Beckett Run Equestrian
Newsletter for Beckett Run Equestrian Team Summer 2010
2 First meeting
2 – Show schedule
3 - Workout / Practice
4 helmet recs
4 Barn etiquette
5 – Outfitting
Plus much more…
Best Dressed at 2010 IEA NationalChampionships? I think so…
OFF AND RUNNNG FOR A NEW SEASON!
I’m excited to get to work on the new IEA season. Despite losing three solid seniors to graduation, everyone else is
a year better and we have some terrific new members, making us a stronger team than we were a year ago. Let’s set our
sights on Nationals now – championships are not won in May, they’re won by the work we do all summer and into the
fall and winter. It’s all a process that lasts for about ten months leading up to Nationals every year.
My philosophies are not too complicated…
First, riding ought to be fun -- if it’s not, don’t do it! Don’t stress! We work hard, and I push your buttons
sometimes, but I will make you better. You need to love this sport for the work we do day by day. We don’t
compete often enough to love it for the shows – you have to love the practice, the challenge of riding different
and difficult horses, the self-improvement you see as time goes on.
Secondly, I believe it’s much MORE FUN to win! I need riders who will work hard to improve themselves
and help the TEAM win. I need riders who have the hunger to be better than they are now, and better than
everyone else. If you’re not competitive, if you don’t care if you win or lose, maybe this is not for you.
You LOVE this sport – be good at it! It takes only a little more effort to be really good than it takes to be
average. Pay attention to ALL the details in your riding. Ours is a sport of discipline and I want it to show in
everything you do. That’s why we’re so particular about every detail – the way you care for your horse, put
your tack away, hang your halter, clean your bridle. The way you do your hair, wear your number, clean your
boots. It is all a reflection on the care you take in your riding. Why settle for ordinary? Give me the time and
effort and I will make you exceptional.
Work hard and smart! Not everyone is naturally talented, or perfectly built for riding, or has had the
opportunities to compete at a high level. But anyone can be in top physical shape – all it takes is the discipline
to work hard on your riding and in your other workouts. I can teach any of you to be smart, educated riders
and showmen – just keep your eyes and ears open, and listen with interest to everything I say to everybody in
your lesson. Then… try to figure out what I’m talking about as quickly as you can! There is never an excuse
for someone else being stronger or smarter!
Get with MY program! After two dozen collegiate National Championships, I know what it takes to get your
name and picture in the magazines and in the websites, but I need you to entrust yourself to MY system. With
all due respect, forget your trainer – when you’re riding at Beckett Run I AM your trainer, and you’re either
with me or not. I don’t care what you did before or how much you won – all that matters now is who can ride
a strange horse, and those people will get the most opportunities.
I need positive, hard-working people with open minds and good team work ethic. I don’t deal with attitudes or
drama – if you want to be active and successful on this team you need to be dedicated and committed to the
team, respectful to your teammates, and always place the team first.
You are now a member of the Beckett Run equestrian team. We have a tradition of excellence of which you should
be proud, but with it comes a responsibility to improve yourself to the best of your ability. Now is the time to make that
happen! Take pride in where we’ve come from, and in where YOU and your friends will take us this year.
Make your own destiny! Success is a choice. If you want to be at Nationals at the end of the year, you need to make
that decision and that commitment NOW. You have more control over your destiny than you probably believe. You
can’t control how the wind blows, but you CAN change your sails to take your boat in the right direction.
Let’s start with setting some realistic goals in a workable order. Right now your goal should be to get into good
shape because starting soon you’ll have some pretty rough team practices if you’re not used to riding without stirrups
and in a good two-point position. Riding is the best way to get into shape. If you haven’t been riding a lot this summer,
you need to start running, upper body lifting, and sit ups.
I am naming STRENGTH as our #1 priority. Start running and doing sit ups today! Hit the weights now!
Anything that makes your legs or core stronger will particularly help.
Next, you need to set a target date of the first show to learn what may possibly be a new system of riding to you.
Depending who you’ve been riding with, much of this might sound familiar with a few twists and turns; for others, the
whole system might sound like a foreign language! By October 1, we need to be strong, tight, well-educated riders. As
we go along, we’ll start expanding goals to include things like Regionals, Zones, Nationals, etc.
Always keep your eyes on the prize. Know what you’re working toward or your work is wasted. I want people who
want to win, who want to improve and want the team to succeed above all else – it doesn’t matter how you ride because
I can teach you the rest! The most successful riders on this team won’t necessarily be those who’ve won the most
before. Anyone can emerge as the star! Get to work!
Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses, and always work on your weaknesses. It does you no good to
practice your strengths. I want you to love coming to the barn. I want you to have fun when you’re around the
equestrian team. But I will demand 120% effort and attention to detail whenever you are in my barn or on a horse in my
ring. That’s what it will take to make you a Champion. Good luck! See you soon!
BECKETT RUN EQUESTRIAN TEAM
3PM-ish Sunday, August 29, 2010
at the farm following the Hunter Schooling Show.
Bring your completed IEA membership forms (you’ll get instructions from Gwen how to
download those from the IEA website), a calendar, and your check book.
Meet at the farm, then we’ll probably go to an air conditioned restaurant to talk.
2010-2011 BRET SHOW SCHEDULE
(tentative-could be changes or adds. All shows BOTH high and middle school)
October 9, Beckett Run home show at Beckett Run
October 10, Childress Rogers Stables show at Beckett Run
November 6, Mapleleaf Farm at Stonegate Farm, Athens Ohio
November 7, Brookside Farm at Stonegate Farm, Athens Ohio
December 11 at Stonegate Farm, Coolville, (Athens) Ohio
December 12 at Stonegate Farm, Coolville, (Athens) Ohio
February 19, at Stonegate Farm, Coolville, (Athens) Ohio
February 20, at Stonegate Farm, Coolville, (Athens) Ohio
March 5-6, IEA Regionals at ??
March 19-20, IEA Zone 5 Championships at Roberts Arena, Wilmington OH
April 28-May 1, IEA National Championships at Prince George’s
Equestrian Center, Upper Marlboro Maryland (Washington DC area)
CONGRATULATIONS to BRET and Xavier riders who had notable wins in summer shows…
Kai Smith won the OHJA Medal at Lochmoor in August, qualifying her for the Ohio Medal Finals this fall.
Madeline Davis won a class at the Ohio State Fair horse show.
Alex Calvert won the equitation over fences at the Ohio State Fair show.
Our IEA region: We’ll see a few new teams in our region this year, mostly from Indiana. It is uncertain whether the
Olympic Bound team from Lochmoor Stables will have a team this year. All the rest of the teams in our region should
be the same this year as last. Our region of competition includes a very oddly shaped box that extends from southern
Columbus to Cincinnati, to Lexington to Louisville to Indianapolis, with a spike that goes northward to Ann Arbor
Michigan. There are three regions in our zone, which includes all of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky.
GOOD LUCK to BRET Alumni!
Best wishes and good luck to our three 2010 graduates:
Kelsey Williamson, Lakota East High School, will ride for Miami University in Oxford.
Della Wilz, Walnut Hills High School, will change colors and stay in the barn as a rider for Xavier University.
Congratulations for earning a partial academic scholarship from Xavier.
Jennifer Weisman, Ryle High School, earned the Presidents Academic Scholarship for a full ride to Virginia
Intermont College! Go Jen!
Other BRET alums riding in college include:
Meredith Finch, 2009 Talawanda HS will return to Kansas State
Emily Kowalchik, 2009 Loveland HS is a sophomore rider at Cornell
Dani King, 2009 Sycamore HS will ride for Ohio U.
Lauren Stewart, 2008 Xenia HS will be a junior at Tiffin University in northern Ohio.
BECKETT RUN OPEN HUNTER SCHOOLING SHOW!
Sunday, August 29
Riders can use Beckett Run horses or bring your own.
Hunter, equitation, and flat classes in each division – a division appropriate for anyone.
This is a great way for new riders to get to know your teammates and a cheap way to get competition
experience. The more time you can spend in the ring the better!
Talk to Gwen if you’re interested, and sign up on the list in the barn.
Beckett Run Equestrian Team organizational meeting
immediately following that show, about 3PM-ish.
Lesson RATES and OTHER LESSON POLICIES
$38 for 1-hour groups, $45 for private half-hours, $45 for semi-private (2 in a group) hours, $65 for private
hours (privates and semi-privates offered only when time available)
Your second lesson each week is discounted $5 off the above price.
You must cancel a lesson at least 24 hours ahead of time – call Gwen’s cell phone at 513/839-5619 or e-mail at
email@example.com - or you will be charged for the lesson. With appropriate notice, you will be given the
chance to make it up, but only during the same week
Only riders who have been in regular and continuous lessons at Beckett Run will be entered in shows. Riders
who join the team in the middle of the year will be worked into shows after an appropriate practice period.
We would be happy to board your horse, but you need to let us know right away so we can free up a stall. Rates in
the main barn start at $475 per month, while there are a few stalls in the small barn available at a lower rate. Check us
out at: WWW.BECKETTRUNRIDING.COM or contact Gwen at firstname.lastname@example.org
PRACTICE / WORKOUT REQUIREMENTS
Everyone is expected to do at least one lesson per week during the season. Many do more – a private half-hour
plus a group lesson is very typical if you can do it. All are required to spend at least three hours per week working on
your , starting right away! Regular physical workouts are a required part of our practice schedule. Work on your
own or form groups, and work on running, sit ups, weight lifting, or comparable workout programs. I wish I could
impress upon young riders the advantage of being physically strong – everything is easier when you’re stronger – ask
Meredith or Emily – they’ll tell you the value of just being more generally fit and strong.
If you ride one lesson per week, I expect you to workout twice; if you ride two lessons per week, you’ll be expected
to workout once. If you play another sport, or take weight lifting or fitness class at school, presumably you workout at
least twice a week… that takes care of it. I’ll be asking you to explain your programs to me, and expect each of you to
keep a log or journal to track your fitness progress – how long, how strong, how fast, whatever. This is all on the honor
system, but both of us should notice a difference if you are diligent about it.
NEW HELMET recommendations !
I suggest you have a different practice helmet from your show helmet – your practice helmet will get pretty grimy!
You can practice in anything that is FEI approved, but I’m much pickier about your show helmet.
Your helmet really makes a statement about your riding – professional, neat, tidy, effective. Fit is the most
important thing, but style is important now, especially in college. The hottest helmet right now is the Charles Owen
Wellington GR8, or the Wellington Pro. Don’t get the contrasting panel - I prefer all black - but that helmet is
absolutely the hottest thing in the ring right now. GPA is still in style, but the Charles Owen is a pretty good choice at
60% the cost!
The most important safety feature is the fit. You need something that looks good on your face. It also needs to fit
well for safety - the owner of the Charles Owen company told me that 90% or riders have a helmet that is too big! He
recommends this… try helmets in the store with your hair down, and find something as small as comfortable with your
hair down. Try it on three times for a few minutes each time before you decide it is too small. The microscopic foam
bubbles burst to create a custom fit about your head. After buying a new helmet, ride with it for a week with your hair
down to break it in, then get used to riding with your hair up.
Everyone’s barns have rules. It’s all about having good, safe, sound horsemanship. It demonstrates your attention to
detail and desire to do things correctly and carefully. Here’s what I expect…
Arrive in enough time to leisurely groom thoroughly and tack up correctly before your lesson time begins. I
am known to send people back to the barn to groom more thoroughly if you don’t do a good job. No mud, no
shavings in manes or tails, etc. I expect you to have the horses mane combed out neatly, and we will require
this year that everyone pull a little mane while you are grooming – ask someone to show you if you don’t know
how. The respect you show your horse indicates to me how seriously you take this sport.
Tack up in stall or in crossties – I don’t care which place you choose, but if you bring your horse out of the
stall you must have a lead rope on the halter. Don’t block the wash stall if someone needs it!
Don’t borrow tack! All horses have their own stuff that fits them and is meant for them. Believe it or not,
some people just grab whatever is nearby because they are too lazy too find the correct stuff. Don’t do that!
Be dressed correctly for practice– check out “outfitting guidelines” in the team section of the farm website!
I’m known to send people back to put their hair up correctly, or to tuck shirts, etc. Have a hair net and gloves.
Take time to cool horses out correctly. This time of year, that means you’ll hose off in the wash stall, take the
horse out to eat grass and dry. In the colder weather, you will at least sponge sweat off under tack. At the very
least, in the cold of winter, they will need a thorough brushing after riding. Don’t rush away without taking
care of business… I ALWAYS notice and it’s one of my pet peaves.
Clean bridle, martingale – cleaning stuff is on the hook in the main tack room – and put it away correctly
twisted up in a figure-8 pattern. If you don’t know how to do that, notice when you take it apart.
Pick up after yourself… if your horse poops, pick it up. If you make a mess picking feet, sweep it up.
Anything like that goes in the manure spreader outside.
Put stuff away on the stall door correctly…
Fleece pad, then neoprene pad atop that, then baby pad on top – folded once and hung with
the horse’s name showing, then the whole thing clamped with the horse shoe to keep it from
blowing off. EXACTLY like that.
Halter hung sideways through the lower rings (like everyone else’s)
Lead rope put away separately
Put bridle away correctly – clean and bundled in a figure-8. Ask someone to show you if
you don’t know how. Don’t leave it hanging on tack cleaning hook!
SO WHAT’S THE DEAL ON TRYOUTS / PLACEMENT?
We don’t hold tryouts, so to speak. I find some kids at shows or clinics, some find us, some are friends of friends,
etc. If you want to do this, we would love to have you! If you’re not ready to show, I’ll keep you home doing lessons
till you’re ready. We want people who are serious about competing.
With that said, the weekly practices are more or less an ongoing tryout process to earn a spot on any horse show
team because we are limited in how many can go to shows. Each rider is allowed only five shows total per year, and
our team is limited in total riders and in the number of riders per class division at each show. Even our home show will
have limitations this year because of the new structure of the association. Here’s the deal…
Primary means for choosing is attendance of practices and other mandatory functions (fund raisers, home horse
shows, etc). If you want to go to horse shows you MUST BE AT PRACTICE AND MANDATORY
FUNCTIONS, period! Your own personal death and/or dismemberment is a valid excuse – otherwise, you are
expected to be there each week.
I need people who will be at practice regardless of whether they get to show a lot – that’s how we improve
individually and as a team. People with poor attendance will not be entered in shows.
You will be placed into a class level based on your prior experience – we will place you as low as legally
possible because that makes you more competitive in the shows. The placement rules are available at
www.RideIEA.com and involve your show experience on your own horse.
Please be accurate in assessing your prior experience. Exaggerating your experience will inaccurately place
you into a higher division than necessary, making you less competitive and less likely to go to shows. I would
rather you be a National Champion in the lower division.
Regardless of your divisional placement, you will continue to practice at your skill level, and will have
opportunities to compete in BRF and OHJA shows at the higher levels that you practice.
More details and pictures at…
OUTFITTING GUIDELINES - See www.BeckettRunRiding.com, click on “BR Equestrian Team”, then scroll down
to click on full outfitting guidelines. I want everyone to look at the “good” and “bad” pics and read about the narrative.
The winner looks and acts like a winner, even in practice! Here’s what I expect you to wear for practice... No
ASTM/SEI approved practice helmet, preferably not your show helmet. (You can borrow a helmet from the school
helmets if you want).
Hunt Seat riders wear breeches (or jeans) and half-chaps. Full chaps will be allowed only in the dead of winter when
you need them for warmth. Breeches and tall boots are also good for practice. Nothing else is acceptable
Wear breeches and show boots (if at all possible) the week before every show. It is useful to have at least two pairs
Shirt must be tucked into pants if it is longer than your belt.
Hair must be up under helmet as it will be in the show. Have a hair net – we’ll show you what to do with it if you
don’t know. No pig-tails, pony-tails, etc.
Here’s what I expect for shows...
The standard is “Tailored Sportsman” breeches in standard greenish or khaki color - 2-way or 4-way stretch is
acceptable – your choice. Two-way stretch is cheaper, but 4-way more comfortable. “Ariat”, “Pikeur”, or
comparable breeches are also great, but color MUST be standard khaki color. Tailored Sportsman look-alikes are
acceptable for the lower levels if you don’t want to spend as much, but you’ll need the real thing when you get to
Tight fitting hunt coat, preferably blue. Fit is the most important feature, because a coat that fits badly makes you
look slouchy, frumpy, unathletic. Blue with a pinstripe, or window pane pattern, etc is perfect – just so it looks
dark blue from a distance. Browns, tans and greys won’t make me happy, but will be acceptable until you get to
Regionals, Zones, Nationals – then you’ll need blue anyway. I personally love the other colors, but blue is an
equitation color, tan and grey are hunter colors, and there are some judges who will discount you for showing in
light colors at Nationals, Zones, Regionals. Black and chocolate brown has been the style lately – don’t waste
your money because it will be out of style in six months. Blue never goes out of style. Just show me your coat and
I’ll tell you if it fits you well, and I’ll let you know if it is not an appropriate equitation color – don’t be offended if
I tell you to get a new coat.
Monogrammed, long-sleeved hunt shirt -- No choker pins. No short sleeves. I love colors or striped shirts, within
reason - I’ll tell you if it’s unreasonable! You don’t have to stick to white – colors make you stick out in the
judges mind, but bright or especially dark colors are bad. I can say that from experience as a judge. You can
monogram something small on the collar – initials, Bugs Bunny, Xavier “X” or whatever.
Tall, tight “field” boots. They must FIT!! Ask for help if you need it. Ariat is the off-the-shelf brand with which
we have had the most luck finding a good fit, or ask Gwen about customs – usually about 50% higher than Ariats.
ASTM helmet – “Charles Owen GR8 or Wellington Pro” or “GPA” brands at McCauleys in Indian Hill, or Tack
Trunk in Lebanon, or through the Dover catalog, is perfect. “Charles Owen Hampton” is about the only felt hat I
like, but honestly, pretty much everyone wears the others now days, especially at Nationals. Spend the extra money
on a Charles Owen or GPA show helmet – if you buy an International, you’ll wish you had the Owen in six months.
Many of the kids have the Internationals as practice helmets – many of them bought them as show helmets, then
We’ll spend a lot of time talking with new people about show clothes. You can wait till we talk about show clothes.
Just have your practice clothes ready to ride when practice starts the end of August. We’ll be very demanding because
this will help you to win more – don’t be offended. Just don’t buy anything without asking us first!
If there is a need, we’ll usually have a visit from our friends who run the consignment show clothes store. They buy
GOOD stuff from the A-shows, or get buyouts from big tack stores or manufacturers, then sell it to younger kids like
you – you can usually get shirts, coats, sometimes breeches, and occasionally even find boots – in good shape and
typically at half new price.
DON’T BUY ANYTHING WITHOUT SHOWING IT TO US!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED…
“NEW MEMBER” form (I’ll e-mail that to you later), which will inform me about your previous riding.
Practice clothes, preferably…
Jeans, half chaps, paddock boots, practice helmet, practice gloves
Hair nets to contain your hair.
Workout or running clothes.
Saddle is optional – there is no place to keep it - but if you bring a saddle you need nameplate on saddle.
Saddle cleaning supplies
Show clothes – we don’t have a show for awhile, but you will need to try them on for me fairly early in the year.
Boot pulls to go with your tall boots
Boot polishing supplies
Sometime in September, new riders must bring show clothes and try them on for us after practice. We’ll help you
figure out what you need, an we’ll send you to our friends at the tack stores in Cincinnati , or get our friends at Tack to
You to come to us, to make sure you get show clothes that will fit you properly and help you win.
The best places to shop in Cincinnati are…
McCauleys – the best in Cincinnati - be sure to tell them you are riding with me, and they will know what to
sell you, and give you a 10% team discount.
Tack Trunk in Lebanon – a former team member is doing a great job raising the level of their inventory.
Tack 2 You – a consignment shop that sells top quality show and practice clothes at approximately half the
cost of new. Ask me for info about how to find them.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO TO IMPROVE?
LEASE OR BUY A HORSE – Many of the Beckett Run horses are available for lease or half-lease, a good way to get
extra riding, and have a consistent horse to show. Ask Gwen for details. There are always people approaching me with
nice horses for sale or lease. Ask Gwen. We’ll help you – this is a HUGE commitment and you don’t want to get
something that you’ll regret.
GO TO EXTRA SHOWS – No amount of riding at home can replace the lessons learned in shows. The best thing
about the hunter shows is that you will ride six or eight classes, as opposed to two that you ride in IEA. We provide
opportunities for lots of show experience, with six schooling shows per year on the farm, plus five OHJA shows that we
manage, in addition to several other shows we attend at other local barns. Ask Gwen for details.
EQUESTRIAN TALENT SEARCH is a clinic series that I run all around the country, for high school kids (and their
parents) who want to ride in college. The weekend clinic includes a couple classroom sessions with discussions of
college recruiting, college selection, educating kids and parents about the choices in collegiate riding and how to get
involved. You have a riding clinic with top college coaches, and a show in the IHSA format. The current season
includes: July at Randolph College in Virginia, September at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, October at
Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania, Halloween weekend at Otterbein College in Columbus Ohio, January back at
Mount Holyoke, and March at Chatham Hall School in Virginia. If you follow college riding, you’ll know that these
are held at some of the top college riding programs around the country, and instruction is by the best coaches from
Randolph, Holyoke, Del Val, Virginia Intermont, Dartmouth, and others. I teach at all the clinics. If you want to ride
in college and you’re a sophomore, junior, senior, it is helpful for you to do a couple of these before your senior year.
You can find more downloadable info at www.equestriantalentsearch.com
www.RideIEA.com – the high school association site
www.BeckettRunRiding.com - farm site – for news and info about BRET and XUET
www.campusquestrian.com - info and news about collegiate riding
2009 IEA National Champions!
ng.com - farm site – for news and info about BRET and XUET
www.campusquestrian.com - info and news about collegiate riding
2009 IEA National Champions!