Embrace the Suck

I judged a few schooling shows at the Quantico Marine Base stables when I first arrived in Virginia. While there I chatted with a few of the faithful Marine husbands, at the show to support their wives. I forget how we got on the subject, but one told me that there’s a saying that goes around Marine basic training: “Embrace the suck.” It’s boot camp, preparing you for life as an elite warrior—it’s going to suck. And the sooner you accept that it’s going to suck, the easier things get. It resonated with me, not just because the idea of that many push-ups makes me blanch, but because the training of young horses up the levels is a little bit the same way. The end result is a glorious thing to

Bridle Fitting: Facial Nerves

Facial Nerves and the importance of proper bridle fitting. This is something Manolo is quite fanatical about, always adjusting nosebands, flashes, browbands and making sure the buckles do not push into delicate structures or the poll strap does not push against the horse's ears (and of course checking bit fit). A quick look at what cranial nerves DO reveal how important their well being is and why properly fitted tack is paramount. There are twelve pairs of cranial nerves. They have a role in: Balance Heart rate (sensory and motor control of viscera including heart, lungs, and bowel) Hearing Smell Vision Eye movement Neck muscles that move the head Sensation from the face Moto

Remembering Lisa Blaufuss

Updated Info: There will be a Celebration of Life for Lisa held on May 5th at 3pm at: Del Mar Horsepark (on the Grand Prix jumping field/big white tent) 14550 El Camino Real Del Mar CA 92014 Please RSVP at www.friendsoflisa.org/rsvp In lieu of flowers, donations are being collected to support the continuation of The 6th Annual Spooktacular Halloween Dressage Show that will be held on October 27/28, 2018 in Lisa’s honor. This event will be run as a charity event to raise funds for Lisa’s daughter Ciera who will be heading to college this fall. Please make checks payable to: Friends of Lisa PO BOX 5005-9 Rancho Santa Fe CA 92067 Lisa was a wonderful woman, beautiful both inside and out. She wa

Carl Hester's Training System

Training tips, strategies and philosophies from this five-time Olympian and world-class horseman Last October, the long-awaited New England Dressage Association’s Fall Symposium with Carl Hester began with a flurry of anticipation. It seemed that everyone from New England and beyond was there, and people were finding their seats at the Pineland Farms Equestrian Center in New Gloucester, Maine, two hours before the program was to begin. When the time finally came for his effusive introduction, Hester seemed humbled. “Thank you for this embarrassing welcome,” he said. “Who writes these things?” And, he added, “What you will see this weekend isn’t really my system anyway. Everyone’s system is s

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