All of my animals must relent to one thing: photoshoots. Whether they like it or not, they are subjected to the camera on a regular basis, and my horses in particular have just accepted it as some weird ritual to participate in. They all learn to be pulled out of the barn onto a sunny spot of grass and left to stand *dead still PLEASE* and hopefully prick their ears. Nyls is the most professional of the bunch (obvi) and knows literally how to strike a pose when the camera comes out. However, if the shoot goes on too long, he will take to yawning. And yawning. And yawning. And he will not stop until he is returned to the barn. Well played, sir.
National Holiday: National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
U.S. Weekend Preview:
News From Around the Globe:
The 2019 US Equestrian Annual Meeting kicked off on Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Florida, featuring a five-day lineup of informational and educational opportunities as well as the annual awards gala. The meeting takes place at Hilton West Palm Beach, and to accommodate those of us unable to attend in person many of the sessions will be live streamed via USEF Network. Links: Website, Meeting Schedule, Broadcast Schedule, Live Stream, Meeting App for iOS/Android, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Looking for some winter jumping tips? We’ve got a video for you. Phillip Dutton uses the warm-up on the flat and over small fences to engage the horse’s hind end and establish the connection from leg to hand. “There’s a common thread between all of our phases, whether it’s dressage, show jumping, or cross-country, and that is the adjustability of your horse. To me, the biggest thing in doing well is getting your horse really connected from your leg to your hand. They’ve got to learn that you put your leg on, the hock comes under, and they come up [in front].” [Warm-Up Exercises with Phillip Dutton]
If you’re feeling spendy after the holidays, check out this luxury equine auction. Horses owned by Alejandro Andrade, ridden by his Olympic showjumper son Emanuel, will be sold by CWS Asset Management and Sales from February 19-26th. Of course, bidders must submit a $50,000 deposit before they are allowed to participate, but details, right? Mr. Andrade was sentenced to 10 years in prison for money laundering, so amongst other things there will be 14 world class horses sold, including horses that competed in the Olympics and the World Equestrian Games. [Show Jumper Online Auction]
Walking in the dressage test: the hardest movement? On some horses, for sure. On fit event horses, definitely. Four-star event rider Georgie Strang has some helpful advice on how to achieve a good, relaxed but active walk. [Master the Dressage Walk]