Thursday News & Notes

I’m just a bit envious of Liz Halliday’s beautifully organized bit collection! Choosing the right bit for the right horse for the right job is obviously super important, but it can be a bit of a tricky process. It’s a bit handy then that self-confessed bit-nerd Liz is launching a social media series answering viewers’ bitting questions – just drop her a DM on Instagram @lizhallidaysharp. I’m chomping at the bit for this. (Sorry.)

Meanwhile, the Gaucho Derby runs on, with the leading pack nearing the finish line (as I write this). Will we have a winner by the time this is published? Perhaps. Find out and catch up with the action @theequestrianists.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Jumping Branch Farm H.T. (Aiken, SC)[Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Ocala Winter I (Ocala, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Ram Tap H.T. (Fresno, CA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

International Events

Portuguese Spring Tour (Mata do Duque) (Feb 17 – 20 and Feb 28 – Mar 3) [Timetable] [Entries] [Scoring] [Portuguese Eventing Association Facebook Page] [More Info]

Thursday News and Reading

Serious about improving your jumping position? Then this awesome opportunity is for you. Multi-Olympic, Pan Ams and World Championships medalist Beezie Madden will be reviewing selected photos and videos for a feature in Practical Horsemanship Magazine. It’s always helpful to have experienced eyes on the ground, and Beezie’s eyes are for sure some of the best in the biz. If you’re up for it – and why wouldn’t you be? – here’s the submission form.

International Grand Prix dressage rider Jeremy Steinberg weighs in on the dressage debate. Questioning the altering of the FEI ‘rules’ to ‘guidelines’ regarding rider position, gaits and movements, Jeremy considers the impact that ‘incorrect’ riding is having on competitive dressage, as well as commenting on the social media shares that may be catchy, but are in fact misguided and taken out of context.

Sort out the fact from the fiction when it comes to training aids. In the right hands and used correctly with the right horse, training aids can be just that – an aid to training. But notice the specifics – the right hands, the right horse, used correctly. In the wrong hands, used incorrectly and with a horse that just won’t benefit from this type of training, these aids can make problems worse and ultimately could be dangerous. Here’s the lowdown on how, when and why you may consider using training aids with your horse, and when to definitely leave them well alone.

Chatting to the Whole Equestrian for this week’s podcast: head groom for US eventer Hannah Sue Hollberg, Kristen Shepherd. Kristen shares her experiences starting out as a working student and progressing to head groom, traveling with Hannah Sue on the top-level international circuit, and transitioning to Vet Tech at the University of Florida. Listen in here.

Finding the right boots is a bit like finding a best friend or life partner – but what’s with the weird names? I never choose to wear my paddock boots in the paddock, especially at this time of year, they’re just not designed for fetlock-deep mud. A more appropriate name for them would be something like ‘all-weather school but mostly in stirrups’ boots. Lucky for us, the resident #horsewordnerd at Horse Network, Rebecca Berry, has taken on ‘The Case of the Weird Riding Boot Names’.

And finally, many of us could do with a little Lotto luck when it comes to the spendy business of horse show entries – well this couple lucked out big time. If you won big, what would you spend it on? – a cliched question that we’ve all considered from time to time. Chances are, horses are top of the list. And that’s exactly what this lucky couple plan to spend their $1 million Lotto winnings on – ticking off their horsey bucket list, with competing the first thing on their agenda.

Video Break

Having spent some time this week riding bareback, I’ve been forced to admit that I really need to put in some work out of the saddle (and off the horse) in order to be the rider I aspire to one day become. But where to start? Well, a pretty good place is dressage rider and friend of EN Amelia Newcomb’s 5 exercises to improve your riding, which yes, I’ve been doing in full riding gear.

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