EN’s good friend JER was kind enough to send us a video of her young horse Niina, with commentary by the great Mike Plumb. JER provides a full explanation below. As always, thanks for writing this JER and thank you for reading.
The setting: Carolina Horse Park Starter Horse Trials, November 2011
The horse: Niina is a 2006 Thoroughbred mare, out of the Michigan-bred Bett’s Jet and by the Australian-bred stallion Heroicity. She’s a half-sister to Dekorum, who was trained and ridden to Advanced by the Pollards until her heartbreaking accident earlier this year.
This is Niina’s first time out at Novice. The family tradition for dressage is tail-swishing, head-tossing and fire-breathing, plus the occasional all-out opinionated-mare meltdown. Whenever they occupy the dressage ring, protests are sure to ensue. But Niina is different. She’s as quiet and agreeable inside the white boards as she is in real life.
I’d suspect she was switched at birth, except I was there to see it.
The rider: Andrea St. Hilaire-Glenn is based at her own Glenbaer Farm in Carthage, NC. She’s had my two young mares in her care for several years and has done a wonderful job with them.
The commentator: J. Michael Plumb needs no introduction but here’s a tribute video anyway. He’s still riding and training eventers, and he’s been an integral part of my mares’ development.
Turn the volume way up; the commentary is both insightful and original.