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Archive for the ‘Trophies and Blue Ribbons’ Category

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Karen Robertson on Carlos at the Rose City Opener National Hunter Derby, Bend, Oregon (photo courtesy of Barbara Dudley).

TSB author Karen Robertson mulls over her upcoming date with The One and Only.

I started considered riding in a George Morris clinic in recent years. I know, I know… most of you are probably wondering why on earth I’d throw myself into the fire like that. And you’re right – I’m kind of freaking out about it. I’ve been freaking out for months! I haven’t ridden without stirrups enough and I’m not someone who rides five horses a day with a perfect position. George is sure to tell me my stirrup isn’t the correct angle on the ball of my foot, my leg isn’t strong enough, my hand isn’t educated enough, and that I sit “like a soup sandwich.” If I’m really lucky, he might even run behind me with a longe whip while I struggle to jump the water.

All that makes my heart race. Over the past five months I haven’t gone a day without thinking about the clinic. It truly scares me to put myself on a horse in front of George. He has laid eyes on every great hunter or jumper rider in the world for over six decades…and now he’s going to lay eyes on me.

Gulp.

I’m doing this for two reasons: My riding has in the last decade or so (I’m 39) begun resembling correct fundamentals to the extent that I think I can hold my own in this particular clinic that has a 1.00 meter group. And secondly, I helped George pen UNRELENTING, his no-holds-barred autobiography published last year. Working on UNRELENTING with George was like getting a whole new education on my best-loved sport. Just by being in George’s orbit, my ambition caught fire to work harder, be bolder, and take more risks. I’ve watched a dozen clinics first-hand over the past five years, and I know what he expects from riders. Now it’s my turn. And in one week, my friend and I will drive seven hours north with our horses to Potcreek Meadow Farm in Washington to ride with George.

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Karen and George working on UNRELENTING in September 2015 (photo courtesy of Barbara Dudley).

Hang on, I had to put my head between my knees and breath deeply for a second there. Whew. Okay. I’m back.

What will it be like for me to ride with George? To feel those eyes that have an unmatched ability to instantly size up a rider and horse and then, in every pair’s case, fit a specific but well-worn key of wisdom into the right lock to help them reach their potential? What will it feel like to hear his deep, satisfied cry of “Thaaaaat’s it!” if I deliver what he commands?

I can only imagine how it will feel, but I hope that I have enough calm in my mind that I can absorb and enjoy the experience. No matter how well I ride each clinic day or what mistakes I ride through, the bottom line is that I will be riding with him: the timid boy too afraid to be off the lead line who became The Godfather of Hunt Seat Equitation and Chef d’Equipe of the Olympic Show Jumping Team; the reproach-impervious master who walks the fiery line between motivator and intimidator; the same coach who fifty years ago inspired a wily crew of American women to reach beyond their wildest dreams on the international show jumping stage and end the decades-long reign of European men.

George is also my dear friend. When I first met him in 2013, it took only hours for us to form a kinship that transcended the book and the horse world. With a kind of glee, we recognized in each other the same kind of professional ambition flanked by a sometimes reckless need for letting ourselves go and being wild. We grew close over the three years, and he listened kindly and gave me advice when I had hardship in my life. George shared his thoughts and feelings with me unreservedly, and I had the honor to hear hundreds of hours of stories from his life…only some of which made the book but which all fit together to help me understand how he wanted to tell his story. I was struck with awe and amusement in the moments I looked in at myself – sitting across from him at lunch or next to him as he drove the car or by his bedside interviewing him – when I wondered, “How did I get here? How is this my life? This is absolutely unbelievable that I get to be here.” It made me want to cry and laugh and collapse in wonder.

Riding with George will be a whole new relationship paradigm for us, and I will ride onto that grass field with no expectations for special treatment. I know he will measure me in a new way: as a rider and horsewoman rather than a writer and a friend. I’m a little afraid that he might lose respect for me if I’m not a sharp enough rider, but I hope so completely that this experience will bring us even closer.

This is scary, to take this risk. But sometimes you say yes to scary and the rewards are better than any ordinary day ever could be.

When I asked my childhood show jumping heroes during interviews for UNRELENTING what it was like to have George take them to the ring when the stakes were high, they all said that their trust in George and his belief that they could win made them feel like they could jump anything – A house! The moon! Besides the incredible learning opportunities, and taking to heart the critical comments (of which there are bound to be many), what I really want to feel in the clinic is just one moment where his voice lifts me up and I feel invincible.

 

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Karen and Carlos at HITS Coachella Desert Circuit, January 2016 (photo by Jose Ruiz).

Karen Robertson will return with a follow-up post after her clinic with George Morris.

 

UNRELENTING by George Morris with Karen Robertson, is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE for more information.

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont. 

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Click image to read the entire Street to Stable Review.

Click image to read the entire Street to Stable Review.

 

The first reviews of George Morris’s highly anticipated autobiography UNRELENTING are coming in, and WOW are we excited!

“What lies between the pages of UNRELENTING is very, very good reading,” says Street to Stable Lifestyle. “As we know him, he is still the strongest personality in modern American show jumping. In UNRELENTING, he reveals both the vulnerability and strength that made him into the icon he is today. It is perhaps his bravest move yet.” (Read the full review HERE.)

“This compelling portrait of one of America’s most renowned horsemen will appeal to anyone who is entranced with the horse-show circuit and high-society culture,” says Library Journal. “Even readers who are less familiar with horses may enjoy the glimpse into life with the rich and famous.”

Now is your chance to get a copy of UNRELENTING before it is available in stores! Order from TSB (CLICK HERE) anytime before February 22, 2016, and you’ll not only get George’s autobiography first, you’ll save 15% on the cover price and get FREE SHIPPING in the US!

Watch the book trailer here:

 

And click the image below to order your copy of UNRELENTING by George H. Morris with Karen Robertson Terry.

OrderGeorgeTwitter-CLICK-HERE

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small company based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Equus Film Fest

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN and WHEN I GET THAT PONY RODE are at the 1st Annual Equus Film Festival!

 

TSB congratulates Cindy Meehl, Director of the award-winning documentary BUCK and award-winning instructional series 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, along with singer/songwriter Templeton Thompson, for winning Best Music Video for “When I Get That Pony Rode” at the 1st Annual Equus Film Festival, going on now through this weekend (August 15-18, 2013).

“It was AMAZING to see our video in the Arcada Theater, on the BIG screen,” says Templeton. “That’s a first for me, and I could definitely get used to it! None of this would have happened if not for our dear friend the incredibly talented Director, Cindy Meehl.”

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After debuting online on CMT.com on February 19, 2013, “When I Get That Pony Rode” became one of the most requested videos on that site, on its second day hitting #1 over many other major country artists. The video, along with 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, is an official selection of the Equus Film Festival, and Templeton traveled to St. Charles, Illinois, where the film festival is running in conjunction with the Festival of the Horse and Drum,  to perform—as well as see her song on the “big screen”!

If you haven’t seen “When I Get That Pony Rode,” check it out here:

Speaking of the big screen, if you are planning to check out the Festival of the Horse and Drum, or if you’re just in the St. Charles area, you can attend a one-hour screening of 7 CLINICS on Sunday, August 18, at 2:30 pm. Tickets to event are available at the Arcada Theater–only $6.00 for an all-day pass to see all the horsey film selections!

If you haven’t been there, the Arcada Theater is worth a visit! Built in 1926 by local millionaire and Chicago Tribune cartoonist Lester J. Norris, it became known as one of the outstanding Vaudeville houses of its day. Many legendary stars have graced the stage, including George Burns and Gracie Allen, Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Olivia DeHavilland, the John Phillip Sousa Band, Cornelia Otis Skinner, Vincent Price, Jeanette McDonald, Walter Slezak and Maria Von Trapp, to name a few. In 2005, the Arcada was fully renovated and now plays hosts to festivals and entertainers, including today’s hottest stars.

 

It's a thrill to have 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN and WHEN I GET THAT PONY RODE on the big screen at the historic Arcada Theater!

It’s a thrill to have 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN and WHEN I GET THAT PONY RODE on the big screen at the historic Arcada Theater!

 

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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7 Clinics Telly Graphic

TSB is thrilled to announce that 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, seven-disc DVD series based on instructional footage from the hit documentary BUCK, has won two Telly Awards!

2013 People’s Telly Bronze Award: Non-Broadcast Productions – Non-Broadcast Production

2013 Bronze Award: Non-Broadcast Productions – How-To/Instructional

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring the finest film and video productions, groundbreaking web commercials, videos and films, and outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs. The 34th Annual Telly Awards (2013) received over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

“The biggest challenge in creating the feature film BUCK was taking 300 hours of footage and cutting it down to 88 minutes,” says filmmaker Cindy Meehl. “We had so many wonderful interviews with amazing people…so much of Buck on the subject of life as well as horses…it was extremely hard to lose great scenes and stick to our story arc.”

So a year after BUCK won the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and enjoyed wide release nationwide to critical acclaim, Cindy went back into the vaults, sifting through hours of unused footage from all the Buck Brannaman clinics filmed in different parts of the country over a period of four years, searching for the gems that didn’t make the final cut.

The result was 7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN, a DVD series that viewers say is “like having Buck teaching you in person, right in your living room.” Viewers travel to several Buck Brannaman clinics to learn important groundwork and riding techniques, including: hooking on, leading, halter work, bridling, saddling, backing up, working in circles and half-circles, using the flag, firming up, good riding form and position, finding the release and a soft feel, attaining collection, moving off the leg, riding serpentines, “getting the life up” (finding animation), perfecting the stop, turn-on-the-haunches, transitions, jumping, and finding the feel.

In addition, Buck provides ways to solve problems, including crowding, biting, striking, fidgeting, rushing, anxiousness and sensitivity, and bad attitudes. The series ends with Buck’s best advice, tips, and ideas about working with, riding, and training horses, as he best tells it—forthright, honest, and with the integrity the world has come to expect of one of the finest horsemen of our time.

Check out this sneak peek from the DVD series:

 

7 CLINICS WITH BUCK BRANNAMAN is available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon won for best book intended for elementary- and high-school age readers at the 56th Annual New England Book Show.

CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon won for best book intended for elementary- and high-school age readers at the 56th Annual New England Book Show.

TSB is over-the-moon about CROWN PRINCE being named a winner at the 2013 New England Book Show in the category for books intended for readers in grades 1 through 12. Congratulations to author Linda Snow McLoon and artist Jennifer Brandon, who created the stunning cover image.

Linda Snow McLoon’s first two books from her all-new BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES have been hailed for their authenticity of character and accuracy of equestrian detail. Here’s what the recently released review in the June issue of School Library Journal had to say about CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED:

Gr 5-8–Ever since she began riding, Sarah has dreamed of having a horse of her own. Through a number of fortuitous circumstances, she becomes the owner of a young thoroughbred on whom a race owner has given up. Her parents feel a great deal of trepidation about such a “green” horse, but Sarah’s trainer at Bookmeade farm promises to work closely to bring Crown Prince along. The first book details their journey as Crown Prince adapts to his new life as an event horse and Sarah takes on the responsibility of helping him achieve his potential. Most of the other riders at the facility are supportive, but a few mean girls go out of their way to create problems for Sarah. Their jealousy and bad behavior escalate in the second book as Sarah and Crown Prince prepare for and participate in their first three-day event. Their actions almost end in tragedy for Sarah and her talented horse, but they triumph in the end. Sarah is a believable character with a great work ethic and determination. Her friends all have their own issues but rally around when needed. These books are solid reads for children who enjoy good stories that are authentic in their presentation of the intricacies of dealing with horses and the day-to-day lives of young equestrians as they develop their skills to compete.– Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA

CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon was displayed with the other winning entries at the New England Book Show in early May.

CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon was displayed with the other winning entries at the New England Book Show in early May.

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED are available to order from the TSB online bookstore.

Crown Prince_winnerCLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

Have a tech-friendly young reader you think might love these books? Both are available in Kindle format from Amazon.com and ePub format at ebooks.com.

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USEA Hall-of-Famer Denny Emerson’s book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD is one of the key ingredients to your ultimate riding success. Here’s what the Hudson Valley Horse Source has to say about the book:

“Lifelong horseman Denny Emerson fills an important gap in equestrian literature with his new book,” says the Hudson Valley Horse Source. “Regardless of your riding discipline or skill level, the wisdom presented in Emerson’s book is relevant to all branches of horsemanship…HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD doesn’t teach riding technique, rather it is about the out-of-the-tack skills and characteristics that can take your riding to the next level and help you attain your riding goals.

“The scope of this beautifully designed book is broadened with interviews from 23 of the world’s top riders. Equestrian luminaries, such as Beezie Madden (show jumping), Larry Poulin (carriage driving), Clinton Anderson (natural horsemanship), Stacy Westfall (reining), Buck Davidson (eventing), and Courtney King-Dye (dressage) are among those interviewed. In these concise interviews, the riders explain why they think they got good and share their most important pieces of advice.”

A sample of some of the advice from the pros in HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD:

Dressage

JANE SAVOIE

“Make sure you get a solid foundation by working with someone really good, and riding everything you can sit on.”

Eventing

MARY KING

“First, get as much riding experience as possible. Second, follow your dreams, even if they don’t seem possible.”

Endurance

MEG SLEEPER

“Never stop trying to get better and to learn…if you keep your eyes open, you can learn useful information in the most unexpected places.”

Eventing

BUCK DAVIDSON

“I talk to everyone I can and try to learn a little from them all.”

Hunter/Jumper

GEOFF TEALL

“Pay attention to yourself, be willing to work hard, put one foot in front of the other, and do the very best you can every day.”

Dressage

COURTNEY KING-DYE

“Be brave and believe in yourself.”

You can order your copy of the bestselling book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD TODAY

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TSB author Denny Emerson is great about sending along the notes and messages he’s received since we published his bestselling book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD. Some of the letters he has received reveal an older rider’s regret of past decisions made, perhaps those that made a competitive riding career difficult or impossible. Some of the emails show that, thankfully, hope to achieve one’s dreams rarely dies, and all many of us are waiting and wishing for is a sign, a mentor, or a bend in the road that very clearly points us in the direction we’d most like to travel.

We at TSB are thrilled that Denny’s book has reached so many riders, young and old, experienced and not, already. We know, from our own collective past with horses, that the desire to improve, to ride better, to “get good,” is a universal and eternal one. With the right self-examination, with a little instruction, with direction and drive, a career with horses is not only possible, it can be a means of making a living and making a happy life.

If you are 12 and dream of riding for the United States in the Olympics one day, read Denny’s book. If you’re 45 and finally picking up the reins again now that your kids are grown, don’t wait–get a copy today. HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD doesn’t have an expiration date: If you’re at the beginning, the middle, or the end of your equestrian career, find out how Denny’s advice and stories, tips and experiences, can make the difference in your own performance today and tomorrow, and discover all the ways it can help you improve your students’ chances of achieving their dreams, too.

Here’s what one new reader shared on her blog, Horses Are Our Lives, today:

“You MUST get this book. I sat down tonight (really, I did), after chores, with an ice tea, and outside on the lounge chair. I thought, ok… I’ll read the book cover and intro to see what this book is about. An hour later, I did NOT want to put the book down. The first chapter even had me leafing through the book to check out the other chapters. I especially checked out the chapter on personal characteristics! LOL It is a nuts and bolts book. Real Life. Tell it how it is. It sounds very familiar to how I used to be, and somewhere along the way, I’ve lost something. This is what the book makes me think, already! I need to get back to my true self, how I really am, and go for what I really want.  I am anxious to read more tomorrow!”

You can read the complete post about HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD by clicking HERE

HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD TODAY

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