My journey to the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken, Belgium, with Catania Saflo Z (Minnie) and Carrasca Z (Hank) began at 3:30 a.m., on Saturday, Sept. 12. The horses were to be picked up at 5 a.m., to go to quarantine before flying out and I wanted to make sure they got a mash before leaving.
There was a brief time a couple of decades ago, when local horse shows were a familiar part of my equestrian pursuits. Back when I was able to take the extra burst of preparation—and the nervous knot in my stomach—a little more in stride.
Grooms offer a unique look and perspective into the everyday workings as well as the big show pressures of upper level event riders and their training programs. Grooms see the very intimate struggles of each horse with their rider and share in their triumphs and failures that go along with the sport.
It is a great honor to be asked to write for The Chronicle of the Horse and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you all as head groom for Colleen Rutledge Eventing.
The Horse Park of New Jersey Horse Trials in mid July was my first competition with Remarkable 54. I felt under-prepared, and I was prepared to withdraw if necessary. I approached the weekend like a training session, but we were still nervous.
I gave Remarkable 54 the chance to look at many fences before jumping them. In both jumping phases he broke to the trot a few times, which I didn't mind at all. I would rather have him slow down, look, and then go, than run anxiously. Thoughtfulness and relaxation travel well together, so we hit that road and went slow.
Ask me a tack or horse equipment-related question. Go ahead. Try it. I own everything necessary for eventing, and yet I’m always perusing catalogs and websites to see if there’s anything new or different I might need for my horses. I own more breeches than pairs of pants, more horse blankets than jackets.
Another example of my obsession? When I got married, my bridal shower was actually a bridle shower, and I asked my friends to buy me horse stuff instead of the normal housewares. Because seriously, what was I going to do with domestic stuff for my house?
Sunday, 9/13, 5 a.m. My throat is scratchy. My nose is running. My head is spinning. This is not looking good.
But I've got clients at a show at Morven Park where, thank goodness, it is GORGEOUS out. So I take my zinc and my decongestant and I log a day's work. But by the end of the day, things are a little grim. This head cold has been making its way around, and its victims are reporting that it's a few days of misery, followed by a lingering hacking cough. Ain't nobody got time for that. I go to bed early…
In her latest book, “Mary King—My Way,” Mary King offers up her 10 principles to having a successful career with horses. One of her key tips is the importance of being honest with yourself when a horse is not working out the way you intended and being open to moving on from the partnership.
Introducing the latest addition to the Chronicle's blogger line-up, the COTH Horse Dad. He's the non-horsey father of two junior hunter/jumper/equitation riders and he's going to take readers along on his horse show-parenting journey!
Legend has it that blues musician Robert Johnson couldn’t play all that well. At least not until just before midnight one evening when he got himself to a crossroads outside Clarksdale, Mississippi. There he met the devil, and in exchange for Johnson’s soul the devil gave him the ability to play guitar like no one had played before.
The day of my final ride while pregnant has come and gone. For the last several rides I tried to deny it, but it turns out that everyone who told me I’d know when it was time to quit was right. My body informed me in pretty adamant terms that riding is no longer an option.