Link Love: September 2018 Edition

Link Love: September 2018 Edition

I can’t believe it’s time again to show some more Link Love! Read on down for a peek at some of what is going on around the horse world, from news items to helpful articles and thoughtful pieces. Here’s what’s been keeping me glued to my screen this month!

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A Jumper in a Buck Brannaman Clinic

I love reading the stories of experienced horse folks discovering new areas of the horse industry and stepping out of their comfort zone. Congratulations to this brave rider on pouncing on the opportunity to learn from a legend. (

Soft Arms for Elastic Connection

Here is an incredibly helpful article on the role of the arms and hands in developing contact and connection (Dressage Today)

Who let the… horse in?

Something I’ve joked for years about doing myself… ( 

World Equestrian Games

I feel like there is so much material floating on the interwebz related to the World Equestrian Games in Tryon this month… I can barely sift through it all, much less summarize or distill the biggest takeaways. This article from Dressage Today does a damn fine job for we who watched from afar.

Here is another fascinating article on the heels of WEG Tryon, this one more critical of the event as a concept, returning to the marketing and branding issues that seems to plague equestrian events in the larger sporting world. Excellent food for thought and perspective for folks who focus less on show jumping or are too young to remember world champions past and previous organizational systems. (

Basic Training with a Master

This isn’t exactly recent content, but I did recently stumble upon it, and I am in love. Check out this Basic Training video series with David O’Connor via Equus Magazine’s website!

Steeplechase Madness

Sometimes trips down the YouTube Rabbit Hole end up rather fruitful. I don’t see much of the steeplechasing world, but the strength and endurance required astound me, to say nothing of the nerve of these riders! In an industry of risky activities pursued in the name of fun and sport, steeplechasing takes the cake in my book.

This particular video features a much smaller field than, say, the Grand National… but the action is nonstop, everyone appears to walk away more or less unscathed, and the commentary is absolutely priceless.

And that’s it for September! It’s been a wild month, for sure! The next edition of Link Love will be coming to a blog near you in a few weeks; until then, remember, you should be riding!

Link Love: August 2018 Edition

Link Love: August 2018 Edition

Welcome to the Link Love Internet Roundup for August 2018! Read on for a few of the tidbits that captured my interest over the last few weeks!

Link Love August 2018 French Link

Close Your Fingers (JumperNation)

We all have those little nagging ingrained quirks in our riding that we are constantly working on or need our attention directed back to. Who else can relate to this rider and her coach?

When Aretha Franklin Rocked the Dressage World (Dressage Today)

A lovely article and a throwback video to how Aretha touched even the equestrian world. Rest in peace.

A Great Test of Good Riding (JumperNation)

An excerpt from the book Horses Came First, Second, and Last by USET coach Jack Le Goff on schooling the jumping horse over cavaletti. Excellent explanation of cavaletti setup for introductory work to more advanced gymnastics, and also a discussion of the benefits of cavaletti work for horses and riders at all levels.

Fall Health Tune Up (Equisearch)

Equisearch posted this great article on preparing for winter with a focus on strengthening and supporting your horse’s immunities. Read on for specific recommendations to consider this fall.

How Studying Biomechanics Enhances Your Dressage Training (Dressage Today)

Biomechanics of horse and rider is one of the subjects that consistently humbles me. This field of study never fails to remind me how much more there is to learn, how much more subtle my understanding could be, and how much more I could help myself to help my horse.

Rothchild Retirement (NoelleFloyd)

Lovely, lovely write-up on McLain Ward’s illustrious longtime mount. I typically don’t follow showjumping that closely, but… this is Rothchild. Happy retirement, fella; time for a well-deserved rest on those laurels.

2018 Travers Stakes

For all the bittersweet might-have-beens surrounding the rest of the 2018 racing season after Justify’s retirement, the Travers Stakes was still an excellent run. Check out Catholic Boy in the video below.

Follow up your viewing of the race with a look at this article from HorseNetwork, analyzing the race and making some predictions for the fall racing yet to come:

Horse Training: We Should Know Better, Do Better (

Like the article on biomechanics a little farther up in this post, this article forces me to be humble and put on my thinking cap. The ideas here about perception and how we frame what we know into what we do are edging toward the deeper end of the philosophy pool… but apply to far more than just horsemanship. Read, don’t skim, this one.

Disengaging the Hind End in 3 Simple Steps (Differential Equestrian)

Here is a great breakdown on how to disengage a horse’s hindquarters under saddle. This exercise should be in the toolbox of every horseman. While engagement of the hindquarters is vital for athletic maneuvers, the ability to disengage them at will is crucial to basic control.

WEG Runup (NoelleFloyd)

I feel like Tryon 2018 is sneaking up on me!! Check out this roundup of the teams announced so far… although I see no reining in this list! 😉

So, there’s a snippet of what is going on in the horse world this month! Link Love will be back again in September with more of the good stuff!

Link Love: July 2018 Edition

Link Love: July 2018 Edition

Lots going on in the horse world to share in this Link Love: July 2018! Let’s dig in!

French Link Love: July 2018 Icon


Do you struggle to keep your large water troughs and tanks clean? Goldfish may be the answer!! While my own setup isn’t ideal for the goldfish method, yours might benefit! Check out Horse Network’s article on Goldfish Water Trough Maintenance

On a sadder note, we have reports that 2018 Triple Crown Champion Justify may never race again due to continued recurrent swelling in his fetlock. While it would of course have been thrilling to see the undefeated colt race again, I applaud his connections for making decisions that are in the best interest of Justify’s health and sound future. It was an epic run. Read more at Horse Network: Justify May Never Race AgainJustify Officially Retired from Racing

More news from the racing world. Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza was injured when his mount collapsed and died on the track during a workout on Sunday. Despite serious injuries, Mr. Espinoza is expected to make a full recovery. Read more:

Triple-Crown winning Victor Espinoza hurt at Del Mar when horse collapses, dies

Jockey Victor Espinoza Expected to Recover from Fractured Vertebra

And on a Justify-related note… Who didn’t see this coming? Yeah, I’ll probably buy one…

A frequent-flyer on my mp3 player of late… American Horse by The Cult. Just when I thought I’d run out of horse-referencing hard rock, I found a new favorite!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Pony Club and their rating/certification system, especially as a guide and tool for independent riders not necessarily affiliated with Pony Club. Possible subject for a future post? Anyway, I ran across this little gem… could you pass the Pony Club C+ Test? Check out the Quiz from Horse and Hound!

Great news on another ongoing story — Irish event rider Jonty Evans has regained consciousness! It sounds like the road to recovery will be a long one; sending continued prayers and good vibes in Mr. Evans’ direction.

Do you Ride Big or Ride Small? That is the question Human Performance Coach John Haime poses in this excellent article on

So there is just a taste of some of the news and clickable content that caught my eye this month. For more Link Love, check out last month’s June 2018 Edition. And, as always, you should be riding!

Link Love: June 2018 Edition

Experiment alert… welcome to the first, June 2018 edition, of Link Love! This is going to be a bit different of a format, but I do want to share with you some of the things that have caught my interest around the interwebz recently. They just might interest you, too!

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Courage and Fear

First up, an article that really speaks to me. I think it will speak to every rider, really. This short article comes from, and  is about defining courage, and the role of courage in overcoming fear.

Research on Saddle Flaps and Rider Stability

Here is an intriguing article on research done on saddle flaps, and how they influence rider stability in the saddle.

On Introducing Shoulder-In

Here is a short training article via Dressage Today, putting the focus on shoulder-in. Of particular interest to me, with my mile-wide DIY streak, is the list of prerequisites to help you check your foundation before you tackle this gateway lateral/collected movement. Initially, as we build communication with our horses, we teach “syllables,” whoa, go, and turn. From there, we put those together into “words” like half halt (go plus whoa) and bend (go plus turn). In many, many ways, shoulder-in is the first “sentence” we teach the horse. This excellent guide not only explains how to introduce this sentence, but how to make sure that your horse understands the words you’ll be using in that sentence, too.

Triple Crown History – Made!

Just in case you haven’t watched all three of Justify’s Triple Crown trips a million times already…

Lateral Flexion: Mind Blown

And this is an article that I cannot wait to take into the arena.

Confession time… I used to be quite gung-ho about drilling NH Guru Style lateral flexion. However, in the past couple of years I’ve largely ignored the issue, especially on my older horse with the more formal training background. Even in the kits, the lateral flexion exercise never seems to “tie” to a next step beyond a one-rein-stop or a form of face-focused vertical flexion that always seemed way to handsy for my taste.

Where this article triggered a lightbulb for me was in reconnecting the focus of the flexion to the poll. The graphic showing the true flexion point occurring halfway down the neck, far from the poll, is a real eye-opener. The point of the exercise isn’t about stretching the horse’s neck sideways. It’s about releasing, almost massaging, the muscles surrounding the poll. Once these muscles relax and the poll joints become soft, lateral flexion can naturally evolve into correct vertical flexion without putting the focus on the hands and without putting the horse into an unnatural posture.

On Horses in the Wild

And last but not least, I stumbled across this intriguing article on the findings of long-term observation of equine behavior in the wild. This is a bit longer of a read, but absolutely fascinating. 

So that is the first edition of Link Love! Have you come across any articles, news pieces, or videos along the interwebz recently that have made you stop and think? If you have, share in the comments! And now, off to the barn… I should be riding!