Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

Photo courtesy of Marley Stone.

Photo courtesy of Marley Stone.

Massive congrats go out today to Marley Stone and Tim Bourke, who are brand new farm owners! They’ve been able to snag Stone’s Throw Farm in Berryville, Virginia and will continue to work closely with Sharon White as they take the next step in their business, Bourke Eventing. You could not pick a nicer, more genuine couple to hang out with, and I know just how exciting it must be for them to have their own facility. Just in time for Christmas!

With Charlotte DuJardin and Valegro smashing their own record at Olympia just a few days ago, even us eventers have to admit that we’re obsessed with “Blueberry.” I mean, his name is Blueberry! H&H has compiled a great list of fun facts about this amazing horse, including his turnout schedule, his favorite things (food), and why he is hacked two days a week by a 77-year-old Olympic veteran. [Twelve Facts About Valegro]

I can think of more than seven reasons to hate winter, but H&H is being brave and coming up with an additional seven reasons to love it. I’ll admit, I was skeptical because all I see is mud and rain and so many jackets and pants that peeing is an extremely time consuming thing, but they’re right, winter is alright. [7 Reasons To Love Winter]

Psychology is at least half of the battle with riding in any capacity, and US Eventing blogger and equestrian sports psychologist Daniel Stewart knows that better than anyone. This month, his tip focuses on the excuses that we make for poor performances, or the way that we shoot ourselves down mentally before even getting on the horse. “When we deflect blame away from ourselves we also deflect away any possibility of learning from our mistake.” [What’s Your Excuse?]

We all love Connemara ponies for their scrappy nature, their larger-than-life personality, and of course their jump! But what about their cultural significance for Ireland as a whole? Doctorate candidate Claire Brown has received a National Science Foundation graduate research fellowship to spend the next year studying how the Connemara pony mirrors the Irish culture, and tells the history of the Irish people. [Connemara Ponies Provide Cultural Insight]

Best of Blogs: Horse Training: Why the Science is Flawed

100% unrelated to horses, but how awesome is this? 

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