Kate Samuels
Articles Written 1,132
Article Views 1,573,085

Kate Samuels

Achievements

Become an Eventing Nation Blogger

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

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

I can’t even right now. Photo via Michael Jung’s Instagram.

AHHHHH it’s actually happening! It has begun! Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event 2017! I haven’t been since 2010 when I drove for both Rolex and the WEG to the Horse Park, so I’m super pumped to be going again. Also, let’s just take a moment to appreciate that Michael Jung, World/Olympic/European/Universe champion, was at one point standing in the arena taking selfies while lunging his horse. Celebrities, they’re just like us.

Events This Week:

#RK3DE Links: WebsiteScheduleEntriesEN’s CoverageLive StreamEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram, Live Scores

Fresno County Horse Park HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

University of New Hampshire Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring HT: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

For real. Download the EN App. I can’t believe I have to remind you. It sends you reminders when we post a new article! So you don’t miss a thing!! [App for iOS] [App for Android]

What does it take to get a horse ready for the Rolex jogs? Elbow grease, baby oil, sooooo many baths in purple shampoo, some hoof oil on your face, and the tiniest neatest braids you’ve ever seen. Just kidding (kinda). Max Corcoran shows us around the Rolex stables and tells us what’s up with turnout at this level. [Show Turnout 101]

Allison Springer will be sporting a royal blue pin for her last ride at Rolex with Arthur in support of young equestrian Jess Smart. Allison taught Jess and her spunky Paint/Saddlebred cross many times during her stays in Aiken, and Jess was always available to help jump crew at clinics. Taken by both horse and rider’s game attitude, Allison didn’t hesitate to represent Jess on this occasion. Jess was attacked by a mysterious and aggressive disease this spring, and doctors are still trying to find a diagnoses, meanwhile she is trying to recover the use of her body and voice. [Help Jess Smart]

I can’t believe we’re introducing Shane Rose as a Badminton first-timer … but here he is!

 

Wednesday News & Notes from SmartPak

Sharon White’s mount, Cooley On Show, gets some snuggles after hacking around for his first visit to Rolex Kentucky. Photo via Sharon.

Let’s get right to business: have you downloaded the EN App yet??? If not, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE!!!?? Get on it. It’s super fun and easy and a great way to keep up with all the happenings at Rolex this week without refreshing your browser every few minutes. You can get it on iOS and Android, so hop to it!

Download the EN app for iOS: apple.co/2q1Phaw

Download the EN app for Android: bit.ly/2q25359

Events This Week:

#RK3DE Links: WebsiteScheduleEntriesEN’s CoverageLive StreamEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Fresno County Horse Park HT: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times

University of New Hampshire Spring HT: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring HT: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times

News From Around the Globe:

Unfortunately Waylon Roberts had to withdraw Kelecyn Cognac from Rolex at the last minute. During the trip from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, the horse contracted shipping fever, and while they tried everything they could and hoped he would bounce back, ultimately the decision was made to take him to the Hagyard Institute to better insure his recovery. We wish “Dan” a speedy recovery and hope to see him and Waylon at a four-star very soon! Waylon Roberts Sporthorses

Don’t forget to enter our Rolex Pick ‘Em Contest from Omega Alpha! All you have to do is pick the winning rider and their overall score, easy enough right? Entries close before the first test on Thursday and you win a big old goody bag from Omega Alpha if you’re a magical wizard and you get it right! Enter Pick ‘Em

Best of Blogs: Carrie Childs’ Road to Badminton

Competition nerves can get the best of us, but some good old fashioned sports psychology can get you on the horse and into the ring. Horse & Hound spoke with Danielle Olding, an expert in performance coaching and sports psychology, about ten top tips to help anybody overcome a bout of nerves. 10 Tips To Banish Competition Nerves

If April showers bring May flowers, I better wake up next week to an entire FIELD of daisies. I’ve been drizzled on, I’ve been stuck in a downpour, I’ve been up to my knees in mud, but what I haven’t been is drenched to the bone. That’s because I know about rain jackets, and I always have one in my car. You can bet I’m brining one to Rolex! Check out this new jacket from Outback, it looks stylish as hell and you can bet your bottom dollar that it’s waterproof to the hilt. SmartPak Product of the Day

 

 

On the road to Rolex!

 

Product Review: Ice Vibe Boots from Horseware Ireland

The Ice Vibe X-Full Boots. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I’ve been dying to try the Ice Vibe Boots from Horseware almost since the day they came out on the shelf of my local Dover. This is not an exaggeration. Therefore, when I was presented with the opportunity to try them and review them, my immediate answer was yes of course. Since I’ve had them, they’ve quickly worked their way into my regular equine therapy repertoire and probably won’t ever leave.

The basic idea of these boots is to offer a combination of cooling and massage therapy to the horse’s legs. The ice packs slow down blood flow to prevent swelling, while the vibration effectively encourages lymph to move, thereby draining inflammation and stimulating repair to damaged tissue.

Your Ice Vibe Boots come in a lovely bag for organizing and transporting. Photo by Kate Samuels.

You can use the boots with or without the ice packs, and before or after exercise, all to great effect. Using the boots with just vibration before exercise can help reduce the risk of injury, as increasing blood flow to the tendons and ligaments using the vibration makes them more elastic. On the other side of the spectrum, using them for rehabilitating an already damaged tendon or ligament is also achieved more quickly with daily therapy.

I tried the Ice Vibe X-Full boots, which offer the most coverage from right below the knee all the way down under the fetlock. You can also get the same great product in the form of knee wraps or hock wraps. For horses with joint stiffness, these are an excellent option, and you can even integrate warm packs with massage into your therapy repertoire.

There are four pockets to choose from when inserting your vibrating panels. Photo by Kate Samuels.

So, in your Ice Vibe bag you get two boots, two cold packs, two integrated vibrating panels, and a battery charger with four universal adapters (for your international lifestyle, when you go to Badminton and still need your Ice Vibe Boots). The vibrating panels charge on a USB port, so you can even charge them on your computer or in your truck at a show, which is super convenient. They charge up really quickly, in just a few hours, and last for six uses per charge.

When you unfold the boots, you can see that there are four pockets to choose from when you insert your vibrating panel. This enables you to specifically choose an area of the leg that you would like to focus on, if, for instance, there is an interest in boosting circulation to an old or current injury. The vibrating panels have three settings: setting 1 is the lowest frequency vibration, and turns off after 10 minutes, setting 2 is slightly higher level of vibration and lasts twenty minutes, and setting three is for exceptionally large boned horses or a situation with a lot of old excess scar tissue.

The cold packs fit snugly around the leg. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The ice packs are some of the nicest I have come across, because when you freeze them, they don’t become literal blocks of ice that are impossible to mold to the shape of the horse’s leg. They stay cold for up to 40 minutes, and a soft and pliable enough that you can really get a good fit around the leg of the horse, providing top notch coverage and no gaps. No need to crack and smash and stamp on them to get them to fit around the leg.

The boots themselves go directly over the ice packs, which independently velcro onto the leg, so you can be assured that they stay in place. The boots are extremely durable, as you might expect from Horseware, and they have four very sturdy velcro straps that go straight, and one that loops around and under the feltlock.

Once these boots are strapped into place, you can activate the vibrating panels on the setting of your choice, and go about your activities. This is one of the great advantages of these boots; you can literally set it and forget it. You can put your horse in the stall, in the cross ties, in the trailer, and these boots will continue to provide therapy while you tend to other stuff in the barn for 20 minutes.

The Ice Vibe X-Full Boots provide full coverage from below the knee all the way around the fetlock. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Overall, these boots are incredibly easy to use, effective, multi-functional, and well designed. There is a reason why top riders worldwide swear by them, including Michael Jung, Carl Hester and Phillip Dutton. Horseware is, above all others, a brand that I personally trust to the hilt, and after trying these boots as well as reading testimonials from many top riders in every discipline, I can only give these Ice Vibe Boots a review of two thumbs up.

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Hellooooo black beauty! Photo by Kate Samuels

What is it about black horses and grey horses that just make us swoon? I just picked up Nyls’ “little” brother, who is just about to be four and already a hair over 17.1 hands, so not very little at all. He’s also about the opposite personality type, which is hilarious. He is extremely laid back, calm about everything, and super friendly like a dog. So, not really like Nyls at all. But I can’t wait to get started with him!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Longleaf Pine H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Plantation Field April H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

River Glen Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Holly Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

US Eventing Show Jumping course design is doing cool things this year.  In 2017, Richard Jeffery will review show jumping courses for all FEI eventing competitions in the U.S. following the event. Course designers will be asked to submit their courses as posted at the competition to Jeffery with all technical details (distance, time allowed, etc.) within five days of the completion of the competition. Each course, along with the technical details provided by the course designer, will be posted on the US Equestrian website with Jeffery’s critique. This will allow course designers to review other courses and consider Jeffery’s input when designing their own courses. [USEF: Eventing Show Jumping Enters Next Stage]

Got a horse that is unpredictable with loading into the trailer? Inevitably this happens when you’re loading up early in the morning for an important show or clinic, and it’s a nightmare. Troubleshooting how to deal with different trailer loading problems is important, and I find it is most important to determine why your horse has the undesired behavior in the first place. Read more to become a better trailer trainer. [Troubleshooting Trailer Loading]

Like you even needed reminding, but a new video from England highlights racehorses in their second careers. Shot in Newmarket by Equine Productions, it features horses in eventing, show jumping, dressage and polo, and includes the Queen’s champion 2-year-old racehorse who is now competing at Prix St Georges. [Retraining of Racehorses]

Best of Blogs: Around In Circles vs Over Fences

Want to embarrass dress up your horse for the summer season? The incredible can’t-go-wrong Cashel Fly Masks now come in six differently colored patterns, so your pony can stand out in a crowd. Or complain to his friends how he is wearing pink sparkles on his ears and doesn’t think it’s very manly. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

 

KER Service of the Week – Educational Resources

New horse? Different barn? Change in workload? Things can get complicated when it comes to feeding and managing horses. Kentucky Equine Research (KER) wants to help make it easier for you to stay up-to-date with the latest in equine nutrition and management. From new articles daily on Equinews.com to a library that includes technical resources and our own published research—you can find the answers at KER.

Equinews.com is a reference site for all of your horse feeding and management questions. You will find articles that cover topics in nutrition, health, and general information regarding horses. You can also get these articles delivered to your inbox weekly with KER’s award-winning newsletter, The Weekly FeedSee an example issue and subscribe today!

Would you like to dig deeper into the science behind proper equine nutrition and management practices? Check out the KER Library which includes numerous research reports and conference proceedings, as well as the full text of all four volumes of Advances in Equine Nutrition. This information is fully searchable and is readily available to browse, download, or email.

Product Review: Omega Alpha Equine AntiFlam and Sinew-X Plus

A whole host of Omega Alpha products, made to make your horse feel like a million bucks. Photo by Kate Samuels.

A whole host of Omega Alpha products, made to make your horse feel like a million bucks. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Let’s face it: Soundness is our highest priority for our horses. It doesn’t matter if they’re weekend trail buddies or four-star champions, what we all want is for our horses to feel comfortable and avoid any pain that their lifestyle, career or body in general might induce. This is why the market for supplements that help heal and maintain joints, ligaments, muscles and everything in between is so large, but only a few actually work.

 I was lucky enough to sample several of Omega Alpha supplements on a variety of horses over a period of several months, and I was pleased with my findings for all of them. Included in my samples were Equine AntiFlam and Sinew-X Plus with Hyaluronic Acidtwo highly regarded supplements intended for the maintenance of sound competition horses.

To begin, all Omega Alpha products are herbal formulations, which means that they are all-natural but also have been thoroughly tested and evaluated by master herbalists, pharmacists, veterinarians, medical doctors and naturopathic doctors. All of the OA products are also safe for horses to consume while under the scrutiny of the ever increasing FEI drug regulations, which makes it a handy product to have in a high-level competition barn.

AntiFlam helps with recovery from injuries and also manages body aches in the back, joints, legs and feet. Photo by Kate Samuels.

AntiFlam manages body aches in the back, joints, legs and feet. Photo by Kate Samuels.

AntiFlam is an all natural formula that really promotes circulation and reduces discomfort in the hooves of your horse, which is integral to your success in the show ring. My top level horse, Nyls, has notoriously flat and thin-soled feet that have been carefully managed but are constantly in the back of my mind as I choose events and condition him in between. There was a year where he got six bruises that effectively halted any progress or competing, and that was a nightmare.

Therefore, I was highly intrigued to try a supplement that was specifically created to help him with his lingering issues. Most hoof supplements that we find on the market are created to encourage growth, and most topical treatments either harden or moisten the outer portion. Omega Alpha AntiFlam is unique in that it targets the real issue, and that is sensitivity and discomfort. Feeling uncomfortable on his feet can cause your horse an entire host of issues with joints, legs, muscles and even their back, and through treatment with AntiFlam, studies have shown that these issues decline.

AntiFlam is administered in a 60cc dose twice a day for a loading period of one to two weeks, and then only once a day thereafter. It comes with a handy pump which squirts 30cc each time, and can be added into your horse’s daily grain. It has passed the equine taste tests of all my picky eaters.

Sinew-X Plus with Hyaluraonic Acid is formulated to maintain healthy joints, muscles and ligaments. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Sinew-X Plus with Hyaluronic Acid is formulated to maintain healthy joints, muscles and ligaments. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Sinew-X Plus with Hyaluronic Acid is a complementary supplement to AntiFlam, designed to maintain healthy joints, muscles, and ligaments. At a certain point in their careers or at a certain age, almost all sport horses do consume an oral joint supplement, as some have been proven to be quite effective. Sinew-X Plus has been shown to reduce joint inflammation, but also promote faster and stronger soft tissue regeneration during healing from an injury.

Hyaluronic acid is a member of a group of compounds called glycosaminoglycans. These substances are what give skin its elasticity, cartilage its give, and fluids their lubricating properties. Hyaluronic acid is found both in joint fluid and the cartilage itself. It is a major factor contributing to the slippery feel of joint fluid. In inflamed joints, breakdown of HA makes the joint fluid more watery and less able to keep the joint greased. In combination with the D-Glucosamine Sulphate that is contained in Sinew-X Plus, which has a higher bioavailability than regular glucosamine, this makes for a powerful joint supplement. 

I used both of these supplements in conjunction for my fall season this year, and Nyls is 15 (don’t tell him though), so he is beginning to experience some of the regular age-based joint issues. I have been very lucky with him, and he is relatively low maintenance and more or less feels like a young lad most of the time.

However, once he was on these supplements for a month, I can tell you that he was suddenly the master of a brand new spring in his step. He was fresher than ever, felt much more bouncy and powerful in our flat movements, and had another level of spring to his jump schools. Sadly, some of this was to my detriment at some times, as I was underestimating how good he felt, and he ended up being a bit naughty. However, if the worst I can say is that my horse felt so good in his body that it was a flashback to his 6-year-old year, perhaps that’s even more of a testament to the functionality of the supplements.

All Omega Alpha products reviewed for Eventing Nation come with the Nyls stamp of tasty approval. Photo by Kate Samuels.

All Omega Alpha products reviewed for Eventing Nation come with the Nyls stamp of tasty approval. Photo by Kate Samuels.

All Omega Alpha products can be perused online at their website, and purchased online through four different dealers listed therein. You can also search for a store near you on their search engine, with many options available through the United States and Canada. Tune in to Eventing Nation product reviews for a continued exploration into the Omega Alpha product line, as I go through everything that I sampled this fall.

 

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Photo courtesy of Taylor Harris Insurance Services Facebook page.

I’ve got a very exciting announcement this week … but you’ll all just have to wait to see what it is! Mwahahaha! Let’s just say it comes as a sequel to my infamous Nyls, and it’s one of my favorite things. This can be called “making something out of nothing,” or taking a scraggly ragamuffin and transforming it into a wondrous beast of many talents. Wait and see!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Longleaf Pine H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Plantation Field April H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

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

River Glen Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Holly Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Developing young horses into confident upper level mounts is a talent all to its own. Two-time leading lady rider Lauren Kieffer is a super four-star rider, but also incredibly lucky to have experience in bringing along a string of young horses from the ground up. She’s not above riding four-year-olds at Novice. Lauren has a great blog with the USEA chronicling her adventures with her current string, all of whom have different paths on their way to success. Bonus: videos of exercises for young horses! [Young Horses Take Their Own Courses]

I never imagined this headline, but top event riders tried their hand at Camel Racing at Burnham Market over the weekend. Lissa Green, Jonty Evans, Laura Collett, Bill Levitt and Sarah Cohen along with ten other riders all participated in  a spot of camel racing for charity at the event. Decked out in cross country attire, there was more than enough hilarity to go around. The races will recommence at Houghton Horse Trials next month, and god help us, I hope they come to the US. [Camel Racing Event Riders]

Ah, the horsey engagement. It’s what all horse crazy girls dream of, right? Your man, your horse….your man embracing the batty horse side of you and acknowledging that you probably want the horse to be part of the wedding… Horse & Hound collected three of the best horse engagement stories and compiled them for your pleasure. [Horsily Ever After]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product Review: Horseware Maya Ladies Padded Vest

The Maya Ladies Padded Vest is perfect for the spring weather coming our way. Photo by Erica Stevens.

The Maya Ladies Padded Vest is perfect for the spring weather coming our way. Photo by Erica Stevens.

With the weather leaping from unseasonably warm to below freezing and back again on a regular basis, your wardrobe for surviving the unpredictability of spring is incredibly important. A cozy vest is just what the doctor ordered, as it keeps your core warm, but allows you to breathe during exercise. I was lucky enough to test out this Horseware Maya Padded Ladies Vest, and found it to be well suited to my needs in the barn and out riding.

Like all Horseware products, this vest has been designed with durability in mind, and I really appreciate that. As somebody who does everything from mucking stalls to stacking hay to riding 8 horses a day, my clothes have to keep up, or else they’re out the door. The Maya Padded Ladies Vest is water repellant, which helps keep it dry and clean all day, and has a rugged feel to the nylon outer shell that seems like it would be good for many years to come.

While it is hard wearing, the comfort factor of the vest is also balanced well. The inside of the vest is a soft and silky polyester, with a  soft flannel-like detail at the nape of the neck, for added comfort against your skin. It has two zippered pockets that are nice and roomy, as well as an inner breast pocket on the left side, which I really like to use for my phone and headphones.

unnamed-1

The Maya Ladies Padded Vest also has a hidden hood packed into the collar. Photo by Erica Stevens.

The design of this vest is flattering, with nips at the waist line and a slightly curved hemline that provides coverage for your lower back when you ride. Nothing is more frustrating than a great piece of clothing that changes the way it fits when you get on the horse and sit down, which is why design by a team like Horseware is so important. They understand that a gust of wind blowing up your shirt from behind is less than desirable, and have constructed this vest to avoid that uncomfortable situation.

Not only is the fit nicely done, but the details are also an added value to the vest. This product is trimmed with a cute leather accent all the way around the edges, as well as the pockets. The front is a sturdy double zip, and the pockets zip as well, to keep your stuff from falling out on trot sets. Let me also mention that this vest is machine washable, which is extremely important when it comes to barn clothes, as they tend to get quite dirty on a regular basis.

The Maya Ladies Padded Vest has a poofy and upright collar that I was initially suspicious about, but grew to enjoy as I wore the jacket more. The collar protected me against windy days, and really increased the warmth factor when zipped all the way up. In addition, there is a hidden hood that is folded up inside the back of the collar, which you can easily unzip and unfold. This comes in handy if you are caught in a spring shower, or if you just want a little more wind protection for your head. The hood is also large enough to fit over a helmet, should you decide to rock that look.

unnamed

The Maya Ladies Padded Vest comes in “blue jean” color and goes quite well with a variety of outfits. Photo by Erica Stevens.

The Maya Ladies Padded Vest comes in only one color, blue jean, but I found it to be easily paired with a variety of other outfit pieces. For my photo shoot, I was unwittingly wearing fifty shades of blue, but it worked out okay in the end. I found that the sizing chart ran true to form, and I fit into a size small wonderfully. I was able to wear several thin layers underneath the vest very comfortably, and though that it fit me snugly in all the right ways.

You can find Horseware products such as this vest at a variety of vendors across the U.S. and other countries, and their website has a handy “Where To Buy” link for your convenience. Horseware is carried by almost every local tack store, as well as Dover and SmartPak, so you shouldn’t have any trouble locating a local place to find the Maya Ladies Padded Vest.

 

 

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Magical Unicorn! Work by Mike Roe.

I’m here at Fair Hill, bunking in a trailer with one of my oldest friends from the terrors of working student days, and even though the event is only two days long for me, it feels like a mini vacation. Well, minus the fact that everyone on their way to this event got stuck in the most god-awful traffic on 95 (regardless of northern or southern origin). I was stuck for over an hour standing still! People saw trucks ablaze the side of the road! Madness!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Fair Hill CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Ocala CCI & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Twin Rivers CCI, CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Can you remember David O’Connor’s big ride Wilton Fair? By big I mean literally too, this Irish gelding was a stocky 17.3 hands, and while he proved too much horse for several people before David, this pair was very successful at the upper levels together. Relive the glory days of David and “Wilbur” with this Throwback Thursday from the USEA. [Wilton Fair & David O’Connor]

Best of heartfelt-letter-to-a-horse blogs: Lainey Ashker Writes to Anthony Patch

Badminton Badminton Badminton!!

Hot on Horse Nation: Fantasy Farm = Narnia

Sore No More Liniment is a must-have for your trunk at shows and at home. This wonderful little bottle is proven to help reduce deep tissue and soft tissue discomfort, and improve the performance of equine athletes. I actually do notice the difference between a leg wrapped with Sore-No-More and a leg dry wrapped. This Performance Ultra Liniment also is specifically formulated so that it is FEI legal. [SmartPak Product of The Day]

Looking for a first-show experience for your baby event horse? Silver Fern Farm’s Young Horse Series features three shows (April 29, June 10 and Sept. 2) in Earleville, MD. Bring all of your greenies out — there will be in-hand classes for all disciplines and breeds, as well as baby green under saddle and crossrail classes,” explains series founder MaryAnn Luke. “My goal is to make this show series well run and mimic a rated type show, but be a relaxed venue for all involved to learn and become more adjusted in a safe inviting environment.” [Silver Fern Farm Young Horse Series]

Put Your Best Hoof Forward with Bio•Bloom™ PS

Shine down the centerline with Bio•Bloom PS! Developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), Bio•Bloom PS is a dual-action supplement designed to promote and maintain healthy skin, coat, and hoof condition from the inside out.

Bio•Bloom PS contains biotin, methionine, iodine, and chelated zinc at levels shown to improve hoof growth, including development of strong hoof wall to keep those shoes on! If you are looking for a soft, shiny coat, dapples for days, and healthy growth of mane and tail, choose Bio•Bloom PS for its essential amino acids and fatty acids. Learn more here.

To help you get show-ring ready, KER is offering 15% off of the KERx hoof and coat collection in April with code SHINE417. Shop now.

Product Review: Horseware Rhino Wug Medium Turnout Blanket

The Horseware Rhino Wug features their patented front leg arches to allow for freedom of movement. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Horseware Rhino Wug features their patented front leg arches to allow for freedom of movement. Photo by Kate Samuels.

When you think of Horseware, you automatically think of high quality blankets, but did you know they also offer many extremely affordable options within their line of products? With Rambo, Rhino and Amigo, you can truly have your pick of price range and fit for each individual horse in your barn. I’ve been a fan of the Rhino Wug for a long time, for many different reasons, and I was excited to delve further into the design and function of this blanket.

I got to try out the Rhino Wug Medium Turnout, which comes in a checkered chocolate and cream color in all three varying layers, so your horse can be extremely matched in his or her wardrobe. A really great aspect of a brown turnout is that it doesn’t look so bad when your horse inevitably rolls in the mud! It’s a stylish color combination that flatters most shades of horses, and doesn’t show off mud stains too badly.

This turnout is waterproof on the outside and the inside, which offers your horse extra protection from the elements. I have to say that Horseware blankets also seem to stay waterproof long beyond their competitors, which is a huge benefit for longevity. A turnout that gets soggy in the rain or snow is no good to anybody, and a complete waste of money.

The outer shell of the Rhino Wug Turnout is made of 1000 denier polypropylene and the inside is a silky smooth nylon lining that is pleasant against your horse’s skin. It also has the benefit of thermobonded fiber fill, which means that it stays lofted and puffy, in turn keeping your horse warmer for longer with the layers of fill. The inner layer is anti-static and anti-bacterial, so it is good for your horse’s skin and you won’t shock the living hell out of them when you pull it off to ride.

The multi-barrier system of the Horseware blankets makes sure that your horse stays dry and warm, even in the worst weather. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The multi-barrier system of the Horseware blankets makes sure that your horse stays dry and warm, even in the worst weather. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I’ve been in love with the cut and style of the Rhino Wug line from Horseware for a long time, and for several reasons. I find that it is an excellent style for horses with really big shoulders, as it allows freedom of movement through there and has never given any of my horses rubs. Shoulder rubs are a huge pet peeve of mine, and I will judge you if I see one, as it means you have either the wrong style or the wrong size for your horse. We think hard about the style and cut and size of our jeans, and we should put the same thought into the blankets for our horses!

I really enjoy the half neck cut on the Rhino Wug as well, and it serves three purposes. First, it’s a great fit for horses with shorter necks (ahem, Nyls) who look ridiculous in a regular neck piece. Second, when they put their heads down to graze, it offers some protection from precipitation, as there is a little ledge that keeps the rain from going down into the blanket and against their skin. And finally, it really does well with horses that have extremely high withers, because it doesn’t put any pressure on that area, which also preserves your horse’s mane. Nobody likes a bald spot where the blanket rests.

The Rhino Wug Turnouts have a double velcro chest latch underneath two sturdy snaps. Smiling horse not included. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Rhino Wug Turnouts have a double velcro chest latch underneath two sturdy snaps. Smiling horse not included. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Rhino Wug Turnout has reflective strips along the front of the chest, which come in handy when you’re trying to locate your horse in the field in the dark. This is a feature that I won’t underestimate again. It also has two very durable straps across the belly, and a double velcro chest latch combined with two snaps. This blanket also has a small loop under the tail hood (for lack of a better term) which you can tuck your horse’s tail through. This seems unnecessary, but it plays a big part in keeping the blanket secure as your horse aggressively rolls in the dirt. Through use of the tail loop, your blanket doesn’t slip off to one side at all.

Overall, this is a really well designed and well executed blanket, and the best part is that it’s extremely affordable. Coming in at only $209, there isn’t much you can argue with right there. I have had a lightweight version of this blanket for five years, and it’s still going just as strong as the day I got it, so that’s some real value for you there. The Rhino Wug Turnouts stay waterproof for years to come, are durable on the outside and soft on the inside, and come with the stamp of approval you can trust from Horseware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

A truly horrible view. Photo by me, Kate Samuels.

Yesterday I woke up to a black sky, and a full morning of thunderstorms and heavy rain and generally miserable conditions. Then, halfway through the day, it all completely blew over, the sun came out, it became beautiful and I even saw an incredible rainbow in the afternoon. Sometimes, I think that Virginia truly can’t make up it’s mind what season we are in at any given time.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

The Fork CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

CDCTA Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Pine Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Spring Bay H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

John and Beezie Madden announced the retirement of the amazing Cortes ‘C’ yesterday on Facebook. Tiny, as he is known in the barn, is best known for his cross-legged jumping style and was successful with Beezie for many years, including a Team and Individual bronze medal at the 2014 WEG, and competing in the 2016 Olympics before sustaining an injury. We’ll miss you Tiny! [Cortes ‘C’ Retires]

Gold Cup Fast Facts: The Fork and Chattahoochee Hills

Hot on Horse Nation: Goat Equitation

Doesn’t your perfect pony deserve the fluffiest of fluffy sheepskin shipping halters? For all those long hours on the road to get to events, clinics, and lessons, you want your precious darling to keep his/her head safe while traveling, and there is no better way than outfitting them with a giant fluffy halter. SmartPak has an excellent one that won’t break the bank. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

KER ClockIt™ – Session of the Week

In this week’s session, a rider takes her horse out for cross-country training using hills. As you can see in the session below, the horse’s heart rate (purple line) increases when the horse goes up each hill (blue line), despite minor changes in speed. By using a hill, riders can easily raise their horse’s heart rate into a higher conditioning zone without increasing speed.

Multiple KER treadmill studies have shown that exercising horses on an incline greatly increases work intensity as measured by oxygen consumption, heart rate, and lactate production. These studies have shown that at a canter speed, a 1% increase in grade increases a horse’s heart rate 6 bpm—the same effect on heart rate as increasing speed 35m/min on a level treadmill. Therefore, equal heart rates can be obtained by cantering horses on a 6% grade at 490 m/min as from galloping on the flat at 700 m/min.

To see a detailed report like the one above, go to the KER ClockIt website and log in to your account. Once you are signed in, you can view your detailed sessions under the “Sessions” tab.

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

A whole mess of confused looking Advanced and CIC3* riders at The Fork. Photo courtesy of Allison Springer

And thus begins a new era, with The Fork officially starting at Tryon International Equestrian Center today. The Fork has long been a highly anticipated event, as one of the last prequels to Rolex, and with the signature terrain of the previous hosting farm. This year, for the first time, it’s held at the soon-to-be WEG location of Tryon, and we can’t wait to see what they have in store.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

The Fork CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

CDCTA Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Pine Hill Spring H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

Spring Bay H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

News From Around the Globe:

Get a top notch course walk from Tamie Smith around the CIC* Galway course from last week. In the USEA’s new series, “Ride Between The Flags”, you get a personal course walk from some of the nation’s top riders, with specific combinations and real life courses on the line. Tamie won the CIC* with Mai Baum, upon his return to competition at Galway, and she knows a thing or two about accurate cross country riding. [Ride Between the Flags with Tamie Smith]

Psyched for the 2018 WEG at Tryon? We are too. That’s why we’re delighted to announce that they’ve chosen a logo for the upcoming event, as well as released a promotional video. You gotta see it. [WEG 2018 Releases Logo & Video]

Did you miss the fact that you can win auditing passes and a dinner with William Fox Pitt? I thought I might remind you of this most important opportunity, through EN and Team EnGaged Clinics. On May 2-3 in Kentucky, you don’t want to miss out. Enter today! [Win WFP Tickets]

Best of Blogs: If “Groom Wanted” Ads Were Honest

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Just a little throw back to my idol at Burghley. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Yesterday I took my sausage dog (it’s her body type) and my fat pony (his preferred nomenclature) on a long two hour adventure down the road, through the woods, and over the rivers. It is finally starting to act like spring, which is my favorite season, and I was reminded of how lucky I am to enjoy the horse that I have, and the open lands I have access to. Then, my dog came home and immediately jumped into my bed, wet and muddy and everything.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Morven Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

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

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Galway Downs CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Danielle Dunn is only twenty-four, and heading towards her first Badminton CCI4*. Having been to the Young Rider European Championships three times, Danielle and her mare Zocarla BLH are primed and prepared for the Big B. She’s heading to Belton CIC3* as her last prep with the mare, and is blogging along the way for Horse & Hound. [Danielle Dunn’s Badminton Diary]

With Galway Downs coming up this weekend, are you ready for the action? Galway is the first Adequan USEA Gold Cup qualifier on the west coast, and almost everyone is heading that way. You’ll be able to enjoy live streaming, and watch another CIC3* course designed by Ian Stark. [Gold Cup Fast Facts: Galway Downs]

Dust patterns and sweat marks have long been indicators of saddle fit, but do you know the real story? The long and short of it is that your sweat marks and dust patterns should be even from both sides, and not show anything down the middle or near the withers. Inspecting your horse and your saddle pad after a ride could give you a better idea of how your saddle is fitting, and thereby giving you insight into any training issues you might be experiencing. [Do You Understand Sweat Marks?]

Best of Blogs: Elliena Eq: Wear Anything But White

Hot On Horse Nation: Luxury Fantasy Farm of Your Dreams

 

KER Service of the Week – Nutrition Advisors

Problems such as brittle hooves, tying-up, and lack of energy or appetite can be solved with simple changes to your horse’s diet. If you suspect your horse’s diet is the culprit of a problem, or not producing the results you expected, consider talking to a nutrition advisor.

The nutrition advisors at Kentucky Equine Research (KER) analyze your horse’s needs, current ration, and workload to make custom recommendations using products available in your area. Using MicroSteed™, a proprietary ration evaluation software, KER nutrition advisors are able to produce a custom graph showing how each component of your horse’s diet contributes to its nutrient requirements.

Have a question about your horse’s diet? Share a few details and a KER nutrition advisor will be in touch.

Chris Talley and Unmarked Bills: From Track To Three-Star in Two Years

Bills making light work of the huge jump into the water at Carolina International CIC3*. Photo by Leslie Threlkeld.

At 8-years-old, OTTB Unmarked Bills was one of the youngest contestants in the CIC3* at Carolina International this past weekend, with both he and his jockey Chris Talley competing in their second attempt ever at the Advanced level. Their journey to the top together has been astonishing in more ways than one, and their story is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Bills, by Posse out of Kelli’s Ransom, raced from the ages of 2 to 5, running 24 times and earning $67,250. He raced in California, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey before retiring in November of 2014. His owner, David Nuesch, decided that the handsome gelding had a good chance of being a sport horse, and contacted none other than yours truly to see how he could sell him for his next career.

These days I’m kicking myself for this decision, but after riding him and free jumping him, I contacted Chris Talley and said I knew of a nice horse who he should take to Florida with him and sell for my friend David. Chris was doing lots of OTTB sales at the time, and I knew he would do a good job with the horse.

So Bills went with Chris to Florida in January 2015, and four months later he was entered in his first event at Training level. “I wanted to enter the Novice, but I entered late,” Chris says. “I contacted the organizers and they said all they had was a spot for Beginner Novice or for Training, so I figured we’d just give the Training a shot. He was a little unsure of things, but he has such a big heart, he just tried all weekend long.”

Chris & Bills in their first Advanced at Pine Top this spring. Photo by Antonio Salazar.

The pair completed three Training level events, and in August of 2015 they successfully moved up to Preliminary, only nine months after Bills had completed his last race. They finished their first year of eventing with only one placing outside of the top 10 and no cross country jumping faults.

At Carolina International in 2016, Chris and Bills moved up to Intermediate, finishing third in their division with only a rail and some time to add to their dressage score. From there on out, they did the CIC* at Fair Hill for qualification purposes, and completed three CIC2* events over the summer and fall at Virginia, Richland and Plantation Field.

When asked how he was able to move up the levels so quickly, Chris is quick to give all the credit to Bills and his incredible Thoroughbred heart. “Bills just never stops trying. The cross country has never been an issue for him,” Chris says. “He has struggled with connection issues on the flat, but he’s always been incredibly bold over jumps.”

They topped off their stellar year in 2016 with a 15th placing at the Dutta Corp Fair Hill International CCI2* and a double clear cross country round. At only 7 years old, Bills received the USEF Reserve Champion Young Horse Award.

Chris and Bills in their first CIC3* at Carolina International. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Over the winter, Chris worked on Bills’ dressage and show jumping, focusing on improving the quality of the movements and the accuracy over fences. “He wants to be really careful, but he can get a little tense sometimes,” Chris explains.

Bills has also been enjoying some dressage tutelage from Hannah Salazar, who has partnered up with Chris in the past year and is an accomplished dressage rider and avid breeder out of Zaragoza Acres in Virginia. Hannah also owns Chris’ other upper-level mount, Sandro’s Star, a 9-year-old Oldenburg stallion competing at the Intermediate level.

This spring, Bills ran the Intermediate at the first Pine Top in early February before making the move up to Advanced at the second Pine Top later in the month. That was the first attempt at the level for both horse and rider, and they went around it like it was no problem.

“He was really, really spectacular at Pine Top,” Chris says. “I took all the direct routes and didn’t waste any time. He is so good on cross country, but I wanted to see how bold he was, and he answered everything really easily.”

Chris and Bills before the first horse inspection at Fair Hill. Photo by Antonio Salazar.

Chris and Bills moved up to the CIC3* level this past weekend at Carolina and had a fabulous run. For a horse that hasn’t even been eventing for two full years yet, that is a pretty amazing feat.

Chris is in the final stages of putting together a syndicate to keep the ride on this amazing Thoroughbred, with five total owners including David Nuesch and his wife Daryl, who are delighted to see the horse enjoying so much success in a second career.

As for now, they’re taking it one event at a time, but the aim is to do at least one more CIC3* and then aim for Bromont CCI3* in June. We can’t wait to see where this pair goes, and we just adore a story of a good OTTB full of heart!

As a bonus, we have footage of Bills’ first free jump at home in Virginia, alongside his Fair Hill CCI2* cross country, less than two years apart!

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

“Soft, supple and straight forward to ride: Crackerjack!” Photo and caption via Boyd Martin.

One of the many reasons why we love Boyd is that he’s not afraid to show his sticky moments online, as evidenced by the above photo. More than a few riders had some funky moments through this second water combination at Carolina International CIC3*, but Boyd definitely has the best caption for his moment in time with good old Crackers.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Morven Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

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

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Galway Downs CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

A World Class Grooming Clinic to benefit Lee Lee Jones’ recovery will be held May 7 at Cedar Springs Farm in Cochranville, PA, with 100% of the profits going directly to assisting with Lee Lee’s medical costs, rehabilitation and care. Cost is $90 for pre-registration and $110 for week-of registration. [Lee Lee Clinic Info & Registration]

The USET announced yesterday that Caroline Martin and Mackenna Shea have been awarded the 2017 Karen Stives Eventing Endowment Fund Grants. This grant will allow these two young professionals to compete in the Karen E. Stives European Emerging Athlete Tour, under the guidance of Leslie Law. They will represent the US on the international stage at Houghton Hall CICO3* and Bramham International CCI3*-U25 in Great Britain. [Karen Stives Eventing Endowment]

US Dressage riders Laura Graves and Kasey Perry-Glass were their own flying grooms on the way to the FEI World Cup in Nebraska. Verdades and Goerklintgaards Dublet shipped out of Palm Beach this week, and while most top horses have a traveling groom, these two ladies like to keep things simple and personal with their horses. “The way we are with our horses, we like to be with them whenever it’s permitted,” Graves said of herself and her fellow riders who fly. [Olympic Riders or Flying Grooms

Best of Blogs: Horses Know How To Be Horses, If Only Humans Didn’t Interfere

Carolina International CIC3* Cross Country Course Walk

Setter’s Run Glen. Photo by Kate Samuels.

I arrived at Carolina International yesterday afternoon and immediately went for a course walk around the CIC3*, eager to check out what was in store for the riders come Saturday afternoon. This is the second year that Ian Stark is designing the three-star course here at the Carolina Horse Park, and after a big splash last year with the changes, we are all waiting to see how it rides in 2017.

For the most part, the course follows the same track that it did in 2016, and starts off very similarly, with the first fence about seven strides from the start box, and three subsequent tables with a good gallop to get the horses and riders going in a good rhythm.

The first question comes at 5AB, which is in the same location as last year, with a rollercoaster design of two fences placed on opposite sides of a large dip. This year, the A element is a much more inviting solid log, which I think will encourage horses and riders to jump into the combination with a bit more confidence.

Ship’s Quarters, jump A. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The next question is the first water complex, which is early in the course at 7AB. The A element is, let’s say, rather substantial with a bit of a drop on the off side. It also has an angled ground line, which could look like something of a ditch if you get off your line, or cause some horses to take a little peek on takeoff. When leading a guided course tour for the Southern Pines community earlier this month, Ian said, “You’re going to sit back and ride this confidently, or you’re going to cry for your mommy”.

The next combination is the Village Smithy, which was on the course last year with a different B element, which caused a few falls. This year, they subbed in an interesting U-shaped jump on a short two strides, which should cause less trouble, but is still an intriguing question.

We also have the double corners at Stonehenge that are the same as last year — challenging for a few combinations but rewarding if ridden accurately and boldly. After that, there are a few large jumps before the main event: the Cloud 11 Pebble Beach combination.

Cloud 11 Pebble Beach, jumps B & C, featuring lots of walkers. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The talk of the town in 2016 was the enormous trakehner fence on top of a mound, rolling down to the new water complex. This year is no different, with many riders still considering it as one of the most challenging questions on course. A lot of experienced pairs had rather sticky rides over the trakehner last year, as it’s not exactly where the horses expect it to be, and they peek a bit on the landing side.

This year, Ian changed the subsequent question from a brush corner into an angled line for B and C. It will be easy enough to get to B, but some real accuracy and coordination will be required to complete all three elements and not have a mistake along the way. As you can see from the picture, more than a few riders were spending time considering their lines and approaches at this combination.

Once you get through the second water, you’re away over a huge ditch and wall, and down to a large hanging log followed by a tight keyhole with a ditch ground line. Then it’s across the bridge around the lake, and up over a few more fences before we get to what I consider the most challenging question on this three-star course.

Landmark Hollow. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Landmark Hollow is an entirely new coffin complex, which many riders are referring to as a four-star question. Coming off a short left-handed turn, the A element of this combination is massive, and my picture doesn’t do it justice. The ground drops away on the landing side fairly significantly, and combined with the airy nature of the jump in, I’m glad that it’s pinned with frangible technology. I can see several horses putting their hind end down a little too early, in preparation for the slope and the ditch at the bottom.

This combination poses a tough question for the riders, who have to have just the right balance of confidence and composure to jump the A in the correct shape and have enough impulsion to get over the ditch and the quite skinny brush chevron at C. There is an alternative for C, which I believe will get its fair share of use on Saturday as well.

After this, the riders are almost home free, with just four jumps to go, including an angled roll top combination and a small open oxer at the second to last.

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live Scores, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

Crackerjack takes a bow after dressaging. Photo by MP Stone.

On my way to my favorite event today! I’m only running the Open Intermediate, as it is my horse’s first event of the year. This sounds kinda nuts now, because these days the event season starts so darn early, I’m a million miles behind by starting in March. However, I’ve started my season at Carolina International for the past few years, and I love it. It’s always such a fun event, and great courses to get you out of the winter doldrums. Super pumped!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Carolina Links: Website, Entry Status, Ride Times, Live Stream, Schedule, Orders of Go, Live ScoresEN’s CoverageEN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

Poplar Place CIC & 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:

Can Allison Springer and Arthur repeat their performance from last year and win Carolina International? As a Gold Cup event, the CIC3* at Carolina is jam packed full of stars. Did you know that there is $65,000 in prize money at this event? There will be live streaming for anybody interested, and if you’re at the event, over 30 vendors for your enjoyment. [Fast Facts: Carolina International]

Much beloved Virginia Horse Trials Schooling Shows are taking it to the next level with sponsorship and big prizes. VAHT will host three Starter Horse Trials and Cross Country Schooling days in 2017, with events in April, August and October. With a unique educational format and newly added excellent awards from sponsors, these schooling shows are the creme de la creme of unrecognized events. They offer Green through Preliminary, and have cross country schooling on the day before the event. Presenting sponsor Blue Ridge Equine clinic is giving embroidered quilted saddle pads to winners, and providing a hospitality tent, and McCauley’s Equine Formula, Easy Pellett Products, Merial and Buchanan Livestock LLC have donated prizes for April’s event. [Virginia Horse Trials]

Auburn Eventing Team is hosting an online auction to benefit the 2017 season from today through the 27th. They have everything from beautiful paintings, luxury leather care, a fantastic beach house getaway to lessons with four-star riders. If you’re looking for a good deal on some stuff you probably already want, go ahead and check it out! [Auburn Eventing Online Auction]

Hot on Horse Nation: Water Skijoring (??!)

NSFW Laugh of the Day: Why Racehorses Aren’t Always for Beginners

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

Seriously you guys, TGIF. Photo from "A Pony Known As Satan" FB.

Seriously you guys, TGIF. Photo from “A Pony Known As Satan” FB.

We did it, you guys. We have almost made it to the end of the first week of hell daylight savings time. I don’t know about the rest of you all, but this week has felt like death. The loss of sleep combined with the wacky light at the end of the day (what’s happening) and topped off by some bitter cold that seems like it’s a little misplaced seeing as it’s not “winter” anymore, I’m about toast. I’m like an iPhone running on 10% battery, you should stop asking me to do complicated things like answer questions coherently, and just place me somewhere dark and quiet until I can recharge.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Exmoor H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/RideTimes/Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Join Retired Racehorse Project for a Hoedown at Hagyard! The party gets started after Rolex cross country with open bar, catering from Red State BBQ and the musical talents of Steve Norman and the Shades of Grass Band. Join in the Equicizer races, or just bet on them! April 29th, 6pm onwards, at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute across from the Kentucky Horse Park, tickets are $35 for RRP Members and $50 for non-members. Also, let me reiterate: open bar. [Buy Tickets Here]

One of the biggest training hurdles you can face with young 4-year-olds is correctly teaching them to move forward into your hand. Although it sounds quite simple, this fundamental skill must be developed at an early age. It is necessary for them to learn this if they’re going to successfully continue their training progress. International event rider Will Faudree, who has brought many horses up the ranks of eventing, likes to introduce this concept in a simple manner, and one that is easy for the horse to begin to understand. [Young Horse Training: ‘Closing Your Leg Doesn’t Mean Go Faster’]

Hot on Horse Nation: A Salute to the Women of Racing

Give me boots that are stylish enough to wear in town but also useful enough to wear in the barn, and I’m sold. An unabashed boot collector, it’s part of my self assigned job to snoop out great deals on cool boots. These Solstice Classic Tall Leather Boot by Smartpak are definitely on my list, and they just went on a crazy sale, from $189 to $75!! Get you some, girl, treat yo’self. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

KER ClockIt™ Sport – Session of the Week

In the ClockIt session below, the rider is taking their horse through its first conditioning sets day of the spring season. The field had some rolling hill and flat sections within it, as you can see from the blue line on the chart.

unnamed-2

As you can see, the horse’s heart rate increases each time it goes up a hill, despite little change in speed. By using a hill, riders can easily raise their horse’s heart rate into a higher conditioning zone without the need for extreme speed.

Multiple KER treadmill studies have shown that exercising horses on an incline greatly increases work intensity as measured by oxygen consumption, heart rate, and lactate production. These studies have shown that at a canter speed, a 1% increase in grade increases a horse’s heart rate 6 bpm—the same effect on heart rate as increasing speed 35m/min on a level treadmill. Therefore, equal heart rates can be obtained by cantering horses on a 6% grade at 490 m/min as from galloping on the flat at 700 m/min.

To see a detailed report like the one above, go to the KER ClockIt website and log in to your account. Once you are signed in, you can view your detailed sessions under the “Sessions” tab.

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

17353380_10103401991488596_3054777850353663782_n

An oldie but a goodie. Photo via Laine Ashker.

Look, we always joke around here about the Virginia weather, but this is just out of hand. When it’s 65 one day, and literally 20 the next….I just don’t even know how to respond to that. I feel really sorry for the daffodils, it’s terribly unfair to them. I feel sorry for myself, because I thought I was done wearing 5,348 layers while riding. I feel sorry for my horses, who thought it was naked rolling in the mud season. I should have known this would happen when I was enjoying a snow-free February. We jinxed it.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Exmoor H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

MeadowCreek Park H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Copper Meadows H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/RideTimes/Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

A bake sale to fund your competition expenses for Rolex CCI4*? Rolex rookie Madeline Backus hails from Colorado, and is heading towards her first four-star this spring with her mare, PS Arianna. To help with her expenses with the whole venture, Madeline is going old school, and having a bake sale at the Exmoor Horse Trials this weekend. She will be selling homemade dog and horse treats, as well as homemade bread (you know you want to carb load for the event!). Make sure you find her if you’re at Exmoor this weekend, and buy some tasty baked goods!

I can’t tell you how many times I talk about leg placement with my students. As any developing rider knows, sometimes your legs go wandering astray from “home base” right behind the girth, and can cause some real problems with your riding. The perfect lower leg is strong enough and effective enough from right behind the girth to provide just the right amount of pressure at the right time. Equitation riders are all over this, and share a few tips and exercises to practice the three leg positions. [Master The Three Leg Positions]

Do you prefer mares? You’re not alone as San Diego based dressage trainer Rebecca Rigdon-Blake is switching it up with a strong preference for the ladies in a sport that historically favors stallions. Rebecca loves mares for herself, but also admits that they aren’t always the most amateur friendly due to their keen memories and sensitive natures. However, she believes (as I do) that we should work harder to be sympathetic to the difficulties associated with working with mares, as they’re not so different to working with women. [Geldings No Longer Preferred]

Best of Blogs: Slow and Steady

Hot on HN: Alternate Careers in the Horse Industry

 

 

Product Review: Horseware Winter Nina Breeches

The winter breeches go excellently with the padded vest from Horseware. Photo by Owie Samuels.

The Winter Nina Breeches go excellently with the Maya Padded Vest from Horseware. Photo by Owie Samuels.

While everyone is familiar with Horseware Ireland in terms of their excellence in blankets for horses, I for one was not acquainted with their line of clothing for people, and therefore was very excited to see what it was all about. Having used their turnout rugs for years now, my bar was set high for attention to detail, durability and comfort. Just in time for some cold weather, I received some of their Winter Collection, and wasn’t disappointed.

First I tried the Winter Nina Ladies Breeches, which are specifically designed to keep you cozy in the cold months with a light fleece lining on the inside. I’ve always been skeptical of fleece lined pants, as I’ve tried a few that made me feel rather bulky, and I was disappointed with the overall experience. These pants, however, are incredibly soft on your skin, and feel like the natural material of any other pair of breeches, but they definitely keep me warm. I wore them on several sub-20 days, and my thighs didn’t lose feeling once!

These winter breeches are also lovely on the outside, as they’re clearly constructed with intimate detail and durability in mind. They come in a blue jean color, but they also somewhat remind me of my favorite pair of slightly stretchy regular jeans in the fit, and I really liked that. They are mostly made of polyester material, but with just enough spandex in there to give you a really custom fitting feel.

A picture of the detailing on the back pockets. Photo by Owie Samuels.

A picture of the detailing on the back pockets. Photo by Owie Samuels.

I’m a breech snob, mostly because I wear breeches every single day all day except that one night when I go out into town and bother to change. Therefore, I’m into details that matter. I really appreciated that these breeches have seven evenly spaced belt loops, which means that your belt can properly do its job and keep your pants where you want them.

The loop on the very back is also wide reinforced, which means when you sit down, the pants do not pull back against a flimsy loop and leave you with the dreaded lower back gap (you know what I’m talking about). They fell about mid-rise on me, and while I always wear a belt with breeches, I think it would be recommended in general.

The Winter Nina Ladies Breech also comes with a variety of useful sized pockets, where you could feasibly store things and not regret it. A lot of breeches now come with only one or two pockets, and they’re only fit for three horse cookies at a time, but not this pair. There are two proper sized pockets up front, and two in the back, in which I can fit my entire hand. The zippers that you see on the picture above do not contain extra pockets, but with four functional ones, you should be pretty set.

FullSizeRender 18

The knee patches are made of a unique material called Daewoo. Photo by Owie Samuels.

These breeches come in either full seat or knee patch, and I tried the latter. I’m more comfortable in knee patch pants for the variety of horses I ride every day, and I really liked the soft but sticky material of the patches. It feels like a thicker version of suede, but in fact is a very specific material of Daewoo, which is unique to Horseware. 

Another detail that I find important for all day comfort is how the bottom of the pants fits around your ankle. The Winter Nina Breeches followed my favorite design and have a section of material at the bottom that is of the softest stretchy fabric. If you’re trying to make sure thank your ankles and legs stay happy throughout the day, no matter what the weather, this is the best design to have underneath your chaps or boots; it causes no chafing, doesn’t get bunched up and always fits no matter what your leg size.

The Winter Nina Breeches are about mid-rise. Photo by Owie Samuels.

The Winter Nina Breeches are about mid-rise. Photo by Owie Samuels.

Overall I found these pants to be incredibly comfortable, warm for winter weather, and constructed with the same attention to detail and design for durability that we’ve come to expect from Horseware. I would recommend these to amateur riders and professionals alike, as they’re incredibly stylish and cozy, but are also built to withstand significant use. You can find your nearest Horseware dealer online at the Horseware Ireland website.

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

When Rocky becomes a meme. Photo via Libby Head.

When Rocky becomes a meme. Photo via Libby Head.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Southern Pines H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Red Hills International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

News from Around the Globe:

Congrats to Indra Rapinchuk-Souccar for winning our Show Us Your Colors Contest presented by World Equestrian Brands! Indra wins an Equtech Custom Cross Country Shirt, which offers a seemingly endless array of colors and patterns for even the most color-conscious eventer. Click here to read about all the finalists in the contest. Click here to order your own shirt.

Attwood Equestrian Surfaces will be returning as the CIC** sponsor at next month’s Cloud 11~Gavilan North LLC Carolina International CIC and Horse Trial. This is the fourth time they have sponsored a division at the event. “We really love being a part of this competition,” said Nick Attwood, President of AES. The event will be held March 22-26 at to the Carolina Horse Park in Raeford, NC. [Attwood Equestrian Surfaces]

The Heart of the Carolinas (HOTC) Three-Day Event and Horse Trials announced yesterday that they’re welcoming a new design and building team for the 2017 spring event. Chris Barnard is the new show jumping designer (look for him this weekend designing Red Hills SJ), John Michael Durr will be the cross country designer, and Dylan Barry will be doing the building. The May event features brand new cross country tracks for the Beginner Novice, Novice and Training long format three-day events, as well as the horse trials for all three levels. [HOTC Debuts New Team]

England gears up for their first international event with Burgham in two weeks, with a top class field. Held on the same weekend as Carolina International at the end of March, Burgham has both a CIC3* and a CIC2*. Top riders such as Oliver Townend, Pippa Funnell, Gemma Tattersall, and Nicola Wilson will all be in attendance, using the event as prep for Badminton this spring. [Britain’s Finest at Burgham]

Gemma Tattersall is aiming towards Badminton with Arctic Soul. Last year the pair jumped clean on the final day to catch third place behind Michael Jung and Andreas Ostholt, in the hardest four star in the world. Unfortunately “Spike” was sidelined from the Rio Olympics with a minor injury, but he’s back and better than ever. Gemma has high hopes for her performance this year, as he’s now done several four stars, and knows how to be competitive. [Gemma and Spike for Badminton]

Say goodbye to tedious hoof wrapping, and hello to the Woof Wear Medical Boot. If you’ve got a horse that is plagued by foot issues, and you’re blasting through diapers and vet wrap constantly, you should check out this cool new boot. Designed to help keep medication and poultice in place, while protecting a sore, bruised, or injured hoof, this is your new favorite product. Not for turnout purposes, but great for soaking a horse or keeping them in the stall overnight with some treatment, the Woof Wear Medical Boot is a great new design that’s totally worth checking out. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

KER Service of the Week – MicroSteed
Is your horse traveling, adjusting to a new home, exercising more, or simply enjoying retirement? These are a few of many reasons that your horse’s diet may need to be re-examined to ensure your horse’s diet is meeting its current nutrient requirements.
Developed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER), MicroSteed™ Ration Wizard makes choosing the appropriate feed type and amount for your horse a simple process. The program uses a detailed description of the horse to determine its nutrient requirements, and then recommends appropriate feeds from KER’s global network of partners. You can also contact a KER nutrition advisor directly for a custom analysis and report.
MicroSteed is available as a web-based Ration Wizard for horse owners and as detailed software for feed manufacturers, veterinarians, and select independent consultants. To try MicroSteed Ration Wizard or request more information on software for advanced ration evaluation and diet manipulation, visit our website.

Thursday News & Notes from Nupafeed

The softest bed in the barn. Photo by Sally Spickard.

The softest bed in the barn. Photo by Sally Spickard.

Every time I do gallops early in the season with Nyls, I think to myself “Could I ever put another human being on you and have them survive this experience?”. The short answer is, no, not really. He has a special talent for combining bolting (forwards and sideways, sometimes at the same moment), propping, spooking, and last but not least, leaping over shadows and/or sticks. He pulls worse than any horse I ever rode at the track, and when the watch beeps that his minutes are up, he stops so suddenly that you’d think the engine was cut. No, I did not train him for these things. Yes, all of my attempts to civilize him have failed. Yes, he is old and knows better.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Southern Pines H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Red Hills International CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Full Gallop March II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

News from Around the Globe:

What’s it like to pursue riding in Nairobi? Ellen Halle works for World Bank, and is currently stationed in Nairobi. She spent the vast majority of her childhood riding horses, but like lots of people, fell away from it in college. Now she has found her passion again in an unlikely place, with a scraggly chestnut thoroughbred mare. Read more for a fascinating perspective from a different part of the world! [Amateurs Like Us: Giraffes on Cross Country]

If you’re a nervous trailer-driver, or just getting ready for the season, H&H has great tips to get you started on the right track. Traveling hundreds of miles around the country with a bunch of horses in tow is the norm for a lot of competitors, but driving your precious cargo can still be nerve-wracking. If you’re a newer driver, you’ll want to check out these steps on how to make sure your experience is a good one. [Terrified of Towing? H&H Tips]

Do you ever feel like you get too caught up in the competition mindset and forget to have fun? If so, you’re not alone. Young professional Ashley Kriegel Trier experienced a come-to-Jesus moment during a Training level show jumping round, and realized that she had forgotten the basis for all of it. All the early mornings, the hard labor 7 days a week, the money and the tears, it’s all because at one point, we thought this was fun. And we need to find that joy again, and not get bogged down by the rest. [Bridging the Gap: Don’t Forget To Have Fun]

Hot on Horse Nation: Mounted Police DO Pull People Over

Thursday Video: Clark Montgomery and Universe doing the Jumpers at 1.3 meters:

Friday News & Notes from Kentucky Equine Research

An eventer gone rogue. Photo by Kate Samuels.

An eventer gone rogue. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Ok, so NOW I finally get it. I get the Foxhunting thing. It took me only 29 years and finally having a horse that is genuinely good at it and enjoys it, but now I understand why people are so into it. Yesterday I got the chance to actually shadow the huntsman on a blustery but pleasant day in Virginia, and that was a thrill. I took my red dinosaur, who is embarking on his third career change, and seems to have taken a real shine to hunting. We galloped with hounds swirling around us and jumped all the things!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Gallop March H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

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

Twin Rivers Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Congratulations to Taylor Rieck, winner of the 2017 Young Adult Amateur Worth The Trust Scholarship! The Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships are awarded annually to one Adult Amateur and one Young Adult Amateur with the purpose of helping to fund training opportunities like clinics, working student positions and private instruction. Taylor wrote an essay about how she fits her passion for Eventing into her life, and how she hopes to use the scholarship money to go south and train with some four-star riders that she idolizes. [Taylor Rieck Wins Worth the Trust]

The never ending quest to find the perfect XC shirt may finally be at an end. World Equestrian Brands has debuted their Equetech Custom Cross Country shirts that are totally customizable, and you can win one! Simply write a story in 100 words or less why you chose your particular cross country colors and email it to us along with a photo of your colors by March 3! [Show Us Your Cross Country Colors Contest]

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke showed a little horsepower on his first day at work. Confirmed by the Senate on Wednesday, Zinke rode into town with a nine-person police escort to the Interior Department’s downtown headquarters on Tonto, a 13-year-old 17 hand ISH gelding (but he looks like an appy to me…). From five generations of Montanans and an unabashed admirer of Teddy Rosevelt, Zinke knows his way around a cow pony. [Ride to Work, Even in Washington]

When I try to get out of a chair after a long time, my knees don’t un-bend that well, and I wonder why I’M not on Cosequin like my horse. I know, it’s sad at 29 that I’m an old cripple. All I know is, I’m not the only one. Luckily, as usual, SmartPak is here to save the day with supplements for the rider! If you’re an old cripple like me, treat yourself 1/10 as well as you do your horse, and get some Grand Flex + HA Capsules so you can be less of a silly hobbling mess. [SmartPak Product of the Day]

KER Product of the Week – EquiShure

When high concentrations of fructans are found in pasture, or large grain meals are fed, horses ferment these highly fermentable carbohydrate “sugars” in the hindgut, setting the stage for hindgut acidosis and potentially resulting in laminitis and colic.

Developed by Kentucky Equine ResearchEquiShure® is a research-proven time-released buffer that helps moderate gut conditions by preventing the drastic drop in pH associated with high lactate production. Choose EquiShure to help reduce the risk of hindgut acidosis escalating to laminitis in horses grazing high-fructan pastures or receiving significant intakes of starch-laden grains, including those at risk for or with a history of laminitis.

Throughout the month of March only, receive 15% off EquiShure with code GRASS317.

 

 

 

Product Review: Amigo All-In-One Insulator Stable Blanket

Off track Standardbred "McBoogie" modeling the Amigo All-In-One Insulator Stable Blanket. Photo by Erica Stevens.

Off track Standardbred “McBoogie” modeling the Amigo All-In-One Insulator Stable Blanket. Photo by Erica Stevens.

Horseware is known for producing the cream of the crop when it comes to blankets. If your horse has a wardrobe full of top of the line Horseware turnouts in different weights, he’s living the life of a king. What you may not know is that they also have a large variety of luxurious stable blankets to offer, and they live up to the name.

I was fortunate enough to try out this Amigo All-In-One Insulator Stable Blanket in a medium weight. I admit that I haven’t been much of a person for stable blankets prior to this, but my experience and trial period with this blanket may have converted me.

First off, I could barely believe that this was a medium weight blanket. Holding this blanket in my hands and then lifting up my medium weight turnout, the difference in literal weight was astonishing. How can something so light be so warm? This stable blanket has 200 grams of fill, but you’d never believe it when you pick it up. My horse wore this blanket overnight for several weeks, and darned if he wasn’t super toasty underneath.

For my own clothing choices, I really enjoy wearing something that is lightweight and yet incredibly warm, so I can only imagine the same can be said for my horses. This feature is also beneficial when fitting it into your washing machine, as it isn’t terribly bulky, and also for space saving in your barn blanket stack during the times you aren’t using it.

The Amigo All-In-One Insulator has high quality latches with good overlay for comfort. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The Amigo All-In-One Insulator has high quality latches with good overlay for comfort. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The second thing I noticed about this Amigo All-In-One Insulator is that the material is straight up luxurious. This isn’t something that can be said of a lot of horse blankets, but you can say it about this one. It is made of 210 denier ripstop polyester, so it’s durable, but it feels like silk in your hands. The inside of the blanket can only be described as butter, and I hope my horse appreciated the feel on his freshly clipped body. If you’re going to spring for a beautiful stable blanket, it better be built for comfort to the max, right?

Speaking of comfort, the all-in-one design is something that I hadn’t tried before, but I realize the benefits now. We like to give our horses neck covers, as it seems cruel to leave a naked neck and head out in the cold with just the body covered. However, with the detachable necks, a lot of horses get rubs at the intersection of blanket and neck cover. The all-in-one prevents this, because it doesn’t have any pressure points around the withers. The blanket is seamless from stem to stern, so no more missing mane right at the base of the neck.

The Amigo All-In-One Insulator Stable Blanket boasts double front closures with velcro and great overlap, so even horses with big shoulders don’t bust through them and rub their chests on the metal latches. This I know from experience can be an issue. The wings on the side of the neck section enable full mobility, but also keep the warmth in. The blanket has two cross surcingles and a fillet string at the back.

I loved the soft comfort that this stable blanket offered the horses. Photo by Erica Stevens.

I loved the soft comfort that this stable blanket offered the horses. Photo by Erica Stevens.

Before this, I can say I was not a person who owned or used a lot of stable blankets. In an effort to minimize my blanket changing per day, my horses were living in their turnouts both in the stall and the field. However, given the comfort and luxury factor of this blanket, I felt it as more than warranted to use it for my top horse when he came in for the night.

Also, as a logistics side note, using this when he was in the stall gave me a chance to wash some of his turnouts overnight, which I think makes a big difference in their skin and coat health during the long winter months. Nobody likes a buildup of dirt and bacteria rubbing against them 24/7.

You can buy this blanket anywhere that carries Horseware products, and you can locate your nearest store through the Horseware Where to Buy link on their site. The Amigo All-In-One Insulator Stable Blanket also comes in a 350 gram heavyweight, and you can also find the Amigo Hero All-In-One Turnout if you really want to complete the set.