How cool is this little discovery from Sara Kozumplik Murphy? While we probably can’t all hope to have finished the year with a totally clean slate in the showjumping — I know I definitely can’t — this is such a good reminder of a few crucial points. First up? You should absolutely schedule in time to review your year, whether on your own or with your trainer, and do so with a fine-toothed comb. What are you averaging in the dressage? Get those test sheets out, and have a look at individual marks, too. Is there a certain movement you nail each time? Where’s your weak spot, and how can you improve upon it this winter? Do the same with cross-country and showjumping: honestly assess your record, take notes of where you had problems and where things felt their very best, and use it to help plan out your next few months of training. You’ll probably find a few pleasant surprises in there (‘I’ve scored 8s every time in my medium trot!’) and it’ll help you chart your progress from year to year — and at the very least, it’s going to ensure you come out even better next year. That’s a win in my book!
National Holiday: It’s National Clean Out Your Fridge Day. As someone with a leaking fridge and a newly instated kitchen floor towel, I feel TRIGGERED.
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There are few things cooler than seeing a superstar eventing mare’s offspring go on to the top levels. But while we all wait impatiently for those Classic Moet/Upsilon babies to make their debuts (they’re three now, it’s coming!), meet the delightful and diminutive Mr Fahrenheit III, who stepped up to five-star this year with Great Britain’s Simon Grieve. The son of Phoebe Buckley’s extraordinary Little Tiger is actually the result of her prize for taking the Best Mare title at Burghley in 2008 — in honour of her success, she was awarded an embryo transfer. And now, here we are.
Okay, okay, I lied — there is something that rivals that level of coolness, and that’s rescue horses smashing it in their second lives. That’s exactly what’s happened for Clarissa, who was one of the few survivors of a horrific abuse and neglect case in Pennsylvania five years ago. After an extensive rehab process — including several months in an Anderson sling, because she was too weak to stand on her own — the incredible mare has gone on to the USDF National Finals with her owner and best friend Taylor Dowd. Her new show name? Against All Odds. Who’s cutting onions in here?
Recently, I had a long chat with an event rider who swore up and down that the most useful thing they ever taught their horses was how to jump out of trot. But, they lamented, so few people opt to do that — and when they introduce it to their own students, it feels like they’re suggesting sitting trot without pants on. It’s not hard to see what they mean: if a horse can comfortably jump a reasonably sizeable fence from trot, they’ll have another tool in their arsenal if something goes a bit pear-shaped in a cross-country combination and they need to see themselves safely through. This article from hunter trainer John French might not be specifically aimed at eventers, but it’s a great starting point if you want to add trot jumps to your winter training in a productive, progressive way.
It’s 2021, and BLM roundups of wild mustangs are still taking place. Whether there’s a better solution to be had is a pretty bottomless topic for a debate, but nonetheless, activists and ecologists continue to work towards a kinder fate for these remarkable horses. One of those is ecologist Craig Downer, who has written this fascinating piece about observing the horses undisturbed in their natural habitat.
Are you heading to the 2021 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention? If so, you’re probably already struggling to figure out what you want to see on the jam-packed calendar. Fortunately for you, USEA has rounded up the six can’t-miss seminars that’ll provide the hot conversation topics of the winter season. Our pick? Making Strides for Equality and Growing the Sport, helmed by friend of EN Dr Anastasia Curwood and Heather Gillette, from 9.00 to 10.00 a.m. on Saturday, December 11.
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Okay, okay, she’s not an equestrian Instagrammer, but actor Amanda McCants earns her slot here with this reel, which so accurately pokes fun at the silliest bits of horse girl culture. Let’s make 2022 the year we finally accept that it’s fine to be able to back up a trailer AND contour your face, if that’s something you’re into being able to do.
Meet up-and-coming 4* eventer and vlogger Ashley Harrison: