George Soothes The Winter Brain Freeze

Jan 5, 2011 - 11:53 AM

The holidays are over and we’re settling in for our remaining five months of winter. As I read about Lauren’s seasonal relocation to Florida, I assessed my own state of mind and find that I am (surprisingly) OK. There will be no trip to Ocala this year. There are no business trips on the horizon to warm weather locales. It’s just winter as far as the eye can see. It’s cool. I can handle it. Just check on me every couple of weeks, OK?

There are so many interesting things going on in the equestrian world—both here in our little corner and in the bigger COTH world—that I’m hardly minding the daily white-knuckle drive through snow and the short, seven hours of daylight. (Only a slight exaggeration, it’s now light out until 5 p.m. rather than 4:15 p.m., woo-hoo!)

Reading Jennifer Keeler’s first report from the 2011 George Morris Horsemastership Training Session has me feeling like I’m there in Wellington. Look at the roster of talented riders! These are names that have been rolling off of my daughter’s tongue for months as she’s followed the NEHC, Maclay and USEF Platinum Performance Talent Search finals. Jennifer’s provided a multitude of great pictures too.

But wait, we can watch too! Check out the USEF Network, the best use of our membership dollars EVER. A beautifully designed site, complete with rider profiles, the clinic schedule and live video of the clinic! What more could a winter shut-in ask for? Luckily, the videos are available for viewing each evening and the following day—otherwise I don’t think I could get the girl to go to school this week.

The only slight downside is that the afternoon lectures don’t seem to be included in the video coverage. I would love to watch and listen to Jane Savoie’s lecture, “How to Think Like a Champion,” where according to Jennifer Keeler’s coverage, Jane talked about sports psychology and how to train your brain to use every competitive experience—good or bad—as a positive step on the path toward a goal. All of our junior riders who tend to be so hard on themselves could benefit from this message!

I know what I’ll be doing for the rest of the week. I’ve got to go, George is talking about the three parts of the horse, and I don’t want to miss it.

Elizabeth Howell grew up riding on the hunter/jumper circuit in Massachusetts. Now she is a horse show mom. She holds a day job at The Emily Post Institute and slings horse manure on the weekends. Her website is


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