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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

October 25, 2014

Notes From The Summer, Part III: Response Training

Dear Rita, 

Life with horses is a never-ending learning process, and training a successful international Grand Prix horse is no exception. You can teach a horse to perform the test at home relatively quickly, but experience will teach you that you don’t really have a competitive Grand Prix horse until you master the art of riding him at a show the way you ride him at home. This takes time. Many factors come into play, and you might be surprised how intricate the polishing of a Grand Prix horse can become.

October 14, 2014

Notes From The Summer, Part II: Hydration

Dear Rita,

After making the decision to stay in Europe and not pursue a spot on the U.S. team last summer, I set about dealing with some issues that came up with Mane Stream Hotmail while I was still in Europe.

If you recall his unusual history, I had purchased Hotmail, aka Scottsdale, in 2012 as a 10-year-old third level dressage horse, hoping to advance him to Prix St. Georges and sell him in Florida within a short time.

September 2, 2014

Notes On The Summer Of 2014: Getting Our Riders To Europe

Dear Rita,

This is going to be a long story, Rita, so brew a fresh pot of coffee and dig in for Part 1.

I learned something last spring from a client and good friend of mine. When I was agonizing over the decision whether to go to Europe straight from Florida at the beginning of April, she said to me, “That’s the nature of the game. When you have the horse and you have the opportunity, you have to drop everything and go.” 

May 13, 2014

A Visit To The NRW Landgestuet In Warendorf

Dear Rita,

I became known in Germany for my breeding horses long before anyone recognized me as a competitive rider.

In 1997 I bought my first broodmare from a well-established breeder of both Oldenburg and Hanoverian horses, Ewald Grotelueschen in Wardenburg, Germany. He had a famous mare line originating from the old blood Efendi and Goldstern that he had crossed with Figaro, a descendent of the famous Furioso II.

 

April 17, 2014

A Conversation With My Mother

Dear Rita,

Please don’t be insulted that you found out I went to Europe with Hotmail via social media. It was a snap decision, and there was no time amid massive and frenetic logistical planning to call even my closest friends. My own mother did not know until today!

April 13, 2014

Moving Up: Be Fierce

Dear Rita,

The last time I wrote, I had a story to tell about the morphing of Mane Stream Hotmail into a Grand Prix horse. We were mid-season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fla., and I knew that his career was about to take off.

March 9, 2014

From Here To There

Dear Rita,

Grand Prix horses are made, not born. And my horse Mane Stream Hotmail is no exception.

Pieces of this story you already know. Mane Stream Hotmail came to me in late spring of 2012. He was 10 years old, a bit stiff and resistant in places, but not without charm. He was a third level horse who was scoring 62 percent in Denmark at national shows on a good day. 

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

Giving

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!

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