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Between Rounds

April 23, 2014

How You Can Be Ready For Rolex Without Riding At All

The Rolex Kentucky CCI is the largest gathering of eventing enthusiasts in North America. The tens of thousands of spectators actually include some who are riveted by the athletic performance of horses and riders. Many more, though, come to soak up the atmosphere of big-league eventing, to see and to be seen, and to be an important part of the hypnotic spectacle.

February 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Don’t Jump Ahead Of The Horse!

Our columnist analyzes one of the most common jumping faults—and how to avoid it.

During the summer of 1961 I was working as a very lowly assistant trainer of Morgan show horses at the Green Mountain Stock Farm in Randolph, Vt., when I drove down to South Hamilton, Mass., one weekend to watch the Wofford Cup, then the U.S. National Championship Three-Day Event.

November 1, 2012

Forward Bound After A Last Look Back

Our columnist is stepping down from her role as USEF Technical Advisor, but she’s optimistic about the national teaching staff she’s helped put in place to train future U.S. riders.

David O'Connor put it to me in clear language when I asked for his advice before signing the contract to serve as U.S. Equestrian Federation Technical Advisor three years ago. In the job as coach, he said, you’re a combination of teacher, disciplinarian and cheerleader.

September 13, 2012

Olympic Letdown Will Spur Us To Make Changes

With a new coach coming in, the U.S. event riders are in the perfect position to regroup for the future.

Though I’m honored to write an analysis on the Olympic eventing competition, it’s certainly daunting to comment on the performances of my friends and those who I hold in such high respect. Because I was at the competition and had an outside chance to compete myself, I feel that I was uniquely positioned to analyze our strengths and weaknesses and therefore have the observations needed to help diagnose why we fell short.

September 11, 2012

The Olympics Were Everything We Feared

We need to increase our depth of Grand Prix combinations to have any hope of success at future international championships.

London was in focus like never before, and what a fantastic show the Olympics were! The British people have every right to burst with pride, not only because they hosted probably the best Games ever, but also because their athletes excelled in every sport, including equestrian. They gave us all an unforgettable experience and an accomplishment to look up to in every way.

August 27, 2012

A Little American Equitation Has Influenced An Irish Grand Prix Rider

You don’t have to show in the equitation division to reap the benefits of its lessons, according to our columnist.

It’s a bit ironic, but I think Irish rider Darragh Kenny is a great example of our American system, with its strong equitation influence, and how incredibly valuable it can be.

August 23, 2012

The Importance of Schooling Your Business Outside the Ring

I’ve handed over the reins of my column to a trusted friend, Mr. Paul Mahalick. Paul served as the office manager on my farm for many years, gaining first hand practical knowledge of day-to-day operations of a show jumping stable and more importantly, teaching me the value of office management and all it entails to a small business. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a common problem with office work, but the tasks involved are every bit as important to a successful stable as mucking stalls and exercising horses.

August 14, 2012

Studying The Art Of Riding

Our columnist considers the opportunities to learn more—from clinics to books to just some careful observation.

I’ve had the opportunity lately to do a bit more judging. I call this an opportunity because, as a professional, I feel that other than from the horses themselves, I’ve learned the most about horses and riding from judging.

July 18, 2012

Looking Beyond The Olympics

With the 2012 U.S. dressage team now selected, our columnist is already thinking of ways to make the next team even stronger.

Of all sports, I think dressage most resembles life. The seasons are long; defeat is familiar. Repetition eventually, but sometimes painfully slowly, makes you and your horse perform better. It’s not necessarily fun or safe all the time. And just as things start to jell, the preparation feels right, and the goal is in sight, the horse comes up lame.

May 11, 2012

Practice Makes Perfect

Natural talent is a good start, but you won’t achieve greatness without a passion for training.

How often have you heard someone say, “She is so talented,” or, “He is so talented,” about a horse or rider? These days when I am closely following the progress of our elite and upcoming athletes, I hear this a lot.

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