Mar 15, 2021

USEA Podcast #279: Jumping to Success

By USEA

On this week’s USEA Official Podcast host Nicole Brown is first joined by show jumping course designer extraordinaire Marc Donovan who shares insights that you don’t want to miss hearing before you ride your next show jumping course! Later in the episode, Brown catches up with USEA CEO Rob Burk to discuss the latest on the Appendix 3 rule change proposal.

  • Brown and Donovan open by discussing how show jumping in eventing has changed over the years. Timing, the look of the jumps, technicality – there are lots of areas that have seen evolution over the last few years. Donovan said that horses jumping his tracks have gotten better and better, so the sport needs to evolve with the quality of the horses.
  • The pair then talk a little bit about what riders can do at home to prepare their toolbox for show jumping competition. Be sure to listen in to find out why a tape measure is important to have at home and a great exercise to be prepared for the event.
  • Time is often talked about during cross-country, but it is just as important to prepare to ride the show jumping course at an accurate pace. Donovan also suggested practicing with distances that are different lengths, so you are prepared to adjust your horse in competition.
  • What happens if you don’t have room for a full course at home? Donovan says you only need two jumps to properly prepare for an event!
  • The conversation then moved to Donovan’s philosophy behind design which his first point is that he always wants to make a jump or line that is jumpable.
  • How does the process of designing a show jumping course work? Donovan said his mentor Richard Jeffery was a master at making various tracks from the same course to help design various levels at an event and Donovan learned from him.
  • All the rulebooks (British, U.S., Canadian, etc.) have their own constraints and rules, but they are usually minimal requirements – like the USEF Rules For Eventing say you must have two changes of direction in a course, but Donovan thinks it is better to have three or sometimes up to five.
  • What are Donovan’s top tips for walking a course?
    • Read the course map!
    • Know how you are going to get in and out of the ring.
    • Don’t be embarrassed to walk any length of line – even if it’s 12 strides!
  • Burk then joined Brown to address the discussion around the Appendix 3 rule change proposal. The USEA Board of Governors voted to table the rule change proposal until the 2023 competition season – they are still fully committed to making a change to the Appendix, but want to spend the time to make sure the proposal is correct.
  • Burk was sure to extend a huge thank you to all of the volunteers who serve on the committees to work to make the sport safer. Especially the members of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee who put an enormous amount of time and research into this rule change proposal.
  • Burk also reminded listeners that this was just one of four rule changes that were submitted to make the sport safer – the USEA is really trying to take a holistic approach to mitigating risk.
  • Brown then asked Burk what members who want to get involved and have their voice heard should do, and he suggested starting at the Area level – reach out to your Area Council or your Area Board of Governor representative.

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Mar 26, 2023 Instructors

You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks (or, The Continuing Education of an Eventer)

One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.

Mar 25, 2023 Education

Pressure Proof with Daniel Stewart: Saying is Believing

This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!

Mar 24, 2023 Profile

Keane’s First FEI Win Propels the Veterinarian to Capital Square USEA Adult Amateur of the Year Title

Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”

Mar 23, 2023 Competitions

CDCTA Spring Horse Trials Waives Late Entry Fee Through Friday, March 24

THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.

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