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Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky’

Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan's work with George in 2013

Jonathan Field names George Morris as one of his mentors. Click the image to read about Jonathan’s work with George in Florida in 2013.

Canadian horseman Jonathan Field is recognized all over North America, and the world, for his engaging ability to explain and articulate his knowledge of horses and relate to his audiences. Like other trainers, he has a herd of horses he performs with live to sold out crowds, but what is wonderful about Jonathan is that most of his main demonstration and liberty horses are “cast away problem horses” that he has taken on, retrained, and grown with so that together they could become “stars” of the horse world.

After first traveling to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the 2012 Road to the Horse Colt-Starting Competition, Jonathan is now making a return trip south from his ranch in British Columbia to the 2014 competition in Lexington, Kentucky.

“It’s such an honor to be going back to Road to the Horse to represent my country while sharing my knowledge on starting young horses,” says Jonathan. “Traveling to Kentucky for a second Road to the Horse experience is exciting because I have much better idea about the event, how it is judged, and how to approach the competition in terms of strategy—however, having said all that, we must always remember that in the end it’s all about doing right by our young horses and their future. The horses that we are lucky to get to work with at Road to the Horse are the ones that ultimately determine how each of us go about our work over the weekend and how far we get.”

 

Watch this short video to hear Jonathan share a little bit of his story:

 

We at TSB wish Jonathan the best of luck the weekend of March 13-16, 2014, and we hope he, and the other competitors in the international field of horse trainers, can help demonstrate how we can all achieve a safe, educated, engaged start with young stock that can, “down the road,” lead to the ultimate connection with any horse.

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

Jonathan Field’s forthcoming book THE ART OF LIBERTY TRAINING FOR HORSES is available for preorder from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO PREORDER NOW

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On course at Rolex...definitely identifiable as a pedestrian spectator!

Although I spent much of my preteen and teenage years imagining myself on horse and on course, deftly managing a blistering run over the daunting obstacles that are and always will be (at least in the minds of wild, horse-mad teenagers the world over) the Rolex Three-Day Event in Kentucky, it wasn’t until 2006–when I was 29 years old–that I finally made the trip to the hallowed grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in late April. (I’d been there once before when in Kentucky for the national competition for Quiz Bowl…yes, I was a 4-H geek…but visiting the park during Rolex–THE EVENT–meant everything to me.)

I was at Rolex in a very different capacity than that I’d imagined as an ambitious young rider, as by 2006 I had been working at Trafalgar Square Books–publisher of equestrian books, hurrah!–for a number of years. We flew down from our offices in Vermont to meet with a number of current authors and prospective authors, so it was certainly a “business trip,” but I admittedly could not disguise my utter elation at the proximity to greatness, the immersion in all things eventing, and the thrill of riding vicariously that the experience offered.

I grew up in a small town in Vermont, rather ideally positioned next to the very town that is home to Denny Emerson’s northeastern abode Tamarack Hill Farm. Although I never got much closer than “right down the road,” the very nearness of the sport infused me with the desire to gallop hard at big sturdy fences, and I spent years fence judging at local horse trials studying just how one did that…sometimes with great success, and others with disaster.

I think this was called The Footbridge in 2006--I'm 5' 10", so you can see, umm, the seriousness of the situation on course.

But all those fences I’d studied and jumped, hungered for and gaped at, paled in comparison to viewing the number one fence on course at Rolex from a quarter mile away. It looked huge before I was anywhere near it. And when I finally reached it, I think I experienced my first true feeling of fear in relation to horses. Now, this is a pretty serious statement when you A) take into consideration that I am 5′ 10″ and no delicate flower (in other words, a big fence has to be REALLY BIG to make me feel, well, small); and B) I’d ridden some crazy horses and jumped some crazy fences in my life, and had been fully aware of the craziness factor at those times (call it youthful folly…I was blinded by riding lust).

Walking that course alongside Jimmy Wofford, and watching some of today’s great eventers navigate the trickier questions, was eye-opening, inspiring, and surprisingly fulfilling. At 29 and no doubt past my riding prime in many ways, I discovered that “One day I’ll ride at Rolex” was a proclamation that could be realized without owning an elite event horse. I had made that statement any number of times in my past, and sure enough, I’d made it–through Jimmy Wofford’s eyes, words, and expertise, and through the triumphs and failures of the many riders that year, I lived and died, I won and lost, I stumbled and rose again to finish.

Most importantly, I lived my childhood dream–perhaps in a slightly different form than I’d once imagined, but my dream all the same.

This month we’re celebrating the beginning of the eventing season, the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, and the publication of Denny Emerson’s new book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD with a selection of great books and DVDs on sale at the TSB bookstore. Check them out HERE.

Rebecca Didier

Senior Editor

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