I expected some kind of introduction, briefing, or warning. We didn’t need to suffer summer camp ice breakers (ha) but a syllabus would have been nice. Instead, the digital clock looming over the rink changed to 9:30 and I skated out amid a sea of loose pucks, dodging guys twice my age and three times my size. I’ve never been so grateful for the experience navigating an overcrowded warm up ring in my life.
Yesterday I interviewed an international level dressage rider who had just won an eventing championship. I asked him why he took up eventing and he laughed and said, “I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and eventing is about as far from dressage as you can get.” Right now I’m about as far as riding as I can get too, and I can only hope to be as graceful as this rider as I enter the foreign world of…ice hockey.
I’ve recently been the subject of a few interviews (more on that later) and one question the interviewer always asks is, “why did you get into horses?” I smile and shrug and tell them that I’ve been riding since I was five-years-old, so I have no idea why I started but I stuck with it because I love the horses. Now, for the first time in 16 years I’m about to find myself without a horse or barn to ride with.
Last week one of my homework assignments was to watch “Free Schooling” by Damian Gardiner on Equestriancoach.com. Gardiner shared his strategy for free schooling horses over spooky jumps, explaining that he likes to use free schooling to expose horses to the types of fences they’ll see in a show ring.
I’m an Equestrian studies major (shocking, I know) and one of the questions I get most often is, “What is your homework like????” Well, you fine inquiring minds, some of my homework involves watching videos on Equestrianocach.com and writing summaries/reflections on the content. I was digging through old assignments the other day and found this gem based off a video in Bernie Traurig’s “Exercises for Developing A Better Eye” series.
Well then you’re in luck. I’m currently in my last quarter of undergrad and I’m completing my thesis on sports media in non-equestrian and equestrian sports. I have a quick survey I made (average completion time is 5 mins) that I would be terribly grateful if you filled out.
If you do complete the survey, let me know and I’ll put your name in a drawing to win a digital portrait of your favorite equine. (Example below)
Leo is a registered thoroughbred. I spent one particularly sleepless night digging up his history and discovered he was born in 2009 in New York, raced a few times, (never won) retired in 2013 and somehow made his way from a re-training facility in South Carolina to New Holland auction in Pennsylvania by September, 2015. Continue reading
I’ve been gone a while. I don’t really have an excuse other than I’m figuring some personal stuff out and I’m neck-deep in school work. However! I do plan to make a triumphant return to this blog soon. In the meantime, I’ve been up to some pretty cool stuff, including co-founding a magazine for the Equestrian program at my school. We’ve got a few articles up so far and more are coming.
The debut piece was written by yours truly, so if you’d like to know what hosting an IHSA show as the reigning National Champion team is like, please check out:
I started this blog for a class project. We’ve been required to plan, post, and maintain our online presence for the past 8 weeks. This is the last full week of class, which means that soon I won’t have the looming threat of a failing grade to motivate me to keep up with posting.
I do plan to keep this blog going, and I still want to post once a week (especially with the classes I’m taking next quarter, I should have lots of stories to tell.) However, I am going to be changing the makeup of this blog, so I want to take a moment to explain how and why that will happen. Continue reading
Training Chronicles will be an ongoing series where I talk about the horses I’ve worked with and what they taught me.
I’ll start by introducing my influences more completely, because these horses really did shape me as a rider and a person and if you’re going to understand anything about my approach to working with horses you’ll need to know where I’m coming from.
First up is Dr.Pepper (I’ve Been Selected), an AQHA registered gelding who had a mildly successful run in the Dressage ring with an older girl before I started riding him.
My and Pepper’s story is long and twisty, but for now we’ll just go over the basics. Continue reading