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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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Doug kicked off the spring season by marrying Jessica Hampf. Photo by Kristyn DeCaro Mangano

Doug kicked off the spring season by marrying Jessica Hampf. Photo by Kristyn DeCaro Mangano

TSB author and top event rider Doug Payne has had an intense and exciting start to the year! Doug kicked off 2014 with nothing less than nuptials: He wed Jessica Hampf in March. One celebration followed the other, with his fantastic new book released in early April. THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL is already receiving glowing reviews, and we’re hoping that Doug’s insightful (and fully tested!) advice helps all those riders out there with four-legged “problem children.” Check out the fab Horse Junkies United review below for more about Doug’s book!

Next up: Doug and Crown Talisman—the 2003 Holsteiner/Thoroughbred gelding he owns with Larry and Amelia Ross—are headed for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Rolex runs Thursday, April 24, through Sunday, April 27, 2014, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. And Doug and “Tali” were one of two horse-and-rider combinations awarded Land Rover Competition Grants to compete at the Saumur CCI3* in Saumur, France, May 22 through May 25, 2014.

So who is this “Tali” horse that Doug has taken to the top of international eventing competition?

Doug tells us about Tali and the challenges they faced together as they learned to become successful athletic partners in THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL. Here’s a short excerpt:

Doug and Crown Talisman ("Tali") at the 2012 Fair Hill International CCI**. Photo by Shannon Brinkman

Doug and Crown Talisman (“Tali”) at the 2012 Fair Hill International CCI**. Photo by Shannon Brinkman

“Tali stands 17.1 hands tall and is a striking, dark bay…just about the perfect physical specimen and the most talented horse I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding in dressage. Not only is he good there, but he’s an exceptionally good, brave jumper as well.

“Tali didn’t have a malicious bone in his body, but he was a bit of a rogue. The first day I rode him I just walked and picked up the trot for a short while. I knew from longeing him and from what I’d been told that he was athletic, but someone can tell you that all day long and it just doesn’t seem to sink in until you experience it firsthand. My introduction to Tali came in the form of noise: I’m still not sure what it was but some loud sharp bang in the background sent us into the air. Unlike any horse I’ve ever ridden, he could ‘levitate’ himself on a whim. Not a buck or rear, just all four feet off the ground at once, without warning. It took me a while to understand what was happening.

“Horses are creatures of habit. Most behaviors will repeat themselves. It didn’t really dawn on me until we were at his first event in Aiken, S.C. that spring exactly what was happening. If he heard a loud noise or bang, regardless of the gait, he’d levitate and spin so that upon landing, he would be facing the direction of the noise, planted like a statue, with his ears pricked to figure out where exactly it came from. I can’t find the words to describe how strong he was and how it’s possible to be trotting along, then in the air doing a 180-degree turn, then landing absolutely still. All other horses would be struggling for balance, or take a few steps to get planted into the ground—not Tali.”

You can read the full story of Tali and some of Doug’s other horse “success stories” in THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL. Doug shares these real-life case studies as proof of how the toolbox of tips and techniques he offers in his book can work for you. THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL just got a rave review on Horse Junkies United:

“This book is a must buy!” says reviewer (and rider!) Tracy Porter. “Whether you have a seasoned schoolmaster, a greenie who is just learning the ropes, or a problem child like my boy you will appreciate Doug’s honesty and vast knowledge in your pursuit of the perfect horse!”

You can read the full review on Horse Junkies United by CLICKING HERE.

 

CLICK IMAGE to read the full review of THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL on Horse Junkies United

CLICK IMAGE to read the full review of THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL on Horse Junkies United

 

Doug will be signing copies of THE RIDING HORSE REPAIR MANUAL at the Practical Horseman and Bit of Britain tents at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Watch the TSB Facebook page and follow TSB on Twitter for times and locations to be posted next week. Not going to Rolex? Doug’s book is available to order from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE. CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW.

 

Follow TSB on Facebook for signing times and locations at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Click the image above to follow TSB.

Follow TSB on Facebook for signing times and locations at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event. Click the image above to follow TSB.

 

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