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February 12, 2016

So What?

When you’re walking a course and the rails are above your boobs, you may start to question some life choices. But I finally did it—I competed in some big classes and I didn’t vomit or fall off.

In fact, I laid down respectable rounds. And I learned a few things. For starters: once the jumps get above 1.20-meter, they’re just big. The difference between 1.0-meter and 1.10-meter seems much vaster than the difference between 1.20-meter and 1.30-meter. And then you really start having crazy thoughts that the 1.40-meter doesn’t seem so huge after all.

February 11, 2016

Hunter/Jumper Intern Spins And Chips Her Way To Reining Queen Status

When I was in the midst of blogging about embarrassing myself at a myriad horse sports (polo, vaulting, racing, driving, eventing, endurance), a dear friend and eventer, Grace Busse, commented on my vaulting blog saying: “If you do reining and dressage, you’ve tried every sport at the World Equestrian Games, yeah?”

February 11, 2016

Goodbye Gentle, Black Horse

Veterinarian and amateur rider Liz Arbittier joined the COTH's bloggers in January 2014, when she bought a former Amish driving horse as a project. You can read about the start of her journey with Ephriam in "Embarking On An Amish Adventure" and about their progress in all of her later blogs.

February 10, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: A Few Less Lattes + The Perfect Trot = Worth It

“I have to get Flash a double stall too,” I told my dressage trainer Leslie Chapman. “It’s only $40 more and that’s what, five or six margaritas?”

“Are you counting your board in tequila?” Leslie asked.

“Well, sometimes I count it in lattes,” I told her.

February 9, 2016

Sun, Fun And A Few Concerns

I won’t lie. I walked into the pancake-flat showgrounds at the Stadium in Wellington, Fla., and I wanted to be annoyed. Looking out at the cross-country course on manicured footing that looked as though nothing had stepped on it in the past year, I couldn’t help but think, “No. Nooooooooo. This isn’t eventing! This is show jumping over solid obstacles!” I wanted to not like it.

But here’s the thing.

It was awesome and SO much fun to watch.

February 5, 2016

Yay For The Thoroughbred At The Wellington Eventing Showcase

If someone wanted to get up close and personal with eventing, this is the way to do it.

The Wellington Eventing Showcase is a close-in eventing experience, with spectator-friendly viewing of all phases in a compact show-village normally home to legions of dressage horses. Billed as a showcase with high-stakes, this “eventing lite” experience is perfect for the introduction of the sport to new viewers.

While the weather on dressage day was a bit nippy for the area, breezes and clouds didn’t keep spectators from watching 35 riders here to compete for $75,000 in prize money.

February 2, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: Three Cheers For The (Professional) Adult Amateur

My alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. the other morning, and as I drug a brush through my hair and threw food into my dogs’ bowls, I began to wonder, why it is that I do this?  

While everyone else was enjoying a Sunday on the couch watching football, or doing a girls’ brunch with a mimosa, I was layering long underwear under my breeches in order to spend another frigid day at a winter schooling show.

February 1, 2016

The Search For Phenomenal

Last year, an amazing client presented me with an opportunity—to find a young horse for me to develop, and to share in the expenses of the journey. It's the first time anyone's offered me a shot like this, and after I finished blubbering like a moron, the search was on.

January 29, 2016

Six Simple Rules To Buying Your Next Thoroughbred

I have now been interviewed numerous times in the past few months about my current Thoroughbred project, Called To Serve. More so since the Retired Racehorse Project’s TB Makeover, where we won the dressage discipline

And each time, I am asked the same question: Why Nixon? What made you pick him? I usually answer with the same cliché sound bite—he is big, he is sound, he is young, and he is put together beautifully.

January 26, 2016

Amateurs Like Us: The Voices In Our Heads

Something that comes up frequently on the Chronicle discussion forums’ hunter/jumper forum is bad experiences with trainers. I’ve had a few of those but what strikes me is how important my trainers, past and present, have been to me.


2 weeks 7 hours ago

Trainer needed

I have a very well behaved coming 7-year-old Purebred Arabian stallion. He really is a beginning training level horse and needs a trainer (dressage or hunter) within easy driving distance of my Kankakee, IL home. I am almost 70 years old and disabled. I can no longer ride myself. Any ideas?