All Posts from June, 2010

June 30th, 2010

‘Happiness is Horses’ Photo Assignment: Finalists

It’s been hard to choose finalists from all the worthy entries that rolled in from this awesome Team.  I’ve kind of been wringing my hands about it, actually.  But I’ve done it, so I won’t make you wait a moment longer to know which entries will be in the running for the Devoucoux prize!  Here they are, in no particular order.  Congrats to the finalists!

‘Horses are Happiness’ Photo Contest Finalists

Abby W.

Courtney C.

Macy C’s little sister and Ghilly

K. Collins

Kimberly D’s Siggy

Laurel M.

at O’Connor Camp

Do you have a favorite?  How will I ever choose just one?  They’re all so fantastic and embody  ‘Horses are Happiness’.  It’s a strong group!

June 28th, 2010

A Day at Sure Fire

I drove the road from Middleburg to Sure Fire Farm with the hopes that I would get a dose of that well-known Middleburg charm.  You know, the rolling hills dotted with grazing horses, lush vistas stretching to bluish mountains fading into the distance.  The whole kit and kaboodle.  Well, I got it.  Middleburg is a horse-lover’s paradise.  And Sure Fire Farm is an eventer’s paradise.

It was also bustling with competitors and horses on their way to and from dressage, cross-country and show jumping.

I even ran into new friends as I bustled around.  Including Trav, the cross-country builder at Sure Fire Farm. We hung out by the water combination for a while and he told me about life on the road as a course builder (one day in Washington State, next in Virgina: talk about weather whiplash!). He was rad and I hope we’ll get to hear more from him.  Important Note:  All the folks working at Sure Fire wore matching polos with the farm name and logo. It’s like my dream come true!

And you know me, I’m always stopping and talking to everyone on the grounds.  Including Tom and his two dogs Echo and Chi Chi.  He was a self-declared horse husband and made sure to point out his wife’s jacket and drink in hand. He didn’t draw attention to his two very well-trained golden retrievers but I noticed them too.

I was serious when I said I stopped and talked to everyone at the competition.  And that includes Hannah and Kelty.  They were looking so snazzy in their Sure Fire gear I had to get a shot.  Hannah rode her horse Consider It Dun in the Novice Division on Saturday and they clinched a 4th place finish ending on their (incredibly impressive) dressage score of 35.50.  As it turns out Hannah and Kelty are both Three Days Three Ways readers which made it even more fun to meet!

All the horses at Sure Fire looked sharp and well-groomed.  But this horse’s two-toned tail caught my eye.  Are we looking at a particular breed? A neat expression of the Paint gene?  Whatever it is, that is one neat looking horse.

Here are some more friends that I made: Andy and Kayleigh (a two and a half year-old Chesapeake Bay Retreiver.  That hat was perfect for the unrelenting Virginia Summer weather.

Adorable eventing pony alert!  The only things that could make a tiny, cute pony even cuter is if you put boots on it and run cross-country.  Mission accomplished.  A tiny, roan, eventing pony?  Yes please.

I was chit chatting with Josh Walker from the USEA (he was out in the sun all day capturing all those great action shots in show jumping!) and Boyd Martin sauntered on by after walking his course.

Since I was worried about Josh melting into a puddle out there in the sun I scampered off to get him some waters.  Sure Fire Farm treats their volunteers right.  Look at this line up of coolers.  Wait, it gets better.  They were divided up by type.  Sodas in one, Gatorade in another, juice and water in another.  There were also snacks and a welcoming picnic table in the shade.  Well done.

I know, I’m a sucker for event fans and our dogs. These two were taking a break in the shade.  It wasn’t until later that I learned I’d take a photo of one of the most incredible high performance event horse owners in this country.  That’s Dick Thompson, owner of the great Biko.  Sylvia, his furry friend, has shown her street smarts by getting out of the sun and into the shade.

Sure Fire Farm again in fine form, a tent had been put up by show jumping which made all the difference in the world.

It was such a fun say full of eventing, event fans, and event horses.  All set in the Virginia countryside.  I’ll take seconds of that!

By Courtney in Road Trips | 1 Comment »
June 26th, 2010

Simon’s Sure Fire Farm X-C Tips

Simon and I spent this Saturday hiking across fields, watching horses leap across logs,  and chatting with eventing fans at Sure Fire Farm Horse Trials.  That’s my kind of Saturday!  Yet even with that busy schedule Simon still found time to walk the Sure Fire Farm cross-country course.  Here he offers some key tips to get your best round yet.

This bench might not be enormous but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad place to sit.  He recommends having a rest here.  Perhaps even a glass of chilled white wine as the sun sets. Remember to have a sniff of that lavender.

Bisect the corner and jump that line.  Have a sniff of those pretty flowers as you go across.  Perhaps a picnic on top would be a good plan?

This is the top of the bank combination for the Intermediate course.  A good place for a nap.

Use caution, however.  It’s deceiving.  The drop after the log will make you catch your breath.  If you decide to have a nap on top make sure you don’t fall off!

The water combination is a lovely spot to have a rest in the shade.

Plus, you might find a frog in the water so make sure to sniff around.

When you walk your course make sure to stop by and chat with Emily Daily from the USEA.  You might even bring her some treats while she’s out there in the sun shooting all those awesome action shots.

This canyon is great coverage if you’re being pursued by a much larger dog.  Duck and cover.

Hopefully you’ve found this cross-country course walk helpful for your own rides.  Thanks to Simon for those helpful tips!

June 25th, 2010

Happy Weekend!

Happy Weekend to my dearest Team!  I’m happy it’s Friday though it feels like I’m revving everything up as if it  were Monday. Why might that be?  Road, meet me. Me, meet Road.  We’ll be seeing a lot of each other very soon.  I’m heading to Sure Fire Horse Trials this weekend and, consequently, Middleburg.  Road trip!  I’m nearly tapping my toes for excitement.  The cherry on top is that I’ll get to see my tiny niece who just turned a whopping 6 months old. Does it mean I’m old that I’ll now say: They grow up so fast!  Well, it’s true.  What will you be up to? Hope it, and this eventing info, makes your toes tap too.

Phillip Dutton appointed president of PRO.

What’s your take on the FEI’s headgear recommendations?

Hunt wins at Luhmuhlen.

Common Feed Practices VS The Equine Digestive System: Score: 1-0.

Rebecca Howard post-Bromont.

And some posts you may have missed (that you’ll want to catch!)

Happiness is Horses Photo Assignment: Meet your Teammates!

Jennie Brannigan: One to Follow

Jim Wofford: A Pony Named Merrylegs and a Tale of Suspense

(image via 7MSN)

June 25th, 2010

Eventing Radio Episode 85: USEA’s Jo Whitehouse & Sharon Hunt

Jo Whitehouse, CEO of the US Eventing Association, joins Chris throughout the show this week to discuss issues facing the sport and the membership. We also hear Britain’s Sharon Hunt’s reaction to winning her first four-star event. Listen in here.

Eventing Radio Episode 85 – Jo Whitehouse and Sharon Hunt:

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June 24th, 2010

Happiness is Horses Photo Assignment Entries

I loved all the photos that came flying in when I posted the ‘Horses Are Happiness’ photo assignment.  Even more, I loved getting to know you better; getting to know our team.  What a good group.  It makes my heart swell.

Today I’m posting all of the entries because, really, they’re all so sweet.  Like me, I expect some will make you laugh and some just might make a tear come to your eye.  I’ve included all the stories as well because I love getting all those details and expect you will to.

As for the process to find our winner: I’ll pick finalists (I can’t hold myself to a limit yet, I’m already anxious about trying to choose from all the worthy photos), from which I’ll pick one winner who will receive a prize from Devoucoux.  Phew, it seems hard to believe that one horse and rider will emerge victorious when right now we’re awash in perfect pics.  For now, enjoy the love.

Three Days Three Ways Happiness is Horses Photo Assignment

This is my photo for your contest and here is the background of it.

My friends, Rachel and Liz, and I went to Camp Minikani. They do equestrian programs. We have so much fun when we go there every year. We each have our favorite horses and these are ours. The top left photo is my friend Liz and the horse is Murphy. The top right photo is me and my favorite horse at camp, Jimmy. Even though he bucked me off that day, I still love him. The bottom left photo is my friend Rachel with Gino.

Winning this contest would mean a lot to me!

Neighs and Winnies,

Abby W.

p.s. My fingers are crossed!

Abby W. and friends

Hello! This is my horse Kiona. This photo really shows happiness to me because i have recently moved on to a more advanced horse and Kiona is going to be going back to her original owner. She is such an amazing horse and she taught me soo much!! I LOVE YOU KIONA!!!! =)

Amelia M.

Amelia’s Kiona

This picture represents 2 1/2 years of dedication with my horse Cooper. He’s off the track and when he came to our barn as a 7 yr old he could barely trot and did nothing but buck at the canter. He failed his vet check and no one could figure out his hind end issues. After 3 months of conditioning he was sound happy and getting strong. Six months later he was competing novice level eventing and is now a training level horse getting ready for his first preliminary event! He is my best friend and he has been more successful than anyone thought he would be!

Alayna P. and Cooper

Hey Three Days Three Ways!

So I had to include two pictures because they go together.  I believe that this picture shows that happiness is horses because this was my entire relationship with this horse.  He was my first Preliminary level horse, and he was my best friend.  He was 17 hh but would have sworn he could fit in my lap.  This horse saved my butt more times than I could count, and he is probably the reason I am still eventing.  He was a saint, and I wouldn’t have traded him for anything.  There are a ton of things about this horse that I could tell you about that prove why horses are happiness.  He would try for any fence, no matter what spot I asked for.  He had a gallop to die for.  He could be fancy on the flat (if I could put his lazy butt together! ha)  And he had the best disposition.  I could sit like this all day every day with this horse, whether or not he was standing in ice.  He could always bring a smile to my face, no matter my mood, and he always tried his best to do so.  I lost this horse to colic Christmas day this past winter, and I miss him more than anything.  But because of everything I learned from him I am able to carry on and work with my youngsters.  This is one that I would have let sleep in my bed if he would have fit, he brought me joy for the three years that I was blessed with and he will always be in my heart.  It is moments like this that I miss more than anything, more than eating the ground with his ten-mile gallop, or clearing a 4′ table with room to spare.  Sharing my lunch with my best friend means so much more than that.

Thank You,

Courtney C.

Courtney C. (1)

Courtney C. (2)

Note: I didn’t receive a story for this entry but the happiness speaks for itself in those expressions!

This picture is of my daughter and her horse.  They started at the beginning, learning all the lessons together……………the result, years after this picture was taken, is a partnership that has taken them both all the way thru their first 4*.      Jo

I have a few photos attached as my horse (Lola) seems to be happy most of the time!  The first is of her cozy in her blanket with a mouth full of grain and her lips covered with it.

Elena’s Lola (1)

The second is of her after she won an event, almost knowledgable of her win, she puts her head over her quarter sheet and “smiles”.

Elena’s Lola (2)

The third of me, completely in love with my horse and thankful to have her in my life.

Elena and Lola (3)

The fourth of us  looking at each other in total understanding and happy to have each other.

Elena and Lola (4)

The fifth of us in concentration but happy to be together.  Thank you for your consideration!!

Elena and Lola (5)

The attached photo is from last thanksgiving day, an unusually warm and sunny day here in east tennessee.  i was out in the pasture with my horses who were all sun-drenched and sleepy, as if they too had just had a big dose of tryptophan.  anyway, in the photo my big old TB “mo” is nuzzling my arm as i thoroughly enjoy his presence, as i always do.  as much as i would like to say that this was a tender moment, i think he was just checking me for treats because he left a huge brown goober on my arm.  tender moment for me + treat check for mo = happiness to the nth degree.

K. Collins

Love this assignment!  This is Pleasant Signal, aka Siggy.  He’s an 11 year old Thoroughbred just beginning his career in eventing and dressage.  He was rescued from the kill pen at an auction with horrible hooves and he was grossly underweight.  Now he’s sound, well fed, happy and loving life with his pasturemates at our farm!  He is the safest horse on trail, and carries riders of all ages and experience levels safely.  It’s as if he knows he almost met a horrible fate, and because he was rescued, he is grateful for every step he takes.  Seeing him grazing, cantering around his field and making funny faces (like the one pictured) really encompasses my Happiness with Horses.  Seeing Siggy healthy and happy brings me joy every day.

Thanks Courtney!

PS – the full body shot is not my actual entry – just wanted to show you what good health he’s in!

Kimberly D’s Siggy (1)

Kimberly D’s Siggy (2)

My horse and I have an interesting bond, whenever I lean forward as if to kiss him, he meets me halfway. Here we are at our first event together.

Laurel M.

I’m attaching a photo of myself and my horse, You Betcha.  This photo kind of says it all.  But here’s the story.  I brought this horse last summer with the understanding (per my x-trainer) that he would be running me around preliminary within the year.  However, that is NOT at all what happened.  After much frustration, I left that barn and found a new trainer.  We had to start all over and put a lot of basics on this horse.  To top it off, in the beginning, he was NOT even slightly willing to learn!  Now after many trials, tribulations,
elimination, lots of tears, being bucked off too many times to remember, some seriously humbling moments, and a whole lot of encouragement from the ground, this horse is just beginning to show me how fabulous he is going to become!!!  This picture was taken at our
first event of this season, where with riding every stride and an open mind, we finished on our dressage score!  I changed his name in January to reflect what is becoming a very positive experience. Special thanks to my trainers this past year, Angela Grzywinski of
Curragh Equestrian and Gilly Slayter-Voightlander of Simply 3-Day for helping my horse and I become a team! and special thanks to You Betcha for teaching me how to actually ride.


Lisbeth S. and You Betcha

Are you taking ques from Pioneer Woman? LOVE her photo contests!  The attached picture is of me (in the pink top), “Alfie” and one of the women who helped him find a home with me. It was taken just about a year ago, when I took Alfie on his first “field trip” off the farm.  Alfie (JC name “Fire It Up”) was neglected and abused at a track when fate intervened, and he was purchased by a woman who wanted to just find him a better home. At the time he was horribly underweight, shaggy and unkept, defensive in his stall and terrified of people. My trainer then bought Alfie from the good samaritan, and I fell in love with him despite his condition. About a year later, he really turned the corner and began to come out of his shell. I bought him then… after dreaming of owning a horse for nearly all of my 32 years! This picture, as I said, was his first trip off the farm, and we happened to run into Alfie’s “good samaritan”… she hadn’t seen him since he came off the track and she barely recognized him. It was a very, very happy day for all involved. I think we might have even cried a little. Alfie was just happy to get so much attention.

I loved the interview you did recently with Jennifer Simmons… this quote from her pretty much sums up how I feel about my Alfie: “I could now be sure nothing else bad would ever happen to him, as his life at the track had been very tough for him. I kept him safe to the very end, and I would like to think I made his life better.  I was someone who understood him, loved him, treasured him. With all his idiosyncrasies. I wouldn’t have traded him for the world.”  Thanks for having this contest… can’t wait to see all the entries!!!

Amanda S. (in pink) and Alfie

Hi Courtney!

Here are my 2 photos.  One for each horse.  :-)

Princess and me:  This is my first horse Mythical (aka Lissell).  She was everything a first horse shouldn’t be … hot, opinionated, high-maintainence, and alpha mare.  But she was the perfect first horse for me. She had done the jumpers (up through Level 6) in California, and I just happened to meet her while visiting my sister one spring break. Shortly thereafter the owner needed to sell her, and eventually decided to just give her to me.  So for the cost of shipping I had my first horse.

From the get-go, Lissell and I had an understanding.  I would stay out of her way, and she would take care of me. There’s a video of us at one of our first events where I buried her into an oxer and she somehow cleared it resulting in me sitting off to her side.  Then you see her shift her weight to keep me on, and continue on to the next jump.  After she retired from competition I decided to lease her out as a broodmare, which was fine for the first 2 years. But then the family came into some financial difficulty, and failed to tell me that they were no longer feeding her or any of their other horses a proper diet.  After many sleepless nights and tears, I finally got (what was left of) my mare back. She’s happy and sound now, so whenever I have a spare hour we go for bareback trail rides.  She keeps getting stronger and stronger, so who knows what the future holds for her.  Maybe we’ll take a spin around the hunt field, maybe we’ll try eventing again.  One thing is for sure, she’s not happy just sitting around anymore!

So this photo is from a few years ago.  Just the Princess Lissell and me.  Everyone needs a happy place, and anywhere I go with this mare is mine.

Margaret R. and Princess

Harrymonster:  This is more of a “Happiness is Eventing” photo.  Pouring down rain at MCTA last year. I go into the ring to salute the judge–someone I happen to know well–and we just look at each other and laugh.  What other sport finds hundreds of competitors out in a deluge carrying on as normal.

Margaret R. and Harry Monster

I am submitting a photo of my daughter Katherine, who is now 13, and Tucker, our 10-year-old OTTB.  The two are best buddies.  Every time I look at this photo it reminds me of their special relationship and brings me joy.

Katherine and Tuck

Hey!  I caught this moment after my little sister came out of the ring after a beautiful round. She was so excited and her pony “Ghilly” looks pretty darn happy too!  Thanks!

Macy C’s little sister and Ghilly

Now you see the daunting task I have ahead of me. I get anxious just thinking about trying to pick finalists, never mind a winner.  For now, though, I will just enjoy the happiness radiating from Three Days Three Ways thanks to you, your stories and, most of all, your horses.  Happy day!

June 23rd, 2010

‘Horse Husband’. Huh?

Today we are lucky to have a special guest blogger who weighs in on the life of a “Horse Husband”, the merits of that term (ahem, change it), and offers three tips to surviving life on the road with an equestrian.  In his everyday life he’s a Vice President of Business Marketing.  But when you least expect it he dons a cape and mask (or boots and a pitch fork) and becomes a horse husband.  Or, rather, something much, much cooler sounding (See below).  So if you, too, are in the middle of competition season and trailing a girl on horseback, this one’s for you.  Take it away, Tom!

Above: Tom and his Equestrian Lady, Kim. Photo courtesy of Tom Rushton

Hmm – Yes, I am a husband and my wonderful wife does ride horses and I sometimes tag along when she goes to events, clinics and lessons. I’m lucky enough to work for myself and am able to set up my “Mobile Office” in the passenger seat of our Chevy pickup. Power transformer plugged into the A/C adapter which keeps my laptop humming along, notebook positioned carefully on the dashboard in front of me and Blackberry tethered to that same laptop to send/receive emails that I’m furiously typing to all the world. Thank God the Blackberry has multiple functions…I can even talk on the phone, earbud firmly planted in my right ear while my wireless communications transmit to all who care. All of this going on while my loving spouse (let’s refer to her as “The Rider”, “The Equestrian” or “The Competitor”, all quite complimentary titles by the way) drives us along on the way to our destination. We’ve all cruised these highways and byways, horse trailer in tow, bringing us to the usual circuit of towns of which we’ve all Google Mapped and then wondered how we ended up in Dunworth instead of Durham, Albemarle instead of Aberdeen, Lynchburg instead of Lexington and Norman instead of Norwood.

This is an amazing bonding experience for us all, BUT “Horse Husband”…not lovin’ that name!

It just makes me think of myself as the “Stable Boy” totin’ water and heftin’ hay to all the livestock in the barn. Muckin’ stalls, pickin’ hooves and brushin’ horses, making sure that Ol’ Bessie looks good for the County Fair. Gotta win that Blue Ribbon ya know!

Now look, I’m not saying I don’t do all these things of my own free will, along with all my “Brothers of the Muck Bucket” and we do them gladly. I’ve always said that Horse Sh*t is the only Sh*t that actually smells good. This, by the way, completely grosses out my 17 YO daughter and she lets me know that in true teenager fashion, with eyes rolling back in her head and a deep sigh exiting her lungs while stating “Daaaad…Really…REEEAAALLLYYY!”

My only issue is with the moniker of “Horse Husband”…can’t any one of you educated equestrians come up with a better way to describe the men in their horse-loving lives? I mean come on, if we can derive the following titles for some of the less-than-glorious everyday occupations, we can certainly let flow our creative juices to resolve this issue. To help start the process, here are a few examples:

“Customer Service Associate” – aka the Desk Clerk

“Communications Specialist” aka the Operator

“Culinary Transportation Coordinator” – aka the Pizza Guy

…you get my drift.

In the mean-time, some advice to my brethren. When lovingly accompanying our wives to an upcoming Equestrian Event, always remember to bring along the “3 B’s”…in this order:

BLACKBERRY – or other similar communications device. This way you’re still connected and feeling pretty good about yourself for balancing your personal/professional life.

BIKE – in my case, Mountain Bike. There’s always a trail to be found within an hour that is just crying out to be conquered (I personally love or to find the best ride). So, arrive at the equestrian facility early, make sure all is well for your wife/girlfriend. Horse is fed and watered, ride time is confirmed, saddles/tack are clean, boots are polished. Check to make sure she’s ready, wish her a great ride, give her a kiss and hit the road. You go out, you sweat your ass off, you conquer the challenge put in front of you and return by her second ride of the day, usually the cross-country…PERFECT TIMING!

BEER – uh, duh? Let me further clarify, GOOD BEER, ice cold. Left this off my list above under “Bike.” You must never forget this “B” or you will lose your man card and be forever labeled as, “That Guy.” Nobody wants to be “That Guy.” A medium sized cooler is mandatory filled with at least 12 of your favorite beers…but, here’s a key point. ALWAYS make sure 6 of those beers are a just a little more “Girlie.” I know you love a nice heavy Smithwick’s Stoudt, but chances are the girls in the group don’t. So, make sure that half the cooler is filled with Corona, Amstel or Blue Moon. You’ll get even more points for thinking of them…plus it’s the right thing to do.

So – please chime in on a proper alternative to “Horse Husband”. We hubbies deserve better than that!

Enjoy the Ride!

Tom Rushton, SSA (Spousal Stable Associate)

June 22nd, 2010

Team Up with Your Favorite Pro: The Pro/Am Team Competition

There are big things happening in eventing these days.  Fun things like polo cross (at Jersey Fresh), country fairs (at Fair Hill), and wine tastings (at The Fork).  It’s a brand new world!  But there’s more to come, aren’t we lucky ducks?

The Professional Riders Association has taken up the cause to represent our professional event riders, to strengthen the sport and, as one Three Days Three Ways interviewee once put it: create a sport that a kid can dream of doing for a living without their parents freaking out. They’re creating all kinds of ways for riders to connect with our favorite pros like exhibitions, course walks, and polo cross matches.  But this newest edition might be my favorite so far: a Pro/ Am Team Competition Tour!

I talked with Samantha Lendl, PRO executive director, early the other morning just after she’d returned from her trip to the British horse trials Bramham (lucky!) to get the full scoop for the Three Days Three Ways team.  So tune in, then sign up!

Q.  What is the Pro/ Am Tour?

A.  The Team Competition Series is a format that PRO is putting together which would  bridge adult riders, juniors and Young Riders with professionals.  We are holding a team competition with prize money involved.  It will be quite a lot of fun. It’s a fun format and a way we could help get professionals and other riders together and offer an educational compnent. There will be course walk and tips and you get gift just for entering. Sponsors Eco Gold, Five Star Tack, and Nunn Finer have offered prizes for first, second, and third.

Q.  Where is the Pro/ Am Team Competition?

A.  We have five events this year and Sure Fire is kicking it off June 26-27.  The next one is Stuart Horse Trials July 15-18. We’re trying to reach all areas so Woodside will be August 13-15th and Richland, in Michigan, will be August 26-29th, and then back out in California for Twin Rivers in September.

Q.  Who can enter?

Anybody can enter. It’s an additional $35.00 and you team up with other riders. The horse trials secretary will combine people or if you want to form a team you can do that and we’ll assign a professional.

You can look at PRO website but each event generally has its own entry form on their website.  The best way to enter is to download the entry off the competition website.

Q.  What happens?

When you get there you find out your team and professional.  If it’s a one-day event you’ll get the course walk early in the morning and in that case we’ll work to make sure you  get that info before you head out. If it’s over two or three days the schedule may shift in which case may get a course walk in the afternoon. As far as coaching tips, riders can ask anyting you want and go to stables with specific questions you’d like to have answered. When you  go out for a course walk we’ll take a picture that will be emailed to everybody. It’s a great format and we’re excited about it.

Q.   Are there awesome prizes?

First prize at every Pro/Am Team Competition is an Eco Gold saddle pad embroidered with the PRO logo. Nunn Finer provides brushing boots and a leather halter for 2nd and 3rd pace.

The winners of each five competitions are put into an annual year-end drawing and one team will be drawn.  Each of those members receive a bridle and breast plate from 5-Star Tack.

Q.  Which PRO riders are part of the Pro/ Am Competition Tour?

A.  At Sure Fire Horse Trials the PRO riders are Courtney Cooper, Laine Ashker, Kristen Schmolze, and Phillip Dutton.  Any professional member of PRO can participate; it’s really about schedules at events. Riders and sponsors are very excited. There is a lot of potential and everyone’s excited to be involved.

Thanks to Samantha for taking the time to talk with all of us about this new eventing opportunity.  Which Pro/ Am Team Competition do you want to enter?  Which Pro would you dream of riding with?  Tsk, tsk, silly me.  It’s no longer a dream.  Do it!

June 21st, 2010

On Eventing Trend: Mattes Pads

When I was just a wee half-pint with a little pony named Sun Polish I rode with a thin,  fleece saddle pad.  That was it. If the saddle didn’t fit the going wisdom said to throw a spongy pad shaped like a lollipop under the saddle and call it a day. I cringe to think of it.

But these days things are different.  After my hiatus from riding (I had to fit those books and brick-lined streets of Boston in somewhere) the view of the saddle looked very different.  Much fluffier.

Suddenly every rider sat atop a fluffy pad called a Mattes Pad whether in the dressage ring:

or hunter ring:

Or on the cross-country course in your colors:

But do they work?  Do they protect your horse’s back? Look fancy?  Wick sweat?  The truth is I don’t know.  But I must confess I jumped on board.  They do look fluffy and fancy and you know I go for that. So if they bring some benefits then I’m pleased.  In the mean time we’ve made big strides since the days of the fleece saddle pads and spongy lollipops.  And that suits me, and Ellie, just fine.  Do you use a Mattes Pad?

By Courtney in Style | 5 Comments »
June 18th, 2010

Happy Weekend!

TGIF and more good things for this Father’s Day weekend.  I was glad to have caught a lesson with Holly Hudspeth this week by fitting it in around meetings.  So I ended up hooking up a gooseneck trailer in high heels and a pencil skirt. That just feels right, you know?  This weekend I will be catching up on sleep and eating delicious food with friends on hot, summery nights. You? I hope these bits and pieces from around eventing lane make your weekend that much better.

Oliver Townend gets back into the swing of things

Advanced Eventer Katie Wherley on caring for your horse in the long format after endurance day

PRO offers a Pro/ Am competition.  I’m in!

Plus PRO has exceptional coverage of the US riders at Luhmuhlen.  Get Allison Springers thoughts on the cross-country course and more.

Plus (again) Laura Vandervliet kicks off the new PRO blog with her experience at Bromont.  Go PRO!

Thank goodness Dappled Grey keeps us in the style loop.  Create your own custom design iphone case (read: put your horse’s picture on your iphone!).

Regarding Horses always has the most detailed information on how to plug into your favorite events.  She’s got the goods on the WEG’s and it’s time to get ready!

Who’s winning at the German 3-day event Luhmuhlen?

Eventing Nation gets the inside scoop on eventing west-coast style.

A video interview with the Dubarry folks from the SmartPak blog.

And a few blog posts you may have missed in between rides:

Olympian Silver medalist Gina Miles on Pony Club and Twilight.

Phillip Dutton and the Secret to His Success.

Blast From the Chattahoochee Hills Past.


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