Monday, December 27, 2010

chrissy in the snow.3gp

This is what chrissy sent me when I was trying to get out to the barn to ride!! Ha ha

Sunday, December 26, 2010

ps you can check out heathers website at


I will admit I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to chiropractor's,acupuncture, massage therapy, horse communicators, herbal supplements, magnetic this and that's, cleansing the ora of the barn, aroma therapy to cure ulcers and most things we are driven to when looking for a reason/excuse why our training is not working.... sometimes we just need to get better.

But I also have to admit I have been wrong once or twice in my life ;) Sometimes I sit back and ask myself am I sticking to my guns and being tough or am I just being close minded and stubborn. I also find it less expensive to spend 20 more minutes in the dressage ring convincing myself Im making a difference then to fork out $100's to someone else to fix my problem ( hmm maybe im a bit of a control freak!)

Every now and then you learn a lesson the hard way. I really think my stubbornness with one horse in particular landed me with a broken arm and a relationship with the horse that could not be pinned back together. I have laid awake at night feeling guilt about not picking up on the signs that this horse was so clearly giving me. It seemed my training was actually making him more sensitive and irritable then helping him understand and even enjoy his work. I proceeded to take all the blame on my shoulders and school him more but with this came so much more frustration on both our parts. I had trained a multitude of horses without encountering this type of resistance but didn't stop to think maybe there is something else going on I stubbornly though I can fix this.

Eventually he just clean bucked me off and broke my arm. I look back and see so many signs of things that could have been helped. If I had just reached out to a massage therapist or even a chiropractor and accepted the possibly that this horses attitude may be that he was uncomfortable in his body we might have had a much better relationship. But he lost trust in me and I acquired to much baggage with him to be productive. The horse has since moved on to another professional whom I respect a lot and I know the best thing I did for the horse was to let my pride go, move him on and promise not to make the same mistake again.

I have recently bought a lovely athletic mare who is very green but is a born eventer! A few weeks ago I noticed some similar attitude issues the old horse had shown me in the early stages of training. Eager to not make the same mistakes again it took me less than a week to start looking outside myself for a solution. I started with changing her saddle which seemed to help. Then I actually rode her on bute for two days which is one of the best ways to find out if your horse has an attitude or actually in some pain ( its cheaper than a vet telling you the same thing).. Well she returned to "stella bella" instead of "hella stella" on the bute. I quickly asked Dana ( my barn owner) about her massage therapist, Heather Akers.

I had seen some amazing differences in some of Dana's horses that Heather had worked on. When Heather came to work on Stella I told her my issues with the her and told her I honestly am not a total believer in these types of treatments . I also told her that Stella was mine so I simply can not afford something on the idea "it cant hurt".. I have to know its helping then I will find the money. After Heather worked on Stella she said " well she is stubborn, but I got some good releases but nothing major. Ride her tomorrow and see if there is a difference if not there is probably not a lot I can do for you." Heather won points right away by not trying to sell me ten more sessions before I would feel a difference and after my initial attitude Im sure Heather was a bit tenitive in telling me to expect great things :) I can honestly say Stella was amazing my next ride. She was a little tentative almost waiting for something t hurt or be tough but when she found it easy she carried on like a champ and used her " athletic ability" in a productive manner instead of making me worried about keeping my nose in one piece!

What I found after Heather worked on two of my horses is where I thought the problem was in the back or hind end she actually found a lot of issues in the shoulders. When she worked out the "junk" in the shoulders the other issues seemed like much less trouble. I took this knowledge with me into the ring today on a young horse that I have been having problems "keeping the engine" going.. I couldn't figure out if he was just lazy, stubborn, unmotivated or simply didnt get it. I changed my focus to his shoulders in the flat work and after about 10 min its like I unlocked his whole body and everything was so easy and clearly made sense! I was so excited I literally said out loud " I love you Heather Akers!"

There are things to be learned everywhere and you just have to be willing to try new things and maybe make a mistake but learn from it. You might find your massage therapist being the best dressage trainer you have had all season! I gotta go I have the horse communicator on line 1! Just kidding ... sorta :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Christmas haircut!

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Merry Christmas!

For the last several years I have spent christmas with my horses and this year is no different. As long as I can remember I have loved spending the day doing the horses in the am and then carrying on to whom ever is hosting all the "stray's" for dinner! Some of my best christmas's were at the O'Conners where every working student,groom, rider, family member of any of those were welcome to a feast! I have hosted christmas's at my farm, eaten with landlords, neighbors etc.. It always amazes me how many people open their family's doors. To me christmas really is the more the merrier and every added person, dog,horse, kid adds some more color to the day. Chrissy and I did the barn this morning and now zeppo and I are off to my boyfriends farm to help clip a horse ( he does not get the day off)then back to finish up my barn then a short walk to Dana's (owns my farm) to spend christmas with
her 2 kids, husband,parents, the guys that work in the barn 4 dogs,2 turtles,1 guinea pig,4 chickens,some type of mouse,1 hamster and a turkey ( I don't think the turkey is a pet ;) ) .. Now that's some color! My family is on both sides of the country. My dad and brother are in california and my mom and jim are in NC. I will see everyone sometime between now and the new year but after having a "horse daughter" for 29 years they know christmas is spent with the horses. They used to come visit but I'm not shy in handing out pitchforks so now I get the invites to see them and leave the horses behind! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Xx

Merry Christmas!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dreams of Palm Trees

I remember my first trip south like it was yesterday when actually it was about 10 years ago!!( that just shocked me hang on need a second.... ok) This was when I was 19 and was a working student for Stuart Black. I stayed in a luxurious RV with 3 other workers. Maya slept on the couch, Erika slept on the hanging bed over the drivers seat, Mel had an actual bed in the back and I slept on the table that turned into a bed fit for a midget. After the first week we stopped apologizing to each other for running into one another bc it was just a given if ya move your gonna hit someone. It became completely normal to be brushing your teeth in your flip flops bc "something" was leaking causing there to be an inch of water on the shag carpeted floor and it was easy to ignore what ever the "prehistoric teradactyl skeeter" was that was buzzing around your head. We were all troopers and laughed more than we cried, rode a lot of horses and lived on laffy taffys, little debbie cakes and coffee( maybe that was just me living on the gas station diet ... o'well!).. That was my first Florida experience and I find my self here 10 years later (Whoa need another second...... ok ) in the role of Professional Rider trying to organize the trip south for my horses, my students, my employees, my dog and whatever animals decide to make the trip with us ( I have had a few strays show up in the tack room of the trailer a few hours down the road!)

The hardest thing about the move south is first finding a barn that you can rent for 2-3 months, this is not an ideal situation for anyone who is leasing the property. Then to find housing for not only yourself but your help and your dogs, your helps dogs , working students, students coming for a week, someone willing to rent you a place knowing you are a horse person( we don't have the cleanest reputation) and that you will only be there a few months. Next is transporting all the beast and everything that goes with them .... a lot of times including jumps. Unless your lucky enough to own two of everything, there is only so much packing that can happen before the last moment. So christmas cheer easily turn's into packing fear! With all this being said I will say these are good stesses to have in tough times like these. Whenever I feel like I just cant get things in order I just look at my horses, my black and white dog, all the people in my life and the holiday cheer comes right back and I proceed to stress about christmas shopping, like a normal person!

I have gone to Aiken for the past two years and before that I was in England. First I do not recommend going to England for the winter ;) But Aiken I do really like. It is a charming town, the events are plentiful and very close to most horse farms and its fairly affordable.

The winter is a time that I like to sharpen up my tools. For a few months I can be competing, watching and talking on a day to day basis with other Professionals. At home in NJ I love being a bit secluded from mainstream Eventing but I do crave knowledge on how everyone else is "doing it". Going south is a bit of "me" time where I can take lessons and observe the rest of the eventing world. This year I find myself wanting to go back to my "roots" with some of my nice young horses and also fine tune my top horse Tate. This leads me back to Florida. I have rented a barn bordering David and Karen O'Connors facility and that feels like home to me. I have some very nice young horses I feel could really benefit from the solid foundation work the O'Connors put on there youngsters. I also am a short drive from Wellington where I plan on making several trips to work with Katie Prudant for Tate and my show jumping.

There was once a wealthy buisness man who was asked what would you do if you lost all your money? He responded " I would borrow $1000 and hang out with millionairs for a month and then I would be a millionair again" Surround yourself with people you admire and aspire to be and you will be. For me this winter being with OCET again will be my loaned $1000.

I have put a lot of thought into doing what is best for the horses, my buisness and myself this winter. It is hard when having a horse like Tate not to just leave all the others behind and take him to wellington to train with the top dressage and jumper trainers 24/7. When you have a nice horse people have opinions and I have been told on more than one occation Wellington would be the route to go. Its also hard not to go to Aiken where the training sessions will be and I can compete every other day for 4 weeks straight. But I truly think it is all a balance.

I think working with the tops in all the disciplines is very important.. in moderation. I think competing at many events is important.. in moderation. I also think putting a focus on my program as a whole keeping all of my horses and students in sight is important for keeping the balance needed to be successful for more than just a moment. I also think that balance will complement and help Tate so much more than being too intense, then I lose my perspective. So for me this year Ocala seems to be the center of balance for the needs of my horses this winter. I also plan on only being gone for around 6 weeks due to many of my students who can not head south for the winter and need a consistent coach in the picture. I am very fortunate to be in the situation I am in with all of these wonderful things to manage. Now I look very fondly back on the RV days and I realize how all the funny and less than spoiled moments are helping keep things on track.. in 10 years from now ( whoaa......) who knows what ill be writting about!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Fireside chats

I have just returned from the annual convention in Arizona and as always the meetings are normally interesting, the bar is normally entertaining but the "fireside chats" are inspiring.

For years I did not attend the conventions because I honestly thought if I was going to take three or four days off in the winter,I was going to spend it in the bloody sun not talking about horses! My first convention was in New Orleans and two things came out of that convention for me, PRO ( the professional riders organization) and a hell of a good time on bourbon street. PRO was the result of several people getting together and throwing ideas around about how to improve the sport and PRO is now making huge strides in improving sponsors, education, event organization, prize money and overall awareness in Eventing. Arizona being my third convention I am still seeing my piers sitting around "pontificating" ways to help our sport improve. It is the color coated scheduled meetings that inspire the ideas from my idols, my friends and myself when we are sitting around the fire in the evening that keep me coming back for more.

When I walked into the hotel I was sent a text from my best friend/Canadian WEG rider Rebecca Howard to come out to the courtyard. On my way out I ran into old friends Clark and Jess Montgomery( Clark has just been named to the Developing Rider list with some exciting horses), Michael Pollard, Doug Payne and Buck Davidson. I said a quick hello and carried onto the table where Rebecca sat with Max C(karens head groom and long time friend), Cathy W(advanced rider and friend), Vix ( a loyal groom for OC's now turned profesional and close friend), Jan Byynne(no introduction need she is just great and endlessly inspiring) and Stephanie Goodman ( a Pro. and friend based in Idaho now that used to be in middleburg). Just then walked up David and Karen O'Connor with Eventing Nation John caddying their golf bag from the golf course. At this point I am thinking this is what the Convention is about. If someone could have taped the conversations happening even at just these two tables im sure books could be written ( maybe not ones we would allow written but a cross between Jilly Cooper and 101 jumping exercises!) The evenings to follow covered discussions of how to bridge the gap between Young Rider's and Developing Rider's, How to pick a charity to donate funds to, Syndicates, Picking the next coach and how to develop a team with more depth,honesty, humility, dealing with tragedy, dealing with success and all the amazing and devastating experiences that as horse people we are lucky enough to experience.
I was not overly impressed with Ollie Townends speech. I like Ollie and have had several experiences with him over the past few years in England,US and even Canada ( at the Royal last year) and all I will say is that I do not think someone should write a biography until they are old enough not only to have had experiences but to have enough age to have gained perspective. The same I think of the role as keynote speaker at the Convention. Ollie has had plenty of experiences but right now his perspective is enough to convey an entertaining story but not one with depth.. ill hang out with him at the bar any day that being said.
I am going to finish this blog with an excerpt from a book I have been reading called " The Fighters Mind" . It is a book on the psychology on MMA(mixed martial arts) fighters. The fighting sport is amazingly similar to eventing in the terms of one day you could be champion and the next day TKO! This bit I hold close to my heart after listening to the WEG recap and in the power of "investing in loss"
" Greatness in sports is born in the moment. It is situational. Its not inherent to the athlete with the most ability,or the most dominance, and its not just about the championship (though that added pressure is essential). It's about the pure moment,the transcendence of time and place, when an athlete or a team performs miraculously under the most intense pressure, against insurmountable odds. The situation rises out of sports but speaks to universal truths and emotions, an attainment of the divine, touched by grace ( indeed miraculous). The moment steps out of time,into history, it becomes important to everyone."
This quote may resignate more with the canadians than americans but to me it says that winning and greatness is not a "given" it is a rarity. I feel very disappointed in WEG's and even Hong Kong. I feel as Americans we presume we are great because we work hard and want "it" but so does everyone else. We have been humbled and humility will again lead to greatness because now we are ready to listen and learn. As Marylin Payne said at the convention " we did fine but we just need to get better" I look forward to London and hope to do my part and do as rapper/singer/song writer Lauren Hill sung "flip a negative into a positive picture" . I am so looking forward to the 2011 season there is a new hunger in the air and I expect great things from not only my country but myself.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Clinic Time!

I am just running out the door to Millis, MA home of Apple Knoll Farm and Adrienne Iorio. I am teaching a two day clinic there. Adrienne has competed at the 4 star level of the sport and now runs Apple Knoll teaching students, training and competing horses as well as running clinics and shows... not to mention Adrienne is the mother of 2! I'm excited to check out the farm I have heard great things.
This time of the year I tend to almost run around more than normal trying to spend time catching up on teaching, clinics and expanding on things that maybe a busy competition schedule does not allow time for.
Last month at Hart farm myself and friend/Sports Psychologist, Scottie Reeves ran a "mental game" clinic. The clinic involved Scottie watching warm up sessions taught by me and analyzed the students ability to learn and process information. We then sent them into a course simulating a show type situation and watched to see how they applied what they had learned. Each student then had a 30 min session with Scottie to discuss their ride. This was a first time thing for Scottie and I. It seemed to be very educational for all involved, including Scottie and myself!
Next Thursday I am off to the annual convention in Arizona which I am looking forward to. All the ponies are on fine form and Tate is back in walking action! Gotta get on the road Ciao Ciao :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fun Outing!

Things are going well at the farm and during the month of November we are always looking for fun things to do.. so when my bud matt flynn said Philip Dutton was coming down for a day of lessons I said sign me up!.. I took the two youngins King and Stella and was wickedly impressed with both of them. King jumped in a "prelim" group but has only done a handful of trainings and was fantastic. Wendy Furlong ( his owner) came to watch him go for the first time since king has been with me. I know I was really excited after our jump and I think Wendy was as pumped as me . I was also very happy Wendy came along bc the young pup zeppo locked himself and the keys to the truck inside the truck with his scampery paws! Wendy thankfully lent me her AAA card and the dog and was saved and access to the vehicle restored :).. Stella was also very good definitely put my neck strap and martingale on but she is quite the lady and I think was excited to have some people there to watch her brilliance :) Philip thought highly of both horses commenting on King being a very good jumper a few times and being surprised by stellas good instincts when he thought she was just going to be quite hot.

Tate is doing well in the field I brought him in and put him in a stall the other day and that lasted about 10 min .. he has gone completely mustang on us and will not put up with confinement so back out he went!.. He will start back in work Dec 1 which should be entertaining. Kelly Baily ( a student of mine) has purchased a sweet little OTT that has joined the team for the next few months to get some good basics as well as Jill Lukens sending her horse, harbour for a bit of training. Harbour is a lovely horse she literally bought right off the slaughter truck so well done Jill! Between Jills horse and my purchase of Stella it is giving me reborn hope that if you look hard you can still find a quality horse without breaking the bank ... and gotta love the Tb's!

so here are some pictures1

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

nigel at the royal last year

Off to The ROYAL!

By the time the end of the season rolls around I am normally ready for a little break... for about a week then im board! Fortunatly there are some extra ciricular activities that as I become a little older I have started to make an effort to be a part of. Last year I rode a horse named Showdown for a Canadian gentleman called Don Good of Good Crop Services. Little did I know that Don was the main sponsor at and Indoor Eventing Competition in Toronto. He rang me a few weeks before the event in Novemeber of last year and invited me to compete with 10 others in this exhibition event. I thought about it for about 5 sec, those 5 sec really were just spent wondering wether an indoor competition with 6,000 people in an enclosed stadiam with a horse that had a reputation for being a bit "special" would be the end of me... Then Don told me there was 10k in prize money and they put us up in a very nice hotel in Toronto so i though what the hell you only live once and this is the equivialnt of a paid vacation!

We jumped around 7:30 pm so had all day to get nervous. The course is not even set up till 12 minutes before the first horse. You litterally have you and your horse ready to jump and then run in the arena for 5 minutes, try and walk the fastest lines with the course consisting of a corner, bank, skinny, keyhole, logs and several show jumps... the music is pumping the crowd is excited and it is all a pretty big rush! The nerves are like the first time you take a baby to an event its just fear of the unknown .. I had no idea what Nigel(Showdown) was going to do or if I would even be able to get him into the stadium.. how embarrasing I drive all the way up here and am riding the Title Sponsors horse and what if Nigel just lays down in the ring! Anyway I did stuff his ears and put the biggest fuzzys I could find( off the side of a shipping halter) on the sides of his bridle and had a glass of wine to calm my nerves and off we went. Nigel was actually very good once I got his eyes off the crowd and onto the first jump he was playing the game(thank god) I couldnt go very fast bc he got really strong and he is huge but he jumped 2 clear rounds i believe only 2 of us did that, and finished in 3rd overall.

Well its that time again and I am off to the Royal for a second time tomorrow. I am catch riding a horse of a fellow eventer that lives outside Toronto. Myself and Dana(a friend and the lady who ownes the farm I am at) will head out at 5 am and will head to the farm so I can have a test ride tomorrow evening before the show starts on Friday night. Doug Payne, Holly Payne and Chizzy Wilmerding are heading up aswell, and pretty much the whole Canadian WEG team will be there..I am pumped... This weekend although a little wild and who knows what will happen is a definetly a way to keep up the adrenaline in the off season! I will send pics from the road... CIAO CIAO!

Friday, October 29, 2010


Tater in the field
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The Gang

Tate is on great form and in the field till December and will be on the road to ROLEX!
King is getting better and better.. working off the baby chubb he should be set to go training in Febuary
Stella is working hard trying to get an education in the dressage but there should be no problem jumping! She should be going novice/training quite quickly.
Classic Garden is for sale if anyone know anyone looking for a nice lesson/ponyclub horse( more info on my website)
Swing a Little is for sale as a Foxhunting/dressage/ponyclub pony (more info on my website)
Rocket is back in action and chrissy is legging him up and he will be aimed toward competing at 3 DerbyCross's in the spring ( see Inside info )
Sobe Dazzeled is preparing for her first competiton season in the winter/spring in aiken
Bing and Rhiannon are doing well and getting the basics sorted so that they can be wicked competitve in the spring
Inside 411
PRO and DerbyCross Pro has teamed up with 3 venues to create a DerbyCross series. Wellington in late january, North Carolina in March and yes yes ROLEX in April!! This is VERY NEW INFO and we are still working out the details so stay tuned to the PRO website and mine but it looks as if we are a go. Idea is 5 teams,4 horses and riders competing for top money and prizes ... this is a blast of an event and will have loud music, exciting rides and top professionals matched with a guest rider at each venue! Rocket is aimed is to be my DX horse for 2011 and I may be a bit excited but I have been doing DX's for years and Rocket IS what a Derby Horse should be!! I hear Leslie Law is already legging up his Derby horse and I just talked to Macia Kulack in Wellington and she has got her eye on a competitve horse as well!
USET High Perfomance Grants - Fingers crossed I am really hoping Tate and I get moved up from the Developing Rider list to the High Perfomace B list. This makes us eligible for all sorts of lessons and grants. Word on the street is that there will be grants available for training in Wellington,FL this winter. I am hoping to head that way in the middle of January if we get a grant. I will hopefully work with Anne K and Katie P as well as get some Dressage help.
PRO/LR Equestrian Signature Line and Launch I am working closely with PRO and LR Equestrian to develop a PRO Clothing Line( tons of fun!) Our first line, the Signature Series will most likley involve a vest, polo shirt and Jacket/Windbreaker. We are going for a Professional look that you could get off of schooling your horse and go straight to a meeting with sponsors/clients and look good! We are trying to do a fashion show with riders being the models at the launch at ROLEX! what fun :)
None of this information is finalized but it is some of what is in the works for 2011!
Hope you find this information useful or just entertaining! Thanks again for being involved and hope your enjoying the ride !
PS... I am headed to The Royal Agricultural Fair in Toronto to Compete in the Indoor Eventing next weekend .. so much fun! I am catch riding a horse so hopefully that all goes well ;) you can watch it live on the Royals website we are on in the Friday and Sat evening.

The Gang

is on great form and in the field till December and will be on the road to ROLEX!
is getting better and better.. working off the baby chubb he should be set to go training in Febuary
is working hard trying to get an education in the dressage but there should be no problem jumping! She should be going novice/training quite quickly.
Classic Garden
is for sale if anyone know anyone looking for a nice lesson/ponyclub horse( more info on my website)
Swing a Little
is for sale as a Foxhunting/dressage/ponyclub pony (more info on my website)
is back in action and chrissy is legging him up and he will be aimed toward competing at 3 DerbyCross's in the spring ( see Inside info )
Sobe Dazzeled
is preparing for her first competiton season in the winter/spring in aiken
and Rhiannon are doing well and getting the basics sorted so that they can be wicked competitve in the spring
Inside 411
PRO and DerbyCross
Pro has teamed up with 3 venues to create a DerbyCross series. Wellington in late january, North Carolina in March and yes yes ROLEX in April!! This is VERY NEW INFO and we are still working out the details so stay tuned to the PRO website and mine but it looks as if we are a go. Idea is 5 teams,4 horses and riders competing for top money and prizes ... this is a blast of an event and will have loud music, exciting rides and top professionals matched with a guest rider at each venue! Rocket is aimed is to be my DX horse for 2011 and I may be a bit excited but I have been doing DX's for years and Rocket IS what a Derby Horse should be!! I hear Leslie Law is already legging up his Derby horse and I just talked to Macia Kulack in Wellington and she has got her eye on a competitve horse as well!
USET High Perfomance Grants
- Fingers crossed I am really hoping Tate and I get moved up from the Developing Rider list to the High Perfomace B list. This makes us eligible for all sorts of lessons and grants. Word on the street is that there will be grants available for training in Wellington,FL this winter. I am hoping to head that way in the middle of January if we get a grant. I will hopefully work with Anne K and Katie P as well as get some Dressage help.
PRO/LR Equestrian Signature Line and Launch
I am working closely with PRO and LR Equestrian to develop a PRO Clothing Line( tons of fun!) Our first line, the Signature Series will most likley involve a vest, polo shirt and Jacket/Windbreaker. We are going for a Professional look that you could get off of schooling your horse and go straight to a meeting with sponsors/clients and look good! We are trying to do a fashion show with riders being the models at the launch at ROLEX! what fun :)

None of this information is finalized but it is some of what is in the works for 2011!
Hope you find this information useful or just entertaining! Thanks again for being involved and hope your enjoying the ride !
PS... I am headed to The Royal Agricultural Fair in Toronto to Compete in the Indoor Eventing next weekend .. so much fun! I am catch riding a horse so hopefully that all goes well ;) you can watch it live on the Royals website we are on in the Friday and Sat evening.


Thursday, October 21, 2010


Ponies look skinny but nothing a little turnout in the field won't fix!! Yay they r home ;)!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

back to nj

we all survived and arrived back in NJ yesterday!.. till the bitter end it was an adventure and the final picture in my head from the trip will be Will in his new completly wooden clogs trying to walk, talk and drag his luggage from the baggage claim while letting everyone in the airport know he sat next to Eddie Murphy on the plane! That was the kind of trip it was :) I pick up Tate tomorrow from quarentine and I can not wait to get him out in the field and rolling in the dirt! Please check out Eventing Nation for my final Boekelo wrap up but all in all I fell so lucky to have the horse I have, the support I have and to have had the experience I just had. I have so much to work on this winter to prepare for Kentucky in the spring and have been so inspired Its going to be hard to leave tate in the field for a few months but he has earned it!.. I rode the other slew at home yesterday and thanks to sara and anna for keeping things rolling all the horses seem great. I am trying to sort out plans now for how long to be in Aiken and to see if I can swing some time in Palm Beach. I also am looking for a working student who might want to come along if anyone has anyone in mind. Ill take some pictures when i pick up tater! xx

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


We are here!!! We landed in amsterdam yesterday am and headed straight to the horse hotel to see tiana and wait for our horses to arrive. 5 hours later they all arrived looking like they traveled fantastic! We arrived to Boekelo and were greeted with more than 5 people to help us unload, coffee,tea, and cookies! The horses got out for grass and settled in easily. We then headed over to the "bar" on the property which was already filled with people, several beers on tap, music blaring! Franz ( who basically runs everything) told us they normally have over 40,000 spectators!! We hacked out this am and the ponies were wild but can't blame them its all so exciting! Ill blog some more this afternoon when I get on my computer just wanted to let everyone know we made it!! X

Monday, October 11, 2010

We are here!!

Sorry about not posting for the last day but it has taken me a little bit to make sure that I have a the right charger for my computer, my american phone, my new dutch phone, to find internet access and to find who's car I left what phone, computer, charger and converters in!.... So with that out of the way.. The horses and all of us are doing GREAT! Will, Doug, Sara,Chrissy and I arrived into Amsterdam yesterday morning and after losing my wallet( fortunatly I had my passport and credit card) and headed over to the horse hotel to meet Tiana and wait for the horses to arrive. 5 hours later the horses and Nat arrived. The horses looked great when they arrived. We unloaded them and walked them around while Tiana loaded her gear and then we put the ponies on and headed to Boekelo which was another 2 hours down the road. We arrived to more than 5 people to help us unload, tea and coffee, cookies and after the horses got settled a few rounds of beer at the bar on grounds! We have all decided this is our new favorite event and it has not even started!.. We went for a hack this am and all the horses were a bit fresh but we all are a bit fresh and excited!! The other competitors should arrive tomorrow and things should get crackin so ill let ya know the schedule when I know it! xx

Saturday, October 9, 2010


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Horses got to jfk an we are getting on a plane in newark next blog will be from amsterdam! Xx
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Tate and everything I own!!
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Horses on the way!!
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final countdown!

Sorry I did not post yesterday things got a little crazy(as you can imagine).. but lessons went great. We all had our final flat school in the USA and all the horses looked and felt on top form. I originally thought we could get all our packing done in 2 trunks but around 3:30 when 2 trunks were full and the floor of the barn was more full chrissy and I realized we were being a bit optimistic.... so 4 trunks, 1 haysteamer, a muck bucket filled to the brim with other buckets, 3 haynets and 5 bags of grain.. I think tate might have everything one little french pony could need! Nat has been fantastic in making sure we all are organized and made a point to come down and make sure chrissy was feeling good and prepared. Its 5:30 am now and I am headed to the barn. Will and I have a sunrise ride at 6:30 ( we have decided to hold hands and sing songs while the sun rises ill try and get a picture ;) ..then the horses will leave at 8:30 with Dick Payne and Nat to JFK. We all then have a bit of time for last minute packing and are meeting at Sara Ike's at 3:00 to get to Newark for our 6pm flight. I will update hopefully from the Airport on how the packing, horses and Will and my trail ride :) all goes!

Thursday, October 7, 2010


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Today was a great day at "team boekelo" camp!.. Doug, Will and I met at 7 am to set jumps. With Mark in these types of sessions he really leaves it up to us to decide what the best exercises are for our horses. Doug looked a little sleepy but Will and I had been buzzing since the early hours with minds running 1000 miles an hour. I personally got up at 3 am bc I couldn't sleep due to one hundred and one things running through my head.

Last night we had a low key dinner at Sara Ike's house and it was a really funny and interesting evening. I spend a lot of time at competitions with everyone but it was nice to all just hang out and we really get on as a group. Back to this morning... Will started the day off with his mare "Missy" .. well actually Nat started the day off with her not so shy comments on everything from WEG's to Marks "fit shoes" ( you know the ones that with every step are supposed to firm up.. well everything, ya the Captain is wearing them.. ill snap a shot soon when he isnt looking ) Before Will jumped his first jump all of us including Mark were in hysterics which was a great way to start the morning.

Missy and Will jumped great. He jumped through some grid type exercises then put a course together and she was jumping great so not to much more was needed. Doug was next on Skinny. He started out fantastic but Mark and Doug both wanted to get a bit more technical with some sharp angles to make sure skinny is prepared for his trip. After a few green times through a large bounce and two verticals on a wicked angle, skinny look full of confidence and that he may have just learned a lesson that might be needed next weekend. Tate and I were next and I am thrilled with the jump school. Mark quickly adjusted some of the square oxers to ascending which really helped Tate jump up and around instead of his style which sometimes can be a bit weak upfront. A few times over the ascending oxers Tate started jumping with heaps of scope. This is a good feeling bc he is a careful horse but does not always leave a lot of room between him and the poles.

The attitude during the lessons has been fantastic. Yesterday Mark was certainly still feeling the aftershock of WEG's but by today the excitement is running through all of us even Mark was all smiles. In the afternoon we got to go to USET and pick up our official gear ( which I didn't even know we were getting!) It was a really fun experience picking up USA gear this is what it is all about. I know there is conversation around town about grant money and who deserves it and there is a lot of finger pointing going on and negativity. But I speak for all of us lucky enough to go on this trip that we are excited, appreciative, hard working and enjoying this experience. We are not in this sport to make money, we need enough money to eat and fill the truck with diesel. We are in this great sport to represent our country and do a good job with our horses,friends,sponsors,coaches,selectors and ourselves. I am young and don't know the exact equation of why Americans have not been competing very well internationally. But I do know in order for us to have a chance we need to be focused, be honest and enjoy the times when opportunity allows us to participate in something great. So that will be our formula for the next week and we are all excited to represent the USA in Holland!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Training Sessions day 1

Will and Nat arrived yesterday afternoon and the subject went quickly from being super excited to then the same conversation on most eventers minds, what happened at WEG's. Now we all have our opinions and we will save that for another day but what was first and foremost on our minds was "what are we gonna say to Mark?" .. um sorry for your bad luck?... better luck next time... Well Mark what went right at the WEG's...its literally 48 hours after giving away the silver medal, can we ignore the elephant in the room.. probley not. Guess who gets the first lesson of the day and the "breaking the ice"duty, yes yours truly. So I do what I always do when im nervous just start talking and don't stop. When I gave Mark a second to talk it obviously was in the front of his mind as well and let me tell you he is as pissed as everyone else. I then did the second thing I do when im nervous.. smile,nod and agree. Fortunately Marks frustrations did not flow into my flat lesson and it went very well. I have alot of work to do on my half-pass but it certainly got a lot better.
The rest of the horses looked well dougs horse is looking like it is showing some more flash but is still having green moments in the changes and counter canters. Will's mare has a very workman like attitude and looks like she should be very accurate. Mark is not being shy at all about the fact that we "will preform well" and he is expecting quite a lot from us. I do think there is more pressure especially due to the poor performances on a whole as Americans in international competition lately. But with youth comes eagerness and we all are saying to each other we better pull this off, but we are saying this with a smile on our faces ready and excited for this opportunity.
Tomorrow we are all having a jump and Mark is being kind enough to help Doug and I on some of our younger up and coming horses since we are local. I will have pictures a bit later!
Stay tuned

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


At ther dentist .. Way scarier than any advanced track!!

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5 day countdown!

Its 7:30 and instead of heading to the barn I am headed to the oral surgeon for a dental consult... seems that I have fractured a tooth and it needs to come out ... now! But if that is the only inconvenience on the way to Holland thats cool (painful but no big deal).. The Captain and Will Faudree get here tonight. Im interested in Marks ideas and attitude after the big US disappointment at WEG's. Seems to that the chat around the campfire is that the US has invested to much in the "old school team" and has maybe looked passed some of their obvious flaws due to them being veterans of the sport. Well this week starts the US's new movement toward supporting young and upcoming riders by sending the 4 of us to Boekelo.... No Pressure !
Tate feels great and I feel very prepared. Tate and I combined have the most experience in the group in our Advanced competitions together. Will has the most experience as a rider with his numerous 4 star and team competitions on his former advanced ride Antigua. His mare is absolutely amazing and has been completely solid in the past year or so that Will has had her. Doug and Running Order are new to the Advanced level but Doug has more time in the tack than most and has proven on countless horses that he can be competitive. This will be a big step for both "skinny" and Doug but worth the investment. Tiana and her beautiful grey horse have both won at the 3 star level and had some spotty competitions. She knows her horse very well and has every capability to win the thing if things go her way.... Im late to the dentist!! more updates later :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Tates fine first.. But I thought this pic accurately shows what many of us obsessive eventers find common practice.. Tate as you know has had some sore feet so anytime I gallop or jump we ice his left front and ankle ( bc sometimes his ankle gets a little sore from compensating)...Chrissy and I know any soreness anywhere not addressed could cause a greater injury later so we ice as a preventative measure.. I had a great jump lesson with anne k today. I wasn't happy with my riding in the show jumping at the AEC's I felt tate was a bit green jumping the bigger fences but I felt I lost my balance in the air a bit which didn't help tate handle the fences. I started my lesson explaining this to anne and told her to please focus on my position and let's see if we can get this sorted. She noticed when we got a bit close to the fences I sometimes put my hands close together and on his neck which in turn limited what tate could do with his neck and tilted me forward again slightly hindering tates jump. Tater is very light and sensitive and this little move of mine could cost us a rail which is the difference between winning and losing. I am so lucky between O'Connors, Mark and Anne I have a group of trainers that I can openly talk to and work through problems to improve... So here is me on a tues night icing and watching the video of my lesson so I have a visual as well as a feeling. Special thxs to chrissy who is doing the video ( which is so boring to do!) and finishing up the barn late while I'm sitting in the stall with tate..We(professionals) could not do what we do without a strong team!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010


Tate sharing his field with the chickens!
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Lets get it started!

I keep looking at the calender and thinking its missing a week.. but its not Boekelo is nearly here! Yesterday afternooon Captain Mark Philips(our team coach) Sara Ike(Director of Eventing), Paul Wegand(Flight organizer), Doug Payne, Will Faudree, Tiana Coudrey and I all got on a call to actually discuss the details of our trip. I think that was when I realized wow we are actually doing this thing! I have tickets booked for Tate, Chrissy and I for Oct. 9. Will F and Mark Philips are headed to NJ on Oct 5. We will get a few final lessons from Mark at Hart Farm before we all pile our gear and horses into the trailer and head to the Airport sat. am. The horses will fly together with DVM Sara Gold and Wills groom Nat( she is the most experienced groom) on a KLM flight. Sara Ike, Chrissy, Will, Doug and I will fly on a continental flight which will land a few hours before the horses so we can pick up the car and then meet the horses upon arrival. Tiana is flying from the west coast and will arrive a few hours before us all. Mark has arranged a transport to come pick us up from the airport on the morning of the 10th ( my birthday!) to ship us all to the actual event.
Tate is on good form. We have taken it easy since the AEC's and he is back in the pool due to running on the hard ground. He was a bit foot sore but seems to be feeling much better. I had a great jump school this morning. Sunday morning I am headed over to Marilyn Paynes ( before she heads to Kentucky to judge the WEG's) and she will work through the 3* test with me. I did this before richland and had chrissy sit next to her and video. I ride through the test and she judges it( i can hear on the video) and then we work through it movement by movement to hopefully improve the score. Then i can obsess and watch the video over and over until I feel I am over prepared!:) .. it will also give me something to do on the 8 hour flight. I think Tate's win at Richland was greatly due to Marilyn's specific advise on how to properly ride the test. I plan on having a jump with Anne Kurskinski next week then after the lessons with Mark I think we will be set to represent well!
On a side note huge exciting news is a new partnership between myself,Brendan and Wendy Furlong. They have just purchased a horse called Classical King which they originally bred. They have decided to place the horse with me so we can see how far King will go in the sport. He has competed through the training level and we all have high expectations. I am truly flattered that Brendon and Wendy believe in me enough to give me a chance to campaign their horse. King arrives to NJ next week so stay tuned Ill take pictures.
As we get closer to take off day I will update this blog daily!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Zep and bacon asleep we are ment to arrive home at 5:00 am !
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Final Wrap Up

What a day. I would not want to be in the selectors shoes right now. 3 months ago I was not feeling to confident about our american team but now we have a large group of strong competitive combinations. Unfortunately for the selectors everyone pretty much has chosen the last few weeks to shine making narrowing down the decision of the 4 team members,2 individuals and 2 alternates tough. Fortunately for America as a whole we are going to the WEGs with a strong well prepared team!
I was pleased with Tate today. I was a bit slow to react when I realized jumping into the triple that we were further away from the second oxer than I was anticipating. Tate came down a bit early and had the back rail. It unfortunate was a $1000 rail considering it dropped me to 7th which was right outside the money. But education is priceless and I will react quicker the next time. Right after show jumping I trotted Tate up for Team Vets Brendon Furlong and Kathy Cone and he trotted with flying colors, pretty much securing our grant to Boekelo. I am so excited for the opportunity and am pumped to spend the next few weeks polishing up so we can hopefully show the selectors were wise in the selection of us.

In other news my best friend Rebecca Howard just got told she will be one of the 6 competing for Canada at WEG's. I'm sure everyone remembers but it doesn't feel to long ago I was writing my blog from her hospital room after a rotational fall that left her with 16 broken bones and a collapsed lung. So a huge shout out to rebec for coming back with a vengeance! Speaking of Rebec my favorite story from the weekend : So rebecca howard,steph roads boch (also on canadian team squad), dana cook(reb groom) and I all stayed in a little rented motor home. I got a phone call friday night from rebec asking me if I had locked the camper which I had not.. On purpose anyway but anyone who knows me knows sometimes I can get a little distracted;) and I certainly wouldn't put it past myself to accidentally lock it. So rebec not being one to sit back and be idle(obviously) decided to break in through a window. So with the help of a few girls rebec got a leg up into the camper,crawled through the window only to find herself standing in someone else's camper!! Ha thankfully no one was in there so out the window she came again and moved 2 motor homes down and walked through our unlocked door!

So onto the WEGs and Boekelo for this gang! Go Eventing!
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The final day begins!

I must take back my comments on the sj course being "weird" some of the distances got moved around and when I walked this am I found the striding to be much more reasonable. I do think the track is tough. They are generous with ground lines but the bending lines and verticals make it a course that "ideal plans" will be made but in the ring some split decions will probably come into play .. So instinct will be important and its hard to practice that. Advanced starts at 8:45 so stay tuned xx
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cross country day


Cross country day!

I headed into the barn at 5:30am not because I was riding that early but bc I wanted to walk my horse for a while without being concerned with getting in a traffic jam! I must say the first few hours of the day were so enjoyable. The barns were quiet the horses were asleep and it happened to be the perfect quiet needed before a full day off cross country. My dog and I headed out to walk cross country around 7:15 to be greeted by most of the american WEGs squad doing a gallop in the early morning fog. I know it sounds cheesy but it was such a inspiring site... Just these amazing horses and riders that have such huge aspirations set for the next few weeks having a secluded gallop before the 600 other competitors arrived. It was pretty cool. Walking the course this am the ground seemed much better so cheers to everyone who sat on a tractor! Some riders were caught with some unsettling rounds more due to heading out trying to ride slow and almost being a bit passive. At the advanced level it is still important even when planning to "go slow" that a good enough pace is maintained to jump the fences well. Advanced is called that for a reason, you have to be forward, decisive and ride with intent. Today a lot left the start box with the intent of protecting their horses by going slow but ended up being less positive then necessary. But I have not talked to one rider that had maybe a not perfect ride that said anything less than what I have just said. Fortunately or unfortunately,I am not sure.. Tate is not as scopy or confident as some of these top horses, he always requires a forward rhythm to feel good about his job.. So where I did not put my foot to the floor in between the fences I did have to set out on a good clip. The fences came up easily for tate and bar adding up in the water he felt like he skipped around. I was surprised that he was so quick adding only 2 time penalties, but he maintained a forward gallop the whole time so all I can say is ..sweet ;) ... What is pretty amazing is that I'm pretty sure all riders and horses and riders stayed on grounds basically saying no trips to the hospital. I don't know if that because it is a championship event but good on us eventers!! Good day for the sport!! Show jumping looks interesting for tomorrow.. Some of the striding is for lack of a technical term .. Weird but will figure it out! On to tomorrow! Ps tate is in 4th!! SH
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Me, doug and Bacon ( doug paynes dog), flyin front seat on the mini bike headed to a PRO autograph signing
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Phillip Evi and Jenny galloping phils 3 WEG contenders
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Dressage day

Well this comes a bit late but I have just sat down.... Which seems silly because I am only riding one horse! But somehow that can take up a day. General impression of the day was the top horses all looked pretty good. Scoring( as I'm sure you know if you checked live scoring) was a bit all over the shop. Linda Zang seemed positive and scoring on the higher end and Loris Henry seemed to think we all were a bit sub-par. For those of you who don't know at a championship competition you have two judges who sit at different places in the arena and both their scores combine to give you your final percentage. Normally these scores are within 2 or 3 points of each other but today we had differences of up to 11 percent! So a bit frustrating when one judge thinks your great and the other thinks not so much so. Anyway such is life! On to tomorrow!! The scores tomorrow again won't probably accurately show the best horse and rider pair( I am discussing just the advanced division) horses going for the WEGs and Boekelo will be doing the best thing they can to prepare there horses for "the next step" . I have it on good authority canadians will leave some jumps out that they feel are not necessary for their horses. This will eliminate them from this competition but they are using the course as schooling for the WEGs. Americans are ment to run the whole course but will go slow in order to save their horses legs. For our top horses protecting them for future team competions is a priority. Not to say that any horses welfare is not important but the horses at the top have put their time in and are a bit older so if conditions are not as close to perfect as we can make them its important to decide if its worth saving them for another day. Coming back to my day I was thrilled with Tate. I really feel right now honestly he is a strong 3 star horse with the potential to be a great 4 star horse. Last week he proved by winning richland 2 star he was above that level and today in a 4 star test he was the best he could be with the education he has and landed himself with a top third result. I was victim to one judge that thought he was great and one that did not ( 7 point difference) but when watching the video back I definitely saw plenty of room for improvement but a very lovely obedient horse. I was so damn happy to have him in that ring not matter what:)! As for tomorrow I'm a bit undecided in my plan.. So stay tuned ;) xx
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Steven Bradley put in a good test really positive forward canter work.
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The crowd out for dressage.. Allison is winning right now with a fantastic test I think she is on a 30. Boyd just put in a really nice test with Remington.. Just missed the last change and didn't nail the last halt... Other than that pretty flawless.
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Thursday, September 9, 2010


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1st day of dressage

This place is mad!!! Barns,horses,dogs,trailers,campers,tents RVs, sponsor tents, Vendors at every end of the property,mini bikes,golf carts, 4 wheelers and even a bar! Get the picture!! After wondering around the property for a few hours I think I finally have the lay of the land but this property is huge! Everything does seem to be going fairly smoothly. The one thing that maybe was not thought out was schooling for the horses competing tomorrow(pretty much all fit upper-level horses) was in the middle of a cross country field with training horses galloping around. I saw quite a few that would have rather been in there jumping gear than hanging on in there dressage tack. There were high performance lessons going on all day and some competitors you can visibly see the pressure mounting and some are very much putting on a calm front. All in all the bit of the top horses I saw looked good and they are certainly getting exposed to a big atmosphere here at the AECs. I walked around the advanced track and it looks quite nice. Actually the lower level courses looked quite challenging where the advanced looks like it will hopefully be a good confident run for horses carrying on to FEI destinations. I saw David O'Connor out on the aerator so again everyone doing their part to take care of the horses welfare. The advanced dressage tomorrow runs from 8am to 5pm with every top horse in the country taking there turn,should be quite exciting. Tate takes center stage at 3:06. He was happy to do a bit of work today but after the long trip we just had an easy ride. I'm excited to be able to spend the morning watching..much to be learned! I will try and keep thing updated through the day tomorrow and def. Catch up in the evening. SH x
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Baby stealing Tates hay!!

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Tight quarters!

The journey begins!

So we are on the road!! GPS says we will be arriving at midnight. I hear there have been line ups at the AEC's venue for up to an hour with trucks and trailers! At midnight hopefully there will be less of a crowd. Doug,Holly,Zeppo(my dog),Bacon(dougs dog) are all nice and cozy in the truck and with doug being the driver the most important thing to get our trip started was FOOD! So a slight detour to get bacon,egg and cheese bagels to add to our stash of food that Randy Clover ( Cindy and Randy own Rocket a lovely horse I have competed a bit this year) made we will most likely be a fair bit heavier when we arrive in GA. I kinda feel like making a sign and putting it in the window that says AEC's or bust! I'm not sure if because its a WEG year or such a huge display of Eventing die hards at one new fabulous venue but I have a really excited feeling in my stomach. This is gonna be a "Big Event" on so may levels. As a Professional Rider sometimes we get so busy running up and down the countryside eventing every weekend we forget that feeling we maybe had when we went to our first 3 day or where you couldn't sleep bc you were excited/nervous about the next day event. I am kinda getting that feeling now. I'm excited about competing my horse but I also feel like eventing as a whole is coming together to do some amazing things. The Professional Riders Organization is making huge strides in progressing our sport not only by bringing in money/sponsors, which brings in outside people, which in turn allows our sport to grow at every level. But PRO is also working on a lot of new ideas. PRO is making a point to have the upper level riders giving back by giving free course walks, organizing clinics, lecture demos that all will really help educate outside spectators and participants in our discipline that maybe don't have access to top professionals. We are having several meetings at AECs to further our progress in these areas as well as hopefully reaching out to some new amateurs and young riders to bring in new ideas. With this also being a final selection trial for USA and Canada for WEGs adds to the excitement! Just think that some kids in the BN and Novice divisions will hopefully be inspired by watching the greats this weekend. Those same kids in the future could be here filling the shoes of there idols. This weekend is also where the selectors will choose which developing riders will get grants to compete in Holland at Boekelo CCI *** in October. My goal this weekend is to get one of those grants. So all in all a very exciting weekend! Stay tuned !! Ps holly was just snoring in the back with the dogs but she has just popped up to look at baby(Madeline her horse) in the camera just in time to see her stealing all tates hay!!!
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Tomorrow tate and I are heading to GA to compete at the American Eventing Championships. Word on the street is that there are around 700 entries which is incredible and makes the statement our sport is as strong as ever! Unfortunately unless you live in Atlanta most of us are in for a pretty long trek. Doug Payne, Holly Payne and I are car pooling for the 15 hour drive. A few good stories came from our last adventure together when we all went to Rolex together(those stories are for a whole other blog post!). Anyway I'm excited for the weekend and tate feels great. All the advanced competitors are riding 4 star test B which is pretty tough but it is the final trial for WEG selection so its gotta be a true test! I will keep blogging through the week so stay tuned! X
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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tate won!

Double clear sj just fab!! Driving home now eta 4 am! Will give more 411 tomorrow. Manoir de Carneville winner of Richland Park CIC 2 star :)
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A little more 411

Tate felt fantastic yesterday. I was a little nervous bc he has had only one cross country school since march and I also was a bit worried about his fitness. As soon as he left the start box I felt all those worries start to go away. Tate jumped like a million bucks and even at the last minute he felt like he still had plenty of running left. The course was very inviting and was designed by Ian Stark. The first water caught some by surprise being fence five and off a turn but other than that most of the horses understood and jumped the questions well. The ground was a bit hard but after an afternoon of icing tate looked great in the evening and looks even better this morning. Trot up is in about 20 minutes and then we wait till probably 2:30 to jump. I think I have a rail in hand but hopefully we have a solid performance to set us up well for the American EventingChampionships in 2 weeks where will go advanced. So fingers crossed and I update this afternoon. Xx
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Taterball still winnin!

Tate didn't miss a beat went double clear and still in the lead !! Will give more detail later... Busy givin him some lovin and ice!! Xx
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tates winning!

Tate was very excited to get in the ring today!! We had one or to bobbles just bc tate was literally squealing in the ring he was so proud of himself:) but good enough to score a 49 and be 2 points in the lead ahead of philip. The course looks nice so hopefully we will keep the trend going on sat! Xx
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010


5:00 am we pulled out of lebanon,nj and 4:45 pm we pulled into Kalamazoo,MI!! We fortunately had an uneventful trip... Very uneventful bar some exciting cornfields and interesting truck stops the states of PA, Ohio and indiana had little to show us! Tate traveled fantastic sometimes after a long trip he shows signs of his allergies creepin in with a runny nose or cough but no sign of that when we unloaded at Richland Park. He trotted up feeling so good chrissy had to hang on so I think ill have my work cut out for me keeping him in a straight line sunday am. Our hotel is very dodgy so if you don't hear an update from me tomorrow please check for me at the econo lodge, kalamazoo,MI.. ;) xx
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Saturday, August 14, 2010

and so on and so on..

So day to day life as a struggling actor.. sorry scratch that event rider continues ;) ..unfortunately Rocket has suffered a minor injury that will keep him from finishing his season up. This is a real bummer due to how much emotional and physical work has been put forth by not just chrissy and I but by Rockets owners Cindy and Randy. They have really gone above and beyond to make sure that rocket has been happy in his work and were so thrilled with him at Millbrook. These things happen but it is always such a disappointment. They remain dedicated to his well being and cindy im sure will be at the barn grooming and spoiling him rotten everyday :) but hey everyone needs a little spoiling when their down!
I rode a students horse at waradoca today that has been a bit of a problem child. It was a successful day. I realize this horse is as precious to them, even being a beginner novice horse, as Tate is to me.. feels good to be on the right track.
I took tate his first jump lesson back with anne kurskinsky and he was fantastic... feels good, really good. I again keep reminding myself that while I have huge goals in mind for him, to be able to ride and train on such an athlete everyday is the achievement... everything after that is gravy;).

Monday, August 9, 2010


The weekend finished great with alvin jumping a clear sj to finish 4th and rocket jumping a clear sj to finish 7th in the itermediate .. Richland park is next on the list with both tate and rocket in the CIC two star.
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Saturday, August 7, 2010


Alvin and rocket were very good today.. Rocket is in 11th in the OI with a clear cross country. This is his first intermediate run back in over a year. Alvin finished 4th in the novice. Show jumping tomorrow for rocket! Tate has tagged along and has been more than excited to be here! X
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Great weekend

This weekend we took alvin and sobe to burgundy hollow horse trials and both won! Sobe is gettin the hang of things and I think is gonna turn into a little machine but now is still needing som encouragement. Alvin was very good I think I have the bitting sorted,both horses jump clean sj and xc. I had two students have successful days too,kelly and her horse finished 5th and sara and her horse won their division! .. In other news tate did his first gallop this morning its so great to have him back in action .. His first run will be at richland in a month. S
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Y R Camp!

When I arrived at Newark for my 5:00 flight I learned my flight had been cancelled and I had been put on a flight at 7.... Then shortly after my 7:00 flight got moved to 10:00. Then I realized there was no bar in the my gated area!.. So out through security I went then realizing after a few tours that there was no bar in the whole A terminal! Not that I'm an alcoholic but what is one to do in Newark for 5 hours? So on a train I got to B terminal, international terminal better people watchin than at walmart! But my plane landed at midnight at Chicago a car picked me up and I was in bed by 1 am at my friend allison springers house. I am out at lamp light equestrian center till Saturday teaching the area 4 young rider camp with allison springer and john holling. So day 1 done and successful and on to tomorrow! Off for a cocktail and some food! Ciao.
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Allison,Nat, John and I
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Monday, June 28, 2010


A common topic of conversation around the Eventing Campfire has been Syndication. Syndication in racehorses has been a huge way for the average joe to gamble at a the dream of being involved in something great.. We see it every year during the "race to the Triple Crown" the stories of horse that was to small, to slow, to fat and a small town group of people that believed in that little horse and it became a champion. I really believe if we could make it affordable and uncomplicated for people to get involved in Eventing they would. If we could show them that they could be a part of "the dream and story" that all of us die hards live everyday we could grow and become what the racing industry is today.

With that in mind I created( well i scripted and my amazing web designer and marketing extraordinaire Carol Hill designed) a Simple easy to follow "Guide to Owning an Event Horse".

At first I thought I should keep this for just myself and possible owners/sponsors of mine ( competitive nature kicking in).. but then I realized that is such a short sighted vision. If people got excited by realizing they could own a part of one of Philips horses and 2 parts of one of Karen's horses and half of one of Bucks( pretty much guaranteeing themselves a horse at WEG'S) then maybe they would decide to get involved in some of the up and coming horses and riders as well ( hopefully a horse of mine and some of my piers)..

So I am making an effort to send this Brochure out to the masses. I must make it clear this is an first time attempt at this so there are flaws and it definitely needs improvement but everything has gotta start somewhere! So please if you are a rider and in need of a horse to get you to your goals think outside the box and get creative, show your supporters they can really get involved... and if you are a patron and a lover of the sport know you really can be on the team with your riding idol or help make that small town horse/rider or struggling professional that you love and support get to there goal of being the best they can for a small contribution.

Check out my stab at it

Thanks and as always any feedback is greatly appreciated and ideas so we can keep Eventing on the path to bigger and better things!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Its been forever!

It has been forever since I have put out a little update on S.H.E!!
Well horses as usual have been up and down..

Tate is doing pretty well. We had a little setback and seems like maybe we discounted some pain he had in his foot thinking it was due to his original injury but after another MRI he has some deep bruising in his foot... good news is that long term that is much less of an issue than what we thought the injury was.. bad news we had to back off and tildrin the foot and now he is swimming 4 times a week! check him out
He will start back up trotting in July and will aim for competing in the end of Aug.This unfortunately puts us a bit close for Blenheim but Mark is thinking he would like to take a group to Boukelo in Holland in October so that would suit perfect.

Alvin has had some bitting issues.. I have rarely had a horse that was strong and spooky at the same time.. He is learning so much so fast sometimes he has little lapses of judgment and decides he is a racehorse again! It is a nervous thing for him, he grabs the bit when he is a bit worried. In the end I do think he will be easy as pie to ride but right now sometimes he is too busy pulling to listen.. hence I have expanded my bit knowledge and am attending a schooling show locally that will let me run xc as many times as I want (AWESOME!) so I am trying a few different ones. I do think with the events being wicked expensive this is a great thing. Events with resilient footing should hold these little mix and match events. Obviously as a Professional you try and prepare your horses as much as possible before attending an event but sometimes pressure situations(shows) intensify issues that maybe were not such a big deal at home. Unfortunately then you are most likely a few hundred in and have not represented a horse well when referring to its record. These little events are financially affordable and where as they carry no points it really allows the riders to test the waters( hopefully not literally) without causing to much trauma for the horse, the owner and the checkbook!

Rocket Man who was going to be a dressage horse in aiken and then a jumper when we returned to NJ has gone back to his roots and is now Eventing again!! I ran him at a prelim at Plantation and he was great!... well a bit tough on the flat but jumped an easy clear in the SJ and was a blast xc ... His original issues eventing were having troubles judging the drops into water.. he would fall .. at the intermediate level.. I have gone back and started a lot of ground work with him and got him knowledgeable enough so that he lets me rope him ( me on the ground eliminating rider influence and a dip in the water if it went wrong :) ) into big drops into water... he seems to have gained heaps of confidence and I have learned a lot about the style he needs to jump well into the water.. so hopefully we stay dry!! he will be headed to Maryland in a few weeks

The babies are going well and headed to some schooling shows and are def. keeping me on my toes and every now and then on my butt !!:) xc schooling but all part of the game

The open house/clinic at Hart Farm went really well. I had a great time getting to know some new people in the area and had a great turnout. There were 5 groups filled so we went from 8 till 5:30 I really enjoy teaching clinics its fun to watch unfamiliar horses and riders. Its always interesting to get in and try to not only build there confidence by showing them they can do something maybe they didn't think they could, but also hopefully give them a new and different perspective on there relationship with their horse.

So on the horizon in Maryland H/T then off to Chicago to teach a young rider clinic, then back for jersey Horse park, Millbrook so on and so forth!

I will keep this more updated! promise