Dec 31, 2021

A Look Back At Eventing 2021: Top 10 Educational Articles

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA/ Taylor Pence photo.

The United States Eventing Association (USEA) was established to serve as an educational resource for eventers new and old! In 2021 the USEA website reached over 6 million people, there were over 50,000 downloads of our USEA official podcast, and over 30,000 subscribers to our weekly e-newsletter. Here are the top ten educational articles that USEA members had access to in 2021, and don't forget to follow our website and social media for more great content in the new year!

Photo courtesy of Bates Saddles.

10) Top 10 Tips for Leather Care with Bates Saddles

By Bates Saddles

Tack cleaning is one of those barn chores that might not be our favorite but is certainly necessary for keeping our equipment in top shape. Aside from caring for your tack so it lasts for years to come, regular tack maintenance is important for safety. The last thing you want is the potential for a stitch, zipper, or buckle breaking while you're out on course. But what are the best practices for keeping your tack in the best possible condition? Our friends at Bates Saddles, the Offical Saddle of the USEA, have shared some of their top tips for keeping your leather equipment in good and safe condition.

Tik Maynard competing with Vasiliev at the 2018 Ocala Jockey Club CCI*. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

9) Grid Pro Quo with Tik Maynard

As Told to Margaret Rizzo McKelvy

While on paper you may think that this exercise is overly simple, I find that it is the perfect thing to work on during the winter months to help prepare for the upcoming show season. I’m a big believer in training my horses – and students – in a systematic manner. And this is a great exercise to set up on your own and practice in between lessons. Even better, get a group of friends together and make a game of it.

Will Coleman and Tight Lines at the 2019 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event. USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.


8) Grid Pro Quo with Will Coleman

As told to Margaret Rizzo McKelvy

Throughout my career, I’ve been lucky enough to both spectate and compete at some of the biggest events around the world. And whether you’re competing at one of these marquee events or at your local horse trials, the two biggest reasons that riders will have rails in show jumping are the same: lack of balance and rideability.

USEA/ KTB Creative Group photo.

7) What You Need to Know: New Eventing Rules Effective December 1, 2021

By Meagan DeLisle

With the new competition season kicking off officially on December 1, it’s time to brush up on the USEF Rules For Eventing ! There are five new rules and amendments that will take effect at the start of the new season regarding competition approvals, officials, and more. To access the full 2022 USEF Rulebook, click here.

USEA/ KTB Creative Group photo.

6) 10 Tips to Ace Your Dressage Test with Marilyn Payne

By Catherine Austen

Marilyn Payne is one of the most experienced and respected ground jury members in eventing. She has adjudicated at every top event in the world, including two Olympic Games. Here are her top tips on how to impress the dressage judges - at any level.

Capt. Mark Phillips instructing Kristin Schmolze in the 2011 Training Sessions. Kate Erickson Photo.

5) Galloping and Setting Up for Cross-Country Fences: A Conversation with Captain Mark Phillips

By Momi Henne

Cross-country riding is basically galloping across the country, jumping various obstacles. The ability to transition from the gallop to the appropriate speed and balance for the upcoming obstacle is an essential skill for riding cross-country. It is a skill that needs to be practiced just as jumping the actual fences needs to be practiced. Recently I had a conversation with Captain Mark Phillips about how to do this.

Lauren Nicholson and Vermiculus. USEA Photo

5) Lauren Nicholson's Top Tips for Successful Hacking

By Catherine Austen

We all want to do the best with our young horses and to produce well-schooled, educated animals. However, it’s easy to get bogged down in detail and spend a lot of time in the arena. We shouldn’t forget that young event horses need to learn to deal with wide-open spaces, natural terrain, and obstacles - and the best way to do this in an unpressurized way is by going hacking.

Hannah Cole Photography Photo

3) Eight Ways to Make Sure Your First Cross-Country Schooling Session is a Success

By Catherine Austen

British CCI5*-L winner Laura Collett is recognized as a first-class producer of young event horses. Here are her top tips for introducing your young horse to cross-country.

USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

2) Rule Refresher: But What Will I Wear?

Hoping to hit the Black Friday sales and update your show attire? Don’t forget to make sure your clothes are show-ring ready! Below you will find the outlines for appropriate dress for all three phases. Study up and snag some sales! Text has been taken directly from the USEF Rules For Eventing, with emphasis added by the USEA.

USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo.

1) Rule Refresher: What is the Compulsory Retirement Rule?

The Compulsory Retirement rule is a fairly new addition to the USEF Rules for Eventing having gone into effect on June 1, 2021. Compulsory Retirement, denoted as CR on scoring, is enacted when a competitor has 20 or more show jumping penalties at the Training, Modified, Preliminary, Intermediate, or Advanced levels. This rule was originally proposed by the USEA Safety Committee after they reviewed performance data over the past five years. There was clear indication that horses performing at or above the Training level suffered exponentially more falls on cross-country after having 16 or more show jumping penalties. Similar rules exist in other countries including the UK.

Jan 24, 2022 Leaderboard

The USEA Lady Rider of 2021 is Leading the Charge in Elevating Eventing Competition on the West Coast

Tamie Smith’s year has been nothing short of action-packed as she packed up all 25 of her competition horses and made her way to the East Coast for the first part of the year before hopping on a jet to Tokyo where she served as the U.S. team reserve for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She then stayed overseas and competed abroad for a little while before returning home to the West Coast. While this year has been full of opportunities to show, her aspirations are bigger than just competition. The 2021 Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year has been full steam ahead chasing goals in both her riding career as well as in her impact on the sport’s future.

Jan 23, 2022 Area Resources

Meet the USEA Areas: Area I

Get to know each United States Eventing Association (USEA) Areas a little better in this new series, Meet the Areas! This month’s feature is USEA Area I which is comprised of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Founded in the 1960s, Area I was the birthplace of the United States Combined Training Association (USCTA) which was founded in 1959 and would later evolve into the USEA in 2001. In 2021 just under 800 members made up the membership count in Area I.

Jan 22, 2022 Instructors

A Treasure Trove of Information: Get Another Sneak Peek at the USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels

Trainers, riders, parents, and more are in for a real treat when the all-new USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is officially released. Those participating in the 2022 USEA Instructors’ Certification Program (ICP) Symposium at Barnstaple South Farm in Ocala, Florida on February 8-9 will be the first to set eyes on this all-encompassing guide that has been two years in the making.

Jan 21, 2022 Young Event Horse

Get Your Young Event Horses Ready: 2022 YEH Calendar and YEH Rule Change Updates Announced

The USEA established the Young Event Horse (YEH) program in 2004 to identify young horses that possess the talent and disposition to, with proper training, excel at the uppermost levels of the sport. While the goal of the YEH program is to identify horses that will be successful at the four- and five-star levels, horses with the potential for lower-level success are also showcased by the program.

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