I’m a planner. And if there’s an event that requires a little coordinated planning, it’s EQUITANA USA.
With an enormous trade fair at the equally enormous Kentucky Horse Park, spectacular entertainment and 150 seminars and clinics all across three days, an itinerary will keep you on track. Luckily, the good people behind EQUITANA USA have made planning your day a snap with their online planner.
To curate my itinerary, I simply scan the Schedule of Events and click “Add to my plan” to the right of each session I want to watch. (You can use the filter sidebar to show only the types of educational programs that interest you.)
Once I’ve selected all the sessions I want to attend, I click on the heart on the top right of the screen and presto! I can copy a link that will take me to the online version of my schedule or click PDF for the printable version. You can trust I’ll print mine out.
Here’s my game plan for Day One of EQUITANA USA:
I want to watch the clinics because they are an endless source of information that I can pass on to my students. So Day One for me is all about the clinics, starting with the Jumpers Clinic with Ronny Riemer, a.k.a. “The German Riding Instructor.” From him I can learn about warm-up, what horses need from us over fences, as well as what riders can do to make horses better.
After a quick coffee and snack break, count me in for learning more about Introducing Jumping for Green Horses with two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Phillip Dutton.
This clinic, I discovered courtesy of the itinerary planner, actually clashes with the Akhal-Teke breed demo I’m also interested in. I’ve always been intrigued about the shiny coats and curious name of the Akhal-Teke, which I believe I have been mispronouncing and misspelling for the past 40 years. Watching the breed demo for this interesting horse should have me saying Akhal-Teke correctly and will offer me insight into a breed I know little about. No problem though, the breed demos are done every day, and I’ll just move my education on the shiny horse to another one.
Lunch and then back to class with Riemer for more jumpers clinic-ing.
Did I mention that I like clinics? Dutton’s second clinic of the day is on Cross-Country Training in the Arena. I will have my pen and notepad at the ready because you can never learn too much from Phillip Dutton.
Along with clinics, I thought I could probably stand to learn a little about business. And since social media is big business these days, most of which I find confusing, attending Social Responsibility for Equestrian Influencers, seems like a wise idea. I’m a woman of a certain age that has a love/hate relationship with social media. I hope to walk away with a better understanding of what an influencer is. And does. And how their online life impacts the horse community.
To round out the day I thought I might watch the Polo Masterclass with Nic Roldan, who has the impressive 8-goal handicap. I know there are chukkas, I know players ride several polo ponies during a match and I’m pretty sure an 8-goal handicap is super impressive. But I want to know more. How many chukkas, how many polo ponies, how many handicaps, how are the horses trained and how on earth do you not hit your horse in the head with the mallet?
If you’re looking for me, here’s where I’ll be on Friday, October 1st at the Horse Park:
Now to plan day two! I think my focus will be on bodywork, horse psychology, and shopping with my Digital Swag Bag. This is also a great day for kids as there are seven programs happening for children such as painting a Breyer horse and taking part in the Horseless Horse Show and other hands-on and visual learning experiences—like with the United States Pony Clubs. More on that shortly…