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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

April 15, 2010

Dressage for Life: Patrik Kittel (Sweden)

Dear Rita,

Here is another top rider to add to my “Dressage for Life” line-up: Patrik Kittel, 34 years old, riding for Sweden.

Patrik grew up in Sweden where his first equestrian experience mimicked my own on the back of a Welsh cross pony. He quickly moved on to bigger horses and dallied in a bit of jumping and dressage. Competitive at an early age, Patrik competed in several junior and young rider championships before declaring his path as a professional rider.

April 11, 2010

Team Haddad

Dear Rita,

I wanted to tell you more about my daily routine today when I realized that I can’t really do that without introducing my Team first. I have some very dedicated, talented and special people working for me.

April 3, 2010

Dressage for Life: Kyra Kyrklund

Dear Rita,

Kyra Kyrklund has become a legend in her own lifetime in our world of dressage. She has not only trained and competed 14 Grand Prix horses at the highest international level, but she has also participated in six Olympic Games, four World Equestrian Games, six World Cup Finals and six European Championships.

March 27, 2010

World Cup Final 2010

Dear Rita,

What fabulous sport we saw today in the 2010 World Cup Final in Den Bosch! Once again, there were some disappointments and some really nice surprises. The atmosphere was incredible! I am really happy that the World Equestrian Games will be held in Kentucky this year so that some of the new talent on the scene can be seen in person there. Television and video simply do not do justice to the top horses in our sport.

March 26, 2010

World Cup Final: 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), The Netherlands

Very early Friday morning....

Dear Rita,

I’m writing from my hotel room near the Brabant Halle in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It was a very exciting and somewhat surprising competition today in the Grand Prix. I thought it was well judged and well placed with Totilas having an uncharacteristic off night to land in second place and Parzival taking home the trophy with a nearly clean round. Sunrise went exceptionally well for a solid third place and Warum Nicht landed on the fourth rung.

March 23, 2010

Logistics

Dear Rita,

It’s time to start planning for the summer and the U.S. Selection Trials! Ugh. Travelling is, generally speaking, what I DO. But not for six to 12 weeks at a time, so this is going to get interesting.

First, I have to buy more underwear. My mother has offered to travel with me and do my laundry, but I prefer to maintain my sanity for the time I am Stateside. So...more underwear!!

March 22, 2010

The Schultheis Chronicles, Part 5

Dear Rita,

After Mr. Schultheis told me that he had sent two horses home in order to make room for mine, I was left staring dumbfounded at his front door. One would think that this moment would be full of ecstatic joy for me, and it was, but the joy was fleeting.

March 18, 2010

Buy, Sell, Spend, But Always Enjoy The Gift

And a little contest for the up-and-coming World Cup.

Dear Rita,

It’s St. Paddy’s Day! Yes, we celebrate that lively Irish saint’s day here in Germany as well. Is there any place in the world where you can’t find an Irish Pub?!? I’d like to be down at the local Kneipe drinking cool, green beer but alas, I still have work to do.

March 11, 2010

Cadillac

Dear Rita,

I can’t believe it’s the middle of March! All of a sudden I looked at my calendar and realized it’s time to start thinking ahead about spring and summer. I would like to go to Gladstone this year to compete in the U.S. Selection Trials, so I have a lot of planning to do.

March 8, 2010

Dressage In The Time of Cholesterol

Dear Rita,

This is for the people who have asked me to explain the difference between LDR and HF. LDR—low, deep, round—is a position of the neck. HF—Hyperflexion is an extreme flexion of the poll normally performed in an LDR position of the neck.

In my stable we ride BPS and HA. Riders learn to IAS on the longe line before ever taking contact with the bit. No matter what method you choose to use, you can’t get started until you IAS. Learn to sit before you learn to hold the reins.

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