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A PSA: Get An HSA

Whenever I go through a crisis, I always ask myself, “What can I learn from this experience? What can I do better?” I’ve learned a few things from my recent broken hand experience: that horses are silly, that hands are fragile, that appropriate pain medication is wonderful, and that good people are even better. But […]

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Grateful For Grit

In my center desk drawer in my office at the farm, I keep a rejection letter from The Dressage Foundation. It was from the first time that I’d applied for the Carol Lavell Prize, and it went to two other people that year. I keep it because of the handwritten note from Carol herself on […]

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Give A Hand For The USDF Finals

While my broken hand changed my plans regarding the U.S. Dressage Finals, it did not cancel them, because I had two students qualified in the amateur and open Grand Prix divisions. And when you have students at that level, you go, broken or not! In addition to being exceptionally good riders on wonderful horses, Abe Pugh and Jenn […]

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I Had This Plan

I had this plan. My friend and coach Ali Brock was scheduled to come to Aleco and Sandra Bravo-Greenberg’s gorgeous Rutledge Farm, just a short hike away in Middleburg, Virginia, for a clinic as part of their Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. The clinic was not only a chance for me to get some lessons […]

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Mission (Mostly) Accomplished

One of the beautiful things about dressage is that there are so many levels at which to play. I don’t just mean training level versus third level versus Prix St. Georges versus Grand Prix; I mean that there are schooling shows, recognized shows, CDIs, and various regional and national championship tracks. My original goal for […]

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Changing Mid-Stream

In the last decade, I’ve embraced the educational approach of having one coach. Too many voices in my head aren’t good for me or for my riding; it seemed to muddy the waters. Over the last nine years, I’ve dabbled in the occasional clinic with phenomenal people—USEF and USDF training sessions with the team coaches […]

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Succeeding From Home

If money were no object, many of my amateur students would have multiple horses, all in full training, so they could come to the barn and enjoy their horses and riding without worrying about the trials and tribulations of farm ownership and of taking care of their own animals. Things like well pumps (which exclusively break […]

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Common Ancestry

I’ve ridden extensively with three of Michael Poulin’s most accomplished students—I rode with Lendon Gray all through college; I was a working student for and have an ongoing friendship with Carol Lavell, and now for almost a decade I’ve trained with Michael Barisone—but somehow I’d never ridden with Michael Poulin himself. So when the team […]