Apr 16, 2020

One Grid, Four Exercises with Mary Schwentker

I use this layout a lot for clinics. The exercises can be made easy enough for the D1 pony clubber and challenging enough for the most advanced horse and rider. All exercises work with poles on the ground or small jumps. I usually keep the height of the jumps under 3 feet, even for the upper level horse and rider.

Exercise 1 - The Serpentine

  1. Work on riding well balanced turns, in a rhythmical canter. Ask for the new canter lead while the horse is in the air. School this until the exercise is smooth.
  2. To make it harder, add in a rollback turns for the top and bottom jumps.

Exercise 2 - Counting Strides and Adjustability

  1. Canter the 60’ distance on each lead until the number of strides is consistently the same. I call this “your homebase canter.”
  2. Create the same number of strides between the jumps on both the right lead and the left lead and make that number is consistent so that the canter is balanced in both directions.
  3. Now add a stride between the jumps. Be able to repeat the added stride on both leads. Be able to go back and forth from the homebase canter to the added stride.
  4. Now, from the homebase canter, leave a stride out to the next jump. Be able to go back to homebase canter between the jumps and then leave the stride out between the jumps.
  5. Work to be able to have all three canters available as desired.

Exercise 3 - The Wheels

  1. Canter top four jumps. Work on keeping the circle round and jumping in the center of each jump.
  2. Now work to have the same number of strides between each jump. Be able to switch from top wheel to bottom wheel, keeping the circles round and strides between jumps equal.
  3. Want to make it harder? Try to add a stride between the jumps. Want it harder? Do four strides, jump, then five strides, jump, then four, then five, working between your homebase canter and added stride canter.

Exercise 4 - The Slice

  1. Angle each jump on centerline staying inside of the other jumps.

About Mary Schwentker

Janet Gallay Photo.

Mary Schwentker has successfully competed at multiple international events including the Kentucky Three-Day Event. She has been an ICP Certified Instructor since 2003 at Level II, is an “A” level graduate of the Manada Creek Pony Club, and holds USDF bronze and silver medals. In 1999, Mary was short-listed for the United States Equestrian Team for the Pan American Games. She served on the USEA Board of Governors from 2010-2015. Mary graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science from Wilson College. She has served as the DC for Blue Ridge Hunt Pony Club since 2011. She has been a National Examiner for USPC for more than 10 years and is currently serving on the USEA membership committee, USPC show committee, and USPC national testing committee. She is married to Andrew Schwentker and has two sons, Nicholas and Drew.

May 12, 2021 Competitions

Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill Announces $300,000 Prize Money for Inaugural Event

The Fair Hill Organizing Committee (FHOC), an affiliate of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland (The Sport Corp.), today announced athletes and horses in the inaugural Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill (CCI5*-L) will be competing for $300,000 in prize money. Additionally, the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Eventing National Championship (CCI3*-L), running in conjunction with the 5 Star, will award $25,000 in prize money. Both events, as well as the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Young Event Horse East Coast Championships, will take place this October 14-17 at the new Fair Hill Special Event Zone in Cecil County, Maryland.

May 12, 2021 Education

Pre-Purchase Examination 101: With Dr. Shauna Spurlock

You’ve seen a horse you like. You’ve ridden it; you love it. The money’s right; you’ve agreed to buy it. What happens next?

Pre-purchase veterinary examinations are one of those topics that a roomful of horsey people could discuss - and argue amongst themselves about - for hours. For the amateur rider, that can be confusing and slightly alarming.

So, let’s simplify it. What is a pre-purchase examination, why are they done, and what should you expect?

May 11, 2021 Intercollegiate

Eyes on the Prize at the USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships

The USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships will take place later this month at the Virginia Horse Trials (VHT) in Lexington, Va. across May 27-30. Following the USEF COVID-19 Action Plan, the USEA is working with VHT organizer Andy Bowles to ensure the Championships are still a destination competition for all Intercollegiate event riders, packed full with an opening ceremony, the traditional “college town” area, the prestigious spirit award, and an abundance of prizes.

May 10, 2021 Eventing News

2021 FEI MER Changes effective July 1

The FEI passed rule changes impacting Minimum Eligibility Requirements in November 2020 that go into effect on July 1, 2021. The changes will impact athletes who are uncategorized, “D” and “C” athletes competing at the CCI4*-S, CCI3*-L, CCI4*-L, and CCI5*-L levels. Please see below for the highlighted changes. The USEF requirements to compete at these levels remain unchanged, but please remember that the USEF requirements must be achieved within 12 months of the competition. These changes will be adopted into the USEF Eventing Rulebook by July 1. See Appendix 3 for qualification requirements.

Official Corporate Sponsors of the USEA

Official Outerwear of the USEA

Official Supplement Feeding System of the USEA

Official Forage of the USEA

Official Feed of the USEA

Official Saddle of the USEA

Official Joint Therapy Treatment of the USEA

Official Equine Insurance of the USEA

Official Horse Clothing of the USEA