at Bromont! Photo via Sharon White.

This week I’m spending my time all taped up in KT tape, because like every other horse person in the world, my back is completely ruined already. If you fall off enough times (read: ride horses for enough years) your back is the first thing to go. My chiropractor is amazing and works with lots of stubborn athletes who refuse to give their bodies any rest, but he is still stern with me. I know about all the therapies because we use them all on our horses, but I don’t usually use them on my body. I get electro stimulation, adjustment, massage, and I stand on a theraplate (just like the horses!) before getting my KT tape applied and sent on my way. Also, I wear a very fashionable Ice Horse ice pack on my neck for my pinched nerve, and yes, I use an ace bandage previously used for a tail bandage to support it. It was washed in between!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Bromont CCI & CIC [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Valinor Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Larkin Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Plantation Field June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

The Middleburg H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

River Glen June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Roebke’s Run CCI, CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Queeny Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Aspen Farms H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Derbyshire Farms H.T. [Website]

News From Around the Globe:

Two yellow cards were handed out at the Virginia Horse Trials. Buck Davidson received a yellow card for “dangerous riding” in the CIC2* on Be Mine, and Caroline Sullivan received one in the CCI* on The Bond Boy. Sullivan’s yellow card was misrepresented as three refusals, when in fact it was the ground jury viewing a lack of control. Buck’s yellow card was due to him hitting the ropes when Lainey Ashker’s Calling All Comets came galloping at his mount and he was forced to control his horse in an unusual manner. [Yellow Cards at VAHT]

Exaggerator, who finished second behind Nyquist in the Kentucky Derbyand first in the slop at the Preakness Stakes, drew Post 11 on Wednesday and was installed as the 9-to-5 morning-line favorite for the 148th running of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Twelve challengers will take on Exaggerator in the mile-and-a-half Belmont, where he will attempt to become the 12th horse to win the Preakness and the Belmont after falling short in the Derby, and the first since Afleet Alex in 2005. [Exagerator Draws Number 11]

Full Moon Farm has added a second event to the Area II calendar to be hosted at their Finksburg, Md. venue. The one-day event will take place July 24, 2016 to replace the discontinued Kelly’s Ford Horse Trials. The farm has hosted an unrecognized event on this date in years past, so the evolution to a recognized event was easily done. The event will offer division Beginner Novice through Training, as well as levels for Intro and Starter, with all courses designed by Eric Bull. The event is also currently offering an early bird discount for all entries received before June 21, so get those entries in! [Full Moon Farm Recognized HT]

What is more fun than a double-clear on your move-up cross-country ride? The Area V “Great Young Rider Fair” fund-raiser, this Saturday, June 11th , at the Texas Rose Horse Park Arena! Fair games for the kids start at 4 pm, to be followed by Dunk the Trainer, silent and live auctions, dinner and bar service, a DJ dance party … and much more! Proceeds from the evening benefit the active Area V Young Riders program. Two upcoming annual summer activities are the educational Bring-A-Friend Summer Camp, and the team journey to the North American Junior & Young Riders Championship at Colorado Horse Park in July. [Area V Fundraiser]

Listicle of the Day: 7 Ways Equestrians Know It’s Summer 

 

Tatts 2016:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Lainey Ashker doing some pinch hit jogging for Katherine Coleman and Longwood. Photo courtesy of Lainey.

Lainey Ashker doing some pinch hit jogging for Katherine Coleman and Longwood. Photo courtesy of Lainey.

Hot weather really makes drinking a cup of hot coffee first thing not as appealing, so I finally caved and made my first batch of cold brew tonight, ready for the humid heat of tomorrow. Not familiar with cold brew? A monkey could basically make it, and it’s actually less work in the morning (aka five more minutes of sleeping), so you should definitely get on that train. And, lets be real, we all drink about a jug (more or less) of coffee every day, so it’s worth making in big batches. Has anyone heard of a horse rider who doesn’t drink coffee? Find me that person. We need to interview them as an anomaly for EN.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Tattersalls Links: WebsiteEntriesRide TimesLive ScoresScheduleLive Stream@Tatts2016

GMHA June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Waredaca H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Poplar Place Farm June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Camelot Equestrian Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

IEA H.T. & N/T3D [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Colorado Horse Park CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Team Ireland is feeling the pressure with Tattersalls as the last competition before the team is named for Rio. With a team of four to be selected, there are twelve riders on the short list, all twelve of which are riding at Tattersalls this weekend. Horse Sport Ireland’s Eventing team manager, Nick Turner, has quite a selection in front of him. After day one of dressage, there are three Irish riders in the top ten, with Padraig McCarthy leading the way on Mr Chunky with a 44.7. [Irish Team Named Next Week]

Belgian Olympic rider and owner of Chattahoochee Hills Eventing Carl Bouckaert is recovering well from a dirt bike accident six months ago. In December of last year, Carl sustained injuries from the accident that required him to stay in a hospital in Boston for seven weeks as well as more than a dozen surgeries with the insertion of plates and screws, and a bone graft in late March. While Carl isn’t back to riding yet, we’re happy to report that he’s finally able to move around and weight bear on the leg a bit. Hopefully soon Carl will be without crutches and back in business! [Carl Bouckaert Recovering in Georgia]

Ride Safe has joined the USEA as a Contributing Level Sponsor of the 2016 USEA Intercollegiate Championship and Prize Level Sponsor of the 2016 Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships. Ride Safe is a sports medical ID bracelet that is designed to be worn all day, every day, by equestrians on or off the farm working around horses. The bracelet allows you to easily display your personal information on the metal nameplate. Each bracelet has an ID code laser engraved on the back of the plate. In the event of an emergency with your horse, friends and family members or trained medical staff can gain immediate access to your medical information by entering the code into the website (www.teamridesafe.com) via a phone or computer. [Ride Safe Partners with USEA for AECs]

Love those ponies with chrome, but in the summer their noses get sunburnt so easily! You can run out to the field every two hours to reapply sun screen, or you can get one of these handy Crusader Fly Masks with a long nose, specifically built to protect the sensitive pink skinned horses. The Crusader Fly Mask is one of the most durable yet soft fly masks around, and this extra protective layer is perfect for horses prone to sunburn in day turnout. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Mike Ryan & Dromgurrihy Blue (Rocky) take us round the CCI*** crosscountry course at Tattersalls International 2012.

https://youtu.be/qY-v5oB0dBc

Thursday News & Notes from Professional’s Choice

Ice boots? Eventers are always so ingenious. Photo courtesy of Horse Illustrated and idea courtesy of Emily Plechavy.

Ice boots? Eventers are always so ingenious. Photo courtesy of Horse Illustrated and idea courtesy of Emily Plechavy.

The first days of June, and my tan lines are already out of control. If you see me out riding a horse, you think I’m a normal person with a great summer tan. My arms, they look great and tan and an appropriate color. But little did you know that I’m actually a person with alabaster skin underneath that, because my legs are LITERALLY reflective. I’m not exaggerating here. I tried to take a picture while I was laying out in the sun a few days ago, and every picture was blinded by the rays reflected off my legs. I couldn’t even get the camera to focus. Then of course, I went inside and thought it was all good until I discovered that the backs of my thighs had sunburnt so badly that riding for the next few days was pure agony. #horsegirlproblems to the max.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

GMHA June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Genesee Valley Riding & Driving Club Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Waredaca H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Poplar Place Farm June H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Camelot Equestrian Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

IEA H.T. & N/T3D [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Colorado Horse Park CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

 The Tryon International Equestrian Center has completed construction of its enormous water complex in preparation for this year’s AEC competition. Built by Eric Bull, there are already about 160 portable jumps available for the cross country course. With this big water complex in place, it’s going to be a phenomenal location for the AECs. They are also working on the footing, putting down sand mixed with fibers over the entire galloping track and mixing it with grass so that the turf will have an all weather base. Looking forward to it! [Tryon Prepares for AECs]

Genesee Valley Hunt Horse Trials is introducing a new team challenge for its July horse trials. The first annual Donald T. Holland Memorial Cup will have teams consisting of 3-4 riders competing against one another with friendly but competitive camaraderie. Donald is remembered through this challenge in his passion to unite the lower level eventing crowd with the upper level eventing crowd so that everyone feels the love from both sides. If you’d like to form a team, put the information on your entry or email the secretary! [Genesee Valley Hunt H.T.]

How do you go about appropriately conditioning a young horse without overdoing it? While we’re all conscious of their growing body parts, we want to not stress them too early and cause issues, but a certain amount of long slow work is actually good for a young horse. Developing your horse’s muscles and getting him to use his joints and tendons in an appropriate way help him for the rest of his life. [Conditioning the Young Horse]

In Ireland, they make jockeys at age 12. In the rural west coast of Ireland, Dylan aspires to be a top jockey and is well on his way already. He’s been galloping Thoroughbreds for years, has just moved up to the bigger horses and is already racing against other juniors. He runs and he boxes for his training, as well as eating and sleeping and dreaming horses. Also, watch the video below, he races ON THE BEACH. Why didn’t I grow up in Ireland? [Boys Will Be Jockeys]

12-year-old Irish jockey champion in the making:

Product Review: Boot Butler

The Boot Butler in action all packed and ready to go in the trailer. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Boot Butler in action all packed and ready to go in the trailer. Photo by Kate Samuels.

As riders, there’s nothing we love quite as much as some good boots. It doesn’t matter what discipline you ride, whether it’s western or English, dressage or eventing, you’ve got a collection of boots. We have tall boots, rain boots, going-out-dressed-normally boots, and even high heeled boots for the special occasion. This can lead to a jumble in your closet, and definitely in your trailer when you pack to go to a competition.

The Boot Butler proposes a handy solution to this problem, in the most space saving way of any boot organization system. Lightweight and easy to assemble, the Boot Butler offers the opportunity to safely and securely hang up to five pairs of boots from a regular closet rod.

Usually when I’m packing for an event, I assume that I need to bring all of the different types of clothing for all of the possible weather occurrences. This means that, at a minimum, I have to bring two pairs of tall boots, my Dubarry boots, and probably some regular dress boots for dinner or the competitor’s party.

I don’t want all these boots just ratting around in my trailer, and I’m not packing another duffel bag just for my boots. The Boot Butler offers an easy answer to this problem, and I can see how packing for a show will be easier with it in my arsenal. Not only that, but it keeps the boots upright and prevents them from flopping over and creasing or getting smushed under anything.

The modular base of the Boot Butler is designed for almost all sizes and shapes of boots. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The modular base of the Boot Butler is designed for all adult sizes and shapes of boots. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Boot Butler comes in a modular design that is easy to assemble, which means that you can customize it to your needs. If you only need to hang three boots, you can disassemble the bottom two boot hangers and make the entire thing shorter. If you have a horizontal space instead of a vertical space, you can organize the Boot Butler so that you are hanging one or two boots in a row instead of five.

The rack, while lightweight, is sturdy and once the boots are on the frames, does not pose a problem for structural integrity. The boots are securely attached, and would not fly off the rack even in the trailer as you’re driving long distances down highways and bumpy roads.

The boots hang securely on the rack, with no fear that they will slip off. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The boots hang securely and snugly on the rack, with no fear that they will slip off. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Unlike other boot storage options, the Boot Butler does not in any way affect the outside of the boot by containing it. As the hanging rods go inside of the shoe just like a boot shaper, you don’t have to deal with working about your perfectly polished tall boots being damaged before dressage.

If you are hanging five pairs of boots, the Boot Butler takes up about 5 feet of vertical space, but only requires 9-10 inches of horizontal space. For three pairs of boots, you only need three feet for the column. This is handy not only in your closet at home, but in the small trailer tack rooms we all know can get very jam packed on the way to a show. In using the Boot Butler, you are saving a ton of floor space below your clothes in your closet or trailer that would usually be consumed with a jumble of shoes all smashed together.

The Boot Butler is slim and space saving horizontally. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Boot Butler is slim and space saving horizontally. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Boot Butler is available online in a five-pair boot rack which contains everything you need to store 5 pairs of boots, and can be combined in any way to accommodate your available storage space and your extensive boot collection. The value of the modular design is that you can shape this organizer to meet your needs for each individual space, and the portable design means you can move it from your trailer back into your closet at the end of the weekend.

 

Friday News & Notes from FLAIR Nasal Strips

Jennie Brannigan with Twighlightslastgleam and Alexa Lapp with Paprika, both homebreds of Tim and Nina Gardner. Photo courtesy of Jennie.

Jennie Brannigan with Twighlightslastgleam and Alexa Lapp with Paprika, both homebreds of Tim and Nina Gardner. Photo courtesy of Jennie.

The Virginia Horse Trials is this weekend, and while I won’t be attending this year, it’s still one of my favorite events. The Virginia Horse Center is where I grew up, where I did my very first unrecognized events on a variety of naughty ponies, and where I learned to ride cross country with some serious terrain. It always feels like home when I go there, and it’s been a delight to watch it upgrade and improve throughout the years. I’ll be cheering from just south for everyone I know competing this weekend!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. [Website]

Virginia CCI, CIC, & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [FEI Divisions Live Scores] [HT Live Scores]

Flora Lea Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Willow Draw Charity H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

The Spring Event at Woodside H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Equestrians Institute H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

May-Daze at the Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Coconino Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Fan favorites from the dressage world, Laura Graves and Verdades, have made a successful trip to Europe to prepare for Rio. A true Cinderella story, Laura and “Diddy” are not only one of the best pairs in the world, but they have an amazing bond that gives us all hope for our passion and our talented but weird horses. Having just travelled to Europe with a few other members of the US team, the pair trounced the competition at Compeigne. For the first time ever, Laura is not doing all the grooming duties herself, having just brought a professional groom on board. Read more about her journey in her COTH blog. [Road to Rio with Laura Graves]

With Memorial Day Weekend coming up, it’s important to figure out what you’re bringing to the party. Of course, we can’t have anybody forgetting that you’re a horsey person, so why not accent things with some horse themed booze? Horse Nation, ever on the brilliant side of listicles, has your back with this fantastic collection of ten equine-centered beers for your weekend glory. [Cheers!]

Elisa Wallace had a banner spring with Simply Priceless, culminating in an 8th place finish at Rolex Kentucky. While they are enjoying success now, their journey hasn’t been easy, with “Johnny” possessing more than his fair share of quirks. The failed ex-racehorse, JC name “Kalingo Damo”, has two personalities, one of a super sweet puppy dog, and one of a totally freaked out dragon. Elisa has been able to use some unorthodox methods to get Johnny to trust her and to improve his focus in dressage and show jumping to great effect. [Elisa Wallace Making Dreams Come True]

Memorial Day Weekend SmartPak sale!!?!?? You heard me. Get your butt over to SmartPak for all those things you’ve had on your list for ages now, because 20% off means you can totally justify it. Apparel, blankets, tack, barn gear, SmartPaks, you name it, it’s on sale. [Memorial Day SmartPak Sale]

We’ve drawn the winners in our giveaway for passes to Great Meadow International! The winners of the general admission car passes are: Meghaan Lane, Kerry York, Carla Corvin, Meaghan, and Amy Cutler. Elizabeth Faulkner is the lucky winner of the cross country tailgate spot. Please email jenni@eventingnation.com to claim your prize. Be sure to visit the website for everything you need to know.

Throwing it WAY back to VAHT 2010:

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

A scene of family happiness at Waredaca. Photo courtesy of GRC Photo.

A scene of family happiness at Waredaca. Photo courtesy of GRC Photo.

Waredaca Horse Trials is vamping up the facilities, and taking your rider feedback to heart with lots and lots of new improvements.

Amongst many other things, they are vowing to aerate the cross country courses and warmups to greater extent and include watering portions of the tracks, introducing Jeff Kibbie as the course designer for the upper levels with guidance from non other than David O’Connor, adding new and fresh show jumps for a fun new look, and promoting a new fundraising effort for breast cancer at the Waredaca Three Day in the fall.

Don’t forget to stop by the Waredaca Brewing Company for some delicious beers, non alcoholic drinks and snacks as well. This is what I like to see, events delighting in improvements, and competitors benefitting in a big way! Keep up with all the latest Waredaca news on Facebook here.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. [Website]

Virginia CCI, CIC, & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Flora Lea Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Willow Draw Charity H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

The Spring Event at Woodside H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Equestrians Institute H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

May-Daze at the Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

Coconino Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Kentucky Equine Research and EN are teaming up to host the Great KER Fitness Challenge this spring! Download the free KER ClockIt Sport app for your phone and record your rides for a chance to win a $100 gift card to shop.kerx.com, an EcoGold Secure XC Saddle Pad, a lesson with your choice of Bruce Davidson, Liz Halliday-Sharp, or Dom or Jimmie Schramm; and a feature story about you and your horse on EN. Entries close May 31! [Contest Details]

Please, for all that is good and holy in this world, read Lorraine Jackson’s love letter to Lani. Don’t know who Lani is? Oh, maybe just the weirdest racehorse of all time that you somehow missed in the Kentucky Derby and maybe just got a whiff of in the Preakness. In short, “Like so many other misunderstood artists of our time, people fail to grasp your work and are lost in the crazy of it. Like Kanye West trying to tweet the creator of Facebook, on, you know, Twitter: It doesn’t make sense, but we guarantee Mark Zuckerberg heard about it.”. [An Open Love Letter to Lani]

Best of Blogs: Amateurs Like Us: Crooked Comes Easy 

Calling all self professed Andrew Nicholson experts: can you cut the mustard with this Horse & Hound quiz? Mr Stickability himself has some interesting factoids, some of which you might not be privy to, even if you’re a bonafide specialist. Remember Spinning Rhombus? What was his weak point? [Andrew Nicholson Pop Quiz]

 

KER ClockIt™ Session of the Week – Hill Work for Conditioning Your Horse

This week’s KER ClockIt™ Sport session highlights the importance of hill work when conditioning your horse.

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The 80-90% range (yellow) is the zone where many human athletes train to improve fitness. In this zone, there begins to be a significant level of anaerobic energy generation and blood lactate starts to accumulate.

Multiple KER treadmill studies have shown that exercising horses on an incline greatly increases work intensity as measured by oxygen consumption, heart rate, and lactate production. These studies have shown that at a canter speed, a 1% increase in grade increases a horse’s heart rate 6 bpm–the same effect on heart rate as increasing speed 35 m/min on a level treadmill. Therefore, equal heart rates can be obtained by cantering horses on a 6% grade at 490 m/min as from galloping on the flat at 700 m/min.

This session was shared as part of the Share Your Sessions Sweepstakes. Share your ClockIt sessions for a chance to win—and you could be featured here! For more information, visit the website.

 

 

 

Fitness Trials and Tribulations: Galloping the Warmblood

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A magical water dinosaur. Photo by Erica Stevens.

Ah, the never ending quest for the perfect fitness regimen for our event horses. Will we ever know the ultimate answer? Will we ever be as adept as Michael Jung at literally anything? The answer to both of these questions is probably no, but that does not mean that we cannot continue endeavoring for greater success. When it comes to formulating a fitness program for every horse you ride, the answer is always changing and growing as to how we can create the perfect balance of fitness, soundness and sanity.

I’ve always ridden OTTBs or very high-blood warmbloods, and so Leo, my Hanoverian gelding, was really my first adventure into the lands of real warmblood fitness. Not only did he come to me as a 6-year-old with no base fitness to speak of for his entire life, but he actually didn’t know how to gallop. At all. Add to this that he’s a heavy sweater, and a dramatic breather, and I thought maybe he was dying any time I did a trot set or god forbid a baby canter set.

With the Thoroughbreds, we don’t even really start to think about fitness until the cusp of Preliminary, especially if they raced. Maybe they do some trot sets at Training level, but for the most part, they have a pretty good sense of how to cover the ground efficiently, and they’ve had a base level of fitness as youngsters that really comes back quickly. If there is one thing I’ve learned, there is certainly something to be said about riding a horse that’s been fit before in its life.

Last summer, I set out to really conquer this fitness thing with Leo. I was running him at Novice and looking to move up to Training, but I was honestly worried about the galloping and especially at one-day events, I wasn’t sure he could make it through all three phases in one day without lying down and expiring at my feet with dramatic flair. Enter, Kentucky Equine Research and the KER ClockIt Sport app.

Admission: I am a human fitness idiot. I literally can’t run 50 feet without tripping over myself and getting a cramp, and I’m barely able to avoid drowning in a swimming pool. However, I understand horse fitness to an extent because I’ve ridden at the track for many years, and had a horse at the upper levels for a number of years, so I had a general idea of how they should feel, but when it comes to science, I’m a noob.

The KER Clockit Sport kit includes the Polar Equine Heart Rate monitor and a bottle of ultrasound gel which is used during application of the electrodes. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The KER Clockit Sport kit includes the Polar Equine Heart Rate monitor and a bottle of ultrasound gel which is used during application of the electrodes. Photo by Kate Samuels.

So, I heard about the KER ClockIt App, and thought that maybe it was time I upped my analytical skills in the way I was training my horses, so I ordered the heart rate monitor, downloaded the app, and put in a call to the founder and president of Kentucky Equine Research, Dr. Joe Pagan. If you’re gonna figure out how to use something, why not just go right to the source?

Joe spent about two hours on the phone with me, delightedly explaining all of the features of the new app and website for the KER ClockIt Sport, and his excitement surrounding the project was palpable. I can’t begin to explain the vast ways in which you can put this project to use for your horses, but you can check out my original post for a taste.

So I began tracking trot sets and gallop sets with Leo, and found, to my surprise, that he wasn’t dying during gallops; he was actually doing very little cardiovascular work, but he FELT like it was a lot of work. Warmblood drama. A really great part of the ClockIt app is that you can watch heart rate and speed in real time on your phone as you are galloping. (If you are coordinated enough, that is, and your horse isn’t bolting, which wasn’t really a problem here … )

Henceforth, I could make observational measurements about how hard Leo was breathing, how much he was sweating, how slow off the leg he was, and how coordinated or uncoordinated he felt underneath me and compare them in real time to his heart rate and his actual speed. This was really illuminating for me, and I think it really enhanced my understanding of the work he was doing. I was able to modify my speed or length of gallop more on the numbers that I wanted, and less on how sympathetic I was to his terrible plight.

Along with the real-time benefits, I was also able to record several weeks worth of gallops as he moved up to Training and kept going through his season. The records of these gallops still exist on the website, and I can go back any time and compare them. If I were to record new ones today, I could say where he is on HIS fitness scale, knowing what I felt last fall. I know the exact workouts because I use the same gallop fields today, and I can see on the KER ClockIt site where I was on the GPS, so I could replicate a workout precisely and compare the numbers afterwards.

The KER ClockIt system is easy to apply to your horse and seamlessly fits into your tack without being obtrusive. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The KER ClockIt system is easy to apply to your horse and seamlessly fits into your tack without being obtrusive. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Ultimately, I found the KER ClockIt Sport app to be especially useful for Leo, but it also really opened my mind for a greater view of fitness in general, and a new way to think about the fitness puzzle. I would highly recommend it to anybody (and do on a regular basis) who is learning to feel gallop speeds and fitness levels on different horses, as well as just adding to the arsenal of information that you have on your horse.

Do you know what your horse’s resting heart rate is at different times in his fitness year? How long does it take him to recover from a gallop up a hill? Do you get more of a workout from a steep hill and a slow pace or a long haul on the flat?

While we might never know the perfect fitness regime, the KER ClockIt Sport app helps us modify our general themes to each horse, depending on his or her needs. With more facts and science on our side, we can only improve the way we prepare our sport horses for their jobs, and be better informed on how to keep them happy, sound and primed for the challenge.

Click here to download the KER ClockItSport app and get started on your own fitness journey with your horse.