Plans, short/long range, everything in between…

17 Sep

After an Olympics, there is usually euphoria or letdown.  In equestrian, Great Britain is still euphoric after all the medals. Here in the U.S., there is letdown and its  inevitable consequence–planning.
Looking at Great Britain, everyone points to The Money from the now well-discussed Lottery Funding,and that is an obvious part of the solution. When riders have the kind of aid and foundation  High Performance majordomo Will Connell was able to provide, then riders can concentrate on competition and success.

But  if it is ONLY money, then there is really no need for the Olympics; for competition; for being human.

No. In Great Britain, several years ago, they formulated The Plan:

In a nutshell, the plan promotes the Horse as part of daily reality. Not just horse sport, not just breeds, now just local or regional shows. Instead, under one umbrella, the idea that horses are necessary and worthwhile–and ways to keep people believing in that.

When people talk about the U.S. being ‘too big’, the solution seems to be to find a size/region that is manageable.

The hard part is going to be to come up with a plan and an organization chart that is all-inclusive and that enough parties can agree upon for how the  power/communication  will work so it is both two-ways and satisfactory.

Of course, first there will have to be a development period:

I nominate George Morris to head  the study into

developing this kind of plan for the U.S.

The internet has made the idea of  ‘size’ much more manageable and has provided a wonderful tool for creating a centralized database, search tool, information exchange.

GM  (often referred to in terms reserved for deities) has the knowledge, the passion, the experience of horses in general as well as horse sport to give something so pie-in-the-sky some semblance of success. His own success as a rider in several sports, his passion for the horse, his involvement with teaching, giving back, creating the next generation — I cannot think of any other horseman who has more gravitas or is more fit to be the guide in this as in so many other achievements.


On a more specific level, this past weekend, the American  Olympic dressage team rider Jan Ebeling decided to ‘pay it forward’.

He and his wife Amy invited the local population of trainers to come to The Acres, the Ebeling’s farm in Moorpark, California for lessons, for community, for co-operation.

Olympic rider Charlotte Bredahl on Strauss , at the recent two-day clinic at The Acres in Moorpark

Over the weekend,several local trainers and their students rode, including  Olympic rider/trainer Hilda Gurney (who  rode with Jan and then later returned the favor by providing commentary while Jan himself rode). Olympic rider Charlotte Bredahl rode; Grand Prix trainer Kamila Dupont lectured on “Joint Maintenance.

Sponsors included Superior Saddlery; Eurofit (fashion/clothing); Cavalor (feed/supplements); Mounty (specialized equestrian products); Platinum Performance (vet researched supplements).

Jan Ebeling watering the arena between riding/teaching at The Acres’ recent ‘open-day’ clinic for local equestrian dressage community

During  lunch, Jan talked about the Olympics, about the need to find and then set “personal best”,whatever that goal might be, and fielded questions from the nearly hundred or so people who attended.


When the clinic was over, I just thought how wonderful it could be if this event, like so many others, could be featured on a centralized website; because if these individual and local efforts can be seen by others, so that everyone realizes their efforts are recognized and encouraged,then surely the Plan will  be achieved faster and better than anyone currently believes possible.


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