Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

I think this is what we call insanity in the middle! Photo submitted by Beth Nedrow. I think this is what we call insanity in the middle! Photo submitted by Beth Nedrow.

AEC Week! The American Eventing Championships are a wonderful competition, full of all the bravest and most ambitious riders that our country has to offer. Take these three ladies above, who traveled from Billings, Mont., to compete with High Plains Stables at various levels. Rita Nedrow, 14,  Katie Bales, 15, and Sophie Wickhorst, 14, embody everything about “Insanity in the Middle.” Good luck this weekend, ladies!

North American Weekend Preview:

University of New Hampshire H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Surefire H.T. [Website]

Flora Lea H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Stable View H.T. [Website] [Entry Status]

Sundance Farm H.T.  [Website]

Nutrena USEA American Eventing Championships & ATC  [Website] [Live Scores]

Jump Start H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status/Times]

News From Around The Globe:

Want to win at AECs? We want to see your insanity, and you could have a shot at one of three prize packs from our awesome sponsors. Decorate your stall or golf cart at AECs this week for your chance to win – both EN and guest judge Laine Ashker will be on hand to see your insanity, so get creative! For more details on how to enter, check out the original post. [Win Big at AECs]

As the fall hunting season approaches, many of us are considering taking young or inexperienced horses out in the fox hunting field. This can be a great source of exposure, and a wonderful way to put on some fitness and get some cross country smarts on your eventing horse. However, it’s also a great way to land butt-first in some mud. If you’re planning on taking a young horse out, and you might be inexperienced yourself, be sure to read H&H’s guide to fox hunting for the uninitiated. [Do’s & Dont’s Foxhunting Season]

In the 60’s and 70’s, US horsemen were formidable and admired throughout the world, but something has changed since then. This author posits that since horses became an industry in the 80’s, everything has gone down hill, and the result is that America is producing mediocre instructors, and mediocre riders. Could the reason be a true flaw in our educational system? Read more to find out why she thinks we aren’t succeeding on the international platform like we used to. [Top 3 Reasons America is Producing Mediocre Instructors]

Calling All SHN Success Stories! Horse shopping can be a long and stressful operation. Buyers want to find their perfect new partner, and sellers want their horses to go to the right home. If you used EN’s classified site Sport Horse Nation to find your new best eventing friend, we want to hear about it! Email [email protected] with “SHN Success Story” in the subject.

When it comes to rewarding your horse after a job well done, the controversy surrounding “pats” is strong. I don’t disagree that hard slaps to the neck, while they make sense to us as humans, might be misconstrued as slight punishment to the horse. We’ve been slapping (or patting exuberantly) horses forever, and therefore we assume that they understand this to mean “Good Job Man!!”, but what if they don’t? This journalist looks into it further. [Do Horses Actually Enjoy Pats?]

I’ll take tips from Charlotte Dujardin any day:


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