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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

January 7, 2014

Enter: The Year Of The Horse

Dear Rita,

If you happen to follow the Chinese zodiac, you already know that we are about to enter the Year of the Horse 2014 at the end of January. All I can say is, “Hasta La Vista, Baby!” to the Year of the Snake 2013! That was a tough year for me, Rita, full of incredible highs and devastating lows. Quite frankly, I prefer the middle way.

Now I happen to think that every year is the Year of the Horse, but I am very excited about the beginning of this one.

December 18, 2013


Dear Rita,

I’m not talking about giving on the reins today. The holiday season is here, and giving is what we do. Have you finished your Christmas shopping?

Personally, I don’t like to give material gifts to my family, friends or clients. But every year I try to connect with the special people in my life around Christmastime. I like to share a tale or two and get at least one in exchange. A glass of wine with good friends has always meant more to me than a basketful of gifts.

Having said that, sometimes we really need a special gift for someone in our lives.

September 30, 2013

Mane Stream Hotmail Finds His A Game On Perfect Footing

Dear Rita,

I know I am starting to sound like a broken record but I JUST LOVE the horse show at Devon. I am so pleased that the facility continues to upgrade the footing and stabling. The renovations and improvements made this venue competitive with rest of the world’s horse shows!

August 16, 2013

Mane Stream Horses: Winyamaro and Hotmail

Dear Rita,

Winyamaro, my World Cup horse and generally too cool for his shoes Grand Prix horse, and Hotmail, my up-and-coming star, have had an official name change. From now on, the horses will be called Mane Stream Winyamaro and Mane Stream Hotmail.

My horses and I are giving our professional names to a worthy cause. And we hope that through our future success in dressage sport and the publicity that goes with that, that we can get more people interested in Mane Stream’s mission.

August 8, 2013

Dressage And The Glass Bead Game

Dear Rita,

I don’t think anyone can argue with this universal truth: The basics are everything in dressage. In fact in life in general, learning the basics is what everyone must do in order to achieve any performance goal we set for ourselves. Last week, I had to learn the basics of accounting in order to prepare my tax return. It was painful, and I am not yet good at it.

July 31, 2013

It's Time To Train The Trainers

Dear Rita,

New Jersey’s heat wave has finally broken, and we are blessed with breezy days in the mid 70s. While the horses find their energy again and my riders feel like they can breathe and think, our daily work continues at our base, the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation headquarters in Gladstone. Winyamaro and I won a Grand Prix last week. Hotmail (extraordinaire!) continues his onward storm toward his Grand Prix debut with me in August. All is good in New Joisie.

June 28, 2013

Oh Baby, What A Comeback!

Dear Rita,

Have you been wondering where I’ve been? Much time has passed since I last wrote. Where were we, Rita?

Florida, February, back injury, out of competition for the entire CDI season. What a bummer! I had just gotten Hotmail ready to go Grand Prix, Winyamaro was back in action, and I’d hoped I could qualify both of my horses during the winter shows for a short tour in Germany this summer.

February 18, 2013

You Know You Are In Florida When…

Dear Rita,

Now that I’ve moved to Florida after living in Germany for 20 years, everyone wants to know what I find different here. Fair question! It’s taken me a few months to articulate this, but put your tongue in your cheek. Here we go!

You know you are in Florida when…

The orange juice tastes better than the water.

You stop checking for bicycles at street crossings.

You start checking for polo ponies at street crossings.

February 13, 2013

Feeding the Top Athlete, Part I: Fiber With Flair

Dear Rita,

In a blog last fall I touched briefly on the fact that we need to provide better management for the horses we expect to compete in top sport. I would like to delve into some things I have learned about nutrition in recent years.

February 1, 2013

Open Training Day

Dear Rita,

A few weeks ago I spontaneously held an open training day at my stable in Loxahatchee, Fla. Lendon Gray brought along a group of eager young riders, I opened the seminar to the public, and all in all about 40 people showed up on short notice.

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