Perhaps some of the most troubling, yet common words you’ll ever hear before any class, clinic, or competition are: “sorry folks, we seem to have a delay on course.” You’re perfectly prepared and are ready to perform only to have it all thrown out the wait window. You’ve warmed-up well, arrived at the arena on time and peaked - only to be told to hurry up and wait! Thankfully, you have a plan prepared for this very possibility: your Delay Plan.
Imagine: you are at the biggest sporting event of your life. The stakes are high, and you have spent countless hours preparing for it. However, you are expected to just show up and immediately perform. You cannot stretch or take a practice swing. You have no time to loosen up or sharpen your eye. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? Just like us, our horses need adequate time to warm up each day. A warmup is any preparation for work, and it is often the leading edge of that work. It is the small aid response that becomes the more advanced aid response. At the end of your warmup, your horse should be attentive and fully available to you.
To organize a successful horse trial, combined test, clinic, or cross-country schooling day involves good management of many moving parts. As an organizer, it’s important to remember that your time matters. Having a variety of methods in your event management toolbox can help quiet the organizational chaos. Check out these five tips to save time (and boost revenue) as an eventing organizer.
Picture it: you’re in your early teens, it’s 1990-something, and you’re sitting on your horse at a mid-summer event throbbing inside a woolen twill tailcoat with a long-sleeved cotton shirt underneath. Your parent is there offering you a Gatorade, your trainer is pouring rubbing alcohol down your steed’s neck and the air smells of sweat. It’s a likely memory for everyone who has ridden the curve of the equine apparel industry for the last three decades or more, now graduating to lightweight sun shirts and stretchier, moisture-wicking breeches, and dare we say the magic word when it comes to peak summer heat: mesh!
A horse person is only as good as all of the tools they store in their tack trunk! Let's face it, as eventers we never know what we might need and when we might need it, so having everything prepared for whatever life might throw at us each day is essential. Needing some help deciding what items to stock up on as you prep for the rest of your 2022 show season? We asked USEA members to share their favorite go-to items that they can't live without in their tack trunk to help inspire you for things you might need to snag the next time you are at the tack store.
Preparing for an event? Wanting to make sure your horse is appropriately fit for his/her age or level of competition? Not sure what exercises will help you achieve your fitness goals for your horse? Jess and Kinsey Lux from USEA Education Partner Ride iQ sit down with five-star eventer and USEA Instructors' Certification Program (ICP) instructor Jon Holling to answer questions related to all things fitness. Check it out below:
Anyone who knows me is aware that I have a slight obsession with bits. I like to say, “Some women buy shoes; I buy bits.” I should bring a chaperone if I’m heading to a store with a wide assortment of bits—so I don’t come home with an expensive selection of new ones. While the addiction is real, it has also served me well through the years as I’ve managed to help many horses improve by finding them a bit that they’re more comfortable in.
Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Area a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area VI which is made up of California and Hawaii. Area VI has produced its fair share of Olympians, such as, Jil Walton (1992 Barcelona), Gina Miles (2008 Beijing), Tamie Smith (2021 Tokyo), and Lauren Billys (2016 Rio de Janeiro and 2021 Tokyo representing Puerto Rico). Learn more about Area VI below.
Trainers, riders, and horses alike gathered in Woodstock, Illinois at Jigsaw Farms on Tuesday, June 14 for their first-ever USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Workshop. The three-day clinic featured theory and practical application as sixteen eager instructors and over 20 different riders of varying levels soaked in as much knowledge from ICP certified instructors Karen O'Connor and Mary D'Arcy.
USEA Podcast Host Nicole Brown meets with Lisa Waterworth with Expert Bits to chat about the conformation of your horse's mouth and how that impacts their happiness and comfort when selecting the proper bit for your horse. Learn about where to start when evaluating bitting, how to find that 'perfect match,' and so much more in this week's episode of the USEA Podcast.
Last month we began a four-part series on mental preparation and the many kinds of pre-ride routines you can perform to control your emotions so they don’t take control of you. If you recall, the purpose of these routines is to give your brain the perception of predictability and control because as soon as your brain loses these it senses threat and stress which weakens your confidence and strengthens your jitters and fears.