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I don’t know about you guys, but for me, the 2nd of January feels much more like the first day of a new year than the 1st, which is traditionally spent sleeping, eating, recovering, and dissociating (look, I used to work with horses full-time, and now I lean hard into lazy girl life when I can). Today, though, I feel like I need to actually get up and do something useful, even if that something is just planning and getting excited about the year to come. And what a year it’ll be, for us here at Team EN and for you, our expansive family who come with us on all our adventures. It might be a bit of a cliche to say it, but I really do reckon this year’s going to be our biggest and best yet. Buckle up and let’s get this rollercoaster ride going!
Tuesday News & Notes from Around the World:
The King’s New Year Honour List has been released, and it’s got a horsey heroine of sorts on it. Jilly Cooper — bestselling author of showjumping bonkbuster Riders and saucy polo epic Polo, among her many brick-sized books — has been made a dame, proving that sticky bushes and horses who eat the fruit from the Pimms jar are the UK’s true national treasures. That’s what I call jolly super.
The term ‘long and low’ gives me the fear. That’s probably unfair of me; after all, my trepidation comes from spending my early teens riding at an Appaloosa show barn in rural Maine, where long and low meant catatonic, nose-dragging, four-beat jogging two-year-olds and certainly not anything that would be productive or good for the horses. But despite its dodgy associations — and yes, it remains debatable in the dressage world, too — a good, balanced, back-lifting stretch that lengthens the neck can be a really good thing to utilise in your rides. Here’s how to do it properly, avoiding a wrestling match and, well, rollkur.
It’s resolution time, and if yours is to tackle a traditional three-day event this year, you’re in luck. US Eventing has just released its 2024 Classic Three-Day calendar, plus info on ensuring you’re qualified and ready to take on this incredibly fun challenge, which is such a super goal for riders across the lower levels. Check it out and get those dates in your diary.
British 5* rider Izzy Taylor’s year began… well, a touch more dramatically than most. This morning, she received sentencing for a case that’s been ongoing for what feels like forever, following a breach of fire safety regulations at her Oxfordshire yard. The good news? She won’t be going to jail — but she will be downsizing to a smaller property going forward. Find out more about it here.
Sponsor Corner: The best source of vitamin E is fresh green grass. In the winter time, it’s easy for our horses’ Vitamin E levels to drop low. Signs of low vitamin E include neurological problems, a damaged coat, and eye & muscle issues. Learn more in this graphic from Kentucky Performance Products.
I’m always keen to try new disciplines, and side saddle has been on my list for a long time — so I’m living vicariously through grassroots eventer Lucy Robinson as she gives it a go: