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Kristin Carpenter

April 3, 2014

Plugging Away In A Program

There are a lot of ways to approach this sport, and for any general rule that you create there will be very successful exceptions. The battles wage online over every choice we make: turnout all day or stall part time, hacking on roads or staying on softer ground, competing only as needed to qualify or every three weeks, warming up for ten minutes or practically doing a lesson before you enter the ring.

Everyone has an opinion, and unfortunately everyone seems to think theirs is the only correct way.

March 20, 2014

Eventing Is Our Sport To Shape And Support

Chronicle blogger and amateur eventer Kristin Carpenter joins the conversation that blogger Doug Payne started about the future of eventing.  

When I first read Doug Payne’s piece, my immediate response was, “YES.”

Yes to opening up a discussion, yes to ideas to wrangle the sky-rocketing entry fees and widening the base, yes to ways to make our professionals’ lives easier in any capacity so that they can compete with the best in the world.

March 3, 2014

The Things That Might Have Been

A year ago I was preparing for what I hoped to be my first advanced horse trial on my off-the-track Thoroughbred, Trance, but my partner of 12 years got injured at the last minute. I wrote about it in The Things That Time Steals, and in that blog I contemplated his retirement.

February 12, 2014

Aaron Vale Kept It Simple On Day 2 Of The USEA ICP Ocala Symposium

The second day of the U.S. Eventing Association’s Instructors’ Certification Program Ocala Symposium featured grand prix show jumper Aaron Vale.

February 11, 2014

Build A Bridge In Your Horse With Effective Aids

With her tireless mix of patience and humor, it’s easy to see why Jacqueline Brooks was chosen to lead Day 1 of the U.S. Eventing Association’s Instructor Certification Program’s Ocala Symposium.

Attendees came to watch Brooks teach six groups of horses and riders representing various levels, and certainly left with an understanding of her training system and an appreciation of her style.

The day began with Brooks explaining the correct use of the aids and the importance of their timing, and then she applied these principles consistently and passionately to each lesson.

February 6, 2014

Proactive Vs. Reactive Riding

The final day of the USEF Training Sessions returned to dressage. While on the first flat day O’Connor established his principles of dressage work as well as ringcraft, it was apparent that on this day he wanted to see the riders consistently execute these concepts. O’Connor’s instruction took on a new level of demand for the riders.

30 Canters And 25 Trots

February 4, 2014

The Small Things Become The Big Things

The second day of the U.S. Equestrian Federation Eventing High Performance Training Sessions focused on jumping, but there was a strong continuity with the priorities of dressage day. Each rider had a private jump lesson, and there were two main exercises that were utilized depending on the needs of the horse.

Throughout the day, coach David O’Connor revisited the requirements of correct contact and discussed how it is imperative to the horse’s shape over fences.

February 4, 2014

Make Your 80 Percent Better Than Everyone Else's

Have you ever thought about a dressage schooling session as the equivalent of a workout at the gym? According to U.S. eventing chef d’equipe David O’Connor, you should.

During the first day of the Feb. 3-5 U.S. Equestrian Federation High Performance Training Sessions in Ocala, Fla., O’Connor reminded riders of two main purposes of dressage: physical therapy and communication. Eight horse/rider pairs had private dressage lessons on Feb. 3.

December 27, 2013

Being Enough

Every year the holidays bring a wave of introspection to most, and I see countless articles telling me that I should be thankful, that happiness is loving what you have not having what you love, etc.

Closely following this is a second wave of post-Christmas and pre-New Year’s articles telling me to be the person I could be. So many promises for 2014: I could be smarter, I could make more money, I could save more money, I could be thinner, I could cook more, etc.

December 13, 2013

The Pitfalls Of Potential

Potential. It is a word that inspires our hopes, fills our dreams, and encourages us to get up each morning and try to be better.  But potential is a double-edged sword: it lies.

It makes promises that often go unfulfilled, and can lead to poor decision-making and costly long-term investment. No one would ever become great without pursuing potential, but a necessary life lesson is that potential is an empty promise without the other oh-so-important building blocks of success—hard work, determination and desire.

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