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November 29, 2016

Advice To Present And Future Barn Kids

Over the years, the barn has acted as my school, my church, my sanctuary and my home.

As my junior years wrapped up and I headed off to college with the amateur life looming near, I found myself reflecting on all the invaluable things the barn has taught me, both in and out of the saddle. I certainly didn't learn all of these lessons the easy way, but hitting the dirt, literally and figuratively, has resulted in some of my most defining moments.

This is the best advice I can give to the next generation of “barn rats” as my time as a junior comes to a close.

November 23, 2016

The Young Horse Training Diary: Moji Meets A Master

Dear Diary,

Last time I told you all about my first horse show, and now I get to tell you about my first clinic!

I’m not really sure what a clinic is, but it must be similar to a show, because my mom/Treat Chief gave me a good scrubby bath and trimmed a jazzy little bald patch in my mane where my bridle goes (I’m told it’s all the rage, and I’m also told please-stop-turning-around-to-see-what’s-going-on-you’re-going-to-make-me-cut-your-ear-off).

November 18, 2016

A Stallion Parade Like No Other

Every year at the Landgestüt Celle, a State Stud in Germany, people come from all over the country to see the magnificent Hengstparade (Stallion Parade).

The Hengstparade begins with a historical overview of how the Landgestüt Celle and the sport horse have evolved. To my knowledge, we do not have any events of a similar nature in the United States, and thus, this blog will attempt to relay both the experience of the event as well as its history—through pictures and words.

November 16, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: Saying Goodbye, For Now

They say all good things must come to an end.

You might know that I'm a rider, and that I have a wee bit of a love for horses. My brother teases me that I blow up his Facebook with horse pictures; my car smells like a barn; my wardrobe consists mainly of comfortable pants and shirts in various shades of J. Crew’s latest name for manure.

I returned to riding when I was 43, after a 20some-year hiatus. I did not choose this hiatus—it was the fallout from my parents’ divorce. From the age of 5, riding had been my oxygen, showing ponies my joy. 

Comments

extbracehorserider
1 week 3 days ago

At least you finally told the truth about Flurry/Cozy

Its terrible the accident you had. No one deserves that. But I also was shocked to learn the real reason you dumped Flurry/Cozy. Yes I am the gullible one who responded to your sales ad for Flurry with the stunning photos and the heartfelt story you told me about her. At NO TIME did you ever tell me about how dangerous this mare had been with you or that she had acted out with the sky high bucking. Yes, I still have all our e-mail communication. Obviously this was not a horse for a middle aged person like me to be buying. But apparently the sale was all about the money for you even when the horse was head bobbing lame in the $800.00 vet exam. Had I bought this horse I could have ended up with very serious injuries--- just like you have now. And what is really so terrible is that you would have gladly taken my money with no regard for my safety. So, excuse me if I don't believe much in your current heart felt horse story. I have already experienced first hand your last horse story ( Flurry) and all the half truths.
November 14, 2016

2016 U.S. Dressage Finals: In The Books, With One Regret

I’m sitting in my PJs recovering from a terrific trip to Kentucky for the U.S. Dressage Finals, sipping coffee, listening to my mountains of laundry churn away, packing up my show clothes for the trip to Florida in January, and looking back on a wonderful year.

November 11, 2016

Confessions Of A Fan Girl

It is genuinely fun having an idol. Regarding someone with pure admiration for their abilities that somehow evolved into blind adoration, and other general silliness, is a frivolity I like to indulge in from time to time with a certain tall and winning English gentleman.

Of course, I am talking about William Fox-Pitt.


That's me on Billy (High Times) soaking up the knowledge from the legend William Fox-Pitt (left).

November 8, 2016

Two Ways Up The Levels

I get asked some form of this question 50 times a year, in lessons, at clinics, via email or Facebook: how do I rise up the levels? What’s the best plan to get from being a lower-level rider to FEI? What path should I follow?

There are, for all intents and purposes, two options: to find a schoolmaster, a horse trained to the upper levels, from whom to learn; or to bring along a green horse, to teach him and yourself together along the way.

November 2, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: Who Am I Without A Horse?

Right now, the closest thing I have to a horse is a 7-month-old yellow Lab puppy who’s rehabbing from OCD surgery in both hocks. She’s transitioning from strict stall rest to hand-walking, has had PRP therapy, and is on a regimen of joint supplements and bi-weekly Adequan injections. I monitor her soundness obsessively.

So, you know, I pretty much have all the vet bills associated with a fancy, high-maintenance show horse without any of the rideability of an actual equine. 

November 1, 2016

Atta Boy Rory

I spent my whole very long drive home from the Kentucky Horse Park and the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover trying to think of how to write this without sounding like a sixth grader who is writing about her awesome summer vacation in an essay for school. 

October 19, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: Prelim? Seriously? Let's Shoot For The Moon!

Preliminary. Or as I like to call it: the P-word.

Remind me: When did I decide this was a good idea? I signed up to go prelim in late September at Equestrians Institute in Cle Elum, Wash.

Let’s remember: Just over three years ago I did my first ever event on Cairo at EI. At starter. You know. Two foot logs. Because I was too chicken to sign up for beginner novice.

Starter had me so nervous I thought I would puke. Suddenly I’m at PRELIM? What just happened??? I thought prelim was for the big kids?

Comments

PolestarFarm
6 weeks 1 day ago

I dont know if most people

I dont know if most people know just how stressful/fun/worriesome and anxiety ridden us coaches are as you run around your courses!! I ride every single fence with you, and when you finished I knew exactly how you felt. And I am close to tears, because of your happiness and success. Great job, Camilla! I am SO excited for your next year. You have a great horse to look forward and accomplish a few amazing goals with! She is quirky.... but she is *your* lovely quirky horse. And that makes all the difference, you believe in her.
PolestarFarm
6 weeks 1 day ago

I dont know if most people

I dont know if most people know just how stressful/fun/worriesome and anxiety ridden us coaches are as you run around your courses!! I ride every single fence with you, and when you finished I knew exactly how you felt. And I am close to tears, because of your happiness and success. Great job, Camilla! I am SO excited for your next year. You have a great horse to look forward and accomplish a few amazing goals with! She is quirky.... but she is *your* lovely quirky horse. And that makes all the difference, you and I believe in her! Dont let the P word scare you ;)