Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

True love! Jimmie Schramm, Jenni Autry and Bellamy at Ocala Winter I H.T. Photo by JJ Sillman.

I know I probably say this every year, but I think for real this time, it has to be the wettest late winter/early spring I’ve known for a long time. It is truly revolting. My fields usually hold up pretty well through the winter, but the drought at the end of last year combined with the nonstop pouring rain at this moment has just completely ruined everything. Bring on real spring with warmth and sun!!

National Holiday: National Margarita Day!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Advanced CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Results]

Three Lakes H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Results]

News From Around the Globe:

David O’Connor is back to his winning ways, topping a division of Preliminary last weekend with Cooley Dream at Ocala HT. It’s been 18 years since he won his Olympic gold medal, and 14 years since he really competed (he’s been a little busy with some other stuff, I guess), but the man and the myth is back in action these days, and hasn’t skipped a beat. He’s got a few young horses, and is hoping to get to a CCI2* with Cooley Dream later this spring once he gets his qualifications for it! [DOC Back At It]

Time to get your tickets for Great Meadow International! With the distinction of being the only Nations Cup outside of Europe, you’ll be sure to see top riders from all different countries competing in this exciting and glamorous event. You can purchase tickets for the VIP Tent, a Ringside Box, Tailgating, or just General Admission. Get them now while they’re hot! [GMI Tickets]

Day two of the 2018 USEA Educational Symposium again featured clinicians Leslie Law and Kai-Steffen Meier as they conducted another day of the ICP Symposium. Building on their lessons from the first day of the ICP Symposium, both Law and Meier emphasized the importance of making sure each horse was adjustable within the gaits and moving forward in front of the rider’s leg. “Yesterday I talked about how you improve the working gaits, and as I said when it comes to young horses, it’s first off finding their natural balance and finding their rhythm and then you can begin with jumping jumps out of that balance and out of that rhythm,” said Law. [Day Two of ICP Young Horse Symposium]

We talk a lot about using hills in our fitness regimes, but primarily uphill. What about downhill training? Surely on our cross country courses we spend just as much time galloping down the hill as we do up the hill, and yet it is unusual for us to incorporate that into our daily training programs. This article from Horsetalk explores the conundrum between these factors. [Downhill Training and the Sporthorse]