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Archive for the Working Student Blog Category

Back in Action!

Hi Everyone,

KSE has successfully completed their first show of the season at Rocking Horse Horse Trials, the horses had a good first outing and Katlyn made a successful upgrade to intermediate on her horse Marco.  Currently we are looking forward to our next outing at the Ocala Horse Park this weekend.  Follow Karl, Katlyn, Emily and myself by keeping updated on www.evententries.com (http://www NULL.evententries NULL.com).

Speaking personally, Rocking Horse was a big wake up call and helped me to sort out what I’ll be working on this season.  My main focus at Ocala will be working on getting out of the saddle and galloping in between fences.  Riding is a large component of a rider’s fitness but I recently also joined a CrossFit gym in Ocala.  I am excited to see how it will change my riding in terms of strength and stamina.  Everyone should check out the link below which demonstrates why being physically fit is important to you riding!

http://eventingconnect.today/2015/01/15/is-clayton-fredericks-also-a-vaulter-video-break/ (http://eventingconnect NULL.today/2015/01/15/is-clayton-fredericks-also-a-vaulter-video-break/)
Until next time – Rachel

Chance and I at Rocking Horse Winter 1.




Winter 2015. The Beginning….

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are enjoying your winter – whether it be in Canada or the sunny South!   I’m happy to announce that the horses of Karl Slezak Eventing have arrived safely at Spruce Stables South and are prepping for their first show at Rocking Horse in a few weeks.  Be sure to stay updated on the blog  and follow us on evententries.com!

It has been a busy few weeks getting all the horses back into a routine for show season!  We are lucky to be located kitty corner to Frederick Equestrian’s Cross Country Park.  Our first cross-country school of the season happened this week and I can say for certain that all of the horses were excited to be back out on the cross country field getting their toes wet and sharpening up their jumping skills.

This season should be an exciting one for us with 4 horses declared for the Pan American Games happening this summer in Toronto, Ontario.  And 3 horses declared for the North American Young Riders Championships held at the Kentucky Horse Park.

We cannot wait to get the winter season under way at Spruce Stables South!

Until Next Time….

-Rachel, Chance, and Isaac

The boys enjoying the sunny (but sometimes still chilly) south!


Bromont: What does it take to complete your first CCI*

I thought that going to Bromont was going to be just like any other away show, I mean really,  how different can a CCI 1* be from any other horse trial?  Well-

Rachel and Just By Chance

Let me tell you was I ever wrong!  Leading up to Bromont, Katlyn had us practice jogging more then I thought necessary.  First off, jogs are actually quite stressful, for future reference you can never practice enough!  My horse is a very lazy jogger and the ground jury is very picky.  I was terrified that he would take a wrong step!  Thankfully all the practice paid off and he was perfect!  But on top of having to present your horse perfectly turned out, you have to look good too!  It’s not exactly easy to look nice when you’re working out of a barn so for future I’ll have to plan better for that.

Next on the list, dressage!  Well that’s not quite the same either.  It’s more exciting but it’s also more stressful.  You get to wear a shadbelly which is really quite fun…..but beware…… its not just buy and into the ring you go!  Always leave time for alterations before a big competition.  After dressage is done you can relax, and it’s on to the fun stuff!  Cross Country Day!  Now this all seems pretty normal, except for the fact that the jumps seem bigger, the questions more technical and the course significantly longer then your regular horse trials.  Lucky for me I felt really prepared and had a fantastic trip around the course–Chance finished a very tough course with a bit of time and I could not have been happier with him!!

On the final day of the competition, you have the final jog and show jumping.  The jog starts fairly early so I felt like I was up before the sun to get Chance and myself looking our best for the final jog!  Braids in, coat shining and feet polished, Chance was ready to make his way down the jog strip.  I made a quick change and off we went.  After being accepted at the final jog, we got to move on to show jumping.  Personally, I find show jumping quite stressful!  It’s the last phase and it can play quite a factor on final placing’s.  After a not so great warm up I think we jumped the best round of our eventing career together.  We finished with one rail in 22nd place of 45 competitors.  I could not be prouder of how Chance performed!!

Thank you to Karl Slezak and the rest of team KSE for helping me be so prepared for my first CCI 1*.



Introducing Rachel Johnson

Hi Everyone!

Rachel Johnson and Just by Chance

My name is Rachel Johnson and I’ve been a student at Karl Slezak Eventing (KSE)  for about a year now. I came to KSE in June 2013 as a training level rider looking to upgrade to the preliminary level.  Now a year later I have successfully completed my first CCI 1* with my long time partner, Just By Chance.  In the last year I’ve learned so much as a rider and feel like I’ve improved in leaps and bounds.  I feel more competent and knowledgeable both in the saddle and around the barn.

Chance is currently on vacation after being a superstar at Bromont so I thought I’d fill you guys in on what has been happening this spring around the farm.  I was lucky enough to spend the winter season in Ocala.  Upon returning to Canada, KSE working students Amara Hoppner and Brad Champagne were incredibly successful each winning their divisions at Glen Oro Horse Trials!  Next up was the Will O’Wind CIC 1* and I could not have had a more incredible team helping me prepare for my first FEI event.  Not only did I have an incredibly successful weekend but so did the rest of the team and it seems to make it that much more rewarding!

It’s been a busy spring season at the farm with a full barn but I could not be more excited for what the rest of the season will bring.  Some of the younger horses are getting to their first shows and it’s so exciting to watch them excel!  In the next few weeks my horse, Chance, will be coming back into work and I’ll have more updates coming soon!


Introducing the “Working Student” Blog

As we head into a new competition season at Karl Slezak Eventing we thought it would be fun to add a “Working Student Blog” to our repertoire of social media. This blog will document the experiences and lessons from our working student, “Brad Champagne”.  Brad began working for Karl Slezak Eventing this fall and has spent the last few months learning the ways of Team Slezak both around the barn and in the saddle. He brings with him his partner, C” Taz Go who is currently competing at the Training level with goals of upgrading in the near future.

We welcome Brad to Team Slezak and hope you enjoy his blog.


Brad Champagne and "C" Taz Go

December 2013:

New Beginnings.

Since joining Karl Slezak Eventing (KSE) and Wolf Run Farm a few months ago,  I have learned more about running a farm and have improved my riding more than I could have ever imagined. This opportunity has been such a great experience and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for my riding career during my time at KSE.  Everyone on the team has been very welcoming and helpful during these first few months. Karl has taught Taz and I so much already and I am thrilled to see how things progress when we start competing down south.

Oh right! This will be my first time going out of Ontario to show and it still feels like a dream, especially because I’m able to bring my horse, “Taz”.  When I got Taz just over a year ago from the back field at a small private farm north of Ottawa, I didn’t expect that we would be where we are now and I am so excited to have Karl’s help to progress even more.  One of the many things that I have learned from Karl is that you should have dreams and goals, but don’t get to “tunnelled” in on them because if you miss one opportunity you can always try again and there will be another opportunity that’s maybe even bigger than your last goal..and with some hard work and determination it’s achievable.

Not only have the people at Wolf Run Farm been great, but the animals have mostly been great and even the ones that “tested” me at the beginning are slowing warming up. Even though I’m not a cat person I have strangely begun to enjoy the two feline members of Wolf Run!  Taz’s attitude has improved more and more each week since we had a bit of a disagreement that left me with a few stitches on my face… but aside from that I really can’t complain….

This past week Karl told me a very interesting and helpful piece of advice and that was to always be thinking about your next move, whether it is during a dressage test, x-c run, a stadium round, or really just about whenever I am making a decision….so on that note, I will end this blog entry, head back out to the barn on this cold Ontario winter day and begin thinking about what to write for the next blog!

Until next time!