Sally with her 4-star mare, Tsunami, at the Rolex Sunday morning jog this year. Photo by Holly Covey.

Sally with her 4-star mare, Tsunami, at the Rolex Sunday morning jog this year. Photo by Holly Covey.

Perhaps you may not know Sarah “Sally” Cousins – if so, you’re in the minority of eventers in the world, because those of us in Area II think everybody knows Sally! She’s the prolific four-star eventer based in Oxford, PA., who has become one of the best women in the sport. Sally is perennially the top female rider in U.S. Eventing (Leading Lady Rider six times in the last two decades), and rides everything from greenies to Rolex horses (18th this year at Rolex Three Day Event on her own Tsunami). Those of us who live close enough to cheer her on, join a schooling session, or admire while she competes a barnful of top horses have a lot of respect for Sally. She teaches nearly every day of the week, supports Pony Clubs, rides nearly every breed of horse (and a lot of OTTB’s) plus is glad to speak about eventing with anyone who asks. Here’s the latest!

Sally Cousin on Ideal Contini at Plantation CIC***, September 2013. Photo by Holly Covey.

Sally Cousin on Ideal Contini at Plantation CIC***, September 2013. Photo by Holly Covey.

From Sally – The Importance of Consistency:

“There are so many variables in training horses that sometimes it’s hard to tell what works and what doesn’t work.

For example, if a horse doesn’t go well, is it because:

  • Is it after a day off?
  • Is it because it is tired from the training session before?
  • Have I made an equipment change?
  • Or has it not been in enough work to handle what I am asking?
  • It could also be a management issue (feeding, turn out, etc.)

I try to eliminate the variables by having my horses do a similar thing each day of the week. You can pretty much tell what day of the week it is by what I am doing with the horses. I rarely jump after a day off and I don’t gallop after a day off. If I have a particularly good or bad day with a horse I work backwards and try to remember what led up to it. This helps me either repeat or change what I am doing to help make the training process smoother.”

You can read more of Sally’s tips at her website, www.sallycousins.com, or like her page on Facebook at Sally Cousins Eventing.

– Holly