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Posts Tagged ‘Rolex Kentucky’

As we leave the past weekend’s World Cup competition in Las Vegas behind and close in on Rolex Kentucky 2015 (April 23-26, 2015), it stands to reason we’d spend a little time in awe of the world’s top riders and the horses with whom they conquer massive jump courses and dance intricate dressage steps.

But there’s more to these successful partnerships than what we see in the spotlight. Outside the competitive arena, beside every great horse, stands a great groom (damp rag and hoof oil in hand). These hard-working individuals are often the earliest to rise and the last to leave the barn. They travel in the back of trailers and the underbellies of planes to keep watch over their charges. And they master the ritual, labor, and indeed, the artistry involved in ensuring healthy, happy horses that shine like the lucky side of a new dime, inside and out.

With the first jog at Rolex on the horizon (scheduled for tomorrow at 3 pm), Emma Ford, head groom to gold-medal-winning event rider Phillip Dutton’s string and co-author of the season’s must-have book WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES, stole a few precious minutes from her busy day to tell us what life is like on True Prospect Farm.

WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES and MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON are both available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

 

Photo of Emma Ford by Amber Heintzberger from Modern Eventing with Phillip Dutton.

Photo of Emma Ford by Amber Heintzberger from Modern Eventing with Phillip Dutton.

For those of you not familiar with eventing, every work day for the event horse varies. Day 1 might be a hack day, Day 2 jog and flat, Day 3 flat and jump… For the purpose of this blog, I am going to tell you about a gallop day. For me there is no “typical” day at True Prospect. With so many horses in work, plans can change hourly, and who knows what is waiting around the corner to surprise us. Being flexible and being able to cope with last-minute decisions is a must.

6:00 am  Whilst I’m making my coffee and feeding my faithful sidekick Charlie, one of the working students feeds the barn of anywhere from 30 to 45 horses. We have a rotation for AM feedings and late-night check, that way no one person gets stuck doing it multiple times.

7:00 am  Arrive at barn. Immediately I go to check the legs of the three horses heading to Rolex. For me, I feel every day is primarily about the safety and care of the horses; however, after the Rolex horses have run their last prep run at the Fork Horse Trials in North Carolina, I become ultra-paranoid about the possibility of missing a small abnormal cut or swelling that could alter the horses’ chance of getting to Kentucky.

7:15 am  Horses on night turnout come in, and it is about now I start to hear, “EMMA!” called from numerous directions. The usual question: “What blankets are the horses to wear?” If I had a dollar for all the times I am asked that question, I would be a very rich groom!

7:30 am  Tack up Happy (Mighty Nice) for Phillip to go galloping. Phillip reminds me that NBC is coming to film at 9:00 am. Shoot! I do a walk through the barn, getting the guys to muck a little quicker while I tidy up—have to make sure those blankets are folded just so!! [Editor’s Note: Find out how in WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES!]

8:00 am  Need to run to buy ice. Phillip will be back by 8:45. I always wonder what the local gas station attendant thinks I am doing, buying 12 bags of ice every four to five days. He never asks, so I don’t tell!

9:00 am  Phillip returns, the NBC crew arrives, the training log book has been done, so the first set of horses get tacked up for their riders. NBC wants to film in the tack room, so I grab as much tack as I think we might need in order to avoid disturbing the interview…Oh…and, “Everybody keep the noise level down!” Meantime, Happy is standing in ice for 20 minutes. He only tries to jump out once…that’s good going for him.

10:00 am I head to the feed room to make up lunches and dinners…Must remember to call in that grain order. That’s odd, Caileigh is jogging up the path. I ask what’s up and am told the neighbor’s pigs are out and Fred jumped out of his paddock.” GREAT!! Grab a bucket of grain and get everybody on the ground to put horses in stalls, grab halters, and head out to catch Fred! Luckily for us, Fred cleared the fence and stayed near the next paddock. However, I say, “Bacon anyone?!”

Emma feeding.

Emma feeding.

11:00 am  Feed lunch, bring in all horses, switch those round pens…”Everybody has been out…correct?” NBC want to film Evie and Phillip galloping the other Rolex horses, so I say, “Okay girls, they need to be show-ready in 10 minutes…hoof oil please! I’ll grab the sponsor pads.”

12:00 pm  I ice Happy once more and put him on the Vitafloor for half an hour, then groom him, check his legs, and turn him out to the paddock for downtime. Phillip and Evie arrive back from galloping, cameras in tow! I really want to clip their horses this afternoon, so they get full shampoo baths, and I ice twice.

1:00 pm Make up morning feeds. I then take a horse to the vet clinic to get evaluated. We are extremely lucky to have Dr. Kevin Keane’s practice located literally next door, so if I need medications, have an emergency, or have to get that passport stamped, it is all at my fingertips.

2:00 pm I check Jack’s (Fernhill Fugitive’s) legs. They feel nice and tight. So I start the clipping session. Whilst doing this I have to organize my team for the afternoon. Changes to night turnout, what horses still need grooming, and let’s not forget about soaking Jackson’s foot and re-wrapping it. I rely heavily on my team to let me know if any horse has a slight abnormality that needs attention. With the number of horses we have in the barn, I do not get a chance to personally check each of them over every day.

3:00 pm  On a good day, most of the riding is done by 3:00 pm. Then everybody shares in the afternoon chore duties.

4:00 pm  Jack gets his post-clip bath with apple cider vinegar to try and prevent his skin from breaking out. I get Happy in, check his legs, and they feel great, so I wrap him up for the night. I use Stayons Poultice Wraps, which have made my life so much easier. They are much more time-efficient and have put an end to clay poultice all over myself and the horse!

The barn is fed dinner around 4:00, so I let Cuba (Fernhill Cubalawn) finish his meal before starting his Rolex clipping session. It takes me over an hour to get him done. By this time the barn is hopefully cleaned, but I maybe still have to wrap, roll, fold, and put away that laundry pile!

Emma washing socks.

Emma washing socks.

6:00 pm Bathe Cuba, and groom and wrap Jack before turning him out for the night. I do a walk-through of the barn to ensure horses are happy and correctly blanketed. I put Cuba on the Vitafloor and this helps to dry him quicker. (It is a vibrating plate that helps with circulation.) Then, time to groom him, check his legs, and wrap him for the night.

7:00 pm I’m done for the day, so home to shower and have a little downtime with friends before heading to bed, hopefully by 9:30 to rest up for tomorrow. I wonder what that will bring? Hopefully sound, happy, healthy horses and no more escaped pigs!!

 

Get hundreds of grooming tips from the pros in WORLD-CLASS GROOMING FOR HORSES by Cat Hill and Emma Ford, with over 1200 color photographs!

 

And get find all you need to enjoy the thrilling sport of eventing in MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON by Phillip Dutton with Amber Heintzberger.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE GREAT HORSE BOOKS

 

Be sure to read the other installments in the TSB “Horseworld by the Hour” blog series:

JOCHEN SCHLEESE

HEATHER SMITH THOMAS

LYNN PALM

DANIEL STEWART

DOUG PAYNE

JANET FOY

CLINTON ANDERSON

 

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

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Doug Payne's book THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL was just released!

Doug Payne’s book THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL was just released!

We managed to snag a few minutes with TSB author Doug Payne between his fabulous dressage performance aboard Crown Talisman (“Tali”) at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day (April 23-26, 2014) and the pair’s first place finish at the Jersey Fresh CIC*** (May 7-11) to talk about the release of his new book THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL and just a few of his (other!) favorite things as he prepares to cross the ocean to ride in Saumur International Three-Day Event, May 22-25.

 

TSB: In your new book THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL, you explain that part of the reason you have gained recognition for your ability to find a way forward with “problem horses” is the sheer number of different kinds of horses you had the opportunity to ride during your childhood, as well as when you first began your training/retraining business. Can you tell us about one horse you remember who taught you a very important lesson from which you still benefit today?

DP: I rode a horse named “Just a Star” who was the first horse I rode at the Advanced Level. He was an incredible jumper, but his flatwork left some to be desired. After some time our partnership developed and our scores improved. The improvement in scores came only after a patient progression. Every time I tried to increase the pressure we went backward—literally and figuratively! Ever since, I have been very mindful to make sure that my horses progress at their own pace, and when in doubt I give them more time.

 

TSB: In THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL, you say that horse “problems” can arise from a physical issue, a “foundation flaw” (a missing component of training), or sometimes an attitude problem. It is common to hear a rider say her horse “has an attitude” or is “cranky” or “witchy” or “stubborn.” In your opinion, is an “attitude problem” usually the case the majority of the time as so many riders might have us think? Have you ever had a horse whose “attitude problem” prevented his ever reaching his potential in terms of performance?

DP: Seldom does it happen, but there have been a few who, for whatever reason, just don’t want to participate. I’d like to think that every horse has his job in which he will be happy. I generally try to steer them in that direction. I’ve only had one who would hurt herself in order to avoid doing work of any kind. This is the only one I “gave up” on—it’s not worth my health and life for a horse who has no sense of self-preservation.

 

TSB: What is the most important thing for the amateur rider to consider when dealing with a “problem horse”?

DP: You’re not alone, and your horse’s problems are not “unique” just to him or her. Look for help if you’re not progressing!

 

TSB: You once stated it was your goal to ride at the highest levels of dressage, show jumping, and eventing. With your recent successes in eventing, do you see yourself concentrating on your career in that discipline for good?

DP:  Not at all! Riding in the strict disciplines is such a tremendous challenge and only helps my eventers in the barn. At the moment I have a horse named Royal Tribute (owned by myself, Kristin Burgers, and Larry and Amelia Ross) who will be showing at Fourth Level dressage this spring/summer and a horse by the name of Eli (owned by Mike Rubin) who I am currently showing Grand Prix in show jumping.

 

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.

DP: I’m lucky enough to say I don’t! I grew up on a farm in New Jersey as a member of a very active horse family.

 

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.

DP:  Ditto the question above.

 

Doug Payne grew up in a very horsey family. Here he is with his mom and "Popcorn."

Doug Payne grew up in a very horsey family. Here he is with his mom and “Popcorn.”

 

 

TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?

DP:  Hopefully a cross would be acceptable: My favorite mix is a Holsteiner-Thoroughbred cross, which is the breeding of Crown Talisman, as well as 5 others on our farm. I’m not sure that I could narrow it down to just one book. My current favorite is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.

 

TSB: If you had an iPad and WiFi on your island, what movie would you stream?

DP: I’d love to have access to the Internet! I have an obsessive personality and love to research just about anything. I would guess Wikipedia and Fox News would be top of my most visited list.

 

TSB: You are a pretty tech-savvy guy. What’s your favorite social media app and why?

DP:  Twitter: It’s the most immediate and efficient way to find out what’s happening anywhere in the world.

 

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?

DP:  Honesty

 

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?

DP:  Heart

 

TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback or with a horse that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?

DP:  At this point I’ve competed at the four-star (****) level of eventing, Grand Prix show jumping ,and Intermediaire I dressage. Grand Prix dressage is next to check off that list!

 

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

DP:  I love food, so the type is not important. The perfect meal is a function of the company, so comfortably at home with Jess (my wife) and other great friends.

 

TSB: You recently got married. Where did you go on your honeymoon?

DP:  We haven’t yet!

 

TSB: What is your motto?

DP:  I actually have two:

What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.
and
Keep it simple, stupid.

 

Have you always wanted to ride the perfect cross-country round on a fabulous horse? Check out this great helmet-cam video: Ride along with Doug as he and Tali nail it this past weekend:

 

 

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

CLICK IMAGE TO ORDER

THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL is available now from the TSB online bookstore where shipping in the US is free (CLICK HERE TO ORDER).

 

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Trafalgar Square Books is thrilled to have two new books by two amazing contributors to the equestrian world featured in the May 2013 issues of Dressage Today and Practical Horseman magazines.

Check out the feature excerpt from Linda Tellington-Jones’ new book DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL in DT. Linda explains some of her training revelations, insights concerning horse behavior, and fresh ways of looking at the Classical Training Scale.

“Foremost in Linda’s technique is the idea of trust,” says Ingrid Klimke in her foreword for DRESSAGE WITH MIND, BODY & SOUL, “inspiring trust in the horse, nurturing that trust, and helping it evolve into a base so strong that your riding partnership can withstand all manner of challenges from without and within.”

You can download a free excerpt from Linda’s new book from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE), and be sure to pick up a copy of the May issue of Dressage Today!

Practical Horseman’s special eventing issue sports a great photo of TSB author Phillip Dutton on the cover, and inside you’ll find an excerpt from the forthcoming book MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON. A limited number of pre-release copies of Phillip’s new book will be available at Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (CLICK HERE to read more about this).

“For a very quiet and humble person, Phillip Dutton has had an enormous impact on producing the best event riders in America, without question,” says US Eventing Team member Boyd Martin in his introduction to MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON. “If you look at the top 50 riders in this country at any point in the last ten years, the majority of them have been influenced by the greatest trainer this country has ever seen. No one has matched in American history the number of advanced horses produced by Phillip and no one has come close to his record of USEA Rider of the Year twelve times.”

You can download an additional excerpt from MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON from the TSB online bookstore (CLICK HERE).

TSB is proud of its authors and their fabulous new features in these two top equestrian magazines. Pick up your copies of DT and PH wherever quality magazines are sold.

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A limited number of pre-release copies of Phillip Dutton's new book will be available at Rolex Kentucky!

A limited number of pre-release copies of Phillip Dutton’s new book will be available at Rolex Kentucky!

TSB is revving up for a weekend of special giveaways and opportunities to meet Phillip Dutton—12-time USEA Leading Rider of the Year and 5-time Olympian with 2 gold medals—at the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event April 25 through 28 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

We’re celebrating the publication of the new book MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON by Phillip Dutton with Amber Heintzberger. This fabulously illustrated book is the twenty-first-century rider’s go-to guide for everything you need to know about the sport of eventing, with recommendations for training, conditioning, and competing in all three phases: dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

A limited number of pre-release copies of this incredible new reference will be available at Rolex Kentucky for purchase and signing by Phillip during special appearances. If you’re going to Rolex, be sure to make one of these special pre-release copies your own!

Copies of MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON can be bought at the Practical Horseman booth and at Bit of Britain, both located in the Sponsor Village at the Horse Park. Book signings and opportunities to meet Phillip will happen at the Cosequin® booth, also in the Sponsor Village.

Phillip Dutton on Connaught, on their way to winning Rolex Kentucky in 2008.

Phillip Dutton on Connaught, on their way to winning Rolex Kentucky in 2008.

Stop by the Cosequin booth for exact times of Phillip’s appearances, as well as for your chance to sign up for a daily prize drawing to win a selection of TSB books and gift certificates to use at our online bookstore www.HorseandRiderBooks.com. In addition, there will be a Grand Prize drawing at the end of the event for the popular Cosequin bucket full of products, including a copy of MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON and a $50 gift certificate to spend at www.HorseandRiderBooks.com.

Phillip Dutton has competed at Rolex Kentucky, the pinnacle of eventing in the United States and one of only six annual Four-Star events in the world, numerous times over the course of his career, winning the event in 2008 on Connaught. We’re excited for this year’s competition and wish all the riders and horses the best of luck.

MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON is currently available for pre-order from the TSB online bookstore (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com). Pre-ordered books will ship after the book’s official release at the end of May.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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Mary King, winner of both first and second place at the 2011 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, shares her words of advice in TSB author Denny Emerson's new book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD.

The UK’s Mary King became the first rider ever to win both first and second place at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event on Sunday, May 1, 2011. King, who also led the British eventing team to a gold medal at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, is one of the 23 riders–chosen from the best in the world in a variety of different horse sports–featured in Denny Emerson’s fantastic new book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD.

Olympic eventer Denny Emerson’s book shares the very best of his advice and experience gathered over a lifetime of riding, teaching, and competing in several equestrian disciplines, and tells us all just how we can make better choices over the course of our own riding careers and turn into the very best rider we can be. The 23 rider profiles scattered throughout the book give us a little glimpse into the different backgrounds from which some of our riding idols arose and disclose some of the obstacles they overcame, in the hopes that their own success stories can help inspire us as we forge forth on a quest for riding greatness.

“Follow your dreams, even if they seem impossible,” says Mary King in HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD. “My own dreams seemed farfetched…but I have been able to do what I dreamed of doing.”

You can order your own copy of HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD at the TSB bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

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Olympic eventer Denny Emerson will be signing copies of his best-selling new book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD during the lunch break on Saturday at this year’s Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event (April 28-May 1, 2011). Don’t miss the excitement of this event, where some of the world’s best (and most fearless) horses and riders converge on the famed grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. And definitely be sure to stop by the Bit of Britain shop at the Trade Fair during Saturday’s lunch break so you can meet Denny!

TSB author Denny Emerson on King Oscar at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in 1996.

Denny’s book is garnering all sorts of attention–and with good reason. Not only does this excellent teacher provide the character traits, habits, and choices that he believes help turn average riders into good riders, and good riders into great ones, but he includes over 20 profiles of some of today’s finest horsemen, with their tips for the little (and big) things they did to reach the top. It’s a fabulous read and one that promises to get your act in gear and your seat in the saddle–don’t we all need a little reminder of how our day-to-day choices can lead us astray from our riding dreams? (I sure do!)

HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD is on sale all this month at the TSB bookstore. You can download a FREE sample chapter by clicking HERE and then choosing the FREE SAMPLE DOWNLOAD on the right side of the page.

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