Thursday, October 25, 2007


Remember I mentioned earlier about the National Horse Show? Well, here are two articles that help explain the situation better for those of you that haven't been following the Stadium Jumping empire.

The first, an October 25th article in the Palm Beach Daily News. This article talks specifically about the permit that was signed by Wellington Equestrian Partners and Stadium Jumping to allow the 2007 NHS and the 2008 Wellington Equestrian Festival.

The second, an older article posted on The Equestrians' Preservation Society's website. This article talks about the reason why a permit was needed in the first place: an ugly lawsuit between Wellington Equestrian Partners and Stadium Jumping.

Look for a new post this weekend (with an update from SMC) but in the meantime... here's a beautiful picture I took today at SMC.

Talk to you soon,

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Good Laugh

And by "good laugh," I mean you'll laugh so hard you cry. Check it out: The Gospel According to Gates. It's hilarious, along the same lines as I'm Quietly Judging You. Mind you, these blogs have absolutely nothing to do with horses but they're a good laugh.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Staying Motivated

Sometimes, I find it's hard to stay motivated if I feel like I don't have a short-term goal, like a horse show. I'll get bored if I feel like I'm not learning anything new or progressing in some other way. However, I try to remember that it's important for myself AND for the horses I'm riding that I "keep my head in the game," so to speak.

I'll ride without stirrups to strengthen my legs or practice my equitation (thanks, Mom). Sometimes I'll jump small jumps, or even just poles on the ground, to practice distances, etc. In the long run, staying motivated through these "lulls" will pay off.

It also helps to keep a "glass half full" outlook. Who knows what the future will bring? Maybe a new riding opportunity. Or... maybe a horse of my own.

Talk to you soon,

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Riding Abroad

Photo: I took this picture while riding Nobbie, a 5-year-old Irish Thoroughbred. No wonder Ireland's called the Emerald Isle.

In 2004, after my freshman year at Northeastern University, I spent three months in Ireland riding and learning about the 3-day eventing world. Like everything, it had its ups-and-downs, but I definitely came back a more confident rider. While I was over there I rode a 3-year-old, 4-year-old and 5-year-old everyday AND I taught at two pony-club camps.

Along with riding, I fed and turned out the horses and cleaned stalls and swept (all the non-fun stuff that goes along with riding). I galloped faster than I had ever galloped before, jumped banks and ditches... it was fantastic. To top it all off, the horses were fantastic (no nags here).

While I was in Ireland, I got the opportunity to ride in an International Student Riding Association event (specifically, a Student Riding Nations Cup). It was amazing. Basically, students from all over the world compete in dressage, show jumping and cross-country (one of the three phases of 3-day eventing). The one I rode in had teams from Belgium, England, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Austria, etc. If you are a student-rider, I highly recommend checking out the website. You have to fill out an application and get letters of recommendation, etc., but if you are chosen for a team it is an amazing experience. The one unfortunate thing: you have to pay your own way and sometimes it gets a little expensive.

I mentioned in a previous post that riding abroad doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg - and it's true! All you have to do is be willing to work hard. When I went to Ireland I payed for my plane ticket but that was all. Many European barns love to have hard-working Americans around (be willing to muck stalls) but the reward can be great - getting to ride in Europe!

How do you find a trainer/rider in Europe? I was lucky enough to ride a horse for a woman during high school with connections in Ireland but it's easy enough to find someone even without networking. The Internet is a great tool. Google riders' names or results from horse shows (Also, check out the website I linked to above). Make a phone call, or even easier - send an email. Then pack your bags & get ready for the hardest work of your life.