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Jennifer M. Keeler

May 31, 2011

Ask The Experts: Why And How Should We Ride Without Stirrups?

George Morris is a legendary rider, horseman, author and teacher, not to mention the chef d’equipe for the U.S. show jumping team since 2004. He has always preached the importance of riding without stirrups, and he was happy to take a few moments to underscore the importance of everyone’s least favorite training experience.

Q: What are the benefits to riding without stirrups?

April 17, 2011

Festival Of The Horse CDI-W Win Furthers Ebeling's Journey To World Cup Redemption

In April of 2009, Jan Ebeling went to the FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas with high hopes for a strong performance from his partner Rafalca. But, the intense indoor atmosphere and packed house of the Thomas & Mack Arena proved too much for the sensitive mare.

“She was very tense,” said Ebeling. “We came into the arena, and she said ‘No.’ She had a mare moment and did not even want to go around the arena.”

March 18, 2011

Bloody Eliminations Come Under Scrutiny

There’s no FEI rule that says a horse must be disqualified during dressage competition for blood in his mouth, but there’s no protocol in place for a different outcome either.

She was ranked the No. 2 dressage rider in the world and had high hopes for an individual medal. But during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Adelinde Cornelissen of the Netherlands was rung out after blood-colored foam appeared in Jerich Parzival’s mouth early on in her test.

March 13, 2011

Peters Makes Magic At Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI

After winning two individual bronze medals at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games last fall, it might seem like Steffen Peters would rest easily knowing he’s got one of the best horses in the world in Ravel. But every rider is aware that you’re only as good as the depth of your stable.

So it was with quiet satisfaction that Peters presented another superstar: Weltino’s Magic. He dominated the 15-horse field in the Prix St. Georges (76.27%) and Intermediaire I (76.40%) CDI classes at the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair in Burbank, Calif., Feb. 24 – 27.

February 27, 2011

Daring To Be Different Defines O'Connor's Breeding Program

Marion Dresel O’Connor loves a horse with “bling.” And a lot of it. Defying an unlikely background, modest means, remote location and some unconventional approaches, O’Connor has turned her love into consecutive national honors from the U.S. Dressage Federation as Dressage Sport Horse Breeder of the Year in 2009 and 2010, while her colorful horses make an impression on the dressage world.

January 18, 2011

How Does A Rule Change Proposal Become A Permanent USEF Rule?

If you ride and compete or are involved with horse showing in some way, then chances are you’ve been in a situation where the current U.S. Equestrian Federation rules just weren’t working for you. So what happens next? How does an idea for a rule change make its way from tack room chatter to permanent inscription in the USEF Rule Book?

January 8, 2011

2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session Day 5: Putting It All Together

For the last four days, participants in the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s 2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session have taken part in a rigorous program to further their jumping expertise and overall horsemanship. Today, Jan. 8, these riders had the opportunity to apply everything they’d learned and combine it with the talent that earned them a chance to participate in the first place.

To begin, Morris reviewed the course for the audience and explained the intricacies of the route. "It's deceptively difficult," he noted.

January 7, 2011

2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session Day 4: Drop Those Stirrups!

On Day 4 of the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s 2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session participants heard the words that every rider hates: "Drop those stirrups!"

Work without stirrups will strengthen an equestrian's seat, legs and balance, and as Morris bluntly put it, the "ability to stick." But even for some of the country's top young jumping riders, today's brisk temperatures, frisky mounts, and even a circling helicopter turned an already grueling workout into a matter of survival.

January 6, 2011

2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session Day 3: Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Water?

On Jan. 6, the third day of the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s 2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session, riders continued to build on skills learned and practiced during the first two days. And for the most part, exercises today were completed in a relatively drama-free fashion, and flak jackets were not required.

January 5, 2011

2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session Day 2: George Is Not Happy

According to the official schedule, Day 2 of the 2011 George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Session in Wellington, Fla., seemed innocent enough. The sessions listed for Jan. 5 were "flat work and gymnastics." But when America's best young jumping riders are riding in front of legendary horseman and U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George Morris, the "gymnastic" fences get big in a hurry and things can get very interesting.

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