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 World Equestrian Brands

Just some buddies together on a chilly barn day. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Even though now the calendar has many more events prior to Pine Top, I will always think of Pine Top Advanced as the first big event of the year. It’s the real, old school first Advanced of the year, anyway. Also, the two times in my life when I have been the coldest have also been at this competition, which tells you something about the wisdom of trying to go south to stay warm!

National Holiday: National Sticky Bun Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Farm Adanced H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop February II [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Irish Olympian Padraig McCarthy recently lent his wisdom to riders in Aiken for a two-day jumping clinic. With one day of show jumping at Five Henry Stables and one day of cross country at Full Gallop Farm, riders from Novice to Advanced learned about his emphasis on holding one track between jumps, establishing a bouncy canter, and keeping confidence through all exercises. [Clinic Report: Padraig McCarthy]

College students take note! Brook Ledge Horse Transport is giving one lucky student a round-trip horse ticket to anywhere from anywhere for the next college year! Open to any incoming or current college student under the age of 24, this opportunity is perfect for the young equestrian who doesn’t have the means to get their horse to a far away college. You don’t even have to be on an equestrian team to qualify, so check it out! [Brook Ledge 2020 Road Scholar]

We’re all suckers for horse movies, let’s face it. Even though they always feature excessive whinnying (PLEASE STOP), we just can’t help ourselves. This year, we look forward to Dream Horse, which is the true story of a Welsh bartender who rallies her whole small town to chip in money towards breeding and racing an unlikely champion racehorse. [Dream Horse Comes to Theaters in May]




Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

If this isn’t the perfect post-clear-cross-country photo I don’t know what is. Photo by JJ Sillman.

The grass is coming up since winter never really happened in Virginia, and the daffodils are fully popping out of the ground, and honestly I don’t trust it. I still can’t believe we are just going to slide right into spring without some kind of retribution in the form of a horrible snow storm in late March. Maybe in April I’ll stop being suspicious, but for now I’m waiting.

National Holiday: National Love Your Pet Day!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Farm Adanced H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop February II [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News from Around the Globe:

Important Bit Update: The FEI has confirmed that the French link mouthpiece is no longer permitted for FEI dressage tests. French link mouthpieces are still permitted for USEF National eventing competitions. Annex 1 of the USEF Rules for Eventing will be updated to include an illustration of the French link mouthpiece. Click here to view the full 2020 FEI Tack, Equipment & Dress FAQ.

As if you need another reason to go to Badminton this year, Valegro will be making an appearance! The 18-year-old superstar gelding will be leading the Parade of Champions on Thursday prior to the start of dressage for the event. [Valegro To Delight Fans at Badminton]

Florida Horse Park is on a quest to raise money for an Advanced course! They’ve raised something in the ballpark of $13,000 to date and are hoping to raise $75,000 by April 30, to go toward jumps, ground work and additional irrigation. Can you help? The Florida Horse Park is a non-profit 501(c)3, so every donation is tax deductible. They are also selling “jumps” for $2,000 — you (or your business!) can choose paint colors and perhaps even include a logo. Email [email protected] for more info. [Florida Horse Park]

Dating an equestrian can be an adventure to say the least. We can boggle your mind with our ability to back up a ridiculously huge trailer into a very small spot, we require little more than a beer and a pizza at the end of the day to keep us happy, and we can definitely help you move. However … there are some things about our lifestyle that might startle the muggles. [5 Reasons To Date an Equestrian, and 5 Reasons Not To]

High level hunter derby classes are amazing to watch, but the lower levels of that sport definitely get some flak for being, let’s say, less than exciting. Riders within the hunter world are even condemning the quest for the comatose hunter horse, and asking for a return of emphasis on learning to ride instead of only wanting to compete and win ribbons. [Hunters Past Present and Future]

Best of the Blogs: When Your Friend Stops Riding

Featured Video: The countdown is on … 49 days until the opening leg of ERM 2020, Barefoot Retreats Burnham Market International (April 10-11). [Event Rider Masters]

Thursday Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

A perfect horse bridge! Photo by Darrah Alexander.

This unseasonably warm winter weather has me more prepared in February than I’ve been in a long time, especially with a young horse that doesn’t go south and start competing until March. I’m feeling ready to tackle this year, and hopefully move up some levels and start doing some big boy jumps again!

National Holiday: National Tortellini Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Winter II: [Website][Entry Status][Ride Times]

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

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

News From Around the Globe:

Never let it be said that a small and average-moving horse isn’t worth giving a chance. In the current culture of the big fancy warmblood, lots of small and ordinary horses get overlooked, but they’re just waiting for the right person to bring out the magic. Dressage legend Lendon Gray opened up about the pony that defined her career, and how special Seldom Seen was as her first self-trained Grand Prix horse. [I Made My Career on a Small Average Mover]

Anyone want to move to England with me and also buy me this equine dream farm? Shurdington Farm sits on the edge of Cheltenham, and checks all the boxes with lots of paddocks, stalls, a solarium, an outdoor mirrored arena, and a round pen. Oh yeah, and a house for humans. [Droolworthy Equestrian Property for Sale]

Off track Thoroughbreds get lots of attention for second careers, but don’t forget about off track Standardbreds! Monmouth County Hunt in New Jersey recently hosted a Standardbred Hunt Day, attracting OTS’s from three states, showcasing their versatility after the racetrack. Well known for their great temperaments, soundness, and smooth gaits, Standardbreds take well to fox hunting, and showed it on this day in particular. [Standardbred Fox Hunting Day]

Best of Blogs: Lots To Learn

Hot on Horse Nation: Better Than Good: Tall Tales and Straight Talk from the Backside of the Track

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Nobody will ever top this moment from 2017 Wellington Showcase. Photos by Kate Samuels.

If you learn anything from this photo series above, let it be known that you should always keep clicking, even when things go a little awry, because you might just catch some magic. Also, sincerely hope nobody feels the need to take this Woodge Challenge this weekend, because honestly she’s probably the best spider monkey out there.

National Holiday: National Fettucini Alfredo Day

Midweek U.S. Action: 

Full Gallop Farm February H.T. [Results]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mars Eventing Showcase [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Ocala Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Pine Top Intermediate H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe: 

We continue to keep Kailey Giancola in our hearts. The 25-year-old eventer, who suffered a severe brain stem injury in a horse-related accident on Dec. 16, is currently at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta and showing steady signs of progress. This week brought some hand squeezes, attempts to use her voice, several incidents of opening her eyes, and overall increased stimulation and alertness. “Hopefully these changes will be the final push that allow Kailey full emergence from this lower level of consciousness,” her brother David wrote in his daily update yesterday.  [Kailey’s CaringBridge Journal] [GoFundMe]

Having a horse that turns really well for cross country is more important than ever. I know, steering right? However, with the speed and adrenaline of cross country, sometimes the steering goes out the window. This sweet little exercise teaches horses to turn before, after, and over jumps, and is accessible to all levels of horses and riders. [Slick & Sharp: Cross Country Exercise]

As a pro of competing alone, I can tell you it’s a game of preparation. Practice being obsessively early for everything, make sure your horse(s) are good at standing on the trailer while you walk courses, and double check your packing list. [The Ultimate Guide to Competing Alone]

Photo Challenge: 8 Unbelievably Muddy Horses

Hot on Horse Nation: 10 Things Skiers and Riders Have in Common




Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Boyd & Thomas looking forward to the Wellington Showcase this weekend! Photo by Meagan DeLisle.

I took my young horse cross country schooling this past weekend because the weather and the footing were ridiculously nice, and let’s just say he remembered what it was all about. The last time he did any cross country was Modified at Virginia Horse Trials in October, and as soon as I got on him this weekend, he started jigging and dancing sideways all the way out to the field. He’s always thought of himself as a five-star horse, and a chill winter working on dressage clearly hasn’t taken away his enthusiasm for the fun part.

National Holiday: National Frozen Yogurt Day

Midweek U.S. Action: 

Full Gallop Farm February H.T. [Results]

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Mars Eventing Showcase [Website] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Ocala Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Pine Top Intermediate H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe: 

Doug Payne is fresh off a win in a Grand Prix showjumping class, and ready for more glory at the Mars Eventing Showcase this weekend. He’s bringing the old campaigner, Vandiver, as well as his young talent, Quantum Leap. He’s had Quinn in his barn for many years now, and the pair have competed with great success at several CCI5*’s, while Q is just nine years old, but has been with Doug since he was a weanling. Keep an eye on that one, he’s competitive! [Wellington Showcase: Doug Payne]

How do the best in the business in England transform racehorses to sporthorses? Gillian Carlisle is the chief executive of the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre (BTRC) and highlighted three vital stages to transforming an former racehorse — rehabilitation, retrain and rehome. She details the particulars of each phase in this article with H&H, and it’s definitely worth reading if you’re into OTTBs. [Transforming Racehorses]

Best of Blogs: Self Care…What’s That?

Hot on Horse Nation: From Rags to Riches: Rescuing Each Other

A little flashback to Wellington Showcase 2017:




Product Review: Zandonà Carbon Air Tendon & Fetlock Boots

Zandonà Carbon Air Tendon Boots and Carbon Air Junior Fetlock Boots. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I had the chance recently to test out a pair of Zandonà Carbon Air Tendon Boots alongside their Carbon Air Junior Fetlock Boots, and as the owner of an expressive and noodle-legged Thoroughbred, good boots are very important to me. I have never used Zandona products before, but have heard good things about them from some jumper friends, so I was very interested to test them out myself.

Let’s start at the front, with the Carbon Air Tendon Boots, which I received in black and size medium, with clip closures. They are also available in brown, or white by special order, and sizes small through extra-large, and you can choose if you prefer velcro or clip closures. Lots of customization options!

These Carbon Air Tendon Boots feature an external thermoplastic polyurethane structure with varying thickness, a perforated neoprene lining, and six air vents over the fetlocks for each boot. Each boot also has gel-tech inserted between the TPU structure and the neoprene, which works as a shock absorber as well as increasing the comfort of the padding.

Zandona Carbon Air Tendon Boots with clip closures. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I’m a big fan of neoprene for horses that tend to have sensitive skin and are prone to rubs, and bonus points for ease of cleaning. These boots also have great breathability, with the air vents on each side, ensuring that your tendons stay protected from collision without overheating and causing possible damage.

These boots offer extra strike protection both down the length of the tendons as well as inside of the fetlock, preventing strikes from behind or interference from the forelimbs. Carbon Fibre elements are present under the shell to thermally insulate the joints from the heat generated by external friction, while increasing the mechanical resistance to impacts.

I can say that the ergonomic shape of these boots is excellent, because I know my horse interferes while trotting, and after a long ride they had not been rotated or moved in the least. I really liked the clip closures, I found them to be very secure with a double locking system while still easy to snap on.

My experience is that these boots run slightly small, as I used them on a fairly skinny-legged Thoroughbred, and they were slightly too short on his tendons, and secured on the last closure. When in doubt, size up for these boots.

For the Carbon Air Junior Fetlock Boots, they feature all of the previously described attributes, however they are only available with velcro closures. They were designed with compliance for FEI Young Horse jumper categories, and are specially designed for young horses. However, they work just as well for the older and more experienced horse.

Zandona Carbon Air Junior Fetlock Boots. Photo by Kate Samuels.

There’s also the option of the “Balance” boots, which are equipped with a magnetic device that improves cellular function, as well as proprioception and balance. The magnet is composed of Neodymium, Iron, and Boron with Nickel coating, and has been found to decrease limb fatigue by increasing vascular blood-flow and lymphatic circulation.

The benefits induced by increased vascular blood-flow and by the magnetic polarization are anti-inflammatory and produce analgesic effects, bone and joint articulation strengthening, as well as acceleration of the toxin expulsion process and of muscle lactic-acid absorption. These benefits lead to the improvement of movement and jumping performance of the horse.

I was initially a little bummed that the fetlock boots didn’t have matching clip closures, but the velcro was actually really nice. The double velcro closures were extremely secure and enable a really custom fit for the size of any horse. These ran true to size, and the medium fit him well.

While everything from Zandonà is crafted and created in Italy, we are lucky enough to have a distribution center in the USA, and they offer free shipping on all domestic orders, so you can have the luxury of European products without the shipping fees!

Check out their U.S. website for the full range of products distributed by Seadog Trading Company.

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Welcome, Fiona! Photo by Sally Crane Cox.

Big congrats to Ellie and Alex O’Neal who welcomed their first child, daughter Fiona Quinn O’Neal, on Tuesday of this week. She was born at 5:48 p.m. in Ocala, weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 22 inches. She had her first tour of the barn yesterday afternoon and met Ellie’s four-star mare, Zeta, pictured. Fiona has actually already “ridden” Zeta, when Ellie and Fiona competed Bromont last summer!

Can’t wait for photos of Fiona and her first pony later this year! Another little champion eventer in the making — watch out Kentucky Three Day Event 2040!

National Holiday: National Hot Chocolate Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Galway Downs Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes H.T. at Caudle Ranch [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Our new girl crush is Mount Saint John Freestyle, and we’re not afraid to admit it. Don’t mind the fact that she’s a fancy dressage lady, “Mrs Valegro” was purchased as a foal by her owner, Emma Blundell, and partnered with Charlotte DuJardin in 2015 after Emma did young horse classes with her. According to reports, she’s the Mary Poppins of horses, Practically Perfect in Every Way. [9 Things You Never Knew About Mount Saint John Freestyle]

Let’s talk about poop! More specifically, fecal transplants. Diarrhea is an inconvenience for humans, but can be deadly for horses, with 30% of affected horses dying. In the diarrhea therapy, called fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), veterinarians take manure from a healthy donor horse and put it in the gut of the horse with diarrhea. Although exactly how FMT works has yet to be determined, the hypothesis is that it repopulates a patient’s depleted gut bacteria to restore its natural species richness, normalizing the gastrointestinal microbiome. [The Scoop On Poop]

Why do horses nicker? Contrary to literally every horse movie director, it’s NOT when a horse sees another human, or experiences some kind of emotion, or the camera pans to them. Please. Somebody send this to Hollywood. PLEASE. [Why Do Horses Nicker]

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

I can’t be the only one who has a weird collection of pitchforks that have one tine missing, right? I just can’t bring myself to throw them away, they’re 99% perfect but also 100% useless. Also the nice ergonomic pitchforks are strangely expensive, and it makes me very angry that one tiny piece can ruin it all. I can’t promise that I’ve never brought my glue gun to the barn in an attempt to resurrect one.

National Holiday: National Croissant Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Galway Downs Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes H.T. at Caudle Ranch [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Let’s all agree not to just wait on the FEI when it comes to our own safety this year. The pressing need for riders to share responsibility for their own safety was a recurring theme at the Fédération Equestre Internationale Eventing Risk Management Seminar at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, England, Jan. 24-26. The gathering of 150 officials, trainers and course designers from around the world discussed developments in frangible technology; the latest thinking in course design such as intensity of jumping effort, groundlines and the profiling of the leading edge of a fence; and safety helmets, body protectors and medical cover. [Risk Management for 2020]

I love a good story of a firecracker pipsqueak. McLain Ward’s new mount, Catoki, is barely 15.2, and was passed over for years by professionals due to his small stature. However, he’s found his way into McLain’s barn, and is already winning classes, with great promise for the future. He’s a brave and feisty one, make sure you watch the video! [McLain Wins With a Pocket Rocket]

Love Horse Nation? Yeah, me too. It’s time for the 2020 HN Gallop Poll! Yes, we know. Okay puns aside, get to this poll and tell us about yourself. [HN Gallop Poll]

EN’s sister site, Jumper Nation, is on the hunt for a new part-time editor. We are going to miss Meagan DeLisle, who has taken a position with Phelps Media — best of luck, Meagan! The ideal candidate has excellent writing/editing skills and is plugged in to the hunter/jumper community. Email us at [email protected]. [Jumper Nation]

Ain’t no shame in my neck strap game:


Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Winter riding realness. Photo via Alice VanBokkelen Equestrian.

I was real proud of myself yesterday because I tore down ALL the jumps in my ring, dragged it really well, and then set up a really cool exercise that is basically a giant zig-zag that goes down the middle. You can do it with poles or with jumps, and it’s just the serpentine from hell. Great for adjustability and bending, as well as great for humans using their brains quickly for reacting and planning. You know it’s a good exercise when you’re sweating on a 30 degree day after setting it all up.

National Holiday: National Peanut Butter Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse Winter I H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

EN’s sister site, Jumper Nation, is on the hunt for a new part-time editor. We are going to miss Meagan DeLisle, who has taken a position with Phelps Media — best of luck, Meagan! The ideal candidate has excellent writing/editing skills and is plugged in to the hunter/jumper community. Email us at [email protected]. [Jumper Nation]
Anybody who knows anything will tell you that riding horses is at least half mental. Honestly, probably even more than that. You can have all the skills in the world but if you can’t control your mind and use psychology to get a better performance from yourself and your horse, you’re toast. Check out these top 13 performance enhancing psychological tricks to take to your next lesson or competition. [13 Performance Psychology Pointers]
Funny racehorse names, we all know. But what about ridiculous sport horse names? Don’t worry, there are plenty of those. Bunny Killer. [Most Hilarious Horse Names]
Thoroughbreds are always popular in Eventing, but sadly we have seen the warmblood really take over in other horse sports. Bringing the thoroughbred back to the Hunter world is particularly hard, but one couple in Camden, South Carolina, believe in the breed and it’s return to success in that sport. Danta and Danny Robertshaw remember the time when Hunters was dominated by the thoroughbred, and they’re determined to help bring them back to popularity. [We Still Believe In the Thoroughbred Hunter]

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

When you start to see a little booty peeking through on an OTTB. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I feel like with a developing horse, every year they come out a little different, and Turkey is no different. He made the move up to Modified as his last event in October, and he thought he was VERY cool after cross country. He carried that mentality into 2020, and has decided that he is hot stuff 24/7 this year. This has created, to say the least, some adjustments to my riding and training. Every horse, every year, a new thing to learn.

National Holiday: National Bootlegger’s Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Stable View H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Considering a move up this year? You’ll probably want to train skinny jumps, as they appear at almost all the levels now. Introducing skinny jumps mean honing your steering, building their confidence, making sure you can hold a line, and building trust between horse and rider. It’s an integral part of becoming a successful eventer, and something not to be neglected. [Introducing Skinny Jumps]

What’s it like to live a day in the life of a five-star eventer? The Chronicle of the Horse gets up close and personal with Sinead Halpin, following her from dawn to dusk to find out what it really takes to be her. Baby wrangling, riding, teaching, coaching, cooking dinner, drinking wine, it’s all in a day. [A Day In The Life]

Listicle of the Day: 14 Things You Always Wanted To Ask Your Horse

99 problems and all of them are your mare? Most mares get pregnant without major problems, but some encounter difficulties along the way. Breeders have a hard time getting certain mares in foal altogether, while other mares conceive but lose the pregnancy. The list of what can cause these reproductive issues is lengthy; when they occur, breeders and veterinarians must work together to determine the reason and find resolution. [What’s Plaguing Your Mare?]

Quiz of the Day: What Does Your Favorite Horse Breed Say About You?



Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

The dream, amiright? Photo courtesy of Allie Conrad.

Yesterday I put wood chips down in front of all my gates, because the mud was absolutely killing me. I think this year, I’m finally going to crack, and install gravel and honeycomb mats in front of the gates, because god forbid the horses stand LITERALLY anywhere else in the field. Why do they have to stomp all in the same place!

National Holiday: National Fig Newton Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Stable View H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

The USEA has confirmed that the 2021 American Eventing Championships will stay in Lexington, Kentucky! Following record entries in 2019 and feedback from competitors on positive experiences, the Kentucky Horse Park has agreed to host the AEC a third year, on Aug. 31 – Sept. 5, 2021. [KY Horse Park Confirms AECs 2021]

Taking a new young horse off property for the first time can be … an experience. Keeping things positive and making sure the learning experience isn’t traumatic for either of you is key. Renowned show jumper Michael Whitaker shares his tips for jumping a young horse off property for the first time, and we all know he’s got to have a pretty good system. [Jumping a Young Horse Off Property]

Senior horses teach us invaluable things. Horse Nation writer Kristen Kovatch has her fair share of seniors, and she shares her stories of how each one has shaped her life as a human and an equestrian. [Why I’ll Always Have Senior Horses]

Best of Blogs: Is Bad Behavior Mental or Physical?

Featured Video: In the FEI’s countdown of top moments in 2019, Ingrid Klimke topped the list.

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Just an Olympic rider enjoying his morning cup of coffee with a view. Photo by Andrew Hoy.

Yesterday I played the treacherous game of “is-the-dirt-road-melted-yet”, which might be familiar to some of you. I live on a lovely dirt road, which is very useful for fitness in the winter, but after a snow it can be slightly risky. The shaded parts get pounded down by cars, and then turns into a hard sheet of ice, which you have to delicately tiptoe around, and hope to god your horse doesn’t spook and kill you both. Winter is so fun!

National Holiday: National Bittersweet Chocolate Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Majestic Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Fitness fitness fitness…this is what makes the winter world go ’round! Formulating a competition plan for your year is hinged on your ability to form a proper fitness plan to accompany it, and that starts in the winter. This is built over weeks and weeks, but having a base knowledge of where to start and how to customize a plan for each horse is key. [Planning Your Horse’s Fitness Regime]

What makes British showjumping star Ben Maher tick? Turns out he prefers salad to pizza, Netflix to Amazon, and if he had to be a film star, it would be Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. Get to know him better in this quick-fire interview with Horse & Hound. [Ben Maher In Short]

Thoroughbred racehorse aftercare is simply a massive project. There are thousands of thoroughbreds every year that retire from their racing careers, and responsibly finding homes for all of them is an enormous task, even with all of the organizations dedicated to just that. Learning more about the process is integral to ensuring success in the future. [Emptying The Ocean With A Teaspoon: Thoroughbred Aftercare]

Best of Blogs: How to Actually Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions


Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

A particularly fat and hairy retired Advanced horse showing off his horrible teeth. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Thank god the snow we got on Tuesday melted yesterday because my dingbat Thoroughbred was already going stir crazy with two days off in a row. He’s not insane to ride after a few days off, but he becomes…strange…in the stall if he isn’t worked into some kind of exhaustion every day. He doesn’t stall walk, more like, persistent stall meandering, which is hell to clean no matter how often you try to pick it out through the day. If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with clean stalls, and this particular trick of his makes me go bonkers.

National Holiday: National Static Electricity Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Majestic Oaks H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Biggest news for the inter-disciplinary equestrian world yesterday was the official retirement of Laura Graves’ Verdades. Diddy, as he is known, has been a force in the US Dressage team for many years now, and was an actual fairytale come true for Laura. Now 18 years old, Laura purchased Diddy as just a yearling and they came up through the levels together, recording a 5th place at the 2014 WEG, team gold and individual silver at the 2015 Pan Ams, team bronze and individual 4th at the 2016 Olympics, and team and individual silver at the 2018 WEG. [Verdades Retires]

Does your horse have small rubs at the back of the saddle area this time of year? If so, it’s usually an indication of an issue with dermatitis, lameness, or saddle fit. If your horse has asymmetry from an unsoundness or kissing spines, the bald patches can be caused by irregular movement under tack. Hair rubbing can also be caused by movement from the saddle, which indicates a poor fit, so make sure you get your saddle checked on a regular basis. [Bald Patches On The Back]

What’s the difference between retraining a Standardbred racehorse to a Thoroughbred racehorse? Most people have experience in one or the other, but rarely both. Horse Nation blogger Ashley Francese has retrained both, however, and notes more commonalities than differences. [Standardbred vs Thoroughbred]

Training Tip Thursday: Lindsay Partridge’s Positive Horsemanship

Training Tip Thursday Pt 2: Moving Towards Intent: Is Your Training Too Loud?

Winter can be one of the most risky times of year for your horse. Between staying at home in the mud and the snow, or traveling down to a warmer climate and an unfamiliar environment, there are lots of factors that could potentially cause your horse medical distress. Luckily, with Taylor Harris Insurance Services on your side, you can sleep tight at night knowing your horse is protected, no matter what kind of ridiculous antics they pull in turnout. [Request a Quote from THIS]

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

It’s clipping season once again! Photo by Kate Samuels.

When I look back at the last decade, I honestly think the best advice I could give my younger self would be to find a good chiropractor (clarification: human chiropractor) and actually listen to him. When you’re in your twenties and older riders joke about how broken their bodies are, and they’re not even remotely joking. Get you a body work specialist early, and become their best friend.

National Holiday: National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day

News From Around the Globe:

Yesterday we celebrated the birthday of the one and only William Fox-Pitt! The man, the myth, the legend. One of a kind, super tall, extremely polite and multilingual, he is simply beyond compare. Horse & Hound compiled this list of career highlights to celebrate his contributions to the sport. [HBD WFP]

What does a rider like Boyd Martin have as New Year’s Resolutions? Let’s be real, nobody is surprised to see that getting through an entire year injury free is top of his list. However, there are some … more unusual wishes on the list? Read on. [Boyd Martin’s Resolutions]

Oh look, researchers are confirming stuff we already know. Turns out after a scientific study, scientists have concluded that horses are emotional sponges. Uh, yeah, we know that! Words and body language are certainly ways of communicating with horses, but more than that, they can pick up on our underlying emotions and aura while being handled. [Horses Are Emotional Sponges]

Best of Blogs: 2020 Goal Setting


Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Photo courtesy of Taylor Harris FB.

I hope everyone had a great NYE and that 2020 is off to a fantastic start. I rung in the new year with a pinched nerve in my neck courtesy of a few decades of eating dirt from horses at a high rate of speed (thanks youthful indiscretion) and sat in bed spooning dogs while icing my neck. It can only go up from here??

National Holiday: National Cream Puff Day

News From Around the Globe:

January kicks off the Eventing Risk Management Seminar and Forum with the FEI in England on January 24th and 25th. How eventing will be perceived in 10 years, and how it should look in 2030 is among the topics to be covered for level three judges, course designers and technical delegates at Aintree racecourse in Britain from January 24 to 25. An invitation-only session for National Safety Officers is being held on January 26, and will count as a refresher course for one year. [Eventing Risk Management Seminar]

Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials has named Alzheimer’s Research UK as its 2020 charity of the year following a record number of applicants. The Burghley team chose the charity owing to its dedication to making breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and cure for Alzheimer’s. Its mission is to bring about the first life-changing dementia treatment by 2025. [Burghley Names Alzheimer’s Research Charity of the Year]

Ugh, picky eaters and winter are the worst possible combination. Is your horse a picky eater? While eliminating certain physical issues such as stomach discomfort or dental problems is always the first plan of attack, there are other techniques to employ if your horse is just plain finicky. [Feeding the Picky Eater]

New year, new protection for your horse! Join the hundreds of top eventers who trust Taylor Harris Insurance Services to know their sport, and protect their horses. THIS knows eventing, and has coverage built just for your horse. Don’t go into another decade without it! [THIS is Eventing]

Social Media Spotlight: Cheers to eventers and the good work they do in the world!

Every year I host a holiday party for my friends and clients that includes a silent auction of all my amazing sponsors’…

Posted by Dani Sussman and Aspire Eventing on Monday, December 30, 2019




Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Lauren Kieffer and her mom on their annual Christmas ride together. Photo from Lauren.

This week in Virginia has been cold at night, but in the 60’s during the day, which is pleasant for sure, but also makes me extremely skeptical about the future of the winter. What kind of freezing hell is going to hit me in the next three months? How am I going to pay for this delightfully temperate December? I just know it’s coming. Call me a pessimist if you want but I know warm winter doesn’t go all the way through!

National Holiday: National Fruitcake Day

News From Around the Globe: 

The time of the year where we look back at the best of 2019! Blogs on the Chronicle are always great, with different perspectives from all disciplines, and all kinds of riders. We look back and the best blogs from 2019. [Best of Blogs 2019]

New years resolutions for an improved diet doesn’t just have to be for you in 2020. We are always trying to find better ways to feed our horses for health and performance, and 2020 could be the year that you find a better way to individualize your feeding program. [Equine Nutrition New Years Resolutions]

Anybody who knows me knows I love me a good blanket clip. It’s the best clip for midwinter! Enough clipped off to keep the sweat at bay, and a little left on top to keep the back and haunches warm (and also maybe keep them from butt scooting in the wind). Unless you’re in Florida, you gotta get you a blanket clip. [9 Reasons Why We Love The Blanket Clip]

Hot on Horse Nation: Top Photo Challenge Gallery of 2019

Please enjoy this deeply satisfying video of Badminton in the snow:

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Photo courtesy of Taylor Harris Insurance Services

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas had an excellent day yesterday, and ate tons of great food, hung out with people they love, rode their horse, and snuggled with their dog. After all, isn’t that a good day no matter what the season?

National Holiday: Boxing Day

News from Around the Globe:

Everyone is in holiday hangover mood right now, so let’s keep this short and sweet…

Neglected Shetland Turned Christmas Film Star Finds Fairytale Ending

Christmas Day Bloopers From Riders Around The World

The Equestrian’s 12 Days of Christmas

E.L.V.E.S. Kept Reindeer Ready To Fly


Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Photo by Kristy Garber.

Big congratulations to our World Equestrian Brands Holiday Horse Costume Contest winner, Kristy Garber! Kristy will take home a stocking stuffed with $275 worth of World Equestrian Brands goodies, including their incredible leather cleaning supplies, some rubber reins, a super soft horse brush, and some muscle cream for after rides.

The model: Blaze, an 11-year-old Haflinger mare owned by Kristy’s daughter Lindsey. When Lindsey heard about the photo contest, she knew she wanted to dress Blaze up but couldn’t decide between a snowman and the grinch, so Kristy suggested a Christmas tree. The rest was history. “Blaze is nothing but mare and was happy to pose for the picture — she stood still for every second of her dressing and perked her ears for the picture!” Kristy says. “Blaze adores treats and really just anything she can eat.”

National Day Calendar: National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day

News From Around the Globe:

Sadly this week a wonderful young rider was involved in a life threatening accident. Kailey Giancola was discovered Monday afternoon after a suspected fall while hacking her horse, unconscious but breathing. She was transported to the hospital and has suffered multiple severe injuries to her brain and is in a coma. They are currently working on getting her transferred to a Level I trauma. Multiple people have reached out wanting to help – please continue your thoughts and prayers. This fund as been started to help towards Kailey’s medical bills. [Ride For Kailey]

What could be a more perfect horrible/good combination than horsey Christmas movies? A combination of two generally low quality movie genres that are nonetheless always enjoyable, mostly because your expectations were never that high. Wow, I really sold this one! Anyway, here are some great horsey Christmas themed movies to watch while you’re lazing around on the holiday. [Horses & Christmas]

The patchwork quilt of racing jurisdictions across the United States may soon be under uniform anti-doping regulations, after support for a House bill garnered a crucial majority of co-sponsors. The Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019 would create a national anti-doping authority that would be independent of existing racing regulators. The legislation now exceeds 218 co-sponsors, which is a majority of the 435 voting members of the House. [Anti-Doping Regulation for US Horse Racing]

Featured Video: Happy 60th anniversary, USEA!

Celebrating 60 Years of U.S. Eventing

This year, the USEA celebrated its 60th anniversary. Relive 60 years of eventing history in the United States!

Posted by United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) on Thursday, December 19, 2019

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

I’ve been the victim and the perpetrator of this crime. Photo by Glendevon Stables FB.

As much as I don’t like the cold and the mud and the rain of winter, I actually don’t mind the season, because it gives me time to do other things I enjoy like baking and knitting. Yes, I am in fact a 90-year-old grandma, but I make cooler things than your grandma. With all the increased darkness, you have to have some things to enhance your happiness that are indoor activities, and meanwhile my horses enjoy a little bit of an off season break.

National Holiday: National Hard Candy Day

News From Around the Globe:

Our thoughts and prayers are with Kailey Giancola, Laura Welsh’s groom and right-hand girl who was found breathing but unconscious Monday afternoon after a suspected fall while hacking her horse after a flat ride. Kailey suffered multiple severe injuries to her brain resulting in potentially irreversible damages and is in a coma. We will share further updates to her condition. [Laura’s Facebook]

Canadian show jumper Nicole Walker is appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after her positive drug test at the 2019 Pan American Games. Her removal from results at the Pan Ams means that Canada does not qualify to send a show jumping team to the Olympics next year, so her success in this matter has more than just a personal consequence. [Canadian Show Jumping Team Disqualified from Tokyo]

After a freak pasture accident left Shelby Bluthardt’s horse with a mangled tail and butt, his medical story went from bad to worse, and almost caused his death. However, after almost a month in the hospital, a full tail amputation, and many months of careful care, the tail-less wonder Abe is back out competing and enjoying life full time. [Back from the Brink: Abe the Bulldog Horse]

Charlotte Dujardin is definitely not a one hit wonder, with a win in the Grand Prix Freestyle win at Olympia with Mount St John Freestyle. The pair earned a stunning 87% and blew the crowd away, with a soundtrack inspired by none other than Disney’s Frozen. Her stable mate Carl Hester was second with Hawtins Delicato with an 84.47%. [Charlotte Back on Top at Olympia]

Educational Thursday: What Shape Are My Horses Feet In? 

Featured Video: Jon Holling and Rick Wallace brought out their big-gun ugly Christmas sweaters for a special holiday episode of The Horse Talk Show featuring The Rick and Jon Show‘s illustrious hosts.

The Horse Talk Show

The Horse Talk Show with Louisa Barton

Posted by The Horse Talk Show on Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire! Photo by Emma Massingale.

Let it be known that yesterday I rode my thoroughbred after six weeks off and I did, in fact, survive. I’ll admit, I did put him on a rope for a while and let him bronc and rear and fling his legs about, because he needs to do that and I don’t really need to be involved. But I rode him and lived to tell the tale! Hope springs eternal.

National Holiday: National Cocoa Day

Weekend Preview: Don’t miss the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, happening Friday through Sunday in Boston, Massachusetts. For those who are unable to attend, don’t forget to tune in to the live stream that is generously being offered once again. #USEAConvention: USEA Convention PageScheduleProgramLive Stream, USEA’s Coverage, EN’s Coverage

News From Around the Globe: 

Working with a horse with separation anxiety can be one of the most challenging things for any trainer. Your horse isn’t with you mentally, because he’s constantly distracted by the thought of his friends, and certainly for eventing it’s important that he learns to be okay alone, or he won’t be going out on a cross country course. With time and conscientious training, you can make a difference in his confidence, and your work will improve. [What To Do With Separation Anxiety]

Ready for some award-winning equestrian films for your long winter nights? Check out these British produced films that won awards at the Equus Film Festival in Kentucky this week. Ranging from a light-hearted Christmas ad to an in depth excursion into winning in the world of racing, these films are sure to warm your heart. [Watch Great Horse Films]

In a day and age where many riders have access to highly trained grooms, some horsemanship and knowledge around the barn has gone to the wayside. The only way to cure this is to demand horsemanship before riding, and encourage barns and parents to emphasize that as equal part of their equestrian education. [Real Riders Don’t Hand-Off Horsemanship]

Best of Blogs: I Got It From My Mother

Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

Vacation was a mistake. Photo by Kate Samuels

Next year, when November rolls around and I think I’ll do the cool thing and give my horse a vacation….somebody slap me. It’s the right thing to do, right? Give your young horse a vacation after a year of work? Just for like, a month, nothing crazy. Terrible idea. No more vacations.

National Holiday: Gingerbread House Day

Weekend Preview: Don’t miss the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, happening Friday through Sunday in Boston, Massachusetts. For those who are unable to attend, don’t forget to tune in to the live stream that is generously being offered once again. #USEAConvention: USEA Convention PageScheduleProgramLive Stream, USEA’s Coverage, EN’s Coverage

News From Around the Globe: 

Looking for some last-minute Christmas gifts for your fellow eventer? Horse Nation has compiled a list of tried and true incredible gifts that you’ll want to keep for yourself, but should definitely also give to your friends. [HN Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide]

If you’re a first-time breeder and considering a new career for your mare come this spring, you should definitely start your research ahead of time. Systematically assessing your mare, preparing her and working with your veterinary team is part of ensuring success for your future superstar. Learn what lies ahead with this article. [8 Steps for Breeding Your Mare]

Best of Blogs: 9 Tips To Avoid Becoming A Bitter Barn Owner

Feeding your horse properly in the winter has to be an entirely different set of skills. Some horses get fat, some get thin, some go crazy with extra time in the stall, some have to be fed more but not enough to get hot. Figure out the magical nutrition recipe within. [6 Expert Tips For Feeding Horses in the Winter]

Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

We’re sad to report that the feisty and tiny mare Madeline passed away on Wednesday at the age of 19. Found by Marilyn Payne as a four-year-old, Baby was tamed by Holly Payne, and took her to the very highest levels of the sport. Despite her small stature, Baby never met a fence on cross country she couldn’t conquer. She retired a few years ago and became a schoolmaster for owner Jill Gordon, and was beloved through her final day. We will all miss you, Baby.

National Holiday: National Bartender Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Duh duh duh the Maryland Five Star website and logo is officially released! Excitement is building for the new five star next fall held at Fair Hill, and in 312 days, we can see it in person. In the meantime, check out their new website and tour everything in virtual reality. [Maryland Five Star]

Concerns about the heat and humidity in Tokyo next summer have caused some early schedule changes. Included in the sports that have already been rearranged is Eventing, with the cross country portion moved to start at 7:30 am. Temperatures are predicted to be in the 90’s with a very high humidity, which is already causing concern for lots of competitors. [High Temps for Tokyo 2020]

Flying horses across the country and across the Atlantic is something most people don’t really think about. But for lots of top competitors, including Catherine Haddad Staller, it’s pretty much part of the game. Living in New Jersey, training in California and competing in Europe she’s on Air Horse One a lot. Curious about the details for flights this way and that? Read on. [One If By Land, Two If By Sea]

Best of Blogs: Beautiful Memories and Hard-Earned Healing

Hot on Horse Nation: Best Walmart Aisles for Horse People 


Thursday News & Notes from Taylor Harris Insurance Services (THIS)

A boop of magnificent proportions. Photo by Morningside Eventing.

I accomplished a magical thing this year, and managed to get my thoroughbred to take almost a WHOLE MONTH of vacation. Trust me when I tell you this is truly an early Christmas Miracle, as in previous attempts after five days he would start going bonkers. Of course, I brought him back into work and was hacking for a few days and then he cut off half his frog, so now we’re clinging to the precipice of sanity and hoping that heals quickly…

National Holiday: International Ninja Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

If you read one thing this winter about working with young horses, read this. Matt Brown writes about working with a particularly athletic OTTB in his barn, one that had him stymied intellectually. That is, until he remembered a lesson he learned from his sensei at karate school as a kid. Sometimes using your brain instead of your brawn gets the best results. [The Middle Path With Mr C]

Let’s talk crookedness. Crooked horses come in many shapes and sizes, whether from conformation, lameness, a crooked rider, or other causes, it’s never a good thing. Our job as riders is to help our horses be as straight as possible not only because it’s correct, but because it’s the most physically sustainable way to travel, and going about crooked tends to lead to discomfort down the line. [The Crooked Horse]

Gemma Jelinsky has been Liz Halliday-Sharp’s head groom for seven years. She redefines the term super groom, with traveling between England and the US, as well as heading to other countries to accompany her horses in their competitive endeavors. However, the life of a groom, no matter how good, is a tough life, and Gemma has been open about the toll it has taken on her life. [Gemma Loves Her Job, But Grooming Takes It’s Toll]

Winter has tons of horse health worries, but you can sleep sound at night with Taylor Harris Insurance Services on your side. With just five minutes and your morning coffee, you can fill out this online quote request form, and be well on your way to joining the ranks of top eventers who trust THIS. [THIS Matters in Winter]