Jun 17, 2022

Nine Cross-Country Rituals to Help Get Your Head in the Game

By Meagan DeLisle - USEA Staff
USEA/ Meagan DeLisle photo

If there is one thing that every event rider can relate to, it’s that combination of nerves and excitement and anticipation that comes in the form of pre-cross-country jitters. For some riders, that energy is best unleashed on the gallop out of the start box, while others need to find ways to unwind before they make their way out of the barn. We asked members of the USEA membership to chime in on their favorite pre-cross-country rituals that help them get ready to gallop across the country at each event.

Mandated Mantras

Aiden S: “My mantra is ‘strong, capable, brave’ and I tell my horse over and over that I will not ask him to do anything that I don't think he can do.”

Caitlyn B: “I repeat to myself ‘inhale, exhale’ and always remind myself the most important thing is that both myself and my horse get home safe at the end of the day.”

Yeardly P: “I always say to myself, ‘you will have a clean safe ride.’ I also have a little pep talk to my horses and tell them the course and exactly what we are going to do at each jump.”

Routine Rituals

Taylor C: “I like to take a moment with my horse before getting on for any jumping phase, and trace Native American war paint symbols with my finger on my horse. Specifically: circle around the eye and nostril for enhanced senses, an arrow on the neck for victory, and zig-zag lines on the hind leg for speed. As I trace, I repeat what each symbol means to my horse. It’s a nice moment for us to take a breath and focus on our partnership before taking on a cross-country or jump course.”

Ashley E: “When I walk cross-country, I take pictures of each jump and primary landmarks between fences. Then I scroll through the photos and visualize how I'm going to ride each jump. This helps me develop and commit to a plan. I also have a "pump up" playlist full of upbeat songs to help me get in my groove.”

Ashley R: “During warm-up, I jump all but one. Then right before I head to the start box, I jump the one I didn’t so I can get a feel of how she will be with a ‘new’ jump.”

Laughter: the Best Medicine

Abby F: “I listen to “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan on repeat an unhealthy amount of times.”

Callia E: “‘Blast “Girls in the Hood,’ dry scoop pre-workout, and pull our tarot cards.”

Caroline B: “I always eat a bag of Welch’s fruit snacks while walking my course. Did it at my first show and have done it every time since!”

Jun 29, 2022 Eventing News

USEA President Max Corcoran Appointed USEF Eventing Elite Program and Team Facilitator

On May 1, 2022, Max Corcoran was appointed as the Eventing Elite Program and Team Facilitator. In her role, Corcoran will support the areas of communication, logistics, and management of the teams for the Eventing Programs to deliver sustained success at World and Olympic Games level. As the Facilitator, she will work closely with the interim Chef d’Equipe/Team Manager, Bobby Costello, and eventing staff to build solid lines of communication with athletes, grooms, owners, coaches, veterinarians, and all stakeholders linked to the athletes and develop the structures around the Elite Program and senior U.S. Eventing Team.

Jun 29, 2022 Education

A Case for Warming Up (and How to Do It Correctly) with Kyle Carter

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.

Jun 28, 2022 Hall of Fame

Newest Invitation to USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame Extended to Trish Gilbert

This year a new class will be joining the 47 eventing legends currently in the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Eventing Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded within the sport of eventing in the United States. Those invited to join the USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame have truly made a difference in the sport of eventing. Hall of Fame members have included past Association presidents, volunteers, riders, founding fathers, course designers, officials, organizers, horses, horse owners, and coaches

Jun 28, 2022 Rules

Rule Refresher: What Will Be Expected of Me at the Training and Modified Level?

Preparing for your first horse trial and not sure what is expected of you at each level? Over the course of the next few Rule Refreshers, we will be diving into each level and the performance expectations of each phase. Want to better prepare yourself or your students for their first competition or a move-up? The USEA Eventing Handbook by the Levels is a free resource to all USEA members that outlines clear and consistent guidelines for riders and trainers to refer to when navigating their way through the competition levels.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Real Estate Partner of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Competition & Training Apparel of the USEA