“The highest priority must be given by instructors to developing in their riders a correct, balanced, supple, effective, and independent seat for dressage and for jumping.” - “Teaching Principles” in the new ECP Eventing Handbook by the Levels
It’s about that time of year again when eventers across the country are packing their trunks and making arrangements to new locations for the winter months. While some owners might feel more comfortable transporting their own horses, time and resources make it more expedient for others to load their horses onto someone else’s rig for the potentially long journey to their winter quarters. For the safety and peace of mind of everyone involved – especially the equine passengers – two trusted shippers based on the east coast shared their tips for best practices when preparing horses for long trailer rides.
Last month we began a conversation built on the idea that success is often related to building a strong brand. For example, if you’re familiar with the Starbucks brand and logo there’s a pretty good chance you’ll end up in one of their stores one of these days! Athletes, like companies, also function by building brands, meaning your success may be closely tied to whatever brand you decide to define yourself by.
I’ve been in this game a long time now and have had my fair share of ups and downs and mistakes along the way. I think that if you choose eventing as your sport, then it’s inevitable that you have some bumps in the road and moments of reflection when things don’t quite go to plan.
For many of our members, winter is right around the corner (and for some of our Northern members, winter might already be upon you!). While some eventers head south for warmer weather in the winter months, a large part of our membership huddles down at home and use the winter months as an opportunity to rest from the season behind them or prepare for the season ahead. We asked our members what some of their favorite winter weather hacks around the barn were to help you make the most of the winter season.
The warm-up ring is often the busiest and sometimes most nerve-wracking area of any given competition. With riders and horses of all levels sharing the same – often cramped – space, it can appear as either a finely-orchestrated, balletic ensemble or a chaotic, three-ring circus designed to jangle the tight nerves of a novice competitor. While the warm-up is an essential part of every ride, its techniques can be difficult to master as they can vary greatly, depending on the needs of each individual horse.
Are you, your student, or your child new to eventing or preparing for a move-up? Do you find yourself looking for resources to ensure that riders looking to take the next step in the sport of eventing are prepared for what is to be asked of them? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource that was developed by members of the USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP), formerly the Instructors' Certification (ICP) Committee, and is available to all USEA members. This guide encompasses clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through all phases of all national competition levels and features rider requirements, exercises, demonstrated skills, evaluation tools, and more at the Starter through Advanced levels.
There is no doubt the USEA Eventing Coaches Program (ECP), formerly knowns as the USEA Instructors' Certification Program (ICP), has undergone major changes over the last two years. While all of this was going on, there were a number of conversations rumbling around inside our committee that kept resurfacing. Probably the most frequent one was: where is the next generation coming from and how do they get there? It’s not really a valid response to talk about going hunting for a number of seasons and learning to do dressage later. Nor is it really possible to set up a national center or regional one as exists in other countries. Working student options are obviously out there and, in some cases, long-term apprenticeships grow from that. However, I believe it needs to be more than that.
What kind of thought do you put into your horse's off-season plans? USEA Podcast host Nicole Brown sits down with eventing power couple Dom and Jimmie Schramm to discuss downtime strategy and all of the important components of when, where, how, and why. Plus, they chat about the importance of downtime for us as riders - something we don't always prioritize throughout the year!
Successful companies know that building a strong business brand is vital to building their success and equestrians, like all athletes, function in much the same way. This month, we'll begin a four-part series of Pressure Proof tips that’ll help you build a strong athletic-brand so that you can continue to build your success.
Specifics of the "Fun & Education Formula" were provided to all at the Jim Wofford Clinic held on August 20 & 21 at the Horse Park in Woodside, northern California. Eager riders, auditors, and volunteers gathered for a much anticipated two-day clinic with the master bright and early Saturday morning.