Out + About at WEG

Posted in Art, World Equestrian Games with tags , on October 7, 2010 by martimu

The World Equestrian Games are surrounded by many delights besides the world class competitions. Here’s a small sampling of what my camera saw yesterday:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Crass Meets Class

Posted in Inspiration + Enlightenment, Supernatural Horsemanship, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , on October 6, 2010 by martimu

I am a crass person. I admit that. I have no couth sometimes. I find it easy to access my inner 9 year old when it comes to humor is what I’m saying. So when I started to catch sight of some of the para-equestrians competing in the WEG this week what occurred to me was along the lines of “Oh goodie, a sport I’ll be able to compete in when my rather thick-skulled Paint finally finishes me off.”. Or maybe I’ll succumb to my mini’s whacking me in the knees sending me into a wheelchair that way. In any case I found the humor in my own pathetic riding inabilities, all the accidents my equestrian friends have endured over the years and connected the dots that way. Remember – I have no tact. And then I saw them:

And started hearing the stories of so many of these amazing riders. These are people who have found rejuvenated hope on the backs of some of the kindest most caring creatures humans have ever partnered with. These courageous souls and their unbelievably kindhearted and talented mounts redefine what inspiration can be. They’re being tested in ways I can only imagine and they are surpassing expectations on every level.

These riders are better than I will ever be despite their circumstances. Their grace, their technique, their acumen as equestrians — as human beings – as fellow horselovers — has redefined for me what horsemanship can be. I am moved. I am inspired. I am so very proud of each and every one of these beautiful and capable participants. I say Bravo! Come see them. Here’s how.

Eventing Jumps are Wicked Wide + Tall

Posted in Events, Kentucky, Rolex, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by martimu

From the all day vantage point of crowd control at the midway point of the Eventing Cross Country course I was able to sneak some video footage collection in between closing the gallop lanes to onlooker and golf cart traffic. I went back the next day to shoot these same jumps from eye level so you can start to appreciate what these horses are being asked to do. I know I posted some photos – but have a look as my camera sort of ‘takes’ the jumps from about horse whither height or so. They are the “Land Between the Lakes” series.

Ssome reminders. The course:

  • is 3.98 miles long
  • has 28 jumps as deep and as wide as standards allow
  • designed by “Michael Etherington-SmithMaximum Mike
  • said to be a ‘true four star‘ design ****

When you see the pairs negotiate the jumps in this video they are about 2/3 of the way through the course – so an underlying question is “How much horse has the rider got left?” at this point. As it turns out a lot of the riders had a lot of horse left and only one fell suffering a bruised ego and instant elimination. Both horse and rider walked away.

Some say these courses are too tough. There is controversy surrounding this discipline because of that. Lots of different points of view are registered. For me I have a pokey paint and a mini with no aspirations towards flight. Well not purposeful flight anyway. So what do I know? And I have to remind myself that the 14.2 hand Connemara pony, Eventing Champ Theodore O’Connor ridden by Karen O’Connor* successfully jumped jumps just like this throughout his career at the Kentucky Rolex 3 Day Event and WON! So they are doable for the right combo.

* I think Teddie and Karen are related somehow via their common Irish ancestry but the details never seem to be posted exactly what the lineage is.

Spanish Heart + Soul at the WEG Freestyle

Posted in Inspiration + Enlightenment, Supernatural Horsemanship, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 4, 2010 by martimu

By now you’ve probably caught wind of Edward Gal’s amazing ride on Moorlands Totilas with their record breaking 91.082 score in Dressage Freestyle at the 2010 World Equestrian Games, but unless you were one of the lucky 30,000 dressage fans in the stadium that night you may not have witnessed one of the most animated and showstopping performances of the sport. Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz rode his Spanish horse named Fuego (meaning Fire – aptly named I must tell you) to the absolute delight of everyone present. Did I say rode? More like danced. Strutted. Showed off. Hotdogged if you will. You need to see this:

What’s so fun about this ride is how much it reminds me of an actual warrior riding his worthy mount at a celebration. The others are more like royal dandies gamboling about with no sense of having been to nor ever getting close to a battlefield. I’m not making a judgment here – but as dressage itself is based on warrior training I’m just sayin’ this pair seemed more authentic to me.  Munoz-Diaz rode it different. Wonderfully so!

When he one hands down the center you know for certain he would be able to wield a sword. When his horse goes a little kooky as the crowd erupts in appreciation at the end of their seven plus minutes of accomplishment you get to appreciate just how much horse that dude was riding one handedly.

Unfortunately for the pair they rode on a night when technical marvels entered the riding ring so they placed out of the medals but at the top of many people’s own collection of golden moments from these games. I, for one, will never forget their display. Here’s another video of their ride – nicely edited. Oh, and one last thing – before Fuego entered the dressage test ring – he leaned down and tried to take a nice bite out of the decorative greenery surrounding the area. A horse is a horse is a horse is a horse. A light moment that proved the relaxed nature of these two as they set about preparing for one of the biggest performances of their lives. Me? I couldn’t eat before my ACTs or any finals – lol.

X-country day at the WEG

Posted in World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 2, 2010 by martimu

Anticipation is mounting here at the horse park as the crowds stream in to witness the controlled flight if horse and rider over a course designed to test them both to the very brink of their abilities. It seems as though no photograph ever does justice to the challenges these fences and obstacles pose. Some are taller than me and wider than buses. I wish the test rider would wear a helmet cam so we could all see it as it truly is. Scary.

Pix of Cross Country Fences!

Posted in Unnatural Horsemanship, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 1, 2010 by martimu

EventingNation has made an entire album of photos showing each of the ‘questions’ horse and rider will asked on the four+ mile course on Saturday October 2nd at the WEG.

Jump 18 at the Land Between the Lakes series

They call them questions because the horse doesn’t get to see any of the jumps nor the course before he or she is running it during competition. These are major jumps and major obstacles. This is pretty much an insane business. I’ll be there making sure onlookers get out of the gallop lanes well before competitors are within range. I will be thinking positive thoughts of flight as each pair negotiates these wicked bad challenges.

See every jump here at EventingNation’s Picasa album.

Aw Shucks – WegWag Wins Award!

Posted in Equine Issues, Equine Professionals, Media, Publications, Videos, World Equestrian Games with tags , on September 30, 2010 by martimu

Dr. Pearec Lyons congratulates Marti McGinnis for receiving an A+ Award for her video

No way! It appears as though yours truly, your very own little WegWag seems to have won the A+  award in the broadcasting category for a video I created to help grow excitement for the WEG!  Alltech – the title sponsor of the whole big horse party – initiated a set of awards to help kick start coverage throughout the global equine news community. Entries were open to members of American Horse Publications (AHP) and the International Alliance of Equestrian Journalists (IAEJ).

They asked a team of independent experts to evaluate the entries and it seems the video shown right here in our little down-home blog took top honors for the first set of winners! (2 sets one pre-WEG, the other to come or post-WEG). This video features footage I’ve taken over the several years I’ve been playing horses with my friends here so I like to think this win reflects more about them, what they’ve taught me and the love we all share for our equine friends and teachers.

I sorta feel like I just won a gold medal. 🙂

So here it is again for those who missed it the first time:

%d bloggers like this: