Category Archives: Training/Clinics

USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Session Hosted at TIEC

Photo credit ©TIEC.

Mill Spring, NC – August 5, 2019 – Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort welcomed 24 athletes participating in the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program Regional Training Session presented by the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund, hosted July 29 – August 2. Participants spent five days receiving mounted instruction from clinician Jeff Cook that focused on flatwork, gymnastics, related distances, and course work, in addition to receiving coaching on grooming, horsemanship skills, and barn management from Veterinary Technician and Certified Equine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Anne Thornbury.

“The purpose of this program is to open eyes and open doors,” stated Thornbury, who has been sharing her wealth of knowledge and expertise with EAP participants since 2012. “It [EAP] opens the kids’ eyes to all the things they need to learn about being horsemen and all the opportunities there are besides just riding in the horse industry.”

Thornbury went on to explain the difference between a rider and a horseman, something she stresses to her students: “Riders might be able to find distances on a horse that’s correctly prepared, but not know one thing about what it ate, what it drank, what was its mood… [but] horsemen want to know everything there is to know about their horse. If you want to be the whole package, a really good rider has to know their own horses. It’s all about the horse. The horse always comes first, no matter what. Their safety and care come before what those kids want to do. I hope that their takeaway is that no matter what, the horse’s comforts are met before their own, and that they appreciate everything their horse does for them. You can’t do it without them.”

Cook focused on improving the riders’ basics and fundamentals this week. “Hopefully with the aids and their position improving, they can do things in such a way that things just happen easier and are a lot more enjoyable for horse and rider.”

Cook continued, “You don’t stay the same. You either get better or worse, and as long as you’re at it [riding], you have to keep trying to learn. For example, there was a moment in that last session where a student lengthened the rein a little and [I really noticed] the difference in the horse’s back legs. We’re always looking to learn.”

Although some participants enter the program just for the experience, many have professional aspirations and hope that the program will open doors to new opportunities and serve as a pathway to success. “Those kids [who want to be professionals] can come to us and we’ll mentor them and find places for them to go,” Thornbury continued, naming several top professionals who were EAP graduates, such as Jacob Pope and Carly Williams. “For kids that want to make something out of riding, it’s a great step up for them,” Thornbury emphasized.

To learn more about the USHJA Emerging Athletes Program, visit USHJA.org.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Who are you? Who are you, REALLY?

Being who you really are is not an easy task. I’m a Friesian, born in Holland, and imported to the USA. I’m different from most horses in that I have feathered legs. Some of the horses at the barn tease me about it, calling me an old work horse. It used to bother me, but then I heard Jane say something really important…

Those who matter don’t mind, and those who mind don’t matter.

When I was a youngster, I hoped that Jane would shave off my feathers so I would fit in with all the warmbloods at my barn. I’d hide my legs behind the low bushes or stand behind the water trough when new horses came in. I didn’t want them to see that I was “different.”

As I matured, I realized that being different was actually the norm. Everyone has something that’s a little out of the ordinary. It was silly for me to be shy about other horses seeing my feathers. So, I made a conscious decision to accept myself for who and what I am. I decided to show off my hairy legs instead of hide them. And you know what? It didn’t change how my friends thought of me one bit. And they’re the ones that matter to me.

Is there something about you that’s a little different from most people? Does it bother you? I know it can be really hard, but if you have it in you change how you think, spend a little time examining and embracing the very thing that you don’t like about yourself. You may find that it’s the resistance to what IS that makes you unhappy. If you can let go of the resistance, you let go of the struggle. And then you’re free.

Once I decided to enjoy my feathers and really show them off, I found that many of the horses in the barn really didn’t care one way or another that I was a little bit different. Some even liked my flashy legs. I learned that regardless of what I look like, my friends love me for what’s in my heart, not on my legs.

So, if you’d like to be happier, just remember to be good in your heart. Let go of any judgement of how you look or how you might be different. Embracing who you ARE, right NOW, is the fastest way to a satisfying and happy life.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Two brains. That’s right, I have two brains. So do you. The difference is, you have a bundle of nerves called the corpus callosum between the two halves of your brain that lets the sides chat. My brain doesn’t have that. It’s true that my brain, or brains, have a very difficult time talking to each other.

For a horse, this means I have to be trained to do things from both sides. What might be easy for me to understand through my left eye, may be difficult to understand through my right eye. It’s a pain, but it’s the price I pay for having eyes on the sides of my head like a prey animal.

Humans can have binocular vision, so you can see things with both sides of your brain. That means your left-brain hemisphere, the logical, linear, thinking side, can analyze things and explain them to the right, more artistic, big picture, emotional side. That corpus callosum is very handy, as long as it’s working.

When humans are under extreme stress, the corpus callosum shuts down. Communication stops. That means you could get stuck in responding to the situation from only one side of your brain. If it’s the logical side, you’ll probably analyze the situation and handle it without emotion. If it’s the emotional side that takes over, you may find yourself hysterical or locked up and frozen. Speech is located in the left, logical side, and if the emotional side takes over, that’s why you get tongue-tied if you get upset. Have you noticed that when you’re stressed and can’t think of what to say, but then calm down and the corpus callosum starts working again, suddenly the perfect words for that snappy comeback show up in your mind? Frustrating, isn’t it!

If you have a plan to handle a situation, you’ll strongly trend toward the logical side of your brain, where plans and analyzing resides. That’s why it is so helpful to have a PLAN before you get in that stressful position.

Do you have a plan? What situations might show up in your life where a plan would be of value? I suggest you make that plan NOW, while you’re relaxed and both sides of your brain are functioning together!

I have a plan to move to higher ground behind the barn the next time we have a flood. I’m not worried because I know how to get there. I’ve looked at the route with both eyes, so both halves of my brain know the way.

How about you? Do you know the way?

Love, Your Friend, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Albion College to Host CPI Spotlight for College-Bound Equestrian Students

Photo courtesy of Albion College.

ALBION, Mich. – June 25, 2019 – For college-bound equestrians exploring a world-class liberal arts education, the College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) will produce a CPI Spotlight event Sept. 27-29 at Albion College in Albion, Michigan. The event will combine campus tours and hunter seat equestrian activities. It will be an opportunity for prospective students to experience Albion College firsthand.

Albion College was named one of The Wall Street Journal‘s “Top 100 Liberal Arts Colleges.” With 49 majors, concentrations and pre-professional programs, Albion gives students the flexibility to forge their own paths while gaining an understanding of the world. Albion College offers varsity competition in Western and hunter seat and dressage competition on the Albion dressage club team at the Nancy G. Held Equestrian Center. Riders at Albion College come from all backgrounds and regions of the country.

“Albion College student-equestrians get a broad-based education in our classrooms and equally broad-based lessons in horsemanship and riding at the Held Center,” said Randi Heathman, Albion equestrian recruitment coordinator. “The result of this education can be seen in our many successful alumni, who graduate with problem-solving and leadership skills that serve them in a variety of career fields.”

Apply now for CPI spotlight at Albion College.

The varsity equestrian competition experience at Albion is not limited to experienced riders. Albion welcomes men and women whether they are experienced equestrians or are interested in learning to ride.

The weekend will provide student athletes information about Albion College’s many liberal arts academic programs. An admissions representative will be available for questions.

In addition to a student-led campus tour, students will experience the Albion College riding program and the opportunity to ride three times. A riding lesson Saturday kicks off the weekend. A short clinic is scheduled for Sunday morning and a mock collegiate-format horse show will be held Sunday afternoon. The event will provide students with a taste of what it is like to catch ride. Participants will ride Albion College horses and they will work with the coaches.

At the barn, attendees will learn additional horsemanship skills with Albion College students and coaches. Topics will include basic care such as grooming, wrapping, points of the horse, and parts of the saddle and bridle and more.

For more information, go to collegeprepinvitational.com.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Photo by Liz Ritz Photography.

A terrible thing happened today, and I’m really struggling to get over it. There was a loud hissing sound that hit my nervous system with a scream that said “RATTLE SNAKE!” I was so startled, I jumped sideways really hard and fast, and unseated Jane! Her off balance body clinging to my side triggered “MOUNTAIN LION!” in my brain. So, I bucked. Not just a little – I bucked from one end of the arena to the other until I shook off the “Killer Lion!”

But that lion was actually my best friend, Jane. I dumped her! In the dirt! I bucked her off! I’m so upset! Jane and I have been best friends for ten years! I’ve never bucked her or anyone else off. NEVER! Not even once.

Fortunately, Jane was not seriously hurt. She’s a bit banged up, but no broken bones. Of course, she was wearing her helmet. She ALWAYS wears her helmet. Thank goodness! I would never have intentionally hurt her, but I could have anyway just reacting like a normal horse!

No one has ever come off me before, and it freaked me out. I was wide-eyed for twenty minutes. But I’m not going to let this ruin my time with Jane. I’m going to look at this with clear thought, do some EFT meridian tapping to release the energy pathway that my neurons created during this fear episode, and move on.

Jane understands that I was acting out of instinct, not maliciousness. Still we both feel really bad about it. We have to just have to make sure that we FEEL our feelings, do the techniques we know to release the energy of the past, and move on.

Have you ever been bucked off? No fun, is it? I hope you always wear your helmet! Even your quietest, most trusted friend is still a big powerful horse. And he could do a normal horse thing and accidentally hurt you. Even if you only get bucked off once every ten years, like Jane just did, you never know if today’s ride is going to be the one. Put on your helmet! EVERY ride!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Jane says I’m too serious, and need to play more. She told me I should relax and enjoy life. I used to think she was crazy. I have lots of work to do, and I didn’t think I should waste time playing around. Dressage is serious business ya’ know, and I have to be PERFECT. But Jane taught me that dressage should be FUN first, and serious second.

I’ve heard Jane tell visitors that I’m very wise, like a Socrates with four legs. There is an old record that says Socrates learned to dance when he was seventy because he felt that an essential part of himself had been neglected. So, I thought, perhaps I should learn to dance, too! Jane loved that idea. She cranked up the music and off we went!

To really dance well, you have to let go of the habit of looking at yourself through other people’s eyes. You have to stop that feedback loop. You have to risk looking silly. To dance you have to take a bit of the athlete in you and mix it with the artist in you. Unrestricted movement, without too much thinking, is the key. Shake, rattle, and roll, and you have a dance!

Do you like to dance? When was the last time you really let go and let your body move to the rhythm of the music? I suggest you try that today. Find a quiet room, close the door if you’re shy, and turn up the tunes. Release your mind as you release your body to move with the beat. Let go. Feel the freedom of movement. Close your eyes and really feel it.

There is nothing better for relieving stress than a good, powerful, free flowing dance. Give it a try! You can do it! Even if you’ve convinced yourself that you’re not a good dancer, you can still dance! Everyone can. You just have to be willing. You might surprise yourself how good you really are!

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Olympic Gold Medalist Peter Wylde to Host Masterclass Clinic at Rutledge Farm

Middleburg, Va. – May 13, 2019 – The team at Rutledge Farm is less than one month away from welcoming Olympic show jumping gold medalist Peter Wylde to host an exclusive masterclass clinic as a part of the 2019 Rutledge Farm Sessions clinic series. Applications for the four rider spots will close May 16, and auditor tickets are available in the remaining weeks leading up to the clinic. Wylde joins Rutledge Farm’s group of elite 2019 clinicians, including Karen Healey, Boyd Martin, Will Simpson, Ali Brock, Debbie McDonald, Phillip Dutton, and Stacia Madden.

Working his way up through the ranks, Wylde quickly made a name for himself as a junior athlete by winning top equitation championships, including the ASPCA Maclay Finals as well as the IHSA Cacchione Cup. In 2004, Wylde earned his first Olympic gold medal for the United States in Show Jumping in Athens, Greece. Wylde also earned an individual bronze medal at the Jerez de la Frontera, Spain World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2002, as well as one team and one individual silver medal at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada in 1999.

Wylde said, “Aleco [Bravo-Greenberg] gave me a tour of [Rutledge Farm,] and it is so beautiful. I had pretty much decided that I wasn’t going to do clinics anymore, and this is actually the only clinic that I will do besides the Emerging Athletes Program (EAP) with the USHJA. I’m excited to come back to Middleburg in June.”

In 2009, Wylde was asked to be the USHJA’s first EAP National Training Session clinician for its inaugural program, and he currently serves as the lead clinician each year. Wylde also serves as Vice Chair of the Emerging Athletes Task Force. Throughout the year, Wylde currently competes and trains at some of the country’s top show jumping events, including the Devon Horse Show, Kentucky Horse Shows spring and summer series, and the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

On his training technique, Wylde said, “I like to be able to assess what I see with the given horse and give riders insight into what I think is the best way forward, and what small little changes can try to help them. I try to tailor clinics to give the rider the best information without being too confusing, it should be very simple and very straightforward.”

With over 40 years of experience in the sport, attendees can look forward to learning about “honing the art of fine riding.” Wylde’s boutique-style clinic will kick off at 4:00 p.m. with rider spots being limited to just four horse and rider pairs. Auditors are welcomed and encouraged to join as Wylde imparts his knowledge and advice about the sport. Throughout the clinic, Wylde will open the floor for auditor questions, and the evening will conclude with 30-minute question and answer session.

Wylde said, “One of my favorite things about hosting clinics is answering questions. We can use the riders in the clinic as examples, and then talk bigger picture to the audience. I welcome auditors and I think it’s a fantastic way to learn. I really love being able to host clinics and share my knowledge.”

Applications to ride in Wylde’s clinic are now open, with limited ride spots available. There are only a few days left to submit applications, and acceptance notices will be sent out to riders on Thursday, May 16. Auditor tickets will be available in the remaining weeks leading up the clinic.

For more information about Peter Wylde’s Rutledge Farm Session, or to find out how to ride in another one of this year’s sessions, visit rutledgefarm.com/clinics.

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

I see blue sky, green grass, and yellow flowers. I can’t see red apples as my eyes perceive the color red as deep gray. I’ve been told that it’s because horses have a different eye structure from humans and can only see things in blues, yellows, and greens. My eyes don’t have the cones to produce the colors red, purple, or orange.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? I guarantee that you don’t see the same thing I do. You also don’t see the same thing your mother, your partner/spouse, or your dog sees.

Perception is a tricky thing. We can only relate to our own perception, so we naturally assume everyone sees things the way we do. But as we mature and become wiser, we recognize that this is so far from the truth! Everyone’s perceptions are colored by their previous experiences, their culture, their brain function, and their unique senses. We all see things differently.

The next time you’re in a conflict with a person, or even your horse, remember… how they view the situation is very different from how you see it. Just recognizing that will help you take a step back from the emotions at hand and give you a chance to respond in a different way.

Someone once said: we don’t see things as they are; we see them as WE are.

How could seeing something through someone else’s eyes help your situation? Give it a try! You might be surprised at how powerful recognizing this fact can be.

Then stop what you’re doing and take a carrot to your horse. He’s hoping you will! He may see it as yellowish gray, but it still tastes yummy.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Black and white. Yes and no. Up and down. Sickness and health. Positive and negative….

We live in a world of contrast. It’s the duality of Nature that makes up our physical world. Without that contrast, we wouldn’t be able to perceive. It’s in knowing dark that we can recognize light. It’s in being able to experience silence that we can hear noise. The comparisons go on and on.

As infants, people are trained to show a preference for one thing over another. Most well-adjusted (note that you have to be “adjusted”) children develop a preference for positive feedback over negative. For “yes” over “no”. For health over sickness. For “happy” over “sad.” Humans are trained from birth to compare and prefer.

What if nothing you experienced was actually “wrong” or “right,” but just an experience? How different would your world be if you didn’t judge what happened in your life, but rather just observed your physical and emotional perceptions of whatever showed up?

In many Spiritual philosophies, it’s the pain from living with the judgement of what occurs that is recognized as the most difficult part of being human. Release that judgement, and enlightenment is possible.

As a horse, I’m already enlightened. I don’t carry judgement about what happens. Oh, I may have an unhappy memory of the fellow who poked me in the hip to get me on that airplane in Amsterdam, but I don’t JUDGE it. It is what it is. It was what it was. That was then, this is now.

How would your life be different if you accepted “what is…”? Could you try that on, just for a day? Give it a try! Or not. The choice is yours. And that is the one constant… your choice of what you think about is always YOURS.

Your horse is hoping you choose to bring him a carrot when you go to the barn today. He says that is the “right” choice!

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com

Motivation from Moshi, by Jane Savoie

Words have power. They have energy. They create a state of being in our minds. Horses don’t use words, but we understand the energy behind what you say.

You’ve probably heard the saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I say, the wounds from a stick or stone will probably heal, but the damage caused by the negative words we hear may sting for life.

Never underestimate how your words affect those around you, as well as how they reflect back and affect YOU. If your self-talk is negative, your experience is going to be negative. If you speak positively, your experience will reflect the same. If you bark and growl at your horse without careful thought to the attitude you’re projecting, your horse is going to feel insecure and you’re going to maintain a negative vibration. If you’re snapping at the people around you, the energy you’re projecting can be just as damaging as a pointed stick jabbing into someone’s heart.

Have you ever asked yourself, is it better to be right, or is it better to be kind? It’s a very pertinent question. Sometimes you have to stand your ground and be firm in what you consider “right.” Sometimes being right is just not that important. Choosing which applies in each situation is one of the things you have to decide on your own. Observing the results of your choices, right or wrong, is where wisdom is born.

Your horse’s interaction with you is a terrific reflection of your choices. Horses are congruent, honest, and in the moment. They’re a terrific mirror of your state of being. If you take the time to observe, and you’re open to the message, you can learn a lot from your equine friend.

Love, Moshi

Jane Savoie
1174 Hill St ext.
Berlin, VT 05602
Jane’s Website
DressageMentor.com