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Madison Goetzmann – ASPCA Maclay Final

Chronicle of the Horse – Equitation: An American Tradition of Excellence by Bernie Traurig (ADDENDUM)

This article was published in the December 25th, 2017 edition of the Chronicle of the Horse. We have posted it in its entirety below. Due to the space constraints of the magazine, the Chronicle editors were unable to use many of the photos that support the points made in the article. The photos that made it into the original article do indeed bolster my feeling about the equitation division, but after the article you will find additional pictures that offer more visual illustrations to back up the text.

Click on the image for a full resolution article.

The Chronicle of the Horse - Equitation Article by Bernie Traurig
The Chronicle of the Horse - Equitation Article by Bernie Traurig
The Chronicle of the Horse - Equitation Article by Bernie Traurig
The Chronicle of the Horse - Equitation Article by Bernie Traurig


Jump 6 Maclay Hurdle

Jump #6 – Round One

Many horses stopped or spooked at the ASPCA skinny hurdle, jump No. 6 in the first round, which was puzzling, as competitors had the opportunity to school it beforehand.

So many of our past Equitation winners have graduated to the Grand Prix division, some going on to represent our USET with the same classic, signature American style. With today’s live streaming of major international events, one only has to tune in to watch superstars like Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, Peter Wylde and many more, all maintaining the beautiful and effective riding that was fostered in them in the equitation division.

Beezie Madden - Chronicle of the Horse

Beezie Madden

McLain Ward and HH Azur - Chronicle of the Horse

McLain Ward

The last century produced a myriad of greats who excelled in the Equitation division, not only with their style but with their effectiveness as well. Examples such as Bill Steinkraus, Frank Chapot, George Morris, Mary Mairs Chapot, Chrystine Jones Tauber, Carol Hofmann Thompson & Conrad Homfeld, all won equitation finals and went on to be Show Jumping artists.

Frank Chapot - Maclay

Frank Chapot

Frank Chapot on GoodTwist

Frank Chapot

Conrad Homfeld Maclay Win

Conrad Homfeld

Conrad Homfeld '84 Olympics

Conrad Homfeld

I personally am more interested in a supple connection and independence from the neck for balance, rather than focusing on the straightness of the line.

Gordon Wright, one of George Morris’ most influential teachers, has a diagram in his book depicting a broken line as acceptable, but a release below the straight line as unacceptable.

Gordon Wright Illustration

Illustration from Gordon Wright’s book, Horsemanship

The students are, by and large, all talented and able, some at incredibly young ages! It is up to us as trainers to bring out the best in them and never lower our standards.

Tom Boyle 10 year's old

Tom Boyle, age 10

Bailey Fraser 8 year's old

Bailey Fraser, age 8

Lucas Traurig 11 year's old

Lucas Traurig, age 11

The Dublin Horse Show

Vintage video coverage of our USET competing in Europe with Bertalan de Nemethy, coach of our USET for 25 years, that exemplifies a beautiful, quiet forward seat as well as elastic, following arms. Bert’s passion for correct riding basics was unparalleled.

Bernie Traurig

As a Horseman, Bernie is renowned for not only his riding talents but for his teaching and coaching gifts. As a competitor, Bernie has represented the United States Equestrian Team both at home and abroad on many occasions and reached the top of the sport in all 3 of the International Equestrian Olympic disciplines: Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing.After amassing 60 years worth of training and riding techniques and experiences with thousands of horses, Bernie is driven to give back to the sport that has given him so much fulfillment and success.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I was lucky. Dick Leadley first ; Homer Adcock; Michael Hunter; Jerry Farmer; Robert Egan all schooled me. Egan gave me his saddle. My first riding lesson age 30

  2. Devon 1980 Bernie with Cheska; Southside and Edenvale at Devon. Cheska had 6 faults; Bernie was clean. Buddy Brown edged Bernie by 1/100 sec in jump off.

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