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The Most Useless Document Right Now ~ A Passport

As we push through into month 9 of no international clinic giving or even national clinic giving, and the welcome mat for US visitors across the world is now thrown down by only about 3 countries, it is ironic that my hubbie and I renewed passports at the beginning of the year and signed up for expedited airport and global travel access.
As a result of the travel restrictions we were forced to postpone our entire 2020 clinic season.  Frankly, we miss the adventures abroad like shown in the video above, and the fun and education of meeting new and familiar faces both giving instruction and taking it.
It's truly weird at this point to not have seen students in person, and to have to rely solely on Apps to keep us connected to the ongoing training of our riders. My husband Paul and myself are very grateful for the hosts that have simply postponed and not cancelled the clinics booked. Meantime, all our remote training session fees are donated to charity, as we do our little bit to help …
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A Horse to Show and No Place To Go!

The woes of Covid competition cancellations have many trainers scratching their heads and pondering their next move. A carefully mapped out strategy for peak performance of horse and rider compassed by the calendar into years ahead by advanced level riders, is in disarray as event organizers scratch their plans to host shows at the last minute.


There isn't much to be done about having a horse to show and no place to go. Unrecognized competitions may be useful for introductions to the show scene for young horses or neophyte riding students and with the limits in place governed by the CDC guidelines the in/out routine can be a boon ( less stress as less horses and riders on the grounds), but this truck in routine and lack of spectators can also be a hindrance to engaging a horse and rider in the real fun and tension of a regular event.

For the professional riders, a show without points is a show with no point at all. 

As a dressage clinician/competitor/trainer and international travele…

The On Off Travel Woes Between The USA and The EU

Making decisions on postponing clinics and constantly searching, sometimes finding and being able to book flights when you work as an international clinician (or even a national one), isn't easy in these pandemic times.

Here in New York, our wonderful Governor Andrew Cuomo, and New Yorkers in general, have done a brilliant job of pulling the state out of the epicenter status of Covid19 by complying with restrictions and stay at home orders, social distancing, wearing masks and taking tests. Most of the rest of the nation's politicians showed a complete lack of foresight when there was a clear playbook for them to follow. I am so very proud of the community of New Yorkers, Upstate and Down - doing what seemed an impossible task and showing discipline over so many months. Lots of people suffered immeasurable losses, both of loved ones and financial turmoil. Many continue and will continue to suffer. That is a sad but inevitable fact.

For my husband Paul and I who earn part of our…

Life Re-imagined? Yes. Go For It...

In Cuomo's daily press briefings he pushes the notion of the 'new normal' being life re-imagined. For us here at Willowview Hill Farm, that's something we have been working toward for a number of years now. Re-invention happens in life. It's all part of our journey.




Our rather well-educated eldest son has always expressed that it is important to have a 5 year and 10 year plan in place. For businesses that can mean an exit strategy, for individuals it can mean easing into retirement or finding time to follow a passion that you've always held close to your heart but always been too busy with family life and obligations to others to follow.

I count myself as extremely blessed to have arrived at a 'new normal' partly by design, partly by hardship and partly by accident, over the past 30 years. 

My advice is to embrace change and move forward and adapt with good heart. Re-imagining is hard work but it can also be extremely rewarding. It can happen many times in…

Can You Really Social Distance and Follow CDC In A Commercial Horse Barn?

There has been an amazing amount of misinformation and confusion concerning the lockdown rules during the Covid19 crisis and their interpretation as it pertains to commercial horse boarding operations, especially in New York State, where I reside.

In my opinion the NYS Department of Ag and its various councils have further added to the confusion by their on again/off again broadcasts and comments, writings and musings in regard to just what a horse owner and horse boarding farm owner can and can't do.
Compounded misinformation about insurance coverage, rules for social distancing, pop up social media pages attempting to help horse folks understand their rights and the issue at hand, abound.

I don't doubt that everyone is trying their level best to figure out a way to safely get horses and their owners back together. For the horse barn business owners the responsibility for the safety and health of their workforce and clients during Covid19 is a part of their daily…

Pick The Right Partner To Train Your Horse

It's been said over and over but it bears repeating. When you select a horse trainer it's important that you choose the best possible partner option for the individual horse. 




If you have a sloth like gelding, that simply doesn't get excited about much in life, than the choice of who can start and train the horse is much wider than if you have a young mare that has had plenty of handling but that has not seen much of the world and has been closely bonded with one individual or two individuals over her life time.

Mares are commonly more difficult to start than a gelding, hormones and their intuition and instinct are key reasons why a mare must be asked to do something not told. If they don't trust you and regard you as being 51% in charge of them on the ground, then they certainly are not going to magically change when you ask them to work under saddle.

The trainer you select to start a horse should have lots of experience doing just that. The process of building trust, lo…

The Quest For A New Heart Horse

The challenge of finding a new heart horse when you've unexpectedly lost your horse of 16 years is not for the faint of heart. Feelings of guilt, abandonment, recurring waves of mourning and the ebb and flow of tears for the horse partner you have lost will haunt even the most stoic soul. In fact last night I was dreaming and was shouting in my sleep for Charlie. Evidently I am nowhere near 'over it'. Even if it that is a possibility.




Is there such a thing as rebound? Taking on a new horse is a big decision and the common psychological idea that one should never make major life changes when you are at an emotional low is perhaps valid, even when it comes to the fact that you are torn between wanting a new riding horse and waiting until you are in a more 'normal' frame of mind. And let's face it, have saved up some money to make the purchase.

People say that time heals loss but I don't agree. I do believe that over time the acute pain and grief stages become m…