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Horse show parents truly are a different breed, aren’t they? Even if you’ve not been lucky enough to have your own, I hope that you’ve been caught up in the positive, bonkers, supportive, snack-providing slipstream that a horsey mum or dad creates around them in the barn aisles at a competition. Those special folks make everyone in the community part of the family, and I know that my own turbulent teenage years were so positively impacted by having them around and letting them care about me and my horsey escapades. So here’s to you guys — the horse world wouldn’t work without you. (Even if you are, in fact, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.)
Day of Importance: It’s September 11.
US Weekend Action:
UK Weekend Results:
Cornbury House International and British Young Horse Championships (Finstock, Oxon.): [Results]
West Wilts (3) (Holt, Wilts.): [Results]
Frenchfield (2) (Penrith, Cumbria): [Results]
Savills Chillington Hall Regional & 80/90 Youth Championships (Wolverhampton, Staffs.): [Results]
Burnham Market (2) (Burnham Market, Norfolk): [Results]
Your Monday Reading List:
Captain Mark Phillips is back in H&H with his latest opinion column. This week, he’s discussing the positivity that Burghley brought to the sport, the fickle nature of eventing’s ups and downs — and, briefly, Haras du Pin’s failures in putting on a European Championships this year. Check out his views here.
Some horses are just, well, total drama queens. That’s the case for recently crowned AEC Bates Preliminary Amateury Champion Excel Star Pluto, who decided to put on a really good show of a colic on the way home — but actually just wanted someone to come hang out with him in the trailer. Now, he’s home and back with his bestie, Jalapeño the donkey, and his owner, Kelly Beaver, is reminiscing on the week that was. Relive the AECs with her and fall in love with Pluto.
As a gal with a horse shaped like a city bus, and the arm muscles to prove it, I read this with great interest. It’s just a little snippet of advice, but it’s for those of you who also have heavy-fronted horses and need to lighten them up and shift all that energy to their hind ends. Let it take a literal load off for you today.
This is something that’s hit close to home for me: can horses develop dementia? It’s something that’s had so little research, comparatively, because most horses’ bodies give out long before their minds. But at my yard, we were lucky enough to enjoy the company of our free-range Shetland pony, King Pepi, until his 47th year – yes, really! – and in the last couple of years, we watched his confusion increase. We’ve got a footpath running through the farm that the public can use, and more and more frequently, we’d find him trying to follow a random family home, trit-trotting after them as fast as he could and letting out these sad, high-pitched, confused whinnies, until we fetched him back and put him back in front of his best friend, Tony the Pony. As such, I’m fascinated to read about this fledgling field of research. Here’s a Pepi photo for tax.
And finally, are you guilty of lifting your hands up over a fence? (I know there’s a few of us out there — even at the top levels!) A floating release is a pretty annoying little habit, but it’s well worth taking the time to fix it — because it’ll help your horse jump better and keep you more stable and secure if you do. Get some great tips from Beezie here.
Catch up with Blyth Tait and the Eventing Weekly lads: