I know I shouldn’t moan after a decade of shivering my way through Maine winters, but England has been COLD lately, guys. Like, -8C cold (Okay, okay, that’s only 18F and I’m a wimp, I know), which is cold enough that my sojourns onto the yard have been trimmed down to the bare necessities: making warm mashes, adding an extra layer of rugs, sliding my icy fingers under said rugs, and simply laughing if anyone suggests doing any actual riding.
Luckily, our extra-wintery week is now behind us and I can resume normal service – but not without taking a moment to acknowledge all those intrepid eventers up and down the country who used their water jumps as temporary ice rinks. I salute you, you big weirdos.
National Holiday: It’s Singles Awareness Day, and you’d better believe I’m going to celebrate with some discounted chocolate selection boxes.
US Weekend Results:
Fresno County Horse Park H.T.: [Results]
Full Gallop Farm February H.T.: [Results]
Ocala Winter I H.T.: [Results]
Pine Top Intermediate H.T.: [Results]
Your Monday Reading List:
Need a great page-turner for this week? The moving memoir Crossing the Line, penned by Kareem Rosser, is an absolute must-read. Poignant and powerful, it charts Kareem’s journey from the Work to Ride programme through to the polo field, and there’s so much we can learn from its pages. Here’s a little something to whet your appetite. [Kareem Rosser is the New Face of American Polo]
It wouldn’t be a Monday without some great jumping exercises for you to take into the week ahead. British Showjumping coach Mandy Frost shares her favourite exercises for those of us who live in fear of coloured poles. [Show Jumping Exercises for Event Horses]
Do you tend to skip sheath-cleaning? It’s one of the least glamorous parts of horse ownership, and there are compelling arguments for and against the practice – but after discovering grapefruit-sized melanomas in her horse’s sheath, one owner is raising awareness of the need for regular, thorough checks of the undercarriage. [Horse loses sheath and part of penis after major melanomas found during sheath clean]
Confidence crises are something every rider can relate to – even the pros. Middleburg-based trainer Brooke Bayley had to overcome just that last year – but the lessons she learned along the way have helped her to aid her students in their own tricky patches. [Everyone Struggles with Confidence]
If you’re grappling with new regulations for transporting horses in the wake of Brexit, you’re not alone. But add this to your bookmarks – showjumper Sarah Lewis has painstakingly put together a breakdown of costs and regulations, plus a list of useful contacts as the equestrian industry prepares to fight for the ability to carry on business as usual. [Helpful addresses and contacts for Brexit letters]
The Rather Exciting Vacancies Klaxon:
New Zealand-based and looking for a very, very cool job? Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ) is hiring a Communications Advisor – so if you’re a savvy writer, a dab hand at social media, and, of course, highly passionate about equestrian sport, get your application in before March 5. [ESNZ Communications Advisor]
The FutureTrack Follow:
I know you’re already following Kiwi superstar Tim Price, I just know it. But if not, do – if only for his occasional horror movie worthy artistic endeavours.
What I’m Listening To: Living in the UK as I do, I’ve never yet had the chance to check out the Kentucky Horse Park’s International Museum of the Horse. My FOMO was intensified by the launch of the remarkable permanent exhibition, Black Horsemen of the Kentucky Turf – and so I was beyond chuffed to learn that an online version of the exhibition has just been launched. I’ve prepped myself for a deep dive by listening to an audio interview with Amy Beisel, Director of the museum.
Donation Station: London’s Park Lane Stables is down to the final two weeks in its fundraising campaign to secure its premises, ensuring that local riders can continue to enjoy horses in the city. Park Lane is a crucial part of the local community and a busy Riding for the Disabled centre, providing extraordinary opportunities for riders and volunteers alike. They have just over £600,000 left to raise before February 25 – and we all know how much money can be raised in a short period of time if the horse world bands together. [‘It has transformed our lives’: two weeks to save Park Lane Stables]
Great Britain’s Sophie Christiansen CBE isn’t just one of the greatest Paralympic dressage riders out there – she’s a dynamic and multitalented software developer. Get to know her here: