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/CCI4*

Latest Articles Written

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

Yes this is 100% what my horse wears in the trailer. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Off I go to the Virginia Horse Trials this weekend! It feels silly, but since I tore my Achilles twice last year, I didn’t compete at all, so I feel quite jittery and excited to see all my competition friends again, and I hope to god I remember how to pack everything. Actually, the packing and unpacking is the worst part of the whole ordeal. Do you think I could hire a working student just for that part? Hit me up this weekend if that’s the kind of organizational gig that thrills you.

U.S. Weekend Preview

VHT International & H.T. (Lexington, Va.): [Website] [Schedule] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Spring Coconino H.T. (Flagstaff, Az.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Equestrians’ Institute H.T. (Cle Elum, Wa.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Flora Lea Spring H.T. (Medford, NJ): [Website] [Scoring]

May-Daze at The Park H.T. (Lexington, Ky.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Mill Creek Pony Club H.T. (Kansas City, Mo.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. (Gales Ferry, Ct.): [Website]

Willow Draw Charity Show (Weatherford, Tx.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring]

The Spring Event at Woodside (Woodside, Ca.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Major International Events:

Barefoot Retreats Houghton Hall CCIO4*-S: [Website] [Info Hub] [Entries] [Scoring]

News From Around the Globe:

Yesterday Nicola Wilson was moved into the spinal cord rehabilitation unit at the James Cook hospital. Her team would like to thank everyone who has been so kind on the journey so far. The transfer team were a lovely crew who stopped in at the barn to visit the horses on their way back to Bristol, Nic obviously had a bit of horse chat in the ambulance. Dublin even has his photo taken with the ambulance, which he loved! [Nicola Wilson Update]

You know the saying, “when you hear hoofbeats, don’t think zebras”? Well, sometimes, with horses, it’s okay to start looking for zebras. When blogger Sophie Coffey’s mare Azul started showing an odd resistance to cantering in January, the vets were stumped and the various possible treatments didn’t seem to be having a positive effect. Thanks to some intriguing comments from social media, Sophie found her zebra. [Sometimes, You Need to Look for Zebras]

Devon is back after two years! In honor of that, remember that time a few years ago when we all got to behold the greatness that was Sapphire? Even for Eventing fans, she’s a celebrity and in 2009 she blew our socks off in the Dixon Oval. [FBF Sapphire at Devon]

Do you have 90 seconds 2x a week to spare? A correctly done plank can go a long way toward making you a stronger, more effective equestrian. Laura Crump Anderson of Hidden Heights Fitness shares some advice. [Hot on Horse Nation]

Zoetis has paired up with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) International, coming on this year as an official equine health and wellness partner. “The team at Zoetis is inspired by the work of PATH Intl. and its members,” said Jen Grant, Head of Marketing, Zoetis U.S. Equine. “Our opportunity and profound responsibility to support the horses and their care team who do so much for every EAS client is a central part of our purpose.” The two groups recently teamed up to bring more awareness to EAS through the inclusion of an EAS session in Zoetis’s recently released video, Long Live the Horse, and a feature on how horses help humans heal in an article by the Washington Post.

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Jump for reproductive rights! Photo by Alden Corrigan Media.

Do you love this jump from Sonoma Horse Park or do you love this jump from Sonoma Horse Park? If you get the chance to jump this beauty, not only can you buy the pictures at a discounted rate from Alden Corrigan Media, but you can tag SHP on social media and they will donate $10 for every photo to Planned Parenthood Northern California. After last weekend, they’ve already raised $20,0000!! Support jumping pretty ponies and women’s reproductive rights all in one fell swoop, and look cool doing so.

U.S. Weekend Preview

VHT International & H.T. (Lexington, Va.): [Website] [Schedule] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Spring Coconino H.T. (Flagstaff, Az.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Equestrians’ Institute H.T. (Cle Elum, Wa.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Flora Lea Spring H.T. (Medford, NJ): [Website] [Scoring]

May-Daze at The Park H.T. (Lexington, Ky.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Mill Creek Pony Club H.T. (Kansas City, Mo.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Mystic Valley Hunt Club H.T. (Gales Ferry, Ct.): [Website]

Willow Draw Charity Show (Weatherford, Tx.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times/Scoring]

The Spring Event at Woodside (Woodside, Ca.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Major International Events:

Barefoot Retreats Houghton Hall CCIO4*-S: [Website] [Info Hub] [Entries] [Scoring]

News From Around the Globe:

The Virginia Horse Trials needs your help this weekend! With an absolutely huge field of horses attending from all over the country, VHT is running today through the weekend with levels from BN-AI, and they’re desperate for more volunteers. Sign up for just a few hours and have a blast in the coolest facility in Virginia. [Volunteer for VHT]

Stable View is looking forward to hosting Area III championships at its upcoming event, June 24-26. Please don’t forget to let us know how far you are traveling to compete — email them here to let them know where you’re traveling from. Stable View will have fun prizes that announced throughout the weekend; The Mane Monogram will be awarding the competitor traveling the furthest, as well as the competitor riding the most horses.

Tiffany Morey won a contest of more than 160 entries to spend a day with nine of her friends getting private instruction from Buck Davidson. Practical Horseman’s Win A Clinic contest asked entrants to submit an essay detailing why they deserve to win a one-day educational clinic for themselves and nine of their friends. Ten finalists sent videos of themselves and their horses, and Tiffany said that as an adult amateur and aspiring low-level eventer, she aspire’s to become the safest and most effective rider possible. [Win a Day with Buck Davidson]

Getting turnout right can be tricky for any horse. Getting it right for off-track Thoroughbreds can sometimes be…. well… what is more than tricky? Hard? Complicated? “Special?” Here are some tips for how Aubrey Graham does it with the newbies that come through. [Thoroughbred Logic: Getting Turnout Right]

Leslie Mintz has been the USEA Director of Media and Communications for so long, we don’t know what we’ll do without “Leslie from the USEA”. However, as of this spring, she welcomed her daughter Iris to the world and despite being an accomplished multi-tasker in all areas of her life, she’s decided to hand the reins over to somebody else who can dedicate the time. In her many years behind the scenes at the USEA, Leslie changed the online presence of our national organization as we know it. [Handing Over the Reins]

Exciting Science News: New Possibilities for Saliva Test for Equine Ulcers

A father-and-son duo pulled off the joint longest-priced winner in British and Irish racing history this week. Sawbuck entered the maiden hurdle at Punchestown on Tuesday with 300-1 odds, having been beaten by a total of 195 lengths in all of his previous seven starts. But he just pulled it out on the day, and romped to his very first win. [Racing Beats the Odds Again]

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

Great jumper! Rider needs some sticky spray…. Photo by Cayla Stone

Last week I was marveling at how pleasant this spring has been, and how I’ve been able to comfortably wear a jacket in the mornings and not sweat my brains out all day. Well, that time is over, and we skipped any kind of transition phase, as per usual with Virginia. Straight into the high 90’s and cue a massive sunburn for me, and sweaty horses all around. Summer! It has arrived finally. I forgot what it was like to walk around all day feeling sticky, but now I recall the feeling. Le sigh.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. / USEA Intercollegiate Championships (Fairburn, Ga.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Fair Hill International H.T. (Elkton, Md.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Hunt Club Farms H.T. (Berryville, Va.): [Website] [Entries] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Otter Creek Spring H.T. (Wheeler, Wi.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Spring Gulch H.T. (Littleton, Co.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

There may be a relationship between the shape of a horse’s hooves and his state of soundness or lameness, but so far there is no definite answer as to which came first. In other words, does a particular horse with odd-shaped hooves have a greater than average risk of becoming lame, or does a horse become lame after which its hoof conformation changes because of variations in circulation, weight bearing, or other factors related to the horse’s particular unsoundness? Explore more answers about hoof shape and how you can identify possible future lameness issues here. [Hoof Shape & Lameness Relationship]

Now we are done with the Kentucky/Badminton whirlwind, we’ve got Luhmuhlen to look forward to! British Olympian Gemma Tattersall has withdrawn Chilli Morning’s daughter Jalapeno and New Zealand’s Tim Price has pulled out Falco IV, the 2021 Pau Horse Trials winner  who was pipped to have a good run in Germany. Other notable entries include Oliver Townend on two horses, and a few other intriguing combinations. [Entries to Luhmuhlen Updated]

Our own Chelsea Candy talked to Practical Horseman about how horses learn, including how being a prey animal affects their thinking and reactions. She discusses how we can best interact with our equine partners to train more effectively and form a better relationship. Don’t miss this video! [How Horses Learn]

Especially with younger horses, learning lateral work is a challenge that needs to be established for proprioception and flexibility training. Dressage trainer Michael Bragdell likes to introduce lateral work concepts on the ground before doing them under saddle. In this video, he explains and demonstrates executing a leg yield in-hand. It also gives him the opportunity to get an idea of how the horse feels before he gets on. [How to Train Leg Yield from the Ground]

Best of Blogs: Being an Equine Vet is Wonderful, Being an Equine Vet is Terrible

Best of Blogs Pt II: Becoming a Mare Person

Whoopsie! Even the best have silly mistakes over small fences. 

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Just doing a little quality check on this log here. Photo by Victoria Anne O’Gram

Happy Thursday! Hold on tight because there’s a lot going on this weekend.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Chattahoochee Hills H.T. / USEA Intercollegiate Championships (Fairburn, Ga.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Fair Hill International H.T. (Elkton, Md.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Hunt Club Farms H.T. (Berryville, Va.): [Website] [Entries] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Otter Creek Spring H.T. (Wheeler, Wi.): [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Spring Gulch H.T. (Littleton, Co.): [Website] [Entries/Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Andrew Nicholson may not have ridden at Badminton this year, but he still has some thoughts on it. Particularly, the riding on cross country day that he saw left him impressed with some riders, and much less with others. He also had some opinions on the ground jury dealing with horse welfare on the day, and tops off the article with reflections on Pratoni. [Riders Must Use Their Gears on XC]

Training a hot, spooky horse? This can be a challenge for even the best of riders, but Tik Maynard has some advice. With his unique horse-centric approach to training horses by delving into their minds first, he can offer some excellent tips and tricks for your sensitive steed. [3 Things to Know When Training a Hot, Spooky Horse]

Get your banners and mascot costumes ready, it is USEA Intercollegiate Championships week! USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown chats with Leslie Threlkeld, Chair of the USEA Intercollegiate Committee as well as Hugh Lochore, Organizer of the Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials which is the host of the 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships. Riders of all levels will gather in Georgia this coming weekend donning their collegiate colors to battle it out in hopes of coming home with the coveted title of champion. [Podcast of the Day]

Operating a successful lesson program isn’t as simple as hanging a shingle and signing up for an Instagram page. If there were any silver linings to a global pandemic that changed how we think and live forever, one might be that more people have discovered horses and riding in recent months. This discovery or rediscovery has been a boon to the industry – more lesson, therapeutic, and access programs are popping up all over the country. While running a lesson program doesn’t require a degree in rocket science, there are nonetheless plenty of considerations to think of ahead of time. [Four Tips to Build Your Business]

Best of Blogs: 7 Ways to Improve Your Betting for the Preakness Stakes

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

Horses are so majestic!! Photo by Mary Mac Kinnon.

Virginia has been blessed with the best spring in recent history, and I’m really digging it. Cool 40’s at night and 60’s in the day, sign me up! I realize it won’t last forever, but I’ll bask in the idea that I could live in a place that had this season all year ’round. Of course, if I did find this magical location, everybody else would also want to live near me, and since I am a hermit that likes to live alone in a cabin in the woods, this would never work. Anyway….Happy Friday!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Tryon International Spring Three-Day Event (Mill Spring, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. (Temecula, Ca.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Hitching Post Farm H.T. (South Royalton, Vt.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Spokane Sport Horse Spring H.T. (Spokane, Wa.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Unionville May H.T. (Unionvilla, Pa.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

WindRidge Farm Spring H.T. (Mooresboro, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Winona H.T. (Hanoverton, Oh.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Major International Events

FEI Nations Cup CCIO4*-S/WEG Test Event (Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy): [Website] [Schedule] [Entries] [Scoring] [EN’s Coverage] [Live Stream]

News From Around the Globe:

We can’t wait for you to get your hands on our new #goeventing merchandise line that’s just launched in collaboration with Dapplebay. You may have gotten a sneak peek at Kentucky, and now you can snag your own online! New to the collection are baseball caps, a sticker pack and a limited-edition tote bag that’s a collaboration between EN and Ride iQ. We’ll be adding to the collection throughout the year, so stay tuned for much more to come. In the meantime, you can start shopping here.

Growing up around horses, Caitlin Gooch says she always wore a helmet, but it wasn’t necessarily true of many of her fellow riders. Caitlin noticed that a lot of riders who aren’t wearing a helmet are not doing so because they are necessarily anti-helmet. “The reality is, there are not a lot of helmets out there for ethnic hairstyles. If we are just looking at the access, like what is actually available to us, we can see that some of these helmets get pretty pricey and who is going to spend money on a helmet that they can’t even safely fit over their natural hair?” So while she’s hoping that talking about re-shaping the negative helmet associations on social media will help riders of all ages and skill levels re-examine their attitudes toward protective headgear, Caitlin is also ready to ask the helmet companies and equestrian sport governing bodies some challenging questions. [Black Riders Need Helmets Too]

Rich Strike pulled off an 80-1 upset in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, and on Thursday his connections came with another shocker, taking the colt out of consideration for the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, on May 21 at Pimlico. He will instead await the Belmont Stakes, the final leg of the Triple Crown, on June 11 in New York. Both Rick Dawson, who owns Rich Strike, and Eric Reed, the colt’s trainer, said they believed running back in two weeks was not in the best interests of Rich Strike. They said giving him five weeks between starts was more suitable. [Rich Strike Will Not Contest Preakness]

Best of Blogs: Meet Impressive John R: The Blind Thoroughbred Therapy Horse

Not done with Badminton yet? H&H gathered a list of bizarre facts from the event last weekend, and some of them will rock your world. Which rider fell off their bike? Who ran to the start box alongside their horse? [9 Funny Facts About Badminton]

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Jonelle Price and Classic Moet are at their best in the horse’s nineteenth year. Photo by Nico Morgan Media.

I can’t stop thinking about the personal energy that Jonelle Price must have. First she goes to Kentucky, rides around the 5*, then she’s straight off to Badminton, rides around that incredible track, and jets straight off to Pratoni for the 4*. I mean look, we’ve all watched her ride on cross country and thought maybe she’s a bit nuts (in a good way), but that schedule has me yawning just thinking about it. What is her secret? Why? How? I’ll take a nap and think on it later.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Tryon International Spring Three-Day Event (Mill Spring, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Galway Downs Spring H.T. (Temecula, Ca.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Hitching Post Farm H.T. (South Royalton, Vt.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Majestic Oaks Ocala H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Spokane Sport Horse Spring H.T. (Spokane, Wa.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Unionville May H.T. (Unionvilla, Pa.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

WindRidge Farm Spring H.T. (Mooresboro, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scoring] [Volunteer]

Winona H.T. (Hanoverton, Oh.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scoring] [Volunteer]

Major International Events

FEI Nations Cup CCIO4*-S/WEG Test Event (Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy): [Website] [Schedule] [Entries] [Scoring] [EN’s Coverage] [Live Stream]

News From Around the Globe:

US Equestrian has announced that the next DEI Community Conversation, “Cultivating Inclusive Spaces for Transgender and Non-Binary Equestrians,” will be on Monday, June 13, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. ET via Zoom. Centered through the lens of supporting youth athletes, this conversation will explore how people can support transgender and non-binary equestrians of all ages and will provide practical tips for creating welcoming, gender-inclusive spaces. In partnership with the IEA, USEF will welcome three panelists with the personal and/or professional experience of navigating gender identity in the context of equestrian sport. They will offer perspectives to help fellow equestrians learn how to advocate for and support their transgender and non-binary friends, students, and clients. Panelists include Alexis Novak, Liam Miranda, and Kate Sharkey. The session is free to attend and open to all people. You do not need to be a USEF member to attend the live session. [Register Now]

Laura Collett pulled off a sensational first Badminton victory this past weekend riding London 52. The 32-year-old British rider is a household name, thanks largely to last year’s Olympic team gold, but did you know that she always rides cross-country wearing goggles? Is a former Horse of the Year Show champion and has had to cope with death threats via social media? Check out some neat facts you may not know about the 5* winner. [12 Things You Might Not Know About Laura Collett]

What happens when a horse gets held at a big competition? I’ve never been held, somehow, and I always wondered if it would be hard to get my horse and myself back in the zone afterwards. Much less halfway around Badminton! Courtesy of Laura Collett’s helmet cam, you can now see what goes on behind the scenes. [Badminton XC Hold Footage]

Best of Blogs: Road to the Makeover: It Takes a Village

Training Tip Thursday: 15 Exercises to Improve Communication with Your Horse

 

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

How to keep your breeches sparkling white, according to Team Price. Photo courtesy of Badminton Horse Trials FB.

Day one dressage brought the heat, but day two might just blow your socks off. The second half of the field comes forward today to attempt to smash the incredibly high standard we’ve seen throughout today’s competition – and there’s plenty of heavy hitters in the line-up, including Olympic medallists Laura Collett and London 52Bubby Upton and ColaTim Price and Ringwood Sky BoyOliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class, and plenty more besides. We’ll also see another, smaller batch of our North American (and US-based) contingent, the first group of whom we caught up with yesterday. To check out the times in full so you don’t miss a minute, click here.

Badminton: [Website] [Dressage Ride Times] [Live Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage] [EN’s Ultimate Guide] [EN’s Instagram] [EN’s Twitter]

U.S. Weekend Preview

Catalpa Corner May Madness H.T. (Iowa City, Ia.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

The Event at Skyline (Mt. Pleasant, Ut.): [Website] [Ride Times / Scores] [Volunteer]

Miami Valley H.T. at Twin Towers (Yellow Springs, Oh.): [Website] [Ride Times / Scores] [Volunteer]

Poplar Place May H.T. (Thomson, Ga.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Photography Sign-up] [Volunteer] [Scores]

Waredaca H.T. (Gaithersburg, Md.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Photographer] [Scores] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe: 

Want to stay in the loop with Badminton Horse Trials? We’re sending our Daily Digest each evening this week with the latest news, information and stories from Badminton. It’s free to sign up + there are opportunities to win items from our new #goeventing merchandise line each day! Sign up here.

We are so relieved to hear that Ashlynn Meuchel’s Emporium is back home in his field, happy and healthy. Theo caught his left front shoe on the ground line of the corner in the water, which caused him to fall on the landing side. Upon attempting to get up, he somehow caught his right front shoe in his noseband, which made him panic. However, he is injury free and ready for his next challenge. [Emporium Happy at Home]

Ready to go behind the stall door with the “dork” who just placed 3rd at Kentucky? After Doug Payne lost the ride on a former advanced horse a decade ago, he and his wife Jess decided they’d start bringing up their own horses so there would always be some youngsters in the pipeline under their ownership. Quantum Leap was the first of several horses to come to the Paynes as a yearling, and over the past 10 years, he and Doug have developed a solid partnership, completing two five-stars in 2021. On May 1, they became the Land Rover/USEF CCI5*-L National Champions at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event when they finished third. [Behind the Stall Door with Quantum Leap]

When Boyd Martin finished the cross-country course on Tsetserleg TSF, there was a new person at the Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L vet box with him—Ruben “Gu Rubee” Mahboobi. Mahboobi, dressed in all black and an assortment of earrings, rings and bracelets, stood near Martin during his post-ride press interview. Mahboobi is a dressage rider, and has been practicing wellness of mind, body and spirit for about 30 years. He’s a bodyguard to celebrities, which he calls an “executive protection specialist,” because he protects not just the body, but the mind and spirit, too. [Meet Boyd’s New Wellness Coach]

When Vicki Oliver takes Hidden Stash to the saddling paddock on Saturday, she’ll join a select group of trainers in Kentucky Derby history. Oliver will be the first female trainer to start a Derby runner in six years, and only the 17th in the race’s 147-year history. In interviews on the subject, Oliver has made it clear she’s not ultra-keen on the female trainer angle – after all, horses don’t spend much time fretting about the anatomy of their owners, trainers, or riders, and true horsemanship isn’t ordained by chromosomes. In fact, the very first female trainer who blazed a trail for Oliver and others may have felt very much the same way. [Mary Hirsch: The First Female Derby Trainer]

Friday Video Break: That one time Chinch and Zoe the Unicorn from Zoetis rekindled their love…

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Maxime Livio and Vitorio du Montet. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Honestly, I don’t know how riders who compete in both Kentucky and Badminton are even remotely alive. I didn’t do anything except absorb the action from last weekend and I’m still reeling. I honestly can’t imagine being able to set aside all your worries about Badminton and focus on performing at Kentucky, much less the physical demands of riding at that level competently two weeks in a row. I need a nap just thinking about it.

Badminton: Website, Entries, Live Stream, Dressage Start Times, EN’s Ultimate Guide, EN’s Entry Form Guide Course Preview, EN’s Coverage, EN’s Twitter, EN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview

Catalpa Corner May Madness H.T. (Iowa City, Ia.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

The Event at Skyline (Mt. Pleasant, Ut.): [Website] [Ride Times / Scores] [Volunteer]

Miami Valley H.T. at Twin Towers (Yellow Springs, Oh.): [Website] [Ride Times / Scores] [Volunteer]

Poplar Place May H.T. (Thomson, Ga.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Photography Sign-up] [Volunteer] [Scores]

Waredaca H.T. (Gaithersburg, Md.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Photographer] [Scores] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Want to stay in the loop with Badminton Horse Trials? We’re sending our Daily Digest each evening this week with the latest news, information and stories from Badminton. It’s free to sign up + there are opportunities to win items from our new #goeventing merchandise line each day! Sign up here.

You can also join the Eventing Nation league in your Equiratings Eventing Manager app — pick your team and play against your fellow eventing nerds, what could be more fun?? EN merch to the league winner when the dust settles! Download the app here — our league code is EQYLJD.

Nine months after several incidents and accidents marred the equestrian disciplines of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, a study group from the French National Assembly (the lower house of the French Parliament), makes 46 recommendations for making Paris 2024 the Olympic Games of Equine Welfare. There is a long section on equipment, which includes banning combination bits, draw reins and the use of elevator bits in conjunction with martingales. They want standardised checks of noseband tightness using the ISES taper gauge at the nasal plane, and they call for a ban of hyperflexion anywhere on the Games grounds, acknowledging it refers to any head and neck posture where the nose is behind the vertical.  [French Parliament Recommendations on Horse Welfare for Paris 2024]

Best of Blogs: Dom Schramm’s Badminton — I Drove The Lorry Here Myself

It was a bittersweet weekend at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event for Canadian eventer Lisa Marie Fergusson. Riding Honor Me, the pair were the top Canadian entry in the CCI5*-L, finishing 19th. But it had been a difficult road to this event, a testament to this rider’s grit and determination. In December her mother, Bonnie, had a heart attack and Lisa had to be with her in the hospital for a month. Leslie Law took over keeping Tali going, and when her mother passed on Good Friday, she was able to ride him a handful of times before going to Kentucky. [Love, Loss, and Honor]

 

 

 

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

That I-Just-Finished-My-First-Kentucky-Dressage feeling. Photo by Mary Pat Stone.

The dressage judges were holding everyone to a very high standard yesterday, and we are all on tenterhooks to see if they carry that forward to today. Will it be the curse of Thursday? Or will we simply see only the very best of the best get into the 20’s? Certainly today we have some heavy hitters, with most of the predicted best scoring horses competing this afternoon. Michi, I’m looking at you, sir. Seeking that low twenties score to blow us out of the water!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (KY): WebsiteCCI5* EntriesCCI4*-S EntriesLive ScoringLive Stream (North America)Live Stream (Outside of North America) TicketsEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Ram Tap H.T. (CA): Website, Scoring

Stable View Spring H.T. (SC): WebsiteScoring

University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. (NH): Website

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. (VA): WebsiteScoring

Horse Park of New Jersey Spring H.T. (NJ): Website

News & Notes: 

Want to stay in the know for all things revolving around the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and Badminton Horse Trials? We’ll be sending out our Daily Digest email now through Tuesday, May 3 for Badminton. It’s the best place to keep up with our coverage and all of the latest news from the big spring 5* events — and, it’s free! We’ll also be giving out prizes (think exclusive EN merch and sponsor goodies!) throughout each event, so you definitely don’t want to miss out. Sign up here.

With 41 starts and horses earning over $300,000 in prize money, Connor Hankin walked away from his success as an amateur steeplechase jockey to join the U.S. Marine Corps in 2016. This weekend he’ll be back in the tack, racing at The Maryland Hunt Cup. Learn more about Hankin in today’s Amateur Showcase. [Marine Swaps Uniform for Silks]

Best of Blogs: Nobody Makes it to Kentucky Alone

If you’ve never competed in an FEI event, horse inspections can be a scary mystery. Honestly, even if you are competing at the FEI level, jogs can be intimidating. At all FEI sanctioned events the veterinary delegate and the ground jury (cumulatively called the panel) evaluate each horse twice — once prior to the competition and once prior to the show jumping phase — to ensure he is fit to compete. But what goes on in the minds of the panel? What happens if you’re sent to the holding box? [Three Day Eventing Horse Inspections]

Riding at the highest levels in any discipline is not for the faint of heart. Some riders take it further than others, doing intense and extreme workouts for both mind and body outside of the barn. Adrienne Sternlicht is a World Equestrian Games team gold medalist in show jumping, and Brown University graduate. She’s the kind of driven individual who wakes at sunrise and adheres to an intense performance maximizing, mind-sharpening morning routine designed for super humans. One adventurous blogger tried her morning routine, and lived to tell the tale. [Intense Morning Rider Workout]

 

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Will Coleman gives a thumbs up to his daughter, Charlie, who cheers from the terrace. Photo by Shelby Allen.

My favorite thing to do the week of any big event is go and research the predicted weather for the location. Kentucky, as we know, has a penchant for, shall we say, exciting weather, especially during this specific week at the end of April. The nature of the action on Saturday is very weather dependent, and not every horse loves every season on the cross country course. So, if I see a forecast of rain….I start rubbing my hands together like a cartoon super villain.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event (KY): WebsiteCCI5* Ride Times, CC4*-S Ride TimesLive ScoringLive Stream (North America)Live Stream (Outside of North America) TicketsEN’s CoverageEN’s Ultimate GuideEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

Ram Tap H.T. (CA): Website, Scoring

Stable View Spring H.T. (SC): WebsiteScoring

University of New Hampshire Spring H.T. (NH): Website

Loudoun Hunt Pony Club Spring H.T. (VA): WebsiteScoring

Horse Park of New Jersey Spring H.T. (NJ): Website

News & Notes: 

Want to stay in the know for all things revolving around the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and Badminton Horse Trials? We’ll be sending out our Daily Digest email now through Tuesday, May 3 for Badminton. It’s the best place to keep up with our coverage and all of the latest news from the big spring 5* events — and, it’s free! We’ll also be giving out prizes (think exclusive EN merch and sponsor goodies!) throughout each event, so you definitely don’t want to miss out. Sign up here.

Yeah, you know you want more jog photos. Who doesn’t love the first jog? It’s where the riders put the most time and effort into their styles, and we get a peak at all the horses and are allowed to drool all over our computers. Good for you, I’ve got one amazing jog album here and yet another jog album here!

U.S.-based Australian eventer Dom Schramm is headed to England to take on Badminton Horse Trials CCI5*-L, along with a healthy contingent of U.S. riders entered in the event, to be held May 4-8. Schramm, who runs Schramm Equestrian with his wife Jimmie Schramm from Cochranville, Pennsylvania, and Ocala, Florida, will be taking Bolytair B, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Team Bolytair B. While it will be the pair’s fifth five-star, it is the first Badminton for both, and Dom is blogging about the experience. [Badminton Bound After 25 Years of Dreaming]

Get some excellent cross country tips from Sharon White before she recreates her epic ditch-and-wall photo from last year. From how to start getting comfortable across terrain to choosing a bit that works for you and your horse, Sharon is the cross country queen and you’d do well to read on. [Create More Cross-Country Control]

Let’s start with the good news: In general, horses are living longer and staying active later in their lives than ever. This means we have more quality time with and rides on our beloved equine partners. The bad news? As horses—particularly sport horses—age, they begin to suffer from related health issues. One of the most common is osteoarthritis, which can make those rides uncomfortable for horses. Learning how to keep them fit and healthy is a skill unto it’s own. [Conditioning Arthritic Horses]

 

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

I’m always extra giddy at seeing the foreign horses at Kentucky in the spring, because it feels like an exclusive group of equine celebrities visiting. In fact, they are basically celebrities and the pairs that make the long flight over are usually a formidable force. Is this the only sport where you can become famous because of your animal? That’s a thing for sure in eventing.

U.S. Weekend Preview

River Glen Spring H.T. (New Market, Tn.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scores] [Volunteer]

Sporting Days H.T. (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scores] [Volunteer]

Unionville Spring H.T. (Unionville, Pa.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scores] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Are you attending this year’s Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event? Join EN and Ride iQ for a ridiculously epic course walk led by Kyle Carter and Buck Davidson on Friday, April 29. If you register ahead of time, you’ll be entered to win prizes such as a limited edition signed tote bag and goodies from our sponsors. Click here to learn more.

Want to stay in the know for all things revolving around the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and Badminton Horse Trials? We’ll be sending out our Daily Digest email beginning Monday, April 25 for Kentucky and Tuesday, May 3 for Badminton. It’s the best place to keep up with our coverage and all of the latest news from the big spring 5* events — and, it’s free! We’ll also be giving out prizes (think exclusive EN merch and sponsor goodies!) throughout each event, so you definitely don’t want to miss out. Sign up here.

Sharon White’s “Hell Week” saved a student’s bacon during an extremely interesting turn of events in show jumping. Lea Adams-Blackmore made a bid for an oxer into a triple, clambered over it and ended up on her horse’s neck, pushing his bridle clean off his face. Her horse kindly kept jumping through the line, and Lea exhibited some impressive acrobatics to stay on, thanks in part to her participation in Hell Week at Last Frontier Farm. [What In The World is Hell Week]

“If you build it, they will come,” might have been true for the late ‘80s film Field of Dreams, but is hardly the case for training facilities in the equine industry. Whether you’ve just started a training business or are looking to ramp up your revenue this season, be sure to check out these best practices for generating some buzz about your business. Check out these top three ways to get the word out about your business. [Advertise Yourself Intelligently]

The Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event this year has a star-studded entry list. The entries consist of the only two Rolex Grand Slam winners (Pippa Funnell and Michael Jung), the full U.S. Tokyo Olympic team riders, and 10 USEA YEH graduate horses. Will Coleman and Tamie Smith will both be riding two horses that have graduated from the YEH program. There are two YEH graduates who were the recipients of the Holekamp/Turner Lion d’Angers Grant, and there are two YEH graduates making their five-star debut. The 10 YEH graduate horses include Dondante, Let It Be Lee, Fleeceworks Royal, Emporium, Covert Rights, Tsetserleg, Off The Record, Quantum Leap, Mai Baum, and PFun. [YEH Goes To Five Star]

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

McLaren looking ready to fly to Kentucky! Photo courtesy of Team Price.

It feels like yesterday and also a thousand years ago that we were gearing up for Kentucky last spring, and it was extra exciting after all the cancellations of 2020. This year is even more thrilling, as we will be welcoming spectators for the first time since 2019, and it’s going to be jam packed with fanatical eventing fans. And after that, we get to look forward to Badminton, which we really haven’t seen in a long time!! Oh April, you’re always my favorite month for hope and anticipation!

U.S. Weekend Preview

River Glen Spring H.T. (New Market, Tn.): [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times/Scores] [Volunteer]

Sporting Days H.T. (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Scores] [Volunteer]

Unionville Spring H.T. (Unionville, Pa.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Scores] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Want to stay in the know for all things revolving around the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event and Badminton Horse Trials? We’ll be sending out our Daily Digest email beginning Monday, April 25 for Kentucky and Tuesday, May 3 for Badminton. It’s the best place to keep up with our coverage and all of the latest news from the big spring 5* events — and, it’s free! We’ll also be giving out prizes (think exclusive EN merch and sponsor goodies!) throughout each event, so you definitely don’t want to miss out. Sign up here.

Harbour Pilot has a sparkling career spanning 15 years, and he demands a certain level of respect for his accomplishments. “He’s a bit of a prince,” longtime rider Hannah Sue Burnett said. “We call him Sir William Mars of Stonehall. He knows he’s special and expects to be treated with respect at all times.” William, a 19-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Cruising—Shannon, Catch On Fire), is owned and was bred by Jaqueline Mars and grew up at her Stonehall Farm in The Plains, Virginia, under the tutelage of David and Karen O’Connor. Burnett took over the ride on the dappled bay gelding in 2010, and together they’ve had 10 CCI5*-L starts. In 2011 they earned team gold and individual silver at the Pan American Games. [Behind the Stall Door with Harbour Pilot]

Op-Ed: Has Baffert Jumped the Shark?

Hot on Horse Nation: If Equestrians Were 100% Honest on Social Media

As a two-time Olympic eventing gold medalist, Phillip Dutton is a terrific example of an athlete who knows how to focus in the present to get the best from himself and his horse when the pressure is on. You can watch Phillip navigate any course or test with sharp attention and appropriate spot-on reactions—evidence of his ability to stay single-minded in every step. All top riders have mastered this ability to be in the moment and stay mindful during their ride. It is also, thankfully, something you can successfully enhance no matter what your level of physical expertise. This column is designed as an introduction to some basic, practical tools you can use to increase your capacity to stay in the moment during your rides. [Mental Skills with Tonya Johnston & Phillip Dutton]

Video: 2013 Badminton Flashback

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

Just some foal spam for your Friday. Photo by Ame Hellman.

You’re welcome.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala International Festival of Eventing (FL) [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Stabling] [Jog Order] [Scoring]
Twin Rivers Spring International (CA) [Website] [Entry List/Ride Times] [Schedule]
[Scoring]
Fair Hill International April H.T. & CCI-S (MD) [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Schedule] [Scoring]
FENCE H.T. (SC) [Website] [Entry Status] [Scoring]
Spring Bay H.T. (KY) [Website] [Ride Times] [Scoring]

News From Around the Globe:

We all began riding for the same reasons: the love of the horse and the love of the sport. Back then we spent as much time laughing as we did lunging and as much time smiling as we did circling. It wasn’t about the color of the ribbon, placement on a leaderboard, or worrying about beating or being beaten. Back then we spent more time feeling fun than frustrated and thought more about joy than judges. But what happens when this carefree fun begins to feel more like fear of failure and falling? [Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart]

Michael Barisone is not guilty of attempted murder by reason of insanity in the shooting of Lauren Kanarek and not guilty of attempted murder of her boyfriend Robert Goodwin. It took more than three days for a 12-member jury in Morris County, New Jersey, to reach that conclusion. The jury, which began deliberations April 11, after hearing two weeks of testimony in the trial of the former Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer, also found Barisone not guilty by reason of insanity on a weapons charge against Kanarek and not guilty of aggravated assault or possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose against Goodwin. [Michael Barisone Cleared of All Charges]

Dom Schramm has his sights set high this year. With the incredibly athletic and feisty Bolytair B, he’s got Badminton as well as the World Championships in Italy on his horizons. If you ever appreciated anything Dom or Boly in your life, consider helping them a little as they accomplish their dreams. [Boly 4 Badminton]

Best of Blogs: Putting the Puzzle Together to Solve Behavioral Issues

Hot on Horse Nation: Equus Obscurus: Horse Armour 

Enjoy these happy bounces courtesy of Alyssa Phillips:

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Shameless self promotion because I think my horse is cute. Photo by Wenzhao Zhang.

For your mid-week brain puzzle, I give you the term Karma Yoga, which is “focusing on a task with no thought as to the outcome of that task”. This is a particularly interesting concept when it comes to training horses, as many of them require this type of zen mindset in order to become successful. This is what it takes to find joy in the smallest of steps forward, and the long term rewards that we find from the most successful partnerships. Ponder the Karma Yoga in your life on your next hack!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

News From Around the Globe:

Several weeks back, a video from a Mark Todd clinic circulated around the internet – it was a clip taken during a clinic, and it caused a lot of conversation and controversy on social media. This podcast is not about that video in particular, but the video did spark some reflection and larger conversations around what we deem acceptable in horse training, what we don’t, and how those standards are set and upheld. In this episode of Equestrian Voices, host Caroline Culbertson sits down with eventer Matt Brown, show jumper Anne Kursinski, and dressage rider Jeremy Steinberg to discuss. [What Does Doing Better Mean?]

Thoroughbreds are made for Eventing. Even though they don’t show the popularity they once did in the original days of our sport, the thoroughbred horse is still fantastically competitive and present at the highest levels of the sport at a consistent rate. Holly Payne is a fantastic lover of the breed, and explains in this article why she still prefers to ride thoroughbreds over some of the biggest tracks in the world. [An Argument for the Thoroughbred]

The equestrian community mourned the loss of a legend when eventer Gemma Tattersall announced the passing of her top horse Arctic Soul, who died at the age of 19 last week. Arctic Soul — an ex-racehorse by Luso known as “Spike” at home — was one of the greatest cross-country horses of all time, and he developed a formidable partnership with Gemma, which spanned over a decade. [9 Glorious Moments from Spike’s Career]

Sharon White advocates forming an identity as a self-confident leader in the relationship with your horse. No matter if you have a timid horse or a brash one, Sharon believes taking the role of leader will help. “The key to communicating with your horse, figuring out what he needs and letting him know what you want—in other words, making yourself the leader—is always the same: education and repetition”. [Become A Self Confident Leader]

Video:

Friday News & Notes From Zoetis

Uh oh! Photo courtesy of Hamel Eventing.

Corvett wants to know why his mom has these weird wings! Badminton-bound Emily Hamel took a funky step in the barn on Tuesday of this week, and an MRI showed a large tear on the lateral meniscus and a small tear on the medial side. Her meniscus flipped over underneath her knee cap, which is incredibly painful. She’s off to surgery today (wish her luck!), and apparently the doctor is hopeful that the surgery will be quick and her recovery simple. With some grit and determination, Badminton is still a possibility! Eventers are tough, so we will keep our fingers crossed that we get to see Corvett springing three feet over those big fences in England soon.

U.S. Weekend Preview

The Fork at TIEC (Tryon, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Chattahoochee Hills International H.T. (Fairburn, Ga.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

CDCTA Spring H.T. (Berryville, Va.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

Pine Hill Spring H.T. (Bellville, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

Major International Events

Strzegom Spring Open CCI4*-S (Poland): [Website] [Sunday XC Live Stream]

News From Around the Globe:

By the time David O’Connor retired from competition in 2004, he had won every color of olympic medal in Eventing, including an individual gold at the 2000 games with Custom Made, as well as multiple medals from Pan American Games. He continued to be a force in the equestrian world, and has coached many riders to success at the top level. Get all the details about his fascinating life with this article from Sidelines. [Unbridled with David O’Connor]

Do we “over-bit” when we are afraid? Join top equestrian sport psychologist Dr. Jenny Susser in this video as she digs into this topic with guest bit experts, Mette Larsen of Neue Schule and Florence Wetzel of Try My Bits, as they discuss the battle between fear and control in the tack. [Between Fear & Control]

Hot on Horse Nation: Reader Challenge — Majestic Moves

Best of Blogs: Finding Joy Through Balance As a Professional Trainer

Soft tissue injuries to the tendons and ligaments of horses’ lower limbs are common in riding horses. According to previous studies, these injuries are to blame for 13-18% of horses that require rest and rehabilitation and 33% of training losses and retirement in sport horses of all disciplines. But what if simply providing your horse with more turnout could reduce his risk of joining these statistics? [Turnout Time Reduces Risk of Soft Tissue Injuries]

Video: 

The Value of Communication Over Compliance

My problem child. Photo by Nicole Patenaude.

I heard a great quote the other day that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. “The most honest person in the room is the problem child.” When it comes to horses, they are naturally designed to be good liars. From a prey perspective, they’re supposed to lie to predators about their physical and mental weaknesses, because their very survival depends upon it.

“Good” horses are good liars. They’re stoic about physical ailments, they tolerate mistakes, and they can perform their duties without needing to be heard by their human handler, or requiring a lot of skill from a rider. These are horses we value a lot in our equestrian society, and they’re great for many reasons.

“Problem” horses are very bad liars. They cannot just go on with life when they are hurt, or upset, or feeling like their needs are not acknowledged or met.

They either find somebody who understands that, or they are sent to a trainer whose main job is to teach them to learn to suppress this urge to constantly communicate their emotions and needs, effectively becoming better liars. Some horses can learn this, but the ones that cannot are labelled permanent problems, and often find themselves shuffled around.

But what happens if we begin to value communication over compliance? What if we prioritize the relationship before our egos, and trust before our human goals? This seems to be particularly a particularly difficult paradigm shift for the competitive equestrian, but I firmly believe that going slowly and intentionally on a daily basis will benefit competitive goals instead of thwarting them.

Many of us have been told that we need to move the horse’s feet in order to get their mind. However, if you get the mind first, the feet follow willingly. Even better, through understanding and relaxation, the horse is working alongside you instead of just exhibiting behaviors they don’t understand in order to avoid pressures. If they feel seen, heard, and felt, they relax and the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged, which is ideal for learning. If a “problem horse” is nothing else, he is not relaxed, so we should always prioritize that if we wish to help them learn to thrive in our world.

Photo by Kate Samuels.

We can all agree that we would prefer to be in a meaningful human relationship that values empathy to a different perspective/reality. Why wouldn’t we consciously cultivate the same relationships with our equine partners? Would that not be beneficial for everyone?

I like to imagine my relationship with my horses in a similar manner to the ideal of a close human relationship. Think about the person you trust most in the world, whether it be your significant other, your best friend, or your parent. The person who you feel comfortable revealing your innermost secrets, worries, and passions.

If you went to this person to express a deep fear, and they immediately dismissed it, and topped it off by calling you and your fear stupid. Then they proceeded to use physical or emotional pressure to force you to do the thing you are deeply afraid of. How would this make you feel? Not safe, that’s for sure. It would ruin your trust with that person, and make you question future interactions. You would probably become less vulnerable around this person, and develop strange coping behaviors to avoid both the person and the subject of fear.

Now imagine the next time your horse spooks at a stump, a rock, or that jump filler that they’ve seen a million times before. Most of us immediately react with an eye roll and we close our legs and tell the horse to just get on with life. Sometimes we use greater force, after all, we have things to accomplish today! The thing is, if punishing or pushing a spooky horse worked, wouldn’t it have worked already? What if you just took 30 seconds when your horse first expresses anxiety, and let them stop, assess, and resolve the issue in their mind? What if you followed that up with a cookie, a pet, and a verbal affirmation?

I think this is simple association. The next time your horse is afraid of the stump, he realizes that you will acknowledge his perspective/reality, and you will be a source of comfort. More importantly, they will realize that the feelings of fear will fade, and good things will come. Your horse will feel that you understand their mind, and the trust will build. You don’t have to think that fear of a stump is legitimate to have empathy for their perspective.

Photo by Nicole Patenaude.

The human ego is a funny thing, and our world view is largely centered around how we navigate the world. This is mostly because we assume that we are the smartest species, and in theory we run the world. But just because horses can’t speak English doesn’t make them stupid, and it certainly doesn’t mean that they don’t lead a rich inner life with a wide arrange of emotions. They don’t have random behaviors, and they aren’t “just like that.” Those behaviors are all a form of communication, and it’s not their fault if you, the human, are too stupid to translate it.

“Problem” horses reveal an uncomfortable reality about us as riders and trainers. Honesty with ourselves is difficult at the best of times, and often exhausting. To be vulnerable enough and honest enough to admit that you aren’t the smartest person in the partnership is a complex moment in time, but in order to become a better horseman, it is a process you must go through.

The next time you find yourself making a binary judgement about your horse’s behavior, pause for a moment instead and consider the root cause of it. What are they trying to communicate? How can you help meet their needs and build trust instead of prioritizing your ego in that moment and demanding compliance because you’ve arbitrarily decided you deserve it?

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Great jumping technique! Photo by Amy Morris.

I picked up a new project pony this week, which is possibly my most favorite thing in the world. He belongs to the racing stable where I get all my OTTB’s, and he was a special favorite of theirs, so they sent him to me to see what he would like to do as a second career. He is brown with no markings (just how I like them), has a tiny head, and his name is Beep. So all of these characteristics mean it’s meant to be. Yesterday he accompanied me to the arena (which he thought was a very strange race track) and helped me teach a lesson. He found it all intriguing, and I can tell he’s very intelligent and happy to have attention and a job again after six months in the field!

U.S. Weekend Preview

The Fork at TIEC (Tryon, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Chattahoochee Hills International H.T. (Fairburn, Ga.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

CDCTA Spring H.T. (Berryville, Va.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

Pine Hill Spring H.T. (Bellville, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

Major International Events

Strzegom Spring Open CCI4*-S (Poland): [Website] [Sunday XC Live Stream]

News From Around the Globe:

Winning one’s third attempt at a novice horse trials is a feat, but even more so when it happens on another person’s horse just two months after being introduced to the sport. For Sierra Lesny, who topped a field of 21 to win the senior novice rider division at the Rocking Horse Spring Horse Trials, April 1-3 in Altoona, Florida, the victory was the culmination of a winter of training and learning.Lesny, 25, is this year’s recipient of Strides for Equality Equestrians’ (SEE) Ever So Sweet scholarship, which allowed her to spend the winter training with eventing professional Sara Kozumplik at her Ocala, Florida, location. [Winner of the Week]

Best of Blogs: Today We Just Walked: Balancing Riding & Mental Health

Numerous horses headed to Badminton Horse Trials enjoyed a prep run at Thoresby last weekend, including the top three in the Lycetts Grantham Cup CCI4*-S – Brookfield Inocent (Piggy March), Cola III (Bubby Upton) and London 52 (Laura Collett). If you’d like to see some Badminton-bound horses stretching their legs, check out these Thoresby Park Horse Trials pictures. [Badminton Bound]

The USEA is excited to announce that coach applications are now being accepted for the 2022 USEA Emerging Athlete 21 program. Three coaches will be selected for the EA21 program for the regional clinics, one coach per region. The coaches should be able to instruct Young Riders competing at the Modified through Intermediate levels of eventing. [USEA EA21 Coach Search]

British team gold medallist and five-star event winner Gemma Tattersall has jumped and been placed in her first showjumping ranking grands prix, on a pocket-rocket mare who is “almost human” in her intelligence. Gemma rode Isabel Fox’s MGH Candy Girl to 10th place in her first ranking grand prix on 20 March, then came third in the 1.45m grand prix on 27 March, at CSI Lier in Belgium. [Eventing Superstar Tries Out Show Jumping]

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

Life is exhausting. Photo by Kate Samuels.

Every March when the spring grass arrives, my horses stuff their faces all night, and then come in for their breakfast and not-so-politely refuse to do work in the morning. This is because they all need to take multiple naps flat-out in the stall, to rest from the face-stuffing and the exhaustion of digestion, I suppose. All of mine have realized that not only do they not have to get up when I enter the barn, but they are fully able to resist my attempts to rouse them and get them to work. Have I mentioned that I am their employee??

U.S. Weekend Preview

Stable View Spring 2*/3*/4* (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer] [EN’s Coverage]

Galway Downs International H.T. (Temecula, Ca.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Photographer] [Volunteer]

Morven Park Spring H.T. (Leesburg, Va.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (Altoona, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Inspired by Will Coleman’s recent success? You can read an in-depth review of a recent clinic where he taught riders and horses of all ages and experience levels. “A happy horse will always be more successful than an unhappy one,” Will said to the assembled riders, whose mounts ranged from an off-the-track Thoroughbred and a homebred Warmblood-cross to a PMU rescue horse and a Shetland Pony. “If you can get to a point where you feel like you give the horse a reason to come out and work for you every day, you’re always going to have a better chance of getting not only a better performance but a much more enjoyable and fulfilling performance.” [10 Training Tips from Will Coleman]

Now that Kentucky entries are out, we are all completely giddy at the list. U.S. eventers know #LRK3DE is the best weekend all year and on the world stage, the best riders in the sport have realized first-hand just how good a weekend it is. Not only is the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event a key leg of the Eventing Grand Slam, but the Kentucky Horse Park is also a strategic venue for another type of elite achievement – the title of FEI World Number One. Every single World Number One of the last decade competed at Kentucky the year they were crowned the best in the world and, more importantly, they each relied on and counted their Kentucky result to take them to number one status. Quite literally, the famed Kentucky Horse Park has annually attracted and hosted the best event rider on the globe. Here’s how LRK3DE has made its mark at the top of the world. [World Number Ones Are Made in Kentucky]

Ex-eventer thoroughbred Jack Reacher battled a suspensory injury and a life-threatening coffin bone infection that kept him out of the show ring for nearly 2 years. His owner/rider John Tyson simply hoped the gelding would be sound enough to retire to pasture. But in 2021 they had a fairy-tale season, culminating with The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program Award at U.S. Dressage Finals. [OTTB Overcomes the Odds]

The USEA would like to know if you are planning to compete in the 2022 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds (AEC) taking place at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana on Aug. 30 – Sept. 4, 2022. [Answer the Question]

Thursday News & Notes Presented By Stable View

Meet baby Violet! Photo courtesy of Sinead Halpin.

Congratulations are in order for Eventing Super Couple Sinead Halpin and Tik Maynard, who welcomed their second child and first daughter, Violet Kathleen Maynard this week! We can’t wait to see an adorable new pony to accompany her later this year, because that’s the kind of content we all crave. In fact, I only encourage my friends to have babies so we can get them a pony and recreate Thelwell comics in real life.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Stable View Spring 2*/3*/4* (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer] [EN’s Coverage]

Galway Downs International H.T. (Temecula, Ca.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Photographer] [Volunteer]

Morven Park Spring H.T. (Leesburg, Va.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Rocking Horse Spring H.T. (Altoona, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Vacation for our equine partners is often undervalued, but not in Ariel Grald’s program. She makes sure that all of her horses get some version of vacation over the winter, and customizes it for age, breed, fitness levels, and personalities. Some horses prefer to be turned out in a field and left untouched, and some are more eager to maintain light hacking to stave off boredom. Read more to learn how to cultivate your winter vacation to return to competition with a fresh and eager mount. [Winter Vacations Set the Stage for a Successful Season]

After a public complaint from Phillip Dutton over the continued lack of leadership through anointing a new chef d’equipe, USEF Director of Sport Will Connell responded that an interim chef and team manager will be appointed prior to Kentucky, giving them more time to find the perfect fit. In other words, we still don’t have any answers. [Continuing Search for US Chef d’Equipe]

The 2022 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships are less than two months away! This year, the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships will take place on May 21 – 22, 2022 at Chattahoochee Hills Horse Trials in Fairburn, Georgia. All schools including junior colleges and online universities are encouraged to participate and send as many competitors as possible. The event offers Beginner Novice through Advanced level and will run Saturday and Sunday. Like previous years, there will be an opening ceremony, a college town, a spirit award, and an awards ceremony on Sunday. [Intercollegiate Eventing Championships]

Green with envy looking at beautiful toplines and well-muscled hindquarters on other horses? While your fun weekend mount isn’t going to look like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of horses, it’s possible for you to build condition and muscle in almost all horses. And doing so will benefit them greatly. Not only will a well-conditioned horse have better protection against injury and unsoundness, but the variety of work needed to build good overall musculature is great for their development too. So, if you’re hoping to put a bit of bulk on to your horse, here are three exercises you can incorporate into their regime to help things along. [Exercises for Conditioning & Muscle Development]

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Spooking, and Other Ways to Excel at Annoying Your Human

While we often have articles on here written by horse enthusiasts for horse enthusiasts, we don’t regularly get the point of view of the horse himself. That’s why we’re delighted dot introduce a new writer for Eventing Nation. He’s French (which makes him both prissy and fancy), he’s larger than life, and he has way more opinions than any of the regular writers for EN. His name is Nyls (pronounced “Nilz”) and he’s here to tell you all the ways in which you can succeed at being a really B.A. event horse, and also a colossal pain the butt. Without further ado, we present the hottest of tips, straight from the horse’s mouth.

It’s important to finely hone your factory-installed spooking radars. Photo via Kate Samuels.

Look, we all know the ways in which we horses are instructed to succeed at our jobs as eventers. The basics are pretty much the same: be obedient and flick your toes on the first day, be brave and sure footed on the second day while also galloping fast, and jump high and pick up your feet carefully on the third day. This is simple enough….so when those of us who are obviously overqualified for these requirements get bored, we have to entertain ourselves with other activities.

If you’re a horse like me who has an agile mind and a willing spirit to pull a little more fun out of each day, you’re in the right spot. I’ve decided to share some of my trade secrets on how to win at eventing, and life in general. Extra points to those who can stick to a strict schedule of repeated behaviors that drive your human up the wall.

  1. When being tacked up, choose something small to object to, no matter how many times it has happened to you before in your life. This way, your human knows you’re going to pitch a fit, but they have to do it anyway. It’s highly entertaining to watch them go from attempting to persuade you to behave, to denying that you are going to misbehave, to anger that you won’t stop, and then finally to begrudging acceptance that this is real life, and it’s happening every day. I chose being brushed on the right side of my neck, so no matter is too small!
  2. Pick something to spook at every single day while being ridden, and make it both irrational and consistent. Me, I like to spook at jump accessories. If there is a pole on the ground, or a standard on the side of the ring, it’s important that I refuse to go near it every time I see it. When, after about ten minutes, you finally relent and let yourself be forced near the dreaded object, be sure to always keep an eye and an ear cocked towards it, and never bend your neck the other direction.
  3. There should always be something that you refuse to do at home, but do perfectly fine at shows. Preferably, it should be something that embarrasses your human when he/she goes to lessons with other humans. An example is liverpools, something every normal upper level horse has to jump every competition. However, this is very funny if you act like an irrational maniac when it is brought up in a non-show environment. “Really, I swear he jumps them at shows!” will become something you hear a lot.
  4. While we are on the subject of horse shows, it’s necessary for the good of your human that you behave well at two shows, and then wild at a third show. When you’ve been practicing your dressage and doing very well at home, pretend like you’ve forgotten how to canter, or even better, act as though you have never seen those white sides of the arena before! This way, your rider never has to stop learning how to ride you. Really, it’s for the best that they don’t become complacent.
  5. This final part is very important to your continued success at life, and your longevity as a beloved yet rued king member of the family. Whenever you purposefully enact one of these tips, you must act the part convincingly. The spooky pole actually WILL eat you, believe it and portray the character of the scared horse well. In addition, it is imperative that after an episode of spooking or freaking out in the cross ties, you behave very innocent and loving to your human, so that he/she has no choice but to snuggle with you, forgive you, and then feed you treats (obviously).

While I cannot guarantee that these tips will help you rise to Advanced, I can assure you that they will enhance your daily level of entertainment, and even strengthen the bond between you and your human. People like to feel that their horse is actually the weirdest, quirkiest horse alive and that every day is a challenge. This is something you can fulfill for them, with just a little extra effort! Good luck and go spooking!

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night in the CCI4*-S. Brant Gamma Photography Photo. Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night in the CCI4*-S. Brant Gamma Photography Photo.

Liz Halliday-Sharp and Fernhill By Night in the CCI4*-S. Brant Gamma Photography Photo.

As Carolina International takes place this weekend, Liz Halliday-Sharp has announced the official retirement of her longtime partner, Fernhill By Night, or Blackie. She wrote a touching tribute on her Instagram this week:

“As the Carolina International is happening this week, I felt that it was fitting to announce the official retirement of one of its previous winners, Fernhill By Night, from competition ❤️ “Blackie” has been my long term friend and partner for 10 years and we have been through so much in our time together. We have enjoyed multiple FEI wins and placings through 4* level, took on our first CCI5* together, and also competed at Prix St George level in dressage. Last year, Blackie finished second at Carolina in the 4* in what would be the last big competitive appearance of his career. At 19 years old Blackie and I have had an amazing journey together and he owes me absolutely nothing. He is enjoying being spoiled at the farms, going on hacks and spending time in the field with his miniature friend, Bubbles. A thank you to Blackie for all that he has has taught me and for being my friend for all of these years – he will remain a special part of our family until the end of his days ❤️❤️

U.S. Weekend Preview

Carolina International CCI & H.T. (Raeford, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [Live Stream] [Volunteer]

Full Gallop Farm March II H.T. (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

March H.T. at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Jeanie Clarke describes herself as a life-long horsewoman and an educator. An accredited instructor with the USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) and Advanced level eventer, Clarke’s program has produced five-star riders, “A” level pony clubbers, top grooms and barn managers, and so much more. While Clarke’s focus has been on educating others, she has also pursued continuous education for herself, an effort that the funds from the Broussard Charitable Foundation Going Forward Grant helped make possible.“It feels meaningful to have received the Going Forward Grant because, like the best of the sport of eventing, this is a team effort,” Clarke shared with the USEA. “I want to contribute to the future of the sport in a meaningful way. Earlier in my career, I did this through teaching, developing good riders and good horses, fostering a sense of responsibility to the sport amongst my students and owners, and volunteering as much as possible. Now, with more experience and expertise to offer, I also want to design courses that will support the future and the quality of eventing. Good courses should give horses and riders positive educational experiences at the lower levels. At the upper levels they should foster great competition.” [Jeanie Clark is Enriching Eventing]

If you love a sparkling-clean horse as much as I do, you might be tempted to bathe your horse frequently, even when you’re not showing. This can be beneficial: Dried sweat can lead to skin irritations, and really dirty, dusty horses tend to rub their manes and tails, breaking off hairs. But washing your horse too frequently or with caustic products can lead to dry skin and even cause hairs to fall out. During the hottest, stickiest part of the summer, it’s OK to rinse your horse off daily, but try to limit shampooing to just a few times per month, if possible. [Banish Mud Season with Bathing Secrets]

Shopping for a Multi-Directional Impact Protection System helmet this year? With more and more helmet companies incorporating this exciting technology into their product line, you now have lots of choices. Luckily, we found the ultimate guide. [Your Guide to MIPS Helmets]

When Mary Sawyer, 76, first decided she wanted to complete a “century ride” in eventing, such a distinction honoring horse-and-rider pairs with a combined age of 100 or more didn’t even exist. That didn’t deter her. Thanks to her determination, coupled with the support of a local farm owner and the U.S. Eventing Association, it does now. Last year, the East Wenatchee, Washington, resident became the first recipient of the newly established USEA Century Ride Achievement Award, sponsored by Spokane Sport Horse Farm. [Mary Sawyer’s Ride of the Century]

Thursday News & Notes Presented by Stable View

Just a little sneak peak at Carolina International! Photo by CrossCountry App.

This is my favorite 2-3 week period of the year, this beginning of spring weather. The grass is super green, the first trees and bushes and flowers are blooming bright colors, and my horses don’t need hay thrown out in their fields anymore! Nothing makes me happier than seeing new tasty grass growing after so many months of looking at brown and grey lands. Carolina is also the first event where the background looks properly green, and it never ceases to raise my spirits coming out of winter.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Carolina International CCI & H.T. (Raeford, Nc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [Live Stream] [Volunteer]

Full Gallop Farm March II H.T. (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

March H.T. at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, Tx.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Buying a young horse but looking for more guidance? Purchasing a young horse can be challenging but, three eventing professionals, who specialize in young horse training, provide advice when shopping for a young event horse. Learn more from Martin Douzant, Tim Bourke, and Kelty O’Donoghue, all of whom specialize in bringing young horses along and are regularly successful in the YEH and FEH classes. [Tips When Shopping For a Young Horse]

We always say, “No hoof, no horse”, but why do so many of us leave it up to the farrier to know everything? While it’s fairly easy to see obvious hoof problems, such as distortion, cracks, or rings, balance problems can be much more subtle. In this article, you’ll find the tools you need to read between the lines when looking at your horse’s feet. They explain what a “perfect foot” should look like, and will outline a five-point foot check you can use to evaluate basic foot balance. With this information in hand, you’ll be able to tell if your horse’s feet are happy, or when trouble might be brewing. [Reading Your Horse’s Hooves]

Dr Tracey Cole is an accredited neurolinguistic programming (NLP) coach based in the UK. She specializes in coaching equestrians to be confident and calm in the saddle after finding success with NLP in treating her own show nerves. As an expert on the equestrian mindset, and a rider herself, Dr Cole understands the unique pressures that come with riding and competing, whether you’re a Dressage Diva or an Eventing superstar in the making. Confident riders, Dr Cole says, are not necessarily born that way. Which is great news, because it means that any of us can become confident in our own abilities. [Stay Calm & Confident in the Saddle]

I love a good older horse story. At twenty-seven years young, the beloved Brazilian Warmblood Rio or Lanciano as he is known in the show ring,  continues to compete. Just this past week, Rio proudly carried twelve-year-old Amanda Huard to top ribbons at WEC. With the same owner since the age of five, Rio didn’t fancy retirement, and is well known for his impeccable manners both in the barn and the show ring. [27 And Going Strong]

Friday News & Notes Presented by Zoetis

The side eye that never ends. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The end of blanket season in Virginia is upon us, but it definitely brings mixed emotions for me. I’m glad to see my happy shiny horses going out in the afternoon, and I’m delighted to see grass growing, but the knowledge of what comes the next day haunts me. It rained this week, which is great for the grass, but it means when I arrive at the barn in the morning, I’ll be greeted by a herd of mud pigs, and most likely will spend way too much time having to bathe everyone, just to turn them all out and do it again the next day.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Ocala Winter II H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores] [Volunteer]

Pine Top Spring H.T. (Thomson, Ga.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

News From Around the Globe:

Lauren Nicholson has ridden Landmark’s Monte Carlo since he was 3 and has ridden him at nearly every event he’s contested throughout his career. So as she headed out onto the CCI4*-S cross-country at the Red Hills International Horse Trials, she knew exactly what she needed to do to give “Patrick” the best preparation for his spring three-day. Patty tends to just run at the Intermediate level, to build his confidence, and also relies on an animal communicator to keep him feeling happy for his three-day events. [Get to Know Perfect Patty]

Ellie and Alex O’Neal, the husband/wife duo, are based out of Ocala, Florida where they train, source, sell, and breed top event horses out of Redtail Ridge Farm South. Not only do they compete at the upper levels of eventing but, they are also active competitors in the USEA YEH and USEA FEH. The O’Neals have an interesting breeding philosophy, and have been quite successful in producing both upper level horses as well as lower level amateur friendly mounts. [Behind the Redtail Breeding Program]

Trying to get more dapples? There is something deeply satisfying about having your horse bloom in dapples, and certainly a sign of good health and good care. Some key diet additions and husbandry can set you on your way to having the dappled pony of your dreams. [How to Get Dapples]

Podcast of the Day: Riding in College

Strides for Equality Equestrians is excited to announce that the application period is open for the Ever So Sweet Scholarship! Applications will be accepted online at www.Stridesforequality.org until April 15 and the recipient will be chosen by May 1 for the summer term which runs June-August at Sara Kozumplik’s Overlook Farm in Berryville, Virginia. It is made possible by Edy Rameika, Sara Kozumplik, and the USEA Foundation who have supported SEE from the very beginning. Without them this one of a kind program would not be possible! [Ever So Sweet Summer Scholarship]