Clairvaux is a full service hunter/jumper show stable in Northern Virginia. We offer riding instruction, horse training and boarding; serving riders of all levels and ages.
Operating as usual
Congrats to our winners of this weekend’s grooming and tacking relays! Riders were invited to either participate themselves or to guide a family member in tacking up. It was a fun way to practice or to learn new skills for the first time. A huge thank you to @anotherturntack and @boosboutiquetreats for our awesome prizes. We hope you can join us next time!
We had an awesome time at IEA Zone Finals this weekend!
We are so proud of our riders for their hard work all season! Just making it to this show was a huge accomplishment, and earning some ribbons was extra special! We are also incredibly grateful to our hosts C-Line Stables and @hhgn1 for making this show happen on such short notice by sharing your facility and awesome horses! To our riders, Anna, Savannah, Eva, Riley, and Natalie, thank you for your dedication, flexibility, and positive attitudes this weekend and all season long. We can’t wait to do it again next year!
It’s so interesting to see the evolution of the sport. These changes also have far-reaching implications for our specific end of the sport, not just eventing and dressage.
For all the riders who have not learned distances, here is a simple list.
What we do is to take a tape measure, and a roll of duct tape, and put a piece of tape at the edge of the barn aisle every 12 feet, until we run out of aisle.
Then, walk it, over and over, until we get four of our paces per piece of duct tape, in other words, each stride is three feet.
So, the math:
A one stride in and out is 24 feet, 6 for where you land, one 12 foot stride, 6 for where you take off.
2 strides=36 feet. 3 strides= 48 feet. 4 strides=60 feet. 5 strides=72 feet. Beyond five strides, many riders just ride off their eye.
Now, sure, not every horse lands in 6 exact feet, takes one or more exact 12 foot strides, and leaves the ground an exact 6 feet in front of the next fence, but that is the usual assumption that course builders use, so you need to learn it.
For gymnastics, like what Bert De Nemethy is doing in this picture, trot poles or cavaletti will be roughly 4 1/2 to 5 feet apart.
A bounce will be anywhere from 9-11 feet. A 1 stride, 18-20 feet. A 2 stride, 30 to maybe 33 feet. These distances are shorter, because the horse enters the line at a trot, not at a canter.
Any jumping rider who wants to get to be any good at the craft will spend hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours in a jump ring watching, studying, walking, setting jumps, learning all of this.
This intense interest ALWAYS differentiates the people who are serious from the dilettantes. It is absolutely your choice which you want to be.
Clairvaux is @rideiea Zones bound!! Our wonderful middle school riders (Natalie, Riley, Bridget, Eva, and Savannah) collected points to earn Zone 3 Region 3 Champion! High school riders (Anna and Sydney) presented their hard work to earn ribbons in their respective classes.
We also have riders that qualified individually! Savannah rode to first place in Intermediate Flat. Anna worked hard to earn 2nd o/f and 1st in the flat in Varsity Open eq. Eva flew to first in Future Novice o/f.
Be sure to keep up with us tomorrow for @annac_eq ‘s takeover from the IEA Regional horse show! Anna is our Open rider, and she will be showing both on the flat and over fences. She’s also a leader around the barn and always sets a good example for her teammates with her horsemanship, positive attitude, and of course her riding! Best of luck to her and to all the competitors tomorrow!
In German, there is a saying: “Reiten lernt man nur durch Fegen”, which translates as “Riding is only learned by sweeping”. I have often thought about this saying.
Wherever there are horses, there is a lot of work to be done: Cleaning, sweeping, brushing, feeding, repairing…It’s not only the fun sides of pushing yourself off the ground and into the saddle. Learning to ride takes commitment and discipline, and we might have to do a lot of things which are not very glorious. Sweeping teaches us humility and keeps us grounded.
For me, this saying is also about apprenticeship. You start at the bottom, you sweep, you get off your high horse and you become open to learn. You admit to yourself that you don’t know everything. Sweeping is good for our ego. If you are an apprentice, the master can afford be honest to you. You don’t pay for lessons and s/he has nothing to loose if s/he scares you off. And that kind of honesty we need if we want to develop.
When we do chores around the barn, we also have the chance to develop a more natural kind of relationship with our horses, or with horses in general. We are not directly focused on them and can observe how they interact and what they are doing.
Sweeping is also my zen practice. Whatever my troubles are, I usually feel better after the morning chores at the barn are done.
Happy Saturday 🌅
Who has plans to spend the weekend with their favorite horses? 🙋🏻♀️
After this weekend, we’re feeling so lucky to have horses that are such good teachers 🥰
After this weekend, we’re feeling so lucky to have horses that are such good teachers 🥰
We had a great two days showing at Fox Chase! We learned a lot, both from good ribbons and from challenges, and we couldn’t be prouder of all our riders!
At their first show ever, Emma and Katelyn rode well in the Pre-short stirrup! Mackenzie did an amazing job working on confidence and showing us what a strong rider she is!
Maddy worked hard and kept a positive attitude through her classes. Sophie and Grace both earned champions and reserves in the Short Stirrup Equitation and Hunters. We are so impressed with all of their hard work!
Anna and Kristina rode their horses to champions in their Hunter divisions. Catie and Tony rode well and made progress through the day.
Emma, Natalie, Carrie, and Eva had great rides in the Horse Pleasure, with Eva and Basil earning reserve champion!
To finish out the day, Natalie, Ellie, and Amy all had strong trips in the 2ft Hunters. They all accomplished so much!
Congrats to everyone!
Keep these images tucked in your brain. Such effective positions.
What a fun night of trivia at the barn! Riders and their families answered questions on topics such as horse care, tack and equipment, careers, showing and famous horses! Our winning team even received a prize! What topics should we cover at our next trivia night? We hope to see you there!
Some more pictures from last weekend 😍😍😍
📸: Zoltan van Heyningen
All of our riders did some awesome work this weekend at Raleigh Indoors!
Some highlights include Julia and Bridget both moving up to the 3 ft. and earning good ribbons, including a reserve champion in the Younger Children’s for Julia! Kyra had a lot of great rounds and earned blues in the Dover USEF medal and the WIHS Hunter phase. Anneliese and Roo placed well in the Childrens Pony division and won the Equitation class. Molly and Ranger also moved up and placed well in their classes, winning a class in the Low Children’s Hunter and winning the Low Child/Adult medal class! Finally, our jumpers, Kate and Jasmine, both had great rounds and Kate was champion for the 1m division! Congrats to all!
We spent our weekend at 4(!) different shows!
On Saturday, Kyra, Jasmine, and Taylor all had clear rounds at the @beverlyequestrian jumper show. It was a productive day for everyone!
Some of our IEA riders also competed at Hazelwild (@hazelwild_iea) on Saturday. Anna earned two 5th places, and did an awesome job figuring out her draws! Grace earned a 6th place in a large flat class. Eva also rode beautifully on the flat, earning a 3rd place.
On Sunday, our riders rode very well at the Fox Chase Farm horse show. Riding Academy riders Riley and Karen piloted Zuko and Lilly to strong finishes, with Karen winning a class and Riley earning Reserve Champion for the 2ft Hunter division. Marielle and @aimeeleigh12 ‘s Meeko earned Champion at their first show together. Bridget and Henry earned reserve champion in the 2’9” hunters!
Finally, at our IEA meet at @meadowbrookstablesmd , Sydney and Riley qualified for regionals over fences and Natalie qualified on the flat, all earning blue ribbons!
We are so proud of all of our riders and their hard work this weekend! It was busy, but so many of our riders got to meet so many different goals, so it was worth every minute!
When the temperatures get as low as they were yesterday, we need to make sure our horses stay safe and comfortable while also staying active. An exercise like this one allows horses to practice lengthening their stride and placing their feet correctly. Set poles around 3 human foot lengths apart, get your horse balanced and straight, then let them figure out the rest on their own!
Pole work and other flatwork, like lateral movements and lengthening and shortening, at the walk are great for fitness, suppleness, patience, and attentiveness. Think if it as a low-impact workout that’s still challenging! 💪🏻
This kind of flatwork at the walk is a useful addition to your ride no matter the temperature, but it’s especially beneficial in the cold. Because we’re keeping things low-key and taking more frequent walk breaks, we want to make sure we’re being productive with all of the time we’re spending at the walk.
Would you try this? Do you already do work like this with your horse? Let us know!
Congrats to @eq.juliaaa on being selected as a T.I.P. Youth Ambassador! We’re so proud of her for her hard work and positive attitude, and for getting involved in something that’s important to her!
We are so, so proud of our riders at Fox Chase today! Three of our dedicated Riding Academy riders and their families braved the cold and ended up accomplishing so much! Mackenzie rode in her first show ever and earned reserve champion in the Pre-Short Stirrup. At her first show outside of IEA, Sophie had some beautiful trips and good ribbons in the Short Stirrup Equitation and Hunter divisions. Finally, Karen had a great return to the show ring with a champion in the Short Stirrup! We can’t wait to watch these riders keep making progress and figuring out horse showing!
We love a chance to brag about our awesome riders! The top video is Grace in a lesson this week. The bottom is Grace back in August, less than 5 months ago! We are so excited to see all the progress she’s made with her position and how effective her riding has gotten!
Theresa Hickok Luby
Happy New Year!! 🎉🎉🎉
We hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays as much as Callie 💕
Happy holidays from all of us here at Clairvaux 🎄❄️✨
We hope that everyone gets to spend some time with family, friends, and, of course, their favorite horses. As a reminder, we are doing the same and will be closed for lessons until Monday 12/27. See you soon! ❤️
We had another fun show day this past Sunday at Madiera! It was quick, efficient, and there was lots of great riding from everyone!
Sydney rode nicely and effectively in both of her classes. We are always so impressed by her patience, flexibility, and consistency, no matter what kind of horse she draws!
Kate also put in two solid rides. The best part was when she came out of her flat class and told us that she’d had a good time!
Overall, it was an educational day. Both of our riders were able to learn some new things from their horses, and that is one of the most important reasons to do IEA!
We can’t say enough how proud we are of our IEA team, today and every day. So many of our riders accomplished a lot today, both in the ribbons and by meeting personal goals. We even had a few qualify for regionals today!
Anna earned 2nd places in both of her classes and qualified for regionals in both! We love her consistency and how she’s always such a positive role model for her teammates. Kate also worked very hard, putting down some good rides in both classes. Her position was awesome on the flat and we love how much fun we always have with her!
Bridget and Savannah put down strong rides as usual, with Savannah winning both her over fences and flat classes and qualifying for regionals in both. We love seeing their progress with every show!
Riley, Meghan and Eva all had a great day! Meghan won both of her classes. We are so very proud of her hard work and her progress. Riley placed 3rd over fences and won her flat class, qualifying for regionals on the flat as well! Eva rode two challenging horses and did a great job figuring them out and riding them effectively.
Natalie and Grace also rode beautifully in their class, with Natalie placing 2nd. They both rode smartly and strategically!
Finally, Sophie earned a 3rd place. We are always so proud of her dedication and of course, her lovely riding and strong position.
Thanks to all of our riders and families for a great day! And of course, thank you to Riley and Kristina for coming out to cheer on our team and help us all stay organized today!
We can’t say enough how proud we are of our IEA team, today and every day. So many of our riders accomplished a lot today, both in the ribbons and by meeting personal goals. We even had a few qualify for regionals today! Anna earned 2nd places in both of her classes and qualified for regionals in both! We love her consistency and how she’s always such a positive role model for her teammates. Kate also worked very hard, putting down some good rides in both classes. Her position was awesome on the flat and we love how much fun we always have with her! Bridget and Savannah put down strong rides as usual, with Savannah winning both her over fences and flat classes and qualifying for regionals in both. We love seeing their progress with every show! Riley, Meghan and Eva all had a great day! Meghan won both of her classes. We are so very proud of her hard work and her progress. Riley placed 3rd over fences and won her flat class, qualifying for regionals on the flat as well! Eva rode two challenging horses and did a great job figuring them out and riding them effectively. Natalie and Grace also rode beautifully in their class, with Natalie placing 2nd. They both rode smartly and strategically! Finally, Sophie earned a 3rd place. We are always so proud of her dedication and of course, her lovely riding and strong position. Thanks to all of our riders and families for a great day! And of course, thank you to Riley and Kristina for coming out to cheer on our team and help us all stay organized today!
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