All Posts from December, 2010

December 31st, 2010

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year!

photo by Nico Morgan

The nights are long and the days are short but as we turn the corner into 2011 we’re also turning a corner into swapping that around. And before you know it we’ll be talking about Spring jog outfits and competition results and our photos will shift from snowy white to Springy green.  In these dwindling days of quiet I’m making lists and goals for 2011. What about you?

Thumbs Ups and Thumbs Downs for 2010

Boyd and Silva Martin wish you a Happy New Year

5 Financial Tips for the New Year

FEI Eventing World Cup may lose major sponsor

2010 The Equestrian Year in Style & Culture

{and a few posts from 2010 you won’t want to miss}

Olympic Silver Medalist Gina Miles on Pony Club, Family, and Twilight

I Thought ‘Badminton’ was a Racquet Sport

3-Day Eventing’s Alphabet Soup

Lucinda Green, British Eventing Champion, Recaps the World Equestrian Games

Cross-Country Reflections from Bruce Davidson

Peter Green’s Rolex Kentucky Run Down

A Medals Prediction from Boyd Martin

December 31st, 2010

Looking Back at 2010 with Photographer Leslie Threlkeld

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

We all know what it feels like to run cross-country whether we’re leaping into the water at Rolex or jumping up our first bank at Beginner Novice. But capturing that feeling in a photo is a different feat entirely. Photographer Leslie Threlkeld does just.  We’re lucky enough to get a glimpse of her favorite cross-country photos from 2010.

Leslie caught gripping moments on the World Equestrian Games cross-country course. Like this one (that also captures those rad browbands the Germans wore).

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

And this one too.

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

I love how she captures the thrill and adrenaleine of cross-country but also the heart of our horses.  They make it happen.

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

And are there for us, bright and eager.

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

She captures such clever persepctives

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

and what it feels like to gallop across a field with the sun on your back and glittering on your horse.

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

Leslie pauses moments that only we felt and makes them possible to share.

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

It’s one thing to take a picture. It’s another thing entirely to capture a partnership.

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

photo by Leslie Threlkeld

Which is exactly what she does.

Thanks, Leslie, for sharing with us some of your favorite photos from 2010 and for capturing our hearts and dreams with your photography. Happy New Year to Team Three Days Three Ways and may 2011 be as full and bright as 2010.

By Courtney in Photography | 2 Comments »
December 30th, 2010

Looking Back at 2010 with Photographer Nico Morgan

In 2010 we were lucky enough to connect with the exceptionally talented photographer Nico Morgan who has kept us in the know with British eventing as well as awash in brilliant photographs. Let’s take a look back at 2010 through the lens of the inimitable Nico Morgan.

There were thrills, to be sure.

photo by Nico Morgan

photo by Nico Morgan

As well as spills.

photo by Nico Morgan

photo by Nico Morgan

But more than anything we spent the year with our horses in the little moments that aren’t communicated with words but with our hearts.

photo by Nico Morgan

We watched our favorite riders like Zara Phillips,

photo by Nico Morgan

and Oliver Townend.

photo by Nico Morgan

Photographers braved the rain, wind, and sun to capture the perfect moments for us including, here, Horse and Hound photographer Trevor Meeks, in front of the Head of the Lake at Badminton.

photo by Nico Morgan

Be sure to thank your fave photographers. They captured your favorite top riders as well as your own moments of glory.

photo by Nico Morgan

Caroline Powell won Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials

photo by Nico Morgan

And Paul Tapner’s name became an eventing household name.

photo by Nico Morgan

Nico makes sure we are in the heart of all things horse including side-saddle. You know how I’m partial to that! Can you see Ellie and I doing something like this?

photo by Nico Morgan

Or maybe this?

photo by Nico Morgan

2010 brought us moments of glory,

photo by Nico Morgan

And moments of quiet reflection as with this sunbathing fox.

photo by Nico Morgan

We enjoyed every moment of 3-day eventing’s top competitions like Badminton,

photo by Nico Morgan

As well as those quiet moments with our horses at dusk when we are the only things that exist in the whole world.

photo by Nico Morgan

Yes, 2010 has been quite a year.

photo by Nico Morgan

Even when things got tough

photo by Nico Morgan

Our horses were there for us with a warm breath and a nicker.

photo by Nico Morgan

Thanks to the Three Days Three Ways Team for making 2010 something special.  And thanks to Nico Morgan for bringing every bit of it to our doorstep. Make him part of your 2011 (as we will here) but visiting his website and finding him on Facebook. Then you’ll have every bit of 2011 captured too.  Here’s to 2011 and to you!

By Courtney in Photography | 1 Comment »
December 29th, 2010

Eventer Doug Payne: Tips on Horse Business and Becoming a Better Rider

Welcome back to Three Days Three Ways for Part II of the interview with top event rider Doug Payne. Here he offers more tips on running your horse business, the effect of riding with discipline-specific trainers, and a run down of the horses in his string. Take a front row seat and enjoy!

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

Do you do your own PR?

I do a lot of it.  There are a couple people who I teach or met through friends who have helped out with different articles. Most of the main feature stuff has been through acquaintances.  I put together the training video [‘The Rider’s Eye‘] with Jim Wofford and shot it and edited it. That’s been huge.

‘The Rider’s Eye’ Video

Keep your name out there and don’t be afraid to approach and ask people. Same thing with getting horses.  I’m trying to get one horse a year.  I now own half of five horses and have 7, 6, 5, 4, and 3 year olds.  It’s exciting.  In a few years that string should be in great shape. A lot of people have one or two horses then have a huge gap.  All of a sudden you don’t have a horse and need an owner to come in. And the really good ones are not for sale.

It was valuable for me to go over to Holland talk to all these people talked to Bettina [Hoy] and William [Fox-Pitt].  William was huge on this – you have to get young horses and make them yourself or there’s no way you’ll be consistently there. Bruce [Davidson] was producing two 3-star horse per year. That was his goal and his track record.  If you can get one [horse] a year then everything snowballs.  The more results the more opportunity.  You make your own luck.

Be smart. Ride good horse – you can’t when you’re hurt! Be very objective with what you have. If they’re not going to cut it find a new one.

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

Horses are all-consuming. Do you manage to find time outside of horses for other things?

Most of it is horse related. I catch grief from people that I never stop doing stuff with it. It’s tricky but the thing is you gotta enjoy doing what you’re doing.  Enjoy the few you ride during the day.  There are maybe four right now I wouldn’t ride by choice. But the good thing is that there’s a core group of seven I’d want to ride anyway. I enjoy doing it.  That makes it a lot easier.

The main thing is be open-minded. If  I have a straight dressage horse, I take it.  Don’t get ride of it.  Same with jumping.  I’ve taken some dressage horses through  Grand Prix.  I had a horse in training I taught to jump from the very beginning and we did his first Grand Prix this Fall.  There’s so much to learn from the straight disciplines.

photo by Emily Daily

Is it good to learn from trainers who are discipline-specific?

You need to have a solid foundation to start with.  Eventing is good to establish that. Once you have a good idea of what’s required then the value of specialized trainers comes into play.  You can go in and have a lesson and apply that knowledge where it fits with other phases.  Anne Kursinski has helped a ton.  She’s one of best instructors I’ve ever had.

Showjumper Anne Kursinski

I always come away with something valuable I hadn’t done before. She may not be the one for everyone but for me she is.  I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned.  I’ve learned more this summer jumping than I have in a lifetime probably.  It changes my perspective. I’ve walked some tracks at jumper shows and I’m thinking, shit! I’ve been more nervous there than I have been eventing.  You fall into a comfort zone.  I hadn’t felt that out of place since I was a teenager.  There were a lot of old habits I thought I’d taken care of that I fell back into when I was out of my comfort zone.  More you know the less you know.

There’s a huge advantage to going someplace where you’re not comfortable and under reasonably high pressure and you have to figure out how to deal with it.  I walk an Advanced track and it’s not so scary or intimidating anymore.

I like to think the most complete rider is [William] Fox-Pitt.  But even he has flaws I don’t want to replicate.  There isn’t one idol.  I have almost a composite rider I would like to be and would take aspects from Fox-Pitt and aspects from Anne and different disciplines. That’s the perfect type. You have to be aware of where you’re coming from to find someone who can bring out the best in what you’re able to do.

Do you have any tips for readers who are making their livelihood with horses as their business?

A good website that’s constantly updated with new content.  You can shape the perception to public right off bat. Spend money or learn how to do it. Facebook and internet is full of advantages.

The second thing is riding as many horses as you possibly can.  I wouldn’t turn down anything. One woman was on a waiting list for a long time with a Fjord Pony and a PMU Draft rescue.  I thought, what am I going to do with a 14 hand Fjord and a PMU?  It seems like a waste.  It turns out I could help her out and she’s the nicest person in the world. She’s helped me out so much more than I’ve helped her.  She ended up buying into the Shining North Star syndicate.  Ride everything you can that has four legs and is sound.

Third is keep expanding your knowledge base with judging or the ICP program, especially if you’re motivated and making a go of it.

Every professional has been in that place before and will help you out. They’re really genuine and working their hardest. Talk to as many poeple you know. Never come into it thinking cocky. You’ll never learn that way.

Your best instructors are the horses. Keep an open mind to it.  Most of the problems they have are something you help it out with.

What do you feel like is the importance of individual sponsors (or owners) and company sponsors. What roles do they play in your business?

They play a vital role really. Without them, you’re done.  The corporate stuff, that comes with time I think. The more success you have the more opportunities will present themselves. Initially, nearly all sponsors right off the bat were through personal relationships. Day to day you don’t have to pay for tack and most medical stuff is covered. What do I pay for? Riding boots, that’s about it right now.  Personal sponsors are people who get involved owning horses.  I can’t afford to be owning these horses, it’s not possible. Hopefully I can give them an opportunity they weren’t able to get for themselves. You have a dream or journey and they’re joining in with you. It’s a partnership. Together you are working to achieve a goal. Without their help I’m in trouble, and without my help they can’t get the dream either.  It ends up being a team that will get you there.

Tell me about your upper-level event horses you’ve got running right now.

Running Order is top right now of the bunch. He’s eight turning nine and owned by Patti Springsteen.

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

Castaway was found in jumper land and had raced in Ireland.  They couldn’t get him away from barn, he was bucking and rearing.  He’s been here a little over two years. He’ll so a  Three-star this spring and, if all goes to plan, Pau in the Fall. There’s a lot that has to happen before that.  He’s a freak of nature athletically. His flatwork is coming but he’ll get there. He did his first one-star 18 months ago.  Then he moved up to Intermediate and did the Fair Hill two-star and moved up to Advanced and did Boeleko in Fall.  That’s faster than I would have expected.  He did cross-country pacing in Ireland so had ditches and banks and was exposed to a lot with good-sized cross-country stuff.  Jumping never an issue.  It’s more teaching him the technical side to it.  He’s an incredible horse. He’s a character and an attention whore.  He’s a funny horse  who’s not at all bashful.  If you hang someone else’s halter on his halter hook it will end up in the aisle.  But he’ll leave his alone.  He plays with the dog, Bacon, up and down the aisle.

Crown Talisman.  He’s 7 this year coming 8.  I got him in November two years ago.  His owners wanted to sell him but when I got on him he went in reverse then did this rear to buck move that was really cool.  I couldn’t sell him!  He was green broke and I ended up bartering five months of training to get him.  He won the Preliminary Horse division at the AEC’s [American Eventing Championships].  He’s a Hoslteiner/ Thoroghbred. Larry and Amelia Rosss bought him half-in.  He will hopefully do two-star this spring. He’s quirky and tricky.  If he hears anything behind him he’ll go all four feet off the ground and spin. He’ll do it at walk, trot or canter.  He’ll spring in the air and land halted with his feet planted in ground.  I’ve never been around a horse like him in that regard.  He’s very aware of his body and physically extremely strong as well as a  great mover.  He consistently gets 8’s or 9’s on gaits.  He’ll be something special.

photo by David Eschmann

North Star did a two-star in the spring and is half-brother to Courageous Comet.  He’s a really good jumper; a go-cart type, a spit fire thing. He’s a neat little horse.

photo by David Eshmann

It’s a work-in-progress and I’m figuring it all. I enjoy the process.

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

If you’re left wanting to know more about Doug Payne (who isn’t!) find out more on his amazing website, facebook, or check out ‘The Rider’s Eye’ video with Jim Wofford. Thanks to Doug for his time and sharing so much with us eventers.

December 28th, 2010

Your Top 10 Posts of 2010

image via Knomo London

So what did you love most about 2010 when it came to Three Days Three Ways? You don’t have to go very far to find out. Following are your top-read posts for 2010. Do any of them surprise you?

10. Amy Tryon Balances Olympics Medals, Losing Le Samurai, and Paradise in the Pacific North West.

“…I love it when people come up to me and I like to be approachable. People can come up to me and ask to walk a course–I love to help them do it….”

9. Phillip Dutton Ends 2009 on Top

“Woodburn is probably not the friendliest horse you’ve ever seen, he’s a bit on edge.Tru Luck is a real happy go lucky kind of guy, he enjoys life…Connaught is a pretty strange character and pretty opinionated about what he wants to do…but he means well.”

8.  Thelwell Pony Look-a-Like Contest Sponsored by SmartPak

“The entries are in for the Thelwell Pony Look-a-Like Contest Sponsored by SmartPakand I’m smiling form ear to ear to finally let you in on meeting these Thelwell Pony Look-a-likes.  And what look-a-likes they are!”

7. Boyd Martin: How He Proposed to His Wife, Getting Fit Without Going Fast, and an Olympic Legacy

“…I grew up outside the city on five or ten acres and we had horses we raced around on.  I was intrigued with riding horses.  Actually my sister was more into it than I was.  When I turned fifteen and did 3-Day eventing I got the thrill cross-country and went for it.”

6. Allison Springer: How to Win Best Turnout at Rolex and/or Make it to the Top

“…I Pony Clubbed and fox hunted too. My playtime was with my friends cruising around on our ponies. I had a wonderful childhood because of that.”

5. Watch Your Back: Max McManamy, 2009 Youth Equestrian of the Year

“…I started riding pretty much before I could walk.  The first time I fell off I think I was two. I got bucked off. I decided there I wanted to ride.”

4. Lucinda Green: British Eventing Champion Recaps the World Equestrian Games

“…Talk to me in two years in London and we probably won’t have made it again because we haven’t done an Olympic gold since 1972.  We win these but we can’t do the Olympics! So when the Germans fell apart yesterday I just said “Damn the Germans!  They’re just warming up for London!”

3. Word on the Street: Michael Jung’s Horse Sold for A Million Pounds

“The jogs were cold and dreary this morning but the news on the street is hot.  Rumor has it that Michael Jung’s horse, La Biosthetique Sam, both currently in first at the World Equestrian Games, has been sold for at least 1 million pounds…”

2. Peter Green’s Rolex Kentucky Run Down

“…Having won Rolex once, [Phillip] is coming this year with quantity as well as quality for another try at the Rolex Trophy…”

1. Rolex Wednesday Jogs: The Best of the Best of Fashion

“…Captain Geoff Curren:  We always love a man in uniform.  This dates back to an “Officer and a Gentleman”.  We’ll be his Deborah Winger anytime!”

What do you think about 2010 in a nutshell? Thanks for making 2010 swell!

December 27th, 2010

Eventer Doug Payne Competes with Grit, Talent, and Smarts.

photo by Emily Daily

I called eventer Doug Payne early one morning and he returned my call in under two hours.  I love that. I also love that when we set a time to talk he didn’t miss a beat when our temporary 2-hour time difference would mean he’d need to get on the phone at 6:30am.   He said, “That makes it 6:30am. Perfect, I’ll definitely be up by then.” By then. Like it was late or something. Should I have confessed at that point that I thought 6:30am was shockingly early to be doing anything – let along giving an interview? He became my immediate hero. The interview that followed only solidified that view what with stories of shenanigans on horseback with his sister, how he became so good at riding all types of horses, and tips on riding your dressage test from a judge’s-eye-view. And that’s just Part I!

Who was that first magical horse or pony in your life who captured your heart?

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

There wasn’t really one horse. My sister Holly got one horse and it ended up being the one she went to Young Riders with. I grew up riding different horses.  I’m very lucky, I had lots of help but financially, but we didn’t have the money to buy made and going type horses. All the horses were some kind of project you had to see what you could do. Up until I went to college I had a few horses I ended up being successful with and rode through Advanced but not one defining horse that hooked me.  I have a competitive family and my sister had a lot of success early on.  That was difficult for me.  I was always jealous of the fact that she had one horse that was going so well. I rode a lot but not on the same scale. In hindsight it was an advantage because it exposed me to a lot of types of horses.  I found my niche figuring out trickier types and figuring out what makes them tick, then filling in the gaps in their training.

That’s lucky. I had a super horse I did Young Rider’s with but I didn’t have that education with a lot of different horses.

My family is very, very competitive and will make a contest out of anything. Getting stuck second string is beyond frustrating. In hindsight it was a  clear advantage.

What are the skills you developed?

I’m lucky that my mom is as involved as she is. We didn’t have formal lessons other than Pony Club.

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

I had a very active local club with weekly lessons. But day to day we didn’t have regular lessons at 3pm with Mom. She was teaching a lot all the time.  So as you rode by her she’d say you need this or that. Not like a concrete lesson. The skills you learn in order to be successful-you have to ride a bunch of horses. One of the main things I’m most proud of is that I don’t have a particular type of horse; I could ride all types equally well. I’m not stuck to just a thoroughbred or just a warmblood or Irish horse.  Any opportunity you get to ride any type of horse you’re gonna learn something from all of them.  Going through college I didn’t ride a lot; I had one project horse.  After that the best thing I’ve done with my career was to start up a training facility.  Having that barn enabled me to ride a lot more horses.  I ride 12-15 horses a day.  There are so many different types of horses coming you can learn something from each of them.

photo by Emily Daily

If you see the same problem develop in different horses you know it’s your issue not the horse’s. If you rode 2 or 3 horse on a daily basis and suddenly they’re all drifting left or rushing you know this isn’t just this horse. That’s not something an instructor can teach you. If your horse is drifting it’s like, ok fix it. Sometimes it’s the horse’s issue but as you become a better rider you realize it’s never the horse’s problem, it’s all yours.

Tell me about your family’s background in horses.

My Mom rode later in life in her teens in the suburbs of New York and New Jersey. She didn’t have a childhood in horses and wasn’t all that involved with them. She was a scientist first and helped developed Listerine and this kind of thing.  She went full time into horses when we were born.  She has a lesson and training facility and farm that we lived on and they still live there today.  There were always horses and people coming in for lessons.  Growing up everybody rode and competed and that seemed like a normal thing for us.  We always had a pony around but there was no pressure to compete and go out and practice; it was always our choice, we were never forced to do one thing or another.  I would rather go jump in a field – dressage was not high on my priority list. My whole family was competitive and my sister rode also. She became more involved and started doing better earlier on. The fact that I was losing made me put more effort into flatwork. Both of us got our [Pony Club] A’s and did Young Riders. When we were growing up we always had one horse at a time but when we were 18 and went off to college we had to sell what we had and anything horse-related was our deal.  We got no financial help. It was difficult to swallow but in the end it’s a good thing.  You have a real drive.  I was talking with Wiliam Fox-Pitt and he understood-you either ride and do well or you’re not making rent.  It’s a motivating factor to make it on your own.  You have to figure out how to do it. Business-wise you gotta stay afloat. Find your niche and run with it.

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

Tell us more about how you and your sister were competitive?

My sister and I used to get home from school and race from the door of the house to see who could be tacked up and on their horse first or, if we were out riding, anything from jumping contests, doing tricky lines, a long spot contest, short spot contest, and whatever you can think of it.  If you can make it into a game one of us would lose at it.

photo courtesy of Doug Payne

We also skiied a fair amount.  The entire family did. Both of us also played all sorts of sports. We pretty much tried anything.  Through Pony Club we did Tetrathlon: running, shooting, riding, swimming.  I ski-raced in college and that was really fun too.

Your mother is a USEF “S” Dressage judge, an FEI eventing judge including at the 2008 Olympics and the WEGs. You are a USEF and eventing judge as well as a USEA level III instructor.  Do you find this experience gives you a special edge over other competitors?

Without a doubt.  That’s one of the main reasons I went into the judging program.  You meet a lot of people right off the bat. I was 26.  It’s becoming less of a problem now but in my early to mid 20’s not that many poeple have a stand-alone business.  I felt at the time that I was losing horses through a perceived lack of experience.  [Becoming a judge helps with] networking and helps cometitively minimize point loss.  You know what the lesser faults are. If the horse is going to break or do something you know how to salvage it.  It’s a huge motivating factor validating what you’re doing and people feel more secure that you know what you’re talking about.  People come out of [a dressage] test saying I don’t know what the judges are thinking.   You might have basic faults you don’t realize.  Obedience and gait first!

photo by Shannon Brinkman

All riders could benefit going through the program.   You don’t have to become a judge; you can audit and learn all the same stuff.

Any inside tips for dressage tests from a judge’s perspective?

Many people are too conservative.  If your horse is a little hot or nervous everyone tends to back off.  It’s like sitting on a time bomb that’s waiting to explode. Be more confident and ride them forward.  You will always be rewarded for a forward ride. Don’t run them off their feet, that’s not what you’re looking for. If you sit and watch a Training division or a Preliminary division-nobody goes for it. People tend to be too conservative.  You could be getting 5 or 10 points higher.  Be more confident and go for it.

What about salvaging problems? Are there tricks to sneaking in fixes?

When your back is to the judge there are spots in test or ring they’ll miss things.  You can make quick fix. But when you’re crossing the center line you better have your horse stretching and soft. Generally if your back is too them and in between movements and you’re not on center line.  It’s depends on the test you’re doing.

Some people might thing it sounds swanky to spend your life outside and NOT in a cubicle.  But it’s hard. What are the key components of running your business that some might not think about when they imagine you riding on a pretty, sunny day.

There’s a lot to it, right. My school background is in engineering.  I had roommates who were computer guys.   They started doing my website then and I do it now.  I can update it quickly and change it around.   It’s time consuming.  It takes a ton of time and some would say to a fault I’m a little bit obsessive about thinking ‘what can I do next’? The business has been up and running for five years.  I never thought I would be doing this professionally.  I was going to go into forensics and do this on the side.  But I was making what I would be making as a starting police officer. All of my horses that were hobby dollars were now business dollars.  I thought, if I can afford this then I can go back to engineering later.

photo by Emily Daily

Early on I tried to get this all going as training operation. I wanted to be riding.  A ton of horses are short term, almost like boot camp, for 1-3 months. The first couple of years I rode horses who reared, bucked, spun, anything you could think of.  But no one wants to ride problems all the time.  It was a great foot in the door so I could make a go of it and make a living off of it.  There were a few that would come through door that ended up being great. That horse, Running Order, wasn’t working out in the jumping world but it wasn’t too long to get him straightened out.

photo by Emily Daily

You get one good one and it starts to snowball.  Now I have a core group of good horses who are 3 or 4 year-olds and clean slates. Everything else had some issue that ended up turning into something a bit nicer. I’m riding more and more good quality ones that don’t have some problem. Day-to-day it’s  time consuming.  I’m riding 7:30am-4:30pm straight through and have 2-3 people all the time working.  I teach only a few lessons a week.  I spend 2 or 3 hours a day on inquiries that come in, advice, scheduling lessons.

The biggest push now is social networking with facebook and new content with pictures and videos. Everybody loves content. If you can keep getting stuff up and running it really helps.

Check back for Part II of Doug Payne’s interview and find out about his string of horses, key PR tips for anyone in, on, or around the horse business, and how riding across discipline can make you a better equestrian.

December 24th, 2010

Printable Christmas Tags

What could be more perfect for the horse-lover than these ribbon gift tags? Download them (they’re even free!) at Pennyweight and impress the whole lot of your family and friends.

December 24th, 2010

Happy Christmas!

artwork by Willa Frayser

It’s Christmas Eve and I’m sipping tea from a festive mug watching a certain spaniel frolic in left-over snow. Though there may be lots more where that came from soon! I hope everyone enjoys this holiday season as well as these finds from around the horsey web!

Christmas isn’t just for Ponies

Eventing USA to Offer 10 Issues a Year (sweet!)

Zara Phillip is off the market

Dreaming of a white Christmas…and a pony under the tree

{and some Three Days Three Ways posts you might like to pour over while sipping eggnog}

Interview: Kelly Loria, Eventing Young Rider, Wins First Time at Bat

On Eventing Trend: Braided Tails (and whiskers too)

Josh Walker and Red Horse Media

Horses in Film: Did you Know?

December 23rd, 2010

Top Eventing Groom Emma Ford Hashes Out Her Christmas Wish List (Take Notes!)

Emma Ford, top groom to top eventer Phillip Dutton, walks us through her Christmas Wish List for 2010. For starters, I think we need to try and get her something like this!

Cleaning Fairy via Any Place Farm

Emma Ford’s Christmas Wish List:

1. Have Phillip be tidy in the tack stalls. He gets a corner and he just explodes. It doesn’t matter how tidy I try to keep it – it just goes everywhere! I need a Fairy Tidier. Boyd‘s groom is in on that to. Is it an Australian men’s mentality?

2.  For shows I was thinking in an ideal world I would love everything to be matching – coolers, blankets, wraps, everything.

3. Bell boots that never come off after cross-country. I’ve probably lost 10 pairs this year.  I haven’t found a make that stays on.

4. A perfect ice boot that any horse will stand in and you don’t have to stay with them.

5. Jammies that the Australians had at the WEGs from their head down to their toes.

6.  Stall mucking fairies.

True Prospect Farm Barn Wishes:

1. Heated water spigots out to every paddock

2. Heated wash stalls

3. In England some barns have a special room to hose down blankets then it’s heated so they dry too. So, a heated drying area for blankets.

4. Tack cleaning fairy

5.  A continuous supply of hot coffee and working students

6. Fairy barn cleaner to de cobweb and clean brass

7.  Pooper scooper

8. To be sponsored by L.L. Bean and have fleece-lined jeans

9. To be sponsored by Starbucks

and Godiva Chocolate

Thanks Emma!  Make sure to check your stocking this Christmas to see how much of that Santa and his Three Days Three Ways elves have managed to stuff in there.

December 22nd, 2010

Gift Guide Part # 7: your friend who wants the world to be a better place and looks good doing it

Are you as behind in your Christmas shopping as I am?  Maybe it’s all that eggnog, but I’ve got miles to go before I sleep. Here are some tips for your friend who wants the world to be a better place and looks good doing it. She always manages to look great whether waiting for her next round, sipping home brew, or volunteering for her favorite non-profit. How does she do that? Here’s how:

Bridge and Burn Earhardt Jacket. Perfect for the brew house or for a soggy course walk. $120.00.

Ruby Assata purse. Ideal for carrying copious supplies like wallet, checkbook, and stud kit. Also squirming Jack Russels (or adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniels). Email for prices.

Emerson Made dress.  Think Spring.  Think Spring jogs. Also works well to throw on after a clinic when you’re hanging around cooking out. Obviously looks great with wellies which means you can still take the shortcut through the field without screwing up your new leather Oxfords. Note the boots to her right. Brown riding boots. Also on the list! $198.00 (the dress, that is)

Brown belt. It’ll work with the Emerson Made dress (yeah for accessories that make it look like you actually took time to put your outfit together instead of throwing it together in the trailer tack room) as well as with your britches when you’re teaching, at a clinic, or coming down the center line.  $40.80.

Wellies. Duh. These are at the top of my list this year.  Will you send good thoughts?  I’ll let you know what happens. $125.00.

Siberian Tiger Kate Spade mittens (cause you’re horse is a tiger on cross-country) handmade by women in Bosnia. When it’s freezing and you’re trying to lug your saddles back and forth from the barn to the trailer these will keep your fingers from freezing plumb off. Also, when you buy them you’re also supporting Women for Women International, a non-profit that provides women in war-torn countries the resources they need to move from a state of crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency. Stylish and worldly. Just in time for true holiday spirit. $95.00.

Good luck dashing around getting your final presents in order. One more surprise gift guide to come!

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