Classic Eventing Nation

What’s Happening This Winter? EN’s Guide to Clinics, Lessons & Shows [Updated 12/16]

Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

What’s Happening is EN’s guide to lessons, clinics, schooling shows and other riding and educational opportunities during the winter. It’s free to post a listing. Just email the date, location, contact information and any other details to [email protected]. (Note: This is a list generated solely from submissions. If no one sends us the details of your event, it won’t be included.)

Location Quick Links:Area I | Area II | Area III | Area V | Area VI | Area VIII | Canada

Area I

January 6-7: World Class Grooming Clinic with Emma Ford
Oakendale Farm, Harwinton CT, [email protected]8609444460. Click here for more information.

Area II

 December 15: Ride with Sally Cousins
Elevation Dressage and Eventing, Union Bridge, MD. Contact Sally, [email protected].
December 16: Ride with Sally Cousins
Oldfields School, Glencoe Sparks, MD. Contact Sally, [email protected].
December 17: Ride with Sally Cousins
Kealani Farm, West Grove, PA. Contact Sally, [email protected].
December 27-30: Clinic with Tik Maynard and Sinead Halpin
Winter Camp at The Fork Farm (Norwood, NC). Read this article to get a glimpse of what a camp with them is like. Contact: Lauren DeLalla @ 540-247-9053 or email: [email protected]. Click here for more information.
January 6: Ride with Sally Cousins
Kealani Farm, West Grove, PA. Contact Sally, [email protected].
January 7: Ride with Sally Cousins
Bit of Woods Farm in Hainesport, NJ. Contact Megan, [email protected].
January 20-21: Clinic with Kate Chadderton. 
Sunset Hill Farm, Woodbine, MD. For more info and clinic details contact: Amy Gaynor,  ASAP while spaces are available! $95 per rider. More dates available.  Sign up for three clinic days & get free coaching at a USEA Area 2 event (a $100 value)!
January 20: Ride with Sally Cousins
Kealani Farm, West Grove, PA. Contact Sally, [email protected].
January 21: Ride with Sally Cousins
Horse Park of New Jersey, Stone Tavern, NJ. Contact Sally, [email protected].
February 3-4: Clinic with Kate Chadderton. 
Sunset Hill Farm, Woodbine, MD. For more info and clinic details contact: Amy Gaynor,  ASAP while spaces are available! $95 per rider. More dates available.  Sign up for three clinic days & get free coaching at a USEA Area 2 event (a $100 value)!
February 11: Ride with Sally Cousins
Horse Park of New Jersey, Stone Tavern, NJ. Contact Sally, [email protected].
February 17-18: Clinic with Kate Chadderton. 
Sunset Hill Farm, Woodbine, MD. For more info and clinic details contact: Amy Gaynor,  ASAP while spaces are available! $95 per rider. More dates available.  Sign up for three clinic days & get free coaching at a USEA Area 2 event (a $100 value)!
March 10-11, 2018: MDHT Cross Derby
Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown, MD: Get a jump start on the competition season with the MDHT Cross Derby on all-weather footing. Levels from Preliminary to Elementary, obstacles to include ditches, banks and water as appropriate for the level. This is a popular event so plan to sign up early!  More information will be available at www.themarylandhorsetrials.com
March 10-11: Clinic with Kate Chadderton. 
Sunset Hill Farm, Woodbine, MD. For more info and clinic details contact: Amy Gaynor,  ASAP while spaces are available! $95 per rider. More dates available.  Sign up for three clinic days & get free coaching at a USEA Area 2 event (a $100 value)!
March 31-April 1: Clinic with Kate Chadderton. 
Sunset Hill Farm, Woodbine, MD. For more info and clinic details contact: Amy Gaynor,  ASAP while spaces are available! $95 per rider. More dates available.  Sign up for three clinic days & get free coaching at a USEA Area 2 event (a $100 value)!
Area III
 December 16: Winter Schooling Show
CDCTS/Icon Sporthorses (Friendsville, TN). Visit cdcts.org for more info.
December 16: Poplar Place Schooling Show
Poplar Place Farm (Hamilton, GA). Visit gdcta.org for more info.
January 13: Paul Belasik Clinic
DSDCTA/Joint Venture Farm (Madison, FL). Visit dsdcta.org for more info.
January 13-14: Jennifer Marchand Dressage Clinic
Poplar Place (Hamilton, GA). Visit poplarplacefarm.com for more info.
January 13-14: Sinead Halpin Clinic
Can’t make it to Florida this year? Let Florida come to you in a two-day show jumping clinic in East Tennessee with Sinead Halpin January 13th – 14th! Rain or shine as we have a lovely covered arena! Contact Katherine at [email protected] Click here for more information.
January 16-18: Gemma Tattersall Clinic
Gemma needs no introduction; having just been announced the NUMBER 3 Rider in the World on FEI Standings. Notting Hill Stables, Reddick FL for show jumping days, Horse Power Equestrian for upper level xc and lower level xc TBA. Novice through Advanced. Groups will be 60-90 mins and semi privates 45-60 mins. $475 for two day SJ and XC groups Jan 16th and 17th. $275 for semi privates Jan 18th and $225 if additional SJ groups are added on Jan 18th. Lunch and beverages included! NO CHARGE FOR AUDITORS! Gift bags for each participant and for anyone signing up for 2 or more of our clinics this winter, you will be entered into a prize draw for a grand prize TBA. WE EXPECT THIS CLINIC TO FILL VERY QUICKLY SO PLEASE SIGN UP ASAP. A non refundable deposit of $200 is required to secure your spot. Please email entries to: [email protected] including your name, contact details, horses name, level of experience and whether you require stabling. Stabling fees will be announced shortly but will be available.
February 10, 2018: Dressage Schooling Show
TAGDEA/Tri State Exhibition Ctr. (Cleveland, TN). Visit tagdea.org for more info.
Area V
 December 14-17: Charlie Hutton Clinic
Oak Hill Farm (Folsom, LA). More info at sedariders.org.
December 16-17: Buck Davidson Clinic
Pine Hill (Bellville, TX). More info at pinehilltexas.com.
December 17: Candy Cane Derby
High Point Farm (Navasota, TX). More info at exceleventing.com.
January 14, 2018: Schooling Horse Trials
GHCTA affiliated. Pine Hill (Bellville, TX). More info at pinehilltexas.com.
January 14-15, 2018: Boyd Martin Clinic
Texas Rose Farm (Tyler, TX). More info at texasrosehorsepark.com.
January 21, 2018: Schooling HT, Dressage and Western Dressage
Feather Creek Farm (Norman, OK). ODS affiliated. More info at feathercreekfarm.com.
February 18, 2018: Schooling Combined Test
Celtic Cross Equestrian Center (Norman, OK). More info at celticcrossequestriancenter.com.
February 18, 2018: Schooling Horse Trials
Pine Hill (Bellville, TX). More info at pinehilltexas.com.
February 24-25, 2018: Buck Davidson Clinic
Holly Hill (Benton, LA). More info at hollyhillfarm.net.
February 24-26, 2018: Lainey Ashker Clinic.
Texas Rose Farm (Tyler, TX). More info at texasrosehorsepark.com.
Area VI
January 6, 2018: Boyd Martin Masterclass
US Olympic Eventer Boyd Martin is teaching a Masterclass at Galway Downs in Temecula, California as a part of the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. Tickets include seating to the Dressage Freestyle and cost $39.95. The Masterclass and Freestyle will be streamed over Facebook Live on the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Facebook page. Follow them on Facebook @adequanwestcoastdressagefestival and on Instagram @adequan_westcoast_dressagefest. For more information and tickets, visit https://us.westcoastdressagefestival.com/new-adequan-west-coast-dressage-festival-masterclass-series/
January 20, 2018: Laura Graves Masterclass
US Olympic Dressage rider Laura Graves is teaching a Masterclass at Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California as a part of the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. Tickets include seating to the Dressage Freestyle and cost $39.95.The Masterclass and Freestyle will be streamed over Facebook Live on the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Facebook page. Follow them on Facebook @adequanwestcoastdressagefestival and on Instagram @adequan_westcoast_dressagefest. For more information and tickets, visit https://us.westcoastdressagefestival.com/new-adequan-west-coast-dressage-festival-masterclass-series/
February 3, 2018: Helen Langehanenberg Masterclass
German Olympic Dressage rider Helen Langehanenberg is teaching a Masterclass at Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California as a part of the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. Tickets include seating to the Dressage Freestyle and cost $39.95.The Masterclass and Freestyle will be streamed over Facebook Live on the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Facebook page. Follow them on Facebook @adequanwestcoastdressagefestival and on Instagram @adequan_westcoast_dressagefest. For more information and tickets, visit https://us.westcoastdressagefestival.com/new-adequan-west-coast-dressage-festival-masterclass-series/
February 17, 2018: Charlotte Dujardin Masterclass
British Olympic Dressage rider Charlotte Dujardin is teaching a Masterclass at Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California as a part of the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival. Tickets include seating to the Dressage Freestyle and cost $39.95.The Masterclass and Freestyle will be streamed over Facebook Live on the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival Facebook page. Follow them on Facebook @adequanwestcoastdressagefestival and on Instagram @adequan_westcoast_dressagefest. For more information and tickets, visit https://us.westcoastdressagefestival.com/new-adequan-west-coast-dressage-festival-masterclass-series/
Area VIII
January 20-21, 2018: Clinic with Charlotte Dujardin
Charlotte Dujardin CBE Masterclass Jan 20-21 at Kentucky Horse Park. This two day class will focus on young horses to developing Grand Prix and the fundamental formula behind Charlotte’s winning system. Applicants to ride in this masterclass should email: [email protected] with video and short description of ability and achievements. All classes of horses and riders considered. Click here for more info.

January 24-28, 2018: Equine Symposium & Convention, hosted by USPC
Connect face to face with our active youth equestrians and leaders at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY! Join us for the 2018 Equine Symposium & Convention, hosted by USPC, in Louisville, KY. Our Trade Fair and Sponsor opportunities provide memorable ways to connect with our active equestrian community of leaders, instructors, parents, youth and young adult Pony Club members, all at affordable rates. Click here to learn more and to register.

Canada

January 27-28: Harmony Horsemanship Clinic with Lindsey Partridge
Sprucehaven Farm in Mt Elgin ON Canada. For more information visit www.sprucehaven.com or https://www.facebook.com/eventingdressage/.

February 17-18: Dressage Clinic with Cindy Ishoy
Sprucehaven Farm in Mt Elgin ON Canada. For more information visit www.sprucehaven.com or https://www.facebook.com/eventingdressage/.

March 17-18: Jennifer Pejic Eventing Prep Camp
Sprucehaven Farm in Mt Elgin ON Canada. For more information visit www.sprucehaven.com or https://www.facebook.com/eventingdressage/.

Want to see your lesson, clinic, or schooling show listed here? Email [email protected].

USEF: ‘Any Speculation As to Positives for Cocaine is Unfounded’

Following recent allegations that riders tested positive for cocaine at the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event last month, the USEF stated to EN that this speculation is unfounded.

“Clean Sport is a critical part of ensuring the integrity of our sport. We provide Clean Sport information to all FEI athletes annually when they renew their registration and provide a refresher at the USEA annual meeting. We hope people consider this as seriously as they consider Clean Sport when it comes to their horses,” the USEF stated to EN.

“The USEF has not received human drug testing results for any eventing competitions this fall. Any speculation as to positives for cocaine is unfounded.”

USEF Managing Director of Eventing Joanie Morris addressed the topic of drug testing with the High Performance riders at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Long Beach, California last week. “The FEI has hired a new company to do their testing, and the amount of testing will increase,” she said.

Joanie recommended that all athletes who compete in FEI competitions download the Global DRO app on their phones. Similar to the Clean Sport app for horses, the Global DRO app allows athletes to enter the name of a prescription drug or supplement they are taking and instantly know whether it is allowed in competition.

The Global Drug Reference Online database can also be accessed at this link. More information on the FEI’s Clean Sport initiative for both athletes and horses can be accessed on the FEI website.

Quarantine Nightmare! An Excerpt From ‘World-Class Grooming for Horses’

In this excerpt from the bestselling book World-Class Grooming for Horses by pro grooms Cat Hill and Emma Ford, Cat tells us about one particularly “eventful” trip home from the Pan Ams.

Photo courtesy of Trafalgar Square Books.

Quarantine Nightmare!

When we came home after the Pan American Games in Brazil in 2007, the five US Eventing Team horses had a seven-day quarantine in Miami to check for ehrlichia (a tick-borne disease common in Brazil). My charge, Mara DePuy’s Nicki Henley, was injured so I was asked to stay in Miami and take care of the quarantined horses since my horse needed the most “tender loving care.”

Quarantine is a tough place: only one person is allowed in the stables at a time and only for an hour. Our gold-medal winning equine team went from four or five meals a day of the highest quality grain and constant care and intense exercise routines to concrete boxes with no windows, cheap hay, and one scoop of straight oats twice a day.

I would literally run into the aisleway and fly through getting Nicki into an ice boot, race through the other horse’s stalls to put my hands on them, check legs, and run a brush over them, change Phillip Dutton’s Truluck’s hoof wrap (he had pulled a shoe on cross-country), to finally get Nicki out of ice and re-wrapped.

The last day we were there, Truluck (“Milo”) wasn’t acting like his normal, cuddly self. I talked to the vets on staff and told them I thought he might be colicking. A vet came, took his temperature, and said he was fine. After a great deal of persuading, I convinced her to let me come back in two hours to check on him.

Many phone calls to Phillip and the United States Olympic Committee, and two hours later, Milo certainly was colicking, but since he still wasn’t running a temperature the vets weren’t buying my urgency. After much handwringing I was allowed to walk him in the aisle. He settled a little and I was asked to leave for the night. So I did what any sane, rational groom would do: I sat in his stall and refused to leave. I screamed, I swore, I was physically dragged out of the barn yelling that I was calling the news and exposing abuse. I then called Phillip, crying, apologizing.

The vet ended up checking on Milo and deciding (once he had a temperature) that he needed more specialized care, and they transferred him to Wellington Equine where his colic was treated.

So, after being up all night with this situation, I was thrilled to see the rigs pull in at 9:00 a.m. to take us home to Virginia! We loaded all the gear and horses into the semi-trailers, and I asked the shippers where the hay was. They looked at me blankly and said no one asked them to bring hay. Luckily, the Canadian team was loading their horses at the same time and they were able to spare half a bale. That was one flake per horse!

I then attempted to climb into the cab and the shippers obviously thought I was crazy; they had not expected me to ride up front with them. So I bunked down on some trunks that were stacked in the back with the horses and settled in for the long ride home. We sat at a standstill in traffic during a wicked thunderstorm, but finally made it to the Florida border. The horses were out of hay, wet, and miserable, and I was about the same.

When we stopped in line at the agricultural stop on the way out of Florida, I jumped out of the truck and visited every livestock trailer there, asking if I could buy some hay. I ended up buying two bales for an absurd sum of money.

A long 10 hours later we made it to Virginia. I can honestly say I have never been happier to see High Acre farm in my life!

This excerpt from World-Class Grooming for Horses by Cat Hill and Emma Ford is reprinted with permission from Trafalgar Square Books (www.horseandriderbooks.com).

EN’s 12 Days of Christmas: Book Lover’s Prize Pack from Trafalgar Square Books

Photos courtesy of Trafalgar Square Books.

Day five of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas is for all you book worms out there. We see you – the scholars of the sport. You pour carefully through your idol’s recounting of training and teaching philosophies, hanging on every last word.

While you may not get the chance to ride with each of the world’s top riders, you can get an in depth look at their training philosophies through their publications. Does this description sound familiar? Then we have a treat for you!

Today’s prize comes to us from Trafalgar Square Books – the leading publisher of equestrian books. They’ve lined up four books to fuel your winter training and beyond: Horses Came First, Second, and Last by Jack Le Goff with Jo Whitehouse, Fit and Focused in 52 by Daniel Stewart, Training Horses the Ingrid Klimke Way by Ingrid Klimke, and Sport Horse Soundness and Performance by Dr. Cecilia Lönnell.

Jack Le Goff has been known for years as the one of the most iconic coaches in eventing. He set the standard for success not only in the U.S. but around the world. He discloses all in this long-awaited autobiography you don’t want to miss.

Want to strengthen your mental game while also upping your own fitness? Coach Daniel Stewart’s Fit & Focused in 52 is your next read.  This book will structure each week of the next year with unique cross training ideas to give your New Year’s Resolution some direction.

Olympic gold medalist Ingrid Klimke knows more than a thing or two about bringing horses up through the ranks, and there’s a reason the hashtag #BeLikeIngrid  gets shared so much, because we literally want to Be. Like. Ingrid. Now we can at least try with her book, Training Horses The Ingrid Klimke Way.

While training is important, it’s nothing without proper maintenance of your horse. Dr. Cecilia Lönnell combines her veterinary background and hands on experience to craft somewhat of an instruction manual on how you can make it easier for your horse to perform optimally in her own Sport Horse Soundess and Performance.

Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries will close at midnight EST tonight, with the winner to be announced in News & Notes tomorrow morning. Good luck and happy reading! Go Eventing.

Saturday Links from Tipperary

Photo by Whirlybird Imaging.

A fresh dusting of snow really does make for a magical-looking landscape. Whirlybird Imaging and Carole Mortimer captured some lovely photos, including the one above, of the Badminton Horse Trials grounds looking like a winter wonderland! As pretty as snow is though, I’d be a bigger fan if it didn’t come hand in hand with the cold…

National Holiday: National Chocolate-covered Anything Day

Saturday Links:

Fair Hill And USEF Address Confusion Over Dutta Corp. Flight Prize

Everything Eventing With Boyd Martin

CHRB: Distribution Of San Luis Rey Donations A Primary Concern

Puerto Rico’s Camarero Racetrack to Reopen Friday

Hoof Help, Part 1: Thrush

PODCAST: 2017 #USEAConvention Roundup

Cooling Your Horse Out on Cold Days

Congratulations to Erin McLeod – our day five winner of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas! She receives an epic leg therapy prize pack that includes Draper Equine Therapy No Bow Wraps AND Draper Equine Therapy Hock Boots from Draper Equine Therapies! Stay tuned to see what other exciting goodies we’ll have this weekend on EN.

Saturday Video: Here’s a healthy dose of cute for your Saturday!

https://www.facebook.com/TatlerUK/videos/1833931083316274/

Friday Video from World Equestrian Brands: The Olympic Spirit of Gillian Rolton

Michael Jung accepts his ribbon from Gillian Rolton at Luhmühlen. Photo by Jenni Autry.

The year was 1996, and the setting, the Atlanta Olympics. Australia’s eventing team, comprised of Andrew Hoy, Wendy Schaeffer, Phillip Dutton, and Gillian Rolton, was within touching distance of a gold medal, but it was to take a herculean effort from them all to secure it.

Gill Rolton and Peppermint Grove, the ‘ugly big grey horse’ with whom she notched up so many successes – including team gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics – weren’t to have a fairytale trip around the cross country. ‘Fred’ slipped and fell, injuring Gill’s arm and forcing her to ride one-handed. Despite this, she remounted and continued on. She fell at the next obstacle, the water jump, but, knowing her team needed her to complete, she once again climbed back on and completed the remaining three kilometres – and fifteen fences – to finish. It was later discovered that Gill had broken several ribs and her collarbone – but the team would go on to win.

Gill’s tenacity and determination made her an idol and an inspiration to so many riders, both in her native Australia and beyond. She served as Event Director at Adelaide for 10 years, and has worn almost every hat there is to wear in the sport, from competitor, to selector, to coach, official, and ground jury member.

The courage she showed in her riding, and the gumption she exhibited throughout her career kept her fighting through an endometrial cancer diagnosis two years ago. Not to be cowed, she continued her work, even when bed-bound, to a volley of support from her global network of admirers, supporters, and friends. She died, aged 61, on cross country day of this year’s Adelaide CCI4*.

To see her indomitable spirit for yourself, check out this #FlashbackFriday video, shared by the Olympic Facebook page. This weekend, channel Gill: swallow your fear, give back to the sport, and enjoy the ride. She certainly did, throughout her remarkable life.

Click to play the video on Facebook

If you have trouble watching, click here to play the video directly on Facebook.

#MeToo: A Letter to Myself as a Young Rider

New allegations continue to surface daily in what has been labeled a “sexual assault epidemic” in America. More and more Silence Breakers are starting to feel like they have a safe space to share their own stories, with the #MeToo movement on social media playing a critical role in empowering those who once felt like they had no voice. It should come as no surprise that our equestrian community is not immune from the epidemic. Today we share an anonymous letter we hope will give others in our community the courage to find a voice. You are not alone. 

In solidarity,
The Nation Media team

Dear younger self,

I remember you. The horse-crazy kid who gets dropped off at the barn after school every day and loiters there from sunup to sundown all summer long. Mucking stalls, riding everything you can, bombing around bareback without a care in the world. You are eager to learn, to be the very best, and you hang on your trainer’s every word. You devour horse magazines cover to cover, cutting out photos of top riders and pinning them to your bedroom walls.

I remember you. The starry-eyed teenager with gold-plated Olympic dreams. Jumps are getting higher; things are getting serious; the sport of eventing has become your whole world. Your trainer takes a particular interest in you, gives you the ride on a nice horse that will take you to the next level. You are the star student and you thrive on the attention — it makes you feel special, even exceptional. It makes you feel seen.

You are also naive and impressionable, and so you feel confused when your trainer’s attention moves from verbal praise into the realm of the physical, the sexual.

Molestation is an ugly word, so you don’t use it — after all, it isn’t like you are kicking and screaming to get away. Another word you don’t use is “no,” and as a result you feel responsible for the blurring of boundaries. You feel complicit. Besides which, what if you tell someone and the nice horse gets taken away, or your parents take away horses altogether? None of these seem like risks worth taking, so it goes on, for years.

I remember when your secret begins wearing you down. How when you drive to and from the barn, you start to fantasize about stepping on the gas and veering off the road. It feels like your only option for escape. One bitter winter night you finally do it, but it doesn’t go as planned. Your car is wrecked but you are uninjured, and so the nightmare continues.

At 18 you finally make your getaway. You take a working student position several hours away, in a top-level barn with positive, healing energy. You start over with a young OTTB, who will eventually become your own self-made upper level horse. You are alive, healthy and happy again.

But acts of sexual predation are widespread, scaling all strata of equestrian sport — even the sacred iconography that adorned your childhood bedroom walls. Like the time you go out to dinner with a group of riders at a three-day event — you’re maybe 19 by now — and the big name rider sitting next to you begins rubbing your thigh. Under the table, with his wife sitting across from you. He doesn’t even know your name and he is groping you. You begin to realize that the powerful take what they want, when they want it. You sit stiffly and pick at your dinner, laughing it off later with friends.

Life goes on.

Your first trainer is still out there, teaching young girls and running summer camps. And, as you’ll eventually learn, you aren’t the last “star student.” Some years later, within the statute of limitations, you consider pressing charges but — more horse-poor than ever as a struggling young professional — you can’t afford a lawyer.

As for the big-name rider who thought it was OK to feel up a random teenager under the table? He went on to represent the U.S. on the world’s biggest stages.

So what happens to you? The good news is, you’ll be fine (with the help of some good therapists of both the horse and human variety). In fact, you’ll be amazing. You’ll grow smarter, stronger and more adventurous. You’ll keep riding, marry a wonderful man, surround yourself with great friends, and land your dream job. You may or may not make it to a four-star, but you’ll find a place for yourself within the sport that fulfills you. Moreover, you’ll find your voice. And you’ll use it to talk about things that have meaning. Like this.

Know this, younger self: You are not alone. You are neither the first nor the last victim of a rider, trainer, owner, sponsor, employer, auxiliary, etc. who has used their power and influence to involve themselves sexually with someone younger and more vulnerable than themselves. You’re not as isolated as you feel, and you have access to more support* than you know.

To be clear, this is not a one-size-fits-all conversation. The two anecdotes I have shared from my own life exist at opposite ends of the spectrum, in terms of intensity and duration, but it is the same spectrum. The common denominator is a lack of awareness of power dynamics — who has power, who does not, and how it can be abused. And that needs to change.

I am writing this letter as acknowledgement that my voice is, and always has been, worth listening to. And as a warning against allowing my sense of self-worth to become entangled with the value of my body. And to give myself permission to let go of the guilt, shame and pain I have carried around for so long, regarding not only these incidents but others that would accumulate in the years to follow. It has taken the emergence of a broader cultural conversation to say these things out loud, even if under the veil of an anonymous letter.

I wish I was braver, like others who have come forward with their stories in full transparency. But perhaps my story is more poignant with no names attached, no fingers pointed. Who am I? I could be anyone: your friend, your student, your daughter. A face in the cross country warm-up. The rider stabled next to you at an event. Perhaps my story resembles your own.

If this letter resonates with any of you reading it, then I am writing it for you, too.

I realize that by declining to name names, I’m not exactly ripping down the veil of silence. As individuals and as a sporting culture, we have historically protected abusers. We sweep stories like mine under the rug because they disrupt the narrative about our beloved sport that we wish to believe, a narrative that does not include the degradation of its most vulnerable athletes.

But this letter, my letter, isn’t about specific names. It’s about a deeply troubling dynamic of exploitation that has long permeated equestrian sport at every level. Surely, there is something I — we — can do to throw a wrench in its gears, for the sake of this and future generations of at-risk young riders to come. Hopefully this letter is a solid first step.

I remember you. Love,
Me

 

*Editor’s Note: For support, information, advice or referrals, we recommend contacting the trained support specialists at RAINN or Safe Horizon. You may also contact the author directly at [email protected]

Weekly Training Tip from Kate Chadderton: Staying Motivated in the Off Season

Kate Chadderton is an Australian native who operates her competition and training business in Woodbine, MD, and Aiken, SC. She’s back again this winter to share weekly tips and advice with EN readers. Keep an eye out for a new tip each week from Kate!

Kate Chadderton and VS McCuan Civil Liberty at the 2015 Blenheim Palace CCI3* Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the last thing any sane person is thinking about is competitive riding! Turkey stuffing and tinsel maybe, but not how to shave off two points in the dressage, or how to avoid that pesky rail you seem to have at EVERY SINGLE show. This tip is NOT for the sane person however, and I think we can all agree that most eventers fall into the not-sane category. Otherwise you wouldn’t have clicked on this link!

It’s very very important to have your down time to recover from the show season, whether it went in your favour or not. Personally I find that after two or three days of starting late and finishing early I’m ready to begin planning for the next season. Starting with the calendar, I map out each horse’s and student’s winter/spring season which then gets me really excited and thinking about competing again. Here are some of the ways I stay motivated.

Watching Videos

As a visual learner, I LOVE watching videos of other riders and learning from their successes and mistakes. My horses are in fairly light work in December so this is a great way to mentally stay involved without putting any stress on them. Cross country videos are definitely on my play list, but I find myself watching a lot of show jumping. There are still some great, top level show jumping competitions going on in Europe and I often livestream them.

Fitness

In the past I’ve fallen victim to the Thanksgiving/Christmas menus and have just worn an extra coat to hide the evidence! Learning from this experience I now make an effort to do some exercise outside of riding. Don’t get me wrong, my plate is always full and I always go back for seconds! But I’ve learnt that if I’m going to overindulge during the holidays then I’d better counteract the effects by working on my fitness. Then by January when the shows start again I’m much better prepared. I know not everyone is lucky enough to start their season in January, most riders aren’t able to start until April or May. For these riders it’s particularly important to stay in shape.

Reading

Winter is a great time to catch up on reading (or rereading) educational books. My friend, Packy McGaughn, gave me a book which I have read once and I’m currently reading again. It’s about dressage, so I read it at night time with a glass of wine!

Horse Shopping

Enough said! If having a new horse isn’t enough to keep you motivated, I don’t know what is! Again, I know not everyone is lucky enough to ride multiple horses but you can always dream about a new horse!

Clinics

For riders who want to stay ahead of the game there are plenty of clinics going on in December and January. Clinicians often focus on gymnastics at this time of the year, which is great for working on parts of your technique which may have slipped throughout the year. It’s also a great time to experiment with a new idea or new trainer without the pressure of actually having to go to a show next week.

Whether your season ended with a win, or with a letter next to your name, it’s worthwhile putting in some analysis and effort towards your next season thru the holidays and winter. It always pays off in a positive way!

12 Days of Christmas: Draper Equine Therapy Leg Health Prize Pack

Photos courtesy of Draper Equine Therapy.

We eventers place a lot of demands on our horses’ delicate little legs — so we better take good care of them! Draper Equine Therapies makes it easy with a line of products containing Celliant, a proprietary fiber loaded with a potent mix of thermo-reactive minerals. It recycles and converts radiant body heat into infrared energy which gives the body a measurable boost. The results:

Better endurance
Faster recovery
Enhanced performance
Increased speed
Improved strength
Increased stamina

Your horse deserves ALL of those things for Christmas! So today we’re giving away a leg health prize pack that includes Draper Equine Therapy No Bow Wraps AND Draper Equine Therapy Hock Boots.

Ready to win? Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Entries will close at midnight EST tonight, with the winner to be announced in News & Notes tomorrow morning. Good luck! Go Eventing.

Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Snow Pony! Photo courtesy of Taylor Harris Insurance FB.

Okay guys, this weekend is the last chance to get your holiday shopping in order. I personally spend all year adding to my Amazon wish list of random things that I know my friends and family will enjoy, and then I completely forget to actually buy things until the very last minute. Now is the time! Get my crap together! Don’t forget anybody and remember them two days from Christmas like last year!

National Holiday: Cat Herder’s Day (honestly I don’t even know)

Friday News & Notes:

The USEF has issued a statement clarifying the winner’s prize at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International. According to USEF, the flight in question is part of the contractual sponsorship agreement between Dutta Corp and USEF for the naming rights to the CCI3* National Championship held at Fair Hill. The Dutta Corp/USEF CCI3* National Championship is held within the CCI3* at Fair Hill and awards the flight to the U.S. combination that wins the USEF CCI3* Eventing National Championship. While Canadian Selena O’Hanlon won Fair Hill in 2017, Will Coleman won the 2017 USEF National CCI3* Championship as the highest placed American. Will was announced as the flight winner at the conclusion of Fair Hill. [USEF Statement]

Dear significant others of horse crazy people: We’re here to help. We know it can be daunting to buy stuff for your horse crazy SO, because the stuff they like is so weird and so specific and god forbid you buy the wrong horsey stuff. That’s why Horse Nation has compiled a fool proof list of Christmas gifts to get you through the holidays. [Christmas Gift Guide for the Clueless]

The Essex Horse Trials at Moorland Farm in Far Hills, New Jersey (Area II) hosts one USEA recognized event each year on the last weekend in June and offers Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels. After running for three decades from 1968 to 1998, the Essex Horse Trials had become a must-attend fixture on the national and international eventing calendar – drawing the sport’s top riders, plenty of fans, and the embrace of a community much-attuned to equestrian pursuits and the social scene surrounding, in particular, Essex. After many years off the calendar, Essex returned in 2017 with levels through Preliminary and plans for upper level expansion. [USEA Events A-Z]

Best of Blogs: Winter Survival and the Art of Not Caring

If you had a chance to spend a day with Carl Hester, wouldn’t you? Lucky duck Kerri Vuolo got the chance to attend a clinic with Carl in Maine recently, and watched the entire day with rapt attention. They started with a four-year-old and as the day went on, went up the ages of horses to the top, so that the spectators could see the progression of the young horse. As Carl is well known for building his horses from the bottom, this is what he wanted to emphasize, the training journey along the way. [A Day with Carl Hester]

Congrats to Maia K., our day four winner of EN’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaways! Maia will receive a Deluxe Dressage Friction Free Saddle Pad from Success Equestrian. Tune in to EN later today for your next chance to win a prize from one of EN’s awesome sponsors.

Sports swap!