Mid-South Eventing & Dressage Association


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  • 02/09/2016 8:16 AM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E Coleman

    Eager participants were greeted with enthusiasm during Daniel Stewart’seducational clinic at the MSEDA Annual Meeting held at the Four Point by Sheraton.  Starting Saturday morning, and continuing through the afternoon, attendees were taught a plethora of helpful hints to manage their horse-show nerves.

    A successful international trainer and instructor for over 25 years with a degree in Sport Science and a host of World Championships, World Equestrian Games and Olympics competitors on his resume, Stewart believes that one of the easiest ways to be a successful rider is to think positively. Throughout the day, he incorporated the power of positive thinking into everything he taught, and imparted ways to stay positive in the heat of the moment.

    Some of these ideas included:

    -          Humans focus on the “bad” because of natural, caveman instincts to protect ourselves. Because of the way humans operate, we can only focus on one thing at time, good or bad--we should focus on the good.

    -          Mental multi-tasking doesn't work.

    -          Being focused can help keep you in the ring when you get hit by "the duck,” which is anything that takes your greatness away. This “duck” could be your horse, your lack of confidence or anything that makes you lose your focus while competing.

    -          Pressure and stress make us rush and makes us forgetful.

    -          Horseback riding is error-based learning; mistakes are good and lead to growth and learning. Riders need to learn mistakablility: The ability to make a mistake and realize that it is beneficial and we learn something. “Don't blame mistakes away,” says Stewart. The best mistakes are the ones that we learn and grow from. We only grow outside of the comfort zone.

    -          All riders need a positive affirmation sentence to train ourselves. Even better, make it a positive affirmation song. A positive affirmation song is simply music that makes you happy, which in turn will make you more optimistic. Everyone needs an “athletic anthem.”(One example is Miley Cyrus’ “The Climb.”)

    -          All riders should also create an athletic acronym in addition to their anthem. This are cue words with five or fewer letters that form one sentence. For example, BIG (breathing is good) BEST (balance every single transition) SANDY (smile and never doubt yourself) is an acronym that will help a rider remember specifically what it is she should do at different points in her ride. Acronyms fire the memory center of the brain.

    -          Science proves that you are 34 percent better at a task when you are happy.

    -          Never ask of your horse what you are not willing to do yourself.

  • 02/08/2016 1:43 PM | Deleted user

    By Jen Roytz

    The Mid-South Eventing and Dressage Association’s annual meeting and awards banquet was held on January 30th and 31st in Lexington, Kentucky and included a wide arrange of speaker topics, updates and, of course, the year-end awards for the 2015 competition season.

    Photo by Suzanne Fischer

    The featured educational speaker on Saturday was internationally renowned coach, clinician and author Daniel Stewart. Stewart, who has trained riders to success in various World Championships, World Equestrian Games and Olympics, also gave a riding clinic on Sunday and Monday at the Kentucky Horse Park.

    Sunday’s MSEDA board meeting covered a wide range of topics, including updates and takeaways from the USEA and USDF conventions, the unveiling of the new MSEDA website and the election of six new MSEDA board members for 2016: Kristin Posner (VP, Dressage), Cheryl Steele (Treasurer), Julie Congleton (Central Seat), Chelsea Smith (Central Seat), Megan Carr (Western Seat) and Eric Sampson (Northwestern Seat).

    The highline of the weekend was Saturday evening’s 2015 MSEDA Awards Banquet, which honored all year-end award winners. Special award winners include:

    Volunteer Julep Cups

    Debbie Hinkle- 158 hours

    Millard Spencer- 140.5 hours

    Vicki Baumgardner- 124.5 hours

    Ron McGinley- 123.5 hours

    Carol Robertson- 121.5 hours

    Shelley Ryan- 101.5 hours

    Leigh Ann Robertson- 95.5 hours

    Rudy Vogt-90.5 hours

    Thomas Bell- 87.5 hours

    Mary Ann Andres- 83.5 hours

    Lori Snyder- 81.5 hours

    Margorie Hines- 80.5 hours

    Special Recognition Awards

    Mary Margaret Sterling

    Lynn Anthony Miles

    MSEDA Grants for 2016

    Anastasia Curwood $500

    Susan Harris $1,000

    Christine Brown Memorial Grant (2016)

    Katie Hagerty- $1,500

    Dressage Show of the Year (2015)


    Horse Trials of the Year (2015)

    Midsouth Pony Club Horse Trials

    Kob Ryen Memorial Trophy

    Mary Margaret Sterling

    Dressage High Point Junior Rider

    Mary Grace Timmons

    Dressage High Point Young Rider

    Madison Deaton

    Dressage High Point Senior Rider

    Joan Gariboldi

    Dressage High Point Master Rider

    Catherine B. Jacob (tie)

    Susan Posner (tie)

    Dressage High Point Adult Amateur

    Catherine B. Jacob

    The Spy Games Memorial Trophy Dressage High Point Award

    Susan Posner and Tympani

    The Tundra Memorial Trophy Dressage High Point Mare

    Aryus (tie) owned by Catherine B. Jacob

    Brunswik (tie) owned by Catherine B. Jacob

    The Craig Bryant Memorial Trophy Eventing High Point Junior Rider

    Paige Pence

    Eventing High Point Young Rider

    Chelsea Kolman

    The Bennet Trophy Eventing High Point Senior Rider

     Megan Moore

    The Helmut Graetz Trophy Eventing High Point Master Rider

    Alston Kerr

    The Midnight Sam Memorial Trophy Eventing High Point Award

    Sir Earl Grey owned by Alston Kerr

    The Philosopher Trophy Eventing High Point Mare

    Miss Airheart owned by Mandy Alexander

    The Grasshopper Trophy High Point MSEDA OTTB

    Miss Airheart owned by Mandy Alexander

    The Bryn Wilborn Memorial Trophy for MSEDA members who competed at the NAJYRC Championships

    Paige Pence and Class Action

    Hope Walden and Lily Langtry

    Mary Peabody Camp and Rivertown Lad

    Click here to see the full list of year-end award winners.

  • 02/08/2016 10:43 AM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E Coleman

    Congratulations to all of our recent MSEDA Grant recipients. These grants were awarded at the MSEDA Annual Awards Banquet on Jan. 30, 2015. 

    $1,500 Christine Brown Memorial Grant: Katie Hagerty

    Katie Hagerty is a sophomore at the University of Kentucky, where she is studying to be a business marketing major. Her ideal career will be in the equine industry working at a sales rep. Katie trains under Allie Knowles and is currently in Ocala, Fla., at Buck Davidson’s farm with her two horses: Rocksteady (also known as Eddie), a 10-year-old Thoroughbred and Courtly Miss (also known as Missy), a 10-year-old Thoroughbred.  

    Katie is using her grant money to ready both mares for competition; Missy for  The Fork and the Carolina International two-star prior to the Ocala International CCI two-star. All of these events are in preparation for the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Colorado this summer. Katie is aiming Eddie for a one-star in Ocala in 2017.


    $500 MSEDA Educational Grant: Stacy Curwood

    A MSEDA member since 2009, Stacy Curwood has a 6-year-old Thoroughbred named Special Dark, or Sparky. Stacy will use her grant to attend a week of dressage “boot camp” with “S” judge and USDF gold medalist Sandy Osborn at Ashland Farm in Georgia. Stacy will be blogging through a training diary while there and will be bringing Sandy up to Kentucky for a Ride-a-Test clinic later this year, open to MSEDA members, and the dressage and eventing communities. Stacy is honored to have been chosen for the scholarship, and is hopeful that MSEDA members will benefit from what I learn and from the clinic.

     Photo by  Wendy Wooley/ EquiSport Photos

    $1,000 MSEDA Educational Grant: Susan Harris

    Susan Harris is very thankful to receive this grant; she is training in Wellington, Fla., with Kathy Priest and Shelly Francis on her 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Endavour Adventure. Learning his flying changes and aiming toward Third and Fourth level, Kathy is so thankful for the grant to allow her to continue his training. She also used part of the grant money to attend the USDF Trainers Conference in Loxahatchee, Fla., with Johann Hinnemann.

  • 01/25/2016 2:58 PM | Deleted user

    By Jen Roytz

    As the temperatures dip down around freezing or below, it can be difficult to keep weight on our horses, especially those who are up in age or known for staying on the lean side. At least every two weeks, it is advised that you asses a horse’s BCS (Body Condition Score) and weight, using a weight tape or scale.  Based on the nuanced changes you see in your horse’s weight and BCS, there are simple adjustments you can make to manage their weight.  

    Staying Warm

    One of the easiest things you can do to help your horses maintain weight is to help them stay warm during the winter, as the colder they are, the more calories they will burn trying to keep their body warm. If they aren’t in regular work, the best option is to let their body do what it does naturally and grown a thick winter coat, which provides plenty of insulation to keep them warm. If they are outside most or all of the time, making sure they have some type of shelter to avoid harsh wind and freezing rain is key.

    If they are in work and you are keeping their coat thinner or clipped. Note that the blanket is smoothing the coat down, thus taking away much of its heat-retaining properties, so changing blanket weight or layers as temperatures warm or cool is necessary to maintain the horse’s comfort. Also, be sure to inspect the horse without a blanket on regularly to make sure it is maintaining weight and isn’t developing any skin irritations or rubs.

    Regardless of whether the horse is indoors or outdoors, be sure their access to water is not compromised (frozen) and that they are drinking enough, as a reduced water intake can lead to decreased food intake and gastrointestinal issues.


    Horses don’t have ample grass to graze upon in the winter, so owners must be sure they provide enough forage for their horses – about 1.25 to 2% of forage per day. While increasing the amount of forage offered is important during winter months, increasing the quality is also paramount, especially for individuals who are proven hard keepers.

    “Select less mature grass hay that contains more leaves than stems and include a legume forage, such as alfalfa, clover, or lespedeza that can provide more calories than typical grass hays on an equal weight basis,” said Catherine Whitehouse, MS, Nutrition Advisor for Kentucky Equine Research. “Offering poor-quality hay – those high in indigestible fiber – can limit the amount horses will consume, which can be a factor in weight loss, even if they have access to forage such as a round bale.”

    If forage quality is an issue, Whitehouse suggest providing an alternative forage product, such as beet pulp, forage cubes, pellets, or chaff, which are high in fermentable fiber.

    “If the horse is receiving grain, it may be as simple as increasing the amount offered by two to three pounds per day,” added Whitehouse.

    Adding a top dressing to a horse’s feed, such as stabilized rice bran or vegetable oil, offers highly digestible energy and calories, which will help horses maintain body heat and weight.

    Hard Keepers

    When it comes to senior horses or those who are known to be hard keepers, being proactive can help them immensely as temperatures drop.

    “Horses that repeatedly lose body weight during the winter should have their BCS assessed in the fall and, if needed, be started on a weight-gain diet with a larger amount of calories prior to the start of winter,” said Whitehouse. “Consider reducing their workload during the winter, if possible, to allow more calories to be used for maintaining weight and condition.”

    She also suggests using a fixed formula concentrate with fixed ingredients that uses a combination of energy sources, such as starch, fat and fermentable fiber, which should help maintain weight.

    If you have questions about how to help your horses maintain a healthy weight through the winter, KER nutrition advisors are available for consultation via email or phone. Go to www.ker.com for more information.

  • 01/01/2016 3:05 PM | Deleted user

    By Sarah E Coleman

    We all know one: A blanket-busting horse that seems to delight in ruining even the toughest-denier cover-up money can buy. Inevitably, these horses seem to destroy their blankets right before a holiday, major weather event or when their other blanket of the same weight is out for laundering. 

    Even though we’ve been lucky so far this winter, with our horses going without heavyweight blankets for many months past normal, there’s still plenty of time for your beast to beat up his clothes. If he decides now is a good time to put air conditioning in his blanket or rip off straps and buckles, here are some quick ways to keep your kid comfortably covered until you can get his blankets to a professional. 


    Unfortunately, your blanket needs to be as clean as possible to make the repair—usually a tough thing as Kentucky winters don’t really lend themselves to clean horse clothes. If the body of the blanket is torn, and you’re worried that washing it completely may cause the fill to fall out, spot washing near the repair is A-OK. The most important this is to ensure that at least the edges of where you will repair, in addition to a few inches on either side, are clean. While you could soak the blanket and clean it with soap and water, cleaning it with rubbing alcohol and letting it dry will work just fine.

    Addressing the Broken Bits

    Broken straps, chest, belly or leg, are the most difficult to repair without professional help. If your horse was able to break these straps that were professionally put on, it’s likely that he’ll blow through most repairs you are likely to make, as well, but don’t let that discourage you from trying!

    Most home sewing machines don’t have the oomph to get through both the blanket’s fill and the strap to hold the straps on securely. In addition, some horses manage to destroy the almost the entire length of a belly strap, leaving you very little to work with!

    If your horse has destroyed his belly straps, an elastic blanket surcingle can be used behind the withers to hold the blanket in place until you can properly repair it. If you happen to have an older blanket on hand, you can try cobbling together a new strap, sewing the new piece onto the old and sewing a new hook onto the body of the blanket for a fastener. 


    With any blanket repair, you’ll want to use the heaviest thread you can. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have heavy thread on hand, try using braiding thread, dental floss or fishing line. While a large, blunt needle may be easier to wield, working it through all the layers of fabrics and straps is tough. 

    If your horse has frayed the elastic and lost a T-strap, you can either use a sewing machine or hand-stitch the elastic around a new piece of hardware. 

    Though smaller, leg straps can be a bit harder of a repair as they require stitching through additional layers of fabric. A heavy-duty sewing machine is usually necessary to fasten the hooks securely to the body of the blanket. If you do try to reattach the straps, consider using leather or heavy canvas as a backing to make the repair less prone to re-tearing.

    If you can’t seem to get the leg strap to stay even with a repair, you can tighten the remaining strap as much as possible between his hind legs or you can use baling twine as a tail cord to try to keep his clothes in place until they can be professionally repaired. 


    Your Horse May Look Homeless … But At Least He’ll Be Dry

    Horse can be such stinkers; even if he’s top-dog in his field, it seems like a given that he’ll find some nail or other sharp object on which to tear his (usually new and/or very expensive) blanket.

    Large rips and small holes in the body of the blanket can be the easiest to repair. If your blanket is made of polyester, consider using a lighter to (carefully) seal the hole. Though it may smell horrible, this usually works for smaller tears. 

    For blankets made of other materials, try making a woven duct-tape patch to hold the tear together (like the lattice weave you do for the bottom of a hoof pack). A blanket-specific waterproof patch is also easy to apply, as is an iron-on jean patch from a craft store. Simply trim the patch to a size slightly larger than the tear, iron on and let cool completely before putting it back on your horse.

    Super glue is also an option to repair tears and small holes; just be sure to allow the glue to dry completely before testing its strength.

    No matter what repair you make, waterproofing the repair is never a bad idea. Spray-on waterproofing is the easiest and quickest to use—just double-check that the type of waterproofing you purchase is useable on your blanket’s material. Also, be sure to check what temperature is recommended to get the best effects of the waterproofing; if it recommends over 50 degrees F, you may need to take the blanket into a garage or other climate-controlled area for best results.

    Even if you’re not a super-savvy seamstress, sewing is best for large tears. Remember that the repair need not be beautiful—it just has to be functional. A straight or zip zag stitch is easiest, and hand sewing is always an option. 


    When to Cry Uncle

    Finally, if your horse is ripped from stem to stern, it may be time to call it quits. If you do choose to trash your blanket, be sure to cut off all the hardware (including leg or belly straps, if they’re salvageable) and save them for later use. 

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Midsouth Eventing & Dressage Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

MSEDA’s mission is to promote and preserve the sports of Eventing and Dressage in the Mid-South area, by providing leadership and education to its members and the community at large. To further these goals, MSEDA will provide educational opportunities, fair and safe competitions, promote the welfare of the horse and rider and reward the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the FEI level.

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