Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Chicago Equestrian
Wishes you, 
Your families,
And your horses 
A Very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Staying Motivated during Chicago's deep freezes

Winter weather has hit Chicago hard and fast this year! The Old Farmers Almanac is predicting a colder than average winter this year. As if it doesn't get cold enough in Chicago land!

Depending on your stabling situation this deep cold may mean lots of time out of the saddle and when you do get time to ride nice long warm-up and cool down sessions with lots of walk breaks. The icy cold weather can be quite hard on our beloved horses.

Keeping up rider motivation during these cold months can be difficult, sometimes the lure of a hot cup of tea and a good book can be very tempting. Well, why not make that good book one that can enhance your riding knowledge? We all know that during show season we are incredibly busy and have little down time. So take advantage of this cold weather and cuddle up with that hot tea and a good training book or video. There is always more to learn in this sport!

Here are a couple of my well read favorites:
  • Hunter Seat Equitation by George Morris
  • Reflections on Riding and Jumping: Winning Techniques for Serious Riders by William Steinkraus
  • Judging Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation by Anna Jane- White Mullin
  • Training the Modern Jumper (book and DVD) by Elmar Pollman- Schweckhorst
  • Riding Through by Debbie McDonald
 If you need some great ideas for some simple and well thought out exercises for the days that you do get in the saddle there is 101 Jumping Exercises for Horse and Rider and don't forget 101 Dressage Exercises for Horse and Rider. Both have excellent exercises that can be used by any discipline for a variety of fun and different exercises.

There are also a variety of websites with great videos to choose from:
  • Equestrian
  • Showjumper
Those are 2 of my favorites and I have never been disappointed!  So, if you did not get to attend the George Morris clinic this November you can do your own private video clinic with George Morris. A great way to spend a chilly winter afternoon with your riding buddies and planning for the upcoming show season!

Don't forget to check our website, Chicago Equestrian, for the great articles on Chicago area riders and all the up to date news and show calendars. Oh, and some great links on the side bar for shopping too!

Stay warm!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Looking back at the 2010 George Morris Clinic

The Annual Thanksgiving George Morris clinic, hosted by Diane Carney at Canterbury Farm, was once again a huge hit in the Chicago area. Every year we all look forward to the George Morris clinic

This years clinic did double duty as a USHJA Trainer Certification Clinic, to date this has been the only combined clinic/trainer certification program held. What a great way to offer two exceptional programs to the community at one time!

We at Chicago Equestrian were lucky enough to be able to participate through auditing the clinic, providing giveaways for a drawing on Saturday, Brenda Mueller rode in the clinic and on Sunday we gave away goodies during a 'pop quiz' on George Morris principles.

As usual the rider and horse combination's at the clinic were a pleasure to watch. With the guidance of one the masters of horsemanship, we watched each combination at the the three levels get tested and pushed to reach further and be better. It takes hard work, dedication and skill to make it to the upper levels in this sport and having a teacher that can share his expertise is invaluable. The questions put out to each combination had a clear strategy in preparing them for areas that needed work, such as young horses and proper schooling over water jumps,  using elements of courses to prepare for precision coursework, demanding perfection in the flat work, etc.

Every attendee at the clinic, Riders, Horses, Training Certificate Participants and auditors all left the clinic with an enriched education and renewed enthusiasm for riding and for riding correctly!

Check out the Website for additional articles on the George Morris Clinic as well as some great articles on riders in the clinic!

George Morris teaching in the clinic

George Morris Schooling a horse in the clinic

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Banquet Time: NIHJA and IHJA Year-End Awards Banquets

The Chicago Equestrian team headed out to the banquets this weekend.

Brenda and Laura were at the NIHJA Banquet on Friday night they had a drawing for a free halter and gave away Chicago Equestrian rubber bracelets! Thanks to everyone that stopped by our table and said Hi.

Laura, Stephanie, Brenda, The Chicago Equestrian Team
Saturday night the three of us, Brenda, Laura and Stephanie,  headed over to the Schaumburg Renaissance for the IHJA Banquet. What a delightfully fun time we had!

The cocktail hour was a big success. We had our table half way down the reception area by the raffle tables and we had lots of interest in the new website. Hope everyone got their bracelets because we gave them all out! It was so much fun to talk with everyone and to check out all the beautiful dresses and hair-dos. 

We donated 2 free Chicago Equestrian subscriptions for the IHJA raffle as well as raffling of a Walsh shipping halter at our table. There were tons of great raffle gifts donated to IHJA, including a very nice bottle of champagne that we would have liked to win! 


The rest of the evening was filled with the awards ceremony. Watching the smiles on the littlest riders all dressed up getting their awards and ribbons was great and some of the perpetual trophies and special awards were beautiful and big! What an honor for everyone that worked so hard during the show season. We were entertained by fun video montages from the past show season and a great blooper video of falls, Yes, Equestrians are a tough group of people! Dinner and dessert were both very good, great conversation at our table and then of course the fun started out on the dance floor. I would say that the evening was a success! 

Dancing the night away!
Full banquet coverage and stories coming to the website soon! Don't miss out on reliving all the fun :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Welcome to Chicago Equestrian!

Hello Chicago horse enthusiasts,

Chicago Equestrian website is live! The team has been hard at work getting every last detail squared away so we can hit the ground running.

You may be wondering what this new website is all about and where it came from. Well, let me fill you in with some  details.

It all started as an idea. Brenda Mueller, President and Owner of Chicago Equestrian, approached myself and another Adult Amateur rider and said;

'what do you think of this idea? A website that is just for Chicago area riders. A site that contains any and all information in one place, barn listings, show information, trainers, farriers, vets, clinics etc, etc, etc... A site that can help promote the Chicago area horse industry.'  

We immediately loved the idea and between the three of us, and input of several others, we ran with it. Over quite a few conversations, Saturday morning breakfast pre-barn pow wow meetings, endless e-mails, phone calls and text messages we refined the idea into a tangible project. Then the real work started of actually making it all happen! 

Fast Forward to today, the site is live and chocked full of great information that any Chicago area horse person can use plus a whole lot more. Here is a highlight of what you can experience at
  • The latest news on Chicago area riders with video interviews.
  • Interesting articles
  • Calendar full of show dates for IHJA, NIHJA and A Place to Start series. As well as clinics and banquet dates.
  • Special event information: clinics, benefits, special shows.
  • Classified section to reach out to the Chicago equestrian community.
  • Jr/AO hour, a special section where you can comment on articles pertinent to Jr/AO riders. Let's hear what you have to say!
  • Promotion packages for your special events, your barn, your rider or even a feature article written just for you. 
  • Follow Chicago Equestrian on Facebook and twitter and play foursquare to become the mayor of Chicago Equestrian locations to win prizes.
  • Stay tuned for up to date and behind the scenes action on our blog.
  • Low yearly subscription rate that gives back to the community. $5 of every subscription is donated to the USHJA Zone 5 Scholarship fund.
I look forward seeing many new faces join us in this new Chicago Equestrian experience and help promote each other and the Chicago area horse industry.