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 Nupafeed

Snow ears already??? Photo by Katie Peery.

Snow ears already??? Photo by Katie Peery.

While it hasn’t snowed in Virginia (yet), it is definitely entering what I like to call the “Michelin Man” zone, wherein I wake up in the pitch black, go to my closet, and spend 10 full minutes intricately layering my clothing so to survive 10-12 hours unimpeded in the outdoors. I learned long ago to invest in very warm items that are also very thin (hello, nano puff jacket and under armour long sleeves) as you can layer a lot of them while still feeling like you can move your arms. There’s nothing worse than feeling like the little brother from A Christmas Story on your way to the barn!

News From Around the Globe:

Kentucky Equine Research is offering $15 off any order over $100 on shop.kerx.com through the month of December. The promotion includes ClockIt heart-rate monitors, which only going on sale this time of year. Heart-rate monitors make great stocking stuffers for the techy equestrian on your Christmas shopping list! [shop.kerx.com]

Hot on Horse Nation: Fantasy Farm Thursday

If you’ve got a horse with ulcers, you know that maintenance is a big part of your future success. After treating for gastric ulcers medically, the best way to keep them at bay is through a feeding and care program that prevents reoccurrence. Horse & Hound offers some advice on how and what to feed a horse with ulcers. [H&H Question & Answer]

This ain’t your grandma’s bedding anymore. People are getting creative with what they stuff in their stalls these days, with lots of different alternatives to regular old shavings or straw. Did you know that you can use corn husks? Or that you can get hemp bedding? Me neither. While some of these bedding options are best if locally sourced, they could be the key to your success in the barn this winter. [Bedding Alternatives]

Now that you’ve clipped your horse naked, the wind is picking up, and you might feel kinda bad going on a hack. If you don’t already, maybe pick up a nice quarter sheet? This one from SmartPak is incredibly nice fleece, comes in different colors, and really covers the important parts. Even better, it’s on sale for only $25!! I may or may not have just bought one myself. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

I know I’m not the only one who stays up late watching these old jumper videos…right??

 

 

 

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

When your dad, the combat vet, picks out your heavy weight. 'Murica. Photo by Jenny Smalley.

When your dad, the combat vet, picks out your heavyweight. ‘Murica. Photo by Jenny Smalley.

I’ve recently gotten enough time to go out Fox Hunting again, which I don’t usually do in the winter. Mostly, I’ve just always had horses that were nut bags and totally not suitable. One time, I took Nyls on a walk and talk with a small child student, and he spent the entire 2.5 hours running backwards, sideways, rearing, bucking, sweating, frothing, prancing and dancing. It was horrible. My giant red dinosaur, however, thinks that group trail rides are great! I’m pretty sure thats what he thinks hunting is about. You just blindly follow the horse in front of you, and then sometimes you stand around and the humans pass around beverages, right?

News From Around the Globe:

Savannah “Woodge” Fulton is this year’s recipient of the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant. At only 20 years old, Woodge has been competing the 13-year-old thoroughbred, Captain Jack, at the CIC3* and CCI3* level all year. They were 7th together at Bromont CCI3* and ran a double clear cross country round at Fair Hill CCI3* this fall. She will receive $5,000 to help offset some of her training costs as she continues her path to hopefully one day represent the US in international competition. [Woodge Fulton Wins Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant]

If you’re trying to work your horse with long hair this winter, you’re constantly faced with how to help him dry out. Horses are designed to dry their bodies by using body heat to push the moisture out to the tip of the hair, but when they’re super sweaty or wet from rain, they lose the ability to do this, and just stand around burning calories being cold. Certain kinds of coolers are better than others, and certain methods are definitely more effective and quick than others. [Dry Your Damp Horse in Winter]

Kentucky Equine Research is offering $15 off any order over $100 on shop.kerx.com through the month of December. The promotion includes ClockIt heart-rate monitors, which only going on sale this time of year. Heart-rate monitors make great stocking stuffers for the techy equestrian on your Christmas shopping list! [shop.kerx.com]

Hot on Horse Nation: 7 Things Our Horses Do That Will Never Not Be Adorable

Everyone else in the “real” world is all excited about the holidays and the possibility of snow. All equestrians can think of is how depressing it is to keep waking up when it’s pitch black outside, don 34 layers of clothing, and trudge through the inevitable upcoming months of mud to retrieve equally muddy horses. [Tis The Season To Be Jolly]

Shout out to my neighbor Reynolds Cowles for being named the President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) this week. Dr. Cowles is famous around these parts, and we’re so proud that he’s getting the recognition that he deserves as a long time sport horse practitioner. Founder of Blue Ridge Equine Clinic in 1979, and deeply involved in both the Thoroughbred racing community as well as the sport horse world that is so richly available in central Virginia, Dr. Cowles brings a lot of good experience to the table. [Reynolds Cowles Named AAEP President]

Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

When two bros have no chill about their romance. Photo by Kate Samuels.

When two bros have no chill about their romance. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I’ve spent the past few weeks reading every single cookbook that I own (plus a few new ones) and making exhaustive lists of things that I want to cook over the next few horrible cold and dark months. The one good thing about the winter is that I have more time to cook and bake at night, because I HAVE to stop riding at 5:30 because it’s basically pitch black at that point. This means I have a few “normal” hours before I pass out during which I can make delicious things and then immediately give them away because lord knows if I ate everything I cooked, my horses would not thank me.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Sporting Days Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Four locations around the United States are making a bid for a CCI4* approval in 2017. The Rolex Kentucky CCI**** was the first four-star outside of Europe and has occurred every April since 1998 in Lexington. Now four venues have confirmed they are placing bids with the USEF to host a fall four-star: the Tryon International Equestrian Center, the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, Great Meadow, and the privately owned Ocala Jockey Club. Exciting times ahead for the future of Eventing in the United States! [Four Locations Bid for 4* Approval]

Horse movies can be a double edged sword for everyone who knows anything about horses. You want to want to like it, but the mistakes made by hollywood and the constant horse whinnies every time the camera pans towards them are just a little unbearable. Candace Wade was a judge in the NYC Equus Film Festival this year, and was kind enough to write about her favorites (trailers included) for Horse Nation. [Highlights from Equus Film Festival]

Ah, the problem with horses that don’t like to load up on the trailer. Jason Webb of Australian Horse Training is a renowned UK-based horse trainer with a passion for starting young horses, solving equine problems and teaching riders of all abilities and ambitions develop and strengthen the partnership they have with their horses. He took time to weigh in on the common question, “How do I get my horse to load better?” on Horse & Hound. [My Horse Won’t Load!]

When in doubt for a horsey friend during the holidays, give the gift that can’t disappoint. A gift card to SmartPak!! You can give you friends anything from $15 to $1,000 in SmartPak goodies either through email or give them an actual fancy card in the mail. What would YOU do with a SmartPak Gift Card?? [Holiday Shopping Solved]

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Ahhh winter. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Morris.

Ahhh winter. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Morris.

Looking at this photo, I don’t know if I should laugh, cry, or send Sabrina a box of chocolates as well as some Orvis shampoo (for both horse and blanket!). Possibly a combination of all three is appropriate. Don’t you just love winter!? All the lovely things that go along with winter, like mud, and cold rain, and snow, and more mud, and mud puddles, and riding while wearing 34 layers….ahhh such fond memories from years past!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Sporting Days Horse Trials [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Big news from Maryland: Fair Hill International has requested to become a 4*! After economic data shows a large increase in the growth of the horse industry, Fair Hill has decided to expand and upgrade their facilities as well as request permission to become the 7th four-star competition in the world. Regardless of the 4* outcome, FHI will be implementing some exciting upgrades next year, so stay tuned. [FHI Seeks 4* Upgrade]

One week until the USEA convention! Held down in sunny Ft Lauderdale, Florida, this year, you’ll find everything from educational clinics on show jumping course design, some holiday shopping opportunities, learn the best way to fall off from Danny Warrington, and attend lots of seminars on eventing safety and the future of the sport. A whirlwind long weekend indeed, and one you don’t want to miss out on! You can find the full schedule at this link. [USEA Convention 2016]

If you didn’t see the updated 2017 FEI rules yesterday, make sure you check them out today. As always, we highly recommend reading the entire thing yourself, just to catch any weird additions that might specifically affect you and your horses. [FEI Rule Changes for 2017]

Remember last week when George Morris actually picked a picture of a rider and said she had “the perfect position”? And how that person was a West Coast eventer? Kelsey Horn of Corvallis, Oregon, was just about as shell shocked as the rest of us, maybe even more so. Kelsey has been the head trainer at Inavale Farm for six years, and has evented through the two-star level. However, she started her journey riding western pleasure and english equitation on Morgan horses! COTH has the full story on this lucky girl. [Kelsey Horn: From Morgans to Morris]

Thursday Video: At home with the incredible Nick Skelton!

Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

 

Peanut! Photo by Krisie Southern.

Peanut! Photo by Krisie Southern.

The blackest of Friday’s to you all! And I mean that with love. You just have to check out the Black Friday deals we’ve rounded up for you, they’re positively ridiculous. All those things that you’ve been pining for all year from Horseware, SmartPak, Majyk Equipe, World Equestrian Brands and more! It’s a shameless shopping day, so let’s embrace it whole heartedly. [Black Friday Deals]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala Jockey Club CIC & CCI  [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Friday Notes:

Last week, Chicago eventer Shannon Riley tragically lost two of her horses to a freak accident after they escaped in the night. One of these horses was her upper level mount, Jag, who Shannon brought up the levels herself. Inspired by their love for Shannon, her friends and students have set up a Go Fund Me to help her find a new horse to accomplish her goals. If you’re interested in helping a fellow Eventer in this holiday season, please take a look. [Flowers from Ashes: Jag’s Legacy]

Next Level Eventing, home to Tamie Smith, Heather Morris, and Mackenna Shea, chose to give back to the community in a special way this Holiday season. The three held an essay contest for local United States Pony Clubs and riding schools in the area. Ramona Vincent Pony Club won the Grand Prize and received a collection of items that ranged from riding jackets to tack, and even clothing. NLE also decided to play host to schooling events to aid all local clubs on a fun and educational level. [Next Level Gives Back]

Newly minted 4* pair Ashley Johnson and Tactical Maneuver are ready to tackle Ocala CIC3*. Johnson admits that “Gucci” can be a lunatic at times, and it’s taken her seven years of partnership to get him to the 4* level, but he’s finally coming into his own. He’s been a tough horse to get along with at many times, and Ashley has worked incredibly hard to earn his trust. After Rolex this spring, he’s come out incredibly confident, and they took it easy this fall in preparation for this weekend. [COTH One To Watch: Ashley Johnson]

Hot on Horse Nation: Giving Thanks to the Horses That Made Me

SmartPak is offering 15% off all purchases, plus free shipping on orders over $75. Use coupon code GIFT2016. They will also have special doorbuster deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Click here to shop. PLUS SmartPak’s 25 Deals of Christmas started this week to bring you up to 50% savings on special products all through the holidays. Click here to sign up for the 25 Deals of Christmas and receive a new deal in your inbox each day.  

 

 

Thanksgiving Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Leo is thankful for donkey friends that live down the road. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Leo is thankful for donkey friends that live down the road. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all! I’ll be waking up early today to do the barn chores before immediately beginning a pie baking attack for all the gatherings that I have planned. I’m fortunate in that I have several groups of friends and family to visit on Thanksgiving, and it’s a great day to appreciate what we have in life, and also eat lots of stuffing. In addition, I discovered that the combination of apple pie with a cheddar crust is really what makes the world go ’round, and I’m planning on sharing that knowledge a few times over today.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala Jockey Club CIC & CCI  [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

Thanksgiving News:

Thanksgiving means family, and there aren’t many eventers that don’t have a family member of the canine variety. This year World Equestrian Brands is sponsoring a contest for EN’s Thanksgiving Top Dog! So when you’re in your turkey coma, wake up long enough to snap a great picture of your canine companion in his own stupor. [Thanksgiving Top Dog]

Oh my god it’s happened. George Morris has found the “perfect position” on a living human rider. And an eventer at that!! George was so impressed with the picture of this rider that he even called the COTH headquarters to sing her praises. It was eventer Kelsey Horn riding Swingtown to the win in the 4-year-old division of the U.S. Eventing Association’s Young Event Horse West Coast Championship who caught his eye. [Dear Kelsey: Life Goals Accomplished]

Veterinarian Charmian Wright is taking care of the horses at Standing Rock into her own hands. After hearing that some of the horses involved in the protests were getting injured, this vet from Park City, Utah, drove 900 miles to a camp in North Dakota to tend to the horses. She found that they were all very well cared for, and mended some small wounds while also teaching the owners about emergency care in case they need further help. [Vet Drives 900 Miles for Horses at Standing Rock]

Best of Blogs: The Young Horse Training Diary: Moji Meets the Master

An Evening with Carl Hester:

Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Photo via HorseSmart UK Facebook Page.

Photo via HorseSmart UK Facebook Page.

November in Virginia is a really confusing time. When I wake up, it’s dark, which is depressing, and then I go outside wearing 4-5 layers, a scarf and a fuzzy hat because it’s about 30 degrees outside and there is frost on the ground. By 9 a.m., I’m pulling off layers as I heat up riding, and by midday, it’s 70 degrees. I’m also done with my day around 5, because it’s basically already dark, and I have a weird amount of “free” time after that, which I’m not used to. Luckily, I also believe in going to bed early and I’m not ashamed to admit it. #seventhirtybedtimeandlovingit

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

Hey, just a friendly reminder that your USEF membership is expiring on November 30th! Yeah, I’ve been getting the emails too, and basically ignoring them probably until the 29th, but I thought I’d just throw it out there that you can renew super easily online. Don’t be a procrastinator like me. [USEF]

Are you going to the USEA Convention? The discounted room rate for the Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood Hotel has been extended through Friday, Nov. 18. [Discounted Room Rate]

The event next weekend at Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day is hoping’ with action. More than 40 companies ranging from artisanal food purveyors to luxury saddle makers have signed on to sell their wares in the bustling Vendor Village at the inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event on November 24-27, in Reddick, Florida. “With the event being held during Thanksgiving weekend, we wanted to provide a Vendor Village that would offer spectators a chance to bring their families to watch Olympic riders compete in the great sport of three-day eventing, as well as enjoy everything this spectacular venue has to offer,” Equiventures CEO Richard Trayford said. [Ocala Jockey Club International]

The Canadian Young Rider program is holding a live auction through November 19th to raise funds for aspiring riders. The BCYR program has produced international riders like Rebecca Howard, Hawley Bennett, Stephanie Rhodes Bosch and Danica Meyerhoff to name a few, and does an excellent job providing support and guidance to young riders of all ages. They have things like entries for Aspen Farms, Galway and Rebecca Farm, lessons with the aforementioned incredible riders, and awesome oil paintings. All items are offered at bidding prices well below market value, so make sure you check it out! [BCYR Live Auction]

Sharon White is hosting a three-part winter clinic series, including cross country, gymnastics and dressage days. Receive personalized instruction from four-star event rider, and one of our country’s best instructors, Sharon White. Riders of all levels, Intro to Advanced, are invited, and auditors welcome!  Private and group lessons available. You can even sign up online. [Blue Horse Entries]


 

Top 10 Tips for Perfect Clips

Daaaaaamnn that's a fine clip job. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Daaaaaamnn that’s a fine clip job. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Whether you’re tackling the task of clipping your wildebeest furry horse yourself this year, or hiring a professional, there are a few rules you should follow in order to maximize your opportunities to get a flawless clip job.

There are lots of different styles of clips for horses in varying places in their lives, and if you want to avoid having sweaty, dirt-filled monsters for the next few months, you’re about desperate to start clipping by now. I clip up to eight horses a week during the season, and I’ve developed a few hot tips over the years. Let’s start from the beginning.

1. Make sure your horse is squeaky clean and dry before you even think about clipping. 

None of this namby-pamby “sponge bath” stuff; I’m talking about getting out a scrub brush, a stiff curry comb and your fingernails for this job. Pay special attention to the knees, hocks, fetlocks and on top of the rump, as these are all places with really thick fur that hides dirt deep down at the bottom and is a nightmare to try to cut through if it’s yucky.

A thorough bathing is also a really good way to tell if you might have any trouble spots during the clip. If you can’t bathe your horse’s ears, chances are that you’re not going to be able to clip them that easily.

2. Take good care of your clippers, and read the instructions. 

Your clippers are expensive, and you should treat them with respect or they will mangle your horse. Know how often to oil them, use cooling spray and blade wash continually during the clip job, and always always take them apart and clean them thoroughly after every session.

I have two sets of clippers, the Lister Star Clippers with a medium blade, and the quieter and more maneuverable Andis AGC Super 2 Speed Clippers with the 2.4mm blades for the face and parts of the legs. It’s good to know what kind of clippers work for you, and even better to always have an extra pair of new blades in your bag.

3. Get yourself a super fashionable rain suit. 

Seriously, you’ll thank me later. There is almost nothing worse in the world than enduring horse hair that has stuck itself in your riding pants and down your shirt and won’t come out after several washes. Nobody here will judge you for your fashion. Let’s be real — we all walk around town in basically spandex pants, knee socks and clogs; a rain suit isn’t that far off.

4. Don’t EVER, ever apply chapstick prior to clipping a horse. 

Trust me on this one; you don’t want to find out the hard way.

Fresh cuts! This is the blanket clip, one of my favorites.

Fresh cuts! This is the blanket clip, one of my favorites.

5. Familiarize your horse and yourself with the horse’s reactions to the clippers before you dive in. 

If it’s your horse, you probably know if he’s ticklish or weird about touching his right hind or doesn’t like his eyeballs touched. If it’s somebody else’s horse, ask questions about their previous behavior during clipping and any facts you should know before buzzing away. Always introduce yourself to the horse, show them the clippers, and start at the shoulder and NOT the back leg.

6. Don’t be afraid of sedatives or twitches. 

Nobody deserves to have their head kicked in while trying to shear hair off a horse. That’s an incredibly lame way to get hurt, so don’t put yourself in that position. If you need to teach your horse about clippers, that needs to be done in a methodical way BEFORE you actually clip, and in a way that he starts to become comfortable with them and associate them with good feelings. Most show horses can be clipped completely free of drugs, and I clip my horses in the aisle untied while they fall asleep, but that’s not all horses.

The Humane Twitch is also a great thing to have in your clipping bag if you have a horse that’s good for almost everything, but not quite. Honestly, I don’t want to be crawling around under a horse’s hind legs if there’s a chance he might take offense and smash my head in, and neither do you.

7. Master your lines with a smooth fell swoop of the clippers. 

For any style except taking it all off, you’re gonna have to do some lines. The best way to do this is to do each one as a continuous motion, making sure that both the horse and the clippers hold steady as you slowly go along. Leg lines are best if they follow the bottom of the muscles, and stomach lines for a trace or blanket clip can be eyeballed or done with chalk. Compare your sides in both front and back to make sure they are at least close to even.

Most importantly, remember that you can always take more hair off, but you can never take less off.

Shanti looking stylish with her hunter clip. Photo by Erica Stevens, clip job by Kate.

Shanti looking stylish with her hunter clip. Photo by Erica Stevens. Clip job by Kate.

8. Never deal with lines again by refining your technique. 

Inevitably, you’ll pull back from your clipping to realize there are some weird parallel lines on the horse that just don’t look classy. I usually find that they appear on the mid-section, where all the hair grows in the same direction and we tend to buzz it like a typewriter.

First, make sure you aren’t just digging the corners of your clippers into their skin, because sometimes it’s just a raised lump. Then, come back over your lines from a slightly different angle that you originally did, using short swipes to eliminate any hair that is a millimeter higher. This also works well for the shoulders, where the hair can be lighter and there isn’t a lot of meat on the horse.

9. Pull your horse into the bright light and get a second opinion. 

When you’re finished with your clip, pull the horse out into the brightest light you can find and get a full 360-degree look at your work. If you can, snag a friend and ask them if they see anything weird. It always helps to have a second pair of eyes.

10. Polish your job off properly. 

Don’t just throw all your hairy stuff in a bag and leave your poor horse covered in shards of his own spiky hair! If you’re itchy, so is he.

If it’s warm enough, I like to give them a quick warm shower afterwards to get all the little tiny horrible itchy pieces off. Otherwise, I throw a dollop of Skin So Soft in a bucket of warm water and rub them vigorously with a towel all over the clipped parts. This removes hair, dirt, clipper oil and also moisturizes the skin a bit to prevent allergic reactions. Also, it makes them shiny and pretty, which is important.

I hope all of these tips help you become a master of clipping and bring you great satisfaction. If you are the creative type and you got mad skillz in the clipping department, send pictures to [email protected] to be featured in a collective about talented horse hair stylists!

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

This has nothing to do with anything, but it's amazing.

This has nothing to do with anything, but it’s amazing.

Oh man you guys, it’s officially one week from Thanksgiving, which I has to say is maybe my favorite holiday. Not only do I get to bake several pies for several different lunch/dinner parties, but I get to hang with my cousins and my aunts and uncles and cool people I don’t get to see the rest of the year. Also, every time Thanksgiving rolls around, I wonder to myself, why in the world don’t we eat turkey and stuffing more often? Like, shouldn’t this just be sandwich regulars?

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

Are you going to the USEA Convention? The discounted room rate for the Diplomat Resort & Spa Hollywood Hotel has been extended through Friday, Nov. 18. [Discounted Room Rate]

The Canadian Young Rider program is holding a live auction through November 19th to raise funds for aspiring riders. The BCYR program has produced international riders like Rebecca Howard, Hawley Bennett, Stephanie Rhodes Bosch and Danica Meyerhoff to name a few, and does an excellent job providing support and guidance to young riders of all ages. They have things like entries for Aspen Farms, Galway and Rebecca Farm, lessons with the aforementioned incredible riders, and awesome oil paintings. All items are offered at bidding prices well below market value, so make sure you check it out! [BCYR Live Auction]

Windurra is hosting a stadium schooling day for BN-P this Sunday. Looking to knock off the dust off after a few week’s downtime from eventing?  Do you have a young horse that needs more time schooling off your property or do you want to gather up your pony club kids and come over for a fun day of schooling? Make it a point to get there on Sunday. Cost is $25/round. [Windurra Schooling Day]

No-stirrup November is great and all, but it’s not helpful if you’re just flopping around and making your horse’s back sore. Instead, you can intentionally improve both your “dressage leg” and your “jumping leg with these handy exercises from Horse Nation’s Biz Stamm! [Hot on Horse Nation]

Best of Blogs: [Saying Goodbye, For Now]

 

There just isn’t enough Valegro to go around:

 

Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Jennie Brannigan enjoying some fall fox hunting! Photo by Ellie Glaccum Debenham.

Jennie Brannigan enjoying some fall fox hunting! Photo by Ellie Glaccum Debenham.

It may not be the highest priority right now, but perhaps it’s a good thing to take our minds off our political state in the U.S. Are you guys ready for the super moon on Monday night? It’s going to look bigger and brighter on Monday night than it has in over 70 years and won’t look this cool again until 2034, so maybe worth a peak outside. If you’re a real nerd like me, you can read about perigree-syzygy here.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Moon Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

What is the best way to find a trainer for yourself and your young event horse? Finding someone who matches your style, can communicate effectively and also knows how to ride a young horse and prepare them for the future can seem daunting. Stephanie Rhodes-Bosch, based in Purcellville, VA, has advice for any rider out there seeking to find a new trainer. [Finding the Right Trainer for You]

Shipping fever is one of those oft-forgotten things that strikes in the most horrible of places. Now that we ship our horses all over the country and the world with not much thought, what can you do to reduce the risks of travel stress, and what do you do when your horse’s immune system is weakened? [Shipping Fever: What To Know & How to Reduce Risk]

Making invisible horses visible was the key topic of discussion at the annual World Horse Welfare conference yesterday. “Visible” horses can be categorized as the usual sport horses that live more or less normal lives, while “invisible” horses are the ones that are hidden and dumped in a variety of places, and fly under the radar of organizations that mean to save them. England is much more active and strict on the topic of abuse and neglect than the US, and it is their mission to make it clear that while there are reasons for neglect, there are never any excuses. [World Horse Welfare]

Fitch’s Corner Horse Trials invites you to tour the Millbrook Firehouse on Friday, Nov. 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at 20 Front St. A special presentation and donation to the Millbrook Rescue Squad will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres from Gourmet to Go will be served. Families are welcome. Please RSVP to [email protected].

Hot on Horse Nation: 5 Things I Took For Granted at a Boarding Barn

2016 Book List Must-Read: Riding Home: The Power of Horses to Heal

LAST DAY for Blanket Blowout at SmartPak! Today is the very last day that you can get up to 35% off on almost 70 different best selling blankets for winter at SmartPak. If you haven’t already gone into your blanket supply and sussed out the ones that are ripped and maybe not waterproof anymore, now is the time. Make sure you donate your old blankets to a local rescue, and then treat yourself to some brand new ones at SmartPak. [Blanket Blowout]

My Cousin Vinny! (It’s a weird movie reference, y’all)

Product Review: Professional’s Choice Fly Sheet, Mask & Boots

Rescue horse "Val" is modeling her Professional's Choice Fly Sheet with Neck Cover, Fly Mask with Ears, and Fly Boots! Photo by Kate Samuels.

Rescue horse “Val” is modeling her Professional’s Choice Fly Sheet with Neck Cover, Fly Mask with Ears, and Fly Boots! Photo by Kate Samuels.

Even though it’s November, there are still a fair amount of annoying bugs in Virginia, and almost all of the horses are on day turnout, which means the sensitive types are still sporting their fly gear. I had the opportunity to try out some of the new Professional’s Choice Fly Gear on a warm fall day and was delighted to find that I quite liked the package of four items as an outfit.

Starting with the Fly Sheet, I should note that it is one of the most lightweight fly sheets I have ever held in my hands, and when I put it on the horse it was just like air. This is great, of course, as using them on horses when it’s over 80 degrees can result in some sweaty horses, which is unsanitary and unpleasant for the horse. You can see in the pictures how light the fly sheet it is, as it’s basically translucent, but it also boasts a polyester rip-stop technology that makes the mesh extremely tough and durable.

I was using a slight 15.2 hand Thoroughbred mare as my model, and she is wearing a 76 blanket, but you can see where it would happily host a slightly chunkier built horse through the shoulders and the hindquarters. This mare has really sensitive and finicky skin, and even though it was a little loose around her neckline, I was happy to see that the fabric is really soft inside and has a nylon lining on the chest to prevent rubs as well as fleece at the withers so you don’t get an unsightly bald patch in the mane.

The Professional's Choice Fly Sheet has a UV-protective nylon mesh with polyester rip-stop technology. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Professional’s Choice Fly Sheet has a UV-protective nylon mesh with polyester rip-stop technology. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The blanket has removable surcingle clips over the belly as well as leg straps, which means you can easily take them off to clean or adjust. It also has a generous shoulder shoulder gusset so that when your horse is tearing around the field (as this mare did when I turned her out!) they have the freedom to do all sorts of athletic maneuvers without feeling constricted or garnering any shoulder rubs.

Of course you’ll have to get the accompanying Neck Cover to go with the Fly Sheet, which attaches by way of clips around the base to the shoulder of the fly sheet. There is plenty of coverage and overlap between the two, so that when your horse reaches down to graze, there isn’t a strange gap between the blanket and the neck cover, nor does the neck cover pull back and reveal a good section of the horse’s upper neck.

The Fly Mask with Ears is incredibly soft around the top of the head, the ears, and the nose, but has rip-stop technology to stay durable. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Fly Mask with Ears is incredibly soft around the top of the head, the ears and the nose, but has rip-stop technology to stay durable. Photo by Kate Samuels.

While you’ve got the Fly Sheet and Neck Cover, you’ll probably want to go ahead and get the matching Fly Mask with Ears. This part of the outfit I really liked, because I’m somewhat of a fly mask connoisseur at this point, and I’m pretty picky. Made to match the sheet, it has the same tough wearing material but sports an incredibly soft mesh area around the top of the head and the ears. This soft, flexible and breathable area around the ears is great, as it doesn’t cause sweaty ears, but also it stops any weird rubs that could happen.

The Fly Mask also has strategically placed darts that keep the mask off the eyes with no obstruction of vision, as well as a hook and loop closure with really sturdy velcro under the jaw that keeps it in place for those horses that try to incessantly rub the mask off. Ahem, I know a few of these.

The Professional's Choice Fly Boots are lovely and soft and fluffy inside, but durable and adjustable outside. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Professional’s Choice Fly Boots are lovely and soft and fluffy inside, but durable and adjustable outside. Photo by Kate Samuels.

If you’ve got a real picky princess on your hands who can’t even stand flies touching his or her legs, Professional’s Choice has some great Fly Boots to really cover every inch. The boots are like all of the other pieces in that they are incredibly lightweight, but they are fully lined with fleece so even the silliest skin will not get chafed by wearing these for a few hours in the paddock.

The boots come in a pack of four and are contoured appropriately for front and hind legs, along with nylon binding and reinforced webbing that goes down the back to prevent the boot from sliding down the leg. Each boot has three adjustable hook and loop velcro straps for maximum customization.

I was interested to see if the fly boots held their position as I turned this horse out, and she proceeded to tear around the field for several minutes, leaping and bucking and rearing and striking. I went to check on her legs after a while, and not only were all the boots in a secure position, but her legs were not hot underneath either.

A great thing about any product from Professional’s Choice is that it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can be assured of the quality and fit of each product. The Fly Sheet retails for $123.95, the Neck Cover for $40.95, the Fly Mask with Ears for $22.95 and the set of four Fly Boots for $40.95. You can find all of these products online through Professional’s Choice or in a variety of retailers across the country.

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Photo courtesy of Diane McKay

Photo courtesy of Diane McKay

We love this photo submitted by Diane McKay, of J. Michael Plumb pulling a Heidi Klum for Halloween in an unintentional manner. On October 31st, he received a surprise from his students when they all showed up dressed exactly like him. The 11 members came wearing his signature ball cap, sunglasses and riding clothes. Mr. Plumb is a good sport and was all smiles! Picture left to right is: Shellie Sommerson, Mary Warlick, Kayleigh Wachter, Christy Gavin, Rachel King, J. Michael Plumb, Elle Dembosky, Hayley Smith, Colette Leber, Tammy Leber, Lynn McGugan, Rachel Jurgens, and Gunner the dog.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Moon Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

We are officially one month away from the 2016 Annual Meeting and Convention will take place December 7-11, 2016 at the Diplomat Spa and Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL. With William Fox-Pitt as the keynote speaker, a show jumping clinic with Richard Jeffries, and an emphasis on the adult amateur this year, it’s a convention you won’t want to miss. If you haven’t already booked your tickets and your hotel, hop to it! [USEA 2016 Convention]

Are you ready for these incredible horses that are already winning “Movember”? A few weeks ago I saw that Horse & Hound sent out a plea for photos of horses with amazing mustaches, and let’s just say I wasn’t disappointed. I have one that usually sports a rather bushy schnoz, but I had just clipped it all off! [Horse Mustache Envy Commence]

Retiring a sport horse can be a tricky thing, as you can’t just throw him/her out in the giant field and walk away. Horses don’t know about retirement, and if they’ve had a job for a long time, they don’t particularly enjoy being ignored suddenly, or adjust to the life of a field pony right away. If you’ve got a horse that is approaching retirement age, or plan on keeping your horse until the end of his days, organizing his retirement is an important step for both of your futures. [Retiring a Show Horse]

Best of Blogs: Two Very Different Racehorses

Hot on Horse Nation: An Open Letter to My Barn Friends

 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Erin Freedman knows how pony snuggles work. Photo courtesy of Erin.

Erin Freedman knows how pony snuggles work. Photo courtesy of Erin.

Yesterday two new horses arrived at the farm where I work, which is a pretty exciting feeling. I’m lucky in that my job with the Equine Welfare Society helps me fulfill that desire to have new and exciting projects to work with on a pretty regular basis. The idea is that we give each horse six months to a year of good care, management and training before releasing them for adoption and hopefully finding a perfect match. After one horse leaves, we can open a spot for a new one, and select something from other local rescues that could benefit from the same approach. It’s always very satisfying watching new ones come in and seeing how they change over the months and blossom into different animals. Plus, this way I don’t buy too many for myself :)

Adelaide Links: WebsiteEntriesFEI TV

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

Galway Downs CCI &  H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

 News From Around the Globe:

How ’bout them Event Evaluation forms…do they really matter? Short answer: yes. If you compete anywhere next year, take a few minutes to fill out an event evaluation form, even if it is to point out just a few positive things or some areas where you would like to see improvement. Each form is submitted to your Area Chair as well as the Event Organizer, and helps immensely as competitions try to perform to their best ability every year and put on a great show. [Event Evaluation Forms]

With temperature drops at night, we’re all tempted to pull out heavier blankets, mostly because we feel cold as humans. However, it’s always important to consider a variety of factors before you start piling on the layers. Of course, clipped or unclipped is a big part, but also remember that horses are comfortable in a different temperature range than people. Also, if your horse is out at night, munching on grass keeps them warmer than standing still in a dirt lot. [9 Things to Consider Before Blanketing]

Did you see the Fantasy Farm Thursday on Horse Nation this week? Just a little country estate in Holland that has an indoor, twenty stalls, a solarium, turnouts, an outdoor arena, and also a house to hold humans. A European starter kit, so to speak. [Fantasy Farm Thursday]

Tis the season to spoil yourself  invest in a new set of clippers. I just made the upgrade to these Lister Star Clippers, and holy moly do I love them. Is it normal to love clippers this much? They’re really lightweight but have great power to cut through thick, wet, or even slightly less than clean hair. They aren’t as loud as some of their heavy duty counterparts, and they’re well balanced in your hand so you don’t get arm weary after an hour or more of clipping. Hearts in my eyes. Totally worth it. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

The right way to clip. Photo by Rachel McDonough.

The right way to clip. Photo via Rachel McDonough.

Clipping season is upon us, and I’m all about it. I clip like a machine, and I’ve got 8 horses to clip this week alone alongside my regular work! Some people really can’t stand clipping, and others, like me, just plug in an audiobook and go at it. I actually enjoy the process, because it’s like an adult coloring book. You make the lines and then color inside and don’t miss any spots, easy! And then you go home and aggressively shower because every orifice is filled with hair of all colors. But otherwise its’ great! Different strokes for different folks, they say.

In other news, the final CCI4* of the year is this weekend in Australia! Dressage will steam live tonight on FEI TV at 11 p.m. EST.

Adelaide Links: WebsiteEntriesFEI TV

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

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

Galway Downs CCI &  H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

 News From Around the Globe:

The 2016 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention is right around the corner! This year’s Convention will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. December 7-11 at the Diplomat Resort and Spa. Convention is a celebration of the sport, where eventing enthusiasts from across the country gather to discuss, learn and have a great time with other eventers. This year boasts countless educational seminars and forums such as a discussion of the 2017 4* test with Marilyn Payne, discussions on increasing helmet safety internationally, a seminar on managing equine degenerative joint disease and more. You can see the full schedule HERE.

What becomes of  horse girl when she is horseless? COTH staff writer Molly Sorge is exploring this new territory, as she unexpectedly finds herself without a horse after crafting a life around them. When marriage, work, motherhood and horses combine, and a few unfortunate incidences with a hot OTTB with a bone chip, sometimes the horse side of life loses out temporarily. [Amateurs Like Us]

Read it Again: 5 Ways to Participate in No Stirrup November Without Creating Sore Back December

How do humans know if they are creating happiness for their horses? Kirrilly Thompson, a cultural anthropologist with the Appleton Institute for Behavioural Science at Central Queensland University, discussed equine welfare with delegates at the First International Conference on Human Behaviour Change for Animal Welfare held recently in England. She raised the issue of people assigning human-like characteristics to animals, known as anthropomorphism, and how this could affect horse welfare in both positive and negative ways. What sorts of things do we do with our horses to make them happy, and how do we know that it is working? [Being Cruel or Being Kind?]

That’s a Wrap: Sunday Afternoon Social Media Roundup

Two thumbs up for Jenni Autry, finishing on her dressage score for 4th place in the OBN. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Two thumbs up for Jenni Autry, finishing on her dressage score with OTTB Miss She Gone for 4th place in the OBN. Photo by Kate Samuels.

For a lot of eventers on the East Coast, the Virginia Horse Trials marks the end of the calendar year of competing, and the beginning of “vacation” for a lot of horses. With the Area II Championships running in addition to regular horse trials and several FEI divisions, it was the culmination of a year’s hard work for many pairs. There was lovely warm weather all weekend, beautiful views of the blue ridge mountains in the background, and action in every corner. Let’s see what happened on social media today …

Virginia Horse Trials Final Results


 

Kim Severson didn’t give anybody else a fighting chance, leading the CCI* on Ringfort Fighting Chance from start to finish on a 40.6 for this young horse’s first attempt at the level.

Conquer looking beautiful after dressage. Photo by Andi Lawrence.

Conquer looking beautiful after dressage. Photo by Andi Lawrence.


 

The best thing about adult team championships?? Neck ribbons!!!

Photo courtesy of Hillary Irwin.

Photo courtesy of Hillary Irwin.


 

Buck and Andrea weren’t at VAHT but I can’t NOT include this photo of them dressing up for halloween with their adorable daughter. Buck is a lion tamer!

Photo courtesyy of Andrea Leatherman Davidson.

Photo courtesy of Andrea Leatherman Davidson.


 

Jennie Brannigan knows how to take a selfie with a winning student! Sydney Raabe led the Preliminary Rider division from dressage straight through on Filou.

Photo courtesy of Jennie Brannigan.

Photo courtesy of Jennie Brannigan.


 

Official save of the day goes to Amy Gaynor who saved this one and made it through the finish flags with a double clear in the Novice Championship division on Studly Dudley.

Photo courtesy of Amy Gaynor.

Photo courtesy of Amy Gaynor.


 

Schramm Eventing super groom Stephanie Simpson finished 7th in her Preliminary division but got a pretty swanky neck ribbon for finishing 2nd with her adult team challenge.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Simpson.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Simpson.


 

 

Doug Payne also gets an honorable mention for his halloween costume while riding in the jumpers at Tryon this weekend, he dressed up as Bill Belicheck and his horse as Tom Brady.

Photo courtesy of Jessica Payne

Photo courtesy of Jessica Payne


Local vet extraordinaire Tiffany Snell finished 8th in the Novice Championship with her own Firebee as well as 4th in the Beginner Novice with her young horse Thunder In Saratoga.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany Snell.

Photo courtesy of Tiffany Snell.

 

Social Media Roundup from Virginia Horse Trials

That time the EN team took a group photo in real life and DIDN'T INVITE ME. Photo courtesy of Leslie Threlkeld.

That time the EN team took a group photo in real life and DIDN’T INVITE ME. Photo courtesy of Leslie Threlkeld.

The Virgina Horse Trials is well underway, having started earlier this week and continuing through the weekend. It’s a huge event, with everything from Beginner Novice all the way through CCI2*, as well as hosting the Area II Championships alongside the regular horse trials. Eventing Nation crew is in full effect, with Leslie T working for the organizing committee, and Jenni and Wylie competing. I’m there in a coaching/photo stalking capacity, and word on the street is that an elusive “John” type person can be spotted lurking around in unlikely areas. Ten points for Gryffindor if you can get a selfie with him before the weekend is over!

Virginia CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]


 

Marilyn Payne was a dressage judge at the Olympics but this weekend she’s just another competitor in the Beginner Novice…and also volunteered as a dressage steward at VAHT. Very cool, Marilyn!

Photo by Jennie Brannigan.

Photo by Jennie Brannigan.


 

Nobody recognized Jenni this weekend because she was dressed as a competitor for Halloween weekend. A great double clear in show jumping moved them up to fourth place in the OBN.

Photo by Kate Samuels.

Photo by Kate Samuels.


 

Halloween weekend with a competition is always entertaining, and I’m desperately hoping that they’ll be some festive costumes to be found tomorrow (even though it’s a day early). Hannah Sue’s dog Jackson has his costume all worked out.

Photo by Hannah Sue.

Photo by Hannah Sue.


 

Speaking of costumes…even some of the vendors have gotten into the spirit…

Photo by Kate Samuels.

Photo by Kate Samuels.


 

Boyd Martin named his horse after Kate Chadderton’s. They’re both riding mares named Contessa in the CCI*. Do you think they could do a pairs class in the event?

Photo courtesy of Kate Chadderton.

Photo courtesy of Kate Chadderton.


 

Arianna Freeman is riding In A Trance in the CCI* B Division, which makes this his 13th FEI start at the ripe young age of 18. They’re in 5th place after cross country!

Photo courtesy of Skyeler Icke Voss.

Photo courtesy of Skyeler Icke Voss.


 

Anybody who has ever grazed a horse at the Virginia Horse Center knows this struggle…

Photo by Kelsey Briggs.

Photo by Kelsey Briggs.

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Missy Miller & Limited Edition at the VAHT jogs yesterday. Photo courtesy of the VAHT Fb Page.

Missy Miller & Limited Edition at the VAHT jogs yesterday. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld, courtesy of the VAHT Facebook Page.

The Virginia Horse Trials will forever be my “hometown” event, even though I live over the mountain from the Horse Center. The Virginia Horse Center is where I did my very first unrecognized eventing competitions as a wee child on a variety of naughty ponies, and where I really learned the passion for cross country. I grew up riding on the kind of terrain you find at this event, so I always thought, what’s the big deal? And then I grew up and started riding at events where mountains aren’t included in your course, and realized why other people find it so daunting. The terrain at VAHT is part of the glory though, and it will always remain one of my favorite rollercoaster rides to partake in.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Viriginia CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

Holly Hill Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe:

We live and breathe the half halt in Eventing, on a number of levels, however it’s not something that an OTTB is familiar with immediately. Without the half halt, you basically can’t do anything in any of the phases, so it’s important to introduce it and explain it properly to your little ex-racehorse. Upper level rider Whitney Weston operates Southern Pines Riding School in addition to helping many OTTBs find second careers, and speaks about how she integrates understanding of the half halt into her training system. [Introducing the Half Halt to Your OTTB]

Alice Dunsdon’s four-star partner Fernhill Present is recovering from an emergency surgery following an unlikely accident while out fox hunting this week. Hilly and Alice were out hunting when he slipped going through a gate and his hind end went into a ditch. He had only a small cut on his hind fetlock, but it turned out to have gone right into the joint and caused an infection. Quick action and surgery has assured Hilly a good recovery, and more four stars in his future. This pair has completed five of the world’s six four stars together. [Popular 4* Horse Recovering from Surgery]

Are you ready for the winter months? EN blogger Emily Daignault-Salvaggio gave us all a comprehensive guide of things to get done before the snow and ice set upon us for months to come. Seriously, its a list to end all lists, so grab some tea and have a seat. [Ultimate Guide To Winter Preparedness]

Hot on Horse Nation: 10 Horses Sticky Like Velcro

You know how those little details in a barn make a big difference but you wouldn’t notice until you have them? This Safe-T Salt Block Holder is one of those things that you don’t know you love until you have it in your barn. The barn where I work got them for all the stalls and I just can’t tell you how cool they are. Plastic with a solid backing, they don’t rot your walls with salty saliva goo, they don’t rust like the regular holders do, and they’re sleek and handsome when you mount them on the wall. When you have an aggressive salt licker, the salt doesn’t disintegrate and fall on the floor because this little beauty holds it all in. You gotta get you some. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

Throwing it back six years….

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Sometimes you gotta get REAL creative to reach that green grass. Photo by Tylir Penton.

Sometimes you gotta get REAL creative to reach that green grass. Photo by Tylir Penton.

Clipping season has me driving home at 2pm on a weekday and looking in the mirror to find that I am, in fact, sporting a beard. Having just body clipped two horses in a row yesterday in record time of 3 hours total (I am a speed demon) I found that while the chestnut made me sneezy, the dark bay made me look like I was one of Sleeping Beauty’s seven dwarfs. Not only did I have hair coming out of my ears, but I had a shockingly realistic looking pair of sideburns and a nice beard line right on my jaw. Just in time for halloween??

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Viriginia CCI/CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

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

Holly Hill Fall H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe:

The Virginia Horse Trials is expecting record breaking entries for the fall show this weekend – Oct 27-30, 2016- and they need a lot of volunteers! You can sign up really easily online with the new Eventing Volunteers website, which is now available for select competitions in the area. Remember you can also earn $20 per day if you work 4 hrs or more toward your designated non-profit organization! Get your group to come volunteer and it can be a great fundraiser! [Volunteer at VAHT]

Stop what you’re doing and check out the Washington International Horse Show’s silent auction. Happening all this week and weekend in our nation’s capitol, the WIHS silent auction is straight out of control. I can’t afford a single piece, but it’s still fun to dream, right? From an unlimited shopping spree at Tailored Sportsman to tickets to Saturday Night Live, all the way to a week in Paris in a beautiful apartment in the Latin Quarter, I swoon. [WIHS Silent Auction]

Do you know an outstanding owner or groom in the sport of Eventing who deserves an award? You can nominate either (or both!) here on the PRO website for the As You Like It Owner’s Award and/or the Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award. The As You Like It Owner’s Award is offered annually to an outstanding owner who has had a large influence on a rider’s career and made an exceptional contribution to the sport. The Liz Cochran Memorial Groom’s Award is also awarded annually to an outstanding groom of a PRO professional who has had a large influence on a rider’s career and the health and well being of the horses under their care. BOTH winners of each award receive $5,000 in addition to other prizes. Nominate your people today!! [Nominate Owners and Grooms for PRO Awards]

Hot on Horse Nation: 10 Reasons Having Horses is Like an Election Year (But Better)

Lots of people are trying to find answers to the controversy surrounding the Eventing blood rule. This blogger takes on an approach to understanding how each equestrian sport within the FEI deals with blood in their own way, and shows that maybe some more inter-sport collaboration is the way towards better horse welfare and fairness within the legal system. [One Way to Clean Up the Mess with Blood in Eventing]

KER ClockIt™ Session of the Week

This week’s KER ClockIt™ Sport session demonstrates the effectiveness of using hills to improve a horse’s fitness. Looking at the graph below, you will see a horse jogging for twenty minutes up hills.

unnamed-5

As you can see, the rider hardly increases speed yet the horse’s heart rate increases each time it goes up a hill. By using a hill, riders can easily raise their horse’s heart rate into a higher conditioning zone without the need for extreme speed.

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 35m/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.

To see a detailed report like the one above, go to the KER ClockIt website and log in to your account. Once you are signed in, you can view your detailed sessions under the “Sessions” tab.

Don’t forget to share your ClockIt sessions for a chance to win the KER and Eventing Nation Show Us Your Sessions Sweepstakes. Between now and tomorrow (October 28), use the GPS on your KER ClockIt Sport app to draw or write something fun and submit your sessions for chances to win.

unnamed-6

Product Review: Professional’s Choice Pro Performance XC Boots & Deluxe Overreach Boots

The Pro Performance boot series includes these cross country boots and overreach boots which are lightweight but very durable and protective. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Pro Performance boot series includes these cross country boots and overreach boots which are lightweight but very durable and protective. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The market for cross country boots has become very competitive in the past few years, as riders are demanding better protection for their prized partners, and Professional’s Choice has responded with leg care that is backed by research. If I’m buying a boot, I want to meet a certain level of quality and function while not breaking the bank. The Pro Performance XC Boot and the Deluxe Overreach Boot are a really solid combination that fulfills a lot of the criteria for ideal leg protection while competing or schooling at any level.

First of all, the boots are incredibly lightweight and breathable, which is advantageous for your horse in a number of ways. Not only do you not have to worry about weighing down his legs with cumbersome leg shackles while attempting to clear important jumps, but you can also rest easy when wearing the boots for a long time, as they do not significantly heat up the leg.

In general, we are trying to avoid making a toasty environment for tendons, especially during exercise, and having worn these on several horses during an Indian summer week, I can say that they are significantly more breathable than your average galloping boot.

The rip-stop material of the Pro Performance XC Boots means that they're lightweight and don't hold water while you're riding. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The rip-stop material of the Pro Performance XC Boots means that they’re lightweight and don’t hold water while you’re riding. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The inside of the boot is soft to the touch, and yet has a non-slip lining that helps to keep the boot from rotating or slipping down while on cross country. I wore the boots through rivers and on long hacks, as well as cross country schooling and even took them to a competition. I found no signs of slipping any which way after usage in a variety of situations. This was particularly impressive as I used them on a horse who has an irregularly shaped leg due to an enormous old splint, and his boot usually gets wonky on that one leg.

The Pro Performance XC Boot also features a revolutionary strike guard made from high quality Pebax in both front and hind boots.  Pebax is a high end thermoplastic elastomer that is flexible  and conforms to the shape of the leg, but is hard and rigid upon impact. There is a flexible yet protective strike guard that surrounds the back of the front tendons on the front boots, and the front and inside of the hind boots. It is easy to fit them to each horse, and works for differently shaped legs well.

The non-slip lining of the Pro Performance XC Boots prevents slipping but also stops any rubs. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The non-slip lining of the Pro Performance XC Boots prevents slipping but also stops any rubs. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The outer material of the Pro Performance XC Boots is a layer of Pro Performance TPU material that works to keep the boot durable through heavy use, yet lightweight and breathable. You can see the honeycomb design in the pictures, and while it might look soft and lovely, it is very hard wearing and does not tear when scraped across a log (I unintentionally tried this).

This serves as abrasion protection, but also protection for your investment in the boots, as you won’t need to replace them if you have a scrappy moment on cross country.

Professional’s Choice Overreach Boots have long been lauded as the cream of the crop for protecting horses that tend to overreach or pull shoes, and now they’ve added a reinforced Pro Mesh strike area to the new Deluxe series.

These boots have all the same features as you are accustomed to receiving including a durable ballistic binding around the base of the boot to improve durability, and the soft padded roll around the top that prevents rubbing and provides comfort. The classic no-turn knob inside the boot tucks nicely into the heel of the horse and keeps the boot in position no matter how much they run and jump.

The Deluxe Overreach Boot features a newly added reinforced strike area made of ripstop Pro Mesh material for extra protection. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Deluxe Overreach Boot features a newly added reinforced strike area made of ripstop Pro Mesh material for extra protection. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Deluxe Overreach Boots are also incredibly lightweight, but almost indestructible. This makes them ideal not only for using while schooling and competing, but for turnout with horses that have a tendency to pull shoes or whack themselves. You can rest easy while leaving your darling in the paddock for the night while wearing these overreach boots.

Professional’s Choice makes a concerted effort to provide you with high quality products backed by research that won’t break the bank, and these two products are no different. The Pro Performance XC Boots retail separately front and hind for $82.95 and $92.95, respectively. You can get them in either black or white, to suit your cross country colors or just your taste.

The Deluxe Overreach Boots retail for $35.95. All of the boots you find at Professional’s Choice come with a 30-day Money Back Guarantee as well as a 6-month warranty, which is a great value, and offers you protection in your purchase.

Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Lost twins? Photo created by Suzanne Konefal.

Lost twins? Photo created by Suzanne Konefal.

Sometimes the internet (or in this case, Facebook friends) give you something that’s just too good to be true. Last weekend, it was this photo created by the hilarious Suzanne Konefal, who is friends with Will Faudree so she’s allowed to poke fun. But seriously, Will, we appreciated your jog outfit for Fair Hill, but we can’t resist posting this side by side comparison with your long lost twin, Mr. Rogers. I’m dying.

Le Lion d’Angers Links: Website6YO Order of Go7YO Order of Go6YO Live Scores7YO Live Scores,EN’s Coverage

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Waredaca H.T. & C3D [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

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

Pine Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

Midsouth CCI & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Are you getting ready for your first FEI, N3D or T3D event, or did you just complete one? You can submit a story about your journey and preparation for said event to Athletux to win $500 from CWD or Athletux swag gift bags! Riders of all ages are welcome to enter the contest, and write a short essay about your horse and your experience at the event. Submit your story before November 11th, and you are entered to win. [Athletux Contest]

Tik Maynard is slated to take two horses to the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover at the end of October with plans to enter horses in the eventing and freestyle categories. In preparation, he has taught his off-the-track Thoroughbreds how to jump, and he shared his strategy for teaching horses to jump with this USEA blog. [Teaching a Horse to Jump]

With the Oktoberfest event in the rear view, Stable View is still cooking through the winter months with events for you to enjoy. Through November and December, Stable View will be hosting Jumper, Dressage and Hunter Trial competitions for all levels of competitors. Their schedule for 2017 is also rapidly filling up, so if you’re looking to compete at this venue in the future, be sure to check out their calendar of upcoming events. [Stable View 2016/2017 Schedule]

Naming a horse sometime soon? I constantly have to come up with names for new horses that come into the organization where I work, and sometimes the name is just too fitting, and sometimes you can barely come up with anything that doesn’t sound absurd. Luckily, Horse Nation has published an infographic on some research that shows the most popular horse names in the UK for all types and sizes. [UK’s Most Popular Horse Names]

If you’re outfitting your barn, or even updating an old barn, don’t miss this puppy for your wash rack. The Swing Out Wash Rack Arm is basically the greatest thing for bathing horses since, well, soap. How many times have you had your horse step on the hose with one foot only to remove that and put another foot on the hose again? I spent too much time rolling up hoses, and trying to save my nozzles from stampeding feet. This handy wall mount saves you from all that trouble. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

https://youtu.be/PcGEn8vJmcY

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Pony with child! Photo by Erica Stevens.

Pony with child! Photo by Erica Stevens.

Yesterday I got to live out every little girls dream, only on the other side of the equation. I work for an organization that gives professional training to unwanted horses, and adopts them out with skills and experience in order to succeed in a new life, and yesterday we found the perfect home for one of my favorites, a mare named Chai Tea.

Chai claimed a young girl as her own, and we brought her early yesterday morning to her barn in a collaborative surprise with her mom and her trainer. I googled how to make a bow on YouTube and crafted a giant sparkly red neck ribbon for the mare, and we tucked her away in the stall for the girl’s arrival. Chai is her first pony, and the look on her face was priceless! So much fun to bring pony happiness to others!

Le Lion d’Angers Links: Website6YO Order of Go7YO Order of Go6YO Live Scores7YO Live Scores,EN’s Coverage

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Waredaca H.T. & C3D [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

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

Pine Hill H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

Midsouth CCI & H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Judith McSwain’s beautiful grey mare Fleecework’s Royal is competing at Le Lion, and Judith is blogging about the whole experience! From West Coast 4 & 5 year old champion young horse all the way to France, the journey with Rory has been nothing if not exciting and exhilarating. With Tamie Smith at the helm, the mare finished 14th this spring at Jersey CCI2* in preparation for Le Lion, the biggest test she’ll see yet. [The Race to Le Lion]

Ever had to take a break from riding because “real life” got in the way? Adult amateur contributor to Horse Nation Meagan DeLisle outlines the perfect “how to” route to get back in the tack based on her own (entertaining) experience. [How To Bake a Humble Pie: An Adult Amateur’s Return to the Saddle]

I think we can go ahead and say that team chasing is a major reason why the Brits kick our butt. How come we don’t have a sport in the US like this?? Oh right. We like safety and liability waivers. But Horse & Hound has gathered together a bunch of photos from team chasing that will make you either insanely jealous or possibly a bit queasy, you decide. [Hold On Tight!]

Have you ever been curious about all the high tech equine rehab therapies offered today? From hyperbaric chambers to ceramic blankets, how do all the different therapies work to help your horse recover from an injury or just feel better after a workout? The Horse has your answers. [Equine Rehab Therapies]

KER Service of the Week – The Weekly Feed Newsletter

Feeding and managing horses can be tricky. The experts at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) are here to help guide you through the process with Equinews.com, a reference site for all of your horse feeding and management questions. The site is updated daily and contains the latest in equine nutrition and horse health news.

You can also get the latest in equine nutrition, health, and management delivered straight to your inbox every week with KER’s award-winning newsletter, The Weekly FeedSee an example issue and subscribe today.

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Friday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Cross says, "When do I get to do the fun stuff already?" Photo by Andi Lawrence.

Cross says, “When do I get to do the fun stuff already?” Photo by Andi Lawrence.

October is the month where it’s suddenly 40 degrees at night (read: blankets for horses and a sweater/vest/jacket combo with a chance of scarf for humans) and then about 70-80 during the day, which changes more than a few things about daily life at the barn. First, the back seat of my car becomes something like a rummage bin for discarded clothes that become too hot as the day wears on. Second, the barn aisle is suddenly way more crowded, because the blankets have been brought out from storage. Third, I pull out my oh-so-attractive rain suit and start clipping horses! That’s not an ironic exclamation point, I actually like clipping. I listen to Harry Potter on audiobook and clip clip clip away!

Pau Links: WebsiteRide TimesLive Scores

U.S. Weekend Preview:

#DuttaFHI: WebsiteEntriesDraw OrderRide TimesLive ScoresYEH ScoresEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

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

Ocala Fall Event H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Following up on yesterday’s link to Part 1 of Taylor Flury’s COTH blog, we bring you Part 2 of “Three Lessons for Young Horses”. Part 1 was “Teaching Them to Think”, which is the basis for all good partnerships, and Part 2 is “Teaching Them To Love”, which is equally and undeniably important in the upbringing of a young horse. I really enjoyed this series on how to intentionally craft the mind and body of an athlete that will bring you years of happiness and success. [Three Lessons for Young Horses: Part 2]

Ever since the FEI started demanding microchips for passports for upper level horses, it was only a matter of time before other national federations followed suit for registration. Microchipping horses not only is an easy way to keep track of points and ownership, but it helps in situations between veterinarians, breeders, and in the unfortunate case of neglect, abuse, or theft. Beginning in December of 2017, all horses registered with the USEF must be microchipped, and the Jockey Club has also announced that in 2017 they are switching to microchips for Thoroughbred registration. [The New Reality: Microchipping Horses]

The Virginia Horse Trials is running in two weeks, and they need able bodied volunteers! Not only is VAHT a great place to volunteer and watch incredible horses in action through the CCI2* level, you earn $20 a day if you work four hours or more towards your favorite non profit! You can sign up really easily through Eventing Volunteers online. [Volunteer on Halloween]

Hot on Horse Nation: How To Train Your Horse Show Spouse

Honorable HN Mention: Best of Craigslist, Volume 48

Time to update your winter wardrobe for the upcoming months in the barn. I was perusing SmartPak the other day, just thinking about how some of my hardy winter clothes for the barn have entered the death zone, and I fell in love with this Ariat Ideal Tiro Vest. The cut is so flattering, and with Ariat you know it’s good quality, and I love wearing a vest underneath a bigger jacket for some extra core warmth that doesn’t overheat you when you get going on a horse. This is a must buy! [SmartPak Product of the Day]

 

Thursday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Chris Talley and OTTB Unmarked Bills at their first CCI2* (slash walking on the runway). Photo via Chris.

Chris Talley and OTTB Unmarked Bills at their first CCI2* (slash walking on the runway). Photo via Chris.

Ah, the terrifying underground tube of death (as my horse likes to call it) of Fair Hill International. Big events usually have something classic about them that only the riders can truly appreciate, and for Fair Hill, it’s the metal tube that goes under the road between stabling and the competition side of the property. It’s just tall enough for you to be vaguely uncomfortable if you’re riding a tallish horse, and if you’re riding a spooky one, good luck. It’s also always filled with mud by the end of the weekend, because the other thing that’s classically Fair Hill is RAIN and lots of it. Good luck competitors!

Don’t forget that Pau CCI4* is running this weekend, too! Boyd Martin is our sole U.S. rider, competing both Lucy Boynton Lie’s Crackerjack and Welcome Shadow, owned by Craig and Gloria Callen. We’ll be posting reports from Pau, along with quotes from Boyd and photos from Libby Law Photography.

Pau Links: Website, Ride Times, Live Scores

U.S. Weekend Preview:

#DuttaFHI: WebsiteEntriesDraw OrderRide TimesLive ScoresYEH ScoresEN’s CoverageTwitterInstagram

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

Ocala Fall Event H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Crafting a thoughtful, willing and generous partner out of raw material with a young horse is a special talent. COTH blogger Taylor Flury has a few thoughts on how to intentionally train characteristics for success in a riding horse, and number one on the list is how to teach them to think. But how do you go about teaching a horse to contemplate their actions, and not be reactive or unintentionally dangerous? Read more for great advice. [Three Lessons for Young Horses]

Wait, did you catch the Fair Hill course preview? If you didn’t, click here!

Best of Blogs: More Than A Riding Arena

Let’s be real, non-horsey significant others put up with a lot. They come into the relationship thinking it will be just another hobby or passion, but little do they know it’s completely all consuming. There are just some things they should probably know right out the gate, before they get surprised…[9 Things Your Non-Horsey Other Half Needs to Know]

KER Product of the Week – EO•3™ Strengthens Equine Immune Function

EO•3™ is a palatable marine oil rich in omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, compounds found to support the well-being of all horses, regardless of age or use. Choose EO•3 to boost your horse’s immune function and strengthen his overall well-being. Other benefits of DHA- and EPA-mediated inflammatory response include reduction in joint inflammation, allergic reactivity, and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and pulmonary hemorrhage.

EO•3 is the most potent, effective source of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids available. Analysis has shown that EO•3 has the highest percentage of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids as well as the highest ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids when compared to other commonly fed oils.

During the month of October, save 15% on the KERx senior collection, including EO•3, with code SENIOR16. Shop online or find a store near you!

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