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May 30, 2016

Outside The (Little White) Box

At the end of the day, dressage competition is done in a 20x60 arena, with perfectly manicured footing, and as such that’s where we spend a fair amount of our training time. But staying within the confines of the Little White Box is a great way to make a rider crazy, and forget what it does to the horse, a creature evolved from wandering grazers, although admittedly every time one of my fancy Dutch things goes catapulting through the air because he’s spotted a leaf or a bird, I am reminded of how much smart the domestication process has apparently taken out.

May 26, 2016

The Hard Knocks of The Hunter World

On April 1 we moved to a new farm and life since then has been wonderfully chaotic.

Between settling in 17 horses, moving my house and generally getting the lay of the land, it’s been a non-stop marathon. But it’s great. I love the place. I have enthusiastic, supportive clients who have done everything from moving furniture to building jumps. And in the midst of moving all of the things, I’ve also been moving my horses up the competitive ladder.

May 25, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: Crooked Comes Easy

“She would jump that pickup truck if you pointed her at it.”

That’s what Dom Schramm said to me the second day of our clinic at Polestar Farm in Washington May 6-7. I was excited to ride with him again because he really “got” hot little Cairo last year when we rode with him.

May 21, 2016

Let's All Honor Philippa

Following Philippa Humphreys’ death, I didn’t know what to say. Everyone on Facebook had these beautiful tributes and thoughtful perspectives about the implications of this horrible tragedy on our sport, and I had nothing. 

May 20, 2016

My First Four Star—A Dream Deferred

Even before I pulled into the gates of the Kentucky Horse Park two weeks ago, I knew I would eventually need to write this blog for all of you. Whether it would end up being a tale of victory, misery, or something in between, I could not know.

Editor’s note: We had scheduled this blog to run on Monday, May 16, but in light of the tragedies at the Jersey Fresh International, we held it for a few days.

May 19, 2016

Show Hunters Matter

Riding hunters is not easy. Few people teach strictly hunters, and fewer people teach it well. It is a very difficult vocabulary, and is easy to interpret incorrectly.

There are too many components, which is mainly the reason so many drugs are used, and now we face a crisis with Carolina Gold, GABA, Perfect Prep, Dormosedan, and whatever else being used to quiet a horse down and people jumping to conclusions about all hunters using medication to compete.

May 18, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: Being A Horse Mom Is Good Preparation For The Real Thing

While pregnant, I spent far too many hours worrying about labor and delivery, but surprisingly few stressing out about caring for my new baby. Sure, I wasn’t looking forward to sleepless nights and diaper blowouts, but I felt confident that, given my experiences with horses and other animals, I’d be able to manage.

May 15, 2016

Left To Left

I knew the news was bad about Philippa Humphreys at the Jersey Fresh International CCI*** hours before it was ever released. I was doing what I always do on the weekends of the “big ones.” Scrolling through Eventing Nation, constantly refreshing, trying to see the latest update or the most recent scores.  

May 15, 2016

The Prix St. Georges Club Of 2016

Some of them have been in my program for years, and some are new. Some are on horses who we’ve helped bring up the levels from the beginning of their dressage careers, and some are on horses that were already schooled to the middle levels when we met, but all are horses who we’re finishing to the level, which is pretty fun. They are the six students of mine in pursuit of their USDF Silver Medals this year, or, as I like to call them, the Prix St. Georges Club of 2016.

May 12, 2016

Sophie's Choice

I made one of the hardest decisions of my life a few weeks ago. My own personal Sophie’s Choice.  

Choosing between two beings that I considered sons, with no real perfect answer. I sold Mak.