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

Just….admiring the view?? Photo by Kristin Karlson.

Yesterday was a positively delightful day in January, sunny skies, warm weather, and no recent rain making everything muddy. So I tacked up my steady TB and threw a rope halter on my loony tune, and went for a hack down the road. With my dog accompanying, I’m pretty sure my neighbors think I’m insane, but hey, three for one exercise is the way to go!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe: 

#ICYMI: Don’t miss our epic collection of memes from Bernie Sanders’ efficiently Vermont-esque appearance at this weeks inauguration.

After taking a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Worth The Trust Educational Scholarship will again be awarded at the end of 2021 for the 2022 calendar year and at the end of 2022 for the 2023 calendar year. Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships were established to provide financial assistance to amateurs to pursue their education in eventing. The funds from the Worth the Trust Educational Scholarships may be used for training opportunities such as clinics, working student positions, and private or group instruction, or to learn from an official, course designer, technical delegate, judge, veterinarian, or organizer. [Worth The Trust Returns for 2021]

Get yourself some sweet SEE swag for the 2021 season! Strides for Equality Equestrians partnered with Dreamers & Schemers for some new socks to add to your collection! And even better, Dreamers & Schemers’ “Dream & Do” program directly benefits other BIPOC access programs and scholarships. So sport your swag, be a visible ally, and get your fashion on. [SEE Swag]

Chrissy Teigan’s therapist suggested she start riding horses, and honestly we couldn’t agree more. What’s better for the heart and soul than hanging out with horses? Nothing. Being a mom and making time for the horses is tough, but lots of us can identify with how much that struggle is worth it. [Welcome Chrissy Teigan]

Bored on your trot sets? We’ve got a new podcast recommendation for you. The British Grooms’ Association is bringing the heat with engaging interviews about mental health, avoiding burnout, and top tips from amazing grooms like Jackie Potts. [Grooms’ Life Podcast]

Thursday News & Notes

When your mom cuts your hair and calls you a handsome young man. Photo by Archie Courtney.

The wonderful thing about developing young horses is watching them get stronger and bigger and seeing their bodies change into beefcakes. The less wonderful part of this is realizing that your horse has now outgrown his relatively new custom saddles, and you now have to get him all new saddles, because he is also a princess with a pea and if anything is slightly off he positively cannot function and will continue to try to buck you off. This part of young horses kinda sucks.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Grand Oaks H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

Stable View Aiken Opener H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe:

Big congratulations go out to Ben Noonan for winning the Linda Moore Trophy as the leading Young Rider in the US for 2020! 2020 was only Ben’s fourth full season competing in the eventing world and this season he picked up four wins, four additional top-three finishes, and only one finish outside the top 10, collecting a total of 76.5 points to top the national Young Rider leaderboard. He competes his two horses, Bojangles and Keep Kitty, at Preliminary and Intermediate levels, respectively, and trains with the O’Connors. [Benjamin Noonan Tops 2020 RevitaVet USEA Young Rider of the Year]

Riley Jones and her family rescued Señor Santana from near starvation, and now the pony pays back their good will in spades.  The now 16-year-old gelding was found with 37 other horses on nine acres in Tennessee, eating trash because there was nothing else to consume. At 10 years old and still a stallion, the pony was unstarted under saddle. Six years later, they’ve formed a formidable partnership, rarely finishing outside of the top four at the 14 events they contested in 2020, including three wins, and earning the USEA’s Pony of the Year award. [From Rescue Pony to Rockstar Eventer]

Liz Halliday-Sharp took a trail ride with her family in Colorado when she was 7, and never looked back. She got bucked off at her first competition trying to do a cross rails division at a hunter show, then joined the local Pony Club and found the joy of cross country was her real drug. Luckily, she got a little better as the years went on, and now is one of the leading riders in the United States. Learn more about Liz’s story with this incredible piece from Sidelines. [Liz Halliday-Sharp: Shifting Gears]

Friday News & Notes

When you’re just trying to take a nice photo of the sunset with your horse. Photo by Wendy Davenport.

There is a comment thread on OTTB United on Facebook asking people for the best Thoroughbred name they’ve ever encountered, and I am here for it. My current favorites are Likeuonlyprettier, Gottatwobeerbuzz, Aaaaaaar, and Tapit At Midnight. We always talk about terrible race names, but occasionally there are some pretty funny people trying to figure out how to work with the Jockey Club requirements and it’s worth it.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks: [Website] [Entries]

Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test: [Website] [Schedule]

News From Around the Globe:

CBD, what’s it all about? Ask the Vet is back with a special episode centered around the hottest supplement ingredient right now, CBD! SmartPaker Dan and Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak Staff Veterinarian, Research and Medical Director, answer five of the most common questions that we’ve gotten from viewers and customers about CBD, including what is CBD, how do I start a horse on a CBD supplement, research questions, showing a horse who is taking CBD, and more. [CBD For Horses]

Best of Blogs: You Don’t Have To Be a Competitive Athlete To Make a Difference

How do you talk about your horse? Changing the way you describe your horse can be the key to developing better emotional fitness. Emotional fitness includes your patience, kindness, and empathy towards other beings, especially your horse. If your horse makes you nervous or frustrated, there are options outside of calling him a jerk or an a**hole. Read more to find out how to become a better trainer through simple mental steps from Tik Maynard. [What You Say About Your Horse Says More About You]

With winter well and established, it’s time to talk about safety with water heaters. You won’t be surprised to hear that colic is the number one leading cause of equine death, but the second one is electrocution. So, better make sure your not going to murder your horse while preventing ice. [When Waterers Bite Back]

Coronavirus continues to delay the British Eventing season. Originally slated to start at the beginning of March, BE has now confirmed that the earliest date for competition will be the 26th of March. With the extended lockdown and the new strain of the virus causing more issues in England, we hope that British eventers get a spring season this year. [BE Delays Start of Competition for 2021]

Thursday News & Notes

Horses are so majestic. Photo by Jessica Joan Moncrieff Brown.

Tomorrow is the deadline to apply for the Retired Racehorse Project SUPER Makeover for fall 2021! I just spent last night talking to a friend of a friend who wanted advice and encouragement in her desire to enter and compete, and we just talked for a long time about our horses and I told her 1000% that she had to do it. Nothing brings people together like the love of thoroughbreds and the journey to the makeover. Glad to have made yet another RRP Makeover friend!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks: [Website] [Entries]

Fresno County Horse Park Combined Test: [Website] [Schedule]

News From Around the Globe:

Catch up on the first session from the US Equestrian Annual Meeting with an update from each department of the organization here.

Jim Wofford has some observations on how the pandemic affected riders, and how it affected our sport. With all the down time without competitions, riders had to go back and really examine their weaknesses and the gaps in their horse’s training. Instead of just riding for the next event, and only fixing things for the short term, the break was beneficial for a lot of competitors. However, he has some concerns about the evolution of the sport in general. [Pandemic Report: Improved Sport But Worrisome Trends]

What does Will Coleman do in his first entry into a $20,000 Hunter Derby class at WEC? Win, of course. Riding Team Rebecca’s Tropics, a horse he’s known from the age of four, Will asked a few questions of more experienced hunter riders the day before, and went in the ring and positively nailed it. Tropics evented through Training level, but showed more promise in the showjumping ring, competing up to 1.40 meters. Now he shows his true versatility by cleaning up in the hunter derby ring. Check out the video below! [Olympic Eventer Wins Hunter Derby]

The three women behind C-6 Equestrian want you to know that there is more than one way to approach riding and training. Learn more about C-6 in our feature here and, if you’re so inclined, sign up for the next free webinar this evening at 6:30 p.m. ET. You can register for the webinar here.   
Now on Course: Mckenna Miller & Bo Jango
Will Coleman & Tropics win $20,000 Hunter Derby

Friday News & Notes

Winter wonderland! Photo by Genevieve Papagna.

Everybody can identify with getting a tree branch straight to the face. When I was a kid, I had a habit of going out into the field and climbing on my ponies bareback with nothing, which the pony didn’t really want any part of. Thus, she discovered the fastest way to dispose of me was to gallop as fast as she could towards a low hanging branch, and my choice was to either flatten myself on her back or bail and hope for the best. I was….largely unsupervised as a kid and made some interesting choices, ok?

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Barnstaple South H.T.: [Website]

News From Around the Globe:

The 2021 Olympics might be in jeopardy again, as Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo and three other prefectures in an attempt to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The measure, which will come into force tomorrow, will be in place in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba and will remain until at least February 7. It comes as Tokyo reported a record 2,447 daily cases of COVID-19 today, shattering the previous high of 1,591. [Tokyo Goes on Lockdown Again]

A London community riding stables is appealing for support to help buy its home or risk no longer being able to help those whose lives have been changed by horses. Park Lane Stables in Teddington has survived for hundreds of years while the surrounding area has been developed. The current operators have been told by the landlord that their lease, which expires in May, will not be renewed, so they have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise £1m to buy the premises and secure their home, for all those who benefit from the work they do with horses. [Park Lane Stables Fundraiser]

Learn more about Barnstaple South Horse Trials! Happening this weekend, this new event has two competitions on the 2021 calendar, one this weekend and one in May. [USEA Events: Barnstaple South]

Looking to revolutionize your horse’s feeding program in 2021, or just learn more about equine nutrition? The FEI has answers for you, including problem solving with common issues that horse owners encounter. [Feeding Problems and Solutions]

I love nothing more than my first pony stories from top riders:

 

Thursday News & Notes

London 52 celebrating in January of 2020, what’s coming this year? Photo by Laura Collett.

Today, Laura Collett takes her life into her hands and jumps London 52 (Dan) for the first time since his wire-t0-wire victory at the Pau 5* last year. We can hope for some seriously funny videos and screenshots, including lots of bouncing, bucking, kicking, and squealing like a dolphin. Please deliver, Laura, we need that kind of content this week. Dan, you know what to do.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Barnstaple South H.T.: [Website]

News From Around the Globe:

Check in with Coach Daniel Stewart for your monthly sports psychology workout. Two months ago, there was a conversation about riding rehearsals; using mental imagery to visualize our ride before actually riding. This month we dive into two new unique forms of riding rehearsals that evolved from two equally unique concepts called (1) positive realism: making the best of a bad situation without losing confidence, and (2) probabilistic thinking: identifying possible problems and solving them before they occur. [Pressure Proof with Coach Stewart]

Sara Kozumplik Murphy starts her days at 4:30am, and seems to have something like endless energy. Between early morning workouts, riding horses for herself and her husband, teaching, meeting with various consultants, and working on the computer, I honestly don’t know how she does it. [A Day In the Life: Sara Kozumplik Murphy]

Pony Paradise is my favorite series from the FEI. Not only do you get to snoop inside top level stables for competitive riders all over the globe, but you get to temporarily live in the imaginary world where you design your dream barn, and steal their facilities. [Pony Paradise: Cian O’Connor]

Etalon Diagnostics researchers have successfully determined a strong genetic component to Kissing Spines thanks to the success of their recent Kissing Spines study. Since so many sport horses include Thoroughbred ancestry, they feel an expanded study with a focus on Thoroughbreds is necessary. To do this well, they need to include older horses (9 years and up) with radiographs and diagnostics both horses with and without Kissing Spines. [Kissing Spines Study]

The First News & Notes of 2021

Gratitude is the theme of 2021.

I’m declaring it now, the theme of 2021 is gratitude, because we will really appreciate all of the things that we missed in 2020, as well as incorporating all the good things we learned from this year. Plus, we can always practice more gratitude, and sharing it together makes the world a better place.

News From Around the Globe:

Start the new year by getting your horse’s engine revving, in a good way. You don’t even have to wait to get on and ride, you can begin with exercises on the ground. Helping your horse engage his hind end in an active way benefits your dressage score, as well as benefitting your jumping phases too. [Get Your Horse’s Pushing Engine In Gear]

We’re giving away a copy of Jane Savoie’s Dressage Between the Jumps, and there is still time to enter! Click here to learn more and submit your entry.

Stars, they’re just like us! One of the many wonderful things about equestrian sports is that upper level professionals have just as many oh sh*t moments to share as we do. Check out these stories from Louise Serio, Anne Kursinksi, Margie Engle, and more about their own personal big time whoops on horseback. [Whoopsie Daisy]

After a rare disease claimed three of her limbs (and nearly her life), Jessica Thoma is back in the saddle with big goals. Jessica Thoma is a lifelong equestrian whose world got turned upside down in 2018. Beginning in the spring, she battled a mysterious ailment that began with a rash, joint pain, fatigue and nausea. She saw a slew of doctors but it wasn’t until she fell gravely ill months later that she finally got a diagnosis: Polyarteritis Nodosa, a rare disease resulting from blood vessel inflammation. Now, she’s back on the horse and says they were integral to her recovery. [I Don’t Think I’d Survive Without Horses]

New Years Eve News & Notes

Something is….off…here. Photo by Adel Viljoen.

Like this horse above, we are jumping into 2021 and not looking back. 2020 has been a year of challenges, but many of us have found silver linings that we really didn’t expect. While I know that this was not just “one bad year” and everything will be different tomorrow, my only hope is that we can take the lessons learned and awareness gained from this painful and divisive year and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Jump your jump! With or without the rider, just get it done.

News From Around the Globe:

Have you ever wanted to look through the judge’s eyes and see what they see during the conformation portion of a USEA Young or Future Event Horse competition? Now is your chance! Using only a photo and information on age and breed, legendary horseman and past FEH/YEH Championship judge Chris Ryan is sharing his insights into young horse conformation. This week it’s 3-year-old filly TC Maleficent. [Conformation Critique with Chris Ryan]

We’re giving away a copy of Jane Savoie’s Dressage Between the Jumps, and there is still time to enter! Click here to learn more and submit your entry.

Once a horse girl, always a horse girl. Actress Zosia Mamet took this New Yorker writer inside her passion for riding, and how it’s both an escape from and a metaphor for her acting career. [Zosia Mamet is a Horse Girl]

The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing program has steadily gained popularity since its creation in 2014. In 2016, the USEA intercollegiate national leaderboards were introduced and every December, a new set of nationally ranked riders are named. For 2020, the collegiate riders that took home top honors were Katie Lichten of University of Virginia, Ryan Keefe of University of Kentucky, Audrey Sanborn of California Polytechnic State University SLO, Kaley Crosby of Clemson University, Mikayla Kearney of University of Central Florida, Paige Ansaldi of University of Maryland, and Jessica Wymbs of University of South Carolina – Aiken. [Leading Riders of Intercollegiate Eventing Program 2020]

Check out Amanda Ross’ every day routine in Australia with her eventing yard!

Christmas Day News & Notes

Merry Christmas! Photo via Stübben NA FB page.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has a nice Friday full of ponies and relatively nice weather, some hot chocolate, and pleasant conversation. Hug your dog, kiss your horse, wave to your family on Zoom, and treat yourself and others kindly.

Quick Christmas Links:

Don’t Forget to Enter our Fab Freebie Contest!

Now On Course: Tracey Hopper Finds Her Dream Horse

Charlotte Dujardin Scores 90% For First Time Since Valegro

Barn Tour: Olivia Tower

Tik Maynard’s Christmas Wish List

Tumor Laden Testicles Found in XY “Mare”

 

 

Thursday News & Notes

A home for halters! Photo by Kate Samuels.

It’s Christmas Eve, and I am unreasonably happy with my early gift from my dad, a custom built halter home! My bad ponies love to lean over the fence and gnaw on their halters and leads early in the morning while they wait impatiently for me to bring them in, and I hate nothing more than a soggy halter when it rains overnight. Hence, the halter house! Keeps them safe and dry, and looks pretty cool too. Thanks dad!

Christmas Eve News:

Those who follow eventing might remember the moment Chelsea Kolman’s reins broke during her show jumping round at the 2016 North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Parker, Colorado. But that’s hardly the most exciting story from this longtime partnership between Chelsea and the unlikely eventing champion. Dante failed his training to be a police horse twice, and then went through nine trainers in the sport horse world before finding Chelsea. [An Eventer’s Journey with Her Forever Horse]

Don’t forget to enter this week’s giveaway of Stride Control, by Jan Marsden Hamilton – a Fab Freebie brought to you by Horse & Rider Books. Click here to enter.

Feeling the Christmas spirit of giving, the Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC) announced the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill has designated the Maryland Food Bank (MFB) as an event beneficiary. MFB is a nonprofit hunger-relief organization dedicated to feeding people, strengthening communities, and ending hunger for more Marylanders. One more reason to look forward to our second five star next year! [Maryland Five Star Benefits Food Bank]

Flash back Friday to Phyllis Dawson competing Albany II at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. “An experience of a lifetime,” Phyllis Dawson described of her time competing at the Olympics. Dawson and her horse Albany II were the highest placed U.S. pair and finished 10th individually in the Seoul Olympic Games. Before her exceptional performance at the Olympics, Dawson first made her international debut at Boekelo CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) on Mountain High in 1985. Two years later, she placed second at the Chesterland CCI3* on Albany II. The following year, in 1988, she and Albany II placed sixth at the Olympic Selection Trials held at the Kentucky Three-Day Event. [Memories From The Vet Box with Phyllis Dawson]

Friday News & Notes

Bellamy enjoying his snow day yesterday. Photo by Jimmie Schramm.

A week from today is Christmas! This year, like everything else, our celebrations will probably look a little different, but the holiday spirit is still strong. The bad thing this year is that the mail delivery system is so deeply overloaded from everyone shopping online that half of my gifts are weeks late in arriving and it’s giving me lots of anxiety. But, I guess we’re all in the same boat so if your gift comes in 2021, I haven’t forgotten you!

News From Around the Globe:

Best of Blogs: I Am A Black Equestrian

Separately, the Board agreed to reopen the bid process for the FEI Eventing European Championship 2021, following numerous requests from a number of European Eventing stakeholders, including National Federations and Athletes, and with the full support of the European Equestrian Federation and the FEI Eventing Committee. The bid process will open on 18 December 2020 and National Federations and Organisers have until 15 January 2021 to apply to the FEI. The FEI Board will take a decision on the allocation of this Championship at its March 2021 teleconference.

Any rider has had the experience. You see something in the distance that will most definitely send your horse into a spiral: be it a deer on the trails, a wayward tarp, or the world-shattering open umbrella. Unbeknownst to you, your heart starts to beat faster as your brain prepares for a spook, and before your horse even sees the threat, he’s tense, too. In these situations, we’ve been taught that a deep breath goes a long way; that horses can sense our fear, and by staying calm, our energy will transfer into them. But did you know that there’s actual science behind this horsemanship? [Two Bodies, One Heart: Horses & Your Heartbeat]

Many people have embarked upon quarantine projects as the COVID-19 pandemic has stretched on. For top eventer Cathy Wieschhoff, that project has been sharing her knowledge from decades of horsemanship. Wieschhoff has begun a web series titled ‘One Minute With Cathy’ which provide viewers with her tips, tricks, and perspective on common mistakes. [Simple Tricks for Teaching Leg Yield]

Have you entered our latest Fab Freebie? We’re partnering with Horse & Rider Books to give away a copy of Yoga for Riders – just in time for the off-season, where you can introduce some new fitness habits! Click here to enter before Tuesday, December 22.

British readers will be a little sadder this holiday season because of the absence of Olympia this year. Normally, at this time of the year, tons of horsey folks would be heading to the London International Horse Show for a week of incredible equestrian action. However, the show was cancelled this year, so we’re looking back at fond memories from the past. [17 Wonderful Olympia Memories]

Pony snow day fun!

Thursday News & Notes

We’ve all had those days. Or have we? Photo by Liz Schatz.

Yesterday winter came calling officially with a full day of ice, snow, sleet, and horrid cold. I did what I had to in the barn, tucked my ponies in safe and sound, and drove carefully at 25 mph back from my work barn. I can deal with cold, but when the precipitation comes, count me out. No thank you.

News From Around the Globe:

Olympic Committee Thomas Bach says he’s confident that the Tokyo Olympics will go in summer 2021. This will be the first global sports event since the beginning of the COVID-19  pandemic. To prevent coronavirus transmissions, the Japanese Olympic Committee plans to ask the participants to basically stay inside the athletes’ villages, except when training or competing. Spectators will be asked not to speak loudly at the venues and to adhere to other restrictions. [Tokyo 2021 Prepared to Go]

Outfitting horses in winter can be an exercise in perseverance and patience, but blanketed horses stay warmer and conserve more energy than their naked peers. Thermoregulation is an energy-expensive proposition for horses. As temperatures plummet, how does blanketing affect hay consumption and body condition changes? A group of researchers set out to determine the daily hay intake, body weight change, and body condition score changes in blanketed and non-blanketed horses living in western Wisconsin. So you know it’s expert on cold weather. [Winter Care of Horses: Blankets & Body Condition]

You’ve heard all about how Thoroughbreds are the ultimate versatile athlete that can excel in multiple disciplines, you’ve done your research and made your budget, and you can’t wait to start working with your very own. But how do you go about acquiring a retiring racehorse? Here’s a helpful guide. You know you want to put a Thoroughbred ex-racehorse in your barn… but how? Between aftercare organizations, reselling agents, horses already in training for a second career and horses coming directly off the track, there’s an overwhelming array of options, and it’s difficult to know which way to acquire a Thoroughbred is the best way: as with many such questions in the horse industry, that answer depends on a lot of factors. [How to Acquire an Off-Track Thoroughbred]

Feeling that holiday spirit? Got your Mariah Carey Christmas playlist going full time? Check out these beautifully decorated barns and farms to inspire you to get out this weekend and make your barn instagram worthy. [10 Decorated Barns to Get You in the Holiday Spirit]

Holiday Horse Song: Christmas Tune: Missing Shoes

 

Important video of the day:

Friday News & Notes

Horses being special always makes me smile. Photo courtesy of Daniel Mottishaw.

Its Friday! I’m ready for some long luxurious hacks on my ponies, and possibly baking some bread. This is your thirties, my friends, when you get excited about baking bread on the weekends and you’re not even embarrassed to admit it. HMU for some bread recipes when you realize you’re jealous.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Gallop Farm December H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe: 

Every day, SmartPak is on a mission to support healthy horses and happy riders. Horses Building Trust is the fourth story in this SmartPak video series, bringing you into the barns of unique horses – from treasured therapy horses to the underdog-turned-Olympic-hopeful – showing how they’ve made an impact on the lives of their riders, and  SmartPak continues to support these horses and riders through their journey. “We’re proud to be donating 5% of sales on SmartPak brand tack and apparel on December 10th and 11th to the team at Ebony Horsewomen as well as partner with our friends at Ariat to provide a donation of quality products for the riders and staff there.” [SmartPak Gives Back]

Have you entered the Nation Media Holiday Contest yet? Learn how you could win an epic prize pack from Banixx, Haygain, Kentucky Performance Products, Legends Horse Feeds, and SmartPak here – and don’t wait! Entries close TODAY!!

Keeping horses sound throughout their careers is a fine science, mixed with a little magic perhaps. World of Showjumping spoke with Lars Roepstorff, a professor of equine functional anatomy and highly experienced veterinary surgeon about how to keep horses healthy and sound. From the system of breeding, to how and when to start a young horse, surfaces, and creating a system that can consider soundness with all training, Lars touches on it all. [Equine Soundness Factors]

Caitlin Gooch, is the founder of Saddle Up and Read (SUAR), a nonprofit focusing on encouraging youth to achieve literary excellence through equine activities. It all started in 2017 when Gooch began thinking of a way to help increase the literacy rates in North Carolina. That’s when she came up with the idea to provide children with a unique incentive to read. Partnering with a local library, Gooch came up with the notion to reward any child who checked out at least three books with a trip to visit her father’s horse farm – that became the genesis for SUAR. “Horses connect people and get kids excited. Why not use that energy to encourage kids to read.” [Meet The Woman Using Horses To Encourage Childhood Literacy]

Best of Blogs: Happiness Is A Lot of Poop

 

 

Thursday News & Notes

Holiday Spirit! Photo courtesy of Becky Sturdy.

There are plenty of things I don’t love about winter, namely being cold. And I’m cold all the time. However, I have to admit that I don’t totally hate the mandatory shorter work days, due to the darkness at 5pm. It’s a nice seasonal break to be able to rest up a little bit, and actually do things like cook myself dinner instead of cramming some bread and cheese into my face at 9pm and promptly falling asleep before waking at 5am. Everything has a silver lining.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Gallop Farm December H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

News From Around the Globe: 

In May of 2019, Nora Battig-Leamer’s OTTB, Dubai, had a freak accident on cross country schooling that they could have never predicted. Hesitating over a suspended barrel jump, he somehow got the jump stuck underneath himself, and fell sideways, impaling his abdomen on a supporting pole. The following story of his recovery is nothing less than miraculous, and Nora is looking forward to a full season in 2021 with Dubai. [Back from the Brink: Dubai Storm Weathers a Life-Threatening Infection]

Best of Blogs: How William Fox-Pitt Changed The Way I View This Sport

Have you entered the Nation Media Holiday Contest yet? Learn how you could win an epic prize pack from Banixx, Haygain, Kentucky Performance Products, Legends Horse Feeds, and SmartPak here – and don’t wait! Entries close this Friday, December 11.

In case you were looking for something to drool over today, check out this literal pony paradise. Actually, several paradises. Helgstrand Dressage has locations in Germany, Denmark, and Wellington, and each facility is absolutely bonkers, in the best possible way. [Pony Paradise: Helgstrand Dressage]

According to a study by German researchers, horses tend to shift their laterality, becoming more “left-legged” and “left-eyed,” in stressful situations. This switch to right-brain processing suggests horses are confronting challenges that are usually managed by the brain hemisphere that deals with emotions, the researchers said. When the horses adjust to the stressor and learn to cope, they tend to revert back to left-brain hemisphere processing, which deals with routine. [Left Side Preference May Indicate Stress]

 

Friday News & Notes

If you know you know.

Do you ever try to talk to “normal” people about your week and realize that half of what you’re saying is weather dependent, because horse people are obsessed with knowing the weather of every day hour by hour. Weather talk is considered boring, but honestly if you were to ask me about my weekend coming up, I would tell you that I’m preparing for two days of 35 and raining, and that drastically changes how my life goes. But a normal person would look at me like I’m crazy. I’m not crazy, I’m just a horse girl!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse December H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

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

Major International Events:

Portugal Winter Tour Week 3: [Website] [Entries]

News From Around the Globe:

Giving voice, visibility and connections to equestrians of color are examples of turning talk to positive action, as are finding ways to attract minorities to the sport and support them in it. Practical Horseman got together with top equestrians Randy Ward, Mavis Spencer, Genay Vaughn, and Berry Porter to discuss BLM and diversity within equestrian sports. Above all, the riders interviewed hope the BLM-inspired conversations challenge all to examine their own words and actions to see how we can contribute to making equestrian sports more accessible, welcoming and colorful. [Black Lives Matter: Diversity in Equestrian Sport]

Ever ridden a horse that isn’t fond of water? You and about everybody else here. Conquering discomfort with the water complex can be a stumbling block for many eventers, because lots of us just don’t have access to water on a daily basis to help those horses figure it out. Check out this excellent article on training your horse to love the water, so you don’t feel your heart beating out of your chest when approaching it on cross country. [5 Septs to Building Water Confidence]

Footwork: the key to event horses worldwide. Whether you’re tuning up an experienced mount, or teaching a young horse how to understand their body in space, sometimes you need a little inspiration for a new winter training technique. Disclaimer: somebody else sent me this article and I forgot I had ever said this BUT it’s still extremely relevant and useful. [Finding the Fifth Leg: Improving Your Horse’s Coordination]

Best of Blogs: What An Adult Amateur Rider Really Wants for Christmas

Obsessed with The Crown but slightly disappointed that they switched show jumping and Eventing? Yeah…me too. However, the real story of Princess Anne and her successful eventing career is excellent, and worth digging into. The Crown gets some of the horsey details wrong (will there ever be a movie with proper horse details?) but they got a lot of details about the character right. [The Real Life Riding Career of a Princess]

 

Thursday News & Notes

I collect silly horse faces. Photo by Kate Samuels.

You know, I love a good Disney movie as much as the next girl, and I know all the parents out there have watched more than their fair share of Frozen, but there’s just one thing that bugs me: “The cold never bothered me anyway!” Look, Elsa, respectfully, I disagree. It hit the 20’s this week in Virginia, and while it took me significantly longer to dress in 47 layers that morning, I can still confidently say that the cold did bother me anyway.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse December H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

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

Major International Events:

Portugal Winter Tour Week 3: [Website] [Entries]

News From Around the Globe:

Poll tightness is something a lot of our sport horses experience. Aside from keeping tabs on your regular bodywork and vet work, there are some easy daily massage techniques that you can incorporate into your grooming session that will help your horse feel his best for every ride. [Preventing and Relieving Poll Tightness]

Ecogold wants to give you cash. Yep, you read that right! By placing an Ecogold order from now until Dec. 20, you will automatically be entered into our weekly drawing for $200 cash. On December 7th, 14th, and 21st, we will pick a winner at random from all the orders that have been placed this year. There is no minimum purchase required to enter. [Ecogold Gives Back]

Best of Blogs: The Best Gift You Can Give Yourself is a Trainer Who Believes in You

Ever wondered why your horse suddenly stops or spins around out hacking, or snorts and spooks unexpectedly — usually when there is nothing there? In fact there is, but as the horse’s range of hearing eclipses a rider’s, you are unaware of what they have heard. Although small, the ears are one of a horse’s greatest assets, and it is important to understand how they work. [11 Things You Need to Know About Your Horse’s Ears]

Movie Review: Black Beauty

Friday News & Notes

Photo via Horseware.

I love Thanksgiving, and not just because I get to eat some of my favorite foods. I also really love witnessing everyone far and wide expressing gratitude. This is something I wish we could do more than once a year, so let’s make an effort in 2021 to normalize gratitude. If you want to start off your morning with more warm and fuzzies, check out this list of things folks were grateful for this year, from The New York Times.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Major International Events:

Portugal Winter Tour/Barroca d’Alva: [Website] [Entries]

News From Around the Globe:

Got a tricky pony to catch? Or in my case, a herd of geldings who know perfectly well the gate near the barn for the morning, and prefer to stand one field away and stare at me like I’m the idiot in the situation. Don’t lose your cool, and take it slow with these tips to help make your life a little better. [Tips For Catching Your Horse]

Area X includes Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada, and this week we’re shining a light on ICP Instructors from that area. From instructors for upper levels to coaches who specialize in amateurs at Beginner Novice, if you’re in Area X, we can help you find the right one for you. [Area X ICP Instructors]

Outdoor sport is set to open up again on December 2nd in England. This includes equestrian activities, which are currently part of the lockdown per the British government. Riders and owners will be permitted to ride and travel, while following COVID safety protocols. [Light at the End of the Tunnel]

Hot on Horse Nation: Grateful For Our Horses

Thanksgiving Thursday News & Notes

This adorable photo of Biosthetique Sam and FischerRocana on vacation together is everything. Photo via Michael Jung.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! With all that’s going on this year, Thanksgiving celebrations are looking a little different this time around, but I hope you all get a chance to talk to family and eat some delicious food. Also, pet your ponies and enjoy this photo of the cutest Sam in all the lands.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Pine Top Thanksgiving H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Major International Events:

Portugal Winter Tour/Barroca d’Alva: [Website] [Entries]

News From Around the Globe: 

21 months after a life threatening bacterial infection resulting in severe neurological damage, Upsilon is back in work. Tom Carlisle reports to H&H that the process has been long and slow to say the least, but his whole team is so delighted that the horse is back to full work on the flat and feeling great. He’s unlikely to event again, as Tom says he has nothing to prove, but if he’d like a little showjumping that’s not off the cards. [Upsilon Back In Work After a Long Recovery]

Want to make sure your horse doesn’t miss out on Thanksgiving feasting? Here are four recipes you can use today!

Shaving whiskers is officially off the table now, so put away those clippers. The FEI has ruled that shaved whiskers will be illegal for International competition starting in July of 2021. Horses with shaved whiskers except for partial clips due to veterinary procedures will be disqualified. [No More Whisker Clipping]

Winter! Time for working on your transitions to nail your dressage tests in 2021. Check out this video with top dressage rider Ashley Holzer helping a rider soften her walk to trot transitions, and then go home and try it yourself! [Softening Your Transitions]

Speaking of dressage, what’s Charlotte Dujardin work on at home? She always wows us in the ring at shows, but how does she get there? Secret: she doesn’t practice her tests at all! [Charlotte Dujardin at Home]

Friday News & Notes

Steve Teichman. Photo courtesy of USA Eventing FB.

After nearly 30 years of service to USA Eventing, Steve Teichman has officially retired as the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team Farrier. Join us as we thank him for his service over the years and his invaluable contribution to medals won, and to wish him a very well deserved retirement!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Southern Arizona Eventing Association H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status/Live Scores] [Show Photographer]

Major International Events:

Portugal Winter Tour Week 1/Barroca d’Alva: [Website] [Start Lists]

News From Around the Globe:

The USEA has a new program named the USEA Interscholastic Eventing League (IEL) and since the announcement last month, this new program has gained widespread interest from members all over the country. The USEA website now has an interscholastic homepage that includes guidelines, a scoring template for event organizers, an IEL application form, and a list of interscholastic teams that are already registered for 2021. Interested in joining up? Read more on how to get in on this hot new program. [How To Sign Up for the USEA IEL]

If your equestrian life has been turned upside down by 2020 and various restrictions, well, you’re not alone. Getting back into a schedule and a program can be hard, and taking fitness for both horse and rider seriously is important. Slow and steady wins the race, according to the amazing Lucinda Green. She recommends at least a month to six weeks of slow work, hacking and hills prevalent. [Lucinda Green’s Top Tips For Getting Back in the Saddle After Lockdown]

If you’re watching The Crown, you’ll be delighted to see we’ve reached the time of Diana as well as Princess Anne. You’ll be less delighted to notice that in the exhaustive research for this highly detailed series, they seem to have completely mixed up show jumping and eventing. In fact, they filmed “Badminton” where Anne placed 6th in 1979 at Hickstead, and even featured some of the classic show jump feats. How dare they! [The Crown Mixes Up Eventing and Show Jumping]

Equestrian sport is often painted in the public eye with the stain of cruelty and abuse. It only takes a brief Google or social media search to find horrifying videos and blaring headlines. We all live within this landscape. As equestrians and lovers of horse sport, we must dodge the moguls of public opinion and avoid the landmines of hyperbole. [The Perils of a Shifting Landscape]

Thursday News & Notes

Ellie Wood Baxter, age 100. Photo by Elizabeth King.

In my neck of the woods, Ellie Wood Baxter is a legend. Actually, she’s a legend everywhere, but she also happens to live about five minutes from me, and she’s always been a part of the local horse scene for me. Ellie Wood won the 1936 Maclay Finals, and competed from the 1920s through the 1960s, and fox hunted until just a few years ago with the Farmington Hunt Club. This photo is from this week, where at age 100 she’s still going for rides, and happily lecturing people on correct lower leg position. An inspiration to us all!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

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

Southern Arizona Eventing Association H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status/Live Scores] [Show Photographer]

Major International Events:

Portugal Winter Tour Week 1/Barroca d’Alva: [Website] [Start Lists]

News From Around the Globe:

Body image issues can affect women and girls in any sport environment – including and maybe especially equestrian sports. We all have a role to play in breaking down these barriers, but Equestrian Canada is taking a more active role. Offering resources on mental health and specific guides to effectively coaching female athletes, they’re showing their dedication to taking down body image stigmas that we all feel. [Body Positivity Resources for Equestrian Athletes]

Ema Klugman has been making the most of her spot on the Australian High Performance Eventing Generation NEXT Squad, despite the disruption of 2020. Using online resources and coaching from Will Enzinger, as well as securing funding through the program to work on her weaknesses in dressage, Ema was able to secure her first FEI win in the CCI3*L at Virginia a few weeks ago. A big bonus to the program is the new workshops with Chris Burton, which Ema says have been incredibly helpful. [Ema Klugman Making the NEXT Move]

What happens when a horse show dad enters the world of Fox Hunting? Coming from the world of show hunters where expensive warmbloods in perfect braids and early mornings and long days are normal, this horse show dad was pleasantly surprised to find that arrival at 10:30 was appropriate, and mimosas were normal pre-ride beverages. Read on for a delightfully tongue in cheek exposé of a different discipline. [Tally Ho]

Best of the Blogs: When Discussing Diversity, Bring Your Anxieties To The Table

Best of Blogs Part II: Displaced by COVID: What I Learned When I Left My Life and My Horse Behind

Video: Laura Collett reviews her 2020 Pau 5* win on London 52 in a new feature video for H&C TV. Here’s the trailer, and you can watch the full version here.

Thursday News & Notes

I’ll never tire of silly horse faces. Photo by Kate Samuels.

For the past two days, it’s been raining non stop in Virginia, but also about 65* at night. SIXTY FIVE at night. In November. What is happening?! Also all of the horses that I clipped last month already need to be clipped again and I don’t know what this combination means as an omen for the winter season, but I’m extremely skeptical.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

MARS Tryon International Three-Day Event: [Website] [Schedule] [Drawn Order] [Volunteer] [Show Photographer] [Live Scores]

Morven Park H.T.: [Website] [Ride Times] [Show Photographer] [Volunteer]

Twin Rivers November H.T.: [Website] [Entries/Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Show Photographer]

News From Around the Globe:

The winter season is a perfect time to give your horse an active rest. Not just time off, but relief from the hard mental and physical work of the show season schedule. Your horse’s brain can get exhausted from the workload, but also tendons and bones and muscles don’t always get the rest they need during the year, so now is the time to switch it up, accomplish some goals, but get out of the ring. [Active Rest: 3 Ways To Keep Your Horse in Shape While Preventing Burnout]

In a refreshing twist, dressage rider Jan Brons preaches simplicity as the key to success. While other riders have the equivalent of calculus to keep their horses happy and trained well, Jan rides and coaches with the idea of simple puzzle solving. Selecting honest horses and training them one piece at a time until it all comes together for the big picture. “Dressage should be easy” is his motto, and the results speak for themselves. [Success Through Simplicity]

Spend the winter getting that perfect half pass to bring out with a bang in 2021. When a horse and rider have a good understanding of each other and get that elusive open shoulder and big crossing, it’s the perfect picture of harmony and ease. In reality, of course, getting a fluent and expressive half-pass requires strength and suppleness from the horse, as well as considered and precise riding. Learn about the correct aids, common mistakes, and how to train it better at home. [Riding the Perfect Half Pass]

Barn cats! No real barn is truly fulfilled without a few barn cats, most of which live until they’re 20 and see legions of horses and riders go through their barn. But caring for them and protecting them from the outdoor elements and predators is a different task than your other domesticated animals. You take care of them, they take care of your rodents, and rub your legs every day. [Caring for Barn Cats]

Helmet cam action from Pratoni, which FYI, is the host of the 2022 WEG!!

Friday News & Notes

Some weeks, you just need your brain pulsed. Photo by Kate Samuels.

From the year that brought you six months of March, we now have the week of Tuesday. I believe today is the fourth Tuesday of November so far, and the weekend may be cancelled in light of more Tuesdays. However, I’m writing this at night, so I my predictions could be wrong and tomorrow could, in fact, be Saturday! Let’s all hope. I feel like we could really use a weekend right now.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Moon Farms H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

River Glen H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

War Horse Event Series November H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

Major International Events:

Pratoni International CCI4*L/CCI4*S: [Website] [Entries] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

The world said goodbye to Shane Rose’s five-star horse All Luck this week, as he died at home at the age of 26. Lucky was a racehorse in his first career, and then took Shane all the way to England in 2006 and finished 3rd at Burghley. The pair was also part of the silver medal team at the 2008 Hong Kong Olympics, producing the fastest cross country time of the day. [RIP All Luck]

The National Turf Writers And Broadcasters pledged $5,000 to the Lexington, Ky.-based Legacy Equine Academy Inc., a unique program that allows African American and racially diverse Middle and High School students the unique opportunity to build life skills while learning horsemanship through exposure to the many opportunities on farms and in the horse racing industry. Legacy Equine Academy recruits students who are then tagged as a “Legacy Leaders” at the Middle School level. Academy members then identify the targeted students interested in the equine industry and works to ensure their candidacy for Locust Trace multi-level curriculum during their High School years, creating a pipeline toward developing future farm and racing industry professionals. [NTWAB Pledges Money to Inclusive Middle School Program]

British Eventing funded a study into the effectiveness of air jackets in the event of a riding fall. The research calculated the risk of severe chest injury fell from 94 percent when wearing a standard BE body protector to 81 percent when wearing an air jacket. While this means the air jacket could reduce the likelihood of severe injury if a horse falls on a rider, BE stated there is still a “high probability” of riders incurring a severe injury. The study further concluded the air jacket is “unlikely” to prevent fatalities should a horse fall directly on a rider. [Air Jackets: Worth It?]

CNN projects Rhode Island voters have approved a measure that will strike “and Providence Plantations” from the state’s name: State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. This year’s Question 1 ballot proposition asked voters whether to amend the state Constitution by trimming that name to simply State of Rhode Island.  “Nobody is trying to eradicate the history that has been in play,” Democratic state Rep. Anastasia Williams, who worked to get the question placed on the ballot this year following George Floyd’s death. “But we need to present the true and accurate history of it entirely, as opposed to just bits and pieces.” Williams added: “If you don’t believe that that word has a life, a real dark painful life, then you’re seriously mistaken.” [Rhode Island Votes to Remove Providence Plantations From State Name]
In preparation for Breeders Cup Week, the only Breeders Cup Classic that matters:

Thursday News & Notes

Everybody needs some horsey smooches this week. Photo via Skyeler Icke Voss

Well folks, this week is a testing one for the old United States of America, and I can’t really say more than that, as our futures right now are largely unknown in a lot of ways. We are so fortunate to be able to access our emotional support animals on a regular basis, and it’s no surprise that horses are used worldwide for therapy. My best advice is to follow the lead of young Brinley here and smooch a horse today, and wear a princess dress if it pleases you.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Moon Farms H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

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

River Glen H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

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

War Horse Event Series November H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Remember 2014 in Kentucky, there was a small bay thoroughbred with a white face that galloped around the now 5* by the name of Ziggy. Partnered with his owner Rachel Jurgens, Ziggy added just a handful of time to his dressage score, and moved up 27 places to finish in 24th place. After deciding to focus on her business Pony Espresso, Rachel handed the reins to Andrew McConnon, who competed with Ziggy up to the Advanced level, before moving to England and in turn passing him to Rachel King, who competed through Preliminary with him until he was 21. And now, unexpectedly, after a lifetime of distinctly not enjoying the first phase, Ziggy finds himself a willing partner in the journey to Grand Prix dressage at the age of 25. [From Trakehners to Tempi Changes]

Low back pain getting you down? That’s basically a rhetorical question, I think most riders have some kind of lower back pain on a semi regular basis. There are lots of ways of managing it, from strengthening exercises to regular body work, we’ve all got our systems. If you’re looking for new hot tips, check out this pod with Tony Sandoval, joined by Dr. Jenni Douglas from Event Fit Rider Performance, Natasha Gunston from The Eventing Physiologist, and Lisa Bauman from Om Riding for a conversation moderated by Nicole Brown of the Equiratings Eventing Podcast and USEA Official Podcast for a discussion on the topic of low back pain in riders. [Low Back Pain Management for Riders]

With the deep, deep joy of horses, comes the equally deep and even more difficult decision to euthanize a horse. No giving it a euphemism, such as “putting down,” because it is unpleasant. No, this action needs to be done with a clear and concise decision. We spend our lives taking care of animals, putting their needs in front of ours. You thirsty after riding?  Tough, take care of your horse first. You don’t want to go out in the cold? Not an option because the animals need to be fed. Knowing when it’s time is part of caring for them. [When It’s Time]

Dover Saddlery’s HorsePower has been created to bring awareness to positive actions that further unify our equestrian community, support differences, and enrich lives through experiences with horses. Check out their new page to explore the journey of amazing foundations, groups, and individuals who all provide hope, inspiration, education, and healing, to people through the power and passion of horses. [Dover Saddlery’s HorsePower]