Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lesson with my favorite Olympian - Heath Ryan

Last Saturday the 20th my mom, Vicki, headed to the airport to pick up my favorite clinician. Heath Ryan! The most special part of this trip is, Heath is staying at our farm (Flying Chesterfield Farm) for the majority of his 2 week trip to the states. With his busy schedule Heath usually only has time once a year for clinics in the US.
On Sunday and Monday Heath taught at Playland Farm in Union Bridge, Md. Located only minutes from FCF. I was lucky enough to snag one of the ever popular lessons with Heath on Sunday evening. I rode our 4 y/o sport pony Whisper to Heaven in a group jump lesson with 2 others. It turned out to be the most well matched group lesson of the day. The three of us kept Heath on his toes, going round after round through the grid with near perfection. I was on the smallest horse in the group at only 13.2 1/2HH. When he sent me around for my first go to the grid with all the rails up and at a canter he said “Now Nicki, you may have to have a little MORE canter than these other guys.” HA! Whisper the wonder pony strikes! I was met with a "WHOA! Not what I was expecting!" Whisper LOVES to jump and attacked the grid with maybe a little too much GO. "She would jump through the roof if we let her" Heath said. "It's great to have that talent but, now she needs to learn how to go quietly to her fences."
Which I spent the rest of the lesson trying to tell her was a better idea. Heath is always teaching the little technical details that matter the most. Always pushing you to be the best you can be that day with that horse. He always wants you to be accountable for whats happening during the exercises. So you are better prepared when he leaves and you try the exercises again. As usual after a lesson with Heath I felt inspired and confident about Whisper and her talents that I believed were there all along.

One of the advantages to Heath staying at our farm is the special one on one time we've had to pick his brain about breeding, training and competition. My dream has always been to become an upper level rider with the ultimate goal being the Olympics. I figured since I had an Olympian sitting across the table from me I better speak up with any questions I had. What steps I needed to take to even start seeing that dream become any sort of reality. Heath has always told me I am a talented rider and that still stands.YAY! He gave the advice that if I don't try at all to make my goals that I will undoubtedly regret it later on. He reassured me that you don't have to have the most money or the fanciest horse to make it. So, another of our 4 y/o homebreds owned by a dear friend of mine better be ready to work! Heath agreed that she is a great place to start. Next step is finding a regular trainer to work with that has
successfully competed at or is competing at Grand Prix. I have some guidelines to work on from there and I cant wait to get started.

WHY OH WHY must Heath be in Australia?! Until the next time, I will be working hard to show off my new accomplishments when he returns!

Monday, August 22, 2011

September & October Clinic Dates: Susan Graham White and Stephen Bradley

I'm starting to realize just how spoiled we are to have Stephen Bradley and Susan Graham White come to A Bit Better Farm every month!  I have dates scheduled for September and October with both clinicians.  E-mail me to sign up:

Wednesday, September 7th & Wednesday, October 26th: Stephen Bradley
Lessons are small group (no more than 3 riders per lesson) and cost $110 per rider.
Private lessons are also available (limited availability) and are 45-minutes and cost $125.
We start around 1pm and go until we're done.

Tuesday, September 13th & Tuesday, October 11th: Susan Graham White
Lessons are 45-minute privates and cost $125.
We start at 11:30am and go until 6:45pm.

Here's a little more info on Stephen and Susan ...

Stephen and In The Fog at Bromont CCI**.
Stephen Bradley: Eventer Stephen Bradley has a long list of accomplishments: 1992 Olympic team member and '93 Burghley CCI**** winner with Sassy Reason. '93 US Olympic Committee Equestrian Athlete of the Year; '96 Rolex Kentucky winner with Doctor DoLittle; '03 gold-medal winning US Pan American Championships team member and '05 Foxhall Cup CCI*** winner with Brandenburg's Joshua; '07 gold-medal winning US Pan American Championships team member with From. Stephen enjoys teaching all levels of riders from beginners to the advanced competitor. His enthusiasm, talent for communication, and ability to inspire confidence in the horse and rider especially make him a hit with the pony clubbers! When trianing with Stephen, you can be confident that you will receive expert instruction for your level of riding.  You can learn more about Stephan at

Susan and Revelle at Young Horse Finals.
Susan Graham White: Not only is Susan an active upper-level dressage competitor, but she also judges at many of the area shows where YOU compete. Susan is an FEI dressage rider and trainer based at Wolfhaven Farm in southern Maryland. She has been an active instructor, trainer, and competitor in dressage for 25 years, and has successfully trained and coached students through the Advanced 3-day level in eventing, and to FEI levels in dressage. SHe is also a licensed national USEA dressage and event judge, and an international FEI event judge. Susan travel extensively teaching and judging both internationally and throughout the United States. Take this opportunity to learn what a licensed judge has to say! You can learn more about Susan at

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Kind words from Katie Ruppel

Katie with Sir Donovan at The Fork CIC*** earlier this year.
I first met Katie through the COTH bulletin boards and when she moved to my area, she quickly became one of my favorite people. It's been fun watching her work through the levels of eventing and I know that without a doubt she'll be rocking it around Rolex in the spring.

It's been a pleasure working with Katie to promote her various clinics, fundraisers, etc.  And it's always nice when clients send over a great quote for the web site.  :-)

"Margaret and Mythic Landing Events have been a godsend for my business. My favorite service is the "E-Blast" which I use frequently. They always look polished, professional, and reach a huge audience." ~Katie Ruppel of Yellow Rose Eventing, Advanced-level event rider 

Thanks Katie for the kind words!

Monday, August 1, 2011

MLE Is Pleased To Announce Another Fantastic New Client!

MLE is excited to add Waters Edge Farm to our team! Many of the Maryland locals know Waters Edge Farm quite well, but for the out of towners- Waters Edge is a top quality farm offering full care boarding, training, lessons, breeding, and sales. The facility is uniquely situated on 65 bucolic acres bordering Piney Run Reservoir in Sykesville, Maryland. Waters Edge Farm specializes in the training of horse and rider from the Beginner Novice to intermediate level. Additionally, the farm excels in the breaking and training of young horses and the re-training of horses off the track for other disciplines.

The main trainer on the premises, Liz Patrick currently is competing actively at recognized events at the Intermediate Level on her lifetime horse, Toast Of Manhattan. You will also find her at most of the local events competing her young horses, as well!

MLE is assisting Liz in creating a brand new website and managing her ad campaigns! Be on the look out for her upcoming debut of the farm website and the phenomenal horses she is offering for sale.