I’m very sad that I won’t be competing at my favorite show of the year this weekend, Virginia Horse Trials, but I shall be in attendance for coaching and cheering all my friends! This spring was a lesson in how I wish I had worn my helmet more as a teenager, as I accumulated a few too many concussions from being a human lawn dart in my youth, and didn’t get my horse fit for competition. I used to pride myself on my ability and willingness to “get on anything”, but that was before I wised up and realized I should really be doing more groundwork with most of these horses to help them be slightly less terrifying under saddle. Anyway, turns out if you bang your head one too many times, you can get concussion symptoms later in life from just getting jostled. Cue me puking every day for two months straight and not being able to really ride my horse consistently. Friends, wear your helmet, and replace it when you fall off. Also, learn good groundwork, your head and your horse will thank you.
U.S. Weekend Preview
News From Around the Globe:
What’s it take to win a five-star with a seventeen-year-old horse? A whole lot, for many years, and an entire team of people behind you. It takes years and a full team effort to develop a horse to the top level of equestrian sport— with riders, owners, grooms, coaches, and many more focusing on giving a horse the best chance at success. This process was true for Mai Baum, known as Lexus, on his road to winning the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event with Tamie Smith in the irons. Smith remembered seeing Lexus, a 2006 German Sport Horse gelding owned by Alex Ahearn and her parents Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell, for the first time when Alex rode him at Tamie’s farm. She was immediately impressed by the horse’s talent, but she didn’t know what was in store for the two of them. [The Lexus Journey]
The competition at CHIO Aachen this year will feature a retirement ceremony for Ingrid Klimke’s Hale Bob. What can we say about Bobby, other than he’s a legend of the sport? World Championships, European Championships, Olympic Games, five star wins he’s done it all. With 70 international events on his resume, and at nineteen years old, we will all get to watch him do one last lap of glory in Aachen. [Hale Bob Retires]
British Eventing has announced a “full stakeholder review” of abandonment insurance, as the fixtures calendar continues to be hindered by cancellations. BE said in light of the “unprecedented abandonments due to the prolonged adverse weather” it is undertaking a “full stakeholder review of the existing arrangements in relation to abandonment insurance”. This follows the cancellation of Rockingham International (18–21 May), as the ground had not dried “sufficiently to allow the event to proceed in a safe manner”. Chatsworth International (12–14 May) cancelled some classes, including the CCI2*-S, after heavy rain. Chepstow at Howick (16–17 May) also abandoned because of the weather. [BE Fears Calendar Collapse]
If you want to shave some points off your dressage score, who better to ask than Carl Hester? “We want the horse in self carriage, and that means the rider has to be in self carriage and without a strong core, that is very difficult to do. Then you won’t need your arms or legs to hold you in the saddle – they must be soft and independent of your body.” [Carl on Self Carriage for Horse & Rider]