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The year winding to its close in a flurry of parties and family and (at least here in Vermont) snow often inspires nostalgic glances back while perhaps ambitious resolutions are cast forward. It is a time when those of us who ride or work with horses on a regular basis may evaluate goals met (or not), consider the steps gained with a particular project and where they’ll lead in the months ahead, or perhaps ponder the role that horses play in our lives now, and the one we’d wish for them in the future.

In her book COLLECTIVE REMARKS, FEI and USEF dressage judge Anne Gribbons shares how competing on horseback eventually came to hold less importance, as the satisfaction of figuring out each individual horse while adding to her own “pool of knowledge” gained significance. At TSB, we aim to support those who spend their lives striving to learn more about horses, to appreciate different approaches from different disciplines and schools of philosophy, and to consider new ideas while respecting the tried-and-true of classical equestrianism. As we add to our own “pool of knowledge,” we hope we have a chance to add to yours, too.

All orders from the TSB online bookstore placed before noon on Thursday, December 18, ship FREE in the US in time for Christmas.

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“Full Circle” from COLLECTIVE REMARKS by Anne Gribbons

When I was a kid and started riding, competition was the farthest thing from my mind. All I wanted was to be around horses, to breathe in their wonderful sweet smell—to me more exhilarating than any other fragrance on earth—and to touch their velvety coat, to look into their sad and all-knowing eyes. Riding them was a privilege and a joy beyond anything else I could desire. In short, I was just like any other horse-crazy kid in the world. Years later, my whole life became involved with horses, and with serious training arrived the need for competition; the fire it lit in my blood was a whole new aspect of riding. Jumping and eventing keeps you on your toes, but even dressage can be exciting when there is a good class and you have a long-term goal in mind.

Today, after many years of competing and after obtaining some of those goals, I must admit that I look at showing differently. The few minutes in the ring still makes my blood run faster (although the reasons may vary from joy to alarm), but the rest of the scene can appear as just “more of the same.” The planning, packing, traveling, loading, fussing, waiting, re-packing, and traveling again is a lot of work, and when I think of all the weekends in my life that were absorbed by horse shows, I sometimes wonder about my sanity….

After all this time, I have almost returned to base. Although, thankfully, more experienced, I am back in the mode where I am totally satisfied staying at home with my horses. The training, which has always been the true motivation for diligently showing up at the barn every day, is the constant that never becomes monotonous, uninteresting, or exactly the same two days in a row. It would be impossible to stay inspired while training horses but for the fact that every single horse has something new to offer, which gives you reason to add to your pool of knowledge and meet the challenge of dealing with that specific individual.

My triumphs today are not measured in ribbons and scores, but in the satisfaction of having a day when a horse who had a problem suddenly catches on and performs a movement with ease, or a particular sequence of exercises feel just like you know they should: no tension, no resistance, and no effort, just horse and rider gliding together. The ultimate satisfac­tion is to look at a horse you have known from the time he was broken and watch him grow more beautiful every year because of the building of his muscles and strength. The finished, happy, and sound Grand Prix horse is a work of art, and all the time it took to bring him there is well worth it. Things of quality take time, and your trained horse does not have to go to the Olympics to give you an enormous amount of pride and joy in your accomplishments together.

 

COLLECTIVE REMARKS is available now from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

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Ever wonder what it’s like to be a top rider, trainer, judge, or clinician? Trafalgar Square Books (www.horseandriderbooks.com) is tracking down its top authors and asking them to pull back the curtains and let us take a quick peek into their lives. In our fifth installment in TSB’s “Horseworld by the Hour” blog series, we caught up with “WonderHorseWoman” Lynn Palm.

Lynn is not only the author of THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE, she’s won 34 World and Reserve World Championships; four Superhorse titles, AQHA Female Equestrian of the Year, and many more awards and accolades throughout her career in the spotlight, which has now spanned over 40 years. She and her husband Cyril Pittion-Rossillon conduct training courses and clinics across the country. Lynn is an Advisory Director of the Western Dressage Association of America, and makes regular appearances at expos and special events, such as her popular bridleless riding demonstrations at the World Equestrian Games.

Lynn has shown horses on the flat and over fences, in Western, hunt seat, and dressage saddles. And NOW we hear she’s taking up a whole new sport, to boot!

So just how does Lynn fit it all in? Check out her typical day:

 

24HourLynnPalm

 

Just a Regular Ol’ Spring/Summer/Fall Day with Lynn Palm

5:00 a.m. Still sleeping, I hope!

5:30 a.m. I wake up in the spring, summer, fall at 5:30, with all my dogs. In the winter I get up around 6:30 a.m.

6:00 a.m.  My morning chores: making coffee, unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry, planning meals for the day. If I have clinics, I start preparing lunch and dinner for at least 20 people and often more!

6:30 a.m. I feed my wonderful dogs: 3 labs and 2 mini longhair dachshunds.

7:00 a.m. I check my gardens and greenhouse, and then get dressed for the day while drinking my coffee. I make a protein fruit smoothie and take my vitamins!

7:30 a.m.  In the summer, by now I’m getting to the barn to ride my first horse before feeding. Spring and fall I start riding at 8:30 a.m., and in the winter I may ride in the afternoon, switching my day to ride with our warm afternoon sun!

8:00 a.m.  I’m riding horses and following up with necessary calls for the day.

8:30 a.m.  Still riding horses, and finding time to check in with Marie Frances (my office manager) and Cyril (my husband) about what’s up for their day. Cyril also works our horses, and we discuss our saddle business and what orders or leads he may have about our hunt seat and dressage saddles we have made in France.

 

Lynn Palm has written two important books for Western dressage riders: THE RIDER'S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE. .

Lynn Palm has written two important books for Western dressage riders: THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE.

 

9:00 a.m.  I’m in the barn, checking on all the horses for health or care, confirming supplies needed, and discussing with the farm manager what he is doing on the farm for the day.

9:30 a.m.  On another horse, while my staff turn out some horses and plans for grooming and care of horses and the stable for the rest of the day.

10:00 a.m.  I am training horses in our wonderful training field with the big Live Oak Trees.

10:30 a.m. Training horses in the Outdoor Jump Field.

11:00 a.m.  Training horses on our 3-acre Natural Obstacle Training Arena.

11:30 a.m. Training horses with ground work in our training paddocks.

12:00 p.m. Training horses still—but now it’s driving to prepare for Combined Driving (a new sport for me this next year!)

12:30 p.m.  Riding horses in the covered arena (if it is raining, as can be the case in the afternoons).

1:00 p.m.  Lunch, swim in the pool, play with dogs!

1:30 p.m.  Shower and clean up from the barn.

2:00 p.m. Office duties: email, Facebook, marketing plans, writing newsletter or editorial for magazines, following up on horse sales, planning shows and clinics, working on remodeling our property in Sarasota, Florida (Southern Reflections – An Equestrian Private Retreat).

3:00 p.m.  More office duties: conference calls with sponsors, companies with product development, reviewing client requests with their horses, making contacts for clinics or expos engagements.

4:00 p.m. Office duties continue, or if we have a clinic going on, I prepare dinner for the students, guests, and staff.

4:30 p.m.  Still in the office: preparing the daily horse training and lesson schedule for the next day.

5:00 p.m. Haven’t left the office but gotta feed my dogs!!

5:30 p.m. Close the office for the day.

 

Lynn with her Labs. Photo by Cappy Jackson from THE RIDER'S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION.

Lynn with her Labs. Photo by Cappy Jackson from THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION.

 

6:30 p.m. I’m watching Nightly News on NBC if I can!

7:00 p.m.  Preparing dinner for Cyril and me, and friends if we have some over (which is often).

7:30 p.m.  Cocktails at the Red Fox Inn or sitting on the front porch enjoying the sunset—talking about the day or what is happening in the horse world with Cyril, Marie Frances, and/or horsey friends. My dogs have cocktails, too: marrow bones, which they love so much!

8:00 p.m.  Dinner in the main dining room, in front of the TV if it is just Cyril and me (of course with the dogs) or at poolside—we have a wonderful pool area with lots of beautiful landscape.

9:00 p.m. Cleaning up dinner or maybe sitting at the bonfire in a courtyard beside the pool.

9:30 p.m. In bed watching The Voice or America’s Got Talent or sports.

10:00 p.m.  Up again! Time for Night Check on all the horses.

10:30 p.m. Sleeping!

 

Lynn Palm’s excellent books THE RIDER’S GUIDE TO REAL COLLECTION and YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO WESTERN DRESSAGE are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SHOP NOW

 

Read the other installments in TSB’s “Horseworld by the Hour” blog series:

Daniel Stewart

Doug Payne

Janet Foy

Clinton Anderson

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Be sure to check out the four-part series with renowned rider, trainer, author, and equestrian philosopher Paul Belasik on Chris Stafford Radio! Paul and Chris discuss the starting of the young sport horse based on the classical system he has used for almost 40 years, as well as touching on some of the topics and stories Paul shares in his new book NATURE, NURTURE AND HORSES.

Paul’s honest and enlightened journal entries in NATURE, NURTURE AND HORSES give the reader an inside look at training horses, from birth through four years. His style of writing allows the reader to “live” the experiences as he did—in the moment, and without the benefit of hindsight. The result is a true account, both thoughtful and thought provoking, and by turns tender and efficiently practical.

Paul has ridden and trained at every level in dressage, from young horses to beyond Grand Prix. He also has had extensive experience in eventing, which encompassed the early part of his career, before turning solely to his first and true love of classical dressage and the art of riding.

NATURE, NURTURE AND HORSES is available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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