Thursday, May. 23, 2024




Those of you who know me via my COTH humor columns may not know that I am also a graphic artist who has done marketing and branding work in many industries. From this work was born one of my biggest peeves: Products that are poorly named.

Quite a few items I use at the barn fall in to this category. So this month I’m airing my personal grievances about horse-related things that I think need more accurate, or at least more descriptive, names. 

I was recently told that I needed to be careful what I post since I am a public figure. I would like you to know that this post may make you angry, and we may disagree on this topic. I am 100 percent OK with that.

For those of you who disagree, either ignore me or help me understand why I am wrong. For those of you who agree with me, please help our sport by sharing this post. We can use the Fabergé Organics model: I’ll tell two friends, and you tell two friends and so on and so on.

The author believes that one of the most challenging national equitation classes needs to include an open water jump—but it shouldn’t be mandatory in all qualifying classes.

The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association’s Hunt Seat Equitation Task Force is always striving to listen to the recommendations of people in the industry, as well as other committees, in order to better the sport.


Our columnist sees a gaping hole of missed opportunities when it comes to forging relationships with young fans.

This is the most exciting time of the year if you’re an eventing fan, owner, rider or groom. The big events are right around the corner. I’m very fortunate to have rides in four three-day events in the next five weeks, and I’m especially excited about having a chance to ride at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton CCI**** in England the weekend before Rolex Kentucky.

Horses are not fastidious eaters. I mean, they’re not carnivores, so they will generally turn up their noses at a good steak (although I did run into a horse that had a taste for hot dogs). But they were essentially born to eat. In the wild (which isn’t always the best measure, by the way), they eat in 23 of 24 hours during the day. Eating like a horse, indeed.

Anyway, periodically I get questions about why horses eat what they eat, and whether what they eat is bad for them. Here are some answers.

Our columnist sees levels and goals so disparate they should almost be made into separate sports.

Show jumping spans such a wide range of levels and participants these days that it can be hard to recognize as a single discipline. The elite athletes jumping huge obstacles with precision and grace at last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the often scary “belly to the ground” riders jumping over 2'6" at many of our shows are separated by much more than just the heights of their fences.

Our columnist looks back at the best and worst of the year in show jumping.

It was no secret that the U.S. team was a strong favorite to be in the running for a medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.). As the defending Olympic team gold medalists, U.S. riders have moved from strength to strength on the international stage. The team’s disappointing results at the WEG were not a reflection of the usual form of U.S. riders against strong international competition.

On the heels of the WEG, our columnist sees new trends and programs shaping up to improve drivers at all levels

Now that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are over, the big question in the driving world is, “What now?” We concentrated so much of our attention and energy during the months leading up to the WEG that it was almost a letdown once it was over.



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