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William Micklem

February 19, 2014

Too Busy Being Fabulous

“Coaching is not a popularity contest,” barked the senior coach, justifying both his style of teaching and somewhat unsavory private life. But is this true? Can you be a top coach and be unpopular?

Success is the No. 1 thing that makes a coach popular, and therefore, in theory, a coach might be popular despite the fact that he or she is bad mannered, bad tempered and has a different lover in every town! But in practice, this type of personality will not get the best from students and will not be popular.

February 21, 2013

The Advanced Work Starts Today

“I don’t have any students or horses able to begin lateral work,” said the coach looking downcast.

Without knowing anything about this coach’s students and horses, I knew the coach was 100 percent wrong. With any rider it’s both possible and necessary to start the road to advanced work from the beginning, working with the end in mind.

February 6, 2013

International Eventing Forum: Journey To The Top, Part 2

The International Eventing Forum team is led by two great supporters of good training, Jean Mitchell and Eric Smiley. The redoubtable Jean is an Olympic eventing dressage judge and advisor to the Irish senior event team, while Eric rode for Ireland at two Olympic Games and three World Equestrian Games and is a top coach and judge. The list of top trainers they’ve attracted to the IEF each year is a testament to the respect in which they’re held on the international stage.

February 5, 2013

International Eventing Forum: Journey To The Top, Part 1

British Eventing has a new favorite coach, and his name is David O’Connor. On Feb. 4, the new U.S. national eventing coach made a second consecutive visit to the annual International Eventing Forum at Hartpury College in Great Britain to demonstrate cross-country training.

In the two days preceding the conference he also took the opportunity to work with British-based American riders Jules Stiller, Clark Montgomery and Tiana Coudray, and it was obvious that Coach O’Connor is thriving in his new role and busy schedule.

February 6, 2012

Why We Need To Breed Event Horses

Today’s breeding trends toward ever more specialized animals, but columnist William Micklem believes the best horses can excel in any discipline.

The event horse is the ultimate sport horse: the paces and temperament to do a dressage test at advanced level; the gallop, jump and courage to go across country; and the scope, carefulness and soundness to come out again and jump clear in the show jumping.

November 28, 2011

The Smile Says It All

Unless the person in front of you is naked or wearing a particularly outrageous outfit, you look at the face first. In this respect, the smile says it all. Not all animals can smile, but humans do it beautifully. Without a single accompanying word a smile can say: ‘Welcome, come on in,” “Keep going, you’re doing OK,” or, probably the most valuable of all, “This is fun. I’m enjoying this and enjoying doing this with you.”

November 8, 2011

It's Not All About You, Coach

So how famous is your coach? Are you in awe of him as he arrives in the arena? Does her gold-medal CV precede her and add value to the lesson? Or is it a barrier to learning?

June 4, 2011

Triple Triumph For Fox-Pitt At Tattersalls

The extraordinary William Fox-Pitt made headlines with his triple triumph at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in Ireland in the one-, two- and three star competitions held the weekend of May 26-29. With Ollie Townend second to him in both the three- and two-star competitions and also winning the CIC three-star class, the other elite riders were left with slim pickings. 

May 20, 2011

Tattersalls’ New Cross-Country Track Should Set An Example For Modern Course Design

The Tattersalls International Horse Trials, set to take place May 26-29 in Ireland, has set the standard to which others aspire in many ways. The permanent facility opposite Fairyhouse Racecourse is outstanding, and this year they’ve also invested heavily in a new cross-country track that is destined to mark a new direction for modern courses.

April 25, 2011

Todd Renews His Taste For Victory At Badminton

 April 25, South Gloucestershire, England

Can you stand the pressure? First there are the tightly packed scores and the knowledge that even one fence down is likely to have a dramatic effect on your final position. Then just going into the arena at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials is a test of character and nerve that few riders have ever faced from any discipline.

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