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William Micklem

October 3, 2010

Ten Little Beauties

I have always loved the Australian turn of phrase, and “you little beauty” is one of the best as it can be used as a compliment for any horse, person, animal or object, or even an idea. It is also 100 percent positive, and I try very hard to make it a golden rule to live and work from the positive, because it benefits us all. Cross-country day at WEG was a day overflowing with highs and lows, but here are my 10 very special “little beauties.”

October 2, 2010

Can You Feel The Pressure?

Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam produced one of the best dressage tests in eventing history to head the World Championship field today. He is an experienced horse and Michael is now one of the best event riders in the world so he must have good chance of holding onto his lead in the cross-country phase today. But will he cope with the pressure?

October 1, 2010

The Appeal Or Lack Thereof Of Eventing Dressage

There is a line in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which I just love because it describes how so many feel trying to understand the intricacies of dressage and dressage judging, particularly after an explanation from an expert: “I've just decided to switch our Friday schedule to Monday, which means that the test we take each Friday on what we learned during the week will now take place on Monday before we've learned it. But since today is Tuesday, it doesn't matter in the slightest.”

September 30, 2010

Walking The Eventing Tightrope

The problem is that there is just too much to do.

A rider at a major championships often has too many people to please, too many demands on their time and too many thoughts in their heads. All of which can divert them from performing at their best.

September 29, 2010

Oh, The Suspense Of The Eventing!

In Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Willie Wonka said it all: The suspense is terrible... I hope it'll last.”

Tomorrow the four days of eventing competition start at the World Equestrian Games. For all of us—riders, back-up crews, supporters and owners—there is huge suspense and anticipation as probably the best quality field in the history of the sport unleash their talents in front of the judges.

May 3, 2010

Bert, Jack and Herbert—Part 3: Classical Principles And A Classic Partnership

A story of a special connection between three of the greatest coaches of all time that can help us all today.

It would be difficult to find anyone to disagree with the conclusion, reached in Part 2 of this series, that the common basis for the training success of Bertalan de Néméthy, Jack Le Goff and Herbert Rehbein was Acceptance.

March 30, 2010

Bert, Jack and Herbert—Part 2: Why Acceptance, Not Submission, Is The Key

A story of special connection between three of the greatest coaches of all time that can help us all today.

In the early 1970’s Bertalan de Némethy came to Ireland to coach at Iris Kellett’s show jumping mecca at Kill in Co. Kildare. Iris was very proud of her young star pupil Eddie Macken, and at the end of the course could not resist asking Bert what he thought of Eddie.

“He is good,” said Bert, “but I think I would put him on the longe for three months.”

March 16, 2010

Bert, Jack and Herbert—Part 1: Simplicity Equals Success And Safety

A story of special connection between three of the greatest coaches of all time that can help us all today.

It was only as recently as the 1990s when the attachment of “Bert,” “Jack” and “Herbert” to any statement still gave an immediate credibility and authority to an equestrian statement.

February 14, 2010

Huff And Puff Training And Leadership: An Opinion On The FEI Rollkur Decision

There are some riders who huff and puff like the big bad wolf and bully and dominate their horses. These riders are often aggressive and use force to achieve their aims, particularly an unnatural position of the horse’s head and neck.

January 22, 2010

When Will We Face Facts Regarding Dressage And Jumping?

On Feb. 8, England’s Hartpury College will host an International Eventing Conference entitled “Training for Safety.”

This is an admirable aim, without a doubt, and some great sessions are scheduled, so the organizers are to be congratulated. However, the description of one of the presentations worries me greatly. The title is “Dressage—The Relationship With Jumping.”

The description notes that Pammy Hutton FBHS will dispel the “myth” that the higher level of dressage can be detrimental to jumping. I hasten to add that Pammy Hutton did not choose this description herself.

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