Wednesday News & Notes from Ocala Horse Properties

Since Benedictus WS – AKA ‘the checkered horse’ – took to the center line at the U.S. Dressage Finals in Kentucky a couple of months ago, I’ve been ‘checking’ out the plethora of creative clip jobs popping up on social media. As well as the drip effect more commonly seen on cakes, above, I’ve spotted giraffes and zebras, cappuccinos and superheroes, and perhaps appropriately for the beginning of a new year, a whole horse dedicated to the signs of the zodiac:

Whatever your chosen style, go eventing.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Sporting Days Farm January Horse Trials I (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Wednesday News and Reading

New year, new job? 5* eventer Kirsty Chabert is looking for a Head Girl/Lad. Find out how to apply.

It’s always a good time to learn from the experts of our sport, which is why it’s worth (re)sharing this throwback article from a clinic with Andreas Dibowski. He talks about the rider’s role in giving their horse the responsibility to get the stride right, developing trust between horse and rider, and how to remain balanced in order to support our horses to be their best – some things to work on as we wait for eventing to kick off in the spring.

I have to admit, my dream of owning a horse doesn’t quite match the reality. Call me naive, but for me, the biggest draw of having my own horse was riding. Don’t get me wrong, I love taking care of him – yep, I even relish my daily fight persuading the ancient wheelbarrow up the impossibly tall muck heap, and poop picking in the dark. What I didn’t realize was that, on top of my responsibilities to my family and other animals, not to mention work, and now my daily horse chores, finding time to ride is like, really hard. Turns out, I’m not alone.

In this interesting insight into the world of cloning, The Washington Post speaks to renowned polo player Adolfo Cambiaso, whose late champion mare was represented on both teams at the Argentine Polo Championship last year in the form of her clones. There’s also an in-depth look inside a horse cloning lab and a visit to the farms where surrogate mares give birth to the next big thing in Argentinian polo breeding. There are obviously ethical questions raised, considerations over the use of clones in competition, and concerns about the long-term risks, not to mention the fact that there are plans for the world’s first genetically modified horse to be born next year.

California State University has teamed up with Wild Horse Fire Brigade to create a five-year fellowship studying wild horses. The aim is to provide education about wild herds in an effort to improve the management of them, and, as well as busting some popular myths and misconceptions, this article provides some interesting links to research demonstrating the benefits America’s wild horses have on the environment, disease control and fighting wildfires. You can find out more about the Wild Horse Fire Brigade here.

If you’re resolved to be more sustainable this year, check out these 50 ways to upcycle your old feed sacks. Number 50 sure came in handy for my New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Sponsor Corner

Let’s talk goals- specifically, goal setting. If you’re not SMART about what your goals are, you’re not setting yourself up for success. Take a look at how to set some SMART goals, equestrian style.

Video Break

The more I do yoga and the more I ride, the more I realize how the two are mutually beneficial, not just in bodily terms, but in the way I connect with my horse, the accuracy of my aids, the power of intention when working with horses… I could go on and on. I do fitness and strength work too, because they’re good for me and help me to improve my yoga and riding, but it’s the yoga and riding that do the most good for all of me. (Please do notice the not so subtle link between yoga and riding I’m unashamedly making here.)

As it’s International Mind-Body Wellness Day today, I’m taking the opportunity to share a yoga for equestrians video created by 5* eventer Emily Hamel. Along with Dr. Tyler Held – writer of EN’s Between the Ears series, Emily hosts The Whole Equestrian podcast – “bridging the gap between riding and wellness”.

And if you’re on board with the whole yoga and riding thing, Adriene Mishler’s annual (totally free) 30 days of yoga is happening on her Yoga with Adriene YouTube channel.

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